The Three Geographies of the Imperium
Life in the Imperium varies greatly depending upon where one lives. The so-called “Core Worlds” (aka the Imperial Core, or simply “The Core”) are governed directly by the Imperial Bureaucracy or the various Blooded Noble Families. Vast bureaucracies maintain control over the base functions of a government which must span countless light-years of distance. The Imperial Court effectively occupies the entire capital world, and the blooded nobility dominate the remaining core worlds. Industry, science, the arts, and high culture flourish here, and wonders are reported to occur on a daily basis. Vast arcologies and continent-spanning cities are common, commerce is diverse and vibrant, and life for the middle and upper classes is rich and fulfilling.
Outside the Core is a large, poorly-defined region referred to as “The Belt” which surrounds the Core worlds. In this region, the general level of technology and wealth is lower than the Core’s, though most people enjoy the amenities of high-tech life. These worlds vary quite a bit, but on average they are prosperous and relatively pleasant to live in.
Outside the Belt lie the “Fringe Worlds”. These worlds are younger colonies, frontier areas, and other regions of lesser development. Worlds vary greatly, from relatively high-tech areas to regions of low-technological development. Some worlds have lost much of the technology that got people there in the first place, and are no longer capable of independent spaceflight. As a general rule, the Imperium does not spend its treasure outfitting new colonies with the latest equipment – they are expected to reach some degree of self-sufficiency and develop, gradually obtaining the necessary infrastructure to support higher degrees of technology for daily living.