The site of an astronomical mission for the Star League. The mission consisted three planets in all, with enough personnel to sustain the project almost indefinitely, though this would be tested when the Amaris Civil War shattered the Star League. With the fall of the Star League, the research team became isolated from the rest of humanity. Throughout the First Succession War refugees who fled from the Capellan Confederation arrived at the Niops system, bringing with them news of the wars ravaging the Inner Sphere. Tales of such disregard for life and absolute destruction convinced the leaders of the research team to allow the universe to forget about them completely. This was aided by the of the only operating HPG.
As centuries passed, the educated elite maintained their power. Access to education was strictly controlled,and a two tiered society emerged. The educated descendants of the researchers took on the roll of leadership. Most important positions in the government, military and private sector are held by this group. The second grouping consists of the descendants of the Capellan refugees, who provide skilled labor and most of the agricultural output of the Association. Social mobility is extremely limited, as the governments firm control on education and the social life of their citizens makes it difficult for the descendants of the refugees to gain power.
Still, Niops provided a safehaven during the turmoil of the first Succession War. The Association government also has provided several stabilizing forces. Although he may not have much political say or chance for economic advancement, every worker is assured a comfortable minimal standard of living. Also, the Association had military stability provided by the Star League garrison in system. Furthering the goal of military security, the Association government pursued a build up in aerospace fighters, capable of engaging hostile forces before they even hit the ground. The strength of Niops military has kept pirate raids to a minimum, as most pirates are more comfortable looking for an easier target to hit.
Another factor in the development of the Niopian technocracy is the lack of a means to communicate with other states since its only HPG station brokedown due lack of spare parts. The government prefers to remain isolated from outside influence, partly from fear of attack and partly from the want to keep the lower-class population in check. With no evidence that life could be better, the lower-class citizens of Niops have largely remained docile.
The technocracy itself has evolved into a sort of semi-religious organization. The goal of preserving and furthering Star League era technology has become known as the "Master Plan."
Niops' main problem is that it no longer has the resources to be self-sufficient. Since the turn over of the thirty-first century, Niops resources have shrunk considerably. Most notably, mineral reserves are almost exhausted. The extraction of these reserves was a large portion of the Niops Association's economy, and the agricultural industry has failed to compensate for its loss. This loss has led to a cascading effect in Niops budget, which could possibly cause extreme problems in the longrun. The government is no longer able to guarantee a certain standard of living to the lower-class, and tension is rising rapidly.
This situation has led to Niops first foray into the world of foreign affairs for centuries. Niops lack of diplomatic experience has clearly shown through in its first shaky efforts at diplomacy. Used to complete and utter control, the Association's leaders are finding it hard to compromise and barter with outsiders. Further complicating matters is the government's fear of foreign influence leading to a social revolution within the nation. This has led to a strange situation in which the Niops leadership is trying to negotiate with neighbouring nations to save itself from economic ruin, while at the same time trying to keep its population oblivious to the existence of those neighbors.
Niops is at a crossroads. It no longer has the ability to remain isolated, and unrest among the general populace is increasing as economic woes worsen. Unless the government manages to miraculously restore the economy through international trade, it is likely that Niops will have a political, and possible military revolution in the near future. This is similar to the situation faced by the Soviet Union, although Niops seems aware of the threat of the free spread of information to their dominance. In essence, the government of Niops wants to pull off the perestroika without the glasnost.
Niops has only contacted other nations located in the Periphery. From 3055-3058, the government has established contact the Magistracy of Canopus, the Taurian Concordat and the Illyrian Palatinate. Unfortunately for Niops, with the Palatinate having been conquered by the Marian Hegemony and the onset of the Word of Blake Jihad, interest in trade will likely drop.
The major threat to Niops Association sovereignty is the Marian Hegemony. The Marians have been on the warpath, conquering the Lothian League and Illyrian Palatinate. Niops has not revealed itself to the Hegemony, but the Marians might have learned of its existence through the conquest of the Illyrian Palatinate.