Echoes in Darkness
World Governance within the Imperium
The worlds of the Imperium, excepting those of the Core, are largely self-governing. Local law and custom rule the many worlds of Humanity, creating a patchwork of legal systems and requirements that vary wildly from one planet to another, sometimes even within one system. With only a few small exceptions, local law reigns supreme once one is within the orbit of the nearest natural satellite of a world, or its atmosphere (if a satellite is not present), though the Imperium generally allows local navies to pursue or intercept suspected smugglers or other offenders within a system. Differing laws regarding the legality of various products, tax structures and such make smuggling an active criminal enterprise within Imperial space. Planetary rulers are selected from methods as diverse as local tribal elder election to holding the appropriate patent of nobility, so in some worlds, local custom is the only real law, while in others, Imperial nobles hold the reigns of government.