Lying outward of the Free Worlds League, the Magistracy of Canopus is the third largest of the Periphery States. Founded in 2530 by Kossandra Centrella, an ex-Marik MechWarrior, the Canopian Magistracy is an autocratic state where women traditionally manage the government and the military. In the early years of the Magistracy, population pressure and social prejudice within the Inner Sphere produced widespread emigration to many Canopian worlds. Taking advantage of the abundant mineral resources found there, Floral Centrella, third Magestrix of the Canopian Free States, transformed this backwater collection of misfits and malcontents into a prosperous financial and political entity.
For nearly a century, the Canopian Magistracy was synonymous with decadent sensuality and freedom of expression (in every sense of the term). The riches that the Canopians collected eventually proved their undoing when they became a prime target in the Reunification War. The Canopians' unique social contributions and sizable cash reserves, however, did much to mitigate the consequences of military occupation by the Star League. As a Territorial State under Star League control, the Canopian Magistracy returned to its old ways, encouraged by an influx of immigrants who embraced the philosophy of "Happy Days and Hectic Nights."
Following the breakup of the Star League, the Magistracy began a massive rearmament program and hired many mercenaries, which once more drew to them the unwanted attention of their ambitious neighbors.
Beginning in the early 2800s, the Magistracy lost many holdings in a series of border disputes with the Free Worlds League, the Taurian Concordat, and the Capellan Confederation. Seeing the pleasure planets and remaining industrial centers being repeatedly sacked and looted, the hereditary leaders of the Canopian matriarchy (House Centrella) ordered its few remaining industrial plants to be moved deep within the Canopian holdfast.
The miniature Magistracy emerged alive and surprisingly healthy after two and a half centuries of warfare, though a mere shadow of its once-illustrious past. The destruction of galactic trade and tourism during the Succession Wars has left the great majority of Canopian worlds lacking the barest of technological necessities. Never self-sufficient even in the best of times, the Magistracy has seen numerous famines and agricultural failures, leading to significant depopulation and social unrest.
With the difficulty of civilian space travel during the Succession Wars era--and thus few customers able to buy their pleasures--the Magistracy has turned to more mundane industries. Once noted for their famous courtesans and dancers, the Canopians of today are highly regarded as healers, many of whom travel far afield in service of their state. Weary of their past adventures, poorer in body and spirit, but nonetheless wiser for their suffering, the Magistracy's intelligentsia is beginning a slow resurgence that may yet have a profound impact on the rest of the Periphery.
Sphere of Influence:
The Magistracy of Canopus is a roughly circular shell of planetary systems some 40 parsecs in diameter. Though the government is officially neutral, the current Magestrix of the Canopian state, Kyalla Centrella, is known to be in communication with various dissident elements within the Free Worlds League and the Capellan Confederation. Her major objective is to restore technological exchange with the various states of the Inner Sphere, but she also hopes to woo these elements to the Magistracy banner. Already, she has pledged to supply troops to support the Duchess of Andurien's bid for independence from the Free Worlds League.
Since its founding nearly five centuries ago, the Magistracy of Canopus has been ruled by a matriarchy, with supreme power vested in the person of the Magestrix. Though theoretically open to anyone obtaining a two-thirds majority of the Canopian Central Committee, the Magestrix has always been a member of the Centrella family, the original founders of the Canopian state. Despite this political domination, the Magistracy has retained a surprising number of individual freedoms; its judicial and legislative bodies support human rights to a degree often lacking with the governments of the Inner Sphere.
The center of the Magistracy government is Canopus IV, founded by Kossandra Centrella in 2530. Here, the Magestrix maintains her Royal Court, the Canopian Central Committee, and the Royal Courts of Appeal.
In the early years of the Magistracy, political positions were open exclusively to women, reflecting the Centrellas' personal bias against the male-dominated systems of the Inner Sphere. Beginning with the administration of Floral Centrella, however, the Magestrix has gradually reduced these restrictions. Following the Reunification War, the Canopians were forced to modify their political structure under the direction of a Star League-appointed military governor, Melissa Humphreys. Under the Humphreys administration (2588-2604) the position of Magestrix was modified to that of a constitutional monarch and suffrage was extended to all, irrespective of sex, origin, or social status.
Following the Magistracy's declaration of independence from the Star League during the Amaris Crisis, the power and privileges of the Magestrix were restored to their former levels, though many rights granted individuals during the "Territorial Period" were retained. At present, each Magistracy citizen is guaranteed the right to elect legally protected representatives. Other rights, including trial by jury and freedom of speech, are protected as much by tradition as by Star League precedents.
The position of Magestrix, or supreme head of the Canopian State, evolved in the mid-2540s. Beginning with Floral Centrella, the fourth of her family to run for office, a revamped Canopian Constitution provided for a strong centralized government headed by the Magestrix. Holding a lifetime office, the Magestrix is responsible for the welfare of all Magistracy citizens. This responsibility includes virtual control over taxation, the appointment of military officers and civil officials, and the formation of internal and external policies.
During the Magistracy's Territorial Period, many of these sweeping powers were assumed by the Military Governor of the Canopian Territorial State, and later by the Star League Council itself. The Magestrix's authority was limited to maintaining civil order and promoting Star League policies within the Magistracy. Following Canopian independence from Star League control in the late 2700s, the Magestrix was restored to its original status, albeit with the addition of a Central Committee of legislative peers.
In its present form, the office of Magestrix remains largely authoritarian, with legislative veto powers and the right to command the Canopian military. Ever since Melissa Humphreys established numerous democratic Peoples Councils, the position of Magestrix has diminished somewhat in stature, if not in actual capability.
Unlike similar institutions within the Inner Sphere, the Magestrix does not have the right to nominate her own successor. At the death of an incumbent Magestrix, specially selected officials, the Canopian Electors, nominate a new executive and forward their choice to the Central Committee. The Committee then votes for a new Magestrix; if a two-thirds majority of electoral votes is not present, it instructs the Electors to repeat the process until a majority vote is reached. In theory, the assembled electors may choose any citizen in the Magistracy, though a female member of the Centrella family (though not necessarily the oldest) has always been selected.
Drawn from popularly elected representatives from each planet of the Canopian systems, the 33-member Central Committee is a creation of the Humphreys administration of the early 2600s. Originally designed as a Board of Legislative Review, this body was revised and expanded in the latter days of the Star League to provide legislation for the Magestrix's approval, as well as to review policies handed down from above. By 2750, membership in the Central Committee was opened to all citizens of the Magistracy, irrespective of gender, with terms of office set at five-year intervals. With the Magistracy's independence, this term of office was reduced to two years. As may be expected, the office of the Magestrix and the Central Committee have often opposed each other.
Formed as a result of an Imperial edict by Coranna Centrella (2570-2582), the Crimson Council administers matters pertaining to Canopian nobility. The Magestrix appoints this six-member panel, which rules on the creation of new nobility, the assessment of noble privileges and responsibilities, and general accountability to the state and its citizenry. On rare occasions, the Crimson Council (named for the traditional dyed red ermine worn by Canopian nobility) has served as a judicial review board in cases of misconduct involving Canopian nobility. Membership in the Crimson Council is for life, although the Magestrix reserves the right to dismiss a Council appointee.
The Canopian Judiciary is divided into three branches: the Canopian Provincial Courts, which conduct all manner of civil and criminal law at the planetary level; the Canopian Star Courts, which handle all matters pertaining to corporate and business law; and the Canopian Courts of Appeal. Canopian citizens may bring cases to a Provincial Court if they can also produce a witness able to corroborate their case. Generally, the findings of the Provincial Courts are binding, and special officials of the court, known as Magistracy Field Officers (the equivalent of local marshals and deputies), enforce their rulings. When an individual wishes to appeal to a higher court, he may present his case to a Court of Appeal if the Central Committee approves his petition. In general, the Canopian Court system maintains a high regard for the rights and privileges of the individual citizen, but protects the traditional privileges of the Canopian nobility as well. When rights are in conflict, the Magistracy Courts typically favor the private citizen.
The Canopian Electors are a select group of individuals whose sole governmental function is to choose a new Magestrix when the current one dies. Two Electors from each Canopian planet are appointed for life. Though originally restricted to members of the aristocracy, Canopian electorship was extended to private citizens in the mid-2800s. They are selected by popular vote, with special elections held to fill vacancies. Though limited in function, the position of Elector is most prestigious, and one that carries considerable power to influence future events. Thus, aspirants to the office will spend vast sums of money to secure the popular support needed for election. Nor is it uncommon for Electors to become wealthy overnight through "gifts" tendered by Magestrix candidates. Beginning in 2955, the office of Elector became hereditary in several influential families, though popular election still applies for the majority of Electors.
Canopian nobility is unique because it is not hereditary. Extensions of noble titles and privileges to successive generations depends on special service to the state. With the passage of time, the strictures regarding service have loosened dramatically, but some token service is still required for those wishing to retain honors that may be generations old.
The Canopian nobility is divided into three components. The first, the Froness, are families who settled the Canopian systems in the first decade of colonization. The Durachi represent the various merchant princes, whose corporations have helped to develop trade with the Periphery and the Inner Sphere and have made substantial contributions to the office of the Magestrix. The newest class of Canopian nobility, the Girin, are those rare individuals whose personal services to the state, both civil and military, have warranted special recognition. During the early years of the Magistracy, only the Magestrix herself could grant noble status. Beginning with the reign of Coranna Centrella, however, this function was transferred to the Crimson Council, where it has resided ever since. This Council regulates all new appointments to the noble classes, as well as arbitrates disputes over the prerogatives of each. For the most part, the Canopian nobility is an aristocratic body of service-oriented elites. Though most noble families are content to serve in minor governmental functions, members of the Froness are concentrated in the royal court on Canopus.
Among the many privileges that the Canopian nobility enjoy are the right to hire a substitute to fulfill their military service, the right of the female to select her own mate (who cannot refuse her, under Canopian law), the right to conduct foreign trade outside the Magistracy, and the right to serve in specially appointed governmental positions, including military commands.
There is great factionalism and peer prejudice among the Canopian nobility. Many of the Froness believe themselves to be the only true Magistracy nobility, for example, while the Durachi and the Girin consider the Froness to be pure social snobs. During the Canopian heyday, the Girin family accepted many entrepreneurs into their line because of how well those individuals had managed the many Canopian pleasure industries. In the post-Reunification War period, many of these nobles lost their positions due to widespread Star League "neo-Puritanism." The loosening of moral strictures in the days following the Amaris Crisis and the recent introduction of the New Hedon philosophies have reversed this trend, creating bad feelings between many prominent families.
The Magestrix has covertly encouraged this traditional factionalism of the rival noble families. Should the nobility ever put aside its petty differences and unite, the Magistracy's social structure may radically change.
The original Constitution of the Magistracy Free States, established in 2531, granted citizenship to all individuals desiring political, religious, and social freedom from oppression. Any individual who can prove that he is the victim of such oppression is granted unconditional status as a citizen of the Canopian state for the duration of his life and the lifetimes of his descendants. No Canopian citizen can be tried unless due cause and corroborating testimony have first been presented to a judicial official. No Canopian citizen can be extradited to another foreign power without the express permission of the Magestrix. Canopian citizens are free to own land, to transfer property rights to their descendants as they see fit, and to pursue whatever social status they desire.
In exchange, each Canopian citizen must help provide for the common defense of the state. This obligation may be fulfilled through military service, by involvement in the educational system (as literacy is considered essential to the ongoing preparation for defense), or by donating land or materiel to the war effort in times of crisis. Though political parties are banned as being divisive, all Canopian citizens are required by law to participate in all elections.
Since the onset of the Succession Wars, the Magistracy of Canopus has maintained a position of armed neutrality. In the last two centuries, it has been forced to beat back several incursions, punitive strikes by both the Free Worlds League and the Taurian Concordat, and a variety of pirate attacks. The Canopians have been able to maintain a tenuous hold on their "heartland" systems, which provides the basis for future expansion.
Free Worlds League:
Successive Magistracy governments do not recognize the "award" of many of its industrialized planetary systems to the Free Worlds League after the Reunification War. Subsequent acquisition of additional isolated systems by later Captains-General has further raised the Canopians' ire. At present, the Magistracy refuses to receive diplomatic delegations from the Free Worlds League (trade delegations are another matter) until House Marik is willing to discuss the return of captured Canopian systems. Various Canopian nobles, particularly those in entertainment industries, are known to have informal contacts with Marik officials through the mediation of the Capellan Confederation.
Historically, the Magistracy of Canopus has had little to do with the Capellan Confederation. Generally, Canopians disdain any contact with a regimented, repressive society like that of the Capellans. In recent years, a series of small border actions against Capellan units has not done much to improve the situation. Though the Canopians have accepted a Capellan embassy on Canopus, their reaction to Capellan overtures for closer diplomatic ties is frosty at best. Given the Capellans' use of slavery within their sphere of influence, it is unlikely that relations between the two states will improve until the Confederation improves its human rights record.
Despite numerous clashes between the Magistracy and the Taurian Concordat in the last few decades, the Magistracy maintains close diplomatic ties with its neighbor. Whatever their differences, the Taurians are seen as fellow Rim-Worlders, suggesting a social affinity that peoples of the Inner Sphere cannot appreciate or understand. Thus do the Taurians enjoy a favored-nation status with the Magistracy, and the two governments have jointly explored remote star systems at the edge of charted space. In recent years, the Taurians have suggested the creation of a Pan-Periphery State but the Canopians have continued to meet these proposals with polite refusals.
Other Inner Sphere Governments:
For all its dislike and suspicion of its immediate neighbors, the Magistracy has been striving to establish relations with the Federated Suns and the Lyran Commonwealth. Here too, the Canopians' skill in the art of medicine and their demonstrated superiority in the health sciences have done much to pave the way for future profitable relations. The Magistracy's position as an impartial "Galactic Red Cross" make it a desirable ally.
ComStar maintains two communications facilities in the Magistracy of Canopus: one at the University of Luxen and the other on Canopus IV. Ambassadorial assistants and a nominal staff of technicians and administrative support personnel work at both facilities. Relations between the Magistracy and ComStar have traditionally been polite, if not overly warm. Like most existing governments, the Magistracy leaders appreciate the importance of ComStar's presence, but they resist any effort by our Order to influence Magistracy internal policies.
Beyond attempting to maintain its own territorial integrity, the Magistracy's primary diplomatic focus is to establish new trade links with anyone willing to deal with so distant a trading partner. As part of this ongoing process, the Magistracy is attempting to obtain viable technologies to enlarge its minuscule merchant marine. In recent years, the Canopians have made notable strides through the "exportation" of medical and health- services personnel to neighboring systems in return for raw materials an technicians. In addition, efforts to increase exploration and exploitation of new worlds holds out the promise of a revitalization of the Canopian economy.
Behind the scenes, Magestrix Kyalla Centrella is secretly planning for the day when war and civil disorder will destroy the Free Worlds League once and for all. In anticipation of this, she has identified various dissident elements within both the Free Worlds League and the Capellan Confederation. Since 3017, the Magestrix's envoys have been in secret communication with Dame Catherine Humphreys, the Free Worlds League's Duchess of Andurien, in an effort to unite their two realms. Similarly, representatives from the Magestrix's inner circle have made contact with various minor Lords and Ladies along the Capellan border. The aim of these maneuvers is the fulfillment of Kyalla Centrella's pet dream: the creation of a new, stronger Magistracy. It would extend beyond its pre-Reunification War boundaries, incorporating systems lost to House Marik in the Succession Wars and the territories of the Duchy of Andurien, plus various Capellan worlds. In addition to the offer of military support, the promise of newly discovered wealth beyond the edge of charted space serves as a lure for future negotiations.
Strengths and Weaknesses:
In many respects, the Magistracy of Canopus represents the best and the worst of modern Human development. Though autocratic in nature, its centralized government remains deeply conscious of the needs of its citizenry. The continued factionalism of the Canopian aristocracy weakens the central government's efforts to bring about rapid change, and the general decline in literacy rates among the Magistracy's lower classes makes revitalizing the Canopian state more difficult.
Religion and Philosophy:
Of all the Periphery states, the Magistracy of Canopus is the most tolerant of the various religions and philosophies. The original constitution, supported by later Royal Edicts, grants complete freedom of religion and philosophical expression so long as individual worship does not infringe on another's safety. All the major traditional religions exist in the Magistracy, as well as an abundance of newer philosophies. Indeed, the Canopians, more than any other Periphery people, have embraced the spirit of the New Hedon philosophy, which combines the ideas of free love and epicureanism. The philosophy harks back to early Canopian history, when the Magistracy was the galaxy's pleasure retreat. Though the days when over four-fifths of the Canopian economic base was geared toward pleasure services are gone, a sizable segment of the population still embraces this "Eat, Drink, and Be Merry" lifestyle, with occasional destabilizing effects on the society.
No religious or philosophical doctrine may hold any official connection with governmental affairs, as special interest groups and lobbies are forbidden. The introduction of the One Star Faith into Canopian space in the last century has led to an informal alliance between the Star adherents and members of the Inheritors philosophical sects, however. This alliance has been the motive force in the efforts to rebuild the Magistracy economy and military.
In the peaceful atmosphere that has dominated most of the Magistracy's history, a standing military has been considered a necessary evil at best. It is not surprising, then, that the Magistracy has traditionally fielded one of the smallest armed forces in the Periphery, while relying heavily on local constabularies and mercenary forces. In the years before the outbreak of the Reunification War, however, the Canopian government began a series of crash rearmament programs to redress this lack of well-trained and disciplined forces. It was too late, however, to do more than fight a delaying action against the best that the Inner Sphere could put in the field. During the Canopians' years as a Territorial State, its military was reduced to a symbolic cadre of veteran soldiers confined to service as palace guards. Military buildup renewed after the Magistracy's declaration of independence, but the loss of many key industrial worlds stunted the military's potential for growth. In the present era, the Canopian armed forces remain a curious combination of local militia and highly trained federal troops. The individual Canopian soldier is highly motivated and capable of enduring considerable sacrifice. Far from being "velvet pillow pushovers," the Canopians are fully capable of giving as good as they might get from any invaders who fail to take them seriously enough.
Standard uniforms within the Magistracy Armed Forces are variations on a single theme. Ground forces wear a tight-fitting dark blue tunic and trousers that have contrasting light blue collars and cuffs. Naval uniforms are the reverse, with personnel dressed in light blue uniforms whose collars and cuffs are dark blue.
Dress uniforms are the same except for silver piping on trouser legs and cuffs for enlisted personnel, and gold piping for officers. As the Canopian Navy controls the AeroSpace Fighter Arm of the military, AeroSpace Pilots wear the same uniforms as their naval counterparts, except that lapel and piping are green. Support personnel, including technicians, administrative personnel, and special service functionaries wear the standard uniforms of their "line" regiment counterparts, except for red piping to denote their elevated status.
When preparing for battle, infantry forces wear a brown uniform with black lapels and cuffs. Enlisted personnel wear their insignia as a black silhouette on the lapels only; officers have similar insignia, but wear them on the cuffs. Armor personnel typically wear dull-black field uniforms with off-white insignia. Canopian MechWarrior battle dress is similar to that of Inner Sphere MechWarriors, with some modifications. Due to the Magistracy's lower technology level, Canopian neurohelmets are larger than those used elsewhere. In addition, they allow for longer hair styles to accommodate the Canopians' disproportionate number of women warriors. Magistracy AeroSpace Pilots wear the simplest uniforms. Its single notable feature is the presence of the arm-length protector, which contains emergency circuitry systems and life-sign monitors.
The system of ranks used by the MAF is similar to those of military orders throughout the galaxy. Currently, about four million men and women are on active duty in the MAF, distributed among ten different ranks: four officer grade and six enlisted. The insignia for all MAF personnel is diamond- shaped, which reflects the Canopians' love of wealth.
The six enlisted ranks of the MAF are Volunteer, First Ranker, Lance Corporal, Star Corporal, Command Sergeant, and Banner Sergeant.
All Canopian citizens are required to serve a minimum of three years in the MAF (though aristocrats can secure exemption by hiring a substitute). All new recruits are referred to as Volunteers and wear the silver-edged diamond insignia on their lapels and cuffs.
All graduates of basic training receive the rank of First Ranker, unless subject to some disciplinary action. The First Ranker then enters into several months of advanced training in a particular area of expertise. Further promotion within the MAF depends on individual initiative and performance. Two silver-edged diamonds, one nested inside the other, identify a First Ranker.
The Lance Corporal is roughly equivalent to a Sergeant in other military services. They are expected to be competent instructors in the field and to command units averaging between 15 and 20 troops. A third nested diamond bar distinguishes Lance Corporals from First Rankers.
The core of the MAF, the Star Corporal serves in a variety of leadership roles, often in the absence of ranking field officers. Their most typical role is the equivalent of a platoon sergeant in combat. The rank is named for its insignia, a silver star within a silver-edged diamond.
Command Sergeants are the equivalent of senior company NCOs, often holding a variety of staff positions under senior officers. A solid silver diamond denotes the Command Sergeant.
The rank of "Banner Sergeant" harkens back to the days when personnel of this rank were responsible for their unit's regimental colors. Though Banner Sergeants still handle unit flags in full-dress parades, they are primarily responsible for filling senior staff and field commands. They are the equivalent of Battalion Sergeants in Inner Sphere military structures. The rank insignia for the Banner Sergeant is two solid silver diamonds.
Junior officer slots within the MAF are usually purchased positions, a feature unique among Periphery military systems. The practice is in keeping with Magistracy tradition, which holds that those able to afford the cost of command positions (the nobility) are those best suited to lead. In all cases involving senior grade officers, however, such purchases require the confirmation of the Magestrix. Though the merits of this policy may be questionable, this system has gone unchallenged for four centuries. Typical purchase prices for commissions in the MAF are given below in standard C-Bills.
Though there is less discrimination against male officers in the MAF than previously, it does still exist. Females are likely to pay a lower price for an officer slot than an equally qualified male.
The rank of Ensign appears in both the Canopian navy and army. Ensigns rarely command set numbers of troops, but may control from ten to a hundred individuals at any given time, depending on their unit assignment. An Ensign's rank insignia is a gold-edged diamond.
The rank of Commander is equivalent to the Inner Sphere ranks of Lieutenant, Lieutenant Commander, and Commander. Aboard ship, a Commander may serve as a department commander or his assistant. On the ground, a Commander typically heads up a company or battalion. The insignia is two gold-edged hollow diamonds, one inside the other.
MAF majors are typically employed as senior battalion commanders and brevet regimental commanders, especially in training commands. In the MAF navy, the rank of Major is usually referred to as Comcapt (a bastardization of Commodore-Captain). A Comcapt can command anything from a ship up to a squadron of from three to six vessels. A single gold diamond insignia denotes a Major; a gold wreath below the diamond denotes a Comcapt.
MAF Colonels are the regimental commanders of the MAF. Aboard ship, the rank is referred to as Rearad (from Rear Admiral). In addition to the various regimental commanders, there are three Senior Colonels who coordinate defense plans for the Magestrix. Two Rearads command the diminutive Canopian Navy fleets. Two horizontal solid gold diamonds denote the Colonel; a Rearad also has a gold wreath.
Structure of the MAF:
The structure of the Magistracy Armed Forces is simplistic. Its small size allows it to be streamlined with few distinctions between branches.
Magestrix Command Center:
At the apex of the MAF is the Magestrix Command Center (MCC). Located on Canopus IV, this division of the MAF is directly responsible to the Magestrix for all top-level strategic planning and defense initiatives. Staffed by three Senior Colonels and their naval counterparts, the MCC coordinates the deployment of all Canopian forces to meet a variety of threats from foreign powers. All operational plans developed by the MCC are subject to the Magestrix's final approval.
All ground units within Canopian space are a part of the Magistracy Army. Due to its small size, the army does not differentiate sub-branches beyond the distinctions of infantry and armor commands. Artillery and jump troops, when available, are classified as infantry. Engineers and special forces units are all but nonexistent within the Magistracy Army.
At present, the size of the Canopian Navy is less then four dozen DropShips and two dozen JumpShips, complemented by many smaller, independently owned merchant vessels, which can be used as privateers. The Canopian Navy is divided into two fleets, with two squadrons of two flotillas each. The Canopian Battle Fleet is charged with the defense of orbital space around potential targets of invasion. The second, Reserve Fleet, patrols in and around the Canopus IV system under the personal direction of the Magestrix.
Magistracy AeroSpace Arm:
There are fewer than one hundred AeroSpace Fighters in Canopian space, most of which are captured and refurbished light or medium craft. Given the small numbers of fighters, operational command of the AeroSpace Arm is relegated to the Navy, with individual fighters divided among the Magistracy's two fleets.
Magistracy Medical Corps:
The Magistracy Medical Corps is the one area where Canopians excel over their Inner Sphere counterparts. The MMC takes pains to ensure adequate medical care for every trooper, sailor, and pilot. The medical teams take pride in their speed in removing the wounded from the field and later returning the recovered soldiers to their units with a minimum of delay. The ratio of skilled medics and surgeons within the MAF is roughly 1 medical specialist for every 7 fighting troops, as opposed to a ratio of 1 to 20 (or more) in other modern-day armies.
Magistracy Support Corps:
The Magistracy Support Corps is a catch-all division that is responsible for all administrative, supply, quartermaster, and personnel-related functions of the other military systems. The Support Corps is likewise responsible for training recruits, advanced officer training, contractual liaison with mercenary units, and research and development of new weapons systems.
Typical MAF Units:
MAF units in the field closely model the deployment schemes found in the armed forces of the Inner Sphere, with minor variations due to its small size. MAF ground forces are usually concentrated in one heavy battalion, with most of the regiments' BattleMechs formed into four man lances. Support battalions generally consist of whatever armor (mostly reconditioned tanks) and infantry forces are available. Air Lances are typically absent from MAF forces, the exception being the Magistracy Royal Guards, which contain one air lance per battalion. All other MAF air lances are under the control of the Magistracy Navy, which provides for their transportation, deployment, and repair.
Infantry platoons vary in size from 30 to 50 men, with companies of 120 to 180 men. Jump troops, special forces, and engineers are virtually unknown within the MAF.
The Magistracy maintains a number of local Militia Defense Battalions. Drawn from the populations of the major Canopian planets, these conventional forces represent reservists with a minimal amount of training. Canopian militia forces maintain a large number of armored fighting vehicles and they construct local fortifications. Though these militia units cannot stand up to regular forces, they give a good account of themselves when combined with regular armed forces. Militia are typically employed in oversized battalions of five companies each.
The average Canopian soldier enters service at the age of 16. If the individual is a male, he will typically have the equivalent of a 12th-grade education; females have slightly higher educational backgrounds. Following basic training, the individual undergoes service with a home defense unit for three to four years. Those who choose careers as enlisted personnel join training battalions near the Canopian borders to undergo additional training before serving in a regular line unit. Instead of attending Officer Training School, those selected as officer candidates (where there is a marked bias toward females) are posted as military aides-de-camp to an officer on duty in a regular line regiment. Nowhere is the concept of on-the-job training taken more seriously than in the MAF. An official commendation from a candidate's "sponsor" makes it possible for him or her to purchase their first commission (often with their sponsor's assistance).
The Magistracy Armed Forces suffers from the loss of many key industrial centers in the last two centuries. In particular, the ability to produce BattleMechs and 'Mech replacement parts is virtually nonexistent in the Magistracy. At present, only two BattleMech production facilities remain intact in Canopian space. Located on Canopus IV and Duncanshire, these two centers have a very low annual output (less than 60 machines per year), and produce mostly Locusts, Wasps and Stingers. The only medium-sized Battle- Mechs produced within the Magistracy are Shadow Hawks, but usually no more than ten per year. Production for armor, AeroSpace Fighters, and motorized vehicles run roughly 30 each per year.
Strengths and Weaknesses:
While the Magistracy Armed Forces consists of well-meaning and dedicated individuals, the armed forces suffer from a lack of just about every type of mechanical or electronic necessity from the largest gridwork structure to the smallest microcircuitry board. With recent increased trade with other systems, the Canopians may be able to rectify this disparity in the future. Another problem confronting the Canopian military is the low literacy level of its new recruits. The basic training manual for the new Canopian soldier is presently written at a twelve-year-old reading level, but this may have to be revised downward in the near future. The MAF needs time to train and time to rebuild.
Culture and Arts:
If the Magistracy of Canopus has one overriding concern, it is education. The average Canopian never progresses far beyond an elementary school education. This sorry state of affairs is mostly because of the lack of funds to rebuild the educational institutions destroyed since the Star League's fall. This has led to a gradual decline in literacy rates over the last two centuries. Only two universities (basically technical schools) still exist in Canopian space: the University of Canopus and the University of Luxen. Because average enrollments are less than five hundred students and because of the lack of qualified teachers and educational professionals, the Canopians will continue to struggle with attempts to reverse the trend.
The Canopian health sciences represent the sole exception to this state of affairs. Developed in the Magistracy's early years, the medical disciplines have retained a high national priority, at times overshadowing the military in their share of economic resources. Today, the Canopian health industry maintains the highest standards of care to be found in the entire Periphery, and is in many respects superior to that available in the Inner Sphere. In recent years, many Canopian physicians and surgeons have begun practice outside Canopian space on long-term service contracts to other governments in hopes of stimulating the Magistracy economy. Indeed, one of the major opportunities for the Magistracy to upgrade its educational system is in the area of foreign cultural exchange, where they may develop programs that "trade" medical care personnel for teachers, technicians, and other professionals.
Though the Magistracy's once-fabled entertainment industry has nearly disappeared, it still remains a haven for the artist and the actor. The more literate Canopians have traditionally valued the contributions of writers, painters, and performing artists more than any other Periphery peoples. Artists can find employment readily available, with government subsidies in abundance. The only demand placed on the individual is high- quality work. By extension, the Magistracy government maintains few restrictions on the dissemination of information and political thought, the only exception being the censorship of materials imported from the Inner Sphere or the Taurian Concordat.
Though generally pragmatic and level-headed, Canopian citizens are generally inclined to accept things as they are, enjoying what little comfort they can, rather than making sacrifices for an uncertain future.
Though once the richest of the Periphery States, the present-day Magistracy of Canopus is economically stagnant. After many decades of deliberately channeling their resources into entertainment industries, the Canopians now suffer from having created such an undiversified economy. Lacking even the shadow of a corporate-industrial base, the current economy is based on cottage industries and small artisan guilds. An official ban on the importation of Inner Sphere technologies (except for military technology obtained from the Taurian Concordat) has further hampered economic development. Recent efforts by Magestrix Kyalla Centrella to trade the services of Canopian physicians for Inner Sphere technicians and business experts may begin to change this situation.
[Prepared by Major C.G. Toho, Periphery expert for Wolfnet, Military Intelligence Division, Seventh Kommando]
The end of the Fourth Succession War left the Magistracy of Canopus bordering a secessionist Duchy of Andurien and a weakened and demoralized Capellan Confederation. Thus did Magestrix Kyalla Centrella persuade Duchess Catherine Humphreys of the Duchy of Andurien that by uniting they could exploit their neighbor, the supposedly weak and helpless Capellan Confederation. In September 3030, the Duchy of Andurien seceded from the Free Worlds League and declared its alliance with the Magistracy of Canopus, a union that would be sealed by the marriage of the Magestrix's daughter Emma and the Duchess's fifth son, Richard.
The Andurien-Canopian invasion of the Capellan Confederation, though successful at first, ended up a dismal failure. Capellan troops proved stronger than expected, and Canopian regiments suffered major losses while being pushed out of Liao space. Emma, who had protested against both the wisdom of the invasion and the arranged marriage, left Luxen to join her company in the Magistracy Royal Guards. She fought bravely in her Vulcan, though in a losing cause.
Because she had not been in favor of the war, Emma became the focal point for groups that opposed her mother's rule. Rather than trying to defuse the opposition, as the Magestrix expected, the young heir began to distance herself from her mother's unpopular policies. When the Magestrix refused to honor the Duchy of Andurien's plea for help against an invasion by the Free Worlds League in 3031, it created even more popular support for the Duchess of Luxen.
In April 3039, an assassin crept into the bedchamber of Emma Centrella and opened fire on the two forms lying on the bed in the darkened room. The Duchess of Luxen, entering from a side room, killed the attacker, but he had already murdered her lovers. The Duchess believed that the attack was directly connected to her political struggle with the Magestrix, though her mother vehemently protested her innocence. She also ordered Emma's arrest on charges of espionage, but the Duchess escaped to the planet Hardcore. When the Magistrix sent the Royal Guards to arrest her daughter, they offered Emma their support instead.
On May 8, 3040, Duchess Emma came before her mother in chains. Before the Magestrix could utter the first gloating words of victory, her daughter calmly removed her own chains. While the Magestrix was still shouting orders to the Royal Guards to capture and execute the Duchess, they seized and locked her away in the palace dungeons instead.
Emma assumed control of the Magistracy the next day after announcing that palace physicians had declared her mother legally insane.
Since her rise to power, Magistrix Emma has made few changes in the structure of government, concentrating instead on the direction of policy. Gone are her mother's dreams of empire. The new Magistrix has turned the focus of her reign back to providing what had once made the Magistracy so prosperous: gambling, men and women with warm hearts and active libidos, and superbly trained physicians.
Her decision made her even more popular and is credited with persuading the Free Worlds League not to attempt revenge on the Magistracy for its alliance with the Duchy of Andurien. By 3050, Canopian doctors and Pleasure Circuses have become a welcome sight in the Free Worlds League. Magestrix Emma's actions have also brought better relations with the Taurian Concordat.
Magistracy Armed Forces:
The MAF suffered heavy casualties at the hands of Capellan forces, with three 'Mech regiments and five times that in conventional forces mauled. Since then, Magistrix Emma has implemented several programs aimed at rebuilding her losses as well as improving the abilities of the soldiers. Using the fruits of a rebounding economy, the MAF has rebuilt one 'Mech regiment and ten of its conventional regiments. In addition, a third regiment each has been added to the Royal Guards and the Chasseurs a Cheval. The Magistrix's emphasis on physical strength, discipline, and inter-service cooperation in the training of her troops seems to be effective against pirate attacks that have recently begun to plague the borders of the Magistracy.
Trade between the Magistracy and neighboring realms has more than tripled during the past 20 years. Though this has brought the Canopians a wide range of consumer goods, the Canopian industries feel threatened and fearful of being swallowed up by the richer firms of the Free Worlds League. The government, however, continues to encourage Inner Sphere companies to invest in the Magistracy, with firms from as far away as the Lyran Commonwealth building factories on Canopian worlds.
This data file was originally obtained from the BattleTech 3056 MUSE. It was originally converted to HTML by Michael J. Flynn of The Company Store and Team SPAM! who believe "Information is in the noise!"
Some graphics obtained from Leigh "Mad Dog" Brunk's page, Giant Robots Blew Up My Website! Many thanks to him for the generous permission to use them on this site.