The Imperium is a phyle modelled on the ancient idea of the Galactic Empire, complete with an emperor, nobility, and an expansionist agenda. 'Imperium' is often used synonymously with 'empire' but it actually means 'right to command': a quality possessed in varying degrees by individuals, offices and politiies. Imperium is balanced by virtue, which is the sense of duty to society as well as self.
The sweeping opulence of the Court is a masquerade, but one in which the Imperials are fully immersed. In the Imperial poleis the protocols and illusion of the Imperium are so all embracing that the line joining the drama and reality has dissolved away. To assign attitudes, ideas and styles to one side or the other is all but impossible; only by subtle ironies do the Imperials betray that such a division exists at all.
The Imperial aim is to dominate Sol System, the Archipelago and ultimately the entire Milky Way. However, much to the annoyance of Emperor Aurelian II and his archdukes, the empire is not even one of the Big Three of the Belt factions. Nevertheless, warships of the Imperial Navy are on power projection duty in all the major theatres of Sol System. These open displays are supported by the covert actions of the Imperial Security and Intelligence Service, and the diplomacy of members of the Court itself.
Externally, the people of the Imperium adhere closely to the baseline human ideal. Behind this facade there is a highly coordinated programme of genetic, hormonal, psychological, social, biosculptural and cybernetic engineering. Each Imperial citizen is adapted from conception for some specific role in society.
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