Perhaps the most controversial of all the empires, the Gallente Federation is many different things—depending on who you ask. To their supporters, they are the largest and most enduring democracy in New Eden and a bastion for equality and justice. To their detractors, they are velvetgloved imperialist bullies, incapable of truly acknowledging any culture other than their own.
Life in the federation has often been described as utopian, and provided you are privileged enough to live in the luxury of the core worlds, this is likely true. As long as people don’t cause harm to others, they are allowed to live their lives more or less in whatever manner they please. Poets, scholars, and politicians are revered, with citizens often flocking in droves to adopt the latest cause, movement, fad, or combination thereof. Opportunity is abundant. Life is easy and free of want.
Of course, this freedom comes at a price. Vice runs rampant in the federation. Fulfilling any desire you may possess is a simple matter. Things that might be considered immoral or illegal in the rest of the cluster tend to be readily accessible here. Drugs, body modification, prostitution, gambling: if you have the money, virtually anything that can be imagined can be enjoyed.
It’s not all debauchery, though; there exists a heavily right-wing movement among the Gallente. These nationalistic groups feel the roots of the federation are slowly being eroded by outside influences. To their mind the federal way is the only way. Let the masses have their drug orgies, blissfully unaware that their privilege to do so exists only because certain people are willing to do the more unpalatable work that must be done. And should anyone object to these powers, well, people have been known to disappear into the morass of federation society.
Despite its flaws, the federation is still held up as a bulwark of freedom and individuality, and remains a land of opportunity where the outcast and discontent can seek comfort and succor.
The seeds of the federation were planted when the original ethnic Gallente discovered another civilization living within their solar system. Gallente scientists spotted the Caldari entering their Industrial Age in AD 22463 and immediately dispatched probes to establish contact. Soon after, they were sending manned missions with the intent of mingling with and assisting what was seen as a primitive people. The Caldari eagerly accepted the Gallente’s technology, but remained wary of cultural interference.
Even so, the two cultures gradually came to trust each other and work together. Side by side, they discovered star gate technology and eventually developed the warp drive. This sped their ability to explore and colonize the cluster. The Gallente took charge, somewhat to the detriment of the Caldari, who were occasionally treated as an afterthought when it came to interstellar politics.
The Gallente encountered several more races in turn. First were the Intaki, a low-technology race living on a lush, junglecovered planet. The Intaki were far more open to Gallente culture than the Caldari had been. Quickly embracing the new technology, they took to the stars.
Soon after, the Gallente came into contact with the Mannar, a group of divided nations who had long been at war with each other. In this case, since several of the more powerful Mannar nations were slave owners, Gallente intervention proved problematic. Initially the Gallente tried to ply the slavers with technology, expecting them to give up their practice in return for great strides forward in technological capacity. When the slavers failed to uphold their end of the bargain, the Gallente wasted no time in giving all their technology to the slavers’ enemies, in addition to helping them form a unified coalition. Only a few years later, the slavers had been defeated.
Soon enough all the nations under the Gallente banner had begun establishing independent colonies in the Verge Vendor region, and as there were no rules or regulations on colonization, this is where the first real conflicts between them arose. Many times, planets claimed by one nation were colonized by another, leading to heated disputes which often ended in bloodshed, and eventually the Gallente decided the best way to bring peace to their part of the cluster was to propose an interstellar federation of nations.
Birth of the Federation
The diplomatic union of independent states known as the Federated Union of Gallente Prime (more commonly known as the Gallente Federation) was officially founded in AD 23121. The Gallente, Intaki, Mannar, Caldari, and many of the independent states of Verge Vendor were signatories to the Federal Charter, which outlined the rights of all states and all the regulations they were expected to follow. The primacy of the Gallente in the federation owed to their domination economically, technologically, and in sheer population.
Along with the federation came many of the institutions that govern it today. A senate was convened to represent the interests of each of the members, with senators democratically elected from the constituent nations. From among them they would elect a president. While no supreme court was established, a special senate committee was put together to adjudicate international disputes. Finally, a combined navy was created, primarily to patrol against piracy and keep the peace.
A Lack of Communication
One of the first missions of the newly minted federation was a rapid expansion of their colonization efforts. With a centralized bureaucracy directing efforts, exploration of the region now known as Everyshore was swift. The Mannar were aggressive in settling the region, putting pressure on the new federation by settling on several worlds already claimed by other federal member states. It quickly became apparent that these issues were largely caused by the sluggishness of interstellar communication protocols. Fortunately, these growing pains were soon solved with the discovery of faster-than-light (FTL) communications by the Gallente scientist Li Azbel. Within a year, the federation was constructing comm relays all across explored space.
While the new FTL network enabled the federation to expand and explore more easily, it had another unexpected effect. The Gallente were now able to quickly export their massive diversity of media, carrying their culture and ideals directly to the doorsteps of billions who had previously only known them as distant influences. This led to a fairly rapid shift in attitudes throughout the federation’s constituent states, a secondary effect which aligned the majority of them more closely with the culture and morals of Gallente Prime.
The issue of human rights became an interstellar concern. The Gallente-dominated Senate convened to propose a new constitution which would turn the federation from a collection of sovereign states into a singular political entity. While the majority were in favor, the primary objections came from the Caldari and, to a lesser extent, the Intaki. Eventually, the Gallente had their way, and the Mannar, Intaki, and Caldari were no longer independent from the Gallente. They were now united under one banner.
Outbreak of War
The Caldari had long chafed against the Gallente’s larger population, more robust economy, and superior technology. For decades, the megacorporations who had come to oversee Caldari life had been secretly spreading beyond the reach of the Gallente, founding hidden colonies and thereby violating several of the federation’s directives.
When this was discovered, the Senate quickly organized an emergency summit demanding the Caldari megacorporations relinquish the colonies. The corporations—by this time the most influential factor in Caldari life—balked at the proposal, and after meeting in an emergency session, the CEOs of the top eight corporations on Caldari formed a ruling body named the Chief Executive Panel (more commonly known as CEP) and declared their independence from the federation. The new nation would be called the Caldari State.
The federally sanctioned Caldari government showed firm solidarity with their old compatriots, yielding control of their militaries and resources to the CEP. Immediately, the new Caldari State secured the star gate network that led to their colonies. In response, the federation blockaded Caldari Prime, hoping to starve the Caldari population and force them into capitulation.
A tense standoff ensued. The Caldari, accustomed to life on their harsh home world, hunkered down and refused to budge. The Gallente, assured of their own superiority, believed it was a simple matter of time before the Caldari would give in. For months the stalemate dragged on.
Things came to a head when a group of Caldari partisans known as the Templis Dragonaurs bombed the city of Nouvelle Rouvenor, a domed underwater dwelling inhabited primarily by people of Gallente descent. The attack devastated the city, sending nearly all of the half-million-strong populace to a watery grave.
Rise of the Ultranationalists
The Gallente people demanded a response to the destruction of Nouvelle Rouvenor. The president resigned in disgrace, claiming her inaction had led to the disaster. A fascist party called the Ultranationalists were swept into power. The new president, Luc Duvailer, suspended the constitution, declaring the war a national emergency which could only be responded to with immediate and unquestioned action.
Duvailer ordered the Federation Navy to begin bombarding Caldari Prime. With billions of inhabitants still residing on the planet, even those bombings intended solely as tactical in nature carried with them heavy civilian death tolls. Within a day, hundreds of thousands—Caldari and Gallente alike—were dead, as street after district after neighborhood after landmark were wiped off the map.
It was President Duvailer’s belief that such a harsh assault would quickly break the will of the Caldari and force them to surrender. Instead, the Caldari refused to submit. On Caldari Prime, the natives’ superior knowledge of the terrain gave them a massive advantage. The Federation Navy often found itself bombarding deserted settlements, while the Federation Army chased phantoms across empty tundra.
Morning of Reason
Despite their surprising resilience, the Caldari were undergoing internal schisms. Some members of the CEP, seeing the destruction being wrought upon their home world, were in favor of capitulation. Others were insistent on fighting, claiming surrender would destroy the Caldari more surely than the devastation of Caldari Prime. For a while the two sides were nearly deadlocked, but eventually the militant contingent won out, forcing those in favor of making peace into the deadly Tea Maker’s Ceremony, a form of ritual suicide deeply rooted within Caldari tradition.
The remaining CEP members realized Caldari Prime was a lost cause. They devised an evacuation plan, but the Gallente blockade of Caldari Prime prevented them from fully carrying it out. They anticipated that at least a month of complete orbital control would be required before the evacuation would be complete. So far, they had yet to achieve it for even a day.
Meanwhile, the Ultranationalist regime was beginning to show signs of strain. The Gallente were loath to live under martial law, but protests were quickly silenced. Even government officials who objected found themselves rapidly removed from their posts. The situation in the military was little better, as competent leaders resigned in the face of questionable orders from President Duvailer.
One flashpoint came on Intaki Prime, where several pro- Caldari movements sprang up across the planet. In an effort to squash the problem, Duvailer ordered the arrest of the five thousand Intaki deemed most threatening to the federation. This group was composed of everyone from peaceful activists to rebel leaders to perpetrators of violent anti-Gallente crimes. Rather than imprison them and thereby create a locus point for further protests (or, worse, execute them and turn them into martyrs), Duvailer elected to exile them from the federation.
With the capabilities of the Federation Navy eroded by loss of leadership, the Caldari slowly gained an advantage. The young Caldari Navy was able to slowly push the federation out of orbit and place them on the defensive. Knowing they could not hold out indefinitely, they swiftly set about evacuating the planet. Two weeks passed, as the Gallente mustered their forces for a counteroffensive. The Chief Executive Panel realized they could not hold out, no matter how ineffective the federation’s leadership. With heavy hearts, they ordered all forces to retreat and abandon the evacuation attempt.
Decorated Caldari Navy admiral Yakiya Tovil-Toba, however, disobeyed these orders. Taking his loyal fleet of a few dozen ships, he set course directly for Gallente Prime, where he made a stunning guerrilla-style counterattack. The federation, unprepared, sustained heavy initial losses. Believing Tovil-Toba to be in the vanguard of a full offensive, the Federation Navy abandoned its short-term plans and diverted a great deal of resources toward destroying the admiral.
Using his mastery of fleet movement and subterfuge, Tovil- Toba tactically withdrew, then struck where the federation was at its most vulnerable. For a week he sustained this, keeping the federation on its heels while the rest of the Caldari Navy redoubled its evacuation efforts. The federation knew it was allowing the evacuation of Caldari Prime to continue unopposed, but with Tovil-Toba in such close proximity to Gallente Prime, they could not risk their previously planned offensive.
Gradually Tovil-Toba’s forces were whittled away, until only a single carrier remained. Less than a quarter of the Caldari remained on their home world. Knowing he could not buy further time through combat, Tovil-Toba played a final gambit. He ordered his ship directly into Gallente Prime’s orbit. The Federation Navy quickly intercepted him, but Tovil-Toba had not come there to fight. Instead, he pointed his ship down at the city of Hueromont. As his ship entered the atmosphere, it broke into pieces, killing everyone onboard, and one of the largest fragments of the ship slammed into the city with catastrophic force.
The resulting explosion killed two million people more or less instantly, with millions more perishing in the coming days from fallout, fires, and other injuries. The sky was blackened for kilometers around as dust and debris filled the atmosphere. The federation, horrified, ordered all ships to remain in orbit on the defensive. The Caldari had been freed to complete the evacuation of their home world.
Fall of the U-Nats
The destruction of Hueromont exposed the failings of federation leadership to the Gallente people. Military desertions, already rampant, became epidemic. Protests erupted every day in the cities, unopposed by law enforcement. Several of the federation’s constituent states set their local militias in opposition to the Ultranationalist government.
A standoff ensued, which ended when President Duvailer finally admitted defeat by lifting martial law. Immediately, the Senate passed a vote of no confidence in the president, with even formerly Ultranationalist senators siding against him. Duvailer was forced to step down.
Rest and Reconstruction
Several problems faced the new president. Caldari Prime, though depopulated, was still of economic and symbolic importance to the federation. A few million Gallente still lived on the planet, and a number of Caldari had refused to evacuate. The government thus had no choice but to pour money into rebuilding incentives.
Secondly, the Ultranationalist-ordered bombardment of Caldari Prime came to be seen as attempted genocide. Luc Duvailer and much of the U-Nat leadership were arrested and put on trial for war crimes. Though they vehemently denied the genocide charges, most of them, including Duvailer himself, were found guilty. Many were placed into prison for life; Duvailer was exiled and died in obscurity.
The Caldari continued to be viewed as rebels who threatened the stability of the federation, but in the chaos of the U-Nats’ downfall they had been given time to fortify their positions and build up their navy. The war quickly shifted from hot to cold, with the majority of engagements coming in the form of small border skirmishes rather than grand offensives.
The Amarr Empire
Not long after, in AD 23180, the Gallente made first contact with the Amarr. The federation was shocked to find another civilization of a size and technology level comparable to their own. Even more worrying was the revelation that the Amarr practiced the barbaric tradition of slavery. As each side became more aware of the other’s capabilities, each realized that allout conflict would do more harm than good to both of them.
As a result, despite being almost diametrically opposed culturally, the two sides negotiated treaties. The first was the Gallente-Amarr Free Trade Agreement, signed in AD 23210. Despite the name, the treaty was quite restrictive in nature, in order to assuage worries from both sides. Regardless, this served to bring the two to an uneasy peace.
The War Continues
Meanwhile, the Gallente-Caldari War began to heat up once again. In an attempt to force the federation to return Caldari Prime to them, the Caldari made attacks on several federation border worlds. The federation in turn fought back by making strikes on Caldari colonies and attempting to capture territory. The Caldari slowly gained an advantage thanks to their development of single-man fighters, able to outmaneuver and hold down the much larger Gallente ships. The Gallente were put on the defensive, and for a while it seemed as if the Caldari would be able to push them all the way back to their home system of Luminaire.
The Gallente’s development of the combat drone, however, changed the scenario drastically. Originally little more than proximity mines with limited movement capabilities, drones soon advanced to the level where a single drone was nearly a match for a single fighter. Crucially, because they were much cheaper to produce and required no pilots, the drones quickly swung the tide back in favor of the Gallente.
Just as borders were pushed back to their original positions, the Caldari completed their new upgraded fighter class, a slightly larger ship which sacrificed some maneuverability in favor of stronger armaments. While frigates did not prove as dominant as the Caldari had hoped, they did halt the Gallente advance, returning the conflict to a simmering stalemate.
The plight of the Minmatar enslaved by the Amarr had incited the anger of citizens across the federation. Despite repeated calls for military intervention, however, the federation government knew it could not risk open confrontation. The Empire’s military was of roughly equal strength, unburdened by the pressures of a separate war.
This did not stop elements within the federation from covertly supporting the Minmatar rebels. There were even rumors the federation government itself was arming the rebels. When the Amarr made the strategic error of attempting to invade the Jove Empire, the Minmatar rose up in mass rebellion. Working alongside the Jove, the federation began to more overtly provide the Minmatar with weapons and advisers.
Within a few months, the Minmatar had carved out significant territory from the reeling Amarr. The federation quickly acknowledged the Minmatar as a sovereign state and sent experts to assist them in forming a new government, with the result that many of the newly minted republic’s governmental institutions were modeled after the structures of the federation, with a prime minister, parliament, and justice department mirroring the president, senate, and supreme court.
Though the war with the Caldari had been at a stalemate for decades, in AD 23224 the Caldari frigates suddenly became far more dangerous and maneuverable. It was soon revealed that the Jove, despite working closely with the federation to assist the Minmatar, had provided the Caldari with the hydrostatic capsule, a technology that allowed them to eliminate the necessity for all but a single crew member. Though the technology was experimental and very dangerous, those select few able to use it became unmatched in battle, and these elite units were able to push the federation back.
Finally, both sides began to muster their forces for a massive push. For a variety of reasons, the two sides met in the system of Iyen-Oursta. Confident of victory, both sides brought the majority of their forces to the front. The result was the second-largest battle in the history of New Eden, second only to the Battle of Vak’Atioth in the Amarr-Jove War. The battle raged for nearly an entire day. The Federation Navy took crippling losses, but inflicted similar destruction in return. In the end, the Caldari Navy was forced off the field, allowing the federation to claim victory despite suffering far greater losses.
The War Ends
On the back of his vital role in founding CONCORD (see chapter titled “CONCORD”), the Gallente entrepreneur and philanthropist Aidonis Elabon was swept into the Gallente presidency. Continuing his role as peacekeeper, he immediately ordered the Federation Navy to fall back from the front toward more defensive positions. He also recalled all forces which were occupying Caldari-claimed space, save for Caldari Prime itself, using them to clear federation space of all Caldari influences.
While the Chief Executive Panel was willing to negotiate, elements within the Senate opposed peace. Elabon left office in YC 6 and died of an undiagnosed autoimmune disease the next year, leaving behind a legacy as a peacekeeper and humanitarian. His will stipulated his estate would go toward a foundation dedicated to recognizing those who followed in his footsteps, the Aidonis Foundation.
In YC 12, CONCORD decided to test its mandate as a peacekeeper and intervened. By this point, the only battles were rare border skirmishes, with no serious effort made by either side to claim territory or escalate the war. Both sides were brought to the table in the border system of Tierijev. For six months they engaged in peace talks, until they finally reached a settlement.
The federation agreed to acknowledge the Caldari State as a sovereign entity, with all its territorial claims intact. The sole exception was Caldari Prime, which had been a point of contention in negotiations. Eventually, the CEP voted to cede it to the federation, viewing ending the war and opening trade with the Gallente to be more beneficial than the return of their home world. This embittered many Caldari patriots, but they lacked the backing to have their way.
The Gallente Federation is a representative democracy composed of several semiautonomous states in a pluralistic union. On the federal level, the federation is split into sixtytwo districts, which are further subdivided into a number of subdistricts. These subdistricts may further encompass any number of individual governments composed of planets, colonies, megalopolises, or other political entities. The most important governmental bodies of the federation are the three branches: the executive, legislative, and judicial.
The executive branch is headed by the president, an elected official who is responsible for overseeing the enforcement of the federation’s laws. A single term is five years; under recently adjusted federal law, a single president may serve a maximum of two terms. The president is often referred to as the most powerful individual in the federation and is certainly its most visible personage. He is expected to represent the federation both domestically and internationally and must serve equally as a legislator, a diplomat, and a national symbol. Additionally, the president is commander in chief of the federation armed forces, putting him in control of one of the largest militaries in the cluster. Such civilian oversight of the military is seen as a key component in ensuring the federation adheres to its ideals and remains a free, liberal, democratic nation.
The president has limited lawmaking powers; he is able to pass executive orders which pertain to the operation of the federal government as a whole. The president can also propose legislation to the Senate or member states, putting such proposals to public vote, but has no role in the deliberative process. He can also force deadlocked senatorial proposals to go to public vote in order to ensure important issues do not get bogged down in bureaucracy. The president can also veto bills passed by the Senate, sending them back to be potentially reworked and voted on a second time.
How much a standing president utilizes his legislative powers depends heavily on the current political climate. Only those presidents who are popular with the electorate are likely to have the political sway needed to be heavily influential in lawmaking. Souro Foiritan, the previous president, was extremely engaged in lawmaking, proposing the legislation that allowed him to be elected to a second term. His successor, Jacus Roden, has also extensively utilized the ability to put laws to public vote.
The Federation Senate is the primary body of the federation’s legislative branch. The Senate is composed of 901 individual members who serve terms of five years. They are elected on a staggered cycle, with 180 new senators coming in each year. Each senator is elected in her subdistrict by popular vote. A subdistrict varies in size according to population and may be as large as an entire solar system or as small as a single planet. The number of subdistricts in a district is similarly determined by population, meaning some districts have fewer senators than others.
A single senator is elected by the Senate itself to serve as head senator. The head senator acts as an arbitrator and facilitator of the legislature’s proceedings. The current head senator is Alumont Meis, who took over for the departing Mentas Blaque. Meis has been far less active in attempting to set senatorial policy than Blaque, who quite vocally directed proceedings.
The Senate’s primary responsibility is to create new laws and eliminate old ones, with an emphasis on projecting or protecting the ideals of the Federal Charter and the Constitution. Any senator can propose a bill, which typically passes through several stages of committees before being put forward for a vote. These committees are composed of senators with personal experience in a specific area of policy, such as internal security, international trade, or immigration.
Depending on the nature of the bill, the Senate can either vote on it internally or put it to public referendum. The president or head senator can force any bill to be put to public vote, but this measure is rarely used. Instead, the Senate votes, requiring a simple majority for proposed bills or a twothirds majority for amendments or to overturn a presidential veto. Once a bill has been passed, it must be signed into law by the president.
The Senate also sets the annual federal budget and taxation. Senatorial committees have immense sway in determining the budget. Different committees exist to oversee every aspect of the federal administration, including the military and intelligence agencies. Wrangling over the finer points of budget can occupy much senatorial time.
The Supreme Court serves as the highest court in the federation and is the head of the judicial branch. It comprises thirteen justices, all appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The justices serve for life, with the chief justice being the most senior.
The primary concern of the Supreme Court is to interpret federal law. This typically implies hearing cases which are related to the conduct of member states, megacorporations, and other interstellar bodies. Most of these cases involve disputes between these entities, or ones which fall outside or transcend their jurisdictions. Though it reserves the right to hear appeals from any lesser court in the federation, it rarely does so, preferring to allow the high courts of the federation’s constituents to rule on cases which occur entirely within their jurisdictions.
The Supreme Court can declare any law to be in violation of the Federal Charter or the Constitution, nullifying it completely. It never does this without a case challenging the law being brought before it, but these rulings are considered binding and cannot be overruled by either the president or the Senate.
While not nearly as important in a clusterwide sense as the four larger empires, to those with a keen interest in politics, the federation’s constituent governments can be far more fascinating than anything else in New Eden. While all governments under the umbrella must follow a few specific rules—they must be democracies and have universal suffrage, and slavery is forbidden—they are allowed great latitude in how they are run.
The Jin-Mei, for instance, continue to have a caste-based society, with a government almost completely dominated by the traditional ruling class. While they technically allow anyone to run for office, cultural pressures keep the Sang Do rulers firmly in power. Appointed officials remain the domain of the Saan Go caste, while the Jing Ko continue to work toward less prestigious ends happily (at least according to those who are asked, or allowed to speak).
Other unique variations include one planet which requires all its governmental officials to be ordained members of some religion, another where the governor is selected by a lottery weighted by election results, and yet another where elected officials must be under the age of thirty. Of course, these are the exceptions, tending to be viewed as rustic and even somewhat silly by the federation at large. It is reasoned, however, that if anyone disapproves of living that way, they can easily relocate to somewhere with a government more to their liking.
The majority of local governments in the federation are much more aligned with the federal government than the fringe cases mentioned above, and the maneuvering between politicians as they attempt to garner votes can provide great theater. Because federation voter turnout tends to be fairly low—as little as 10 percent in places—motivating the electorate by whatever means necessary is tantamount to victory. This can lead to some fairly underhanded campaigns, where every last speck of dirt on a candidate’s profile comes under the microscope.
Federal Intelligence Office
Though not part of the three branches of the federation’s government, the Federal Intelligence Office, or FIO, has played an important role in the government, particularly in more recent years. The FIO, led by former senator Mentas Blaque and his special operatives known as the Black Eagles, is mandated with securing the safety of the federation against traitors, terrorists, foreign agents, and other potential malcontents.
The FIO is believed to have the most expansive spy network in the entire cluster, perhaps beaten out only by the Jove (though since very few have seen the Jove in nearly a decade, it is hard to say). The agency is rumored to have operatives in all levels of foreign government: secretaries for megacorporation CEOs, retainers for the heirs, and even assistants for tribal chieftains are all said to be on the payroll of the FIO. How much of this is truth and how much paranoid fiction is up to debate. The federation itself is little help, since by policy it always disavows any knowledge of spying on foreign governments.
Officially, the FIO reports solely to the president and operates only with his blessing. However, in the time since Mentas Blaque has risen to power, it has acted with more and more autonomy. Some have claimed the Black Eagles are little more than secret police. The Black Eagles, for their part, say they only work to protect the federation itself. Whose vision of the federation that is, exactly, remains in question.
Culture and Religion
The core value that drives the federation’s culture is that of personal liberty. This permeates every level of civilization, with individuals generally able to live their lives however they choose. A person can be of any race, religion, or creed and generally find acceptance and opportunity wherever he goes in the federation. The diversity this engenders has made the federation the most cosmopolitan of all the empires. While the other three empires tend more toward a macrolevel homogeneity, even a small city in the federation will find Gallente walking side by side with Amarr, Caldari, and Minmatar of all backgrounds, bloodlines, and beliefs.
Coupled with the high standard of living in the federation, this great freedom allows citizens to pursue any life they wish. Someone who takes pleasure in the simple things can usually live a relaxing life with very little real hardship or stress. Those who only thrive in the pursuit of something can reach for their goals and, with luck and perseverance, achieve greatness. No dream is considered unworthy, no desire unattainable.
Though the Gallente are innovators in many arts, one particular aspect merits mentioning (if for no other reason than that it serves as a convenient emblem of the Gallente mindset): Due in no small part to their proclivity for pushing the boundaries, Gallente artistry has become so elaborate that, to many members of New Eden’s other nations, it seems virtually unintelligible.
As an example, in many Gallente narratives, the story is embedded within layers of satire-upon-meaning-upon-satire and predicated upon subtle movement and form. As a result, the whole endeavor of the audience becomes less about following plot and more about how to interpret the piece based on the nuances of its presentation. For this reason, whereas a typical Gallente may sit rapt over the latest Gallente holoreel, a non-Gallente might watch the same thing and perceive little to have happened at all. Furthermore, in many Gallente works these convolutions will turn in on themselves several times, creating meta layers of meaning that Gallente critics and academics love to mull over, but which seem like vacuous pretention to those less interested in the intricacies of analysis.
Virtually every type of culture and subculture imaginable can be found in the federation, freely mingling. Walk down the Crystal Boulevard on Gallente Prime and it’s likely no two people will look alike. A body modder who has replaced half her limbs with cybernetics can be found standing beside a worshiper of the Sani Sabik faith, the two of them watching an Adakul monk lead a troupe of gene splicers in meditative exercises. Dozens of churches dedicated to every religion can be seen lined up side to side, the priests engaged in friendly chitchat as they await parishioners.
In terms of religion, as in so many other domains, the Gallente exhibit tremendous diversity. New creeds appear and disappear regularly, usually incorporating elements of previously existing religions or philosophies and combining them in new ways. Secular cynics are fond of saying that these “diet religions” are little more than schemes intended to part innocent spiritual seekers from their money while bestowing tax breaks on the evangelists who run things. While this is certainly not unheard of, it is nonetheless true that in a considerable number of cases these religions are instituted and run by people who genuinely believe they have found “the truth”, until next month, that is, when a new religion comes along and changes everything.
Though they are many and varied, the religions of Gallente origin tend to share a few characteristics. For one, their practices tend to be neither very strict nor formal, as a general rule focusing more on the individual and his happiness than on rules or dogmas that serve the institution. Rituals vary wildly, but tend to incorporate some form of herbal or chemical assistance in communing with the higher power in question. Most often these are legal substances, but every once in a while (particularly in the case of newer religions), they are synthesized psychoactive compounds that are still tied up in local or federal approval pipelines and have not yet become illegal. It is perhaps not surprising that the Amarr have an abiding view of Gallente religious activities as little more than drug parties, where religion is dressed up as an excuse for reckless hedonism.
It is difficult to foresee which individuals will be religious and which won’t. A child growing up in a typical Gallente household (if there is such a thing) is almost guaranteed to have parents who adhere to two different religions (or secular philosophies); furthermore, she will, according to most accepted statistics, switch beliefs or denominations at least twice in her life. As Gallente society is constantly in flux, so too are the mental lives of most of its inhabitants; it follows, therefore, that as religious organizations rise and fall, so do each individual’s affiliations. In fact, during a given Gallente citizen’s lifetime, she is likely to go through several cycles of secularity, philosophy, and religion. How deeply felt any of them are can be known only by the individual in question.
Of course, all this freedom has its costs. The only things generally considered illegal are those things which do harm to others. As long as there is consent from all parties, however, pretty much any craving can be satisfied as long as a person knows where to look. While those growing up in the federation often learn to moderate their baser urges, there are always those who slip through the cracks; foreigners moving to the federation, for example, are often easily overwhelmed if they aren’t careful.
For all its shining greatness, the federation does risk falling into a malaise. Nowhere is this more evident than in its elections, where voter turnout has been consistently declining for decades. While the large federal elections, particularly for the president, have respectable turnouts, local voter turnouts regularly reach new lows. Some believe this is an unavoidable side effect of the federation’s greatness; if everyone is happy, they don’t feel the need to speak up and make changes. Others believe it’s not happiness that keeps voters away, but sheer apathy, with everyone too caught up in themselves to worry about who makes the laws.
It does not help that the diversity has created a lack of unifying purpose for many Gallente. While the Amarr have their religion, the Caldari have their corporate loyalties, and the Minmatar have their clans and tribes, there is very little tying one Gallente to another. There are those among the upper echelons of the federation who worry that when pressed, everything might easily fall apart.
From this, an extreme right-wing counterculture has emerged which has found heroes in current head of Federal Intelligence Mentas Blaque and his shadowy team of special operatives known as the Black Eagles. This group is rapidly gaining influence in the federation, and no one yet knows how far their invisible arm will reach before all is said and done.
The habit of dividing the population up into broad blocs of voters is an
old one in Gallente political circles, and five groups in particular
have risen to distinction.
Most prevalent among the Jin-Mei and Mannar populations (though
naturally well represented among military personnel across the
Federation), this is the ever-present fraction of those who advocate a
militaristic stance. Maintaining this position requires an uncommon
mindset?the largest group among the hawks are the pureblooded patriots
who believe passionately in the greatness of the Federation (and the
need to spread its influence as far and wide as possible).
This political leaning often brings together retired generals and
entertainment moguls, since the spread of cultural influence is clearly
a valuable weapon. In light of yesterday's attacks, the hawks are
calling for measured consideration of the situation, with an eye to the
subsequent deployment of as much military force as is necessary to push
the Caldari back and, following that, undertake a sustainable
Foiritan had never been a friend to the hawks. They tend to find much
more in common with Blaque and it was with
a sigh of relief that they saw him out of office and welcomed the far
more militant Jacus Roden.
Comprised mostly of Intaki and common among artists of all stripes, this
group opposes military action in all but the most clearly defensive
cases, although they're less averse to spreading Gallente beliefs
through "cultural warfare." The recent history of the Gallente has made
protesting against military action something of a challenge (there
having been very little to protest), but the dove mindset has shown
remarkable resilience over the years and still represents a relevant
percentage of the population.
This group's popularity may in part be attributed to the considerable
effort expended over many years by the movement's proponents to define a
consistent and coherent position without lapsing into irrelevant
extremism. They were, of course, appalled by the unprovoked Caldari
assault, but were equally appalled by calls among their fellow Gallente
for unrestrained retaliation. Most acknowledge the need to reclaim
Luminaire, although with the caveat that any action should be managed as
peacefully as possible. At the same time, fringe members of this group
actually sympathize with the Caldari position rather more than is
politically fashionable at the moment.
The doves had always accorded well with Foiritan although they never
fully trusted him, but they are going to have a hell of a time with
One of the more predictable blocs, made up of military contractors and
financial despots; Jin-Mei and ethnic Gallente; and others from all
walks of life, right down to individual shop workers. This group will
pounce on any opportunity to turn current events to their own advantage,
usually without considering the true ramifications or the cost to
others. If there's money to be made or power to be gained through a
particular course of action, they'll lean hard on anyone they can
pressure until they get their way. Unsurprisingly, they're by far the
most effective lobbying community in the Federation.
For most of the vultures, the prospect of a full-blown war is the most
exciting thing that's happened in the last fifty years, and they're
already figuring out exactly what needs to be done to extract maximum
returns from the situation. This is the group that is pushing hardest
for the most extreme options; indeed, some are advocating simply piling
the entire Federation Navy into Luminaire and damn the consequences.
They'll support whoever looks to be most useful to them at any
particular moment in time? Jacus Roden's militarism looks eminently
profitable, but they'll get behind Mentas Blaque in a heartbeat if he
looks more likely to accommodate their demands.
The magpies are easily the largest and most fickle group in Gallente
politics. Though comprised of people from just about every profession
and walk of life in the Federation, they are united by their short
attention spans, a superficial understanding of politics, and the
ability to become suffused with theatrical outrage at the drop of a hat.
Typically they form a huge mass of fragmented interest groups,
dissolving and reforming in a seemingly random manner as old causes
become stale and boring and new ones sprout. The strongest force in
Gallente politics occurs when a critical mass of these sybarites unite
behind a particular cause, at which point support rapidly snowballs and
they become nigh-unstoppable. This, thankfully, is a rare occurrence.
This group are still collecting themselves after recent shocks, but the
smart money says they'll throw their support behind some kind of
counter-attack. The exact form this effort might take is open to
speculation, but the retributive mood swing seems inevitable. The
political and military leadership knows that these opinions will likely
not endure once casualties start to mount?but they also know that this
group cares not one jot about which leader gets them what they want, so
long as they get it.
These are likely the second largest bloc, encompassing a
disproportionate number of ethnic Gallente, low-paid workers, and
high-flying success stories. They have no real interest in politics or
events on the federal stage. They're either happy enough with their lot
or too busy to care, but the end result is the same. As many a
politician has found out to her considerable cost, however, they cannot
simply be ignored? a fair number of them vote, if only because they feel
they ought to, although typically they just vote for whomever they've
actually heard of (or failing that, the one with the most interesting
name). Woe betide any would-be leader who actually manages to get their
attention by interfering with their lives; a number of aspiring
statesmen have destroyed a rival merely by insinuating to the right
people that the rival is planning to reduce worker protections, clamp
down on wild parties, or just interfere unnecessarily with peoples'
This group's interest in the war extends only to muttering over
headlines or having expansively irrelevant arguments about it, and most
individuals in this group couldn't even tell you the current President's
name which is likely seen as a good thing by all concerned.
Growing Up Gallente
For a Gallente child, the wealth of his family largely dictates his circumstances. To the poor, this means barely adequate health care and occasional infant mortality. To the rich, it means genetic alterations to favor certain traits and a healthy, beautiful, and fashionable child. These practices are not universal, but common enough for many to notice similarities in rich Gallente children born around the same date—similarities reflecting which genetics were the rage at the time.
After birth, most Gallente children are largely left alone with their families for the first few years of life. Parents are given ample government-regulated leave to spend with newborns, and common childcare exists to care for older children while parents are otherwise occupied. During these years, many children spend much of their time engaged in playtime activities designed to promote individual thinking and perhaps, in better programs at least, to identify any aptitudes or interests. The poor fare worse here, though even they can often depend on at least some governmental aid.
Schooling in the federation is public and free, though quality varies widely between schools serving different social strata. In poorer (and more rowdy) worlds and districts, it is not uncommon for education to be handled entirely through technological means, with human teachers few and far between. At the other end of the spectrum, many private institutions exist for specialized education for those who can afford it. Children focus in areas where they excel, but get grounding in other areas as well. Educational theory cycles in and out of fashion like everything else in the federation. One class of students might be encouraged to design their own lessons and set their own schedules, while another might have more traditional uniforms and set curriculums. Regardless of setting, though, every Gallente child is taught the benefits of freedom within the Gallente system, and it is a rare Gallente who doesn’t at least know the basic rights and government structure of the federation.
Once a Gallente student graduates from elementary and intermediate education, most attend a university or academy. There are thousands of such institutions in the federation. Some are run by member states while others operate privately. Here again, the rich often enroll their children in expensive and very prestigious institutions, though in many cases a few scholarships exist at these schools for talented students of lesser means. The vast majority of students attend government schools or a variety of moderately priced private colleges. Even the destitute enroll in a basic program at a local community training center.
Completing education at a university or academy takes from two to six years, depending on the program. During this time, students not only work toward future careers but often become involved in political and social groups. Students are encouraged to experiment and find the right lifestyle and career path for them. This time is considered the most important formative period for Gallente youth, as this is where the skewed playing field of their upbringing begins to level and they begin to find their aptitudes and discover the wealth of opportunity at their fingertips.
They are also encouraged to socialize. Gallente view proper socialization as an art, a skill, and an absolute necessity. The rich and most elite students join secret or at least private societies, while most other students join a variety of fraternities, sororities, political groups, and organized social circles whose power and influence will end up being largely dictated by the cleverness and adaptability of their members. Many friendships and connections formed during this time will last a Gallente through his entire life.
Upon completion of advanced education, Gallente are considered by society at large to be full adults, though most were at the age of majority before attending a university. Many join corporations or government agencies in entry-level jobs. Some also become freelancers or emigrate to jobs in one of the other empires. A few unfortunates find they cannot secure quality employment, and these students join the ranks of poor laborers at the bottom rungs of Gallente society, if not the jobless and disenfranchised. This is also where those individuals end up who for whatever reason could not complete their education. Various aid programs exist to help these individuals, but many Gallente adhere to the idea that the poor are where they belong as a direct result of their own choices and lack of drive. After all, as a Gallente, you are free to be anything you want.
The Gallente are not alone in their Federation, whose boundaries are home to pockets of residents varying in size and representing all the other races of New Eden, most of whom left their own empires due to political or ideological differences, or simply in search of peace and prosperity. In addition to the natural born Gallente there are two races, the Intaki and the Mannar, both of whom the Gallente found while exploring and expanding their empire. Both were at a very primitive level when the Gallente found them, but since coming under their protection and guidance, both have flourished and are now full-fledged members of the Federation.
The Caldari were initially part of the Federation
but deep-seated differences and mutual animosity between them and the Gallente drove them out to found their own empire. For a time the two empires warred against each other, but as neither could gain sufficient advantage to claim victory, peace was settled in the end.
Epitomizing the federation named after them, the Gallente are liberal and freedom-loving explorers with a tendency toward hedonism and excess. Though they are the most numerous single ethnicity in the federation, they are by no means the majority. Gallente can be considered friendly, accepting, and diplomatic almost to a fault, willing to tolerate things in their fellow man that would be considered completely taboo in other cultures. Of course, this also means the Gallente are a cultural force unrivaled in the cluster, exporting their beliefs to the other empires and slowly winning them over, influencing them toward a more Gallente ideal by virtue of the immense personal freedoms afforded.
There are many, however, who would claim that this tolerance is little more than a thin veneer masking an insidious element of cultural superiority, and they wouldn’t be entirely wrong. To the average Gallente, after all, it is considered a matter well beyond discussion that the federation and its way of life are superior to the other civilizations of New Eden. If people disagree, so be it, but the Gallente know in their bones that truth is truth, and debating it is pointless. Instead of alienating would-be members of the fold with arguments, they prefer to sit back and let their cultural and commercial indoctrination do the work for them—something which it rarely fails to do.
The second most populous minority in the federation behind the Gallente, the Intaki are a deeply spiritual people. Hailing from the lush planet of Intaki Prime, they are known as great communicators and diplomats. The Intaki are calm and collected, rarely given to outbursts of emotion. This reserved nature has served them well, and they have retained much of their cultural integrity even in the face of overwhelming pressure from the Gallente.
One of their most unifying traits is a system of belief known as Ida. Not truly a religion, Ida teaches that there are exceptional individuals who have lived many lives and can tap into the memories of these past lives. Most of these so-called Reborn explore their past lives via specialized technology, while a special few, known as the Idama, are able to recall them naturally. The advent of cloning technology has only helped reinforce these beliefs among many Intaki, who maintain that being cloned represents the next step on the spiritual path.
Having only recently begun spreading from their home systems, the Jin-Mei are unusual compared to the other bloodlines in the federation. Their most notable feature is their continued adherence to a caste system which many Gallente view as quaint at best, outdated and dangerously regressive at worst. The Jin-Mei, however, seem happy with it, and there has been little political pressure for them to change their ways.
The Sang Do (meaning “lord”) caste sits at the top of the system. They are traditionally the rulers of the Jin-Mei and they have managed to retain their power, even as the Jin-Mei transitioned to a democratic system. The Saan Go (meaning “standing high”) are the middle caste, most often serving as government officials or wealthy businessmen. Though they defer to the Sang Do, their greater numbers and mercantile endeavors have given them greater influence outside of their home system than within. Finally, the Jing Ko (meaning “good spirit”) sit at the bottom, though in this case that’s not as bad as it may sound. The Jing Ko are generally more affluent and carefree than the group they are most often compared to, Amarr commoners.
With a reputation for being headstrong and stubborn, the Mannar are one of the oldest members of the Federation. The Mannar are both notorious for their fervent nationalism and appreciated for their contributions to the Federation, not least the large numbers serving in the federal military.
The federation has tremendous ethnic diversity. In addition to the previously mentioned bloodlines, the Mannar are also one of the core ethnicities in the federation. However, they have not yet taken to the capsule in great numbers and thus haven’t had much of an impact on the interstellar scene. Overall, however, they are renowned as hardworking, genial, and family-oriented men and women who are a bit more conservative than the rest of the federation.
There are also a large number of Minmatar within the federation. It is estimated nearly one-fifth of all Minmatar live within the federation, though that number has dwindled in recent years as the republic has undergone something of a cultural and economic revival. Many Minmatar originally left the republic to escape poverty and crime, coming to the federation to make better lives for themselves and their families. Many still hold on to that dream while maintaining their tribal beliefs and customs, with the result that giant enclaves of Minmatar reside within the federation, sometimes rivaling Gallente cities in size.
A number of Caldari also live in the federation, mostly descendants of those who remained on Caldari Prime after the evacuation during the First Gallente-Caldari War. Unlike the Minmatar living in the Federation, those Caldari who are there have typically taken on Gallente culture as their own. There are even Amarr who have come to the federation. Some arrived as missionaries, dedicated to spreading the word of their god peacefully to the Gallente. Others came for the opposite reason, wishing to escape the all-encompassing religious indoctrination of the empire.
Jacus Roden is the current president of the Gallente Federation, as well as the founder of the high-tech research and development firm Roden Shipyards. While the morality of his business practices has been called into question over the years, none could argue that his style gets results: his eponymous corporation is one of the most important developers of ship technology in New Eden.
It has been decades, however, since Jacus has been involved in the day-to-day operations of his corporation, which made it a national surprise when he came out of retirement to challenge then-president Souro Foiritan’s attempt to nationalize the federation’s military-industrial complex. When Foiritan later resigned as president, Roden announced his own candidacy for the office, surprising the nation even further.
Roden won on the back of an intense campaign, and so far his presidency has proven quite successful. Under his leadership the federation turned the tide of the Empyrean War and liberated Caldari Prime from the grip of Tibus Heth’s Provists. However, rumors claim he and Mentas Blaque stand at odds over how to move the federation forward, with some insisting Blaque holds the real power.
One of the most wily and ruthless men in the federation, Mentas Blaque has been active in the halls of power for decades. He burst onto the national stage in his late thirties, being elected to the Senate from his home district in Solitude. As part of the Sociocrat Party, he espoused an isolationist policy that put him at odds with the popular sentiment of the day. Through intelligence, charisma, and political savvy, however, he managed to achieve the office of head senator, where he would find himself frequently clashing with President Souro Foiritan.
After an unsuccessful bid at the presidency, Blaque remained a political thorn in Foiritan’s side. He pushed for the federation to be aggressive with its enemies, ruthless with traitors, and suspicious of foreigners. Much of his advice was ignored, a fact which backfired badly on the federation when the Caldari managed to circumvent constellational security systems and capture Caldari Prime in a lightning attack.
In response, Foiritan tapped his old rival to head up the Federal Intelligence Office. Blaque immediately formed the Special Department of Internal Investigations and Federal Security, known more popularly as the Black Eagles, and had them entrusted with wide-ranging powers to root out traitors and conspirators against the federation. While many have hailed the Black Eagles for keeping the federation safe, others have criticized it as little more than a secretive cabal which doesn’t mind stamping on the freedom and privacy of its citizens to achieve its own ends.
Hailing from Intaki, Souro Foiritan was one of the most beloved presidents in federation history until his tragic downfall in late YC 111. Originally a senator for the popular Progressive Party, Foiritan was well known for his oratory and charisma. One of the great diplomats of the federation, he worked with the Amarr Empire, the Minmatar Republic, and the Caldari State to maintain peace and prosperity in the cluster of New Eden. It was no great surprise when he was elected Federation President.
However, as his term neared an end, he set into motion changes to the law which allowed him a second term. This led to numerous delays in the election, as opponents challenged the legality of the change, knowing his popularity would all but guarantee him a victory. Though he eventually won the election over rival Mentas Blaque by a healthy margin, it was the first of many black marks on his presidency.
A series of further mistakes followed. He attempted diplomacy and appeasement with the hostile Caldari leader Tibus Heth, leading to the disastrous One-Day War, which saw the loss of Caldari Prime to the state. Then the State Protectorate captured all disputed territory in the Empyrean War. In response Foiritan attempted to nationalize the federation’s military-industrial corporations, but, under the leadership of Jacus Roden, they uniformly refused his executive order. Seeing public confidence in him bottoming out, Foiritan resigned his presidency in disgrace.
Despite having stepped down, Foiritan remains a dormant political force. Thus far he has kept more or less quiet, but many prognosticators assume he is merely biding his time before reemerging into the political limelight.