The Aeran Ascendency governs the Aerans and Bzbr. The Aeran Ascendancy is, in practice, a body wholly controlled by entirely Aeran will of the Aeran Oligarchy. All distinct Aeran subgroups, such as the Aeran Merchant Marines are subject to the edicts of the Aeran Oligarchy.
A Brief History of the Aera
The Aera homeworld was home to extremely competitive ecosystems. It was not a supportive environment. If one considers Earth the "mother" of the human race, then, in comparison, Aeneth was an abusive parent. The Aera evolved in an environment where a slew of things really did want to kill/eat/infest them. Beginning with the early harnessing of fire, and ending with industrial might, the Aera remedied this problem by destroying the vast jungles that bore them. However, their outlook on the universe was fundamentally shaped by their beginnings in a direction that humans would consider paranoid, or at least profoundly pessimistic and somewhat untrusting, though the Area merely see it as prudent recognition of how the universe works.
This outlook was greatly reinforced by the Aera experience with the nano-plague. The precocious Aera, unlike humans or Rlaan, developed jump-based FTL before having otherwise left their solar system. The resultant reactivation of the nano-plague and the devastation it wrought on their population, served to gel their concept of an inherently antagonistic universe. Aeran society greatly increased its militarization, heretofore on the wane since global unification, so as to better prepare for potential conflicts in what, evidenced by the nano-plague, they presumed was an inhabited galaxy.
The Aera are the youngest of the three currently dominant space-faring major groups, but are also the most expansionist, fastest breeding, shortest lived, and devote the highest fraction of their economy to military and military related R&D spending. They are not evil, they are not delusional, they are not irrational, but they have some fundamentally different assumptions they are working from that make them somewhat difficult to get along with. Finding out that their section of the jump network had them pinned by the Humans and Rlaan, they first attempted to negotiate passage, and were rebuffed. They then attempted to sneak a colony convoy through Rlaan space, but this turned into an utter debacle after Aeran escorts killed Rlaan Civilians, sparking a war lasting several years, that churned the Rlaan-Aeran border into an abattoir. Although formal peace has never been brokered between the two, a cease-fire has been in effect for several years. The Aera have now turned their sights toward Human space, invading Forsaken territory, hoping to push through toward the less defended Forsaken/Confederation border crossings, carve a corridor through to the other side of humans space, and keep it open long enough so that they can send enough colonization fleets through to the other side to make the venture worthwhile.
Compared to contemporary 33rd century humans, the Aera are comparable or somewhat more advanced in some of the physical sciences and their applications, notably so with respect weaponizations of certain technologies. They are noticeably behind in life sciences and AI.
Having been wandering the jump network for the least amount of time (among the Rlaan/Humans/Aera), the Aera, though occupying the same order of magnitude of systems as the Humans or the Rlaan (Rlaan/Lmpl/Nuhln/Saahasayaay have most, followed by Humans/Klk'k/Dgn/Purth/Mishtali, followed by Aera/Bzbr, then the much smaller Uln, Shmrn) have not occupied many of them for nearly as long. The Aera expanded in territory faster than that territory could be developed up until running into the Uln. After one last push then brought them to the Human and Rlaan borders as well, the Aera have been racing to build up their newly settled colonies nearer the borders, but the bulk of their industrial potential remains concentrated in systems closer to their homeworld than to alien space. This difference was especially clear during the Rlaan-Aera conflict, wherein many newly settled Aeran colonies along the border fell to the Rlaan assault, but the same Rlaan fleets were badly bloodied when they tried to push into Aeran systems with more matured defenses. Due to the war, Aeran military spending and infrastructure development has been extravagant in comparison to human budgets, but the Aera also had to cope with sizeable losses in personnel and materiel.
While there are key differences between the level of population and industrial development between the core colonies and the newer colonies, due to the very strong central organizing forces in Aeran governance and economy, this is not a deep political divide, nor an economic one - it is merely a matter of the more fringe planets growing as fast as they can into states undifferentiable from the more core worlds. This centralization should not be taken as evidence that Aerans are a selfless society of collectivists. Rather, the Aera have a strong natural ability and desire to sublimate personal interests to higher authority, a trait left over from their more pack-like origins. Success, however, is still judged at individual granularity, and Aera are entirely opportunistic about personal advancement when the opportunity either does not come at the expense of the dictates of higher authority, or places them into a position of higher authority.
The Aera are a bit culturally dour, although they do engage in organizational events, such as rallies, sporting contests, and Military parades. Entertainment pursuits, such as music, for personal pleasure are not a significant thread in Aeran culture. Such pursuits are seen as necessary avenues of release, but to devote oneself to pursuing purely entertainment oriented activities merely because they are pleasant is seen as wasteful, wantonly hedonistic, and a reckless abandonment of one's duties. Entertainment with physical components, such as sporting competitions, are viewed in a more favorable light.
In Aeran culture, mortality is to be pondered and meditated upon in its inevitability. It is worth noting that it is not so much those that came before them that the Aera cherish as the accomplishments of those who came before them. The Aera perspective is that it is only though accomplishment on behalf of the Aera that the Aera can continue, and the dead, thereby, can continue to live in the memories of the Aera.
Aera culture is highly organized and decidedly hierarchical, but in the form of a meritocracy rather than an aristocracy. While what has constituted merit has morphed over the millennia since the first Aera tribes selected work crews to cut back the encroachments of the jungle upon their early settlements, given the relative position of the pre-technological Aera in their local food chain, there has long been a favoring of cleverness and determination over raw strength. The current social and vocational position of any Aera is immediately indicated by the color and pattern of an individual's coverall. The Aera are ruled by a subset of the highest caste, with membership in the oligarchy changing whenever either an individual steps down, or a third of the other members call for a member's replacement. New members must be confirmed by two thirds of the current oligarchy. It is much more common for members to voluntarily remove themselves from power, believing themselves more useful elsewhere in society, than to be cast out. An average stay in the oligarchy lasts a few Aera years.
Need to more usefully carve up faction vs. species information. Will do so later.FIXME