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Of the many states in the Periphery, the Taurian Concordat maintains the closest resemblance to a Successor State. Under the direction of House Calderon, the highly independent Taurians have a strong central government, a high literacy rate, and a strong military. They appear to be the Periphery community most likely to survive the next century, as well as to become a leader in Periphery affairs and even an influence on the Inner Sphere.

The Taurian Concordat began as a desperate venture into the unexplored space of the Hyades Cluster. Beyond the reach of Inner Sphere governments, the Calderon expedition colonized mineral-rich worlds and quickly transformed them into centers of political and social equality. In turn, these worlds attracted thousands of refugees uprooted by wars in the Inner Sphere.

As early as the mid-24th century, the Taurians were forced to fight aggressors from the Inner Sphere. The Concordat maintained a tense state of armed neutrality in the Age of War but, unlike its Inner Sphere counterparts, it also devoted a major portion of its resources toward improving life for its citizens. On occasion, the success of the Taurian way of life benefited the Inner Sphere as well, as when the Federated Suns revamped its educational system along Taurian lines in the first decade of the new millennium.

In the late 26th century, the Taurians were forced to fight for two decades against Star League forces during the Reunification War. Though eventually battered into submission, the Taurians never renounced their dream of a free and independent state. After two centuries of increasingly harsh rule under the Star League, the Taurians revolted in the latter half of the 28th century. With the fall of the League and the start of the Succession Wars, the Taurians became free of interference from the House Lords of the Inner Sphere, and their independence has grown stronger.

In the last two centuries, however, the Taurians have had to defend themselves against foreign invasion from another part of space. Because of clashes with the Magistracy of Canopus over disputed border worlds, as well as incursions by renegade mercenary units and pirates, the Concordat is obliged to maintain a large and efficient military.

With the rise of the Far Lookers, a philosophical sect advocating the exploration of space beyond its charted limits, the Concordat has expanded its borders, settling worlds beyond the notice of the rapacious Inner Sphere. ComStar is unsure of how many worlds have been settled so far, although we can be sure that none of them is sufficiently developed to be incorporated into the Concordat itself. No significant benefits have come to the Concordat from these new colonies as yet, but the potential of unexplored space is, as we all know from experience, unlimited. Some estimates have indicated that when the new map of the Concordat is drawn, it may be comparable in size to the Capellan Confederation, though nowhere near as densely populated.

Sphere of Influence:

The Taurian Concordat contains over 30 inhabited planets in a zone of space roughly 80 parsecs in diameter extending from the Hyades Cluster. The Taurians also control a variety of small outposts that extend in an arc from the edge of the Magistracy of Canopus to the Verdigreis system of the Federated Suns. Beginning in the late 2900s, the Taurians have resumed space exploration, resulting in the founding of several new colony worlds on systems past the Hyades Cluster.

Sociopolitical Structure:

The Taurian Concordat is a collection of representative democracies coupled with a constitutional monarchy. Similar in some ways to the House Davion- Federated Suns arrangement, the hereditary Protectorship of House Calderon grants autonomy to individual member worlds. Charged with promoting the general welfare of the Concordat, the Protector of the Realm maintains supreme control of the Concordat military establishment.

Government Structure:

Each of the major governmental divisions of the Concordat are described briefly below.

Protectorship:

The Protector of the Realm is the chief executive of the Taurian Concordat. The eldest member of House Calderon, the Protector is the commander-in-chief of all Taurian military forces and the primary policy-maker in both internal and external affairs. Under normal circumstances, the Protector rules with the consent of the Concordia Courts, which periodically review the statutes the Protector has enacted. In time of war, the Protector can invoke emergency powers that permit full and complete authority over matters of state to prosecute the war effort.

Privy Council:

Originally drawn from the chief family members of the original Calderon expedition, the Privy Council has evolved into an advisory board to the Protector. It consists of a representative from each of the major Taurian governmental departments, as well as other councilors that the Protector may appoint. The Privy Council meets monthly to review matters of state and makes recommendations to the Protector, who is in no way bound to follow such recommendations.

Ministry of Defense:

The Ministry of Defense is a board of advisors and military specialists-- staffed by both civilian and military personnel--charged with the coordination of defense policy, training new recruits, equipping units in the field, research and development, and economic liaison with the private sector for the acquisition of materiel. Its major concern is the constant revision of contingency plans to be used in the event of invasion.

Exchequer:

The Taurian Exchequer, under the direction of the Treasury Director, formulates policies to maintain the Concordat economy and manages fiscal affairs relating to member planets. In addition, the Exchequer manages the Concordat Bank of Taurus, the government mint, and the Taurian Treasury Reserve located on the Concordat capital.

Ministry of the Interior:

The Ministry of the Interior is concerned with matters of internal security. The Minister commands the Concordat Constabulary, a paramilitary force responsible for maintaining civil order on all Concordat worlds, as well as guarding against infiltration by foreign agents. He is also charged with gathering intelligence pertaining to civil and military order within the Concordat.

Ministry of Education:

The Ministry of Education provides for the education of the Taurian people, from elementary through university levels. To this end, the Ministry is responsible for maintaining literacy standards throughout the Concordat, appointing and promoting instructors and administrators, and developing new educational and research institutions within the state.

Ministry of Trade and Colonization:

The Ministry of Trade is responsible for stimulating trade and commerce within the Concordat. It is also directly involved with the charting and colonizing of new worlds.

Concordat Courts:

The Concordat Court system is the judicial branch of government. There is a civil court for every ten thousand inhabitants on each Concordat world, with a Planetary Court of Appeal for every three worlds. A separate Court of Judicial Review periodically reviews statutes and decrees of the Protector and other government branches, with the power to strike down any legislation that might threaten individual civil liberties.

Concordat Functionaries:

In the Concordat, the term "functionary" refers to a variety of civil servants empowered to carry out a wide range of administrative duties. Functionaries are divided into two general categories: Auditors and Masters of Requests. An Auditor's function is similar to that of the ancient office of Inspector General. Masters of Requests make up the majority of the Taurian bureaucracy, handling the enormous load of paperwork required to keep the government afloat.

Internal Politics:

By law, the Taurian Concordat government guarantees a free and open society, individual rights, and the general welfare of its citizens. All citizens can move about freely within the Concordat, without the need for passes or work permits, and individuals can pursue their own economic and social goals without regulation. In return for government-sponsored education and protection, Concordat citizens must serve in some capacity to defend their state for a period of four years. Beyond this obligation, Taurian citizens are free to lead their lives as they please. Planetary governments may adopt the form of representation they deem appropriate, as long as each maintains a viable, working allegiance to the Protector and the Concordat.

Political Goals:

The primary goal of the Taurian Concordat is to preserve the independence and safety of the individual Concordat citizen. Beyond this, the Protector of the Realm is also concerned with the expansion of the Taurian state through colonization at the edge of the Periphery, rather than at the expense of his neighbors. Though attempting to maintain peaceful interstellar relations, Concordat leaders view renewed hostilities as a very real possibility. Thus, a strong military is a major priority for what they perceive as the continued security of the Concordat.

Interstellar Relations:

The following is a summary of the Taurian Concordat's relations with its neighbors.

Capellan Confederation:

Having fought several minor skirmishes with the Capellan government, the Concordat is mistrustful of House Liao. Though a Capellan Consulate operates in the Taurian capital, Concordat officials are suspicious of the Capellans' desire for peaceful coexistence. Most feel that Maximilian Liao intends to use acquisitions won at gunpoint from the Concordat as staging areas for strikes against the Federated Suns.

Federated Suns:

Of all the opponents of the Taurian Concordat, the Federated Suns is the primary threat to the Taurian state. Few in the Concordat are willing to forget or forgive the Federated Suns' role in the Reunification War, and fewer still are willing to concede that peace between the two states is possible. Since gaining independence, the Concordat has deployed its military to meet any new invasion from Davion space. To upset House Davion, the Taurians have recently resumed diplomatic relations--however tenuous-- with the Capellan Confederation, while rejecting similar gestures from the Federated Suns. Lord Calderon has rejected secret proposals by Michael Hasek-Davion for a mutual defense pact against the Capellans.

Magistracy of Canopus:

The Magistracy of Canopus is the state most closely allied, however informally, with the Taurian Concordat. Though the two governments have clashed over various border worlds in the past, such disagreements have generally been worked out through diplomatic channels. The Taurians have even made formal overtures for the formation of a mutual defense pact with the Canopians. As the survival of the Magistracy is in the best interests of the Concordat, the Taurians are likely to come to its aid should it be invaded, whether or not a formal agreement between the two states exists.

Outworlds Alliance:

Distance has historically limited the extent to which the Taurians have maintained contact with the Outworlds Alliance. In the last century, however, trade contacts have resumed at the behest of the Alliance. More recently, the Alliance has promoted an exchange program in which military "advisors," specifically Alliance AeroSpace Pilots, have journeyed to the Concordat to work with their Taurian counterparts in exchange for a corresponding number of educational specialists.

ComStar:

Relations between the Taurians and ComStar have been both cautious and cool overthe last century. While permitting ComStar presence on various Taurian worlds and acknowledging the benefits that ComStar can bring to the Periphery, the Taurians remain suspicious of ComStar's real motives. Few ComStar officials are permitted positions of authority in the Concordat, and those allowed to serve in the Taurian government do so in a strictly advisory capacity only.

Taurian Nobility:

Taurian nobility is bestowed on those individuals who render special service to the state (i.e., the Taurian people rather than the government). Many nobilities are hereditary, while some nobles have achieved recognition in the areas of education and administration. All titles reflect the notion that aristocrats must serve the people they command.

Nobles have few material advantages compared to their Inner Sphere counterparts, a condition unique to the Concordat social structure. This mirrors the Taurian social concept that an enlightened aristocracy provides the greatest good to the greatest number. Specific titles are similar to those used in the Successor States.

Strengths and Weaknesses:

The Taurian Concordat has a strong central government backed by a service- oriented nobility concerned with the welfare of its citizens. Viewed as a servant of the Concordat citizenry, each branch of the government operates with a well-defined sense of mutual obligation. The greatest strength of the Concordat may be the dedication its government has shown to ensuring individual rights. In doing so, it has eschewed the short-term benefits of the police state (law and order, simplified governmental structure) in favor of the greater creativity and productivity of people allowed to follow their own inclinations. Indeed, this may be the greatest single reason that the Concordat continues to be a growing, healthy entity despite the depredations of the Succession Wars. In light of this, the uneasiness many Taurians feel about the growing power of the Concordat Constabulary is understandable.

The Concordat government has taken on problems that it might have avoided, however. The other side of the exploration issue, for example, is that it is a gamble. Though the potential of new colonies may eventually bring in greater wealth for the Taurian people and greater power to the government, the Concordat may be overextending itself, creating indefensible borders and expending enormous sums on colonies that may never pay off.

All in all, the Taurians are playing a dangerous game. Their continued growth could one day make them a new superpower, but it also makes them a more tempting target in the here and now.

Religion and Philosophy:

All forms of religious and philosophical expression are tolerated within the Taurian Concordat, reflecting centuries of tradition and popular precedent. Unique to the Concordat, however, is official support of a state religion, Deism (in keeping with many of the social trappings of the Terran Age of Reason that the Taurians have adopted). Though no citizen is forced to belong to the Taurian Deist Church, and indeed many question the point of even having a Deist "church" at all, this institution receives government support and can boast the largest following of any religious persuasion in the Concordat.

In the last century, two philosophical creeds, the Far Lookers and the Inheritors, have gained prominence in the Concordat. Both owe their growth to the Calderon family, and both seek to establish a pragmatic approach to daily life in the Periphery.

The creed of the Far Lookers suggests that life in the Periphery should not be as static as it has been. Just as the original founders of the Periphery states settled the Taurian Concordat, so, too, the Far Lookers insist, should contemporary Taurians explore new worlds at the edge of the known galaxy. They argue that expanding the boundaries of the state is necessary to keep it vital and strong. As one of the few Periphery states with the resources and a sufficiently integrated economy to do so, the Taurian Concordat is more likely than any other to move in the direction the Far Lookers suggest.

The Inheritors accept the philosophical premises of the Far Lookers, but they go one step farther. The Inheritors posit that the age of the Inner Sphere is over, and that Humanity is on the verge of a galaxy-wide cataclysm. When this happens, the Inheritors predict that the enlightened peoples of the Periphery will pick up the pieces, resettling and repopulating the Inner Sphere to bring about a new and more vibrant social order.

Military Forces:

The well-organized and well-trained Taurian Defense Force (TDF) is arranged along the principles of 19th-century Napoleonic armies. A total of twelve BattleMech regiments are grouped into four separate operations corps: The First, Second, Third, and Taurian Guard Corps. Naval elements are attached directly to Corps Commanders, with each fleet divided further into two demi- squadrons each. There is also the Concordat Constabulary, a paramilitary force normally used for internal security purposes, but which can be mobilized in time of war. Overall, the TDF is a highly motivated force of professional soldiery supported by a variety of heavy industries.

Uniforms:

The traditional dress uniform of the Concordat military is a red tunic with silver buttons (gold for officers), black trousers, and black lapels. Distinctions between branches are denoted by the colors of oversized berets or field caps: dark green for infantry light green for armor, brown for BattleMech, sky blue for navy, and light gray for all support services. In the field, troops wear a standard dull-red or burgundy fatigue uniform with rank insignia on their uniform lapels. Designs for personal gear such as neurohelmets and flight gear have been borrowed from Liao and Davion models, with slight modifications from unit to unit.

Dress uniforms within the TDF correspond to standard uniform styles, with silver sashes and white gloves for all enlisted ranks and gold sashes and white gloves for officers. Marshals of the Concordat are further denoted by gold lanyards on both shoulders.

Ranks:

Ranks within the TDF are organized along a six-level tier for both officers and enlisted personnel. Individual titles draw heavily upon the influence of French and English armed forces of the 18th century.

Enlisted Ranks:

The six enlisted ranks are Recruit, Corporal, Section Leader, Force Sergeant, Lance Sergeant, and Battalion Chief-Sergeant.

Recruit:

By Concordat-wide law, all individuals, male and female, are required at age 18 to join the TDF. Planetary geographical districts (cantons) assemble individuals into provisional training battalions. Each Recruit receives 18 weeks of basic training before being assigned to a unit in the field. A black silhouette denoting one point of a five-pointed star signifies Recruits. All rank silhouettes are black to commemorate those who have died to defend the Taurian systems.

Corporal:

In infantry formations, Corporals serve as maniple leaders, one maniple consisting of five troopers, with two maniples to a squad. In armor units, Corporals are tank commanders. In all other services, the rank denotes a junior position involving one or more specialist positions. Two points of a five-pointed star denote the Corporal, who wears his insignia on his left lapel.

Section Leader:

Section Leaders in the TDF infantry are squad commanders, while in Taurian armor units, they command a maniple of two armored fighting vehicles (three maniples to a lance). In all other services, the rank denotes senior specialist positions. Section Leaders wear three points of a five-pointed star.

Force Sergeant:

A Force Sergeant commands a platoon of 25 men (two squads). In TDF armor units, a Force Sergeant commands an armor lance of three maniples (six vehicles). This rank is also used to denote junior AeroSpace Pilots in the Taurian AeroSpace Arm. Four points of a five-pointed star denote the Force Sergeant.

Lance Sergeant:

A Lance Sergeant serves as assistant platoon leader to a Cornet officer. In armor units, he acts as assistant company commander to a Sub-Altern. In the AeroSpace Arm, Lance Sergeants are pilots in charge of an air lance. A five-pointed star on the lapel denotes this rank.

Battalion Chief-Sergeant/Air Master:

Battalion Chief-Sergeants are the senior battalion NCOs in all Taurian ground units. The equivalent rank of Air Master is used in the AeroSpace Arm to denote junior flight commanders controlling two air lances. The insignia for both ranks is a five-pointed star surrounded by laurel leaves.

Officer Ranks:

The six commissioned ranks are Cornet, Subaltern, Brigadier, Colonel, Comptroller, and Marshal.

Cornet:

The Cornet is the lowest-ranking junior officer in the TDF. Cornets serving in ground units typically act as company commanders. Aboard ship, they are assistant department heads, and in the AeroSpace Arm, they command a wing of two air lances. In BattleMech units, Cornets serve as MechWarriors. A crescent moon on the lapel denotes the Cornet.

Subaltern/AirMaster, Junior Grade:

Subalterns are battalion commanders in the Taurian ground forces and assistant commanders of air divisions (consisting of two wings of four lances each) in the AeroSpace Arm. In BattleMech units, Subalterns command lances of four BattleMechs. Air Masters, junior grade, act as department heads aboard naval vessels. Subalterns wear two crescent moons, face to face.

Brigadier/Air Master, Senior Grade:

Brigadiers act as regimental executive officers. Often, they lead commands of four or more companies into battle, depending on assigned mission tasks. Senior grade Air Masters command an aerospace corps consisting of three aerospace wings. The insignia for both ranks is four crescent moons, two facing right and two facing left.

Colonel/Space Master:

A Colonel is a senior regimental commander. Space Masters act as ship captains aboard Taurian naval vessels. All officers of this rank wear a full moon on each lapel.

Comptroller/Commodore:

A purely organizational rank, the Comptroller belongs to senior command and planning staff found at the corps level. In certain circumstances, a Comptroller may be delegated to command a regiment or part of a regiment for special missions. Commodores command demi-squadrons, which are a collection of naval vessels assembled according to the dictates of specific mission requirements. A black eagle on each lapel denotes both ranks.

Marshal:

At present, there are five Marshals in the Concordat military, one commanding each corps, and one Senior Marshal, a hereditary rank given to the Protector in his role as Commander-in-Chief. Two oak leaves denote a corps commander, and three oak leaves denote the Senior Marshal.

Structure of the TDF:

The following is a brief description of the major divisions of the Taurian Defense Force.

Concordat Army:

The Concordat Army consists of twelve BattleMech regiments (30 battalions). Nine are line units, and three are mercenary regiments with long-term contracts. Oriented toward lances of light-to-medium BattleMechs, Taurian units are similar in composition to their counterparts in the Successor States. Units are routinely trained as Special Task Groups. In the first days of an invasion, battalions not engaged with enemy forces would be earmarked for special STG strike missions, as local counterattack teams or as deep-space raiders directed at vulnerable communication and supply points. The flexibility of this military response remains to be seen, especially as more and more Taurian units are being committed to permanent garrisons each year.

Concordat Navy:

The Concordat Navy currently consists of 117 DropShips and JumpShips divided into four fleets, each fleet being assigned to a corps front commander. Taurian naval personnel are typically long-term volunteers, with officers serving from about four to seven years. In time of war, the Navy is expected to serve as the first line of defense against any aggressor. In a departure from Reunification War doctrine, all four fleet components, including that of the Taurian Guard Corps, are expected to engage the enemy as far forward as possible, sacrificing themselves to blunt the enemy's invasion as far from the Hyades Cluster as possible. Few vessels would be retained to defend the Taurian homeworlds.

AeroSpace Arm:

Though staffed, like its naval counterpart, with long-term professionals, the AeroSpace Arm remains the weakest of three principal military branches. A general lack of equipment and experience against modern combat tactics leaves this organization at a distinct disadvantage against its Inner Sphere counterparts. As a result, the AeroSpace Arm concentrates on ground-support roles. In recent years, the Concordat has brought in advisors from the Outworlds Alliance to help modernize the arm, though it may be years before the Taurians are on par with their potential opponents.

Medical Division:

The Medical Division is concerned with the recovery and rehabilitation of wounded personnel in the field. At present, the medical service available to the average Concordat soldier is comparable to that of the Inner Sphere. Emphasis is placed on the quick retrieval of wounded personnel close to the forward edge of battle, and the division is fully capable of deploying emergency medical and surgical support stations via support craft at a moment's notice.

Transport and Service Division:

The Transport and Services Division is responsible for the transportation of men and materiel to battle areas. In addition, it can provide recovery and repair of battle-damaged craft and machines, as well as transport reserves capable of maintaining the integrity of units in the field. Except for those vessels directly assigned to specific regiments, military DropShips and JumpShips are under the control of this division.

Administrative Corps:

The Administrative Corps is responsible for all matters pertaining to personnel and administrative functions in the armed forces, including disbursement of funds, recordkeeping, promotion review boards, and the acquisition and management of mercenary units.

Propaganda Division:

With the task of maintaining good morale within the armed services, the Propaganda Division is an independent arm of government that disseminates information regarding the positive aspects of Concordat life and discounts rumors instigated by enemy agents.

Special Forces:

The following summarizes the three wings of TDF Special Forces: the Concordat Constabulary, the Taurian ASF, and the Noble Family Regiments.

Concordat Costabulary:

The Concordat Constabulary is a dual-function local defense force, charged with intelligence-gathering and internal security operations. It is also a source of conventionally armed troops in time of war, when each Taurian planetary system reverts to martial law under the control of the Constabulary. The military potential of the Constabulary is two to six battalions of conventional troops (600 men each) available for active duty on each Taurian world.

In addition, the Constabulary retains the services of a special Engineer Company (125 men) on each planet outside the Hyades Cluster. These individuals are charged with maintaining planetary defenses and fortifications. All Constabulary units also maintain at least one company of armor in the capital of each inhabited world.

Taurian SASF:

The Taurian Special Asteroid Support Force is a body of five thousand soldiers and naval personnel trained on Zero-g defense platforms throughout the Hyades Cluster asteroid belt, from which they can attack invading forces. As the survival potential of forces in combat is low, the Taurian SASF is a voluntary force of individuals motivated by the highest degree of patriotism.

Noble Family Regiments:

In the event of war, the Taurian aristocracy is expected to raise and equip local defense regiments at their own expense. The number and quality of these "Home Guards" cannot be estimated at this time, but their strength in the Reunification War suggests the possibility of from one to two dozen such units, ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 conventional troops.

Taurian Military Academies:

Alone of all the Periphery states, the Taurian Concordat maintains large military training academies. At present, there is one academy for each major combat branch: the Army, Navy, and AeroSpace Arms. The army training academy is the Taurian Ecole Militaire, located on Taurus. The Taurian Naval Institute and the Concordat AeroSpace Flight School are located on New Vandenberg and Samantha, respectively. Each has well-developed training programs for both NCOs and officers and can accommodate upward of five hundred personnel.

Strengths and Weaknesses:

On the whole, the Taurian military consists of highly trained and well- motivated individuals. It nevertheless suffers from several debilitating factors. The shrunken size of the Concordat, in comparison with its original holdings in the 2500s, means that in any full-scale war, the Taurians will be unable to trade space for time as they did in the Reunification War. Within the first few months of fighting, the Taurians can expect to lose several key planetary systems, after which they will be forced into either a desperate counterattack or a withdrawal into the Hyades Cluster. Many of the Taurians' key industrial centers are located outside the Hyades zone, making them prime targets of occupation. The protection of these manufacturing centers forces the Taurians to commit most of their battalions to a relatively static role.

Culture and Arts:

The Taurian Concordat has retained the highest literacy rate in the Periphery. Indeed, the Taurian educational system has served as a model for other states, including those of the Inner Sphere. The Concordat government has traditionally given the educational system a high priority. During the Reunification War, many of the Taurians' largest educational institutions were lost when the Star League forces overran planets where the schools were located. In the years of the Concordat's Territorial status, the Star League attempted unsuccessfully to modify the educational structure to emphasize the benefits of membership in the Star League. Since regaining their independence, the Taurians have rebuilt their schools to pre-Star League levels. They can now boast no fewer than six universities. These universities, located on Taurus, Samantha, Pinard, New Vandenberg, MacLeod's Land, and Euschelus, graduate an average of over forty thousand students annually.

Viewing itself largely as a servant of the people, the Taurian government has traditionally refrained from censoring its media, even in time of war. Throughout the Concordat, individuals retain the right to free expression without the threat of government intervention, as long as such expression cannot be proven libelous. The average Taurian can expect free medical care, old age pensions, and a living allowance. There are also guaranteed death benefits to surviving family members at the government's expense.

Like most free societies throughout history, the Taurian Concordat has been inconsistent about producing major artists. One generation may see a flowering of great visual artists, followed by a generation of great writers. Currently, there is a renaissance of novelists producing exceptional work. Unlike most such artistic trends, the Taurian novelists are not part of a single movement, but have divided themselves into two camps, the Realists and the Futurists. The Realists advocate essentially the same principles as other such movements in the past, whereas the Futurists tend more toward symbolic representations of realistic situations, some of which are almost hallucinogenic in their intensity. Debate surrounding these two schools of writing have spread to literati as far away as New Avalon, Atreus, and the Outworlds Alliance.

Socioeconomics:

The Taurian government has traditionally maintained a laissez-faire approach to monetary policies. Though government-sponsored institutions such as the Bank of Taurus, the Concordat Mint, and the Taurian Treasury Reserve, do exist within Taurian space, they serve only to maintain the stability of the Taurian monetary system. The government intervenes only when unusual circumstances threaten runaway inflation or economic recession.

Much of the Concordat's private sector operates on the profit motive, but with curious limitations. Though trade is encouraged with Periphery neighbors, the Taurians have drastically curtailed their trade with the Successor States, viewing such trade as politically undesirable. Consequently, the Taurians often suffer from a lack of venture capital for investment in local industries. Despite this, renewed colonization along the edge of the Periphery by government and private concerns may yield enough new raw materials to stimulate the economy.

3050 Update:

[Prepared by Major C.G. Toho, Periphery expert for Wolfnet, Military Intelligence Division. Seventh Kommando]

Thomas Calderon, Protector of the Concordat, has become increasingly paranoid about the safety of his realm. Most observers point to the death of his eldest son, Edward Calderon, in a DropShip accident in 3034 as the reason for his mental decline. Though Thomas Calderon always considered the Federated Suns to be the major threat to his realm, the unification of House Davion and House Steiner thoroughly terrifies him, as did the Canopus- Andurien alliance.

His fears have led to even greater tensions with his neighbors, especially the Federated Suns. In 3042, a commercial freighter registered in the Federated Suns made a misjump into the Landmark star system. Aeropilots from the Red Chasseurs of the Taurian Defense Forces overreacted and destroyed the ship before it could identify itself. In 3045, the now- defunct mercenary company Dedrickson's Devils raided the Concordat world of Pinard. Though the Devils were under contract to House Davion, they had gone renegade over a pay dispute, a fact later verified by a ComStar Board of Inquiry. Thomas Calderon, however, considered it an attack by the AFFS.

In December 3049, he ordered the Taurian Defense Forces on alert. He was certain that the Federated Commonwealth was using the Future Victor 49 military exercises being held near Lindsay and Brockway on the Concordat border as cover for an invasion of the Concordat. The TDF has been on alert ever since.

Marshal Hadji Doru is Calderon's chief political opponent. A handsome man and an eloquent speaker, he has been using his position as commander of the Taurian Guard to gain support. The Marshal believes in the wisdom of military preparedness, but he believes an even better defense against the Federated Commonwealth would be to make the Concordat a major economic and trading interest of that great state.

Protector Thomas Calderon has yet to move against Marshal Doru, but a confrontation seems inevitable.

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