The Free Armada is a Xyphon nomadic spaceship-based civilisation populated by refugees from various wars. Thanks to innumerable commercial accords and the talent of their diplomats, it can be considered the only major civilisation of Xyphon at peace with all other factions; from another point of view, its leaders can arguably be described as quislings and plunderers, content to let other empires put the universe to fire and sword as long as they can survive in their shadow by scavenging their kills.
Political structure Edit
The Free Armada is a feudal state ideologically based on an accord between the owners of the space ships (the "lords") and the lodgers ("vassals"): in exchange for housing and protection from hostile empires, the vassals are expected to contribute to the economy. In practice, the organisation is highly hierarchised: various levels of lords can hold demesnes going from entire fleets to specific districts inside a given ship (note that there is no supreme ruler of the whole armada: the state is technically an alliance of various similar political entities). Each level is subordinated to the rank immediatly above: a lord can at will replace a subordinate by a promising citizen. Only the fleet captains, the highest ranked among the nobles, can decide of their own succession; but they are constitutionally forbidden to chose a member of the same species, to prevent an ethnocracy from forming. As a result, while lower nobility can be reached by proving its talent as a manager, the higher ranks are dominated by various "political houses" of allied lineages trying to supplant each other at crucial positions by intrigue and politics.
The Free Armada is such a melting pot of various cultures that few universals can be used as a base for any judicial system; civil unrest born from incompatible philosophies is a true concern, especially as the social contract on which the Free Armada is built upon is a pledge of security. Few laws are universally recognized, but they are brutally enforced; in short, the militias of the lords are dispatched to crush anything susceptible to lead to civil war. Incitation to riot is among the worst crimes in the Armada, passable of death of all persons involved and confiscation of their wealth; violence without authorization is violently discouraged. While lords have full power upon their property, they rarely abuse it as this tend to lead to civil unrest and their subsequent execution at the hand of their superior's military.
True to its name, the Free Armada is otherwise extremely libertarian, as no one wants to risk upsetting the fragile calm by trying to impose its culture; the longer time one spends at the Armada, the more tolerant it becomes, if only as a constat of powerlessness.
The Free Armada is deservedly famous for plundering fresh battlefields: most of its riches are looted from fallen planets or civilisation, along with new citizens. It is also renowned for its industry: from scraps harvested here and there, melted and purified, crafters of the Armada produce surprisingly high-quality military supplies, most of which are then sold to warring factions.