The Akaylan Empire is the oldest existing stellar nation and the largest. Aggressive and expansionist, the Empire is run chiefly by the Akaylan species and considered to be one of the Twin Spirals’ two superpowers. The Empire has taken on the characteristics of the Akaylan species: ruthlessness, aggression, and advancement based on merit, strength and cunning. Some client species of the Akaylans have adapted well to this climate, others have foundered.
The Empire has arguably the most powerful navy in the Twin Spirals, and a massive amount of the nation’s budget is allotted to military research and warfare. Conversely, civil services and public sector technology fall behind other nations, especially the Solaris Republic. This leads to Republic citizens criticizing the Empire for its draconian standard of living and the Akaylans labeling the Republic as coddled.
The Akaylans experienced a rare military defeat twenty years ago when several stellar nations united to stop the Empire’s advance toward the XXX galaxy. This war lasted nearly ten years and not only resulted in the first recorded loss of Akaylan territory, but also spawned the fledgling Solaris Republic. The Empire and the Republic have been engaged in a tense, intrigue-filled cold war in the two decades since the war’s end. Although there have been border skirmishes, proxy wars and other forms of saber rattling, the two powers have thus far not collided on the battlefield again.
The Akaylan Emperor is determined every six standard years by a society-wide tournament of Tr’val, a complex and involved tactical game that reflects the ruthlessness of the Akaylan military and political system. The winner challenges the reigning Emperor for the throne. Client species are welcome to enter the tournament, but a non-Akaylan has never challenged a sitting Emperor. A regent appointed by the Emperor stewards the Empire while he is engaged in Tr’val.
A new Emperor usually adopts the name of a great monarch from the past. The current Emperor is Veerix III s’Akayla. He has been on the throne for five standard years, and is considered a moderate by most Akaylans.
Second in importance to the Emperor is the Council of Elders, a 13-member assembly who act as the chief administrators of the Akaylan bureaucracy. Each outgoing member chooses his or her replacement, and to describe the political jockeying to be appointed to the group as cutthroat would be a vast understatement.
While the Republic advocates open markets, individual freedom and social welfare, the Empire promotes unregulated capitalism and allegiance to the state. On occasion, a business will be “centralized” by the Empire to advance state concerns, but in general, private enterprises are free to operate as they please (often aided by government subsidies).
Surprisingly, the Akaylan species accounts for only a small percentage of the population of the Empire. This is due to their slow rate of reproduction. The typical Akaylan Empire operation consists of a single Akaylan in command of a number of client species. This includes military, diplomatic and business ventures.