The Novani Republic (formal name The Interplanetary Republic of Nova) is a parliamentary democracy that consists of three continental planets and several other colonies orbiting within Star Alpha’s habitable zone. It is the most populous of the Barystates and an enviable melting pot of culture.
The Republic traces its roots directly back to the first wave of landfalls in The Bary, although it has taken many forms. As a democratic political entity placing utmost importance on the rights of the individual, the Republic struggles to keep the separate settlements socially, culturally, and politically cohesive enough to govern. As a result of these divisions between cultures, the planets have all gone through some level of political devolution. Despite their squabbles, the Republic is the most powerful of the nations and, furthermore, believes strongly in its national community and the rightfulness of its astropolitical hegemony. This is reified by claiming the strongest economy due in no small part to the habitability of its worlds Celadon, Maridea, and Kolaris; assets that have been squandered in the past.
Against All Currents
One Novani legend tells the following story.
Once upon a time in the distant past, a fishing boat sailed laboriously upstream of a river, hoping to enrich its catch by avoiding direct competition with rival boats. It tacked back and forth, and when and where it couldn’t tack, the men rowed with all their strength. The fishermen lost track of time. At some point, the river stopped working against them, and they could relax. Around the next bend in the river, they stumbled upon a city of idyllic beauty, hidden deep in the forest. Every man, woman, and child appeared healthy and of robust spirits. They wore jewelry of gold and silver and wore cherry blossoms in their hair. The townspeople built their homes amongst the trees, every stead adorned with the finest carvings, intricacies, and pigments. The elders of the settlement offered the exhausted fishermen rest, and after a time, invited them to join their community. The fishermen accepted, and set their boat free of the docks. The current swept the vessel away downriver. It was later found by their rival fishermen, along with a note that read, “If you and yours are of sufficient determination and mettle, you may join us in paradise upstream. It is a land called Maridea, and we shall welcome you with open arms as brothers and sisters.”
The contingent of colonists that would settle the worlds of the Nova planetary system were likely the best prepared for landfall. A scant few shipwrecks—grounded or otherwise—are found in the Nova system when compared to the other three planetary systems of The Bary. Once the dust of initial settlement had cleared, Maridea was a safe harbor for a steadily rehabilitating human civilization. The ancient written history of Maridea contains no gaps of significance after the first two generations. Reasonably developed technology and creature comforts became available to great-grandchildren of the settlers.
When the so-called “gaia world” of Maridea was first settled some 2,000 years ago, the new denizens of this world enjoyed a true home away from home. The latent biosphere of Maridea took to what few terraforming supplies the colonists had exceedingly well. Within less than a millennium, Maridea’s ecosystem was looking very similar to the fractured information Novani scientists had on their ancestral world of Terra. Later on, the prevailing philosophy became that certainly, this world must have been made for them. A safe haven for humanity had been discovered. Tales like that of the Upstream Tribe insinuated themselves in Novani culture.
Although technological and economic development was quick, it wasn’t until the Novani re-entered space and made for the planet Kolaris that they rediscovered the metallurgy necessary to fabricate erudium. At roughly the same time, the Marideans made direct contact with the vibrant but fragmented tribes of Celadon. They absorbed them into their empire, sometimes with brutal force. Celadon had been squarely under Republican rule for two centuries until a revival of deeply repressed Celad culture appeared and political devolution was granted.
Today, the Republic appears fractious. But the economies of Maridea, Celadon, Kolaris, and several Republican outposts are tightly integrated. Orderliness can’t be said to be easy in an expansive, heterogeneous society. But even as political and historical grievances fester, everyone considers themselves Novani as much as any hereditary lineage of origin.
Given the size and diverse population of the Republic, Novani voidfarers are multitude and catch all as shipmen. But the cultural background of a densely populated democracy raises good logisticians, controllers, and middle managers. Among Novani extroverts, leadership of the highest order is a valued skill, as it is considered the study of guiding and applying many disparate minds to a task.
Social sciences—theoretical and applied—are a strength for Novani of all backgrounds. Kolari in particular tend to make great ship’s counselors.
Learning from their experiences during the Novani-Sibylean War, the Novani have in the past century become far more adept at electronic warfare, communications, and signals intelligence. Their combat-facing voidfarers make great sensors and systems officers.