The Terran Magellanic Empire

The Terran Magellanic Empire is the successor to the Terran Empire inthe Greater Magellanic Cloud. Whilst it still owes theoretical fealty tothe Terran Empire, there has been no contact with the Terran Empire forover 1,000 years and the Magellanic Territories have continued whilst awaitingcontact to be reestablished. Its formal name is "The Magellanic Territoriesof the Terran Empire", but it is usually referred to as the Terran MagellanicEmpire, or more frequently in recent times, simply the Magellanic Empire.Whilst the Empire never technically fell (Imperial rule and the Imperialbureaucracy were maintained on Breakout throughout the Second Dark Age),the current Empire can be best said to date from the proclamation of theBabylon Accords in 2127T.


The founding documents for the Terran Magellanic Empire are the BabylonAccords. These accords set forth the basic structure of the Empire andprovide for its administration. These were put forth by Viceroy Henry IVin 2127T and found rapid approval within the former Terran territorieswithin the Cloud. The Accords set forth the roles of the various arms ofthe Imperial government and established a system of checks and balancesto prevent the abuse of power and adequate representation for all Imperialworlds. The Empire’s capital is located on Babylon {Yumazaca 2517} oneof the three worlds under direct Imperial control.

The Empire is governed by the Viceroy of the Imperial Magellanic Territoriesacting as proxy for the Terran Emperor or Empress. The Viceroy is assistedand advised by the Magellanic Assembly (formal name "The Terran ImperialMagellanic Assembly"). The Assembly consists of representatives from allworlds not directly administered by the Imperial Government and is chairedby the Viceroy or (more often) his or her Chief Seneschal. Whilst the Assemblyis theoretically simply an advisory body, its approval is required to raisetaxes or levies on worlds not directly answerable to the Empire; and itwould be an extremely reckless or bold Viceroy who would act without itsapproval. The representatives to the Magellanic Assembly are appointeddirectly by the individual worlds according to whatever procedures aredecided upon locally. The current Viceroy is Sarah III, Princess of Breakout,of the House of Chang. She assumed the role in 2368T with the death ofher father Martin VI. Though the position of Viceroy is technically non-hereditary,it has been held by the hereditary Prince or Princess of Breakout since959T.

The Viceroy is assisted in his or her role by the Imperial bureaucracyand the Imperial nobility. The Imperial nobility theoretically consistsof all those Peers who hold their patents of nobility directly from theEmperor or Empress (as represented by the Viceroy). In practice howeveronly the High nobility are directly involved in Imperial government. Thesenobles act as proxies for the Viceroy within their respective territories,ensuring that the Viceroy’s policies are carried out.

The Imperial bureaucracy is divided into five ‘branches’: The ImperialMagellanic Scout Corp (IMSC), the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry ofJustice, the Imperial Exchequer and the Collage of Heralds. The IMSC’srole is four fold: to maintain communications within the Empire, to conductexploration outside the Empire, to maintain diplomatic relations with otherstates, and to investigate breaches of Imperial law. The Ministry of Defence’srole is to coordinate the defence of the realm. The Ministry of Justice’srole is to prosecute breaches of Imperial law and enforce such punishmentsas may be imposed. The Imperial Exchequer is responsible for the financialmanagement of the Empire; making forward predictions, keeping detailedrecords and managing the day to day accounting required for an interstellarstate. The Collage of Heralds’ role is less well defined. It is officiallystated as ‘To maintain accurate information and records relating to theMagellanic Territories of the Terran Empire and to ensure that those recordsand information are made available to all who might seek it. Additionallythe Collage of Heralds shall establish the legitimacy of those claimingnoble rank.’ While this is seemingly a very simple set of tasks, the Collageof Heralds have chosen to interpret them in a very liberal manner.

Local Government

The Babylon Accords allow each individual world within the Empire toadminister itself as it sees fit. This has lead to a very wide varietyof local governments within the Empire. However there are some common featuresof most local administrations. Most commonly, worlds are administered (atleast formally) by a noble, who will owe fealty either to a higher nobleor to the Emperor or Empress directly. However it is not at all uncommonfor such nobles to merely be titular heads for some other form of government.This is a holdover from when the Magellanic Territories were directly ruledby Terra. At that time almost all Imperial worlds were administered bya hereditary noble on behalf of the Emperor or Empress. However duringthe Second Dark Age many former Imperial worlds changed their actual typeof government, whilst retaining the forms of the previous Imperial administration.Only in a very few instance have the old Terran Imperial forms been entirelyabandoned. Many worlds have joined together to form multi-world governments(the Diadochi states) and these states exist within the Empire as componentparts of the Empire.

The Babylon Accords provide for each local government to make and enforcelaws within their own territory and provide for a system of extraditionfor criminals to be returned to the appropriate jurisdiction. Each governmentmay conduct diplomatic relations with other governments within the Empireand make binding treaties with other Imperial local governments. Localgovernments may raise and maintain armed forces to defend their territory.Indeed some arrangement for armed forces to assist in the greater defenceof the Empire is a requirement of the Accords. In short the local governmentswithin the Empire only surrender a small degree of their sovereignty tothe Imperial government. The commonly held precedent is that any powernot specifically assigned to the Imperial government is held by the localgovernment; though this practice holds no legal force and is disputed bymost Viceroys.

The Nobility

There are two basic types of nobility within the Empire: the Imperialnobility and the Local nobility. All nobles hold a patent of nobility andultimately owe fealty to the Emperor or Empress, who is represented inthe Cloud by the Viceroy as his or her proxy. The Imperial nobility arethose nobles who hold their patents directly from the Emperor or Empress.The Local nobility are those nobles who hold their patents through someintermediary noble or nobles.

Noble ranks are hieratical in nature and are ranked (termed precedence)as follows: Knight, Baronet, Baron/Baroness, Marquis/Marquesa, Viscount/Viscountess,Count/Countess (the title Earl is often substituted for that of Count),Duke/Duchess, Archduke/Archduchess, Grand Duke/Grand Duchess, Prince/Princess,Emperor/Empress. Though Viceroy is not a noble rank and indeed technicallythe Viceroy does not need to be of noble rank (the only non-noble Viceroywas Mordred Alaman [626T - 631T]), the Viceroy is considered to be partof the Imperial nobility, holding a precedence one less than the Emperoror Empress or two less if the Empire is currently ruled by a Regent. Knighthoodsand Baronetcies are generally for the individual’s lifetime only whilstthe higher ranks are generally hereditary (though this is not always thecase). Hereditary nobles are termed Peers and non-hereditary nobles aretermed Chevaliers. Peers with the rank of Archduke/Archduchess and aboveare termed High nobles, those of rank Marquis/Marquesa to Duke/Duchessare termed Seigneurs, whilst lesser Peers are termed Squires; there isno specific distinction between the various ranks of Chevaliers.

Any Peer may petition the Collage of Heralds to create a lesser nobleowing fealty to them; or since some Peers hold more than one title, maysimply reassign one of their existing hereditary titles to another individual(subject to approval by the Collage of Heralds). The Emperor or Empressmay personally bestow a noble title without resort to the Collage of Heraldsand this power now resides in the Viceroy as Imperial proxy. However thispower has only been used very sparingly by the Viceroys (only twice inthe past 100 years) and in all cases the Collage of Heralds has later ratifiedthese appointments (though this is not necessary). In certain circumstance,an Imperial noble may transfer direct fealty from the Emperor or Empressto some intermediate noble, in doing so becoming a Local noble (thoughsuch changes require approval by either the Collage of Heralds or the Emperoror Empress). It is likewise possible (though extremely rare) for a Localnoble to become an Imperial noble.

The Imperial Military

There are three arms of the Imperial military: The IMSC, the ImperialNavy and the Imperial Marines. The Imperial Navy and Marines maintain theirheadquarters at Riyergrock {Yumazaca 2925}, location of the only Imperialmilitary depot; whilst the IMSC still maintain their headquarters on Nemesis{Newlands 0920} inside the Principality of Breakout.

The IMSC is not strictly speaking a military organisation. However theymaintain a fleet of ships (including warships up to ships of the line)and trained personnel to fulfil their duties. Most of these ships are inthe Patrol Service of the Communications Office. The IMSC maintains thesewarships to fulfil its role keeping the spacelanes free from piracy andlawlessness. During time of war the assets of the IMSC are placed at thedisposal of the Ministry of Defence and its ships serve under naval command.Generally its ships will serve as couriers, escorts, scouts and auxiliaries;but some of its larger vessels will serve with combat units. It must benoted however, that the IMSC’s role in keeping the spacelanes open tendsto become even more important during a war and this places a major limitationon the number of vessels which can be made available to the Navy. However,many former scout personnel (technically scout personnel do not retire,they merely opt for "detached duty") are recalled during wartime and alarge number of these are seconded to the Navy and Marines.

The Imperial Navy is responsible for the conduct of warfare in space.In peacetime it maintains a small number of active squadrons and a poolof senior officers to provide a higher command structure during war. Italso maintains a stockpile of materialé and a list of reserve personnelto allow for rapid expansion in time of crisis. In peace it is reinforcedby a number of local squadrons temporarily attached to it on a rotatingbasis; this not only strengthens the Navy, but also ensures that the localforces are familiar with current Imperial doctrine and operating procedures.During war the Imperial Navy is further reinforced by other local units,to bring it up to the force levels required. The Imperial Navy also encouragescommonality and interoperability amongst the Diadochi forces. To do thisthe Navy maintains a large design staff and encourages the various Diadochiforces to use the standardised designs it produces. The Navy also maintainstraining establishements open not only to Imperial personnel, but alsoDiadochi forces and friendly non-Imperial states.

The Imperial Marines are responsible for the conduct of warfare withinplanetary environments (a planets surface and atmosphere out to 20 planetarydiameters). They are much like the Imperial Navy; in peacetime they onlymaintain a small number of units, a pool of senior offices and stockpilesof materialé and lists of reserve personnel. In peace they haveattached a number of Diadochi units on a rotating basis and are expandedby more Diadochi units in wartime. They also maintain and encourage theuse of standardised equipment and organisations. In addition to this theMarines also maintains a force of personnel (drawn from the regular combatunits) for service aboard Imperial Naval vessels. As is the case with theNavy, the Marines maintain training establishments open not only to Imperialpersonnel, but also Imperial Diadochi and friendly non-Imperial states.However in addition to this, they also have personnel serving as cadresin some friendly non-Imperial states.

In addition to these forces, mention must be made of two other sourcesof Imperial forces. The first are the various mercenary units hired bythe Empire as are required. These are generally surface combat forces,though starships are hired to act as naval auxiliaries on occasion. TheEmpire generally uses mercenary forces in secondary theatres and for auxiliaryduties (there have been however, a small number of notable exceptions tothis policy), preferring to use Imperial and Diadochi forces as their primarycombat arms. Also, though the Imperial Marines do occasionally providecadres for friendly non-Imperial states, the Empire generally prefers tohire mercenaries for this role.

The other source of Imperial forces is the Jneril Eiahya Legion. Thisis a Legion of ground combat troops at the disposal of the Empire. Whileit is placed under the tactical command of the Imperial Marines it is quiteseparate from them. The Legion is recruited from non-Imperial Jneril. Theyserve out of a sense of honour for the Empire’s intervention to save theJneril world of Hrali from conquest by the Mwoah. The Legion is fundedand maintained entirely by donations from non-Imperial Jneril, though itspersonnel are frequently rewarded by land grants within the Empire whenthey retire and many of its members have been elevated to the nobility.This Legion is one of the best at the disposal of the Empire and has nodifficulty in recruitment (indeed it is frequently over strength).

Imperial Justice

Imperial justice is administered by the Ministry of Justice and theIMSC. The IMSC’s Security Branch and Patrol Service are responsible forenforcing Imperial laws and regulations. The Ministry of Justice maintainsthe Imperial court system, which hears both criminal and civil cases; andenforces such judgements as the courts may hand down. In addition to this,the Imperial Navy, Marines and IMSC also maintain Courts Martial for breachesof the relevant military codes.

Imperial justice generally only covers crimes which are not coveredby a local jurisdiction or crimes which have a direct bearing on the Empire(such as treason, espionage, piracy, use of psionics or assault of an officialon Imperial business etc.). Areas under Imperial jurisdiction include:Imperial bases, starships in or in transit to jumpspace, the extraterritorialityzone of a starport, designated combat zones in time of war, Imperial diplomaticmissions etc. It should be noted that current serving Imperial personnelare subject to Imperial justice at all times. However the Empire will generallydefer to local authorities where there is an overlap in such cases. TheEmpire holds to the principle that no person should be tried for the samecrime twice; thus if a person has been charged with a crime by a Localjurisdiction, they will not extradite them to face an Imperial tribunalover the same incident. The same of course applies in reverse, though someexceptions are made to this policy. The Empire only has jurisdiction incivil matters when no local jurisdiction applies, in regards to contractsmade under Imperial law, or in the very rare case that an article of theBabylon Accords may have central relevance to the action.

All Imperial courts take the form of an inquisitorial tribunal of threeto nine judges. Imperial law and custom dictates that any person calledbefore an Imperial court shall have legal representation if they so desire.The Ministry of Justice maintains the Office of Imperial Attorneys forthose unable to afford legal representation, as well as the Office of ImperialProctors to present the indictment in criminal cases. The Empire is requiredto engage private attorneys to represent it in civil cases. Imperial courtsreach their judgments on a majority basis. A dissenting opinion by a judgeis usually grounds for an appeal. There are several different layers ofcourts. At the lowest level are the District Tribunals, these generallycover a single subsector, though some heavily populated subsectors maybe divided into more than one district. Above them are the Quadrant Tribunals,which usually cover four subsectors. Above them are the Provincial Tribunals,these generally cover an entire sector. Finally at the highest level isthe Imperial Magellanic High Tribunal. This is effectively two courts,an junior court of between three to seven High Tribunes; and a senior courtof the full bench of eleven High Tribunes. Most cases will be initiallyheard in a District Tribunal, though some more serious cases may be hearddirectly in a Quadrant Tribunal; the higher levels acts as courts of appeal.Babylon, Riyergrock and MCN-378290 are somewhat different as the Empirehas sole jurisdiction on these worlds. Therefore these worlds contain multipleImperial Districts and Quadrants; and both Babylon and Riyergrock are treatedas complete Imperial Provinces in their own right.

In criminal cases a conviction may be appealed to a superior court ifgiven leave by the higher tribunal. Generally the first appeal is grantedautomatically, though subsequent appeals require a serious point of factor law to be granted an appeal. An acquittal may only be appealed on thegrounds of perjury by or on behalf of the accused. In civil cases eitherparty may appeal to a superior court if given leave. As in criminal cases,the first appeal in a civil case is generally automatic, with further appealsrequiring a serious point of law or fact. One further level of appeal theoreticallyexists above the High Tribunal: the Emperor or Empress themselves. Thispower now resides in the Viceroy as Imperial proxy, but this has only beenexercised five times since the first Terran colonies were established inthe Cloud, only once since the Babylon Accords.

Penalties levied by Imperial Justice are varied. In civil cases theyinvariable take the form of restitution and punitive damages (almost alwaysfinancial). In criminal cases they can range from fines though imprisonmentto execution. To enforce judgements, the Ministry of Justice maintainsbailiffs and a number of prisons (including the prison world of MCN-378290{Newlands 1315}). Terms of imprisonment imposed by Imperial Courts Martialare served in Ministry of Justice prisons if they exceed 100 days duration.With the exceptions of those imposed by Imperial Courts Martial in timeof war, Imperially mandated executions are always carried out at MCN-378290using the traditional method of plasma vaporisation. Any person executedunder Imperial justice forfeits all rights, titles, honours and propertyto the Empire.

Non-humans within the Empire

Whilst the vast majority (around 74%) of the population of the Empireare Terran Humans, significant minorities of non-Terrans and Non-humando exist within the Empire. Of these approximately 15% are non-Terran Humans(10% Efrip, 3% Akhrini and 2% others), 5% are Dk’arek, 4% are Jneril andthe remaining 2% are Ulkoyo and various Minor sophonts native to worldswithin the Empire. Most of these species have retained their native culturesin some form, though many have been heavily influenced by Imperial culture.

Imperial law grants full and equal citizenship to all intelligent beingswithin the Empire. However the Babylon Accords do not require the sameof local governments and a few do differentiate on the basis of species,despite Imperial attempts to discourage this. Still generally non-Terransand Non-humans are treated as full members of Imperial society and manyhave achieved prominence within it. Few Imperial citizens would be unawareof the exploits of the Jneril General Ealr or the Dk’arek Admiral Owarkhduring the Second Mwoah War; and the Empire certainly takes great pridein the Eiahya Legion.


The official language of the Magellanic Empire is Maganglic, a variantof the Imperial Terran Anglic spoken in the Terran Empire. Maganglic developedin the Principality of Breakout during the Second Dark Age and it becamewidespread by its use in the Phoenix Project. Other Anglic languages arealso common within the Empire, often having official status at the localgovernment level. The various Non-human members of the Empire also retaintheir own languages and these are protected and encouraged by Imperialdecree and custom.


The Magellanic Empire uses the old Imperial Terran calender and temporalsystem. The system is based on a day of 24 hours and a year of 365 standarddays. The days within the year are consecutively numbered from 001 to 365.Archaic divisions such as the week of 7 days and month of 30 days are stillwidely used, though these are purely unofficial. The Imperial Terran calenderuses a zero year and 001-0T (14th September 2635AD in the old Terran Gregoriancalender) is the date of the Treaty of Zuukish which marked the end ofthe 10th Interstellar War and the final triumph of the Terran Confederationover the Glorani Empire. The Imperial Terran calender was introduced bythe first Terran emperor, Paul I in 297T some 5 years after the foundationof the Empire.

There have been occasional calls for the abandonment of the old ImperialTerran calender in favour of a more ‘Magellano-centric’ calender; but thereis no sign of any widespread support for such a change. However two othercalenders are widely used at a local level: the Efrip Ereyt calender andthe New Magellanic calender. The Ereyt calender uses a pentad of 5 years,each of 292 standard days numbered 001 to 292 consecutively. The Ereytcalendar uses a zero pentad and 001-1/0Er corresponds with 094-692T. TheNew Magellanic calender uses the standard Imperial Terran temporal systemand a zero year, but has its start date (001-0NM) at 213-511T (the dateof the foundation of the first Terran colony at Breakout).


The Psionic Revolt (589T to 642T) is still keenly remembered by theTerrans within the Cloud; and the use of psionics is one of the very fewImperial crimes as laid out in the original Babylon Accords. Most localgovernments also have strict laws prohibiting the use, instruction in,or advocacy of psionics. However psionics are not unknown within the Cloud.During the Psionic Revolt many of the psionic criminals fled to the Cloudand attempted to continue their practices beyond the reach of the TerranEmpire. Many Psionic Institutes were set up both within and without theEmpires borders. These have proven almost impossible to totally eradicate.Despite continued efforts to stamp out this criminal practice, there stillexist those who would seek out and use such abilities for personal gainwithout any regard for society as a whole.

Home | Prometheus Rising | Greater Magellanic Cloud | Library Data | Software | Vehicles | Weapons

Copyright Andrea Vallance© 1998-2001, Last updated 16th February 2001

Hosted by the Traveller Downport

Traveller is a registered trademark of Far Future Enterprises. 
Portions of this material are Copyright ©1977-2001 Far FutureEnterprises.