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This covers the first quarter of the eighteenth century in the history of the Laurasian Empire. For the second quarter, see The Eighteenth Century, Part II: 1725-1750.

The Eighteenth Century (1701-1800)Edit

The eighteenth century in the Hyperdrive Era calendar system was the century which commenced on January 1, 1701, and ended on December 31, 1800. During the eighteenth century, the position of the Laurasian Empire was further strengthened and firmly consolidated, as it finally established itself as the sole government of not just the Caladarian Galaxy, but of the Angelina Spiral and Great Tesmanian Cloud. For the entirety of the century, the Laurasian Empire was governed by the Neuchrian Dynasty, and of this dynasty there was three outstanding sovereigns: Neuchrus I the Reformer (1685-1709), Antigonus III the Extravagant (1709-1747), and Aurelia I the Great (1758-1803). Each monarch was distinctive in their own manner. Neuchrus was a parsimonious, calculating, scheming monarch who masked many of his opinions from others and drew a cloak of secrecy around his major policies. He was also a ruthless, ambitious, and determined monarch who sought to strengthen the Laurasian position at the expense of its enemies and to reorganize the Laurasian Empire's government, economy, and society in the wake of the Crisis of the Seventeenth Century. Antigonus was handsome, athletic, and energetic, although for most of the first half of his reign, he delegated the duties of governance to others. Harsh, autocratic, and feared by his subjects, this Emperor was nevertheless determined to continue his father's work and to establish the Laurasian Empire as the preeminent galactic power with no rival. He also pursued policies of centralization and religious conformity, striking harshly against those whom he perceived to be his opponents. His daughter, Aurelia I the Great, the second-longest reigning monarch in Laurasian history, inherited traits from both her father and grandfather. Known for her great beauty and intelligence, she was as shrewd, calculating, and determined as her grandfather had been, and as autocratic, controlling, and lavish as her father had been. The Empress believed that it was the Laurasian Empire's destiny to rule, and she was determined to incorporate territories controlled by the Dejanicans, Scotrrians, Marasharites, and Haynsians, at which tasks she succeeded.

The eighteenth century was marked by two different spheres: that of foreign affairs and of war, and that of the domestic occurrences and courtly ventures within the Empire's territory. By the beginning of the century, the Laurasian Empire was the predominant power in the Caladarian Galaxy. In 1701, the Empire's dominions encompassed about 60% of the Caladarian Galaxy, including all of the galaxy's territories outside of the Galactic Borderlands. It extended from Belkadan and the former territories of the old Dasian Heartland, along the northern edges of the Outer Borderlands, across to the Hutsite Reaches and Barsar Regions in the south, and from the Burglais Arm and Morsia in the east to the Wild Marshes in the west. Nearly forty million inhabited star systems acknowledged the authority of the Imperial Laurasian Government, and the Empire's reach could be felt in all star systems by means of its common currency, military garrisons, uniform legal and educational systems, enormous bureaucracy, wealthy and influential nobility and gentry, and large, prosperous clergy. The number of independent states had been gradually reduced during the first seven centuries of the 2nd millennium, from 23 (1001) to 16 (1501) to 10 (1601) to 5 (1701), and from 1517, Laurasian sovereigns had begun to claim imperial title over the Galaxy. However, Laurasia was still faced with neighboring states to the west and in the satellite galaxies. The Vectorian Empire, a bitter enemy of the Laurasian Empire since early in the seventeenth century, still controlled Arachosia Suprema, Rhedita, Alexandria, Nagai, and Sassi-ruukia in the southern Galactic Borderlands. The Celestial Kingdom of Scotrria dominated the Western Districts of the Angelina Spiral, with its capital of Ediania, and also held sway over Kalbacha, Rasdalla, Cania, and portions of Rogeria and Lavella. The Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth controlled Lavella and the Galactic Barrier. It was the formal overlord of the Duchy of Northania and Semigallia in the Great Tesmanian Cloud (and had been so since 1561), and wielded direct authority over the the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Tesmanian Dejanica, Belarania, and the Ukraine. The Marasharite Empire, the most imposing of the Laurasian Empire's neighbor-states at the beginning of the eighteenth century, dominated the Tof Borderlands, the Illumite Approaches, the Muggal Cluster, the Northern Reaches, Billy, Donna, Latrice, and the Ochanian Provinces of the Great Tesmanian Cloud. It was the formal overlord of the Haynsian Despotate, having held that status since 1578. The Despotate itself, founded in 1441, constantly harried Laurasian colonies along the Galactic Frontier Route and in the Dasian Heartland, with the encouragement of its suzerain. It had also threatened the Dejanicans, Scotrrians, and Vectorians.

The Imperial Laurasian Government was forced to maintain an extensive chain of outposts, intelligence relays, minefields, and other defense installations along its northern outskirts in order to defend against Haynsian attacks. Besides these immediate neighbors were the powers of the Amulak Spiral, with whom Laurasia was able to conduct relations. From this galaxy originated both the Dejanicans and Marasharites, whose major capital star systems were located in that galaxy. Franconia, engaged in bitter wars with Spamalka and Austarlia for the majority of the century, as well as those two powers and Pruthia, also figured into Laurasian calculations. By the end of the century, after wars with the Vectorians (1702-1705) and (1710-1711); the Dejanicans (1706-1708, 1733-1735, 1768-1772, 1792, 1794); the Marasharites and Haynsians (1714-1716, 1723-1725, 1735-1739, 1768-1774, 1787-1792); the Scotrrians (1713-1714, 1741-1743, 1743-1750, 1759-1760, 1770-1773, 1778-1779, 1781-1783, 1798-1800); Franconia (1711-1714; 1723-1725; 1744-1746; 1757-1759; 1762-1763); and Spamalka (1787-1794, 1795-1798), the Laurasian Empire had acquired the whole of the Galactic Borderlands, from the Galactic Frontier Route and Nicole all the way to Lavella, the Northern Reaches, and the Galactic Barrier, as well as both of the satellite galaxies. Laurasia's territorial advance, consequently, was greater in this century then it had been in any preceding one; it became the sole power of the Caladarian Galaxy in 1774, and of the Caladarian Cluster in 1797. Its power had been greatly strengthened, and it had found allies among many of the Amulak powers to counterbalance Spamalka and Marasharita. Vectoria (1711), Scottria (1779), and Haynsia (1783) were completely overwhelmed and incorporated into the Laurasian Empire, while the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth was partitioned in three successive stages (1772, 1793, 1795), the greater bulk of it (Dejanican Lavella, Belarania, Ukraine, Tesmanian Dejanica, Lithuania, Northania, and Semigallia) going to Laurasia. The Marasharite Empire lost the Marasharite Galactic Borderlands (1716, 1739, 1774) and the Ochanian Provinces (1792), thereby contracting its influence and territorial base back to the Amulak Cluster.

As regards to domestic affairs, the Empire was, as stated above, under the rule of the Neuchrian Dynasty for the entire century. The Neuchrian sovereigns were autocratic, vigorous, intelligent, and cunning, able to rule over their dominions with an iron grip. Neuchrus the Reformer's last years were mostly peaceful, although the Emperor's family was marred with personal tragedy by the deaths of his wife and eldest son. Antigonus III the Extravagant, on the other hand, had six marriages and dealt with his nobility, complete reformation of the religious organization of the Almitian Church, and three major uprisings against his authority. Demetrius II the Boy Emperor's reign was marked by the culmination of his father's religious reforms and by further violent uprisings against the Imperial Government; that of Didymeia, with the Wyatta Rebellion and her Counter-Reformation, leading to a conservative hardening of Laurasian morals and the deaths of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Reformist Almitians. Aurelia the Great's reign was the most eventful of it all. Her reign was the Golden Age of the Laurasian Empire, with unprecedented economic prosperity, cultural renaissance, military strength, and governmental efficiency. The Empress's religious, legal, educational, and administrative reforms strengthened the Empire's government immeasurably, although she was faced with the conspiracies surrounding former Scotrrian Queen Mariana (the Ridolfius Plot, the Thorckmortonia Plot, and the Babinigtia Plot), two major uprisings (the Malarian Rebellion and Pugachevia's Rebellion), and the question of her marriage, alongside innumerable indiscretions, affairs, and plots in the Imperial Court. By the end of the century, the Laurasian Empire ruled sixty-nine million star systems with a population of some one hundred quadrillion individuals, enjoying unprecedented levels of economic productivity, living quality, and cultural vibrancy.

The 18th Century (1701-1725)Edit

1701Edit

  • January 1-
    • The eighteenth century formally commenced at 12:00 AM Galactic Standard Time, on January 1, 1701. The commencement of the eighteenth century was, according to contemporary accounts, greeted with much "joy, exaltation, and praise, either to the Lord Almitis or to the gods of the respective species", that all had lived to see another century of the Age of Almitis, and of the Hyperspace Era. In light of what had occurred during the previous century, this joy seemed to be very relevant. The seventeenth century (1601-1700) had witnessed the Laurasian Empire acquiring territories in the northern Outer Borderlands and in the Barsar Regions. Much of that same century, however, had been dominated by economic, civil, and external conflict. After the deposition of the Severan Dynasty in March 1635, the Empire had experienced the fifty-year long Crisis of the Seventeenth Century, which had seen dynasty after dynasty, emperor after emperor, struggle for supremacy over the state. It had contended with many rivals, including the Marasharite Empire (and its vassal-state, the Haynsian Despotate), the Vectorian Empire, the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria, and the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Neuchrus the Reformer's accession in August 1685, however, had witnessed the return of stability and tranquility to the Empire's realms, and he implemented a extensive series of reforms to the Laurasian administrative, financial, military, and cultural structure. His reign had seen the Empire resume its upwards trajectory in territorial expansion; nevertheless, all had awaited the arrival of the eighteenth century with much hope and consideration for the future. Throughout the Empire, various festivities and ceremonies were held on the night of December 31, 1700-January 1, 1701, to mark the commencement of the new century. The traditional Christiania Ball-Drop, a tradition which had commenced in AH 1407 (during the reign of Demetrius the Fat), and had continued for nearly three centuries (with the exceptions of 1469, 1638, 1651-53, and 1660-67), occurred, with massive throngs gathered in the streets and plazas of Christiania to ring in the new century.
    • On Venasia Prime, the traditional Ceremonies of Matriarchal Blessings were conducted, so as to confer the collective good-will of the Venasian species upon the new century; the Horacians engaged in a Parade of Valor, the Murphians in their Festival of Good Times, and the Donguarians in their Bakalang (assembly) of celebration. The Christiania Times, one of the preeminent publications in the Empire, included a special commemorative article about the commencement of the century, with the heading "The Century is Dead! Long live the Century!" Emperor Neuchrus himself, in his New Year's proclamation to his subjects, offered his especial thanks that the Laurasian people had been preserved through all of the travails of the seventeenth century, and that the Empire had emerged stronger than before. In his proclamation, he declared that "the subjects of this Empire have demonstrated endurance, energy, vigor, and determination. We have seen the rules of tyrants and of fiends; of pretenders; of the incompetent, and of the ignorant. We have seen what the perils of civil and social conflict can do to a civilized state. But we have also learned, and we have persevered through all of our challenges, looking forward to the glorious future. In this new century, this Empire, of our ancestors, will continue to expand and mature; it will encounter challenges, but it will overcome them." This is the fourth time under the aegis of the Laurasian Empire, the eighth time in the 2nd millennium AH, the eleventh time under the unified Laurasian Monarchy, and the sixteenth time overall, since the implementation of the Hyperdrive Era system, that the commencement of a new century is celebrated.
  • January 22-On January 22, 1701, the future Empress Consort Anna Boleyenia, the second wife of Antigonus III the Extravagant, and mother of the Empress Aurelia I the Great, was born at the Boleyenia Family Mansion in the city of Tellavastis, Fulcania, in the Laurasia Prime Purse Region of the Laurasian Empire. Her parents were Sir Thomasius Boleyenia, later Viscount Ralanchaford and then Earl of Redia (1677-1739) and his wife, Lady Aurelia Howardis (1680-1738), the daughter of Sir Thomasius Howardis, Earl of Soria (later Duke of Norfolkius), and sister of the eventual 3rd Duke of Norfolkius. The two had married at Taurasia on February 17, 1698, and had their eldest daughter, Lady Antonia Boleyenia, at the Family Mansion the following year (March 9, 1699). Anna, therefore, was the middle child; her younger brother was to be Georgius, who would be born on Tyndaris (April 22, 1703). Sir Thomasius, who graduated from the University of the Empire with a Bachelor of Arts in Political and Diplomatic Sciences at the age of only 19 in 1696, and then proceeded to take his M.A. in Diplomacy and Rhetoric (1700), the year before the birth of his second daughter, was to become one of the most respected diplomats in the Laurasian Empire during the first third of the eighteenth century. He would escort Grand Princess Constantia to Scottria in 1703; become a Knight of the Imperial Household in 1709 (that is when he received his courtesy title of "Sir"), and in 1710, would be named Ambassador to the Spamalkan Duchies of Durthia and Burgundy, where he would serve for four years. Boleyenia's tenure as Ambassador to Franconia (1715-21) would become his period of true prominence. Nevertheless, Anna was thus the first of the Emperor Antigonus's wives to be born in the eighteenth century, and the second overall (after Katharina of Shenandoah, born December 16, 1685, on Alcnala de Hernales in the Kingdom of Lesser Spamalka).
  • January 27-
    • On January 27, 1701, the Chief Procurator of the Holy Synod, Thomasius Langatonia, died in the Lambathian Palace in Christiania, Laurasia Prime, aged 61. Just four days before his death, he had been formally elevated to the Chief Procuratorate by Emperor Neuchrus. His predecessor as Chief Procurator, Chancellor Demetrius Mortonia, Cardinal of the Almitian Church, had died on September 15, 1700, at Conservan. Langatonia himself had a long and distinguished career in the Almitian Church. Born on January 7, 1640, on Taurasia, he had matriculated at the Sts. Peter and Paul Ecclesiastical Academy in Laurasia Prime, graduating from the institution in May 1662. Soon after his graduation, he had become a fellow of Pembroke Hall on Taurasia, and during the next four years, had pursued additional studies in comparative theology, earning his PhD in Theology from the University of the Laurasian Empire (1666). Langatonia was then elected proctor of Pembroke Hall in 1668 and became an adjunct professor at the Ecclesiastical College of St. Antigenes (1671), eventually being promoted to full Professor in 1676. That same year, he was made the Chaplain of the Imperial Household by the newly-acceded Emperor Probus. Serving in that position for five years, Langatonia distinguished himself through missions to Franconia, Durthia, and Spamalka. In April 1678, he was elected Treasurer of the City of Christiania, holding that position until January 1685.
    • Then in February 1683, two months before his death, Probus elevated Langatonia to become Bishop of Quencania City. Langatonia held that position for just over two years, and remained silent on the policies of Probus's brother and successor, Titus the Cruel. In June 1685, however, he became one of the first clergymen to defect to Neuchrus's cause, and in November, after establishing himself on the throne, Neuchrus made Langatonia Archbishop of Columbia. In May 1693, he was transferred to the Diocese of Constantinople. During his sixteen years as Archbishop, Langatonia distinguished himself by his efforts to further improve the welfare and educational systems of his diocese, by personally participating in the prayer sessions and assemblies of his congregations, and by ruthlessly cracking down on heresy and corruption. Thus, he had been the logical choice to become Chief Procurator. Emperor Neuchrus was now given the task of choosing his successor. He selected Ulysses Drevich (1640-1703), two months Langatonia's junior, who had served as Archbishop of Colombia since January 1700. Drevich was also a distinguished cleric, having served as Canon of St. Katherine's Monastery from 1681 to 1694, and as Chancellor of the Eccleasticial Academy from 1696 to 1700. He was formally sworn in as Chief Procurator on April 26, 1701. As for Langatonia, he was interred at the Westphalian Cathedral, in July 1701.
  • March 22-On March 22, 1701, Sir Demetrius Wolmsat, 1st Baron Wolmsat, the first Lord Treasurer of the Laurasian Empire since 1687, who had been in the service of every Laurasian sovereign since Valerian, and who was one of Emperor Neuchrus's most trusted officials, died at the Diplomatic Palace in Christiania. He was sixty-eight years old at the time of his death. Emperor Neuchrus now selected Thomasius Howardis, 2nd Earl of Soria, as the new Lord Treasurer of the Empire (June 16, 1701). Soria, of course, was the son of John Howardis, 1st Duke of Norfolkius (1622-85), who had been one of the leading figures of the Empire under Probus I and his brother, Titus the Cruel. The Duke had died fighting for Emperor Titus at the Battle of Bosworthian Fields in August 1685, through which Neuchrus had established himself on the imperial throne. Soria, who also fought in the battle under his father's command, was stripped of his titles and estates and imprisoned at the Fortress of Baureux in September 1685, where he remained for three years. He ultimately convinced the Emperor of his loyalty through disavowing all attempts, during the Praetorian Rebellion of November 1688, to induce him to flee and to take up arms. Consequently, Neuchrus had decided to lift him from disgrace. In May 1689, the Emperor reversed the attainder placed upon Howardis titles and estates, and Howardis regained the title of Earl of Soria. He then distinguished himself through his service in the Vectorian War (1689-90), the First Franconian War (1692), and the Great Marasharite War (1698-99). In April 1700, Soria led a special embassy to the court of King Lujak XII of Franconia on Parri. And in January 1701, the Emperor had appointed him to the Imperial Privy Council. Now he was elevated to Lord Treasurer, a position which he would hold for twenty-one years.
  • September 20-On September 20, 1701, Agostino Barbarigo, the Doge of the Haxonian Confederacy, died on Haxonia Prime, aged 81. He therefore became the first monarch of any state, of the Great Amulak Spiral, satellite galaxies, and Caladarian Galaxy, to die in the eighteenth century. His death would be the first of a crescendo which would result in all the monarchs who entered the century being dead or otherwise off their thrones by 1716. Barbarigo had ruled since September 1686 and was the oldest living monarch of extra-galactic civilization at the time of his death (having been born on January 19, 1620). Barbarigo, in fact, had succeeded his elder brother Marco (1613-86), to the Dogeship. His tenure had witnessed the commencement of the Italianian Wars (1694), launched by King Charman II of Franconia, and the latter campaigns of the Great Marasharite War. This had ended with the Treaty of Karlowitz, which saw Haxonia's acquisition of the Morea, Ionia, Lesser Epirus, Aetolia, and Crete from the Marasharite Empire (1699). Barbarigo was now succeeded as Doge by Haxonian Senator Leonardo Loredan. Loredan, who was sixty-four years old at the time, had served on the Senate since 1665, been Chair of the Haxonian High Council from 1687 to 1693, and in 1698-99, led the Haxonian delegation at the Karlowitz Conference. In April 1700, he had become Governor of the newly acquired Ionian Systems. Loredan, who faced no opposition and was elected unanimously, was formally crowned as Doge on October 2, 1701.
  • October 2-From the conclusion of the Treaty of Christiania in May 1699, Grand Prince Craterus conducted a correspondence, in Galactic Standard, with his fiancee and wife-to-be, the Princess Catalina of Lesser Spamalka. Craterus, who although he was physically sickly, was determined to nevertheless continue his father's dynasty forward, and to perform his marital duties as faithfully as he could. In a communique of October 7, 1699, the young Grand Prince had written to his betrothed that he had "an earnest desire to see Your Highness, and that the love conceived between us will hasten forward and bring its just reward." This correspondence continued across the turn of the century, and on September 11, 1701, the Emperor issued a proclamation that his son was old enough to undergo the actual marriage ceremony. Catalina of Lesser Spamalka herself, whose family had been struck by the death of her elder sister Fresia, the Queen-Consort of Portugallia, on August 30, 1698, barely a year after her marriage, was reluctant to leave her mother. Ultimately, however, reasons of state pushed her forward, and in April 1701, the Holy Spamalkan Empress declared that her daughter was ready to undertake the journey to the Empire. She made her leave of her mother at Ourense on September 26, 1701; it was on this day, October 2, 1701, that she arrived at Belkadan in the Caladarian Galaxy, thereby making her appearance in the Laurasian Empire. The Princess was greeted by an official imperial convoy led by the Earls of Duana and Oxfadia. After being served a great feast at the Sernadid Palace, one of Belkadan's largest private residences, which had been constructed during the sixteenth century, Catalina heard a Almitian mass and gave thanks for her arrival in her adoptive dominions. In the meantime, a communique was dispatched to the Emperor, to inform him that the Princess whose arrival he had awaited for more than a decade was now in his Empire.
  • November 4-
    • Following her arrival at Belkadan, Princess Catalina proceeded thence into the Dasian Heartland, through Tyson, Houston, Vandross, Sernapasia, Syr-Daria, Glassia-on the Corridor, Felix, Sierra, and Lizaragga, before reaching Mocktralis on October 19, 1701. Along her route of progress, crowds of subjects in the respective star systems gathered to take note of the woman who was to eventually become their Empress Consort. Emperor Neuchrus, on his part, along with Grand Prince Craterus and the Imperial Privy Council, were determined to see her, and on October 25, they embarked from Laurasia Prime for the purpose. The Emperor proceeded from his capital world into the northern dominions of the Empire, and during the early hours of November 4, 1701, made his arrival at McDowell, to which Catalina and her entourage had proceeded. Upon arriving at the Harvey Lodgings, the Emperor was met by the Count de Cabra (1644-1709) and Dona Maria Elvira (1656-1722), the Princess's two chief servants; they told His Majesty that Catalina had retired for the night. The Emperor, however, was impatient, and ordered Elvira to take him to the Princess. She did as ordered, knowing better than to defy the will of an autocratic sovereign, and conducted him into the imperial bedchambers.
    • Catalina was stirred from bed; she was now presented before her future father-in-law. Neuchrus lifted her veil, and saw that she was indeed a pretty girl. There was no sign of any blemish or deformity. Catalina, who was approaching her sixteenth birthday, appeared to him as a plump, heavy featured girl with loose wavy golden hair and a round face. Pleasantries were exchanged between the Emperor and the Princess, by means of an interpreter. Catalina was then presented to Grand Prince Craterus, who later informed his parents that seeing his wife had given him great joy. The two conversed in Dejanican; later, Catalina entertained the Emperor and the Grand Prince in her chambers with music and dancing. In the morning, the two imperial personages took their leave of Catalina, and made the journey back to Laurasia Prime. The Princess and her household continued their journey to Laurasia Prime at a leisurely pace, reaching Frederickslandia by November 6 and Clackimaris the following day. At Clackimaris, she was welcomed by the Duke of Americana, and by Grand Prince Antigonus, then ten years old, the younger son of the Emperor. They presented to her a communique from the Emperor, in which he expressed his "great pleasure, joy, and consolation" at her coming and informed her that he and the Empress intended to treat her like their "own daughter."
    • Then, on November 12, 1701, Princess Catalina finally made her state entry into the Laurasia Prime star system, two days before her wedding. She passed through the Post Settlement of Hepudermia, Jadia, the two Calaxies, and the Station of Callista, before moving into the city of Christiania. The subjects of Christiania greeted her with much fanfare; all sought to gain a view of their future Empress Consort. Sir Thomasius Morius, future Chancellor of the Empire, was one of those who saw her. Catalina wore a lavish gown with a gathered skirt and a farthingale; she was attended by a retinue of prelates, dignitaries, nobles, and knights, all richly dressed in her honor. The procession moved past the Academy of Arts, Academy of Sciences, Universities of Laurasia Prime and the Empire, Diplomatic Palace, Old Royal Palace, Flavian Amphitheater, Circus Maximus, and through the Forums. The Lord Mayor greeted her at the Arch of Septimus Severus, and at six places along her route, the Princess stopped to watch elaborate pageants prepared for her honor, with Almitian and mythological motifs. Following the address of the Mayor and the officials of Christiania, Catalina passed on to the Westphalian Cathedral, where a magnificent service of thanksgiving was held. The Emperor, Empress, and Grand Prince Craterus watched everything from the balcony of the Quencilvanian Palace; Catalina then retired to quarters at Lambathian Palace, being received by Chief Procurator Ulysses Drevich.
  • November 14-
    • On November 14, 1701, the wedding of Holy Spamalkan Princess Catalina and Grand Prince Craterus was conducted at the Westphalian Cathedral, in Christiania, Laurasia Prime. At the wedding, the Emperor and the Empress sat enthroned above all. Chief Procurator Drevich of the Holy Synod officiated the ceremony, assisted by the newly appointed Archbishop of Christiania, Willianus Warhamius. Prince Craterus and his bride delivered their vows in full view of the crowds before attending the nuptial mass, attended by the entire court. Following this, Catalina was formally inducted into the Almitian Church, received her Laurasian name of Katharina, and was formally named Grand Princess of Shenandoah. It was by the name Katharina of Shenandoah that she was to become known thenceforth. The Grand Prince and Princess emerged as man and wife, presented themselves to the crowds, and proceeded to the Diplomatic Palace. There, the wedding banquet was held. Katharina danced in a very stately manner, while Grand Prince Antigonus leaped and twirled to the music. The Emperor and Empress were much amused, and watched their younger son with evident pleasure. Katharina also delighted them, dancing graceful with her new husband.
    • Finally, the young couple were bedded, with the Chief Procurator and the Archbishop of Christiania conferring their blessings upon the union. For days after the wedding, banquets, feasts, jousts, tournaments, pageants, masques, balls, and masquerades were held in its honor. Outwardly, everything seemed fine with the marriage, with Craterus, in a communique to his new in-laws Fe'ro II and Fresia I of Spamalka (November 24, 1701), declaring his intention to be a loving and faithful husband. At the end of November 1701, the Spamalkan Monarchs dispatched €150 billion dataries, the first installment of the promised dowry, to the Imperial Court on Laurasia Prime. Emperor Neuchrus, on his part, was very generous to Katharina, showering her with gifts and even giving her a tour of his personal archives. Yet the Emperor sought to secure the remainder of the dowry, and meant to accomplish this by any means. In December 1701, these ambitions were revealed. It had been arranged that following the marriage, the couple were to move to Ludalian Castle on Hannis, of which Craterus had been made Governor, so that he could begin to learn the skills required for rule. There was concern about the Prince's delicate health, however. He had grown weaker since the wedding. The Emperor now pretended that he did not want for Katharina to accompany her husband to Ludalian Castle. He did not wish to offend her parents, and asked Spamalkan Ambassador de Ayala to advise that the Grand Princess remain with the court. The Emperor, making a great pretense of deliberation, then asked Katharina herself if she thought it would be wise to go with the Grand Prince when he was in such poor health; Katharina replied that she was content "only with Your Majesty's decision." Then Craterus, acting on the Emperor's instructions, tried to persuade Katharina to go with him, but she was frightened about going against the Emperor's wishes. In the end Neuchrus, with a great show of reluctance, commanded her to accompany her husband. De Ayala and Dona Elvira then attempted to persuade the Emperor to have Katharina stay at the Imperial Court, but the resolution was made. On December 21, 1701, the Grand Prince and Grand Princess made their formal leave from Laurasia Prime for Hannis, proceeding in stages through the Core Regions to that stronghold.

1702Edit

  • January 24-
    • As had been noted in the Timeline page, Emperor Neuchrus was, as early as 1699, contemplating the possibility of the marriage of his eldest daughter, Grand Princess Constantia, to King Jamsius IV of Scottria. The Emperor of Laurasia believed that a marriage compact between the two realms would serve to alleviate the century-long tensions which had persisted between them, ever since the First Scottrian War of Emperor Demetrius Severus I (1602-03). The Emperor found his plans encouraged by Spamalkan Ambassador Pedro de Ayala, who was under instructions from the Spamalkan Monarchs to ensure that a positive relationship between Laurasia and Scottria continued to be maintained. In March 1701, the Emperor first raised the idea to the Imperial Privy Council. Privy Seal Foxius and Under-secretary Warhamius, soon to become Archbishop of Christiania, both supported it. It was not until September 1701 before the idea was broached to the Court of Ediania. King Jamsius IV, himself desperate for an heir, and not willing to renew war since his realm continued to be wracked with rebel tensions, decided to agree to a further round of negotiations. Delegations from the two governments convened at Almastead in the Malarian Provinces, from October 9, 1701, for the conclusion of a marriage alliance.
    • Archbishop Warhamius, Privy Seal Foxius, Chancellor Parsonius, and Sir Giletus Daubeny served as the plenipotentiaries for the Imperial Laurasian Government, while Scottria was represented by Robert Blackadder, Archclainnarch of Glasgow, Patrick Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, and Ambassador Sir Andrew Forman. After nearly three months of negotiations, the Treaty of Perpetual Peace (Almastead) was signed on January 24, 1702. By the terms of this treaty, all of the territorial settlements as had been defined by the Treaty of Ayton were to remain in place. Rules for immigration, border patrols, and cross-navigation were defined; all expeditions or parties, by either government into the territory of the other were strictly forbidden. Furthermore, Grand Princess Constantia, Emperor Neuchrus's elder daughter, was to be married to the King of Scottria by no later than the end of 1703. The King of Scottria was to assume responsibility for her transportation and court expenses; her dowry, however, would be granted by her father, the Emperor of Laurasia, to the tune of €300 billion dataries per annum. Constantia was to be crowned Queen-Consort of Scottria immediately upon the conclusion of the marriage. The Treaty of Perpetual Peace was ratified by Emperor Neuchrus on February 15, 1702, and by King Jamsius IV on December 10, 1702. The King of Scottria swore an oath, in a ceremony at Glasgow Parish, to uphold the terms of the treaty, and illuminated copies of the text were exchanged between the two monarchs.
  • March 8-Death of Wildar I, King of Vendragia & Irvania and Prince of Orange. The King, who was only fifty-one years old at the time of his death, died as a result of complications from a fall from his repulsorlift. He had ruled since February 13, 1689, in the aftermath of the so-called "Glorious Revolution" which had seen the deposition of King Jamar II, who had become despised by his subjects for his oppressive taxation, military conscription, and religious policies. Wildar's wife, his co-consort Maravia, had pre-deceased him in 1694. They had no surviving children. Consequently, he was succeeded by his sister-in-law Annavia, who thenceforth became Queen of Vendragia and Irvania. The Principality of Orange, on its part, fell into dispute. John Williag Friso, the King's cousin, and Emperor M'rua I of Pruthia each claimed the throne of the Principality. Franconia, under Lujak XII, also held a long-standing territorial claim to Orange, which dated back to the fourteenth century. It was not until 1713, with the Treaty of Utrecht, that M'rua's son and successor, A'rua II, and John Willag Friso both gave up their claim to the territory of Orange; in 1732, A'rua agreed to share the title of Prince of Orange with Friso's nephew, Renee of Chalon, the cousin of the ultimate Durthian Protector William of Orange.
  • April 2-On January 3, 1702, Grand Prince Craterus and his wife, Grand Princess Katharina of Shenandoah, made their formal arrival at Ludalian Castle on Hannis. Ludalian Castle, which had been originally constructed in 1275 during the reign of Venasian Queen Mother Kalamania III, had passed under Laurasian jurisdiction in 1357, following the end of the Second Laurasian-Venasian War. The Castle had been in the possession of the Imperial Laurasian Crown since its seizure by Emperor Gaillenus in 1661, and before that had been a stronghold of the Yorkian gentry family of the Venasian Triangle region. Its rooms were transformed after the arrival of the young imperial couple, and became focus of a bustling household. Yet by March 1702, the Grand Prince, still only fifteen years old, seemed to be in a "decayed state" to all. That very month, both he and his wife were stricken with the Soplaies disease, one of the most feared trans-species infectious diseases in the Caladarian Galaxy at that time. It had first became a recurrent epidemic during the reign of Claudius II in the fifteenth century, and would remain a dreaded medical condition until its extermination by the Imperial Ministry of Health and Sentient Services in 1779. Katharina, who had enjoyed relatively good physical health, proved to be resilient, and before the end of the month, she emerged from the condition. Her husband, however, was not so lucky. On April 2, 1702, just six months before his sixteenth birthday, and only that same time after his marriage to Katharina, Grand Prince Craterus, the Emperor Neuchrus's heir apparent and eldest child, died at Ludalian Castle on Hannis. Emperor Neuchrus and his wife were awoken from their sleep by one of his confessors, Antiochus Hedranius, who began with a lamentation from the Laurasian Book of Justus, and then proceeded to tell the Emperor and Empress that their son had died. Both burst into tears, and their bewailing startled all in the Household. The Empress Consort, however, reminded her husband that they still yet had a son (Grand Prince Antigonus, who now became heir-apparent) and two daughters (Grand Princesses Constantia and Octavia) with which the dynasty could continue. Furthermore, she pointed out that she herself was only thirty-five years old, and could bear more children. A procession would be held on April 8 for Craterus's soul; he would then be buried on April 23, 1702 at St. Chalmer's Cathedral on Bolgrahay. 72 years after his death, in April 1774, a new effigy would be placed on the Grand Prince's coffin, on the orders of his niece, Empress Aurelia.
  • April 12-On April 12, 1702, Haynsian Despot Neal IV Karany, who had ruled since 1699, was deposed for the first time, from the throne of the Haynsian Despotate, by Marasharite Emperor Chomqat II. The Despot had incurred his overlord's displeasure following the conclusion of the Great Marasharite War in 1699. Neal's efforts to launch potential military expeditions into the Laurasian Empire and to provide support to Marasharite campaigns in Morocco, Lower Aegyptiania, and against the Mughals had all ended in failure. Moreover, the Despot entertained "delusions of grandeur" and sought to strengthen the administrative and internal situation of the Despotate itself against its foreign enemies. Chomqat determined to remove this threat before it was too late. Neal IV was succeeded to the Haynsian throne by his father, former Despot Jay IX Karany (who had reigned previously in 1671-78, 1684-91, and 1692-99). Jay IX was seventy-one years old when he resumed his position as Haynsian Despot.
  • May 6-Emperor Neuchrus, besides contending with the marriage of his son, Grand Prince Craterus, to Katharina of Shenandoah, and then with his son's death, also continued to deal with the threats against the Imperial Laurasian Government, and against his authority within the Empire. In September 1701, Sir Nicepheous Tyrallis (1655-1702), who had been Constable of the Cron Drifts from 1684-85, under Titus II, and had represented his master on missions to the courts of the Great Amulak Spiral, had engineered the escape of the Duke of Sufforia from the Empire. Tyrallis was opposed to the Emperor Neuchrus's policies, and he sought to depose the Neuchrian Dynasty, sponsoring Sufforia's claims to the Imperial Laurasian Crown. This betrayal of Neuchrus had come after he had been pardoned in 1686, granted a hereditary knighthood the following year, and made Governor of Mocktrialis. Neuchrus was enraged by Tyrallis's perfidy, and in January 1702, the Emperor had him arrested and imprisoned at the Fortress of Baureux. There, Tyrallis was charged with treason, conspiracy, and les-majestie, and was vigorously interrogated by Chancellor Parsonius, Lord Treasurer Soria, and other members of the Privy Council. Finally, on April 18, 1702, he had been attainted by the Emperor on all charges and sentenced to death. It was on May 6, 1702, that his sentence was carried out at the Fortress of Baureux, in front of a crowd of more than 200,000 persons. Tyrallis was excommunicated by the Holy Synod, and his remains were dumped into the Pit of Traitors on Jadia.
  • June 11-
    • By June 1702, tensions between the Laurasian and Vectorian Empires had intensified considerably. Vectorian Emperor Sargon Adad II, who had been the Laurasian Empire's adversary in the last Vectorian War of the seventeenth century, had died on June 7, 1698. He had been succeeded briefly by his brother, Eriba-Adad I, who was, however, physically and mentally unfit for the cares of state. Eriba-Adad I was deposed from the Vectorian throne, by the intrigues of the High Council of Regents, on January 7, 1699. The Vectorian General Ashurnasirpal Adak, the cousin of the late Emperor Sargon, and one of the most respected personages within the realms of the Vectorian Empire, was then proclaimed Emperor, as Ashuransirpal Adak II. The new Emperor was determined to recover Hospallian and Anastasian territories lost to the Laurasian Empire, and to entrench the Vectorians once more within the confines of the Barsar Regions. In November 1700, after having concluded the latest conflict with the Haynsian Despotate in the Galactic Void, the Emperor ordered his military officers to draft plans for a series of surprise offensives into the Laurasian Barsar Regions. The goal was the recovery of Hospallia, Anastasia, and Destiny, and the subjection of those systems back to Vectorian authority.
    • In June 1701, the plans were formalized by the Council of High Regents. By the end of 1701, Vectorian expeditions were penetrating into the outskirts of Laurasian territory. This provoked Emperor Neuchrus considerably, and on March 12, 1702, he issued an ultimatum to the Vectorian Court, demanding an end to their raids. Emperor Neuchrus, for his part, was aware of the Vectorian plans for action, thanks to the Imperial Intelligence Agency. By April 1702, he had already strengthened the garrisons of Eliza Spencer, Ankara, Meridu, Tong, Jacksonian Backory, Caesearea, Teutonica, Helen, Grenada, Aletis, and other important strongholds in the Barsar Regions. He also entrusted the Earl of Oxfadia with organizing the defense of the region. Predictably enough, the Vectorians haughtily rejected the Laurasian demands. Thus, on June 11, 1702, Emperor Neuchrus issued a declaration of war, thereby commencing the first military conflict of the eighteenth century for the Laurasian Empire.
  • June 23-Immediately following the declaration of war, the theater of conflict opened between the Laurasian and Vectorian Empires. Emperor Ashurnasirpal Adak, who was still intent upon storming into the Barsar Regions, ordered High Admiral Tukulti-Ninruta to move quickly against Nicole, Redia, and other Laurasian strongholds in that region. And indeed, for the first stages of the conflict, the Vectorians had the advantage. The Laurasian colonies of Murdoch and Nancarrow were both stormed by Vectorian units (June 12-17, 1702); on June 19, Hemkura fell victim to a sudden Vectorian offensive, and fell within hours. Three days later (June 23, 1702), the Battle of Nicole resulted in another surprise victory for the Vectorian Empire, with that important stronghold falling into their hands rapidly. Nestos, Swabie, Bledsoe, Brennan, and Dickerson were all stormed in succession (July-August 1702), and by September 2, 1702, Vectorian forces were besieging Rhodes, Teutonica, Lesia Minor, and Helen. By this point, however, the Vectorian momentum was already fraying.
  • September 11-On September 4, 1702, Lesia Major fell victim to a Vectorian raiding expedition; the Vectorians inflicted severe damage upon the world's defenses, and from thence penetrated into the Durant Cluster. By September 8, Stewart, Hannibal, Skye I, Hamacakai Barka, and Sharon Alfonsi had all suffered severe damage from Vectorian raiding offensives. Yet Sir Giletus Daubeny and the Earl of Oxfadia had allowed for the Vectorians to overextend themselves. High Admiral Tukulti-Ninruta engaged in a series of disputes, both with the High Council of Regents and with many of his own military subordinates. Consequently, the Laurasians were able to take the edge. On September 11, 1702, a Vectorian offensive against Zee ended in failure at the Battle of Benitez. Muir, Thomas, Pierre, and Chelsea then became the sites of successive confrontations between Laurasian and Vectorian forces (September 12-29, 1702), and on October 2, the Earl of Oxfadia destroyed a Vectorian expedition hurled against Beatrice. He then recovered Dubois and Arnell, both of whom had fallen temporarily into Vectorian hands (October 9, 1702), and on October 14, secured the defenses of Lesia Major. On October 22, 1702, the Battle of Al-Pushim ended in another victory for the forces of the Laurasian Empire. By the end of October 1702, Teutonica and Helen had both been relieved of Vectorian forces, and they had also been driven from the outskirts of Lesia Minor. Although the Battle of Hannibal (October 29, 1702), ended in a stalemate for Laurasian forces, the advantage nevertheless remained to Oxfadia and Daubeny.
  • December 9-November and December 1702 saw a series of decisive victories for the Laurasian Empire. Grenada successfully repelled a Vectorian assault (November 6, 1702). On November 11, 1702, the Earl of Oxfadia destroyed a Vectorian convoy in the Battle of Zee. From Zee, Laurasian units were able to capture a Vectorian communications station at Zuelder (November 12), and then proceeded to drive the enemy forces from Brennan and Dickerson. Both colonies fell back into the Empire's hands (November 14, 1702). Bledsoe was the next target, and after a series of confrontations at Bennet, Gorsuch, and Barron, it was blockaded on November 22. It was not until November 28, however, before it too was reconquered from the Vectorians. Daubeny, who had thus far proved an excellent director of tactical operations under Oxfadia's overall command, further distinguished himself in the Battle of Miller (December 3, 1702). He captured an entire Vectorian armored column, and prevented Vectorian forces from conducting a breakout from their positions in the star system. Eight days later, thanks to the advantage which Daubeny had gained at Miller, Laurasian forces were able to storm Swabie and Nestos. Two days afterwards, the Second Battle of Naissus was waged, being fought a third of a century after the famous victory which had been obtained there by Claudius II "Vectorius". The Second Battle of Naissus, like the first, ended in a decisive victory for the Laurasian Empire. More than 200,000 Vectorian troops died; another 100,000 were captured; and nearly two-thirds of the Vectorian naval armada was either destroyed, captured, or scattered, thereby seriously weakening their overall naval strength. Nicole and Hemkurs were then reconquered (December 19-25, 1702), and on New Year's Eve, Murdoch and Nancarrow were isolated and besieged by Oxfadia's units. As 1702 ended, the advantage clearly lay with the Laurasians.

1703Edit

  • January 25-On January 25, 1703, the marriage of King Jamsius IV of Scottria and Grand Princess Constantia of the Laurasian Empire was conducted by proxy at Gilbertine Palace on Tudoria. The Earl of Bothwell served as the proxy for the Scottrian King and wore a gown of cloth-of-gold at the ceremony. He was accompanied by the Archclainnarch of Glasgow and by Ambassador Sir Andrew Forman, the other Scottrian signatories of the Treaty of Almastead the year before. A tournament, prize contest, and a string of dances, masques, and balls were held after the ceremony to commemorate the engagement. Grand Princess Constantia, who was now considered to be Queen-Consort of Scottria by the Imperial Laurasian Government, was provided with a new wardrobe of clothes and given a vastly expanded household. In May 1703, King Jamsius IV granted her possession of numerous royal estates and properties in Scottria, including Methven Castle, Stirling Castle, Doune Castle, Linlithgow Palace, and Newark Castle, as well as the incomes attached with those properties.
  • February 11-Following the death of their eldest child Grand Prince Craterus, Neuchrus and his wife Aurelia Zemakala had resolved upon having another, so as to ensure the definite continuation of their dynasty, lest something befall one of their other children. The Empress Consort became pregnant once more in June 1702, and the pregnancy proceeded without complication. On February 2, 1703, the Empress Consort gave birth to her and Neuchrus's last child, Grand Princess Katharina. The Grand Princess, however, turned out to be a sickly child, and she died on February 10, at the age of only eight days. Aurelia's condition deteriorated drastically following the birth of her daughter, and it was soon discovered that she had contracted the dreaded Marsian fever, which had ravaged the Empire ever since the reign of Antigonus II. On February 11, 1703, the day after the death of her last child and on her 37th birthday, Empress Consort Aurelia Zemakala died in the Imperial Hospital at the Quencilvanian Palace. When the Emperor Neuchrus learned of his wife's death, he went into a fit of bewailment. Both he and his children were greatly stricken by the Empress Consort's death; so was the rest of the Imperial Court. Neuchrus refused to emerge from his chambers for some days after the death of his beloved wife, and he ordered for the bells at all Almitian edifices to be toiled, on the anniversary of her death, until the end of his reign. On the Emperor's orders, Aurelia Zemakala, the daughter (of Probus I), niece (of Titus II), sister (of Maximinus II), wife (of Neuchrus I), mother (of Antigonus III), and eventually, grandmother (of Demetrius II) of an Emperor, and grandmother of two Empresses (Didymeia I and Aurelia I), was buried in the Imperial Mausoleum of the Westphalian Cathedral on February 25, 1703.
  • February 16-By January 1703, the balance in the First Vectorian War of the eighteenth century had shifted completely to the favor of the Laurasian Empire. Emperor Neuchrus, in his New Year's proclamation of January 1, 1703, had exalted that the Empire was on the way to total victory in that front. And indeed, the procession of successes continued. Murdoch was conquered on January 7, 1703, followed by Nancarrow two days earlier. Then on January 15, Oxfadia and Daubeny combined in a decisive offensive against Nicole. The ensuing Battle of Nicole resulted in that stronghold's quick restoration to Laurasia, and a resounding defeat for Vectorian forces, who had now lost the tactical advantage in the Wild Marshes. Frantic Vectorian counteroffensives against Redia, Sejucia, Ruumlist, and Merilash, launched during the latter weeks of January, were repelled by the Imperial Laurasian Navy, and on February 2, 1703, Oxfadia gained another victory in the Battle of Tiesting, capturing twelve Ikus-class transports of the Vectorian Imperial Navy. This confrontation also gave Laurasian forces an additional strategic operating-point. Ghaza, one of the chief Vectorian military and industrial bases, was now besieged. Its fall on February 16, 1703, which included the capture of thirty more Ikus-class transports, along with nearly 300,000 troops, further compounded the earlier series of humiliations borne by the Vectorians. Hakura and Ipkit were both conquered by Laurasian forces in March 1703.
  • February 17-On February 17, 1703, Ulysses Drevich, Chief Procurator of the Holy Synod, died at Lambathian Palace in Christiania, Laurasia Prime. His physicians later discovered that he had suffered from a artery infection, caused by the Nuno pompilius bacterium. He was sixty-three years old at the time of his death, and had served as Chief Procurator for barely two years. Emperor Neuchrus now turned to the task of choosing his successor. He quickly narrowed the list of choices down to the Archbishop of Christiania, Willanius Warhamius, who had served him faithfully and loyally during the preceding years. Warhamius was formally nominated as Chief Procurator on November 29, 1703, and consecrated at the Westphalian Cathedral the following day, in a ceremony attended by the Court, the Synod, and the Conference of Almitian Prelates. He was to be the longest-serving Chief Procurator of the eighteenth century, serving for nearly twenty-nine years. Warhamius also became Procurator-General of the Governing Senate, and would hold that position for nearly twelve years, until December 1715. Thus, he was both the Empire's leading ecclesiastic official and the chief officer of its civil judiciary. As for Drevich, he was buried in the Popes' Crypt of Westphalia on April 22, 1703.
  • April 5-On April 5, 1703, following the fall of Ipkit, the Vectorian stronghold of Skyriver, once one of the chief throne worlds of the Nagai Imperium, came under siege from the forces of the Laurasian Empire. High Admiral Tukulti-Ninruta, determined to ensure that this stronghold would not fall to the Laurasian Empire, presented a serious resistance to Oxfadia. The Siege of Skyriver dragged on for the better part of the month, as Vectorian defensive lines held in the face of relentless Laurasian frontal assaults. Ultimately, however, Skyriver fell on April 28, 1703. Intenti followed shortly afterwards on May 5. Tong and Killing were both stormed in May 1703. So'thirta, however, proved to be a tougher nut to crack, and did not surrender to Sir Daubeny until June 1, 1703. Two days later, the Battle of Morg ended in another victory for the Laurasian Empire; Major-General Sir Antiochus Rumanstevius distinguished himself in that confrontation. Camerania and Kaley then found themselves under assault from Laurasian units, with both ultimately falling on June 24. Vectorian raiding expeditions against Anastasia Minor, Ginger, Robach, and Hospallia Major (July-August 1703), failed to halt the Laurasian momentum. Mercia and Angelia were both conquered on September 2, 1703; then on September 13, Clathmore and Gwenneth both fell to the Earl of Oxfadia.
  • June 23-
    • As regards to the Grand Princess Katharina of Shenandoah, matters had proceeded further following the death of her husband, Grand Prince Craterus, in April 1702. On May 10, 1702, shortly after the recall of Ambassador de Ayala, Holy Spamalkan Emperor F'ero II instructed his new ambassador to the Empire, Hernan Duque de Estrada (1675-1751), to demand the immediate return to the Spamalkan Dominions of the Grand Princess and repayment of the first installment of her dowry. This was intended to persuade Emperor Neuchrus into agreeing to a new proposition Fe'ro was about to make: that a marriage be arranged between Katharina and the new heir to the Imperial Laurasian Crown, Grand Prince Antigonus. Fe'ro foresaw only two objections to such a union: first, Katharina, then sixteen, was five and a half years older than the Grand Prince; second, the customs of the Imperial Almitian Church forbade a man to marry his brother's widow. Age, however, was deemed to be of little account. Fe'ro, however, sought to discover whether or not his daughter's marriage had been consummated. His wife, Empress Fresia, made her own overtures to Ambassador Estrada, instructing him to find out about the truth of the matter.
    • Emperor Neuchrus, however, was not so discreet, and on May 24, he had asked Katharina bluntly and directly if she were still a virgin. She replied that although she had slept with Craterus for six nights, she remained a virgin, and had confessed so to her ladies. Neuchrus then stated that he was thinking about a marriage between her and his youngest son, but that he preferred for her parents to broach the matter first. Gossip about these plans spread quickly around the Imperial Court; Willanius Warhamius was one who expressed his opposition to a marriage, thinking the idea "not only inconsistent with propriety, but against the will of the Lord Almitis Himself." He pointed to the scripture prohibition of such a marriage. Warhamius and his colleagues were silenced however, and the Emperor pushed forward with his plans. In July 1702, Neuchrus wrote to Empress Fresia, informing her of his conversation with her daughter. Fresia responded in kind, declaring herself satisfied that her daughter was still a virgin. The Spouse Monarchs, and the Emperor of Laurasia, now proceeded quickly with affairs. Estrada was given full powers to negotiate and conclude a marriage treaty; the Spouse Monarchs were afraid that Neuchrus would make a marriage alliance with King Lujak XII of Franconia instead. Negotiations formally commenced on Darcia, on September 19, 1702, and dragged on for months. Neither Katharina nor Antigonus were informed of these negotiations; both had been raised to honor and obey their superiors, and raised no dissent. Katharina, on her part, was determined to become Empress Consort of Laurasia, and sought for nothing to block this.
    • In November 1702, Emperor Neuchrus issued a manifesto from the Imperial Court, informing his subjects that it was his intention to provide only for the "benefit of my Empire", and to ensure that the continuance of the alliance would allow for Laurasia to extend, and maintain, its diplomatic ties with the Great Amulak Spiral. Negotiations were further delayed by the Empress-Consort's death in February 1703 (noted above), and there was briefly talk of Neuchrus marrying Katharina himself. This talk, however, was quickly brushed aside. Finally, on June 23, 1703, negotiations concluded, and the Treaty of Darcia was signed. By the terms of this treaty, Katharina of Shenandoah was to be married to Grand Prince Antigonus by no later than July 1, 1705, after he had obtained his fourteenth birthday. The final installment of her dowry was to be made after Katharina had consummated her marriage to the Grand Prince. The dowry would be comprised of €219 billion dataries; one-third of it was to be paid in gold bullion, one-third in hard currency, and one-third in property and luxury goods. On July 7, 1703, the Spouse Monarchs and the Emperor of Laurasia formally ratified the treaty; two days later, Katharina and Antigonus were formally betrothed. On December 26, 1703, on the Emperor's command, the Holy Synod issued a dispensation, declaring that the marriage of Katharina of Shenandoah to Grand Prince Craterus had not been consummated, and that she was free to marry his younger brother.
  • August 8-Grand Princess Constantia, the Queen-Consort (proxy) of Scottria departed from the Imperial Court on Laurasia Prime, on June 27, 1703, for her journey to the Angelina Spiral, and to Ediania, to be married to King Jamsius IV. She was escorted by her father, Emperor Neuchrus, and by the courtiers of the Imperial Household, to as far as Ladoga in the Galactic Borderlands. Constantia formally crossed the Berwick Barrier on August 1, 1703, thereby entering the territory of the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria. She proceeded to Lamberton in the Galactic Barrier, and was greeted there by the Scottrian Court. On August 4, 1703, King Jamsius himself met his fiancee at Dalkeith Palace, and bid her a good welcome. From Dalkeith, the entourage proceeded rapidly to Ediania, reaching there on the 7th. The actual wedding itself (August 8, 1703), at the Holyroodian Palace on Ediania, was officiated by the Archclainnarch of Glasgow and the Archbishop of Laurasia Prime. Following this, the new Queen of Scottria was crowned at Scone (August 24, 1703), accompanied with much celebration and a great mass.
  • August 22-By August 1703, the popularity of the Marasharite Emperor Chomqat II had declined to new lows. The concession of Hungary, Croatia, Slavonia, the Pazak Cluster, and Transylvania to the Holy Austarlian Empire; Ionia, Aetolia, the Morea, and Inner Dalmatia to the Haxonian Confederacy; and Podolia to the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth had placed the Empire on the defensive in the Great Amulak Spiral against its neighbors. These humiliations came barely three decades following the death of Shapur, considered one of the Empire's most fearless and vigorous military campaigners. Emperor Chomqat II, humiliated by the losses, largely withdrew from administrative affairs, delegating many of the cares of state to his tutor, Seyhusilam Efendi. In 1701, the Emperor moved his court to Edirne, and contrived to make his residence there. By early 1703, the Marasharite Empire was contemplating intervention in the affairs of the Georgian Kingdom of Colchis, which had been effectively subordinate to it since 1555, and was then undergoing a major civil war. The Elite Guards, however, were dissatisfied by the treatment they received from the Emperor's representatives. On July 19, 1703, the guards officer Cebeci instigated the revolt of the Guards, who complained of overdue pay, and of the Emperor's absence from Topacia. The revolt soon grew to include civilians, lower-ranking officers and personnel, members of the guilds, and even religious officials. These groups were all frustrated with the Emperor's policies, and irritated about the rise of his favorite. The Guards soon marched on Edirne; the Emperor, in desperation, deposed Efendi from all of his positions on the Grand Council, and from his personal service. This did not satisfy the Guards, and they determined to depose Chomqat. The ulema, religious council of the Marasharite Empire, issued a four-part declaration enumerating the reasons for why Chomqat was no longer fit to sit on the Marasharite throne. On August 22, 1703, Chomqat II was forced to abdicate from the Marasharite throne, and his brother Ahmad, who had aligned himself with the rebels, was proclaimed Emperor of the Marasharites as Ahmad III. As for Efendi, he was captured and executed by the rebellious Guards. Revolt, however, continued on Topacia, and the world was not restored to its earlier state of tranquility until December 1703.
  • October 9-The latter months of 1703 witnessed the continuation of the Laurasian Empire's offensives into the territory of its much smaller Vectorian counterpart, but also the death of that Vectorian Emperor who instigated the conflict. Essie fell to Laurasian forces on September 27, 1703; two days later, it was followed by Kennedy. Jadaurine was besieged from October 2, and would not fall until the 13th. But by the early weeks of October 1703, the health of Ashurnasirpal II Adak had declined considerably. The Emperor, distressed by the losses incurred against the Laurasian Empire, retreated more and more from the responsibilities of public office. Ultimately, his collapse from a stroke on October 8, 1703, revealed the graveness of his condition. He died the following day at the Great Palace of Arachosia Prime, and was succeeded to the Vectorian throne by his brother, who became Davakhum II Adak of Vectoria. Yet the Laurasian successes continued. Following the fall of Jadaurine, Kylantha became the next target of Laurasian forces. It was subdued on November 12, 1703, following a series of clashes at Ivanna, Francia, and Agester. All of these worlds were in Laurasian hands by the end of the year; Dedantia and Deira were now in serious danger. Lwheek was seized on Ascentmas Day, 1703.

1704Edit

  • January 8-On January 8, 1704, former Marasharite Emperor Chomqat II died at Tastanbul. His death occurred barely five months after his deposition from the throne of the Marasharite Empire by his younger brother Ahmed III. Chomqat had passed the last months of his life in relative obscurity, but the circumstances of his death, so soon after his fall from power, were considered suspicious by many. He would be interred at the Topkaki Palace Mortuary on Topacia, in March 1704.
  • January 11-February 13-1704, the 4th year of the eighteenth century, witnessed substantial progress for the forces of the Laurasian Empire. As mentioned above, Dedantia and Deira were both under serious threat by the beginning of January 1704. The Earl of Oxfadia and Lieutenant-General Sir Daubeny now decided to divide their military forces; Oxfadia resolved to complete the subjection of Dedantia, Nagosh, Livonia, Dinst, and Himmler, while Deira, Natalina, Bree, Natalia Wood, Tatiana, and Rhedita became the responsibility of Daubeny. Their goals were quickly achieved. Dedantia was formally besieged from January 7, 1704; its defenses, commanded by Vectorian Regent-General Arik-den-ili, proved to be incapable of withstanding the military power of the Laurasian Empire's forces. It fell on January 14. Oxfadia then rapidly stormed Livonia, Dinst, and Himmler (January 14-22, 1704), and on January 24, won the Battle of Pompus. Two days later, Nagosh became the next target of Laurasian military forces; its fall on February 10, 1704, completed the string of Vectorian humiliations in that theater. By the end of February 1704, the whole of the Sassi-ruuk and Nagai territories would be in the hands of the Laurasian Empire. Daubeny, on his part, completed his program of conquest successfully. Deira was subjected to siege from January 11, 1704; its fall five days later saw the capture of more than 200,000 Vectorian troops by the Imperial Laurasian Army. Defeating Vectorian General Al-Kaulk in the ensuing Battle of the Brevan (January 22, 1704), he then secured Natalina and Bree with ease. Bree's fall was shortly afterwards followed by that of Rhedita (February 21-27, 1704), and on February 28, by the decisive Laurasian naval victory in the Battle of Curtis. Tatiana surrendered on March 2, 1704.
  • March 29-By March 1704, the Laurasian momentum in the campaigns against the Vectorian Empire had increased further. On March 7, 1704, Daubeny, with the assistance of Commodore the Lord Hastingtia of Hannah, won a decisive victory over the combined Vectorian fleet of High Admirals Tukulti-Ninruta and Tiglath-plieser in the Battle of Richards. By this point, Laurasian forces were pressing head-first into Arachosia Suprema and the Gate Solarian Cluster. Neustron was stormed (March 22, 1704), being shortly afterwards followed by Hedonsis (March 24). On March 29, 1704, the Battle of Invictis Mesura resulted in the destruction of more than two-thirds of the opposing Vectorian force by Oxfadia and Commodore Hastingtia (who would be promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral for this feat). Halia and Cooper then fell during April 1704, and on May 1, 1704, the Battle of Clarchin ended in another victory for Laurasian military forces. The Vectorian colonies of Renee, Alizea, and Kaitlyn were then stormed in quick succession (May 4-19, 1704), and on May 22, Ompus Septimia, once one of the major strongholds of the old Arachosian Empire, was blockaded. Tukulti-Ninruta, who launched vain offensives against Tatiana, Mercia, Camerania, and Essie, found himself completely outclassed. The fall of Ompus Septimia on June 5, 1704, inflicted a great humiliation upon the Vectorian Empire. Tukulti-Ninruta himself died four days later at Timber in a starship accident. Blake and Joanna then fell before the Laurasian hammer, and Tekos IV soon found itself under siege (June 7-27, 1704). When it finally fell on the 27th, more than three-fourths of the Vectorian garrison was dead. By the middle of July 1704, Hippucca and Gazarus were both in Laurasian hands. Corupedia followed on July 28.
  • August 6-Birth of Amnystas Parsius, future Chief Procurator of the Holy Synod (1759-75) under the Empress Aurelia the Great. Parsius was born on Kigonia to Willanius Parsius, a shipwright and dockyard worker (died 1716), and his wife Aedila Montaria (died 1729).
  • September 19-On September 19, 1704, Haynsian Despot Jay IX Karany, who had reigned four times since 1671, died on Haynes. He was seventy-three years old at the time of his death. Marasharite Emperor Ahmed III elevated the Despot’s second son, Sophi, to the Haynsian throne as Sophi III Karany. He was crowned Despot on October 22, 1704.
  • November 24-On November 24, 1704, the former Queen of Lesser Spamalka, and the Empress of the Holy Spamalkan Empire, Fresia I, died on Medina del Campo, at the age of only fifty-three. She had ruled for thirty years, since her accession to the Lesser Spamalkan throne on December 11, 1674, and had since 1679 ruled jointly with her husband, Emperor Fe'ro II. Fresia's health had been in decline since the death of her son Prince Jose in 1697; this had been accelerated with the death of her namesake daughter, the Queen-Consort of Portugallia, the following year. She had also been stricken by the departure of her daughter Catalina for the Laurasian Empire. Fresia withdrew from government affairs in September 1704, two months before her death. Great mourning ensued in Spamalka for the death of an Empress who had been a legend in her lifetime. Grand Princess Katharina of Shenandoah was stricken by the death of her mother, to whom she had always remained close. The Grand Princess had herself suffered ill health throughout much of that year, experiencing intermittent stomach attacks and headaches. She had grown alarmingly pale, and there had even been fears, in June 1704, that she would die. For weeks, she had laid ill at the Diplomatic Palace, and in early August, the Emperor had her transported to Aquilionia, hoping to revive her condition. In August 1704, however, it was reported that she was still in ill health. Emperor Neuchrus had informed her parents of this, and this had caused an acceleration in the decline of the Spamalkan Empress's own health. By November, Katharina had recovered, but her mother was on her deathbed. Fresia's funeral took place at the Capilla Real in Granada, on December 7, 1704. Fe'ro II was now sole Emperor of Holy Spamalka. His authority in Lesser Spamalka, however, was challenged by those elements who believed that his daughter, Jo'aha, should be elevated to co-sovereign alongside him. The tensions which now developed in the Holy Spamalkan Empire were to have repercussions for his daughter at the Imperial Laurasian Court.
  • December 5-From Corupedia, the forces of the Earl of Oxfadia and Sir Daubeny had combined for the final drive in Arachosia Suprema. Arachosia Prime, one of the most populous worlds in the Caladarian Galaxy, now became their target. The subjection of the Arachosian colonies of Dolmes and Severanian Septimia (August 1704), and then the Siege of Synchronia (September 1-17, 1704), both served to strengthen Laurasian communication lines and to weaken those of the Vectorian adversary. It was not until October 5, 1704, before Arachosia Prime itself came within the range of the Laurasian Empire's military forces. The Siege of Arachosia Prime commenced the following day. The moons of Sargon the Great, Exa'lard, and Shamashi-Adad the Discoverer fell quickly into Laurasian hands (by October 17), but that of the Great Artificial Platform of Arachosia proved to be far more of a challenge. Moreover, Vectorian units harassed Laurasian formations in the Arachosia Prime Asteroid Belt, and around the outskirts of the star system. The Siege ultimately dragged on for more than a month, as Laurasian warships bombarded the planetary shields. On November 22, 1704, Oxfadia, determined to end the siege, launched the final, coordinated assault, a combined push by the Empire's navy and land forces. The shield generators of Arachosia Prime finally cracked under relentless assault, and within hours, the planetary surface was issued by the Imperial Laurasian Army and Marines. Arachosia Prime's garrison commander, Bel-bani, proved to be resilient, and it was not until December 5 before Archalay, the Marcian Royal City, and Sargonia fell into Laurasian possession. Bel-bani himself was killed on December 9, in a suicide mission against Laurasian convoys. By December 14, 1704, the world was completely in Laurasian possession. It was the fall of Arachosia Prime that finally convinced the High Council of Arachosian Regents, and Emperor Davakhum, of the futility of the war. On December 17, 1704, they sent a request for a military armistice to the Imperial Laurasian Government. Emperor Neuchrus, himself wishing to turn his attention to other matters of diplomatic importance, decided to accept. The Armistice of Gustrin was signed on December 23, 1704, thereby suspending military hostilities.

1705Edit

  • January 3-
    • 1705, the fifth year of the eighteenth century, commenced with underlying tensions building at the Imperial Laurasian Court. Following the death of Holy Spamalkan Empress Fresia I, changes had occurred in the life of her daughter, Grand Princess Katharina of Shenandoah. On the very day that her mother had died, the Grand Princess had written to her father, chiding him for not having contacted her in some time. Weakened by her illness, Katharina believed that her father's silence spelled something ominous for her condition. Yet this was not the only cause of trouble. Since arriving in the Empire, she had come to know freedom she had never dreamed of in Spamalka, where women were kept in seclusion and lived a conventual style of life. They wore clothes which camouflaged their bodies and veiled their faces in public, a legacy of the Moorish Empire which had once reigned over the Spamalkan dominions. Etiquette at the Spamalkan Court was rigid, and frivolity was frowned upon. But in Laurasia, women enjoyed more freedom: they wore more revealing clothing, sang and danced as they pleased, and conducted themselves in a very public manner. To the maturing Grand Princess, exposure to these conditions brought with it a desire for some independence and liberation from the restrictions previously imposed upon her. Several courtiers had told her that she should enjoy herself, and following her betrothal to Grand Prince Antigonus, she had thrown herself into the affairs of the Imperial Court. Dona Elvira, however, had been scandalized by her charge's behavior, and was concerned that Katharina might cheapen herself in the eyes of the Laurasians.
    • She complained, in early December 1704, to both Emperors, Fe'ro II and Neuchrus I. Fe'ro replied that Katharina must behave as "was fitting for her honor and dignity", and commanded his daughter to adhere to rules set down by the duenna. Katharina became spiteful towards Dona Elvira, and now desired to be rid of her. Moreover, towards Ascentmas Day, 1704, she fell ill again, and this worsened her depression. Emperor Neuchrus, on his part, contemplating the diplomatic changes which had taken place as a result of Fresia's death, now decided to take matters into his own hands. On January 3, 1705, he formally suspended Katharina's allowance. By the middle of January 1705, the Grand Princess began to feel the effects. Although she still resided at the Imperial Laurasian Court, and did not lack for daily comforts and provisions, she had no funds with which to pay her servants, and this was embarrassing for her. She had also noticed a certain coolness in the Emperor's attitude towards her, which troubled her. Katharina's grief for her mother was now compounded by worldly distress. Her attempts to make appeals, through the Spamalkan Ambassador, to the Emperor, availed her nothing.
  • February 26-
    • Following the conclusion of the Armistice of Gustrin, preparations for a conference between the Laurasian and Vectorian Empires commenced quickly. On December 30, 1704, Emperor Neuchrus designated Chief Procurator Warhamius of the Holy Synod, the Earl of Oxfadia, Chancellor Parsonius, and President Dudley of the Imperial Privy Council as the plenipotentiaries for the Imperial Laurasian Government. Vectorian Emperor Davakhum II Adak, on his part, selected Governor Lullaya of Vector Prime, High Admiral Cassaya-Adak, and Ishme-Dagan, High Counsel of the Council of Regents, as his representatives. Sejucia was chosen as the site for negotiations; the actual conference convened there on January 7, 1705. Emperor Neuchrus was determined to reap the benefit from this recent military conflict, and the Imperial Laurasian Government now made major demands of the Vectorians, for the concession of all Vectorian territories with the exception of Inner Arachosia Suprema (that is, Vector Prime, Arachosia Prime, and their associated colonial strongholds). Davakhum II Adak, who knew that his capital world was under direct threat from Laurasian military forces, and aware of the little leverage he had, commanded his representatives to accept the Laurasian demands. After just over a month of negotiations, the Treaty of Sejucia was signed on February 26, 1705. By the terms of this treaty, the Laurasian Empire acquired virtually all of the territories it had conquered (the Sassi-Ruuk, Nagai, Tashian, Rhedian, and Amelianian Provinces).
    • This included the Gate Solarian Cluster (with Neustron and Invictis Mesura), Dolmes, Nagosh, Francia, Intenti, Mercia, Angelia, Camerania, Lwheek, Kylantha, Essie, Deira, Ompus Septimia, Hedonsis, Tekos IV, Tong, Pompus, Kiling, Mixing, Natalina, Tatiana, Bree, Natalia Wood, Rhedita, and Dedantia, among other strongholds in the Southern Galactic Borderlands. The Vectorian Empire agreed to compensate its Laurasian counterpart for all military expenses incurred during the conflict; to recognize the free-transit privileges of Laurasian subjects in Vectorian territory; the abolition of all tariffs and duties on Laurasian goods in Vectorian territory; and the right of all Laurasian subjects in Vectoria to submit directly to the authority of the Laurasian Ambassador, rather than that of the Vectorian Government. Furthermore, all Vectorian raiding and reconnaissance expeditions were to cease, and Vectorian military forces were limited to one-twentieth that of the strength of Laurasian forces in the Barsar Regions. The Treaty of Sejucia, which almost virtually dismantled the Vectorian Empire, was ratified by Emperor Neuchrus on March 5 and by his Vectorian counterpart Davakhum II Adak on April 1.
  • May 5-On May 5, 1705, Holy Austarlian Emperor Lea'dus I, died at the Imperial Palace on Vienna, aged 64. He had reigned for forty-eight years (since March 6, 1657) and was the senior monarch of extra-galactic civilization at the time of his death. Lea'dus's reign had seen the significant expansion of the Holy Austarlian Empire. During his reign, the Holy Austarlian Empire had been engaged in the War of the Dejanican Deluge (1654-67); the Austarlian-Marasharite War of Transylvania (1659-64); the First Princely War (1672-78); the Burgundian War of Char'vak the Bold (1674-77); the Great Marasharite War (1683-99); the Durthian-Franconian War (1689-97), which included the First Italianian War; and, at the time of his death, Rakoci's Rebellion and the Bavarian War (1703-11). As a result of these varied military conflicts, Lea'dus had acquired Lesser Croatia (1663); the Dejanican Captaincies of Upper Hungary (1667); the Duchies of Brussalia, Trier, Mayence, and Sponheim (1677); Augsburg, Regensburg, Trent, and Brixen (1678); Sundgau, Turkeheim, Rottweil, and Basel (1697); Marasharite Hungary, the Principality of Transylvania, Croatia, Slavonia, Upper Dalmatia, and the Pazak Cluster (1699); the Archmandrite of Salzburg (1702); and Ottenburg (1705). By the end of his reign, therefore, the Holy Austarlian Empire's realms embraced Ducal Austarlia, Bohemia, Hungary, Croatia, Slavonia, Transylvania, Austarlian Burgundy, and the Voran Patrimonies. It was one of the most formidable powers in the Great Amulak Spiral, and the most powerful of any of the Germanian States. This dominance, however, was to be greatly challenged by Pruthia, Vendragia, and the minor Principalities during the course of the eighteenth century. Emperor Lea'dus himself had been cold, aloof, and unforgiving, but was nevertheless intelligent and capable of governing his realms in an effective manner. He was now succeeded as Holy Emperor of Austarlia by his eldest son, who became Joseth I.
  • June 27-
    • By June 1705, matters surrounding the Grand Princess Katharina of Shenandoah had intensified further. Katharina, who had become utterly desperate for funds, issued numerous appeals to Spamalkan Ambassador de Puebla (who had assumed his post in July 1704), complaining about her desperate financial condition and asking for redress. De Puebla had then written a series of communiques to Emperor Fe'ro, informing him of his daughter's plight, and asking him to give her aid. Fe'ro had, in March 1705, dispatched a sum of €25 million denarii, but this was not enough to cover all of Katharina's expenses. She continued her appeals through de Puebla. Finally, on June 9, 1705, Emperor Fe'ro responded again, declaring that it was not his responsibility to "provide abundantly for the Grand Princess and her household", and insisting that Emperor Neuchrus had to restore his daughter's allowance. Moreover, he forbade de Puebla from including in any future communiques appeals from his daughter. De Puebla himself sought to avoid the Princess, and refused to heed her direct entreaties to him for aid. He would not even deliver reports of her distress to Emperor Neuchrus and the Imperial Privy Council. Katharina was left helpless, and she was forbidden by etiquette from making a direct appeal to the Emperor of Laurasia herself. Consequently, she had to salvage her remaining funds and deal as best as she could. Emperor Neuchrus, on his part, saw Katharina's value as reduced. Many at the Court now openly snubbed her, and the Emperor himself acted as if she did not exist. The Grand Princess had been reduced to the status of a virtual prisoner at the Diplomatic Palace.
    • On June 27, 1705, Emperor Neuchrus secretly repudiated the marriage contract between his younger son, Grand Prince Antigonus, and Katharina of Shenandoah. He had the Grand Prince swear, in the presence of the Archbishop of Winchestrius, to revoke the promises made at his betrothal, on the grounds that they were made when he was a minor and incapable under the law of deciding such things for himself. The Grand Princess was kept in ignorance of this; Neuchrus now sought to clear the way for an alternative marriage for his son. Yet the Emperor was himself interested in begating heirs for his dynasty. In July 1705, he ordered the Ambassador to the Court of Naparia, Sir Oedipus Asecius (1652-1709), to report on the "qualities and appearance" of the widowed Queen-Consort of Naparia, Joan (1679-1718), who was then twenty-five years old. The description Neuchrus dispatched to the Ambassador of the desirable wife matched that of the late wife. The Ambassador did as ordered, and held a personal audience with the Queen-Dowager herself. His report, transmitted to the Imperial Privy Council on August 7, 1705, contained an extensive description of all her personality traits and physical features. Neuchrus found himself interested by this woman, and in September 1705, negotiations began between the Laurasian and Naparian Courts for the conclusion of a possible marriage treaty. They were to rumble on indecisively for nearly two years, and would finally flounder in June 1707 due to various political and personal reasons. Neuchrus was destined never to remarry.
  • October 27-
    • On October 27, 1705, Ivan III the Great, Grand Duke of Masacavania, died at the Kremlin on Moscow. He was sixty-five years old at the time of his death. Ivan's reign had seen the final emergence of the Grand Duchy as a fully independent, assertive power in its own right. Ever since his accession to the throne in 1662, the Grand Duke had pursued policies to expand the influence and boundaries of his own monarchy. He accomplished this goal through a series of wars, military interventions, treaties, and diplomatic intrigues. The Grand Duchy, which comprised of just over 100,000 star systems at the time of his accession, had expanded to encompass nearly 575,000 by 1705. He conquered the Grand Republic of Novogrod, long his state's chief enemy, after two successive wars in 1670-71 and 1677-78; seized Yarsolavl (1663), Rostov (1674), Belozersk (1678), Tver (1685), Vereia (1686), Vyatka (1689), and Vyazma (1694) through inheritance and purchase; and through wars with Denmarica (1692-95) and the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1692-94, 1700-03), extended his power over Starodub, Chernigov, Novogrod-Seversky, Ivanograd, Ingria, and Lower Karelia. And in 1676, he definitively rejected all ties of vassalage to the Confederation of the Breffals, fully asserting this after the Battle of Kala-ugra in September 1680.
    • This had been followed by his reduction of the Kamanate of Kazania to vassalage (1687), and by expeditions against the Nogai Horde, Kamachatka, the Kalmuks, and the Bashkirs (1682-85, 1687-91, 1704-05), by which he secured Masacavanian hold over the Novayla Zemyla and Western Siberian Provinces. Ivan had also waged three further conflicts against the Breffals (1693-94, 1698-99, and 1701) forcing them to recognize his hold of the Upper Stroganov and Cherrmisian Territories. Furthermore, Ivan had pursued a policy of centralization, strengthening the central governmental bureaucracy, increasing the size of his own military forces, restricting the influence of his nobility, and crushing rebellions against him in the heartland of Great Masacavania (1674-79 and 1686-87). He had also established diplomatic relations with Dejanica, Austarlia, Denmarica, Vendragia, Pruthia, and the Marasharite Empire, and had encouraged commerce in the outskirts of the northern Great Amulak. Ivan had, for the last five months of his reign, been senior monarch. He was now succeeded briefly in this status by Elector Joseph Maria of Bavaria, who would hold it until January 1706 and to the throne by his son Vasily II. The Laurasian Empire would not have diplomatic relations with the Grand Duchy of Masacavania until 1757, during the reign of Ivan III's great-grandson, Ivan IV.
  • November 2-On November 2, 1705, Tetricus I of Samantha, the last Emperor of the breakaway Samanathan Empire, died at his estate, Jonesian House, on Chobania. He was eighty-three years old at the time of his death. Emperor Aurelian had spared his life and had conferred upon him the title of Duke of Samantha, granted him a honorary commission in the Imperial Laurasian Army, and permitted for him to take up residence in Christiania. Tetricus had risen to the point that Emperor Probus named him Governor of Melarnaria in November 1677, a position which he had held for two years. Upon acceding to the throne in August 1685, Emperor Neuchrus had granted Tetricus estates on Goni, Samantha, Reading, Nanking, Gardiner, Leo's Redoubt, Breha, Offshora, Messalina, Chobania, and Kimania, among other worlds in the Barsar Regions. Tetricus had resided primarily at Chobania from 1690 and been named honorary Consul of the star system in 1696. His death, therefore, was greeted with the proper respects at the Imperial Laurasian Court. On the orders of Emperor Neuchrus, he was buried with state honors at the Cathedral of St. Antoninus the Prior on Goni on November 21.
  • December 25-
    • By December 1705, the Grand Princess Katharina of Shenandoah's condition had deteriorated yet further. In October 1704, the Grand Princess had been granted the use of Durhamian House in Colombia, which belonged to the Archbishop of Colombia. It was one of the largest, most lavish private residences on Laurasia Prime. On November 4, 1705, however, Emperor Neuchrus had ordered the Grand Princess to return this property to the Archbishop's possession, and he had translated her household directly to the Quencilvanian Palace. Katharina, therefore, had to live even more under the Emperor's oversight. Most of Katharina's servants and attendants at this stage were the Spamalkans who had originally come with her to the Empire; they remained loyal to her, but were bristling at their lack of pay. Katharina, by the beginning of December, had fallen into debt, and she was forced to seek contributions from courtiers of the Imperial Household, and from the City of Christiania, in order to cover her expenses. Emperor Neuchrus still refused to restore her allowance, and her father refused to receive any of her further requests for aid. It was on Ascentmas Day (December 25, 1705), that she had a humiliating interview with the Emperor.
    • An argument ensued when Neuchrus refused to restore her allowance. Katharina burst into tears, but even this did not move the Emperor. During the last days of December 1705, Katharina attempted to resume her appeals to her father, but he still blocked them, and insisted that it was her future father-in-law's duty to support her, and that in failing to do so, he was guilty of breaching the sacred oaths of imperial rule and monarchy. As 1705 came to a close, the Grand Princess had come to realize that the Emperor no longer desired her marriage to his son. Indeed, from April 1705, Neuchrus had been engaged in secret negotiations with Grand Duke Philivus of Durthia and Burgundy, husband of Spamalkan Princess Joa'ha. Philivus was resentful of his father-in-law, and sought to establish his own base of influence in Spamalka. Neuchrus had proposed to Philivus that the Grand Prince marry Eleanora of Austarlia, Philivus's eldest daughter. Fe'ro was unaware of this, and consequently had no reason to believe that the Emperor of Laurasia would break his alliance. Ambassador de Puebla refused to help her, and Katharina suffered from further bouts of ill health.

1706Edit

  • January 25-
    • By January 1706, tensions between the Laurasian Empire and the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth had escalated. The Commonwealth, which had stalemated in its offensives against the Marasharite Empire following the Siege of Vienna, had received its only compensation in the form of Podolia (1699). King Callaganius II, the successor to the warrior King Janius Sobieskius, was nevertheless far from the most assertive, or vigorous ruler. He found himself entangled in numerous disputes with the Dejanican Diet, which had gained increasing authority and influence during the course of the seventeenth century. In May 1700, three of the King's budgetary measures had been rejected by the Diet through the use of its liberum veto, by which one member could veto a resolution. In June 1701, the King was forbidden to reorganize his personal guards by the Senate, and saw restrictions imposed on his collection of revenues from his royal estates. Furthermore, the Diet actively limited the King's authority over the Commonwealth's military forces. All of this intensified the Commonwealth's troubles, which were only to worsen as the eighteenth century progressed. By 1706, Commonwealth expeditions, principally of its nobles, were engaged in the process of harrying the Borderland Territories and the Wild Marshes, thereby explicitly violating the Treaty of Eternal Peace. Huerta Mongol, Qu'emia, Bach Dang, Ho Chi Minh, Saigon, Cassolar, Song Dhu, Kelvania, Angelica Major, and Hypasia Minor alike all saw themselves threatened by Dejanican expeditions. Several times during the course of 1705, Emperor Neuchrus had demanded that the Diet honor the arrangements of the Eternal Peace Treaty, and restrain the raiding expeditions. Each time, his plea had been rejected by that very same Diet.
    • On January 17, 1706, Valeris V fell victim to a Dejanican raiding party from the Dvina Straits. The freebooter Dejanican Prince Kanis Sulaskius was responsible for the latest incursion; his forces breached the star system's defenses, inflicting severe damage upon them to the tune of more than €2.2 trillion dataries. He and his men also captured more than 300,000 civilians from the planetary surface. This proved to be the last straw for Emperor Neuchrus. The Laurasian Empire declared war against the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth on January 25, 1706. Almost immediately, Laurasian forces advanced. The defenses of Song Dhu were secured, and on January 30, 1706, the Earl of Soria defeated Prince Sulaskius in the Battle of Coleman. Londarania and Spencer then became the scenes of confrontations between Laurasian and Dejanican forces; by February 11, all Dejanican raiding expeditions against the Immortalized Cluster had been halted. On February 23, 1706, the Battle of Yemenk ended in another victory for Soria; by the end of the month, Irutsk and Yakutsk had both been secured against the Dejanican threat.
  • March 24-By March 1706, the health of King Callaganius II had entered a pitiful decline. The King, exhausted by his struggles with the Dejanican Diet, suffered a stroke on Krakow on February 28, five days after receiving word of the Dejanican loss at Yemenk. He was rushed back to Dejanica Major, and at the Kranskia Palace, expressed his lamentations for his subjects. Then, on March 24, 1706, after having reigned for less than ten years, Callaganius II died, aged forty-nine. His death was received with much sadness throughout the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Diet, aware of the necessity of another monarch in the midst of war, quickly elected Callaganius's son, Prince Mersius, as King and Grand Duke of the Commonwealth (April 1, 1706). This was the last time in the Commonwealth's history that any semblance of hereditary succession occurred. Mersius declared his resolution to continue the military conflict against the Laurasian Empire.
  • April 12-March and April 1706 witnessed the continuation of Laurasian successes against Dejanica. On March 7, 1706, the Earls of Soria and Deanna destroyed a Dejanican expeditionary fleet near the Fields of Marth. From here, Soria repelled Dejanican counteroffensives against Masan and Hisehbig (March 11-14, 1706), and on March 22, stormed Carli, a minor Dejanican colony located eight light years northwest of Black-Chandlier. The Lavellan systems of LaWanda, Redd, Foxx, and Laverne then fell in succession to the Empire's forces (March 24-April 1, 1706). Then on April 9, 1706, the Dejanican Voivode of Lavella, Carl Lubirmoskia, assembled his forces at Tima in the Wild Marshes, determined to launch a counteroffensive into the Hypasian Provinces, and to blunt any further Laurasian advance. Soria, however, was alerted to his plans, and he now intercepted Lubirmoskia at the outskirts of Tima. The ensuing Battle of Tima lasted for three days, and resulted in sigificant losses for both forces. Ultimately, however, Soria prevailed, and on April 12, Lubirmoskia was forced to abandon the stronghold. In the aftermath, Laurasian units subdued Diana, Dana, Delany, Ross, and Webster, and by the beginning of May 1706, were directly menacing Antwone. Before that world, however, lay the strongholds of Fisher and Carrie. Soria's attempts to breach Carrie's defenses were blunted in the Battle of Irving (May 5-17, 1706), and on May 22, Lubirmoskia actually defeated Soria in the Battle of Spacek, thereby preventing a direct move on Fisher. It was not until the end of May 1706 before Soria finally managed to stabilize his offensive lines.
  • June 24-On June 2, 1706, the Battle of Nancy, between the forces of the Laurasian Empire and Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth, resulted in a strategic victory for the Earl of Soria. With Nancy in Laurasian hands, Soria was able to execute a maneuver against Antwone. Laurasian units stormed the outposts of Novella, Nelson, and Denziel (June 3-9, 1706), and on June 14, seized Outpost K-30, which was one of the chief Dejanican communications posts along the Dejan-Antwone Highway. Antwone itself was besieged from June 17; it's fall on June 24, 1706, represented a major victory for the Empire. Poehler was then secured (June 28), and on July 3, 1706, Soria launched a renewed offensive against Fisher and Carrie. Both strongholds were finally secured on July 10; then on July 22, the Second Battle of Irving resulted in a victory for Soria, in a rematch against Lubirmoskia. Spacek was secured on August 2, 1706, and the way was now opened for an offensive against Dejan. Dejan was assaulted on August 7, 1706; Lubirmoskia, assisted by Hetman Wronz Solytk, attempted in vain to blunt the Laurasian assault. Dejan was stormed by the Laurasian Empire on August 23, 1706; Upper Moldoach and Karmania fell in September 1706. On October 4, 1706, the Battle of Pardy resulted in another victory for Soria; Parton, Tomlin, and JoBeth were then subdued, and by the end of that month, most of the Dvina Straits strongholds had been secured.
  • September 25-
    • Besides the continuation of the Laurasian Empire's war against the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth (the Expedition War), 1706 saw other events, as regards to the Laurasian and the Holy Spamalkan Empires, and in relation to the Grand Princess Katharina of Shenandoah. Fe'ro II had become sole Emperor of Holy Spamalka upon the death of his wife Fresia I in November 1704; feeling the need to maintain his grip on the throne, he did not hesitate to remarry. The Emperor chose Germaine of Foix (1688-1738), the daughter of the Franconian Duke of Narbonne. Their marriage came as part of a negotiations process between Emperor Fe'ro and King Lujak XII of Franconia, as the Emperor of Spamalka sought to secure the throne of Navarre. The Treaty of Blois, concluded in October 1705, permitted for Fe'ro to marry Germaine of Foix; furthermore, Lujak conceded all claims to Spamalkan Palestina and the Kingdom of Naparia. The actual marriage took place on March 17, 1706, in Girona. This was two months after an event of further consequence. In January 1706, Grand Duke Philivus of Durthia and Burgundy, the Emperor Fe'ro's nephew, and his wife, Grand Duchess Jo'aha, sister of Katharina of Shenandoah, found themselves marooned in the Galactic Void, just two thousand light years northeast of the Caladarian Galaxy. This was the consequence of a stellar storm which diverted the course of their convoy. They had been rescued by a Imperial Laurasian Navy task force, and were formally conducted into the Empire's realms. This was a significant occasion, marking the first time in Laurasian history that a foreign sovereign from the Great Amulak Spiral was officially received by the Imperial Laurasian Government. From the Galactic Void, they proceeded to Laurasia Prime; on January 29, 1706, they were formally received at the Quencilvanian Palace by Emperor Neuchrus and the Imperial Court. Philivus, on his part, was anxious to secure the conclusion of a marriage compact, concerning his daughter Eleanora with Grand Prince Antigonus. Neuchrus, on his part, sought to strengthen his ties to the Great Amulak Spiral. The two monarchs, who had continued to exchange correspondence with each other, now engaged in direct discussions.
    • Katharina, who knew nothing of these negotiations, was present at the Quencilvanian Palace for the visit, and was elated at the prospect of seeing her sister. She was hopeful that Jo'aha would use her influence with their father to improve her own situation. Emperor Neuchrus himself ensured that Katharina had a prominent part in the festivities. She was donned in Spamalkan dress, danced for her brother-in-law, and sat with Grand Princess Octavia, the Emperor's youngest daughter. She wondered whether she had been restored to favor, or if the Emperor of Laurasia wished for Philivus to leave with the impression that she was being treated well. Whenever she was in Philivus's presence, however, she was always under the Emperor's supervision, thereby making it impossible to air her grievances to her brother-in-law. Katharina's expectations for Jo'aha, moreover, were blown out of proportion. The two sisters had not met in ten years, and had little in common. Jo'aha was sunk in depression, obsessed with jealousy of her wayward husband, and not interested about the problems of her younger sister; Katharina never attempted to ask for help. As regards to the conferences between Neuchrus and Philivus, nothing conclusive was reached as regards to a marriage compact, but on March 7, 1706, the two monarchs did conclude the Treaty of Christiania, which was meant to foster closer ties between Laurasia and Durthia.
    • The Treaty assured the mutual respect of each sovereign for one another, abolished all duties upon Laurasian exports, granted merchants of the Empire extraordinary privileges in Durthian territory, provided for mutual assistance between the Empire and Durthian Duchies, and also for the extradition of the Duke of Sufforia and other rebels back to the Laurasian Empire. In Durthia, however, it proved to be immensely unpopular. Finally, on April 9, 1706, Philivus and Jo'aha left the Empire; they were completely unaware of her sufferings. The couple arrived at Corunna on April 20, and on June 27, 1706, the Treaty of Villafilla was concluded between Philivus and Fe'ro, thereby permitting the Grand Duke of Durthia to assume the co-rulership of the Holy Spamalkan Empire, in right of his wife Joa'ha. Philivus was formally proclaimed Emperor by the Cortes of Valladolid. On September 25, 1706, however, he died at Burgos after a short illness. He would be interred at the Capilla Royal in October 1706; at that time his wife, Joa'ha, was named co-ruler of the Holy Spamalkan Empire by her father. Philivus's younger sister, Margaret of Austarlia, became hereditary Grand Duchess of Durthia and Burgundy, and would remain as such until her abdication in January 1716, in favor of her former sister-in-law Fresia. This was because Philivus and Fresia's son, Char'va (who had been born at Ghent on February 24, 1700), was only six years old at the time and therefore deemed incapable of assuming the Durthian Crown.
    • As for Katharina, her situation remained dire. By April 1706, she was deeply in debt, and did not have sufficient funds to replace her wardrobe or to purchase vital goods and equipment for her household. The Grand Princess did not wish to appear to the Court in a shabby condition, and was consequently forced to pawn and to barter many of her valuables in order to maintain her personal appearance. By the summer solstice of 1706, she was completely incapable of paying her servants and attendants their salaries, and told Ambassador de Puebla that they were "ready to ask for alms" due to their desperate conditions. She fell ill again in July 1706, suffering recurrent bouts of fever which were exacerbated by constant anxiety over her situation. By September, however, Katharina's condition had improved somewhat, as the Emperor permitted her to spend time with Grand Prince Antigonus. The Grand Prince, who was now fifteen years old, never hinted about his secret repudiation of his precontract to Katharina, and continued to refer to her in public "as my most dear and well-beloved consort, the Grand Princess my wife." A bond of affection began to develop between them during the times they spent together, and the age gap (Katharina turned twenty-one in 1706) seemed to narrow. The Emperor, however, decided to separate them again, and sent Katharina to the Palace of the Secrets on Paradine (October 1706). She remained there for the rest of the year, and came back to the Court only for Ascentmas and Twelfth Night.
  • December 6-On November 7, 1706, the Earl of Soria, receiving reinforcements from the Hypasian and Angelican Provinces, decided to launch a direct offensive against Dequan. Over the course of the next ten days, Soria stormed the Dejanican garrisons of Dominique, LaKeisha, DeBrilla, and DeAndre, thereby inflicting a series of humiliating losses upon Dejanican frontier forces. He then secured Schumer and Charles (November 22, 1706), thereby making it impossible for Lubormiskia to attempt a counteroffensive against the Dvina Straits. Finally, on December 6, 1706, Dequan itself came within the range of the Imperial Laurasian Navy. Soria blockaded the star system's outskirts, impounded a number of Dejanican convoys, and bombarded the world's defenses relentlessly. Lubormiskia, who found himself tied up at Lavella Minor by Laurasian starfighter squadrons, could not provide effective relief to the besieged garrison. Dequan fell on December 21, 1706. By the end of the month, Lavella Minor itself was in direct danger.

1707Edit

  • January 14-On January 14, 1707, Haynsian Despot Sophi III Karany, who had ruled since 1704, died at Isis. He was now succeeded to the Haynsian throne by his younger brother, the Haynsian Martial-General Kaplan, who became Qaplan-Empi I of the Despotate. He was confirmed in his new position by the Marasharite Emperor Ahmad III, and was formally crowned in March 1707.
  • January 27-As 1707, the seventh year of the eighteenth century began, Lavella Minor was under direct threat from the Laurasian Empire. On January 3, 1707, the Battle of Altayn resulted in another decisive victory for the Earl of Soria. Laurasian forces were now penetrating to the Galactic Barrier, inflicting serious damage upon the Dejanican outposts of K3-9, Kreuter, Mikaeyla, and Andrea. On January 22, 1707, the operation against Rebvesk resulted in a smashing victory for the Empire's naval forces: the stronghold's capture brought more than twelve thousand metric tons of military supplies, armor, and equipment into Laurasian hands. Vitebsk was stormed on January 27; by February 12, Maruhisk and Polotsk were both under siege by the Empire's forces. Lavella Minor was finally besieged from February 21, 1707; its fall on March 16 proved a major humiliation for the Commonwealth. Polotsk fell on April 14, 1707, followed by Marhiuisk (April 29-May 14). The subjection of Lavelle, however, proved to be a more complicated affair, and it was not taken until June 2. Gerald and Judah were then stormed by Laurasian units (June 1707).
  • February 5-Birth of Sir Rudomentus Sadielus, several times Assistant Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, and one of the most prominent officials in the Imperial Laurasian Government through the reigns of Antigonus III, Demetrius II, Didymeia I, and Aurelia I. Born on Clackimaris, he was the eldest son of Sir Antigonus Sadielus, a minor official in the service of the Marquess of Doracia, and his wife, Lady Olympia Reserania of Tarravania.
  • April 7-The situation concerning Grand Princess Katharina of Shenandoah continued into 1707. Emperor Neuchrus, who had became wary of her friendliness towards his son, Grand Prince Antigonus, strove to keep them apart. Between January and April 1707, the two did not see each other at all, and Katharina was commanded to remain in the Central Core; she traveled between Melarnaria, Williams, Conservan, Reoyania, and Goss Beacon during that time. In January 1707, the Emperor instigated negotiations with Grand Duchess Margaret of Durthia and Burgundy, and her cousin, Holy Austarlian Emperor Joseth I, for the possible marriage of the young Prince Char'va of Durthia and Spamalka to his younger daughter, Grand Princess Octavia. This would strengthen ties between the Empire and the Duchies, and would counterbalance both Franconia and Spamalka proper. Grand Princess Katharina's condition worsened, and on April 7, 1707, it was noted that her servants were walking about "in rags" and "existing in such misery as it is shameful to think on it." She sent repeated appeals to the Spamalkan Ambassador, telling him that her servants had served her faithfully through both prosperity and adversity. Their nerves were fraying, and they needed payment. Katharina continued to make these appeals, but she held her own and contended with her situation well. Some relief was to finally come. On April 14, Emperor Fe'ro wrote to his daughter directly, for the first time in over a year, to ask for her views as regards to the ambassador who should replace de Puebla. She replied that it should be someone who was honest and vigorous. Fe'ro now brought up the name of Don Guita Gomez de Fuensalida, Knight Commander of the Order of Membrilla (1650-1735), who had already spent time in the Empire. Katharina made no objections to Fuensalida, and expressed herself so eloquently that her father was impressed. It was thus, on May 19, 1707, that Emperor Fe'ro took the unprecedented step of naming Katharina as the Holy Spamalkan Empire's ambassador to the Court of Christiania, until a suitable replacement could be found. For the first time in two centuries, since the annexation of the Neo-Venasian Consortium in 1506, a female foreign envoy was accredited to the Imperial Laurasian Court. Emperor Neuchrus and his advisors, however, believed Katharina to be a lightweight who could be easily manipulated. They were, in many ways, to be confounded.
  • July 15-November 7-On July 15, 1707, with Lavella Minor and Ladelle both in the hands of the Empire's forces, the Earl of Soria instigated the siege of Lavella Major. Lavella Major, which had a population of nearly one hundred billion by the beginning of the eighteenth century, was the most important of the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth's worlds outside of the Amulak Spiral. It served as the capital of Dejanican Lavella, and as the headquarters for the Commonwealth's operations within the confines of the Caladarian Galaxy. The newly-appointed Voivode of Lavella, Briansk Latauskha (1656-1722), who assumed his post on June 28, 1707, was determined to ensure that Lavella Major would remain in Dejanican hands. He strengthened the world's defenses, erecting a string of outposts around the Deisha Straits; installing first-class turbocannon and turret defenses on the world's surface; and upgrading its defensive shields. He also conscripted more than 75,000 civilians into the ranks of the Dejanican garrison. The Earl of Sarah, however, suppressed all supply lines into the star system, and he arranged a comprehensive blockade around the system's outskirts, so that no one could get in, or out. The Siege of Lavella Major, however, dragged on for the better part of 1707, with a Dejanican counter-offensive, aiming to relieve the star system's defenses, ending in failure (August 12, 1707). It was not until October 22, 1707, that the world's outpost defenses were breached, and not until November 1 before Laurasian troops landed on the surface. Latauskha's final surrender on November 7, 1707, therefore brought this jewel of the Commonwealth into the Empire's possession. With Lavella Major in Laurasian hands, the greater portion of Dejanican Lavella had been secured. Po'digray was secured on December 5, 1707, and by the end of the month, Laurasian forces were poised to attack the Dejanican territories in the Great Tesmanian Cloud.
  • December 3-
    • Grand Princess Katharina, in her new role as Ambassador, grew more confident in her dealings with the Emperor. She now disputed with him, flattered him, and even told him that she was "very well treated and very well contented." She avoided de Puebla, and sought always to deal with His Majesty directly. Possessed of great morality herself, Katharina nevertheless began to appreciate the lack of scruple in the men with whom she was dealing, and began to play the game of power. Acting as ambassador had a beneficial effect upon her health; in May 1707, her personal physician, Dr. Johannes, reported to Fe'ro that she was entirely recovered from her earlier illnesses, and that she was vigorous. Her finances still posed an issue, but it did not affect her as much as previously, and she was allowed to see Grand Prince Antigonus once more. During May and June 1707, the Grand Princess was present at the tournaments and gladiatorial contests held to celebrate Antigonus's sixteenth birthday, and delighted in his exploits. He was tall, handsome, athletic, and possessed of the "common touch".
    • Moreover, he was pro-Spamalkan, anti-Franconian, and anti-Marasharite. For the time being, however, he deferred to his father's wishes, and could only express pleasantries towards the Grand Princess. The age gap seemed to narrow, now that Antigonus was maturing, but the marriage still did not seem forthcoming; in September 1707, Katharina heard rumors that the Emperor intended to depose of her. By that time, Emperor Neuchrus began to look upon the Grand Princess in a more favorable light. Yet Neuchrus had also conceived notions of a marriage to Duchess Dowager Jo'aha, and this had influenced his dealings with Fe'ro throughout that year. He had first disclosed his intentions to Katharina, caring only for Jo'aha's beauty and her capability of producing healthy children. Katharina favored an alliance between the Emperor and her sister, but she did not perceive that her father would never allow for such a marriage. Fe'ro, however, when he received Neuchrus's proposal through Katharina, did not reject his Laurasian contemporary outright. By the end of September, however, Neuchrus had tired of the matter, and resumed his vain searches elsewhere for a wife. In October, Fe'ro promised to persuade Jo'aha to agree to the marriage, but took no action. Katharina, on her part, took advantage of her position, by asking both her father and Emperor Neuchrus to redress the miserable condition of her servants. Fe'ro finally yielded, and on October 9, 1707, he sent to Katharina the sum of €275 million dataries to defray their expenses and to pay some of her debts. Then in November 1707, Emperor Neuchrus, eager to keep Katharina's father pleased, finally restored her allowance, which was now increased to €100 billion dataries per annum, and granted her personal possession of the Palace of the Secrets. Katharina's financial condition was therefore alleviated. On December 3, 1707, she thanked the Emperor of Laurasia for his kindness and generosity.

1708Edit

  • January 25-With Dejanican Lavella effectively in the hands of the Laurasian Empire, the attention of the Imperial General Headquarters shifted to the Dejanican territories in the Great Tesmanian Cloud. The Great Tesmanian Cloud, which at the beginning of the eighteenth century was divided between the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Marasharite Empire, had until this point remained beyond the range of Laurasian military operations. What was demanded here, therefore, was an ambitious, penetrating expedition across more than 40,000 light years of space (the Galactic Void), and into this distant satellite galaxy. Emperor Neuchrus, however, was confident that this could be achieved, and on January 7, 1708, he gave the final authorization for the Earl of Soria and General Sir Antiochus Rumanstevius (the father of Field-Marshal the Baron Rumanstevius, one of the chief military commanders during his granddaughter's reign), to instigate the offensive, as it had been planned by the General Headquarters. Soria and Rumanstevius proved themselves up to the task. In a series of confrontations at the Void Dehuranian Outposts and along the Bug Highways (January 11-24, 1708), Soria destroyed all opposition posed to him by Dejanican fleets operating from the outskirts of the Great Tesmanian Cloud. Then, on January 25, 1708, the first ever Laurasian military force to reach the satellite galaxy of the Great Tesmanian Cloud did so at Brovary. That stronghold fell to the Empire's assault within hours. Deploying the 31st Imperial Fleet and detachments from the 22nd and 29th Imperial Armies, Soria then executed a daring offensive against Mir, one of the most important strongholds in the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Mir was stormed on February 3, 1708, thereby inflicting a great blow upon the Dejanican strategic position in the Great Tesmanian Cloud. The fall of Mir was soon followed by the Laurasian conquest of Boryspil, Fastiv, and Kaniev (February 1708). Drabiev's fall on March 2, 1708, proved another blow to Dejanican strategic lines.
  • March 9-By the early weeks of March 1708, there was a strong faction within the Dejanican Diet who were opposed to the continuation of the military conflict with the Laurasian Empire. On March 3, following the conquest of Drabiev, a Laurasian expedition appeared at the outskirts of Utena, in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Laurasian units were also threatening the Windwawa Barrier Regions, Libau, and Goldingen in the Dejanican Duchy of Northania and Semigallia. On March 6, the Diet passed a resolution calling for the termination of military hostilities. King Mersius, himself concerned by the possibility of war with the Grand Duchy of Masacavania over the Smolensk Region, and also by disputes with Pruthia over commercial access privileges in Pomerania and Royal Pruthia, decided that the war's end would be beneficial to the Commonwealth. On March 9, 1708, he sent a formal request for a military armistice to Emperor Neuchrus. Neuchrus, pleased that his adversary now sought his way out of the conflict, accepted without demur. The Truce of Alex Glassia was signed on March 17, 1708; Alex Glassia was a Dejanican base in the extreme outskirts of the Great Tesmanian Cloud. On April 4, 1708, delegations from the two governments convened at Szembslikia, a minor Dejanican colony in the outskirts of Belarania. Laurasia was represented by Chancellor Parsonius, Privy Council President Dudley, and the Earls of Drea and Strongstine. Dejanica was represented by the Pruthian diplomat Jacob Henrich von Flemming, Dejanican Marshal Brussilov Wranklai, and the Primate of Dejanica, Michal Radziejowskia. Negotiations would continue for more than two months.
  • March 22-Matters took another turn at the Imperial Laurasian Court as regards to the Grand Princess Katharina of Shenandoah. In January 1708, Emperor Neuchrus finally lost patience with Fe'ro over the delay in arranging his marriage to Jo'aha. When he was informed of Jo'aha's mental instability, the Emperor at first refused to believe it. By this point, however, he had come to accept that Jo'aha was not going to marry again, and he therefore dropped the matter of their betrothal. Nevertheless, by March 1708, relations between Neuchrus and Fe'ro had deteriorated considerably; on March 22, 1708, the Emperor resumed negotiations with Grand Duchess Margaret of Durthia and Burgundy, for the marriage of Grand Prince Antigonus to Eleanora of Austarlia. The Grand Prince, on his part, acted as if he did not wish to marry Katharina, and adhered to his father's dictates. It was in April 1708 that Emperor Fe'ro finally granted Katharina's request for another ambassador, and he dispatched Fuensalida to the Empire. Fuensalida arrived at Tudoria (to which the Court had moved), on May 4, 1708, and was received by the Emperor with much ceremony. He was, however, proud, pompous, and dogmatic, quickly offending the Emperor of Laurasia. Katharina disliked Fuensalida from the first, and accused him of behaving "overboldly" towards the Emperor. She did not trust him, and resented the loss of status and respect for her which his arrival had entailed. Fray Diego, Katharina's confessor, was hated by Fuensalida, and he in turn told her things about the Ambassador, further worsening her opinion of him. The Emperor's negotiations over the union of Antigonus to Eleanora of Austarlia, however, broke down at the end of June 1708, and before long, Neuchrus was scouring the courts of the Great Amulak Spiral for another possible bride for his son. The Grand Prince turned seventeen that month, was approaching manhood, and should be starting to sire heirs. Fe'ro's spies told him about the situation at the Court, and he complained to Fuensalida. He even threatened war if the Laurasians broke the marriage contract. This threat came 79 years before Laurasia and Spamalka did indeed go to war, as a result of the Durthian Rebellion and the Scottrian Question. By the end of 1708, it seemed as if Katharina was in dire straits.
  • April 25-On April 25, 1708, Lady Theodora Seymouris, destined to become the third wife and Empress Consort of Antigonus the Extravagant, was born at Wulfhall Estate in the Forests of Drevanshia, Volta, Laurasian Purse Region, Laurasian Empire. She was the seventh child and first daughter of Sir Damasias Seymouris of Volta (1674-1736) and his wife, Cornelia Kempesasia of Fulcania (1678-1750). Theodora's older brothers were Damasias Seymouris (1696-1710, died at the age of fourteen); Edwardis Seymouris, future Duke of Volta and Lord Protector of the Laurasian Empire (1700-1752); Sir Antigonus Seymouris (1703-1778), the only one of the Seymouris siblings to survive into the reign of Empress Aurelia the Great; Sir Thomasius Seymouris, Baron of Kendalia and future fourth husband of Empress-Consort Katharina Parsius (1706-1749); and Antontinus Seymouris (1707-1728). Theodora was baptized two days later by the Bishop of Volta, Scripio Caseronia (1655-1725).
  • May 21-Death of Giletus Daubeny, 1st Baron Daubeny and Imperial High Chamberlain of the Laurasian Empire (May 21, 1708). Daubeny, who had been born on June 1, 1651, was the son of Sir Willanius Daubeny (1624-61) and his wife Anna of Chancia (1626-95). Daubeny had enrolled at the Imperial Military Academy of Laura in 1668, graduating with high honors four years later. By 1675, he had become an officer in the Imperial Auxilary Corps, and gained prominence for his service in the campaigns of Emperor Probus. Daubeny was knighted in January 1683; just four months later, however, his master Emperor Probus died, and his fortunes turned to the worse. He was forced to flee to Dejanican Lavella in March 1684, and was declared a traitor by Probus's brother and successor, Emperor Titus II the Cruel. In August 1685, upon acceding to the throne, Neuchrus I had reversed Daubeny's attainder and brought him back to the Imperial Court on Laurasia Prime. Daubeny was one of the members of the Laurasian Special Embassy to the court of the Austarlian Emperor Lea'dus I (1686); became a knight of the Imperial Garter (1687); and in 1688, became one of the Emperor's Personal Chamberlains. Daubeny then fought in the Emperor's Franconian War (1692), which was concluded by the Treaty of Etaples, and rose to the rank of Brigadier-General in the Imperial Laurasian Army. In February 1695, Daubeny became the Imperial High Chamberlain, reaching the height of his career. He continued to serve Neuchrus loyally during the next thirteen years, serving as one of the commissioners for the Treaties of Ayton (1698) and Almastead (1702). In 1703, he had become 1st Baron Daubeny. Daubeny's health had taken a turn for the worse from May 18, as he was riding with the Emperor at the Gilbertine Palace, and he died three days later. He was widely mourned at the Imperial Court, and given a ceremonial funeral at St. Giles' Cathedral on Tudoria (June 2, 1708). Daubeny was succeeded as Imperial High Chamberlain by Sir Argaeus Lyathia, Lord Herbetia (who became Earl of Herbetia in January 1714).
  • June 7-On June 7, 1708, after more than two months of negotiations, the Laurasian Empire and Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth signed the Treaty of Szembslikia, thereby concluding the Dejanican Expeditionary War of 1706-08. By the terms of this treaty, the status quo ante bellum was restored between Laurasia and Dejanica. Emperor Neuchrus restored Dejanican Lavella and strongholds in Dejanican Ukraine, Belarania, and Lithuania back to the Commonwealth. All prisoners of war and goods captured in the conflict were to be returned to the respective realm; the navigation and transit rights of Laurasian subjects in Dejanican territory were affirmed; and Mersius's title as King of Dejanica was affirmed by the Emperor of Laurasia. In exchange, all Dejanican raiding expeditions into the Empire was to cease, and the Dejanican Diet would be obliged to compensate any Laurasian subject who filed for damages. The Treaty of Szembliskia was ratified by Emperor Neuchrus on June 16, and by the Diet of the Commonwealth on July 3.
  • August 12-Birth (August 12, 1708) of Lady Meguilla Parrius, who became the longest-serving servant of the Empress Aurelia the Great, Chief Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber and Mistress of the Robes (1765-90). Her father was the future Comptroller of the Imperial Household, Sir Thomasius Parrius (1686-1761), and his wife Mania Verstheille (1683-1780).
  • October 9-On October 9, 1708, Vectorian Emperor Davakhum II Adak, who had ruled since 1703, died on Vector Prime, aged thirty-six. The Emperor's health had entered a serious decline during the last months of his life, and his doctors had despaired of him. He was now succeeded to the Vectorian throne by his only child, his son Adad-nirari II, who was only five years old at the time of his accession. As a result, the Vectorian Empire came under the effective oversight of the young Emperor’s uncle, Shalameneser Adak, Chief Magistrate of the Vectorian High Council, and younger brother of the late Emperor. Adak was formally named High Regent of the Vectorian Empire on November 2, 1708; ten days later, he had his nephew crowned on Arachosia Prime.
  • December 8-On December 8, 1708, Fransios I (1745-1765), the consort and co-Emperor of the Holy Austarlian Empire, alongside his wife Mar’va Tarvania, was born at Nancy in the Duchy of Lorraine. He was the oldest surviving son of Leopold Joseph, duke of Lorraine (1706-1729), and his wife Elisabeth Charlotte d’Orleans (1676-1744), who was a relative of the Franconian King Lujak XII.

1709Edit

  • January 3-
    • As 1709, the ninth year of the eighteenth century began, tensions between Laurasia and Spamalka continued to persist; speculation was engendered at the Imperial Laurasian Court. Spamalkan Ambassador Fuensalida had been instructed, by Emperor Fe'ro, on Ascentmas Day 1708, to ingratiate himself further with Grand Prince Antigonus, and to "use all means in his power for bringing the marriage to a speedy conclusion." This he had done, and he circulated appeals among the Empire's nobility and gentry, garnering their support for the Spamalkan marriage. Many of them, in fact, were desperate for it to take place, seeking to secure the succession and to expand the Empire's diplomatic ties. On January 3, 1709, a delegation of nobles, including the Dukes of Christiania, Mariana Prime, Robert, and Homidinia, approached the Emperor and pressed him to marry the Grand Prince to Katharina. They had heard that her dowry was ready for payment, and more importantly, feared for the succession. The Emperor agreed to consider their request, but Katharina did not think that he would, and she even believed that she might have to return to Spamalka to secure a respectable marriage. During the early months of 1709, she found herself in "deep despair", and could not endure much more. She told Fe'ro that her sufferings continued to increase, and that she felt so depressed that life did not seem worth living. She feared that "neither you nor the Emperor of Laurasia might not be able to prevent me from taking other measures."
    • At the Feast of the Epiphany, on January 20, 1709, the Grand Princess was physically unwell, and afterwards retreated from the Imperial Court. Finances had once again become a problem for her. In September 1708, Emperor Neuchrus, angered by Fe'ro's duplicity, had once again ceased paying Katharina's allowance. In March 1709, she informed her father that "my necessities have risen so high that I do not know how to maintain myself." She had sold many of her household goods and properties, and had spent most of the funds raised from these sales. Once again, she was driven to begging the Emperor for help, though he told her that he was not bound to give it; nevertheless, he declared that the love he bore her would not allow him to do otherwise, and he gave her funds sufficient to cover her daily expenses. She found this humiliating, and on March 21, 1709, communicated to her father: "From this, Your Majesty will see to what a state I am reduced, when I am warned that even my food is given me almost as alms." Moreover, there was much tension in her household. She quarreled with Dona Elvira over the latter's constant intrigues, and on January 9, finally dismissed her from her service. Katharina was now twenty-three, and had assumed full control of her own affairs.
    • Her servants were once more facing destitution, and they did not display as much fortitude as in the past. Her chamberlain, Juan de Diero, treated her with great "audacity" and failed to order her household. Because she could not pay the arrears of his salary, she could neither reprimand or dismiss him. Friar Diego, who had acquired a reputation as a womanizer, caused much of the trouble. By March, Ambassador Fuensalida was alarmed by Diego's influence, and complained to the Spamalkan Emperor about him. He called Diego "light, haughty, and scandalous in an extreme manner." Even Emperor Neuchrus had heard about Diego's behavior, and had spoken to Katharina about it. Fuensalida sought for Diego's recall, and believed that Katharina was placing herself in danger. Katharina, on her part, saw no wrong in the man, and believed that he was the "best any woman could have." She reacted with passionate anger to the Ambassador's complaints, and told her father that he was acting in a "horrible manner". She did not understand the reasons for his concern. By March, she would have nothing to do with him, and even demanded that her father replace him. Fe'ro, on April 9, 1709, responding to his daughter's complaints, formally recalled Fuensalida and appointed Luis Caroz (1665-1742) in his place. Fuensalida would eventually be reconciled to Katharina following Neuchrus's death, and he would depart from the Empire in May 1709. De Puebla, who had remained as a consul in Colombia, would also make his reconciliation with Katharina, and would leave the Empire that month also, dying at Medinia-Sidonia on September 8, 1709. Friar Diego, however, had alienated most of the senior members of Katharina's household; had worsened her relations with the Emperor; and had blackened her reputation. Katharina failed to see his faults, and continued to praise his merits. As April 1709 began, Katharina was in dire straits. Yet her situation was now to change dramatically.
  • April 21-
    • By April 1709, the condition of Emperor Neuchrus was in a pitiful state. The Emperor's physical and mental condition both declined following the death of his beloved wife, the Empress Consort Aurelia Zemakala. Neuchrus's bout of illness in April 1703 had for a time imperiled the entire Empire, and raised the possibility of a regency (since Grand Prince Antigonus was only eleven years old at that time). Ultimately, however, he had emerged from that. But by the middle of 1707, many of the Emperor's ministers and courtiers noticed that he had become more irritable, more prone to fits of anger and more willing to lash out at those whom he perceived to have affronted his honor. Only his mother, Grand Princess Margarina Beaufatia, who was now the highest-ranking woman in the Empire, remained beyond the Emperor's chastising. In August 1707, it was feared that the Emperor would die, due to a severe case of Angrames fever which he contracted. He recovered from that too, but nothing more was to follow. In February 1708, the Emperor suffered another bout of fatigue. He experienced a severe bout of depression during August and September of that year. Then in February 1709, the Emperor began regular treatments at the Imperial Hospital of the Quencilvanian Palace. In spite of the efforts of his personal physicians, his physical and mental condition declined yet further. Finally, on April 8, 1709, the Emperor was formally placed in confinement within the Hospital Quarters, from which he never emerged. His symptoms now intensified, and he suffered everything from violent coughing to pains in his neck, head, and back. By that point, it was obvious to everyone that the Emperor was dying.
    • Then, on the night of April 20, 1709, the Emperor, himself realizing that death was imminent, summoned his confessor to administer the last rites. The confessor anointed the Emperor's body with holy oil; Neuchrus heard the mass and thanked the Lord Almitis; and the entire Privy Council gathered around his bedside. In his final hours, he called his son, Grand Prince Antigonus, to his side, enjoining him to look after the welfare of the Empire. Then at 11:00 p.m., the night of April 21, 1709, Neuchrus I the Reformer, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Laurasians since 1685, terminator of the Crisis of the Seventeenth Century, and one of the most important Laurasian monarchs in history, died, aged only fifty-two. His son Antigonus now became Emperor and Autocrat of All the Laurasians; he was just seventeen years old, but was proclaimed to be of age from the moment of his accession, in accordance with his father's last instructions (his eighteenth birthday was just over two months away). Antigonus's accession to the throne was a landmark in the Empire's history: for the first time in 129 years, since the death of Antigonus II the Philosopher in 1580, one Emperor had been succeeded peacefully by his son.
    • This in itself was a testament of how much Neuchrus had achieved. Neuchrus was very unpopular at the time of his death, and many of his subjects looked forward to the reign of Antigonus with joy. Yet the late Emperor's reputation would enjoy a revival during the course of the century, and by 1797, he would be considered one of the Empire's "saviors". He would become known as the Reformer by 1790. Antigonus, on his part, had undergone a rigorous education. In 1693, he had become Constable of Heverian Castle, Lord Warden of the Cron Drift, and honorary Chief Suffect of Christiania. The following year, his father had made him Imperial Marshal of the Empire (with the Earl of Duana carrying out the actual duties of the office). In May 1695, he was invested with the Order of the Imperial Garter, established by Antoninus Pius in 1545, and was made Duke of Colombia, in addition to being Duke of Laurasia Prime. Antigonus was educated by his father's old tutor, Hermogenianus, and acquired a commanding grasp of fifteen different languages, including Laurasian, Dasian, Arachosian, Scottrian, Haynsian, Marasharite, Franconian, Halegothican, Amelianian, High Galactic Standard, and Lacian, among others. Antigonus, at the time of his accession, was handsome, tall, and athletic. He was 6.4 feet tall, had a broad chest, and was strongly built. He especially enjoyed shockball, jousting, riding, tennis, football, and track, among other sports. The Emperor was mentally alert, and he was determined to continue with the reform of the Empire's administration and economy as begun by his father.
    • On May 2, 1709, the body of Emperor Neuchrus was entombed in the Imperial Mausoleum at the Westphalian Cathedral. The funeral arrangements were handled by the late Emperor's Mother, Grand Princess Margarina Beaufatia. The Grand Princess had a strong influence over her grandson, having been responsible for his education and up-bringing, and during these early months of his reign, she provided him invaluable advise on state affairs. The Grand Princess led the procession of nobles and government officials at the funeral, and was present as her son's body was lowered into the Crypt. In accordance with Neuchrus's instructions, he was interred with his wife, Aurelia Zemakala, and with their three deceased children Aurelia, Edwardis, and Katharina.
  • May 19-
    • With the death of Neuchrus I, few doubted that the new Emperor, Antigonus III, had already chosen the woman with whom he would share his life and throne. The Grand Princess had always been on close and affectionate terms with him before his father's death, even though the old Emperor had kept them apart for most of their five-year engagement. Although the Grand Prince had secretly renounced his vows on his father's orders in June 1705, few knew of it, and in the eyes of the public, Antigonus and Katharina were still betrothed. Thus, following Neuchrus's death, Katharina found herself treated with a new and gratifying respect by courtiers. It was a matter of absolute necessity that the Emperor marry and obtain himself an heir as soon as possible. There were still living members of the Probian Dynasty who had claims to the throne, and the possibility of civil war or rebellion was still in the background. On April 24, 1709, the Emperor and his court made the journey to the Palace of Placenta on Darcia, expected of a newly acceded sovereign. There, he announced his intentions to push forward with interventions, by the Empire, in the Great Amulak Spiral. Thus, an alliance with Spamalka was desirable. Emperor Fe'ro, on his part, was urging Antigonus to marry Katharina without delay, and was promising him "all the advantages which were denied to his father, on the sole condition that the marriage is immediately consummated." Fe'ro promised to pay the dowry as soon as possible. Briefly, however, Antigonus had a "scruple of conscience", and Fuensalida was told that he was wondering whether his union with Katharina would constitute a sin. Informed of Antigonus's doubts by Fuensalida (May 7, 1709), Fe'ro hastened to reassure the young Emperor that the marriage was perfectly lawful.
    • He drew Antigonus's attention to the King of Portugallia, who had married two of Katharina's sisters in succession and was "blessed with numerous offspring, and lives very cheerfully and happily." Fe'ro felt certain that "the same happiness is reserved for the Emperor of Laurasia, who will enjoy the greatest felicity in his union with the Grand Princess of Shenandoah, and leave numerous children behind him." Fuensalida told Katharina that Fe'ro "loved her the most of his children and looks upon the Emperor of Laurasia like a son." Katharina's duty would be to foster an understanding between the two men and ensure that her future husband would be friendly to Spamalkan interests. Thus it was that on May 19, 1709, that the Privy Council urged the Emperor to marry Katharina and fulfill the terms of the betrothal treaty. The Council extolled Katharina's virtues, saying she was the "image of her mother, and like her possesses that wisdom and greatness of mind which win the respect of nations."
    • As for Antigonus's scruples about the legality of the marriage, they reminded him of the Synod's dispensation. The Emperor could only agree that there were many good reasons for the marriage, and he told his councilors that he desired "her above all women and wished to have her." Antigonus's admiration for her had deepened into love, laced with respect. This apart, honor alone demanded that Antigonus marry her, as he would rescue her from disgrace and shame. This appealed vastly to the Emperor, who moreover, was attracted to Katharina by her long golden hair, and fair skin; he was also impressed by her maturity, her dignity, her lineage, and her graciousness. There was the age gap, and the doubts about the marriage, but Antigonus needed the alliance with Spamalka, wanted Katharina's dowry, and desired her. Thus it was that on June 3, 1709, the Emperor, in a buoyant mood, made his way to Katharina's apartments at the Palace of Placenta. He came alone, and dismissed her attendants. Then he raised the Grand Princess from her curtsy with a courtly gesture, declared his love for her, and asked her to be his wife. Without any hesitation, she joyfully agreed, relief and happiness evident in her face and voice. This was the culmination of all Katharina's hopes during the last six years. She would be Empress of Laurasia, raised by this magnificent young man to be the bride of his heart and the mother of his heirs. Those courtiers who had scorned her and tried to humiliate her would now have to defer to her, and she would not have been a person if she did not relish the prospect. She would be the wife of the richest and most powerful sovereign to reign in the Caladarian Galaxy to that point. Friar Diego was all but forgotten (he would linger on in her service until being dismissed in 1714), and Katharina devoted herself to her future husband. On June 11, 1709, Antigonus III and Katharina of Shenandoah were married privately at the Placenta Chapel by Chief Procurator Willanius Warhamius. Katharina wore virginal white; her long hair flowed free under a gold circlet. The Chief Procurator, following the vows, formally pronounced their marriage, and the wedding party proceeded to the Chapel of the Observant Friars to hear mass. That night, the imperial couple vigorously consummated their marriage.
  • June 24-
    • On June 22, 1709, the Emperor and Empress made their formal procession, by means of an imperial convoy, into the Laurasia Prime star system. They passed through the two Calaxies, the Post Settlement of Hepudermia, Jadia, and into the city of Christiania. From thence, they passed through the city's chief precincts, and by landmarks ranging from the Imperial Academy of Sciences to the Galactic Opera to the Diplomatic Palace. Emperor Antigonus rode on a ceremonial steed; Katharina lay in a litter. Massive crowds, numbering in the millions, had gathered to greet the imperial couple; the platforms and thoroughfares were decorated with rich tapestries, and priests chanted their verses. The Emperor wore a gown of crimson velvet trimmed with ermine over a coat of raised gold; it was embroidered with diamonds, rubies, emeralds, great pearls, and other rich stones. Katharina wore virginal white satin. A lavish banquet was held at the Byrnes Palace, and the couple then retired to the Fortress of Baureux. It had become the custom during the reign of Alexander Severus, in 1622, for sovereigns to spend the night before their coronation at the Fortress; this custom was to be adhered to throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
    • Then, during the early hours of June 24, 1709, the coronation ceremonies commenced. A scarlet runner was laid from the Quencilvanian Palace to the Westphalian Cathedral; the Emperor and Empress made their procession from the Fortress, with the canopy of state over them, the generals of the Imperial Suite, the officers of the Imperial Household, and the artifacts of state. Katharina was dressed in an embrodiered gown of white satin, with her hair falling loose down her back beneath a coronet. They proceeded to the Westphalian Cathedral, were greeted by the prelates of the Almitian Church, and then began with the rituals. Their coronation followed the rituals which had been laid down by Antiochus the Great in 1354. The blessings of the sovereign; the formal state announcements; the prayers of the service; all of these followed. Grand Princess Margarina Beaufatia, the Emperor's grandmother, was responsible for stage-managing the festivities.
    • The Emperor and his ministers spared no expense for the coronation. Emperor Antigonus, at the height of the ceremony, crowned himself with the Great Imperial Crown of the Laurasian Empire; he then crowned his wife with the Smaller Imperial Crown. Following the communion services, the final prayers, the oaths of fealty, and the dismissal, the couple proceeded to the Quencilvanian Palace. They visited the imperial mausoleum, greeted their subjects, and paid their respects. The coronation banquet that night was very lavish; "sumptuous, fine, and delicate food" was served in abundance. The Emperor's Champion made his traditional challenge; he received a golden cup, and was invited to sit for the banquet by the Emperor and Empress. Several days of celebrations followed the coronation, including tournaments, jousts, gladiatorial contests, banquets, balls, concerts, performances, masques, and pageants, among other ceremonies. Katharina attended a banquet held for the inhabitants of the city of Christiania, and was at her husband's side for every event. Antigonus himself praised his wife's merits, and congratulated himself on having chosen such an amiable bride. The sole exception to this attitude of joy and celebration was the death, on June 29, 1709, of Grand Princess Beaufatia. The wedding and coronation had taken its toll on the Emperor's Grandmother, then sixty-six years old. She fainted towards the end of the coronation banquet, and on June 25, had received treatment at the Imperial Hospital. The Grand Princess had then retreated to the Westphalian Cathedral. Having taken a vow of celibacy in 1699, she had devoted much of her time to prayer, charity, and work with the Almitian Church. She died in the Deanery of the Westphalian Cathedral, the day after her grandson's eighteenth birthday and just over two months following the death of her only child, Emperor Neuchrus. Antigonus was affected by his grandmother's death, suspended celebrations for three days, and had her interred at the Westphalian Cathedral, alongside her son and daughter-in-law, on July 11, 1709.
  • September 6-Haynsian Despot Qaplan-Empi I Karany was deposed from the Haynsian throne by Marasharite Emperor Ahmad III (September 6, 1709). This occurred as a result of the failure of the Haynsian Despotate’s subjugation expedition against the Circassian Pirates of the Northern Territories, a campaign which had come to an end the previous year. Neal IV Karany, who had been in exile at Chesma in the Great Tesmanian Cloud, was restored to the Haynsian throne by Emperor Ahmad.
  • December 25-
    • The last months of 1709 passed with the Laurasian Empire in overall tranquility, and with the Imperial Laurasian Government adjusting to the rule of a new, young, vigorous Emperor. As regards to his marriage with Katharina, he found himself gratified by her gratitude for his rescue of her from penury and humiliation. This elevated his highly inflated ego, and was further encouraged by her submissiveness. Katharina happily conceded that the Emperor was her intellectual superior, and deferred to him accordingly, as a wife was expected to. Because the Emperor was young and inexperienced, he did not perceive the steel beneath Katharina's meek exterior, and he underestimated Katharina's tenacity. He regarded Katharina almost as a mother figure. The loss of his own mother when he was eleven had affected him deeply, and Katharina, to a degree, was a substitute. She was older than he, more mature, and was always ready with advice when he needed it, and sometimes when he did not. Katharina herself had always been solemn, with a gravity beyond her years, but she was now able to laugh with the pure happiness of being in love with her young husband and free at last from care. Friar Diego noted, in July 1709, that she was "in high health, with the greatest gaiety and contentment that ever there was." Gone were her traumatic ailments and her depression. She was rational enough in love to realize that Antigonus was in many ways immature, and sensible enough to not let him know it. She had a good insight into the Emperor's youthful mind, and common sense cautioned her to treat him with due respect. This was not difficult, for she had been trained for years, and she was in love.
    • On August 3, 1709, Emperor Antigonus, in an official communique to his new father-in-law, Spamalkan Emperor Fe'ro, informed him that "My wife and I are in good and perfect love as any two creatures can be." Katharina, on her part, also contacted her father, thanking him for seeing her "so well married to a husband I love so much more than myself." Fe'ro answered (August 18, 1709), that he "rejoiced to find you love each other so supremely and hope you may be happy to the end of your life, a good marriage being not only for the blessing of the man and the woman who take each other, but also to the Universe outside." Katharina believed her marriage was built upon a sure foundation of love, respect, desire, and good political sense. In September 1709, Katharina informed the Emperor with delight that she was pregnant, and would have her child the following spring. On November 6, the child's movements were felt for the first time, and a proud Antigonus informed Emperor Fe'ro of this, to signify to him "the great joy we take, and the exultation of our whole realm." The public announcement of the Empress's pregnancy gave rise to great rejoicing in Laurasia, for the birth of an heir to the throne would stabilize the dynasty and prevent internal conflict. On Ascentmas Day, 1709, the Emperor and Empress presided in high spirits over the festivities at the Court, and seemed to all to be an adoring and loving couple. Illusions, however, were to be shattered. Nevertheless, 1709 ended with the Empire in peace.

1710Edit

  • January 31-1710, the 10th year of the eighteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire still in a state of general peace and tranquility. The accession of Antigonus III, the first peaceful, unchallenged accession of a Laurasian sovereign in more than a century, had heralded the continuation of this period of glory for the Empire, and portended future successes. And the Emperor's wife, Empress Consort Katharina of Shenandoah, was delightfully pregnant as the new year began. On January 7, 1710, the Emperor issued a proclamation from the Imperial Court, declaring that his realms would soon be blessed with a "male heir, conceived in the name of, and honor to, the Lord Almitis." The Court had returned to the Quencilvanian Palace on Laurasia Prime in early December 1709, and vigorous festivities were conducted by the Imperial Household. Yet these hopes were to come crashing down. On January 31, 1710, the Empress Consort went into premature labor. She expelled an infant, who was discovered by the physicians to be a daughter, and who was stillborn. This was considered a calamity. Katharina suffered a strong sense of failure, compounded by guilt, because she had "desired to lift the hearts of the Emperor and his subjects with a Grand Prince." Emperor Antigonus attempted to reassure and comfort his wife, but these efforts were to little avail. She was profoundly shaken by her loss and remained depressed for several weeks, tormented by irrational feelings of guilt. When she communicated to her father (February 4, 1710), to inform him of her loss, she begged him: "Do not storm against me. It is not my fault, it is the will of Almitis. The Emperor, my lord, took it cheerfully, and I thank Almitis that you have given me such a husband." This was the first of a succession of phantom pregnancies, miscarriages, and stillbirths, which would ruin the relations among the imperial couple and ultimately lead to the Emperor's courting of Anna Boleyenia many years later.
  • April 20-Shortly after the failure of Katharina of Shenandoah's pregnancy, an routine event of symbolic importance transpired. On April 20, 1710, Comet Demosthena, the most famous periodic comet in the Caladarian Galaxy, commenced its periodical perihelion in the inner regions of the Laurasia Prime star system. 75 years had passed since the comet's last appearance (November 13, 1635), made early in the reign of Maximinus I, first Emperor of the Crisis of the Seventeenth Century. During that time, the Laurasian Empire had found itself engaged in military conflicts with the Marasharites, Mellorites, Vectorians, Scottrians, Dejanicans, Franconians, and the Brestord Kingdom of Karakorum; it had undergone the tribulations of secession and revolt; and it had passed through the reigns of twenty-six different emperors. The Empire's administrative, military, and economic structure had been much changed and much reformed, and Laurasia was in a far stronger position then it had been earlier. Emperor Antigonus, who was approaching his nineteenth birthday, was caught up with his subjects in the euphoria of the moment. In his honorary proclamation celebrating the Comet's return, the Emperor proclaimed that "good tidings are in place for this Empire's future in the remainder of this century, and my hope is that we will be enjoying our rightful position in this galaxy when this great and magnificent comet returns." Comet Demosthena remained in the inner system until departing out again almost two months later (July 14, 1710). It would not be seen again until 1786.
  • May 14-
    • Following her first miscarriage, Empress Consort Katharina of Shenandoah had embarked upon the task of becoming pregnant again. Her husband, Emperor Antigonus, was eager to do so, and he wasted no time, believing that a pregnancy was the only thing which would cure Katharina of her depression. It was on May 14, 1710, that Friar Diego was able to inform Emperor Fe'ro that "it has pleased Gosa (the Spamalkan High God), to be her physician, and by His Infinite mercy He has again permitted her to be with child." The baby had been conceived during February, but it was only on this day that the Imperial Laurasian Court finally released the news of the Empress's new pregnancy to the public. The Friar hoped that this would be the beginning of "a hundred grandsons" for the Emperor of Spamalka. However, the first strains were now showing in the imperial marriage. Just as Katharina became pregnant for the second time, her husband, the Emperor, strayed. He had become a complacent husband, secure in his wife's devotion, and Katharina had changed from a young woman into a grave, sedate matron, who had to adjust to a second pregnancy coming quickly upon the first. Antigonus felt that he had done his duty by the Empress, and following the example of so many of his predecessors (most notably Caligula, Antiochus II, Antiochus III, Antiochus IV, Commodus, and Caracalla, to name a few), he was going to enjoy himself.
    • His eyes now turned to Lady Aurelia Walteria (1682-1744), the sister of the Duke of Americana. Lady Walteria, nine years the Emperor's senior, was renowned for her beauty and athleticism; she had arrived at the Court in November 1709, with her sister, Lady Anna Herbetia. The Emperor immediately pursued her; his friend, Sir Willanius Comptonia (1682-1728), who had been close to Antigonus since becoming an imperial page in 1693, provided a front for his master by pretending to carry on an affair with the Lady himself. Thus, for nearly two months, the Emperor was able to have his way with his mistress in secret. Lady Anna, however, soon noticed the attention Comptonia was paying to her sister, who was a married woman; on July 3, 1710, she confided her suspicions to her brother the Duke and to Sir Antiochus Walteria (1678-1729), her sister's husband. As a result, the Duke and Comptonia had a fierce argument; this was intensified when Comptonia was found in Lady Aurelia's rooms at the Diplomatic Palace. Americana severely reproached Comptonia for this, who warned the Emperor of what was happening. The Emperor, in a simmering rage about this, summoned Americana to his presence (July 9, 1710), and reprimanded the Duke angrily. Americana left the Court five days later, in disgrace. Lady Aurelia soon confessed the truth of the matter to her husband, and towards the end of July 1710, he had her removed to the Convent of St. Eugenia on Lang. In August 1710, the Emperor banished Lady Herbetia and her husband from the Court; imposed a collective fine of €9 billion dataries upon the Americana family; and confiscated thirty of their estates in the Laurasia Prime Purse Region.
    • He also issued a proclamation forbidding any talk of "any affairs, or likewise", in public. Empress Consort Katharina, however, had learned about the affair from Lady Herbetia, and confronted her husband over the matter. She reproached Antigonus for his infidelity, and he upbraided her for daring to censure him for it. Ambassador Caroz feared that the Empress Consort's behavior would jeopardize her considerable influence with him. To his dismay, she continued to berate Antigonus for betraying her, and barred Comptonia from her presence. Antigonus had trouble understanding the cause of the matter, and believed that Katharina had injured him by questioning his rights. He had been discreet, had not intended publicly to humiliate her, and felt he was being unfairly treated. In the end, Katharina capitulated, and faced the fact that it was an imperial spouse's duty to turn a blind eye to her husband's extra-marital adventures. Thus, she had to adapt, and would never again publicly criticize Antigonus for his infidelities. She had emerged from this affair without dignity or pride. She resolved to accept what could not be altered with as much grace as she could muster. Their relationship, however, had changed forever, and would deteriorate as the years passed.
  • August 17-
    • Shortly after his coronation, Emperor Antigonus had taken action against his father's two chief ministers: Sir Edwardis Dudley, the Secretary of the College of Finance and President of the Imperial Privy Council, and Chancellor of the Empire Sir Ricomedius Parsonius. Both men, responsible for executing the Emperor Neuchrus's administrative and legal reforms, had become immensely unpopular, both at the Imperial Court and among the Emperor's subjects. They had both amassed considerable wealth in their service to Neuchrus, and they had been unscrupulous in their own personal business dealings. Antigonus himself despised Dudley and Parsonius, a fear shared by Chief Procurator Warhamius and Privy Seal Foxius, among others. Therefore, on July 2, 1709, shortly after his coronation, the Emperor had both men arrested and imprisoned at the Fortress of Baureux. They were accused of "constructive treason" (that is, of harming the Imperial State by exploiting it for their own benefit), conspiracy, heresy, corruption, and les-majestie. Yet for more than a year the Emperor had both men restrained in prison. In October 1709, Parsonius and Dudley were both condemned by the Special Court of the Empire, and both were forced to make grueling confessions of their own crimes.
    • Yet they were not formally convicted of the charges until April 22, 1710, almost exactly one year after Antigonus's accession to the throne, and the Emperor signed their execution warrant only on July 29. Thus, these men were used as scapegoats for the Emperor Neuchrus's financial policies. Parsonius and Dudley both suffered the full horrors of a traitor's death, at the Fortress of Baureux, before a crowd of more than 150,000 spectators. Their families were deprived of all honors and properties; banned from Laurasia Prime; and condemned by the Holy Synod. On the Emperor's orders, both men were excommunicated, and their remains were dumped into the Pit of Traitors on Jadia. On September 2, 1710, the Lord Verran was named as Chancellor of the Laurasian Empire in Parsonius's steed, a position which he would hold for five years. These were the first prominent executions of Antigonus the Extravagant's reign, and there would be many more to come.
    • Yet the removal of Parsonius and Dudley from their positions were not the only policy moves pursued by the Emperor. The early years of Antigonus's reign witnessed a continuation of the reform trends which had been instigated by his father. But at the same time, some of Neuchrus's more onerous policies were revised or repealed. In September 1709, Antigonus, on the advice of Privy Seal Foxius and Chief Procurator Warhamius, established a commission to examine all taxation rates, requisitions, and other obligations which had been imposed on noble, business, and ecclesiastical estates. This commission continued its work until November 7, 1709, when it presented its final report to the Emperor. It recommended for the revision of the iugera, the reformation of transaction fees, the elimination of deductions, and the grant of powers to the Synod to establish all funding and reporting procedures for the Church's estates. Antigonus followed on these recommendations, enshrining them in the decrees of December 10, 1709, and January 15, 1710. Moreover, the Emperor, by the manifesto of December 22, 1709, repealed Neuchrus's decrees concerning the regulations imposed upon municipal landholdings, estates, and zoning rights held by the nobility. He increased the cap on all credit loans for noble business enterprises, reiterated their right to first claim on any mineral or chemical discoveries on their personal properties, and in July 1710, ordered for the establishment of the Office of Noble Colonization and Economic Development, to provide them more direct support to establish garrisons, colonies, and outposts in the Wild Marshes and elsewhere. Antigonus, however, reiterated his father's prohibitions and regulations pertaining to livery and maintenance (decree of May 1, 1710), and he gave instructions to the Heraldmaster's Office to keep extensive lists of all noble financial, personal, and cultural activities. The Emperor also, in January 1711, was to establish the Commission of Secret Inquiry in the Imperial Intelligence Agency, which was to report directly to him on any signs of rebellious or treasonous activity at the Court or elsewhere.
    • Emperor Antigonus also implemented further reforms to the organization of both the Senate and Synod. In November 1709, he ordered for the Procurator-General to conduct an extensive study of all senatorial verdicts and decisions made during the past twenty years. Two months later, he mandated that once per year, each Senator was to undergo a mental and physical evaluation, so as to determine their continued fitness for office. The standards of the evaluation were to be set by the Procurator-General and the College of Justice; any who failed to meet these standards would be subject to immediate removal from office. Moreover, by the decree of May 29, 1710, the Emperor was to impose a mandatory retirement age upon all Senators (75); in May 1712, he decreased the term limit imposed by his father, from eight years to four years, and forbade any Senators from serving more then two terms. In July, Antigonus deprived the Senate of its authority to place Ministerial Instructions, Civil Service Orders, or other proclamations issued by his subordinates on hold; from now on, the Senate would only have the power to override laws, in lower administrative jurisdictions, contradictory to imperial law, and approved by the Privy Council. In September 1712, the Senate would be made subordinate to the Council in precedence, and in October, the Emperor would mandate annual codifications of the Senate's rulings. Antigonus, however, did strengthen Senatorial oversight over the Imperial Courts; by the manifesto of November 17, 1712, the Senate would be granted the authority to demand a report on lower Court officials and their conduct; the Star Chamber and Chancery were now required to submit all cases for automatic appeal, to send the Senate copies of all witness statements, evidence, and pleas, and to issue no verdicts relating to lower court decisions without Senatorial consent.
    • As regards to the Synod, Antigonus reduced the membership of the body (decree of April 14, 1711), mandating that there were to be no more then twenty lay Councilors, and no more then one hundred prelates of the Almitian Church. He now required the Synod to submit semi-annual reports to the Council on the Church's administrative, financial, and theological affairs. In July 1711, the Chief Procurator was given the authority to suspend clergymen directly for violating Church directives and acting in contravention to Almitian dictates; previously, the Chief Procurator had only had the ability to issue recommendations to the Synod for suspensions. And in May 1713, the approval of the Conference of Almitian Prelates was required for any Synostic changes to annates, tithes, offerings, or church contributions. Beyond the Synod, the Emperor also addressed government administration. In September 1709, he ordered for a thorough review of all administrative regulations, policies, and procedures; by June 1714, more then 55,000 of them would be revised, merged, or overturned entirely. In April 1710, the Emperor reorganized the sub-commissions of the Privy Council, establishing four with authority to report on governmental affairs and make recommendations on future legislative acts: Civil and Eccleasticial Administration; Nobility; State Economy; and Industry and Commerce. These commissions would be charged for conducting extensive analyzes of government expenditures, outlook, and future projects. Then in December 1710, Antigonus established a commission to look into the matter of the Colleges of State.
    • By 1710, the Colleges of State were outdated and anachronistic. Originally established by Seleucus the Victor in 1318, the Colleges had outgrown their usefulness. They numbered fifteen: Foreign Affairs, Justice, Defense, State Finance, Security, Commerce, Chancellory, Health, Education, Sentient Services, Space, Transportation, Regional and Provincial Administration, Labor, Agriculture, Interior, and Natural Resources. Each College was still led by a Secretary and Vice-Secretary, with four assessors, four advisers, actuary, and clerk. The Secretary was chairman of the College, but he could not act without the approval of the board, as expressed in a simple majority vote. On matters relating to reports to the Privy Council and Emperor, a super-majority was required. Each member of the board had the ability to report the Secretary and Vice-Secretary as necessary, and to report to the monarch directly. All of this caused much chaos, in spite of the efforts of Neuchrus the Reformer to alleviate the situation. Antigonus, however, now deemed it necessary to abolish the Colleges entirely. The Administrative Commission, which was to first convene on January 12, 1711, met for nearly a year. It's final report, issued on December 28 of that year, recommended to the Emperor that the colleges be abolished and replaced with uniform ministries. Antigonus agreed, and in the Statute of the Ministerial Administration of the Laurasian Empire, issued April 17, 1712, he acted upon their recommendations.
    • The Colleges of State were now formally abolished and replaced with the Ministries of State. There were now to be uniform Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defense, Justice, Finance, Health and Sentient Services, Space and Transportation, Chancellory, Labor and Commerce, Agriculture, Energy and Natural Resources, Education, and Internal Security. Each ministry was to be led by a Minister of State, who was to enjoy sole decision-making authority, report directly to the Emperor, and sit on the Privy Council. Ministerial reports (known as memorials and Letters Close) were to be issued by each ministry on a routine basis; Ministers were to implement Ministerial Instructions, Civil Service Orders, and executive memorandums based upon the recommendations contained therein. Each Ministry was to have a Vice-Minister, Administrative Secretary, and Procurator. The Vice-Minister was to assist the Minister in the execution of his duties and preside over ministerial affairs whenever he was absent. The Administrative Secretary assumed responsibility for all documents, orders, and memorandums circulated through the Ministry; for bureaucratic coordination; and for all clerical affairs of the Minister. The Procurator was to maintain integrity within each Ministry and crack down on corruption; he reported directly to the Senate. Moreover, the Statute determined the division of all Ministries into five subordinate departments, each to be led by an Assistant Minister, who was to report to the Minister, and who was responsible for the affairs of that department. The responsibilities and duties of each Ministry was carefully defined; the Imperial Intelligence Agency was declared independent of any ministry, and made directly subordinate to the Emperor and the Privy Council. Finally, the Statute laid down procedures concerning cross-ministerial coordination, qualifications for ministerial posts, and a definition of each Ministry's responsibilities towards the Senate, Synod, Council, and monarch. The implementation of the ministerial reform was one of the most significant administrative reorganization decrees of Antigonus III's reign, paving the way to future reforms under his daughter Aurelia I.
  • October 9-
    • By October 1710, the situation in the Vectorian Empire had deteriorated further, to the ultimate advantage of the Laurasian Empire. Shalemenser Adak, High Regent of the Empire and Chief Magistrate of the Vectorian High Council, proved himself to be an incompetent and ineffective ruler. More concerned for his personal wealth than for the welfare of the remnants of the Vectorian Empire, Adak used his position of power to accumulate properties and goods on Arachosia Prime, Vector Prime, Neucretia, Risa, and other strongholds remaining to the Vectorian Government. In June 1709, in order to finance the ever-rising expenditures of his own personal household, the High Regent compelled the Council to enact a series of income, property, and sales tax increases. These increases raised the maximum rate of taxation by more than 20%, thereby angering all classes of Vectorian society. By November 1709, Adak had organized for himself a household of more than 200,000 persons, which was far in excess of the total number of servants and personnel in the service of the Emperor, Adad-nirari Adak II. This enraged many on the High Council, in particular the Vectorian Potentate Mutakkil-nishu. Thus, by March 1710, he had assembled his supplies on the Arachosian colonies of Nora, Mister, Aubrey, and Noelle, determined to utilize these strongholds to strike against the High Regent.
    • In July 1710, however, Mutakkil-nishu died from a sudden stroke; Shalemenser Adak then used his superior military resources to seize control of these strongholds, thereby arousing further dissent among the Vectorian nobility and hierarchy. In August and September 1710, a series of protests broke out on Vector Prime and Arachosia Prime, directed against the authority of the Regent. Noticing all of this was the Emperor Antigonus III of Laurasia. The Emperor was determined to complete the destruction of the weak Vectorian state, and to extend his Empire's jurisdiction over the whole of the southern Galactic Borderlands. Thus, throughout much of 1710, Antigonus had, against the advice of his father's councilors, encouraged tensions against the Vectorian High Council and against the Regent. In the meantime, Laurasian forces assembled at Francia, Camerania, Mercia, Kylantha, Essie, Nagosh, Lwheek, Deira, Dedantia, Nicole, Sejucia, Killing, Tong, Miliking, and other strongholds throughout the Empire's "Vectorian" Provinces, posed for the final strike into Vectorian territory. Finally, on October 9, 1710, and without warning, the Emperor of Laurasia launched his forces into Vectorian territory, thereby commencing the Second Vectorian War of the eighteenth century. This was also the eighth conflict fought between the two powers in the century since 1613. Laurasian forces made a series of advances during the latter months of 1710. On October 14, 1710, the Battle of Mister ended in a decisive victory for the Laurasian Empire. Major-General Sir Antiochus Rumanstevius gained prominence for his victory against Vectorian High-General Nasir-Sin. From Mister, Risa was besieged by the Empire's forces (October 22-November 5, 1710). The siege also ended in victory for Laurasia, but at a cost of more than 55,000 troops of the 27th Imperial Army during the final land offensive. By the end of November 1710, Aubrey, Nora, and Noelle had all been stormed by Laurasian forces. On December 7, 1710, Admiral Sir Craterus Laganius (1667-1741) obtained another victory in the Battle of Paraillo; Neucretia was conquered on December 14, and by the end of the month, Laurasian forces were approaching Veste, where the Torfian King Hulaugh had been compelled to make peace with Gorias of Arachosia Suprema in 381, more then thirteen centuries earlier.

1711Edit

  • January 1-
    • In November 1710, following the end of her husband's affair with Lady Aurelia Walteria, the Empress Consort took to her personal bedchambers at the Gilbertine Palace on Tudoria, in readiness for the birth of her child. Her removal was conducted in accordance to the strict regulations which had been established by Grand Princess Margarina Beaufatia in the preceding reign. Fresh air had to circulate into the chambers at all times; tapestries must be strung throughout, with scenes of only light romance, so that the Empress would not have to contend with "odious sights." Moreover, much attention was paid to sanitation and cleanliness; the rooms were to be kept in consistent and general order, Her Majesty was to be given a nutritious breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and her bedsheets were to be constantly changed and sanitized. Servants were always to be at stand-by to tend to the Empress Consort's every needs, and doctors were to be consulted regularly about her medical condition. Men were not to be admitted to the Empress's presence during the last weeks of her pregnancy; the Emperor, on his part, stayed away out of honor and custom. Lord Mountjaria, the Empress Consort's chamberlain, arranged for the duties of all male officers within the household to be temporarily assumed by her ladies and gentlewomen, who took up the roles of butlers, servers, and pages. When the Empress Consort made her formal retreat, she bade the Chamberlain and her other male retainers a formal farewell; Mountjaria, on his part, desired that all would pray for the Empress Consort's successful delivery. It was on December 31, 1710, that the Empress Consort's labor began. Then, on New Year's Day 1711, the eleventh year of the eighteenth century, she gave birth to her, and the Emperor's, first son.
    • A jubilant Emperor Antigonus ordered for great celebrations throughout the Empire to commemorate his son's birth, and he had largess distributed to the inhabitants of Pembroke and Carmathon, as well as in the other cities and towns of Tudoria. Churchmen went in procession around the Palace, and a Te Deum was sung. The Emperor named his new son Antigonus after himself. On January 13, 1711, he organized a magnificent baptism ceremony for him. The Grand Prince was christened in the Chapel of the Gilbertine Palace. His godparents were the Chief Procurator of the Holy Synod, the Earl of Soria, Grand Princess Octavia, and the Countess of Melarnaria (1679-1727), the Emperor's aunt. Katharina's happiness was now complete, for she had done her duty by providing the Empire with an heir, and the Emperor could not do enough to praise or honor her. Messages of congratulation arrived on a routine basis to the Imperial Household, and around the Palace, many of those who gathered chanted "Long live Katharina and the noble Antigonus! Long live the Grand Prince!" After the birth, the Emperor went to the shrine of Our Lady of Walsingia, the special patron of mothers and newborn babies, to give thanks for his boy. On January 19, 1711, the Court returned to the Quencilvanian Palace on Laurasia Prime. The Empress Consort resumed public life; the Grand Prince remained at Tudoria, in the care of the Imperial Household's servants.
  • January 21-On January 21, 1711, the young Duke of Northania and Semigallia, Frederick William Kettler (a near contemporary of the Laurasian Emperor Antigonus III in age), died on Kippinghof. The Duke, who had ruled since January 22, 1698, was only eighteen years old at the time of his death. He had been married to the Dejanican Princess Anna Ivansakaya on November 11, 1710, at Krakow in Dejanican Galicia. This had been on the initiative of King Mersius V of Dejanica, who had sought to strengthen Dejanican ties with Northania, and to maintain the Commonwealth's overlordship of that duchy. In the ensuing marriage celebrations, the young Duke and his courtiers had drunk themselves into a stupor, consuming enormous quantities of food and alcohol. As a consequence, his health entered a terminal decline. He had contracted gastroenteritis on the way back to Mitau, and had arrived at Kippinghof in a vain attempt to restore his condition. The death of Duke Kettler resulted in a vacancy on the Northanian throne. Anna, who was only seventeen years old at the time of her husband's death, was nevertheless determined and possessed of a will to succeed. Desiring to have power herself, she now obtained support from both King Mersius V and from the Emperor Antigonus, through the auspices of the Laurasian Ambassador to the Court of Warsaw, Sir Antigenes Byporius (1671-1738). She was elected Duchess of Northania and Semigallia by the Diet of Northania on February 5, 1711, and crowned at Jelgava on February 11 of that year. Anna was to rule as the only Duchess regnant in Northania's history for the next nineteen years. She would prove to be a vigorous, intelligent, and hard-working sovereign.
  • February 22-The joy in the Laurasian Empire surrounding the birth of Grand Prince Antigonus did not last for long. On February 20, 1711, the Grand Prince's household was commanded to move from Tudoria to Darcia, to which the Imperial Court had proceeded in early February. The Grand Prince and his guardians formally departed from Tudoria the following day. On February 22, 1711, however, en route to the Palace of Placenta on Darcia, the Grand Prince died in an horrific starship accident near the Cron Drift. The Emperor and Empress were informed of their son's death, and a deep despair now ensued from within the bowels of the Imperial Laurasian Court. Emperor Antigonus was grieved but philosophical; his concern was mainly for Katharina, who was devastated by the news and lamented over it. The Emperor comforted his wife in a "wise manner", and she came to accept the death of her son as the will of Almitis. He issued a manifesto to his subjects announcing his son's unfortunate death; ordered for all of his subjects to enter into mourning for his soul; and had the Court's magnates and servants don themselves in black. The young Grand Prince, whose remains had been lost in the accident, received a formal memorial service at the Westphalian Cathedral on March 1. During the course of the next two months, the daily routine of the Court was very quiet. During that time, the Empress Consort remained mostly in seclusion, regretting that she had spent so little time with her son during his short life, and facing the fact that the Empire still needed an heir. In September 1711, she was rumored to be pregnant again, but this turned out to be a false hope, and nothing more was heard of it.
  • April 17-On April 17, 1711, Holy Austarlian Emperor Joseth I died from an outbreak of pox fever at the Imperial Palace on Vienna. He was only thirty-two years old at the time of his death, and had ruled for just six years, since succeeding his father Lea'dus I in May 1705. Joseth's reign had witnessed the relaxation of his father's rigid religious, customs, and conscription policies; the reformation of the Empire's budget and taxation system; and the systematic reorganization of the Imperial Colleges of State. Moreover, the Emperor had encouraged immigration into his realms, whittled down the privileges of the Bohemian and Hungarian nobility, and had sought to strengthen the military defenses of Croatia, Istria, and Slavonia. His reign had seen the Holy Austarlian Empire's continued embroilment in the Bavarian War, War of the League of Cambrai, and Rackozi's Revolt in Transylvania. Joseth, who had no sons, was succeeded as Emperor by his younger brother, Arch'duke Char'vak of Inner Austarlia, who became Emperor Char'vak V.
  • April 25-
    • The early months of 1711 witnessed the conclusion of the Laurasian Empire's military campaign against its Vectorian foes. Corupedia, where Sennacherib of the Sennacherid Empire had defeated and killed Tudiya of Arachosian Suprema in AH 378, was stormed by the forces of General Rumanstevius (January 3, 1711). Then on January 15, Vestes, long harried by Laurasian naval forces, was finally assaulted. The garrison of Vestes was commanded by High-General Asinum, who was one of the leading military commanders left to the Vectorian Government. Asinum was determined that Vestes would not fall to the Laurasian Empire without a fight. Rumanstevius's first assaults against the defensive lines of Vestes ran into a series of obstacles; by February 12, it seemed as if the world would continue to defy Laurasian reach. Ultimately, however, on February 21, Laurasian Rear-Admiral Sir Neuchrus Mensies (1663-1736) detected a gap in the defensive lines of the star system; Rumanstevius wisely calculated that a quick deployment of marines and corvettes through this gap would allow for the whole of the lines to be broken. He was correct in his hunch; within hours, Laurasian forces had finally penetrated into the star system, and Vectorian defenses collapsed. On February 24, 1711, Vestes's shield defenses were finally breached, and the planetary surface was issued by the Imperial Laurasian Army. It was not until March 2, however, before Vestes Compound City was finally captured, and not until March 6 before Asinum, who had fought to the bitter end, was killed by imperial troops in a final confrontation.
    • Vestes was completely in Laurasian hands after that. Synchronia and Severanian Septimia then fell, and on March 17, 1711, Arachosia Prime itself was subjected again to the Laurasian onslaught. The world, which had been adversely affected by the policies of the Regent, proved to be no match for the Empire's forces; it fell within two hours. But on March 27, after the Vectorian Belt and the Galactic Barrier Gateways were secured by Laurasian naval squadrons, the real test came: the conquest of Vector Prime. This world, capital of the Vectorian Empire now since 1591, became the final target of Rumanstevius's offensive. The actual Siege commenced two days later, and Laurasian forces succeeded in progressively suppressing all routes into the star system. Shalamenser Adad himself, in vain leading the defenses of the star system, launched successive assaults with his dreadnoughts and battleships, but was hampered by superior Laurasian turbolaser fire. Finally, on April 25, 1711, Vector Prime's defenses collapsed, and the world was overrun by General Rumanstevius's troops. Shalemenser Adad himself was killed in a physical confrontation with officers of the 27th Army; the Vectorian High Council of Regents and the young Emperor Adad-nirari II, who was only eight years old, were captured.
    • The following day, they were forced to sign the Capitulation of Vector Prime, thereby surrendering all remaining Vectorian military forces, resources, and worlds into the possession of the Emperor of Laurasia. Antigonus III was buoyant over this victory, and on May 2, 1711, issued a proclamation from Christiania, commanding his subjects to celebrate the victory. Massive celebrations and displays of joy broke out throughout the Laurasia Prime Purse Region, and in other regions of the Empire. The destruction of Vectoria was particularly celebrated in the Barsar Regions, which had suffered from Vectorian expeditions and invasions to such a great extent during the middle of the seventeenth century. The final decree of annexation was issued on June 2, 1711, and the Diocese of the Southern Galactic Borderlands was created at that date; Vectoria itself was divided into two provinces, including the acquisitions of 1705. Emperor Antigonus decided to spare the lives of the Vectorian High Council and of the young ex-Emperor, Adad-nirari II. Instead, on July 7, 1711, the Emperor bestowed upon the former Emperor the title of Emperor Emeritus of Vectoria; granted him estates throughout the conquered territories, in the Barsar Regions, and in the Laurasia Prime Purse Region; and conferred upon him a generous imperial pension of €1.2 trillion dataries per annum. His household and education expenses were to become the responsibility of the Imperial Chancellory. All former members of the High Council were pardoned and allowed to retain all titles, properties, and businesses which they previously possessed. Most of the rest of the Vectorian nobility was not so favorably treated; more than 75% of former Vectorian noble lands and businesses would pass into Laurasian hands during the course of the next twenty years. Adad-nirari II Adak lived to a good old age, and into the reign of Aurelia the Great. He would die on March 9, 1781 at the age of seventy-eight. The last surviving member of the High Council of Regents, Potentate Mut-Askhur, would die on April 26, 1788, at the ripe old age of 115.
  • November 9-
    • By November 1711, new concerns had arisen for the Emperor Antigonus and for the Imperial Privy Council. These related to the Third Italianian War, then ongoing in the Great Amulak Spiral. In the aftermath of the First Italianian War, Grand Duke Cosimo III of Tuscany (1675-1706), had focused his efforts on strengthening the Grand Duchy's position in the Romagna. With the assistance of Cesare Borgia, Gonfalonier of the Tuscan High Council, he had extended Tuscanian power into the Romagna. By 1703, Bologna had been seized by the Grand Duchy. Franconian and Spamalkan forces, however, soon converged on Tuscany, and the lords of the Romagna offered to submit to the Haxonian Confederacy in exchange for regaining control of their own dominions. The Haxonian Senate accepted, and by the end of 1703, had taken possession of Rimini, Faenza, and the Lesser Romagna Systems. Grand Duke Cosimo, who had suppressed a rebellion against his authority in Roma, and had imprisoned Borgia for his betrayal of his obligations, moved quickly to reestablish the control which had been established over the Romagna by demanding that Haxonia return the systems she had seized.
    • Doge Loredan, although he was willing to acknowledge Tuscan authority over the Apulian Cluster, and to pay an annual tribute, refused to surrender the actual systems. In response, Cosimo concluded an alliance with Franconia and Austarlia against Haxonia; but the death of Fresia I of Spamalka in 1704 caused for this alliance to dissolve. Cosimo therefore found that he did not have the strength to move against Haxonia; consequently, he spent the last two years of his reign reasserting his dominion over Bologna and Perugia. In 1707, his son and successor Fernando II returned to the question of Rimini, Faenza, and the Lesser Romagna. Rebuffed by the Doge and Senate, he encouraged Holy Austarlian Emperor Joseth I (who was still contending with Rackozi’s Revolt in Hungary and Transylvania) to attack Haxonia. In February 1708, Emperor Joseth launched an invasion of Haxonian territory and advanced upon Vicenza, but was defeated by Haxonian forces under General Bartolomeo d’Alviano.
    • A second assault by Austarlian forces proved to be an even greater failure; Alvano not only routed Austarlian forces but seized Trieste and Flume, forcing Joseth to conclude the Treaty of Graz with the Confederacy (July 12, 1708). Fernando, who was humiliated by the failure of the Austarlian campaigns, now turned to King Lujak XII of Franconia, who was also Duke of Milania, with an offer of alliance. On December 10, 1708, Tuscany, Franconia, Austarlia, and Spamalka concluded the Treaty of the League of Cambrai, thereby establishing their common military alliance against the Haxonian Confederacy. This agreement provided for the complete dismemberment of Haxonia’s territory in Italiania and for its partition among the signatories: Joseth, in addition to regaining Istria, would receive Verona, Vicenza, Padua, and Fruili; Franconia would annex Brescia, Crema, Bergamo, and Cremona to its Milanese territories; Spamalka would seize Otranto; and the remainder, including Rimini, Ravenna, and the Vatican Circles, would be added to Tuscany. On April 15, 1709, six days before the death of Laurasian Emperor Neuchrus the Reformer, King Lujak had left Milan at the head of his military forces and invaded the Haxonian Confederacy. The Battle of Agandello (May 14, 1709), resulted in a decisive victory for Lujak. Lujak then occupied Haxonian territory as far galactic-east as Brescia without encountering any serious resistance, thereby seizing systems which had been acquired by Haxonia during the course of the seventeenth century. Padua, Verona, and Vicenza surrendered in quick succession to Austarlian Emperor Joseth. Tuscany, in the meantime, invaded the Romanga and seized Ravenna & the Polestine. In July 1709, however, Padua returned to Haxonian control, as a result of outrages inflicted by Austarlian forces.
    • On September 15, 1709, Emperor Joseth ordered for the Siege of Padua, with Prince Eugene of Savoy commanding the forces. The siege, however, proved ineffective, and was ultimately lifted on September 30. Haxonian forces then proceeded to reconquer Vicenza, Este, Feltre, and Belluno. Although a Haxonian offensive against Verona failed, Haxonian General Pitigliano also defeated Tuscanian forces commanded by Duke Franceso II of Gonzanga. The subsequent Battle of Polesella, an offensive by Tuscany against Ferrara, failed however. Soon, Doge Loredan and the Senate were forced to request for peace with their adversaries, due to persistent Barbary and Haynsian raids on their possessions in Dalmatia, Epirus, and the Morea. On February 14, 1710, the Treaty of Gita was concluded, thereby ending the war. Yet this reconciliation was only brief. Pitigilano died in January 1710; Proveditor Andrea Gritti (the future Doge), assumed command of the Haxonian military’s forces. Vicenza was lost to the Franconians, but Gritti garrisoned Padua. Yet now Grand Duke Fernando sought to launch an offensive against the Duchy of Ferrara, allied to Franconia, and to acquire it for the Grand Duchy. He now sought an offensive against Milan, and invited Haxonia to ally with him, an offer that the Haxonians accepted. By July 1710, the new Haxonian-Tuscanian alliance was on the offensive. An offensive against Franconian Genoa failed, but Vicenza was recovered; the Duke of Urbino, furthermore, captured Modena (August 17, 1710). In October 1710, Bologna was threatened by the Franconians, but they soon retreated to Ferrara. In December, Concordia was conquered by Tuscanian forces; Mirandola was also besieged.
    • The Franconian General Charman d’Amboise’s death that month left the Franconians in disarray; in January 1711, Mirandola fell. Concordia and Castlefranco were soon recovered by the Franconians, and Tuscanian forces were soon compelled to retreat to Casalecchio. The Duke of Ferrara, in the meantime, confronted and destroyed Haxonian forces at the Po Systems, isolating Bologna again. By June 1711, most of the Romagna was held by the Franconians. By the end of that month, the Grand Duke’s agents were making parleys to the courts of Austarlia, Spamalka, and, in a move indicative of the increasing awareness of the powers of the Amulak Spiral to its importance, that of Laurasia. Ever since the time of the First Franconian War (1692), and particularly with the Empire’s entanglements with Franconia, the Durthian Duchies, and Brittany as a result of the pretender Warbeckia, the powers of the Amulak had become more appreciative, and more aware, of the military and political giant which Laurasia represented. Fernando, therefore, believed that Laurasian participation in the military conflict would prove to be vital to the success of the anti-Franconian War. Emperor Antigonus, who had been watching events in the Amulak Spiral with close interest, was determined to intervene, and to gain glory for himself in the contest of war.
    • Ultimately, it turned out to be the Holy Spamalkan Emperor, Fe’ro II, who proved instrumental in securing the cooperation of the Laurasian Empire. Fe’ro considered his relationship with his son-in-law to be of great importance, and sought to take advantage of it. Therefore, on September 12, 1711, by which time Austarlia and Spamalka both had pledged their military and financial support to the cause of Tuscany, he made the first offer of military alliance to the Imperial Laurasian Government. In this offer, the Emperor of Spamalka declared that he would assume the responsibility for all Laurasian military expenses in the Great Amulak Spiral. Furthermore, he promised to assist in securing Laurasian commercial and transit privileges in Naparia, Florence, Tuscany, Ferrara, and Genoa. Antigonus, determined to excel in the arts of war, accepted the offer on September 27. He now entrusted the Duke of Christiania, the Earls of Constantia and Goldaria, and the Archbishop of Christiania with the task of negotiation with the Spamalkan Ambassador, the Count de Fuetres, and his counsel. The Emperor of Spamalka, on his part, designated the Duke of Cadiz, the Marquis de Santa Anna, and the Spamalkan Ambassador to the Imperial Court of Laurasia Prime, the Count de Murraha, as his representatives to the negotiations. The actual conference opened at the Diplomatic Palace, in Christiania, on October 17, 1711. Negotiations continued for nearly a month, as the Emperor of Laurasia's representatives wrangled over the terms of compensation by the Spamalkans for their master's intervention in the conflict, and as the Spamalkan delegates sought to gain a understanding of what the Laurasians would be able to bring to the field.
    • Finally, on November 9, 1711, the Treaty of Christiania was concluded, thereby resulting in the establishment of a military and financial provision pact between Laurasia and Spamalka. By the terms of this treaty, the Imperial Laurasian Government agreed to recognize Spamalka's right to the territories of Iberian Navarre, and its possession of Naparia, including the Sicilian Wayward Colonies. Furthermore, the Emperor of Laurasia pledged to declare war against the Serene Kingdom of Franconia by no later than August 1, 1712, and to launch a series of military offensives in Italiania and the Franconian Royal Dominions in support of the Spamalkans. In exchange, Spamalkan Emperor Fe'ro II recognized the Laurasian right to garrison and maintain the Franconian strongholds of Tournai, Boulougone, Calais, Abbeville, Caen, and Theouranne; to transit rights in Gascony and Aquitaine; and all rights to campaigns against the Marasharite Empire in the Galactic Borderlands. Furthermore, Fe'ro pledged to meet all transportation and maintenance expenses for all Laurasian military forces deployed. The Treaty of Christiania was ratified by Emperor Antigonus on November 15, and by Fe'ro (with his daughter, Empress Jo'aha), on December 4, 1711. Throughout December 1711, the Emperor Antigonus and his Privy Council engaged in extensive preparations for the ensuing military campaign. By the end of 1711, Laurasia seemed posed to assume a decisive role in the conflict.

1712Edit

  • January 24-On January 24, 1712, the future Pruthian Emperor Pru'a IX (1740-86), destined to become a contemporary and erstwhile ally of the Laurasian Empress Aurelia the Great, was born at the Scholessen Palace on Berliania III, the capital and most populous star system of the Autocratic Pruthian Empire. Pru'a was the eldest child and son of Crown Prince A'rua, the heir-apparent to the Pruthian throne, and his wife, the Vendragian Princess Sophia Dorothea of Hanover (1688-1757). She was the daughter of the Electoral Prince of Hanover, Georg, to become in short time the King of Vendragia. Pru'a's birth was welcomed by his grandfather, Emperor M'rua I the Consolidator, who had suffered the premature loss of two of his prior grandsons. Pru'a was baptized at the Citadel of Warhmatt on February 5.
  • April 11-On April 11, 1712, Laurasian Emperor Antigonus III's sister, Queen-Consort Constantia of Scottria, gave birth to her only surviving child at Linlithgow Palace. A joyous King Jamsius named his son after himself, thereby continuing with a tradition which had already been ongoing for a century. Jamsius was baptized and created Duke of Rothesay, Prince, and Great Steward of Scottria the day after his birth. Queen Consort Constantia had already given birth to three children, all of whom had died at a young age. The first was Jamsius, Duke of Rothesay, who was born on February 21, 1707 at Holyroodian Palace on Ediania and died only a year later, on February 27, 1708. The second, Mariana, was born and died on July 15, 1708, at Holyroodian Palace. And the third, Arthur Stewart, Duke of Rothesay, was born at Holyroodian Palace on October 20, 1709, and died on July 14, 1710, at the age of only eight months (and on the day of the birth of Baron Sir Demetrius Monompahlaus, one of the most prominent Laurasian historians and authors of the eighteenth century). Constantia and Jamsius, therefore, had their own share of tragedy in the works by that point, and they were hopeful that this son would survive to term.
  • July 19-
    • The year 1712, besides the birth of the future Pru'a IX of Pruthia and of Jamsius V of Scottria, also witnessed the continuation of the War of the League of Cambrai. The early months of 1712 witnessed the Emperor Antigonus and the Imperial Privy Council engaged in vigorous preparations for the Empire's military forces to launch offensives into Franconian territory, and to provide support to the Spamalkans in Bearn, Gascony, and Navarre. The Emperor assembled his military units and squadrons at Sernapasia, Belkadan, Houston, Tyson, the Oirat Complex, Syr-Daria, Glassia, Felix, Sierra, Karakorum, Karkol, Scanlan, Garner, Joyner, Andrea Doria, Natalie, Tiona, and numerous other strongholds throughout the northern rim of the Caladarian Galaxy. The Imperial General Headquarters cooperated with its Spamalkan counterpart to draft the military offensive plans against the Franconian foe; furthermore, Emperor Antigonus and his ministers issued a series of instructions to the Empire's forces and garrisons, placing them in full readiness for military combat. Emperor Fe'ro, on his part, focused on his plans to extend Spamalkan power over the Kingdom of Navarre. Navarre had found itself mired in instability since the middle of the preceding century; the Beaumont and Agramont dynasties fought with each other for power within the Kingdom, thereby affecting both external and external affairs.
    • In January 1703, the Navarran Princess Catherine had acceded to the throne; she had already been married to Duke John III of Albret for nearly twenty years. Yet Fe'ro and Fresia had placed pressure on Navarre from long before; as early as 1676, it had become a protectorate of Lesser Spamalka. But it was not until 1692, with the fall of Grenada, that the pressure truly intensified. The 1700s saw a tangle of disputes between Fe'ro and the Beaumonts, as he tried and failed to force the relinquishment of Navarrese claims to Bearn, Bigorre, and Foix. In February 1712, King Lujak XII, himself resuming the offensives in Italiania, appointed his nephew, Gaston de Foix (brother of Emperor Fe'ro's wife), as the commander of Franconian military forces in that theater. Foix proved to be an energetic commander, checking the advance of General Ramon de Cardona's troops on Bologna; sacking Brescia (February 18, 1712), which had revolted against the Franconians and garrisoned itself with Haxonian troops; and besieged, with d'Este, Ravenna, with the intention of compelling Tuscany into a decisive engagement. Cardonna sought to relieve Ravenna, but was decisively defeated (April 11, 1712). Foix was wounded in the battle, however, and died at the end, thereby leaving Franconian forces under the command of Jacques de la Palice.
    • Consequently, by May 1712, the Franconian position in Italiania would deteriorate. Bologna and Parma were captured by the Duke of Urbino, as Franconian forces abandoned the Romagna and as Tuscanian, Spamalkan, and Mantuan forces advanced upon the Duchy of Milan, in tow with Maximillian Sforza, claimant to the ducal throne. By August, Haxonian and Heletian mercenary forces combined together and seized Milan, allowing for Sforza to be proclaimed Duke. La Palice was then compelled to retreat across the Alpian Provinces. All of this occurred while Fe'ro moved forward with his plans for the subjugation of Navarre. The Navarrese themselves made plans for their own defense; the Emperor of Spamalka devised a propaganda scheme designed to encourage tension against Navarrese authorities. On July 19, 1712, the Holy Spamalkan Empire formally invaded Navarre; Don Fadrique de Toledo, Duke of Alba, was charged by Fe'ro with responsibility for the operations. Already on July 10, the Navarrese stronghold of Gozieuta had been captured by Spamalkan mercenaries and agents operating from Gipuzkoa. Pamplona, capital of Navarre, found itself quickly threatened by the Spamalkans. Navarrese troops retreated to Irunberri, and thence to Lower Navarre, while the Queen, her husband, and their personal troops retreated to Orthez. Pamplona proved no match for Spamalkan forces, and it surrendered (July 25, 1712).
  • August 2-
    • Tudela surrendered on September 9, 1712; by that time, virtually all of Iberian Navarre was under Spamalkan control. The Duke of Alba occupied the Navarrian districts of Aezkoa, Salazar, and Roncal, and then seized the major Citadel of Roncevaux by surprise. Lower Navarre's strongholds and colonies were ravaged by Spamalkan forces. Moreover, the Laurasian Empire's military forces were now actively campaigning in support of the Spamalkans. On March 22, 1712, Emperor Antigonus had appointed Lieutenant-General, the 20th Earl of Clancia, as the supreme commander-in-chief of the Empire's forces in the Great Amulak Spiral. Clancia had formally departed from Belkadan on May 29, 1712, and had arrived at Gijon on June 8. From thence, he had supervised the arrival of the Empire's military units, particularly from the 20th and 27th Imperial Fleets, and of the 33rd Imperial Army, in Asturias, the Basques, and Lesser Spamalka. Laurasian units also assembled in Valencia and at Majorica, Minorca, and Gibraltar, in preparation for military operations in Italiania, Provence, and Nice. It was on August 2, 1712, following the Spamalkan invasion of Navarre, that Emperor Antigonus formally issued a declaration of war against the Serene Kingdom of Franconia. Laurasian forces quickly made advances against the Franconians, in Gascony, Aquitaine, and in Provence. Arcachon was besieged and conquered (August 2-4, 1712), followed in succession by the Franconian systems of Talence (August 8); Agen (August 9-12); and Anglet (August 14).
    • On August 16, 1712, the Battle of Libourne ended in a decisive victory for the Earl of Clancia. Lordes and Luchon were both in Laurasian hands by August 24; the Principality of Monaco was threatened by a Laurasian-Spamalkan force on August 25; and by August 29, Laurasian military units in Provence had overrun Frejus, Cannes, Grasse, and Menton. On September 5, 1712, following over two months of negotiations, the Treaty of Vesputia was signed between the Empire and the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, thereby constituting Laurasia's first-ever alliance with any of the Italianian States. Laurasian units provided vital support to the Tuscanians and Spamalkans, with Firenze and Forli falling into their hands during September 1712. Moreover, on September 12, the Battle of Errenteria ended in a decisive victory for Laurasian-Spamalkan forces; Bordeaux, besieged since August 29, fell on September 17, followed by Dax (September 22) and Pau (September 24). Pessac and Merginac were both in Laurasian hands by the end of September 1712. Laurasian units also operated against Avignon, Orange, and in the Comtat-de-Venassin, keeping the Franconians off balance. Bayonne, however, remained in the hands of King Lujak's forces. Morerover, Laurasian and Spamalkan operations against Toulouse, Nice, and Arles ended in failure (October 1712). And indeed, by the middle of that month, John III had raised a military force of more than two million personnel and 1,100 warships for a counteroffensive against the Spamalkans. They thenceforth advanced into Gipuzkoa and the chief territories of Navarre. Hondarribia and Donostia were besieged first, from October 16, 1712.
  • August 9-On August 9, 1712, the Lady Katharina Parsius, destined to be the sixth and last wife of the Emperor Antigonus III, was born in the Governmental Quarter of Christiania, Laurasia Prime. Her parents were Sir Thomasius Parsius, Lord of Kendalia (1683-1717), and his wife, Lady Scribonia Greenia (1692-1731). Parsius, son of Sir Willanius Parsius, 1st Baron of Kendalia (1634-83), was, through his mother Aurelia (1656-1707), distantly related to the Emperor Antigonus II the Philosopher. His wife, Lady Parsius, was the daughter of Sir Thomasius Greenia (1661-1706), a prominent magnate and businessman of Dearton's Gateway. Greenia claimed to be descended from King Gordian II, and incorporated the arms of the Stellar Kingdom of Laurasia into his family heraldry. Sir Thomasius, who in time became a Gentleman of the Imperial Privy Chamber, had been in loyal service to the Imperial Household for years, and he was one of the wealthiest barons in the Empire, owning properties and estates on worlds from Laurasia Prime to Kamachina to Samantha. Katharina was the eldest of their three children. Her younger siblings were to be Sir Willanius Parsius, the future Marquess of Venusia (1713-71), and Lady Anna Parsius, future Duchess of Darsis (1715-52).
  • October 19-
    • In conjunction with the Navarrese siege of Hondarribia and Donostia, the Franconians launched a series of counteroffensives against the Holy Spamalkan Empire and their Laurasian allies. On October 19, 1712, the Franconian Duke of Longueville defeated Spamalkan forces at the Battle of Ainhize. Burgui, Roncai, and Salazar were, with the assistance of Franconian units, recovered by Navarran forces (October 21-24); Estella-Lizarra and Monjardin both revolted, and had been returned to Navarrese control on October 26. On October 29, Hondarribia finally fell back into Navarrese hands; Donostia followed on November 3. Laurasian units were then expelled from Pessac and Luchon (November 6-11, 1712); a Laurasian expeditionary force launched against Istres and Salon-de-Provence failed (November 16), and the Siege of Monaco was broken on November 22. Franconian units also continued to launch operations in Genoa and against the Sicilian Wayward Colonies; Tarento was threatened by a Franconian naval expedition at the beginning of December 1712. The Navarrese, on their part, having seized Foix and harried Spamalkan lines extending from Andorra and Gijon, now instigated a renewed siege of Pamplona (December 4, 1712), attempting to recover their capital world. Although the Spamalkan garrison buckled under the pressure, they were, with the assistance of Laurasian units operating from Lena, Llana, Mieres, and Talence, able to maintain to their position. King John was ultimately forced to terminate the siege on December 18. By December 24, Spamalkan forces had also recovered Donostia, but allied moves against Montpellier, Nimes, and Bayonne failed. Montauban however, did fall into Laurasian-Spamalkan hands on Ascentmas Day, 1712. By the end of the year, the Spamalkans still held control of the majority of Iberian Navarre. Florence was secure in the hands of Giuliano d'Medici, who continued to receive support from the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, from Spamalka, and from the Laurasian Empire. And on November 5, 1712, Holy Austarlian Emperor Char'vak V, whose forces had continued to campaign in Baden, the Austarlian Swiss Duchies, and the Burgundian Regions, had provided a further assurance of his commitment to the military campaigns against Franconia.

1713Edit

  • February 25-
    • On February 25, 1713, Emperor M'rua I the Consolidator of Pruthia died at the Schonburg Palace on Berliania III. He was fifty-five years old at the time of his death, and had ruled for twenty-five years, since his accession to the throne in May 1688. M'rua's reign had seen the emergence of the unified Autocratic Pruthian Empire. The Electoral Kingdom of Pruthia had emerged in 1667, following the end of the War of the Dejanican Deluge. The reign of M'rua's father and predecessor, A'rua I the "Great King", had seen the strengthening and the expansion of the Pruthian realms. At the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, besides acquiring Minden, Halberstadt, Magdeburg, and Eastern Pomerania, A'rua had also assumed control over a number of minor territories, including the Lordship of Derenburg, the County of Regenstein, the Lordship of Klettenberg, and the Lordship of Lohra. In June 1651, however, A'rua had broken the terms of the Peace of Westphalia by invading Julich-Berg. This was provoked by the acts of Wolfang Willhelm, Count Palatine of Neuburg, who had refused to uphold the settlement of 1647, as regards to religious affairs in those territories. A'rua's invasion, however, accomplished nothing, for Durthian Duke Philivus the Good, who had originally promised to support the Elector, reneged on his promises. The war ended in October 1651, and had lowered his reputation. Following this humiliation, A'rua had focused his attention upon strengthening the military forces of Brandenburg. In July 1653, he obtained the consent and necessary financial contributions of the Estates, and in turn confirmed several of their privileges, such as tax exemption, assertion of jurisdiction and police powers on the estates of the nobles, and the retention of military servitude. The Elector, however, had obliged the estates to continue payments on a routine basis and established a dedicated office to collect these contributions.
    • In 1662, the Estates confirmed the contributions, which were extended in 1667 to an excise tax. Star systems and municipalities, from 1657, were compelled to provide financial contributions to the Electorate's military forces. Then in 1654, the War of the Deluge had begun. A'rua at first extended his protection to Royal Pruthia by the Treaty of Rinsk, but had to yield to Denmarican military supremacy and in January 1656, accepted the Duchy of East Pruthia and Ermland from King Gustav X of Denmarica as fiefs, through the Treaty of Konigsberg. Pruthian and Denmarican forces then campaigned in Royal Pruthia, Kuayvia, Lesser Dejanica, and Kalisz, and in June, won the Battle of Dejanica Major. In November 1656, A'rua obtained full sovereignty over Ducal Pruthia and Ermland by the Treaty of Laibau. A'rua changed sides, however, and in November 1657, by the Treaty of Bromberg, obtained full recognition of his sovereignty over the Duchy of Pruthia from the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Pruthia, however, would revert to the Dejanicans if the Hohenzollern dynasty died without issue. These terms were confirmed in the Treaties of Olivia (1660), by which Denmarica withdrew from the war, and Andrusovo (1667), which ended Austarlian and Breffal involvement. That same year, A'rua was formally proclaimed King in Electoral Pruthia. In 1672, the First Princely War erupted, with Pruthia becoming involved as an ally of the Durthian Duchies; Cleves was occupied by the Franconians as a result, and the Austarlians seized Ravensberg, Minden, and parts of Magdeburg.
    • In June 1673, A'rua had abandoned the Durthian alliance, and concluded a subsidy treaty with Franconia, which withdrew from Cleves. Soon afterwards, he made peace with Austarlia, but became embroiled in war with the Vendragian Confederacy, under the rule of Charales II, and then aligned to Franconia. Mecklenburg, Anhalt-Zerbst, and Hesse also declared war against Pruthia. A'rua reacted quickly, and destroyed an allied force in the Battle of Fehrbellin (1675). He then invaded Mecklenburg, capturing Kiel and pushing into Holstein, Gottorp, and Jutland. King Janius Sobieskius of Dejanica-Lithuania, on his part, concluded a treaty with Franconia and Vendragia in June 1675, aiming to restore Dejanican suzerainty over Pruthia. Opposition by his magnates, war with the Marasharite Empire, and bribes to the Dejanican nobility by both Pruthia and Austarlia brought these plans to a halt. By 1678, A'rua had occupied Mecklenburg, Oldenburg, East Frisia, Westphalia, Paderborn, Dortmund, Munster, Hesse-Cassel, and the Southern Rhine Principalities. He was also campaigning in Jutland and Holstein. That year, he defeated the Vendragians again in the Great Stellar Drive. King Lujak XI of Franconia, however, who had won the Burgundian War, and had annexed the Duchy of Burgundy, now invaded Hesse, Westphalia, and Cleves, in support of his allies.
    • By the Treaty of St. German-en-Laye (June 1679), A'rua had been forced to return most of his conquests; Pruthia did, however, acquire Gollnow, Damm, Kollenberg, and the Counties of Mansfield and Lippe. In the last years of his reign, A'rua expanded further through the acquisition of Dortmund (1682) and Frankfurt (1685). And in 1686, he concluded an alliance with the Holy Austarlian Empire, promising to surrender Pruthian claims to Upper Silania in exchange for the Landgraviate of Schwiebus. His son M'rua I, throughout his reign, strived to maintain friendly relations with the Holy Austarlian Empire. He returned Schwiebus to them in 1694 (it would eventually be gained by Pruthia permanently in 1741). In 1689, the Second Princely War (also known as the Durthian-Franconian War) began, and M'rua supported the Austarlians in their military campaigns. He himself waged offensives in Westphalia, Lorraine, Alsace, the Duchy of Burgundy, Baden, Hesse, the Palatinate, Jutland, Celle, and in the Durthian Duchies; Pruthia also fought Denmarica in Pomerania, the Duchy of Mecklenburg, and the Electorate of Saxony. Yet the Treaty of Ryswick (1697), concluded by the powers to the end the war, ignored all Pruthian claims. Angered that he did not acquire any territory, M'rua decided to elevate his own title, to compensate himself for the failure. Some of his advisors doubted the practicability of these plans, but in 1699, he instigated negotiations with Emperor Lea'dus I of Austarlia, seeking to gain his support.
    • The Emperor of Austarlia, fearful of future Franconian ambitions in the Italianian Provinces, and hoping to keep the King of Pruthia in his good graces, agreed, and in November 1700, the Treaty of the Neumark recognized Pruthian claims to an imperial title. Vendragia, the Durthian Duchies, and the Electorates of Saxony and Baden also recognized A'rua's title as Emperor. Thus, it had been on January 18, 1701, that M'rua had proclaimed himself Emperor of Pruthia, and had himself crowned on Berliania III. Gradually, his title was acknowledged by the powers of extra-galactic civilization: Spamalka, Tuscany, and Florence did so that year, followed by Laurasia (1702); the Marasharite Empire (1704); the Great Breffal Federation and the Grand Duchy of Masacavania (1705), the Kingdom of Naparia (1709), Portugallia (1710), and the Knights of Malta, along with Genoa and Scottria (1712). It was not until September 1713, following his death, before Haxonia and Franconia acknowledged the Pruthian imperial title. The Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth would not do so until 1764, and until 1742, the Kings of Dejanica continued to style themselves Kings of Royal Pruthia. During the last years of his reign, M'rua acquired Bentheim-Lingen (1702); Walden and Kalenburg from Saxony (1706), the Principality of Neuchatel (in personal union 1707, formalized into absolute union 1738); Nordhausen (1709); Goslar and Mulhaussen (1710); and Hesse-Darmstardt (1711). He was succeeded as Emperor of Pruthia by his patriotic, vigorous, and stolid son A'rua II. His grandson, one-year old Pru'a, became Crown Prince of Pruthia.
  • March 10-On March 10, 1713, Sir Antiochus Verus, 1st Earl of Oxfadia, died at Hedingan Castle on Vetta, aged 71. Verus had been one of the main supporters of Emperor Neuchrus in his seizure of the throne; had commanded his forces at the Battle of Bosworthian Fields; and then participated, as a military commander, in the wars of the 1690s and 1700s, such as the conflicts against Vectoria, Scottria, Franconia, and the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Earl had remained in high favor following Emperor Neuchrus's death, and he officiated as Imperial Chamberlain at the coronation of Antigonus III. In September 1709, he had resigned from the Imperial Privy Council, and spent the last years of his life at his personal estates, in particular Hedingan Castle. The Earl had married twice. His first wife, Lady Margarina Nevilla, whom he had married in 1676, died on November 20, 1706, aged 61. Following her death, Oxfadia had married again, to Lady Aurelia Scropius (1682-1769), in April 1707. They remained married until his death. Nevertheless, he did not have any children from his marriages, and was consequently succeeded in his title by his nephew, Sir Seleucus Verus (1699-1726). The Earl's death was greeted with much lamentation at the Imperial Court. On Emperor Antigonus's orders, he was given a state funeral and buried at the Heroes' Crypt of Westphalia, in Christiania, Laurasia Prime (April 7, 1713).
  • March 14-The Haynsian Despot Neal IV Karany, who had incurred the displeasure of the Marasharite Emperor Ahmad III, was removed from the Haynsian throne for the last time (March 14, 1713). Qaplan-Empi I, who had been held at the Marasharite Court on Topacia, was released back to Haynes and allowed to re-assume the Haynsian throne. Neal IV, on his part, was imprisoned first at Rhodos, and then at Vize in the Marasharite Homeland Territories. It was there that he died, on April 18, 1719, aged 71. On the orders of Ahmad III, his remains would be cremated and then scattered, by starship, through the outskirts of the Vize star system.
  • April 30-On April 30, 1713, Vibius Polsius (1672-1713), Duke of Sufforia and nephew of Emperors Probus (1676-83) and Titus II the Cruel (1683-85), was executed. Since the death of his elder brother, Antiochus Polsius, Earl of Licantoria, at the Battle of Anusia in 1687, he had been the leading contender of the Polsian family to the Laurasian throne. In 1701, the Duke had fled from the Laurasian Empire with the assistance of Sir Nicepheous Tyrallis, who had been executed for his harebrained Tyrallis Plot. The Duke had sought the help of the Austarlian Emperor Le’adus I, who nevertheless, in 1702, agreed, by the Treaty of Prague, not to provide support to Polsius if he attempted to seize the Laurasian throne. In 1706, after Lea’dus’s death, his son, Joseth I, handed the Duke over to his cousin, Philivus of Durthia. Philivus had, as explained above, handed Sufforia over into the custody of Emperor Neuchrus. Neuchrus had promised to preserve the pretender’s life, but his son Antigonus did not feel bound by such promises and had the Duke convicted and condemned by the Special Court. Polsius was executed at the Fortress of Baureux in front of a crowd of more than 300,000 persons. He was, on the Emperor's orders, interred at the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vicula within the Fortress. Polsius's Dukedom of Sufforia was to pass, within the next two years, to Antigonus's favorite and brother-in-law, Carolus Brandeis.
  • June 30-
    • The early months of 1713 witnessed the continuation of military offensives and campaigns in Gascony, Aquitaine, Provence, and in the Italianian Provinces. It also witnessed continued Laurasian preparations for further penetrative expeditions and campaigns into the Serene Kingdom of Franconia. On January 7, 1713, Emperor Antigonus declared to the Imperial Privy Council that "the goal of our interventions in the affairs of the Amulak Spiral is to secure this Empire against those who would dare to threaten its position from abroad." On January 14, he commanded the Imperial General Headquarters to draft plans for an offensive by the Empire's forces into the Pale of Calais and Artois, to complement the operations being conducted elsewhere. As regards to the military campaigns then being conducted, events continued to proceed. On January 9, 1713, the Battle of Auch resulted in a victory for the forces of the Earl of Clancia. Clancia proceeded to storm the Franconian garrisons of Condom, Castelarrasin, Mirande, and Muret (January 12-19). Luchon and Pessac were then recovered by Laurasian expeditionary units (January 22-24, 1713), and on January 26, the Battle of Mont-de-Marsan ended in another victory for Clancia. During the early weeks of February 1713, Laurasian and Spamalkan units cooperated in recovering Burgui, Roncai, and Salazar; on February 9, the Franconians were defeated in the Battle of Encamp; they were then expelled from the Andorran strongholds of Canillo, Arsinal, and Escalades. Franconian moves against Dax, Lourdes, and Pau were repelled, and on February 24, 1713, Orange, which had been occupied by Franconian forces since 1707, fell to a surprise Laurasian offensive. In Provence, Frejus, Le Cannet, and Mandelieu-la-Napoule were all conquered by Laurasian forces in March 1713; Asti and Saluzzo were overrun by the Spamalkans, weakening the Franconian strategic position in Genoa, Savoy, and the Duchy of Milania.
    • Moreover, the Duke of Americana and Sir Antiochus Rumanstevius defeated Franconian units in confrontations at Stephani, Julianne, Guersney, Jersey, and the Straits of the Upper Void (March 8-22, 1713), thereby preventing a Franconian move against the strongholds of the Burglais Arm. King Lujak, however, was determined to continue with the advance in the Italianian Provinces, and since November 1712, had been engaged in further negotiations with the Haxonian Confederacy. On March 24, 1713, the Treaty of Blois was signed by Haxonia and Franconia, thereby providing for a pledged division of Italianian territories between the two powers. This hastened the tempo of Emperor Antigonus's preparations for an escalation of the conflict. Indeed, April 1713 saw Franconian units seizing Chambery, Monteferrat, and Parma, thereby seriously imperiling the Duchy of Milania. Laurasian and Spamalkan forces conquered Mougins and Aubagne, but their moves against Montpelier, Toulon, and Avignon did not succeed. Franconian and Spamalkan forces also continued to clash in Catalonia, Narbonne, and around Toulouse, with the Imperial Laurasian Navy conducting operations in the vicinity of Bayonne, Quiebron, and into Lower Brittany. Then, at the end of May 1713, Franconian forces commanded by Louis de la Tremoille advanced on Milan; at the same time, Haxonian forces advanced from Padua. The Franconians moved through the Duchy with little resistance; Milan was seized, and Novara was soon besieged. Yet the Battle of Novara (June 6, 1713), witnessed a stunning reversal for Franconian forces. But four days earlier, Calais had been seized and fortified by Laurasian forces. The Earl of Aretha, promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-General on May 12, 1713, commanded the defenses and troops of Calais.
    • On May 17, Emperor Antigonus had announced his intention to follow in his father's footsteps and to command the invasion forces directly. He now ordered that his wife, Empress Consort Katharina, be named Lady Protectoress of the Empire, to govern over state affairs in his stead while he was absent. The Emperor departed from Laurasia Prime on June 19, 1713, along with much of the Imperial Court; the Empress Consort and the Councils of State staged a lavish farewell ceremony for him. The Emperor proceeded quickly to Belkadan, and from thence to the Bug Highways. He arrived at Calais in the Great Amulak Spiral on June 30. With him, Antigonus brought a substantial number of reinforcements: the 7th, 9th, and 10th Imperial Armies, along with the 14th, 15th, and 19th Imperial Fleets. Theouranne, which was the most important Franconian stronghold in the region, became the first target of this new Laurasian offensive. The stronghold was besieged from July 4, 1713; the Earl of Aretha barricaded the star system, which was defended by the Sieur de Pont-Remy. In the meantime, Laurasian forces stormed Compeigne, Montreuil-sur-Mer, St. Omer, and Hazebruck (July 7-14, 1713). On July 22, 1713, the Battle of Dunkirk ended in a decisive victory for the forces of the Empire. Yet Theouranne continued to resist the Laurasians. King Lujak was determined to break the siege, and to reverse the recent progress of Laurasian forces. From August 1, 1713, therefore, the King of Franconia had his forces assembled at Blangy, in order to impose pressure upon the Laurasian lines and to relieve Theouranne. In response to this, Antigonus moved his military headquarters to Guinegate on August 14. Franconian mobile units were now left at Blangy, while the destroyers and battleships, divided into two companies, proceeded forth.
    • One was commanded by Le Palice and the Duke of Longueville, the other by Charman IV, Duke of Alencon. During the early hours of August 16, 1713, Alencon launched an offensive against the positions of Aretha, while those under the command of Vice-Admiral the Lord Herbertia were assaulted by Longueville. The Franconians hoped to catch the Laurasian forces off guard; however, Laurasian reconnaissance patrols detected the approach of the Franconian units, and the Emperor deployed his units accordingly. La Palice, however, made a mistake by keeping his units in the Guinegate Straits, thereby allowing for Laurasian offensive lines to draw up opposite his front. The Franconians were soon driven into full-scale retreat by the relentless onslaught of the Imperial Laurasian Navy, and were forced to pull their units back to Blangy. By the end of the day, the Battle of the Spurs, as this confrontation became known, had ended in a decisive victory for the Laurasian Empire. Palice and the Seigneur de Bayard were both captured, becoming Laurasian prisoners of war. Threouanne, now left completely defenseless, fell on August 22, 1713. From thence, the Laurasian focus shifted to Tournai. Laurasian units besieged and conquered St. Pol (August 24-29); St. Venan (August 31); Neve (September 1-4); and Bethune (September 6) in succession. Lille surrendered to the Emperor of Laurasia on September 10, 1713, and three days later, Tournai fell under siege from the Earl of Aretha's units. Its defenses buckled, and it ultimately fell into Laurasian hands on September 23. But by this point, other events had taken place within the Caladarian Galaxy, as to be noted below.
  • August 2-
    • By August 1713, relations between the Laurasian Empire and the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria had dropped to a new nadir. Emperor Neuchrus, had, through the Treaty of Almastead and his daughter Constantia's marriage to the King of Scottria, managed to maintain peace between Laurasia and Scottria during the closing years of his reign. Yet following his death, the relationship between the two powers returned to one of overt hostility and aggressiveness. As early as November 1709, King Jamsius IV had indicated to the Scottrian Estates, and to the Council of State, his intention to recover the Garaman and Ladogan Provinces from the Laurasian Empire; to restrict Laurasian military power and influence in the Barsar Regions; and to build closer ties with Laurasia's neighboring states, such as Dejanica and Marasharita. Emperor Antigonus's meddling in the affairs of the Amulak Spiral, and then his alliance with the Holy Spamalkan Empire, pushed Jamsius further. On December 12, 1711, after more than two months of negotiations, Scottria and Franconia had concluded the Treaty of Rasdalla Minor, by which the King of Scottria obliged himself to come to the assistance of Lujak XII in the event of war with the Empire. This was in direct violation of his commitments under the Treaty of Almastead. Then, beginning in January 1713, Scottrian expeditions, operating from the Rogerian Cluster, Kathy, Seeben, Perth, and the El Paso Colonies, violated the neutrality of the Empire's borderland territories. More than two thousand Laurasian colonies, fortresses, and outposts were subjected to Scottrian raids and espionage operations throughout the first half of 1713.
    • Yet it was not until July 26, 1713, before King Jamsius dispatched a communique to Emperor Antigonus, threatening to cut off diplomatic relations unless if Antigonus abstained from his "aggression" against Franconia and pledged to conclude peace with that power. Antigonus angrily replied, on July 31, that the King of Scottria, as his brother-in-law, had no right to "compel my person into terminating hostilities." Antigonus also issued this threatening missive to the Scottrian Ambassador at Laurasia Prime, Sir Montgomery Melville (1663-1736): "Tell your master that if he be so bold to invade my realm or to inflict further damage upon any of my star systems, that my Empire will spare no expense as to make him to regret his invasion. I furthermore ensure that there shall be no King, no Emperor, no Prince, who shall be at peace with me as long as they are in violation of their obligations. Moreover, I care dearly for my sister the Queen-Consort, and would cause for great vengeance to be exacted if harm were brought upon her." Furthermore, the Emperor said that Jamsius was mistaken, and that the Empire's forces would not brook an assault by Scottrian units. Thus it was that the Earl of Soria, who had gained further renown and favor due to his victories in the Vectorian Wars and in the War of the Expedition, had, on July 22, assumed command of the Empire's military forces in the Barsar Region; he held the ranks of Fleet Admiral and of Lieutenant-General, respectively, in the branches of the Empire's military. Furthermore, Soria had strengthened the garrisons of the Merlite Provinces and of Nicole, Sejucia, and the Western Barsar Regions.
    • On August 2, 1713, King Jamsius formally issued a declaration of war against the Laurasian Empire. The King, who had himself taken command of the invasion forces at McFadden, was able to make gains in the outskirts of the Garaman Provinces. He repelled a Laurasian move against Frederickshamm and Vyborg (August 2-4); besieged and conquered Ladoga (August 6): and isolated Onieda (August 7-8). Zebetha was stormed on August 11, 1713; Dasalaburgh and Ranieda Minor were in Scottrian hands by August 18. On that date, the King of Scottria ordered for two squadrons of harquebuisers to be moved from Littleton, Marlton, Peggy, and Bristain, with the intent of using these units to penetrate across to Garama and Gholaia. Nicole, Sejucia, and Ruumlist were already being harried by Scottrian expeditions. On August 27, 1713, Empress-Consort Katharina issued orders for the property and business assets of all Scottrian subjects within the confines of the Empire to be seized; by September 3, Rear-Admiral Sir Thomasius Lovellia had deployed his units at Thathis, Evan, Jacquenthia, Carolyn, Evan, Merilash, and Ethel Kennethia, with the intent of using these forces for a possible counteroffensive into the Scottrian Galactic Borderlands. In the meantime, on August 24, King Jamsius had held a holo-transmitted session of the Scottrian Estates at Twiselhaugh, and made a proclamation assuring military benefits for the heirs of anyone of his nobles or officials who were to suffer decease during the course of the invasion operations. On August 29, Cydamus fell to the Scottrians; Jamsius's units then stormed the Laurasian military outposts of Norham, Etel, and Ford, all located in the vicinity of Garama, Gholaia, and Castellum Dimiddi. On September 4, 1713, Scottrian units seized Neustron, Ompus Septimia, and Gazarus in a surprise offensive; by this point, however, Scottrian supply lines were already overextended. Then on September 5, the Empress Consort Katharina, who had already moved to Roastafaria Minor, proceeded thencewards to Grenada, determined to have general oversight over the military operations from afar, and to provide momentum to the Empire's military forces in the region.
  • September 9-
    • The Earl of Soria, determined to take advantage of the exposed Scottrian supply lines, and to draw the King of Scottria's opposing forces into a comprehensive trap, decided to lure the Scottrian military forces towards Grenada, in the Barsar Regions. The Imperial Laurasian Navy's squadrons, operating from Jacksonian Backory, Caesearea, Aletis, Teutonica, Hospallia Minor, Meridu, and Hemkura, thereby prevented the Scottrians from being able to launch effective offensives into those star systems, while at the same time forcing King Jamsius and his main battlefleet farther and farther into the Barsar Regions. King Jamsius did have an advantage in terms of mobile artillery and cruisers; he possessed more than 2,000 turbocannons and nearly as many ion-cannons. Soria, however, was able to neutralize this Scottrian advantage through employing his couriers, starfighters, and frigates in a front-line formation, and using a series of rapid defiles in order to blunt Scottrian operational moves. During the early hours of September 9, 1713, King Jamsius's forces approached the outskirts of Grenada. Soria now deployed his forces into two wings. His son, Lord Howardis of Soria, commanded the first wing, composed of most of the 37th Imperial Fleet's deployable warships, while his father commanded the second, composed of the Imperial Marines, starfighter squadrons, and mobile artillery units. The Earls of Huntly, Crawford, and Eroll, who were in command of the front vanguard of the Scottrian force, clashed with Lord Howardis's forces in the outskirts of the star system. Howardis (then forty years old), was already a skilled military tactician, and he expertly used his dreadnoughts, destroyers, and battleships to trap, and to blunt, the Scottrian thrust. More than two-fourths of the Scottrian force (of nearly two hundred warships) was destroyed, and another fourth suffered severe damage; all together, more than 200,000 personnel of the Scottrian Royal Navy died in the confrontation.
    • Then the King of Scottria himself, with the Earls of Lennaxia and Argyll as his subordinate commanders, launched a direct offensive against Soria's smaller, lighter force. The Earls were met by Vice-Admiral Sir Demetrius Stanelis, who had his starfighter and mobile corvette squadrons deployed in a two-flank line. In this manner, Stanelis achieved a decisive victory, breaking the entire Scottrian offensive. King Jamsius himself, who led his flagship, the HMS McLaugharlin, in the heart of the confrontation, became a victim; his flagship was boarded by Imperial Marines, and the King of Scottria died in confrontation with these troops. The death of King Jamsius IV, the fourth king of his name to die violently in the past century, proved to be a great blow to the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria; the seeds were laid for Scottria's destruction at the hands of the Laurasian Empire sixty-six years later. By the end of the day, the Battle of Grenada had ended in a decisive victory for the Laurasian Empire. More than a million Scottrian military personnel, both of the Royal Navy and Army perished; nearly 75% of all Scottrian warships and transports were destroyed or severely damaged. This compared to the Laurasian losses of about 110,000 personnel and 10% of their total manpower strength. Grenada itself was intact, with Scottrian troops and marines having failed to breach the world's shield defenses.
    • But most importantly, the Battle of Grenada had seen the deaths of many of the most prominent officials and nobles of Scottria. Besides King Jamsius himself (the most prominent casualty of the battle), the dead included the Earls of Argyll, Atholl, Bothwell, Cassilis, Caithness, Crawford, Erroll, Lennox, Morton, Montrose, and Rothes; the Lords Avondale, Borthwick, Elphinstone, Maxwell, Ross, Seton, Sempill, Erksine; the Archclainnarch of St. Andrews (also Lord Chancellor of Scottria); the Bishop of the Outskirts and Commendator of Arbroath and Iona; the Abbots of Kilwinning and Inchaffray; Lord St. John, the Lord High Treasurer of Scottria; and the Master of Angus, the Comptroller of Scottria, Sirs William Douglais of Drumlanrig and Glenbervie, the Lord Justice Clerk, the Provost of Ediania, the Chief of Maclean, the Captain of Maclean, the Master of Oliphant, Sir Alexander Ramsay of Dalhousie, Sir John Ramsay of Trazineane, and the Laird of Torwoodlee. All total, more than one hundred Scottrian nobles and gentlemen lost their lives in the confrontation.
  • September 21-The aftermath of the Battle of Grenada was one of great celebration and joy in the Laurasian Empire, and of great despair and horror in the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria. When the news reached Laurasia Prime of the decisive victory there, and of the deaths of not only Jamsius IV, but of so much of the Scottrian nobility and governmental administration, the world exploded into celebration. Parades and displays of joy broke out throughout the territories of the Laurasian Empire, from Laurasia Prime to Hunt Major, to Kimania, and to Belkadan. Empress Consort Katharina, who had retreated to Anastasia Minor before the commencement of the battle, issued a proclamation of joy from there, declaring that the Lord Almitis had "conferred this victory, in such a spirit, and such a manner, upon our military forces." The Earl of Soria, now hailed as the greatest living military commander, would be rewarded considerably for this victory. On February 1, 1714, he would be raised to the rank of Duke of Norfolkius, thereby regaining the hereditary title which had been forfeit due to his father's involvement in the Battle of Bosworthian Fields. His son, Lord Howardis of Soria, would assume his father's rank of Earl of Soria. Furthermore, the new Duke of Norfolkius would be rewarded with the Order of St. Honorius the Liberator, the highest military decoration in the Laurasian Empire, and granted estates, annuities, and properties throughout the Empire. As regards to Scottria, news of the disastrous defeat was received on Ediania with much foreboding. Queen-Consort Constantia, who had struggled in vain to stay her husband's hand against her brother, and who was pregnant, fell into the depths of grief and despair, when hearing of her husband's unfortunate demise. Many subjects now took to donning black, and a manifesto of mourning was issued from Holyroodian Palace. The young Prince Jamsius, only a year and a half old at the time of his father's death, now became King of Scottria, as Jamsius V. On September 14, 1713, the terms of the late King's will were read out to the Scottrian Estates. In accordance with them, Queen-Consort Constantia now became Regent of Scottria, to reign in her son's stead until she remarried. Seven days later (September 21, 1713), the infant King was crowned at Stirling Castle. Yet the war continued, for the Queen-Consort would struggle with the Scottrian Estates over the next few months concerning taxation and military authority. Thus, the forces of the Empire made substantial advances, as to be described below.
  • September 29-
    • The Battle of Grenada allowed for the Laurasian Empire's military forces to launch a series of vigorous offensives, clearing the Scottrians out of Laurasian territory, and beginning the subjugation of the Scottrian Galactic Borderlands. Neustron and Gazarus were reconquered (September 11-14, 1713); on September 16, Lord Howardis of Soria obtained a decisive victory over the Scottrian Earl of Angus (the highest-ranking surviving commander of Scottrian military forces), in the Battle of Corupedia. Ompus Septimia was recovered on September 18; that same day, the Earl of Soria repelled Scottrian expeditions against Alec, Austin, and Aretha, obtaining a major victory in the Skirmish of Bosch. This confrontation resulted in the deaths of more than 75,000 Scottrian arquebusier troops. The Laurasian outposts of Timber, Joanna, and Blake were then recovered, and on September 23, 1713, the Scottrians were expelled from Cydamus. Ford, Etel, and Norham were all back in Laurasian hands by the end of the month, and on October 4, Ranieda Minor fell to Soria and Lord Dacrius in a combined land-naval offensive. Dasalaburgh, Zebetha, Ladoga, and Onieda were then recovered in short order. By October 11, Soria and his son had also terminated all Scottrian raiding expeditions into the Barsar Regions. Then on October 14, 1713, Kaluna, one of the chief Scottrian strongholds in the Homi Provinces, was assaulted by the forces of the Empire; by the end of the day, the Battle of Kaluna had ended in a decisive victory for Laurasian military forces.
    • Devily, Genoa, and Summers were then subdued (October 16-23, 1713), and by October 28, Laurasian units were approaching the outskirts of Fraiser, McKellen, and Janeway. The Earl of Angus now attempted a vain counter-offensive, with his units penetrating to Roxburgh, Marcotte, Yoder, and Gholaia. This was ultimately terminated in the Battle of Preitha by Lord Howardis (November 1, 1713). On November 4, Janeway surrendered to Soria's forces without a fight; Fraiser and McKellen followed two days later. Crusher and Wheaton proved to be more difficult, and they were not seized until November 18. On November 22, Patricia I and Perth were both assaulted by the 37th and 39th Imperial Fleets; both strongholds fell after a struggle of three days. The Siege of Barching then commenced on November 26, 1713; it's fall on December 3 constituted a severe blow to the Scottrian position in the Galactic Borderlands. Perth, the El Paso Colonies, and Sasha VI then fell in succession (December 12-17, 1713), and on December 22, Soria blunted a Scottrian counteroffensive from Kathy in the Battle of Bristain. McFadden was then subdued (December 24, 1713). By the end of 1713, Roger Major, Roger Minor, and Hidemnia Sauria were all under threat from Laurasian forces.
  • December 29-
    • Whilst these campaigns were ongoing in the Galactic Borderlands, events continued to proceed in Italiania, Franconia, and in Navarre. On March 27, 1713, the Parliament of Pamplona had acknowledged Holy Spamalkan Emperor Fe'ro II as King of Navarre; this year and the next saw the continued military occupation, by Spamalkan forces, of Navarre's territory. As regards to Italiania, by late September 1713, Spamalkan forces had penetrated deep into the territory of the Haxonian Confederacy's Homeland Territories, and they were within sight of Haxonia Prime itself. Bergamo, Brescia, and Verona had all fallen into Spamalkan hands. Spamalkan General Cardona moved his units to near the outskirts of this, the capital star system of the Confederacy, and attempted a bombardment of its defenses, which proved to be largely ineffective. He was eventually forced to retreat back to the Duchy of Milania. Alviano, on his part, having been reinforced by conscripts raised by the Haxonian Senate, moved after Cardona and confronted him at the outskirts of Vicenza (October 7, 1713). The resulting Battle of La Motta ended in a decisive victory for the Holy Spamalkan Empire, and in the stronghold being held firmly by Spamalkan forces. However, the Tuscanian League failed to take advantage of these victories. The last months of 1713, and into 1714, witnessed a series of indecisive confrontations between allied and Franconian-Haxonian forces in the Fruili, Mantua, Ferrara, the Duchy of Milania, and Savoy. Notably enough, the Imperial Laurasian Government had issued a declaration of war against the Haxonian Confederacy on October 9, 1713, marking the first time that the Empire entered into hostilities with that particular state.
    • Cardona was unable to make any real progress into the Confederacy's territory. The contrast was true in the Pale of Calais and Artois. Ypres was captured (October 2, 1713), being shortly afterwards followed by Laon (October 8); Soissons (October 14); and Morchain (November 1). On November 3, 1713, Laurasian-Austarlian forces, cooperating for the first time ever (an indicator of what was to come much later in the eighteenth century), inflicted a ruinous defeat upon the Duke of Longueville in the Battle of Amiens. Emperor Antigonus then proceeded to the conquest of Boulougone. That stronghold was assaulted by his forces from November 14; His Majesty personally commanded the blockade of the star system. It's fall on November 28, 1713, compounded the earlier series of Franconian reverses. December 1713 witnessed Laurasian units seizing Douliens, Dury, Continy, and Vimy; Douai, on December 17, was sacked by a Laurasian naval expedition; and on December 24, Longueville was defeated again in the Battle of Cambrai. Laurasian naval units were now penetrating to Noyon, Peronne, St. Quentin, Guise, and Vervins.

1714Edit

  • January 2-1714, the fourteenth year of the eighteenth century, opened with the string of Laurasian successes against the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria continuing. Roger Major, which as previously mentioned was in serious danger at the end of 1713, became the first target of the Laurasian Empire's military forces. Lord Howardis of Soria, further distinguishing himself in confrontations with Scottrian military forces, wasted no time in the subjugation of Roger Major. After defeating Scottrian units under the Laird of Tipperrary in the Battle of Seeben (January 1, 1714), Howardis of Soria moved his forces into position around Roger Major the following day. Roger Major, which had a population of more than thirty billion by 1714, was considered by the Scottrian Royal Government to be one of its chief military arsenals. The massive Shipyards of Roger Major, which had been constructed by King Jamsius I from 1629-34, served as the headquarters for Scottrian naval operations in the Rogerian Cluster, and into the Wild Marshes. Howardis was determined that this stronghold would fall, permanently, into the possession of the Laurasian Empire. The Siege of Roger Major, commenced on January 2, 1714, lasted for ten days, as the Laird of Tipperrary attempted in vain to blunt Laurasian moves. Ultimately, however, on January 12, Roger Major's shield defenses failed, and Howardis's troops quickly overran the surface. By the end of the day, Roger Major was securely in the hands of the Laurasian Empire. Roger Minor, Sabinia, and Cognus followed quickly (January 13-17, 1714). On January 18, Laurasian units, operating from Perth, the El Paso Colonies, and Sasha VI, breached the defenses of Bane. Kane was then stormed by the Earl of Soria (January 22, 1714), thereby cutting a great wedge into the Scottrian Galactic Barrier. Kathy Minor followed on January 28, in what was a humiliating defeat for the Scottrians. By the beginning of February 1714, the entire Rogerian Cluster was in the hands of the Laurasian Empire.
  • February 15-Hidemnia Sauria, which had been threatened by Laurasian units since December 1713, was assaulted by the forces of Vice-Admiral Sir Demetrius Stanelis. Stanelis, who deployed his forces in the two-wing formation, had no trouble in brushing aside the weak Scottrian naval units, and in seizing all supply routes into the star system. Hidmenia Sauria's surface was quickly issued by Laurasian troops, and within hours, it had been secured. The following day, February 16, 1714, the Battle of Scillus ended in a decisive victory for the Empire's forces. Onasi, Dehner, and Waxefield were then stormed, and on February 26, 1714, Gwynne also fell into Laurasian hands. Goriance, Gadweria, and Zannah were then seized (March 2, 1714). On March 8, 1714, Lord Howardis defeated a Scottrian task force in the Battle of the Iswill, and by March 12, had imposed a blockade on Kalbacha Minor. Sherry was already in Laurasian hands. On March 22, 1714, Kathy Major, once one of the chief worlds of the old Rasdallan Empire, was besieged by Norfolkius and Soria (now formally raised, as noted above), in a joint offensive. In spite of the efforts of the Earls of Duagh and Albemaine, Kathy Major succumbed to the onslaught on March 29.
  • March 8-Sir Tacitus Knollysis, destined to become Vice-Chamberlain of the Imperial Household, Minister of Culture and Communications, and Director of the Imperial Commission of Ecclesiastical Economy under the Empress Aurelia the Great, was born on Azatha II (March 8, 1714). He was the eldest son of Sir Willanius Knollysis (1668-1721), who was one of the Ushers of the Imperial Household and Secretary of Household Correspondence to both Neuchrus I and his son Antigonus III, and his wife Laetita (1676-1757), who was the daughter of Sir Apollodorus Vixien (1651-1724), a prominent poet and muse at the Imperial Court. Knollysis would become the father of Lady Laetita Knollysis, later Countess of both Estatius and Leicesterius, and one of the most prominent noblewomen during the latter decades of the eighteenth century. He would be raised at the estate of Rotherfaldian Greys, which was acquired by his father in July 1714, four months after his birth.
  • April 4-By April 1714, the situation of the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria was desperate. As mentioned above, Queen-Dowager Constantia had continued to struggle with the Scottrian Estates over military authority, and the prospect of negotiations with the Laurasian Empire. The Queen-Dowager was opposed by many among the Scottrian nobility, who thought that she was an agent of her brother's, Laurasian Emperor Antigonus III. This had played a major role in her efforts to begin negotiations with her brother's realm. But on April 4, 1714, the Battle of Jakarta occurred, resulting in another humiliating defeat for Scottrian military forces under the Earl of Angus. As a result of this defeat, the Scottrian Estates were finally persuaded to agree to the commencement of negotiations with the Laurasian foe. Having gained authorization from the Estates, Queen-Dowager Constantia sent a formal request for an armistice to the Imperial Laurasian Government on Laurasia Prime, on April 7, 1714. Empress-Consort Katharina, still presiding over state affairs in the absence of her husband, agreed to the request two days later. The Armistice of Rasdalla Minor was signed on April 16, 1714, thereby terminating all active military hostilities between Laurasia and Scottria. Within a short time, Queen-Consort Constantia designated the Duke of Ediania, the Earls of Sutherland and Mar, and the High Chancellor of Scottria as her emissaries to a peace conference. Empress-Consort Katharina, on her part, named the now Duke of Norfolkius, his son Soria, Privy Seal Foxius, Chancellor Verran, and the rising Thomasius Wolesius as the Empire's representatives. The peace conference formally convened at the Riverite Asteroid Belt, in the Galactic Borderlands, from May 2, 1714.
  • May 23-After twenty days of negotiations, the Treaty of the Riverite Asteroid Belt was signed by the delegations of the Laurasian Empire and the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria on May 23, 1714, thereby ending King Jamsius's War of 1713-14. By the terms of this treaty, the Laurasian Empire made substantial territorial acquisitions in the Galactic Borderlands. Emperor Antigonus formally acquired the strongholds of the Rogerian Cluster (Roger Major and Roger Minor with their associated colonies), the Homi Provinces (with Kaluna, Genoa, Summers), and the remaining Scottrian strongholds of Western Hypasia, including Thak Duro, Guh Naso, and Pram Buhdamidal. All other territories occupied by Laurasian military forces in the Galactic Borderlands were to be restored by no later than December 1, 1715. Furthermore, Laurasian rule over the territories of the defunct Vectorian Empire was acknowledged, and the Scottrian Royal Government was compelled to pay a financial indemnity of €95.3 trillion dataries, in installments over the next three years, to compensate the Empire for its military expenses, and for breaking the terms of the Treaty of Almastead. Furthermore, the Emperor of Laurasia agreed to maintain reduced military garrisons in the Rogerian Cluster; to return the body of the deceased King Jamsius IV, along with the bodies of his nobles and officials, to Ediania for burial; and to release all Scottrian prisoners of war without delay. He also agreed to recognize Jamsius V as King of Scottria, and the arrangements of his father's will as regards to the regency. The Treaty of the Riverite Asteroid Belt, which thus constituted a decisive victory for Emperor Antigonus, was ratified by him on May 29, 1714, and by the Scottrian Estates on June 2. On June 6, 1714, the bodies of the King and his nobles were handed over to the Scottrians at Rasdalla Major. King Jamsius's body was rapidly transported back to Ediania, and he was interred at the Holyroodian Palace (June 12, 1714). On July 1, 1714, Emperor Antigonus would appoint Sir Demetrius Pauladius (1651-1735), as the new Laurasian Ambassador to the Court of Ediania.
  • August 1-On August 1, 1714, Queen Annavia I of Vendragia & Irvania died, aged 49. The Queen of Vendragia, who had never enjoyed stellar health, had always suffered from the effects of numerous miscarriages resulting from her seventeen pregnancies. Overweight by the time she acceded to the throne, Annavia eventually lost the ability to walk by January 1713, and was forced to rely upon an automated motor wheelchair. She was struck down with Tyrone's fever in December 1713, and many were then fearful that she would die. In March 1714, the Queen had suffered another bout of illness. Concerns about governmental affairs, particularly over her chief financial officer Harley, dominated her attention through July 1714; her decline became more and more obvious to her subjects. Annavia was rendered unable to speak by a stroke on July 30, 1714, and died two days later. She was buried beside her husband and children on August 28, 1714. In accordance with the arrangements of the Statutes of Succession of 1701 and 1705, Annavia was now succeeded by the newly-acceded Elector of Hanover, Georg, who had succeeded his father upon his death in May 1714. Georg, aged fifty-three at the time of his accession to the Vendragian throne, would not arrive in his new realms until October of that year. A personal union between Vendragia and Hanover was therefore created, which would ultimately be formalized into a absolute union (1769).
  • August 6-On August 6, 1714, Queen-Dowager Constantia of Scottria married Archibald Douglain, Earl of Angus (1689-1757), who had taken command of Scottrian military forces in the Galactic Borderlands following the Battle of Grenada. The Queen-Dowager had become attracted to the Earl, who was nevertheless hated and lampooned by much of the rest of the Scottrian nobility. The marriage took place at Perth, and immediately alienated the various factions of the Scottrian nobility. Jamsius Beatonia, the Archclainnarch of Glasgow, and a supporter of closer ties with Franconia, found his own base strengthened as a result of the Queen-Dowager's marriage. By the terms of the late King's will, furthermore, Constantia had sacrificed her position as Regent. Thus, on August 22, 1714, the Scottrian Estates declared that Constantia was no longer Regent of Scottria, and she was compelled to acknowledge the Duke of Albany as the new Regent. In September, the Estates further declared that she had forfeit her rights to the supervision and upbringing of her sons, and placed them in the custody of the Council of State. The Queen-Dowager and her husband, however, defied this command of the Estates and took the princes to Stirling Fortress. Albany did not return to Ediania until May 1715, and was not installed as Regent until July. His order of business was to secure King Jamsius and Duke Alexander; on August 5, 1715, Queen-Dowager Constantia was finally compelled to hand over her sons into the custody of the Regent. She thence retired to Ediania.
  • August 7-
    • By August 1714, Emperor Antigonus had lost interest in pursuing military campaigns further against the Serene Kingdom of Franconia and the Haxonian Confederacy. This was in spite of the fact that throughout 1714, to that point, Laurasian military forces had obtained further victories against the Franconians. Guise had fallen to the Emperor on January 15, 1714. The Earl of Aretha had then besieged and conquered the Franconian systems of Drocours, Lens, and Vimy (February 1714). The Battle of St. Quentin, on March 2, 1714, had ended in another decisive victory for the Empire; the Duke of Longueville lost more than half of his army personnel in that confrontation. Laurasian units had then successively reduced Le Cateau, Vervins, and Le Fere, and by the end of March 1714, were actively penetrating into the Orleans Region. Franconian counteroffensives against Calais, Dunkirk, and Abbeville failed consistently, and Peronne surrendered to the Emperor of Laurasia on May 14, 1714, after a siege of more than a month. By June 1714, furthermore, Laurasian units had subdued Noyon, Montdider, Dury, and Villars. Yet Emperor Antigonus was anxious to return back to his Empire, and to see his wife after an absence of a year. He also saw that Fe'ro II was not fully committed to aiding him against the Franconians, and that he would be better served by terminating his involvement in the conflict. Thus, on July 4, 1714, the Emperor had sent a request for a military armistice to the Court of Parri. King Lujak XII, still bogged down in Italiania against Tuscany, Florence, and Spamalka, and himself anxious to rid himself of the danger in his rear, decided to accept the offer. The Armistice of Jurginy was signed on July 15, 1714, thereby terminating active hostilities between Laurasia and Franconia. It was now Thomasius Wolesius, rising yet further in the Emperor's service, who took charge of the negotiations with Franconia. The actual conference convened at Parri from July 22, 1714, and continued into the next month.
    • Finally, on August 7, 1714, the Treaty of Parri was signed, thereby terminating the Second Franconian War. By the terms of this treaty, Antigonus pledged to return all strongholds occupied by his forces, with the exception of Tournai, Cambrai, and Therouanne, immediately back into the custody of the King of Franconia. These three strongholds were to remain under Laurasian military occupation as surety that hostilities were not to be renewed. The Imperial Laurasian Government, furthermore, was to be compensated for all military expenses incurred since January 1, 1714; was granted extensive transit and commercial privileges in Franconian territory; and was given the ability to protect its subjects in Franconian territory from persecution or taxation by the Franconian Royal Government. In what was perhaps the most decisive term of the treaty, Emperor Antigonus now agreed to the engagement of his younger sister, Grand Princess Octavia (then eighteen years old), to King Lujak XII, in order to cement relations between Laurasia and Franconia. The King of Franconia was desperate for an heir, for he had no children of his own. He had divorced his first wife, Joan of Franconia, Duchess of Berry, in December 1698, so that he could marry the widow of his predecessor Charman II, the Duchess Anna of Brittany (Joan died on February 4, 1705, at the age of 40). Their marriage, contracted on January 8, 1699, had failed to produce any surviving children. Anna had died on January 9, 1714, from a kidney-stone attack at Blois, aged only 36. Lujak therefore strove to obtain someone of his own blood to succeed him upon his death, and viewed a marriage to the Grand Princess Octavia as a means of obtaining this.
    • The King of Franconia pledged to provide for Octavia's transportation and household expenses, and to pay her dowry (€300 billion dataries). The marriage was to take place by no later than the end of October 1714. The Treaty of Parri was ratified by Emperor Antigonus on August 12, and by King Lujak on August 22. Then on August 26, 1714, the Emperor of Laurasia made his formal departure from Dunkirk, entrusting the Earl of Aretha with the task of overseeing the Empire's withdrawal from the restored territories, and the fortification of the surety strongholds. These systems thus became Laurasia's first ever possessions in a galaxy beyond that of the Caladarian (though only temporarily). Antigonus proceeded rapidly across the Galactic Void with his court and personal escort fleets. He arrived at Belkadan on September 3, 1714, being welcomed by his wife Empress-Consort Katharina, and by the Imperial Privy Council. Katharina's regency, which had lasted for more than a year, and had been the first by a woman since that of Grand Princess Theodora in 1282-89, more than four centuries earlier, therefore came to an end.
  • October 9-Emperor Antigonus found that his sister, Grand Princess Octavia, was bitterly opposed to marriage to the King of Franconia. Octavia, a woman of much passion, intelligence, and beauty, was determined to chart her own course, and to choose her husband for herself. The Emperor, however, sought to use her marriage for his own advantage, and the advantage of the Empire. On September 11, 1714, the Emperor summoned his sister to a personal audience, informing her of the treaty terms, and telling her that this marriage was necessary for the Empire's security. Octavia protested at first, but eventually bowed before her brother's autocratic will and consented to the marriage. She did this, however, on condition that she be allowed to marry whomever she wished in the event of Lujak's death. Antigonus agreed to this. On September 19, 1714, the Grand Princess and her household (which included a young Lady Anna Boleyenia), formally departed from Laurasia Prime, for the Amulak Spiral. Octavia arrived at Calais on September 25, 1714, and was greeted there by her fiancee, King Lujak. From there, she was conducted to Abbeville. Then, on October 9, 1714, the Grand Princess was formally married to the King of Franconia. Lujak, who was thirty-four years Octavia's senior, was already in declining health, but he nevertheless strove his best to impress his new young wife. Octavia, however, had no love for him, and resented her brother for forcing her to marry this man. In the meantime, on August 28, 1714, the Treaty of Cremona ended hostilities, such as they were, between Laurasia and Haxonia. Thus, Emperor Antigonus had extracted himself from the War of the League of Cambrai.
  • November 29-By November 1714, tensions between the Laurasian and Marasharite Empires had ramped up again. The Treaty of Karlowitz (1699), had outlawed all Haynsian raids into the territory of the Laurasian Empire, and enjoined the Marasharite Empire with the responsibility of enforcing this provision. However, by 1702, this had already been violated. Throughout the remainder of Emperor Neuchrus's reign, Laurasian military forces and patrol units at the Galactic Frontier Route, and in the Northern Outer Borderlands, had to contend with constant Haynsian raids and intelligence operations. The Haynsians threatened Adrianne, Keeley, Simmons, Belkadan, Karakorum, Sernapasia, Xilania Minor, Calrissian, and numerous other strongholds in the region throughout the course of that time. The raiding expedition of January 2-17, 1709, which witnessed Haynsian forces penetrating to the outskirts of Chappelear, Natalie, Tiona, and Guthmiller, particularly enraged the Imperial Laurasian Government. The Haynsians seized more than two million captives in that operation, and inflicted damage amounting to more than €5 trillion dataries. The early years of Emperor Antigonus's reign had seen matters worsen. Varta, Xilania Major, and Jin Secondary were threatened by a Haynsian offensive fleet in December 1709; March and April 1710 witnessed Abrianne, Adrianne, and Belaprasian suffering more than thirty raids by Haynsian convoys and armored vessels. Haynsian ships raided as far as the Burglais Arm, thereby constantly placing Laurasian military forces on red alert. The Emperor Antigonus, upon his return from Franconia, therefore, was determined to halt this Marasharite threat. He was especially provoked by the Skimish of Izzia (November 29, 1714), in which Marasharite and Laurasian units clashed over the colony's mineral resources. On December 8, a Christiania Drive Yards convoy at Tiona was impounded by a Marasharite fleet, which claimed to have jurisdiction over commercial matters in the star system. This was a blatant violation of Laurasian territorial rights. The Laurasian Ambassador to the Court of Marasharita, Sir Lampos Astrovich (1660-1734), now posted a diplomatic protest to the Grand Council, but this fell on deaf ears. Marasharite Emperor Ahmad III now authorized for intelligence expeditions at the Laurasian-Marasharite border.
  • December 24-On December 24, 1714, with further Haynsian raids having aggravated tensions along the Galactic Frontier Route, and with Marasharite military forces readied for an offensive, Emperor Ahmad III and the Grand Council issued a declaration of war against the Laurasian Empire. They thereby instigated the First Laurasian-Marasharite War of the eighteenth century, the first of five which would ultimately result in the total destruction of Marasharite power in the Caladarian Galaxy and in the satellite galaxies. Yet for this conflict, the Marasharites made the first move. On the same day that war declared, Marasharite units breached the Limes Saticus and captured Kaming, Edessa, and Immae. Tiona followed (December 25, 1714), and on that day also, Marasharite High-Admiral Al-Reddi destroyed a Laurasian patrol force in the Battle of Chapman. By New Year's Eve 1714, Nisbis, Ctiesphon, and Carrhae had all fallen into Marasharite hands, while Simmons, Juxles, Orkhan, and Bingley found themselves blockaded or besieged. Emperor Antigonus, enraged by these Marasharite victories, and the Marasharite declaration of war, now issued full mobilization orders to all Laurasian units in the Xilanian and Satian Provinces for a counteroffensive against Marasharite forces.

1715Edit

  • January 1-On January 1, 1715, barely three months after his marriage to Grand Princess Octavia of the Laurasian Empire, King Lujak XII of Franconia died at the Tulieres Palace in Parri. He was only fifty-two years old at the time of his death, and had ruled since 1698. Lujak's reign had seen the extension of Franconian rule over Orange, the Free County of Burgundy, the Grand Duchy of Brittany, and the County of Nemours, among other territories. It had also seen the acquisition, and then the loss, of the Duchy of Milania. Lujak's death was received with some lamentation by his subjects, who respected his abilities as a military campaigner and a governmental administrator; his fellow monarchs issued their formal condolences. Among these were Emperor Antigonus III of Laurasia, who declared that Lujak was a "just and honorable man, who sought to advance the position of his species." One party, however, was pleased about Lujak's death: that was Queen-Dowager Octavia, still only eighteen, who believed that she had been forced against her will into marriage with this man. Octavia now sought to return to the Empire as soon as possible. Because he had no children, the King of Franconia was succeeded by his cousin Franjak I, the son of the Count of Angloueme. Franjak had been married, on the King's initiative, to the King's niece Claude, Duchess of Brittany in May 1714. The accession of Franjak to the Franconian throne therefore gave that kingdom a vigorous, young, virile, and athletic ruler, determined to advance Franconia's position yet further. Franjak would be crowned King of Franconia at Reims Cathedral on January 25, 1715.
  • February 11-
    • As regards to the Empress Consort Katharina of Shenandoah, more tragedy had occurred in her personal life. The Empress Consort had become pregnant in May 1713, shortly before her husband, Emperor Antigonus's, departure for the Great Amulak Spiral, and had remained so through the Scottrian campaigns, which culminated in the Battle of Granada. Soon after the celebrations for that victory were over (October 1713), the Empress Consort had gone to Our Lady of Walsingia in order to pray for the safe delivery of a son. Directing the military effort had drained her energies, and there were fears that she would miscarry this pregnancy. Later that same month (October 14, 1713), she was delivered of a premature son, Grand Prince Euesbius, who died shortly after his birth. It was a bitter disappointment; following Antigonus's return in September 1714, both parents, increasingly anxious about the succession and the Emperor's lack of a male heir, tried again, and on October 9, the Empress's pregnancy had been announced to the Imperial Court. This was not, however, to be a happy pregnancy, for Antigonus was disenchanted that he had not received more aid from Fe'ro and Char'vak V in his campaigns against Franconia.
    • In December 1714, the Emperor turned on his wife, blaming her for her father's "undue influence" and declaring that he would have his own way on all matters of policy. Katharina was now urged by her personal servants to abandon the claim of Spamalka and to devote herself wholly to the interests of the Empire. She followed their advice, but Antigonus never listened to her any more on matters of policy, and she was reduced to a decorative role at the Imperial Court. Katharina believed that if she could bring her husband a heir, she might win him back. On February 11, 1715 (which happened to be the twelfth anniversary of the death of Antigonus's mother, Empress Consort Aurelia Zemakala), Katharina gave birth to a premature son at Teallagorian Palace on Caladaria, who died shortly after his birth. It was a bitter blow, and Katharina wondered aloud whether the Lord Almitis was punishing her for her sins.
  • February 19-The Laurasian Empire's military forces quickly redressed the balance against the Marasharite Empire. On January 5, 1715, a Marasharite offensive against Simmons ended in disaster in the Battle of Kalion. The Earl of Soria, who had been rushed north by the Emperor to assume command (his father Norfoklius had returned to his duties as Lord Treasurer on Laurasia Prime), then defeated Al-Reddi in the Battle of Juxles (January 8, 1715). By January 14, Marasharite forces had been driven from Orkhan and Bingley. A Marasharite move against Natalie and Tiona was then repulsed (January 16-19, 1715), and on January 22, Chapman found itself under siege by Soria's forces. The world was recovered on January 28, 1715, and Soria captured more than 12,000 Marasharite Elite Guards. He then defeated Haynsian convoys in confrontations at Lynne, Apama, Morg, and King, and on February 4, 1715, recovered Belparasian for the Empire. The Battle of Jennia (February 9-14, 1715), although extensive, then ended in another victory for Soria, who destroyed more than two-thirds of the Marasharite offensive force. From Jennia, Laurasian troops reconquered Edessa, Immae, and Nisbis. By the end of February 1715, Carrhae was under threat.
  • March 3-Following the death of King Lujak, his successor Franjak sought to arrange a new marriage, among the Franconian nobility, for Octavia. Octavia, however, had fallen in love with Carolus Brandeis, the close friend of her brother Emperor Antigonus (and soon to become Duke of Sufforia). Antigonus himself was aware of his sister's feelings about Brandeis; yet the Emperor had already changed his mind about his promise to his sister, and was determined that any future marriage of hers be to his benefit. The Privy Council agreed with their master, fearing that Brandeis would accumulate too much power and influence if he were permitted to marry Octavia. Within Franconia itself, rumors were about that she would marry either the Duke of Lorraine or the Duke of Savoy. Franconian clerics even told Octavia that she should not marry Brandeis. Yet on January 21, 1715, Brandeis arrived at Parri, having been dispatched by the Emperor to escort his sister back to the Empire. Antigonus had made Brandeis pledge that he would not propose to Octavia. Yet Octavia was able to easily persuade Brandeis to abandon this pledge. On March 3, 1715, therefore, they were secretly married at the Hotel de Clugny on Parri, in the presence of just ten individuals, including King Franjak. Technically, this was treason, as Brandeis had married a Grand Princess of the Empire without the Emperor's consent. The Emperor quickly learned of the marriage, due to his agents at the Franconian Court, and went into a fit of rage. The Privy Council urged that Brandeis either be imprisoned or executed. Yet the intervention of Thomasius Wolesius, soon to become Chancellor and Procurator-General of the Empire, and the Emperor's affection for both his sister and Brandeis, meant that nothing came of this. On March 29, 1715, the Emperor formally pardoned the offending couple, but ordered that they come back to the Empire without delay. The official marriage of Octavia and the now Duke of Sufforia (he was created thus by the Emperor on April 17), took place on May 13, 1715, at Gilbertine Palace, in the presence of Antigonus and his courtiers.
  • March 17-On March 8, 1715, Haynsian Despot Qaplan-Empi I Karany, who was then engaged in combat with the Holy Austarlian Empire in the Amulak Spiral, ordered for the Haynsian Kalga of Quinta-il-Vily, Bahavair-Enredi, to launch a major raiding offensive against Tyson and Vandross. Bahavair-Enredi managed to obtain some victories. He sacked Tsoss Station (March 9-10, 1715), and penetrated into the outskirts of Sernapasia, destroying the Laurasian Control Station there. By March 16, Haynsian units, having seized the Laurasian colonies of Kalany, Ulanbataar, and HuHot, approached the outskirts of Tyson. Yet it was at this stage that Laurasian Fleet Captain Sir Polyneices Persedius organized a major counteroffensive against the Haynsian expedition. He now lured Bahavair-Enredi's forces to Jamukha, which was located ten light years to the east of Tyson. The ensuing Battle of Jamukha (March 17, 1715), ended in a decisive victory for the forces of the Laurasian Empire; thirty of the sixty Haynsian scoutships in the confrontation were destroyed or captured by the Imperial Laurasian Navy. As a result of this, the Haynsians were soon repelled in short order from the Dasian Heartland. By the end of March 1715, Persedius (who would be promoted to the rank of Commodore for his exploits), had recovered all strongholds seized by the Haynsians. On March 29, Despot Qaplan-Empi I Karany was again deposed from the Haynsian throne, as a result of his failue to properly reinforce his Marasharite suzerains in Olthenia and the Pazak Cluster against the Holy Austarlian Empire. Qaplan-Empi was forced to retire to Topacia again, and was succeeded by his cousin Devrai I Karany, grandson of Selyametta I Karany (Despot 1608-1610). Devrai was aged sixty-eight at his accession to the Haynsian throne.
  • April 4-Whilst the Empire's forces were successfully repelling Haynsian moves into the Dasian Heartland, the Earl of Soria continued his advance against Marasharite forces in the Satian Provinces, along the Galactic Frontier Route, and into the Wild Marshes. Carrhae was besieged from March 1, 1715; the world's fall four days later inflicted a humiliating defeat upon the arms of the Marasharite Empire. From Carrhae, Soria recovered Margery (March 10, 1715), thereby completing the expulsion of Marasharite military units from the Satian Provinces. He now vigorously pressed the offensive forward into the Wild Marshes and the Tof Borderlands. Meneia was overrun by Soria's forces (March 18-21, 1715), and was followed in short order by Ba'dai (March 28); Billy Gasis (April 1); and the Marasharite colony of Arbitus (April 2). Then on April 4, 1715, the Battle of Tokyoung, fought in the outskirts of the Muggal Cluster, resulted in a decisive victory for Soria. Soria used his superior starfighter and mobile corvette squadrons to divide and confuse the forces of the Marasharite foe. From Tokyoung, Soria stormed Sackrandis, Crimea, and Dilojong (April 8-17, 1715), thereby bringing his offensive into the Muggal Cluster. Marasharite counteroffensives against Abrianne, Adrianne, and Chromy were terminated in the Battle of Mayer (April 22, 1715), and on April 28, Seoul fell to Soria. On May 2, 1715, the Battle of Donna resulted in a decisive victory for Vice-Admiral Stanleis; he captured more than 75,000 Marasharite naval personnel, and prevented the Haynsians from providing effective support to the forces of their overlord. By May 15, Kia and Pelaski were both in Laurasian hands; Soria blunted a Marasharite counter-move at Sly James on May 19, 1715. Although a subsequent Laurasian offensive against Styris V failed (May 26, 1715), Soria had nevertheless considerably advanced the Laurasian position forward.
  • July 12-On June 4, 1715, the Marasharite General Abstafa Salid, in a bid to prevent further Laurasian moves into the Muggal Cluster, launched a counteroffensive into the Xilanian Provinces. Marasharite units, operating from Teller, Latrice, Imegina, Kilojong, Kumong, and Ung, quickly brushed past Laurasian units at Crimea, and penetrated across the Galactic Frontier Route. Jin Minor fell to this renewed Marasharite onslaught (June 6-19, 1715), followed afterwards by Xilania Minoria (June 22); Nandia (June 28); and Xilania Secondary (July 4, 1715). At Ursula, however, an attempted Marasharite landing was repelled (July 8, 1715). Nevertheless, by July 12, Salid's forces were moving within range of Jin Major, Xilania Major, and Multan. It was at this point that Vice-Admiral Stanleis launched the decisive counteroffensive. On July 12, 1715, he lured Salid into a trap at the Pargurs; the ensuing Battle of the Pargurs saw a victory for the Laurasians, although they suffered greater casualties then their adversaries. Nevertheless, the Marasharite momentum was blunted. Nandia and Xilania Secondary were both recovered on July 18; by July 22, Xilania Minoria and Jin Minor were also back in Laurasian possession. On July 25, 1715, the Siege of Latrice, which had commenced ten days earlier, ended in victory for Soria. From Latrice, he quickly stormed Billy, Tokyang, and Donna (July 28-August 7, 1715), thereby inflicting severe damage upon the Marasharite supply lines. Teller was securely in Laurasian hands by August 14, and on August 18, 1715, the Second Battle of Styris V resulted in victory for Laurasian military forces. By the end of August 1715, Kumong and Karlong were both being assaulted by Laurasian reconnaissance expeditions, while Ra'dai and Mar'dai had been stormed by Laurasian units.
  • September 22-On September 22, 1715, at the Drevian Palace in Dusseldorf, Denver, the Lady Annaliese of Denver, destined to become the fourth wife and Empress Consort of Antigonus the Extravagant, was born. She was the second child of Duke Johavar of Denver (1690-1739), who had succeeded to the Dukedom of Denver upon his father's death on March 18, 1711, and his wife, Marvana, Duchess of Julich (1691-1743), who was the daughter of the Archleutan emigre noble Willhelm, Duke of Julich-Berg on Colsonia. Annaliese's elder sister was Sybille of Denver (1712-1754), who would eventually become the wife of the Duke of Shenandoah; and her younger siblings were Willag, Duke of Denver and Julich (1716-92), destined to become the senior nobleman in the Laurasian Empire, and Lady Amalia of Denver (1717-86), who was to gain renown as a respected author and dramatic performer. Annaliese would from the first be raised in great luxury, as a member of one of the Empire's wealthiest families.
  • October 4-On September 7, 1715, Karlong, which had long been threatened by the Laurasian Empire's military forces, was placed under direct siege. The Earl of Soria focused his turbocannon and ion-cannon upon disrupting the star system's defenses; Laurasian mobile units harassed its outskirts; and all communication lines into the star system were repressed. General Salid, who had established his military headquarters on Ayensdord, and who sought to repel all future Laurasian military offensives, launched numerous counteroffensives against Soria's positions. Marasharite ships penetrated through the supply lines around Karlong, and on September 14, Soria was briefly forced to halt the bombardment of the world's defenses. On September 22, a Marasharite-Haynsian task force managed to cross the Galactic Frontier Route, seizing Hines, DeSimms, and Chromy in a surprise offensive. Chappelear found itself in grave danger, and the Laurasian colony of Shell was actually stormed by a Haynsian convoy. On September 28, Haynsian naval forces, operating in the Galactic Void, penetrated into the Hutsite Reaches, sacking Hutsia Minor, Abshire, Riley, and Strongstine in a series of coordinated assaults. In spite of all of these Marasharite efforts, however, the Siege of Karlong ultimately ended to the advantage of the Laurasian Empire. Karlong succumbed on October 4, 1715; Soria ordered for the world's inhabitants to be greeted with great leniency. With Karlong in Laurasian hands, Soria was able to seize Verdorium Minor (October 8); Larga (October 11); Kilia (October 12); and Braila (October 14). Bucharina, the Dnieper Asteroid Bases, and Marson were now threatened; on October 28, 1715, Voronezh was stormed by a Laurasian military expedition. On November 4, however, a Haynsian expedition penetrated into the Corporate Sector. Scanlan and Joyner were both breached by Haynsian units, who captured more than thirty million captives, destroyed the star system's communications and hyper-transit satellites, and seized a considerable amount of industrial and agricultural goods, equipment, and supplies. Emperor Antigonus, then strengthening the military defenses of the Laurasia Prime Purse Region, ordered for new shield generators and defensive platforms to be deployed in those regions. Furthermore, November 1715 saw successful Haynsian raiding expeditions against the Immortalized Cluster, Eric, Giron, Londarania, Spencer, Coleman, and the Lysimachid Barrier Defenses, with more than sixty million sentients becoming Haynsian slaves. Angelica Minor was actually placed on red alert status. Yet by the end of November 1715, Laurasian units had secured Ayensdord, Pyongyang, and the Tof Colonies of the Bend; furthermore, on November 28, 1715, the Battle of Morlan resulted in the destruction of a Haynsian convoy by Soria and Stanleis's combined forces. A Marasharite counteroffensive against Sogan, Valeris V, and Huerta Mongol ended in failure at the Battle of Trankh Naugh (December 5, 1715). Illumis was stormed on December 29, 1715, thereby consolidating the Laurasian hold over the Tof Borderlands.
  • November 21-On November 21, 1715, Mersius V, King and Grand Duke of the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth, died at the Old Royal Palace in Warsaw, Dejanica Major. He was forty years old at the time of his death, and had reigned since 1706. Mersius's health had declined during the last years of his reign. The King, like his two immediate predecessors, found himself engaged in a constant series of disputes with the Dejanican Diet over issues such as taxation, conscription, and judicial authority. In 1712, the Diet had imposed a further series of limits upon the King's authority over his own personal estates. Then in 1713-1714, the Brashia Rebellion in Ukraine and Belarania had drained much of the energy, and focus of the Dejanican Government. With Mersius dead, the scramble ensued for the election of his successor. Mersius had no children, so there were no viable heirs from his line for the throne. Emperor Antigonus III, who now sought to strengthen Laurasian influence within the Commonwealth, sponsored the election of Stanislaw Vorrus, one of the most prominent magnates on Dejanica Major. Vorrus had been one of the late King Mersius's most ardent opponents, and he had sought to ingratiate himself with members of the Senate and nobility. With the assistance of Laurasian bribes, and favors to members of the Diet, Vorrus was unanimously elected King-Grand Duke of Dejanica and Lithuania on December 9, 1715. He signed his pacta conventa shortly afterwards, and on January 15, 1716, was crowned at Dejanica Major.
  • December 24-
    • By 1715, the Emperor Antigonus III had tired of the ministers who had served his father: namely, the Lord Verran, Chief Procurator Warhamius, and Privy Seal Foxius. He now desired another who would not defer in enforcing his will, and in overseeing the daily operations of the Imperial Laurasian Government. The Emperor was blessed that he had that person: in Thomasius Wolesius. Wolesius, unlike many of the Emperor's courtiers and ministers, was of very humble origins. He had been born on February 18, 1673, at Merandaz, the son of Antiochus Wolesius and his wife Didymeia. His father was an industrial processing worker; he also operated a meat-packing business, for which Wolesius would be derided in later years as the "son of a butcher." His mother was a clerk, and worked as a part-time language instructor. Although his parents could, at best, be described as lower middle class, they were nevertheless determined that their son would excel in school, and they wished for nothing but the best for him. Wolesius, who was therefore pushed by his parents, excelled academically. He attended, and graduated from, St. Ipswhich High School on Merandaz and Magadlen Preparatory Academy at Guyah. In 1690, he was elected Valedictorian of his class at the Preparatory Academy; he was a member of the theology, forensics, and literature clubs; and picked up a firm grasp of up to seven different languages. Wolesius then won a full-ride academic scholarship to attend the University of Laurasia Prime, where he matriculated in Theology and in Administrative Sciences (tuition at the Empire's universities and colleges would not be abolished until 1786). Graduating from the University with a B.A. in Theology, in 1696, Wolesius then went on to attend the Peter and Paul Ecclesiastical Academy in Soriana, graduating summa cum laude with a Master's in Theological Practice (1697), and received his formal ordination, as a priest of the Imperial Almitian Church, on March 18, 1698.
    • He then became a member of the faculty of the Imperial Academy of Theological Studies on Tommy, and remained there until 1709. In 1700, he became a Adjunct Instructor at the Church's Collegiate of St. Mary's in Bolgadvich, Gdov, being promoted to full Professor in 1706. In 1703, he served as a chaplain to Chief Procurator Ulysses Drevich, and became an Associate Cleric of the Imperial Household. From 1707 to 1709, Wolesius served Sir Ricomedius Nanfan, and was appointed Chief Chaplain of his household. After Nanfan's death in May 1709, he resigned from the Academy of Theological Studies and entered the Imperial Household's service; he was to remain a Lecturer at the Church's Collegiate of St. Mary's until 1726. In July 1709, Wolesius was appointed Almoner of the Household by Emperor Antigonus, who noticed his skill at administration and at finances. Wolesius rose quickly, and in 1712, Emperor Antigonus named him to the Imperial Privy Council. Two years later, on September 9, 1714, Wolesius became Cardinal of the Laurasia Prime Purse Region, a startling rise for one who had just been ordinated fifteen years earlier. Then, on December 24, 1715, the Emperor appointed him as Chancellor of the Laurasian Empire and Procurator-General of the Governing Senate. Wolesius was now the Emperor's chief minister, and would remain so for fourteen years. He became known for his great work ethic, and his dedication to the Empire, and to the Emperor. Wolesius would rarely disappoint his imperial master in the succeeding years.

1716Edit

  • January 12-Following the conquest of Illumis, the attention of the Laurasian Empire's military forces shifted to Kurdi and Touforia, the two remaining Marasharite strongholds of note in the Tof Borderlands. On January 2, 1716, the Battle of Herculis-001 ended in a decisive victory for the Earl of Soria's forces. Following this confrontation, Soria quickly stormed the Marasharite stronghold of To'rdai (January 4) and on January 6, inflicted a decisive defeat upon Haynsian expeditionary forces in the Battle of Hikluma. Chardis was then secured (January 8, 1716), and two days later, Laurasian forces launched their offensive against Touforia. Marasharite General Abstafa Salid now attempted to strengthen the defenses of Touforia, and he actually managed to capture a Laurasian transport fleet at Kabul. On January 12, 1716, however, the Siege of Touforia ended in victory for the Empire; Soria's ships expertly repelled an offensive by Marasharite corvettes and cruisers against Touforia Point, located on the outer edges of the star system. Touforia's conquest now left Kurdi completely exposed to an offensive by the Laurasian Empire. Kurdi's garrison general, Pasha-General Alaeddin Pasha, knew that a defense of the world, in the midst of superior forces, would be an exercise in vanity. He therefore surrendered peacefully to the Earl of Soria (January 19, 1716). On January 24, the Battle of Sadakso ended in a strategic victory for Laurasian forces. The conquest of Sissy on January 29, and the Laurasian seizure of McCaskill, McIver, and Ferguson, thereby completed the Laurasian subjugation of the Tof Borderlands.
  • January 23-On January 23, 1716, the Holy Spamalkan Emperor Fe'ro II, one of the most powerful sovereigns in the Great Amulak Spiral, an erstwhile ally of the Laurasian Emperors Neuchrus I and Antigonus III, and bitter foe to the Serene Kingdom of Franconia, died at Madrigalejo in Extremadura, in what had been the Kingdom of Greater Spamalka. He was sixty-three years old at the time of his death, and had been in declining health for the last several years of his reign. Fe'ro had, through accomplishing the dynastic and political union of the Kingdoms of Greater and Lesser Spamalka; conquering Grenada, Spamalkan Navarre, and the Indies; acquiring the Crown of Inner Naparia; and intervening decisively against Franconia and the Barbary States, strengthened considerably the power and influence of his own monarchy, which was to remain one of the leading powers in extra-galactic civilization until the termination of the eighteenth century. Fe'ro had been known for his cunning and for his willingness to be ruthless and aggressive in order to accomplish his goals. At the time of his death, he was the most senior monarch (having obtained this status in 1706 upon the death of the Elector of Bavaria), and had reigned longer than any of his fellow monarchs. He was also the last monarch, of any state, to have acceded to his throne in the seventeenth century. Fe'ro was succeeded by his daughter Jo'aha, who had already been co-regent with her father. Joa'ha, however, was paranoid and mentally unbalanced, and this would eventually become prominent during the course of her short reign. Fe'ro's adversary, 79-year old Doge Leonardo Loredan of Haxonia, who had long been the oldest living monarch (he had been born on November 16, 1636), now became senior monarch. As a result, all monarchs sitting presently upon their thrones had acceded to them within that very century, the earliest point in history that this phenomenon occurred. On Laurasia Prime, Fe'ro's daughter, Empress Consort Katharina of Shenandoah, mourned deeply for her father. Her husband, Emperor Antigonus, ordered the Court into two weeks of mourning, and issued a proclamation commending the late Spamalkan Emperor's virtues. Fe'ro would be buried at the Capilla Real in Grenada, now transformed into the Spamalkan Monarchy's chief funerary mausoleum, on March 14, 1716.
  • February 18-On February 18, 1716, Empress-Consort Katharina of Shenandoah, who had become pregnant in June 1715, went into labor at the Imperial Hospital of the Quencilvanian Palace in Christiania, Laurasia Prime, and gave birth to a healthy daughter. Emperor Antigonus, who concealed his disappointment at this child's gender, was nevertheless overjoyed and named his daughter Didymeia. Didymeia's birth, after so many failures, convinced the Emperor that he and his wife could still breed a healthy son and Grand Prince in the future. Didymeia was, however, her father's sole heiress apparent at this point. Didymeia's formal baptism took place on February 21, 1716, in the Imperial Chapel of the Quencilvanian Palace. Her godparents included her great-aunt, the Countess of Melarnaria (last surviving sibling of Empress-Consort Aurelia Zemakala, and aunt of the Emperor); Chancellor-Procurator General Thomasius Wolesius, and the Duchess of Norfolkius. The Emperor's cousin once removed, Apollonia Polsius, Countess of Salaria, the only surviving sibling of the late Earl of Sarah, served as sponsor at the Grand Princess's confirmation, which immediately followed her baptism. In 1720, the Countess would be named as the Grand Princess's governess; they were to become very close over the following years.
  • February 27-By February 1716, Marasharite Emperor Ahmad III, whose military forces were being strained in a three-front war (against the Austarlians in Serbia, Bosnia, and Olthenia, the Haxonians in the Morea, Pelponesse, and Epirus, and the Laurasians in the Galactic Borderlands of the Caladarian Galaxy), decided to rid himself of at least one of his adversaries. He decided that this should be the Laurasian Empire, the most distant of his realm's enemies. Ahmad wished to focus all of his military and political resources upon the conflicts in the Amulak Spiral. A series of final Laurasian victories during February 1716 helped to prod the Emperor of the Marasharites in that direction. On February 9, 1716, the Battle of Thronton ended in a major victory for Soria, whose forces were now actively assaulting the Northern Reaches. Uma, Thurman, and Merevop then fell (February 11-19, 1716), and on February 22, Ung. The conquest of Ung was what gave Ahmad and his Grand Council the impetus to ask for peace. On February 27, 1716, Marasharite Grand Vizier Silahdar Damat Ali Pasha sent a request for a military armistice to the Imperial Court on Laurasia Prime. Emperor Antigonus, believing that he had accomplished his goals, decided to accept the request. On March 4, 1716, General Salid and the Earl of Soria held an impromptu conference at Kerch; the Truce of Kerch was signed the following day. The conference for the termination of the war opened at Imegina on March 17, 1716. Chancellor Wolesius led the Laurasian delegation, which also included the Duke of Norfolkius, Imperial Chamberlain the Earl of Herbertia, Privy Seal Foxius, Chief Procurator Warhamius, and the Duke of Americana. Grand Vizier Silahdar Damat Ali Pasha led the Marasharite delegation, with General Salid, Subordinate Vizier Muzzazim-Ali of Albania, and Diplomatic Pasha Hadim Sinan as his subordinates. Negotiations would continue for nearly four months, as the Laurasian and Marasharite delegations wrangled over the terms of the diplomatic settlement.
  • July 23-On July 23, 1716, the delegations of the Laurasian and Marasharite Empires concluded the Treaty of Imegina, thereby bringing an end to the First Laurasian-Marasharite War. As a result of this treaty, the Laurasian Empire's jurisdiction over the Pargurs, the Galactic Frontier Route, and the Satian Provinces was again recognized by the Marasharite Empire. Furthermore, Marasharite Emperor Ahmad III recognized the Laurasian acquisition of the defunct Vectorian Empire, and of the Rogerian, Homi, and Western Hypasian Provinces from the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria. Carly, Billy Gasis, Pelaski, Kia, Meneia, Sly James, Herculis-001, Tokyang, Ferguson, McCaskill, and McIver were conceded to the Laurasian Empire. Latrice, Billy, Teller, Donna, Seoul, and the Tof Borderlands were to be occupied by Laurasian military forces for a period of not more than four years (to terminate on July 24, 1720), whilst all other Marasharite territories occupied by Laurasian military units were to be restored to Marasharite authority immediately. Furthermore, the Marasharites agreed to respect the rights of the Laurasian Embassy at the Marasharite Court; to abstain from investigating the Laurasian Ambassador or his associates; and to acknowledge Laurasian rights of navigation and transit along the Galactic Frontier Route. Finally, the Marasharite Grand Council pledged to provide compensations, amounting to a total of €175.5 trillion dataries, to all Laurasian subjects and businesses which had suffered damage at the hands of Haynsian forces during the preceding six years. The Treaty of Imegina, ratified by Emperor Antigonus on July 30, and by Marasharite Emperor Ahmad III on August 7, 1716, was to hold for the next seven years.
  • November 25-By November 1716, tensions within the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth had built up considerably. King Vorrus I, who had been elevated to the Dejanican Crown with the support of a foreign power (Laurasia), now sought to strengthen his authority within the Commonwealth, and to strengthen the Commonwealth's economy, military, and administrative structure. In order to reinforce his position, the King hired Saxonian and Pruthian mercenaries to buttress his personal guards regiments on Dejanica Major, and cajoled many of the corporations and firms throughout the Grand Duchy of Lithuania to increase their contributions to the Royal Treasury. He also sought to increase conscription into the retainer corps he, as King, was allowed to maintain on his personal estates. This provoked considerable dissent against the King within the Commonwealth. Emperor Antigonus, on his part, now just emerged from the first of three Marasharite conflicts during his reign, sought to weaken all sides in the Commonwealth, and to thereby prevent Vorrus from strengthening his own position. He feared that a renewed Dejanican Crown would lead to a resurgent Commonwealth which would again challenge the Empire in the Wild Marshes. He further hoped that he could impose conditions which would further capitalize on the Commonwealth's internal divisions, and make it more dependent on Laurasia. It was thus, on November 26, 1716, that dissident nobles formed the Tarnograd Confederation. They were spurred by Laurasian promises of support: the Confederation's marshal, Stanis Ledocwhskia, had been in contact with the Imperial Ministry of Foreign Affairs since January 1715, and was assured that the Empire would intervene in the Confederation's favor. Most of the Commonwealth's own military forces supported the Confederation. The Hetmans of Dejanica and Lithuania, Adam Michael Sinawaskia and Ludwik Poljecia, did not support the Confederation, but they also refused to aid the King. The Laurasians, however, did not provide the promised aid to the Confederation; instead, Emperor Antigonus now sought to pose as mediator between the Confederation and the King, urging them to reconcile their differences. In short however, a civil war ensued between the King and the Confederation, resulting in numerous confrontations during December 1716. Zamosc was seized by the King's mercenaries under the command of General Jacob Henirich von Flemming (November 29, 1716), the day after Vorrus declared the Confederates to be in rebellion. The Confederates, however, reacted and they seized Poznan (December 7, 1716). Kalisz, Konin, and Pila then fell in quick succession to Confederate forces, and on December 17, 1716, General von Flemming suffered a disastrous reverse in the Battle of Jarocin. By the end of December 1716, rebel forces had seized Gnienzo, Srem, Lezno, Turek, and Krotosyn, thereby posing a serious danger to the security of Dejanica Major.

1717Edit

  • January 28-On January 28, 1717, the future Marasharite Emperor Mustapha III (1757-74), was born at the Sultanic Palace on Topacia, in the Marasharite Homeland Territories. He was the elder son of the reigning Marasharite Emperor, Ahmad III, and his senior consort Emine Mishirah (1694-1732). Mustapha would be destined to become a rival of the Laurasian Empress Aurelia the Great.
  • February 1-
    • The first weeks of January 1717 witnessed a series of further victories for the forces of the Tarnograd Confederation, which finally compelled King Vorrus I into negotiating with the Confederates. On January 3, 1717, the Battle of Ostrow Wielpoloski ended in a decisive victory for Marshal Ledochwskia, who humiliated the King's Saxonian mercenaries in a series of land confrontations. The following day, the Dejanican colonies of Dabie and Jutosin fell into the hands of the Tarnograd Confederation. On January 11, the Confederates breached the defenses of Torun, thereby occupying this major shipyard and naval port of the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Danzig, Malbork, and Elbing soon found themselves under threat from Confederate forces operating within Pomerania. On January 17, a counteroffensive by General von Flemming was blunted by Confederate forces in the Battle of Bydozscz; Ostroleka and Cichenaow then fell into Confederate hands. It was on January 25, 1717, with the colonies of Golna, Somolchin, and Krobia under siege by rebel forces, that Emperor Antigonus made the decisive intervention. He now ordered for the Earl of Soria, still overseeing the demobilization of military offensive forces in the Satian Provinces, to move his troops into the Dniva Straits. Fisher, Antwone, Carrie, Spacek, Irving, Nelson, Novella, and Dejan were all occupied by Laurasian "diplomatic corps"; the Emperor sent a communique to the King of Dejanica, informing him that these units would not be withdrawn until a Diet had been called. Vorrus, realizing that he could not afford a two-front war, and desiring himself to come to a solution with the Confederation, capitulated, and on January 29, 1717, issued the instructions for an emergency session of the Diet to be convened in three days' time.
    • The Diet formally assembled at the Senatorial Palace in Warsaw on February 1, 1717. Laurasian Ambassador Sir Midas Lthergorich (1669-1736), who was supported by his own guards, and with access to substantial funds from the Imperial Treasury, now used his influence to bribe and blackmail many of the Diet's members. It was on his initiative that the Diet was confederated, thereby preventing the use of the liberum veto to disrupt its proceedings. Ledochwskia, who had been named Marshal of the Diet (also on the initiative of Ambassador Lthergorich), proclaimed that only he and the leading members of the Diet would be allowed a voice during the proceedings. The Diet Chambers were surrounded by the troops and guards of the Laurasian Embassy, in order to "maintain order" during the proceedings; this was the first time ever that Laurasian troops had assumed such a role in a star system outside of the Caladarian Galaxy, and a first within a Commonwealth that had been the Empire's active adversary only a decade previously. The Diet was in session for only one day, and during the late hours of February 2, 1717, approved a series of terms which had been devised by Chancellor Wolesius of the Empire and approved by Emperor Antigonus. This agreement stipulated that the Tarnograd Confederation and its older counterpart, the Sandomierz Confederation (which had been established on May 20, 1704), were to be both dissolved. The right to form future confederations was reaffirmed, and the Golden Liberties of the Commonwealth, including the use of the liberum veto, were confirmed.
    • The King was now deprived of the authority to imprison, fine, or exile individuals unless if he obtained a resolution of consent from the Dejanican Senate. Furthermore, he was now forbidden to declare war or to otherwise conduct offensive campaigns, whether within or outside the Commonwealth, without prior approval from the Diet. The rights of the Dejanican hetmans and sejimiks were restricted, with the Dejanican Diet receiving confirmation of its status as the supreme body of state, with legislative prerogative and the right to levy all taxes within Dejanican territory. The King, furthermore, was forbidden to intervene in the domestic affairs of any other state. All foreign mercenaries in the Commonwealth were to be banished; all foreign officials in Dejanican service dismissed from their ranks; and the King was forbidden to recruit any mercenaries or retainers in the future.
    • Furthermore, the size of his personal bodyguards was strictly limited to no more than 75,000 troops and officers. The state budget was now to be within the purview of the Senate; the King's power over his estates and grants was further limited; and all expenses of the military were to be borne by the King's properties and estates. Ethnic minorities in Dejanica were to be under the Diet's protection; the military was to be limited to one-third of the size of the Commonwealth's "most extensive" neighbor (that is, the Laurasian Empire), and the King's right to issue military commands was curtailed. Finally, the Laurasian Empire was to become guarantor of the constitutional settlement, and would reserve the right of intervention, in case the settlement's terms were breached. The Silent Diet of 1717 (also known as the Tarnograd Diet), thereby laid the seeds for the Commonwealth's further decline, and its ultimate destruction by the Laurasian Empire and its neighboring-states in the last third of the eighteenth century. King Vorrus was reduced to a figurehead, and spent the rest of his reign attempting to secure the succession for his son, also named Vorrus.
  • April 14-On April 14, 1717, the Haynsian Despot, Devrai I Karany, was deposed from the throne of the Haynsian Despotate by his overlord, Ahmad III. Ahmad and the Marasharite Grand Council blamed Devrai for the failures of the Budkozina Offensives in Olthenia, the Banat of Temesvar, and Transylvania against the Holy Austarlian Empire. Devrai, moreover, was accused of violating his military and tribute obligations to the Court of Topacia, engaging in secretive correspondence with foreign powers (such as the Laurasian Empire), and even seeking to undermine the Marasharite position in the Northern Galactic Borderlands. Ahmad also took into account the complaints by Devrai's Haynsian subjects that he was lazy, overbearing, and incompetent. Devrai's cousin Bryan IV, who was another son of the late despot Jay IX Karany, and was then serving as Martial Viceroy of Perekop and Kalga of the Haynsian Elite Corps, became Despot on the Marasharite Emperor's initiative. As for Devrai, he was deported to Yanboulu in Marasharite Thracia, where he died on June 17, barely two months after his deposition from the Haynsian throne.
  • May 1-
    • By May 1717, with the restoration of peace among the powers of extra-galactic civilization, commercial and diplomatic relations between the Laurasian Empire and the Great Amulak Spiral had resumed with their earlier tempo. The early years of the eighteenth century had seen the further intensification of ties between the two galaxies, and consequently, the numbers and influence of foreigners within the Empire had increased. Laurasia Prime, in particular, had attracted a substantial number of Spamalkans, Haxonians, Franconians, Austarlians, Pruthians, and others from the Great Amulak. They had, in fact, established their own distinct communities in such cities as Christiania, Constantinople, Osraninpolis, Ravenna, Ostia, Soriana, Herkorim, and Heliotrope, among others. The Haxonian Bank of Perugia and the Rothschild House of Vienna, among other Amulak commercial, banking, and industrial firms, had since the late sixteenth century gradually extended their operations into the Caladarian Galaxy, and were prominent in the Laurasia Prime Purse Region by this point. Neuchrus I and his son Antigonus III had both extended generous transit, transportation, and economic development privileges to foreign corporations and firms from beyond the Empire's territory. More than six hundred million Amulak foreigners lived on Laurasia Prime by the mid 1710s. This, however, inspired the resentment of many on the Laurasian capital world against them. It was on April 30, 1717, that Dr. Athanasius Belleria (1659-1722), made a xenophobic speech at St. Chalmer's Cathedral, calling upon all loyal Laurasian subjects to "expel the foreigners from our midst" and to restore the purity of the Empire's realms. Rumors spread throughout the city of Christiania, and hostility against foreigners increased. During the late hours of that day, the Mayor of Christiania announced a curfew in the city's public squares, hoping to prevent violence from breaking out.
    • This order, however, was quickly violated, and early on May 1, 1717, a crowd of more than 200,000 young laborers gathered in the Commercial District. They marched upon the Fleet Prison, broke through its gates, and freed a number of prisoners arrested for assaults and raids upon the foreign neighborhoods of the city. At St. Martin, they were met by Thomasius Morius, who then served as Vice-Chief of the Christiania Police Department. He attempted to convince them to disperse and to return to their homes. As soon as Morius had calmed them down, however, the inhabitants of the neighborhood assaulted the mobs, throwing objects and insults at them. This spread panic among the mobs, and they now ransacked the properties of foreigners in that neighborhood and elsewhere, though no one was killed. Within hours, the violence had spread throughout Christiania, and more than 50,000 residences were penetrated and sacked. The Emperor was picnicking with Katharina in the Seleucid Gardens when he learned of the disturbances in the City. He now ordered the Duke of Norfolkius and a detachment of Valedictorian Guards, Christiania Police, and Imperial Marines to restore order. Norfolkius did so quickly, and by the late afternoon, he had quelled the riots, arresting more than 110,000 rioters and enforcing a general curfew. The rioters were all brought to the Senatorial Palace, where the Emperor, determined to avenge the outrage committed against the foreigners under his protection, wasted no time in having them all attainted and sentenced to death.
    • At this, the wives and mothers of many of the rioters, who had gathered, burst out into pitiful weeping and wailing. Empress Katharina, seated on her throne behind the Emperor, heard them, and her heart was touched. Without hesitation, she rose from her place and knelt before her husband, begging him with tears in her eyes to spare the rioters. Chancellor Wolesius added his pleas to hers, judging that such an act of mercy would greatly enhance the Emperor's popularity with his subjects. Antigonus could not resist them, nor the opportunity of gaining his subjects' love, and therefore pardoned the rioters. Katharina herself was thanked by many of the women, and the tumult in Christiania died down. Smaller outbreaks in Colombia, Constantinople, and Osraninpolis quickly ended when word of the Emperor's pardon offer spread. By May 4, the Evil May Day riots had ended. Katharina herself found her reputation enhanced with her husband's subjects.
  • May 13-On May 13, 1717, the future Holy Austarlian Empress Mar'va Tarvania (1740-80), was born at the Hofburg Palace on Vienna, the capital star system of the Austarlian Empire. She was born shortly after the premature death of her elder brother, Archduke Lea'dus of Inner Austarlia, who had died on November 4, 1716, at the age of seven months. Her parents were the Austarlian Emperor Char'vak V and his wife, Elisabeth Christine of Wolfenbruttel (1691-1750). Marva Tarvania's birth was disappointing to her father, who as the last male representative of the Hapsburg dynasty of Austarlia, wished for a son to succeed him. He was never able to overcome this feeling of resentment, although his Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 had overturned Salic law and permitted the succession of females to the Austarlian throne. Mar'va Tarvania was destined to be the archenemy of the Pruthian Emperor Pru'a IX the Great, five years her senior, and the contemporary of the Laurasian Empress Aurelia the Great, who was to be sixteen years her junior.
  • July 16-Grand Princess Octavia (now Duchess of Sufforia), and her husband the Duke of Sufforia had a loving and successful marriage from the first; they were to become renowned as one of the most dedicated and “kind” couples of the Imperial Court, according to contemporary reports at the time. Octavia had become stepmother to Sufforia’s two daughters, Anna and Didymeia, by his second wife, Lady Anna Brownia, who had died in 1711. The Duchess would raise these girls along with her own children. It was now, on July 16, 1717, that the first child of the Grand Princess and the Duke of Sufforia was born: Franconia Brandeis, future Duchess of Sufforia, and mother of the ill-fated Nine Day’s Empress Minerva Greysius. She was born at the Palace of Secrets on Paradine, eventually to become the residence of Grand Princess Aurelia in the years before her accession to the throne. Emperor Antigonus, Empress-Consort Katharina, the Queen-Dowager of Scottria, Chancellor Wolesius, and Grand Princess Didymeia became the godparents of Lady Franconia, who would be christened at the Quencilvanian Palace on August 17, 1717.
  • August 26-
    • The regency of the Duke of Albany had, over the course of the preceding two years, witnessed conflict between him and the Queen-Dowager Constantia. Constantia, who was more and more distrusted, and despised, by the Scottrian nobility, found that the attitude towards her on Ediania was universally hostile. Albany himself, who sought to ingratiate himself with his associates and with the nobles of the Kingdom, took advantage of their collective distrust of the “foreign” Queen-Dowager to eventually drive her from what influence and patronage she had within the Scottrian Royal Court. She had become pregnant with her first child by the Earl of Angus in February 1715, and was thus more vulnerable to any hostile actions undertaken by the Regent. For some time, Constantia’s own brother, Emperor Antigonus, had been sending communiques, offering to provide for the return of herself, with her sons, and husband, to the Laurasian Empire, and to grant them sanctuary against the demands of the Scottrian Royal Government. This was an action which would almost certainly provoke war between Laurasia and Scottria. Constantia, however, was reluctant to respond to this request. Instead, in September 1715, she retreated to Linlithgow, and from thence, across the Galactic Void. She was received at Sogan by Lord Dacre, recently appointed Governor of the Lower Hypasian Province, and it was there, at Herbethian Fortress, on October 9, 1715, that she gave birth to Lady Constantia Douglain, the future mother of Lord Darnley and a prominent figure of Aurelia the Great’s reign. It was while she was in Hypasia that she would learn of the death of her son Alexander, Duke of Ross at Stirling Castle (December 18, 1715).
    • Constantia would refuse to believe those who would claim that Albany was responsible for her son’s death. She remained in the Laurasian Empire for more than a year. Yet in September 1716 Constantia’s husband Angus, who was fully aware that exile from Scottria would result in the loss of all power and influence, and possible forfeiture for treason, decided, with the aid of Chancellor Wolesius, to make his peace with Albany. It was on November 7, 1716, after two months of negotiations, that the Terms of Blackheath were signed, by which Angus was pardoned by the Scottrian Estates, and permitted to return back to the Kingdom. Constantia, on her part, proved more reluctant. In March 1716, her brother, Emperor Antigonus, had formally received her at Darcia, thus seeing her for the first time in nearly thirteen years, and promised to pledge all of his support to her. Yet by January 1717, he too was urging Constantia to return to Scottria. Thus, on March 9, 1717, after some weeks of preparations, Constantia finally made due her return back to Scottria. She departed with an escort and household provided by her brother, and from Valeris V, proceeded to the Metallasian Trade Highway, and thence, into the Berwick Barrier. There, at Frederickshamm, she was received by the Sieur de la Bastie, a Franconian noble in the service of the Scottrian Government, and by her husband Angus. Albany, on his part, had departed for the Serene Kingdom of Franconia (February 1717).
    • He was determined to conclude a treaty of marriage, and of amity, with the Franconian Royal Government, thereby building upon the ties between the two realms which had been built since the late 1620s. The Sieur de la Bastie therefore acted as the Duke’s deputy, exercising power in consort with the Council of State and the Estates. Albany toured throughout Brittany, Normandy, Aquitaine, Orleans, Poitou, Anjou, Franconian Burgundy, and Lorraine during the course of his stay. He then reached Rouen, being greeted there by King Franjak and by Charman, Duke of Alencon, one of King Franjak’s most trusted ministers. Negotiations between them began in earnest in April 1717, and continued for four months. It was on August 26, 1717, that the Treaty of Rouen was concluded, providing for financial aid and diplomatic amity provisions between the two realms. Furthermore, Albany pledged to engage King Jamsius in marriage to a daughter of King Franjak’s; conditions of the marriage compact were to be decided upon at a future time. The Treaty, ratified by King Franjak on September 4 and by the Scottrian Estates on September 21, provoked some alarm on Laurasia Prime, as Emperor Antigonus was concerned about the possibility of Franconian intervention in a future Laurasian-Scottrian War.
  • October 31-
    • By October 1717, the situation of the Imperial Almitian Church had deteriorated. The seventeenth century had witnessed a succession of conflicts for the Almitian Church. The reign of the Emperor Elagabalus had inflicted particular damage upon the Church. Elagabalus, who had disgraced the sensibilities of the Laurasian nobles and clergy through his parading of his homosexuality, his abolition of the Sodomy and Heresy Laws, and his elevation of the Book of Elagabal to the status of canon, had inflicted irreparable damage upon the reputation and status of the Church. Even though the Church overthrew his heresies, and sought to resume with its traditional teachings of orthodoxy, the memory of the heretic Emperor remained. As Emperor after Emperor, dynasty after dynasty, clashed with each other over the spoils, and the rewards of state, the Church’s clergy and civil service became degenerated in sloth and debauchery. Church priests were entangled in sexual abuse and violation of vows scandals; Church estates were found to be in excess of their arrears; and Church clergy were unable to deliver the true message to their congregations.
    • Furthermore, by the end of the century, the practice of indulgences (that is, special bulls which would guarantee entry into the Heavenly Afterlife for those who purchased them) and that of non-residential benefices (that is, one holding a clerical position without actually residing within that diocese or carrying out the duties of office) had become common. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, many had lost faith in the Church’s messages and themes. Many of the elements of the Almitian ceremonial, with its focus upon the Mass, upon the consecration of the goods, and the focus on the sanctified nature of the ceremony, seemed out of touch with the needs of time. It was now Martinius Lutheranius (1683-1726), who brought this situation to attention. Lutheranius, who was one of the most educated monks at his priory, the Augustinian Priory of Wittleria Colony, Manzo, decided to make his own answer to the issues. On October 31, 1717, after more than three years of hard work, he posted his Ninety-Five Theses at St. Wittnese’s Cathedral in Wittleria Colony.
    • In this manifesto, Lutheranis stressed the importance of spiritual faith; of belief in the works, and acts, of the Lord Almitis; and of the close relationship between pastors and their congregations. He condemned the theory of transubstantiation; urged for the Almitian Mass to be reformed, so as to focus more upon prayer and less upon “mundane” ceremony; and advocated for a revision and simplication of the Almitian Scriptures, so that all congregations could easily understand and utilize them. Furthermore, Lutheranius demanded that the Holy Synod’s extensive preogratives over church discipline and theory be circumscribed, and that the Emperor of Laurasia once again assert his direct role in the formulation of theological belief. All of this was to instigate the Almitian Reformation, which was to become a major undercurrent in Laurasian religion, society, and culture during the course of the next half-century.

1718Edit

  • January 10-
    • 1718, the 18th year of the eighteenth century, opened with the situation in the Great Amulak Spiral altered considerably. Following his accession to the throne in January 1715, King Franjak I of Franconia moved to reclaim, and to expand, Franconian holdings in northern Italiania. By July, the King of Franconia had assembled his military forces in the Dauphine. A combined Tuscanian-Austarlian force moved galactic-north to intercept him, but Franjak anticipated this move and instead pushed his forces through the Stura Colonies. The Battle of Villafranca resulted in victory for the Franconians; Tuscanian General Prospero Colonna was captured as a result of this confrontation. On September 13, 1715, the Battle of Marignano resulted in a decisive victory for Franjak, with the Franconian superiority in mobile units and artillery (particularly turbocannon) causing the destruction of the Austarlian-Tuscanian forces. Following the Battle of Marignano, the anti-Franconian League no longer possessed the will or ability to continue the conflict. On October 4, 1715, Milan Prime was captured by King Franjak; Sforza was removed from the ducal throne. In December, he met with Grand Duke Fernando at Bologna; the Grand Duke surrendered Parma and Piacenza to Franjak, and Modena to the Duke of Ferrara. In return, Fernando received guarantees of Franconian non-intervention in an assault upon the Patrimonies of Urbino.
    • Thus it was that Spamalkan Empress Jo’aha decided to make her peace with Franjak, with her son Char’va taking the primary responsibility for negotiations. The Treaty of Noyon (August 14, 1716), resulted in Franconian hold of Parma, Piacenza, and Milania being recognized by the Holy Spamalkan Empire; while Franjak in turn recognized the Spamalkan hold of the Kingdom of Naparia, including the Sicilian Wayward Colonies. Moreover, the Franconians recognized the Spamalkan conquest of "Spamalkan" Navarre, as long as the Empress of Spamalka pledged to respect the rights and prerogatives of the Parliament of Navarre. This was in the midst of the reconquest effort by John of Navarre, which had been ongoing since March 1716. It was not until January 7, 1717, after a failed Austarlian offensive into Lorraine and Artois, before Emperor Char’vak V reached peace with Franconia in the Treaty of Brussels. He accepted Franconian acquisition of Milania, the Free County of Burgundy, Franconian Orange, Bricanon, and the Duchies of Valois and Angolueme; Haxonian occupation of Lesser Lombardy; and Haxonian acquisitions in the Lower Istria. In turn, Franjak recognized Austarlian acquisition of the Vatican Circles, Urbani, Anti, Brussalia, Malines, Trier, and the Grand Duchy of Wurttemberg. The Haxonian Confederacy made peace with Austarlia and Spamalka by the Treaty of Veneztio (March 19, 1717). Thus, the War of the League of Cambrai ended.
    • Thus, with the conflict at a close, there arose hopes among the governments of the various powers that a true, and definite peace settlement could be reached. Chancellor Wolesius, alarmed in part by the Treaty of Rouen between Scottria and Franconia, and also learning, through his agents, of discussions among Spamalka, Franconia, and Austarlia for a preventative alliance against the Laurasian Empire, decided in December 1717 to broach the idea of a general pact of peace among all the civilized states of the Great Amulak Spiral, and of the satellite galaxies. Emperor Antigonus and the Imperial Privy Council first formally discussed Wolesius’s proposal on January 10, 1718. Discussions over the potential pact continued for nearly two months, until on March 6, 1718, Emperor Antigonus finally gave his authorization for the Chancellor to proceed forth with his plans. Wolesius now sent offers of diplomatic negotiations to every power and neighbor of the Empire. The Marasharite Empire under Ahmad III, determined to make no treaty with its Laurasian adversaries (besides one to end military conflict), refused to respond to the Chancellor; Haynsian Despot Bryan IV Karany, under orders from his sovereign, did the same, as well as the Barbary States. The Duke of Albany and the Scottrian Estates also ignored Wolesius’s proposals. Yet King Franjak, Spamalkan Empress Jo’aha (through her son Char’va, now effectively governing in her name), and Austarlian Emperor Char’vak V all proved eager. Pruthian Emperor A’rua II also communicated his desire for an agreement.
    • By June 1718, every power except for Marasharita, Haynsia, Scottria, and the distant Mascavania had agreed to the Chancellor of Laurasia’s proposal for a general conference of "amity and friendship." The Chancellor now proposed that the conference be held at Laurasia Prime; the foreign powers accepted. Delegations from virtually every power convened at the Diplomatic Palace in Christiania on August 2, 1718; negotiations then continued for more than two months, leading to the conclusion, on October 22, 1718, of the Treaty of Christiania. By the terms of this treaty, the sovereigns of the Laurasian Empire, Serene Kingdom of Franconia, Holy Spamalkan Empire, Holy Austarlian Empire, Autocratic Pruthian Empire, Haxonian Confederacy, Vendragian Confederacy, Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Stellar Kingdom of Portugallia, Knights of Malta, Grand Duchy of Tuscany, and the Electorate of Hanover, along with twenty lesser principalities and duchies, agreed to adhere to "peaceful diplomatic intercourse among all the powers involved"; in addition, the treaty obliged all powers to come to each other’s assistance if attacked by a common enemy. Furthermore, all states agreed to act in a non-aggressive manner towards each other, and to solve disputes by peaceful negotiation. The Treaty of Christiania, which had been ratified by every civilized power by the end of December 1718, was destined to last for only a year, until the outbreak of hostilities between Vendragia and Spamalka over the Carolina Territories in 1720, along with a simultaneous conflict between Dejanica and Austarlia over the Krakow Region, caused the treaty to break down. Yet this treaty also served to intensify Laurasian diplomatic ties to the Amulak Spiral, and the Empire's relations with Pruthia, Austarlia, and Haxonia would become more complicated in the following years.
  • October 5-In conjunction with the negotiations which led to the Treaty of Christiania, Chancellor Wolesius and Emperor Antigonus also began pursuing marriage plans for Grand Princess Didymeia, believing that it was essential that she be betrothed to a foreign personage, of status and of prominence, so as to further secure the Imperial Laurasian Government, and the future of the Neuchrian Dynasty. It was Wolesius who suggested that a contractual agreement be reached with Franconia. The Chancellor was determined to prevent a renewal of hostilities with that power, and believed that a marriage alliance would further consolidate the arrangements of the Treaty of Christiania. Thus it was that, from March 1718, he engaged in discussions with the Franconian Ambassador to the Court of Christiania, the Monsieur de Graves (1661-1729), over the possibility of such an arrangement. De Graves, himself in constant communication with the Royal Council and with the King, proved more than willing to hear out Wolesius's entreaties. In August 1718, King Franjak authorized the commencement of negotiations for the betrothal. These negotiations began at the Palace of Harmony on Clancia, from September 10, and culminated in the Treaty of Clancia (October 5, 1718). By the terms of this agreement, Grand Princess Didymeia was now formally betrothed to Dauphin Franjak of Franconia. The Treaty provided that Didymeia would go to live in Franconia upon obtaining the age of six; that her dowry would be dispensed from the Imperial Treasury; and that the couple would undergo a formal wedding ceremony when they had both obtained the age of fifteen. This betrothal, ratified by Emperor Antigonus on the day that it was signed, and by King Franjak on December 10, seemed at first to be one of much hope and possibility. It would last, however, for just over two years, being terminated in January 1721 due to the disintegration of the Treaty of Christiania, in addition to disputes between the Imperial Laurasian and Royal Franconian Governments over the exact terms of the dowry; over matters of religion; and over court residence.
  • November 10-
    • By November 1718, Emperor Antigonus had grown yet more desperate for a male heir. Although he and his wife still enjoyed a relatively positive relationship, Antigonus began to think that the Lord Almitis intended for him to have no male children. Yet he and Katharina, who prayed vigorously to the Lord Almitis, continued in their efforts to have more children. In August 1717, the Empress Consort had been believed to again be pregnant, but this turned out to be a false hope. In February 1718, her sixth and last child was conceived, when she was thirty-two, and well past the age, as considered in the Empire, for an imperial or noble consort to bear a child for her husband. This pregnancy was announced to the Imperial Court, and she was hopeful that it would come to term. In March, she visited the University of Darcia, and then made a sojourn to the Vemay Monastery of Jenny, offering her fervent prayers for a healthy son. In July, the Imperial Court visited the Palace of Harmony on Clancia; Katharina greeted Antigonus at the door of her chamber, and before all the courtiers, told him that the child had stirred in her womb. Antigonus was so delighted that he gave a great banquet to celebrate, and ensured that his wife took good care of himself, for, as he wrote to Chancellor Wolesius afterwards, he knew by this point that a "happy outcome to my wife's pregnancies is not an ensured thing."
    • Tragically, his hopes were to come to nothing yet again. On November 10, 1718, at Gilbertine Palace on Tudoria, Katharina gave birth to a daughter, who was named after her mother. This occurred (according to Lady Vassalina) to "the vexation of all at the Court, and in the Empire. Never had the Empire desired anything so anxiously as it did a Grand Prince." The baby was very weak, and died after only a few hours. The Empress found this latest disappointment almost too much to bear, and openly wondered if the loss of her children was a judgment of Almitis for her former marriage. Katharina had conceived six times, yet all she had to show for it was one daughter. She had borne her losses with amiability, resignation, and good humor, but the burden of failure was great. Many were now of the opinion that Antigonus had made a grave mistake in marrying a wife older than himself. The King of Franconia made this cruel comment: "My good brother of Laurasia has no son because, although young and handsome, he keeps an old and deformed wife." Katharina was by now beginning to show her age, and her figure had been ruined by her pregnancies. Her youthful prettiness was gone forever, just as the Emperor, now twenty-seven, was approaching his physical peak. The years following would see the marriage of Antigonus and Katharina fray, and then enter into an irreversible decline.

1719Edit

  • January 12-On January 12, 1719, the Holy Spamalkan Empress Jo'aha I, the wife of the late Grand Duke of Durthia and Burgundy, Philivus I, and herself Grand Duchess of the Durthian States since the abdication of Margaret of Burgundy in her favor three years earlier, died at the Convent of Santa Clara on Tordesillas. She was thirty-nine years old at the time of her death. Jo'aha's mental unbalance had become more pronounced during the course of her short reign. Ravaged with her thoughts of her husband, she had become reluctant to eat, to drink, or to emerge from her bedchambers. Her son, Char'va, heir-apparent to the Spamalkan and Durthian thrones, had in November 1717 been authorized by the Cortes of Madrid to exercise the office of Regent of the Holy Spamalkan Empire, and to take charge of the affairs of the civil service, general administration, and imperial household. Thus, by the time of her death, Jo'aha was effectively a figurehead. Her son, now eighteen years old, and therefore at the age of majority, formally acceded to become Holy Spamalkan Emperor. Char'va I, as he was now known, would rule until his abdication from the throne in January 1756. Jo'aha was buried at the Capilla Royal in Grenada, on her son's orders, on March 2, 1719.
  • March 22-Birth of Katharina Willoughby (1719-80), the future Duchess of Sufforia and the fourth and final wife of the Emperor's friend, Carolus Brandeis, Duke of Sufforia. She was the daughter of Willanius Willoughby, 11th Baron Willoughby de Eresby and his second wife, the Spamalakan Lady Maria de Salinas, former servant of Empress-Consort Katharina of Shenandoah. Katharina will eventually become the guardian of Katharina Parsius's daughter, Lady Didymeia Seymouris, Baroness (later Duchess) of Kendalia.
  • March 31-Birth of the future King of Franconia Hensios II (1747-59) at the Chateau de Saint-German-en Laye. He was the second surviving son of King Franjak I of Franconia by his wife Claude, Duchess of Brittany. Hensios's elder brother, Fransios, Dauphin and Duke of Brittany, would eventually die in 1736, leaving him as heir to the throne. His marriage to Catharina d'Medici would take place in 1733, when they were both fourteen years old.
  • April 13-Birth of Catharina d'Medici (1719-89), future Queen Consort of the Serene Kingdom of Franconia, regent for her sons Franjak II and Charman III, and one of the most powerful figures in extra-galactic civilization for over four decades. Catharina was born on Florence, the capital world of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, which was at that time an allied state of the Holy Austarlian Empire. Her father was Lorenzo II de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany and Duke of Urbino (he had acceded to the Tuscanian throne on November 19, 1718, upon the death of his elder brother Fernando II de Medici), and her mother was Madeleine de la Tour d'Auvergne, Countess of Boulougone and member of one of the most prominent Franconian noble houses. Both of Catharina's parents die within a month of her birth, and she will be raised by her aunt, Clarice d'Medici.
  • June 15-
    • As mentioned above, Empress Consort Katharina’s last pregnancy had ended in November 1718 with the birth of a daughter who died shortly afterwards. By that point, the Emperor Antigonus, who was beginning to tire of his wife, had begun to look elsewhere. As early as 1713, reports had circulated at the Imperial Court that the Emperor was engaged in affairs with many of the ladies in waiting and attendants at the Imperial Household. By 1717, one of these affairs had developed into a more serious relationship: that with Lady Demetria Lutheranis. Lutheranis, who had been born on August 8, 1698, in Colombia, Laurasia Prime, was the daughter of Sir Demetrius Blountia (1669-1736) and his wife Lady Katharina Perhallia (1673-1738). Blountia, who rose to the rank of Lieutenant General in the Imperial Laurasian Army by the time of his retirement in 1731, was a veteran of the Vectorian War of 1689-90; the First Franconian War of 1692; Emperor Neuchrus’s Marasharite War of 1698-99; and the Dejanican Expeditionary War of 1706-08. He later attended Emperor Antigonus to his campaigns against Franconia in 1713-14, and in 1715, was named an honorary Gentleman of the Imperial Household. His wife, Lady Perhalia, served the late Empress Consort Aurelia Zemakala from 1689 to 1702 as a lady-in-waiting, eventually obtaining the prestigious rank of Lady of the Bedchamber. Their daughter, who became known for her beauty (she was a blue-eyed, blond-haired woman), arrived as an attendant at the Imperial Court in June 1716, upon her graduation from St. Licatus’s High School in Christiania.
    • Attending the Collegial Corps for Female Students at the Quencilvanian Palace, Blountia also became one of the Empress Consort’s most beloved maids of honor. It was in this capability that, in 1717, she caught the attention of Emperor Antigonus. Antigonus was astonished by the nineteen-year old woman’s beauty and vigor, and by her submissive manner. By September 1718, she and the Emperor were actually engaged in a sexual affair; she became pregnant with his first illegitimate child at about the time that Katharina gave birth to hers. Thus, it was, on June 15, 1719, that Lady Lutheranis gave birth in Bathelia City on Lusculum, to Antigonus’s first son, his illegitimate son, who was named Antigonus after his father. Young Antigonus, who was baptized ten days after his birth (June 25, 1719), was nevertheless not publicly acknowledged by his father, the Emperor, at this stage. He was taken into the care of the Howardis family, with the Earl of Soria assuming responsibility for the boy’s upbringing. As for Lady Lutheranis, she resumed her duties at the Imperial Court. The Emperor, on his part, embarked on a progress to the Wild Marshes in August 1719, moving through the Kelvanian, Morganian, Malarian, and Angelican Provinces in turn. He then went to the Gilbertine Palace on Tudoria (November 18, 1719), and the Imperial Laurasian Court celebrated the Ascentmas season there. On the surface, relations between Antigonus and Katharina continued to remain cordial, though she was deeply hurt by the implications of her husband's affair with Lady Lutheranis, and the existence of his bastard son. Nevertheless, 1719 ended with the Laurasian Empire still residing in a state of overall tranquility, both internally and externally.

1720Edit

  • February 5-As 1720, the 20th year of the eighteenth century began, the Laurasian Empire still resided in a state of both internal and external tranquility. The first decade of Emperor Antigonus's reign had seen the implementation of further administrative, military, and economic reforms which had served to strengthen the Empire's overall condition, and which had expanded upon the achievements of his father, Neuchrus the Reformer. Yet at the Imperial Laurasian Court, tension was beginning to develop, which would reap its full fruits later on in the decade. Empress Consort Katharina of Shenandoah had given birth to a daughter, Grand Princess Didymeia, but all of her other pregnancies had been failures. Emperor Antigonus himself, who was in despair at his lack of legitimate male heirs, had his affair with Lady Demetria Lutheranis, which had produced his illegitimate son Demetrius in June 1719. Yet he had discarded Lady Lutheranis almost as soon as his son was born. By September 1719, the Emperor had already entered into a new affair with Lady Antonia Boleyenia. She had become his predominant love interest, and had been noticed by the Emperor due to her service as a lady-in-waiting to the Empress Consort. Antigonus's affair with Lady Antonia, who had been rumored to have had a sexual relationship with Franconian King Franjak I, was to continue for six years. Yet, seeking to divert attention from his relationship with Lady Boleyenia, the Emperor arranged her marriage, on February 5, 1720, to Sir Willanius Caranius, one of the grooms of His Majesty's Privy Chamber. The Emperor himself was the chief guest at the marriage ceremony, and he gave the couple a number of expensive gifts. Her father, Sir Thomasius Boleyenia, Ambassador of the Laurasian Empire to the Serene Kingdom of Franconia, and one of the Empire's most prominent diplomats, gave the bride away to her groom.
  • May 6-
    • By January 1720, Chancellor Wolesius, who saw that the arrangements of the Treaty of Christiania were failing, but who was nevertheless determined to maintain strong relations between the Laurasian Empire and the powers of the Great Amulak Spiral, had conceived the notion of orchestrating meetings, by Emperor Antigonus, with the Holy Spamalkan Emperor Char'va I and with King Franjak I of Franconia. Wolesius understood the importance of these sovereigns, and how their interactions with the Empire would determine future Laurasian actions as regards to the Great Amulak Spiral. He sought to contrive an understanding with both monarchs, and to assure them of the good intentions of the Imperial Laurasian Government. On January 17, 1720, Emperor Antigonus, who was himself eager to meet his fellow sovereigns, granted Wolesius permission to proceed with negotiations for the meetings. The negotiations with Char'va proceeded rapidly. The Holy Spamalkan Emperor, still in the process of consolidating his rule over Navarre, and in Lesser Spamalka, was determined to maintain the strong relationship with the Laurasian Empire, which had been established by his grandparents Fresia I and Fe'ro II, and was persisting through the marriage of his aunt, Katharina of Shenandoah, to the Emperor of Laurasia. Thus, Char'va accepted the Imperial Laurasian Court's offer of a formal visit on March 22, 1720. Emperor Antigonus and his officials now threw themselves into extensive preparations for Char'va's visit.
    • Franjak I of Franconia, on his part, who was also eager to meet his fellow sovereign, accorded his approval in April 1720, and preparations began at Calais, Boulougone, Dunkirk, and Abbeville for the potential meeting between the two sovereigns. The visit of Char'va occurred first. He departed from Toledo, in the Spamalkan Hereditary Dominions, on April 24, 1720, and proceeded thence, with his entourage and escort forces, into the Galactic Void. Char'va reached Belkadan, in the Outer Borderlands, on May 6, 1720. He was greeted by Emperor Antigonus personally, along with Empress Consort Katharina of Shenandoah, and all the other magnates of the Imperial Court and Government. The two sovereigns embraced each other, and then Antigonus escorted Char'va to Laurasia Prime, where he was honored by the world's population, by its officials, and by the clergy of the Almitian Church. Char'va would be entertained for eleven days; he would deliver a speech to the subjects of the Laurasian Empire from the Diplomatic Palace; and he would visit all of the major landmarks and structures on the capital world, ranging from the Senatorial and Old Royal Palaces to the Imperial Academies of the Sciences and Arts, the Galactic Opera, and the Universities of Laurasia Prime & the Empire. Empress Consort Katharina was a strong supporter of this meeting, and was elated to see her nephew. Char'va, however, treated his aunt in his customary distant and correct manner, with little outward warmth. She did not seem to mind this, however, and treated him with much joy and kindness. Char'va, during his visit, attempted to persuade the Emperor of Laurasia to cancel the meeting with the King of Franconia, but Antigonus, who had invested much effort in its preparation, explained why it had to go ahead. He then arranged for an additional meeting with his Spamalkan counterpart in the Durthian Duchies, to take place following the Franconian conference. Emperor Char'va then formally departed from Laurasia Prime on May 17, 1720, and was escorted back to Belkadan, from whence he left on May 22. He arrived back in Spamalka on May 26. This therefore made the Spamalkan Emperor the first foreign sovereign from the Great Amulak Spiral ever to visit on invitation from the Imperial Laurasian Government (the next such visit would be that of Holy Austarlian Emperor Joseth II in 1780, sixty years later).
  • June 4-
    • Following Spamalkan Emperor Char'va's departure, Emperor Antigonus proceeded immediately to the planned conference with the King of Franconia. On May 24, 1720, Chancellor Wolesius and the Duke of Longueville made the final arrangements for the meetings which were to take place between the two sovereigns. The Fields of the Rings of Gold, located in the Goldcar IV system, at the outskirts of Franconian Artois, was now selected as the site of conference between Antigonus and Franjak. Emperor Antigonus, attended by Empress Consort Katharina and his Imperial Court departed from Laurasia Prime on May 28, 1720, proceeding rapidly to Belkadan, to the Bug Highways, and thence to the Great Amulak Spiral. They arrived at the Goldcar IV system on June 4, 1720; Antigonus and Katharina were greeted by King Franjak and his wife, Queen-Consort Claude, Duchess of Brittany, in a lavish procession. Both monarchs staged a series of parades and demonstrations by their respective military units; their guards regiments and retainers paid each other the proper respects. This marked the first time in history that a Laurasian sovereign ever undertook a formal state visit outside of the Caladarian Galaxy. The Dukes of Sufforia, Americana, and Christiania, as well as the Earls of Hannah, Strongstine, and Malaria Prime, were among the chief officials attending the Emperor; the Empress-Consort of Laurasia and the Queen-Consort of Franconia, each attended by their ladies, had a series of formal banquets and conversations with each other. The two women in fact, liked each other from the first, and had a friendly dispute over precedence, which ended with both giving each other a formal kiss on the cheek.
    • They also strived to maintain the peace between their respective husbands throughout the course of the conference. The meeting, which became one of the most memorable of the eighteenth century, saw each sovereign attempting to outshine the other, with dazzling starships, clothes, jewellery, huge feasts, music, jousts, games, parades, and other entertainments. The Emperor of Laurasia and the King of Franconia even participated in a friendly joust (June 15, 1720); Franjak won, much humiliating and angering his Laurasian counterpart. It was only due to the intervention of Katharina and Claude that the Emperor did not escalate the matter further. Diplomatic negotiations also proceeded apace, with Franjak attempting to convince Antigonus to agree to an anti-Spamalkan alliance. Moreover, he offered concessions to the Laurasian Empire in the Canaries, Catalonia, Puerto Rico, and Spamalkan Morocco, believing that territorial gain would entice Antigonus into action. Antigonus, however, was not moved by this. This meeting, however, despite all of the lavishness and the festivities which accompanied it, did little, in the long run, to improve relations. On June 26, 1720, the two monarchs made their leave of each other, and Franjak returned to Parri. Emperor Antigonus and his forces, however, proceeded to Graveline's Mist, in the Spamalkan Duchies of Durthia and Burgundy.
  • July 20-On July 20, 1720, the second meeting of Emperor Antigonus III and Emperor Char'va I occurred, this time at Graveline's Mist in the Spamalkan Empire. The two monarchs discussed the possibility of an anti-Franconian military alliance, completely in contrast to what Antigonus had discussed with Franjak barely a month earlier. Following the end of this one-day meeting, Emperor Antigonus and his entourage proceeded quickly back to the Caladarian Galaxy; he arrived at Laurasia Prime on July 27, 1720, thereby completing one of the most fascinating progresses of the eighteenth century. The Emperor remained at Laurasia Prime for the remainder of the year, and continued to indulge himself in entertainments at the Imperial Laurasian Court.
  • September 13-On September 13, 1720, Sir Willanius Cecilis, 1st Baron Burghley, destined to become Chancellor, Lord Treasurer, Master of the Court of Wards, and Imperial Privy Seal of the Laurasian Empire, was born in Bouranian City, Taurasia. He was the eldest child, and only son, of Sir Antiochus Cecilis (1692-1753), and his wife Lady Demetria Hemingtia (1699-1787). Sir Antiochus was one of the most respected officials and gentlemen of Taurasia. His father, Sir Lucius Cecilis (1660-1741), had been an officer of the Imperial Laurasian Army, having graduated from the Imperial Military Academy of Christopher in 1678. He had then defected to the cause of Neuchrus, Duke of Tudoria, in 1683, and had fought within his forces at the Battle of Bosworthian Fields (1685). He had received a Knighthood of the Imperial House (1687), was promoted to the rank of Major-General (1691), and in 1693, served as Mayor of Colombia. From 1706 to 1741, he was also an honorary Yeoman of the Guard; he served on the City Council of Christiania from 1707 to 1729; and he served as a Sergeant-At-Arms at the Diplomatic Palace. His son, Antiochus, had become similarly distinguished, and had risen in the imperial service. In 1717, he had become a page of the Imperial Household; he was present at the Fields of the Rings of Gold, months before his son's birth; and in 1726, he became one of the first Gentlemen Pensioners. Cecilis became Groom of the Robes in 1732, Constable of Warvacak Palace on Sarah in 1736, and Police Commissioner of Bouranian City in 1739. Cecilis's mother, Lady Demetria, was the daughter and heiress of Sir Willanius Hemingtia of Clackimaris (1672-1756), who owned Hemingtia Forensics, one of the leading cyber-technology and investigative analysis firms in the Empire. The future Lord Burghley was to have three younger sisters: Aurelia (1722-91), who was to marry Sir Thomasius Whiritia (1714-80), Messalina (1725-75), who married Lord Prisconius of Peterslie, and Anna (1727-89), who eventually married his friend and colleague, Sir Nicholas Bagonius, Procurator-General of the Governing Senate and Minister of Justice. She became the mother of Sir Franconius Bagonius (1761-1826), himself a future Chancellor.

1721Edit

  • March 9-On March 9, 1721, Lady Katharina Howardis, who was destined to become the fifth wife and Empress Consort of Antigonus the Extravagant, was born at the Serene Hospital of the Diplomatic Palace in Christiania, Laurasia Prime. Lady Howardis was the third daughter and the fifth child of Lord Thomasius Howardis (1678-1739), and his wife, Lady Livillia Plausia (1680-1731). Her father, Lord Howardis, was the third son of the 2nd Duke of Norfolkius by his first wife, Aurelia Tilania. His younger sister, Lady Aurelia Howardis, was the mother of Lady Anna Boleyenia; this thereby made these two future Empresses-Consort first cousins, and Katharina was to be a first cousin once removed of Anna's daughter, Empress Aurelia the Great. Lord Howardis was overshadowed by his two elder brothers, the Earl of Soria and Lord Edwardis Howardis. Consequently, he had little wealth to speak of, and was disfavored in the line of inheritance. Her mother, Lady Livillia, had been married once before, in 1698, to Sir Rudomentus Leighius (1653-1709), who was twenty-six years her senior. She had five children by him. She had then married Lord Howardis in 1712, and they went on to have seven children, including Katharina. Katharina had two elder brothers, Sirs Carolus (1719-65) and Georgius (1720-80), as well as two younger sisters: Julia (1722-72) and Didymeia (1725-81). Due to her father's poor financial condition, Katharina's childhood was to be one fraught with dangers, and marred with irregularity. This was to have consequences for her in the future.
  • May 17-
    • By May 1721, the situation of Edwardis Staffordius, the Duke of Americana, was a perilous one. Although he was one of the noblemen who served under Emperor Antigonus’s command during the campaigns of the Second Franconian War (1712-14), and later among the coterie who attended His Majesty in his meeting with the King of Franconia (1720), Americana, nevertheless, did not enjoy the Emperor’s confidence. He was the leader of a prominent faction at the Imperial Court opposed to the influence of low-born upstarts, such as Cardinal Wolesius. His wealth, family connections, and influence alarmed the Emperor, who believed that if the threat were not contained, it would grow. The incident in regards to the Duke's sister, Lady Anna Walteria, and her affair with Emperor Antigonus has already been noted. This incident served to increase the tensions between the Emperor and the Duke, and to intensify Antigonus's own hatred of the man. These sentiments had intensified throughout the remainder of the 1710s. What was most concerning to Antigonus was Americana’s imperial blood. Americana was a descendant of Emperor Vespasian; his grandfather, Sir Justin Staffordius, 1st Duke of Americana (1602-60), had been, through his mother Lady Anna Glarania (1583-1638), Countess of Lancelot, the great-great-grandson of Lady Flavia Domitilla (1445-66), Vespasian's only daughter. Americana, consequently, considered himself to be of nobler bearing and status than the Emperor.
    • During 1720, Americana had become suspected of possibly treasonous actions, and Antigonus ordered for an investigation by the Heraldmaster’s Office into the Duke’s finances and business activities. The Emperor personally examined witnesses who claimed to have evidence against the Duke. Finally, on April 3, 1721, Americana was arrested and imprisoned at the Fortress of Baureux on the Emperor’s orders. He was then placed on trial before the Special Court of the Empire, and was accused of numerous offenses: listening to prophecies of the Emperor’s death, plotting to change the imperial succession, and seeking to "sow discord" between the Emperor and his most trusted public officials. Americana, allowed no defense counsel, tried to defend himself against these charges, but in vain. He was sentenced to death on May 4, 1721; the Emperor signed his execution warrant without delay. Staffordius’s actual execution, on May 17, 1721, was witnessed by a crowd of nearly 200,000 persons. On the Emperor’s orders, his estates were confiscated; his memory excommunicated by the Holy Synod; and all public references to him expunged. More than seventy years passed before it became apparent to the Imperial Laurasian Government that Americana was not complicit in any crime. On June 9, 1793, after an extensive investigation, he was found innocent by the Criminal Appeals Department of the Senate, and his sentence was expunged by Antigonus’s daughter, Empress Aurelia.
  • June 21-On June 21, 1721, Doge Leonardo Loredan of Haxonia died. He was the longest-serving Doge of the Haxonian Confederacy of the eighteenth century (19 years) and had been senior monarch for five years at the time of his death. He was also the oldest head of state (84). Loredan's reign had seen the Confederacy's continued entanglement in the Italianian Wars and the Bavarian War (particularly the War of the League of the Cambrai). The Haxonian Confederacy had extended its rule over Cremona, Eastern Lombardy, the Romagna, and the Papal Marshes as a result of this conflict. Loredan's reign had also seen the successful Marasharite-Haxonian War of 1716-18, by which the Peloponnese, Athens, and Cyprus had been acquired by the Confederacy. He had also overseen the expansion of Haxonian territories in India, Muscat, and in Persia, through a series of wars with the Portugallians (1702-05, 1709-14), Marathas (1705-06, 1711-14), and Mysore (1707-12, 1719-20). Loredan was succeeded as senior monarch by the Marasharite Emperor Ahmad III, who would hold that title for the next nine years. The Haxonian Admiral and Senator Antonio Grimani, who was Loredan's senior by two years, was elected as Doge following Loredan's death, and crowned on June 27. He became the oldest individual ever to become Doge and oldest living monarch from the moment of his accession.
  • October 11-
    • By October 1721, the Ninety-Five Theses of Martinius Lutheranius had inspired much debate throughout the Laurasian Empire, and within the Imperial Laurasian Church. Chief Procurator Willanius Warhamius, who was considered to be one of the most upright officials in the Empire, was nevertheless not supportive of Lutheranius’s proposals. Warhamius believed that the church administration required reform, and that it was his duty as head of the Holy Synod to ensure the rigorous, but effective, enforcement of the Church’s customs, services, and festivals. Yet Warhamius was angry that Lutheranius had dared to raise the prospect of reform from below, rather than submitting his proposals to the Synod directly. Consequently, in March 1718, the Chief Procurator had issued a series of instructions to his subordinates on the Synod, ordering that Lutheranius’s appeals be ignored, and commanding that anyone responsible for circulating these appeals would be punished with the full extent of the law.
    • Yet Lutheranius continued to push forward, and on June 19, 1719, he published his Objections to Almitian Financial Administration, contending that the Church should be divested of at least one-third of its properties and businesses, and that the Church should be forbidden to purchase any commercial properties thenceforth, without explicit authorization from the Emperor. Then, from October 1719 to January 1720, he engaged in a series of debates at the University of Lusculum, successfully defending his arguments and using precedents from more than two thousand years of the Church’s history to contend that its focus should return to faith and to salvation. Yet Emperor Antigonus himself, who had already taken measures to hold clergymen accountable for lapses of error, and had increased the taxation imposed upon Church contributions, thought that Lutheranius’s appeals were a threat. As a consequence, on October 11, 1721, following two opportunities given to Lutheranius to recant his views, and his publications, the Emperor had the Holy Synod deprive him of the sacraments and dismiss him from his position as an Almitian Monk. Furthermore, Lutheranius’s views were comprehensively condemned, and the Holy Synod was ordered to confiscate, and destroy, all copies of the Ninety-Five Theses. Lutheranius, thus disgraced, was forced into hiding on Veliky in the Outer Borderlands, where he remained until his death on June 7, 1726, aged 43; Chief Procurator Warhamius ruthlessly rooted out those with reformist sympathies in the church administration. Yet Lutheranius’s ideas remained popular, and the Reformation was to reemerge again in later years.
  • November 25-On November 25, 1721, the 400th anniversary of the Laurasian Empire’s foundation was celebrated by the Imperial Court, Imperial Laurasian Government, and by the subjects of the Empire. Emperor Antigonus had the honor of leading the festivities for the celebrations. In his proclamation to his subjects about the occasion, Antigonus declared that the “situation of the Empire now has never been so exalted as in the past.” And by 1721, the Empire’s territory, encompassing more than forty million inhabited star systems throughout the Caladarian Galaxy, was indeed extensive. It was far larger than any of the powers of the Great Amulak Spiral. The Emperor’s authority extended from the Dasian Heartland and the Borderlands Territories in the north to the Wild Marshes and Hutsite Reaches in the south. As compared to a century earlier, when the vile Elagabalus was on the throne, the Empire’s economy, administration, and culture rested upon a far more solid state. Yet the Marasharite Empire continued to hold the Muggal Cluster, Northern Reaches, and Ochanian Provinces; the Haynsian Despotate still continued to launch raiding expeditions and other offensives into the outskirts of Laurasian territory; the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth held Lavella; and the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria, from its base in the Angelina Spiral, still controlled the central and western Galactic Borderlands. Yet the remainder of this century was to see all of those regions, and the satellite galaxies, subdued. Emperor Antigonus marked this occasion by paying a visit to the tomb of the Empire's founder, Seleucus the Victor, and rendering his respects there. He was to do this again three years later, in February 1725, on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of that Emperor's death. Moreover, Antigonus presided over a series of jousts, tournaments, games, contests, parades, banquets, masques, and other celebrations at the Quencilvanian Palace, Circus Maximus, and Flavian Amphitheater.
  • November 29-
    • As mentioned above, the relationship between the Laurasian and Holy Spamalkan Empires was developing into one of an effective military and diplomatic alliance between the two powers. And at the same time, Laurasian relations with Franconia were on the decline. Such was the situation which Sir Thomasius Boleyenia, the Ambassador of the Laurasian Empire to the Court of Parri, had to contend with. His three children, Anna, Antonia (who had been born in 1699), and Georgius (born in 1703, the youngest of his children), had all benefited from their father’s wealth and influence; he had arranged for them the best educations possible. Anna, in particular, proved to be the most intelligent of the Ambassador’s three children. In 1713, during her father’s tenure as Ambassador to Durthia, she had become one of the children privileged to attend the lessons of the wards of the Duchess Regnant, Margaret of Austarlia (who had ruled since her brother Philivus’s death in 1706). Anna had thence picked up a commanding grasp of history, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, political science, pre-law, mathematics, literature, forensics, philology, and numerous other fields. She also learned the traditional arts of women, including dancing, embroidery, household management, music, needlework, and singing.
    • Furthermore, she learned, and developed a passion for, shockball, archery, falconery, steed riding, and hunting. As for her father, Sir Thomasius, his good charm earned him the favor of numerous foreign courts, and of foreign monarchs. Margaret of Austarlia in particular, took a fondness to the Ambassador. In October 1714, Boleyenia arranged for his daughters to become maids of honor to the Emperor Antigonus’s sister, Grand Princess Octavia, as she married the King of Franconia. Anna served as a maid of honor, first to Queen Consort Octavia (during her brief tenure), and then to Franjak I’s wife and consort, Queen Claude of Brittany. She stayed with Claude for over six years. With the patronage of the Queen herself, and the firm encouragement of her father, Anna further built upon her educational credentials. She obtained a commanding grasp of Franconian, and of several other Amulak languages including Durthian, Spamalkan, Haxonian, Pruthian, and Vendragian. She also studied Austarlian, Marasharite, Portugallian, and Dejanican, and was able to understand works in those languages. She developed passionate interests in art, fashion, literature, music, poetry, theology, religious philosophy, and political theory. Furthermore, she acquired an extensive knowledge of Franconian culture, etiquette, literature, dance, music, and poetry, and became honed in the arts of courtly love. Furthermore, Anna became an acquaintance and friend of the King of Franconia’s sister, Marguerite de Navarre, who encouraged Anna’s interest in the cultural arts and in religious thought. Anna was to always consider Marguerite a mentor of hers, and would maintain correspondence with her into her time as Antigonus III’s Empress Consort.
    • By 1721, therefore, Anna was a beautiful twenty-year old woman with dark brown hair, dark brown eyes, a long nose (a trait to be inherited by her daughter), slender build, a definite wide mouth with slim lips, and an olive complexion. She was unusually tall, standing at 5.10 ft (another trait to be inherited by her daughter, who was to actually reach six feet in her adult height). She was considered by many at the Franconian Court to be brilliant, charming, driven, elegant, forthright, and graceful with a penetrating wit and a lively, opinionated, and passionate personality. She enjoyed cards and dice games, wine, Franconian cuisine, flirting, gambling, gossiping, and joking in equal measure. Yet Anna also had a terrible temper and a foul tongue, and was not above using profanity in fits of anger or frustration. Yet as previously mentioned, the Emperor Antigonus’s diplomatic dalliances with the Holy Spamalkan Empire required for her recall. On November 29, 1721, Anna’s father, Sir Thomasius, who had already returned to the Caladarian Galaxy, and to Laurasia Prime, two months earlier, formally sent the summons for his daughter to return. Anna obliged, and made a teary farewell of King Franjak, Queen Claude, and Princess Marguerite. She departed from Calais on December 22, 1721, and arrived at Belkadan on January 5, 1722.

1722Edit

  • March 7-
    • 1722, the 22nd year of the eighteenth century, began with "hints of the future" forming at the Imperial Court. As mentioned above, Lady Anna Boleyenia, the daughter of the respected Laurasian diplomat Sir Thomasius Boleyenia, who had been recalled by her father, and returned to the Caladarian Galaxy in January 1722, now began to build up for herself a position of rank at the Imperial Laurasian Court. Anna’s years at the Franconian Royal Court had given her a firm grasp of court etiquette, rituals, and ceremonies; she knew all the operations of the Court, and how to contend with the Empire’s leading magnates and nobles. This knowledge showed immediately upon Anna’s arrival at the Imperial Court on Laurasia Prime. On March 7, 1722, two months after her return, and at the age of twenty-one, Lady Anna Boleyenia made her formal debut at the Imperial Court, when she performed at the Chateau Vert pageant in the Public Chambers of the Quencilvanian Palace, to the delight of the Spamalkan Ambassador to the Laurasian Empire, the Duke of Ferrol, and to the other diplomats then attending the Imperial Court. Anna played the role of "Perseverance", and enthralled all with her grace of dancing, her calm manner towards those who danced around her, and her firm grasp of the Franconian dialogue.
    • Furthermore, Anna wore a lavish dress, laced with pearls, diamonds, emeralds, aquarius, and other minerals, all gifts from her father; it was estimated that the clothes and accouterments she wore were worth more than €200 million dataries. The Lady then took part in an elaborate dance accompanying the Emperor’s younger sister, the Duchess of Sufforia (who remembered Anna from the days when she had been a maid of honor to her), several other ladies of the Imperial Court, and her own sister Lady Antonia (now married to Sir Caranius for nearly two years). For that dance, all wore gowns of white satin embroidered with gold thread. Within a month of her arrival, Anna established herself as one of the most stylish and accomplished women at the Imperial Court, and men were soon courting her. On April 15, 1722, Anna became a lady-in-waiting to Empress Consort Katharina, who came to grow fond of the girl. She had no idea of the future course of events that were to transpire between them.
  • June 22-
    • By June 1722, the situation in the Great Amulak Spiral had again escalated. Emperor Char’va I of Spamalka could now consider himself the most powerful sovereign in that galaxy. He was simultaneously Holy Emperor of Spamalka, King of Naparia, King of Spamalkan Navarre and the Basques, Lord of Franche-Comte, Grand Duke of Durthia and Burgundy, King of the Windward and Colonial Territories, King of Fez, Ceuta, and Melilla, Elector of Cologne, and honorary Prince of the Holy Austarlian Empire. His own dominions now virtually encircled those of the Serene Kingdom of Franconia, whose own King, Franjak I, was also Duke of Milania, and who ruled over a dominion greatly enhanced and strengthened from that which had existed a century earlier. Yet Franjak was fearful, and resentful, of Char’vak’s power and influence, and was fully determined to curtail both. By December 1720, the King of Franconia had begun to plan for war. He did not wish to attack Char’va openly, due to the recent discussions with the (still-distant) Emperor of Laurasia. Instead, he turned to more covert incursions into Spamalkan territory. One offensive would be launched into Brabant and Flanders, under the leadership of Durthian mercenary-General Robert de la Marck. Simultaneously, a Franconian-Navarrese force would advance through Navarre; the nominal King of Navarre, Hensios d’Abret, would be in overall command, but the military forces would actually be directed by the Lord of Lesparre, Franconian General Andre de Foix.
    • In 1720-1721, Lesser Spamalka was consumed by the Comuneros Revolt, while Greater Spamalka suffered from economic difficulties and the Revolt of the Brotherhoods. Thus, in April 1721, Navarre was invaded by the allied forces. Pamplona fell on May 20, 1721, and by the beginning of June, all of Navarre was conquered. Yet the Battle of Villalar (April 23, 1721), saw the suppression of the Comuneros Revolt, and Emperor Char’va responded vigorously to the intervention. The Battle of Noain (June 30, 1721), resulted in the decisive defeat of the Franconians and Navarrese. Pamplona was recovered, and by September 1721, Navarre was once again in Spamalkan hands. Yet on July 7, 1721, was when war was formally declared between Franconia and Spamalka. Already in June, Ardres and Moulon had been captured by Spamalkan-Durthian forces under Henry of Nassau, while Tournai was besieged. The Siege of Mezieres, however, saw the Franconians delaying the Spamalkan advance. This allowed King Franjak to assemble his forces for a future military confrontation. On October 22, 1721, Franjak encountered the main imperial forces, under Char’va himself, in the Battle of Valenciennes. Franjak however, failed to launch a decisive attack, and Char’va was able to retreat. Fuenterrabia, however, was conquered by the Franconians; Roussilon, the Cerdagne Regions, and Gascony became a fierce region of contention between the opposing realms, with numerous confrontations, reaching into Catalonia and Andorra, being fought for the next two years.
    • On November 28, 1721, furthermore, Emperor Antigonus had concluded the Treaty of Burres with Char’va, promising non-aggression against the Holy Spamalkan Empire, and to withhold Laurasian merchants from Franconian territories. Char’va also concluded military alliances or diplomatic pacts with Tuscany, Haxonia, and the Holy Austarlian Empire; Austarlia and Franconia found themselves at war in January 1722, with Franconian Burgundy, Austarlian Brussalia, Baden, and the Heletian Territories becoming their theater of conflict. Milania fell to the Spamalkans and Haxonians in late November, 1721; Odet de Foix, Viscount de Launtrec, the Franconian governor of the Duchy, was forced to retreat to the Adda Colonies. On April 27, 1722, the Battle of Biocca resulted in a decisive victory for Spamalkan forces under the Marquess of Pescara. Genoa was then conquered (May 30, 1722), bringing this ally of Franconia into Spamalkan possession. By then, relations between Franconia and Laurasia were dangerously weak. As early as November 1720, Franconian authorities had impounded Laurasian commercial convoys at Jersey, Guernsey, Caen, Bayoux, Nannes, Cherbourg, Stephani, and Julianne, thereby arousing the ire of Emperor Antigonus and his ministers. In July 1721, Antigonus declared to his advisers that the continued Franconian provocations would eventually warrant intervention, and in December 1721, he banned all non-essential Laurasian commerce and transport to Franconia. On January 12, 1722, the Emperor imposed a freeze upon Franconian assets within his Empire, and ordered for all Franconian subjects in his realms to swear an oath of allegiance to him, or to leave his Empire.
    • Then on May 30, 1722, soon after all Laurasian subjects living in Franconian territory had been recalled, Emperor Antigonus ordered for Sir Heredotus Perosies (1678-1740), the newly-appointed Laurasian Ambassador to the Court of Parri, to present a series of demands to King Franjak. These included the wish for a promise of assurance, by the Franconian Estates, of the peaceful intercourse of all Laurasian subjects in Franconian territory; for the concession of Tournai, Boulougone, and Theouranne in perpetuity to the Laurasian Empire; and for Franjak to halt his support for the Duke of Albany in Scottria, who Antigonus believed was actively provoking tension against the Imperial Laurasian Government. All of these were rejected by King Franjak. In consequence, Antigonus ordered for negotiations to be opened with the Spamalkan Government; on June 16, 1722, after twelve days of negotiations, the Treaty of Christiania was signed by the delegations of the two Empires, providing for mutual assistance and for an invasion, by no later than March 1723, of Franconia by the Laurasian Empire. Char’va promised to cover all Laurasian military expenses, and to pay all pensions, payments, and debts that were to be forfeit as a result of imperial hostilities against Franconia. Furthermore, in order to seal the alliance, he agreed to marry the Emperor’s daughter, Grand Princess Didymeia, once she obtained her majority. Char'va attempted to secure a proviso for Didymeia to come to his Empire as soon as possible, to be nurtured and raised within his own imperial household, as befitted a future Empress of Spamalka. Her mother, Empress Consort Katharina, had objected to this, believing that her daughter would be in better condition if she were to continue her education at the Imperial Laurasian Court.
    • The Treaty, ratified by both parties by the end of July 1722, did not commit Laurasia to immediate involvement in the war. As a result, Antigonus and his government spent the remainder of the year preparing for hostilities. Diplomatic ties with Franconia were formally severed on August 2, 1722; then on August 17, the Earl of Soria, who had now reached the rank of Lieutenant-General, was named commander of all imperial forces for any potential operations against Franconia. Soria was now assuming more and more prominence at the Imperial Court. By 1722, his father, the Duke of Norfolkius, was in failing health. Norfolkius turned 79 that year. He had continued to provide services to his master, helping to negotiate Grand Princess Octavia’s marriage to King Lujak XII of Franconia in 1714; suppressing the Evil May Day riots (against Amulak foreigners), in Christiania, Osraninpolis, Herkorim, Soriana, and Mendelevium in 1717; and presiding over the trial proceedings of the Duke of Americana in May 1721. In September 1722, Norfolkius resigned from his seat on the Imperial Privy Council and retreated from his active residence at the Court. Then on December 19, 1722, he relinquished the position of Lord Treasurer of the Empire, which he had held for twenty-one years (since June 1701). Emperor Antigonus now named his son, Soria, as the new Lord Treasurer.

1723Edit

  • January 17-By January 1723, Sir Thomasius Boleyenia had begun to consider marriage options for his daughter, Lady Anna. Now serving as Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, Boleyenia was determined to improve his own family's fortunes, and believed that this could be accomplished through the arrangement of an advantageous marriage for his daughter. Boleyenia's attention first turned to his own cousin, Sir Athanasius Butleria, Earl of Redia and Sanegeta (1696-1746), who was a descendant of the 5th Scottrian Earl of Ormonde. Butleria was considered to be one of the most athletic and intelligent men at the Imperial Court; he served as a page to the Emperor Antigonus. Yet there was a dispute which existed over the titles and estates of the Earldoms of Redia and Sanegeta. On August 3, 1715, Sir Thomasius Butleria, 7th Earl of Redia and Sanegeta, had died, leaving his daughters Margarina and Anna as his co-heiresses. The great-great grandson of the third Earl, Sir Perseus Butleria, contested the late Earl's will and claimed the Earldom himself. He already held possession of Kiklenny Hall on Redia, which was the primary residence of the Earls of Redia. Sir Thomasius Boleyenia, who was the son of Margarina, the 7th Earl's eldest daughter, considered himself to be the rightful heir and had protested to his brother-in-law, the Earl of Soria, who had a discussion with Emperor Antigonus over the matter. Antigonus, who was fearful that a rebellion might erupt if this dispute were not solved, sought to rid himself of the problem by arranging a marriage between the young Earl of Redia and Lady Anna Boleyenia. She would bring her Redian inheritance as her dowry, thereby ending the dispute. This was the course which had been resolved upon by November 1722. On January 17, 1723, however, the marriage negotiations came to a sudden, and complete halt, primarily because Sir Thomasius himself desired the Earldom of Redia, and considered Butleria to not be a good enough husband for his daughter. Butleria would later marry Lady Julia Falarania, daughter of the 10th Earl of Andriana. Yet by the spring of 1723, Lady Anna entered into a secret relationship with Lord Antigonus Percius (1702-37), son of the Earl of Malaria Prime, and in July 1723, entered into a secret betrothal with the young man. Lord Percius was, at the time, a page to Chancellor Wolesius. This secret relationship between Lady Anna and the young Lord Percius remained a secret from the families of both for several months.
  • March 3-By March 1723, the Emperor Antigonus and his Imperial Privy Council were ready to proceed with military offensives against the Serene Kingdom of Franconia. On December 18, 1722, the Emperor had ordered the Imperial General Headquarters to issue the final orders of mobilization for the Empire's forces. Then on January 29, 1723, the Earl of Soria, who as previously mentioned had been designated as commander-in-chief of the Empire's forces, was ordered to assume his post at Oviedo in Spamalkan Asturias, as had already been arranged with the Holy Spamalkan Government. From thence, he was to proceed with military operations into Franconian Brittany, Normandy, and Artois. On February 15, 1723, Emperor Antigonus issued a proclamation to his subjects, denouncing the violation of Laurasian merchantile privileges in the Galactic Void and in the Great Amulak Spiral by the Franconian Royal Court. Yet it was not until March 3, 1723, before the formal declaration of war against the Serene Kingdom of Franconia was issued. The Earls of Soria and Aretha, in command of the Empire's forces, made rapid advances. Piccardia capitulated to Soria without a fight (March 17, 1723), followed by Vera (March 21); Stephani (April 1); Julianne (April 5-17); and Breuteuil (April 22). On April 29, 1723, the Battle of Torre resulted in a decisive victory for Laurasian forces under Soria and Colonel Sir Antigonus Gagius. Dinan, Redon, and Vitre fell to Laurasian forces in May 1723. On May 22, 1723, the Spamalkan Count of Velgadeo cooperated with Soria in an offensive against Guines and Hames, two of the most important Franconian colonies in the Channel Provinces. Both strongholds fell within four days; a Franconian counteroffensive at Treguier ended in utter failure (June 2, 1723). St. Omer and Dunkirk were both stormed by Laurasian units (June 7, 1723). Beauvais, Compaigne, and Amiens were then seized (June 11-14, 1723), and on June 22, 1723, the Duke of Narbonne was defeated by Soria in the Battle of Breuteuil-sur-Mer. Therouranne was under serious threat by the end of June 1723; on June 30, Guerande and Nantes both fell to the Earl of Aretha and Colonel Gagius.
  • May 7-
    • At the same time that Laurasian military offensives into Artois, Brittany, and Gascony were commencing, the situation elsewhere, with the war, was evolving. King Franjak, who was growing increasingly desperate, with his forces suffering reverses in Burgundy, the Heletian Provinces, Milania, Navarre, and now in his own Royal Dominions, tried a variety of expedients to increase conscription and taxation. In October 1722, he was able to convince the Franconian Estates-General to impose a new tenths levy, which allowed for him to confiscate one-tenth of all non-taxable income, of all his non-noble and non-clerical subjects. Then in January 1723, King Franjak had confiscated the revenues of La Rochelle, Dijon, and Quiebron, intent on using these revenues for the maintenance of his naval forces. The King, furthermore, focused his attention upon a legal assault against Charman III, the Duke of Bourbon. The Duke of Bourbon had received most of his holdings due to his marriage to Suzanne, Duchess of Bourbon, who had died on April 28, 1721, at the age of twenty-nine. The late Duchess's sister, Princess Louise of Savoy, who also happened to be King Franjak's mother, insisted that the territories in question should pass to her because of her closer kinship to the deceased. Franjak was confident that seizing the disputed estates and star systems would improve his own financial position sufficiently to continue the war; he thereby began confiscating Bourbon's properties and revenues, declaring that they had to be deployed for the use of the State. Bourbon, angered by this, now sought to plot with Spamalkan Emperor Char'va against the King. Yet it was the death of Doge Antonio Grimani of Haxonia, on May 7, 1723, which altered much of the situation in Italiania. Grimani was eighty-eight years old at the time of his death.
    • Three days later, General and Provost-Governor of Bardolino, Andrea Gritti, veteran of the War of the League of Cambrai, was elected Doge. Grimani was determined to terminate the conflict with the Holy Spamalkan Empire. Negotiations opened between the Holy Spamalkan and Haxonian Governments on May 24, 1723; after over two months of negotiations, the Treaty of Worms was signed on July 29, thereby resulting in the Haxonian Confederacy's withdrawal from the military conflict. Char'va was now able to divert more of his resources to the conflict against Franconia; Bourbon continued his scheming with the Spamalkan Emperor, offering to begin a rebellion against Franjak in exchange for funds and military aid. Yet King Franjak became aware of his plotting, and on October 1, 1723, summoned the Duke to appear before him at Lyon. Bourbon violated the King's command, and now fled to Bescanon in the Spamalkan Lordship of Franche-Comte. Enraged, the King of Franconia ordered the imprisonment and execution of many of Bourbon's associates and subordinates, and completed the confiscation of his properties (the Duchy of Bourbon would be united to the Royal Dominions in 1727), but Bourbon himself remained beyond Franjak's range and openly entered the service of the Holy Spamalkan Empire.
  • October 7-
    • By October 1723, whilst Franjak was extending direct Franconian jurisdiction over the Duchy of Bourbon, and as the Haxonian Confederacy retired from the Italianian War, the forces of the Laurasian Empire had made further progress within the Franconian Royal Dominions. Therouranne was captured by the Earl of Soria on July 12, 1723, after a siege of twelve days. Following the capture of this stronghold, Soria proceeded to defeat the Duke of Fontainebleau and the Marquess de Lafayette in the Battle of Cantiny (July 19, 1723). By July 24, Laurasian units had besieged and conquered Dreux, Evereux, Rouen, and Chartres, thus penetrating deep into Franconian Normandy and Anjou. Etaples, where the First Franconian War had been negotiated to an end three decades earlier, was stormed on August 2, 1723; Craon followed on August 11, and on August 22, 1723, Soria stormed the Franconian colony of Fougeres. Dol-de-Bretagne then became the next focus of conflict, with the Empire's forces assaulting it from August 28. On September 4, 1723, Soria's first offensive against the stronghold ended in failure; Laurasian attempts to seize the Franconian outposts of Quimper, Finisterre, and Morbihan failed. Soria now reorganized his military forces, and on September 21, 1723, Dol-de-Bretagne was again assaulted by his units. A combined naval and army thrust by the Imperial Laurasian Military finally secured victory; the stronghold fell two days later. Quimper and Finisterre followed on September 28, 1723; Brewster, a Franconian outpost in the outskirts of the Amulak Spiral, was also stormed that day. Yet by that point, King Franjak and his government had already entered into negotiations with the Marasharite Empire over a possible defensive alliance against the Laurasian Empire. As early as September 1722, King Franjak had contemplated the possibility of aligning with the Marasharites in order to blunt the Laurasians.
    • The Count of Poitou and the Count of Verdun were among the chief proponents of this scheme by the King, and on May 2, 1723, a conference between the Franconian and Marasharite Governments had convened at Car'va, in Marasharite Galatia. It was not until September 7, 1723, before the Treaty of Car'va was signed, thereby providing for the conclusion of a formal military alliance between Franconia and Marasharita. By the terms of that treaty, the Marasharite Empire pledged to declare war against its Laurasian counterpart by no later than the end of November 1723, and to reject all Laurasian claims to any acquisitions in the Great Amulak Spiral. In exchange, Franjak promised to aid the Marasharites conquer the Sicilian Wayward Colonies, Corisca, and Malta. Then on October 7, 1723, the Marasharite Grand Vizier, Nevershli Davat (the longest-serving Grand Vizier of the eighteenth century, in office 1718-30), issued an ultimatum to the Imperial Laurasian Government. In this ultimatum, he demanded that Emperor Antigonus begin negotiations with the Franconian Royal Government, end all interference in the affairs of the Great Amulak Spiral, and agree to territorial concessions in favor of Scottria and Marasharita, in the Galactic Borderlands. Emperor Antigonus, when he received this ultimatum, scoffed at the demands, and ordered for no response to be delivered.
  • October 14-With the Marasharite ultimatum having been rejected, Emperor Ahmad III now proceeded to take action against the Laurasian Empire, and to follow his obligations under the Treaty of Car'va. On October 14, 1723, the Marasharite Grand Council, acting on the Emperor's orders, formally issued a declaration of war against the Laurasian Empire, thereby commencing the Second Laurasian-Marasharite War of the eighteenth century. Immediately following the declaration of war, Marasharite and Haynsian military forces, operating from the Tof Borderlands, Muggal Cluster, and Northern Reaches, made a series of offensives into Laurasian territory. Billy Gasis was besieged and captured by a Marasharite expeditionary force (October 15-19, 1723), followed by Abrianne (October 22); Kia (October 24); Sly James (October 28); and Pelaski (November 1). On November 3, 1723, Haynsian Despot Bryan IV Karany launched a major raiding offensive against Natalie and Tiona. The defenses of both star systems were successfully breached, and the Despot's troops seized more than four million captives, as well as inflicting €15.6 trillion dataries worth in property damage. Xilania Minoria, Jin Minor, and Xilania Secondary suffered from Haynsian raiding expeditions, and on November 18, 1723, the defenses of Meneia, Guthmiller, Chappelear, and Chromy were sacked by Haynsian scoutships. Carrhae was seized on November 22, followed by Immae, Multan, and Edessa in short order (November 23-31, 1723). Yet by that point, the Laurasian Empire's military forces had already mobilized for the decisive counteroffensive. Lieutenant-General Sir Antiochus Rumanstevius, in command of the garrisons of the Satian Provinces, repelled a Haynsian raiding expedition against Belparasian in the Battle of Lawrence (December 2, 1723), and then proceeded to capture a Haynsian convoy near Apama (December 4). On December 9, 1723, the Battle of Ba'dai resulted in a decisive victory for Laurasian military forces under Rumanstevius and the Earl of Sharman, thereby allowing for Laurasian units to recover Billy Gasis, Sly James, and Kia (December 12-17, 1723). Then on December 21, a second Haynsian raiding offensive, this time directed against Calrissian, Varta, and Nandia Major, came to ruin in the Battle of Esperanto, which saw more than 200,000 Haynsian Warriors fall at the hands of Laurasian troops. The Battle of Seeger (December 22, 1723), saw Rumanstevius and Sharman annihilate more than two-thirds of the opposing Marasharite land force, using a series of pincer attacks and envelopment movements. On December 29, 1723, Ra'dai was stormed by Rumanstevius's units. By the end of the year, Laurasian forces were preparing to recover Abrianne, Carrhae, and Multan, and to push forth into the Muggal Cluster.
  • December 22-While the Second Laurasian-Marasharite War was getting underway, the offensives of Laurasian and Spamalkan forces, and the counterattacks by Franconian units, proceeded apace in the Great Amulak Spiral. On October 7, 1723, the Duke of Sufforia, who had been reassigned to the Franconian theater of war by his friend and sovereign, Emperor Antigonus, in August of that year, assembled his military forces at Graveline's Mist, Dunkirk, Abbeville, and Calais for a decisive, and daring, offensive into the Parri Region. Repelling Franconian counteroffensives against Beauvais and Amiens (October 8-14), Sufforia then proceeded with his units to besiege and capture the strongholds of La Fere and Roye (October 19, 1723). On October 24, 1723, Sufforia inflicted a humiliating defeat upon the Duke of Orleans in the Battle of Noyon; from thence, he captured the Franconian military bases of Rethel, Mont Blanc, and Reims, thereby sundering many of the most important commercial supply lines to Orleans, Parri, and Chateau Thierry. Pontoise then fell to a Laurasian offensive (November 2-9, 1723), and on November 14, Sufforia cooperated with the Earl of Soria (soon to be recalled back to the Caladarian Galaxy), in intercepting and destroying a Franconian supply convoy near Barcy. Douliens fell on November 17, and by November 21, the Duke's forces were advancing perilously close to the northern outskirts of Parri. Sufforia, however, found that Emperor Char'va was unwilling to lend support to a Laurasian offensive against this, the capital world of the Serene Kingdom of Franconia. Consequently, the Duke grew cautious and decided to retreat, retiring back to Chantilly, Meaux, and Barcy with his units (November 26, 1723). October 1723 also saw Franconian forces under Bonnivet advancing to Novara, where it was joined by a substantial force of Heletian and Germanian mercenaries; Colonna retreated to Milania. Bonnivet, however, overestimating the size of the enemy forces, decided not to assault Milania directly. Thus it was on December 28, 1723, that Durthian Prince Char'vak de Lannoy replaced Colonna as commander of Spamalkan forces in Milania. December 1723 also witnessed a stalemate in Normandy, Brittany, and the Orleans Region between Laurasian and Franconian forces, although Sufforia did blunt a Franconian move in the Battle of Thesio (December 19, 1723).

1724Edit

  • January 4-
    • As 1724, the 24th year of the eighteenth century, opened, the forces of the Laurasian Empire took the initiative in the campaigns of the Second Laurasian-Marasharite War of the eighteenth century. On January 1, 1724, Emperor Antigonus, who was determined to reorganize the commands of the Imperial Laurasian Military, and to provide for the instigation of effective, and swift operations against the Marasharite foe, recalled the Earl of Soria from his post in Brittany. Soria, who was considered to be one of the Empire's best military commanders, accepted this recall without demur. Yet he would not depart from Rennes until January 7, 1724, and would not arrive in the Caladarian Galaxy until January 14. Yet in the meantime, General Rumanstevius and the Earl of Sharman kept up the momentum of success against the Marasharite and Haynsian foes. On January 2, 1724, Rumanstevius and Sharman launched a coordinated offensive into the outskirts of the Multan star system. The hastily prepared Marasharite garrison, commanded by Pasha-General Kemal Attaurk, proved to be no match to the superior firepower, organization, and discipline of the Imperial Laurasian Navy; Multan fell rather quickly back into Laurasian hands. Two days later, however, Marasharite General Al-Tarik, in his attempts to maintain the advantage against further Laurasian encroachments, launched a major raiding offensive from Hikluma, Herculis-005, and Styris V into the Hypasian Provinces. Qu'emia was stormed by a Marasharite-Haynsian raiding expedition (January 7, 1724); the world's factories, docking facilities, and military arsenal suffered severe damage as a result of the Marasharite offensive. Valeris V, Saigon, Ho Chi Minh, and Huerta Mongol then became subject to Marasharite raiding offensives (January 8-11), but on January 13, 1724, the Battle of Coleman resulted in a decisive victory for General Rumanstevius.
    • The following day, the Earl of Soria made his arrival in the Caladarian Galaxy, and proceeded immediately to command headquarters on Londarania. From here, Soria decisively defeated Al-Tarik in the Battle of Petrash (January 18, 1724), and on January 21, repelled a Haynsian raiding offensive against Hypasia Minor. By January 22, Laurasian units had recovered Qu'emia, thereby terminating all Marasharite operations into the Hypasian Provinces. Carrhae was finally recovered by Soria and Rumanstevius on January 26, 1724, followed by Immae and Edessa the following day. Although a Laurasian offensive against Kuban, Voronezh, and Thurman ended in failure at the Battle of Kerch (January 28, 1724), Soria was able to considerably advance the Laurasian position forth. Styris V and Herculis-005 were both seized by Laurasian expeditionary units (February 2-7, 1724), and on February 11, the Battle of Hinz ended in another victory for Laurasian military forces. From Styris V, Soria seized Seoul, Dilojong, and Sackrandis (February 14-27, 1724), thereby humiliating the Marasharites further. Illumis, however, defied the Empire's military forces, and General Al-Tarik was able to capture a number of Laurasian dreadnoughts in the Battle of McCaskill (February 28, 1724).
  • February 15-
    • While the main focus of Emperor Antigonus and the Imperial General Headquarters was upon the campaigns against the Marasharite Empire in the Galactic Borderlands, the Empire's campaigns in Franconia nevertheless continued, in conjunction with the assaults of its Spamalkan allies. Louviers fell to the Duke of Sufforia on January 7, 1724, followed in short succession by Dieppe (January 11); Le Grand-Quevilly (January 17-21); and Vernon (January 25). On February 7, 1724, however, Sufforia's attempt to seize Tascalone, a major Franconian communications and transit outlet in Lower Normandy, ended in failure in the Battle of Sotteville; furthermore, on February 14, the Count of Poitiers stormed Rennes, Guines, and Hames in a surprise counter-offensive, thus blunting Laurasian supply lines and forcing Sufforia to focus his attention upon shoring up his strongholds in Brittany. At the same time, Spamalkan forces were invading Franconian Narbonne and Gascony. Haute-Garonne, Lourdes, Rodez, and Taubes had all fallen in November 1723; on December 9, 1723, the Spamalkan Emperor's forces had destroyed the units of the Duke of Narbonne in the Battle of Blagnac; and Cahors fell on January 9, 1724. Yet Lautrec successfully defended Bayonne and Bordeaux against Spamalkan forces (January 1724), repelling three different Spamalkan attempts to penetrate the defenses of the two star systems. Fuenterrabia, however, was recaptured by Char'va (February 4, 1724), who then conquered Castres, Colomiers, and Auch (February 7-19). Montpellier and Nimes were also blockaded by Spamalkan units, and Narbonne itself was seriously threatened. By the end of February 1724, the Duke of Sufforia began preparing for a series of offensives in the Parri Region, Poitou, Anjou, and Maine, with the intention of recouping earlier losses.
    • On February 15, 1724, Peter von Biron, destined to become the last Duke of Northania (1769-95), was born in Mitau, the capital city of the Duchy of Northania and Semigallia. He was the son of the future Duke Ernest Johann von Biron and his wife, Beninga Treyden.
  • March 10-On March 10, 1724, Emperor Antigonus suffered his first shockball accident in a game at the Fountain Palace of Venasia Prime. The Emperor, who had always been fond of this demanding and physically vigorous sport, was thrown into the courtyard grounds when he failed to deflect a shockball in time. Antigonus recovered within three days, and he adamantly refused to adhere to the advise of his physicians that he moderate his participation in the sport. This was to eventually have consequences for the Emperor. Another thing of note also happened here: the Empress-Consort, Katharina of Shenandoah, was utterly distressed by her husband's predicament, and was a witness to his accident. Among the ladies who comforted her was Lady Anna Boleyenia, who was well-established as a belle of the Imperial Court. Yet Anna had already incurred a vigorous hatred of Chancellor Wolesius. In January 1724, the Chancellor learned of Lord Percius's courting of the Ambassador's daughter, and decided that he could not permit for such a marriage to take place. Wolesius quickly informed Lord Percius's father, the Earl of Malaria Prime. Malaria Prime considered Boleyenia to be an upstart, and for his daughter to not be of "enough noble stock" to be considered a wife for his son. It was thus that the young couple were forced to break off their engagement. Lady Anna, for a time, was compelled to retreat to Heverian Castle, and on August 7, 1724, the Earl of Malaria Prime married his son Lord Percius to Lady Didymeia Talbania (1703-72), one of the other ladies-in-waiting of the Imperial Household. Anna therefore, began to vent her anger against the Chancellor, something which was to become more prominent over time. She was now twenty-three years old, and still unmarried.
  • March 24-On March 24, 1724, the former Queen of Adrianne and Empress of Xilania, Zenobia, wife of Prefect Odenathus, who had been a formidable enemy of the Emperor Aurelian the Savior, died in Heliotrope, Laurasia Prime. She was eighty-four years old. Ever since she had been defeated and captured by Emperor Aurelian in August 1673, fifty years earlier, Zenobia had been permitted by the Imperial Laurasian Government to enjoy the life of an Laurasian noblewoman. She had been granted the title of Dowager Duchess of Calrissian; awarded properties throughout the Laurasia Prime Purse Region; and even been invited to the Imperial Laurasian Court on occasion. Zenobia was present at the coronations of Probus I in 1676; Titus II in 1683; Neuchrus I in 1685; and Antigonus III in 1709. The last of these Emperors had extended her annuity and granted her further estates, in the Xilanian Provinces. Zenobia's second husband, Sir Marcellus Petrus, who died on April 22, 1704, at the age of seventy-three, was a prominent Governing Senator and served as Proconsul of Mariana Prime (1669-72); Rebecca (1672-98); and Durglais (1698-1704). They had three daughters: Callidoria (1676-1755); Astraia (1678-1752); and Dionysia (1682-1761). Zenobia's death thereby removed from the background one of the last surviving figures of the Crisis of the Seventeenth Century; her death came nearly nineteen years after the death of Tetricus I, the last Emperor of the breakaway Samanthan Empire. On the orders of the Emperor, she was interned at the Westphalian Cathedral in a formal service on April 9, 1724.
  • May 21-
    • By March 1724, the Laurasian Empire's military forces had definitely gained the advantage in the military operations against the Marasharite Empire. The Earl of Soria was reorganizing the Empire's forces for further offensives into Marasharite territory. To'rdai and Mar'dai were both seized (March 4-8, 1724), and on March 12, 1724, Soria and Rumanstevius defeated Al-Tarik in the Battle of Anderson. Following this confrontation, Billy was besieged by the forces of the Laurasian Empire (March 17-April 3, 1724). In spite of repeated Marasharite counteroffensives against Ba'dai, Norah, Satie, Margery, and Lynne, and a Haynsian expedition into the Dasian Heartland (which succeeded in breaching the defenses of Tataria, Syr-Daria, and Glassia-on-the Corridor before being compelled into retreat), Billy surrendered to Soria's forces on April 3, 1724. Teller (April 9); Latrice (April 14); and Donna (April 19) followed, thereby inflicting a series of humiliating blows upon the Marasharite position in the northern Galactic Borderlands. Khotyn was then stormed by a surprise offensive (April 22, 1724), and on April 26, the Second Battle of Illumis ended in a crushing victory for Laurasian military forces. Kerch capitulated on April 29, and on May 1, 1724, Karlong's defenses were plundered by the Imperial Laurasian Navy. The Haynsian Despot Bryan IV Karany now struck back with a series of Haynsian raids against Coronadia, Edmundia, Mackenzia Major, Jacobs I, English Star, Ian, and Taraning (May 2-11, 1724), all of which failed to achieve anything substantial.
    • Kumong fell to Soria on May 14, 1724; Seoul, Verdorium Minor, and Stary were all in the firm possession of the Empire by May 18. Then on May 21, 1724, Soria's father, Thomasius Howardis, 2nd Duke of Norfolkius, died at Framilgnhamian House on Soria, at the age of 80. By the time of his death, Norfolkius had turned the fortunes of his family around completely, had assured for it a place of prominence within the ranks of the Imperial Court and Government, and had gained respect and prestige throughout the Empire. His son now became the 3rd Duke of Norfolkius; the new Duke's son in turn, Lord Antigonus Howardis, became Earl of Soria. The 2nd Duke would be formally interned at Thetfordian Priory on Soria on June 22, 1724, with the Emperor Antigonus, Chancellor Wolesius, and all the leading magnates of the Imperial Court in attendance. The new Duke of Norfolkius continued to vigorously push the offensive forth. Ung found itself blockaded, beginning on May 27, 1724; the siege lasted until June 6, when the world's defenses succumbed before the superior power of the Laurasian forces. Umma, Dunst, and Merevop then fell into the Duke's hands (June 1724), while the Dnieper Asteroid Bases were blockaded. Merevebey and Quickbay were even threatened by Laurasian expeditions; this marked the first time ever that Haynsian systems came within the range of the Empire's forces. Although an offensive against Riababia Mogila and Braila ended in failure (July 1724), Norfolkius was nevertheless able to advance closer to Imegina, and to seize the Marasharite colonies of Jaojong, Jaeoyoung, and Jaelong. By the beginning of September 1724, Laurasian forces were also threatening Bucharina, Marson, and Chardis.
  • August 12-On August 12, 1724, Haynsian Despot Bryan IV Karany, who had ruled since 1717, was forced to abdicate the Haynsian throne due to the failure of Haynsian raiding expeditions against the Dasian Heartland, Burglais Arm, and the Galactic Void. The Despot was also burdened by a string of taxation scandals at his court. He was now succeeded as Despot by his younger brother, who became Shannai II Karany. Shannai had previously served as Kalga of the Haynsian Guards and as Red-General of the Brigoff Stellar Nebula.
  • September 9-
    • Events in the Great Amulak Spiral continued to proceed forth in the meantime. On March 15, 1724, the Duke of Sufforia launched a direct offensive against Mont St. Aignan, determined to secure this Franconian military arsenal and to thereby maintain the integrity of his force's forward communications lines. Although the Count of Maine posed a great resistance to the advances of the Duke, Mont St. Aignan ultimately fell into Laurasian hands (March 22, 1724). Following the conquest of Mont St. Aignan, Angers, the capital of the Franconian Duchy of Anjou, fell into Sufforia's hands (March 29, 1724). Sufforia then subdued the Franconian colonies of Beaufort, Bourgueil, Cande, and La Fleche (April 1724), thereby consolidating the Laurasian position within Anjou. At the same time, the Earl of Aretha defeated the Duke of Longueville in the Battle of Marmary (April 17) and stormed Vitry Le Francais (April 29, 1724), before penetrating to Malin, Nogent, and Provins (May 1724). On May 29, 1724, Sufforia, with the assistance of Rear-Admiral the Lord Vinsonia, stormed Laval, Lassay, and Le Mans, and then besieged Thevalles Junction, one of the most important strongholds in Maine. The simultaneous destruction of the forces of Bonnivet and the Comte de St. Poi in the Battle of the Sesia (April 30, 1724), further strained Franconian resources, imperiled the possibility of any further successful Franconian advance in Lombardy, and forced King Franjak into ever-more desperate measures to increase conscription and taxation.
    • On June 7, 1724, Thevalles Junction finally surrendered to the Duke of Sufforia, who then proceeded to ransack the Franconian military arsenals on Des Erves, Rochefort, and Royan (June 12-17, 1724). Chatellerault succumbed to Sufforia on June 24, 1724, followed by Poitiers itself five days later. Then, at the beginning of July 1724, Lannoy, with the Duke of Bourbon and Spamalkan General Don Fernando d'Avalos as his subordinates, launched an invasion of Franconian Provence. Nice was the first to fall (July 9, 1724), followed by the Franconian Principality of Monaco (July 11); Menton (July 14); Grasse (July 19); and the Franconian colony of Dragnuiqan (July 22). At the same time, Noirt and Angloueme were both stormed by Laurasian forces, as Sufforia succeeded in repelling Franconian counteroffensives. Marseilles, however, resisted all Spamalkan and rebel assaults, and remained the chief base of Franconian power in Provence. Nevertheless, the Duke of Bourbon seized Aix-en-Provence, the provincial capital (August 9, 1724), and assumed the title of Count of Provence. By the end of August 1724, virtually all of the major strongholds of Provence except for Marseilles, including Orange, Arles, Istres, and Toulon, had been stormed by the Spamalkan-rebel forces. Yet King Franjak, who had already succeeded in strengthening the defenses of Parri and Orleans, and managed to recover Rouen from the Laurasian Empire (August 21, 1724), now moved with the bulk of his military forces to Avignon, and on September 9, 1724, he inflicted a ruinous defeat upon Bourbon and Lannoy in the Battle of Gap. Within days, Arles, Orange, and Istres had been recovered by the King of Franconia; then on September 24, 1724, he relieved the siege of Marseilles, thereby earning the acclaim, and admiration, of that star system's inhabitants. Aix-en-Provence was recovered on September 30, followed by Toulon on October 2. King Franjak now launched a counteroffensive into the Duchy of Milania, by juncture of Genoa and Savoy. Bourbon and d'Avalos, still disoriented from the failures of the last campaign, were unable to offer any effective resistance. Franconian forces managed to storm several Spamalkan command outposts and communications terminals, but failed to bring the main body of the Spamalkan forces to battle.
    • Nevertheless, on October 26, 1724, Lannoy decided to retreat to Lodi. Franjak then entered Milania Prime on November 2, 1724, installing Lujak de la Tremoille as the Governor of the Duchy. This was done at the urging of Bonnivet, and against the advise of his other senior commanders, who wished for a swift, and direct offensive upon Lannoy's forces. Thus King Franjak advanced against Pathia (Pavia), whose garrison was commanded by General Antonio de Levya. The Duke of Montmorency invested Pathia from the Ticno Barricades, thereby completing the encirclement of the star system. A period of skirmishing and turbocannon bombardments followed, with several gaps opening in Pathia's defensive lines. On November 21, King Franjak attempted an assault against the star system through the gaps, but his warships were driven back with heavy losses. At the beginning of December 1724, Spamalkan fleets under Hugo Moncada launched an offensive against Genoa; King Franjak dispatched a larger force under Count Michele Antonio of Saluzzo to intercept them. The Spamalkan force was forced to halt its operations due to the arrival of Franconian reinforcements. Lannoy then attempted to halt the advance of Franjak's forces near Fiorenzoula, but suffered heavy casualties and had to retreat to Lodi. King Franjak then found his position weakened when his Heletian mercenaries deserted, and by the end of December, was forced to reorganize the defenses of Milania Prime. As for the Laurasians, Sufforia succeeded in conquering Bressuire, Niort, and Santes (August-September 1724), and on October 7, 1724, storming the defenses of Belleme and Longhy-au-Perche. Yet Laurasian assaults against Laan, Mount Blanc, and Montdider ended in failure (November 1724), and by December 9, the Duke of Longueville, cooperating with the Duke of Anjou and the Count of Maine, had actually managed to recover Villiers, Peronne, La Fere, St. Quentin, and Noyon, thereby weakening the Laurasian position in Picardy and in the Orleans Region. On December 13, Stephani and Julianne revolted against their Laurasian garrisons, and successfully expelled them; then on December 24, Abbeville and Douliens were reconquered by Franconian forces.
  • December 14-
    • Although Laurasian and Spamalkan forces both suffered reverses within Franconia, the state of affairs in the Galactic Borderlands was a different matter. The Duke of Norfolkius continued to advance the Laurasian position forth. Kilia was stormed by Norfolkius on September 9, 1724. He then engaged in a series of confrontations with Al-Tarik and with the Marasharite Pasha of the Muggal Cluster, Budik-Pasha, at Sorms, Campbell, Arnold, Mayim, and Claudevister (September 14-22, 1724), inflicting severe losses upon the forces of his enemies. Haynsian units, however, now under the direction of a new, more vigorous Despot, Shannai II Karany, now launched renewed expeditions into the Angelican and Hypasian Provinces. Bypassing Morlan and Hieshbig (September 26, 1724), the Despot's forces then lunged at Angelica Minor, which by 1724 had a population of more than twenty billion, and was one of the most important Laurasian worlds in the Wild Marshes. Yet it was exactly this which attracted the Haynsians, and which allowed them to reap the advantage. Angelica Minor fell into Haynsian hands on October 4, 1724; during the course of the next ten days, Haynsian units would ransack the world's cities and landmarks, inflicting more than €30 trillion dataries worth of damage. Furthermore, they mined the outskirts of the star system and seized more than three hundred million captives, the largest seizure of captives ever by the Haynsian Despotate for a single operation. Cassolar, Eric, Giron, Angelica Major, Londarania, Coleman, Ambarac, and the Lysimachid Barrier Defenses were all then plundered by Haynsian expeditions, and on October 17, 1724, the Battle of Merlin ended in a decisive victory for Shannai.
    • The Duke of Norfolkius was now forced to turn his attention to redressing this threat. On October 24, 1724, Norfolkius lured the Despot to Van Klep. In the ensuing Battle of Van Klep, the Haynsian Despot employed his scoutships and mobile corvettes to harass and confuse the Laurasian starfighter squadrons; Haynsian vessels swept in and out of the vattle-lines. Yet Norfolkius was ultimately able to use the superior firepower of his dreadnoughts and destroyers to disrupt the Haynsian momentum, and to then force the enemy into retreat. The Battle of Van Klep therefore ended in a strategic victory for the Laurasian Empire, although the Laurasians suffered more casualties than their Haynsian rivals. Norfolkius then drove Haynsian units from Song Dhu and Trasha Dakai, and on November 15, 1724, stormed Braila. The Stations of Ung followed (November 26, 1724), and by the middle of December 1724, all Haynsian expeditions into the Hypasian and Angelican Provinces had been terminated. Yet on December 19, the Despot won the Battle of Meneia, briefly seizing that stronghold and penetrating as far as Eaidon, Zoe, and Skyler before Rumanstevius and the Earl of Sharman compelled him into retreat. By the end of 1724, Imegina's supply lines were being suppressed by Laurasian units.

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