Flight of a Thousand Years
The Imperium (or Third Imperium) is a strong interstellar government encompassing 281 subsectors and approximately 11,000 worlds. About 1100 years old, it is the third human empire to control this area, the oldest, and the strongest. Nevertheless, it is under strong pressure from its neighbouring interstellar governments, and does not have the strength or the power which it once had.
The Imperium was founded in Year 0 by Cleon Zhunastu from the Sylean Federation in what is now Core sector. The Imperium grew swiftly during the Pacification Campaigns (76 to 120) and more slowly thereafter until stability was reached in the 600’s, by which time the Imperium had absorbed much of the territory of the First and Second Imperiums.
The Imperium can be best thought of as a form of feudal confederation, run by the Imperial Government. Member worlds of the Imperium agree to pay taxes and obey a few fundamental laws which the Imperium promulgates, known as the High Laws. In return, the Imperium agrees to patrol the space between the worlds, to protect interstellar trade, to encourage travel and commerce, and to arbitrate diplomatic relations between worlds. Beyond this, individual worlds are left to their own devices so long as they acknowledge the power of the Imperium to rule the space between the stars.
Imperial power is present on member worlds in the form of consulates, bureaucratic offices, and bases. Sometimes, larger enclaves of Imperial power are placed where they can enhance the emperor’s strength.