The southern continents of the West are a far sadder story than the northern
lands. Torn for centuries by ethnic strife, today the situation remains largely
unchanged. Small nation-states carry on back-and-forth squabbles and border
wars with their neighbors, to the detriment of the general populace. Representative
government, where it exists, tends to be corrupt, and many states are outright
dictatorships. Peaceful, responsible government survives in a few areas -- where
it is strongly supported by Metamor -- but these lands
are the small exception to a large rule. Metamor tries to act as an impartial
arbiter to settle disagreements, but some nations simply don't want peace --
and resent the Empire's attempts at intervention.
Some parts of the Southlands are dominated by large corporations, which completely control their nations' affairs through the use of weak and compliant puppet governments. While they don't actually govern outright -- ruling a country is an expensive and non-profitable venture -- these megacorps expertly manipulate the nominal authorities into creating ideal circumstances for them to do business, both with the domestic population and the rest of the world. If such a "corporate state" negotiates a treaty with another nation, it is almost certainly designed to maximize profits for that particular megacorp.
Author's Note: The Southlands are intended as a "sandbox" where authors are free to play on the darker themes of the cyberpunk genre.