Sebastople Hall

The Sebastople Hall (Gr. Ἀρχεῖον τῆς Σεβαστουπόλεως Arkheîon tês Sebastoupóleōs) was a Varannia sector political machine founded in 139 UC. It became the main apparatus of electoral politics for all four of Varannia's major political factions, and played a major role in controlling New Konstantinople and helping immigrants from Niska and Chaebodes space rise in Mechyrdian politics from the 140s to the 210s.

Sebastople Hall

Logo of the Sebastople Hall secret society
Named after Sebastople, the location of its original headquarters
Sebastople means "city of the Augustus", from Greek Σεβαστουπόλις Sebastoupólis, from Σεβαστοῦ Sebastoû "Augustus' (genitive)" and πόλις pólis "city"
Founded on 14 Augusti 139 UC; 116 years ago
Founded by Founded as militant group by Cephrechus Athraustus
Made into political machine by Amarcon Ageiron
Founded at Sebastople, Varannia, Mechyrdia
Dissolved 212 UC; 44 years ago
Type Omnipartisan lobbying group
Legal status Defunct
Headquarters Several over its history; first was the 33rd floor of Nicator Tower, last was the Basíleion Doukôn (Palace of Leaders) in Gamma District of New Konstantinople
Services Political patronage
Anax (boss) Cephrechus (first)
Antarchus (most notable)
Hieromias Megas (last)

Founding

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The Sebastople Hall Militia was founded on 14 Augusti, 139 UC by Cephrechus Athraustus. Originally a native of Poseidopolis, Cephrechus had ambitions of unifying the politically-fractured Varannia under his dictatorial rule, and so he founded a paramilitary, loyal only to himself, that would help him achieve this goal. Cephrechus hired his childhood friend, Amarcon Ageiron, to help manage finances and other details, but Amarcon was convinced by Tychon and Zenotimus to overthrow Cephrechus, since the latter was vain, paranoid, and megalomaniacal.

Amarcon was reluctant to lead a paramilitary force, so he enlisted the help of Tychon in reforming Sebastople Hall into a more legitimate organization. Zenotimus suggested that he create a political society out of it, since he admitted that Cephrechus, while ambitious to the point of psychosis, had a point about the divisions within Varannia's government.

Arkant Horde

About a month later, western Mechyrdia came under sudden attack by the Arkant Horde. The Sebastople Hall society had fully reformed into a political activist organization by this point, so it was unprepared for the sudden violent onslaught from the galactic west. Amarcon, still leading the organization, used its political clout to lead defensive, anti-Horde mobs in proper guerilla strategy against the invaders, instead of merely swarming heavily-armed and well-trained Arkant warriors with poorly-armed and untrained locals.

Post-War Rebuilding

Sebastople Hall built up much of its influence over Varannia's government by financing the rebuilding of the sector's urban worlds. It used funding from wealthy bourgeois merchants to do so, and in return the merchants gained more goods, more buyers, and thus more profits as the Varannian economy improved. This kind of quid-pro-quo relationship would characterize the society for the rest of its existence.

Operation

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Sebastople Hall acted as a "man behind the man"; organized in a society of clients and patrons, the political machine controlled how each faction nominated candidates, how the sector's legislation was voted on, how executive appointments were made, how judges were selected, and so on. Each faction in the Gerousia (Senate) represented different groups: the conservative Blues represented the landed aristocracy, the liberal Greens represented the urban bourgeoisie, the socialist Reds represented the peasants and industrial workers, and the progressive Whites represented the financial middle-managerial class. Yet under the rule of Sebastople Hall, these factions were merely proxies for the political machine to maintain nigh-absolute power.

The secret society of Sebastople Hall was unknown to much of the public, yet during the height of its power in 181 UC, it is estimated that at least 7.5% of Varannia's population was a member of the political machine. It served as an engine for ambitus and corruption, most infamously under Antarchus "Anax" Democleous in the late 100's UC. The sheer scale of its power over the sector government appealed to social activists and political engineers.

Supporter base

The political machine had much of its later support come from Chaebodian and Niska immigrants into Varannia. The Niska Regality, as it was before the invasion by the Ilkhan Commune in 211 UC, had been in an economic relationship with the Empire of Mechyrdia since the latter's founding. The Chaebodes Star Empire, on the other hand, was founded in a technological uplift of an alien race during the Ferthlon Insurrection, and so it only became a major trade partner of Mechyrdia late into the 100's UC.

Decline and fall

Sebastople Hall's influence begin to wane in 207 UC, five years before the start of the Ilkhan War, due to the growing Synditrewóg (Mec. "syndie alertness") - the fear of Ilkhan syndicalists within Mechyrdian society. This fear led to Texandrian uranium baron and conservative politician August von Karthagen exposing the significant infiltration by Ilkhan syndicalist spies of Mechyrdian institutions. One such institution was Sebastople Hall; in 210 UC, Hieromias Megas was forced out of his office as Mayor of Traianopolis when he was convicted of taking bribes from the Ilkhan Commune. He was replaced by Lykomachus, an openly anti-Sebastople Hall politician, in the following snap election. By 212 UC, months before the start of the Ilkhan War, the Sebastople Hall political machine had ceased to exist.