The Empire of Ostland is an authoritarian absolute monarchy existing about forty-five thousand light years from the Sol System. A remnant of one of the many rebel factions during the Endless War, Ostland has remained a potential threat to its human neighbors as well as a potential ally against the gusano. Ostland maintains the largest non-Big Three military in the area, citing its necessity against the frequent gusano incursions as a justification.
Ostland’s founders would not have been pleased by the current galactic power balance. To see the despised Americans running the galaxy with communists and Russian remnants, with their people constantly attacked by xenos, would have forced most of them to commit suicide. When the Endless War ended with the victory of American factions under the banner of the National Conservatives, many diehard German and Western European nationalists decided to flee the newly formed Coalition of Western Republics. Ostland was founded as the “only bastion of European tradition” in contrast to the largely American-dominated and anti-European Coalition. A new monarchy, which Ostland still claims to be a legitimate continuation of the old Habsburg dynasty of Austria, was formed by a cabal of nationalist military commanders who established themselves as Ostland’s nobility. A new peasant class was formed, both from willing immigrants and prisoners of war. Ostland managed to snatch a few worlds from remnant Soviet governments in the area, claiming to liberate them from communism while in truth “Westernizing” them. Slavic languages were banned and every single child was forced to learn German as opposed to their parents’ native language. Those who resisted, or the Ostland government claimed to have resisted, were summarily shot or shipped to forced labor camps. When the gusano incursions began, Ostland successfully defended its territories while developing an extremely xenophobic culture. Ostland is one of the few minor states to actively pursue genocide against any alien civilization it encounters. Even owning xeno servants, a common practice in the Big Three, is illegal and punishable by immediate execution.
The modern Ostland government is, like its neighbors, belligerent but unlike them relatively isolationist. The emperors of Ostland learned long ago that the people would accept a domestic tyrant if it could defend from threats abroad and so the neighboring societies are frequently demonized. The Coalition is criticized as worshiping the “degenerate culture of colonial peasants,” New Rome is painted as a pro-slavery throwback to the days of Nero and the gusano are little more than demons in physical form. Mass rallies promoting the superiority of Ostland culture are common and many times the only legal form of entertainment for many of Ostland’s citizens. Many Ostland peasants are illiterate and are doomed to work the land granted to them by their nobles for their entire lives. Ostland’s social culture is highly conservative; deviation from the Ostland ideal is illegal and punishable by a fine at best. The Emperor and his line is revered as having been hand-picked by God Almighty to reign over Ostland; resisting the Emperor’s word is heresy as much as it is treason. Immigration to and from Ostland is almost unheard of.
Many Ostland nobles, who have absolute rule over their parts of the empire, have grown corrupt and cruel in spite of a chivalric code they are supposed to follow. The nobles play a key role in Ostland’s military; the sons of nobility are required to serve in Ostland’s mechanized infantry, a unique class of “mini walkers” armed with heavy weapons and designed to lead charges against the enemy. The vast majority of Ostland’s military is composed of conscripted peasants, armed with replicas of Endless War weaponry because of Ostland’s relative lack of industrialization. These peasants are not allowed to retreat once they have entered battle; the only way out is death or victory.