The Sword Worlds are a loose confederation of worlds in the Spinward Marches Sector, spinward of 3rd Imperium space and coreward of the Darrian confederation. The first settlement in the region, by solomani exiles, was on Gram in -399 TI. By ca.-200 the settlement of the area was largely complete, and the first interstellar government in the region, the 1st Sacnoth Dominate, was formed in -186. Consisting of the twenty worlds settled up to that point, the Dominate lasted until -102, when it was fractured by rebellion into several smaller states.
During the ensuing centuries, various Sword World governments rose and fell, sometimes coalescing all the worlds under a single world's domination, sometimes splintering into several small states. Contact with Imperial traders in 73 brought increased trade and had a stabilizing influence on the region, but this stability was short-lived.
The First Frontier War brought a desire for cooperation among the various squabbling worlds, and the end of the war saw the formation of the first unified confederation in centuries, centered on Sacnoth, and referred to as the 2nd Sacnoth Dominate. As a result of the Outworld Coalition's victory, the Sword Worlds annexed the Entropic systems
The Second Dominate held power until 698, when it was overthrown by a coalition headed by Gram. The Gram Coalition ruled until 788, when a short war, but brutal war with the Darrian confederation and their Aslan Mercenaries resulted in the loss of the four entropic worlds gained during the First Frontier War. Public outrage at the mishandling of the war caused the subsequent fall of the Gram government. The replacement for the Gram Coalition was the Trilateral Alliance, a decentralized organization headed the major powers of the day Narsil, Sacnoth, and Durendal. The Alliance broke up in 848, due in large part to the inherent weakness of its organization, and an interregnum of essentially independent worlds lasted until Gram reasserted its influence (helped substantially by Zhodani money and advisers, rumor has it) in 852. When the original colonies and Gram signed the present Articles of Confederation. This stronger centralized government has remained in control down to the present and through diplomacy or conflict brought the remaining Sword Worlds into the Confederation .
The present confederate government allows almost for the most part local autonomy. Individual worlds maintain separate system defense forces, pass their own domestic laws within the bounds set the Articles of Confederation, and completely regulate their own internal affairs. The Confederation government regulates interworld trade, military defense, handles diplomatic relations with outside powers, and adjudicates interworld disputes.
In peacetime, the Confederation government maintains the Confederation Navy and Marines. The systems provide 10% of their military manpower into a standardized, doctrinally fluent, and technically proficient the Confederate Army.
During time of war, the remaining military forces are confederalized, and placed under a single unified command. For ground forces, divisions will be commanded by generals from the individual worlds, corps and higher organizations by Confederation officers. The component forces of a division will be from the same world whenever possible. For system naval forces, individual ships are under the command of local officers, squadrons or higher organizations under Confederation officers.