Dominion of Fezzan
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The Dominion of Fezzan (Japanese: フェザーン自治領) was an autonomous region within the Galactic Empire, a planet-state within the Fezzan Corridor, which was able to serve as a neutral party in the Alliance–Imperial War by facilitating trade between the Empire and Free Planets Alliance. By the reign of Kaiser Friedrich IV, the Dominion of Fezzan had become an economic superpower. Its flag was the two headed eagle crest of the Goldenbaum Dynasty rendered in silver, over a yellow triangle and black background.
The Dominion of Fezzan was founded in 682 UC (373 IC / 3482 CE) by Leopold Laap, the first Fezzani Landesherr. A merchant from Terra, Laap lobbied the Imperial government passionately for Fezzan's autonomy, and he eventually succeeded in transforming Fezzan into a mostly-independent subject state of the Empire: owing fealty to the Kaiser in theory, but fully autonomous in practice.
With its complete and total monopoly on all trade between the Alliance and the Empire, the small Dominion of Fezzan quickly became an economic superpower, and by 798 UC (489 IC / 3598 CE) wielded immense financial influence over both the Galactic Empire and the Free Planets Alliance. (LOGH: 'Julian's Journey, Mankind's Journey', Legend of Galactic Heroes Encyclopaedia)
The Dominion of Fezzan was annexed by the Galactic Empire in December of 798 UC (489 IC / 3598 CE) as part of Reinhard von Lohengramm's Operation Ragnarok. Admiral Wolfgang Mittermeyer's fleet swiftly conquered the planet and deposed the autonomous government, paving the way for the rest of the Imperial fleets that would use the Fezzan Corridor to launch a surprise invasion of the Free Planets Alliance, a daring move that would quickly end the century and a half old Alliance–Imperial War. (LOGH: 'Fezzan Occupied')
Many Fezzani citizens resented their loss of independence, but ultimately accepted Imperial rule. With the advent of the New Galactic Empire early the following year, Fezzan quickly became the economic, military and geographical centre of Galaxy as the capital of Kaiser Reinhard's New Galactic Empire.
Though on the surface, the typical Fezzani citizen cared little for spiritual matters, the Dominion did have many ties to the ancient home of humanity, Terra. The first Landsherr, Leopold Laap, was born on Terra, and subsequent Landsherrs, like Adrian Rubinsky, worked in tandem with the Terraist Church to achieve social and political power in the Galaxy. However there was still some degree of tension and resentment of Terraist influence and the 4th Landsherr, Walenkov, was assassinated for wanting to act independently of the Terraist Church. (Encyclopaedia Die Legende der Sternhelden)
Many Fezzani citizens were members of the Terraist Church, and Fezzani merchant ships routinely ferried Alliance citizens into the Empire and (presumably) back home for various pilgrimages to Terra itself.
The Dominion of Fezzan was an economic superpower: its neutrality allowed for unlimited trade between the Alliance and the Empire, and its monopoly of said trade allowed Fezzan to exercise incredible financial pressures on either government in order to maximize its own profits. By 798 UC (489 IC / 3598 CE), despite its small size, Fezzan had nearly 25% the political power of the Free Planets Alliance, and 20% the political power of the Galactic Empire. By working to aid the Alliance and act against the Empire, Fezzan was able to maintain a delicate balance of power between the two great nations, ensuring that the Alliance–Imperial War would rage on. The longer the war would last, the more Fezzan would be able to maximize its profits, and the more power over the other two nations it would be able to wield.
One of the ways in which Fezzan prolonged the war was by supporting the Alliance economically through purchase of the Alliance's sovereign debt, which had grown beyond the Alliance's ability to service by 798 UC (489 IC / 3598 CE). The threat of triggering a sovereign default gave Fezzan considerable leverage over the Alliance government. (LOGH: 'One Narrow Thread')
When Julian Mintz was assigned to the Alliance's embassy in Fezzan, he noted that the prices for luxury items were mostly constant, indicating a social, political and economic stability that contrasted greatly with the economic conditions of his home in the Free Planets Alliance. (LOGH: 'Invitation to a Requiem')
Fezzan was a neutral subject state of the Galactic Empire, and as such had no formal military. Its status as neutral was sacrosanct, and it was in the best interests of both the Free Planets Alliance and the Galactic Empire to maintain that neutrality. Until the loss of the majority of the Alliance's fleets in 796 UC (487 IC / 3596 CE) and drastic weakening of the Alliance, Fezzan's neutrality was also safeguarded by the threat of it siding with the other major power against any aggressor.
Fezzan did have a small military force charged primarily with the police and defence of the Fezzan Starzone. Based at the top of the Fezzan Orbital Elevator, they presumably dealt mostly with minor criminal offences — piracy, smuggling, things of that nature — and were ill-equipped (and ill-prepared) for the Imperial invasion in 798 UC (489 IC / 3598 CE).
Although lacking a strong military force of its own, Fezzan did engage in the trading of advanced weapon technology. Most notably, it sold the Artemis Necklace automated orbital planetary defence system to both the Free Planets Alliance, and then later to the rebellious Maximilian von Castrop, who installed it around the planet Castrop, shortly before he rebelled against the Galactic Empire. Fezzan took pains to cover up the weaknesses of the system revealed by the destruction of the Necklace around the planet Castrop. (LOGH: 'The Castrop Rebellion')
Fezzan was also a major channel for the transfer of military technology from the Empire to the Alliance, ensuring little technological gap existed between the two opposing powers. One notable attempt at transferring directional Seffle particle generator technology was foiled by the efforts of Reinhard von Lohengramm, resulting in the Empire retaining this advantage up to the end of the war. (RET: 'Chapter II', 'Chapter IV')
- While the primary focus of LOGH is on the conflict between democracy and autocracy (in the form of the Free Planets Alliance and Galactic Empire, respectively), the Dominion of Fezzan, and its supporters in the Terraist Church, similarly explore themes of capitalism and theocracy, illustrating both the flaws and merits of such political systems.
- Fezzan's political role as a go-between for hostile nations is similar to that of Hong Kong prior to its reunification with the People's Republic of China. For several decades, the Hong Kong markets allowed Chinese products to be exported "secretly" to other nations, and at the same time allowed limited quantities of Western products to be imported into mainland China.
- With its unique political and financial status, Fezzan is very similar to the City of London, the square mile of territory within Greater London, the capital of the United Kingdom, that has unique special privileges and is owned by the City of London Corporation, which is considered the financial and business center of the world. The title of "Landesherr" (feudal lord) used by the head of Fezzan is also similar to the Lord Mayor of the City of London.