The nations of the Islands Cluster were colonized roughly a thousand years ago by an ESA mission launched during the mid 21st century. There were three colony ships, and after centuries of STL flight, they colonised the First Three worlds of New Home (British and Scandinavian), Amondiage (French) and Neubayern (German). Other worlds in the cluster were part of a second wave of colonisation.
The Amondiage system itself is one of the First Three, colonised by central European settlers. It is now one of the main powers in the Islands, a strictly controlled military Dictatorship with a strong sense of patriotism.
Though Ganglic is generally understood, a lot of people here insist on using their local language.
Neubayern is one of the original colonies, and still has a strong German culture. The nation is ruled by an elite group of of oligarchs that act almost like royalty.
It has a small but well trained navy, and is infamous locally for its highly extensive spy network within the cluster.
Serendip Belt, as its name suggests, is an asteroid colony. About eight billion humans live in the various belts of the system, in hollowed out asteroids, huge ring structures or just in small ships that move between the main 'cities' of the system. The centre of it all is C-Jammer, one of the original colony ships which brought humans to the Islands.
Society is democratic, with technical capability being highly rated. Most people here live in an environment where stupidity and rashness can get you and others killed, so it isn't tolerated.
Serendip has an impressive military, and still remembers the time when it controlled a lot more worlds after being the first to build Jump capable ships. For the most part its military ambitions are based on defence, with a large number of hidden military installations in the belt, though this could always change relatively easily.
The Republic of Esperanza is a dictatorship, currently ruled by President Phillip. Long ago, the position of President cemented its control over all aspects of Esperanzan life, and society is rigidly controlled with laws, rules and guidelines for pretty much everything.
However, the populace is happy with this state of affairs, and the government, for the most part, has been relatively benevolent. The main world is highly populated, with a population of over 30 billion, and everyone is highly social with a strong sense of community. Most people would be considered lower class by Imperium standards, but since such a high proportion of them are, and the richer classes tend not to mix or show off their wealth, there is a relatively high level of contentment.
Progress up the chain is through ability, and except at the very top levels of society, favourtism and corruption is low.
The small navy is controlled by Admiral Izabella, the sister of the current President.
The Kingdom of New Colchis is currently ruled by King Wilhelm. The world is a dictatorship, with power passing through the royal line. A class of nobles has control over individual principalities on the world.
New Colchis itself is heavily industrialised, with a population of about 5 billion. It happily trades with most other worlds in the Islands, and provides a lot of high tech goods to Esperanza.
Joyeuse is a military dictatorship, currently under the control of General Valérie Moulin. While technically less strict in its laws than a place such as Esperanza, the laws are fervently applied by the military police, and the regime is much less loved because of it.
The world has a number of small continents, with most of the two billion population on the coastlines or out at sea, either floating or beneath the waves. There is one large capital city of New Paris, which completely dominates an equatorial island and the continental shelf around it, as well as several metropolises.
Society is heavily militarised, with some form of military service being required of nearly everyone. Military-style uniforms are used by anyone in authority, and training in how to report and deal with suspected dissidents is common.
This system is a democracy, and tends to be liberal compared to the other nations.