Of course, the biggest, or at least most obvious, institution in the Reach is the Empire, but it is composed of many subordinate institutions, never in mutual accord, and there are other, non-imperial institutions, too. Here we list those institutions that have influence throughout the Reach or at least the Empire. Also, this list is slanted toward institutions likely to figure in adventures.
It is natural to think of Imperial and Reach-wide institutions as very important and powerful. However, many times a local institution will have much more power (within its sphere) than a far-flung one. Even if the larger institution is more powerful, it may be unable or unwilling to act on a local level, and sometimes it is not really powerful at all, just dispersed.
This is the Powers That Be, the public setters of laws, mores, and other standards. It includes large business organizations as well as governmental bodies.
The Imperial Crown — short for the imperial family, their households, and the agencies immediately obedient to them, such as particlar orders of knighthood, bands of guards, and general retinue.
The Imperial Senate — the only imperial power that, collectively, ranks as high in power as the Crown; imperial dynasties almost always arise from senatorial families, and usually return to senatorial rank, if there are any survivors. As an institution, it includes the senators, their families, and their retinues.
Sen Com — Senatorial Communications, the internal comm net for the imperial government, intricately involved with Imnet and convocations of the court and senate (almost always by VR).
The Ingmardish Royal Family — owners, former hereditary rulers, and current elected rulers of Ingmard in the Aondoar Stellar Republic, they have little power but are permanent celebrities.
The Aondoart Presidency — elected executive of the Aondoar Stellar Republic, the second-largest political power in the Reach.
The Three Highest Priests — The high priests of Wisdom, Nature, and Justice.
Imnet — Imperial Network, the imperial media organ.
Imperial Ministry of Banking & Commerce — a division of the Imperial Treasury.
Imperial Trade Commision — another division of the Imperial Treasury.
The Aondoart Parliament and Prime Ministry — usually but not always working in concert, the legislative body of the Aondoar Stellar Republic and its head.
Imperial Ministry of Religion — charged with enforcing the Crown's religious standards (some form of Ideolatry, variable with dynasty) on all governmental organization.
College of the Pantheon — The supreme body of Ideolatry in the Reach, consisting of all Ideolatrous high priests. Since Ideolatry extends beyond the Empire, the College is not wholly controlled by the Crown.
The Twenty High Priests — the high priests of the 20 main concepts of the Ideolatry pantheon, the most prominent and influential members of the College of the Pantheon.
Hieronet — the media arm of Ideolatry
ITC — Imperial Telesis Corp., the leading comm service in the Empire, with clients beyond the Empire.
RN — Reach Net, ITC's main competitor, extending its services throughout the reach, not just the Empire, but lacking ITC's powerful patronage.
TRLS — Terraform Reach Link Service, another commerical comm service.
GCL — General Communications Linkage ("General Comm Link"), another commercial comm service
UTG — United Telesis Guilds, an umbrella organization for smaller commerical comm services
UTW — United Telesis Workers, a big union
IMI — Imperial Ministry of Intelligence. Spooks.
Imperial Space Force — the largest space force in the Reach, its exact size, equippage, and state of readiness being a permanent subject of intense interest to all governments.
Imperial Army — the ground forces of the Empire, present to some degree on every planet the Empire owns or seriously wishes to own.
Labor Tribune — the officer acting as liaison between workers and the Imperium
Spacehands' Guild — a Reach-wide union
Space Workers' Union — a rival to the Spacehands' Guild, found less on ships and more in orbit or aground.
Nav Guild — navigator's and pilot's union.
Spacer's Sib — a fraternal organization.
North Sib — another fraternal organization, for spacehands and allied trades, including traders and other professional travelers.
West Sib — ditto, semi-rival of North Sib.
Sodalitas Faberi — professional association of technicians.
Reach Justice Accord — the equivalent of Interpol.
LMG — Labor Merchandizing Guild, the slavers' union.
Imperial Federation of Police — coordinating all the local, planetary police departments. Not an arm of the Imperial government.
Servio — professional servants' association.
Sodalitas Ancillae — women's branch of Servio.
Sodalitas Famuli — men's branch of Servio.
The perennial critics of the Establishment, including loyal opposition and outright subversives.
College of Admirals — semi-official, rather informal body of the old, pre-Imperial aristocracy of the New Terraformers, in shifting degrees of enmity with the Imperial Senate.
College of Archbishops — informal, but the most comprehensive body of Christian authority in the Reach.
Pantomorphean High Lodges — the top authorities of Pantomorpheanism.
Mother House of St. Timon — supreme authority of Timonianism in the Reach.
FRN — Free Republican Network, an anti-imperial media organ, very old, with a large and shifting population of supporters, widely dispersed through the Reach, mostly outside the Empire.
OAI — the Order of Artificial Intelligence, an old fraternal organization for AIs.
Pantomorphean Grand Lodges — high authorities of Pantomorpheanism
Link Free Reach — the counter-imperial news network, supported by the Old Admiralty and other anti-imperialists
Voice of Aondoar — the counter-imperial news network, supported by the Aondoar Stellar Republic
Old Web — a pro-Old-Settler media organ, illegal in many places, including the Empire.
Demarchist Party — a confederacy of anti-meritocratic parties throughout the Reach, illegal in the Empire and many other places, based and legal in Aondoar.
The professionally learned people, academia and heavy-duty technical.
TRB — Terraforming Review Board, ancient, powerless, but deeply respected ecology monitor of the entire Reach, left over from the early days of the New Terraformers.
ITA — Imperial Tutors' Association, a tutors' union & certifying body
TSB — Tutorial Standards Board, extra-Imperial answer to ITA
Mentoris — tutors' guild and semi-rival to TSB
ISAS — Imperial Society for the Advancement of Science, which in practice is more concerned with the advancement of technology and technical education.
Aondoar University — multi-campus school with its own Reach-wide network and a very old reputation as an independent critic, almost an institution of the Counter-Culture.
Precis — in-depth news service, Empire-based.
TRAS — Terraform Reach Academy of Sciences, the Reach-wide, extra-Imperial answer to the ISAS.
Nuncius — widely popular news service, with offices both in and out of the Empire
Tribune Gladiator — Empire-wide populist news service.
Imperial Informatur — a Reach-wide, Empire-based news service, conservative meritocratic in leanings.
E.G. — Reach-wide tabloid news service.
Occulus — Reach-wide tabloid news service.
The reffies — Cheap or free reference programs available through comm services and commerical media, dealing in text, voice, and stills, giving entre' to a shifting and informal community of chat boards, chat lines, and public databases. The free ones always hawk commericals at you.
RNS — Reach News Service, an old volunteer organization, circulating headlines (and little more) freely throughout the Reach nets.
RFL — Reach Free Library, a freecopy database, updated and widely distributed through the Reach nets by a volunteer organization
Imperial Museum of Art — Its central offices are on Burran, but it has annexes throughout the Empire and its presence is widely felt on the comm nets. Its sphere is the visual arts: 2D, 3D, or VR, in any medium.
The Jaidas Academy — It has one campus, on Jaidas, but teaches all over the Reach in all the arts.
The Sorthio School — Three campuses in a single system, but teaches all over the reach in all literary and dramatic forms, including software characterization.
Rete Thespiana — The only Reach-wide art network.
Rete Mirabili — a news and entertainment service, based in the Empire but rather daring in what it's willing to circulate, or so it likes to think.
Glitterzone — a VR community of the Reach's celebrities and entertainment professionals, the analog of Hollywood.
Vorrol Studios — Empire-based producer of much dramatic entertainment.
Celebrati — Reach-wide magazine reporting on the Glitterzone and the rest of the entertainment industry.
Fama — Arch-rival of Celebrati
Michti Media — Empire-based producer of much dramatic entertainment.
CRC — Collegium Rexi Certamiti, the college of dueling masters.
RSL — Reach Soccer League
TRHL — Terraform Reach Hyperball League
Koliot Bards — street poets, poor but defiant and proud remnants of the Koliot Raiders
There are plenty of other lower-class artists, but none extend, as a class, over the whole Empire or the whole Reach.
The Koliot Clans — survivors of the old ruling houses of the Koliot Raiders, now involved in smuggling, piracy, and slaving.
Koliot Gangs — the low-income relatives of the Koliot Clans