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Planetary flag of Iolaus

Iolaus is a super-earth in the Copernicus system. First colonized alongside Brahe by sleeper ships c. 2132, contact was temporarily lost during the war between the Terran Commonwealth and the Ares Confederation. During this period of time, Iolaus kept the two fledgling colonies alive, producing enough food and supplies for the two planets to scrape by. Since contact was reestablished during the formation of the Sol Central Government, Iolaus took efforts to retain some independence while taking advantage of the reintroduction of trade to the system. Prior to 2311, Iolaus imports were restricted to only what they could not produce themselves, while Iolan exports were shipped across the entirety of SCG space.

In 2311, Iolaus seceded from the SCG to found the fledgling Frontier Alliance. Now, Iolaus shoulders the burden of keeping the blockaded frontier alive and afloat in a time of political turmoil.


The Copernicus system was founded by a coalition of Terran Commonwealth corporations in 2132, which established a colony on Iolaus due to the planet's abundance of raw materials and it's proximity to Brahe's research outposts. Over the next seven decades, the colonists of Iolaus found themselves exploited by Earth-based mega-corporations, with their planet's wealth siphoned from the system as quickly as it was produced.

When the Commonwealth collapsed into infighting, the system found itself cut off from Earth and Mars. Iolaus rallied, forming the Iolaus Relief Corp – with a workforce of conscripted citizens, the organization led the nationalization of the planet's industries and the construction of critical infrastructural projects. What began with widespread austerity measures and strict rationing developed into a self-sufficient system of greenhouse complexes, which supported both Iolaus and its neighboring Brahe as the planets continued to develop their distinct cultures in isolation.

Contact and trade between Copernicus and Sol were reestablished in 2230. While Brahe eagerly joined the SCG, Iolaus was hesitant, only agreeing to the coalition in exchange for retaining its independence in key areas of planetary government – the fledgling SCG, eager for access to Iolaus' massive manufacturing and production capabilities, quickly acquiesced. Since joining the SCG, Iolaus has enjoyed a large amount of independence from the Solar core – unlike many other member states, the vast majority of holdings on the planet are fully Iolan-owned.

In a historic exception, the Solar Senate authorized the purchase of one of Iolaus' largest shipyards for the sole purpose of manufacturing SCG Fleet vessels in 2251. This remains contentious to this day, with some Iolans viewing the purchase as a betrayal of Iolaus' autonomy. These views were only exacerbated during the Gaia Conflict, during which Iolaus – as a major provider of both ships and personnel – saw major losses. Immediately following the conflict, the federally-owned Iolan Shipyards became the proverbial birthplace of the cutting-edge Fifth Fleet. The construction of the Fifth was a massive undertaking for both the Fleet and Iolaus, and many Iolans view the Fifth Fleet as owing its existence to Iolaus alone. Many Iolans enlisting with the Fleet are recruited for the Fifth, often in positions of engineering and ship's maintenance.

In recent years, the view that Iolaus has been exploited by the federal government has risen in popularity among Iolans, with separatist movements slowly but steadily gaining traction. As of July 30th, 2310, these separatist movements have come to a head, with all sixteen republics on Iolaus opening an official planetary referendum to vote on leaving the SCG. On September 10th, this referendum passed by a narrow margin, and in 2311 the newly-independent planet founded the Frontier Alliance, alongside Brahe and several other systems on the frontier.


Iolaus is a dense, maroon-tinged world with a very thin but Earth-like atmosphere. Two large mountain ranges separate Iolaus' Herculean Sea from the planet's mineral-rich stone flats – a sprawling chain of massive open-air mines and quarries excavated over the past two centuries, some large enough to be visible from orbit.

The Herculean Sea – formerly a series of natural canyons and valleys – was filled with imported Brahese saltwater in the 23rd century, and is roughly the size of the Earth's Mediterranean. Its position at the base of Iolaus's mountains makes it incredibly windy; though no macroscopic life has yet been imported, the sea is often used by residents for both shipping and recreational sailing. Settlements lie scattered across Iolaus' surface, with most cities lying around the sea or among the mountains – most cities are built around a large central dome of reinforced glass, with a singular atmospheric system maintained underground.


Nemea is the administrative capital of Iolaus, and is considered by some to have become “gentrified” in the last few years, coinciding with economic investments and influx of government workers that arrived when the Fifth Fleet was constructed. Many well-to-do Solarians made their home in Nemea prior to independence, and more traditional Iolans tend to view the city as a “Yuppie nightmare”.

Often considered the cultural heart of Iolaus is Vengeance – a city founded on metalworking which now boasts a large tourism sector due to its “Iolan charm.” The Iolaus Provincial Guard maintains its headquarters here, and most Iolan film and music is produced in the city. As of 2311, Vengeance has become the heart of the growing Frontier Alliance, with its military infrastructure making it a natural candidate for a command hub for the Allied Frontier Guard.

A more typical of Iolan settlement is the city of Aventine Hill, a mining town in the 12th Republic on the metallic flats. Bleak, soulless, and propped up only by the efforts of the Iolaus Relief Corps, the city is surrounded by massive quarries with long hours and deadly working conditions. Staffed by both Iolaus’ poor working class and disenfranchised residents of all origins, Aventine Hill formerly brought in in droves by corporate money – now, with Iolaus' secession, the quarries are kept running for the good of the Frontier Alliance.


Iolaus is officially governed by the Union of Iolan Republics, a confederated republic headquartered in Nemea. The Union has sixteen members of varying sizes, each sending two representatives to the planetary legislature. Since parting ways with the Sol Central Government, the First Speaker of the Republics Cal Bessemer acts as the de-facto leader of the Frontier Alliance.

The Union was founded just before the start of the Ares Confederation, and its first majorly unifying act was the creation of the Iolaus Relief Corps, a government organization that still exists to this day as the Free Relief Corps of the Frontier Alliance. Other controlled organizations include the Iolaus Provincial Guard (Iolaus' planetary defense force) and the Iolan Transportation Committee, which oversees both domestic transportation and exports to Alliance members.


Iolaus was initially settled by a diverse population of colonists from the Terran Commonwealth, which largely reflects Iolaus' population today. Approximately 40% of Iolan households speak Zurich as a first language, with other languages common in public and private life alike. Regardless of origin, most Iolans identify with Iolaus first and foremost, and retain a strong sense of planetary pride.

Iolan culture highly values self-sufficiency and a strong work ethic. Iolans take pride in their work, and though things are much easier than they were during the communications blackout, the hard times were not forgotten. Generally, Iolan society looks down upon laziness and lack of drive – lazy people are often jokingly encouraged to go to Brahe.

Iolans live frugally behind the Solar blockade, but many believe themselves to be better off for it. Rugged individualism and self-reliance are prized above opulence, social equality, and brand recognition.

Despite their history with the Sol Central Government, Iolaus still has a pride for parts of the SCG Fleet, due to the majority of the Fifth's ships having been constructed in Iolan shipyards. Most Iolans know at least one person with a Solar service record, if not more – even among the ranks of the Fifth, Iolans find themselves feeling superior to other Solar citizens, priding themselves as the very people who built the ships on which they served.


Prior to independence, Iolaus strictly limited imports to the planet, as it viewed reliance on foreign economies as a weakness at best and a dangerous precedent at worst. As such, Iolaus was a strong export economy, mainly by way of its raw materials and the ships manufactured in orbit. At the present, Copernicus – along with the rest of the Frontier Alliance – is under a naval blockade and heavy sanctions by the Sol Central government, severely restricting both imports and exports from Iolaus. While Iolaus' self-reliance has made it comparatively well-positioned to endure the blockade, the shock of being cut off from the broader economy has been painful nevertheless – luxuries are expensive and often illegally-obtained, and the few limited things that can be imported from the core are smuggled through by Alliance Blockade Runners.

Because of the difficulty of specialty imports, Iolan citizens often have a lower quality of life than SCG citizens, with fewer base amenities and higher prices for many consumer goods. The Union's insistence on self-reliance has led many of its citizens to live in conditions others in the galaxy might consider austere, but to Iolans, these conditions are often the norm.

As a member of the SCG, Iolan imports were limited to designer goods and specialty brands that Iolan companies haven't obtained manufacture rights for, as well as specialty research and medical equipment that the Copernicus system simply does not have the capacity to make. Now, such products are in direly short supply within the system.


The planetary defense force of Iolaus, the Provincial Guard, is one of Iolaus’ oldest institutions, founded when Iolaus signed the charter of the Ares Confederation. During the Gaia Conflict, the Provincial Guard was not activated after heavy lobbying from Iolan senators and assemblymen, citing that the Provincial Guard’s sole purpose was to defend its home: some Solar congresspeople  decried this as an act of disloyalty or cowardice. Now, Provincial Guardsmen make up the bulk of the Allied Frontier Guard, and instead of serving on Iolaus alone have spread far and wide across the territory claimed by the Frontier Alliance.

Members of the Provincial Guard, often called “Coats”, often dress in service and dress uniforms that are a relic of the Commonwealth era. They are worn as a standard, with designs containing long, double breasted coats of dark maroon with a leather belt and shoulder sash, a design that has been in place since Iolaus’ tenure in the Ares Confederation.

The Provincial Guard once maintained several dozen fighter craft and a small fleet of ten corvettes, which have since been absorbed into the Allied United Flotillas of the Frontier Alliance. Once dubbed “the Space Guard” , it was noteworthy for being the largest space fleet operated by a PDF before Iolan independence. The Space Guard worked closely with the Solar Fleet, and it was not uncommon for Iolan citizens who serve in the fleet to work for the Space Guard after their service, or vice versa.

Free Relief Corps

The Iolan Relief Corps was founded as a desperate measure by the Union of Iolan Republics, but survives to this day as a nationalized labor force for the Alliance. The days of conscription are long behind the Relief Corps, but it is still culturally normal for Iolan citizens to spend a year in service after finishing primary school. The Relief Corps primarily focuses on infrastructure, but members of the Relief Corps Committee of Organization vote on a “focus” annually, so they can better respond to labor demands on the planet. Now, labor from other Alliance colonies is being added to the Relief Corps.

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