"Above and below."
The Eloran Ekumen is one of the most peculiar interstellar states as well as the only true superpower beyond the Earth's atmosphere. Founded by settlers on Elora it encompasses most of the Traverse and is built as a federation of communal entities known as qiths.
At the beginning was Look At What We Have Here, the long-range colony ship that made the first landfall on Elora. For the first time in humankind's history, a distant earth-like world had been settled. Five hundred lightyears away from the Earth it could not count on direct support from the original homeworld nor did it expect it. Look At What We Have Here was not just a ship, it was a city capable of interstellar travel. Its ten thousand passengers had organised themselves in a democratic system where each section of the ship acted as a semi-independent entity obeying a set of overarching rules. When the settlers finally left their colony ship they kept following this organisation.
Fast forward half a century and the Eloran Ekumen has developed its own political concept: qiths. A qith can be understood as an entity that is a political party, a cooperative and an extended family all at once. A path of life, a work environment and a polity all in one, qiths are the building blocks of the Eloran Ekumen. Qith membership is free, which differentiates them from castes and they are all considered the same way within the Eloran democracy. Qiths are united and coordinated under the Synode, Elora's democratic parliament where qiths are represented according to their membership size.
There are many a qith and qithyd (sub-qith) in the Traverse but the most prominent ones are also the building blocks of the Eloran administration and social services. Qith Masani is the main land planning and agricultural qith with a sprawling and complex economic network. Qith Saïmour is an engineering qith cultivating a "quiet worker" ethos. Qith Sahaak is the only non-democratic qith and handles the military of the Ekumen, while Qith Hoyle mans the combat ships of Elora. Qith Talasea is the scientific and diplomatic face of Elora.
The qith system enables the Eloran Ekumen to unite local and global actors within the same system in a way that is somewhat reminiscent of the USRE structure but in a more standardized fashion. Qiths are remarkably flexible: if the main qiths are formed around a specific domain or activity, many of the smaller qiths are tied to a specific place (such as a station or planet), an artistic domain or even sometimes a temporary endeavour. This makes the Eloran Ekumen a remarkably consensual if diverse state where conflicts are rare and local democracies integrated into interstellar frameworks. As the Ekumen mostly focuses on developing and managing the Traverse, with little desire for foreign intervention, this consensual nature extends to its perception on the interstellar stage.
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