|The center of political power in the Corridor|
The economic center of the Corridor is the Triplanetary: Lanzhou, Stavanger and Dekalb. Everything in an economic sense depends on these three, from trade to tech to finances. Naturally this produces a certain resentment on the part of the other governments, but nobody else except the Empire has the clout to challenge them. For example, VanGoff's World would like to use the Empire against Dekalb, to make up for Dekalb's order-of-magnitude advantage in finance. The Triplanetary don't get along well, except when coordinating against the Empire.
The Triplanetary all economically dominate their ally states, in contrast to the Empire which exerts direct political influence over the Client states. The Royal Navy is a common sight. Imperialist policies usually do not advertise their character, but in the Empire's case, being so much bigger than the Corridor powers, there is no point in trying to be subtle. Talavera IS an empire, after all.
Talavera's goal is to prevent any of the Triplanetary from becoming a regional hegemon. If a regional hegemon arose it would constitute a threat on the Empire's coreward border, and interfere with Imperial trade, exploration and development. All three are played against one another by means overt and covert. Turnabout is fair play, the Triplanetary all use proxy actors to counter Imperial ambitions.
The Empire's policy is implemented through benevolent authority – they will work with anyone, as long as the smaller state's policies do not conflict with the Empire's larger goals. Economic and material aid that promotes local development will cement ties between the State and the Empire, producing a win for both sides. The Empire will mediate/arbitrate disputes between Corridor states (even the ones they caused) and enforce the decisions with the Royal Navy. Maintaining the peace benefits everyone.
The LTP is attempting to do much the same, except that they don't have the naval assets the Empire does. Talavera has made it clear that they will not tolerate LTP naval forces in the Corridor, beyond merchant escorts. Every few years there is a close call when the LTP tries to bring heavier ships into the region, and they are escorted back out by the RTN.
The minor states, allies or unaligned, all have their own agendas for the status quo or for imperialism. Some, like Worosha, want to improve their position by aligning with a different patron.
- Lanzhou's advantage is its technology edge, it is the only TL-13 producing planet in the Corridor.
- Stavanger's advantage is its economy, which is four times greater than Lanzhou's.
- Dekalb's advantage is its population; it's labor and military manpower base. Dekalb's naval budget is 20% greater than Stavanger's.
Conflict Zones in the Corridor
- Faldor has an active civil war
- Chapolco's Geder region is in active revolt
- Pampati has anunpopular king, who has to contend with multiple small rebellions
- Narok could go the same way as Faldor once the Chancellor dies.
- Worosha Could try to break away from VGW by force
- Dorothua's Warlord wants to re-arm and get out from under the Empire
- Free traders are everywhere, and as a result, so are pirates.
- Any of the Triplanetary governments could hire PCs for all sorts of covert missions against other major states, their allies, or the Empire.
- Imperial citizens are everywhere, exploring or trading or doing covert work for the Empire.