The Clockwork Empire is an ever-expanding state ruled by Her Majesty the Queen and the Houses of Parliament in the Capitol. Its flag is the Union Cog and the official religion is the Church of the Holy Cog.
For the colonies, it's the Colonial Ministry that pulls the strings.
The Clockwork Empire appears to be technologically advanced, being able to cross oceans and colonize foreign continents on either steamboats or airships. Much of their machinery involves brass cogs and coal.
The Clockwork Empire is divided amongst rigid class systems. Among these are lower class laborers, middle class overseers, and upper class aristocrats. However, the Empire seems to be tolerant in regards to race and gender as everyone seems to be treated the same regardless of those things (there are even dark skinned aristocrats).
There is an overpopulation problem in the Capitol city, resulting in people immigrating to the colonies of New Antipodia and New Sogwood.
It is common for criminals to get sent to the colonies as punishment or commutation of sentences. This could explain the presence of bandits in the colonies. Crime and Punishment in the motherland are unknown, but in the colonies the Bureaucrat in charge can target anyone for mob lynching.
The official religion of the Clockwork Empire is the Church of the Holy Cog, but several of the colonies have obscure cults as well.