While Heavy Gear MUX focuses on the city of Khayr ad-Din, the actions of many global forces trickle down or impact directly upon the city. The world of Terra Nova is divided into three main regions of power - The North, a collection of conservative states; The South, which are known for their liberal thinking but heavy-handed governments; The Badlands, which is a desert that rings the entire equatorial region.
The Confederated Northern City-States
The CNCS is an alliance much the same as NATO was in the 20th century. The NLC, UMF, and WFP all cooperate on various levels, from trade to sharing military duties. On the most part, the citizens of the CNCS City-States are a conservative lot, not to mention a religious people. Most belong to Revisionist Church (derived from the teachings of Mamoud Khodaverdi).
The CNCS is a harsh and beautiful land. Sharp mountains, thick forests, and plains cover most of the arctic regions. The plains are fertile and crops grow abundantly. The mountains hide rich mineral wealth. The average weather, however, is a little cooler than the Terra Novan overall average.
Northern Lights Confederation
The Northern Lights Confederation, aside from being oldest and largest of the three CNCS city-states, is the state in which the CNCS concept was originally born. Many of the original colony cities lie within its borders, and its capital city, Valeria, was in fact one of the first star-ports.
Aside from historical and economic wealth, the NLC is also home to the Revisionist Church. Strangely, while religious and personal freedoms seem stifled, the people holds political freedom inviolate. This leads to some strange political campaigns, as politicians are quite free to speak their minds.
The NLC is a representative democracy with a President. The population is 34.1 million. The capital is Valeria.
United Mercantile Federation
The United Mercantile Federation, as the name suggests, is a heavily- industrialized state. In fact, the UMF is responsible for nearly half of the manufactured goods available in the northern hemisphere. Citizens, called Mercantilists, are known for their ingenuity and opportunistic natures. While the Revisionist Church is well established, the citizens of the UMF tend to prefer money to religious pursuits.
The government is a strange creature, in the UMF. Unable to tax its citizens, the government raises revenues by selling services such as voting vouchers. The military is almost entirely hired soldiers, who are given long tours of duty, receive equipment and training in payment.
The UMF is a capitalistic democracy with a Treasurer. The population is 27.7 million. The capital is Lyoness.
Western Frontier Protectorate
Made up of the Great Western Plain, the Western Frontier Protectorate is mostly grasslands. Badlands winds give this state a drier climate than the other northern states, which makes it ideal for agriculture. A common sight in the WFP, large walled cities house most of the citizens and watch over the land.
The westerners are a traditional people, and the clan is incredibly important in their society. In fact, people give their names in an 'Asian' style, with clan-name before given name. They are also known for their stubbornness, which has lead to the saying "Thick as a Westerner."
The WFP is a militaristic democracy with three Proconsuls. The population is 13.9 million. The capital is Fort William.
The Allied Southern Territories
The Allied Southern Territories, while officially a confederation, is really nothing more than a facade for the Southern Republic's power. Covering the entire antarctic region, the AST exists in mountains covered with tropical jungle and swamp. A ring of savannah separates the region from the badlands.
Southerners are 'known' for their impropriety and liberal ideals. With hardly anything like morality laws, citizens are free to do more or less whatever they desire, so long as they don't interfere with the government.
One important note about the AST is that unsanctioned political activity is highly illegal. Perhaps this is a trade-off for such wide personal freedoms.
The Southern Republic not only has the largest population of any state on the planet, but a vibrant economy and a powerful military. The power of the state has lead many citizens to think of their way of life as ideal (if not utopian), and they are all too happy to 'help' their neighbors learn their way of life.
While the SR looks imperialistic from the outside, they have a democratic government form. This should be taken with a grain of salt, however, as the multiple parties are really nothing more than the same platform being sold by different PR teams.
As a rule, citizens of the SR live fairly luxuriant lives, and as a society, they encourage arts and introspection. Most citizens view Northern life as suffocating. The Northerners feel Republican life is decadent and imperialistic.
The SR is a representative democracy with a Prime Minister. The population is 53.0 million. The capital is Port Oasis.
While the Humanist Alliance is hardly a perfect society, it is the result of an attempt to create a utopian nation. With a stiff caste system, it might sound stifling at first, but as children are tested for their aptitudes at age twelve and placed from their scores, citizens do much better than their counterparts in systems where a person is born into their caste.
The populace is separated into three groups. Preceptors, who plan, protectors, who fight, and commoners, who do labor. Even though it sounds restrictive, the system is designed to allow citizens to grow to their full potential. Also, HA citizens are more conservative than the people of any other southern state. This isn't to say they prohibit any more things, they just encourage moderation and modesty.
The HA is a Self-Perpetuating Hierarchy with an Illuminatus. The population is 23.4 million. The capital is Perth.
The Mekong Dominion is the most powerful AST state after the Southern Republic. Built on significant economic power, MD citizens have surprising political freedom. But even with their power, the people of the Mekong Dominion often feel it simpler to obey or bribe the SR rather than enter into an armed revolt.
Mekong is ruled by corporate and guild CEO's, making it one of the most individual governments on Terra Nova. While it's not a true democracy, complaints and ideas filter to the top of a corporate structure more easily than complaints move in the other AST states. This makes the MD a formidable state, and an acceptable one, at least compared to its neighbors.
The MD is a Merchantile Oligarchy with a Speaker of the Mekong Assembly. The population is 46.8 million. The capital is Mekong.
Eastern Suns Emirates
The backwater of the AST, the Eastern Sun Emirates stands dependant upon its natural resources industries. And as a whole, the ESE does not do poorly. Unfortunately, nearly everything is state-owned and the state consists of fifty lords (the Emirs) who also have expensive estates, flashy lifestyles, and private armies that protect their estates and lifestyles.
Still, the general populace is fairly complacent. Exquisitely tuned public relations campaigns give them something to amuse themselves over. This is not to say that the citizens are always so quiet. Every once in a while, a strong-willed leader comes along with ideas of revolt. These people are always crushed, but analysts fear a day when an effort will grow too fast to be put down.
The ESE is a Hereditary Aristocracy with a Patriarch. The population is 29.6 million. The capital is Strathclyde.
Aptly named, the badlands are an area of rocky outcroppings and rolling dunes. The land, which stretches about the equatorial regions of the planet, are rich with hidden wealth, but life in the enormous desert is worse than hard. Still, many frontier towns and mining camps dot the landscape, erected for miners and well drillers who come solely to pry the minerals and water from the underground natural structures.
The harsh climate isn't the only hazard of the badlands. Vicious predators stalk the dunes and bands of marauders wait ready to attack small groups. But the worst threat comes from a highly-corrosive volcanic ash that settlers call 'white sand'.
While cities in the North and South can be as large as a million or two, a 'city' in the badlands could be as few as fifteen thousand. But in a land so rough, if that many people can survive together for more than a year, they deserve the title. Badlands cities take various shapes, from dwellings built into cliff faces to shanty-town like constructions to enormous manufacturing facilities built into, onto, and under a mesa. The largest two are Peace River and Port Arthur - the two are currently vying to be the largest economic power in the Badlands.
A fact of life in the Badlands are caravans... and raiders. Caravans are often family-based, anywhere from one to ten families in a single clan travelling together. These caravans can carry nearly anything, and often do just that. There are more than just caravans travelling the Badlands, however. Rovers (raiders, bandits, whatnot) wander the landscape taking as pleases them. But there is an odd fairness associated with their lawlessness. They never leave a traveller to starve or die. They will merely take what interests them and make sure to leave a person with enough to make it to the next town.
There are three dominant views of the Badlands. The only one that the Northern and Southern states share is that of a lawless wasteland, which is partially true. Another dominant view in the North is that the Badlands are a place of spiritual advancement and history. The South also views it as a place to test one's self and quite probably turn a large profit. The badlands are all this and more.
But, there is one thing that all people agree the Badlands are. Harsh. Winds are unpredictable, sand-storms come and go frequently. Enormous dunes can flow right over cities and bury them forever.