The Gudersnipe Foundation, founded at the begining of the Second Chaotic Period, is one of the dominant powers in the Multi-Verse. The organization's name is often abbreviated 'The Foundation'. They are widely credited for having ended the Mage Wars.
The Foundation is also the largest economic entity in the Known Worlds, controlling as much as 60% of the over-all economy. The Foundation holds major stakes in nearly every industry, most particularly in the areas of raw materials and heavy manufacturing. It uses these positions to regulate the economy, maintaining long-term stability over short-term gains.
The Gudersnipe Foundation is based on one very simple principle of peace through superior firepower. More precisely, by having the biggest guns they can keep everyone else from fighting. Though a millitary organization, the Foundation's ultimate goal is stable and functional societies.
The Foundation runs top-down using a millitary command structure. Various divisions use different rank systems, but generally speaking it depends on the venue. On planet-side-only deployments the highest rank is General, but Generals typically answer to Admirals who command multiple star systems. There are varying ranks of admirals, but there is no single high commander. Instead, the Admiral Supreme Commanders answer to the Blind Consul.
System of Leadership
The Foundation rules around a style of direct military leadership. Towns and cities are administrated by a ranking officer with subordinates who follow his/her orders. There are no democratically-elected leaders and all the jobs are based on appointment. Security is supplied by the Gudersnipe Millitary Police, and nearly all public services such as schools, hospitals, roads, fire services, animal control, and the like, are operated by the Foundation.
The Gudersnipe Foundation is a blanket term for a number organizations. A few of them are listed here:
- Gudersnipe School serves as the Foundation's military academy
- Crimson Blade provides the military, police, and peacekeeping force.
- Industrial Face Annihilators - subsidiary which manufactures compressed energy weapons for use on spacecraft
- Fairview, Ltd - subsidiary which manufactures large FTL drives
- Absolute Metal - responsible for nearly all refined metal production
- Thompson Coilworks - major sub-components manufacturer
- Consolidated Power - provided power generation and manufacturing
Relationship between School and Foundation
More stuff. The School is usually considered a division of the Foundation; but serves as the public 'face' of the Foundation itself.
Life under Foundation Rule
Life is good: laws are fair; poverty scarce (or absent); bureaucracy useful; citizens secure. People are sedentary as a rule.
"Citizen" verses "Member"
There is an important distinction between a 'citizen' and a 'member' of the Gudersnipe Foundation:
In a GS Protectorate, civilians are considered citizens of the local government as well as citizens of the Foundation. Foundation Law usually supercedes local law, though this depends on treaty. In most cases, citizens of protectorates can also apply for membership. Civilians living with no local government are merely citizens of the Foundation.
Members of the Foundation are generally people who work directly for it, though in civilian roles. One does not have to work for the Foundation to become a member, but one does have to be a member to work for them. Becoming a member of the Foundation is fairly simple and requires only registration; there are no dues or fees. Membership makes an individual subject to all Foundation laws, even superceding local laws where treaty allows (all treaties since the mid-Second Age have included this provision).