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Britannia Prime is a world in an outer arm of the galaxy Charybdis. After the first, second, and third wave of space pirates, mercenaries, wildcatters, ne’er-do-wells, this stretch of the galaxy was largely forgotten and left to its own devices as a problematic and barren region. Once freed from the endless minor threats that Charybdis is known for, an empire with a distinctly anachronistic and royalist bent arose out of the chaos.
This Encyclopedia, commissioned by the powers that be, attempts to capture the nature of that empire in broad strokes.
Britannia Prime Empire
The empire grew out of feuds between local worlds, somehow finding an equilibrium in a model based on 19th century Earth. Britannia Prime declared itself to be the local seat of empire, and agreed to open a new planetary system every few years to allow dissident elements to emigrate outsystem. This edict helped to secure the social status quo as well as to allow additional economic expansion.
King Grigori: A respected and venerable Space lobster that has reigned for the last 147 years. King Grigori has successfully managed to balance the hand of power and the demands of the populace in a careful and calculated way. Whenever the lowest classes begin to agitate together, a new colony system is declared.
Princess Catherine: ‘Princess Cat’ is beloved among both True Citizens and Citizen-Pretenders across the empire. Although as yet too young to reign, many citizens of the empire look forward to the day when she will be called upon to lead the empire.
The Britannia Prime Empire has managed to survive by modeling itself on the social structure of Old Earth as represented in ancient texts - namely to split society between a privileged class (True Citizens) and an unprivileged class (Citizen-Pretenders). Rather than rely on such absurdities as birth gender or birth species, the Britannia Prime Empire has decreed that all new sentients will have their status defined by a truly random quantum coin toss. Specifically, all new sentients are as likely to be privileged as they are likely to be unprivileged.
Somehow, everyone has agreed to this. Who can question the success of empires?
True Citizens (vernacular: “Tea Seas”): are granted every possible social grace: the right to own property, to pursue higher education, to begin a career, to receive an inheritance, to vote, et al. In short, to avail themselves of the machinery and norms of the society in order to secure their future.
Citizen-Pretenders (vernacular: “Sea Peas”): are denied every social grace. They may not own property, are not entitled to any sort of advanced learning, may not secure respectable employment, the works. As such, Citizen-Pretenders must hope to pair bond with True Citizens to avoid shame and destitution.
Social Acceptance: given that signing on to a colony meant a 50-50 chance of getting on the right side of the brutal equation, colony berths were always in short supply. The colony of Weatherby is the 42nd such colony to be announced during the Grigorian era.
The Weatherby System
The Weatherby system consists of a resource-rich planet in a stable orbit around a stable star. The star, the planet, and the capital city on that planet all share a name for the sake of keeping things simple back home on Britannia Prime. And so here we are: in the city of Weatherby; on the planet of Weatherby; in the Weatherby system.
Should you disagree with that nomenclature, you are cordially invited to submit a Request for Evaluation to Britannia Prime. In the unlikely event that your proposal is entertained, you will be notified with all due haste.
Origin: Our very first visitors asked “Does this here weather be normal around these parts? Or is this all unusual?” Locals had to confess that the recent weather had in fact been representative of what one would expect at this time of year. This observation scared off a number of founding families.
Nomenclature: “The star we’re rotatin’ around - that one is known in the charts as ‘Weatherby’. That should help explain why your address is on ‘such-and-such street, Weatherby, Weatherby, Weatherby’, yes?”
Geography: the city of Weatherby sits on a long, mountainous coast. It has remarkable opportunities not only inland, but at the shore, and also out to sea.
Navigation: In order to avoid confusion, mappers from SpaceXX forwarded the much-adopted abbreviations to denote the city (W) the planet (WW) and the system (WWW). This has decreased confusion by 7%.
The Weatherby system was opened to settlement only once it was certain that it could support the following industries. Namely:
Lagoderms: Genetic engineering has allowed the Empire to wed the life codes of both the lagomorph and the pachyderm. This results in a beast of burden that breeds rapidly, has a large biomass, and may be used for food, labor, or sport accordingly.
Whipweed: A marsh grass unique to Weatherby. Depending on how it is processed, it can be used as food, a textile, or an intoxicant.
Sandfish: A pungent galactic delicacy. Sandfish take decades to reach their largest size, and the largest ones are the most sought after for their sweetness. Weatherby presents an entirely untaped fishing opportunity for this treat.
Seryl: A rare crystalline metal that is highly valued for both its purity and superconductivity. Weatherby is the youngest known system to possess such substantial seryl reserves.