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This covers the second quarter of the eighteenth century. For the third quarter, see The Eighteenth Century, Part III: 1750-1775.

The Eighteenth Century (1701-1800, Part II)Edit

The 18th Century (1725-1750)Edit

1725Edit

  • January 1-
    • January 1, 1725, marked the termination of the first quarter of the eighteenth century. As the century now reached its 25th year, the position of the Laurasian Empire had been strengthened, via-a-vis its rivals in the Galactic Borderlands, and in the Great Amulak Spiral. The Emperor Neuchrus had commenced, and his son Antigonus III had completed, the destruction of the Vectorian Empire, which had been such a major enemy to the Laurasian Empire throughout the seventeenth century. Furthermore, Laurasia's victories in the War of the Dejanican Expedition, King Jamsius IV's War, and the First Laurasian-Marasharite War had allowed for the Empire to make territorial acquisitions in the Wild Marshes, Galactic Borderlands, and along the Galactic Frontier Route, thereby strengthening its overall strategic and political position. As the second quarter of the eighteenth century commenced, the Empire found itself engaged in simultaneous military conflicts, against Franconia and the Marasharite Empire (with its vassal state, the Haynsian Despotate). The new Duke of Norfolkius, who had further burnished his military reputation through his victories against the Marasharites in the Tof Borderlands, Muggal Cluster, and Wild Marshes, now pushed the offensive further. On this day, he encountered and defeated Marasharite General Al-Tarik again in the Battle of Kagul. Kagul was at this time a petty Marasharite outpost, and did not have the major prominence which it would obtain late in the century. Here, forty-five years later, a far more famous battle would be waged which would play a major role in the final Marasharite expulsion from the Galactic Borderlands. Yet this Battle of Kagul allowed for Norfolkius to intensify the Laurasian offensives in the Northern Reaches. Bucharina, which had been threatened by raids of the Imperial Laurasian Navy for months, was now finally exposed to a direct Laurasian assault. On January 5, 1725, the Battle of Bucharina commenced as Rumanstevius, Sharman, and Norfolkius launched a joint land and naval assault against Bucharina's defenses.
    • The 19th and 20th Imperial Armies proved instrumental in overwhelming the Bucharianian Capital District, and in overrunning the defenses of the inferior Marasharite garrison. In spite of the efforts of Al-Tarik and of Budik-Pasha, Governor of Bucharina, the world ultimately surrendered (January 13, 1725), thus constituting a major victory for the Laurasian Empire. On January 18, 1725, Tessy, which found its supply lines under threat of severance, and understanding that resistance was futile, surrendered to Rumanstevius without a fight. Marson followed on January 24, thereby granting the Laurasians control of all the major strongholds of the Northern Reaches. Bendery and Quickbey were both subdued on February 1, 1725, and Laurasian forces now reached the Haynsian Slave Highway for the first time ever. From Quickbey, a Laurasian expeditionary force (a portion of the 41st Imperial Fleet), under the command of Commodore Sir Domitius Prales, advanced across the Galactic Void to the Great Tesmanian Cloud. In February and March 1725, the outskirts of Kolzuduzha, Duros, Del Valle, Fidonsi, Ochania, Kuchuk Kaynarca, Silistra, Ruse, and Shumen were harried by Laurasian naval forces, who inflicted damage upon the defenses, supply lines, and hyperspace transit terminals of these particular star systems. This was, up to this point, the farthest that Laurasian military forces had advanced in a combat action against the Marasharite Empire, and marked only the second time in history that Laurasian forces actively campaigned in the Great Tesmanian Cloud (following the later campaigns of the Dejanican Expeditionary War).
  • January 15-Birth of the one of the most prominent military commanders of the Empress Aurelia the Great’s reign, Field-Marshal Baron Demetrius Rumanstevius. Rumanstevius was born at Braclaw, in the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth. He was the son of Lieutenant-General Sir Antiochus Rumanstevius and his wife Marina (1703-88), the daughter and heiress of Baronet Andrew Matervia of Conservan (1676-1738).
  • February 5-March 29-On February 5, 1725, Imegina (formerly known as Verdorium during its time of possession by the Amelianians), finally fell under siege by the forces of the Laurasian Empire. The Duke of Norfolkius, as supreme commander-in-chief of the Laurasian military forces, provided the main direction for the offensive; General Rumanstevius, the Earl of Sharman, and Rear-Admiral Sir Xenocrates Madich (1674-1731), served as his chief subordinates. Al-Tarik, who now assumed the direct command of the defenses and garrison of Imegina, launched repeated offensives across the Imegina Straits, the Barricades of Torclorum, and the Celestial Bases, attempting to repel the Laurasian besiegers. Furthermore, Haynsian Despot Shannai II Karany launched ambitious raiding expeditions into Laurasian territory, crossing the Galactic Frontier Route and sacking Roxuli, Abraham, Valeris V, Massanay, and Huerta Mongol (February 12-17, 1725). Ultimately, however, these lame Marasharite defensive and counter-offensive attempts failed, and by the end of February 1725, all Haynsian moves into the Wild Marshes had been firmly repelled. Norfolkius then captured Diana, Anslea, Pearce, and Jevette (March 2-7, 1725), and blockaded the defenses of Cabrany, thereby preventing for Marasharite and Haynsian reinforcements to arrive at Imegina. The Duke then imposed his starships to suppress the system's supply lines, and on March 12, 1725, he defeated Al-Tarik's leading subordinate, Jabul-Kaboom, in the Battle of Verdorium Minor, thereby consolidating Laurasian hold of that stronghold. Finally, on March 27, 1725, the defenses of Imegina were breached by the constant Laurasian assaults; the world's garrison capitulated two days later, constituting a major humiliation for the Marasharite Empire. Al-Tarik was able to retreat to Quinta-il-vily in the Galactic Void, but Laurasian forces now dominated the heart of the Muggal Cluster. Cabrany finally succumbed on April 9, 1725, and more than 200,000 Marasharite troops there became Laurasian prisoners of war.
  • February 28-
    • On January 7, 1725, Spamalkan General Lannoy's forces in Lombardy were reinforced by the 9th and 10th Regiments of the Durthian States Army, commanded by Georg Frundsburg. This allowed for Lannoy to renew the offensive against the Franconians. D'Avalos captured the Franconian outpost of San Angelo (January 11-14, 1725), thereby cutting off the lines of communication between Pathia and Milania Prime, while Belgiojoso was occupied by Durthian and Spamalkan forces, in spite of a Franconian counteroffensive. By February 2, Lannoy was only ten light years eastwards of Pathia. King Franjak had stationed the great majority of his naval forces at Mirabello on the eastern outskirts of Pathia, placing them between the star system's garrison and the approaching relief forces of Lannoy. Skirmishing and sallies by the garrison of Pathia continued throughout February 1725. Giovanni d'Medici, commander of the Black Bands of Milania Prime, was forced to retire to Piacenza, and King Franjak was compelled to strengthen his besieging forces by drawing units from Turin and other strongholds. It was on February 21, 1725, that the garrison commanders, who were now running low on their energy supplies, and who mistakenly believed that the Franconian forces were more numerous than their own, decided to launch an offensive against Mirabello, so as to save face and to provide the way for their withdrawal. During the early morning hours of February 24, 1725, Spamalkan turbocannon opened breaches in the outposts of Mirabello, allowing for Lannoy's forces to make their entry. Levya, at the same time, sortied from Pathia with what remained of the garrison. In the ensuing confrontation, the Franconian dreadnought corps, which had proven effective at Marginano ten years earlier, masked their own artillery by a rapid advance, being surrounded and destroyed by d'Avalo's frigates and corvettes, and by the Durthian States Regiments.
    • In the meantime, a series of protracted infantry engagements on the surface of Mirabello resulted in the utter rout of the Franconian-Heletian forces. The Franconians suffered massive casualties, with more than a million troops of the Franconian Royal Army being killed or wounded in the confrontations. Bonnivet, Jacques de la Police, La Tremoille, and the Laurasian pretender Ricomedius Polsius (brother of the executed Duke of Sufforia), were executed, while the Duke of Montmorency, Robert de la Marck, and King Franjak himself were taken prisoner along with a host of lesser nobles and military commanders. The Duke of Alencon, now left in command of the remaining Franconian military forces, withdrew them back to Lyon (March 1725), although a small Franconian garrison continued to hold the Capital Districts of Milania Prime. The Battle of Pathia had therefore ended in a decisive victory for the Holy Spamalkan Empire. Emperor Antigonus, when he learned of his erstwhile Spamalkan ally's smashing victory over the Franconians, expressed his official congratulations. In reality, the Emperor of Laurasia was angered that Char'va had managed to secure such a victory, whilst the Laurasian Empire's forces continued to be bogged down in the Franconian Royal Dominions. Franjak's mother, Princess Louise of Savoy, who governed Franconia as Regent during her son's absence, was utterly distressed by his capture, and she resolved to obtain her son's release as soon as was possible. Louise also sought to provide for the defense of Lorraine, Burgundy, and Provence against any further Spamalkan offensives.
    • Furthermore, she now became determined to reach peace with the Laurasian Empire, so as to turn her attention to the question of her son's captivity. As for Franjak himself, he was convinced that he could regain his freedom if he could obtain a personal audience with Char'va. He therefore pressed d'Avalos and Lannoy, who had originally intended to imprison the King of Franconia at the Castel Nuovo in Naparia, to send him to Spamalka instead. The two commanders, concerned by the constant scheming of the Duke of Bourbon, agreed, and in May 1725, he would be allowed, with a Spamalkan military escort, to depart for the Spamalkan Hereditary Dominions. Franjak arrived in Barcelona on June 12, 1725, and was held initially at Benisano. Emperor Char'va, however, urged to negotiate a settlement by Montmorency and Lannoy, decided that the King of Franconia should instead be transported to Madrid, and imprisoned there. However, Char'va adamantly refused to meet Franjak until the King agreed to conclude an agreement to the interests of Spamalka. He also continued to be vexed with the matter of Navarre, with "King" Hensios II of Upper Navarre remaining at large, and continuing to challenge Spamalkan jurisdiction over the region. The matter of King Franjak would continue to vex all courts through the end of 1725.
  • March 20-Birth of the Marasharite Emperor Abdulahamid II (1774-89), the younger brother of Mustapha III, and son of Ahmed III by his second wife, Rabia Sermi.
  • April 26-
    • By April 1725, Marasharite Emperor Ahmad III and his Grand Council had grown tired of the war against the Laurasian Empire. The Emperor of the Marasharites sought to turn his attention to the worsening relations with the Vendragian Confederacy, which were connected to disputes over Lower Persia, Qatar, and the Arabian Potentates; furthermore, the capture of his erstwhile ally, Franconian King Franjak I, in the Battle of Pathia rendered Marasharite involvement in the military conflict ineffective. Laurasian Emperor Antigonus, on his part, sought to bring an end to the conflict, and believed that he had inflicted enough damage upon the Marasharites to stymie any threat which they might pose to the Empire in the near future. Antigonus was also determined to focus on internal governmental affairs; specifically, the question of his marriage, which was now starting to bother him considerably. It was thus that, on April 26, 1725, that the Duke of Norfolkius was commanded to send an offer for a military armistice to Marasharite General Al-Tarik, and for the convening of a diplomatic conference in order to terminate the Second War. Al-Tarik quickly informed the Grand Council of this offer; on April 29, Grand Vizier Nevershli Davat ordered for Al-Tarik to accept the offer, and to suspend military operations promptly. On May 5, 1725, the two commanders convened with each other at Sackrandis; after several hours of discussions, the Truce of Sackrandis was signed, thereby suspending all military hostilities until a formal diplomatic conference could be held. From there, the Imperial Laurasian and Marasharite Governments immediately focused their attention upon the conclusion of peace.
    • Chancellor Wolesius made it clear to the Marasharite Government, on May 11, that his master was willing to return to the status quo ante bellum as regards to territorial matters, if in turn the Marasharites restored all goods, captives, and equipment seized in the campaigns; recognized the sole right of navigation by Laurasian merchants and starhoppers along the Galactic Frontier Route; and agreed to compensate the Imperial Laurasian Government for any violation of treaty terms in the future. Emperor Ahmad accepted these terms, and on May 24, 1725, a conference between delegations of the two governments convened at Pruth. Then on June 4, 1725, the Treaty of Pruth was signed, thereby officially terminating the Second Laurasian-Marasharite War of the eighteenth century on the basis of the status quo ante bellum. By the terms of the treaty, all goods, captives, and equipment seized by Marasharite and Haynsian forces since October 1, 1723, were to be restored to the Laurasian Empire; the prohibition against Haynsian expeditions and raids into Laurasian territory was reaffirmed; and Laurasia was assured control of all territories acquired as a result of the Treaty of Imegina. All Laurasian military forces were to evacuate the Muggal Cluster, Northern Reaches, Tof Borderlands, and Galactic Void by no later than January 1, 1727; in exchange, the Marasharites promised to demolish all colonies, survey outposts, and terminals along the Galactic Frontier Route, and to make border revisions at Meneia, Poloa, and Sly James in favor of the Laurasian Empire. Diplomatic and economic relations were to be restored; furthermore, Laurasia promised to remain neutral in any Marasharite conflict with Vendragia. The Treaty of Pruth was ratified by Emperor Antigonus on June 19, 1725, and by Marasharite Emperor Ahmad III on July 4.
  • June 16-
    • By 1725, the Neuchrian Dynasty had been established upon the throne of the Laurasian Empire for forty years. What this dynasty had to show for herself, therefore, was the termination of the Crisis of the Seventeenth Century; the reformation and reorganization of the Empire's military and administrative structure; the restoration of general peace and tranquility to the Empire's realms; and the further extension of Laurasian territory within the Caladarian Galaxy. Emperor Antigonus was beloved and respected by his subjects, and he was considered to be one of the most vigorous rulers in the Empire's history. Yet cracks had begun to appear in this facade of glitter and glory. By this, the sixteenth year of the reign of Antigonus the Extravagant, he was a thirty-four year old man still in his prime; however, he lacked a male heir with his now forty-year old wife and consort, Katharina of Shenandoah. They had, in fact, ceased sexual intercourse with each other by June 1724, and the Empress Consort was already beginning to experience the signs of premature menopause. Furthermore, she had lost much of the beauty which had so attracted Antigonus to her at the beginning of his reign; she was tending to fat, had a double chin, and had developed a fondness for food and drink. Their only surviving child and heiress was Grand Princess Didymeia, who was only nine years old at this time. To make matters worse, the Emperor had no surviving younger brother, or any close male relations from his father's family.
    • The Emperor did, however, have an illegitimate son: six-year old Antigonus Lutheranis. This child, whom Antigonus had publicly acknowledged as his son as early as March 1720, had some importance to Antigonus, considering his lack of legitimate male heirs. The boy was never overshadowed by legitimate siblings, for there was only Grand Princess Didymeia. Furthermore, Antigonus was the only surviving son of his father, Neuchrus I, and therefore had no close male relations who could be called upon to govern in case of his death or incapability. As Antigonus and Katharina's marriage remained sonless, the Emperor's only living son became more attractive for onlookers to observe. Chancellor Wolesius took a deep interest in the boy's personal welfare, and in November 1724, had arranged for him to be granted Durhamia House in Crystellae, which thereby became the boy's official residence. Furthermore, young Antigonus was given his own household, and was treated more like a legitimate prince rather then as an imperial bastard. Yet Emperor Antigonus, on June 16, 1725, decided to reward his son. The boy was brought to the Public Chambers of the Quencilvanian Palace, and there, his father showered honors upon him. Young Antigonus departed from Lamabathian Palace and proceeded to the Quecilvanian Palace, in the company of a host of knights, gentlemen, and attendants of the Imperial Household.
    • His repulsorlift arrived at the public gates of the Palace, and his entourage then made their way to the Public Chambers. The Chambers were richly decorated, and virtually the entire Imperial Court was present to see Lord Lutheranis's elevation. Among them were many of the Almitian Church's prelates, as well as the Duke of Norfolkius, the Earls of Malaria Prime and Americana, and Sir Thomasius Morius, who had recently become Vice-Chancellor of the Empire (January 9, 1725). All the members of the Councils of State (Privy Council, Governing Senate, Holy Synod) were also present. The boy was created Duke of Conservan and Reoyania, Earl of Notthamia, and Marquess of Venasia Minor, thereby elevating him into the highest ranks of the Empire's nobility. A great feast and a series of jousts, dances, masques, and banquets followed during the course of the next several days. Emperor Antigonus conferred various offices upon his young son in September 1725, including those of Warden of Garama; Proconsul of the Neo-Merlite Provinces; and President of the Suffects' Council of Heliotrope. For the next decade, Antigonus was to consider the possibility of legitimizing the now Duke of Conservan and of naming him his heir apparent. These plans, however, would never come to fruition.
  • August 30-
    • By August 1725, the Laurasian momentum in the Serene Kingdom of Franconia had stymied, in the wake of a series of Franconian counteroffensives, and as the attention of the Emperor Antigonus shifted more and more to the internal affairs of his own Empire. Lassay and Le Mans were recovered by the Duke of Anjou in a surprise offensive (January 7-9, 1725), and on January 14, the Battle of Angers resulted in another decisive victory for Franconian forces. The Duke of Sufforia, who had already lost control of the Channel Provinces back to the Franconians, now attempted to redress these recent losses in Maine, Poitiers, and Anjou by launching a series of renewed offensives in the Parri and Orleans Regions. He stormed Sens (January 27-February 4, 1725), and on February 11, defeated the Duke of Chateau-Thierry in the Battle of Barisis. St. Menehould then capitulated to Laurasian forces (February 17, 1725), and by the end of the month, Laurasian units were blockading Reviny, St. Dizler, and Bar le Duc. Yet the Franconian counteroffensives in Maine and Anjou proceeded apace. On February 18, the day after the Laurasian conquest of St. Menehould, the Duke of Anjou obtained another victory in the Battle of Craon; he then drove Laurasian units from Le Lude, Bauge, Pouance, Richelieu, and Saumur. On March 3, 1725, he decimated a Laurasian expeditionary fleet under the Commodore Vagranius in the Battle of Rochefort. Royan and Niort both fell back into Franconian hands during March 1725; then on April 3, Chateau-Thierry and Longueville launched a coordinated offensive against Abbevile, Montreuil, Cantiny, Vimy, and Lens. Within seven days all of these strongholds had been recovered; Sufforia found himself having to strengthen the garrisons of Douai, Hazebruck, and St. Omer in the wake of these Franconian assaults.
    • It was thus on May 18, 1725, that Emperor Antigonus announced to the Imperial Court his intention to conclude peace with the Franconian Royal Government. Chancellor Wolesius, himself convinced that the Empire's strategic diversions in Franconia were dangerous, proved instrumental in the negotiations which followed. On June 6, 1725, the Chancellor sent an offer for a military armistice to the Franconian Estates-General. The Regent of Franconia, Princess Louise of Savoy, who has explained above sought to focus on the release of her son King Franjak from Spamalkan captivity, persuaded the Estates-General to respond positively to the Laurasian offer. It was on June 11, 1725, that the Estates-General did so, issuing a resolution declaring that the conflict should end. Subsequently, the Dukes of Sufforia and Longueville met at Nancy (June 22-24, 1725), to conclude the Armistice of Nancy, which thereby suspended military hostilities between the forces of the two realms. The two governments now made their preparations in earnest for a diplomatic conference. Emperor Antigonus designated the Duke of Sufforia, the Earls of Tommy and Chandlier, and Chief Procurator Warhamius as his plenipotentiaries; while Princess Louise of Savoy selected the Count de Rocheville, the Duke of Nemours, and the Marquess de Pontfract as the Franconian plenipotentiaries. The actual conference convened at the More Asteroids on July 4, 1725, and negotiations continued for nearly two months.
    • Ultimately however, on August 30, 1725, the Treaty of the More Asteroids was signed, thereby ending the Third Laurasian-Franconian War. By the terms of this treaty, peace was restored between the Laurasian Empire and Celestial Kingdom of Franconia. All Franconian territories occupied by the forces of the Empire, including Maine, Brittany, Normandy, Artois, Picardy, and Gascony (along with parts of the Orleans Region, Poitiers, and Touraine) were to be restored to Franconian authority by no later than January 1, 1727; all Laurasian military forces and garrisons were to withdraw from those regions by that date. Furthermore, the Imperial Laurasian Government agreed to compensate all property owners who suffered damages at the hands of Laurasian troops. In exchange, the Franconian Royal Government agreed to release the remaining dowager funds owed to Emperor Antigonus's sister, the Duchess of Sufforia (formerly Queen-Consort of Franconia), and to compensate the Emperor of Laurasia, to the tune of €300 trillion dataries, for all military expenses incurred since December 1, 1723. The Laurasian Empire agreed to deploy all diplomatic resources at its disposal to helping secure the release of King Franjak from Spamalkan custody. And finally, the matter of the Duke of Albany was settled.
    • Affairs in Scottria had evolved further over the intervening years. The relationship between Dowager Queen Constantia and her husband, the Earl of Angus, became frayed. For a time, Constantia even considered divorce, but was ultimately persuaded from this by the entreaties of her brother, Emperor Antigonus. Yet Angus and the Earl of Arran engaged in numerous disputes. Furthermore, Albany took long sojourns to the Great Amulak Spiral, thereby effectively leaving government affairs in the hands of the Scottrian Estates. In January 1721, Albany even suggested that the Dowager Queen resume the regency; this was while he was at Parri, in the Serene Kingdom of Franconia. Yet in November 1721, the Duke finally returned to Scottria, and was received by Constantia warmly. Rumors abounded that the two were having an affair; these were encouraged by Albany himself, to keep his enemies off balance. Yet each was intent on using the other for their own self-interest. Albany continued to keep a vice-like grip over the affairs of King Jamsius, and restricted Constantia's access to her son. Moreover, in December 1721, Albany fined Angus, and used his control of the Estates to keep the ambitious Earl under control. Yet Constantia and her supporters, now including the Earl of Arran, built their base further. Finally, in June 1724, the conspirators acted. Albany had once again departed from the realm, having returned to Franconia in April 1724.
    • Dowager Queen Constantia now took custody of her son King Jamsius (who was now twelve years old), assumed control of his household, and moved from Stirling to Ediania. She appealed to the Kingdom's subjects, declaring that Albany was not concerned about the realm's welfare, and that he needed to be deposed from his position of power. It was on August 9, 1724, that the Scottrian Estates formally dismissed Albany from his duties as Regent, an office which he had technically held for nine years, and the King was officially proclaimed to be of age. Yet Constantia now became the dominant influence over her son; in November 1724, the Dowager-Queen was made the King's Household Governor, and her position as the head of the Council of State was recognized. Constantia now relied upon her alliance with Arran to maintain her own position. Albany, on his part, realizing that he could do nothing to regain his position, accepted his deposition from the Regency.
    • In January 1725, King Franjak named Albany a Marshal of the Franconian Royal Army; the Duke then commanded support operations near Turin, and was one of the first to receive word of the King's capture at Pathia. On February 9, 1725, the Earl of Angus, the Dowager Queen's estranged husband, was admitted to the Council of State; this was after the Queen had ordered the turbocannon of Holyroodian Palace and Ediania Fortress to be fired upon her husband's supporters. Yet Angus took advantage of the dissent against Constantia to have himself named Lord Chancellor (February 21, 1725), and to take custody of King Jamsius. Constantia, frustrated again, was forced to accept this. It was Angus, who in March 1725, urged Emperor Antigonus to demand of Franconia that Albany be kept restrained in the Great Amulak Spiral. Antigonus, himself amenable to this idea, agreed. Thus it was that the Treaty of the More Asteroids provided for Albany to remain in the service of the Franconian Royal Government, and to not be permitted to leave Franconia unless if he received permission from the governments of Laurasia, Franconia, and Scottria. Thus was the place of Angus secured in Scottria, at least for the time being. The Treaty of the More Asteroids was ratified by Emperor Antigonus on September 4, 1725 and by Princess Louise of Savoy (in the name of her son, and with the Estates-General), on September 11.
  • October 9-On October 9, 1725, Alcetas Simnellia, the figurehead of the Licantorian Rebellion of 1687, died at St. Thomasius's Hospital in Constantinople, Laurasia Prime, aged 48. Antiochus Polsius, the Earl of Licantoria, had used Simnellia, who had been born into poverty on Merandaz, claiming that he was the Earl of Sarah. Licantoria had been killed at the Battle of Anusia in June 1687, and most of the leaders of the Licantorian Rebellion had been executed for their defiance. Simnellia, however, who was only ten years old at the time, and who was widely viewed as a pawn by many at the Imperial Court and throughout the Laurasian Empire, had been spared by Emperor Neuchrus from death. The Emperor, had, instead, given the boy a position within the Imperial Household; provided for his education and up-bringing; and assured him a comfortable position at the Imperial Court for the rest of his life. Simnellia had graduated from the University of Darcia in 1702 with high honors, obtaining bachelor's degrees in administration and business law, and he had, from 1717 until his death, served as Financier for the Howardis family. Simnellia married Fausta Braccia (1685-1746) on September 19, 1713, in Christiania; they had one son, Antiochus Simnellia (1719-83), who eventually became Dean of St. Ostyh's Cathedral on Andriana. Simnellia's death, however, was little noticed in the Laurasian Empire, though Emperor Antigonus did comment on it to his courtiers. He was interred at St. Peter's Cathedral in Constantinople.

1726Edit

  • January 14-
    • As had been mentioned above, the last half of 1725 had been occupied by the diplomatic entanglements between the Holy Spamalkan Empire and the Serene Kingdom of Franconia, principally over the question of Franconian King's captivity, in the hands of Holy Spamalkan Emperor Char'va I. In August 1725, the Spamalkan Emperor had demanded that Provence, Lombardy, and Franconian Burgundy all be recognized as being under the jurisdiction of the Holy Spamalkan Empire; this had forced King Franjak to argue that Franconian law prevented him from surrendering any territories possessed by the Franconian Crown without approval from the Estates-General and the Parlement of Parri, which would not be forthcoming. Then in September 1725, Franjak fell gravely ill, and his sister, Princess Marguerite de Navarre, journeyed from Parri to join him in Spamalka. The Spamalkan physicians who examined the King believed that his illness was in part, due to anxiety over not being able to receive the Emperor, and urged Char'va to visit him. Char'va, against the advise of the Grand Chancellor of Naparia, Mercurino Gattinara, who argued that seeing Franjak on his deathbed was an action motivated by mercenary concerns rather than by compassion, and was thus unworthy of the Emperor, consented; Franjak soon made a complete recovery. Marguerite returned to Spamalka, and the King of Franconia remained at his Spamalkan counterpart's mercy. Yet by the beginning of 1726, Char'va was faced with demands from the Haxonian Confederacy and the Holy Austarlian Empire (which now controlled the Duchy of Parma), to restore Fransisco II Sforza to the throne of the Duchy of Milania. He was anxious to achieve a settlement with the Franconians before another military conflict began.
    • Franjak, who had tried to retain Burgundy and Zeeland without result, was now prepared to surrender these territories in order to achieve his own release. Thus, on January 14, 1726, the two monarchs agreed to the Treaty of Madrid, by which the King of Franconia renounced all his claims to Lombardy, Zeeland (thereby conceding Ypres, Passchendale, Ostend, Sluis, and Niewpoort to the Holy Spamalkan Empire), and Artois; surrendered Franconian Burgundy to the Emperor of Spamalka; agreed to dispatch two of his sons to be hostages at the Spamalkan court; and promised to marry the Emperor's sister, Eleanor of Austarlia, and to restore to the Duke of Bourbon the territories which had been seized from him. Franjak also agreed to support Spamalkan claims to Navarre. The Treaty of Madrid was ratified the day that it was signed, and on March 6, 1726, Franjak, escorted by Lannoy, journed thenceforth to Fuenterrabia. On March 18, he crossed the Biadsoa Straits into Franconia while at the same time his two sons, brought to Bayonne by Louise and Lautrec, crossed into Spamalka and thence into captivity.
    • Franjak, however, had no intention of complying with the remaining provisions of the Treaty of Madrid. On March 22, 1726, he proclaimed that he would not be bound by the Treaty because it had been signed under duress. The Grand Duke of Tuscany, convinced that the Holy Spamalkan Emperor's power was a threat to his own position, sent communiques to both Franjak and Emperor Antigonus III of Laurasia, suggesting a potential alliance against Char'va. Emperor Antigonus, who was angered that Char'va had not attempted to obtain any concessions for Laurasia, was at first receptive to the offers. By June 1726, however, he had changed his mind, and declared his intention to remain neutral in the ensuing conflict. And indeed, it was in August 1726 that the War of the League of Cognac erupted, named after the place where the alliance between Franconia, Tuscany, the Haxonian Confederacy, Florence, and Milania had been signed. The conflict was to continue for nearly four years, while the Laurasian Empire remained aloof from it.
  • February 6-
    • By February 1726, the attention of the Emperor Antigonus had become focused on one matter of overriding personal importance to him: his marriage with Katharina of Shenandoah. The previous year, the Emperor had honored his illegitimate son Antigonus Lutheranis, who was now Duke of Conservan and Reoyania. Yet Lutheranis was not his legitimate heir, and he was not a Grand Prince of the Laurasian Empire. Thus it was that Antigonus had to grapple with the fact that his wife was now a heavyset, unattractive woman who was beyond her childbearing years. But combined with this was Antigonus's newly developed obsession, which became obvious to the inner circles of the Imperial Court as early as this, February 6, 1726, with Lady Anna Boleyenia. As explained above, she possessed, due to her long years in the service of the Franconian Royal Court, an elegance and self-assurance that matched or exceeded those of the grandest noble ladies in the Empire. It was on February 6 that the Emperor first confided to his intimates, including the Duke of Sufforia and his Gentleman Usher, his long-time friend Sir Willanius Bretonia, that his conscience was suffering painful doubts about whether Katharina was actually his wife. Antigonus was partly motivated in that Anna would not merely give herself up to him, and would give him the prize only if they were to marry. Yet there was also a growing conviction in the Emperor's mind that he had no Empress, and therefore was free to choose one. Antigonus now decided to use this passage from the Book of Leviticus, in the Almitian Scriptures, to justify his claims: "If a man shall take his brother's wife, it is an impurity: he has uncovered his brother's nakedness, and thus, they shall be childless."
    • To Antigonus, that seemed conclusive: his marriage with Katharina had violated the law of the Lord Almitis, and they were now being punished for it. Almitis was angry because the Emperor, in his earlier years, had been made a victim of the mistakes of his father, and of his own councilors. It was therefore his duty to set Katharina aside; she could resume her rank as Grand Princess of Shenandoah, and be acknowledged as the Dowager Grand Princess of the Empire, thereby freeing her from her sinful relationship with the Emperor. Yet the Emperor was also confronted with the fact that Katharina of Shenandoah was not Laurasian-born; she was a Spamalkan Princess, and her nephew, Char'va I, was one of the most powerful monarchs of extra-galactic civilization. Thus it was that Antigonus decided to tread carefully. He found support in his ventures from Chancellor Wolesius. Wolesius, however, sought to marry his master to a Franconian or Pruthian princess, believing that would better secure the Empire's position. Yet he also hated Empress-Consort Katharina, who had long criticized his grandiose lifestyle. Thus, the so-called Great Matter of Emperor Antigonus's marriage began.
  • March 4-Birth of Antigonus Caranius, 1st Baron Husadarania, cousin of the Empress Aurelia the Great and one of the most prominent figures of her reign. He was the second child (and first son) of Lady Anna Boleyenia's elder sister, Antonia Boleyenia, and her husband Sir Willanius Caranius.
  • April 15-Death of the Earl of Herbetia, Imperial High Chamberlain of the Laurasian Empire. Herbertia was succeeded as High Chamberlain by Sir Willanius Fitzalleria, who had become the Earl of Americana (restored) in October 1724. Americana would hold the position for the next four years.
  • July 5-As regards to other matters, the marriage "alliance", contrived between the Laurasian and Holy Spamalkan Empires, had fell to diplomatic circumstances. Emperor Char'va, who had gained such a smashing victory over his chief rival, King Franjak I of Franconia, was nevertheless aware of the need to consolidate his rule over his vast dominions, in the Great Amulak Spiral, Little Amulak Cloud, and Crone Galaxy as soon as possible. The Emperor could not wait for his betrothed, Grand Princess Didymeia (who by 1725 was only nine years old), to mature: he needed an heir apparent now. It was thus in September 1725 that the Emperor of Spamalka suddenly announced that, as he had received neither his bribe nor her dowry, he considered his betrothal null and void. He now had found another, more appealing bride: the Princess Isabella of Portugallia (1703-39), who was the Emperor's first cousin. Not only was she beautiful, and of an age to bear children, but she had also had an immense dowry, more than $1 trillion krona, which was more than appealing to the Emperor. It was in November 1725 that their engagement had been formally announced, following the conclusion of the Treaty of Madrid; they were now married, on July 5, 1726, at Toledo in Lesser Spamalka. This setback served to damage relations between the Imperial Laurasian and Holy Spamalkan Governments. Emperor Antigonus was angered by Char'va's perfidy, and in October 1726, issued a proclamation from the Imperial Laurasian Court, declaring that he had been "ill-used" by the agents of the anti-Almitis. He now vented his anger on the failure of the marriage against his wife, Empress Consort Katharina, who had continuously pressed for it. That served to intensify his desire to depose his wife from her position.
  • August 17-
    • By the late 1720s, even with Antigonus the Extravagant's Great Matter getting underway, which was ultimately to lead to his overthrow, Chancellor Wolesius had succeeded in maintaining his master's authority, improving the efficiency of the Imperial Laurasian Government, and implementing beneficial changes to the Empire's finances, judiciary, and administration. Wolesius, hated and disliked as he was by the nobility and the gentry, as well as by the Empire's subjects, nevertheless let nothing get in his way of improving the Emperor's position. He believed that this three-pronged strategy was vital to continuing with the innovations of Neuchrus I, and with those which had been introduced during the early years of Antigonus's reign. In regards to finances, Wolesius had many substantive accomplishments. He sought to broaden the range of Laurasian taxes and enforcement, and to improve the efficiency of tax collection and tax distribution procedures. Already, in June 1717, he had ordered the Imperial Internal Revenues Service to compile a dossier of all tax deductions and credits, and to make recommendations in regards to them; by the decrees of August 12, 1717 and January 1, 1718, the distribution and supervision of all credits was placed under the authority of a uniform Bureau of Tax Exemptions, and a new Earned Income Tax Credit was created for colonists, navigators, and those making an income of less than €50 million per annum. This tax credit was to be awarded on the basis of property value, educational expenses, and demonstrated, prior fulfillment of tax obligations. At the same time, however, Wolesius forbade any subjects of the Empire from acquiring additional tax credits unless if they had demonstrated full use of any prior rewards, and he eliminated such credits entirely for those who did not adhere to imperial work or disability requirements. This helped to reduce peculation, a trend furthered in July 1718, when Wolesius granted the Court of Common Pleas the power to issue injunctions on all financial institutions, lenders, and money operators in the Empire, and to order them to proceedings to demonstrate the value of their claims. In April 1719, the Chancellor eliminated deductions on all interest payments, but lowered imperial supply obligations on all realtors, banks, and businesses, and allowed for them to tally fair rates for their profits.
    • The Edict of Christiania (May 11, 1720), completed the systematization of the general taxation system, establishing a universal standard for all commoners. Exemptions which had been granted for disabled and retired individuals, as well as profit-makers and shareholders, were abolished, and they were required to adhere to the same tax rules and rates as were applied to the nobility. He now furthered governmental regulation and contributions from business activity, introducing, in 1722, the tributum æquitatis (equity tax), an additional obligation imposed upon those making greater then €50 million per annum, and pegging it to an assessed, increasing share of total net worth. In 1724, he introduced an additional tax, the donum (gift tax), which was imposed upon all property transfers, rewards, and lottery grants; this was meant to prevent nobles and gentry, in particular, from hiding additional income sources through marking them as gifts, rather then normal earnings. Three years later, in June 1727, the Chancellor liberalized the property tax, reducing the rate on municipal properties from 25% to 10%; on colonial properties from 9% to 5%; and on goods and properties in transit from 36% to 30%. He eliminated twelve deductions for mining, starship production, and military weapons firms; by reducing tax rates, but at the same time eliminating deductions and simplifying obligations, Wolesius effected an overall increase in revenue while reducing the tax burden upon business activity. He also created the office of sub-decurion for municipal valuation and collection purposes, thereby relieving the decurion of his responsibility of determining overall municipal obligations. In 1728 and 1729, Wolesius was also to order the Imperial Treasury to issue a comprehensive report on all obligations of the Imperial Household, and he commissioned a survey of imperial properties to determine future deductions, obligations, and property rates. As a result of Wolesius's measures, imperial expenditures would increase by more then threefold between 1716 and 1730, rising by more then €10 quadrillion dataries.
    • In regards to justice, the Chancellor sought to improve the efficiency of the Imperial Courts and to more rigorously enforce the Emperor's will. Wolesius, through a series of judicial orders and instructions from 1717 to 1720, expanded the jurisdictional boundaries of the Star Chamber and Chancery. The Star Chamber now gained the authority to hear appeals from all wealthy, non-noble personages throughout the Empire; the Chancery gained the power to hear military court martials, and to issue stays of all execution sentences imposed by lower jurisdictions. In May 1722, Wolesius introduced the concept of the writ of compulsion, allowing for Imperial Courts to force witnesses to appear, to produce evidence, and to cooperate with law enforcement; in this was included a mandate to apply techniques of "enhanced interrogation", as was necessary. He also gave the Vice-Procurator General of the Governing Senate the power to order a general investigation of each appeal case submitted. In April 1723, moreover, Wolesius convinced Emperor Antigonus to formalize the act of attainder, by which summary execution sentences, imposed directly by the Emperor, would be codified in written form. This was to become an instrument of the Emperor later on in his reign. By the decree of July 17, 1722, the Court of Requests gained the authority to issue quo warranto writs, requiring for all lower officials, authorities, and jurisdictions to justify any charges filed, or any claims, made, in any legal case. He also reorganized the Imperial Judicial Circuit, descended from the General Eyre of Antiochus the Great, and tightened judicial qualifications for retention in office.
    • In January 1723, the Senate issued a codification of all imperial laws relating to property, resource, and agricultural land claims, clarifying the concept of novel dissesin, which related to property seizures, disputes, and conflicts. He also imposed a requirement upon every corporation, and every entrepreneur, to provide annual disclosures of all board decisions and deals taken to the Senate, so that records could be kept of business activities. The decree of May 18, 1723, abolished the practice of subinfeudation, thereby preventing corporations, firms, nobles, and gentlemen from subletting their properties through alienation, which would have enabled them to create additional, unauthorized income sources. Then in 1724, the Chancellor convinced Emperor Antigonus to issue the Constitutions of Ralispont, which included a registry of all imperial laws between 1696 and 1720, to issue a mandate of further Senatorial codifications of critical judicial rulings, and to order the establishment of a commission to devise a uniform, organic legal code. The Legal Codification Commission, comprised of Senators, Synostic Councilors, Privy Councilors, and twelve other officials chosen by the monarch, first met on June 17, 1724. It was to produce a penal code in April 1725 and a code of trial procedure in June 1727, but would ultimately flag in its efforts at a legal code.
    • Finally, Wolesius's chief administrative reforms concerned the Imperial Chancellory. It was the decree of August 17, 1726, that provided for a comprehensive reorganization of the Chancellory. The Chancellory was now divided into four sections. The First Section was to consist of the Personal Secretary, the Imperial Chief of Staff, and the Imperial Secretarial Service. The Second Section was to consist of the Imperial Personnel Service, the Imperial Office of Works and Holdings (eventually spun off to become a separate Ministry in 1763), the Office of Council Affairs, the Domestic Policy Board, and the Intergovernmental Policy Board. The Third Section was to consist of the Foreign Policy Board, the Imperial Economic Advisory Boards, the Imperial Liaisons, and the Imperial Bureau of State Correspondence. The Fourth Section was to consist of the Consort's Chancellory, the Board of the Imperial Household, the Office of Legislative Affairs, the Imperial General Administrative Service, the Imperial Contractors Service, the Imperial Office of Budget and Management, the Imperial Counsels, and the Imperial Security Services. Each Section was to be lead by a Assistant-Minister, to report to the Minister of the Chancellory, assisted by his deputy, the Vice-Minister. The Comptroller of the Imperial Household remained an official independent of the Minister, but explicit procedures were provided for their coordination. The Chancellory, which served simultaneously as the governmental bureaucracy, the monarch's personal administrative office, and as the coordination arm of the Imperial Ministries, thereby gained enhanced importance. Wolesius's reforms, in general, provided for a more effective channel of communication between the Emperor and his bureaucracy, and between his officials and their subordinates. The Chancellor also enhanced his sovereign's personal security. In November 1726, on Wolesius's urging, Emperor Antigonus was to establish the Gentleman Pensioners, to serve as a mounted, vehicle-driven corps of protection for the monarch, and as supplementary to the Valedictorian Guards. The Pensioners was to be an elite force, comprised of no more then 5,000 guards, and drawn directly from the Imperial Army. The Pensioners were placed under the jurisdiction of the Chancellory. In May 1727, the uniform Code of Sovereign Protection was implemented, covering all security and surveillance procedures for the Imperial Household.

1727Edit

  • January 16-
    • As 1727, the 27th year of the eighteenth century opened, the Imperial Laurasian Court's affairs were beginning to be dominated by Emperor Antigonus's increasingly vigorous pursuit of a way out of his marriage. His affair with Lady Anna Boleyenia, alluded to above, had taken on its own context. The Emperor, as mentioned above, had first revealed his affection for Anna in February 1726, and she had declared that her "virginity would be the greatest and best part of the dowry which I shall bring to my husband." The Emperor, who had become used to women surrendering the instant he beckoned, was intrigued. It was new for him to be placed in the position of having to beg for sexual favors; he was captivated by this, and Anna had become more desirable. Anna, however, pointed out that due to political circumstances, it would be impossible for the Emperor to make her his wife. Antigonus, however, counting on the fact of his autocratic authority, believed that foreign challenges could be batted across. He choose to play the role of a lover to Anna. He sent her expensive gifts as a token of his affection. Yet Anna was already playing for the highest prize, and conducted the affair to her own advantage. She dropped subtle hints, intimating that in the right circumstances she was ready to give heart, body, and soul to the Emperor. Her relationship with Sir Thomasius Wyatta, however, complicated matters. He had a great affection for her, gave her gifts, and wrote her "sweet" communiques. Anna, however, parlayed his entreaties, and told Antigonus that Wyatta meant nothing to her. In November 1726, the Emperor made to her a formal proposal of marriage, once he had dissolved his union with Katharina. Anna, however, decided to keep the Emperor guessing, and to play a game with him as to whether she would accept. On Ascentmas Eve, 1726, the Emperor dispatched Wyatta on a diplomatic mission to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, thereby keeping him out of the Imperial Laurasian Court. The poet himself accepted his defeat, and ceased his pursuit of Anna. With Wyatta out of the way, Antigonus began sending Anna passionate love letters; the first was on December 29, 1726.
    • In his communiques, he implored her to accept his offer; declared his devotion and dedication to her; and praised her merits above those of all other women. Anna sent him tokens and trinkets of her love, but stayed tantalizingly out of reach. She maintained her resolve, and refused to consider any relationship with the Emperor until he had ended his marriage, being particularly assertive on this point in her letter dated January 16, 1727. In February 1727, the Emperor addressed Anna as his "true loyal mistress and friend", and implored her to resume her regular attendance of the Imperial Laurasian Court. He wanted Anna to commit herself publicly to the relationship. This was, for her, a prospect fraught with danger and insecurity: if she became Antigonus's mistress now, she might never become Empress of Laurasia. Yet she realized that she had to be at the Court (which she had generally avoided since June 1726), and gave in to the Emperor's entreaties. Her arrival (March 9, 1727), elicited comment among those already aware of the Emperor's passion for her. She was determined to exact her revenge upon Chancellor Wolesius, who had ended her engagement to the Earl of Malaria Prime, and she sought to assert her own position. The Emperor, when Anna made her return to the Quencilvanian Palace, made no secret of his love for her, and from henceforth, she was to play a prominent role in affairs. He showered her with fine jewellery and clothes, and allocated her some of the best and most splendid quarters in the Imperial Household. The courtiers used her as an intermediary between themselves and the Emperor. She soon reveled in her growing influence and power, becoming "haughty and proud."
  • March 25-
    • Emperor Antigonus's affair with Lady Anna Boleyenia aroused more and more comment at the Imperial Laurasian Court. Empress Consort Katharina, on her part, had both heard by report and seen with her own eyes what was going on between her husband and her maid of honor. Yet she showed neither of them any grudge or displeasure, accepting the affair with good grace and commendable patience. She told her ladies that she held Lady Boleyenia "in more estimation for the Emperor's sake than she had before." To her, Anna was merely the latest in a line of imperial mistresses and would be discarded in due course. Others at court were more perceptive, and assessed the Emperor's love for Lady Boleyenia. The Duke of Norfolkius was one of these. Norfolkius was brutal and callous in his domestic life; he and his second wife Lady Aurelia Staffordia, daughter of the late Duke of Americana, had three children, including the Earl of Soria, but hardly got along. For more than twenty years, in fact, Norfolkius indulged in an affair with Lady Aurelia Hollardia, who served in the household of the Empress-Consort from 1719 to 1728, and by her had four illegitimate children. Yet in spite of this, he was considered by his male contemporaries to be a man of the utmost wisdom, solid worth, and loyalty. In public, he had the impression of being a harsh, granite-faced martinet, but he had the common touch, and associated with everyone regardless of rank. His astute judgment and his military skill, demonstrated in the Scottrian War of 1713-14, and in the First and Second Marasharite Wars, won him the Emperor's trust. He was also ambitious, but patriotic and determined to further advance the Empire's interests. Like most of the older nobility, Norfolkius hated Wolesius. He and several other magnates believed the Chancellor was preventing them from enjoying the power which should be rightly theirs. He became determined to use his niece, Lady Boleyenia, to his own ends, and consulted with her as to how to best proceed at the Court. Anna therefore campaigned to discredit the Chancellor in the Emperor's eyes.
    • The Chancellor, on his part, who had forgotten the Percius affair of 1723, now sought to please his master and ingratiate himself with the new favorite. On March 25, 1727, he entertained both to a sumptuous banquet at Christiania Place. But just two days later, Anna finally accepted the Emperor's proposal of marriage and agreed to become his wife as soon as he was available. She was aware of the Court's politics and the struggle between factions for power, but she was not afraid. With the Emperor at her side, she had no cause to be. Her hardest task, as she viewed it, was to keep his love. This would test her resolve to the utmost during the years to come. The Emperor also took Viscount Ralanchaford (promoted to that rank on June 16, 1725, soon after the end of Antigonus's affair with his elder daughter Antonia), Anna's father, into his confidence. The prospect of being the father of the next Empress of Laurasia, and possibly grandfather to a future monarch, was more than the Viscount had ever dreamed of. It would bring wealth, power, fame, and honor, beyond that which he already possessed, and a considerable amount of influence in public affairs. He therefore became his daughter's greatest supporter. Wolesius, however, was soon able to realize that a faction was forming around the Lady Anna. For the present, he could remain optimistic, for the Emperor had not told him of his intentions concerning Anna. Like the Empress Consort, he saw her as just another mistress, who could go the way of the others. Yet it was during April and May 1727 that he began sending gifts to Anna, to gratify his master. On the surface, cordial relations existed between them, and he still believed her to be foolish. Anna was now constantly in the Emperor's company. She ate with him, prayed with him, hunted with him, and danced with him, but did not sleep with him.
  • May 17-
    • By May 1727, the question of Emperor Antigonus's marriage to Katharina of Shenandoah had become one of yet greater concern. In seeking to end this marriage, the Emperor had enmeshed himself in an impenetrable tangle of political, diplomatic, religious, historical, and philosophical complexities. In seeking to impose his own way in the matter, Antigonus found that he had to contend with his own subjects; with those in the Almitian Church and Imperial Government who were supportive of the Empress-Consort; and with the Holy Spamalkan Emperor Char'va I, who remained loyal to his aunt. Yet it was Antigonus's triumph which again displayed the strength and endurance of the Empire's autocratic system. For the Emperor himself, the question of his marital status was not complicated with any difficulty. He believed that the injunction in the Scriptures against marrying the widow of one's brother was divine; therefore he and Katharina were not married, and never had been. To everyone else, however, the situation was far more complicated. First and most fundamental was the question of whether or not Katharina had actually been Grand Prince Craterus's wife. There had been a wedding ceremony, but under the canon law of the Empire, that was not enough to constitute marriage. Physical consummation was required, and the question of whether Katharina and Craterus had actually done so made matters mysterious.
    • Yet Katharina, from as soon as she became a widow, and indeed, to the end of her life (a period of thirty-four years), not merely asserted but swore under oath that she and Craterus had never had sexual relations. Not even the Emperor's most ardent champions attempted to deny that Katharina at all times and under the most trying circumstances revealed herself to be a woman of great integrity. Moreover, the scriptural passage to which Antigonus alluded had its own issues. Bishop John Fisherius of Constantia pointed out, on May 8, 1727, that nothing in the passage pointed to a dead brother's wife. Furthermore, he pointed out that Antigonus and Katharina did indeed have a child, Grand Princess Didymeia. Antigonus, however, made the absurd claim that the scripture had been mistranslated. Furthermore, most of the commands given in Leviticus were not adhered to by the Laurasians, or by the Empire's subjects; for millennia, the Church had held the view that it should only be interpreted in regards to the circumstances of the times in which it was composed. Furthermore, the Almitian Book of Deuteronomy declared that it was not only permissible but an obligation for a man to marry the childless widow of his dead brother. Severe punishment was proscribed for those who did not.
    • By this time, moreover, Antigonus's ideas had become known to his wife, who now blamed Wolesius for planting such thoughts in her husband's mind. The Imperial Court began to divide into two factions, one supporting the Empress Consort, and the other the Emperor. Sir Thomasius Boleyenia, Viscount Ralanchaford, as mentioned above, was a vigorous supporter of the Emperor's moves. In January 1727, Antigonus declared to the Privy Council that such a matter as this could not be taken lightly. It was not until April 5, 1727, however, that the Emperor, on Wolesius's advice, ordered Chief Procurator Warhamius to establish a secret commission of inquiry, comprised of members of the three Councils of State, and of the clergy of the Almitian Church, to investigate the validity of the Emperor's marriage with Katharina of Shenandoah. The Chief Procurator was commanded by the Emperor to search for any legal documents which could prove that their marriage was not a lawfully contracted union; furthermore, he was forbidden to hear the testimony of any who may be "appointed" by supporters of the Empress Consort to state that marriage was valid. The commission, which was to be composed of twelve members, did not assemble until May 28, 1727. During the next several months, Emperor Antigonus himself engaged in a campaign to secure the support of his subjects.
    • He was not willing to cause for a rebellion against his authority to erupt, and he sought to be cautious, lest he be compared to Honorius the Terrible, who had in the twelfth century become notorious for his constant marriages and divorces. Antigonus knew that he would need the cooperation of those whom his subjects trusted to prevent this from happening. Katharina was a popular Empress, much loved for her kindness and generosity and admired for the fortitude with which she had borne the disappointments of her life. Moreover, he was conscious of the Holy Spamalkan Empire. Word that she was to be divorced because the Emperor wished for a new, younger wife, aroused much foreboding. Antigonus now turned towards two men to whom he had been close. Bishop John Fisherius of Constantia, confessor and chief counselor of Grand Princess Margarina Beaufatia during the latter years of her son's reign, was hailed by Antigonus himself, early in his reign, as one of the most learned clerics in extra-galactic civilization.
    • Vice-Chancellor Sir Thomasius Morius, who was nine years younger than Fisherius (he was born in 1678), had become known as one of the Empire's best known thinkers and authors, particularly for his work Utopia (1716). In January 1725, as mentioned above, and on the initiative of Wolesius, he had become Vice-Chancellor of the Empire and Minister of the Imperial Chancellory. Asked for their views on the marriage question (June 3, 1727), Morius and Fisherius responded characteristically. Morius declined to give an opinion, asking to be excused on the grounds that he was not qualified to deal with such matters. Antigonus was displeased by this, but accepted it nevertheless. Fisherius, on the other hand, declared that Katharina was the Emperor's legitimate wife. To claim otherwise was outrageous. This was definitely not what Antigonus wished to hear, and he now became alienated from Fisherius. The proceedings of the investigative commission were to drag on for the rest of the year; other events continued to transpire with this matter.
  • May 21-On May 21, 1727, the future Holy Spamalkan Emperor Philicus I (1756-98), the eldest child and only legitimate son of Emperor Char'va I by his wife, Princess Isabella of Portugallia, was born at the Palacio de Pimentel on Valladolid, one of the chief star systems of the Spamalkan Hereditary Dominions. Philicus was destined to become the bitter enemy of the Laurasian Empress Aurelia the Great and one of the most important figures in extra-galactic civilization during the latter half of the eighteenth century. His birth was greeted with apprehension by Franconian King Franjak I, who realized that Char'va's Empire had now been made more secure, and with irritation by Laurasian Emperor Antigonus, who was still angry that Char'va had betrayed his betrothal obligations to his daughter, Grand Princess Didymeia, the year before.
  • June 11-On June 11, 1727, King Georg I of Vendragia & Irvania and Elector of Hanover, died at Osnabruck, in the Electorate of Hanover. He was sixty-seven years old, and had ruled over the Vendragian Confederacy since 1714. King Georg, who had never become accustomed to the customs and language of his adopted realms, and who was considered a stranger by many of his subjects, had always preferred to reside, and to travel, through his hereditary realms of Hanover. He visited Hanover in 1716, 1719, 1720, 1723, and 1725. The King, nevertheless, actively involved himself in the affairs of government. In Hanover, he ruled supreme, and did not brook any challenge to his personal authority. In Vendragia, however, he had to cooperate with the Vendragian Parliament, and he had to wheel and deal his way through the mechanics of politics. Georg, nevertheless, revealed himself to be a conscientious, relatively restrained sovereign in both of his realms. He was now succeeded by his eldest son and heir apparent, who became Georg II of Vendragia & Irvania, as well as Elector of Hanover.
  • June 22-
    • As mentioned above, while the proceedings of the investigative commission dragged on, Emperor Antigonus moved further to gain support for his plans. He also decided to directly confront his wife. On June 22, 1727, the Emperor went directly to his consort's apartments at the Palace of Placenta on Darcia (to which the Court had moved for that month). He felt distinctly uncomfortable as he was heading to her chambers, aware that Katharina had been informed by Spamalkan Ambassador Diego de Mendoza, and servants of her own household, of the investigative commission's proceedings. When he entered the chambers, the Empress Consort curtsied him and gave him the proper respects. As soon as she had risen however, he blurted out that he was much troubled in his conscience about their marriage, and had resolved to separate from her at bed and at board. All he asked he was her cooperation. Katharina, however, was in "great grief" when she heard this. Her usual self-control deserted her, and she wept uncontrollably. The Emperor hastened to pacify her, saying he hoped he could return to her (which was a lie), and that he only wished to find out the truth about their marriage. All would be done for the best, he assured her, begging her at the same time not to speak of the matter to anyone. Katharina was behind comprehension, however. Unable to do anything with her, Antigonus fled. After pulling herself together, the Empress Consort was able to assess her situation. She was alone and without counsel, far from Spamalka, and with spies watching her every move. Yet she was the daughter of Fresia II of Spamalka; her principles were firm, her moral courage undoubted, and she believed her marriage was good and valid. The Almitian Church and the Spamalkan Catholic Order had both provided a special injunction for her marriage, and this was good enough for her.
    • She was the Emperor's true wife, and the Grand Princess Didymeia his legitimate heir; on these premises, she would take her stand. She now firmly believed that Wolesius and Lady Boleyenia both had led the Emperor astray, and she saw it as her sacred duty to rectify the situation and persuade her husband as to the errors of his ways. What Antigonus was contemplating was morally reprehensible: the casting off of a blameless and devoted wife after eighteen years of honorable wedlock, and the setting aside of an innocent child. She was at a loss to understand why he would do this. Pride in her position, the abiding love she bore him, and the deep conviction that right on her side would enable her to stand firm in her resolution for the next nine years, until she died. In every respect other than that which touched her conscience, she was ready to obey her husband. Yet both Katharina and Antigonus were strong-willed, and neither would give in. Throughout the next decade, Katharina rarely reproached Antigonus. She could not, and would never accept, that his love for her was dead. Affection and respect remained; this led her to believe that not all was lost. If Anna Boleyenia's influence could be removed, Katharina believed, Antigonus would return to her. She thereby continued with her normal routine, as if nothing had happened. The Emperor, therefore, kept her at his side for certain state functions: in September 1727, they received the Franconian Ambassador, the Marquess d'Arx, and undertook a series of formal visits to their daughter. Until December 1728, they would occasionally share the same chambers. Katharina also never betrayed any sign of jealousy towards Anna, though she believed that the Lady was engaged in a sexual affair with her husband. It was on June 25, 1727, that Chancellor Wolesius informed all Laurasian embassies abroad of the situation, and by August, it had become widespread knowledge, among the Empire's populace, of his dissatisfaction with his wife.
  • July 8-
    • Towards the end of May 1727, Chancellor Wolesius had suggested to Emperor Antigonus that he himself depart to the Serene Kingdom of Franconia, in order to secure the support of King Franjak I, and to build a coalition which would rebuff any Spamalkan efforts at defending the Empress Consort's position. The Emperor had consented to this, and Wolesius thereby embarked upon hasty preparations for his departure. He left the Imperial Court, then at Wroona, on July 8, 1727, and proceeded quickly to the Galactic Void. Once there, he made his journey, on the Bug Highways, to the Peldavian Gateways, and thence into the Great Amulak Spiral. The Chancellor still vainly wished to discuss the possibility of a Franconian marriage for the Emperor. By August 1727, it had become common knowledge, however, that the Emperor intended to marry Lady Boleyenia. Many considered Anna to be an upstart who would not be better than the Empress Consort. From the start, Anna was openly called a whore and a harlot; the Emperor, in spite of his efforts, could not suppress this. Anna, on her part, acted as if it did not bother her, but underneath the facade, she was angered and disappointed by the reaction. Ambassador Mendoza, on his part, informed Emperor Char'va that Antigonus would marry "a daughter of Viscount Ralanchaford as soon as he is able." Most foreign governments recognized that the Emperor was acting in his own best interests, but were scandalized that he was choosing Anna. Wolesius heard the rumors with mounting dismay when he arrived at Parri (on July 14, 1727), and was forbidden to mention to King Franjak the question of remarriage. Wolesius realized that Anna was his enemy now, and that he would be working to promote a marriage which would be his own downfall. Nevertheless, he sought for his own self-preservation, and would work to push the marriage forth.
    • Lady Boleyenia and her supporters, on their part, took advantage of the Chancellor's absence to poison the Emperor's mind against him. Anna, Ralanchaford, Norfolkius, and Sufforia all undermined his influence, and criticized the Chancellor to his master; Wolesius heard of this, and was dismayed. They persuaded Antigonus that Wolesius was actually working to gain Franjak's support to uphold the Emperor's marriage. Once this doubt had been planted in Antigonus's mind, the first breach in his relationship with the Chancellor had been successfully made. Wolesius, on his part, failed to win King Franjak's support, in spite of holding a number of audiences with him. He departed from Parri on September 22, 1727, having accomplished nothing, and returned four days later. His reception by the Emperor was cold; he was received like any courtier, on Lady Boleyenia's insistence, and she reveled in her victory. By December 1727, Wolesius was aware that Anna and her faction had undermined his influence with the Emperor to such an extent that he was growing resentful of his wealth and position. Anna was now constantly urging the Emperor to assert himself. Yet he still needed Wolesius, who was the most capable of his ministers. Wolesius spent vast sums on banquets for the Emperor and his mistress, and maintained cordial relations in public.
  • July 27-Birth of one of the most powerful and wealthiest noblewomen in the Laurasian Empire during the reign of Empress Aurelia the Great, Lady Aurelia Talbetius, Lady Cavendia, Lady St. Loe, and Countess of Aretha. Born at Hardwickan Estate on Ietas, she was the daughter of Sir Demetrius Talbetius (1692-1732) and his wife Lady Crateria Talbetius (1694-1766).

1728Edit

  • June 23-
    • The early months of 1728, the 28th year of the eighteenth century, were relatively uneventful. The proceedings of the investigative commission continued to drag on; moreover, the Emperor and Chancellor Wolesius continued with their diplomatic efforts. In January 1728, the Imperial Laurasian Government dispatched Wolesius's secretaries, Drs. Stephanius Gardinerius and Edwardis Foxius, on a special mission to Franconia, Spamalka, and the Durthian Duchies, in an attempt to conjure sympathy and support for the Laurasian Emperor's aims. They had departed from Belkadan on February 12 of that year, and had proceeded across the Galactic Void to the Great Amulak Spiral. They were received by King Franjak I of Franconia at Orleans on February 24; by Margaret of Austarlia, Regent of Durthia, at Roosevelt on March 3; and by Emperor Char'va himself, at Madrid, on March 18. Their efforts, however, failed, for neither Franjak nor Char'va agreed to commit themselves to anything. Emperor Antigonus was angered by the delays, and by these diplomatic failures; for them, he blamed his Chancellor, whose favor with his imperial master thereby deteriorated further. Gardinerius and Foxius ultimately returned on April 8, 1728, to Laurasia Prime, having accomplished nothing. Then, two months later, another event occurred. At the beginning of June 1728, an outbreak of Marsian fever erupted in the Laurasia Prime Purse Region; Clackimaris, Falloria Minor, Americana, Charasia, Katherine, Osama, Tarravania, Maroni, Dearton's Gateway, Janesia, and Laurasia Prime itself, along with some two hundred other star systems, were all to be affected by it.
    • This was a particularly violent outbreak, and the Emperor, hearing about the disease's ravages, fled with the Empress Consort and Anna, on June 7, 1728, to the Briannian Royal Palace on Briannia. He wondered whether this plague was a visitation from the Lord Almitis upon his realms, who was displeased with him for having remained married incestuously to Katharina for so long, or whether the Lord was wrathful because he was thinking of discarding her. During June 1728, he spent more time with the Empress Consort, but his doubts diminished as the epidemic did. On June 15, however, one of Lady Boleyenia's ladies was infected with the fever; the Emperor now fled to Nottingham, and commanded Anna to return to Fulcania. His fear of disease overrode his love for any woman. Nevertheless, he was considered for her plight, sending her several concerned communiques. On June 23, 1728, Sir Willanius Caranius, the husband of Anna's sister Lady Antonia, died in Heliotrope, Laurasia Prime, at the age of only twenty-eight, from the Marsian fever. That same day, Anna herself fell ill, and was brought to St. Nestor's Hospital in Tellavastis. The Emperor was sent into a frenzy of agitation. He sent for his chief physician, Dr. Antiochus Chambria (1676-1732), only to be told that he was not available. Dr. William Butteria (1683-1740), however, was at hand, and he was dispatched to Fulcania by the Emperor; he also sent her a communique, declaring that he would willingly bear her illness himself, and lamenting that they would be apart for longer. Yet when Butteria arrived at Heverian Castle, he found that his patient was already recovering. She was showing much of her old spirit, declaring that she would have died content if she could die a Empress. The Emperor, when he heard the news, was enormously relieved, and sent letters and gifts to aid his sweetheart's recovery. Wolesius did likewise, knowing it would please Antigonus. Aware also of Anna's concern for her sister Lady Antonia, the Emperor granted her an annuity of €200 million dataries a year, and ordered Viscount Ralanchaford to take his elder daughter into his household. By the end of July 1728, the fever had diminished on Laurasia Prime, with both Antigonus and Anna returning to the Empire's capital. More than two billion sentient individuals had died of it. Empress Katharina was aware that Anna was hoping to supplant her, but maintained still her facade of placid forbearance.
  • October 2-Sir Willanius Tyndalis's work The Obedience of Proper Almitians and the Duties of Autocrats was published; for this work, Tyndalis was praised by the Emperor in a public manifesto and awarded a imperial pension.
  • October 5-On October 5, 1728, Antiochus Foxius, Archbishop of Winchestrius and Dean of the Holy Synod, formerly Imperial Privy Seal (1687-1716) and Archbishop of Taurasia (1687-92); Vetta (1692-94); and Aquilionia (1694-1701), died at St. John's Priory in Winchestrius, Taurasia. He was eighty-one years old at the time of his death, and was one of the last remaining chief ministers of the Emperor Neuchrus the Reformer who was still in active service with the Imperial Laurasian Government. As explained earlier, Foxius's influence over the affairs of state had declined considerably following the rise of Thomasius Wolesius to the Chancellorate and Procurator-Generalship of the Empire in 1715. His own resignation of the Privy Seal, in 1716, had been indicative of his loss of influence, and his dissatisfaction with the course of affairs which the Imperial Laurasian Government was now taking. Foxius devoted the last decade of his life to his episcopal duties, which had taken a back-seat to his responsibilities as Imperial Privy Seal. He declared his anxiety for reforming the morals, finances, and administration of the Almitian Church, but was too old to accomplish much himself towards the way of remedying the clerical and monastic "depravity, license, and corruption" which he deplored. Yet Foxius proved to be a devoted Archbishop, and he built a strong relationship with his own parishioners. His sight failed, and in November 1727, Chancellor Wolesius attempted to convince Foxius to retire from the Archbishopric of Winchestrius. Foxius refused, and declared that only his own death would result in the vacation of the office. And indeed, that was what occurred. Foxius was succeeded as Archbishop of Winchestrius by that very same Chancellor, who thus further accumulated his collection of titles, bishoprics, and estates within the Empire. Foxius was interned at St. Marmarus's Priory on Mercedes, on October 14, 1728; his burial was attended by Chief Procurator Warhamius and by many of his colleagues on the Holy Synod.
  • November 5-
    • By November 1728, the matter of the Emperor's marriage with the Empress Consort Katharina had proceeded further. Chancellor Wolesius and his cronies, especially the Archbishop of Iego, the Haxonian emigre Lorenzio Campeggio (1674-1739, appointed to the investigative commission on September 29, 1728), tried everything possible to change the Empress Consort's mind. Campeggio himself, who was one of the most respected members of the Holy Synod, held a series of meetings with the Empress Consort, with her supporters, and with the supporters of the Emperor. He suggested to Katharina that she should enter a convent, take religious vows, and thereby free the Emperor to marry; Katharina replied that she would do so as soon as Antigonus himself agreed to enter a monastery. This was obviously something which would never happen. He suggested to the Emperor that he merely have Katharina imprisoned, and that he take Anna as his wife in consequence; this was a suggestion of bigamy, and one which the Emperor could not agree to. At times, everything seemed to be a farce. At the same time, events were occurring within Scottria, which proved ironic, and seemed to cast a joke upon Antigonus's own ambitions. On March 3, 1728, the Emperor's sister, Dowager Queen Constantia, married Sir Henry Stewart. This followed her final divorce, in December 1727, from her estranged husband, the Earl of Angus. Antigonus, in a hypocritical and folly manner, burst into an outburst of anger at this.
    • Instead of congratulating his sister, he accused her of violating the "divine order of inseparable matrimony" and "warned" her that her marriage would do no service to herself. Constantia ignored her brother's complaints, although he did threaten to cut off her annuity as a Grand Princess of the Empire (a threat which ultimately came to nought). Her marriage came a month after her son, King Jamsius V, who was now fifteen years old, finally overthrew the influence of the Earl of Angus, and assumed the reins of government in Scottria into his own hands. Yet Constantia's marriage, an example of hypocrisy by the Emperor, quickly gave way to other events. On November 5, 1728, the Emperor, who was annoyed by public demonstrations of support for Katharina (he actually banned joy from being expressed at the Imperial Court whenever his wife was in residence at the Quencilvanian Palace), summoned a special assembly of the Councils of State and of the Empire's most prominent nobles, regional officials, diplomats, and military commanders to the Audience Chamber of the Palace.
    • To this august body, he delivered an address, much of which was devoted to praise of his wife, whom he described as a "woman of most gentleness, humility, and buxomness." He declared that if circumstances had been different, he would not separate from Katharina. Yet Antigonus then claimed that if it was determined that their marriage was unlawful, he would "in sorrow" part from her. He even shed tears, declaring that he could not bear the thought of leaving Katharina. He told the assembled dignitaries of his willingness to accept the findings of the special commission which he had appointed more than a year earlier. Yet the Emperor's behavior was otherwise. In October, he had complained to the Privy Council about his wife's behavior. She was too merry, too richly dressed; she should be praying for a good end to the matter rather then gracing courtly entertainments with her presence. Worst of all, by presenting herself in public, she was inciting the Emperor's subjects to rebellion. To Antigonus, it seemed as if she did not care for him, and he felt she might at least show some sorrow at the prospect of losing him. He even inferred that she was involved in a mysterious plot to kill himself and Wolesius (this was an absurd accusation). On October 28, the Council had messaged the Empress Consort, informing her of her husband's complaints about her, and ordering her to change her behavior. This was devastating to Katharina. She obeyed him on this matter, taking care to dress more soberly, spending more time at her devotions, adopting a more solemn and grave demeanor, and not venturing out in public so often.
    • For all this, she was well aware that she was still under constant observation by the Chancellor's spies, bribed with money, gifts, and even sexual intercourse. All of this placed Katharina under an intolerable strain. The Emperor rarely visited her now. When he did, he never stayed long, fearing Lady Boleyenia's jealousy. Many at the Court now paid court to Lady Boleyenia. She now began to enjoy the trappings of power; in July 1728, she had received a lavish apartment at the Gilbertine Palace, near the tiltyard. The following month, she left her service as a lady-in-waiting to the Empress Consort, declaring that she could not remain under the domestic jurisdiction of a woman she despised. Chancellor Wolesius, to his chagrin, arranged for Anna to be granted Livadian Resort and Durhamian House, in order to enhance her own position and status. In November 1728, the Franconian Ambassador would report to his government that "greater court is paid to Lady Boleyenia then ever was paid to the Empress Consort." On December 4, Spamalkan Ambassador Mendoza noticed that Wolesius was no longer received at court as graciously as previously, and that the Emperor had "uttered angry words respecting him." Nevertheless, Wolesius was to be the guest of honor at the Ascentmas feasts held on Tudoria that year. The Empress Consort took no pleasure in these entertainments; Lady Boleyenia on her part, was lodged separately, attended by her own household, and treated as if she were Empress. People flocked to visit her, but she held aloof from the main festivities, avoiding Empress Katharina. On December 20, 1728, the Emperor ordered for Wolesius to circulate an anonymous petition among the Empire's nobles, with the contention that his marriage with Katharina was unlawful. When the petition came to the Emperor, on New Year's Eve, it had only three signatures: those of Viscount Ralanchaford, Sir Georgius Boleyenia, and the Duke of Norfolkius. This humiliated Antigonus, and made him determined to make his subjects understand the necessity for his divorce.

1729Edit

  • June 21-
    • By June 1729, the "Great Matter" of the Emperor Antigonus's marriage had developed yet further. On January 5, 1729, in a proclamation to his subjects, Emperor Antigonus declared that if the Investigative Commission determined that his marriage with Katharina of Shenandoah was unlawful, then he would take swift and prompt action to "redress the wrong of the matter" and to find for himself a wife and consort who would provide the Empire "with a legitimate, healthy male heir." Both the Emperor and the Chancellor were now growing ansy, as Chief Procurator Warhamius, who had some sympathy for the Empress Consort, tried everything in his power to investigate every "avenue" of the Empress-Consort's history, and to keep the investigation prolonged for as long as possible. In February 1729, Antigonus erupted in an outburst to the Imperial Privy Council, declaring that the sooner this matter was resolved, the sooner his subjects would have relief. Yet it was not until April 7, 1729, before the Chief Procurator and the Investigative Commission finally reported their findings to the Holy Synod: they could not determine any episode, or incident, in which Katharina had been unfaithful to her husband. Furthermore, Warhamius stated in the report, there was no evidence to suggest that the Empress Consort was lying about whether or not she had sexual relations with Grand Prince Craterus. This was not what Antigonus wanted to learn, and in spite of the commission's findings, he decided to move forth with the proceedings. Katharina of Shenandoah herself, with the assistance of Bishop Fisherius of Constantia and of lawyers dispatched by Margaret of Austarlia, who still served as Regent of Durthia in the name of her nephew, Emperor Char'va, had prepared her defense. Katharina, however, had now lost any hope of obtaining an impartial hearing. From Wolesius, she could expect nothing; Campeggio, on his part, seemed to Katharina a complete stooge of her husband's, and one who could not be trusted.
    • Thus it was on April 14 that Katharina asked for the Holy Synod to issue an injunction expressing its support for the dismissal of all proceedings against her. The Synod denied this appeal, and on May 28, 1729, Emperor Antigonus ordered for a special ecclesiastical tribunal to be convened to try the marriage. The tribunal, composed of virtually the entire Synod, and of representatives specifically chosen by the Emperor from among the nobility, officials, and prominent personages of the Empire, first convened at the Senatorial Palace on June 1. On June 18, 1729, the Empress Consort made a dramatic appearance before the Court, repeating her complaints about the unfairness of the tribunal, and declaring that she intended to offer no defense. Three days later, the Emperor ordered for his wife to appear before the tribunal, and to justify her reasons for why the marriage should not be annulled. Emperor Antigonus, from his throne, delivered an oration to the tribunal and his other assembled subjects, declaring that Katharina was a good wife, but that these proceedings were necessary, and claiming that nothing would make him happier than a finding of innocence for his wife. The Empress Consort, hearing her husband's words, now resolved to make her response to them.
    • She rose from her place, crossed the chambers to where the Emperor was enthroned, and dropped to her knees before him. She now began, in the heavy Spamalkan accent which had not left her over the preceding three decades: "Sir, I beseech you to pity me, a woman and a stranger, without an assured friend and without an indifferent counselor. I take Almitis to witness that I have always been to you a true and loyal wife, that I have made it my constant duty to seek your pleasure, that I have loved all whom you loved, whether I had reason or not, whether they were friends to me or foes. I have been your wife for many a year. I have brought you many children. Almitis knows that when I came to your bed, I was a virgin, and I put it to your own conscience to say whether it was or was not so. If there be any offense which can be alleged against me, I consent to depart with infamy. If not, then I pray you do me justice." Antigonus did not reply to his wife, and looked out with a blank stare. The Empress Consort then stood, bowed deeply in Antigonus's direction, and exited. When an attendant attempted to call her back, she paused and spoke again. "I never before disputed the will of my husband. I shall take the first opportunity to ask pardon for this disobedience."
    • With that she left, ignoring further demands for her return. The Emperor never attempted to contradict Katharina's assertion that she was a virgin on the day they were wed. The Emperor, following Katharina's departure, informed all in the Court that "no fault in Katharina moved me", and that he had been fortunate to be blessed with such a Empress. Yet he reminded them how all of his legitimate sons had "died incontinent after they were born." His concern was chiefly for the succession: he had not authorized the tribunal, or the investigations, merely for "carnal lust" or to "punish the Empress". Katharina herself now refused all further summonses to appear or to send representatives; she refused to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the tribunal to try their case, leaving that decision in the hands of the Lord Almitis alone. The tribunal declared her contumacious; it now proceeded that the Emperor's agents presented his case, and received no rebuttal. The Emperor himself now absented himself from most of the remaining sessions. The case rested on three main points: that the marriage of Craterus and Katharina had been consummated (unproven); that the Holy Synod's special order dispensing a bar of marriage between them had been obtained under false pretenses; and that a document produced by Katharina to provide that her father knew her first marriage was unconsummated was a forgery (also unproven). Bishop Fisherius of Constantia proved especially vigorous in defending the Empress Consort, and the validity of her marriage with the Emperor. The inquiry itself ultimately disbanded on July 4, 1729, with nothing having been accomplished. Emperor Antigonus's belief that the Chancellor was responsible for the delays intensified further.
  • August 5-As regards to the conflict in the Great Amulak Spiral, much had transpired, all of it to the favor of the Holy Spamalkan and Holy Austarlian Empires. In May 1727, Spamalkan and Austarlian forces had conquered Roma, thereby inflicting a major humiliation upon the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. At that same time, King Franjak dispatched forces under Odet de Foix and Pedro Navarro, Count of Oliveto, to Naparia Prime, which was besieged beginning on June 3, 1727. The siege lasted for over two months, and ultimately failed when Geonese Admiral Pedra Doria, who had previously supported the Franconians, abandoned them for Char'va. Doria then broke the blockade of Genoa by Franconian forces, and in September 1727, forced the surrender of Franconian forces at Savona. Throughout 1728, Franconian offensives into Navarre, Catalonia, and Lombardy were repelled; on June 21, 1729, the Battle of Landriano resulted in the destruction of the Franconian forces under the Comte de St. Pol, thereby ending Franjak's hopes of regaining his hold over Milania. Following this reverse, Franjak sought peace with Char'va. It was in July 1729, just as the special inquiry into the Emperor Antigonus's marriage with Katharina of Shenandoah was rapping up, that diplomatic negotiations commenced at Tournai between Franconia and Spamalka. Franjak's mother, Princess Louise of Savoy, conducted the discussions with Char'va's aunt, Regent Margaret of Austarlia. The Treaty of Cambrai (August 5, 1729), removed Franconia from the war. Franjak again surrendered all claims to Flanders, Zeeland, and Milania; agreed to the partition of Navarre with the Holy Spamalkan Empire; and was obliged to pay a ransom of one trillion ecus before his sons would be released. Burgundy, however, remained with Franconia, and the confiscation of the Duke of Bourbon's territories (his death on May 6, 1727, had thereby terminated that point of contention between the opposing realms), by Franjak was confirmed. Peace between Tuscany and Spamalka would be reached in October 1729; it was not until August 11, 1730, before Florence and Haxonia agreed to the Treaty of Apulia, thereby formally terminating the War of the League of Cognac.
  • October 4-With Emperor Antigonus's anger mounting over the affair of his wife, Empress Consort Katharina found that she had a new champion in the Empire. Ambassador Mendoza had been recalled by Emperor Char'va in May 1729, and for some months, the Spamalkan sovereign had not deigned to appoint a replacement. Yet with the tribunal over, he took action. On September 23, 1729, he formally named Eustace Chapuys (1689-1756), a cultured Savorian diplomat, attorney, and official who had been in the service of the Holy Spamalkan Empire for nearly twenty years. He was a man of great ability and astuteness. He was never afraid of speaking his mind, was devoted to the service of the Emperor of Spamalka, and of those connected with him. He had been briefed about the treatment Katharina had received at the hands of her husband, and when he arrived on Laurasia Prime (October 4, 1729), he was already committed to her cause. He conceived the deepest admiration and respect, and a very sincere affection, for the Empress. From the first, Chapuys carried out his duties with more zeal then any of his predecessors, even Mendoza. His initial instructions were to bring about a reconciliation between the Emperor and Empress with "gentleness and friendship." Chapuys, however, soon exceeded these instructions. He was distrusted by the Emperor's courtiers and advisers, and hated by the Boleyenia faction, who feared his influence. The enmity was mutual; Chapuys would never refer to Anna Boleyenia as anything other than "the Concubine" or the "Lady". Chapuys was destined to outlast them, however, and would remain Spamalkan Ambassador to the Laurasian Empire for the next sixteen years, until 1745. He would become the longest serving envoy of any foreign power at the Imperial Laurasian Court in the Empire's history. Within days of his arrival, he held meetings with the Emperor, Empress, Chancellor Wolesius, and the Privy Council, assessing the situation in Laurasia. He told Emperor Char'va that "the Lady was all powerful" and that the Empress Consort was determined to defend her position.
  • October 17-
    • By October 1729, the position of Chancellor and Procurator-General Thomasius Wolesius, Archbishop of Winchestrius and Cardinal of the Laurasia Prime Purse Region, had deteriorated. The termination of the special tribunal concerning Antigonus's marriage with Katharina of Shenandoah, the conclusion of the Treaty of Cambrai between Spamalka and Franconia, and Wolesius's own unpopularity all played a role in this. It no longer mattered that the Empress Consort held him responsible for the Emperor's rejection of her. What did matter was that Lady Anna Boleyenia and her family had, with little reason, persuaded themselves that Wolesius was not only failing to pursue the divorce with all possible vigor, but was severely undercutting Antigonus's own efforts. The nobility had always despised and resented Wolesius for being not only a lowborn upstart, but an insufferably haughty one, while the Empire's subjects at large rankled with the taxation and judicial policies the Chancellor had favored. In 1728, Wolesius had earned the further ire of the Boleyenias by preventing the appointment of Lady Eleanora Caranius, an in-law of theirs notorious for her sexual promiscuity, to the Abbacy of Wiltonia Convent on Sauvania. By doing this, he had given the Boleyenias fresh reason to regard him as their enemy. Furthermore, Wolesius had no friends among the foreign ambassadors, or in other states; they would suffer no disadvantage if he were removed from his command of Laurasian diplomacy and foreign affairs. Wolesius had therefore become dispensable, a convenient scapegoat.
    • Yet for the Emperor, however, it was not enough merely to dismiss the man who had served him so faithfully and for the large part, so effectively during the preceding two decades. He wanted, and needed, his humiliation-his public humiliation and total ruin. Lady Anna encouraged him in all of this. Thus it was that on October 9, 1729, just as the Chancellor opened up the fall session of the Court of the Star Chamber, that he was suddenly charged with several dozen crimes. He was accused of praemunire (that is, of allowing foreign influence to dictate Laurasian policy). Furthermore, Wolesius was accused of corruption, conspiracy, and les-majestie, and of inciting "dissent" against the Emperor. Antigonus moved swiftly to punish the man. On October 17, 1729, the Emperor formally dismissed Wolesius from his positions as Cardinal of the Purse Region, Chancellor and Procurator-General of the Empire, and Abbot of the Windowia Photis Monastery. Wolesius's honors were stripped from their stall of office, and they were degraded in a formal ceremony. In a humiliating ceremony at the Post Settlement, he was formally banned from the Imperial Court; deprived of his cardinal's hat and robes; and denounced as a "betrayer" to the Emperor.
  • November 5-
    • Emperor Antigonus wasted no time in finding Wolesius's successor. On November 5, 1729, the Emperor formally elevated Sir Thomasius Morius to the Chancellorate and Procurator-Generalship of the Laurasian Empire. Morius, who was one of the most prominent intellectuals in the Empire, was considered by Antigonus to be the perfect choice. Yet as regards to his religion, he was a traditionalist. He loved and revered the Almitian Church, and the traditional order of administration and practice which had now existed for centuries. Furthermore, Morius believed that the Emperor's place as Autocrat had to be paired with his duties and obligations towards the Empire's subjects. Yet by 1729, Emperor Antigonus had arrived at the conviction that he needed to reassert his direct dominion over the affairs of the Almitian Church, and that in ruling his Empire, he required the consent of no one else except for the Lord Almitis. This had been strengthened in Tyndalis's work, The Obedience of Proper Almitians and the Duties of Autocrats, published the preceding year. Tyndalis claimed that "Almitis has made in every realm a sovereign who is the judge over all, and over him there is no judge." Furthermore, Tyndalis stated that "He who judges the Emperor judges Almitis; and he who lays hands upon the Emperor also lays hands upon Almitis; and he who resists the Emperor resists Almitis, and damns the laws of Almitis."
    • Antigonus was absolutely charmed with this, and declared that he was Almitis's unique representative in the Universe, and had to be obeyed in the same way Almitis was obeyed: absolutely, at all times, and in all things. Morius, on his part, had different views. On November 14, 1729, just nine days after being appointed Chancellor, he delivered a speech to the Governing Senate. Drawing upon the ideas he had espoused in Utopia, upon philosophical thought, and upon materials from his unfinished biography of the Emperor Antiochus the Mad, which would not be published until 1796, Morius invited his listeners to learn the answer to the question of where princes derived their power. Genuine and legitimate power, Morius said, comes from the Prince's subjects. Society functions when the sovereign acts in accordance with the populace's demands. When on the other hand the sovereign acts in contravention to the mandates of his subjects, the result is chaos and disorder. These words were not made in challenge to the Emperor; Antigonus actually watched these proceedings by Holonet. Morius praised the Emperor for his wisdom, his mercy, and for his ability to see through the schemes of ex-Cardinal Wolesius, and to cast him aside. Antigonus loved flattery and mistook it for truth; he did not even notice what Morius said about the true source of his power. This, nevertheless, was a clear signal that, even at the start of his chancellorship, Morius was too out of step with the Emperor's viewpoints to ever be as powerful or as useful as Wolesius had been. The gulf between Emperor and Chancellor was wide, and would only worsen in the next few years.
  • November 24-On November 24, 1729, perhaps the greatest military commander of the eighteenth century, and one of the leading commanders of the Empress Aurelia the Great's reign, Generalissimo Alexander Surovius, Baron Surovius of Rymnik, was born. Suvorius was born at Novgradian Mansion in Constantinople, Laurasia Prime. He was the son of Major General and Governing Senator Sir Vessanius Surovius (1705-1775), and his wife, Lady Anna Surovius (1706-1789).

1730Edit

  • January 30-On January 30, 1730, Anna, Duchess of Northania and Semigallia died at the age of thirty-seven. She had ruled since her elevation to the Northanian throne in 1711 following the death of her husband Frederick William Kettler. The Northanian Diet now elected the late Duke’s uncle, 74-year old Prince Ferdinand Kettler of Jelgava, as the new Duke of Northania and Semigallia. Kettler was childless, and this would become a point of contention in the looming War of the Dejanican Succession.
  • February 24-
    • 1730, the 30th year of the eighteenth century, commenced with the Imperial Laurasian Court still embroiled in the "Great Matter" of the Emperor Antigonus's marriage. As the 1730s began, the Laurasian Empire found itself again at domestic and external tranquility. Yet Emperor Antigonus's obsession with Lady Anna Boleyenia had inspired much tension at the Imperial Laurasian Court, and at foreign courts in the Great Amulak Spiral. In November 1729, the Emperor had been showering Anna with a further flurry of gifts. These, however, were now more in the way of peace offerings, for the relationship between them was by then often a stormy one. Anna felt that time was passing her by. She accused the Emperor of having kept her waiting; she might, in the meantime, had contracted some advantageous marriage and had children; this was a pointed barb. Peace was bought with such gifts as purple velvet, linen cloth, a Franconian saddle of black velvet fringed with silk and gold, and a black velvet saddle. Often, she would threaten to leave Antigonus, as in January 1731, when they quarreled violently. At the prospect of losing her, the Emperor went to Norfolkius and the Earl of Redia, and begged them with tears in his eyes to act as mediators. When the quarrel was resolved, he placated Anna with yet more gifts: furs and more embroideries. This charade was repeated on several occasions, with Anna lamenting her lost time and honor, and Antigonus weeping, begging her to desist and speak no more of leaving him. And always, there would be peace offerings.
    • As the months, and then the years, went by, Anna became increasingly difficult to dealt with. The long delays and the resultant stress, coupled with the constant strain of holding the Emperor at arm's length, tested her endurance to the limit. Her position was insecure, and she knew of it. Yet she seemed unable to avoid friction with her imperial lover. After quarrels, however, she would soon be fervently assuring Antigonus how much she loved him. In December 1729, following her father's elevation to the Earldom of Redia, the Emperor gave a lavish banquet at the Old Royal Palace; Anna took precedence over all ladies of the Imperial Court, and sat on the Empress's throne, alongside Antigonus himself. Ambassador Chapuys made note of all the entertainments. Then on January 12, 1730, the Lady presided over a magnificent ball hosted by the Emperor in honor of the departing Franconian Ambassador. The Emperor, however, was still at pains to convince everyone that he and the Empress Consort were still on good terms; he kept Katharina constantly with him. The Haxonian Ambassador reported in January 1730 that "so much reciprocal courtesy is being displayed in public that any one acquainted with the controversy cannot but consider their conduct more than human." But in private, it was a different story. On November 30, 1729, when Antigonus had paid a rare visit to her after dinner, Katharina blurted out that she had been suffering from the pains of the afterlife, and that she was very badly treated by his refusing to dine with her and visit her in her apartments. He told her she had no cause to complain, for she was mistress in her own household, where she could do as she was pleased. He had not dined with her as he was much engaged with business. As to his visiting her in her apartments, and sharing her bed, she ought to know that he was not her legitimate husband. The Emperor then stormed out, and had sought comfort with Lady Anna. She rebuked him however, and he was forced to flee to his apartments. Tensions continued to escalate therefore, and on January 18, 1730, the Emperor burst out to Katharina that he would proceed no matter the consequences. In the meantime, Emperor Char'va was seeking to consolidate his position in Spamalka. On February 24, 1730, he was finally crowned Holy Spamalkan Emperor at Bologna, in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, eleven years after acceding to the Spamalkan throne. Through this coronation, Char'va intended to display to his subjects, and to all foreign powers, his power and magnificence. The Emperor's coronation was a lavish occasion indeed, attracting diplomats, nobles, and other personages from throughout the Holy Spamalkan Empire's realms, and from foreign powers. The Laurasian Empire was the only foreign power which did not dispatch a representative to the ceremony.
  • March 7-
    • On December 12, 1729, the Emperor Antigonus announced in a manifesto to his subjects that he was authorizing a special commission, comprised of members of the Councils of State, to issue recommendations related to the administration of the Almitian Church, and on the question of how the Emperor should proceed with Katharina of Shenandoah. This was done on the advice of Chancellor Morius, who sought to strengthen the Church and to assure the Empire's subjects that all actions taken by Antigonus, as regards to his wife, would be taken with caution. The commission was formally convened at the Diplomatic Palace in Christiania on January 5, 1730, and over the course of the next ten days, was issued a series of instructions by the Emperor. Finally, on January 24, 1730, the commission recommended to the Emperor that he obtain the approval of Katharina's nephew, Emperor Char'va, for an annulment of his marriage, and it provided him a list of necessary changes to the Church structure. Antigonus wasted no time in acting upon the latter set of recommendations: on February 1, 1730, he issued a series of decrees in response to the commission's recommendations. The first placed strict limitations upon the fees which could be charged for the probation of wills, which had traditionally been the responsibility of Church courts.The second specified how much could be charged for baptisms, weddings, and funerals. The third imposed restrictions on pluralism (the practice of multiple assignments or offices by one churchman), on nonresidence (failure to be physically resident in one's diocese or at one's occupation), and on the involvement of the Almitian Church's monasteries and estates in certain merchantile activities.
    • Stern penalties were imposed for violation of these conditions: a fine of €10,000 for violation of the nonresidence terms, and of €45,000 for requests by monks, members of lower orders, deacons, and reverends to hold more positions than allowed. These measures were aimed at the correction of real abuses within the Church, but nevertheless aroused dissent from the clergy. Antigonus, by taking these measures, demonstrated that he was indeed the ultimate head of the Almitian Church. Yet his attention now turned to securing Emperor Char'va's agreement to a annulment of his marriage with the Spamalkan Emperor's aunt. On February 26, 1730, the Emperor named the newly elevated Earl of Redia and the Archbishop of Christiania as the chief plenipotentiaries of a special delegation to Char'va, who was still in Bologna. They were attended by a coterie of legal scholars and lesser clergymen. Among these men was Thomasius Cranmerius (1689-1756), who was to emerge as one of the most important figures of the eighteenth century. Born on July 2, 1689, in Askrania City, Charasia, Cranmerius was the namesake son of Thomasius Cranmerius (1658-1701) and his wife Agnatia (1660-1722). His elder brother Demetrius inherited the family estates, and thus, both Thomasius and his youngest brother, Edmundis, were placed on the path to a clerical career. He graduated from the University of Charasia in 1707 at the age of eighteen, receiving his BA in Literature and Classical Sciences.
    • Cranmerius then obtained his MA in Theological and Spiritual Studies from the Ecclesiastical Academy of St. Peter and Paul (1715), and was shortly afterwards made a Fellow of the University of Americana. In 1716, however, he married Diantha Wresios (1692-1718), and as a result, was deprived of his Fellowship. On June 7, 1718, however, Diantha died after giving birth to a stillborn daughter; Cranmerius, who had become a reader at Magadelene Hall, found himself reinstated in his Fellowship. He now studied forensics, theology, philosophy, and the natural sciences; he was ordained in 1720, made one of the preachers of the College of Theology of the University of the Empire; and in 1726, received his PhD in Divinity and Comparative Theology. That same year, Chancellor Wolesius selected Cranmerius, his personal secretary Stephanius Gardinerius (who thus enters our history for the first time), and Aegius Leius to be dispatched on diplomatic missions to the Amulak Spiral. It was in November 1729 that he first came to the attention of Emperor Antigonus. Gardinerius (who was now a personal secretary of the Emperor's) and his almoner, Edwardis Foxius, were lodged at Walterian House, where Cranmerius happened to be in residence. They fell into conversation with him, and he made clear his support of the Emperor's position.
    • Furthermore, Cranmerius suggested that the Emperor obtain statements of support from the universities and chief theological sects throughout his Empire. When Gardinerius and Foxius mentioned this to the Emperor, he ordered for Cranmerius to be brought to him at Gilbertine Palace on Tudoria (where the Court was lodged at the beginning of 1730). When Antigonus heard Cranmerius, he developed an immediate respect for the man's abilities. Cranmerius, then forty years old, suddenly found himself vaulted from obscurity into the imperial service, and was thus one of those assigned as part of the Earl of Redia's special delegation. Thus was launched a career which would catapult Cranmerius to the top of the hierarchy, change the character of the Almitian Church, and take many turns before coming to a crashing halt. As for Boleyenia and his delegation, things went wrong from the start. The Earl's suitability for the mission had been questioned (due to the fact that he was Anna's father), but Antigonus had insisted that no other man could help him achieve his goals. The special delegation departed from Belkadan on March 7, 1730, and proceeded to the Barbarossa Wormhole; from thence, they reached Bologna on March 14. Upon arrival, the delegation found Char'va assume the mask of a cold and arrogant Emperor. Char'va, who did not know his aunt well, nevertheless had taken it upon himself to defend her. The Holy Spamalkan Emperor declared himself offended by the presence of the delegation's leader, the father of the woman who was causing all the trouble. When Redia tried to speak, the Emperor cut him off, telling him in Franconian that his "colleagues only" should speak. Redia responded in the same language, declaring that he had come not as a father seeking favor for his daughter, but as representative of the Emperor of Laurasia, who hoped for his Spamalkan contemporary's support but would proceed whether he had it or not. In return for his friendship, he told Char'va, Antigonus promised to respect all Spamalkan territorial gains from Franconia, and to provide for Katharina's expenses, as a Dowager Grand Princess of the Empire, until her death. This proposal gave Char'va a new excuse to take offense. He proclaimed that he was not a tradesman and that his aunt's honor was not for sale. The discussions continued in vain for more than month. Finally, on April 18, 1730, Redia and his fellow delegates were recalled back to the Caladarian Galaxy by Emperor Antigonus; they arrived on Laurasia Prime on April 25, having achieved nothing.
  • March 22-The Haynsian Despot Shannai II Karany, who had disappointed the Marasharite Emperor Ahmad and the Great Council, was, on the advice of the Marasharite Grand Vizier Neversherli Davat, forced to abdicate his throne (March 22, 1730). Emperor Ahmad now restored the former Haynsian Despot, Qaplan-Empi I Karany, to the Haynsian throne. He had been in exile at Rhodes since his second deposition from the Haynsian throne in 1715.
  • May 14-While the Earl of Redia attempted in vain to change the mind of the Holy Spamalkan Emperor Char'va I over his aunt's marriage to Emperor Antigonus, the Emperor of Laurasia himself pursued Cranmerius's idea of obtaining the support of learned opinion, both in his Empire and without. His agents, supplied with their master's theological arguments and funds, were dispatched to the universities of Italiania, the Germanian Principalities, and Franconia. What ensued reflected badly upon the Emperor of Laurasia. Laurasia proved to be easy, and all of the Empire's universities and institutes dutifully proclaimed their support for Antigonus. Yet overseas, matters were far more difficult. By May 1730, Antigonus claimed to have the support of the Universities of Bologna, Ferrara, and Padua, but the process had been so stained with bribery, and the reality of the support so dubious, that no one could take it seriously. The Universities of Angers, Toulouse, and Orleans gave a favorable opinion to the Emperor's claims, and he was supported in his efforts by Franconian King Franjak (on May 14, 1730, Antigonus thanked Franjak for his support). The Emperor was frustrated nevertheless, and in June 1730, declared that he would not utilize the academic judgments rendered as justification for annulling his marriage. Nevertheless, on July 8, 1730, the Emperor issued a proclamation providing for harsh penalties for the publication, distribution, or promotion of any work which defended his marriage with Katharina of Shenandoah, or condemned his wish to obtain a "proper union" to find a legitimate male heir. Chancellor Morius, who was now beginning to grow more and more opposed to the Emperor's measures, found that he could nevertheless do nothing about them. And indeed, tensions over the matter were revealed on July 23, 1730, when the Emperor tested his Council's reaction to the prospect of him proceeding forth with his marriage to Anna Boleyenia without further regard to the Holy Spamalkan Empire. One councilor threw himself on his knees, and begged his master to wait to see what transpired. The Emperor reluctantly agreed, seeing that the others on his council were of the same opinion. Char'va, however, was by this point aware that Antigonus would divorce his aunt, regardless of what he did about it.
  • July 9-Sir Willanius Sandys, Lord Sandys of the Cron Drift, became Imperial High Chamberlain of the Laurasian Empire, succeeding the Earl of Americana, who resigned from the position due to personal concerns.
  • September 21-In September 1730, Emperor Antigonus took a shocking step, which startled many of his subjects. He ordered Morius, in his capacity as Procurator-General, to charge fifteen of the prominent clerics of the Empire with having violated the praemunire statutes by conspiring with former Chancellor Wolesius. The concept of praemunire remained vague to many, and in the century since the first such statute had been passed (during the reign of Emperor Caracalla), they had almost never been employed. Yet Antigonus now implied that those who opposed him were in league with his enemies, and that they needed to be dealt with in such a matter. By extension, therefore, anyone involved in the administration of the Church's courts and bureaus was liable to punishment. Almost all of those accused (which included seven archbishops, one bishop, and three abbots from the Laurasia Prime Purse Region), were opposed to the Emperor's Great Matter. Fisherius of Constantia was one of them. Praemunire was indeed a serious offense, for which one could be imprisoned and lose all of their possessions. Furthermore, matters were complicated by Wolesius's abject submission to Emperor Antigonus. In January 1730, he had begged for mercy from the Emperor, and was allowed to resume his duties as Archbishop of Winchestrius. Wolesius now traveled there for the first time since becoming Archbishop, and had made plans for a grandiose consecration ceremony. Yet his acceptance of guilt created a presumption that the others were equally guilty. Yet in October 1730, the Emperor decided not to proceed with trial proceedings, and allowed for Fisherius and the other defendants to pay a series of fines in return for the dismissal of the charges.
  • October 2-
    • By October 1730, the position of Marasharite Emperor Ahmad III had deteriorated considerably. His reign had seen a succession of failures for the Marasharite Empire. Marasharita had become embroiled in a series of colonial wars with Vendragia (1703-06, 1712-14, 1726-29) which had resulted in the termination of Marasharite suzerainty over Ormuz, Gutium, and Qatar, and the Vendragian acquisition of Aden, Eastern Oman, and Khuzetan. Moreover, Marasharita had been humiliated by its long-time adversaries, Haxonia and Austarlia. As a result of the Haxonian Wars of 1716-18, 1722-24, and 1730, the Empire had lost the Peloponnese, Athens, Cyprus, Sinji, Imotski, Vrograc, and Lower Galatia; Austarlia, by the war of 1716-18, had acquired Belgrade, the Banat of Temesevar, Banja Luka, Serbia, Little Wallachia, Moesia in Bosnia, and Olthenia, thereby strengthening its own position in the Balkans Provinces. Marasharita had also become embroiled in wars with the Great Breffal Federation (1711-16, 1722-26), the Masacavanian Principalities (1715-16, 1726-29), Dejanica (1704, 1711-13), Scottria (1709, 1726-28), and the Stellar Kingdom of Portugallia (1704-06, 1709-11, 1722-26), which had resulted in Marasharite concessions in the Stroganov Region, Lower Muscat, and in Aethiopia. Marasharite suzerainty over Niger and the Central Africs had been lost due to a revolt by Sokoto of Upper Nigeria, in 1727-30. Moreover, Marasharite defeats in the wars of 1714-16 and 1723-25 against the Laurasian Empire had resulted in the concession of parts of Billy, Donna, and the Western Galactic Frontier Route to the authority of the Imperial Laurasian Government.
    • Thus it was that Patrona Halil (1690-1730), an Albanian who had entered the Elite Guards in 1718, engineered an conspiracy against the Emperor of the Marasharites. On October 2, 1730, Halil led the Guards in a general revolt on Topacia. Emperor Ahmad was quickly captured, and he was forced to abdicate the throne in favor of his nephew Sassas III. Sassas permitted Ahmed to retire to the Palace of Marsarah. He himself then contended with Halil and his supporters, who continued to cause trouble on Topacia. On November 29, 1730, with the assistance of the Grand Vizier, the Mufti of Marasharita, and the Agha of the Elite Guards, Emperor Sassas had Halil and his associates attainted and then publicly executed. Ahmad had ruled for twenty-seven years, and was the longest-reigning Marasharite Emperor of the eighteenth century. His deposition therefore left Grand Duke Vasily II of Masacavania, who was now in the twenty-fifth year of his reign, as the senior monarch of extra-galactic civilization.
  • November 29-
    • As mentioned above, Thomasius Wolesius had, in January 1730, been allowed to resume his duties as Archbishop of Winchestrius. Emperor Antigonus, who still felt some affection for his former Chancellor, occasionally sent him gifts and encouraging little messages. Wolesius entertained hope that the Emperor would bring him out of the depths of humiliation and restore him to his former position of prominence and prestige. Yet the former Chancellor's hopes for rehabilitation were reduced by the number and influence of his enemies at the Imperial Court. Almost everyone with access to the Emperor's ear-Lady Anna Boleyenia, along with her father and brother; Anna's uncle the Duke of Norfolkius; and the Emperor's old friend and brother-in-law, the Duke of Sufforia, detested Wolesius and understood that they would lose out if he returned to power. Furthermore, Antigonus himself, in March 1730, ordered for Wolesius's correspondence and personal records to be examined and vetted by his agents, therefore indicating the Emperor's distrust of the man. Wolesius, when he arrived in Winchestrius in April 1730, proved to be a diligent Archbishop. He visited his churches routinely, dispensed alms to those in need, looked after his diocese's finances and daily operations, and counseled those who needed aid. Yet he described himself as profoundly miserable. In June 1730, nevertheless, Wolesius was ordered to affix his signature to a manifesto of support for the Emperor by the Privy Council; Chancellor Morius and Bishop Fisherius of Constantia were both conspicuous in that they did not sign the document. Wolesius, for his part, made the plans for his consecration ceremony, which was to be held on November 7.
    • Moreover, the Archbishop ordered that his Convocation was to convene on that day. Yet he exchanged communiques with Ambassador Chapuys, and on July 22, 1730, urged the Holy Synod to move forward with the marriage affair as soon as possible. Lady Anna became convinced that Wolesius was still plotting against her, and now intensified the pressure on Antigonus, urging him to punish his former chief minister. She was supported in this by Norfolkius. Emperor Antigonus himself was presented, in October 1730, with communiques supposedly those of Wolesius, in which he called for the wrath of the "Lord Almitis" upon his former master, and supported his marriage with Katharina of Shenandoah. Antigonus now battled with his conscience, but in the end, the views of Lady Anna and her supporters prevailed. On November 1, 1730, on the Emperor's orders, Wolesius was formally arrested at Chilisia. He was charged with high treason, and accused of engaging in "presumptuous practices." Upon his arrest, Wolesius realized that the end had been reached. He stopped eating for a time, declaring his willingness to have a natural death than to be executed. His health worsened, and on November 14, as he was being escorted back to Laurasia Prime, the Archbishop suffered a fainting fit. He was now taken to the Palace of the Greats on Americana. There, Wolesius was seen by Sir Antoninus Kingstia, one of the lieutenants of the Fortress of Baureux, which he himself had appointed. Wolesius now told him: "Master Kingstia, I pray that you have commended me to His Majesty, and beseech him on my behalf to call to mind all things that have passed between us, especially respecting good Empress Katharina and himself, and then shall his grace's conscience know whether I have offended him or not. He is a prince of most royal courage. Rather than miss any part of his will, he will enlarge one part of this Empire..If I had served Almitis as diligently as I have served the Emperor, he would not have given me over in my gray heirs. But this is my just reward for my pains and study, not regarding my service to Almitis but only my duty to my Emperor."
    • On November 29, 1730, Thomasius Wolesius, formerly Chancellor and Procurator-General of the Empire, Cardinal of the Laurasia Prime Purse Region, and Archbishop of Winchestrius, died, aged 57. His death was received by Emperor Antigonus with some regrets; on the Emperor's orders, he would be buried at Leicesterius Abbey on Jean (December 14, 1730). Lady Anna however, celebrated the former Chancellor's death, and even, on December 5, staged a masque at the Court entitled "The Chancellor's journey to Hell." Antigonus found this distasteful, but he did not stop this due to Anna's temper. In January 1731, Ambassador Chapuys would report that "The Lady is becoming more arrogant every day, using words in authority towards the Emperor of which he has several times complained to the Duke of Norfolkius, saying that she was not like the Empress who never addressed him in such a manner." Anna's thwarted ambition and repressed sexuality had turned her into a virago with a sharp tongue, with which she managed to alienate many of her former supporters. She was now acting more boldly than ever. In December 1730, she commissioned the Heraldmaster's Office to draw up a family pedigree that invented a descent from a Archleutan lord who had settled on Laurasia Prime in the sixth century AH. The Emperor was displeased with this, but did nothing. By the end of that year, her hatred towards the Empress Consort had intensified, and she declared that she wished for Katharina to be "burned and cast into the voids of space." She expressed her distaste for her, and called for the Anti-Almitis to take her away.

1731Edit

  • January 5-On January 5, 1731, Lady Katharina Howardis's mother, Lady Livillia Plausia, died at Oxon Heatheria, one of the Howardis family's estates, on Tyleria Perea. She was fifty-one years old at the time of her death. Katharina's father, Lord Thomasius Howardis, younger brother of the Duke of Norfolkius, nevertheless did not have the financial resources, or the time, in order to support all of his children. Consequently, he decided to send Katharina and her other younger siblings off to wealthier relatives. In February 1731, Lady Katharina came to live with her step-grandmother Agrippina Tildania (1677-1745), Dowager Duchess of Norfolkius, and widow of the 2nd Duke. The Dowager Duchess's central residences were Chesworthian House on Fitzsimmons and Norfolkius House, in Lambarthia, Soria. These households comprised her own personal servants, attendants, and guards, and her numerous wards, primarily the younger children of minor nobles from throughout the Empire. The Dowager Duchess, however, was much involved in the affairs of the Imperial Court, and consequently did not pay much attention to the care and upbringing of her step-grandaughter, or of her other young female charges. Consequently, Katharina was left in a lax, unsupervised household. Her education was neglected, and she became associated with the irresponsible, giddy, and vivacious girls who flocked at her step grandmother's household. Over time, she developed into a flirtatious, self-confident, snobbish woman with a great fondness for beautiful clothes and for exotic food, jewellery, and goods.
  • January 22-
    • As 1731 began, Emperor Antigonus proceeded with his plans to prosecute the entire clergy of the Imperial Almitian Church, with violation of the praemunire statutes. On January 19, 1731, the Conference of Almitian Prelates, an annual assembly of all the major officials and clergymen of the Church, assembled at the Westphalian Cathedral in Christiania. Word soon arrived of the Emperor's threat to lay them under legal charges. They were thrown first into confusion, and then into a frightened and angry debate. They had before them the uninspiring example of the late Chancellor Wolesius, who had been so destroyed by the Emperor. And their own primate, Chief Procurator Willanius Warhamius of the Holy Synod, was urging them to submit. Warhamius was a respected and wizened figure; he had now served as Chief Procurator for twenty-seven years. But he was seventy-three years old, weary, and himself unwilling to directly oppose the Emperor's efforts. Eventually, on February 3, 1731, the Conference of Prelates sent a petition to the Emperor. They offered to provide for all of the expenses of the divorce proceedings this incurred, and to support Antigonus's resumption of the title of Pontifex Maximus (Highest Priest) of the Almitian Church, left in abeyance by his father Neuchrus I in 1686. They asked His Majesty to issue a general pardon to them, and begged him to explain what praemunire was, so that they could avoid provoking him in the future.
    • On February 9, the Emperor responded to the petition, which had been phrased so as to confer obedience to his wishes "as allowed by the law of Almitis." Antigonus granted the requested pardon, and he had Chancellor Morius issue an explanation of praemunire to the Governing Senate (February 18, 1731). On March 4, 1731, however, the Archbishop of Almastead, Caelius Tunstallia (1674-1759), submitted a letter to the Emperor, recognizing his authority as Autocrat but nevertheless attempting to assert that the Lord Almitis held ultimate authority over the Almitian Church. Emperor Antigonus responded rapidly, declaring that as Autocrat, he was Almitis's representative; consequently, all of his acts, and all of his decrees, were issued in accordance with Almitis's will. Antigonus demonstrated this by rigorously enforcing conformity with the Church's customs, confirming the privileges of the ecclesiastical court system, and in May 1731, ordering for the heresy of the Rigerians in the Morganian Provinces to be denounced and suppressed by the Holy Synod.
  • February 16-On February 16, 1731, the Emperor Antigonus formally established the Imperial Cadet Corps, to be headquartered at the Quencilvanian Palace. The Cadet Corps was intended as a military academy for young men of the nobility, gentry, merchantile circles, and upper middle classes within the Empire, from the ages of 17-25, in attendance at the Imperial Court. The academy's curriculum was to include tactics, military discipline and etiquette, simulations, military and political history, rhetoric, operational sciences, weapons practice, physical exercises, and other fields considered necessary for a career as an officer of the Imperial Laurasian Military. The establishment of the Corps followed that of the Gentleman Pensioners (1726), organized by the Emperor as his vehicle and elevated guards regiments, to complement the foot units of the Yeoman Guards. This second innovation was due to the Archleutan Lieutenant-General Burkhard Christoph von Munnich. Born on May 9, 1683, at the Archleutan colony of Neuenhuntforf to the Archleutan Count Anton Gunther Munnich (1645-1721) and his wife Alebertha of Archleuta Minor (1649-1729), Munnich had enlisted in the ranks of the Imperial Laurasian Army in 1702, on the insistence of his father, who sought for his son to gain experience at military arms. During the course of the next three decades, Munnich had risen progressively through the Army's ranks, becoming especially known for his exploits during the Dejanican War of the Expedition and the War of the Conquest of Vectoria. He also served during Emperor Antigonus's campaigns of the Second Franconian War, participating in the siege of Theouranne. Munnich reached the rank of Colonel by 1716; Brigadier-General in 1720; Major-General in 1725 (a reward for his service under the Duke of Norfolkius during the Second Laurasian-Marasharite War); and Lieutenant-General in 1730. From 1721, he commanded the fortification of Kronstadt (which became a major Laurasian shipyard and colony by the end of the eighteenth century) and in 1727-1729, he took charge of the Annekrone Fortifications on Castellum Dimiddi, in the Garaman Provinces. In 1728, Munnich became Governor of Archleuta, and would serve in that position until 1734; in November 1729, he became Count Munnich of Neuhenhuntforf, in the nobility of the Laurasian Empire. Munnich became a consultant for the Imperial General Headquarters in October 1730, and came to the Emperor Antigonus's attention from then. From that point on, Munnich gained increased favor with His Majesty.
  • July 14-
    • As mentioned above, the Emperor Antigonus continued to assert himself over the Imperial Almitian Church, and to demonstrate that he would brook no opposition to his policies. Yet the Emperor at the same time sought to assure his subjects of his intentions, so that they would not be totally alarmed at the innovations which he was introducing. In a speech to the Councils of State on May 14, 1731, Chancellor Morius declared that the Emperor’s actions, and his determination to find the truth about his marriage to Empress-Consort Katharina, was due to his desire for self-preservation, and not to any selfishness or willfulness on his part. Antigonus also was engaged in the task of filling numerous vacancies within the hierarchy of the Imperial Almitian Church; more than three-fifths of all Almitian dioceses fell vacant in the period from 1729 to 1736, due to death, resignation, or removal from office. Among the Emperor’s most prominent appointments were those of the Secretary of the Privy Council, Stephanius Gardinerius (now forty-seven years old) to the Archbishopric of Winchestrius (November 7, 1731) and of Edwardis Leesius to the Archbishopric of Christiania (December 7, 1731).
    • Furthermore, his fascination with the Lady Anna Boleyenia continued. On June 28, 1731, the Emperor celebrated his fortieth birthday. He was at this point strong and boastful, but was already beginning to tend to the fat which would become notorious in his later years. The Emperor suffered from routine headaches and ulcers, yet still fancied himself as the most elevated man in the Empire. Yet he continued to keep his eyes upon Lady Boleyenia. Her temperamental behavior and high-spirited demeanor were becoming more and more prominent; as mentioned above, Antigonus had complained that Katharina had never spoken to him as brazenly as Anna did. And indeed, throughout the first half of 1731, all three of them continued to reside in the same Imperial Court, with the Empress Consort attempting to keep to her official duties and to remain with her husband. Anna found this intolerable, treating Katharina and her servants with contempt and utter disrespect which many found to be inappropriate towards an Emperor’s wife.
    • Yet from December 1730, Anna had possessed her own personal bedchambers in the Quencilvanian Palace, adjacent to those of the Emperor’s, and she, to the anger of all, now had a larger allowance and household than the Empress Consort herself. And she insisted to Antigonus that he sever his public ties with Katharina. Indeed, the Emperor had continued a public charade, playing the part of a man who had been forced to set aside a beloved wife against his will. In March 1731, he still visited the Empress Consort in public. The Empress Consort, however, remained obstinate, and in April 1731, Chapuys reported that she did not believe Antigonus would proceed any further. The Emperor, however, tried to provoke Katharina into giving him the last grounds to end their marriage. When Grand Princess Didymeia fell ill that month, Katharina had wanted to go see her. The Emperor, however, replied meaningfully that she could go to see their daughter, but should not return. The implication was ominous, but Katharina guessed the purpose and refused to leave his side, even though she was desperate to see their child. Throughout the whole affair, her chief aim had been to protect her daughter's interests. As long as their marriage remained valid, Didymeia would remain in the line of succession. Didymeia's illness at this stage was to mark the beginning of the bouts of ill health that were to ruin her constitution and her life.
    • Now fifteen, she was fully aware of the rift between her parents; her ailments were the products of anxiety. Her problems were further complicated by a difficult adolescence, with the onset of painful and irregular periods and debilitating headaches. Didymeia loved her father, but from the first, her sympathies had lain with her mother. She rarely saw either of them, and in her loneliness and grief turned to religion for solace: it would soon become the dominant influence in her life. On March 22, 1731, Antigonus and Katharina dined in public. She asked the Emperor to dismiss the "shameless creature", Anna Boleyenia, but he angrily refused. She then asked if she could visit Didymeia, but Antigonus demanded that she never return. Katharina, at this, broke down, and said she could never leave her husband. On March 24, however, Antigonus arranged for Didymeia to be brought to the Gilbertine Palace, and for Katharina to join her there. By April, the Grand Princess was much better; Katharina returned to the Imperial Court. In June 1731, the Emperor arranged again for the Grand Princess to join her mother when the court moved to Caladaria. On May 31, however, Antigonus had sent a deputation to her, urging her to stop defying his will. She refused however. This incident provoked the Emperor's decision to finally separate from Katharina.
    • On July 14, 1731, Antigonus retired with his court to the Gilbertine Palace on Tudoria. He departed without informing her and she, left behind with only her daughter and her attendants for company in the deserted imperial apartments, was not immediately aware of the momentous step he had taken, nor that she would never see him again. Then a messenger reached her, bearing an order from the Emperor. In it, Antigonus commanded Katharina to remain away from him, and cut all direct contact between them. She became distressed, but remained calm. She inquired after his health, and wondered why he had not bid goodbye. At this, the Emperor became enraged, telling his advisers that he did not wish any of her goodbyes. Then on July 15, he had another message sent to Katharina, warning her it would be better for if she spent her time in seeking witnesses to prove her "pretended virginity" at the time of their marriage. On July 17, the Emperor formally commanded Katharina to retire to her estates on Shenandoah, and he now awarded her position at the Imperial Court to Lady Anna. Grand Princess Didymeia was separated from her mother, and sent to Monderon. On October 13, 1731, the Empress was visited by another deputation from the Privy Council, informing her of the academic judgments within the Empire. Katharina removed unmoved, declaring on her knees that she was the Emperor's true wife.
    • When the lords warned her of what the Emperor might do to her if she persisted in her defiance, Katharina answered that she was afraid of no one but the Lord Almitis himself. Katharina herself, at the Transmarta Estate on Shenandoah, maintained an extensive household and received foreign visitors, such as the Haxonian Ambassador; Antigonus's courtiers, however, stayed away. In November 1731, she sent a communique to Spamalkan Emperor Char'va, telling him that her sufferings would kill any other man. She also urged him to use all of the diplomatic resources at his disposal to gain succor for her. On November 10, Antigonus and Katharina hosted separate banquets for dignitaries of the City of Christiania, to which the Empress Consort had briefly returned. They did not meet, and it was the last state occasion that Katharina was to attend. When she proceeded back to Shenandoah, she received acclaim from the inhabitants of the systems she progressed through. This greatly displeased the Emperor; he refused to invite Katharina for Ascentmas, and commanded her not to send him any more gifts for any holiday. Yet in spite of all of this, the Emperor still did not take action to annul the marriage, for he was still weary of the possible reaction of both Emperor Char'va and of his own subjects.
  • November 19-
    • By November 1731, the position of Chancellor Sir Thomasius Morius had become more vulnerable than ever. The Emperor Antigonus’s demand that his subjects all be in accord with what he believed, and his rejection of all those dictates and directives which were in contravention to what, he believed, was the "law of Almitis", unsettled many of the sects, both Almitian and non-Almitian, throughout the Empire. Chancellor Morius was one of those who was unsettled. He had never wished to become Chancellor, understanding that his own thoughts on Almitian theology, and on the Emperor’s marriage, diverged from those of Antigonus. Morius was convinced that the Church should not be changed except for "significant circumstances", and that what was being argued now was "light" and "transient". As a consequence of this, and of his own lacking for Wolesius’s craving for power, Morius found himself out of the Emperor’s inner circle. Indeed, on November 19, Morius found that he was denied access to the Emperor’s correspondence with foreign ambassadors, on the grounds that such matters were "too sensitive for his knowledge". Besides the situation of Morius, other events continued to transpire with the Lady Anna. She was still as unpopular as ever. Her reputation throughout the Empire, and extra-galactic civilization, was dire; she was openly called a whore, an adulteress, and even a heretic in the courts of the Great Amulak. On November 24, 1731, a public incident occurred in Christiania which made public feeling obvious. On that day, Anna went with only a few attendants to dine with one of her friends in the Private Quarters.
    • Word spread quickly throughout the City of her journey, and before long a mob of more than 100,000 women, were marching upon the house to seize her. Fortunately for Anna, she received warning of their coming, and escaped by repulsorlift. The crowd was soon dispersed by Christiania Police; many of the women were arrested, imprisoned, and would, in due course, be convicted for "disturbing the peace". Yet she was badly shaken by this evidence of just how unpopular she was with her future subjects. Anna, on her part, had by this point alienated some of her own supporters by her behavior. By the summer solstice of 1731, she was on bad terms with Norfolkius, although he would for some time continue to promote her cause. He could not approve of the way she treated the Emperor. It was to Norfolkius that Antigonus came running to, when Anna had been unkind. Anna had also managed to offend the Duke of Sufforia, and he had gone to Antigonus with lurid tales of her supposed affair with Wyatta. Antigonus refused to listen, lost his temper, and temporarily banished Sufforia from the Court, but the rift upset him. Sufforia was a close friend and loyal supporter. There was also Sir Antigonus Guildfadia, who in September 1731 said kind things about Empress Katharina in Anna's presence. Furious, she threatened him with loss of his remunerative and prestigious office. He reacted angrily, and immediately offered the Emperor his resignation. Antigonus tried to talk him out of it, saying he should take no notice of women's talk, but he was adamant, and secured his dismissal. 1731 ended therefore with the Great Matter continuing to proceed.

1732Edit

  • January 9-On January 9, 1732, the Archleutan Lieutenant-General Burkhard Christoph von Munnich, who had been instrumental in the foundation of the Cadet Corps the previous year, and who as previously mentioned had arisen to fame due to his service in the Laurasian Empire’s various military conflicts during the first quarter of the eighteenth century, was promoted to the rank of Field-Marshal and appointed Minister of Defense and Imperial Works and Holdings by the Emperor Antigonus. Furthermore, Munnich became the Chief of Staff of the Imperial General Headquarters, being given precedence over all other military officers. This made him the highest-ranking military commander in the Empire, below only the Emperor. Munnich immediately devoted his efforts to improving Laurasian military flexibility and efficiency, and to draw upon lessons learned in the Franconian and Marasharite conflicts of the 1720s to vastly expand the Empire’s military forces and to make them more disciplined in battle. And indeed, a flurry of innovations followed Munnich’s appointment. The first was the manifesto of February 2, 1732, by which the salaries of all officers and military personnel in the Imperial Laurasian Army would be increased by 30%. Furthermore, the Imperial Army Munitions Office underwent a substantial reorganization, intended to more effectively distribute supplies and necessary pensions to the personnel of the Laurasian military forces. This measure would serve to improve the professionalism of the Empire’s units. In March 1732, Munnich implemented a reform of the procurement and military supply system for the Imperial Laurasian Army, requiring for contractors and for imperial arms factories to provide their goods to garrisons, military fortifications, and outposts at equitable rates. He also introduced a uniform budget for the General Headquarters and sponsored the establishment, in July 1732, of the Commission on Economics of Military Sentient and Health Services.
  • January 17-On January 17, 1732, the last King and Grand Duke of the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Stanis Vorrust I (born as Stanis Poniatowskia), was born at the Grezina House on Wolcyzn, in the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth. He was the fifth son of the Dejanican Prince Stanis Poniatowskia (1676-1762, after whom he was named), and his wife, Konstantia Poniatowskia (1700-1759, formerly Czartoyskia). The Poniatowskia family was one of the most respected and wealthy noble families in the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and had great prestige among the Dejanican Diet. During the first few years of his life, young Stanis would live at Danzig and then Dejanica Major.
  • February 16-On February 16, 1732, Sir Caligula Walsingis, Chancellor and Director of the Imperial Intelligence Agency of the Laurasian Empire, and one of the leading ministers of the Empress Aurelia the Great. was born at Christulerian Colony, Lusculum. He was the son of Sir Willanius Walsingis (1692-1734), a barrister, and his wife Januaria (1700-63), the daughter of Sir Leonidas Dennius and the sister of Sir Antoninus Dennius (1701-49), who was the principal gentleman in the privy chamber of the Emperor Antigonus III.
  • March 9-
    • By March 1732, the Emperor Antigonus’s cultural innovations and reforms had progressed further. Indeed, as the year 1732 had begun, all at the Imperial Court, and many throughout the Empire, looked anxiously towards the Emperor and what more he was going to do. And on January 3, 1732, the Emperor dispatched a delegation of Governing Senators, nobles, and Privy Councilors to Transmarta Estate on Shenandoah. They were instructed to inform Katharina that a panel of eight distinguished men, four lay lords and four clergymen, was to be established in order to complete the investigation on their marriage. They told Katharina that the Emperor’s command would serve to alleviate his own conscience. Katharina, however, replied: "I am his wife, lawfully married to him by treaty and by the laws of this Empire, and so I will abide until it has been agreed by the Lord Almitis himself, and the agents of my ancestors, that this marriage was not lawful." Enraged at this, Antigonus commanded that Katharina be forbidden to move from Shenandoah without his permission; in spite of this, she declared that she was still his lawful wife. Therefore, the Emperor’s "great matter" continued to hang in the balance.
    • And so it was on January 17, 1732, that the Emperor ordered for the Almitian Conference of Prelates to meet for a special session at the Westphalian Cathedral. In a speech delivered to the Conference by the rising Privy Councilor and Minister of Regional and Provincial Administration, Sir Thomasius Crownapoulos (1685-1740), who had been appointed to the Privy Council in September 1731, it was declared that the purpose of their meeting was to "consider the will of the Lord Almitis in regards to His Majesty’s happiness, and to the happiness of this realm’s inhabitants." Then on February 8, the Emperor had three hundred officials of the Imperial Almitian Church, including virtually all members of the Holy Synod, indicted on charges requiring them to explain to the Conference and the Privy Council the basis for their authority. The Chief Procurator of the Holy Synod, Willanius Warhamius, was among those indicted; this was stunning to all, for this man possessed an unimpeachable reputation and unquestionable loyalty to the Imperial Crown, and yet he too was at stake.
    • Another shock was delivered by the decree of March 7, 1732, by which the Emperor banned the practice of annates (that is, clergymen paying dues to the Holy Synod). The same decree required all prelates of the Church to report their financial affairs not only to the Synod and Senate, as had been typical, but also directly to the Imperial Chancellory. Then on March 19, the Privy Council introduced to the Emperor the Supplication against the Ordinaries, which condemned abuses and corruption among the Church administration; it was Crownapoulos who took the initiative in drafting this manifesto. Antigonus soon ordered the Conference to receive a copy of the Supplication, and on March 25, they were compelled to issue a declaration affirming their support for the Supplication’s statements. And then, on April 12, 1732, Emperor Antigonus ordered Crownapoulos and the Privy Council to issue three conditions to the Conference: one, that all future ecclesiastical regulations passed by the Synod remain without effect unless the other two Councils of State had agreed to them; second, that the Conference submit all then-existing regulations to review by a commission of officials appointed by the Emperor; and third, that the Conference’s statements were not to be taken as valid unless Antigonus gave them his personal sanction.
  • May 6-
    • During April and May 1732, the situation with the Holy Synod and the Imperial Almitian Church worsened. The Emperor’s own personal relationships had frayed. His younger sister, Grand Princess Octavia, Duchess of Sufforia, who had always supported Empress-Consort Katharina, was ardently opposed to any notion of divorce, and angered by her brother’s "charade". Her husband, the Duke of Sufforia, who privately supported the Emperor’s claims, nevertheless found that his wife’s outspoken opposition compromised his own public position; in May 1732, Antigonus, for the second time, ordered Sufforia to withdraw from the Imperial Court to Fulcania. The Duke of Norfolkius, whose wife was also opposed to the Emperor’s policies, found himself strung. Gardinerius, Archbishop of Winchestrius, was damaged by his unwillingness to aggressively support the Emperor’s policies in the Conference. Yet other things were happening. In March 1732, the Abbott of Windowia Photis became the first man brought to justice for calling Anna "a common whore." An outcry was provoked on Laurasia Prime by Anna's assumption of prominence at court festivities, and rumors circulated throughout the Empire concerning her. Then on April 24, 1732, Bishop Fisherius of Constantia narrowly evaded being poisoned; most of his household attendants fell ill, and thirty of them died. The Emperor’s response was unusual. He immediately rushed out a proclamation condemning the attempt, and on April 30, had Fisherius’s cook, Richardius Roosius, who was accused of being complicit in attempted murder, attainted and executed by incineration at the Fortress of Baureux. Then, on May 1, 1732, the Emperor attended Easter mass at the Old Royal Palace. Willanius Petous (born in 1672), a former warden of the Gilbertine House of Richmond on Tudoria, was the preacher for the occasion. Petous had once served as confessor to the Grand Princess Didymeia. Emperor Antigonus assumed that the man would deliver an oration on the good merits of the season, and would refrain from partisan statements.
    • Instead, the Friar stated in the sermon that the Emperor should not end his marriage, and that there was no way to do so except by proving that his wife had consummated her marriage with Grand Prince Craterus. He begged the Emperor not to follow the example of the Jatherian King Ahasherus, who had brought down ruin by his dominions through his own "unlawful" marital pursuits. The Emperor, who could have commanded Petous to cease his sermon, instead sat through it, even talking to the Friar afterwards. On May 4, 1732, however, in an act of petty vengeance, the Emperor had Dr. Antiochus Curwenia (1685-1748), one of the chaplains of the Imperial Household, deliver a sermon in order to rebut Petous’s statements. Curwenia, to the shock of many and the delight of the Emperor, harshly condemned Petous, denouncing him as a "dog, slanderer, base, beggarly friar, rebel, and traitor." Yet when Curwenia accused Petous of acting out of cowardice, Sir Craterus Elestonia (1695-1734) spoke up and defended the Friar. Antigonus was angered by this, and he had both Elestonia and Petous called to appear before the Privy Council, in order to answer for their actions. The Earl of Estatius was among those who condemned the men, exclaiming that they should both be executed. All of this served to intensify tensions; then on May 6, 1732, the Emperor subjected the Holy Synod’s authority to arrest and prosecute heretics to the approval and ratification of the Privy Council, an action which was not supported by Chancellor Morius. The Conference of Almitian Prelates, in the meantime, continued to remain in limbo. Chief Procurator Warhamius, who himself opposed the Emperor’s policies, and was becoming more disenchanted with his sovereign, nevertheless kept his silence.
  • May 15-It was on May 15, 1732, that the ultimate climax came. Emperor Antigonus was determined to compel the Conference of Almitian Prelates, and the Holy Synod, to confirm his renewed title of Pontifex Maximus, and to formally denounce all opposition to his religious policies. Therefore, the Emperor sent the Dukes of Norfolkius and Sufforia to the Conference, ordering for the prelates to deliver him a response to the earlier conditions laid before them. Chief Procurator Warhamius, understanding that resistance was futile, decided to capitulate. On this day, therefore, the Chief Procurator became the first to sign the so-called Submission of the Almitian Church; ultimately, more than 150,000 of the highest-ranking Cardinals, Metropolitans, Archbishops, Bishops, and Deacons of the Empire affixed their signatures to this document. The document declared that the Emperor’s title of Pontifex Maximus was valid; that no one should challenge it thenceforth; and that anyone who dared to lay challenge was to be excommunicated. The document, furthermore, subordinated the Holy Synod to the Governing Senate and Imperial Privy Council; for the first time in four hundred years, the Synod and Senate did not enjoy equality in precedence, rank, and influence within the Empire. To the Emperor, this was a victory, reversing the corruption and the excesses of the Church which had ensued during the seventeenth century. The following day, May 16, 1732, Sir Thomasius Morius, who could no longer tolerate the Emperor’s religious measures, and who had developed a great sympathy for Empress Consort Katharina, formally resigned from his positions as Chancellor and Procurator-General. Emperor Antigonus accepted his resignation at the Hampsonian Palace on Jared, and expressed his dismay that Morius had decided to depart from his service. Nevertheless, Morius was allowed to retire to his home, Chelsea Manor, on Atticus.
  • July 17-Death (July 17, 1732) of the former Haynsian Despot Bryan IV Karany at Navarino in the Great Tesmanian Cloud.
  • August 22-
    • On August 22, 1732, the Chief Procurator of the Holy Synod, Willanius Warhamius, died in the Laurasian City of Hackingrae on Selena. He was seventy-five years old at the time of his death, and was the last remaining of the Emperor Neuchrus the Reformer’s leading ministers and advisers. Though as primate of the Church, Warhamius had long been friendly towards the Crown, his great age had reduced his ability to be useful, his swings of opinion since the Emperor Antigonus first questioned his marriage with Katharina of Shenandoah had made him less dependable, and his unhappiness with the direction of the imperial policy was becoming worrisome. Warhamius’s death was a great stroke of luck for the Emperor, both because it freed him to appoint someone who would support his policies without obstruction, and because of the danger terminated. Warhamius had been a man of exceptional abilities and much education, holding a Ph.D. in Theological Sciences and Legal Studies, a J.D. in Legal and Administrative Studies, and a Master of Arts in Sociology and Political Science. It was his early performance in the imperial service, particularly his role in negotiating the Treaties of Ayton and Almastead that had brought him to the attention of Emperor Neuchrus. Unlike Wolesius, however, Warhamius had always maintained the highest standards in both his professional and political life.
    • It was discovered by the Emperor’s agents, shortly after Warhamius’s death, that the Chief Procurator had been intending a bold, and outspoken, criticism of the policies being pursued. Warhamius would have called upon the example of Thomasius Becketius, that Chief Procurator of the fourteenth century who had come into conflict with the Emperor Antiochus the Great in the 1360s. He had been assassinated in December 1370 by Praetorian Guards angered by Becketius’s actions. In his prepared oration, the Chief Procurator had pointed back to the reign of Honorius the Terrible, warning that the treatment of Pope Philip during the 1160s would, if repeated again, bring "great ruin upon the Empire"; he also drew upon Pope Nikon, who had openly defied King Artabanus the Gentle in the 1250s, and recycled Nikon’s statement that "It is not within the place of the sovereign, or of any earthly authority, to take that which belongs to the celestial power." Warhamius, furthermore, declared that Emperor Antigonus would be following the example of the despicable Judas, who had betrayed Paul the Prophet; or the example of the Brethalian King Ptolemy X, who had been responsible for persecuting and oppressing Almitians. Thus, it was a boon to Antigonus that Warhamius died when he did.
    • Emperor Antigonus now strained himself to appoint a successor. Gardinerius, Leesius, and Tunstallia were all disqualified, because the first two had failed to vigorously defend the Emperor’s policies, while the last had openly condemned them. Therefore, the Emperor Antigonus’s attention turned to one man who was not an archbishop or bishop, had never before been considered for any such position, and was unknown even by reputation to most of the clergy in the Empire. It was thus, on August 31, 1732, the day after Warhamius’s burial at St. Jerome’s Crypt in Hackingrae, that the Emperor recalled Thomasius Cranmerius, assigned as a consul at the court of Spamalkan Emperor Char’va I, back to the Empire. Cranmerius was supported by the Boleyenias; the Emperor himself found Cranmerius to be intelligent, learned, industrious, and conscientious. He gave no evidence of seeking to enrich himself or to push any personal religious agenda. He seemed happy to embrace the Emperor’s objectives, and to acknowledge that his only role was to enforce them. Yet Cranmerius had married again. In June 1732, he had secretly married the Germanian niece of Andreas Osiander (1698-1752), who was one of the most respected theologians and scholars in the Autocratic Pruthian Empire. Cranmerius kept this marriage secret, which was in violation of his solemn vow of celibacy. It was not until 1743, in fact, before Cranmerius confessed his marriage to the Emperor. Antigonus, who was always insistent on the celibacy of his clergy, nevertheless decided to allow for Cranmerius to retain his marriage, as long as he kept this secret. Cranmerius received his formal letter of summons on October 1, 1732, but it was not until November 19, 1732, before he departed from Mantua. Delays in his journey would keep him from arriving until the New Year.
  • September 1-
    • Emperor Antigonus, who now felt confident that he would finally push forward with the business of divorce, and terminate the proceedings which had dragged on for more than five years, decided to raise his mistress to the nobility of the Empire. This would also serve as a step along the process to finally making her his Empress Consort. On September 1, 1732, barely a week after Warhamius's death, and in a ceremony at the Hampsonian Palace on Jared, the Emperor raised her to the rank of Marchioness of Pembroke on Tudoria. This was the first time in the Empire's history that a woman had been granted a peerage in her own right. The ceremony of ennoblement was performed with great pomp, with the Emperor enthroned in his Public Throne Room, attended by the Dukes of Norfolkius and Sufforia and the Imperial Privy Council. Anna was conducted into his presence by a great train of courtiers and ladies. She had on a surcoat of crimson velvet beneath a short-sleeved overgrown trimmed with ermine. Her hair hung loose down her back. She curtsied three times as she approached the Emperor, then knelt, as the Letters Patent conferring her new title were read out. As the herald spoke, the Emperor placed a crimson velvet mantle of estate about her shoulders and a golden coronet on her hand. She then gave him her humble thanks, and retired from the chambers to the sound of trumpets. She and Antigonus then heard mass in St. Georgius's Chapel, and a Te Deum was sung in honor of the occasion. Moreover, the new Marchioness was granted estates on Fulcania, Tarravania, Little Mexicana, Darsis, Americana, Chilsia, Wallachia, Charasia, Clackimaris, Apathama Vixius, Oxia Vixius, Volta, and Taurasia, among other strongholds in the Laurasia Prime Purse Region; furthermore, she received the rights to one-third of the tithes and offerings in the Diocese of Winchestrius.
    • Her title was also made hereditary, to pass to all her male heirs. Anna’s title now made her a more suitable companion for the Emperor. Moreover, Anna had, at last, surrendered to the Emperor. Their sexual relationship began two days before her ennoblement. The death of Chief Procurator Warhamius had broken Anna's resolve to remain chaste, and she now believed that Antigonus would finally move to annul the marriage. The ceremony had been arranged at very short notice, so that Anna would have rank and financial security if the Emperor died. The consummation enhanced Antigonus's passion for her, and Chapuys reported that the Emperor was more infatuated with her than ever. In December 1732, it would be reported by the Haxonian Ambassador, Guillamo de Mercredi (who served from 1730 to 1736), that Anna attended him to all public functions. Antigonus discovered that his wife was possessed of vigorous sexual skills. This was disconcerting for him, especially after Anna's constant protestations that she meant to preserve her virtue until she married.
    • Technically, however, she was still a virgin, and at this stage of their relationship, he would not allow for it to concern him too much. Anna was now gathering her own household around her. Its inner circle were young people with wit, charm, and intelligence, who could be guaranteed to maintain the activity of her household. Among them were her brother, Viscount Ralanchaford, of whom she was very fond and his wife, Lady Attila Boleyenia (1705-42); Sir Franconius Brania (1690-1750); Sir Franconius Westonia, Sir Willanius Bretonia, Sir Thomasius Wyatta, and various relatives of the Boleyenias and their supporters. The older nobility were not welcome and resented their exclusion. In October 1732, Anna deprived the Empress Consort of her Crown Jewels, and took to wearing them herself. Moreover, she appropriated the Empress's barge and without consulting Antigonus, had Katharina's coat of arms defaced and then removed. Throughout November and December 1732, Anna behaved arrogantly, treating her servants and others at the Court with contempt, and declaring that she was Empress Consort in all but name. The loathing and hatred for this woman was now at fever pitch.
  • September 13-
    • By September 1732, the situation in the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth had further attracted the attention of the Laurasian Empire, and of the Commonwealth’s other neighbors. Ever since the Silent Diet of 1717, King Vorrus I had been engaged in vain efforts to strengthen the Commonwealth, and to ensure his son’s succession to the Dejanican throne. In 1722, his attempt to reform requisitions and taxation on royal estates, corporations, and guilds had been defeated through Laurasian and Austarlian bribes to the Diet; in 1726, the King’s effort to revise the procurement procedures for his retainers, to encourage renewed colonization efforts in Lesser Dejanica, and to improve the state budget, were also rejected by the Diet. Vorrus’s health began to decline during the late 1720s; four times in 1730 and 1731, the King experienced a minor stroke, and for a time, was obliged to retreat from public appearances. By March 1732, the King was unable to walk, and found himself immobilized within his personal residences. It was thus Emperor Antigonus’s intention to insure for Laurasian control of the election process. On April 19, 1732, Antigonus declared to Chancellor Morius and to the Duke of Norfolkius that the Empire’s position "shall not be secured unless we take action to destroy all opposing influences to our power in the Commonwealth."
    • Two months later, he ordered the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sir Willanius Pauletius (the future Lord Treasurer Winchestrius) and Minister Crownapoulos to open negotiations with the Holy Austarlian Empire. Holy Austarlian Emperor Char’vak V, who had in March 1731 been forced to suspend Austarlian commercial activities in the Crone Galaxy due to the Treaty of Vienna, and had struggled in vain to gain recognition of his Pragmatic Sanction, was also concerned about the situation in Dejanica. Raids by Dejanican nobles, confederates, and freebooters into Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, and Royal Hungary during the 1720s agitated the Austarlians, and Char’vak believed it was necessary to secure his own influence in Dejanica, particularly in Galicia. It was thus, on May 28, 1732, that he responded positively to the Laurasian requests. Franz Ludwig of Mainz, Chancellor of the Holy Austarlian Empire, declared in his response to the Imperial Laurasian Government’s entreaties that Austarlia and Laurasia would "through faithful cooperation and coordination, assert our rightful place in the election process in Dejanica." It was on June 15, 1732, that delegations from the two governments convened at the Favorita Palace on Vienna, in the Holy Austarlian Empire, in order to devise the terms of the treaty. Chancellor Ludwig of Mainz, assisted by the Austarlian Count Herman von Borich and the Hungarian Prince Franz Stepherjag, negotiated with Crownapoulos, Sir Pauletius, and the Earls of Oxfafia, Americana, and Aretha.
    • Finally, on September 13, 1732, the Treaty of the Two Eagles (named after the black and golden eagles of the Holy Austarlian and Laurasian Empires, respectively), was signed. By the terms of this treaty, the Emperors of Laurasia and Austarlia came to the understanding that the affairs in the Commonwealth were the "concern of our two realms", considering the elective process for the Dejanican Monarchy and the “constant instability” of these dominions. They agreed that they would oppose the candidacy of Vorrus I’s son, also named Prince Vorrus, and also that of General Stanis Morgar (1677-1766), a veteran of the Great Marasharite War, War of the Expedition, and Smolensk Wars, who was seen by many in the Commonwealth as a leading contender for the throne upon the death of Vorrus I. Therefore, it was agreed between the two governments that they would support either the Infante Manuel, Count of Ourem (1697-1766), who had fought under Prince Eugene of Savoy in the military campaigns of the Austarlian-Marasdharite War of 1716-18, and who was well known at both the Imperial Laurasian and Holy Austarlian Courts, or a member of the former Piast dynasty of Dejanica as the next King and Grand Duke of the Commonwealth. Furthermore, it was understood that it was in the common interest of all powers that the constitutional situation within the Commonwealth, as it then existed, should be retained; that its elected monarch should be friendly towards them; and that Dejanica refrain from any foreign alliances adverse to its interests. The Treaty of the Two Eagles, ratified by Emperor Antigonus on September 22, and by Austarlian Emperor Char'vak V on October 1, proved satisfying to both governments. Pruthian Emperor A'rua II, who was determined to secure his own interests in Northania, Semigallia, and Royal Pruthia, and fearful of the prospect of a Dejanican-Saxonian-Franconian alliance, decided to join the treaty in November 1732. On December 19, 1732, after a further round of negotiations in Christiania and on Berliania III, the Autocratic Pruthian Empire formally became a party to what was now termed the Treaty of the Three Eagles. Emperor Antigonus was pleased by all of this: furthermore, he now conferred the supreme reward upon Crownapoulos. On December 22, 1732, Crownapoulos was formally named a Knight of the Imperial Household. He was also appointed Chancellor of the Laurasian Empire, Imperial President of the Privy Council, and Minister of the Imperial Chancellory, thereby formally becoming the Emperor Antigonus's chief minister.

1733Edit

  • January 25-
    • 1733, the 33rd year of the eighteenth century, commenced with the Emperor Antigonus, who had suborned the clergy of the Imperial Almitian Church, and thereby given to his subjects a demonstration of his autocratic authority, now determined, beyond a shadow of a doubt, to terminate his marriage with Empress Consort Katharina. The Emperor now understood that his Spamalkan counterpart, Char'va I, was too focused on his Franconian adversaries, and on military conflicts in the Great Amulak Spiral, to even be contemplating war against the Laurasian Empire. Furthermore, Antigonus found that a substantial minority of his most influential subjects now favored the termination of the marriage, and that he could now proceed with the minimum of friction. And there was another, more pressing reason: on January 5, 1733, the Emperor discovered that Marchioness Anna Boleyenia, his beloved, was pregnant. She was told by the physicians of the imperial household that she had conceived in December of the previous year. Anna's pregnancy now accelerated the pace of everything which the Emperor was doing. It immediately gave rise to a need to ensure that her child, the Emperor's son, would be legitimate. Thus it was on January 25, 1733, at the Boleyenia Family Estate on Fulcania, that the Emperor was secretly married to Marchioness Boleyenia in an impromptu ceremony. One of his imperial chaplains, Dorus Leesius (1679-1738), performed the marriage. Leesius had to be hurried into the conference chambers by means of the palace's underground turret system; this was to ensure that his presence would not be detected. There were four witnesses to the wedding, all sworn to secrecy: Sirs Antigonus Norria (1701-76) and Thomasius Heneagius (1695-1748), Gentlemen of the Imperial Privy Chamber, along with Ladies Anna Savrania (1703-86) and Demetria Berkrania (1707-93), attendants to Lady Boleyenia. Not even Anna's father, the Earl of Redia, was told of the ceremony.
    • The Emperor now had the wife he craved, and she was delightfully pregnant, with what he believed was a son. Laurasian royal custom decreed that the child's gender was not to be known until the moment of birth; thus, fervent prayers were made by the Emperor and his new wife. Yet Antigonus realized that the marriage with Katharina still needed to be annulled, and he now proceeded to that order of business. Anna, on her part, could not resist dropping hints that the marriage had occurred. Ambassador Chapuys, who learned of the ceremony through his agents, was thoroughly alarmed by her behavior. In February 1733, he heard her say to Sir Thomasius Wyatta that she had an "intense craving for food, such as she had never had before, and that the Emperor had told her that it was a sign she was pregnant. She, however, had declared that it was nothing of the sort. Then she burst out laughing loudly." Wyatta told Chapuys shortly afterwards that he was ashamed of her. A few days later, Anna told Norfolkius that if she was not pregnant by Easter, she would go on a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Walsingis. On February 24, she and the Emperor held a great banquet at the Senatorial Palace. The Emperor behaved like a bridegroom; Chapuys watched him fawning upon Anna, and showing great concern for her. By the end of the evening, he was drunk and roaring with laughter; the Duchess of Norfolkius heard him refer to the Lady's "great dowry and a rich marriage."
  • February 1-
    • On February 1, 1733, Vorrus I, King and Grand Duke of the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth, who had ruled for eighteen years (since 1715), died in Warsaw City, Dejanica Prime. He was sixty-three years old at the time of his death. King Vorrus, was, by the time of his death, even more submissive towards the demands of the Laurasian Empire, and was growing increasingly unwilling to condone any governmental policies adverse to the interests of his protectors. Emperor Antigonus received the news of King Vorrus's death with some "restraint" and consideration. In reality, Antigonus was pleased that Vorrus was dead, and proceeded promptly to his plans for asserting Laurasian influence over the election process. On February 5, 1733, the Emperor issued an official imperial manifesto from the Quencilvanian Palace, expressing his regrets for the death of the King of Dejanica, and declaring that his demise had left his subjects "bereft of a caring and considerate ruler." Vorrus was officially interred at Wawel Cathedral on Krakow, on February 15, 1733. Two days later, King Franjak I of Franconia, who was determined to assert Franconian rule over the affairs of the Commonwealth, ordered for the garrisons of Alsace, Franconian Burgundy, Artois, and Provence to be strengthened, and for naval exercises to be conducted in the Northern Straits of the Amulak Spiral. Furthermore, Franconian convoys monitored Dejanican traffic from Pomerania, Royal Pruthia, and Samogitia.
    • In all of this, Franjak was encouraged by Andre de Flury, Archate of Frejus (1653-1743), who had served as the chief Minister of State since 1728. Frejus was determined to strike against the Holy Austarlian Empire, and viewed intervention in the Austarlian conflict as a means to an end. He cared little for who would become the King of Dejanica, but sought to consolidate Franconian rule over the Duchy of Lorraine, whose duke, Fransios Stephen, was expected to marry Emperor Char'vak's daughter and heiress, Mar'va Tarvania. Thus it was that the King, in his own manifesto of condolences, declared that the situation within the Commonwealth needed to be "redressed" to the benefit of all parties. On February 26, 1733, Holy Austarlian Emperor Char'vak V, who was alarmed by this Franconian move, issued his own manifesto expressing his support for a "speedy succession to the Dejanican throne." Austarlian troops were now actively being assembled in Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, Royal Hungary, and Transylvania for a possible move into Galicia, Lodomeria, and the Vistula Colonies should the need arise. Laurasian Emperor Antigonus, on his part, had come to the conclusion that Prince Vorrus should be allowed to become the next King of Dejanica after all, and resolved to work towards that end.
  • March 9-
    • By March 1733, the situation in the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth had evolved further. Minister Flury had convinced King Franjak that the only way to ensure Franconian influence in the Commonwealth, and to weaken that of Austarlia and (consequently) Laurasia, was to actively support and cajol the factions which were now competing for the Dejanican Crown. As early as December 1729, the Marquis de Monti (1674-1740), the Franconian Ambassador to the Court of Dejanica, had been holding conferences with Dejanican magnates on Poznan, Lodz, Wroclaw, Dejanica Major, Kalisz, Lublin, and Danzig, in an attempt to gauge their opinions, and to assure them of Franconia's friendly intentions towards them. In November 1732, de Monti had begun distributing bribes to the members of the Dejanican Senate; the magnates of Greater Dejanica, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Belarania, and Ukraine profited the most. It was thus on March 9, 1733, that de Monti held a conference with the powerful Potockia and Czartoyskia families, two of the leading noble houses within the Commonwealth. The Czartoyskia family was descended from the younger son of the fourteenth century Lithuanian Grand Prince Algirdas, Constantine, who became Prince of Chrotyrsk in Volhynia; they became more prominent over time, and by the late seventeenth century, had firmly consolidated their place among the ranks of the Dejanican nobility. The head of the Czartokyskia family at this time was Prince Kazimeriz Czartoyskia (1674-1741), who had assumed his place of authority in 1704; his nephew was Prince Michal Frederyk Czartoyskia (1696-1775), who was Duke of Klewan and Zukow, and was Steward of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania from 1720.
    • The Potockia family, on its part, originated from Potok in the Krakow Voivodeship; their origins dated back to the twelfth century, with Alexander Potockia, Castellan of Sandomierz (died 1167), becoming the first prominent member of the family line. Teodor Potockia (1664-1738), who on February 7, 1733, became Interrex of the Commonwealth, served as Primate of Dejanica from 1723-38; Jozef Potockia (1673-1751), marshal of the Crown of Dejanica, was one of the Commonwealth's leading military officers. It was with all of these men that de Monti conducted his parleys, and successfully. On March 15, 1733, after six days of meetings, Prince Czartoyskia and Primate Potockia agreed to throw their support to the claims of General Stanis Morgar. Two days later, on the persuasion of the Ambassador, the Dejanican Diet passed a resolution forbidding the election of previous dynasts and of foreigners to the Dejanican throne, thereby making Prince Vorrus ineligible to run as a candidate for the Dejanican Crown. Morgar, on his part, was now assembling military supplies and retainers at his estates on Mir, Bialystok, and Brest-Livotsk, determined to leave nothing unturned. The Laurasian Ambassador to the Court of Dejanica, Sir Aelius Marconius, Baronet Marconius of Samantha (1667-1763), tried and failed to reverse this resolution of the Diet.
  • March 30-
    • On March 30, 1733, after a delay of many months, with Emperor Antigonus and Chancellor Crownapoulos engaged in their efforts to ensure that no opposition to their plans would arise from the clergy of the Almitian Church, and that the Emperor's subjects would accept the course of events, Thomasius Cranmerius was finally appointed Chief Procurator of the Holy Synod. Six months had passed since the death of his predecessor Warhamius. Cranmerius received his robes of office, procuratorial miter, and staff of authority from the Emperor in a ceremony at the Westphalian Cathedral. In conjunction with Cranmerius's appointment, the Great Matter had proceeded further. In February, the Privy Council had again examined the facts of the Emperor's marriage, and recommended that he proceed immediately to take steps on his marriage. The Empress Consort was officially informed of Antigonus's intentions. Katharina had spent a wretched Ascentmas on Shenandoah, and the news filled her with dread. She was forbidden to communicate with Chapuys, but both defied this order whenever possible. In January, she had got a message to the Ambassador, asking him to plead her case to Char'va I and to any other foreign sovereign willing to listen. She would "die happy" if her marriage to Antigonus was decreed good and valid, knowing that the Grand Princess Didymeia would not lose her place in the succession. On March 5, the Emperor sent another deputation to Katharina, in another vain attempt to break down her resistance. Yet by the beginning of March 1733, with Char'va I distracted by war with the Knights of Malta, the Barbary States, and the Arabian Potentates, and with Anna's pregnancy advancing, the Emperor finally decided that the time was ripe to terminate his marriage.
    • On April 7, the Emperor summoned the Council and informed them of his marriage to Lady Boleyenia, and that she was carrying in her womb the heir to the Empire. On hearing this staggering news, the Council had advised the Emperor to inform the Empress Consort at once. Antigonus chose Norfolkius and Sufforia to do this unpleasant duty. On April 9, they saw Katharina at Transmarta and warned her that she could not return to the Emperor. Katharina took the news calmly, but declared that she would call herself Empress of Laurasia as long as she lived. Ambassador Chapuys, on his part, was urging Char'va to declare war upon the Empire, and to counteract Laurasian actions in the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Thus it was that on April 11, 1733, that the Chief Procurator, who sought to waste no time to act in his master's interests, requested permission to move forward with his investigation of the marriage, and to make the final determination. The Emperor wasted no time in granting this request. On that day, the Chief Procurator closed all outstanding investigations by the Holy Synod and other Almitian bodies into the matter of the Emperor Antigonus's marriage with his Empress Consort. The following day (April 12, 1733), Anna Boleyenia, dressed in robes of state and laden with diamonds, and other precious stones, proceeded as Empress of Laurasia to her closet to hear mass; sixty maids of honor followed her. She had achieved her chief ambition, and had adopted for her motto the legend "Happiest of Women". Her success seemed assured, and she was confident that her child was the son the Emperor craved. The Court looked on with ill-conceived dismay.
    • Even some of Anna's own supporters felt that the Emperor should have waited for his marriage to Katharina to be formally dissolved before taking another wife. The Emperor, sensing that his nobility was less than enthusiastic about their new Empress, announced that her coronation would be on June 1. It was also on this day that the Emperor set about appointing the chief officers of his new wife's household. On April 15, Chapuys saw the Emperor and tackled him on the subject of his marriage to Anna. Antigonus responded that his conscience and Almitis were on good terms. Chapuys tried further remonstration, but Antigonus grew angry and dismissed the Ambassador from the audience. Chapuys apologized later, understanding that if he remain afoul of Antigonus, he could not help Katharina. In May, the Ambassador was summoned by the Privy Council and warned not to meddle further in Katharina's affairs, an order he chose to ignore. April 1733 saw a spate of protests against the marriage, for almost everyone was opposed to it. A priest on Apathama Vixius, Rudomentus Wendoria, was arrested for saying that Anna was the "scandal of the Empire, a whore and a harlot"; another priest at the Station of Dosch, commending the Emperor's new wife to his flock, suffered greatly at the hands of his female parishioners. When the order went out that Anna was to be prayed for in the churches and cathedrals of Laurasia Prime, one Christiania congregation walked out in disgust. The Dean of St. Colombia's Cathedral lost his office for forbidding the priests to pray for the imperial couple. Some suffered imprisonment for slandering the new consort. On April 16, Antigonus learned from Chapuys that Char'va would neither recognize Anna Boleyenia as Empress Consort of Laurasia, nor accept the annulment of the marriage. The Emperor remained unmoved. Two days later, on April 18, 1733, the Chief Procurator convened a special panel of experts, including clergymen, Privy Councilors, nobles, and prominent magnates of Laurasia Prime, and of the Purse Region, to make the final "recommendations" on the subject of the marriage. Cranmerius himself issued a manifesto expressing his support for "His Majesty's wishes to obtain for himself a lawful, Almitis-ordained union." A special summons was dispatched to Katharina, but she ignored them because she did not recognize Cranmerius's competence to judge her case. Katharina maintained that she was Antigonus's wife, not his subject, and as a princess of foreign blood, not bound by the Empire's laws. Cranmerius declared her contumacious, and proceeded without her.
  • May 23-
    • On May 23, 1733, the special investigative court convened by the Chief Procurator Cranmerius, declared, to the surprise of none, that Antigonus and Katharina had never been married. Furthermore, the Chief Procurator and his colleagues issued their opinion that the Emperor's union with Anna Boleyenia was valid, and sanctioned by the law of Almitis. On May 26, the Senate and Privy Council issued a joint manifesto declaring that the marriage of Antigonus III and Katharina of Shenandoah was "wrong from the beginning", and strongly recommending that the Emperor divest himself of his barren wife. It was thus, on May 28, 1733, that the Holy Synod formally annulled the marriage of Katharina of Shenandoah with the Emperor of Laurasia. Emperor Antigonus himself, revealing that his hand was in play behind all of this, now formally deprived Katharina of her title and position as Empress Consort; revoked all treaty commitments made to Spamalka in regards to Katharina; and confiscated all properties and estates which had been conferred upon Katharina as her dowry. He reduced her to the rank of Grand Princess Dowager of the Laurasian Empire, as the wife of his late brother Craterus, and revoked her rights of precedence. The Emperor then formally proclaimed Anna Boleyenia to be his Empress Consort; the long wait was finally over. The very day of this pronouncement, Empress Anna was escorted, from the outskirts of the Laurasia Prime star system, through the two Calaxies, Jadia, and the Post Settlement of Hepudermia, into the city of Christiania. She was attended by the Governor of Laurasia Prime and the Mayor of Christiania. Norfolkius, as Imperial Marshal, was in charge of the coronation arrangements, but so fraught was the relationship between himself and his niece that they were barely on speaking terms.
    • The Duke told Chapuys that he had always opposed the Emperor's marriage to Anna (a lie), and praised Katharina of Shenandoah for her "great modesty, prudence, and forbearance, the Emperor having been inclined to false and idle relationships." Yet the coronation festivities went as planned. When Anna came to the Fortress of Baureux, gaily decorated barges and repulsorlifts abounded. Crowds lined the thoroughfares to see the pageants and the Empress's own barge, hung with cloth of gold and heraldic banners. At the Fortress, she was greeted by the Emperor, who kissed her heartily before leading her into the newly refurbished imperial apartments. He then dubbed eighteen Knights of the Imperial Garder. On May 31, wearing a surcoat of white cloth of tissue and a matching mantle furred with ermine, with her hair loose beneath a coif and circlet set with precious stones, Anna rode in a pod of white cloth of gold, through the City of Christiania, to the Senatorial Palace. A great procession of courtiers and ladies extended; the generals of the Imperial Suite held a canopy of cloth of gold with gilded staves and silver bells above her head. Children made speeches; largesse and free wine were distributed; and choirs raised their voices in honor of the Empress. She was wished "hearty gladness, continual success, and long fruition." The City of Christiania spared no expense in honoring an Empress who was not popular, even commissioning special triumphal arches for the processional route, and regilding the Great Cross of Christiania for the occasion. Although the crowds had turned out in their millions, their reception of their new Empress was cold.
    • They came to stare, not to cheer, and as Anna passed by, smiling and greeting the people on each side, only a handful cried out "Almitis save your Grace!"; by contrast, everyone had praised Katharina at the coronation of 1709. The following day, June 1, 1733, was the Empress Consort's coronation day. Dressed in a gown of crimson velvet edged with ermine beneath a purple velvet mantle, and with her hair loose beneath a caul of pearls and a rich coronet, Anna walked in procession from the Senatorial Palace to the Westphalian Cathedral beneath a glittering canopy of cloth of gold. Following her went a great train of lords and ladies, the Imperial Suite, the monks of Westphalia, clergymen of the Church, and the children of the Imperial Chapel with the Chief Procurator. The carpet along which they proceeded extended to the Cathedral's high altar; Anna sat enthroned. Cranmerius performed the ceremony of anointing. He then deferred to the Emperor, who placed the Smaller Imperial Crown on her head and a rod of ivory in her right hand. She was not given the orb or the sceptre; these were the supreme symbols of power, and the Emperor himself wore the Great Imperial Crown. Nevertheless, hers was to be the last coronation of an imperial consort in the eighteenth century.
    • The inhabitants of the city, however, gave a sour reception to the ceremony. Anna's coronation banquet at the Quencilvanian Palace was a lavish affair and lasted several hours. She sat at the center of the top table, was flanked by two noblewomen, and ate many expensive dishes. The Imperial musicians played, and the Knights of the Garder served the food. When the feast ended, Anna was served wine, comfits, and sweets; she gave the Mayor of Christiania her gold cup, thanking him and the city for their efforts on her behalf. The Emperor also gave them his hearty thanks. Court festivities continued for some days after the coronation with tournaments, hunting expeditions, banquets and dancing, with many courtiers doing honor to the Empress Consort, if only for His Majesty's sake. Antigonus had done for Anna as he had promised: he had married her and crowned her with great pomp. All he asked was that she present him with the son which Antigonus, at forty-two, now needed more desperately than ever. The birth of a male heir would strengthen his position.
  • June 24-On June 24, 1733, Lord Antiochus Dudley, future Earl of Leicesterius, and one of the chief favorites of Empress Aurelia the Great, was born. He was the fifth son of John Dudley, future Earl of Sarah and Duke of Northumberlais, and his wife Messalina, daughter of Sir Demetrius Guildfadia. He was born at St. Katherine's Hospital in Constantinople, Laurasia Prime.
  • June 25-On June 25, 1733, the younger sister of the Emperor Antigonus, Grand Princess Octavia Brandeis, Duchess of Sufforia and Dowager Queen of Franconia, died at Stanhalian Palace in Vervasia, Augis II, due to complications from the Marsian fever. As had been noted previously, the Duchess of Sufforia remained supportive of the now-former Empress Consort Katharina of Shenandoah; she utterly despised Anna Boleyenia, who had once been one of her attendants. Following the birth of their eldest daughter, Lady Franconia Brandeis, in 1717, the Brandeises had had two more children. These were Lady Eleanora Brandeis, born in Westhrope Hall in Westhrope City, Meris V on June 28, 1719, and Antigonus Brandeis, 1st Earl of Licantoria (born on March 2, 1723, at Abraham). During the last several years of her life, the Grand Princess had remained largely on her husband's estates, and appeared at the Imperial Court for only the most formal occasions. She was only thirty-seven years old at the time of her death; her decease occurred thirty-one years following the death of Emperor Antigonus's older brother, the Grand Prince Craterus. Antigonus himself was devastated by his sister's death, and in a proclamation on June 29, commended her for her "merits and endearing traits, which have exalted her in the eyes of the Lord Almitis." He ordered the Court into two days of mourning for his sister, and himself donned black. Octavia was buried in a lavish ceremony at the Cathedral of St. Xenobius on Augis II, on July 19, 1733. The Emperor did not personally attend the funeral, but was represented by Chancellor Crownapoulos. The death of Grand Princess Octavia came less than three months before the birth of her niece, Empress Aurelia the Great.
  • July 3-
    • With Anna Boleyenia now Empress Consort, Katharina of Shenandoah and Grand Princess Didymeia became subject to further turmoil. In May 1733, the Grand Princess had been informed by the Privy Council of the Chief Procurator's judgments. She bravely told them that she would accept no one for Empress except her mother; therefore, the Council forbade her to communicate in any way with Katharina. The long, sad years of trial for Didymeia began. Her defiance, inspired by Katharina's courage, had the effect of fanning Anna Boleyenia's smouldering resentment into bitter hatred; it also caused an open rift between Didymeia and her father. Anna tried at first to bribe Didymeia into submission by sending cordial letters and inviting her to the Court, asking her to honor her as Empress, and promising it would be a means of reconciliation with her father. Didymeia replied curtly that she knew of no Empress of Laurasia save her mother, but if "Madame Boleyenia" would intercede for her with the Emperor, she would be much obliged. Anna was furious, but sent Didymeia another invitation. Again, the Grand Princess rebuffed her, so she now responded with threats. It was on July 3, 1733, that Katharina was officially informed of the Holy Synod's ruling. Another deputation of the Council, led by Lord Mountjaria, arrived at Transmarta and presented her with a document advising her that the Emperor was lawfully divorced and married to the Lady Anna, who was now Empress. It would be better for her if she accepted this new marriage and recognized Anna as Empress of Laurasia. Katharina took a pen, however, and to Mountjaria's horror, struck out the words "Grand Princess Dowager".
    • She declared: "I am not Grand Princess but the Empress and the Emperor's true wife! Since I have been crowned and anointed Empress, so I will call myself during my lifetime." When Mountjaria sought to remind her that the rightful Empress was now Anna, Katharina declared that it was not so. The deputation, who had heard her out with growing irritation, then delivered an ultimatum from the Emperor. He said that if she persisted with her insolence, he might withdraw his love for their daughter. Katharina remained resolute, declaring she would not submit for anyone. On July 22, 1733, therefore, the Emperor took his revenge by having Katharina moved to Buckrania House, also on Shenandoah. Many of her servants were dismissed, and her allowance was cut by more than one-third. Visitors were, on the Emperor's express command, forbidden. Katharina had few funds; she fasted, and prayed. She spent many of her hours at prayer; at the Chapel, she would kneel, day and night, praying at the window. She would bewail her husband and her marriage, but had great forbearance, and never said anything ill for Anna. In August, Anna confiscated Katharina's triumphal cloth and christening gown, an act of petty vindictiveness. Then on August 9, the Emperor formally deprived his daughter, Didymeia, of her title as Grand Princess, reduced her to the rank of "Lady", and removed her from the line of succession. Katharina was appalled by this, and suffered a bout of illness as a result.
    • In the meantime, the Empress's pregnancy progressed well. It was made public in May. Anna complained bitterly about the loss of her figure, but her father told her bluntly to thank Almitis that she found herself in such a condition. In July, she went with the Emperor on a progress to the Murphian Provinces, and was reported to be in good health and spirits. The Emperor ordered prayers for her safe delivery to be said across the Empire. Astrologers were consulted by the future parents about the baby's gender. Only one dared predict it would not be a boy: Sir Willanius Gloweria (1692-1744), told Anna that she would have a daughter, and that the daughter would become "one of our Empire's greatest sovereigns." This was not well received. In August 1733, however, the first cracks in the relationship between Anna and Antigonus began to appear. With his wife fully occupied with preparations for the coming child, the Emperor, who had now settled down in his marriage to a point where he could be complacent about it, strayed. For a few days, he dallied with Lady Urania Misaradia (1706-51), reputed to be one of the most beautiful ladies in the Imperial Household. Although the affair ended quickly Anna learned of it. Unlike Katharina, she made a great argument. Antigonus was irritated to find her upbraiding him for a passing infidelity; now that they were married, he expected her to be as meek, docile, and submissive as Katharina had been, and he did not take kindly to her censure. The Emperor told her that she must "shut your eyes, and endure as your betters have done. You ought to know that it is in my power to humble you again in a moment, more than I have ever exalted you before." She thereby received the first reminder of his autocratic authority. They then avoided each other for some days. Marriage had changed everything; Antigonus was now dominant, and expected Anna, as his wife, to play a subservient role. He was, even now, mentally comparing Anna to Katharina and found her wanting. Anna had now been Empress for five months, long enough for him to realize that she lacked the dignity and circumspection required for success in that capacity, and long enough for her arrogance to begin to irritate him.
  • July 7-
    • In April 1733, Emperor Antigonus, who was enraged that the efforts of Ambassador Mardonius to influence the Dejanican Diet had failed, and that the Franconian ambassador, the Marquis de Monti, was winning the battle of influence and diplomacy within the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth, decided to open a direct avenue of communications with Prince Vorrus, son of the late King. Chancellor Crownapoulos himself was determined to secure some advantage for the Empire, and to provide direct support to a candidate who could be relied upon to support Laurasian claims to "protectorship" of the Commonwealth. It was on April 22, 1733, that Chancellor Crownapoulos first contacted Prince Vorrus, declaring his sympathy for his plight and that the Imperial Laurasian Government would be willing to utlize all of its resources to his benefit. Prince Vorrus, who himself was now organizing his supporters, and seeking out all possibilities, to assert himself upon the Dejanican throne, proved receptive to the Laurasian communiques. In his response (May 12, 1733), the Prince declared that he would be more than willing to accept the "generous aid of His Imperial Majesty of Laurasia" and that he was also amendable to providing for favorable commercial relations between Laurasia and Dejanica. Yet it was not until May 28, 1733, before the Prince agreed to actual negotiations with the Imperial Laurasian Government. Chancellor Crownapoulos did not waste any time, and he dealt directly with Count Arnold von Shockrohm, the Saxonian aide to the Dejanican Prince. A secret conference convened at Riga, a Dejanican colony in the outskirts of the Great Tesmanian Cloud, on June 4, 1733.
    • Negotiations continued for over a month, until the conclusion of the Treaty of Riga (July 7, 1733). By the terms of this agreement, the Prince agreed to affirm all the territorial arrangements of the Treaty of Szembslikia (1708) and the Eternal Peace Treaty (1686). Laurasian jurisdiction over the Rogerian Cluster, Homi Provinces, and the Eastern Billian Provinces was affirmed by Vorrus. Furthermore, he pledged to ensure the continuation of all Laurasian commercial and transit privileges within the territory of the Commonwealth. Furthermore, Vorrus promised to the Emperor of Laurasia his choice of a successor to the Dejanican Duchy of Northania and Semigallia, upon the death of the childless Duke Ferdinand Kettler. The Treaty of Riga was ratified by Emperor Antigonus on July 13, 1733, while Prince Vorrus, who had no ratifying authority of his own, promised to adhere to the arrangements. Then on July 22, 1733, the Treaty of Chocim was concluded with the Holy Austarlian Empire, by which Vorrus, in exchange for recognizing Austarlian jurisdiction over the Nograd Region, and over the Principality of Transylvania, obtained Austarlian support for his claims. Furthermore, the Prince agreed to honor Char'vak V's Pragmatic Sanction (1713), which had overturned the Salic Laws of the Holy Austarlian Empire to permit for a female successor upon his death (in the event, his daughter Mar'va Tarvania). Both of these treaties, taken together, strengthened Vorrus's position and made him more confident in regards to the enforcement of his claims.
  • August 19-
    • Events proceeded rapidly following the conclusion of the Treaties of Riga and Chocim. On August 5, 1733, nearly a month after the conclusion of the Treaty, the Elective Diet of the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth, formally assembled at Wola, a Dejanican colony located near the outskirts of Dejanica Major, for the first session of the election process. During the course of the preceding two months, the local sejimiks and nobles' confederations, of both the Kingdom of Dejanica and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, had conducted their traditional selection procedures for the electors of the Diet. All total, more than 12,000 individuals, from throughout the Commonwealth, assembled as members of the Diet. Primate Potockia, who as explained above was closely aligned with the Franconian Ambassador de Monti, presided over the opening of the Diet and reminded the deputies of their duties and responsibilities. Yet just six days later, on August 11, 1733, the Laurasian Empire's military forces unilaterally violated the territory of the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Ever since February 1733, Emperor Antigonus had been assembling military forces in the Hypasian, Kelvanian, and Angelican Provinces for the purpose of a swift military operation into Dejanican Lavella. He had placed these forces under the command of General Petevius (Peter) Lacius. Lacius, who had been born on September 26, 1678, at Kileedy near Limerick, in the Angelina Spiral, was the son of Sir Chrysaor Lacius (1643-1729), a Laurasian engineer and starhopper in the service of the Scottrian Estates, and of Maureen Lacius (nee O'Hara, 1652-1734), daughter of the Scottrian Lord John O'Hara of Limerick.
    • He was therefore of partly Scottrian descent. Lacius's family had moved back to the Laurasian Empire in 1687, and in 1696, upon graduating from St. Valen's High School on Morgania Minor, he had entered the service of the Imperial Laurasian Army, graduating from the Imperial Academy of Military Sciences on Laura in 1700. Lacius then served during the Vectorian War of 1702-05, earning distinction for his valor in the Battles of Hannah, Tiesting, and Ghaza, and at the Siege of Skyriver. By 1706, he had risen to the rank of Colonel; he commanded Laurasian forces in the vicinity of Novella and Nelson during the War of the Expedition, and in 1708, was wounded in a confrontation with Dejanican marines on Marvald. Lacius's service in the Vectorian War of Conquest (1710-11) and in the Second Franconian War (1713-14), brought him to further prominence, and in 1716, he was promoted to the rank of General. Lacius then became Castellan of the Fortifications of Scanlan (1718-21), and in 1723, assumed command of the garrisons of the Hutsite Reaches, before suppressing the Chobanian Revolts (1725-26). He was then promoted to Brigadier General in 1731. Thus, the Emperor Antigonus looked to Lacius; he did not fail him. Within days of leading his forces across the Laurasian-Dejanican border, Lacius occupied Sissy, Spacek, Irving, Novella, Nelson, Denizel, Antwone, Dejan, Washington, the Dvina Straits, Vitebsk, Marvald, and Lovevold without resistance; Antigonus was clearly determined to assert Laurasian influence in Dejanican space.
    • At the same time, and from July 18, 1733, the Imperial Laurasian and Holy Austarlian Governments were engaged in diplomatic negotiations on Beatrice, in order to revise the terms of the earlier Treaty of the Three Eagles. It was on August 19, 1733, that Lowenwolde's Treaty was signed by the delegations of the two governments. The Treaty was named after the Archleutan diplomat Count Karl Gustav von Lowenwolde (1656-1735), who had been in the Imperial Diplomatic Service since 1686, and was its longest tenured diplomat. By the terms of Lowenwolde's Treaty, Emperor Antigonus III pledged himself to provide troops to ensure the election and coronation of Prince Vorrus, while the following conditions were confirmed: 1) all Laurasian territorial acquisitions made during the preceding two decades were to be acknowledged in full by the Diet 2) all Dejanican claims to territory in the Hypasian Provinces and the Wild Marshes were to be relinquished and 3) Laurasian rights to the succession of the Duchy of Northania were affirmed. The Autocratic Pruthian Empire, under A'rua II, remained opposed to the election of Prince Vorrus, and used its own influence to cajol members of the Diet into supporting the claims of General Morgar. On August 26, 1733, nevertheless, Emperor Antigonus issued a public declaration from the Quencilvanian Palace, declaring that he would not recognize General Morgar as King-Grand Duke of the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth if he were elected by the Diet. Holy Austarlian Emperor Char'va made a similar declaration on August 28. However, on September 4, 1733, King Franjak I of Franconia made his declaration of support for General Stanis Morgar. As a result of this, the Laurasian Ambassador to the Franconian Court, Sir Ahenobarbus Nartha (1675-1756), was, on September 6, 1733, recalled from Parri by Chancellor Crownapoulos. Diplomatic relations between Laurasia and Franconia were effectively severed.
  • September 7-
    • On August 18, the imperial couple went to the Gilbertine Palace on Tudoria, and from thence back to the Quencilvanian Palace on Laurasia Prime. Then on August 26, 1733, in accordance with the customs of the Imperial Laurasian Crown, Empress Consort Anna Boleyenia, attended by her ladies-in-waiting, maids-of honor, and maternity nurses, entered her formal confinement chambers at the Imperial Hospital of the Quencilvanian Palace. Wine and spices were enjoyed by the company before the Empress Consort's household chamberlain, Sir Dorus Marsius (1693-1738), read a formal prayer for the success of the Empress's delivery. Several days then passed; then at 1:00 p.m., the afternoon of September 7, 1733, the Empress Consort went into labor. Two hours later, she successfully gave birth, without complication, to a healthy and vigorous child. Both Antigonus and Anna had been eagerly in anticipation of their first child being a son, a Grand Prince who would continue the Neuchrian Dynasty and be a worthy successor to his father. Court astrologers, as mentioned above, had constantly predicted that the child of the Emperor and Empress was male. A celebratory tournament had been organized, and a formal proclamation announcing the birth of the Empire's Grand Prince had been drafted. As soon as word of the daughter's birth was received, the proclamation was modified so as to announce the birth of a Grand Princess. Emperor Antigonus rushed to his wife's chambers upon receiving word that she had successfully delivered.
    • Although both parents were disappointed at their child's gender, they nevertheless resolved, in unison, upon a name for their daughter: Aurelia, after both of her grandmothers, Empress Consort Aurelia Zemakala (who had already been dead for thirty years by the time of the Grand Princess's birth), and Lady Aurelia Howardis, Countess of Redia (who was fifty-three years old at the time of her granddaughter's birth). Thus was born one of the greatest monarchs of all of Laurasian history, the greatest monarch of the Neuchrian Dynasty and of the eighteenth century, and the longest effective-ruling sovereign in Laurasian history. At the time of Aurelia's birth, however, no one suspected that she would become Empress. Both of her imperial parents confidently expected to have a son afterwards, and believed that Aurelia was destined for life as a Grand Princess and a bride for some noble or foreign personage. This belief was shown in the hours after the birth. When the Emperor came to see his wife and child for the first time after the birth, he acted philosophical. When Anna expressed regret that she had not given him a son, he told her: "You and I are both young, and by Almitis's grace, sons will follow." Reaction to the birth was predictable. Ambassador Chapuys concluded that the Emperor had been abandoned, as he had received a daughter. Lady Didymeia was secretly triumphant, knowing Aurelia would be regarded as a bastard, begotten and born in sin by an infamous courtesan. Her hatred for Aurelia started from the moment her half-sister was born, and would persist until her death. Nevertheless, on the Emperor's command, a Te Deum was sung in all Almitian edifices throughout the Empire; magnificent festivities were conducted to honor it.
    • Three days after her birth (September 10, 1733), Grand Princess Aurelia was baptized at the Imperial Chapel of the Quencilvanian Palace. She was wrapped in a purple mantle with a long train furred with ermine. Escorted by the Dukes of Norfolkius and Sufforia, she was carried in the arms of the Dowager Duchess of Norfolkius under a canopy of estate to the Chapel. Neither Antigonus nor Anna attended, and the central figures at the ceremony were her godparents. Her godparents were Chief Procurator of the Holy Synod Thomasius Cranmerius (who presided over the baptism ceremony); Antigonus Courterania, Marquess of Constantinople (1698-1738); Aurelia Howardis, Duchess of Norfolkius and sister-in-law of the Countess of Redia (1697-1758); and Lady Damaria Worrtonia, Dowager Marchioness of Harmonia (1687-1741), the mother of the ill-fated Antigonus Greysius, Duke of Sufforia. Of these, the Duchess of Norfolkius would be the only one to live to see her godchild become Empress. At the chapel, a vast crowd had gathered. The font was of solid silver, three steps high, and covered with a fine cloth. Around it stood many gentlemen, with aprons and towels, who received the baby when she was lifted, naked and dripping wet, out of the font by the Chief Procurator. In the nearby cubicle, she was dressed after the ceremony. The Garter at Arms cried: "Almitis, of His Infinite goodness, send a prosperous and long life to the high and mighty Grand Princess of the Empire, Aurelia!" The trumpets blew a fanfare, and the child was brought to the altar, where the Chief Procurator confirmed her. Refreshments were then served to the guests, and the godparents presented the Grand Princess with gifts, standing cups of gold and gilt bowls with covers. The procession, with trumpets and other instruments blaring, reformed and made its way through the Palace corridors to the Empress's apartments, where Anna, robed and lying on her great Venasian bed with the Emperor at her side, received her daughter joyfully, and offered her guests more refreshments.
    • The Empress Consort, on her part, conceived a deep and protective love for her child. She hated to let her out of her sight. When she returned to take her place at the Imperial Court, there, by her throne under the canopy of estate, lay her baby on a velvet cushion. She had wanted to breastfeed Aurelia herself, but the Emperor was shocked at the notion; consorts never suckled their own offspring. A wet-nurse was engaged, and Anna was forced to endure the first break in the bond between herself and her child. In December 1733, when she was three months old, the Emperor assigned his daughter her own household, and established it at Harafadian Palace on Oxia Vixius. Lady Margarina Bryania (1668-1752), who had been Governess to Grand Princess Didymeia, was now appointed as such to Grand Princess Aurelia; she had command of a veritable army of nursemaids, laundresses, officials, and servants. That same month, Lady Didymeia was sent to Harafadian Palace to act as a maid of honor to her half-sister, whose title she refused to recognize. Ladies Anna Sheltonia and Aedila Clara were appointed to spy on her, and to make life a misery for her. Anna, on her part, demanded Didymeia's jewels, on the grounds that the Emperor's bastard daughter could not be permitted to wear what was intended for his heiress. Nor did Anna approve of the Emperor visiting Didymeia, and would become angry whenever he suggested doing so. Didymeia was near breaking point by October 1733, though her determination to defend her rights and those of her mother strengthened. She missed her mother greatly, and thought of fleeing from the Empire, but was forbidden by Katharina.
  • September 11-On September 11, 1733, the day after the future Laurasian Empress Aurelia the Great (1758-1803) was baptized, the Dejanican Diet, by an almost unanimous vote, formally elected General Stanis Morgar as the new King and Grand Duke of the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Morgar's election occurred because of the overall weariness, and distrust, by the Dejanicans towards the Laurasian and Holy Austarlian Empires; Franconian bribes and favors to members of the Diet; and Morgar's own popularity with the Dejanican noble elites, and among the subjects of the Commonwealth. Morgar declared that, as King, he would vigorously defend the Commonwealth's "rights and liberties", and would not submit to any future demands which might be made of him by the Imperial Laurasian Government. The Emperor Antigonus was enraged by this, and on September 16, 1733, ordered the Imperial General Headquarters to draft plans for formal military operations in the Commonwealth to remove Morgar from the throne. Then on September 22, a group of Dejanican nobles, led by Prince Michael Wiesnowskia (1680-1744), Field Hetman, Great Chancellor of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and Marshal of the Lithuanian Tribunal, and Teodor Lubormiskia (1683-1745), the Governor of Krakow, along with Primate Stanislaw Horucz of Poznan (1673-1740) and Primate Jan Lipski of Krakow (1687-1776), all refused to recognize the election of Stanis Vorrust as King of Dejanica. They soon decamped to Dequan, and on October 5, 1733, formally elected Prince Vorrus as Vorrus II, King and Grand Duke of the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Although they were in the minority, the Emperors of Laurasia and Austarlia both announced their support for them, and denounced the election of Stanis Vorrust. Emperor Antigonus extended his diplomatic and military protection to Wiesnowskia and his confederates, refusing the demands of the Diet to hand them over. On October 11, 1733, Wiesnowskia, Lubormiskia, and their associates held a conference with General Lacius at Polotsk.
  • October 26-With these hostile actions having thus been taken in the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth, King Franjak I of Franconia resolved not to wait for any longer to take action. On October 10, 1733, the King of Franconia formally issued a declaration of war against the Holy Austarlian Empire and the Electorate of Saxony, thereby formally commencing the War of the Dejanican Succession. The Laurasian Empire followed with its own declaration of war against Franconia on October 14; then on October 19, it launched a full-scale invasion of the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth's territories. Dejanican Lavella was already in the hands of Laurasian and royalist Dejanican forces; thus, the attention shifted to Dejanican territories in the Great Tesmanian Cloud. On October 22, 1733, the Battle of Kaniev ended in a decisive victory for Laurasian forces under General Lacius and Rear-Admiral Sir Agamemnon Thathon; by October 29, Bila Tsarveska, Drabiev, and Janow were all in Laurasian hands. Then on November 4, 1733, Lacius defeated a Franconian expeditionary force, under the command of the Duke of Narbonne, in the Battle of the Upper Bug Dial, thereby preventing Franconian auxiliary support from reaching Belarania, Ukraine, and Tesmanian Dejanica. Fastiv and Brovary were both stormed by Laurasian units (November 5-9, 1733), and on November 14, Lacius obtained another victory in the Battle of Talne, capturing more than 75,000 troops who were loyal to King Vorrus. On November 22, Uman surrendered to Lacius without a fight. And on November 28, 1733, Duke Ferdinand Kettler of Northania and Semigallia, under immense pressure from agents of the Imperial Laurasian Government, announced his support for Vorrus as King and Grand Duke of Dejanica-Lithuania. He now permitted Laurasian military forces military access across his dominions. Operating from Libau, Goldingen, Mitau, Pilten, Windau, and Dunaburg, Laurasian units quickly secured Kaunas, Klaipeda, Silauai, and Vilinus (November 29-December 6, 1733). On December 4, 1733, the Battle of the Steffal ended in another decisive victory for Laurasian military forces and in the conquest of Homer's Gateway on the Bug Trade Route.
  • December 7-On December 7, 1733, the Grand Duke of Masacavania, Vasily II, died at the Palace of the Kremlin on Moscow Prime. He was fifty-four years old at the time of his death. The Grand Duke had felt a great pain while he was hunting near the grounds of his palace; it was discovered by his personal attendants to be an abscess. His condition declined rapidly, and he was transported first to the city of Krupp, and then back to the Kremlin. His Haxonian physicians tried a number of remedies and treatments to stop the infection, but all of these failed. The Grand Duke then asked to be made a monk of the Masacavanian Holy Order before his death; he was given the name Varlaam. Vasily was now succeeded as Grand Duke by his son, Prince Dmitri, who therefore became Dmitri I of Masacavania. He would be buried at the Archangel Vault, on Moscow Prime, on December 17, 1733. As a result of Vasily's death, Emperor Antigonus found that he was now the senior monarch of extra-galactic civilization. For the first time in 344 years, since the end of the reign of Antiochus the Great, a Laurasian Emperor assumed the senior rank. Antigonus would remain senior monarch for the last thirteen years of his reign.
  • December 14-
    • Emperor Antigonus strayed again sexually while Anna was interned following the birth of Grand Princess Aurelia. At the same time, rumors were beginning to circulate in the Imperial Laurasian Court that he was tiring of her. In November 1733, the Vendragian Ambassador noticed that "the Emperor's regard for the Empress is less." Antigonus felt, to a degree, that Anna had failed him. In less than a year of marriage, the magic had worn off, and the Emperor had leisure to wonder why he had risked so much for her. He still maintained he had been right to discard Katharina and marry her, but he could see for himself how unpopular Anna was. By January 1734, there would be more outbreaks of treasonous talk, with Antigonus accused of being a heretic living in adultery, and Anna of being a mischievous whore who would be cast into hell. Even the Earl of Malaria Prime was overheard by Chapuys, making harsh comments about the Empress. By Ascentmas 1733, all was well again on the surface between the imperial couple. They exchanged gifts, Anna giving Antigonus a splendid gold basin entrusted with rubies and pearls, and containing a diamond-studded fountain with real water issuing from the nipples of three solid gold naked nymphs. Earlier that month, however, Katharina had sent a message asking the Emperor if she could return to Transmarta, as her health was beginning to suffer. Anna Boleyenia suggested she be moved to Somersham Castle on Vickis, but Chapuys protested. The Emperor changed his mind and said Katharina should go to Fotheringhay Castle on Mommica. Katharina, however, refused to go there. Antigonus, goaded by Anna, was adamant that she should go there, and dismissed more of her servants.
    • He ordered them to address her only as Dowager Princess. To enforce her obedience, the Duke of Sufforia was sent to Buckrania House with a detachment of Valedictorian Guards. He embarked from the Imperial Court, and reached Buckrania House on December 18, 1733. He entered almost immediately into a heated exchange with Katharina, who told him that she would die rather then admit that she was not the Emperor's wife. She then withdrew to her chambers, and locked herself within. Sufforia dared not break in, or seize Katharina by force; she was Spamalkan Emperor Char'va's aunt, and there would be repercussions. He proceeded instead to the business of dismissing her servants, leaving only a few to care for her needs. Sufforia then found himself again pleading with Katharina to come out. She would not listen to him, to Lord Mountjaria, or anyone. Sufforia sent a communique to the Emperor, telling him her defiance was "against all reason." He was sick of her mission, and saw how the years of anxiety and sorrow had destroyed Katharina's health. Many individuals from the districts surrounding the House heard of Katharina's plight, and armed themselves to protect her. Sufforia grew uneasy at the situation. He was forced to remain until New Year's Eve 1733, when the Emperor finally authorized him to leave Katharina there, and to return to the Imperial Court. When Sufforia had gone, Katharina emerged from her chambers to find the majority of her servants and possessions gone. Sufforia was not entirely an unfeeling man, and when he arrived at the Gilbertine Palace on Tudoria, he warned the Emperor about Katharina's precarious health. The Emperor told Chapuys that Katharina was dying, and he expressed his hopes that she would not live for much longer.
  • December 27-December 1733 witnessed further progress by the Laurasian Empire's military forces within the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and the military operations of war in the Duchy of Lorraine, and elsewhere. By December 14, General Lacius's units had secured Smila, Kolotchen, Maltyn, and Zhaskiv. On December 15, 1733, the Battle of Tskia resulted in the suppression of the final pro-Morgarian holdout in the Galactic Borderlands. Two days later, the garrisons of Biaylstok, Brest-Litvosk, Minsk, and Praga surrendered to General Lacius, thereby giving him a foothold within the Amulak Spiral proper. On December 21, Lubar and Polonae both fell into Laurasian hands; at the same time, Prince Wiesnowskia's forces secured control of Lublin, the Vistula Colonies, Drybin, Kilchaw, and Hrbosk; Birzai, Ingalina, and Moletai also fell into their possession. Then on December 24, Lacius and Wiesnowskia combined to hand a decisive defeat to Dejanican forces under Marshal Wordylack Jaruelskia in the Battle of Bernandino; Mir, Kaunas, Trakai, and Ukmerge fell into their hands as a result of this decisive victory. And by the end of December 1733, Laurasian forces were penetrating into the Lodz Voivodeship, against Krakow, and in Greater Dejanica. The Franconians, in the meantime, invaded the Duchy of Lorraine and besieged the Austarlian stronghold of Kehl in Austarlian Brussalia (October 14-28, 1733), securing it with little effort. By the end of 1733, Franconian forces had occupied Nancy, Luneville, Charmes, and Blarmont, and were actively threatening Trier, the Grand Duchy of Wurttemberg, and the Heletian Provinces.

1734Edit

  • January 6-
    • 1734, the 34th year of the eighteenth century, commenced with the Emperor Antigonus III having finally annulled his marriage to his Spamalkan Empress Consort, Katharina of Shenandoah. His new wife and consort, Empress Anna Boleyenia, had given birth to their first child, Grand Princess Aurelia; both parents hoped that there would be many more children to come. Furthermore, the Laurasian Empire's military forces were now engaged in the War of the Dejanican Succession, and were making substantial progress within the territories of the Commonwealth. On January 2, 1734, General Lacius and the Earl of Aretha (who had been assigned as his chief field subordinate on New Year's Eve, 1733), defeated Saxonian mercenary-General Hermann von Bittinghofen (1690-1762) in the Battle of Elbing. With Elbing now in his hands, Lacius quickly subdued the Pomeranian bases of Malbork, Dirschau, and Puck. Then on January 6, 1734, the Battle of Torun resulted in another decisive victory for the forces of the Laurasian Empire; that stronghold, one of the Commonwealth's leading commercial and naval strongholds, was now occupied by the Imperial Laurasian Navy with little effort. The Dejanican colony of Balbork followed (January 8, 1734). On January 11, 1734, after repelling usurpationist offensives against Ukmerge, Siauluai, and Klaipeda, General Lacius held a conference with the magnates of the Confederation of Little Masovia. The Confederation had been organized on December 14, 1733, by the magnates of Plock, Radom, Siedlce, and Ostroleka.
    • They were opposed to the authority of King Stanis Morgar I, and sympathetic to the cause of Vorrus I. Lacius quickly gained assurance of their full military support; with their aid, Laurasian forces conquered Opsa, Stolpce, and Zielence (January 12-14, 1734). On January 15, 1734, an attempt by Franconian naval forces under the Admiral de Lahey to break through in Pomerania was blunted by the Earl of Aretha and Commodore Sir Demetrius Whittia in the Battle of Frombork. Franconian attempts to run supplies through Konigsberg in the Duchy of East Pruthia were also frustrated by the Laurasians. Plonsk, Gostynin, and Pulutsk then fell to Lacius's forces (January 18-19, 1734), and by January 21, his units were approaching the outskirts of Dejanica Major. All of General Bittinghofen's attempts to rebuff this string of Laurasian offensives ended in failure. On January 22, 1734, Emperor Antigonus, in a gesture of "solidarity", and a demonstration of his will over the Dejanicans, formally received "King" Vorrus II at the Methellian Palace on Metallasia, at which the Imperial Court was stationed during the first months of 1734. The Emperor embraced the King of Dejanica, and in an official proclamation, announced his public support for the "restoration of order" to the Dejanican Crown's dominions.
  • January 26-February 5-As mentioned above, General Lacius's forces were, by January 21, approaching the outskirts of Dejanica Major. On January 22, 1734, Lacius and the Earl of Aretha, having secured Sochacxew and Zyradow, defeated General Bittinghofen again in the Battle of Drahim, capturing 25,000 retainers of the Dejanican Royal Guards, consolidating the Laurasian-Royalist hold of the interior portions of the Netze Region, Greater Kuayvia, Pomerania and Royal Pruthia, and preventing Bittinghofen from reinforcing his forces in Greater Dejanica. Then on January 23, the Battle of Praga resulted in another victory for Lacius, who coordinated his troops in a successful, two-pronged offensive against Praga's barricades and operational outposts (this was the precursor to the more famous victory obtained here by Field-Marshal Surovius sixty years later). Finally, during the early hours of January 26, 1734, the Battle of Dejanica Major commenced, as the naval forces of the Laurasian Empire and King Vorrus II's supporters formally imposed a blockade on the star system. Stanis I of Dejanica, determined to give no space to his enemies, organized a vigorous defense. He rallied the nobles and retainers of Warsaw and of Dejanica Major's other cities to his cause; issued manifestos decrying the cause of his rival Vorrus, and denouncing the Laurasians as foreign interventionists; and urging for his loyal subjects to resist their onslaught. He also laid a series of mines around the outskirts of the star system and installed new turbocannon generators on the surface. In spite of these efforts, however, he found himself overwhelmed by the superior mobility, flexibility, and numbers of the Imperial Laurasian Navy and Army which were arrayed against him. It was on February 3, 1734, that the defenses of Dejanica Major were breached, and finally, by the early afternoon hours of February 5, Warsaw had been secured. Dejanica Major was now occupied by the Laurasian Empire; for the first time ever, the capital world of an Amulak Spiral power had been occupied by a state from the Caladarian Galaxy. King Stanis I was able to flee from Dejanica Major, along with a number of his troops and General Bittinghofen. Vorrus II arrived at his capital world on February 17, 1734, and was formally installed at the Branickia Palace by General Lacius.
  • February 7-
    • While these events were ongoing in the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth, others had taken place, on the other fronts of the War of the Dejanican Succession. On September 29, 1733, King Franjak had concluded the secret Treaty of Turin with the Duchy of Savoy; Duke Char'vak II Emmanuel of Savoy pledged his support to Franconia in all military campaigns against the Holy Austarlian Empire. By the end of October 1733, Franconian-Savorian campaigns into the Austarlian territories of Italiania had commenced. The Siege of Pizzightettone (November 11-December 9, 1733) resulted in a decisive victory for Franconian forces under the Count of Charolais and the Duke of Longueville. During December 1733, Urbino and Anti were both stormed by Franconian units; the Austarlian strongholds of Asssi, Spoldio, Toldi, Narni, and Amelia were in their possession by February 1734. The Vatican Circles were now under serious threat by Franconian forces; the Austarlian garrisons of Gaeta, Upper Ravenna, and Cilmbio were blockaded by Franconian, Savorian, and Haxonian units. The Haxonian Confederacy, however, did not formally enter the conflict until April 7, 1734; Istria, Trieste, and the Duchies of Salzburg became the stage of confrontation between Haxonian and Austarlian forces.
    • In the meantime, in the Duchy of Lorraine, Franconian forces under the Count de Villars continued to threaten Philipsburg, Trier, and the Tyrol; Chatel, Breuyeres, and Epinal were all seized in January 1734. It was thus under these circumstances that, on February 7, 1734, King Stanis I, along with General von Bittinghofen, managed to flee to Danzig, located in the northern outskirts of Royal Pruthia. Danzig, which by the second quarter of the eighteenth century possessed a population of more than four billion, had for centuries been one of the leading naval, commercial, and industrial bases in Pomerania. It was colonized as early as AH 997, controlled by the Sambordies Duchy of Pomerania from the twelfth to fourteenth centuries, and then seized by the Teutonic Knights in 1308, before returning to Dejanican possession in 1411, with the First Peace of Thorn. Capture of this world, with its substantial Pruthian and Germanian minority, would prove a boon to the Laurasians and the Royalists. King Stanis, assembling the remaining military squadrons left to him, the militia forces of Danzig, and the guards provided to him by the Franconians, sought to make his last stand here against the Laurasian Empire's forces.
  • February 22-With Dejanica Major now in the hands of the Laurasian Empire, and of the supporters of King Vorrus II, General Lacius proceeded immediately to consolidate the Laurasian position in Masovia and Greater Dejanica. Wolomin and Mlawa were secured (February 6-9, 1734), and on February 10, Lacius inflicted a humiliating defeat upon Prince Volodov Kalarciz in the Battle of Nasielsk. From Nasielsk, Lochow capitulated to Laurasian forces (February 14, 1734), and by February 16, Lacius had secured the Dejanican colonies of Adelnau, Kowal, Gostin, Zregriz, and Brechin, thereby securing the Laurasian hold of Kalisz and Gnienzo. Then finally, on February 19, 1734, with Laurasian units securing Konitz and Chelmno, Lacius began his advance towards Danzig. He commanded the 37th, 38th, and 39th Imperial Fleets, the 40th and 45th Imperial Armies, and the 2nd Dejanican Crown Army, with detachments from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and from the Royal Retainers of Dejanica Major. Lacius's chief Dejanican subordinate was the Duke of Walcz and Kamien, who assisted him in maintaining effective strategic and disciplinary coordination among the combined ranks of the allied forces. Finally, on February 22, 1734, after storming a Dejanican operational outpost at Stlum, Lacius's forces approached the outskirts of, and imposed a blockade around, Danzig. Although Lacius enjoyed a five-to-one numerical advantage over the garrison of Danzig, and had nearly twice the number of turbocannons, ion cannons, and other offensive weapons, the Laurasian blockade nevertheless entered a stalemate. Dejanican partisans loyal to King Stanis harried the Laurasian positions from both inside and outside of the siege lines; the King's troops were able to maintain communications with Franconian forces in the Northian Straits; and Lacius's efforts to suppress all traffic into the star system failed, as smugglers and other navigators managed to deliver supplies, food, and equipment to Danzig's besieged garrison. The siege was destined to drag on for more than four months.
  • February 25-
    • 1734 witnessed the continuation of the Emperor Antigonus III's religious reforms, as he sought to thoroughly "cleanse" the Almitian Church of the defects and excesses from which it suffered, and to amplify his own authority over his subjects. No where was this the situation than the case of Aurelia Bartonis. Bartonis, who had been born in Aldington Colony, Darsis, on June 26, 1706, was the daughter of a plumber, Antiochus Bartonis (1679-1728) and his wife Lydia (1684-1731), who worked as a maid and a house attendant in the household of the Earl of Darsis. Bartonis herself graduated from St. Astare's High School in 1725. She then became one of the ladies-in-waiting to Lady Apamea Dorothania (1681-1749), who was one of the most prominent arts and sciences patrons in the Laurasia Prime Purse Region. She owned a lavish mansion, Hyde Place, on Charasia; resort properties on Darsis, Jenny, Kelby, Chloe, Chesham's Star, Sapphire, and Merandaz; and operated art galleries on Kendra, Burris, Kamachina, Bolgrahay, Jem, and Dill. It was while she was in Lady Dorothania's service that she became violently ill with the Angrames malady; she recovered, but began falling into trances, and claimed to be able to predict the future. This caused her to become famous first in the Laurasia Prime Purse Region, and eventually throughout the Empire. She became revered as the Holy Maid of Charasia; Chief Procurator Willanius Warhamius of the Holy Synod and Bishop John Fisherius of Constantia both became aware of her piety, devotion to Almitis, and her visions.
    • She urged the faithful to pray to the Virgin Didymeia and to undertake pilgrimages. In November 1727, Warhamius arranged a commission to ensure that none of her prophecies or visions contradicted with the teachings of the Church. Once the commission had found no fault, the Chief Procurator agreed for Bartonis to be admitted into St. Sepulchre's Priory in Christiania, Laurasia Prime. Bartonis continued to say visions, and she made a favorable impression on virtually everyone who met her; Wolesius, Warhamius, Fisherius, Morius, and at one time in January 1729, even the Emperor Antigonus himself, were among the guests she received. Tragically for herself, however, Bartonis began making prophecies about political affairs, and the affairs of the Empire. By 1731, she was making pronouncements on the Emperor's halting measures towards divorcing Empress Consort Katharina, warning that evil would befall him if he did not desist. She even petitioned the Holy Synod, declaring that all Almitian clerics would be cursed if they took no action. Bartonis's fame, therefore, made trouble inevitable. Chancellor Crownapoulos was among the very few who did not like or admire Bartonis, and he was determined to suppress the "challenge" which she posed. Therefore, on July 7, 1733, the Chancellor had her arrested and imprisoned at the Post Settlement of Hepudermia. There, he and Cranmerius questioned her at length; then in August 1733, he had her transferred to the Fortress of Baureux. She was imprisoned with a number of deacons, parish priests, monks, and friars who had made themselves her supporters. The whole idea of this was to discredit Bartonis. In November 1733, the Nun and her adherents were put on public display, made to listen to a preacher who ridiculed and vilified them, and finally (on November 17), she was required to confess that her entire career had been a fraud intended to mislead the gullible.
    • These confessions, however, were not the end. Crownapoulos now moved to formally charge Bartonis and her companions with treason, conspiracy, and les-majestie. He told the Senate, on December 7, 1733, that Bartonis had prophesied the death of the Emperor, and therefore had effectively threatened his life. Furthermore, anyone who encouraged or listened to her without reporting her words would be liable to the same charges. The Chancellor then decided that, instead of having the group placed on trial before the Special Court, he would have them attainted for their crimes. On January 7, 1734, Emperor Antigonus signed a bill of attainder which was drafted by Crownapoulos and his subordinates in the Imperial Chancellory, declaring Bartonis and her six closest associates guilty of the associated charges and condemning them to the full penalties of a traitor's death. Then on January 14, six other individuals, including Sir Thomasius Morius (who had been under investigation by the Imperial Ministry of Justice since June 1733) and Bishop Fisherius, were attainted for misprison of treason-that is, for knowing of the person's treason and failing to report it. From the Emperor's viewpoint, all of this was convenient. Not only could Bartonis and her cohorts but several of the most eminent personages in the realm could be disposed of in prompt manner.
    • Morius and Fisherius, both confined at the Post Settlement of Hepudermia, attempted to defend themselves. Morius requested permission to appear before the Senate in order to address the charges against him. Upon being refused, he wrote to Crownapoulos and the Emperor (January 18, 1734), explaining how, in his meetings with the Nun of Charasia, he had refused to hear her opinions of political matters and had advised her to share those opinions with no one. He told them also that when visited by admirers of Bartonis who wanted to discuss her visions, he had not allowed them to do so. Crownapoulos advised Fisherius to throw himself on the Emperor's mercy-but in predictable manner the Bishop refused. He said that he had been told by the late Chief Procurator Warhamius and others that Bartonis was an honest and virtuous woman, and that his willingness to believe them, whether wise or foolish, could not possibly have been a crime. He said he had talked with Bartonis on three occasions, but only because she visited him uninvited. He had not reported her dark predictions because he knew for a fact that she had already reported them to the Emperor.
    • None of this had any effect upon the Emperor, who was not interested in the guilt or innocence of the accused but in their elimination. The Emperor's subordinates, by the beginning of February 1734, came to realize that the Emperor was in danger of overreaching. The Duke of Norfolkius, Chancellor Crownapoulos, and Chief Procurator Cranmerius worked together to convince the Emperor to remove Morius's name from the act of attainder. This was done at an official audience (February 8, 1734), in which the three named officials got down on their knees and implored the Emperor to permit this. They did so only because they knew that if Antigonus destroyed Morius in such a fashion, than some of his more rebellious subjects might be driven to rebellion. Fisherius's name remained on the act, and he was on February 12, transferred to imprisonment at the Fortress of Baureux. In March 1734, however, he would be allowed to pay a fine of €575 billion dataries (virtually the entire income of the Diocese of Constantia), and was released. Bartonis and five others-two monks of the Benedictine Order, two Observant friars, and her confessor-were, on February 25, 1734, brought to the Public Execution Grounds of the Fortress of Baureux. Bartonis's penalty had been reduced by the Emperor to one of a simple fire squad. The others, however, were hanged, disemboweled, quartered, and incinerated. All of this took place before a crowd of more than 500,000 persons. No one knew what they had done, or what offense they had committed; the execution was solely by the Emperor's will.
  • March 17-By March 1734, the Siege of Danzig had dragged on further, for both the Dejanican garrison and the forces of the Laurasian Empire. A series of confrontations at Gdynia, Sopot, and Cassubia (February 27-March 4, 1734), witnessed the Imperial Laurasian Navy suffering severe casualties, losing more than thirty offensive warships and nearly 50,000 naval personnel. General Lacius's attempts to break the minefields and the barricades of the Danzig star system failed; on March 7, 1734, Saxonian Admiral Baron von Stackelburg, who was King Stanis's chief naval subordinate, commanded a successful thrust against Zipsa, capturing more than 15,000 Imperial Laurasian Marines, destroying a number of Laurasian shield generators, and seriously damaging the defenses of that operational outpost before retreating. Then on March 14, the Skirmish of Tricity resulted in further losses for Laurasian units; Lacius was forced to sacrifice 35,000 troops in order to execute a retreat from the outpost. Emperor Antigonus, irritated by the slow pace of the siege, and seeking to hurry events along, dispatched, on March 1, 1734, Field-Marshal Munnich. Munnich, who continued to direct the Imperial General Headquarters, had himself petitioned for a direct assignment to the Dejanican theater of combat. He believed that he would be able to revive the Empire's offensive. Munnich proceeded to Belkadan, and from thence to the Bug Trade Highway. He finally arrived at Danzig on March 17, 1734, after a long and arduous journey, and immediately assumed the supreme command of all allied forces at the star system; Lacius became his chief field subordinate. The Archleutan Field Marshal now vigorously reorganized the Laurasian command lines, ordered for the outposts of Rudinki and Suchanino to be strengthened, and brought in a number of new Ferrus-class ion missiles, determined to bombard Danzig's defenses from afar. He also brought with him reinforcements, in the form of the 47th Imperial Army and detachments from the 32nd Imperial Fleet and 1st Galactic Void Patrol Division. This amounted to more than 200,000 personnel with some one hundred warships. With this new and vigorous direction, the Laurasians were able to make some advances. By March 24, Laurasian units had stormed Matarnia and Molynskia. On March 29, 1734, Field Marshal Munnich stormed Sommerzanz and the Garrisons of the Mists of Allol, thereby terminating the most-trafficked smugglers' route into the Danzig star system. Then on April 2, 1734, Count Adam Tarlo of Jaslo (1713-44), one of the most prominent figures in the Lublin Voviodeship, who supported King Stanis, attempted to relieve the garrison of Danzig. He was surprised however, by detachments sent from the siege lines, and under the command of General Lacius himself. The Battle of Berent (April 3-4, 1734) resulted in a decisive victory for Lacius, who captured 25,000 Dejanican retainers and compelled Tarlo into a disastrous retreat.
  • March 23-
    • While the Siege of Danzig continued, and as the proceedings against Bartonis and her accomplices reached fruition, the Emperor Antigonus turned his attention to other matters. The future of the Neuchrian Dynasty was a question which continued to vex the Emperor. The birth of Grand Princess Aurelia had done nothing to answer it, and now that he was forty-two years old, the Emperor was giving evidence of being more seriously concerned about his lack of a male heir than he had ever been before. On November 28, 1733, his illegitimate son, the Duke of Conservan and Reoyania (then fourteen years old), had married Lady Didymeia Howardis (1719-57), the second daughter of the Duke of Norfolkius, and cousin to Empress Consort Anna Boleyenia. The Empress herself supported the marriage, and convinced Antigonus to permit for it to proceed. The Duke of Norfolkius was also an aggressive sponsor of the marriage; he even entertained faint hopes that Emperor Antigonus might legitimize Duke Antigonus and make him his heir. But on January 9, 1734, it was revealed that the Empress Consort was pregnant again. As preparations began for the arrival of a prince-Antigonus was always certain that his next child would be a boy-the Emperor took as his mistress another of the Boleyenia cousins, Lady Didymeia Sheltonia (1710-71), who had served her cousin as a lady-in-waiting since February 1733. By this point, the magic was already starting to go out of the imperial marriage. The increasingly insecure Anna clashed with her husband over his dalliances, while the Emperor turned his back on her in mute disbelief. The situation was worsened when on March 1, 1734, four days after Bartonis's execution, the Empress Consort miscarried a daughter. Antigonus was angered by this, but Chancellor Crownapoulos, seeking to secure his master's position, was hard at work on a Statute of Succession. Crownapoulos and the Emperor both understood the importance of codifying in law, the new line of succession which had been established. They also sought to address an area of imperial jurisprudence which had been left unchanged for a lengthy period. For more than four centuries, the Seleucid Law of Succession (1322), had dictated that every Emperor had the right to choose his own successor. For Antigonus, this was not acceptable, for he did not wish to give any credence to the belief that Lady Didymeia was legitimate. Thus it was that (March 23, 1734), the Emperor promulgated the First Antigonid Statute of the Succession.
    • This law confirmed the annulment of the Emperor's marriage with Katharina of Shenandoah, and validated his second with Anna Boleyenia. The former Grand Princess Didymeia's bastardization and demotion to the status of Lady were enshrined, while harsh penalties were proscribed for any who continued to acknowledge Katharina of Shenandoah as Empress Consort. Furthermore, the Statute's assertion that the Emperor was to be succeeded on the throne by the children "of his most dear and entirely beloved lawful wife Empress Anna" did not surprise anyone. Anyone who acted in defiance or rejection of the Emperor's marriage became subject to treason. Antigonus also added the requirement that every subject "observe, keep, maintain, and defend this statute and all the contents and effects thereof, and all other Statutes and Decrees made during the preceding four years." To ensure compliance, every subject was to take an oath of allegiance not only to the Emperor but to his heirs by Anna, and refusal to swear was made treason. The statute did not proscribe the form of the oath; this freed Crownapoulos and his subordinates to bend the oath of allegiance to their own purposes. This law was the first of many measures implemented by the Emperor. The Statute of the Clerical Submission (April 14, 1734), formalized the Emperor's renewed title as Pontifex Maximus and bound all clergymen of the Church to direct allegiance to his person. The decree of April 21, 1734, abolished the Holy Synod's right to confer dispensations; instead, only the Chief Procurator could now issue them, with the Emperor's express prior authorization.
    • Then by the manifesto of April 28, 1734, Emperor Antigonus modified the criteria for archbishops, bishops, abbots, and other officials of the Church, requiring them to take a series of evaluations, and to receive an express warrant of approval from the Imperial Chancellory, before they could take office. All monasteries, citadels, and estates, previously under the authority of the holy orders to which they belonged, and subject to the jurisdiction of the Holy Synod, were transferred to the oversight of the Imperial Commission of Economy, which was reestablished by the decree of May 4, 1734. All of these changes immeasurably strengthened the Emperor's oversight over the Almitian Church, and they also startled many of the Emperor's subjects. Katharina of Shenandoah's continued popularity and the widespread sense that she had been dealt with unfairly ensured that many would be skeptical, and that some would even turn to rebellion. Such outbreaks were not far from happening; and the Emperor Antigonus's regime of terror and oppression over his subjects had begun.
  • April 13-
    • Emperor Antigonus was driven by his compulsion to dominate, his hunger for admiration and approval, and the dangers to which his needs were drawing him, to become a practitioner of the art of political propaganda. He knew that his demands could not be achieved easily, and that the price of failure was high. Discontent could turn into rebellion, and the Emperor knew that he had to secure the acquiescence of his subjects. They had to be won over. Where they could not be won, they had to be frightened into conformity. By the middle of 1734, therefore, Emperor Antigonus undertook to both terrify and to convert his subjects. A national propaganda machine was therefore required. The Holy Synod, on the Emperor's command, issued instructions to clergymen, reverends, and priests throughout the Empire to praise Antigonus's merits, and to condemn those who would think otherwise. Chief Procurator Cranmerius told a congregation at the Westphalian Cathedral than any who disputed the Emperor's authority could be called a "Horseman of the Apocalypse". He then required all priests in the diocese of Christiania to obtain licenses to preach; in January 1735, the Holy Synod would issue an injunction extending this requirement to all clergymen in the Imperial Almitian Church. Cranmerius also brooked no opposition. In June 1734, a incident occurred on Jadia, when a monk of the Monastery of St. Pearl laughed at Cranmerius and called him a "fool Procurator"; he was imprisoned at the Cron Drift for his antics. Furthermore, the media reported that the Chief Procurator needed personal bodyguards to ensure his safety while he was in Christiania. The Governing Senate issued instructions to all Justices of the Peace and praetors throughout the Empire to arrest any preacher who spoke against the Emperor's authority. The imperial hammer now began to descend upon any whose words, acts, or omissions might, in the opinion of the Emperor or his ministers, serve to encourage disobedience.
    • On April 7, 1734, the Imperial Privy Council published the "general" version of the succession oath. It acknowledged that the Emperor was right about his annulment, his marriage to Anna, and his supreme authority-that he was right about everything. Throughout the Empire, judicial, administrative, military, and civilian authorities saw to it that the oath was taken in every star system; every municipality; every outpost, garrison, colony, and installation throughout the length and breath of the Empire. Anyone in a position of authority, anyone whose decision would become widely known, automatically became a prime target. Any such person likely to be perceived by the public as not in agreement with the Emperor received even higher priority. No one had higher priority than Sir Thomasius Morius, the former Chancellor and Procurator General, and Bishop John Fisherius of Constantia. Fisherius and Morius both received summonses to appear at Lambathian Palace, the Christiania residence of both the Chief Procurator and the Archbishop of Christiania, on April 13, 1734. They both knew what to expect. Morius spent his time with his family before leaving, telling them that he was likely bound for prison and might never return. Upon their arrival at Lambathian Palace, he and Fisherius found themselves in a long procession of men marched one by one into the presence of Crownapoulos, Cranmerius, Sir Thomasius Audelius, 1st Baron Audelius (1688-1744, who had become Procurator-General, Minister of Justice, and Privy Seal in January 1733 upon Crownapoulos's urging), and the Dean of the Westphalian Cathedral. All were asked, when their turns came, to sign the succession oath.
    • Almost all did so and were therefore sent away. Fisherius refused and was escorted to the Fortress of Baureux. Morius asked for time to read what he was being asked to sign, and having done so, observed that by signing he would be accepting not only the succession rights of the Emperor's offspring with Anna, but also the Emperor's claim of absolute jurisdiction over all matters in the Almitian Church. He therefore refused. When asked to explain himself, he declined to do that as well, saying only that in signing he would be violating his conscience, and thereby endangering his soul. He had already offended the Emperor, and in giving his reasons could only give further offense. Morius was then told that all judicial officials in the Empire had signed the oath. He was shown the signatures and asked how he could oppose his conscience to those of so many others. He replied that he had no quarrel with those who elected to sign, but that he himself could not do so, and that he had on his side most Almitians living and dead. Morius was therefore arrested, and spent the next four days in the custody of the Dean of the Westphalian Cathedral. On April 17, 1734, he was imprisoned alongside Fisherius at the Fortress of Baureux. They were kept apart in comfortable quarters. On April 23, Morius and Fisherius both offered to swear to the succession. They both said that the Emperor had the right to decide such matters in whatever way they chose, and they could have no difficulty in acknowledging that right if they were not required to repudiate the traditional customs of the Church. Cranmerius looked favorably upon this, urging the Emperor to accept it and to make much of the fact that Morius and Fisherius had done what he required. Chancellor Crownapoulos, however, was opposed, and the Emperor agreed with him.
  • May 6-
    • Matters continued to proceed in regards to former Empress Consort Katharina of Shenandoah. By this point, the dangers towards Katharina and her daughter, the Lady Didymeia, had intensified. The Empress Consort urged her husband to execute both by judicial process, but Antigonus was too concerned about the consequences to agree to it. Many believed that unless the Emperor fell ill, the lives of Katharina and Didymeia were in danger. Anna's hostility was on a personal level. It was based on jealousy of Katharina's breeding and virtues, which displayed the Empress Consort's own faults, on rage that Katharina had defied Antigonus for so long, and on fear, because Katharina and her daughter seemed to be doing their best to oust her own from the succession, and herself from the throne. Ambassador Chapuys noted the danger. He alerted Katharina to the danger threatening her, and told her bluntly that he had heard Anna say "she would not be satisfied until both the Empress and her daughter had been done to death by poison or otherwise." The former Empress Consort exercised constant vigilance to ensure that her food was prepared only by those whom she trusted. When on April 25, 1734, the Archbishop of Shenandoah came to administer the oath to her and her household, Katharina refused to swear. The Archbishop was dismayed by the hostility shown to him by Katharina's servants, and he dismissed those who were resistant. Katharina's obstinacy provoked the Emperor, on April 29, 1734, to order her removal to Kimblatonia House on Nottingham, which had been constructed just twelve years earlier.
    • It was a secure residence, and would effectively serve as Katharina's prison. Two officers of the Valedictorian Guards were appointed her guardians: Sirs Tiberius Bedingtia (1687-1754) and Demetrius Chamberlanis (1696-1763). Her household would accompany her, but would remain only if Bedingtia approved them. Katharina was brought to Kimblatonia House early in May 1734, and was housed in a set of chambers opposite to the apartments of her guardians. They kept to their side of the mansion, and Katharina's servants had as little communication with them as possible. She was at Kimblatonia House for some days when the Bishop of Nottingham was sent by the Emperor in another attempt to make her swear the oath (May 6, 1734). She told him she would never relinquish the title of Empress, but retain it till death. The Bishop threatened her, but Katharina stood firm. When the Emperor learned that Katharina had again refused to take the oath, he grumbled bitterly to the Spamalkan Ambassador that the "Lady Dowager is being very well-treated, but disobeys us in everything." Although he had sent clergymen to give her advice, she had disobediently and willfully "resisted our dictates and our commands." That same month, Lady Didymeia fell ill. Her sickness resulted from sorrow and stress. Ambassador Chapuys begged the Council to allow Katharina to nurse Didymeia herself, but they refused.
    • Antigonus trusted no one, and believed that together, mother and daughter would hatch a plot with the Emperor to depose him. Chancellor Crownapoulos told Chapuys that Didymeia's present predicament was her own fault, and that it pleased the Lord Almitis. Yet in July 1734, recovered from her illness and taking inspiration from her mother's resistance, Didymeia refused to take the oath. Lady Sheltonia shook her violently, but Didymeia refused to yield. As the summer solstice of 1734 passed, the Ambassador became increasingly concerned about Katharina's health. For a time, the Emperor thought of permitting the Ambassador to see her, but changed his mind at the last minute. On September 4, when Katharina's illness grew worse, and it was thought for a time that she was dying, Lady Willoughby asked for permission to see Katharina; it was refused. Shortly afterwards, Spamalkan Emperor Char'va questioned the Laurasian Ambassador to the Court of Madrid, Sir Homer Stronia (1677-1742), about Katharina's condition. Antigonus instructed the Ambassador to say that Katharina had an honorable establishment with her own servants and funds to meet her needs, and that reports circulating about her lied. The Emperor of Spamalka was not deceived by this.
  • May 11-
    • By May 1734, the Siege of Danzig had progressed further in the favor of the Laurasian Empire's military forces. Field Marshal Munnich seized Kolbudy and Rumia in April 1734, thereby further threatening the supply lines of Danzig. The Field Marshal proved to be a vigorous and alert commander in the field. He expertly coordinated the actions of his Laurasian and Dejanican troops, and inspired in his men a selfless devotion, and a considerable level of morale. On May 4, 1734, however, the Field-Marshal suffered a reverse in the Battle of the Hagelburg Straits. Laurasian units attempted to storm the thirty outposts of the Straits, and found their efforts strung by the offensives of Baron von Stackelburg, who proved to be more than a capable opponent to them in that theater. Munnich lost more than one-third of his offensive couriers in that operation, and was forced to temporarily suspend all direct offensives into the outskirts of the star system. This gave the garrison of Danzig some renewed hope; hope also emerged on Parri, as King Franjak, whose military forces were tied in Lorraine, the Heletian Provinces, Savoy, and the Vatican Circles, sought to continue the support to King Stanis which had been the chief factor in the whole conflict. In March 1734, a Franconian effort to garrison the Dejanican strongholds of Leba, Wicko, and Krokowa was blunted by General Lacius; then on April 19, 1734, the Franconian Ambassador to the Court of Dejanica, the Count de Plelo (1674-1734, who was in Danzig with King Stanis and his supporters), requested to the King of Franconia and to Minister Fleury that they provide reinforcements to support the usurpation's cause.
    • The King agreed, but at first he dispatched only an expeditionary force under the command of Commodore Jean Andre, Marquis de Baraillh (1686-1742), who was a veteran of the Italianian Wars. The land units of this force were commanded by Franconian General Rochon de la Perouse, Comte de la Motte (1671-1737), who had previously served as a mercenary with the Autocratic Pruthian Empire and Haxonian Confederacy. This force arrived at Weicshlemunde on May 11, 1734, but La Motte abandoned this stronghold only four days later, deeming it untenable. Count de Plelo, determined for the offensive to be pushed forward, was able to obtain more couriers, frigates, and corvettes from Brest, and to add these to the strength of the expeditionary force. On May 24, 1734, de la Motte arrived in the Danzig system. Field Marshal Munnich found himself blunted at Dest, being unable to intercept Franconian armored convoys there, and could not prevent the reinforcements from arriving to the garrison of Danzig. On May 27, 1734, Laurasian and Franconian units clashed at Weichslemunde, as Count de Plelo was determined to regain and to secure that stronghold. The ensuing Skirmish of Weichslemunde proved to be a tactical victory for Laurasian forces; de Plelo was himself wounded towards the end of the confrontation, and died of his injuries. Following this, Laurasian forces under Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Gordon (1658-1741), a Scottrian officer who had defected to the Laurasian Empire in June 1717 and quickly risen through the ranks, arrived at the outskirts of Danzig on June 1, 1734, bringing more than 75,000 troops and a number of higher-end siege turbocannons. This allowed for Field Marshal Munnich to launch vigorous offensives against Franconian positions at Dest and Little Danzig.
  • June 30-Field Marshal Munnich, with the assistance of the seasoned Admiral Gordon (who was seventy-six years old and had been in military service since 1688), was able to quickly turn the tables against the Franconians and the Dejanicans loyal to Stanis I. On June 6, 1734, the Battle of Rast ended in a decisive victory for the Field-Marshal. General La Motte was seriously wounded in this confrontation; his flagship was destroyed by a series of blasts from the Imperial Laurasian Navy's destroyers, and La Motte himself barely evaded capture. As a result of his serious injuries, he was forced to hand command over his units to his subordinate, General Louis Poulliah (1689-1759), and to retire from the field of combat. He managed to evade Laurasian naval units, reaching Abbeville in Franconia towards the end of June 1734. On June 9, Little Danzig finally capitulated to Munnich's forces; Admiral Gordon impounded nearly thirty Franconian transport vessels, and imposed an automated barricade at the outskirts of the system, thereby finally depriving the garrison of Danzig of all remaining outside support. The Franconians were now desperate. On June 12, 1734, the Duke of Orleans launched a surprise raiding offensive against Abrianne, Natalie, and Tiona in the Caladarian Galaxy; this attempt came to utter ruin in the Skirmish of Pevlet. Dest was securely in Laurasian hands by June 20, and on June 23, 1734, the Battle of Nowy Port ended in victory for Munnich and Gordon. The following day, Stanis I, who disguised himself as a merchant, managed to flee from Danzig with a retinue of his most trusted advisers and confidants. He managed to bypass the Laurasian siege lines on a commercial freighter, and to proceed thence to Konigsberg in the Autocratic Pruthian Empire. When Field Marshal Munnich learned that the claimant King of Dejanica had fled (on June 26), it was too late for him to do anything; Stanis was in Pruthia, which was neutral in the War of the Dejanican Succession, and therefore beyond the reach of the Laurasians. His flight now deprived the forces of Danzig of all remaining hope. On June 30, 1734, after weeks of unrelenting bombardment and blockade by the forces of the Laurasian Empire, General von Bittinghofen and Baron von Stackelburg formally surrendered, along with the garrison officers and troops, to Field Marshal Munnich, General Lacius, and Admiral Gordon. The Laurasians had lost 3,000 starfighters and 55 major warships in the long Siege of Danzig; the system of Danzig itself suffered considerable damage. Of the 300 million people who lived on Danzig, more than twenty million had died, either due to war confrontations or to starvation, for the planet depended heavily upon agricultural foodstuffs and industrial goods imported from other star systems. Munnich, acknowledging the situation which thus existed on Danzig, ordered for emergency food reserves to be employed for Danzig's inhabitants, and forbade his troops to ransack or quarter on the properties of Danzig inhabitants. The conquest of Danzig therefore eliminated all remaining cells of resistance to the Laurasians and to Vorrus II within the Commonwealth proper; by the middle of July 1734, his authority was acknowledged throughout the Commonwealth's realms.
  • July 18-
    • Events in the other theaters of the War had continued to proceed during the long Siege of Danzig, and once the Siege was over, they took the forefront of attention. Gaeta, Upper Ravenna, and Climbio all succumbed to Franconian forces in April 1734; that same month, the Count de Villars obtained a decisive victory over Austarlian-Germanian forces in the Battle of Karlsrushe, thereby securing Trier, Coburg-Gotha, and Augsburg. Austarlian Field Marshal Prince Eugene of Savoy, veteran of the Great Marasharite War, Bavarian War, War of the League of Cambrai, and the Austarlian War of Olthenia, assembled his forces at Heilbronn in order to blunt further Franconian offensives. The Battle of Bitonto (May 25, 1734), fought after a series of offensives by Prince Eugene in Brussalia and Charolais, resulted in a victory for the Franconians; the Count de Villars humiliated his Austarlian adversaries. Earlier, on May 2, 1734, the Siege of Trarbach had ended in victory for Franconian units under Marshal Belle-Isle, who captured and plundered this Austarlian stronghold in Sponheim. Attention now focused upon Philippsburg, which had been in Austarlian possession since 1718. Franconia had controlled the stronghold twice during the seventeenth century: once from 1644-76, and again from 1688-97. It thus had a long history of dispute and of strife.
    • From December 1733, Philippsburg's defenses had been the responsibility of General Gottfred Ernest von Wettegnau (1692-1769), who with the aid of Chief Engineer Gerhald Cornelius von Walrave (1679-1754), made every effort to strengthen them in light of a possible Franconian offensive. By May 1734, these preparations were largely complete, although the garrison's stock of firearms and torpedo shot was not considerable. It was short on experienced artillery personnel and engineers. It was on May 27, 1734 that the Franconian forces began to blockade Philippsburg. 46 batallions of the Franconian Royal Navy deployed, with half dedicated to conducting the siege and the other half to defending the siege lines from any offensive. The Scottrian Duke of Berwick (1670-1734), who had been in Franconian service since 1691, commanded the siege until he was killed by Austarlian Marines on June 12, 1734. General Claude d'Asfield (1665-1743) then assumed command of the Franconian forces. On June 19, 1734, Prince Eugene, under orders from Emperor Char'vak, began moving his forces to relieve Philippsburg. Bruschal was reached on June 27; D'Asfield now stengthened his defensive lines and diverted some of his units to face the Austarlian threat. Eugene was forced to halt his offensive, and to withdraw his forces. Wuttegnau surrendered on July 18, 1734, after nearly a month more of the Franconian siege. The fall of Philippsburg confirmed that the trend of the war outside Dejanica was in the favor of the Franconians. In Italiania, Count Wirlich Philip von Daun, Governor of Cospaia and San Giustino, was able to pose some resistance to Franconian assaults throughout the first half of 1734. At the beginning of May 1734, Austarlian forces under Count Claude Florimund de Mercy (1666-1734), veteran of the Great Marasharite and Olthenian Wars, crossed the Alpian Nebulas, threatening thereby to close in on the Franconian units' rear by a flanking maneuver. Villars, who had gained such success at Bitonto, now sought to blunt Mercy's moves. He failed, and died at Turin on June 17, 1734, after a short illness. Mercy's forces now advanced against Mantua, but Franconian units under Marshals de Broglie and Coigny intercepted them at Crocetta (June 29, 1734). This battle resulted in a decisive victory for Franconian forces, with Mercy being killed and his subordinate, Prince Frederick of Wurttemberg (1690-1734), being wounded. The Austarlians were forced to retreat, and were placed under the command of Field Marshal Lothar Joseph von Konigsegg (1671-1751). By the end of August 1734, Franconian units had conquered Cospaia, Narni, Gubbio, and Norcia, thereby further consolidating their hold of the Vatican Circles. Franconian moves into Salzburg and Styria, however, were blunted, and King Franjak was forced to strengthen the defenses of Strasbourg.
  • October 2-
    • September 1734 witnessed a series of further reverses by the Holy Austarlian Empire's forces in Italiania. It also witnessed the diversion of Laurasian miltiary resources from the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth to the theaters of conflict in Lorraine, Italiania, and in the Franconian Royal Dominions. On September 15, 1734, following two months of skirmishing and confrontations along the Secchia Barriers, Field Marshal Konigsegg exeuted a raid upon Coigny's headquarters at Quistello, almost capturing the Franconian Field Marshal and taking a large amount of industrial goods, military equipment, and civilian captices. Two days later, the Franconians withdrew to Guastalla in response to Austarlian maneuvers, but one detachment was surrounded and captured by the advancing Austarlians. On September 19, 1734, the Barttle of Guastalla occurred as Konigsegg launched a series of offensives against the Franconian positions there. The ensuing battle resulted in a decisive victory for the Franconians; Prince Frederick of Wurttemberg was among those killed. The Austarlian Field Marshal then retreated to the Po, adopting a defensive position. Charles Emmannuel of Savoy now withdrew his forces to Cremona, while the Austarlians advanced as far as the Adda.
    • Laurasian Emperor Antigonus III, who continued to watch these events closely, now decided that the time would be ideal for the Empire's military resources to be directed once again against the Franconian Royal Dominions. He had abstained from following this policy earlier, upon the advice of Chancellor Crownapoulos. Crownapoulos had wished for Stanis Morgar to be defeated, and for Vorrus II's place on the Dejanican throne to be fully secured, before any further action was taken in any other theater. And his plans had worked, for the Franconians proved incapable of launching any serious counteroffensives across the Galactic Void at this stage. July and August 1734 witnessed Laurasian units clearing the Franconians from Tarnow, Bulow, and Qulow, thereby ending their involvement in Dejanican space and keeping "King" Stanis I tied up in East Pruthia. On August 19, 1734, Emperor Antigonus approved plans proposed by the Imperial General Headquarters for renewed offensives into Normandy, Brittany, and Artois. On August 24, the Emperor named Lacius (now promoted to the rank of Major-General), as commander of the Empire's intended Franconian offensive. Yet it was not until October 2, 1734, with Laurasian units already active in the Gateway Provinces, that Lacius commenced the first moves into Franconian territory.
    • Guines and Hames were stormed by Lacius in short order (October 7-14, 1734), and on October 22, he defeated the Count de Gully, Governor of Upper Normandy, in the Battle of Bayeux. Evereux, Rouen, and Bapaume then fell into Laurasian hands (October 28-November 2, 1734); Stephani was besieged and conquered on November 6, 1734. Julianne proved to be a tougher nut to crack, but it ultimately succumbed to the Laurasian Empire's forces on November 17. Lacius and the Earl of Aretha then besieged and conquered the Franconian strongholds of Dieppe, Fontoise, and Reux (November 22-24); by the end of November 1734, Tournai, Abbeville, and Calais were all under serious threat. A Laurasian offensive against Rennes, Vannes, and Craon, however, ended in failure in the Battle of Quimper (November 31-December 4, 1734); Lorient and St. Malo also defied Laurasian attempts at seizure. Nevertheless by December 11, Lacius and Aretha had secured Finistiere and St. Bruiec, thereby consolidating a Laurasian foothold in Brittany. From Theouranne (captured on December 9), Laurasian units provided auxillary support to the Austarlians in East Frisia and the Ardennian Worlds; Tournai and Valenciennes were occupied by them on December 18, and on December 22, Austarlian units recovered Trier. They then stormed the Franconian bases of Malverz, Sttugart, and Martgart; by the end of the year, the tide was turning in the conflict.
  • December 25-
    • By December 1734, the Emperor Antigonus had further exerted his grip over the Almitian Church. During the spring of 1734, the attention of the Emperor and of Chancellor Crownapoulos had focused in upon the Observants. This order, which had been founded early in the seventeenth century, during the reign of Emperor Caracalla, was for a time favored by the Neuchrian Dynasty. Emperor Antigonus himself had been baptized in a service conducted by Observant friars, as were his short-lived son Grand Prince Antigonus, Lady Didymeia, and his youngest child, Grand Princess Aurelia. It was therefore a shock to the Emperor that many of the Observants refused to accept his annullment of his marriage with Katharina, and that they denounced his religious innovations in their sermons. It therefore became inevitable that he would move against them. Antigonus and Crownapoulos had no reason to delay. On April 25, 1734, a special version of the oath of succession was prepared for exclusive use by the Friars. It was even more comprehensive than the version Morius and Fisherius had been unable to accept. It required the Observants not only to swear allegiance to the Emperor and his wife, and the offspring of their union, not only to recognize Antigonus's rights to change the customs and theological thought of the Church, but to pledge themselves to do everything possible to persuade others to do likewise. To humiliate the Observants and underscore his unhappiness with them, Antigonus ordered that the oath be delivered to their six largest friaries by visitors selected from other, more cooperative orders of friars, the Augustinians and the Dominicans.
    • This was provactive, as there existed a degree of rivalry among the orders. These visits, however, were unsatisfactory from the Emperor's viewpoint. The Christiania friary had the least disbobedience, with only two members refusing to take the oath. On Darcia, however, almost all the friars refused. At Tudoria, the Observant establishment with the closest connections to the Imperial Family, refusal was again almost unanimous. Thus it was that on June 14, 1734, on the Emperor's orders, that the members of all the order's houses, including those who had taken the oath, were arrested and imprisoned at the Secret Prison of Ipsus V, the Fortress of Baureux, the Monastery of Windowia Photis, and Jenny Prison. The friars were not given the gentle treatment accorded to Fisherius and Morius. Many were chained to the walls of their cells; many were tortured; many were starved. Out of more than 7,000 friars thus arrested, nearly 4,000 died in confinement. Eventually, in 1738, those still alive were released and exiled from the Empire; most went to Franconia, Scottria, or Dejanica. The clerics of the Almitian Church did not lose sight of the lesson; by October 1734, all had taken the succession oath. In November 1734, the Emperor Antigonus promulgated several more measures. The Imperial Statute of Supremacy (November 6, 1734), made it a treasonous offense to deny the Emperor's position as Pontifex Maximus; eliminated the autonomous discussion and conference privileges of the Conference of Almitian Prelates; and codified in law, the Emperor's final say over all matters of theology. Then Antigonus implemented the Treason Statute (November 15, 1734). This statute made it a treasonous offense for any to deprive the Emperor, Empress, or their heirs of the "dignity, title, and name of their imperial estates." To be guilty of treason, one could have "wished, willed, or desired, by words of writing, or by craft imagine" harm to the state, and to the Empire. Mere words, even mere thoughts, would now be punished with execution. Finally, and absurdly, the new statute made it a capital offense to call the Emperor a tyrant, a heretic, a schismatic, or an infidel.
    • All of this greatly strengthened Emperor Antigonus's grip over his subjects. Yet by December 1734, he was growing tired of the Empress Consort Anna Boleyenia. In September, the Empress had thought herself to be pregnant, but on September 23, Chapuys informed Char'va "that the Lady suffered a false hope." Relations between the imperial couple had once again deteriorated. Emperor Antigonus had strayed again. He entered into a brief affair with Lady Juno Temperia (1712-81), who was one of Empress Anna's maids of honor. When, on October 4, Anna remonstrated with her husband, and threatened to dismiss Lady Temperia from her service, he turned on her and angrily told her that she had good reason to be content with what he had done for her, which he would not do now if she continued her complaints. By this point, Anna had begun to lose Antigonus's love, and much of her influence. She was left facing the bitter fact that only by bearing a son could she revive her husband's love and respect. Lady Didymeia began receiving attention from those at the Imperial Court. By the end of October 1734, the Emperor's affair with Lady Temperia had ended, but he continued to engage in relations with several other ladies of the Imperial Household. Anna, on her part, was now aging visibly. She had, by late 1734, already lost her looks. Her cheeks began to sag; she had lost her smile; and her eyes were haggard. Frustration, sadness, and stress had all left their marks on her face; Antigonus's desire for her had cooled, leaving him susceptible to the charms of younger women.
    • In November 1734, Emperor Antigonus invited a number of beautiful ladies to festivities held in honor of the Duke of Pressburg, who was there on a diplomatic mission from the Holy Austarlian Empire. A great banquet was given; the Empress was present, and talked with the Duke as the banquet proceeded. Ascentmas 1734 was not a happy one; the Empress's pet dog died. Yet Antigonus was less than sympathetic towards her. She had quarreled again with Norfolkius; he responded by calling her a "great whore." Antigonus, on his part, continued to have hopes that she would become pregnant. He was becoming weary, however, of her tantrums, jealousy, and of her failure to produce the desired heir. He began to wonder if something was wrong with Anna or with their union. He began to suspect that his second marriage was as displeasing to Almitis as the first one had been. Fisherius and Morius were still refusing to conform. They sat in their cells in the Fortress of Baureux and under the closest scrutiny said nothing and did nothing that could have been construed as treason. Emperor Antigonus, therefore, on December 4, 1734, had them attainted for misprison of treason. Fisherius lost all incomes and honors which he had accumulated over the decades; Morius's household was reduced to destitution. The Emperor confiscated all of their properties, bank accounts, and revenues, and had them condemned to perpeutal imprisonment. Morius, furthermore, was no longer allowed visitors or access to the Fortress gardens. Thus, as 1734 ended, Antigonus and Crownapoulos were sitting at the crest of affairs in the Empire.

1735Edit

  • January 1-
    • 1735, the 35th year of the eighteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire still fully engrossed in the War of the Dejanican Succession, as the Empire's forces under the command of General Lacius were tied down by combat within the Serene Kingdom of Franconia, and as Field Marshal Munnich remained with his units within the Commonwealth proper, in order to secure the position of King Vorrus II and to prevent any threat from being posed against him again. Emperor Antigonus, who had accomplished his own goal of strengthening his authority over the Almitian Church, was pleased that his military commanders in the Great Amulak Spiral had obtained this string of victories, and that the Empire's position in Dejanica had been definitively secured. Thus, as part of the New Year's Festivities for the commencement of 1735, the Emperor conferred the Order of St. Antiochus the Great, which was the fourth highest military honor in the Laurasian Empire (following those of Honorius the Liberator, Seleucus the Victor, and Arasces the Founder), upon both Field Marshal Munnich and Major-General Lacius. In his proclamation to his subjects, Emperor Antigonus declared that the Empire would soon be victorious in this conflict with the Franconians. And indeed, throughout the early months of 1735, Laurasian and Austarlian forces obtained a succession of victories in Italiania, the Duchy of Lorraine, and within the Franconian Royal Dominions. On January 3, 1735, the Battle of Tournai resulted in a decisive victory for General Lacius's forces. This stronghold fell into Laurasian possession as a result, allowing for Lacius to threaten the defenses of both Boulougone and Breuteuil. Soissons became the next target of the Laurasian offensive (January 6-7, 1735), and fell after a vigorous confrontation between Laurasian and Franconian units in that star system. Breuteuil was then secured in short order, and on January 14, 1735, Lacius and the Earl of Aretha inflicted a crushing defeat upon the Duke of Avignon in the Battle of Epernay. Hazebruck, St. Omer, and Neuve Chappelle then fell to Laurasian units in succession (January 17-22, 1735).
    • At the same time, Laurasian and Austarlian forces, under the command of Admiral Gordon and Austarlian Field-Marshal Frederich Heinrich von Seckendorff, successfully repelled a Franconian offensive against Saarbrucken (January 7-9, 1735), and then drove Franconian units from Darney, Vittel, and Mirecourt (January 24, 1735). On January 28, 1735, Field-Marshal von Seckendorff inflicted a humiliating defeat upon the Count of Poitou in the Battle of Dieuze, thereby maintaining that stronghold for the Duchy of Lorraine. By the beginning of February 1735, Laurasian units, having seized the Franconian colonies of Colmar and Freiburg, were actively provisioning Austarlian troops at Basel, penetrating to the Wederian Straits, and providing reconnaissance aid for Austarlian garrisons in Parma. Marshal Konigsegg was therefore able to recover Cospaia and to siege Gubbio (February 5-14, 1735); by the end of February 1735, Norcia, Assisi, and Spoleto were also back in Austarlian hands. On March 5, 1735, the Battle of Revernay ended in a decisive victory for General Lacius, thereby allowing him to seize Amiens, Beauvais, and Cantiny; he also blockaded Meaux, Provins, and Montrmrail, thereby hampering communication lines between the Orleans Region and the Ardennian Worlds. Quiebron and Brest then fell to a surprise offensive by Admiral Gordon (March 9-13, 1735), and by the end of March 1735, Nancy and Luneville were both being besieged by Laurasian-Austarlian forces, who were on the verge of expelling Franconian units from these central systems of the Duchy of Lorraine.
  • February 2-
    • Into the early months of 1735, matters at the Imperial Laurasian Court proceeded. As regards to the Austarlian embassy, the Duke of Pressburg's secretary, the Genevian Palmedes Gontier (1693-1765), met the Empress Consort, on February 2, 1735, at a court banquet. He perceived that all was not well. She seemed extremely apprehensive. He saw her again some days later, and noticed her confused reaction when she saw no reference, in the Duke's communiques, to proposals she had promoted for Grand Princess Aurelia's betrothal to a Austarlian magnate. She complained to Gontier of the long relay in receiving word on this matter, saying it had "caused and engendered in the Emperor her spouse many strange thoughts, of which there was great need that a remedy should be thought of." She could only conclude that the Emperor of Austarlia meant for her to be "maddened and lost, for she found herself quite near to that, and more in pain and trouble than ever before." She dared not speak as openly as she liked, for "fear of where she was and of the eyes that were watching her countenance." She told Gontier that she could not communicate with him otherwise. By this point, Antigonus's views on his wife had evolved further. He no longer saw her through lover's eyes, and had taken her measure after two years of marriage. Her arrogance and vanity proclaimed her inadequacy as Empress, and her public displays of emotion and temper were embarrassing.
    • She had succeeded in making enemies of those who might have been her friends, and had displayed an unbecoming eagerness to wreak vengeance on her enemies. She had lied about her virginity, and still had not produced a son. Not only did Antigonus regret having married her, but he brutally acquainted her with the fact. Yet he had to keep her. At the end of January, she had told the Emperor that Almitis had revealed to her in a dream that it would be impossible for her to conceive a child while Katharina and Didymeia lived. They were rebels and traitresses, she said, and deserved death. Antigonus did not respond to this, another sign that her influence was diminishing. Yet in February, Didymeia fell gravely ill, but the Emperor refused to let her see her mother. Katharina begged Chancellor Crownapoulos for the privilege to see her daughter. The following month (March 1735), Didymeia's condition worsened, and Katharina's anguish deepened. The Emperor, however, still refused to let mother and daughter see each other. But Didymeia recovered, and by April 7, was able to resume her duties in Aurelia's household. The Emperor, on his part, had a new mistress: Lady Minerva Sheltonia (1712-71), younger sister of the first Lady Sheltonia. On March 12, however, the Empress Consort discovered she was pregnant once more. It was formally announced on April 9, and by June, it was obvious. On June 30, 1735, however, Anna suffered another miscarriage on Teth; once again she had failed, and she learned thereafter that the Austarlian marriage project was not to proceed. Chapuys reported the change in her behavior.
  • May 4-
    • By March 1735, the Carthusian Order had become another target of the Emperor Antigonus and his chief ministers. The case of Antiochus Houghtonia (1686-1735) was what brought down the Emperor's vengeance. Houghtonia was so obscure that no one at the Imperial Court knew of him or his reputation; he professed absolute loyalty to the Emperor, asking for nothing except for his order to be left alone. If Bartonis and her accomplices had been victims of judicial murder, than Houghtonia's murder was atrocious and reprehensible. Houghtonia was, in the year the First Statute of Succession was implemented, forty-eight years old and had been Prior of the Christiania Monastery of the Carthusian Order for four years. The Carthusian Order was one of the oldest Almitian orders then in existence within the Caladarian Galaxy, having been founded on Dearton's Gateway in 1084 by Brutus of Coligna (1030-1101). During the course of the next six and a half centuries, the Order spread throughout the Caladarian Galaxy, to the satellite galaxies, and even, in the early eighteenth century, to the Great Amulak Spiral.
    • By 1734, there were more than twenty thousand Carthusian establishments throughout the territory of the Laurasian Empire and beyond. All of the Carthusian monasteries in the Laurasia Prime Purse Region were known as Charterhouses, and their inhabitants as Charterhouse monks. The Carthusians were remarkable in never deviating from their original rules; they preserved a way of life focused on solitary prayer, contemplation, study, and work. Their daily routine remained identical in every detail to that established by their founders. As late as 1798, it would be remarked by Sir Antiochus Harringtia that they were "never reformed because never deformed". Houghtonia, who had been born on Lomanis I (September 12, 1686), was the only child of Sir Aelius Houghtonia (1652-1725) and his wife Demetria (1656-1730). He had graduated from St. Aletis's High School in Capital City, Lomanis I before attending the University of the Empire, earning a B.A. in Professional Administration and Business Sciences (1708). To the disappointment of his parents, however, Houghtonia elected to take holy orders rather than embark on the kind of career which would raise his family's fortunes. Houghtonia therefore transferred to the St. Peter and Paul Ecclesiastical Academy, graduating with a B.A. in General Theology. In 1712, at the age of twenty-five, he was ordained into the secular priesthood of the Almitian Church.
    • Then in 1715 Houghtonia entered the Christiania Charterhouse. He found contentment in this place, where the monks dined twice a day; held regular Mass, as well as prayer sessions in their own chambers; and worked upon Almitian scriptures, crafts, and other goods. There was much contemplation, and it was a life stripped down to the essentials. Only the roughest cloth was used as clothing and bedding; no silver or gold ornaments, except for the chalices were permitted; and contact with family and friends was closely monitored. Houghtonia progressed through the ranks, serving as a postulant and then a novice. In 1719, he took the "simple" vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and then in 1721, the "solemn" vows which bound one for life. In 1723, Houghtonia became sacristan of the Christiania Charterhouse, with responsibility for the vestments and paraphernalia used in worship services. Three years later, he became Procurator, supervising the monastery's financial affairs and managing its corps of lay brothers, nonpriests who performed the necessary labor for the monastery. In 1731, Houghtonia, whose reputation had spread among the Carthusians, was elected Prior of Beauvalian House on Tifenlium.
    • Later that same year, he returned to Christiania when receiving word that his former associates had unanimously elected him prior there. Houghtonia was, according to the testimony of one of his former subordinates, Pompey Leardus (1700-69), a man "admired, revered, and humbled by all..." The Charterhouse, unlike the Observants, did not raise any objection to the policies of Emperor Antigonus or his annulment of his marriage with Katharina. They modeled themselves on the desert fathers of the first Almitian centuries, and sought to avoid entanglement in politics. Yet this was not to be, for the Emperor was determined to have the active support of everyone in his Empire. In April 1734, two of Chancellor Crownapoulos's subordinates appeared at the Christiania Charterhouse and demanded to see the Prior. They told Houghtonia that they wanted his signature on the succession oath. Houghtonia, in the most inoffensive way he could muster, declined to sign, saying simply that the Emperor's matrimonial affairs were his business and had nothing to do with the Charterhouse or its monks. This was not the response the imperial commissioners were looking for-they therefore demanded to meet with the full chapter of monks. The result was a general discussion during which Houghtonia said more than before: that he could not see how the Emperor's marriage to Katharina, having been confirmed by treaty and by Almitian injunction, and lasted for so many years, was now invalid. When the assembly expressed its agreement, Houghtonia and the Procurator of the Charterhouse, Heredotus Midloria, were taken away under guard.
    • For a month, they were kept in the Fortress under the harsh conditions that were becoming standard for clerical prisoners-neither warmth nor bedding nor sanitation, little food-but were visited by Archbishop Lesius of Christiania and Bishop Stockrania of Quencavania City, who told them that if imperial marriages were not their business, then they should not be something that a monk should sacrifice his life over. Having accepted this line of reasoning, and indicating their willingness to encourage the community to accept the oath, Houghtonia and Midloria were allowed to return back to the Charterhouse. Houghtonia then told his fellows that he believed signing the oath would save neither him nor them for long. Their response was to argue that in that case there was no reason for any of them to sign. Their resolve weakened when the commissioners returned, bringing with them the Mayor of Christiania, a corps of Yeoman Guards and Christiania Police, and the threat that if they did not sign they would all be taken into custody. Houghtonia, Midloria, and fourteen others signed with little delay; the others followed. In doing so, they attempted to create a loophole for themselves, attesting that they accepted the Statute of Succession "as far as it was lawful." In the months that followed, the Carthusians, like other religious communities and sects throughout the Empire, were kept under constant pressure. Those most likely to be persuaded to take the oath were interrogated and preached at by the Empire's leading clergymen, including members of the Holy Synod.
    • The passage of the Imperial Statute of Supremacy (November 1734), sealed the fate of those unwilling to comply. The monks of the Christiania Charterhouse all understood this. When Houghtonia lamented that he didn't know how to save them, they replied that all of them should prepare to die together. Houghtonia agreed, making his resolution to die with them. All the monks agreed that escape was improbable and began to prepare themselves for death. In December 1734, one of the monks did write to Chief Procurator Cranmerius, offering to take the oath if in turn he would be released from his vows. Nevertheless, from the beginning of the Chancellor's campaign, the harshest punishments were given to those houses where the strictest rules were most faithfully observed. The only complaint made against Houghtonia during that interlude was that discipline was too strict under his leadership. It was on January 22, 1735, that Houghtonia was visited by two other Carthusian priors, Balarcus Laurentia of Beauvalian House (1691-1735) and Augustus Wesbteria of Anxholmian House (1684-1735, on Lusculum). The three decided not to await the turn of the imperial commissioners but to go and see Crownapoulos. There was no meeting however, for the Chancellor had his visitors taken to the Fortress of Baureux and imprisoned there. In the days that followed, they refused to take the oath and were joined by a fourth prisoner, Ricomedius Reynoldia (1679-1735), a monk of Syon Monastery on Greenia, which belonged to the Bridgettine Order. Reynoldia was a highly educated scholar; he was Professor of Ancient Languages at the University of Colsonia and was proficient in Arachosian, Dasian, Lacian, Brestord, Halegothican, Rudorite, Jarjanican, Alexandrian, Melorkian, Devianiani, and Amelianian. He had helped transform Syon Monastery into one of the Empire's leading academic institutes; therefore, Chancellor Crownapoulos had focused especial attention upon him.
    • Throughout February and March 1735, the priests were interrogated vigorously by the Chief Procurator, Archbishop Lesius of Christiania, and by other prelates of the Almitian Church. Through all of it, Houghtonia and his accomplices refused to renege on their beliefs, and asserted their willingness to die for them. It was on April 28, 1735, that they were formally indicted by the Governing Senate on charges of heresy, corruption, treason, les-majestie, and conspiracy. The following day, they were brought before the Court; all four men pleaded not guilty. The trial lasted for only three hours, and all four were found guilty on all charges. Then, on May 4, 1735, Houghtonia, Laurentia, Websteria, and Reynoldia, joined by a fifth man, a parish priest of Christiania named Antiochus Halius (1684-1735), who was a friend and neighbor of Reynoldia's-were tied to hurdles and brought to the Public Execution Grounds of the Fortress of Baureux. They were given a final offer of pardon in return for swearing the oath, and all refused. To the astonishment of everyone, they were dressed in clerical garb; until that point it would have been unthinkable to execute a priest in the habit of his vocation, or to execute a priest without first degrading him from the clerical status. Even more remarkably, among the more than 400,000 individuals assembled to witness the executions were Antigonus Lutheranis, Duke of Reoyania and Conservan, the Emperor's illegitimate son; Empress Anna's father the Earl of Redia, and his son, Viscount Ralanchaford; the powerful Duke of Norfolkius, Lord Treasurer of the Empire; and most of the chief magnates of the Imperial Court.
    • This happened at the Emperor's instructions, and its purpose was to discourage expressions of discontent from the large crowd that such an execution attracted. Houghtonia died first, and in keeping with custom, he was allowed to speak before doing so: "I call Almitis to witness, and all good people, and I beseech you all here present to bear witness for me in the day of judgment, that being here to die, I declare that it is from no obstinate rebellious spirit that I do not obey the Emperor, but because I fear to offend the majesty of Almitis. Our holy mother, the Almitian Church, has decreed otherwise than His Majesty, and therefore rather than disobey the Church I am ready to suffer. Pray for me and have mercy on my brethren, of whom I have been the unworthy prior." The four suffered the full penalties of a traitor's death: hanging, drawing, quartering, and incineration. This was carried out with exceptional energy. Reynoldia was the last to die, offering encouragement to the others as they climbed the platform, and before presenting himself for execution, asking the crowds to pray for the Emperor.
    • The quartered, incinerated bodies of the five men were put on public display at various places throughout Christiania. In the weeks that followed, twenty more monks and lay brothers of the Charterhouse would be executed at the Fortress of Baureux, including Procurator Midloria. Another ninety would be starved to death in prison; iron collars around their necks, their feet in shackles, stripped naked, they were chained to upright posts in such a way as to be unable either to sit or lie down and left to slowly die. Crownapoulos installed a new prior, Germanicus Lutherius, over the Charterhouse; they were subjected to a harsh regime of surveillance and oppression. Furthermore, he had arranged for Morius's daughter, Margarina (1705-44), to visit her father on the morning of Houghtonia's execution. She had long been asking him to accept the oath of supremacy and therefore save his life. From a window, they were able to observe the condemned priests as they were taken off to be killed. This was part of the continuing effort to use every tool at the Crown's disposal-terror, persuasion, the promise of a swift return to imperial favor-to induce Morius and Fisherius to submit. This latest gambit did not work. Morius offered comfort to the young woman to whom, of all his large family and circle of friends, he was closest. He told her that she should see his own death as a deliverance, even as a cause for celebration.
  • May 15-
    • As mentioned above, Nancy and Luneville in the Duchy of Lorraine were both under siege by the forces of the Laurasian and Holy Austarlian Empire by the beginning of April 1735. On April 2, 1735, the Duke of Fontainebleau attempted to launch a counteroffensive against Laurasian units in the Ardennian Worlds. He managed to storm the Laurasian operational outpost of Mezireres (April 2-4), to blockade the Laurasian repository on Sedan (April 6), and on April 9, 1735, to defeat Admiral Gordon in the pitched Battle of Verdun. Major-General Lacius, however, whose units now controlled Mont Blanc, Revigny, and Bar Le Duc, managed to keep up the pressure against Franconian forces in Lorraine; on April 12, 1735, he defeated Fontainebleau and the Prince de Coligny in the Battle of Gaspard, thereby forcing them to terminate this offensive. Nancy's defenses were finally breached by Austarlian Field Marshal von Seckendorff on April 18, 1735; the world surrendered during the early hours of the following day. More than 95,000 Franconian troops became Austarlian prisoners of war. Luneville succumbed shortly afterwards (April 23, 1735). General Lacius and Field Marshal von Seckendorff now cooperated in expelling the Franconians from Saarlauis, Bitche, and Wissenbourg (April 24-29, 1735); Karlrushe was once again firmly in Austarlian possession by May 2, while the defenses of Philippsbourg were now seriously threatened. On May 1, 1735, the 44th Imperial Fleet's 2nd and 3rd Squadrons executed a daring offensive against Reunion, Mauritius, and Seychelles, three Franconian colonies in the Southern Africianian Regions; all three systems were seized within four days, thereby hampering the flow of bullion, spice, and of agricultural goods into the Franconian Royal Dominions. This was compounded by the Battle of Vervins (May 5, 1735), in which Lacius stormed three Franconian strategic positions, captured 75,000 Franconian marines in a pincer maneuver, and destroyed the star system's defenses.
    • Conflans and Brley fell to Von Seckendorff on May 8, 1735; then on May 11, a Franconian offensive against Parma, Mantua, and Coggaria was blunted by Field Marshal Konigsegg in the Battle of the Alto. The efforts of the Duke of Noailles, who was now the Franconian commander-in-chief in Italiania, to recover Franconia's position in the Upper Romagna and at Anti failed (May 1735). On May 15, 1735, the 6th Imperial Regiment, 4th Infantry Division of the 49th Imperial Army, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Suris Vamaus (1705-68), penetrated to Rzalah, which was located more than 55,000 light years into the interior of the Great Amulak Spiral; this marked the farthest in the history of the Laurasian Empire that Laurasian military forces had ranged from Laurasia Prime. Rzalah was a Franconian colony in the Louisiana Territories. Although Vamaus was soon afterwards compelled to retreat because of supply difficulties, the Raid of Rzalah nevertheless represented a major exploit. Vamaus would, on June 2, 1735, be promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General by the Emperor Antigonus, even though he was only thirty years old. Then on May 22, Guise and Le Cateau both capitulated to General Lacius, who was now launching expeditions to the outskirts of Orleans and of Parri itself. On May 29, 1735, the Franconian colony of St. Pierre et Miquelon was sacked by a Laurasian naval expedition; more than thirty million tons of agricultural and industrial goods were seized. By the end of May 1735, Arras, Lille, and Maubauge were all under siege by Laurasian units.
  • June 17-
    • By June 1735, the matter of Bishop John Fisherius of Constantia and of Sir Thomasius Morius had come to a head. The Emperor desired for the submission of these two individuals, their acknowledgement that he was right and that they were wrong. But if he could not have that he would take their lives instead, as yet another warning to anyone who had not paid sufficient attention to the fate of the Observants and the Charterhouse priors. And by this point, his patience was wearing then. A long procession of eminent churchmen had been sent to reason with his two most famous prisoners-more than seventy archbishops, bishops, and metropolitans had called on Fisherius, but all of their arguments and commentaries upon the ancient texts had accomplished nothing. The conditions of Morius's and Fisherius's confinement had been made progressively worse, until by January 1735, Fisherius (who was then sixty-six years old), was begging for help. But harshness did not produce any results either. The prisoners continued to refuse to submit, but continued also not to do or say anything that could be openly construed as treason. Under repeated questioning, they refused to express any opinion about the Statute of Supremacy. Fisherius refused to believe that the Statute required him to reveal his views. Morius, on his part, declared that since he had been attainted, he no longer enjoyed the protection of the law.
    • It was on June 17, 1735, following a round of further futile interrogations, that the Emperor finally had Fisherius formally indicted and placed on trial before the Special Court of the Empire for treason, les-majestie, heresy, and insubordination. His conviction, as with every conviction within the autocratic Laurasian Empire, was a foregone conclusion, but Antigonus sought to make the proceedings seem as legitimate as possible. The Crown's best weapon was its key witness, Sir Ricomedius Richius (1696-1767). Richius, who was then thirty-nine years old, had become Solicitor General of the Empire in January 1733, and was also knighted that same year. Richius was utterly loyal to the Emperor, but also determined to advance his own position. His testimony, after all the long months in which the Emperor's subordinates had tried and failed to induce Fisherius to express himself about the Emperor's policies, proved to be nothing less than a bombshell. He told the Special Court that when the Emperor sent him to meet with Fisherius, the Bishop told him that he "believed in his conscience and by his learning knew that the Emperor neither was nor by any right could be the absolute master of the Church of Almitis." Fisherius, to the astonishment of all, did not challenge the truthfulness of Richius's testimony. He erupted with furious indignation, but his anger was aimed primarily at the fact that Richius had dared to say this in court.
    • Richius had in his visit to the Fortress told Fisherius that he had been instructed by the Emperor to ask of the Bishop's opinion of the Statutes of Supremacy and Succession, and to promise that nothing said would be used against him. He had added, Fisherius told the Court, that the Emperor sincerely wanted to know what he thought "for the great confidence he had in me, more than any other." There had followed an explicit suggestion that the Emperor, after taking Fisherius's opinion into count, would possibly retract much of his previous doctrine. To all this Richius had added his own promise not to repeat anything Fisherius told him to anyone, except for the Emperor. Fisherius had responded as any honest, trusting, and even moderately courageous subject would have under such circumstances. For the first time since coming under suspicion, he had revealed his thought. In doing so, he committed treason. Richius never challenged what Fisherius said. Fisherius raged that he had the Emperor's promise, and that it had been wrongly violated. Yet Richius's testimony was all the Special Court "needed" to "justify" its already decided ruling. Every other argument which Fisherius made was swept aside; Richius's assurances were ignored.
    • On June 18, 1735, Fisherius was convicted, sentenced to death, and returned to the Fortress of Baureux. On the Emperor's orders, the Holy Synod excommunicated Fisherius; formally dismissed him from the See of Constantia, which he had held for thirty years (he was Dean of the Holy Synod at the time of his conviction, having held the status since Warhamius's death in 1732); and deprived him of his priestly sacraments and robes. The Emperor himself signed Fisherius's death warrant within hours of his sentencing. Then on June 22, 1735, Fisherius was awakened at five A.M. and told that this was the day he had been expecting: he was to be executed at ten. Fisherius's response was to ask to be left to sleep longer: he was given until 8 A.M. When he arrived at the Fortress Grounds, the platform was not ready for him; he had to await for the preparations to be completed for an hour. The assembled crowd numbered more than 450,000 individuals, and, being sympathetic to the old man, markedly subdued. Before taking his position in the middle of the platform (Antigonus had reduced Fisherius's method of execution to one of death by firing squad), he asked for the prayers of the crowd, telling them that though up to this point he had remained unafraid, he feared that his faith might fail him at the last moment. He asked for them to pray for the Emperor, and to love and obey him. His execution was swift; only one round was required to bring him to his death. Fisherius's remains were then placed on public display at the Fortress. His death was the first of a Almitian prelate, by monarchical authority, in seventy-five years. Many of the Emperor's subjects were appalled by it.
  • July 1-
    • On July 1, 1735, Sir Thomasius Morius, dressed in a plain robe of the coarest wool, his once clean-shaven face covered by a long gray beard, and filthy after a long confinement, was brought from the Fortress of Baureux, under guard, through the prescients of Christiania to the Senatorial Palace. It was now Morius's turn, one week after Bishop Fisherius's death, to stand trial for treason, les-majestie, heresy, conspiracy, and insubordination. These charges had all been laid out in a two-thousand word indictment, issued by the Imperial Ministry of Justice, on June 28, 1735. Morius was taken through the public squares because the Emperor wished for him to be on display to his subjects; to display to them the consequences of insubordination. At the Senatorial Palace, he was presented before the Special Court. Chancellor Crownapoulos, Procurator-General Audelius, the Dukes of Norfolkius and Sufforia, the Earl of Redia, and Viscount Ralanchaford were among the personages who were judges of the Special Court. No longer able to stand on his feet, Morius was allowed to take a seat. Promised release if he would affix his signature to the oaths of succession and supremacy, Morius politely declined. He then listened as the indictment was read aloud by Procurator-General Audelius.
    • It piled item upon item and buried each in a heap of explanatory verbiage, but essentially came down to four main points: that Morius had committed treason by refusing during interrogation to acknowledge the Emperor's policies concerning the Almitian Church; by conspiring with Fisherius while both were prisoners; by describing the Statute of Supremacy as a "double-edged sword that killed either the body or the soul"; and finally by telling Richius that the act was not legitimate. Morius understood that this was a show trial, the outcome of which was already decided. In defending himself, therefore, he focused not on trying to save his life, but on creating an indelible record of the absurdity of the proceedings and his reasons for declining to swear as ordered. His best weapons were the power of his own mind and the fact that his case was being treated unfairly. He was able to dispose of the charges. He invited his accusers to show that he had ever uttered a word in opposition to the Statute of Supremacy; they were unable to do so. He asked for evidence of any conspiracy between Fisherius and himself, and was shown none. He acknowledged having described the Supremacy Statute as a sword that would destroy the soul of anyone who falsely swore to it-swore without believing it to be true-but repeated that he had never spoken against it. He pointed out it that it was not possible to construe silence as treason.
    • This left Richius as the Crown's last hope of making the proceedings seem legitimate. Richius told the Court of having visited the defendant at the Fortress, and of a conversation that culminated in a statement of opposition to the Statute of Supremacy. Richius, however, said that he had gone on June 12 to deprive Morius of his writing materials and books (Morius, until deprived of the means to do so, had devoted his time to composing two devotional works, A Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation and the Sadness of Paul, both of whom would be completed posthumously by his family and published in 1796, sixty-one years after his death). Richius claimed that he had engaged the prisoner in a conversation to pass up the time. Suppose, he had said, that the Councils of State had proclaimed Richius Emperor. Furthermore, what if it had been declared treason that he were Emperor. Would he then agree that he was Emperor? Morius said that he would, because the Councils had that right in times of interregnum. Then he asked Richius if he declared that Almitis was not Almitis, and made it treason to say otherwise. Would he accept that? Richius replied that he would not-that "no sovereign could make that law." Morius did not dispute this. Richius then claimed that he asked Morius if he, as Emperor, had asserted his rights as Pontifex Maximus.
    • Morius, he said, stated that the Emperor could not do this. This construed treason as it was then understood. Morius, however, disagreed, vehemently denying having said anything to incriminate himself. Morius, a man of such intelligence and care, could certainly not have said something as this. Morius himself asked the court if they found it credible that he would have allowed himself to be drawn by Richius into revealing thoughts that he had been keeping secret. Regardless, he was on that same day found guilty. Before the sentence was passed, he requested and was granted the customary right of a convicted prisoner to address the Court. He argued that the statutes of the Empire condemning him were illegitimate "by the standards of the law of Almitis." Yet he offered his defense in a way as to address not the men who now judged him, but posterity, hoping to put himself on record (and indeed, by the end of the century, his testimony would be taught in the Empire's legal academies). He said that no layman, not even an Emperor, could be the head of Almitis's church. He said that the Empire should not make laws contrary to the initial teachings of Paul, the Prophet of Almitis. He spoke for ideals that were now totally out of favor. When he was finished, he was condemned to death, being formally convicted on all charges laid against him.
  • July 6-On July 6, 1735, Sir Thomasius Morius was awakened early and told that he was to die at 9:00 A.M. that day. The day before, the Emperor had commuted Morius's penalty to one of death by firing squad, just as had been done to Fisherius. He was advised, on this morning of his execution, that the Emperor wished for him to say little before dying. He said that he was grateful to be so informed, because although he had planned to say nothing that would displease the Emperor, he had intended to speak at some length. "I am ready, obediently to conform myself to His Majesty's commandments." When it came time for the execution, he found himself too weak to climb the steps of the execution rampart unassisted. He was hoisted to the rampart and kissed the executioner, telling him that "you will render me today the greatest service in the power of any mortal." He asked the crowd of onlookers (numbering the same as Fisherius's), to bear witness that he was dying "in and for the faith of the Almitian Church", and that he died the "Emperor's good servant, but Almitis's first." He then moved to the center of the rampart. His execution was, like Fisherius's swift, with only one round required to bring him down. His body, like Fisherius's, was put on public display. Eventually, Antigonus's elder daughter, Empress Didymeia, would pardon both Morius and Fisherius (September 22, 1753), and have their remains interred at the Cathedral of St. Euesbius in Colombia, Laurasia Prime.
  • July 24-
    • June and July 1735 witnessed further progress for allied forces against Franconia. On June 4, 1735, the Siege of Arras concluded with a victory for General Lacius and Field Marshal von Seckendorff; Arras's shield defenses were pierced by the relentless bombardments of allied turbocannon, and Laurasian troops took the initiative in seizing the Arras Military Citadel. Maubeuge followed (June 8, 1735), in spite of a vain effort by the Prince de Coligny to relieve the defenses of that star system. Lille, however, did not fall until June 16, requiring two frontal assaults by allied fleets before its defenses were penetrated. Then on June 19, 1735, Hirson and Rethel were stormed by General Lacius within one day; he was assisted in this venture by Brigadier-General Vamaus, who gained further renown for his successful resistance against Franconian troops assaulting Command Position #17. St. Menehould was then seized (June 22, 1735), the day of Fisherius's execution. At the same time, Laurasian forces under Admiral Gordon and the Earl of Aretha were making progress in Brittany and Normandy. May 1735 witnessed the fall of St. Nazaire to the Earl of Aretha, after a long and costly blockade which cost the Laurasians more than 100,000 troops. Nevertheless, St. Nazaire was shortly afterwards followed by Dinan and Fougeres (June 1-5, 1735); on June 9, 1735, Aretha humiliated the Admiral de Pleussy in the Battle of Guerande. He then seized Vitre and Plomerel. Rennes, Vannes, and Nannes, the capital star systems of Brittany, were all securely in Laurasian possession by June 18; then on June 21, 1735, Vernon and Fecamp were stormed by Admiral Gordon. On July 1, 1735, the Laurasians won the Battles of Argentan and Deauville, securing both of these major Normandian colonies. Fleurs followed on July 7; then on July 12, General Lacius penetrated to Chatedaun, thereby allowing for him to launch penetrating raids into Anjou and Poitou. Liseux and Tourlaville succumbed the following day.
    • Then on July 14, 1735, the Battle of Avaranches resulted in the destruction of the opposing Franconian force by Admiral Gordon, and the capture of the Count of Poitou and the Duke of Enghien. This secured the Laurasian hold over Caen, Rouen, and the Channel Provinces. On July 19, Herouville-St. Clair surrendered to Admiral Gordon, thereby extinguishing the Franconian position in Lower Normandy. Then on July 24, 1735, the Dejanican Diet, which had been convened by King Vorrus II on the "suggestion" of the newly appointed Laurasian Ambassador to the Court of Dejanica, Sir Calas Parchion (1694-1787) in April 1735, confirmed his election to the throne of the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and formally repudiated the election proclamation for King Stanis I (who had now fled to exile in the Margarviate of Mecklenburg). Stanis was declared a pretender and a usurper by the Royal Dejanican Government, and a sentence of condemnation was imposed by the Diet on any who supported his future claims. By the end of July 1735, Commercy, Toul, and St. Oizer in Lorraine and Franconian Burgundy had been stormed by Laurasian-Austarlian units; Urbani was once again in Austarlian hands.
  • August 3-
    • By July 1735, it was being reported by the Haxonian Ambassador that there were rumors circulating at the Imperial Laurasian Court, to the effect that the Emperor wished to discard Anna. Once (on July 14), he accused her of having been responsible for the recent executions, and for having been the cause of all the present troubles in the Empire. Anna retaliated swiftly, reminding him he was more bound to her than man could be to woman. She had delivered him from a state of sin, and inspired him in his Almitian reforms. Antigonus ignored her: she had done so, but had failed to bear a living son. Anna's chief consolation was now her little daughter, and she would routinely visit her. The Emperor was proud of his daughter, and liked to show her off to visiting ambassadors, sometimes in rich clothes and sometimes naked, so they could see how well formed she was. Chancellor Crownapoulos relayed orders to Lady Bryania from the imperial parents concerning the Grand Princess. On July 28, however, Sir Willanius Someria (1671-1764), the Emperor's Fool, proclaimed to the Court that "The Empress Consort is ribald; her child a bastard." Antigonus was angered by this, and banished Someria from the Court, but did nothing more, whereas once he would have acted swiftly to punish anyone who slandered his wife. It was on August 3, 1735, that the Emperor and Empress embarked on a progress to the Central Core. They visited many prominent strongholds, including Conservan, Reoyania, Condtella, Dramis, Brithum, Goss Beacon, Williams, Clancia, Marshia, Hannah, Teth, Elainsborough, Bainsborough, Constantia, Muppet, Olivia, Maxci-casy, Mommica, Carina, Seejay Prime, Melarnaria, Paradine, Pasqauarillo, Palmisiano, and Goldaria. The couple appeared to be happy and cordial in public, but in reality, underlying tensions were threatening to tear apart their marriage. It was during this progress that the Emperor's visit to Wulfhall, and his first encounter with Lady Theodora Seymouris, occurred. The Lady Theodora herself, twenty-seven at the time of the Emperor's visit, greatly admired Anna's predecessor as Empress Consort, Katharina of Shenandoah.
    • Although not as intelligent as either Katharina or Anna, Theodora had obtained the education of a noble lady; she was fluent in High Galactic, Franconian, Dasian, Arachosian, and Venasian, and understood a number of languages. She was also renowned for her needlework. Theodora had, since entering the Empress Consort Katharina's service in 1726, been one of several aspiring young women in her service. She grew to know and like Grand Princess Didymeia, eight years her junior, and also knew Anna Boleyenia, due to their service in the Household. She observed at first hand the downfall of Empress Katharina and Anna's rise to power. Her sympathies lay with Katharina. By Ascentmas 1731, she had entered Anna Boleyenia's household. Two years later, Lady Theodora was one of those who received gifts from the Emperor. Yet it was not until the visit of September 1735 that he first began paying real attention to her. Antigonus was, by this point, no longer the athletic young man he had been at the beginning of his reign. He had begun to put on weight, and became less active than in his youth. Yet he continued to hunt regularly and to indulge in other pastimes. He could be charming when he pleased, but his subjects now viewed him as a tyrant. For her part, Theodora presented a welcome contrast to the Empress. She concealed her ambition beneath a veneer of placid gravity, and where Anna's eyes had once flashed an invitation, Theodora's were kept modestly lowered. Her manner was pleasing, her temperament calm. The Emperor was very taken with her, and was soon pursuing her. The Seymourises hated Anna and all that she stood for, and abetted Theodora from the beginning. They urged her to encourage the Emperor's courtship.
    • When the Imperial Court came to Darcia on October 26, 1735, ending the progress, the affair between Antigonus and Theodora continued, growing in intensity. In November, the newly appointed Franconian Ambassador, the Count de Plessy, saw them together and concluded that the Emperor was in love again. Courtiers now sought to win Theodora's favor; Empress Anna was left abandoned. Theodora's brothers, Edwardis and Thomasius, warned her not to yield her virginity to Antigonus: she must create the impression of a modest and virtuous gentlewoman who wished to preserve her virtue until she was married. She played her role perfectly, using the same tactics as Anna Boleyenia had. She accepted the expensive gifts given to her by the Emperor. She was determined and ruthless, and sought to persuade the Emperor to restore Lady Didymeia to the succession. She, like Anna Boleyenia, set her sights high. On November 9, Emperor Antigonus announced to the Privy Council that he could not tolerate Katharina's defiance any longer, and was considering proceedings against her. Anna, on her part, believed that while Katharina lived, her own life was in danger. She said at this time: "She is my death and I am hers, so I will take good care that she shall not laugh at me after my death." It was a supreme irony that Katharina's existence was later shown to have guaranteed Anna's safety, rather then having threatened it, for while Katharina lived, Antigonus dared not set Anna aside.
    • On November 9, 1735, the Empress Consort discovered that she was once again pregnant. She became depressed because she was fearfully aware that her whole future depended on its outcome: the Emperor would not tolerate another failure. Outwardly, he was being solicitous, but in private, he continued to treat her harshly. Anna was well aware of his pursuit of Lady Theodora, which added to her depression. Anna's pregnancy brought Katharina and Didymeia in danger once again. With the interests of her coming child to protect, the Empress now began a campaign to eliminate them both; Anna let it be known that if Antigonus did not end Didymeia, she would. Yet it was at this time that Katharina's health entered its final stage of decline. On December 1, 1735, she fell dangerously ill, suffering pains in her chest. Unable to eat much, she was confined to her chambers. Katharina herself realized that time was running out for her, though for a time she rallied. Empress Anna, thinking she was recovering, went to the Emperor and begged him once more to have Katharina and her daughter executed.
    • But Antigonus had read the reports of Katharina's illness, and knew he did not need to do anything to expedite Katharina's end. Rumors, however, continued to persist that they would be disposed of. On December 17, Katharina celebrated her fiftieth and last birthday. Nine days later, she suffered a relapse, and was forced to take to her bed again. Her doctors, Dr. de la Saa and Dr. Balthasar Guersye, both knew her condition was grave. The pain grew worse, but Katharina refused all treatments. Ambassador Chapuys, hearing of her illness, now sought to go and see her. He felt it important that someone who cared for her should be there when the end came. On December 30, 1735, he asked the Emperor if he knew Katharina was dying. He replied yes, and then stated that Char'va would have no more excuse to intervene in Laurasian affairs. Chapuys retorted, but Antigonus allowed for him to see Katharina. He would not, however, let Didymeia visit her mother. Followed by the Emperor's spies, Chapuys then went to Nottingham. He arrived during the late hours of New Year's Eve.
  • August 14-The early days of August 1735 witnessed a string of victories for allied forces that finally convinced the Autocratic Pruthian Emperor A'rua II to change his mind about the state of affairs in the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth. This, furthermore, pushed King Franjak I of Franconia into concluding his involvement in this fruitless military conflict. On August 2, 1735, the Battle of Pouance resulted in a decisive victory for Field-Marshal Lacius and Admiral Gordon; this stronghold, one of the chief military fortifications in the Serene Kingdom of Franconia, now came into the possession of Laurasian forces. Following this, Angers itself, capital of the Franconian Duchy of Anjou, came within range. The Siege of Angers began on August 4, 1735, and continued for five days; its ultimate fall on August 9, after more than 200,000 Franconian garrison troops and naval personnel had lost their lives, proved a major blow to the Franconian strategic position. At the same time, General Vamaus defeated Franconian units in confrontations at Vitry Le Francais, Acrus Sur Arbe, Nogent, and Troyes (August 4-11, 1735), inflicting a series of constant humiliations upon them. Furthermore, all Franconian offensives against Parma and into the Duchies of Salzburg failed; the Austarlians had managed to stabilize the front in those regions. It was thus on August 14, 1735, that A'rua II, Emperor of Pruthia, issued a manifesto from Potsdam finally recognizing the election of Vorrus II as King-Grand Duke of the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth. He now denounced Stanis I as a usurper and a rebel, and ordered for all of his supporters to be banished from his realms. Furthermore, the Emperor of Pruthia issued a corresponding ultimatum to his Franconian counterpart, threatening to declare war, and to enter the conflict on the side of Laurasia and Austarlia, unless if Franjak recognized Vorrus II as King of Dejanica and took steps to terminate the war. King Franjak, whose forces were engaged in border skirmishes with Spamalkan units in Gascony, Andorra, Catalonia, and Navarre, and who knew that Spamalkan Emperor Char'va I (tied down by conflicts in the Barbary States and the Peruvian Colonies), would be soon turning his attention back to affairs in Italiania, decided to take the hint. On August 19, 1735, he sent a request for a military armistice to the Imperial Laurasian and Holy Austarlian Governments. Emperor Antigonus, who was overjoyed by this request, and himself in the process of drafting plans for a new military conflict with the Marasharite Empire (as will be noted below), commanded Chancellor Crownapoulos to accept the request. This was done on August 21. Holy Austarlian Emperor Char'vak V was somewhat more reluctant, and did not accept the armistice offer until August 28. On September 3, 1735, the Armistice of Noyon was signed, thereby suspending active military hostilities in the conflict.
  • October 9-
    • Following the conclusion of the Armistice of Noyon, the three governments proceeded immediately to the organization of the diplomatic conference to bring the War of the Dejanican Succession to an end. On September 6, 1735, Chancellor Crownapoulos proposed to the Franconian, Holy Austarlian, and Pruthian Governments (the last of which was now invited to participate in the conference) that it be held at Idyll, in the Caladarian Galaxy, known for its beautiful spas and resorts. Crownapoulos hoped that the luxuries accorded on such a world would induce the various governments to the swift conclusion of a peace agreement. Holy Austarlian Emperor Char’vak V, who was leaning more and more towards concluding a military alliance with the Laurasian Empire, accepted almost immediately. Franconian King Franjak I, already entertaining hopes of enlisting Laurasian assistance in any future military conflicts against Spamalka, accorded his agreement to this proposal on September 11, through a proclamation issued by the Estates-General. It was not until September 16, however, before the more wary A’rua II, who sought to gain as much advantage for Pruthia as possible, accepted the Laurasian proposal. The Imperial Laurasian Government had already, from June 1735, been engaged in preparations for a conference to be held there. Thus, matters proceeded rapidly after all parties had agreed to the Chancellor’s proposal.
    • It was on September 21, 1735, that delegations from the Laurasian Empire, Holy Austarlian Empire, Autocratic Pruthian Empire, and Serene Kingdom of Franconia convened at Idyll for the peace conference. Chancellor Crownapoulos served as the head of the Laurasian delegation, which included the Dukes of Norfolkius, Sufforia, and Christiania; the Minister of Regional and Provincial Administration, Sir Titus Lyadrades; the Earls of Hepudermia and Oxfadia; and Procurator-General Audelius. Austarlian Vice-Chancellor Count Hermann von Regenforff of Carniola (1666-1739), Austarlian Prince Franz-Joseph of Wurttemberg (1670-1756), and Count Joseph Helockzy of Budapest (1697-1784) served as the Austarlian representatives; Pruthia was represented by Lord Frederick Dustenholm of Spitz (1693-1776), Ambassador of Pruthia to the Court of Christiania; and the Dukes of Nemours, Chatterlault, and Touraine served as the Franconian plenipotentiaries. Negotiations continued for the next few weeks, as the four delegations were able to rapidly come to an agreement; Chancellor Crownapoulos displayed an innate ability to compromise, to deal with the friction between the factions, and to drive a good bargain.
    • Finally, on October 9, 1735, the preliminary Treaty of Idyll was signed, thereby terminating the War of the Dejanican Succession. By the terms of this treaty, all military hostilities among the powers were to cease. All parties agreed to acknowledge Vorrus II as King and Grand Duke of the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Franjak I pledged to terminate all support to movements or organizations who opposed Vorrus, and to refrain from dispatching any mercenaries or agents to the Commonwealth’s territory. Vorrus II was to reign, with all the rights and responsibilities of a King of Dejanica, until his death; the elective procedure for the Dejanican monarchy was to be honored. Stanis I was now compelled to formally denounce the Dejanican Crown (which he would do on January 12, 1736), and to pledge never to return to Dejanica again, although he was allowed to retain control of his estates, annuities, and business interests in the Commonwealth. The Laurasian Empire gained confirmation of its military transit and intervention privileges in Dejanica, and was permitted to maintain “diplomatic garrisons” at Danzig, Torun, Lodz, Krakow, and on Dejanica Major.
    • Furthermore, it became guarantor of the peace settlement, and was to take “all possible measures” to suppress dissent within the Commonwealth. Stanis, on his part, was now to become Duke of Lorraine and Bar, as compensation for surrendering the Dejanican throne. He was to swear fealty to the King of Franconia as his overlord; to submit his foreign policies to the approval of the King; and to allow Franconian military forces free passage through his territories. Upon Stanis’s death, Lorraine and Bar were to accede to the Franconian Crown. Fransios Stephen, the fiancée of Austarlian Princess Mar’va Tarvania, was to become Grand Duke of Tuscany as compensation. Finally, the Franconians recognized Austarlian hold of the Vatican Circles, Parma, and the Brussalian Duchies; Austarlia in turn, revoked its rights to Artois, Franconian Burgundy, Provence, and Genoa. The Treaty of Idyll was ratified by Emperor Antigonus III on October 14, 1735, and by all other powers by November 14 (with King Franjak I of Franconia being the last to do so).
  • October 25-
    • By October 1735, the Laurasian and Marasharite Empires had moved dangerously close to the outbreak of active military hostilities. For some years following the conclusion of the Treaty of Pruth, relations between the two powers had managed to remain correct, although only on a partial basis. By 1729, however, Marasharite and Haynsian violations of Laurasian commercial and territorial rights, particularly in the Galactic Borderlands and the Wild Marshes, had resumed again. In November 1729, Marasharite Emperor Ahmad III declared that it was against the policy of his government to countenance for "any equal treatment of Laurasian colonists, navigators, or merchants bordering our realms", and authorized for Haynsian Despot Shannai II Karany to launch renewed raiding expeditions into the Empire's territory, in violation of the Treaties of Imegina and Pruth. In January 1730, Haynsian raids commenced in earnest, and during the course of the next five years, they much provoked the ire of the Imperial Laurasian Government. The defenses of Meneia, Kia, Pelaski, Billy Gasis, Tokygang, and Sly James were plundered by Haynsian expeditions that month; further raids in June, July, and November 1730 penetrated to the outskirts of Immae, Carrhae, and Edessa, with more than €27.4 trillion dataries worth of damage being inflicted, and more than three million colonists captured and enslaved by the Haynsian convoys. In March 1731, the Imperial General Headquarters received reports of a planned Haynsian expedition against Xilania Secondary, Jin Minor, Xilania Minoria, Morg, King, and the Satellites of Ursula. Although this Haynsian expedition ultimately did not come to fruition, it nevertheless angered Emperor Antigonus.
    • From August to October 1731, Haynsian convoys struck at targets along the galactic dial. The Hutsite Reaches, Jarjanican Districts, Burglais Arm, and Galactic Barrier Provinces all reported sightings of the dreaded Haynsian scoutships; the raid of September 19, 1731, against Jamaia I, Brenda, Dickinson, and McEvlogue, inflicted more than €44 trillion dataries in damage and resulted in the capture and enslavement of more than ten million residents of those systems. Another raiding expedition in March 1732 managed to penetrate as far as Clarise, Jodie, Northrop, and Horne before being repelled by the Imperial Laurasian Navy. Further attacks against Eric, Giron, Morgania Minor, Morgania Major, Merlin, Gunievere, Lancelot, and other targets in the Angelican and Morganian Provinces during the middle months of 1732 caused Emperor Antigonus to order for the strengthening of the Lysimachid Barrier Defenses. In November 1732, a Haynsian expedition against Norah, Satie, Juxles, Simmons, and Bingley was successfully repelled due to the swift response of the Limes Saticus garrisons, and the sophisication of the fortifications themselves. Nevertheless, Haynsian raids continued sporadically; the raid of June 29, 1733, against Joyner, Scanlan, Garner, and Edmundia Major was particularly notorious, for the Haynsians destroyed seven civilian transport fleets without regard to their livelihoods or their safety.
    • That of September 6, 1733, the day before the birth of Aurelia I, saw Haynsian ships lay waste to the colonies of Lower Belkadan, Karkol, and Ulanbataar in the Dasian Heartland, forcing the temporary abandonment of those outposts. Then on November 4, 1734, Haynsian-Admiral Gur-Dur led an offensive against Huerta Mongol, Qu'emia, Morlan, and Hieshbig. The Haynsian offensive against K-555, one of the chief Laurasian outposts in the outskirts of that region, resulted in more than 700,000 casualties and the capture of all the garrison's military supplies, armor, and equipment. The total campaign itself seized €50 trillion dataries worth of property and goods, and more than 4.5 million captives. It was in January 1735 that Chancellor Crownapoulos froze the assets of all Marasharite financial institutions within the Empire; the Duke of Norfolkius, as Lord Treasurer, forbade the Imperial Treasury from making any contracts or deals with Marasharite brokers or agents. On January 14, 1735, the Emperor received the first strategic dossier from Field-Marshal Munnich and the General Headquarters, about a planned military conflict against the Marasharites. In this dossier, Munnich suggested that the Empire's military forces, assembled at the Galactic Frontier Route and in the Borderlands Territories, would launch a series of offensives to terminate Haynsian raiding expeditions, and to clear Marasharite units from the Tof Borderlands, Muggal Cluster, and Donnian Provinces. It was not until March 1, 1735, however, before the General Headquarters issued its final dossier on the intended military operations; this was approved by Emperor Antigonus on March 18. Munnich and his subordinates in the Imperial Ministry of Defense, and at the General Headquarters, proceeded immediately to the execution of the plans.
    • From April to October 1735, Laurasian military units assembled at systems as varied as Natalie, Tiona, Belaprasian, Adrianne, Abrianne, Chromy, Chappelear, Guthmiller, DeSimms, Xilania Major, Nandia, Calrissian, Orkhan, Juxles, Lynne, and Multan for the intended operations into the Marasharite Empire. The garrisons of Carrhae, Immae, Edessa, Zoe, Eaidon, Norah, Meneia, and Satie, among other star systems, were strengthened with the addition of reinforcements, shield generators, and other defenses. Field Marshal Munnich was encouraged that the Imperial Laurasian Military, which due to the reforms that he had continued to promulgate over the preceding two years, was now more elite, disciplined, and cohesive than ever before, could defeat whatever the Marasharites were fielding. He intended that his military campaigns would ultimately lead to the total expulsion of the Marasharites from the Caladarian Galaxy, and was also encouraged by Marasharite entanglements in conflicts with Vendragia, Haxonia, and the Grand Duchy of Masacavania over interests in Persia, the Arabian States, and the Caucasian Fiefdoms. Thus, it was on October 25, 1735, that Sir Agrippa Lagmariga (1682-1745), the Laurasian Ambassador to the Court of Topacia, issued an ultimatum to the Emperor and the Grand Council.
    • In this ultimatum, which was composed by Chancellor Crownapoulos himself, the Imperial Laurasian Government demanded for an end to all Haynsian raiding offensives into the territory of the Empire; for the Marasharites to compensate the Empire for all damages inflicted, and captives seized, in these expeditions; and for the whole of the Tof Borderlands, including Ra'dai, Illumis, and Ba'dai, to be conceded to the authority of the Laurasian Empire. Furthermore, the ultimatum also demanded that the Laurasians be granted military access and free transit privileges along the Haynsian Slave Highway, and throughout the Northern Reaches. All of these terms proved to be unacceptable to the Marasharites. Marasharite Grand Vizier Gurcu Ismail Pasha issued a condescending rejection of these terms on November 2, 1735, declaring that the "unworthy, infidel Laurasian power" did not deserve any compensation, and that the Marasharite Empire had not undertaken any violation of its obligations under the Treaties of Imegina and Pruth. This turned out to be the last straw.
  • November 5-With the Marasharite Empire having rejected the terms of the ultimatum, the Imperial Laurasian Government proceeded immediately to its plans for war against the Marasharite Empire. On November 5, 1735, the Emperor Antigonus, who sought glory for himself and for the Laurasian Empire, and convinced by Munnich and Crownapoulos that the Empire's military forces were in full readiness, issued a formal declaration of war against the Marasharite Empire, from the Quencilvanian Palace on Laurasia Prime. This was the first, and only time, in the eighteenth century, out of the five conflicts waged between Laurasia and Marasharita, that the Laurasian sovereign took the initiative in instigating the military conflict. Ambassador Lagmariga had departed from the Marasharite Court on November 3, before the declaration of war had been issued, and consequently, could not be imprisoned by the Marasharite authorities (as was their custom upon the instigation of war with a particular power). In his proclamation of war, the Emperor declared that Haynsian raids, "permitted by the Marasharite savages", could not continue, and that Laurasia deserved a sphere of influence in the Galactic Borderlands and Angelina Spiral. Furthermore, he now ordered Field-Marshal Munnich to take direct command of the Empire's military forces arrayed for combat against the Marasharite Empire, and was confident in his ability to obtain a crushing victory. He was determined that unlike the last war, the Empire would make territorial acquisitions and strengthen its political influence at Marasharite expense. The Third Laurasian-Marasharite War of the eighteenth century therefore commenced, and was to see a succession of Laurasian victories over the Marasharites and Haynsians, far more sweeping than in any previous Laurasian war with them.
  • November 7-
    • Even though the Emperor of Laurasia had taken the initiative in instigating hostilities, it was the Haynsian Despotate which made the first aggressive move in the war. On November 7, 1735, a Haynsian battlefleet, under the command of High-Admiral Bashim-Karany, launched a major raiding offensive against Andrea Doria, Theodore, Longmira, and the Corporate Sector. Previously, the Haynsians had managed to penetrate Laurasian defenses, and to inflict damage as they wished upon Laurasian military positions. But this time, however, the Laurasians were prepared. The garrison of Theodore, under the command of Major-General Lord Regeverannia of Cassie, launched an immediate counteroffensive against the Haynsians, luring them into a trap at Longmira. The ensuing Battle of Longmira (November 7-9, 1735), resulted in a decisive victory for the Laurasian Empire, thereby terminating any Haynsian threat to the Burglais Arm and the Eastern Wild Marshes. Out of fifty Haynsian scoutships, twenty-five were destroyed or captured by their Laurasian adversaries; more than 75,000 Haynsian Martial Warriors died. The Battle of Longmira was soon followed by another series of defensive victories, by Laurasian forces, in the Borderlands Territories. Marasharite moves against Kia and Pelaksi (November 9-11, 1735), were repelled; on November 13, 1735, Fleet Admiral Sir Aetius Lyasius (1679-1749), gained a decisive victory over Marasharite Admiral Al-Kahuk in the Battle of Esperanto Major. On November 15, Lyasius destroyed a Marasharite convoy at Ushney. The following day, General Lacius was formally recalled from the Great Amulak Spiral, back to the Laurasian Empire, by Emperor Antigonus, for his services were now needed for the Third Laurasian-Marasharite War.
    • Lacius, who had been engaged in securing the Empire's "diplomatic garrisons" in Royal Pruthia, and on Dejanica Major, departed from Torun on November 21, 1735; he would arrive at Belkadan on December 4. In that interim, the string of Laurasian successes continued. Laurasian military units stormed Wilson, Leanne, Barton, and Dodson (November 17-19, 1735); repelled a Haynsian raiding expedition against the Pargurs, Immae, and Edessa (November 20); and plundered the defenses of Ra'dai in the Tof Borderlands (November 21). On November 23, 1735, Field-Marshal Munnich, who had seven days earlier departed from Laurasia Prime, made his arrival at Norah, and formally assumed command of the Empire's forces. Munnich brought substantial reinforcements, pulled from throughout the Empire: this included the 27th, 29th, and 31st Imperial Fleets with the 8th, 10th, and 30th Imperial Armies. Military units still in Franconia, and in the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth, were being withdrawn in quick order back to the Caladarian Galaxy. On the day of Munnich's arrival, Marasharite forces again attacked the outskirts of Kia; they were crushed in the Battle of Sly James, losing more than 75,000 military personnel to a series of Laurasian surprise attacks. Hanoi, Scone, and Ho Chi Minh then became scenes of confrontations between Laurasian and Marasharite forces (November 24-29, 1735), and on November 30, 1735, Munnich himself obtained victory in the Battle of Perrini, capturing more than 150,000 Marasharite and Haynsian troops through a series of coordinated frontal attacks.
  • December 4-It was on December 4, 1735, that Major-General Sir Peter Lacius, hero of the War of the Dejanican Succession, made his arrival back in the Caladarian Galaxy at Belkadan. Lacius's arrival had been frought with danger, for the Marasharite fleets and armadas operating in the Galactic Void attempted to intercept his convoy. They failed at that attempt, however, and Lacius was able to make his arrival in due order. He then proceeded immediately to the Galactic Frontier Route, and was instructed to take command of the imperial armadas assembling at those strongholds for a series of strikes into the Marasharite Galactic Borderlands. On December 7, 1735, the Battle of Riababia Mogila ended in a decisive victory for Munnich, who managed to overwhelm the star system's defenses in short order, and to expel the Marasharite garrison from the star system, with little casualties inflicted upon Laurasian forces. Pyongyang, Seoul, Diojong, and Kilojong were then stormed by Laurasian units (December 9-14, 1735), although on December 16, a Laurasian expedition against Ung and Kumong was repelled by Marasharite Subordinate Vizier Al-Verdum in the Battle of Crimea. Nevertheless, these units were able to gather reconaissance information for Munnich on Marasharite positions within the heart of the Northern Galactic Borderlands. On December 18, Ayensdord, one of the most important strongholds of the Muggal Cluster, became subject to a Laurasian offensive; its fall two days later constituted one of the Empire's earliest major victories in this conflict. By December 21, Donna, Teller, and Latrice Minor were all being besieged by Laurasian units. Then on December 22, 1735, General Lacius distinguished himself in the Battle of Pulliva, completely destroying the opposing Haynsian force under Kalga Nur-Karany and forcing them to suspend their expeditions against Simmons, Margery, and other strongholds in the Xilanian Provinces. Laurasian units then stormed the Marasharite outposts of Brasseca, Kilia, Cordell, and Va'Roth (December 24-29, 1735). On New Year's Eve, 1735, Field-Marshal Munnich obtained a further decisive victory in the Battle of Verdorium Minor, thereby threatening the communications and supply lines to Karlong, Imegina, and the Lower Dnieper Asteroid Bases. Sackrandis and Chardis were both being harried by Laurasian expeditions at the end of 1735.

1736Edit

  • January 1-1736, the 36th year of the eighteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire, having successfully concluded its involvement in the War of the Dejanican Succession, now at war with the Marasharite Empire and the Haynsian Despotate. In his New Year's proclamation, Emperor Antigonus expressed his fervent hope that the Marasharite "savages" would be expelled from the confines of the Caladarian Galaxy; furthermore, he wished for the Haynsian Despotate to be eliminated as a threat to the Laurasian Empire. Domestically, however, the Emperor's life was not as stable. Antigonus, by this point, had a great desire for a male heir, and he had come to despise his second wife, Empress Consort Anna Boleyenia, for failing to provide him one. The Empress Consort had become pregnant (for the last time) in October 1735, but her husband had doubts that the pregnancy would be carried to term. The Empress herself threw her hopes on this pregnancy, and prayed constantly to Almitis for her to deliver a healthy son.
  • January 5-1736 commenced with the Laurasian Empire's military forces making continual progress against the forces of the Marasharite Empire and Haynsian Despotate. On January 2, 1736, Major-General Lacius obtained a major victory in the Battle of Khotyn, a precursor to the more famous Laurasian victory there which would be obtained thirty-four years later. With Khotyn in his hands, Lacius was now able to keep the Marasharite forces in the Northern Reaches tied down and distracted. Then on January 5, Field-Marshal Munnich stormed the Marasharite stronghold of Raku-ga in the Tof Borderlands. Raku-ga, which by 1736 had a population of more than seventy million, had been originally colonized by the Tof Hordes in the seventh century AH, and had at various times been under the rule of the Timurid Empire, Amelianian Kingdom of Hengist, Great Kingdom of Marcia, Kingdom of the Donathians, and Neo-Iffian Empire. Since falling into Marasharite possession in 1546, it had served as a chief military base for their operations into the Wild Marshes, and the Galactic Borderlands. Rak-uga's fall now compounded the strength of the Laurasian strategic position in the Tof Borderlands. Ba'dai and Styris V were now completely exposed to the assaults of the Empire's forces; both systems were assaulted by Field-Marshal Munnich's forces on January 14, 1736. The Marasharite High General and Pasha of the Tof Borderlands, Al-Tarik, proved himself incapable of repelling all of these constant Laurasian assaults. This was compounded by Munnich's seizure of Cusia and Brimonia (January 19-24, 1736). By January 26, Munnich had also secured Tokyang and Ra'dai from all further Marasharite offensives. On January 29, 1736, the Battle of Herculiania resulted in a victory for Rear-Admiral Sir Thomasius Saltarania (1675-1743), who captured more than fifteen Marasharite galleys.
  • January 7-
    • By January 1736, the former Empress Consort Katharina of Shenandoah was on her deathbed. Her servants and ladies continued to address and honor her as if she were still Empress, although Antigonus had forbidden for any reference being made to her in such a manner. She was now being visited by Ambassador Chapuys. Upon his arrival at Kimblatonia House, he was admitted to the bedchambers of the former Empress, whom he had not seen for five years. He was profoundly shocked to see her "so wasted that she could neither stand or sit up." Yet she was overjoyed to see him; she kept to her duties as a hostess, and told Chapuys that he should rest first. Later, on New Year's Day 1736, another visitor arrived: Lady Willoughby. She forced her way in before Bedingtia could stop her, so determined was she to see the mistress she had loved and served for thirty-five years. Her arrival meant Chapuys's presence was no longer necessary. He left on January 4, and arranged for her physician to ensure that Katharina swear she had never had sexual relations with Grand Prince Craterus. This was all he could do for her. The following day, January 5, 1736, Katharina made her will. She asked for all of her debts to be cleared, for her servants to be recompensed, and asked to be buried in the Convent of the Observant Friars. She asked that masses be said for her soul and that someone should go to Our Lady of Walsingia on her behalf. She made bequests to Didymeia and her servants. The Emperor, however, would not honor her will, and would have it expunged by the Heraldmaster's Office immediately after her death. Then on January 6, in the last evening of her life, the former Empress Consort dictated a final communique to the man she considered to be her husband.
    • In this communique, she touched upon many subjects, gently calling Antigonus to account for "having cast me into many calamities, and yourself into many troubles", forgiving him for everything and asking the Lord Almitis to forgive him also. She asked him to be good to Lady Didymeia, and to provide for the dowries and expenses of her household upon her death. She closed her message with this: "Lastly, I make this vow, that my eyes desire you above all things. Farewell." Supported by her maids, the dying woman painfully traced the signature which symbolized all she had stood for and fought for her during the last bitter years of her life. It was her final defiance: "Katharina, Empress". She then fell asleep. She awoke early the next morning, and sought to hear mass. She received her last communion with a "fervor and devotion that was impossible to exceed", praying to Almitis that he would pardon the Emperor the wrong he had done her, and that divine wisdom would give him good counsel and lead along. She received extreme unction, and drifted off into a coma from which she never awoke. During the late hours of January 7, 1736, Katharina of Shenandoah died in her personal bedchambers at Kimblatonia House on Nottingham, just three weeks past her fiftieth birthday. At her deathbed, she was surrounded by her chaplain, her most intimate attendants, and some of her supporters. Chapuys informed Emperor Char'va, in a sad and solemn communique, of the death of his aunt, "for twenty-six years the true Empress of Laurasia." To many in the Empire, she was one of the great pillars of Almitism, and her death came to be regarded as the end of everything she had had stood for. She was considered to be a veritable saint. This view would persist throughout the remainder of the eighteenth century. Lady Vassalina, Lord Monompahlaus, and other Laurasian historians would note her devotion to the Emperor, her single-mindedness, her strength of character, and her courage.
  • January 8-During the early hours of January 8, 1736, the news arrived, through the holocommunications system, at the Imperial Court of Katharina of Shenandoah's death. At that time, the Court was at the Marian Palace on Ietas, which dated to the reign of Emperor Lysimachus I, and had been one of his most favorite off-world retreats from Laurasia Prime. The Emperor, who had read Katharina's communique the day before, now demonstrated his true feelings about the death of his former wife. He burst out in a fit of joyous laughter when told by Chancellor Crownapoulos that Katharina was dead, and within a short time, issued an imperial proclamation to his subjects, calling for public displays of joy throughout the Empire. The Empress Consort, on her part, publicly celebrated the death of Katharina of Shenandoah. She declared, triumphantly: "Now I am indeed an Empress!" The imperial couple adorned themselves in bright yellow colors, and displayed Grand Princess Aurelia, who was then in residence with her parents, to the innumerable nobles, courtiers, and servants of the Imperial Household. Katharina's death had removed one who had been dislodged from her marriage to the Emperor. Yet the death of the ex-Empress Consort also made Anna far more vulnerable than she had been before. Emperor Antigonus, whose marriage with Anna was extremely unpopular with his own subjects and at foreign courts, now found that he would be free to marry another without restraint, once he set Anna aside. In public, however, she showed herself as confident. On January 9, she and the Emperor presided over a magnificent court ball; there was much joy within the confines of the Court. As regards to Katharina of Shenandoah, the Emperor forbade his courtiers to mourn her death, and issued a injunction prohibiting Almitian authorities and congregations from offering prayers for her soul. Moreover, he confiscated all of Katharina's remaining personal effects and funds. He did, however, decide to permit for a private state funeral.
  • January 29-
    • On January 29, 1736, the late Empress Consort Katharina of Shenandoah, Princess of Lesser Spamalka, and the first spouse of a Laurasian sovereign from the Great Amulak Spiral, was formally interned at Pelavian Monastery in Shena City, Shenandoah. The Imperial Privy Council, acting on the Emperor's instructions, refrained from issuing any formal condolences for the occasion of the funeral; the Holy Synod specifically commanded the officiating clergy to only refer to Katharina in their eulogy as Dowager Princess of the Empire and of Spamalka, but not as Empress Consort. The chief mourners at the funeral were Lady Bedingtia, the young Duchess of Sufforia, and the Countess of Clancia. Ambassador Chapuys chose not to attend, since they did not honor her as Empress. The Bishop of Constantia, Demetrius Hilsonia (1694-1739), preached the funeral sermon, and besides adhering to Antigonus's commands, claimed that Katharina had admitted on her deathbed that she was not the legitimate Empress Consort. Emperor Antigonus, on his part, wore black mourning clothes, and attended a mass in his ex-wife's honor: Anna, on her part, wore yellow, and complained of the constant talk about Katharina's funeral. Katharina's tomb was engraved with the arms of Spamalka, but not those of Laurasia, so as to not suggest that she was an actual consort. The Emperor forbade his daughter, Lady Didymeia, to attend the funeral, and commanded for her to remain in her private chambers throughout the week of her mother's burial. Didymeia was devastated by her father's command, and she would never forgive him for depriving her of the chance to pay her final respects to her mother. Furthermore, the autopsy conducted on Katharina's body following her death discovered that her heart was covered with a black tumor, and that she had been suffering from undetected cardiac disease. This embittered Lady Didymeia further. After acceding to the throne, Didymeia would have her mother's remains transferred to the Westphalian Cathedral (September 1753), and gave orders that the honors of consort-ship were to be placed above her resting place. These included silk banners bearing the imperial arms of Laurasia and Spamalka. She also had her mother's rank as Empress Consort restored posthumously. Five years later, Empress Aurelia would honor her sister's request to be buried next to her mother; in 1762, she would have a lavish new tomb erected over both of their graves in the Cathedral.
    • Yet an ominous event occurred on the very day of Katharina of Shenandoah's funeral. On January 24, 1736, during a joust at Sinclair Castle on Janesia, where the Court was presently lodged, the Emperor fell into the courtyard while playing shockball and lay for two hours without regaining consciousness. When Norfolkius told the Empress of this, she showed very little concern, even though the Duke told her most thought it a miracle that Antigonus had not been killed. Inwardly, however, she trembled at the thought of what would become of her if Antigonus died and left her to fend for herself in a hostile universe in which civil war would be a near certainty. Fortunately, the Emperor's strong constitution had triumphed, and he was soon active. He would never, however, recover to his prior state of health. His leg now festered, and in time, it severely curtailed his enjoyment of the sporting activities and dancing which had meant so much to him. It was a cruel blow, and the effect upon Antigonus's already uncertain temper was disastrous. As his frustration at his enforced inactivity grew, along with the pain he suffered, he would become increasingly subject to savage and unreasonable rages. He was nearing forty-five, growing bald, and tending to fat; as he grow older, he would become even more overweight. He also became more egotistical, more arrogant, and more sure of his own status, while still seeing himself as a paragon of courtly and athletic knighthood. He regarded himself as the epitome of masculine charm, beauty, and virility. Yet on this day, the Emperor paid marked attention to Lady Theodora and gave her presents. Early in the afternoon, the Empress caught her husband with Theodora on his knee, and flew into a frenzy. Antigonus, seeing his wife hysterical and fearing for their child, sent Theodora out of the room and hastened to placate Anna.
    • The damage, however, had been done. That evening, the Empress Consort suffered a miscarriage. It was discovered by the physicians of the Imperial Hospital that the Empress had been carrying a male child. Chapuys noted that she had "miscarried of her savior." The Emperor was disappointed, and commented that "I see I shall not have male children." In a cold and unforgiving mood, he marched into the Empress's bedchambers. There, Anna was sobbing fearfully, and was in absolute hysteria. Antigonus complained about the "loss of his boy" with many harsh words. Anna burst out that the fault lay with him, because he had been unkind to her, at which Antigonus responded that "you shall have no more sons by me." Anna cried desperately that he had no one to blame but himself for this disappointment, which had been caused by her distress of mind about "that wench, Theodora Seymouris." She told him: "Because the love I bear you is so much greater than Katharina's, my heart broke when I saw you loved others." But she had gone too far, and Antigonus marched out. Anna bravely told her ladies that she would soon be pregnant again. She was being over-optimistic however, for her husband had, when closing the door behind him, closed the door on his second marriage. She now became a victim of her husband, of history, and of the demands of politics. By this point, the Empress Consort had come into serious conflict with Chancellor Crownapoulos. The Chancellor had embarked, from last year, a vigorous investigation of the revenues and state of affairs of the Empire's lesser monasteries.
    • In August 1735, the Chancellor appointed commissioners throughout the Empire in order to make formal visitations to religious establishments. What Crownapoulos and the Emperor intended in undertaking this program of visitation was to find out what was owned by the Empire's very monastic establishments and their annual incomes, so that the government could revise enumerations and contributions from the congregations and estates of the Church. Furthermore, the reduction in the number of the Church's establishments would deal a blow to the Church's wealth and influence. Everyone from Crownapoulos, to the Empress Consort, to the Dukes of Norfolkius and Sufforia, supported this. From September 1735 to March 1736, more than one million monastic establishments throughout the Empire were visited by the commissioners of the Imperial Chancellory. Each commissioner had with him eighty-six "articles of inquiry" (questions to which they were supposed to get answers), and twenty-five injunctions to which the establishments were supposed to adhere.
    • In reality, the commissioners did not deign to employ these documents, and they sought to make trouble, blacken reputations, and spread fear. Some of the injunctions sought to weaken the establishments; for example, the Chancellor reiterated the old requirements of Seleucus I that all those under the age of twenty-four, and those admitted before the age of twenty, should be discharged from the service of the establishments. This had a devastating impact upon the monasteries, abbeys, dioceses, deaneries, chantries, prayer houses, and other institutions: more than 30% of their staff numbers had been eliminated by the middle of 1736. Another injunction forbade anyone to enter or leave a monastery without explicit permission from the commissioners. Crownapoulos and the Privy Council received innumerable complaints from various institutions, complaining of the strictness of the rules. Thus, it was that Crownapoulos, on March 5, 1736, ordered the Synod to issue a manifesto requiring comprehensive reports from all lesser monasteries on their finances. While the Chancellor intended to use the vast resources of the Church for the benefit of the Imperial State, the Empress Consort advocated deploying those funds into the welfare, healthcare, and education budgets. Crownapoulos, therefore, had good reason to dispose of Anna. Chief Procurator Cranmerius was also alienated by the Empress Consort.
  • February 6-Laurasian military forces continued their progress in the Tof Borderlands, Muggal Cluster, and Northern Reaches while these events were ongoing at the Imperial Court. On February 2, 1736, the Battle of Zaporizhia resulted in a decisive victory for Munnich and for Rear-Admiral Saltarania; Munnich was now able to proceed to the outskirts of Donna. Donna, which by February 1736 had more than twenty-eight billion inhabitants, and was one of the most populous systems in the Galactic Borderlands, possessed impressive shipyards, including the Donnian Starfighter Production Yards; a extensive series of orbital defensive outposts, minefields, and shield generators; and the important Donnian Factories of Beit Shalom, one of the most extensive industrial installations in the Caladarian Galaxy. Conquest of this star system would therefore be essential to securing the Billian and Donnian Provinces. The Siege of Donna commenced on February 6, 1736, and lasted for seven days, as the Marasharite garrison of the star system, commanded by Pasha-Admiral Bahiram-Al Heddi, resisted the Imperial Laurasian Military's offensives fiercely. Nevertheless, Donna's defenses finally buckled, and on February 13, the star system capitulated to the Empire; Bahiram-Al Heddi was himself killed in the final confrontation. Laurasian units then seized the outposts of Soderhausen and Oderhausen, thereby preventing all Marasharite expeditions from being launched into the Wild Marshes. Sappho was stormed by Major-General Lacius on February 24; Kuban, Voronezh, and Thronton on February 27; and Cantella on February 29. By the end of February 1736, therefore, Munnich and Lacius had gained the firm advantage over their Marasharite foes.
  • February 29-
    • During the late evening of January 29, Chancellor Crownapoulos had a secret meeting with Ambassador Chapuys. He sought to establish an alliance between Laurasia and Spamalka, but viewed Anna as a stumbling block. Moreover, he told Chapuys that the Emperor was thinking of taking another wife. Anna, on her part, believed that if it came to the worst, Antigonus would divorce her. The Emperor, however, did not want any more disputes about the succession. By the end of January, he was already contemplating her death. In both his mind and Crownapoulos's, the foundations had been set. In early February, the estrangement between the imperial couple had become common knowledge, and there was much speculation. Chapuys thought Theodora would make an excellent Empress Consort; she had openly expressed her support for Lady Didymeia. With Theodora as Empress, there was every hope that Didymeia might be restored to her former position and to the succession. The Ambassador now saw his chance. He knew many people who secretly supported Didymeia, and who would have been gratified to see Anna's downfall. He now formed a faction with them and cultivated a friendship with the Seymouris brothers. The Emperor was no fool, and saw which way matters were moving. Theodora Seymouris herself was courted by the Emperor, by Anna's enemies, and by Chapuys's supporters. The Ambassador advised her to drop hints about Anna's heretical leanings in the Emperor's ear, and to say that the subjects of the Empire would never accept her as their true Empress.
    • She must say these things in the presence of her supporters, who would then assert them as the truth. The Emperor was receptive to this, and it had the desired effect. Theodora also dropped hints about marriage. Antigonus now began to behave towards her with great circumspection. It was in February 1736 that the Emperor made up his mind to rid himself of Anna Boleyenia. Their marriage was in ruins, and the political situation in the Great Amulak Spiral made it necessary to dispose of her. On February 16, the Emperor departed from Janesia to Melarnaria, taking neither Anna nor Theodora. Anna continued to mourn the loss of her son. She could, for the first time, appreciate how Katharina had suffered, and expressed her view that her fate would be the same as her predecessor's. Theodora Seymouris was a continual thorn in her side. Presents and messages from Antigonus arrived regularly for her. The Empress kept a continual watch on Theodora's activities, and lashed out, slapping her rival. When Theodora received a locket containing the Emperor's miniature, and made a great show of opening and shutting it in front of Anna, the Empress reacted violently, ripping the locket from Theodora's neck so roughly that she cut her own finger. Anna would dearly have loved to dismiss Theodora, but dared not do so. On February 29, 1736, Chapuys told Emperor Char'va that Theodora was known to be sympathetic towards Lady Didymeia. On March 4, 1736, Theodora received a love-letter and a purse of gold from Sir Nicholas Caranius, sent to her by the Emperor. She hoped to provoke the Emperor into revealing his true intentions. Thus, she kissed his communique with great reverence, and handed it back unopened. Then, falling to her knees, she asked Sir Nicholas to beg the Emperor on her behalf to consider she was a prudent gentlewoman of good and honorable family, a woman without reproach who had no greater treasure than her honor. If the Emperor wished to send her money, she prayed him to do so when Almitis might send her a husband to marry. Antigonus was delighted with this show of maidenly propriety.
  • April 4-March and April 1736 witnessed a series of further victories. On March 4, 1736, Field-Marshal Munnich reshuffled the military commands in the Galactic Borderlands. Munnich now entrusted General Lacius with the responsibility of completing the subjection of the Tof Borderlands, Billy, Donna, Latrice, and the Muggal Cluster; the Field-Marshal himself would command the Empire's operations into the Northern Reaches, and into the Galactic Void. Events proceeded swiftly. Lacius obtained a series of victories at the Donnian outposts of Ben, Michel, and Joey (March 7-11, 1736), before then repelling Haynsian expeditions against Billy Gasis, Meneia, and Pelaski. On March 13, 1736, Sissy was stormed by Lacius, followed in short order by Pod'ginay and the Colonies of the Irellia (March 15-18). Then on March 19, 1736, the Battle of Teller was waged between Lacius and the Haynsian Kalga Jay-Nester; the result was a decisive Laurasian victory. Teller fell within hours. On March 22, 1736, the Battle of Carly resulted in another decisive Laurasian victory. Munnich also gained a succession of victories. On March 10, he stormed Dianna, Digette, and Anslea; this was followed, on March 18, by the Battle of Umma, resulting in the fall of that major stronghold into the hands of the Empire. Thronton, Dunst, and Knouss were all in Laurasian hands by the end of March 1736; Bucharina, Tessy, Marson, and Merevop now found themselves in severe danger of attack. Munnich now moved his military forces in the direction of Tessy and Kerch. And on April 17, 1736, both strongholds were assaulted by Munnich's forces, in a two-pronged offensive. Within hours, Munnich had secured both strongholds; more than two million Marasharite troops were killed, in contrast to less than 25,000 casualties for the Laurasians. Ten days later, Bucharina in its turn fell to the Laurasian Empire; Marson was then besieged by the Field-Marshal's forces.
  • May 2-
    • By the middle of April 1736, Chancellor Crownapoulos was ready to strike against Empress Consort Anna Boleyenia. The Empress Consort had, during the early months of 1736, remained on Janesia. She occupied herself with luxury, charitable works, and the care of her daughter. She rarely saw the Emperor now, and no one would tell her anything while rumors of divorce and annulment abounded. Fear was closing in on her. Antigonus had continued to ponder the problem of Anna. It was Chancellor Crownapoulos who now gave him the solution. On April 2, the Chancellor told his master that he had certain suspicions of the Empress as a result of information laid by his spies. His intention was to institute proceedings against Anna and to convict her of treason. The crime must be such as to inspire not only revulsion for Anna but sympathy for Antigonus, and it must be something that would merit divorce and death. Given Anna's love of flirtation and her encouragement of the cult of courtly love, few would find it hard to believe that, desperate for a child, she had resorted to adultery and to conspiracy to save herself. Crownapoulos had taken the risk that the Emperor would be angry at the suggestion he had been betrayed. Yet Antigonus, spurred by his passion for Theodora Seymouris, his need for friendlier relations with Spamalka, and his desire for vengeance upon his wife, who had promised so much and failed to deliver, accepted the allegations at face value, asking Crownapoulos to find evidence to support them. The Chancellor spent several days compiling the "evidence" against the Empress Consort. The Emperor, on his part, claimed to know nothing, and on April 25, even wrote to his ambassador in Pruthia that he would have "male heirs by our present and most dearly beloved wife, the Empress."
    • Yet many were now involved against her. Norfolkius had long since been alienated from his niece by her arrogance, and was prepared to dissociate himself from her: she was a liability. Sufforia had never liked her, and Crownapoulos knew she must go. He alone knew how false the allegations were; the others involved were required to accept them at face value, which they did without difficulty. On April 26, Anna, herself suspecting what was going on, charged her chaplain, Amnystas Parrius (future Chief Procurator of the Holy Synod), with the care of her daughter Aurelia if anything happened to her. Her plea made a profound impression upon him, and many years later (in 1763), early in the reign of Empress Aurelia, he would say he owed her allegiance, not only as Chief Procurator of the Holy Synod, but also because "I cannot forget what words Your Majesty's mother said to me not long before her apprehension." The Chancellor on his part, had decided that Anna would be charged with adultery with those accused, with conspiracy, and with incest. Then on April 29, the Chancellor presented all of the accumulated evidence, and the associated charges, before the Emperor. As Antigonus read, he grew livid with fury, and claimed to believe that Anna's betrayal was genuine. When he calmed down, the Emperor ordered Crownapoulos to proceed. It was thus on April 30, 1736, that one of the musicians in the service of the Imperial Household, the commoner Markius Smeatonius (1712-36), was arrested on the Chancellor's orders and imprisoned at the Fortress of Baureux. Smeatonius, who had entered the Imperial Service upon his graduation from the Imperial Academy of the Arts in June 1733, was considered to be one of the most talented, handsome men in the Household. He had earned the admiration of the Empress Consort, and of many of her ladies, through his skill with the piano, the lute, the flute, the trombone, the violin, the clarinet, and numerous other musical instruments; Anna proved to be one of his ardent patrons.
    • Inevitably, it had come to be rumored that she had spied him playing upon the virginals, and had convinced him to have intercourse with her in her personal bedchambers. All of this had been reported to the Chancellor. Crownapoulos was now determined to wring a confession from him, which he could use against the Empress Consort. On that very day, the Emperor spent several hours with the Chancellor and the Council. The Empress walked her animals in the Seleucid Gardens, and when she returned to the Palace in the afternoon, she saw the crowds gathered. Anna became alarmed by this, and sure that the matter debated concerned her, she gathered up her daughter in her arms for the maximum emotional impact and went to find her husband. This scene was witnessed by the Scottrian theologian Alexander Aless (1700-65), who would record his memories of it in a communique of 1759 to Empress Aurelia. Yet Anna's efforts were in vain, and Antigonus refused to listen to her pleas. Smeatonius, on his part, was placed on the rack on the Chancellor's orders. Within six hours, he broke down, and gave a full confession of his crimes. The Empress, on her part, took her seat the following day with the Emperor to watch a grand tournament at the Circus Maximus. The Empress Consort dropped her favor to one of the contestants, and aroused the Emperor's suspicions. He was in a thunderous mood, and hardly acknowledged Anna's presence. Without saying anything, he got up and left, leaving her to preside alone over the event, bewildered and afraid. She would never see Antigonus again.
    • Smeatonius's confession, for its worth, was what the Chancellor needed. Sir Ptolemy Hycrani (1682-1736), who had been born at Kigonia, and served the Emperor Antigonus in succession as a Gentleman of the Bedchamber (1713-1719), Governor of Shiloh (1719-1731), Groom of the Stool (1726-1736), and Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod (1726-1736), was one of the most respected men at the Imperial Court, and one of the Emperor's loyal servants. Yet he too was despised by Chancellor Crownapoulos, and was now used as another scapegoat. During the late hours of May 1, 1736, Hycrani was arrested on Maschinga and was accused of adultery, high treason, and conspiracy against the Imperial Laurasian Government. He would be transferred to the Fortress of Baureux on May 4. All of these arrests were conducted with great discretion. Thus, when the blow fell for Empress Consort Anna (May 2, 1736), it fell in a sudden and brutal manner. That morning, the Empress was watching a game of tennis at the Palatia Imperium, when a messenger arrived with a summons to present herself before the Privy Council. When she arrived there, she was confronted by her uncle Norfolkius, Sir Willanius Fitzwilleria (1686-1753), and Sir Willanius Pauletius (the future Marquess of Winchestrius), all of whom were grim-faced. They then formally charged her with having committed adultery with Hycrani, Smeatonius, and three others not yet named, and told her that both the men cited had already confessed their guilt: this was not true in Hycrani's case.
    • Anna failed to reply to the charges, and was escorted back to her apartments, there to remain while the Council decided what to do with her. Some hours passed, and at 2:00 that afternoon, Norfolkius, Chancellor Crownapoulos, and Procurator-General Audalius came. They were accompanied by several members of the Council and Governing Senate, and by guardsmen under the command of the Chancellor himself. Norfolkius bore the warrant for the Empress's arrest; they informed her that she was to be taken to the Fortress of Baureux. Anna committed herself to the custody of the Privy Council, and was conducted to her barge. The journey proceeded from the Quencilvanian Palace to the Fortress in quick order. There, she was greeted by the Constable of the Fortress, Sir Willanius Kingstonia (1676-1740), and Sir Edmundis Walsingia (1680-1750), the Fortress's Lieutenant. Towards Anna, both men would behave with unfailing courtesy and humanity; Kingstonia, in spite of believing in her guilt, would be secretly impressed by her courage. He had received instructions from the Chancellor that everything she said was to be recorded. Anna proclaimed her innocence upon embarking from the barge, and begged the Privy Council to vouch with the Emperor for her. A number of ladies-in-waiting were attached to her service, to serve as spies upon her. These included Ladies Sheltonia, Boleyenia, Kingstonia (wife of the Constable), and Cosrania. Anna talked constantly and worked herself into a frenzy; the ladies reported on all of her affairs to the Constable. By the end of that day, news of the Empress Consort's arrest had spread around the Court. Ambassador Chapuys had no difficulty in believing her guilt, and all were convinced that the affair would end in Anna's execution.
    • None had any sympathy for her. The Emperor himself ventured little out of the Quencilvanian Palace, but lavished his attentions upon Lady Theodora. Antigonus, on his part, believed that Anna had a chief role in the deaths of Wolesius and Fisherius, and that she had been involved in plots also against Katharina and the Lady Didymeia. When the Duke of Conservan and Reoyania came to bid his father goodnight, the Emperor embraced him and wept as he told him that he and Didymeia ought to thank the Lord Almitis "that they had survived the evil of that whore." Then on May 4, 1736, the Empress Consort's own brother, Viscount Ralanchaford, another target of the Chancellor's, was arrested on Ipsus V, accused of the same charges as the other, and promptly transported back to Laurasia Prime; he now joined his sister, Smeatonius, and Hycrani in the Fortress of Baureux. Anna, when informed of her brother's arrest, expressed her hope that he would vindicate her. The following day (May 5, 1736), Sir Demetrius Westonius (1711-36), who had been named a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber in 1732, was arrested in Celestine City, Calaxis I, Laurasia Prime, along with Sir Albus Brethon (1690-1736), who had served as Groom of the Emperor's Chamber since 1724, and was the heir to one of the wealthiest gentry families in the Empire. Thus, these five men were now accused of adultery with the Empress Consort Anna. Anna would indulge in outbursts of vain laughter at the absurdity of this entire situation. By this point, the Emperor began preparing for his wedding to Theodora Seymouris.
  • May 8-By the beginning of May 1736, Marson, which as had been mentioned above was under siege by the Empire's forces, was buckling in the face of relentless Laurasian assaults. Field-Marshal Munnich, supported by Admiral Saltarania, kept the pressure on the star system's supply lines, and prevented anyone from entering or leaving the system. A shortage of essential supplies and of foodstuffs then ensued on the surface; the inhabitants of Marson now clamored for the siege to end, and for the garrison to surrender to the Laurasians. Marasharite General Abdul-arhim was at first reluctant to surrender. But by May 4, he had changed his mind. On May 7, 1736, Marson surrendered to Field-Marshal Munnich's military forces. As a result of the successful conclusion of the Siege of Marson, all of the chief strongholds of the Northern Reaches proper were now in Laurasian hands. The following day, May 8, 1736, the 34th and 36th Imperial Fleets of the Imperial Laurasian Navy, under the direction of Munnich and Admiral Saltarania, clashed with the Marasharite forces of Grand-Admiral Ishak Pasha, in the Battle of Merevop. Merevop, of course, commanded access to the Haynsian Slave Highway, and was one of the chief Marasharite bases for operations in the Galactic Void. The ensuing Battle of Merevop witnessed Saltarania form his squadrons into an arching formation, thereby encircling the Marasharite galleys, xebecs, and transports with the larger Laurasian dreadnoughts and battleships; Laurasian couriers, frigates, and starfighters then darted in and out of the Marasharite ranks, confusing them and inflicting severe damage on their numbers. Munnich, at the same time, coordinated land assaults against Merevop's defenses; his crack Imperial Marines and veteran troops stormed twelve of the twenty command positions on the surface, and defeated the larger Marasharite garrison through a series of surprise attacks and countermoves. By the end of the day, the Battle of Merevop had ended in a decisive victory for the Laurasian Empire. Grand-Admiral Ishak Pasha was mortally wounded during the battle, and died of his injuries shortly afterwards; more than two-thirds of the Marasharite officers also were killed, and virtually the entire garrison was wiped out. The Laurasians suffered only 50,000 casualties, compared to the total Marasharite losses of more than 150,000. With Merevop in Laurasian hands, Munnich was able to quickly secure Bendery (May 9, 1736), and to storm the Haynsian outposts of Rinta-il-villy, Quinta-il-vily, and Quickbay. Munnich's forces now made swift progress up the Haynsian Slave Highway, advancing all the way to the outskirts of the Haynsian Despotate, and of the Angelina Spiral, which had never before been reached by a Laurasian military force. At the same time, General Lacius secured Kilia (May 19-22, 1736), and isolated Stary, thereby preventing Marasharite units from attempting a counteroffensive against Dilojong, Kilojong, Ayensdord, Seoul, and Verdorium Minor.
  • May 13-
    • Events related to the Empress Consort Anna Boleyenia, and the five men accused of having affairs with her, proceeded quickly. On May 6, 1736, the Empress Consort, from her prison cell at the Fortress of Baureux, composed her final communique to her husband, the Emperor Antigonus. In this communication, the Empress Consort fervently asserted her innocence, pleaded with her husband to "look into his heart", and declared that the charges laid against her were "false and emanated from the doings of the Lord Almitis." Anna then claimed that it was not her fault that they had no sons, and expressed her hope that truth would prevail above all, and that their marriage would survive this "ordeal". Emperor Antigonus, when he read the communique, was enraged by its contents. The Emperor therefore commanded that his wife be deprived of writing materials, and he forbade her to make any further request of him again. He also forbade his wife from seeing their daughter, Grand Princess Aurelia, who was barely three years old at the time. Then on May 10, the Emperor issued the official instructions for the Special Court of the Empire to convene, in order to try his wife and the other men accused. The Emperor mandated that the trial of the Empress Consort was to follow that of the convicted men, and that their trial (with the exception of her brother's), was to be conducted two days after the issuance of the manifesto. The following day, the indictment, which was drawn up by Chancellor Crownapoulos with the aid of the Imperial Ministry of Justice, was formally announced.
    • It asserted that Empress Anna, "despising her marriage and entertaining malice against the Emperor, and following daily her frail and carnal lust", had procured by various base means many of the Emperor's servants to be her adulterers. Ralanchaford, Hycrani, Westonius, Brethon, and Smeatonius were named as those who had succumbed to her "vile provocations". Twenty separate offenses were listed. Smeatonius was described as a "person of low degree" (indeed, he was the only commoner among the Empress's alleged "lovers"), while terms of "righteous outrage" were used to describe her "incestuous affair" with Ralanchaford, said to have begun in November 1734. It said that Anna "had procured her own natural brother to violate her, alluring him with her tongue in his mouth, and his tongue in hers, against the commands of Almitis and all laws human and divine." This charge of incest was meant to inspire horror and revulsion, but due to the Viscount's testimony at his trial, it failed. It was the alleged affair with Smeatonius that captured the public's imagination, and would remain so throughout the remainder of the eighteenth century. The indictment also alleged that from October 1734 onwards, the Empress and her lovers, jointly and separately, had plotted the Emperor's death. Anna had, it claimed, promised to marry one of them afterwards; she had also told them "that she would never love the Emperor in her heart." Antigonus, it concluded, had taken the news of all this treachery with a "heavy heart", and had been impacted grievously by it.
  • May 12-On May 12, 1736, the Duke of Norfolkius, presiding as the Imperial Steward of the Laurasian Empire, officiated the trial of Hycrani, Smeatonius, Westonius, and Brethon. The trial was conducted at the Public Council Chambers of the Quencilvanian Palace. The accused men were brought from the Fortress to the Palace on a repulsorlift. Witnesses were called to testify; among them included ladies of the Imperial Court, who testified to such promiscuity on the part of the Empress that it was said by all that "never before had such a whore lived in our Empire." As mentioned before, of the four men who were tried by the Special Court, only Smeatonius (who had been tortured), admitted to having sexual intercourse with the Empress Consort. The other three firmly maintained their innocence. There was no hope for them however, owing to the nature of the judicial system of the Laurasian Empire and the autocratic will of the Emperor. Within hours, they were formally convicted on all charges laid against them and condemned to death. Procurator-General Audalius, in the name of the Special Court, condemned them all to die by hanging, drawing, quartering, and solar incineration, a sentence confirmed by the Emperor. Furthermore, he set May 17 as the date of their executions. Many greeted the news of this verdict with sorrow. Ambassador Chapuys reported that Brethon was "condemned on a presumption, not by proof or valid confession, and without any witnesses." Hycrani and Westonius were both popular and respected men, and none believed that they were guilty. Westonius's family made frantic attempts to save his life, and it was even rumored that he would escape the death sentence. This proved to be a vain hope. The condemnation of these men could not but presage an unfavorable outcome of the trials of Anna and her brother. On May 13, the Emperor formally disbanded Anna's household, and released all of her servants from their oath of allegiance to her. On May 14, the Chancellor messaged all of the Empire's ambassadors abroad, informing them of the action taken against the Empress and the judgment on the men accused with her. The Emperor, on his part, installed Lady Theodora in Sir Franconius Bryania's house in Christiania. She was housed in great splendor, attired in rich garments, and waited on by the Emperor's officers and attendants, all wearing splendid liveries. She accepted her elevation without complaint, and awaited the result of Anna's trial with barely concealed impatience. Preparations for that trial had proceeded in order. A raised platform was erected at the Public Council Chambers; extra seats were erected, to accommodate the estimated 250,000 spectators who would be present. Layered seats were provided for the peers attached to the Special Court, and the Duke of Norfolkius, as Imperial Steward, was given a throne under a cloth of estate, for he represented the Emperor.
  • May 15-
    • In the Public Council Chambers of the Quencilvanian Palace in Christiania, Laurasia Prime, the trial of Empress Consort Anna Boleyenia, which was considered by some to be the "Trial of the Century", was conducted on May 15, 1736. The Empress Consort's brother, Viscount Georgius Boleyenia, was also tried in the Public Senatorial Chambers on the same day as his sister. The Empress Consort herself was escorted into the Chambers by Walsingia, Kingstonia, Lady Boleyenia, and Sir Theseus Masius (1705-79), who served as the Chief Executioner of the Fortress of Baureux from 1732 to 1745. He carried the electrical belt, used in all executions, turned away from her. Her entry was impressive; she presented herself with considerable dignity, curtsying to the Court and looking about without any sign of fear. Gone was the hysteria and the violent mood swings; she was now reconciled to the inevitability of death, but was resolved not to go down without fighting. Once Anna had been seated, the indictment was read in all its detail. Her face, however, betrayed no emotion, even when another charge was added, that of having poisoned the late Empress Katharina and attempting to do the same to the Lady Didymeia. Instead, she listened patiently. Chancellor Crownapoulos and Procurator-General Audalius backed up the indictment by making a devastating attack on the Empress Consort's virtues and her loyalty to her imperial husband. Crownapoulos denounced the Empress Consort as the "greatest whore in the realms of the Laurasian Empire" and asserted that she had been despoiled of her virginity before even commencing her relationship with Emperor Antigonus. The Chancellor even alleged that she and her brother had always held a "secret passion" for each other, and that this unnatural relationship was one of the reasons for the failure of her pregnancies.
    • The Empress Consort, who was permitted no defense counsel (as was Laurasian judicial custom for high-ranking cases of state), defended herself in a calm and dignified manner, denying all of the charges against her. She declared the evidence was false and that she had remained loyal to her husband throughout their marriage. Yet, when it came time for the judgment to be given, all on the Court pronounced her guilty, as had already been mandated. Anna stood unmoved as they each rose in turn to give their verdict, carrying herself as if she were receiving some great honor. The Duke now pronounced his sentence. Family feeling now took precedence, and he wept as he addressed her: "Because you have offended our sovereign lord, the Emperor's Grace, in committing treason against his person, the law of the realm is this: that thou shall suffer the full penalties of a traitor's death, at a place and time of His Majesty's choosing, unless if he commutes your sentence." Anna received the sentence calmly, saying: "O Father, O Creator, You who are the Way, the Life, and the Truth, know whether I have deserved this death." She said she was prepared to die, but was very sorry that others, innocent as she, should die through her. She confessed that she had argued with the Emperor, but that she had never betrayed him. She declared also that she would suffer "many deaths" to spare her brother and the others, but that she would submit to the punishment laid by the Emperor. She was then escorted from the court by the Constable, attended by his wife and Lady Boleyenia, and Sir Masius with his belt turned towards her, signifying she was condemned to die. Viscount Ralanchaford's trial came after his sister's. The only thing that supported the charge of incest was that Ralanchaford had been alone with his sister for a long time. Lady Ralanchaford was the source of this, and many felt that she had acted out of envy and jealousy rather than loyalty to the Emperor. He was also charged with expressing doubts that Grand Princess Aurelia was the Emperor's daughter.
    • He made no answer to this, but defended himself, in an eloquent and vigorous manner, against the other charges. Many thought he would be acquitted. Yet a communique from his wife was produced. He denied all allegations eloquently and sensibly, confessing to nothing. He was soon found guilty, and sentenced to the full horrors of a traitor's death. Emperor Antigonus signed the execution warrant of his wife and her brother during the early hours of May 16, 1736. He commanded that the Viscount be executed along with his wife's other "paramours" the following day, and that the Empress Consort herself should be executed on May 18, by means of a firing squad. The Emperor, and most of his subjects, thought the sentences entirely justified. He ordered for a lavish pageant to be conducted at the Galactic Opera to celebrate the verdicts, and paid more attention to Lady Theodora than ever before. Ambassador Chapuys noticed this, and made comment on it. On that same day, Chief Procurator Cranmerius visited the Fortress to offer some spiritual consolation to Anna and administer the Holy Sacrament. He also sought to gain Anna's acquiescence to an annulment of her marriage. This was easily gained, and he promised Anna that she would have a swift and painless death. That same day, Cranmerius also heard the final confession of Viscount Ralanchaford and of the other condemned men.
  • May 17-
    • On May 17, 1736, Viscount Georgius Boleyenia of Ralanchaford, Sir Ptolemy Hycrani, Sir Demetrius Westonius, Sir Albus Brethon, and Markis Smeatonius were executed by firing squad at the Public Execution Platform of the Fortress of Baureux. The Emperor had commuted their sentences from the full penalties of a traitor's death. The Empress Consort herself was taken to the Bell Enclosure, to watch the condemned men die. This aggravated her grief, but she nevertheless bore the sight. Ralanchaford mounted the platform first, and made a long and pious final speech. He prayed that Almitis would give the Emperor a long and good life, then submitted to the squad. Westonius followed: "I thought little I would come to this," he lamented. Then it was Hycrani's turn: he bravely declared that, "in my conscience, I thought the Empress innocent of these things laid to her charge, and I would die a thousand deaths rather then ruin an innocent person." Brethon died next, begging for the Lord Almitis's "forgiveness for my sins and for the wrong done to this Empress." Smeatonius was left. He said: "Ladies and gentlemen, I pray you all pray for me, for I have deserved the death." Then he died. Their executions were witnessed by more than 600,000 individuals. They were all then interred at the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vicula in the Fortress. Chief Procurator Cranmerius had managed to convince the Emperor from applying the full sentence of excommunication on them, which would have denied them any Almitian burial and would have left them to the fate of being dumped in the Pit of Traitors. Antigonus also issued a imperial manifesto confiscating the properties and wealth of the accused men, depriving their families of all honors and grants which had been conferred by the Imperial Court, and commanding for all references at the Court to these men to be eliminated.
    • The Empress, in the meantime, had been returned to her apartments. She now sought to clear her name and prepare her soul for death. Kingstonia informed her of the execution date, and told her that Smeatonius had been the only one who had confessed he deserved death. He also told her that she would, like the men, be executed by firing squad, and that the Emperor, to ensure a swift and painless end for her, had mandated that from Nathaniel be brought an executioner renowned for his quick firing routines. During that very afternoon, the Holy Synod, under Cranmerius's direction, pronounced the marriage of Antigonus III and Anna Boleyenia to be null and void; it was now formally revoked. The Emperor therefore deprived Anna Boleyenia of her title as Empress Consort, of her noble position as Marchioness of Pembroke, and of all honors and favors which had been conferred upon her. The Emperor also deprived Sir Thomasius Boleyenia of the Earldom of Redia, banished him and his wife, Lady Aurelia Boleyenia, from the Imperial Court, and revoked all grants and loans which had been made to the Boleyenia family. Anna would therefore die as a common gentlewoman.
    • On May 18, the Chief Procurator came to the Fortress once again, and heard Anna's final confession. He also administered Holy Communion. Kingstonia was present, so that he could hear her declare her innocence before Almitis. He later informed the Emperor that, both before and after receiving the Sacrament, Anna swore on the damnation of her soul that "she had never been unfaithful to her lord and husband." Her ladies, who were also present, repeated this to Chapuys, who told Emperor Char'va that "the Concubine has affirmed that she never offended with her body against the Emperor." Kingstonia was afterwards informed that the executioner had been delayed by stellar drifts near the Station of Dosch, and that his arrival would be delayed. Anna, who had been awaiting her execution, went into despair at this. She displayed no sorrow at the impending execution. The executioner, however, was delayed again, and Kingstonia had to inform Anna that her execution was postponed to the following day. She was visibly shaken by the news. It was not that she desired death, she said, but she thought herself prepared to die, and feared the delay might weaken her resolve. However, she managed to get through the rest of the day, spending most of the time at prayer and the rest in conversation with her ladies. She blamed Ambassador Chapuys for her fate; he was glad to hear of this. The Emperor, on his part, behaved with great joy, and asserted that Anna had slept with as many men as she possibly could. The Emperor spent that evening with Lady Theodora, who was richly dressed and already carrying herself like a Empress. Anna, on her part, could not sleep that night. She prayed, and talked with her ladies. She was quite calm, and seemed almost cheerful. Anna now sought to leave the past behind, and to look to the next universe.
  • May 19-
    • At 9:00 A.M., GST, the morning of May 19, 1736, Kingstonia appeared in Anna's chambers. He informed her that she had to make ready. She told him that she was long ready. He gave her a purse with €15,000, so she could pay the executioner for his services and distribute alms. Then he led her and her ladies from the Chamber and out to the Fortress Grounds. There, Yeomen Guards awaited to conduct her to the execution platform. Some 750,000 individuals had gathered to witness her execution. Chancellor Crownapoulos, his son Gregory, Procurator-General Audalius, the Duke of Conservan and Reoyania, the Duke of Sufforia, the Duke of Norfolkius, and Sir Julius Adarsius (1689-1769), the Governor of Laurasia Prime, were all present, as the official witnesses to the former Empress's execution. A murmur arose from the vast crowds as Anna advanced on her short walk to the execution platform. She wore a robe of dark gray, trimmed with fur, with a low square neck and a crimson kertle; from her shoulders flowed a long white cape. She looked exhausted and dazed, and also kept looking behind her, vainly hoping for a messenger to bring news of a reprieve. On the scaffold, the headsman, black-garbed and hooded, waited with his assistant and a priest. Anna mounted the steps with great composure, and smiled as she gazed down as the crowds below her. Then, with great composure and a firm voice, she delivered her final speech: "Good Almitian people, I am come hither to die, according to law, and therefore I will speak nothing against it. I come here only to die, and thus to yield myself humbly to the will of the Emperor, my lord. And if, in my life, I did ever offend the Emperor's Grace, surely with my death I do now atone. I come to accuse no man, nor to speak anything of that which I am accused, as I know full well that what I say in my defense does not appertain to you. I pray and beseech you all, good friends, to pray for the life of the Emperor, my sovereign lord and yours, who is one of the best princes in the Universe, who has always treated me so well that better could not be, wherefore I submit to death with good will, humbly asking pardon of the entire Universe. If any person will meddle with my cause, I require them to judge the best. Thus I take my leave of the Universe, and of you, and I heartily desire you all to pray for me."
    • She then turned to her ladies, who had ascended the platform with her, and told them not to be sorry to see her die, begging their pardon for any harshness towards them, praying them to take comfort for her loss, and admonishing them to be faithful to the Lady Theodora as their future Empress. She then gave her prayer book to Lady Lesius, The Hours of the Blessed Virgin Didymeia; that book, years later, would end up in her daughter's possession. Her farewells done, she knelt with the priest for some final prayers. She then rose and took off her hood, under which she had a coif over her long dark hair, bound so as to not impede the execution. The executioner knelt and asked her forgiveness for what he must do. She granted this, and gave him his fee. She then unclasped her necklace and stood in the middle of the platform. One of her maids tied a blindfold round her eyes, and withdrew to join the other ladies, all of whom were weeping. The crowd also knelt. As Anna prayed aloud, saying over and over again: "Paul, receive my soul! O Lord Almitis, have pity on my soul! To Almitis I commend my soul!" the executioner raised and discharged his blaster; with just one volley, she fell down to the platform, dead instantly. The executioner then lifted her body, with his assistant's aid, and announced: "Almitis save the Emperor!" The crowd now dispersed, and Kingstonia now brought forth a coffin. Then, he, the ladies, and some of the Fortress servants lifted her remains into the coffin. A brief service was conducted, and that night, Anna Boleyenia was interred in the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vicula, next to the bodies of the condemned men. There, her body was to remain for the next twenty-two years, until the accession of Anna's daughter, Empress Aurelia the Great, in November 1758. Few mourned her death at the time, but as the years, and then the decades passed, it would come to be understood by all that Anna had been wrongly accused and convicted. In 1763, Sir John Foxius, in his Book of Martyrs, would pay tribute to her as a maiden of the Almitian Church and a heroine of the Empire. By 1796, sixty years after her death, she would be viewed by many Laurasians as a wronged matron.
    • On the same day of the execution of Empress Consort Anna Boleyenia, the Laurasian forces of Field-Marshal Bukhard von Munnich stormed the defenses of Perekop, a major Haynsian stronghold at the termination of the Haynsian Slave Highway. Perekop had boasted a garrison of 600,000 Haynsian troopers and 100,000 Marasharite Guards, and was known for its elaborate shield generators, minefield defenses, and ionization disruption cannons. The Laurasian force, however, was well-organized and well-equipped, and Munnich exploited weaknesses in Haynsian strategic dispositions to gain a decisive victory. Perekop was occupied by the Laurasian Empire, and for the first time ever in the 2,779 years since the Laurasians had first entered space, a Laurasian military force entered the satellite galaxy of the Angelina Spiral. This also marked the first time, in the two centuries which had passed since the first recorded Haynsian raid into the Laurasian Empire (c. 1531), that the Laurasians themselves invaded the homeland territories of the Despotate. Munnich, however, was unable to bring his foe to battle, as most now fled to the strongholds of the Brigoff Stellar Nebula. Nevertheless, he had established a foothold for Laurasian forces in the Angelina Spiral, and by the middle of June 1736, was bringing reinforcements up the Slave Highway to launch further offensives in the Despotate's territory.
  • May 30-
    • The Emperor was at the Quencilvanian Palace when the turbolaser cannons of the Fortress of Baureux boomed, signalling that he was a free man. He appeared dressed in white mourning, a small token of respect for his late Empress, called for his repulsorlift, and moved into the city of Christiania. Lady Theodora spent much of the day preparing her wedding clothes, and reflected upon the ease with which she had achieved her ambition: Anna Boleyenia had waited seven years, Theodora waited just seven months. The Privy Council, on its part, had already petitioned the Emperor to take another wife. It was a plea of the utmost urgency due to the uncertainty surrounding the succession. Didymeia was a bastard, Aurelia was shortly to be so, and the Duke of Conservan was in declining health. The day following Anna Boleyenia's death, the Emperor's imminent betrothal to Lady Theodora Seymouris was announced to the Privy Council, and the other Councils of State. Stories of Theodora's virtuous behavior during the Emperor's courtship had been circulated and applauded. Chapuys and most others considered Theodora to be endowed with all of the qualities thought becoming in a consort: meekness, docility, and quiet dignity. Theodora had been well groomed for her role by her family and supporters, and was in any case determined not to follow the example of her predecessor. She intended to use her influence to further the causes she held dear, as Anna Boleyenia had, but would never use the same tactics.
    • Her well-publicized sympathy for the late Empress Katharina, and the Lady Didymeia showed her to be compassionate, and made her a popular figure with the Empire's subjects, and most of the courtiers. She would be looked upon favorably abroad because of her virtuous qualities. She was now twenty-eight years old, experienced in the ways of the Court, modest in her demeanor, and far more submissive than the temperamental Anna had ever been. Theodora was known for her long, flowing blonde hair, her piercing blue eyes, and her graceful stature. Antigonus would in years to come remember Theodora as the fairest, the most discreet, and the most meritorious of all his wives. As Empress, Theodora distanced herself from inferiors, and insisted on proper etiquette at the Imperial Laurasian Court. The actual betrothal of the Emperor and Lady Theodora took place on May 21.
    • Then on May 30, 1736, just eleven days following the death of his second wife Anna Boleyenia, the Emperor Antigonus married his mistress, the Lady Theodora Seymouris, in a lavish ceremony at the Westphalian Cathedral. The ceremony was officiated by Chief Procurator Thomasius Cranmerius of the Holy Synod. The bride's father, Lord Damasias Seymouris, gave her away to her husband. In his marriage proclamation to his subjects, Antigonus ordered them to offer "vigorous" prayers to the Lord Almitis for the success of the union, and for public festivities, ceremonies, and parades to be held throughout the major star systems of the Empire, in honor of the Emperor's marriage. The Imperial Court would itself be taken up in a series of tournaments, jousts, masques, balls, banquets, dances, and other performances during the course of the next several days, as Antigonus delighted in his new marriage. Indeed, the Emperor found himself completely besotted with his new wife. He allowed his wife's brother, Sir Edwardis Seymouris, to have his own personal quarters in the Quencilvanian Palace. As for the now Empress-Consort Theodora, Emperor Antigonus did have some reason to be satisfied.
    • Yet, as a longtime lady-in-waiting, first to Katharina and then to Anna, Theodora had witnessed the fall of both, and had seen the Boleyenias raised so high by their Emperor only to be destroyed. Indeed, the Emperor issued a manifesto the day before his wedding, commanding for his subjects to celebrate the execution of the "adulteress Anna Boleyenia." It was forbidden for any of his subjects to refer to Anna Boleyenia as Empress-Consort, and all honors which had been conferred by her, or in her name, were revoked. Most of Anna's ladies-in-waiting, servants, and attendants were dismissed from the Imperial Household and either fined or commanded to return to their prior households. The Emperor had also instigated plans to revise the procedures of succession, announcing this to the Privy Council on June 2, 1736. This spelled ominously for Grand Princess Aurelia, who in spite of her mother's death, and the annulment of her parent's marriage, still remained the legitimate heir due to the First Statute of Succession. The day before, the Emperor and his new wife proceeded to the Gilbertine Palace on Tudoria. The Emperor, within a week, would be speaking optimistically of the "Prince hoped for in due season", leaving no doubt that the imperial marriage had been successfully consummated. Theodora's servants were soon sworn in, and she was permitted an increased number. She was formally proclaimed Empress Consort on June 4, 1736, and went in procession to mass, following the Emperor with a great train of attendants. She then dined alone under a canopy of estate before a large audience of courtiers. She sought to remain Empress, and modeled her behavior upon that of Katharina of Shenandoah. She sought moreover, to give the Emperor a male heir, to work for Lady Didymeia's reinstatement, and to advance her family. She knew her power to be limited, and wisely concluded that it was essential not to misuse what influence she did have. Yet her quiet dignity hid a strong will and a determination to succeed within her chosen sphere.
    • On the same day of the marriage of Emperor Antigonus III and the Lady Theodora Seymouris, the Siege of Ung came to an end with a victory for the Laurasian Empire. Major-General Lacius, who was still engaged in the process of subduing the strongholds of the Muggal Cluster, had now focused his attention upon Ung, formerly one of the Torfian Throne Worlds. Lacius was determined to secure this major Marasharite system, understanding that its seizure would serve to strengthen the Empire's overall strategic position. Ung was besieged by his forces from May 24, 1736. Marasharite High-Admiral Koca Davud launched a series of counteroffensives against the Laurasian lines, threatening Poloa, Verdordium Minor, and Hengist (May 25-27, 1736), in a vain attempt to halt Lacius's siege efforts. In spite of all this, however, Lacius stood his ground; the Marasharite offensives were repelled with heavy losses, and nothing was accomplished in the way of relief for Ung. It was during the late hours of May 29 that Ung's minefield defenses were penetrated by the squadrons of the Imperial Laurasian Navy, thereby paving the way to the seizure of the star system by Lacius's troops. Lacius executed a series of landings on Ung's surface, and the cities of Sejong, Gawjanu, and Ulaan fell quickly into Laurasian hands. It was on May 30, therefore, that High-Admiral Davud was compelled to retreat from the star system on his personal starfighter, and that all resistance in Salliche City was completely suppressed. The conquest of Ung constituted a major victory for the Laurasian Empire; General Lacius's praises were now being sung in the Laurasia Prime Purse Region, and throughout the Empire.
  • June 6-Following the seizure of Ung, the attention of General Lacius turned immediately to its sister world, Karlong. Karlong, with a population of more than eighteen billion by 1736, was considered to be a major commercial and agricultural hub in the Muggal Cluster. This world was one of the premier producers of foodstuffs, agricultural equipment, and wild beasts in extra-galactic civilization; its seizure would add to Laurasian military and agricultural resources, for the further pursuit of the conflict with the Marasharites. On June 4, 1736, Karlong's defenses were blockaded by Lacius's forces, and all communications lines into the star system were suppressed. Lacius now launched several attacks against the minefields and operational outposts of the star system, attempting to penetrate through them and to take the position of strategic importance within the system's confines. These first attacks, however, were successfully repelled by Marasharite units at Daejeon Ford, who employed a series of attacks with corvettes, cruisers, and xebecs to harry and repel the Laurasian moves. Lacius however, was now to enjoy an extraordinary stroke of luck. On June 6, 1736, two days after the commencement of the Siege of Karlong, the power generators for Karlong's shield defenses suffered a catastrophic reactor failure, rendering the planetary shields useless and leaving the world exposed to a frontal assault by Laurasian troops. General Lacius quickly took advantage of the opportunity thus granted, and the Laurasian forces quickly stormed the orbital defenses of the Karlong star system; the entire Marasharite garrison was left in disarray by the failure of the power generators. General Malik-Tarik of Mali (1691-1755), one of the many personnel from the Barbary States in the service of the Marasharite Emperor, and Commander of the Karlong Garrison, was able to quickly understand that resistance to the Laurasian onslaught was futile. On June 8, 1736, he surrendered unconditionally to Lacius, thereby bringing the Siege of Karlong to an end. Karlong was now in the hands of the Laurasian Empire, and became the chief operational headquarters for General Lacius and his chief subordinates. Lacius was now actively engaged in planning the siege and conquest of Imegina, the most populous of all the Marasharite holdings in the Caladarian Galaxy. Laurasian units occupied Incheon, Busan, Daegu, Gyonggi, Changowan, and Cheonan during the course of June 1736, thereby consolidating their hold over Ung and Kumong.
  • June 13-
    • On June 13, 1736, the Emperor Antigonus promulgated the Second Antigonid Statute of the Imperial Succession, thereby superseding the First Antigonid Statute of 1734, and revising the procedures of succession for the Imperial Laurasian Crown. This statute now formally declared both of the Emperor's daughters, Didymeia and Aurelia, to be bastards. Aurelia was deprived of the title of Grand Princess, reduced to the rank of "Lady", and removed from her position as heiress apparent, exactly the same which had happened to Didymeia earlier. The Statute provided that the Emperor's legitimate children by his "wife, the honorable Imperial Consort and Majesty Theodora" would be the heirs to his throne. Neither Didymeia or Aurelia were to become eligible to accede to the throne in the future; it was now forbidden for any to acknowledge either of the two Ladies as heiress apparent, or to refer to them by the title of Grand Princess. The penalty for such crimes was to be imprisonment and confiscation of all "disposable properties, revenues, and honors."
    • The Emperor, on his part, continued in his efforts to compel Didymeia's obedience. On May 26, Lady Didymeia had written to Chancellor Crownapoulos, begging for him to intercede on her behalf with the Emperor. Yet the Emperor sent a deputation of the Privy Council to Didymeia, to make her submit to her father over the matter of her mother's marriage and his ecclesiastical reforms. She refused to do this, even though Norfolkius made threats against her. This reduced her to tears, but she remained firm. Antigonus, hearing the reports of her behavior, became more determined than ever to break her will. He even thought of attaining his daughter for treason, but when Empress Theodora learned of his intentions, she begged him not to proceed. Her prayers fell on dead ears, for the Emperor, forgetting he was a bridegroom, told her she must be out of her senses. Thus early in her married life did Theodora learn to tread warily with her husband. Yet fate was on her side. Few wished to proceed against Didymeia, and suggested that she be made to sign a declaration of submission, recognizing her father's reforms and the invalidity of his first marriage. Chancellor Crownapoulos supported this idea, and prevailed upon the Emperor to agree. On June 4, he sent a scathing communique to her, deploring her for her stance towards her father. He also enclosed the submission. Didymeia, however, was still determined not to risk her immortal soul for the favor of an earthly Emperor.
    • She ignored Crownapoulos's message, and waited for a reply to an earlier communique she had sent the Emperor, congratulating him on his marriage and begging leave to wait upon the new Empress. Her communique had ended with the fervent hope that "Almitis would send Your Majesty a prince; no one would rejoice more than I." Didymeia soon realized that her father was not going to respond, and perceived, with terrible clarity, that the only way to earn his clemency was by submitting to his demands. Chapuys and Emperor Char'va were urging her to do thus. Didymeia, however, wrote again to the Emperor, begging him to pardon her offenses, and saying she would never be happy until he had forgiven her (June 11, 1736). She begged for an audience with him, so that she could deliver her regrets in person. Again, he refused to respond to her, and expressed doubts to both Theodora and Crownapoulos about her sincerity. Nothing less than her signatures on the submission would persuade him that she meant what she said. Crownapoulos urged her to sign at once, hinting at terrible consequences if she did not. She wrestled with her conscience, but gave way. It was on June 22, 1736, that she signed the declaration of submission, acknowledging her illegitimate status, the annulment of her parents' marriage, and the religious reforms which had been implemented by her father. This declaration was formally announced by the Privy Council to the Imperial Court, and on the Emperor's orders, was entered into the Imperial Statutes, thereby making it law. Didymeia was to regret this decision for the rest of her life, and upon her accession to the throne in July 1753, would have this declaration expunged and all copies of it destroyed.
    • Antigonus was irritated that Didymeia had procrastinated on the matter for so long, and sent Sir Thomasius Writholesey to the Lady. She wrote a long and abject communique to Crownapoulos, acknowledging her faults and thanking him for his kindness in furthering her cause with the Emperor. When Antigonus read this, he allowed his long-suppressed paternal feelings to revive, and was ready once more to play the part of a loving father. Empress Theodora was delighted when Didymeia signed the submission. She had worked for months towards a reconciliation, and now looked forward to receiving her stepdaughter at the Court. Didymeia would be a friend and companion to her, for she ranked high enough to enjoy the privilege of the Empress's friendship. Many others welcomed the prospect of Didymeia's return to favor, as did the Empire's subjects. At the end of June, the Emperor sent his officers to the Lady, informing her that it would not be long before she could return. Many jousts and triumphs, as well as other entertainments, were held throughout this time, in honor of the Empress. On June 6, Ambassador Chapuys had been conducted to Theodora's apartments by the Emperor, and was formally presented to her. He had kissed her hand, congratulated her on her marriage, and wished her prosperity, not doubting that she would become the "Happiest of Women". He told her that his master would rejoice on her accession to the throne, and that it was impossible to comprehend the joy and pleasure in which the Empire's subjects had received the marriage. Theodora had promised Chapuys that she would continue to show favor to Didymeia, and would do her best to fulfill all expectations. He replied extravagantly that Theodora had gained in Didymeia a treasured daughter. The following day, the imperial couple had made their formal procession back into the Laurasia Prime star system, and Theodora had been greeted with acclaim by the Emperor's subjects.
    • June 29, 1736, saw the imperial couple's visit to Mercer's Hall in Colombia; then on July 3, they presided over the magnificent celebrations which graced the triple wedding of the Earl of Almastead's son and two daughters, and were guests of honor at the banquet which followed. Theodora had also sent her brother Edwardis, now Viscount Beaucharia, to Didymeia, to find out what she wished for her household. Then on July 6, 1736, the Emperor and Empress paid a private visit to the Lady at Kostonos House in Constantinople. This was the first time that father and daughter had seen each other in more than three years. It was an emotional reunion, and Antigonus spoke affectionately to his daughter. He was gentle, kind, and patient with her, and told her how deeply he regretted having kept her so long from him. Theodora gave her stepdaughter a diamond ring; the Emperor gave her €500,000, and told her she should not worry about her expenses. Chapuys was soon able to report on a great improvement in Didymeia's fortunes, and it was shortly afterwards announced that she was to rank second after the Empress Consort. On July 8, Didymeia formally thanked her father for the "perfect reconciliation" between them, and expressed her hope that the Empress Consort would shortly have children. She also wrote to the Chancellor, who responded by sending her a ring inset with portrait miniatures of Antigonus, Theodora, and herself, made specially for her. This gift was from the Emperor. Theodora, however, had displayed little interest in Antigonus's younger daughter, who was now nearing three. No one wished to act in the interests of the bastard child of a convicted traitor. The Emperor had banished Aurelia from his sight, and wanted nothing to do with her. Didymeia, however, lavished her attention upon Aurelia, and paid a visit to her on July 21 at Apathama Vixius.
  • July 1-Death of the former Marasharite Emperor Ahmad III at the Topacian Palace on Marsrr.
  • July 13-By July 1736, Field-Marshal Munnich felt confident enough to resume military operations in the territory of the Haynsian Despotate. Munnich had focused much of his effort, over the preceding month, on strengthening the Laurasian Empire's hold of Perekop, and of the Haynsian Slave Highway. Merevebey fell into Laurasian hands only on June 19, 1736, thereby terminating, at least for the time being, all Haynsian raids and slaving expeditions in the Galactic Void. But it was only on July 13, after Munnich repelled a series of Haynsian counteroffensives against Perekop, Quinta-il-vily, and the Angelina Gateways, that he advanced from Perekop. He stormed the Haynsian military arsenal of Bajday (July 13-15), capturing more than 75,000 Haynsian Martial Warriors and inflicting severe damage to the world's defenses. Munnich's forces then seized Little Boravia and Isis (July 17-19, 1736); then on July 22, 1736, he utterly destroyed a Haynsian Expeditionary Force, commanded by the Kalga of the Greater Boravia Regions, Hureem-Pasha, in the Battle of Baina. More than two-thirds of the Haynsian scoutships were destroyed by the Laurasians; furthermore, Munnich was able to blunt the Haynsian advantage in mobility by keeping his starfighters in strategic conjunction with his battleships, dreadnoughts, and armored transports. From Baina, Laurasian units seized Yevtaporia, Tivran, and Eudorpia (July 24-29, 1736), thereby consolidating control over the inner portions of the Brigoff Stellar Nebula, and penetrating into the Warrior Fastnesses. General Lacius, in the meantime, secured the Laurasian hold of Kumong (July 17, 1736), and proceeded to capture Getty (July 25), destroying a Marasharite military headquarters in the process.
  • July 23-On July 23, 1736, Emperor Antigonus III's illegitimate son, Antigonus Lutheranis, Duke of Conservan and Reoyania, died at the Old Royal Palace in Christiania. He was only seventeen years old. The Duke of Conservan had contracted the dreaded Meledian syndrome, which had wasted his body and had resisted the efforts of his doctors to contain its symptoms. At his deathbed was the Duke's mother, Demetria Lutheranis (who had been created Baroness of Osama by her ex-lover, the Emperor Antigonus III, in 1734), and his wife, Duchess Marcia Howardis. The Emperor, who was at Darcia at the time of his son's death, was utterly devastated by his loss. Antigonus was once again contemplating the possibility of revoking his son's bastardy and naming him his heir apparent, but was prevented from moving forward with this by his son's untimely death. Emperor Antigonus ordered the Imperial Court to mourn his death for two weeks and had bells toiled at the religious edifices of the Laurasian Empire, in order to honor his son's soul. The Duke of Conservan and Reoyania would be interred at the Noble Crypt of the Westphalian Cathedral on August 4, 1736, in a ceremony attended by all of the magnates of the Imperial Court and presided over by Chief Procurator Thomasius Cranmerius. Lutheranis's mother, Baroness Demetria Lutheranis of Osama, would die in Christiania on January 12, 1740, at the age of only forty-one.
  • July 29-On July 29, 1736, Haynsian Despot Qaplan-Empi II Karany, who had failed to prevent the advance of Field-Marshal Burkhard Christoph von Munnich's forces into the territory of the Haynsian Despotate, was formally notified at Doros that his suzerain, the Marasharite Emperor Sassas III, had formally deprived him of the Haynsian throne for the third and last time. Qaplan-Empi was considered a traitor and ineffective in the eyes of the Marasharite Court of Topacia, and he now fled to exile at Talinin in the Dejanican Duchy of Northania. He was succeeded as Despot by Ferrah II Karany, the grandson of Jay IX Karany. Ferrah, however, was destined to hold the throne only for a short time.
  • September 7-The advance of Field-Marshal Burkhard Christoph von Munnich's forces in the Brigoff Stellar Nebula, and in the Haynsian Despotate, continued through the middle of August 1736. Munnich, although he found the Haynsian forces to be elusive, was nevertheless able to inflict further damage upon them. On August 1, 1736, Ikkerman was besieged by the forces of the Laurasian Empire. The siege lasted for eight days, as Haynsian scoutships, moving through the siege lines, inflicted damage upon the Laurasian forces, and launched a series of raids against Laurasian operational outposts. Munnich ultimately overcame these troubles, and Ikkerman's fall on August 11 was considered a great triumph. Doros was then sacked by a Laurasian expedition (August 14, 1736), and by August 22, Greater Boravia and Chalaa were both under siege by Munnich's forces. Although Laurasian units were driven from Little Boravia (August 24, 1736), Munnich was able to maintain his hold over the Perekop Ramparts, and to storm Theodoros, New Genoa, and Semrnapoval (August 26-31, 1736). At the same time, General Lacius made further gains of note in the Muggal Cluster. He besieged and conquered Jimmie (August 5-8, 1736); repelled Marasharite moves against Ung, Kumong, Karlong, and Verdorium Minor (August 12-14); and sacked the defenses of Sackrandis (August 21, 1736). Crimea finally fell into Laurasian hands on August 24, 1736, followed in short order by the minor Marasharite colony of Kaidek (August 26). Iasi was then blockaded by General Lacius's forces; its fall on September 3, 1736, constituted yet another major victory for Laurasian arms in the Northern Reaches. Yet on September 7, 1736, Munnich suffered a major reverse in the Battle of Sernapoval; his attempt to seize this stronghold backfired, and the Haynsians made 75,000 soldiers of the Imperial Laurasian Army their prisoners. On September 13, he was compelled to halt his siege of Greater Boravia; Chalaa was then relieved by Haynsian Despot Ferrah II Karany (September 17-19, 1736). Lacius too, failed in offensives against Stary and the Marasharite Dniester Bases (September 22-23, 1736). By the end of September 1736, Theodoros and New Genoa were back in Haynsian hands, and Munnich understood that he would be unable to reach Balaclava, one of the chief Haynsian slave markets and economic strongholds in the Angelina Spiral.
  • September 19-
    • After several months of investigations, and of consultations by the Emperor Antigonus with his leading ministers, the Imperial Statute for the Administration of the Monasteries was promulgated on September 19, 1736. The Statute was drafted by Chief Procurator Cranmerius and Chancellor Crownapoulos, who sought to solidify the control of the Imperial Laurasian Government over ecclesiastical properties. The Statute formally reimposed the age limits of Seleucus the Victor in the fourteenth century, mandating that only Laurasian men over the age of fifty, and women over the age of sixty, could enter a monastery. Monasteries were now deprived of direct administration over their estates; the Commission of Economy, already responsible for church finances and salaries, now assumed this responsibility. All clergy and officials of the Imperial Almitian Church were forbidden to use any remaining tithes, annuities, or offerings by their congregations for their own purposes. Furthermore, the Statute now established the Commission for the Augmentations of the Revenues of the Imperial Treasury, which became responsible for managing the new streams of income from the Church. All monasteries, abbeys, priories, chantries, houses, deaneries, and other church estates were now mandated to sell, or to "repurpose" at least two-fourths of the properties then in their possession during the course of the next seven years; all star systems previously allocated to religious purposes were now to be open to colonization by the Empire's subjects; and monasteries would be forbidden to acquire new properties in the future without the express approval of the Commission of Economy.
    • This statute thereby formalized the whole-scale seizure of church property and goods. It also permitted the Privy Council to choose which estates would be exempt from the statute's provisions, with the authorization of the Chancellor. Crownapoulos used this new power to his advantage, and extorted many church monasteries to pay in order to keep possession of their properties; more than 2,000 establishments in the Laurasia Prime Purse Region alone would be handled in this way during the next year. Yet more than 80% of the Church's total estates and establishments found themselves affected by the Statute. Between 1736 and 1740, the Church would lose more than half of its landed properties and holdings; 33% of its businesses and enterprises; and 25% of its total dependents, colonies, and dioceses. More than six billion clerics, of all ranks, would be forced from the service; that was nearly two-thirds of the entire Church structure. Spamalkan Ambassador Chapuys would report in June 1737 that "it is a lamentable thing to see a legion of clerics, chased from their monasteries, wandering across space and seeking means by which to rebuild their lives and careers; I have been informed that many have been reduced to destitution, and rely upon benefits from the Ministry of Sentient and Health Services..." The response of the clerics thus affected was almost universally passive, who received no support from the church hierarchy, or from those who they served. There were exceptions to this rule. Riots broke out on Alsora, Lomanis, and Isoter's Shaft, primarily in response to the confiscation of Chiweth Abbey in late September, 1736. The Alsoran Riots continued for over a month, and when they finally ended on October 28, had resulted in more than 250,000 deaths and €300 billion dataries in property damage. Tommy, Zennethia, and Durglais also saw disturbances related to the enactment of this Statute. Furthermore, on September 24, 1736, the Emperor revised the Imperial Statute of Treason, now penalizing anyone who refused to make known their opinions on the oath of succession (which had been revised since Aurelia was now a bastard), and provided that anyone who attempted to countervail the act's provisions would be automatically liable for treason.
  • October 3-
    • By October 1736, tensions in parts of the Laurasia Prime Purse Region had become inflared, due to the Emperor's religious policies, including his enactment of the Statute of Monastic Administration. Falloria Major was one of the chief hotbeds of "Traditionalist" dissent within the Laurasian Empire. It was on October 3, 1736, that the Uprising of Grace, the most serious internal challenge to Emperor Antigonus during his reign, commenced. The members of the congregation of St. Mary's Cathedral in Ladavras, Falloria Major, were particularly incensed by Emperor Antigonus's policies. Since September 21, their preacher, Sir Cleon Claranchia (1675-1737), had posted several protests to the imperial authorities on Falloria Major, demanding for an end to the confiscation of monastic properties, and for the Church's traditional holdings, services, and ceremonies to be respected. This demand had been ignored; the congregation therefore determined not to adhere to the dictates of the authorities any longer. Their defiance began as a riot; homes, businesses, and governmental edifices in Ladavras were destroyed by rioting protesters; civil unrest spread in the streets; and the police clashed, at first, with the protesters. But within one day, the situation changed. The notary public for the Chancellory of Ladavaras, Sir Robertius Askius (1680-1737), now arose to prominence. He was the namesake son of Sir Robertius Askius (1640-1706), of Javaria, was related to Antigonus Cliffordia, Earl of Cumbria (1717-70), and the maternal grandson of Lord Tiberius Raskrania, 3rd Baron Raskrania of Chilsia (1617-1714), who had become Baron Raskrania in 1674 and died at the age of 97.
    • Askius had graduated from the Christiania Inns in 1704, served as Recorder of the Municipal Court of Colombia (1709-1714); and then became Reader of the University of Falloria Minor Legal School (1716-31), before being appointed Notary Public of Ladavaras in 1733. He therefore had a distinguished legal record, and was of gentle heritage. It was therefore surprising that Askius decided to side with the rebels. He delivered a speech to the crowds at St. Mary's Cathedral, denounced the confiscation of the Church's estates, and the changes being made to the rituals of the Almitian Mass, and promised to fight for the "proper succession and order in the Empire." His oratory skills roused the crowds, and they now became a cohesive force. Furthermore, the law enforcement authorities and military garrison of Falloria Major found the goals of the uprising to be in accord with their own; they therefore defected from their allegiance (October 5, 1736). Falloria Minor joined the rebellion shortly afterwards, and Askius now composed messages to the garrisons of Tarravania, Chilisia, and Darsis, urging them to revolt against the "unnatural policies" of the Imperial Laurasian Government. These star systems responded in quick order; by October 7, the Uprising of Grace had become a major issue for the Empire's authorities in the Purse Region. Askius and his followers now had access to naval, land, and retainer forces.
  • October 7-
    • On October 7, 1736, the Emperor Antigonus, alarmed by the outbreak of the Uprising of Grace, issued an imperial manifesto in response to it. He now labelled Askius and his leading followers as traitors, commanded for all appporiate measures to be taken against the Uprising, and denounced all who participated with the uprising, or supported its goals. Furthermore, he derided Falloria Major as an "evil and beastly place", and that failure to comply with his conditions would result in the "utter destruction of them, their wives and children." He also ridiculed the rebels for presuming to offer advice on how to rule. The Emperor now commanded the Duke of Norfolkius, who had not commanded a military force in active combat for a decade (due to his entanglement in affairs at the Imperial Court), to assume command of the forces now being assembled to suppress the rebellion. Yet Antigonus and his government now suffered more reverses. On the very same day that the manifesto was issued, Augis II and Tifelium both declared their support for Askius. On October 9, 1736, the Battle of Louthrania, the first pitched confrontation between governmental and rebel forces, ended in a surprising rebel victory. Carseolonia and Fulcania were then seized, and on October 14, 1736, rebel forces reached Charasia. Two days before this, Askius and his leading followers formally published a Proclamation of Intentions. The notary and rebel leader asserted that he bore no ill-will against the Emperor, and that he was a loyal subject of the Laurasian Empire. He stated that he and his followers wished for an end to the confiscation of monastic properties; punishment of Chancellor Crownapoulos's notorious commissioners and agents; and the removal from office of Crownapoulos, Procurator-General Audelius, Sir Richardius Richius, and many of the Church's leading prelates, including Chief Procurator Cranmerius. The rebels, by this point, had adopted a banner to represent their cause; it depicted the eucharistic host, a chalice, and a figure of Lord Paul, bearing his wounds. The rebellion was therefore, from the start, proclaimed to be a religious uprising.
    • And indeed, the movement continued to make progress against the governmental forces and garrisons of the Laurasian Empire. During the early hours of October 15, Charasia's defenses were penetrated by the rebel forces, who proved to have a numerical and organizational supremacy over the world's garrison. Charasia was there occupied by the Uprising of Grace and Askius himself garrisoned St. Callus's Cathedral in Nova Constantinople, establishing it as his chief command headquarters. From Charasia, rebel units turned their attention towards Americana (October 16, 1736). Americana, which by 1736 had a population of more than fifteen billion, was one of the chief strongholds of the Laurasia Prime Purse Region. This was a prized possession of the Imperial Laurasian Government: the Palace of the Greats was located here, and Americana was renowned for its resorts, casinos, and the varied beauties of its countryside. It possessed a garrison of more than 175,000 troops, but this garrison proved to be ineffective against the much-larger, and more motivated, rebel forces. Americana's defenses were soon penetrated by the rebel destroyers and dreadnoughts; Askius himself, with the assistance of Spartacus Mertius (1691-1737), a veteran of the Second Laurasian-Marasharite War and the War of the Dejanican Succession, commanded the direct assaults against Americana's land defenses. Pontefractia Castle, which was the chief military fortification in the star system, proved to be a formidable obstacle; Major-General Sir Craterus Turus (1682-1745), who commanded the garrison of Americana, arranged his troops in formation and sought to pose the greatest resistance possible to further rebel moves. Yet in spite of his efforts, the sheer number of rebel troops assaulting Pontefractia Castle, the careful coordination of these troops by Mertius, and the support of the local populace for the offensives, determined the outcome. On October 20, 1736, Pontefractia Castle finally fell into the hands of the rebel troops; the remaining cells of governmental resistance on Americana followed shortly afterwards. Yet by this point, Emperor Antigonus, who sought to end this grievous rebellion against his authority as soon as possible, ordered the Duke of Norfolkius to proceed immediately to Sentinum, with the intention of preventing rebel moves against Augis V, Dearton's Gateway, Maroni, and Badragan. Norfolkius arrived at Sentinum on October 24, but quickly realized that rebel supply and communication lines were superior.
  • November 4-
    • As mentioned above, the Duke of Norfolkius's arrival at Sentinum exposed him to the reality of the situation, as relating to the Uprising of Grace. And indeed, in the days immediately following the Duke's establishment of his headquarters there, rebel offensives continued. Sarai and Alanium were both stormed by rebel units (October 25-26, 1736), and on October 28, Askius obtained a victory over a government supply convoy in the Battle of the Brant Expanse, thereby threatening Venusia, Taurasia, and Clackimeris. All of this finally convinced Norfolkius that a policy of negotiation and of "deception" would be instrumental in securing the submission of the rebel leaders, and the termination of the active rebellion. On October 30, 1736, he sent a communique to Askius, who had then moved with his chief military units to Augis II. In this communique, Norfolkius requested for the rebel leaders to submit their terms for ending their defiance. The Duke made sure to obtain the Emperor's approval for making this request before-hand; Antigonus had no difficulty in seeing the wisdom of the policy now being pursued. Askius and his subordinates responded promptly to the Duke's request, and on November 2, sent him a full communication of their conditions: the removal of Chancellor Crownapoulos and Chief Procurator Cranmerius from office; the revocation of the Statute on the Administration of the Monasteries; and the confirmation of the Almitian Church's privileges, customs, and administration.
    • Askius now offered to hold a conference, in-person, with the Duke, in order to discuss these terms further. Norfolkius accepted quickly; on November 4, 1736, the Duke met with Askius, Turus, and the other rebel leaders at Donacasteria, a Laurasian agricultural colony located ten light-years to the east of Alanium. There, Norfolkius offered to take the rebel demands, along with two of their representatives, to the Emperor personally. In the meantime, rebel forces were to refrain from further operations. The rebel leaders were skeptical, and agreed only to meet with Norfolkius again the following month, once he had returned from conferring with the Emperor. Norfolkius accepted this reluctantly, and on November 6, 1736, the conference disbanded. The Duke then made a hasty departure for Iego, to which the Imperial Court had removed itself, so as to be out of the range of the rebels. He arrived there during the late hours of November 7, and during the course of the next few weeks, would found himself locked up in a round of audiences and discussions with the Emperor and the Privy Council over the rebel terms.
    • At the Imperial Court, matters had continued to proceed. From August to September 1736, the imperial couple gave every impression of being happy, though the Empress Consort had still not conceived. In September, the Emperor was actively engaged in preparations for Theodora's coronation. These were seen in earnest at the Westphalian Cathedral, Diplomatic Palace, and at other sites in Christiania. The outbreak of the Uprising of Grace, however, had diverted his attention. Theodora herself, as always a Almitian Traditionalist, ventured to voice her doubts to the Emperor, hoping to diffuse his anger against the rebels. On November 9, 1736, when the Emperor was sitting beneath his canopy of estate, surrounded by his court, she fell on her knees before him and begged him to reconsider the fate of the monasteries. Antigonus said nothing, but his face registered his irritation. Theodora ignored this and went on, daring to suggest that perhaps Almitis had permitted the rebellion as a punishment for the reduction of the Church's wealth. At this, the Emperor's patience had given way, and he exploded with anger, brutally ordering her to get up and attend to other things. He reminded her that the last Empress had died as a result of meddling too much in state affairs. Theodora took Antigonus's warning to heart, and never again interferred in politics.
    • She now busied herself with domestic affairs, estate business, and matters concerning her servants. The Emperor's public rebuke to his wife caused no lasting damage to their marriage; later in November, they were reported to be happy, and on December 9, moved to the Palace of Placenta on Darcia. On December 17, Lady Didymeia finally arrived at the Imperial Laurasian Court, richly dressed and with a train of gorgeously attired ladies. She proceeded to where the imperial couple awaited her; curtseyed; and asked for the Emperor's blessing. He took her hand, raised and kissed her, and presented her to the Empress, who also kissed her and warmly bade her welcome. Then Antigonus turned to the Privy Council, gave them a menancing stare, and declared: "Some of you were desirous that I should put this jewel to death!" This proved too much for Didymeia, and to Antigonus's consternation she suddenly fainted at his feet. Both he and Theodora stooped to assist her, with the courtiers crowding round. When she revived and regained her senses, Antigonus took her hand and walked her around the chambers. Didymeia now stayed routinely at the Court, became close to the Empress, and was accorded the proper precedence. It was thanks to Didymeia's intercession that Lady Aurelia was invited for the Ascentmas season. News of the death of Sir Damasias, on December 21, 1736, dampened the Empress's spirit somewhat, but the Ascentmas celebrations continued. Gifts were then exchanged on Ascentmas Day, and would be again on New Year's Day.
  • November 22-
    • The last months of 1736 witnessed a series of further reversals for Laurasian forces in the Galactic Void and in the Angelina Spiral. On October 7, 1736, Haynsian Despot Ferrah II Karany inflicted a humiliating defeat upon Munnich in the Battle of Yevpatoria. As a result of this confrontation, more than 75,000 troops of the Imperial Laurasian Army were killed, and another 15,000 were captured. Furthermore, the Haynsians seized a number of Laurasian frigates, couriers, and ion cannons. From Yevpatoria, Munnich suffered a further series of reverses at Khurshev, Fedosiya, and Armyansk (October 9-15, 1736). Then on October 21, 1736, Haynsian Kalga Qaplan-Nester launched a series of surprise offensives against the Perekop Approaches, Karabusar, and Ikkerman; this offensive resulted in the reconquest of thirty Haynsian garrisons, previously occupied by Laurasian units. Furthermore, Karabusar fell back into the hands of the Haynsian Despotate, while Ikkerman's supply lines were dangerously weakened. Field-Marshal Munnich then suffered another reverse in the Battle of Quickbay (October 24-26, 1736), which resulted in more than 25,000 Laurasian casualties and in Laurasian units being compelled to abandon that stronghold. Then on November 1, 1736, the Battle of Tivran ended in another reverse for Munnich, who lost virtually all of the industrial and agricultural goods which had been seized by Laurasian forces from the outposts of the Warrior Fastnesses. Munnich was now compelled to begin a coordinated retreat back towards Perekop, suffering further reverses at Alusha (November 5); Dzankoy (November 11); and Yalta (November 13-14).
    • Finally, on November 22, 1736, the Field-Marshal made the strategic decision to abandon Perekop and the Perekop Ramparts, and to retreat with his forces back into the Galactic Void. By the end of November 1736, Haynsian forces had reoccupied those bases and the Brigoff Stellar Nebula, thereby leading to the end of the Laurasian Empire's first ever military offensive in the homeland territories of the Haynsian Despotate. Laurasian forces, by the end of the campaign, found themselves constrained by the length and the difficulties involved with the supply routes; by unfamiliarity with the star systems and stellar regions of the Angelina Spiral; and by the constant harrying of Haynsian war parties. Yet Munnich's retreat did not mean the end of Laurasian moves against Haynsia. On December 5, 1736, the Privy Council authorized for a renewed series of offensives into the Angelina Spiral, to take place the following year. Munnich and his forces had nevertheless inflicted severe damage on the Haynsian Despotate, having captured or ransacked five hundred Haynsian outposts and strongholds; recovered €950 trillion dataries worth of industrial equipment, agricultural goods, and raw materials, and liberated more than seventy million Haynsian slaves, including five million Laurasian colonists who had been captured and placed into bondage during the decade which separated the Second and Third Laurasian-Marasharite Wars of the century. A strategic stalemate ensued during December 1736, although Major-General Lacius did secure Laurasian possession of Ba'dai, Ra'dai, and Tokyang, the chief strongholds of the Tof Borderlands.
  • December 2-
    • On December 2, 1736, Askius and his fellow subordinates assembled at Pontefractia Castle on Americana to prepare for another round of negotiations. During the intervening weeks, the rank and file of the rebel forces had grown restless, and Askius had been compelled to maintain discipline and order among them. Askius took the responsibility for drawing up an even more comprehensive set of articles for presentation to Norfolkius, and through him, to the Emperor. There was much emphasis on reversing the religious innovations of the past several years, and a number of new items were added. They wanted the legitimacy of the Emperor's elder daughter, Lady Didymeia, restored; the Statute of Treason repealed; and a commission of representatives and officials from throughout the Empire to convene on Paradine, in order to discuss and deliver petitions and proposals from the subjects of the Empire to the Emperor and his ministers. Finally, they demanded a full pardon for everyone who had been involved in the rebellion. This was a startling document, and would have constituted a direct challenge to the fabric of autocracy, which had now been an enduring feature of Laurasian civilization for the better part of seven centuries. It showed the depth of Traditionalist unhappiness with the innovations of the 1730s, and popular awareness of how the Emperor and his ministers had further strengthened the central authority of the Imperial Laurasian Government. For Antigonus, these conditions were an abomination, a gross and unforgivable violation of his rights. For Norfolkius, who was a model of the warrior nobility of the Empire, they were an affront, a despicable attempt by presumptuous commoners to overturn the natural order.
    • It was necessary to stall, however, for the Emperor was aware of the tensions which existed on Caladaria, Darcia, and in the Malarian Provinces; the Empire's main offensive military forces were tied down in the Galactic Borderlands; and stirrings of rebel unrest were starting to emerge in other, more far-flung regions of the Empire. Therefore, when on December 6, 1736, rebel leaders met with Norfolkius as agreed, he accepted every demand. The Commission would be established; the Statute on Monasteries would not be enforced; and the rebels themselves would be pardoned in return for handing over all their strongholds back into the government's hands, and suspending all military operations. This, from all appearances, was a major victory, but there was skepticism among the rebels. Norfolkius had said nothing about when or where the commission would meet, and only the promise of a pardon had been made, not the actual pardon itself. Under such circumstances, some argued, it would be folly to suspend their rebellion. Askius, however, saw matters in a different light. He thought it inconceivable that the Emperor would not be as good as his word, and that he would honor promises made to loyal subjects to rid evil subordinates. When informed of the promise of pardon, Askius, to show his comrades that it was good enough from him, tore from his tunic the badge of the rebellion and declared that he would only wear the Emperor's insignia. This proved effective, and by December 17, 1736, all of the rebel strongholds had returned to their normal allegiance towards the Imperial Laurasian Government; rebel forces vanished almost overnight. Then on December 19, Askius received a communique from the Emperor, inviting him to spend Ascentmas Day at the Imperial Court. Antigonus claimed that he had "conceived a great desire to speak with you and to hear of your mouth the whole circumstance and beginning of the manner."
    • The communique repeated Norfolkius's assurances of "our general and free pardon, already granted unto you." Askius accepted-an invitation from His Imperial Majesty was considered to be a considerable honor-and made his arrival at the Palace of Placenta on Darcia, on December 21, 1736. Throughout his visit, which lasted for nine days, he found himself treated with great honor. At the Emperor's request, he wrote an account of the rebellion, and received a gift of more than €500 million dataries from the Emperor. His Majesty also gave him an expensive suit and a number of smaller gifts. The Emperor received Askius in two personal audiences; permitted him to sit at the Imperial Seat of Honor during the Ascentmas Day banquet; and even allowed Askius to address the courtiers and nobles of the Empire in the Great Audience Chamber. By the time Askius made his leave from the Imperial Court, on December 30, 1736, he was convinced that the Emperor was his ally, supporter, and friend. During the course of the next few months, he would repeatedly show himself to be the supporter and friend of an Emperor who had concealed his hatred under a blanket of hospitality and was now waiting until it became safe to exact his revenge.

1737Edit

  • January 2-
    • As 1737, the 37th year of the eighteenth century, commenced, the Imperial Laurasian Government found itself grappling with two different issues at once. The first regarded the Uprising of Grace, which had upset the stability of several different star systems in the Laurasia Prime Purse Region, and demonstrated the hostility evident, by many of the Empire's subjects, in regards to Emperor Antigonus's religious and marriage policies. Although the Uprising had, for the time being, subsided, due to the "concessions" made by the Duke of Norfolkius to Askius and his associates, great tension continued to persist. Emperor Antigonus, on his part, still desired for revenge against the rebels. The second issue was the Third Laurasian-Marasharite War. Field-Marshal Munnich's military campaigns in the Galactic Void, and into the Angelina Spiral, had constituted a historic moment for the Empire. For the first time ever, Laurasian military forces had reached and penetrated the Angelina Spiral, and into the homeland territories of the Haynsian Despotate. Although Munnich had then suffered a string of reverses, and was compelled to pull back, the balance in the conflict was in Laurasia's favor. Yet it was Chancellor Crownapoulos who now understood that the Laurasian Empire would enjoy even greater success against the Marasharites if one of their enemies, in the Amulak Spiral, could be convinced to align with the Laurasians, against them. Crownapoulos quickly identified this power as the Holy Austarlian Empire. As early as June 1736, Crownapoulos had, in a memorandum to the Imperial Ministry of Foreign Affairs, expressed his desire to "negotiate with the Austarlian Empire against the Marasharite fiends, and to offer them particular concessions in order to win their support." Laurasia and Austarlia had already cooperated in the Second Franconian War and in the War of the Dejanican Succession; they therefore had experience of military coordination. Furthermore, Holy Austarlian Emperor Char'vak V, who had experienced reverses in the Italianian Provinces, sought to enhance his own Empire's control over Hungary, Transylvania, and Croatia through making more acquisitions at Marasharite expense.
    • On November 4, 1736, Chancellor Crownapoulos sent a communique to his Austarlian counterpart, Prince Ferdinand of Auxburgh (who had become Chancellor of the Holy Austarlian Empire in March 1736), proposing for a conference to be convened in order to resolve upon "commons goals between our two governments." In this offer was implied a military alliance between the two Empires. Prince Ferdinand, who understood this well, responded to the offer positively; on November 19, 1736, Emperor Char'vak conferred his approval for the commencement of negotiations. Crownapoulos, who was working in conjunction, and with the approval of, Emperor Antigonus, now proceeded to preparations for the conference. He soon selected Bilirasi, once the home world of the Ecreutians, who had been such formidable enemies of the Stellar Kingdom of Laurasia in the fifth century AH. The conference itself, however, did not convene until January 2, 1737. Chancellor Crownapoulos himself served as the head of the Laurasian delegation; Procurator-General Audelius, Sir Thomasius Gagius, and Sir Willanius Pauletius served as his subordinates. The Holy Austarlian Empire was represented by the Austarlian Ambassador to the Court of Laurasia Prime, Prince Eric of Baden, Herr Freuder of Inner Austarlia, and Lord Daiesel Engislauft of Villach. Negotiations continued for more than two months, until a formal agreement was reached.
  • January 13-As mentioned above, the tensions associated with the Uprising of Grace continued to color matters within the Purse Region as 1737 began. Besides Askius, few of the leaders of the Uprising shared his enthusiasm. What they saw was that a new year had begun, and that nothing was being done to put into effect any of the promises which had been made by Norfolkius at Donacasteria. Crownapoulos, Cranmerius, and all the other officials of whom the rebels had complained all remained at their posts; the Imperial Laurasian Crown continued to conduct its appropriations of monastery properties and revenues; and the garrisons of such strongholds as Sapphire, Merandaz, Jenny, Chloe, Rainnan, and Chesham's Star were being strengthened. On January 5, 1737, Askius wrote to warn the Emperor that feelings were again running high, asking him to pardon "me in this my crude letter, and the plainness of the same, for I do utter my poor heart to Your Majesty to the intent Your Majesty may perceive the danger that may ensue; for on my faith, I do greatly fear the end to be only by battle." Yet in spite of Askius's efforts, rebellion again broke out against the Imperial Laurasian Government. Clackimaris now became the center of the new rebellion. Sir Franconius Bigodia (1707-37), who was one of the most prominent magnates on Clackimaris (owning more than 7,000 square miles of property estimated to be worth more than €30 billion dataries), was nevertheless angered by the Emperor's religious changes, and believed that the Almitian Church needed to adhere to its traditionalist beliefs and practices. Bigodia now, with the assistance of his chief steward Antiochus Hallamia, assembled his retainers and supplies in order to instigate a renewed rebellion. On January 15, 1737, he formally issued a manifesto of rebellion, declaring that the Emperor Antigonus's agents had continued to "stir up turmoil in this Empire, and to treat our Church and our society in a cruel manner." The garrison of Clackimaris, which had become more and more sympathetic to the aims of the Uprising of Grace, quickly defected to support Bigodia. During the following days, Bigodia managed to make some gains. Falloria Minor fell to his forces (January 16, 1737), and on January 19, Americana was stormed by rebel forces. Bigodia's subordinate, Sir Georgius Lumelius (1692-1737) then seized Augis II, Osama, and Augis IV (January 21-23, 1737). Yet by this point rebel momentum was already flagging. On January 25, 1737, Lumelius's attempts to storm Schahrmian Fortress on Sarai, one of the chief military fortifications in that system, were blunted. His assaults upon Guyah, Tyndaris, and Maroni also failed; on January 29, 1737, Lumelius was defeated by Commodore Sir Antipater Matius (1682-1763), in the Battle of Oxia Vixius.
  • February 10-February 1737 witnessed the culmination of the short-lived Bigodia Rebellion. On January 31, 1737, Aroest, which was one of the most unstable worlds in the Laurasia Prime Purse Region, erupted in revolt against the government garrison. The Governor of Aroest, Sir Leo Basilicus (1688-1737), was captured and executed in a gruesome fashion by the rioting citizens in Aroest's capital city, Gudall. Emperor Antigonus, angered by these events, issued a proclamation to his subjects from the Quencilvanian Palace, declaring that rebellion against "our lawful authority" was illegal and that all rebels would be punished swiftly. The Emperor now declared that it was beneath him to negotiate with rebels, although he "assured" Askius, in a communique to him on February 2, that he would remain immune from punishment, and that he would honor his earlier commitments. The Duke of Norfolkius was now ordered to show no mercy to the rebel forces. On February 5, 1737, he destroyed a rebel force in the Battle of Cumbria, repelling rebel offensives against Janesia, the Cron Drift, and Apathama Vixius. He then reconquered Falloria Minor (February 7, 1737), and on February 8, Augis II. Attempts by movements on Dearton's Gateway and Little Mexicana to rebel against those garrisons failed. Then on February 10, 1737, the Battle of Aeoleon resulted in a decisive victory for Norfolkius, whose units destroyed or captured more than a third of the rebel ships (nearly two hundred). Bigodia, whose momentum was collapsing, now sought a retreat back to Clackimaris. On February 17, 1737, however, Norfolkius lured him into a trap in the red-giant system of Mers Pollarium. The ensuing Battle of Mers Pollarium witnessed the comprehensive destruction of rebel forces; Bigodia himself was captured.
  • March 14-On March 14, 1737, after more than two months of negotiations, the Treaty of Bilirasi was signed by the delegations of the Laurasian and Holy Austarlian Empires. This treaty, which constituted the first direct military alliance, by the Laurasian Empire, with another power against the Marasharites, resulted in the formation of a formal diplomatic and military agreement between the two governments. Neither power pledged to make peace with the "Marasharite savages" without first consulting the other. The Imperial Laurasian Government, on its part, pledged to provide a corps of not more than 3.5 million troops of the Imperial Laurasian Army, and two fleets of the Imperial Laurasian Navy, to the assistance of the Holy Austarlian Empire in the Amulak Spiral. In return, Holy Austarlian Emperor Char'vak V promised to recognize all Laurasian territorial, diplomatic, and economic gains made in the Caladarian Galaxy and in the Galactic Void at the expense of the Marasharites and Haynsians (such as the Billian and Donnian Provinces, the Muggal Cluster, and the Northern Reaches). Furthermore, he secured a renewed Laurasian commitment to the Pragmatic Sanction, by which his daughter, Archduchess Mar'va Tarvania of Inner Austarlia, was to accede to the Austarlian throne in her own right, and Laurasian recognition to Austarlian rights over Serbia, Bosnia, Albania, Macedonica, and the Lower Danubian Principalities (all of which Char'vak hoped to gain by war with the Marasharites). Finally, the Holy Austarlian Empire agreed to establish a schedule of duty-free trade with its Laurasian counterpart for a period of five years (to end on March 14, 1742), and to provide for all transportation and maintenance expenses of Laurasian units operating in Austarlian territory. The Treaty of Bilirasi was ratified by the Emperor Antigonus on March 17, 1737, and by Char'vak V of Austarlia on March 26.
  • April 3-
    • Following the capture of Sir Franconius Bigodia at the Battle of Mers Pollarium, the momentum of his rebellion collapsed, as the strongholds seized by his forces fell back into the possession of the Imperial Laurasian Government, and as his lieutenants were in turn, captured by Norfolkius's subordinates. Osama was stormed by Norfolkius's forces (February 18, 1737), thereby inflicting a humiliating defeat upon the arms of Sir Lumelius. Norfolkius then cleared rebel units from the vicinity of Carseolina, Fulcania, and Soria. On February 25, 1737, Augis IV surrendered to Norfolkius without posing any substantial resistance. Norfolkius ordered for the imprisonment of more than ten thousand rebel personnel from the garrison of this star system, thereby demonstrating that neither he, nor his master, would brook any dissent against the Imperial Laurasian Government. Then, on March 5, 1737, Lumelius and Sir Thomasius Percius, younger brother of the Earl of Malaria Prime, assembled their forces at the Laurasian colony of Abay, located thirty light years to the northeast of Augis IV. Here, they intended to obstruct Norfolkius's advance, thereby giving advance warning to the rebel garrison of Falloria Minor, and securing escape routes around the outskirts of Clackimaris. This would also hamper Norfolkius's offensive moves towards Americana. Norfolkius, however, with the assistance of now Fleet Admiral Sir Demetrius Stanleis, had no trouble in overcoming this rebel challenge. The superior discipline and organization of his forces; his reliable intelligence sources; and his use of overwhelming weaponry and numbers, all proved key to the government victory.
    • The Battle of Abay lasted for two hours and ended with a crushing rout for rebel forces; more than one-third of the rebel personnel in the confrontation died. Percius did not make it far, and on March 14, 1737, he was intercepted and captured by a government expedition near Rebecca. On Norfolkius's orders, Percius was bound in chains and transported to the Cron Drift. Americana now became Norfolkius's next target; the ensuing Siege of Americana (March 18-27, 1737), taxed the resources of his offensive fleet, but the Duke ultimately prevailed. Falloria Minor itself now became a direct target. Lumelius now sought to reorganize and to strengthen the defenses of Falloria Minor. He issued numerous manifestos, attempting to rouse the population of the Empire to rebellion against the authorities. Minor outbreaks of dissent did occur on Nezbit, Blackria, Chancia, Martina Mccasia, and Mariana Prime, but these were quickly suppressed by the relevant garrisons in question. On April 1, 1737, Norfolkius, having destroyed the rebel fortifications on Lucille and repelled a final rebel assault against Scout and Sapphire, approached the outskirts of Falloria Minor. This contest was already decided in favor of the Imperial Laurasian Government; Lumelius found that his own troops would not resist. The Garrison Commander of Falloria Minor, Sir Tycho Paradias (1679-1748), secretly contacted Norfolkius and offered to surrender the garrison to him if he and his immediate subordinates were granted pardon. Norfolkius accepted this request, and during the late hours of that day, Paradias lowered the garrison's shields and formally surrendered to Norfolkius. Lumelius, powerless to stop this, now attempted to flee from the star system. On April 3, 1737, he was captured at Jenny by a squadron of Laurasian starfighters.
    • On April 6, 1737, Reagan, the last remaining stronghold in the Purse Region held by rebel units, succumbed; the Uprising of Grace had therefore been finally suppressed by the Laurasian Empire. Nearly seven million individuals had been killed in the fighting, while another ten million had been seriously wounded or had went missing. The Uprising itself had demonstrated traditionalist Laurasian attitudes about religious values and religious organization, as well as opposition to the centralizing policies of the Emperor Antigonus and his ministers.
  • April 12-
    • With the Uprising of Grace now formally suppressed, and with his authority over his subjects magnified to an even greater extent, Emperor Antigonus now decided that the time was ripe to remove the mask of conciliation. Sir Robertius Askius, who had for the past two months been residing quietly at his estates on Maragovope, five light-years north of Clackimaris, and had continued to denounce the new outbreaks of dissent, now became the Emperor's first target. On April 12, 1737, Askius was arrested by the Governor of Maragovope, Sir Trachailo Cadsares (1692-1778). He was, on the Emperor's orders, bound in chains and had an insulting placard placed around his neck, with the words "Here is a Traitor: a Fiend, a Heretic, and Infidel." Then on April 14, the Emperor ordered for the arrest and chaining of Sir Thomasius Darcius, 1st Baron Darcius of Darcius (1667-1737), and of Antiochus Husseria, 1st Baron Husseria of Seejay Prime (1666-1737). Both Darcius and Husseria had a long, and relatively distinguished, career within the Imperial Laurasian Government. Darcius, who had been born on June 7, 1667, at Stenbock in the Central Core, had graduated from the Imperial Military Academy of Christopher in 1692 and then enrolled in the Imperial Laurasian Army. He became renowned for his exploits during the Scottrian War of 1696-97 and the War of the Grand Coalition (1698-99), rising to become a knight of the body to Emperor Neuchrus (1697); Constable of the Cavern Fortresses of Iego (1698), and Deputy to the future Emperor Antigonus, then Warden of the Cron Drift (1699). From 1698 to 1715, he served as the Commanding Officer of the Berwackian Fortress on Cydamus, and in 1705, a term as Warden of the Hutsite Reaches. In 1709, he was raised to the nobility as 1st Baron Darcius, having by that time acceded to the rank of Major-General in the Imperial Laurasian Army.
    • He would eventually be promoted to Lieutenant-General (1722), and from 1713, served on the Imperial Privy Council. From 1711 to 1713, Darcius served on diplomatic missions to Spamalka and Portugallia; he again contributed his military services during the Second Laurasian-Marasharite War of the century (1723-24), and in 1726, was named a Governing Senator. By the early 1730s, however, Darcius had fallen out of favor with the Emperor, for he criticized his marital policies as regards to Katharina of Shenandoah, and also disagreed with the religious policies. In 1734-35, he had contact with factions opposed to Chancellor Crownapoulos, and in late 1736, even exchanged correspondence with Askius. All of this convinced Antigonus of Darcius's guilt. Husseria, on his part, (born on September 7, 1666 at Clackimaris), was also a veteran of the Scottrian War of 1696-97, being knighted at the termination of that conflict. He became a Yeoman Guard in 1703, Master of Blackythe Preserves on Paramine in 1705, and Comptroller of the Imperial Household in 1709. In 1713, he was raised to the peerage as 1st Baron Husseria, and was appointed Minister of Imperial Works and Holdings in 1717. In 1726, Husseria resigned from the Privy Council, but became a judge of the Imperial Court of Requests. He also served as chamberlain to Grand Princess Didymeia (1727-31) and to Empress Consort Anna Boleyenia (1733-34). Husseria's involvement in rebellion was not as complicit: there was no evidence that he had any contact with Askius or the other rebels. Yet he, like Darcius, disagreed with the Emperor's religious policies, and this spelled his doom.
  • April 19-
    • On April 19, 1737, Sir Robertius Askius, the Barsons Darcius and Husseria, and twenty other prominent rebel leaders were trundled, on the orders of the Emperor Antigonus, from the Cron Drift (to which they had been temporarily confined) to the Post Settlement of Hepudermia. Emperor Antigonus was determined that these "rebels" be displayed to public ignominy, and that they be exposed to the Empire's subjects for their "heinous, vile actions". Darcius, Husseria, and the others were forced to wear the same placard as had already been tied around Askius's neck. The procession, on the Emperor's orders, went through Jadia, the two Calaxies, the Marsian Asteroid Belt, the Approaches of Christiania, and the City of Christiania itself, before arriving at the Post Settlement of Hepudermia. Crowds of subjects jeered Askius and his associates, denouncing them as "consorts of the Lord Almitis". Following this humiliating spectacle, two months of extensive and exhaustive interrogation, by the Emperor's subordinates and agents, of these accused rebels ensued. Sir Thomasius Percius and Sir Demetrius Constablia (1702-37), another accused rebel, were also confined at the Post Settlement. Chancellor Crownapoulos and Procurator-General Audalius took the lead in interrogating these men. Darcius took advantage of these interrogation sessions to express his contempt and utter hatred for the Chancellor.
    • He told Crownapoulos: "You are the very original and chief causer of this rebellion and mischief; furthermore, you are the cause of apprehension to the noblemen of this Empire, contriving to bring us to our end and execute us." He then warned the Chancellor, in what turned out to be prophetic: "You must not count on His Majesty's favor for long, for others have enjoyed such favor, and have been brought to such a ruinous end, as you have now contrived to do to us. Even if you strike off every noble in this Empire, there shall still be that one who will strike off you." Husseria was not as defiant; indeed, he turned out to be a coward, and on May 2, 1737, signed a confessional statement of his participation in the rebellion. In this statement, he begged for the "mercy and graciousness of the Lord Almitis". Askius, on his part, tried to beg for mercy from the Emperor, making reminders of "His Grace's earlier promises." These pleas, however, were ignored by Antigonus.
  • May 4-On May 4, 1737, Ferdinand Kettler, the Duke of Northania and Semigallia, died at the Artus Court, one of the chief residences of the Dejanican Crown, in Danzig, within the confines of the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth proper. He was eighty-one years old at the time of his death and had ruled for seven years, since his accession to the throne in January 1730. Duke Kettler, as was mentioned above, died childless. This was in spite of the fact that on September 20, 1730, several months after his accession, the Duke had married Princess Johanna Magadalene of Saxe-Weissenfels (1708-60), the daughter of Johann Georg, Duke of Saxe-Weissenfels (r. 1697-1712). The Princess bore no love for her husband, and Ferdinand Kettler, seventy-five years old at the time of his marriage, proved to be impotent. The death of Duke Kettler, which had been anticipated by the Commonwealth's neighbors for some time, thereby brought an end to the Kettler Dynasty of Northania and Semigallia. The Kettlers had (with the sole exception of the reign of Duchess Anna), ruled over the Dejanican Duchy of Northania and Semigallia for one hundred and seventy-six years (since the secularization of the Livonian Brothers of the Sword in 1561 by former Grand Master Gotthard Kettler). Following the death of Duke Kettler, the Northanian Diet wasted no time in selecting his successor. On June 11, 1737, the Diet, in accordance with the Treaty of Riga and Lowenwolde's Treaty, elected the Northanian Prince Ernest Johnann von Bironia (1690-1772), as the new Duke of Northania and Semigallia. Bironia, who had been born at Kalcniems in Semigallia on November 23, 1690, had immigrated to the Laurasian Empire in 1714, visiting the Imperial Court on Laurasia Prime and in 1718, graduating from the University of Laurasia Prime with a BA in Business Administration. He had then become a boardmember of Christiania Drive Yards (1723), and in 1728, obtained his master's in Business Articulation, also from the University of Laurasia Prime. Bironia had therefore come to the attention of Emperor Antigonus, who by 1732 considered him a good candidate for the Dukedom of Northania. He had thus returned to the Duchy in 1734, and had, with the assistance of the Laurasian Ambassador Sir Andresyes Ladersia (1684-1769), built up a corp of followers among the Northanian Court. Bironia's election, backed thus by the Ambassador, and by Laurasian bribes to members of the Diet, therefore proceeded smoothly. Bironia was confirmed as the new Duke of Northania and Semigallia by the Dejanican Diet and King Vorrus II on June 29, 1737.
  • May 17-
    • On May 17, 1737, at the Judicial Chambers of the Senatorial Palace in Christiania, Sirs Robertius Askius, Franconius Bigodia, Thomasius Percius, and Demetrius Constablia were tried by the Special Court of the Laurasian Empire (convened on the orders of Emperor Antigonus), on charges of treason, heresy, conspiracy, and "dissent against the authority of His Imperial Majesty." Askius, who was the chief defendant, and like the others, permitted no defense counsel of his own, defended himself vigorously. Falling to his knees before the Court, Askius declared that he was determined to only preserve the morals and practices of his ancestors, that he spoke for the "loyal subjects" of the Empire, and that their grievances were aroused by the corruption, greed, and oppressiveness of officials (alluding to, but not directly referring to, Chancellor Crownapoulos and Chief Procurator Cranmerius). Askius said that he wished for the Court to see for reason, and for the Emperor to consider the pleas of his subjects in reversing his earlier religious measures. In this, Askius was backed by Bigodia and Constablia, both of whom claimed that they had revolted "only to open the eyes of His Majesty to the groans and suffering of his subjects." Procurator-General Audalius, who was presenting the case for the Imperial Laurasian Government, seized upon their statements as evidence that they were traitors. He declared that Askius and his followers deserved no mercy, and that the Emperor was justified in revoking his "promises" to the leaders of the Uprising of Grace. The verdict was not in doubt, and after only one hour of deliberations, the Court convicted Askius and the other defendants on all charges, and sentenced them to death. Askius was not permitted the right of petition for life to the Emperor, and was given as his execution sentence the full horrors of a traitor's death: beheading, drawing, quartering, and live incineration.
    • The same sentence was meted out to the other rebels. Emperor Antigonus signed their death warrants three hours after the conclusion of the trial. He ordered that Bigodia and Percius were to be executed on June 2 and Constablia on June 6, at the Fortress of Baureux. Askius, however, was now to be trundled throughout the Purse Region, displayed to the subjects of the Empire as a traitor, and taken to Clackimaris; there, his execution was to take place. Askius, who was now a condemned felon earmarked for death, was on May 19, 1737, transported from Laurasia Prime to begin his humiliating journey through the worlds of the Purse Region. During the course of the next month, he was trundled to nearly five hundred star systems, all while wearing the placard denouncing him as a traitor and heretic. Askius, besides wearing the placard, and besides being in chains, was made to bear a Cross, engraved with the sayings of the Anti-Almitis, and condemnations of followers of that Lord by the Supreme Prophet Paul of Almitis. Then, beginning on May 22, 1737, at Falloria Minor, Clackimaris, and other systems, executions of rebel personnel, followers, and soldiers, who had participated in the Uprising of Grace, began. They were condemned to death by the Duke of Norfolkius, who had been given, through the patent of April 15, 1737, the authority by Emperor Antigonus to sentence and punish all of those complicit in the rebellion. Over the course of the next four months, nearly two million rebels would be executed by imperial authorities, in two hundred different star systems, for their role in the Uprising of Grace.
  • May 27-While the Imperial Laurasian Government was engaged in its efforts to suppress the Uprising of Grace, another, more momentous event was taking place at the Imperial Laurasian Court. In March 1737, Empress Consort Theodora had discovered that she was pregnant. Emperor Antigonus was overjoyed when he was told of this, and embarked upon a short progress through Osama Vixius, Apathama Vixius, Augis II, Ralina Vixius, and Americana. It was not until May 5, 1737, however, before the Empress Consort's pregnancy was officially announced, with the Emperor himself conveying the news to the Privy Council. There was much rejoicing upon this. The councilors told His Majesty that they trusted "in Almitis" that the Empress would bear many fair children "to the consolation and comfort of the Emperor's Majesty, and of his whole realm." In a proclamation from the Imperial Court, the Emperor reminded his subjects of the failure of Katharina of Shenandoah and Anna Boleyenia to bear him a male heir, and that "both of those women were whores and sluts, defiling themselves with other male personages and violating the laws of the Lord Almitis." He expressed his wish that the child in Theodora's womb was a son, and commanded all of his subjects to pray for her a safe, and fruitful, delivery. On the Emperor's command, a Te Deum was sung at the Westphalian Cathedral, in order to offer up blessings from the Laurasian Imperial Court for the Empress Consort's pregnancy. The Emperor and Empress, Chief Procurator Cranmerius, Chancellor Crownapoulos, Procurator-General Audelius, and prominent members of the Imperial Court attended this ceremony. As the weeks progressed, the Emperor remained in a cheerful mood. During all of this time, prayers would be offered for the Empress's safe delivery. She now undertook no public engagements, and led a relatively quiet life, being attended by the imperial physicians, among the best in the Empire. On May 22, 1737, to please his wife, the Emperor had her brother Edwardis appointed to the Privy Council. He also made sure she lacked for nothing. She took a fondness for quails; from May 27, onwards, she was never at a loss for this.
  • June 4-
    • While the Uprising of Grace was reaching its culmination, and as the Laurasian and Holy Austarlian Empires conducted the negotiations for, and then signed, the Treaty of Bilirasi, the events in the Third Laurasian-Marasharite War proceeded apace. On January 17, 1737, Field-Marshal Munnich and Major-General Lacius held a strategic conference at Chardis, in order to make the plans for the Empire’s offensives, in that year, against the Marasharites. It was now agreed that Lacius would lead that year’s renewed assaults against the Haynsian Despotate, while Munnich would command the forces that would subjugate the remainder of the Billian and Donnian Provinces. As soon as this conference was completed, Lacius and Munnich engaged in vigorous preparations for this new series of offensives. In all of this, they had the approval of Emperor Antigonus, whose attention continued to be focused on suppressing the rebellion within the Purse Region. By March 1737, Lacius had assembled his military forces at all of the chief strongholds of the Northern Reaches, including Bucharina, Marson, Tessy, Kerch, Merevop, Bendery, Khotyn, Voronezh, Kuban, Thronton, Uma, Thurman, and Dunst.
    • Yet it was Field-Marshal Munnich who moved first. After repelling a series of desperate Marasharite assaults against Touforia, Kurdi, Tokyang, and Ra’dai (March 9-16, 1737), the Field-Marshal stormed the Billian colony of Beit Shalon (March 22, 1737), and proceeded to seize Carson, Trump, and Walker (March 28-April 4, 1737). On April 11, 1737, the Battle of Jindal ended in another victory for the Field-Marshal. Marasharite Pasha Gesherim Pasha, commander of the garrison of Billy, launched a series of raids against Sackrandis, Kilia, Braila, and Chappelear, attempting to harry the whole length of Laurasian strategic lines. These series of attacks, however, were finally terminated by Munnich in the Battle of Aurora (April 23-28, 1737). Then on May 1, 1737, Munnich approached the outskirts of Billy Major itself. By 1737, this world had a population of over nine billion. It was one of the chief Marasharite industrial strongholds in the Galactic Borderlands. Gesherim Pasha, who had a corps of Barbary and Haynsian troops and ships at his disposal, posed a considerable resistance to Munnich’s forces. On May 7, Marasharite corvettes inflicted serious losses upon Munnich’s naval squadrons; more than one-third of the sixty Laurasian destroyers deployed in the confrontation were destroyed.
    • Munnich, however, through his superior communication lines, and the relentless blockade which he imposed upon the star system, ultimately prevailed over the adversary. On May 16, 1737, Billy’s defenses were breached by Laurasian units; two days later, Gesherim Pasha was forced to surrender, along with the remnants of his military command. The Siege of Billy therefore ended in a decisive victory for the Laurasian Empire. Latrice proved to be no match for Laurasian forces, and it fell on May 24, 1737. By the end of June 1737, with the conquest of Fiorina, Donna Minor, and the Farther Illumian Reaches, all of the Billian, Donnian, and Latrician Districts were in the possession of Laurasian military forces.
    • Yet even before that, Munnich and his forces had proceeded to the siege and conquest of Imegina, the capital of the Marasharite Empire’s holdings in the Caladarian Galaxy. On May 28, 1737, after defeating a Marasharite patrol fleet in the Battle of Inchon, Munnich proceeded direct to the outskirts of the Imegina star system. He had under his command detachments from the 27th and 29th Imperial Fleets, as well as the 8th Imperial Army: all total, a force of nearly three hundred warships and over two million personnel. The Marasharite garrison of Imegina, commanded by Pasha Hureem-Bek, possessed just one hundred warships with a force of 1.5 million personnel. Field-Marshal Munnich, upon reaching Imegina, installed stockades and offensive minefields around the outskirts of the system; suppressed all supply lines to the Marasharite garrison; and placed his Starfighter squadrons at strategic points, blockading Marasharite patrol units and military stations. The Siege of Imegina, nevertheless, dragged on for more than a month. Finally, on July 22, 1737, Laurasian forces breached the world’s shield generators, and overran the planetary surface. Hulaugh City, the Palace of Gongmin, and the Gateways of King Ramjin were all secured by Munnich’s troops; Hureem-Bek refused to surrender, and led the final sally against Laurasian assaults on his position. It was not until July 26 before Imegina fell securely into the possession of the Laurasian Empire. The world was now occupied by the Laurasian Empire for the second time within the eighteenth century. Field-Marshal Munnich established his chief command headquarters on Imegina, but ordered for the planet’s inhabitants to be treated with commendable leniency.
  • July 4-
    • While Field-Marshal Munnich’s offensives against Imegina, Billy, and Latrice reached their culmination, the Holy Austarlian Emperor Char’vak V acted on his obligations towards the Laurasian Empire. On July 4, 1737, the Emperor formally announced the terms of the Treaty of Bilirasi and issued a declaration of war against the Marasharite Empire. The Holy Austarlian Emperor believed that Laurasian forces would continue to distract the Marasharites, and that Austarlia could therefore make gains at Marasharite expense. In this, Char’vak was to be proven mistaken. Over the course of the preceding decade, the Holy Austarlian Empire’s military forces had declined, in terms of quality, technological advancement, and military effectiveness, and were no longer as formidable as they had been at the beginning of the century. Austarlia’s military, in fact, was now smaller, in numerical terms, than those of Pruthia, Franconia, and Spamalka (whereas at the beginning of the century it had been larger than that of Pruthia and enjoyed parity with the Spamalkans and Franconians). Although not as overextended as those of the Marasharites, Char’vak’s forces in Transylvania, Dalmatia, Royal Hungary, Croatia, and Slovenia were nevertheless ill-prepared to repel any possible Marasharite counteroffensives. Furthermore, Emperor Char’vak himself, who was now fifty-two years old, had expended all of his diplomatic and financial resources in securing recognition of his Pragmatic Sanction from other inter-galactic powers. His treasury was now in a deficit to the tune of $1.1 quadmillion Austarlian guelders, and the Emperor found himself unable to pay all of the expenses of his personal guards and naval corps. All of these weaknesses revealed themselves very quickly.
    • Austarlian forces managed to make some minor gains against the Marasharites in Bukovina and Bosnia. On the day of the declaration of war, Tesjani was stormed by Austarlian forces under the command of Prince Joseth of Saxe-Hildenburgen, who had been named by the Emperor as supreme commander-in-chief of his military forces. Brcko and Velika Kadauska were stormed in succession by Austarlian forces (July 6-9, 1737), although on July 11, Prince Joseth’s assault upon Sanski Most was repelled by the Marasharite forces of Prince Driagoli of Wallachia. Boyany, Chervinisti, and Hrybova in Bukovina fell to Austarlian forces under Prince Eric of Wurttemberg (July 4-9, 1737), but on July 15, he was defeated in the Battle of Hordany, thereby preventing a move against Putyla and Sadhora. Then on July 21, 1737, Prince Joseth began his advance towards Banja Luka, one of the chief Marasharite strongholds in Bosnia. Joseth managed to capture Bihac (July 24, 1737), and to sack the defenses of Zenica and Tuzla (July 25-28, 1737). Marasharite General Hemulgoku Asri, however, had strengthened the defenses of Banja Luka, and had received reinforcements from Sarajevo, Albania, and Wallachia in order to bolster his own forces. Thus, on August 4, 1737, the Battle of Banja Luka occurred, as Prince Joseth tried to breach the defenses of that stronghold. General Hemulgoku, however, who enjoyed the support of the local planetary population, was able to establish a ring of minefields in the vicinity and to send his Starfighters, mobile corvettes, and Elite Guards to harry the Austarlian lines. By the end of the day, the Battle of Banja Luka had ended in victory for the Marasharite Empire. Joseth lost more than 120,000 military personnel and thirty of his seventy warships, either by destruction or capture by the enemy; General Hemulgoku lost only 25,000 personnel and six of his warships. Following the Battle of Banja Luka, Austarlian moves against Dobjoi, Travinik, and Cajan were repelled (August 6-17, 1737), and on August 18, Tuzla was recovered by General Hemulgoku. Bihac and Zenica followed, and by the middle of September 1737, Velika Kadauska was under siege by the Marasharites.
  • July 12-
    • In accordance with the Emperor's instructions, the executions of Constablia, Percius, and Bigodia proceeded apace. On June 2, 1737, Bigodia and Percius were both executed, through the full penalties of a traitor's death, at the Public Execution Grounds of the Fortress of Baureux. Their executions, which were staged simultaneously, were witnessed by a crowd of more than 175,000 persons, including many of the most prominent magnates of the Imperial Laurasian Court. In his last speech, to the audiences assembled to witness his death, Bigodia proclaimed that the Emperor Antigonus had been "influenced by the false designs of his advisers" and that he hoped that the Lord Almitis would eventually open his eyes. Percius, on his part, said nothing, enduring his death with brave silence. Constablia's, on June 6, was attended by a crowd of about 25,000 persons, for he had not played as prominent a role in the rebellion. Constablia, on his part, kissed the forehead of the chief executioner and told him that he was performing the "work of the Lord Almitis". Then on June 11, 1737, Barons Darcius and Husseria were tried by the Special Court at the Senatorial Palace. Darcius again repeated his dire prophecies about Chancellor Crownapoulos, and stated his belief that the Lord Almitis would deal all of those who mistreated him "in time". Husseria, on his part, again confessed to his crimes, weeping pitifully and begging for mercy. None was forthcoming, and within an hour, both men were convicted on all charges and sentenced to death; Emperor Antigonus ordered for their executions to also take place at the Fortress of Baureux, and for them to be executed on June 30.
    • He decided to spare them from the full penalties of a traitor's death; they were to be dispatched by firing squad. On June 30, 1737, Husseria and Darcius were both executed at the Fortress of Baureux, before a crowd of 270,000 persons. Although their executions were not as gory as those of Bigodia and Percius, they nevertheless attracted more attention because these men had, for four decades, been loyal servants and officials of the Empire. Their deaths were truly spectacular. Two days before the executions of the two Barons, Askius was finally conveyed to Clackimaris, after his "tour of a traitor", through the Laurasia Prime Purse Region. The Duke of Norfolkius, who had come to the star system in order to oversee the imprisonment and execution of those who had been involved in the Uprising of Grace, and who was supervising the re-imposition of the Empire's authority in the rebel star systems, commanded for Askius to be temporarily confined at the Leadah Tower in Agrimma, until the time of the execution itself. The execution of Robertius Askius finally took place on July 12, 1737. His execution, presided over by the Duke, was witnessed by more than 500,000 individuals outside of the Leadah Tower, and was, furthermore, broadcast across the Holonet. Askius, to the last, asserted his innocence and declared his willingness to die for the "true faith" of the Imperial Almitian Church. Emperor Antigonus, in his manifesto announcing Askius's execution, declared that "the rabid, rebellious dogs of this realm have been subdued and cast into the realm of the Anti-Almitis." Askius's body was, on the orders of the Emperor, incinerated in Clacki 1 (the star of the Clackimaris star system).
  • July 15-As regards to the Laurasian Empire’s advances against the Haynsian Despotate, General Lacius obtained a series of successes. On April 4, 1737, the General departed from the Northern Reaches with his military forces, once again proceeding up the Haynsian Slave Highway. Quinta-il-vily, Merevebey, and Quickbay were again stormed by Laurasian forces (April 9-22, 1737), and on April 26, 1737, General Lacius destroyed a military force dispatched by Haynsian Despot Ferrah II Karany in the Battle of Hereveby. During May 1737, Lacius secured the Haynsian outposts of the Lower Dial, liberating more than seven million captives and capturing more than two hundred Haynsian scoutship models. Then on June 1, 1737, the Battle of the Upper Dial was waged between Lacius and Haynsian Kalga-Admiral Oprah-Karany. This confrontation lasted for over twelve hours, but ultimately ended in a decisive victory for the Laurasian Empire. From thence, Lacius seized the Haynsian garrison of Eveporum (June 2-9, 1737), and then stormed Zaphorzhye (June 12, 1737). On June 16, 1737, the Perekop Ramparts, and the star system of Perekop itself, again came within range of the Laurasian military offensive. The ensuing Siege of Perekop witnessed much carnage and slaughter between the opposing military forces, as Lacius had to repel constant raids by Haynsian scoutships against his military forces. Ultimately, however, he prevailed, and on June 29, 1737, Perekop surrendered once again to the Laurasian Empire. From Perekop, Lacius secured Little Boravia (July 1, 1737). Theodoros, New Genoa, and Yevaporia were then seized, through the early weeks of July 1737. Then on July 15, 1737, Lacius obtained a crushing victory over Haynsian forces, under Kalga Bahavair-Nester, in the Battle of Palymer. As a result of this battle, the outposts of the Brigoff Stellar Nebula were exposed to the power of the Laurasian Empire’s military forces. Baina, Tivran, and Eudorpia were secured; then on July 29, 1737, Karasubusar surrendered to General Lacius. Greater Boravia followed (August 2-4, 1737), and by August 8, Lacius was approaching the outskirts of Isis. On August 11, 1737, Field-Marshal Munnich destroyed the last Marasharite force in the Muggal Cluster, in the decisive Battle of Stary; Marasharite Admiral Hadlik-Bey was captured and made a prisoner of war, along with 350,000 of his troops.
  • September 4-
    • As mentioned above, the Laurasian Empire's military forces in the Angelina Spiral, under the command of General Sir Petevius Lacius, had made, and continued to make, decisive gains against those of the Haynsian Despotate. On August 17, 1737, Isis was once again placed under siege by the forces of the Laurasian Empire; the Siege of Isis lasted for ten days, as Haynsian Despot Ferrah II Karany tried and failed to launch a series of assaults upon the strategic lines of the Imperial Laurasian Navy. The Haynsian Kalga of Isis, Serah-Shannai, launched a series of strikes with his mobile couriers and scoutships upon the formations of the 37th Imperial Laurasian Fleet; Lacius, however, employed his destroyers and corvettes, and the expertise of his chief naval subordinate, Rear-Admiral Sir Seleucus Martina, in order to bring an end to these Haynsian moves. Finally, on August 27, 1737, the defenses of Isis were breached by Lacius's units; within hours, the planetary surface had been overrun, and the world was once again in Laurasian possession. From Isis and Greater Boravia, Lacius moved against Semrnapoval; that world fell on September 2, 1737. Then on September 4, 1737, the Battle of Chalaa was then waged between Lacius and Kalga Serah-Shannai, who had managed to escape from Isis before the star system fell into Laurasian hands. After six hours, Lacius obtained a decisive victory; Serah-Shannai was himself killed in battle.
    • The Haynsian colonies of Merenebey and Hatustu were then seized (September 7-19, 1737). On September 22, 1737, Lacius and Admiral Martina stormed Semafpol and Infirmapol; his forces inflicted severe damage upon both of these strongholds, capturing more than 300,000 Haynsian Martial Troopers; liberating more than seven million slaves, most of whom were from the Galactic Borderlands; and dismantling the military fortifications in those star systems. Lacius, however, found that his efforts to move against Balaclava, Haynes, and Bahkchisiray were hampered by the resistance of the Haynsian forces at Doros, Badjbay, and in the Warrior Fastnesses; by the overextension of Laurasian supply and communication lines; and by the constant harrying of Marasharite expeditions from the Galactic Void. October 1737, therefore, witnessed a series of Laurasian expeditions against the Ochanian Provinces. Ochania, Focasani, Fidonsi, Kuchuk Kaynarca, Kolzuduzha, and the Caucasian Colonies were among the Marasharite strongholds which were visited by harrying parties of the Imperial Laurasian Navy during that time.
  • October 12-
    • As mentioned above, the Emperor Antigonus had, in May 1737, announced the pregnancy of his wife, Empress-Consort Theodora Seymouris. Into the summer solstice of 1737, the Emperor had continued to express his fervent hope that the Empress Consort would give birth to his long-desired son and heir, and that the Lord Almitis would bless him with many more children by her. In July and August 1737, the imperial couple embarked upon a progress through the Solidaritan Provinces, as the Emperor sought to display his wife to his subjects in those regions, and to emphasize that their marriage was one "ordained by Almitis". Then on September 9, 1737, the Imperial Court had moved to the Palace of Placenta on Darcia; Empress Consort Theodora formally entered confinement at that time. On September 22, Emperor Antigonus made his retreat to Laurasia Prime, due to his, and Chancellor Crownapoulos's continuing policies of monastic secularization and reduction. Thus it was that during the late hours of October 9, 1737, that the Empress Consort's water broke, and she entered the stage of labor. As soon as her labor began, the Emperor sent out word from the Quencilvanian Palace. In Christiania, and elsewhere on Laurasia Prime, as well as throughout the Empire, bells were rung, masses sung in every Almitian religious edifice. On October 11, a solemn procession walked from the Westphalian Cathedral to St. Anastasius's Abbey, headed by the Mayor of Christiania and the Christiania City Council, and including representatives of the guilds and assemblies in Christiania. All offered prayers for the Empress's safe delivery. For the next three nights, Theodora was in the depths of pain. Yet finally, at 2:00 A.M. Galactic Standard Time, the morning of October 12, 1737, Empress Theodora gave birth to a healthy son. News of her son's birth spread quickly; Emperor Antigonus, who had at the Quencilvanian Palace been anxiously awaiting the news about his wife's childbirth, found himself overjoyed and exhilarated when he learned that the Empress Consort had given birth to his son.
    • The Emperor expressed his utmost thanks to the Lord Almitis and commanded for all of his household servants to join him in celebrating his son's birth. He also made a swift departure from Laurasia Prime to Darcia, arriving there during the afternoon hours of that very same day. Antigonus then rushed into his wife's maternity quarters, and wept with joy when presented with his son. At forty-six years old, the Emperor had his heir. Soon after his arrival, the official proclamation of the birth of the Emperor's son was issued over the Holonet. A Te Deum was sung in all of the major religious edifices, and the City of Christiania became scene to much celebration. Bonfires, fireworks displays, starship processions; from Laurasia Prime to Shenandoah to Kimania, the celebrations continued. The heralds who delivered the communiques were rewarded; merchants, businessmen, and nobles alike expended lavishly on the public festivities. The Empress, on her part, dictated a communique to the Chancellor, informing him that she had "brought forth a prince conceived in most lawful matrimony between my lord the Emperor's majesty and us." Her triumph was now complete. Messages of congratulation arrived daily, and the imperial secretaries were kept busy announcing the imperial birth to foreign princes, ambassadors, and other dignitaries.
    • On October 15, 1737, the baptism of the new child was held. More than 2,000 persons were present at the ceremony, conducted in the Chapel Imperial of the Palace of Placenta. The guests present had all gathered beforehand in the Empress's apartments, where Theodora received them lying on her bed. She wore a crimson mantle edged with ermine around her shoulders, around which flowed her loose blond hair. The Emperor sat besides her, in a richly upholstered chair. Her son was then carried in procession through the corridors just before midnight by Lady Exerania, with Norfolkius and Sufforia supporting him. He was christened Demetrius, and was formally proclaimed Grand Prince of the Laurasian Empire, Duke of Laurasia Prime and Colombia, and Warden of the Hutsite Reaches. His godparents were Chief Procurator of the Holy Synod Thomasius Cranmerius, the Dukes of Norfolkius and Sufforia, and his half-sister, the Lady Didymeia. The Lady Aurelia, who had just turned four, carried the chrism at his service. Once the service had ended, the Grand Prince was conveyed back to the Empress's apartments with great pomp; his half-sisters walked behind him. The Empress took her son and gave him her blessing, then the Emperor gathered him into his arms, and with tears of joy streaming down his face, blessed his son in the name of Almitis and the saints. The Grand Prince was then carried off by the Duchess of Sufforia to his own apartments, followed by his household. Refreshments were then served, and once everyone present had kissed the hands of the imperial couple, the company dispersed. Theodora had played her part to perfection; no one had noticed anything wrong with her.
  • October 24-
    • Yet, underlying all of this celebration, was the rapidly declining health of the Empress Consort Theodora. The day after the christening, Theodora suffered a attack of diarrhea. By the following morning (October 17), her condition was giving cause for concern. The Empress rapidly became so ill that it was feared she would die. Her confessor, the Bishop of Yularen, was soon sent for, and he administered the last rites before issuing a bulletin about the Empress's illness. Just as the Bishop was about to issue extreme unction, Theodora rallied, and on October 18, she was so restored that the Emperor, who had been very anxious about her, sought to continue with the celebrations in honor of the Grand Prince's birth. It was on that day that Edwardis Seymouris became Earl of Heuthros. The following day (October 19), there was still celebration ongoing; yet that afternoon, the Empress grew feverish again, and the Emperor ordered a solemn intercession of the clergy. This took place at the Palace Chapel, with the Archbishop of Darcia presiding. During the course of the next three days, she lay in delirium. The night of October 22, the Empress's condition worsened, and the Archbishop sent a communique to the Chancellor, informing him that Theodora was dying. The Emperor had intended to return back to Laurasia Prime, but could not leave Theodora at this stage. She experienced another improvement, and the Emperor was told by the physicians that she might soon recover. But during the early hours of October 24, her condition entered a irreversible decline. The Emperor soon came to her bedside, and remained at it throughout much of the day. Finally, towards midnight on October 24, 1737, the Bishop of Yularen was summoned to administer the last rites. Shortly after his arrival, Empress Consort Theodora Seymouris died in the Maternity Quarters of the Palace of Placenta on Darcia. As soon as she had died, her physicians discovered that she had contracted Marsian fever, as a result of an infected placenta during the childbirth. The Empress Consort's immune system had been ravaged throughout the course of her illness, which had thereby obscured her condition. Emperor Antigonus was devastated when he learned of his wife's death. He now ordered the Court into a period of mourning, but early on October 25, the Emperor fled to Constantine I, not bearing to see any sights of death. Upon arriving at the Winsdarian Palace, he went into seclusion for a time. Already, his ministers were beginning to debate as to whether or not he should marry again for the sake of his realms. A few days later, to their great surprise, the Emperor would actually agree to this proposal.
    • Though the Emperor was already considering other brides, he continued to express his regrets over his now deceased wife. Theodora, was, perhaps, the only one of the Emperor's wives whom he truly loved (because she had given birth to his son and heir apparent), and he would hold fond memories of her throughout the remaining decade of his reign. On October 26, the Empress's body was embalmed. The corpse was then dressed in a robe of gold tissue with a crown on its head, and some of her jewels. It then lay in state in the personal chambers for a week from October 26, surrounded by tapers and with an altar beside it. Masses were sung on a routine basis. The body was then moved to the Chapel Imperial, where it was kept for another week. Lady Didymeia acted as chief mourner; she and the other ladies wore mourning habits of black with white head-dresses, signifying that the Empress had died in childbed. Thirteen masses were said for Theodora's soul.
    • At the same time, the Mayor of Christiania ordered for masses to be sung in the Imperial City; a solemn service was conducted at St. Colombia's Cathedral; and alms were given in the Empress's honor. On November 8, the Empress's body, encased in a coffin, was taken from Darcia to Laurasia Prime. It went in a procession of twenty-nine warships, one for each year of the late Empress's life, with Lady Didymeia on the IMS Xalaria, which bore her body. Upon arriving on Laurasia Prime, it was taken to the Diplomatic Palace, where it lay in state. Finally, on November 12, 1737, the Empress Consort's funeral was conducted at the Westphalian Cathedral in Christiania, Laurasia Prime. Chief Procurator Cranmerius presided over the service, while the Lady Didymeia once again acted as the chief mourner for the noblewomen and ladies of the Imperial Court. Theodora was buried in the Neuchrus I Vault of the Imperial Mausoleum, next to the bodies of the Emperor's parents and grandmother. Two days following the funeral, a requiem mass was sung, thus bringing an end to the ceremonies. The Emperor on his part, was now back at the Quencilvanian Palace, and threw himself back into the business of government. The Archbishop of Menedelevium tried to alleviate the Emperor's sufferings by reminding him that although Almitis had taken from him "that most blessed and virtuous lady", he had given him "our most noble Grand Prince, to whom Almitis hath ordained your Majesty to be parent to him." The Emperor gradually came together, and moved ahead. He would wear full mourning for three months; court mourning would last until April 1738.
  • November 14-On November 14, 1737, Marasharite Emperor Sassas III, blaming Ferrah II Karany for the failure of the Haynsian military forces in the face of the renewed military offensives of the Laurasian Empire across the Upper Dial, formally deposed him from the Haynsian throne. Ferrah was now succeeded as Despot by his relative, the Admiral-Commander of Theodoros Jay, who assumed the Haynsian throne as Jay X Karany. The course of the following two years would see the tide begin to shift more in favor of the Haynsian Despotate, as Jay proved himself to be a more effective and competent military commander than his immediate predecessors.
  • December 4-
    • November and December 1737 witnessed a relative stalemate between the forces of the Laurasian Empire and Haynsian Despotate. On November 9, 1737, Emperor Antigonus, who was pleased about the victories which had been obtained, formally elevated Lacius to the rank of Lieutenant-General and conferred upon him the Order of St. Seleucus the Victor. Lacius, who was now one of the Empire's most respected military commanders, proved to be adept in maintaining discipline among his military forces. He also repelled several successive Haynsian assaults against his forward positions, and undertook to strengthen Laurasian supply lines along the Haynsian Slave Highway. On November 6, 1737, the Battle of Tinedrania ended in a decisive victory for Lacius, who thereby prevented Haynsian raiding expeditions from penetrating the Perekop Reaches. Lacius's units then secured the Haynsian command outposts of Piray, Idiray, and Voronchay (November 7-19, 1737), and on November 21, Lacius finally secured Badjay, thereby preventing the Haynsians from utilizing this stronghold in the future. He then proceeded to strengthen the defenses of Merevebey and Quickbay, and on December 1, 1737, he sacked the Haynsian operational garrison of Ichivay. Then, on December 4, 1737, the Battle of Cappa ended in another victory for the Laurasian Empire. By December 17, Lacius had secured the Haynsian garrisons of Tierney and Mereney, thereby consolidating the Laurasian hold over the upper Haynsian Slave Highway; Field-Marshal Munnich, throughout all of this time, maintained the Laurasian hold over the Northern Galactic Borderlands. Yet in the Amulak Spiral, the Holy Austarlian Empire's military forces continued to face reverses.
    • Velika Kadauska was recovered by the Marasharites on September 24, 1737; Brcko and Tesjani were both back in Marasharite hands by October 8; and on October 15, 1737, the Battle of Hordany ended in a decisive victory for Marasharite Pasha-General Hemelgoku. Prince Joseth now attempted to launch a series of offensives against Marasharite Ragusa, Tirana, and Durres. While Ragusa briefly fell into Austarlian hands (October 19-24, 1737), the offensives against Tirana and Durres proved to be complete failures. On November 6, 1737, Prince Joseth suffered a decisive defeat in the Battle of Tirana; more than 150,000 troops of the Holy Austarlian Army died in that confrontation. On November 9, Joseth suffered another reverse at Vlore, being forced to sacrifice more than a third of his shield-generators. By November 14, Austarlian forces had withdrawn from Ragusa and Albania; General Hemulgoku now pushed the offensive forth into Austarlian Croatia and Dalmatia. Solin, Rijela, and Pozega, all of whom were major Austarlian strongholds in Dalmatia, were stormed (November 18-22, 1737), and on December 5, General Hemulgoku destroyed the forces of Prince Rudolph of Slavonia in the Battle of Sibenk. Osplejk then fell (December 8-14, 1737), and on December 21, Hemulgoku laid Pula under siege. The Siege of Pula lasted for ten days; finally (December 31, 1737), the stronghold fell to the Marasharites. Thus, as the year 1737 ended, the Marasharites had gained the advantage against their Austarlian adversaries.

1738Edit

  • January 9-
    • 1738, the 38th year of the eighteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire continuing to undergo a series of religious reforms, while still engaged in the Third Laurasian-Marasharite War. As explained above, Emperor Antigonus had seen triumph in the birth of his son and heir, Grand Prince Demetrius, but at the same time, had to contend with the tragedy of the death of his wife, Empress Consort Theodora Seymouris. Nevertheless, the Emperor was hopeful that his military forces, under the command of Lieutenant-General Lacius and Field-Marshal Munnich, would continue to gain victory over his Empire's Marasharite adversaries. And indeed, the Imperial Laurasian Military did enjoy success against the Marasharites. On January 4, 1738, Field-Marshal Munnich repelled Marasharite forces, launched from the Ochanian Provinces, in the Battle of Lavtria. Lavtria was a important agricultural colony located on the northern outskirts of the Galactic Borderlands; this star system would have allowed for the Marasharites to reclaim their position in that region. Munnich's success here thereby prevented the Marasharites from taking that advantage.
    • Marasharite assaults against Thronton, Uma, Dunst, Merevop, Thurman, and Bendery were repelled by Munnich (January 11-22, 1738), and on January 26, 1738, the Archleutan Field-Marshal obtained another decisive victory in the Battle of the Upper Semparilla. At the same time, Lieutenant-General Lacius defeated Haynsian Kalga Heranny-Nester in the Battle of Beaudin (January 16-19, 1738), and stormed the Haynsian outposts of Burgay and Budoros (February 1738), thereby preventing Haynsian moves into the Brigoff Stellar Nebula. On February 18, 1738, Munnich, through a series of communications with Lacius, ordered the Lieutenant-General to launch a series of offensives against Balaclava, Haynes, and Bahkchisiray; he was confident that a final push against the Haynsians would break all final resistance. Yet as to be explained below, this would turn out not to be the case.
  • February 9-Emperor Antigonus, under the influence of Chancellor Crownapoulos and Chief Procurator Cranmerius, authorized the official publication of the Revised Edition of the Almitian Scriptures, which had been originally published by Willanius Tyndalis a decade earlier (February 9, 1738). Tyndalis himself had died at Denver on October 19, 1736, and his protege, Miletus Covetaldia, took charge of the movement pushing for a revision of the Almitian Bible. Covetdalia had been appointed to a review commission by the Holy Synod in March, 1737, and had since then worked with the Commission and the Synod to produce a new and revised edition of the official church liturgy. The New Almitian Scriptures, as they will become known, would have much influence upon further reformist movements and will provide the Almitian Church with an updated curriculum for study, reflection, and meditation.
  • February 12-As alluded to above, the Holy Austarlian Empire's military forces in the Great Amulak Spiral were experiencing, and in the new year continued to experience, reverses against their Marasharite adversaries. Following the conquest of Pula, Marasharite Pasha-General Hemulgoku, with the assistance of Subordinate Pasha Malal-bek (assigned to his command on January 2, 1738), made further advances in Croatia, Dalmatia, and the Pazak Cluster against overstretched Austarlian forces. On January 7, 1738, the Battle of the Iswill, fought eight hundred light years north of Tirana, resulted in a decisive victory for the Marasharites. Following this confrontation, Marasharite units stormed the Croatian systems of Karlovac, Krapina, and Gospnic (January 8-17, 1738), and on January 25, Malal-bek obtained another victory in the Battle of Riprinic. By the end of January 1738, Marasharite forces were approaching the outskirts of Cakovec and Sisak. The Siege of Cakovec (February 2-9, 1738), ultimately ended in victory for Pasha Hemulgoku; Sisak followed on February 12. Then on February 17, 1738, the Battle of the Lower Pazak, waged between Prince Joseth of Saxe-Hildenburgen and Marasharite General Malal-bek, ended in a decisive victory for the Marasharite Empire; more than half of the opposing Austarlian military forces were wiped out. Pest fell into Marasharite hands (February 24, 1738), followed in quick succession by the Slavonian bases of Velejnie, Maribor, and Novo Mesto (February 25-March 4, 1738). By the middle of March 1738, the Lower Pazak strongholds of Charlist, Impersaist, and Siljhava had also fallen into Marasharite hands.
  • March 13-Following weeks of further preparations, Lieutenant-General Sir Petevius Lacius began his advance, from Semafpol and Semnrapoval, in the heartland territories of the Haynsian Despotate. At first, it seemed as if the Laurasians had the definite advantage. Repelling Haynsian counteroffensives against Chalaa, Larger Boravia, and Isis (March 13-19, 1738), Lacius besieged and captured the Haynsian outpost of Sarych (March 24, 1738), and then stormed Haynsian command positions at Cape Kapnap (March 29-April 4, 1738), one of the Despotate's chief military repositories. Lacius's successive assaults upon the Haynsian colonies of Hercales and Tarkhanut (April 5-11, 1738), resulted in the seizure of more than €5 trillion dataries worth of agricultural goods, industrial equipment, and mining tools. Furthermore, Lacius's troops liberated more than 500,000 Haynsian captives, as a result of this offensive. Yet by that point, the Laurasian successes were already beginning to come to an end. The Battle of Skadowsk (April 14, 1738), ended in a victory for the Haynsian Despot Jay X Karany. The Despot revealed himself to be a cautious, patient, but wise military commander and strategist, who was determined to take advantage of the over-extensions in Laurasian supply lines in order to strike decisively against his enemies. This ability was again revealed on April 22, 1738; Lacius had dispatched a force under the command of Admiral Martina, in an effort to storm the Comets of Lasar. The Comets of Lasar, which had been cataloged as early as the ninth century BH, and had been colonized by the Haynsian Despotate in 1595, was by 1738 one of the Despotate's chief military intelligence outposts. From the Comets, Haynsian reconnaissance expeditions had conducted their operations in the Galactic Void and in the Caladarian Galaxy. Lacius hoped to now drive the Haynsians from the Comets, and to secure them for the Empire. Yet the Despot would not allow for this to happen. The Battle of the Comets of Lasar, waged on that day, saw the Despot's forces repelling Admiral Martina's assaults and maintaining the Haynsian hold of the Comets. Lacius was humiliated by the setback, in which he lost more than 55,000 soldiers and ten of his armored transports; furthermore, the Haynsians seized more than 70,000 officers and personnel of the Imperial Laurasian Navy as prisoners. May 1738 witnessed Haynsian forces recovering Sarych, Cape Kapnap, and Tarkhanut, inflicting a series of humiliating losses upon Laurasian units.
  • March 17-Death at Talinin (March 17, 1738), in the Dejanican Duchy of Northania, of the former Haynsian Despot Qaplan-Empi I Karany.
  • April 3-On April 3, 1738, Lady Aurelia Boleyenia, formerly Countess of Redia and the mother of the Empress Consort Anna Boleyenia, Viscount Georgius Boleyenia of Ralanchaford, and the Lady Antonia Boleyenia, died. Following the execution of her two younger children, the former Countess had retreated with her husband to the Boleyenia Family Estate on Fulcania. Lady Aurelia's death received little notice at the Imperial Court.
  • April 14-With the strongholds of the Lower Pazak, Croatia, and Slavonia falling into the hands of the Marasharite Empire, Laurasian Emperor Antigonus realized that he needed to extend more effective, and more substantial, military aid to his erstwhile Austarlian allies in the Great Amulak Spiral. It was on March 27, 1738, that the Emperor ordered Major-General Sir Mithridates Berevia (1676-1744), who had been stationed at the Laurasian consulate on Budapest, to attach his auxiliary corps, and reinforcements from the Empire, to those of Prince Joseth and to assist the Austarlians in their military campaigns against the Marasharites. General Berevia did as ordered, and on April 1, 1738, he arrived at Varaždin in Austarlian Croatia. By that point, he had a force of nearly 2.2 million troops, of the 46th and 49th Imperial Armies, and the 11th Imperial Fleet, with the 1st Imperial Marines Expeditionary Corps. Berevia managed to obtain some victories over the Marasharites. He defeated Malal-bek in the Battle of Utterdin (April 4-9, 1738), and on April 12, stormed the Marasharite operational outpost of Mayradin. He then repelled Marasharite offensives against Dubrovinik and Split (April 16-22, 1738), thereby maintaining those chief star systems of Croatia in Austarlian hands, at least for that time. On May 4, 1738, the Battle of Guinan was waged, in the outskirts of the Amulak Spiral; Prince Joseth managed to defeat his Marasharite adversaries in this confrontation, with the assistance of his Laurasian allies. Two days later, Sibenik fell back into Austarlian hands. But by May 9, General Hemulgoku was already preparing his counter-response. Austarlian units had, during the course of March and April 1738, been finally expelled from Boyany, Chervinisti, and Hrybova, thereby leaving Bukovina firmly in Marasharite hands once again. Prince Driagoli of Wallachia therefore joined General Hemulgoku on May 8, 1738; on May 17, 1738, the Battle of Conkura was waged between the Marasharite and Holy Austarlian Empires, with the Laurasian Empire as an auxiliary combatant. The result was inconclusive; although the Marasharites suffered greater casualties than their Laurasian-Austarlian foes, the Laurasians and Austarlians failed to dislodge them from Conkura. Nevertheless, by the end of May 1738, the Upper Pazak Cluster, including Zagreb, Gilna, and Petinja, had all fallen into Marasharite hands.
  • June 12-By May 1738, Field-Marshal Munnich had finalized his plans for the Empire's offensives into the Great Tesmanian Cloud. The Field-Marshal was convinced that he would be able to break the Marasharite position in the Ochanian Provinces, and to compel them into seeking peace with the Laurasian Empire. Munnich had, over the course of the preceding months, assembled Laurasian military forces at the strongholds of the Northern Reaches, determined to pursue this offensive with the greatest vigor. Finally, on May 19, 1738, Emperor Antigonus and the Imperial Privy Council, principally on the initiative of Chancellor Crownapoulos, approved the Field Marshal's strategic plans; Munnich, who had already stationed himself at Merevop, proceeded quickly. It was thus, on June 12, 1738, that Munnich launched a series of offensives across the Galactic Void into the Ochanian Provinces. Munnich had assembled a force of more than 1,200 warships; 5,000 smaller vessels; and the 30th, 31st, and 32nd Imperial Armies, with nearly two million troops of the Imperial Laurasian Army. And from the first, the Field-Marshal managed to obtain a series of victories. Liman, Desna, and Mardot were stormed by Laurasian forces (June 13-17, 1738), and on June 22, 1738, Munnich won the Battle of Wallachia, capturing more than 55,000 Marasharite troops and storming the military outposts of that star system. This confrontation permitted for Munnich to seize Fidonsi (June 29-July 7, 1738), and to threaten the supply lines of Ochania, Jassy, and Izmail.
  • June 19-By the beginning of June 1738, the Marasharite Empire's military forces had obtained the definite advantage in the Great Amulak Spiral. On June 2, 1738, the Battle of Virovitica resulted in a decisive victory for Marasharite-General Malal-bek. Malal-bek compounded this with a further victory in the Battle of Rachaniojik (June 4-5, 1738), in which he captured more than 25,000 troops of the Holy Austarlian Army. Following this confrontation, Marasharite attention turned to subduing Dubrovinik and Split; control of these strongholds would consolidate the Marasharite position in Croatia. On June 8, 1738, Pasha Hemulgoku seized Lopica and Komolac, thereby moving dangerously close to the outskirts of Dubrovinik. Four days later, General Berevia and Prince Joseth hastened south, attempting to maintain Dubrovinik's defenses. The Siege of Dubrovinik began on June 16, 1738, and continued for three days. In spite of all of the efforts of Prince Joseth and General Berevia, Dubrovinik fell into the hands of the Marasharites during the late hours of June 19; nearly 300,000 Austarlian and Laurasian troops died, compared to just 75,000 Marasharites. Following the conquest of Dubrovinik, Split fell quickly into Marasharite hands (June 24, 1738), inflicting yet another humiliation upon the Austarlians. Bresecine, Dubravica, and Nova Mokosica fell into Marasharite hands by the beginning of July 1738; on July 4, 1738, the Battle of Kotor ended in another decisive victory for Hemulgoku and Malal-bek.
  • August 6-By August 1738, the situation in the Third Laurasian-Marasharite War had evolved to a new, and interesting paradox. July 1738 witnessed a series of reverses for Field-Marshal Munnich's forces in the Ochanian Provinces. The Battle of Ochio-Rios (July 17-22, 1738), had witnessed a humiliating defeat for Munnich; the Marasharite forces of General Talman Malik managed to blunt Munnich's plans, destroying nearly a third of his battleships and capturing a number of Laurasian ion cannons, turbocannons, and transports. Laurasian offensives against Hadjibey, Stavauchany, and Focasani failed in succession, and by the beginning of the following month, it seemed that Munnich would soon be compelled to retreat from the Great Tesmanian Cloud. Yet at this point, Marasharite Emperor Sassas III, who sought to turn his attention to the worsening relations with the Haxonian Confederacy, and the tensions associated with those relations in the Grecian Provinces, now began to look at a means of concluding peace with the Empire's enemies. Furthermore, he believed that the victories of his military commanders against the Austarlians would counterbalance the losses in the Angelina Spiral, Galactic Void, and Galactic Borderlands. Thus, it was on August 9, 1738, that he sent a request for peace negotiations to the Imperial Laurasian and Holy Austarlian Governments. Holy Austarlian Emperor Char'vak V, who sought to extract himself from this war which had resulted in humiliating losses for his government and the drain of his finances, accepted the Marasharite offer almost immediately. Emperor Antigonus, however, weighing the possibility of further campaigns in the Angelina Spiral and Great Tesmanian Cloud, proved to be more reluctant. During the course of the next three days, he consulted extensively with Chancellor Crownapoulos and the Imperial Privy Council about the course of action he should take. Finally, on August 12, 1738, the Emperor decided to accept the Marasharite offer for peace negotiations. Therefore, he commanded Field-Marshal Munnich to halt all further military operations. On August 19, 1738, Munnich agreed to the Ceasefire of Anapa with the Marasharites; military hostilities were therefore suspended.
  • October 19-On August 31, 1738, the diplomatic delegations of the Laurasian, Holy Austarlian, and Marasharite Empires convened at Nemirov, which was located in the outskirts of the Ochanian Provinces. Nemirov was a pleasant resort colony; it was first settled by the Republic of Genoa in 1506, before falling into Marasharite hands in 1575. By the middle of the eighteenth century, it had a population of over seventy million. This, as well as its relative ease of access to the Laurasians, was the reason why it was chosen as the conference site. The Austarlians were represented by Prince Adolph of Salzburg; Knight Kranz von Herming of Carnithia; and Austarlian General Count Frederich von Vordstrom. The Laurasian Empire was represented by Field-Marshal Munnich, Sir Willanius Pauletius, Sir Antigonus Gagius, and Sir Laconius Varae, 3rd Baron Merldson (1692-1774), who was the Laurasian Ambassador to the Court of Vienna (1737-41). Marasharite interests were represented by General Malal-bek, Haynsian Kalga Serim-Karany, and by Subordinate Pasha Gezu-Hirit. The conference lasted for nearly a month and a half, and from the first, was marked by vigorous disputes among the respective delegations. Ambassador Merldson, who sought to gain the advantage for Laurasia, to the best of his ability, demanded that the Marasharites concede their territories in the Galactic Borderlands (that is, the Muggal Cluster, Tof Borderlands, and Northern Reaches); that they acknowledge the independence and neutrality of the Haynsian Despotate; and that they recognize Laurasian rights of free transit in the Galactic Void and Great Tesmanian Cloud. Furthermore, the Laurasian Ambassador demanded that the Marasharites terminate hostilities with their Austarlian adversaries on the basis of the status quo ante bellum. This all proved unacceptable to the Marasharite delegation, who rejected every one of the Laurasian demands. Finally, on October 19, 1738, the Nemirov Conference collapsed in the midst of these continuing disagreements. Nevertheless, as had been agreed beforehand, hostilities were not to resume until November 5.
  • November 5-On November 5, 1738, the Ceasefire of Nemirov expired, and hostilities recommenced among the warring powers. Lieutenant-General Lacius now launched a series of vigorous offensives in the Haynsian Despotate, seeking to overwhelm the Haynsian positions, in the vicinity of the Warrior Fastnesses. He now sought to renew the drive against Clure, which had already been threatened by Laurasian naval units in June 1738. It was on November 6, 1738, that the Battle of Takrman IV occurred; Lacius managed to secure a victory here and to storm this stronghold, although he incurred substantial losses in doing so. Following the seizure of Takrman IV, Laurasian military units seized Katscha and Stary Krim (November 9-14, 1738). Yet by November 16, Lacius's momentum was already running out. On November 18, 1738, Haynsian Despot Jay X Karany moved his forces to Yevaporia and Eudaporia (both of whom had been recovered by the Haynsians in August 1738, before the Conference of Nemirov commenced); two days later, he fortified the garrison of Clure, and readied his units for the inevitable Laurasian move. On November 22, 1738, the Battle of Clure was waged between the forces of the Laurasian Empire and Haynsian Despotate; this confrontation resulted in a decisive Haynsian victory. Jay X, himself commanding the Haynsian forces, captured a number of Antigonus-class corvettes and Theodora-class dreadnoughts, humiliating their Laurasian adversaries. Lacius, was, as a result of the Battle of Clure, forced to abandon Takrman IV (November 25, 1738). Haynsian forces soon recovered Tivran, Doros, Theodoros, and Greater Boravia (December 1738), thereby completely reversing the momentum of the Laurasian offensive. At the same time, Field-Marshal Munnich's reverses continued. On November 11, 1738, the Battle of Alexandrok resulted in a humiliating loss for the Field-Marshal; more than one-third of the Laurasian military forces committed to that confrontation were destroyed or captured. Following this confrontation, Munnich was forced to abandon Mardon (November 18, 1738), and to repel moves against Merevebey and Quickbay. On November 24, 1738, Marasharite Admiral Halid-Pasha launched a daring counteroffensive into the Northern Reaches; Houston, Tyson, Tataria, Syr-Daria, and Vandross all saw themselves subject to a series of Marasharite raiding expeditions. Munnich was forced to strengthen the garrisons of the Northern Reaches, in the wake of these Marasharite moves.
  • December 11-On December 11, 1738, Doge Andrea Gritti of the Haxonian Confederacy died, after having governed over the Confederacy for fifteen years. During the last years of his reign, Gritti attempted in vain to keep the Confederacy from involvement in the still-ongoing Italianian Wars. However, Haxonian forces found themselves bogged down by colonial wars against the Marathas and Mysore in the Indianian Territories; by the outbreak of a new military conflict with the Barbary States and Danubian Principalities over the Ionian Provinces (1737-40); and by internal rebellions in Istria and in Venezia. Gritti was eighty-three years old at the time of his death. He was succeeded as Doge by Captain-General Pietro Lando, who was ten years his junior. Lando was crowned as Doge on December 27, 1738.
  • December 14-During November and December 1738, the Marasharite Empire's military forces made sweeping gains against the Austarlians, in Croatia, Slavonia, and in the Banat of Temesvar. On November 9, 1738, the Battle of Zadar ended in victory for Malal-bek; by November 16, Malal-bek had stormed the Austarlian colonies of Benkovac, Nin, and Obovovac, thereby seriously imperiling the Austarlian position in the Northern Dalmatian Provinces. And on November 21, 1738, General Berevia was humiliated in the Battle of Grarcac; he was forced to retreat from Kali and Nasenec, thereby handing these bases into Marasharite hands. By the end of November 1738, the entire Pazak Cluster was in the hands of the Marasharite Empire. Negotin and Pancevo were stormed (December 2-5, 1738), and on December 10, 1738, the Battle of Caransebeg resulted in another victory for Malal-bek. Prince Joseth of Saxe-Hildenburgen, who had failed to make any progress against the Marasharites, was stripped of his command on December 15, 1738; five days later, Pasha Hemulgoku destroyed the Austarlian force of Count Hermann von Hewitt in the Battle of Vrecece. By December 21, Timiasora and Lujai had fallen into Marasharite hands, and at the end of December 1738, the entire Banat of Temsevar was in Marasharite hands. The fall of Ljubljana and Capodistria (December 29-31, 1738), signaled the reduction of all Slovenia to the Marasharite Empire.

1739Edit

  • January 22-On January 22, 1739, Ernestia Bironia, who had been elected by the Council of the Duchy of Northania to succeed Ferdinand Kettler, was formally invested as Duke of Northania at Mitau, the capital system of the Northanian territories. Bironia, however, was destined for only a short reign over the Duchy of Northania.
  • February 3-As 1739 commenced, the Laurasian Empire's military forces continued to suffer reverses against those of the Haynsian Despotate. Lieutenant-General Sir Petevius Lacius found that he could not restore the momentum which Laurasian military forces had possessed earlier. On January 7, 1739, the Battle of New Genoa resulted in a decisive victory for the Haynsian Despotate; Jay X, who was now becoming more and more renowned with his subjects as an effective military commander, launched a series of flanking attacks against the Imperial Laurasian Navy, breaking through their command lines and capturing twelve Neuchrus-class destroyers. By January 14, Theodoros had been overrun by Haynsian forces; Lacius was now forced to abandon the military fortifications, communication outposts, and supply repository which had been established at that star system. On January 22, 1739, the Battle of Chalaa ended in another victory for the Haynsian Despot; General Lacius's attempts to drive the Haynsian units from the outskirts of the star system were brought to ruin by the mobility of the Haynsian couriers. By the end of January 1739, Merenebey and Hatustu had both fallen back into Haynsian hands. Then on February 3, 1739, the Battle of Caldwell resulted in a decisive victory for the Haynsian Despot over Lacius. As a result of this battle, Jay X was able to make further, substantive gains, at Laurasian expense. Semafpol, Semnrapoval, and Infirmapol were all occupied, in succession, by Haynsian military forces (February 5-14, 1739). On February 22, 1739, Badjbay also fell back into the hands of the Haynsian Despot. By the end of February 1739, Laurasian military forces had been driven from Baina and Palymer; this constituted a humiliating set-back for Lacius.
  • February 11-By February 1739, fears about the Laurasian Empire's recent military expansionism had been nurtured in the Great Amulak Spiral. Emperor Antigonus's brutal treatment, and rejection of his first wife, the Spamalkan Princess Katharina of Shenandoah, had been followed by his radical religious innovations within his Empire. This in turn had been accompanied with the War of the Dejanican Succession, by which the Emperor had cooperated with Austarlia in order to maintain and extend foreign influence over the affairs of the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth. That conflict had also seen Laurasian forces campaign in the Italianian Provinces and in the Germanian Principalities, territories which had not seen as much Laurasian activity during the first three Franconian Wars. Moreover, the ongoing Third Laurasian-Marasharite War had witnessed the Empire's forces overrunning the Marasharite Galactic Borderlands, pushing to the Angelina Spiral, and striking to the Great Tesmanian Cloud. This conflict had again been conducted in conjunction with Austarlia. Both Franjak and Char'va had become concerned about the possibility that Emperor Antigonus would eventually seek to use military force to exert himself further in the affairs of Germania and the Italianian Provinces, and that he would seek hostilities against the Haxonian Confederacy. Char'va therefore thought it necessary to take precautionary measures to prevent an exertion of Laurasian power at his expense. Thus, in November 1738, a conference had opened at Toledo between the Holy Spamalkan and Franconian Governments, over the conclusion of a common diplomatic pact between the two powers. These negotiations had culminated in the Treaty of Toledo (February 11, 1739), by which both Franconia and Spamalka pledged not to conclude any other foreign alliances or treaties without the consent and knowledge of the other. It was this Franconian-Spamalkan hostility which would eventually play a role in convincing the Emperor of Laurasia to bring his Marasharite War to an end.
  • February 22-While Laurasian military forces were experiencing reverses in the Angelina Spiral and Great Tesmanian Cloud, the situation in the Great Amulak Spiral worsened. On January 7, 1739, the Battle of Semklo resulted in a decisive victory for Marasharite General Malal-bek; from this stronghold, he proceeded to storm the Hungarian star systems of Sasad, Sellye, and Vakany (January 9-14). On January 22, 1739, Beckrek and Subotica were both seized by Malal-bek. Four days later, the newly-appointed Austarlian Field-Marshal Count Kranz van Helsgott was defeated in the Battle of Arpac, losing more than 75,000 of his main offensive troops to persistent Marasharite assaults. By the middle of February 1739, therefore, Marasharite forces had secured the chief strongholds of the Croatian Military Frontier, one of the Holy Austarlian Empire's chief territories. Thus it was on February 22, 1739, that the Battle of Dumrovia resulted in the occupation, by Marasharite forces, of that vital stronghold. Following the fall of Dumrovia, Lura and Moesia both fell into Marasharite hands (February 24-March 2, 1739). During the remainder of March 1739, Mohacs, Kolmo, and Magocs were stormed by Marasharite forces, who thereby drove a wedge into the Hungarian Territories. Laurasian General Berevia proved himself to be unable to reverse any of these Marasharite assaults. On April 2, 1739, Austarlian Emperor Char'vak V made a desperate appeal to the Imperial Laurasian Government for the reassignment of Lieutenant-General Lacius to the Balkan Territories. This was met with delays by Chancellor Crownapoulos, who stated that the Laurasians needed to maintain their position in the Angelina Spiral, in the wake of assaults by the "Haynsian mongrels".
  • March 12-On March 12, 1739, the disgraced ex-Earl of Redia, Sir Thomasius Boleyenia, father of the late Empress Consort Anna Boleyenia and her siblings Georgius and Antonia Boleyenia, died, aged 62. Boleyenia had resided at Fulcania since his disgrace three years earlier, and was never able to fully recuperate from the disastrous collapse in his fortunes. His death was received with little fanfare at the Imperial Court, similar to the death of his wife, Lady Aurelia Howardis, the previous year.
  • April 6-
    • As had been mentioned above, the death of Empress Consort Theodora Seymouris had plunged Emperor Antigonus into a bout of grief and of mourning. However, from as soon as his wife had died, the Privy Council, in particular Chancellor Crownapoulos, had been urging the Emperor to move forward, and to select another bride as soon as possible. By the end of 1737, indeed, the Emperor had resolved upon marriage. Although he would continue to lament the death of the one who had given him the long-desired son and heir (Grand Prince Demetrius), he still entertained hopes that he would be able to consolidate the Neuchrian Dynasty further, and ensure for his Empire's future, through producing more children. Antigonus was forty-six years old by this time. He now weighed more than two hundred and fifty pounds, and was fast approaching the record of Demetrius I the Fat (1399-1416), as the heaviest sovereign in Laurasian history. He continued to suffer from ulcers in his legs; was prone to attacks of nervous prostration and of stomach pain; and had developed claustrophobia. Yet the Emperor thought that the Lord Almitis was on his side, and that an Emperor without a wife was no Emperor at all. Chancellor Crownapoulos, on his part, knew that Grand Prince Demetrius could sicken and die, and that a backup heir was needed. He constantly impressed these facts upon the Emperor during Council sessions, and in their private audiences. Yet during the first months following Theodora's death, there was a dearth of suitable imperial brides on the marriage market, not only to the reluctance of those who were available, but also to shifting political and other circumstances among the powers of extra-galactic civilization. Grand Prince Demetrius, however, continued to remain healthy and vigorous during this time. It was in December 1737 that the Emperor assigned to his infant son his own household at the Palace of the Rising Heights on Katherine. Rigorous standards of hygiene were imposed by the Emperor, so as to prevent the outbreak of disease. The capable Lady Bryania was once again appointed Governess, and the Grand Prince would remain in her care until he was six.
    • His imperial father visited him frequently. In May 1738, when Demetrius was seven months old, the Emperor spent an entire day on Katherine, playing with the child and making him laugh. He carried the boy around in his arms for a long time, and held him up on the balcony so that the assembled crowds could see their future Emperor. That summer, the Grand Prince was brought to Hampsonian Palace on Jared to be with his sisters. No effort of expense was spared to protect "this most precious jewel", and it was generally agreed by all that the sooner Demetrius was provided with a brother, the better. Lady Didymeia, on her part, resided quietly at Husadarania House on Metallina, making only infrequent visits to the Imperial Court. She was joined there by Aurelia, who was brought to court by her sister for the Easter celebrations of 1738. Aurelia was described by many, even Ambassador Chapuys, as "very pretty", sharp, and precocious. It was also during 1738 that the Emperor exacted his revenge on the Polsius family. Yet from November 1737, when he had commenced his search for a new bride, he had pursued foreign options first. He and Chancellor Crownapoulos had decided to opt for a marriage alliance with Franconia in order to counterbalance the Spamalkans, and also because Antigonus did not want another Spamalkan bride. King Franjak had marriageable daughters, and it was said that there were other beautiful ladies of high rank available in Franconia. At the end of November, the Emperor had approached Franconian Ambassador, the Sieur de Castillon (1688-1766), and confided his preference for a Franconian marriage. The Ambassador suggested a few possible brides, but Antigonus was cautious. He told the Ambassador that he wished to see the ladies in question and to know them first, before making his decision.
    • The Ambassador, who had never heard of such an idea before, replied whether or not the Emperor wished to try them in succession. Antigonus decided to leave the matter alone for a time. Some days later, however, he summoned Castillon to his presence again, and said that potential Franconian brides could be brought to Belkadan for his inspection. When the King of Franconia heard of this, he laughed, and said that the Emperor of Laurasia wished to take all women and trot them out. However, he refused to sanction the suggestion, unwilling to have his daughters or the ladies of his court treated in such a manner. The Emperor, however, was not to be put off. Reports arrived about a number of different foreign personages, including Austarlian Archduchess Mar'va Anna; Pruthian Princess Anna Amalia; and Portugallian Princess Dona Maria. But a report from the Laurasian Ambassador to the Court of Brussels, Sir Antiochus Huttonia (1708-96), concerning the Vendragian Princess of Denmark, Christina, Duchess Dowager of Milania, attracted more attention at the Imperial Court. In his report, the Ambassador stated that she had just arrived at Brussels. She was the Spamalkan Emperor's niece, sixteen years old, very tall, and of "excellent beauty." Her husband, Duke Francisco Sforza, had died on October 24, 1735. Sir Thomasius Wirtholesius, a member of the Privy Council, delivered Huttonia's report to the Emperor. The Emperor, when he read of the Duchess of Milania's charms, was tempted to abandon his plans to make a Franconian marriage in order to pursue Christina. She did have excellent connections, being the daughter of the last King of Denmarica, Christian (1713-23), by his wife, Isadelle of Austarlia, the Emperor's sister; her birth had been on November 9, 1721, at Nyborg. She had, following her husband's death, come to live with her aunt, the Duchess Regent of Durthia, until another husband could be found for her.
    • Everyone agreed that the Duchess of Milania was beautiful, and that her youth was in her favor, since her character could be more easily moulded to suit her husband. Yet the Emperor's growing fat, and his liking for "buxom women", temporarily diverted his thoughts from this lady. He now considered the Franconian noblewoman Mariana of Guise (1715-60), having also heard of her charms. She was the eldest daughter of Claude of Lorraine, Duke of Guise (1696-1750), head of the House of Guise, and his wife Antoinette de Bourbon (1693-1783). She, like Christina was also a widow, having been married to the Duke of Longeville until his death in June 1737, and had borne him two sons. Yet when the Emperor, on January 19, 1738, expressed his formal interest in her, she quickly hurried to marry King Jamsius V of Scottria (of which more explanation will be given later). Antigonus was disappointed but undaunted, and the Chancellor tried to alleviate his master's sense of rejection by suggesting that he return to his earlier intention of paying court to the Duchess of Milania. In March 1738, the Emperor dispatched Hansius Holbienus to execute a photograph set of the Duchess. Yet the Emperor remained in great physical pain. He now lashed out at Crownapoulos, calling him derisory names and even hitting him on the head.
    • By the middle of 1738, with the Third Laurasian-Marasharite War still underway, the Empire's relations with both Spamalka and Franconia had deteriorated. In spite of this, the Emperor had received the finished collection of the Duchess of Milania and was much enchanted with it. In September, a Laurasian embassy, headed by Sir Wirtholesius, traveled into the Galactic Void, and thence to the Durthian Duchies, to formally convey the Emperor's proposal of marriage. On October 6, they saw the Regent Mary, who gave them permission on the Spamalkan Emperor's behalf to approach Christina, who agreed to see them the following day. The young Duchess was very outspoken. The idea of marrying Antigonus III did not appeal to her, and she declared as much with candor. She told the ambassadors that "the Emperor's Majesty was in so little space rid of the Empresses that she dare not trust his Council, though she must trust his Majesty; for her advisors suspected that her great-aunt was poisoned, that the second was innocently put to death, and third lost in giving birth." Wirtholesius begged her to change her mind, declaring that Antigonus would be a gentle, kind, and endearing husband. This did not deceive Christina, who stood her ground and refused to commit herself. She later confided her reluctance to Char'va himself, who was sympathetic, with the result that it was made obvious to the Emperor of Laurasia that his suit was hopeless. Thus it was that the Chancellor urged the Emperor to turn his attention to a marriage within the Empire, which, he believed, would secure domestic tranquility. Moreover, no noble lady in the Empire itself could reject His Majesty. Antigonus liked the sound of this, and by November 1738, had agreed to follow Crownapoulos's suggestion.
    • By January 1739, the Emperor was preparing to take further action. The following month, the conclusion of the Treaty of Toledo (mentioned above), between Spamalka and Franconia, spurred the Council into urging the Emperor, on a routine basis, to arrange a fourth marriage in order to beget more heirs to ensure the succession. Thus it was that on April 6, 1739, after further delay, and contemplation, that the Emperor authorized the Chancellor to proceed further with preparations for a potential marriage. Chancellor Crownapoulos ordered the Imperial Ministry of the Chancellory to conduct a search among the nobility and gentry of the Empire, for a possible bride for "His Imperial Majesty". The Ministry of the Chancellory conducted a vigorous examination of the registers of all noble and princely ladies in the Empire. Their eyes immediately alighted upon the Lady Annaliese of Denver, sister of Duke Willar. On February 15, 1739, Duke Johavar of Denver, Annaliese's father, had died, aged forty-seven; Willag had at that time become Duke of Denver. On April 17, 1739, after the Ministry began its search, Emperor Antigonus formally confirmed Willag as Duke of Denver, in a ceremony on Decapolia Major. This meeting gave the Emperor a positive impression of the Duke, and encouraged Willag to intensify his own efforts. It would be on May 5, 1739, that he would write a formal letter of intentions to the Chancellory, offering his sister Annaliese as a bride to the Emperor.
  • April 24-March and April 1739 witnessed a series of further reverses for the Laurasian Empire. On March 5, 1739, Field-Marshal Munnich was forced to halt all offensives against Ochania and Fidonsi, due to a series of humiliating defeats inflicted upon the Marasharites at Turutkai, Del Valle, and Trans-Ruse. Five days later, Merevebey was assaulted by the newly-appointed Marasharite High Admiral Hirach-Pasha; the stronghold fell within hours, disrupting the Laurasian position on the Haynsian Slave Highway. The outposts of the Upper Dial followed (March 14-19, 1739), and on March 22, Hirach-Pasha defeated Munnich in the Battle of Quinta-il-vily, preventing the Archleutan Field Marshal from drawing reinforcements from the Northern Reaches. Marasharite units then seized Tierney, Ichivay, and Mereney; Batchbey was under serious threat by April 4, 1739. On that date, Marasharite units, bypassing the Laurasian garrisons of the Lower Haynsian Slave Highway, breached the defenses of Bendery; the resulting Battle of Bendery resulted in a decisive victory for Hirach-Pasha, and humiliation for Field-Marshal Munnich. Thronton, Dunst, and Uma followed (April 8-14, 1739); Quickbay was firmly in Marasharite hands by April 22. And then on April 24, 1739, proceeding from Dunst and Uma, Admiral Hirach-Pasha, with the assistance of Subordinate Pasha Gorlic, reconquered Merevop, thereby dealing a severe blow to the Laurasian position in the Northern Reaches. By this point, Marasharite forces had definitively reestablished themselves in the Northern Reaches. Voronezh, Kuban, Kerch and Marson were secured by Marasharite forces in June 1739; Field-Marshal Munnich, who was now growing ever more fearful of his security and position of favor with the Emperor, and wishing to conclude this conflict with some territorial gain for the Laurasian Empire, drafted plans for a renewed offensive into the Great Tesmanian Cloud. Lacius, during that same time, managed to retain control of Kerlop and Savachany, two major Haynsian colonies in the Brigoff Stellar Nebula (May 25-June 6, 1739), but suffered serious losses in his efforts to do so.
  • July 11-
    • On July 11, 1739, Field-Marshal Burkhard Christoph von Munnich, determined to regain the last momentum for the Laurasian Empire in this, the closing campaign of the Third Laurasian-Marasharite War, launched a major counteroffensive into the Great Tesmanian Cloud. Munnich was able to take advantage of the overextension of Marasharite offensive lines, and to secure a series of renewed victories. He stormed Focasani and Stalisivik in short order (July 11-17, 1739); recovered Mardon (July 22); and on July 23, 1739, inflicted a decisive defeat upon Marasharite General Habuk-Ashim in the Second Battle of Wallachia. From this vantage point, Munnich's units secured Fidonsi, Liman, Vikhta, and Grad (July 24-28, 1739). Kaushany, Vimeshin, Hadjibey, Varna, and Kuchuk Kaynarca all fell into Laurasian hands by August 11, 1739, constituting a series of decisive blows to the Marasharite position in the Ochanian Provinces. At the same time, the string of Austarlian and Laurasian failures in the Great Amulak Spiral continued. On April 18, 1739, Kozarmisleny was stormed by Malal-bek, thereby constituting a further reverse for the allied forces in Hungary. Bajas, Kerskels, and Solt all fell into Marasharite hands by April 23, and by the end of that month, Malal-bek and his superior, Pasha-General Hemulgoku, had secured possession of the Hungarian districts of Baks-Kskun, Csnograd, and Kekes. On May 4, 1739, the Battle of Racka Varos ended in a decisive victory for the Marasharite Empire, thereby constituting the final Austarlian expulsion from the Croatian Military Frontier. Musokovar, Zemcun, and Mitrovica all fell into Marasharite hands (May 9-14, 1739), and on May 22, 1739, General Berevia suffered a ruinous defeat in the Battle of Sombor; Jagodina was in Marasharite hands by May 26.
    • By the middle of June 1739, Slavonia, the Hungarian districts of Fojor, Tolne, Zaja, and Szolnok, and Austarlian Olthenia were all firmly in Marasharite hands. Thus it was on June 23, 1739, that the Battle of Grocka was waged, resulting in the annihilation of a combined Austarlian-Laurasian force, by the Marasharite units of Pasha Hemulgoku's subordinate, General Ivaz Mehmet. Mehmet took quick advantage of this smashing victory to storm Gyor, Eger, and Debrecen; July 1739 saw Marasharite forces raiding into Carnithia, the Tyrol, and Styria; Budapest fell on July 17, 1739, followed by Neutra, Neslau, and Stenamarger; Royal Hungary was now effectively in Marasharite hands. Then on August 2, 1739, Ivaz Mehmet instigated a siege of Graz, one of the Holy Austarlian Empire's leading star systems and the capital of the Duchy of Styria, part of the Austarlian Duchies. Emperor Char'vak V, who had by this point raised taxes on his subjects fourfold since the commencement of the war, and had tried in vain to reorganize his Empire's military forces, sent another vain plea for assistance to the Imperial Laurasian Government. Field-Marshal Munnich, however, was unwilling to divert any military units from his campaigns in the Great Tesmanian Cloud; he also needed to keep the Marasharites limited to the Northern Reaches. The Siege of Graz dragged on for over a month.
  • August 28-Following the conquest of Kuchuk Kaynarca, Field-Marshal Munnich's forces blockaded Ruse, Shumen, and Kolzuduzha (August 19-22, 1739), thereby preventing the Marasharites from launching a potential counteroffensive from these strongholds. He then turned his attention to Stauvachany. Stauvachany, with a population of more than one hundred million by 1739, constituted a important military stronghold for the Marasharite Empire. Munnich sought to use this stronghold as leverage against the Marasharites, for potential peace negotiations. On August 28, 1739, the Field-Marshal's forces, comprising of detachments from the 38th and 39th Imperial Fleets, with more than 500,000 personnel of the Imperial Laurasian Army, launched a surprise offensive against the star system. Munnich landed a diversionary blow to the Marasharite right flank, and then massed his warships, along with his troops, on its left. In this decisive offensive, the Field-Marshal then smashed through the formations of the Marasharite garrison, which was commanded by Velip Pasha. He captured the Marasharite encampment, artillery, €11.2 billion dataries worth of military supplies, 400,000 troops of the Marasharite garrison, and the Marasharite Khotyn Asteroid Base. This battle would finally convince Marasharite Emperor Sassas III to seriously pursue negotiations with the Laurasian Empire.
  • September 4-On September 4, 1739, the Siege of Graz finally ended when the Austarlian military forces in that star system were finally overwhelmed by the forces of General Ivaz Mehmet. The Marasharite General, who proved himself to be utterly ruthless and cruel, and desiring to exact his revenge upon these long-time foes of the Marasharites, had the star system ransacked. More than ten million civilians were slaughtered by the victorious, invading Marasharite forces; seven million other inhabitants of that star system were enslaved or deported by the Marasharites. By this point, the Marasharites controlled nearly half of the Holy Austarlian Empire's territories; Hungary, Slavonia, the Banat of Temesvar, the Pazak Cluster, Croatia, and Transylvania were all in their hands, while the Austarlian Duchies and Moravia were under invasion. Holy Austarlian Emperor Char'vak V, whose treasury was now in doubt to the tune of €700 trillion dataries (in Imperial Laurasian terms), who felt betrayed by the lack of assistance by his Laurasian allies, and whose dominions were being pushed to the breaking-point by the Marasharite forces, sent a request, on September 12, 1739, for peace negotiations to the Marasharite High Council. Sassas III, himself eager to terminate the conflict, accepted this request two days later; the Armistice of Vorolach was signed on September 16, 1739. Chancellor Crownapoulos, when he heard of this, was enraged, and protested about this unilateral Austarlian action, which was in violation of the Treaty of Bilirasi. Emperor Char'vak and his ministers, however, ignored these protests.
  • September 30-
    • Following the conclusion of the Armistice of Vorolach, negotiations between the Holy Austarlian and Marasharite Empires proceeded rapidly. Belgravia, which had been recaptured by the Marasharites in March 1739, now became the site of negotiations. Marasharite-General Malal-bek, Pasha Hemulgoku, and Grand Vizier Ivaz Mehmed represented the interests of the Marasharite Empire, while Count Johann van Carkenzl, Austarlian Prince Freujhan of Carnithia, and Count Ernest von Daun represented those of the Holy Austarlian Empire; the conference commenced on September 19, 1739, and lasted for just eleven days. Finally, on September 30, 1739, the Treaty of Belgravia was signed by the delegations of the Marasharite and Holy Austarlian Empires, thereby terminating Austarlian involvement in the Third Laurasian-Marasharite War.
    • By the terms of this humiliating agreement, which severely damaged the Holy Austarlian Empire's prestige, Char'vak V agreed to the concession of the Pazak Cluster, the Banat of Temesevar, Olthenia, Belgravia, and Banja Luka to the Marasharite Empire, thereby surrendering not only the Austarlian gains of the Treaty of Passerwritz, which had been made twenty-one years earlier, but also acquisitions from the Great Marasharite War made by his father. Char'vak agreed to abandon the title of King of Serbia and Belgravia, which he he had claimed in 1718. In return, Sassas III restored Graz, Hungary, Slavonia, Croatia, and Dalmatia to the authority of the Holy Austarlian Empire, and agreed to the withdrawal of Marasharite military forces from Austarlian territory, by no later than October 1, 1740. The Treaty of Belgravia was ratified by Austarlian Emperor Char'vak V on October 5, 1739, and by Marasharite Emperor Sassas III on October 18. Marasharita and Austarlia would be destined to go to war again in due course, in the context of the larger War of the Austarlian Succession, but the territorial situation between them would remain more or less stable (with the exception of Bukovina) for nearly half a century.
  • October 7-As soon as the Treaty of Belgravia was announced, Emperor Antigonus and Chancellor Crownapoulos came to the realization that the war had to be definitively terminated. Thus, on October 7, 1739, the Imperial Ministry of Foreign Affairs, acting on the Emperor's orders, sent an armistice request to the Marasharite High Council. Sassas III, who was overjoyed by his victories over the Austarlians in the Great Amulak Spiral, and who understood that the Laurasians were war-weary, decided to accept the Laurasian request. Field-Marshal Munnich and Lieutenant-General Lacius held an impromptu conference with Haynsian Despot Jay X Karany at Jassy; the Armistice of Jassy was signed on October 10, 1739, thereby suspending military hostilities between the forces of the two Empires. Then on October 14, four days later, negotiations between delegations of the Laurasian and Marasharite Empires (with adjuncts from the Haynsian Despotate), convened at Nis, which was a Marasharite colony located two-thousand light years to the west of Jassy. Nis, which had been colonized as far back as the fifth century BH, had been under the successive rule of the Byzzarian Republic, Byzzarian Empire, the Slavonian Federation, and the First Bulganian Empire, among other powers, before succumbing to the Marasharites in 1448. It had, with the exception of a period of Dejanican occupation from 1689-90 during the Great Marasharite War, remained under the Marasharite heel since then. Field-Marshal Munnich led the Laurasian delegation, accompanied by General Lacius, the Earls of Malaria Prime, Americana, and Darcia, and by Sir Willanius Pauletius, now Lord St. Johansius. Marsasharite General Malal-bek, hastened from the Amulak Spiral, served as the chief plenipotentiary for the Marasharite delegation. Chancellor Crownapoulos, who had drafted the instructions for the Laurasian delegation, was compelled to drop Laurasian demands for the disarmament of the Haynsian Despotate and annexation of all Marasharite territories in the Galactic Borderlands, particularly as Marasharite units had been massed for a series of counteroffensives against the Galactic Frontier Route, Muggal Cluster, and Tof Borderlands.
  • October 29-
    • After fifteen days of arduous negotiations, the Treaty of Nis was signed by the Laurasian Empire, Marasharite Empire, and Haynsian Despotate on October 29, 1739, thereby bringing an end to the Third Laurasian-Marasharite War of the eighteenth century. By the terms of the Treaty of Nis, the Imperial Laurasian Government agreed to acknowledge Marasharite acquisitions in the Great Amulak Spiral, and the termination of the Treaty of Bilirasi with the Austarlian Empire. As regards to territorial matters, the Marasharites agreed to the concession of Billy, Donna, Latrice, Teller, Ba'dai, and the Tof Borderlands to the authority of the Laurasian Empire. The Laurasian rule of Kia, Carly, Billy Gasis, Pelaski, and the Galactic Frontier Route was confirmed, and Laurasian subjects were to be able to reside or travel in those regions without "harassment or threat to their livelihoods". In return, however, the Emperor of Laurasia agreed not to install any military garrisons at Billy, Donna, and Latrice for a period of twelve years; to restore the Muggal Cluster, Northern Reaches, Haynsian Slave Highway, and Brigoff Stellar Nebula (with Karabusar and the associated outposts) to the authority of the Marasharite Empire; and to abandon any claims to territory in the Great Tesmanian Cloud or Angelina Spiral. The Imperial Laurasian Government was obliged to compensate the Haynsian Despotate for all damages inflicted in Haynsian territory (amounting to €30.5 trillion dataries), although Jay X swore to terminate Haynsian raids against Laurasian territory and to permit the Laurasian Empire to keep all slaves, prisoners, and spoils of war captured in the military campaigns.
    • All military prisoners of war, however, were to be released immediately. Laurasia was not to be permitted rights of transit to the Angelina Spiral, and its subjects in Haynsian territory were to oblige by Haynsian laws and regulations. All Laurasian military units in the restored territories were to withdraw back to the Empire by no later than December 25, 1740. Although the Laurasians had failed to destroy the Haynsian Despotate or seize all Marasharite territory in the Galactic Borderlands, the Third Laurasian-Marasharite War did result in territorial gains for the Laurasian Empire. The Tofs, Billians, Donnians, and Latricans were now under the authority of the Imperial Laurasian Government. The Treaty of Nis was ratified by the Emperor Antigonus on November 14, 1739, and by Marasharite Emperor Sassas III on November 25. Field-Marshal Munnich would return to Laurasia Prime on December 5, 1739, receiving a cold reception from the Emperor and the Imperial Court; Lacius would remain in the Galactic Void to oversee the withdrawal of Laurasian military forces in those regions conceded back to the Marasharites and Haynsians.
  • November 14-
    • As regards to the Emperor Antigonus's marriage plans, matters proceeded further. On April 23, 1739, Sir Hansius Holbienus, recently promoted to become Master-Artist of the Imperial Household, was dispatched to Denver, along with Sir Christopher Montia, in order to take their measure of the Lady Annaliese. She, who had been decked out in the most expensive garments possible, and trained in the arts of courtly reception, impressed Holbienus and Montia both with her calm demeanor and her willingness to learn. They reported on her merits to the Chancellor. Crownapoulos in turn, sent a communique to Emperor Antigonus (May 8, 1739), declaring that "Every man praises the beauty of the Lady Annaliese, as well for her face as for her person, above all other ladies excellent. She excels all other whom Your Majesty has considered, as the golden sun excels the silver moon. Every man praises the good virtues and honesty which plainly appears in the gravity of her countenance." Crownapoulos had good reason to espouse her merits. The idea of this match had been his, and he had thrown his whole fortune upon it, believing that much reward could come from it. When the Emperor read Crownapoulos's communique, he was entranced. This lady, it seemed, was a paragon of beauty and womanly modesty. Then in July 1739, Holbienus received his final commission to prepare an official portrait and a photographic collection of the Lady. The result was magnificent. In these images, her complexion was clear, her gaze steady, her face delicately attractive. She wore a head-dress in the Durthian style which concealed her hair, and a gown with a heavily bejwelled bodice. Everything proclaimed her dignity, breeding, and virtue. Emperor Antigonus had perused this collection carefully, as well as communiques and letters written to him by Annaliese directly. He was determined to procure for himself a bride as soon as possible, and believed that Annaliese would, according to the evidence, be the perfect choice.
    • Thus, it had been that on September 4, 1739, that the Privy Council formally announced the Emperor's decision in a proclamation to the subjects of the Empire. Annaliese, according to this proclamation, was "virtuous, docile, and gentle", all of which were qualities fit for the wife of an Emperor. It was on September 23 that her brother, Duke Willag of Denver, was formally informed by the Chancellory that the Emperor had selected his sister, Annaliese of Denver, to be his next bride. Lady Annaliese was now commanded to place all of her affairs in order and to be ready for departure from Denver by the end of December. Great preparations now commenced at the Imperial Laurasian Court for the reception of the bride and the wedding to follow. Many ladies competed for places in the future Empress's household, and many nobles decked themselves out finely for the ceremonies. The Emperor, on October 4, 1739, told the new Franconian Ambassador, Marillac, that because he had but one son, he was marrying for the sake of children, and considered he could do no better than Annaliese of Denver, who at twenty-four was of "convenient age", in sound health, and of good stature, "with many other graces which His Majesty says she possesses."
    • Throughout October and November 1739, the Emperor, who had moved to Hampsonian Palace on Jared, issued a string of instructions related to the wedding. He planned for her formal procession into the Laurasia Prime star system, to be followed by the wedding (after New Year's), and then her coronation as Empress Consort (set for February 2, 1740). Plans were drawn up for the formation of the new Empress's household, since those who had served Theodora Seymouris had long since been discharged. The chief officers were appointed that November, as well as several ladies-in-waiting and maids of honor. The Emperor, moreover, was in high spirits. His ulcers were troubling less, he was eager to see his bride, and his gaiety was infectious. He continued to hear about Annaliese's endearing personal qualities. By early December, however, many had already come to doubt the truth of what had been said, for those who had seen Annaliese in person were aware of her true worth. No one, however, ventured to destroy the Emperor's illusions.
  • December 30-
    • It was on Ascentmas Day, 1739, with the Imperial Laurasian Court having relocated back to Laurasia Prime, that the Lady Annaliese of Denver, who was escorted by an imperial convoy of forty warships, and with more than 25,000 individuals in her personal service, formally departed from Denver, for her journey to Laurasia Prime. Many of these individuals had been detached from the Emperor Antigonus's estates in the Denveranian Provinces. She was seen off by her brother, Duke Willag, and by her sisters Sybille and Amalia. Lady Annaliese was nervous about the prospect of her meeting with the Emperor, and about what awaited her in her future life. Nevertheless, she proceeded forth with her duty without compunction. She and her entourage proceeded up the Kimanian Run to Meaganian, which they reached during the late hours of December 26. There, she was formally greeted by the Head of the Imperial Naval Headquarters, Fleet-Admiral the Earl of Southerton, and by Lord Willanius Howardis (younger brother of the Duke of Norfolkius), Sir Franconius Bryania, and a coterie of gentlemen, Yeomen Guards, and servants in imperial attire. The Governor of Meaganian, Lord Lislius, conducted a triumphant reception for the Lady of Denver. She was presented by him with a solid gold "D" (for Denver) as a compliment. Lady Lislius and a host of ladies and gentlewomen sank into deep curtsies before Anna. At the Staple Hall, the magnates and officials of Meaganian lined up in formation, offering their future Empress a rich purse containing €1.2 million dataries; she thanked them for this gift. She then viewed the Dockyards of Meaganian, and progressed through Meaganian's major cities, including Blasek and Chaprhak. She took a pleasure to all of the receptions. Southerton, on his part, was pleasantly impressed by Annaliese, messaging the Emperor to inform him of his impressions. He stated his happiness for His Majesty, that he had decided to marry again, and prayed that the Lord Almitis would bless the union with children.
    • The Earl, however, also confessed his misgivings about her suitability to be Empress. However, having perceived her personally, he had changed his opinion. Lady Lislius also declared herself satisfied. Anna was, during the two days of her layover at Meaganian, entertained with a series of banquets and jousts. Early on December 29, 1739, Southerton conducted the Lady and her entourage, at the head of his fleet, from Meaganian, to complete the journey to Laurasia Prime. They had reached Osama by the end of the day, where Sir Thomasius Cheneyeria, the Warden of the Cron Drift, himself received the future Empress. The Duke and Duchess of Sufforia also came with the Archbishop of Laurasia Prime and a multitude of other notables to pay their respects. She then proceeded to Falloria Minor, where Chief Procurator Cranmerius and the Archbishops of Americana, Katherine, Rebecca, and Clackimaris bade her welcome. In these two star systems, crowds came out in droves to see the lady, and she received a positive reception from her future subjects. Chancellor Crownapoulos was gratified by this, and by Anna's behavior. Many had commended her on her merits, and Crownapoulos now thought to congratulate himself on having arranged a successful imperial marriage for the Emperor. On New Year's Eve, the Lady proceeded finally to the outskirts of the Laurasia Prime star system, and from thence, took her lodging at the Second Station of Callista, on the orders of the Emperor himself. Antigonus was at Darcia with his son at the time, and resolved to make his appearance after the commencement of the new year. 1739 thus ended with the Laurasian Empire restored to a state of domestic and external peace and stability.

1740Edit

  • January 1-
    • 1740, the 40th year of the eighteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire, as mentioned above, having once again been restored to a state of peace and tranquility. The Third Laurasian-Marasharite War had ended with the Empire acquiring the Tof Borderlands as well as the Billian, Donnian, and Latrician Provinces. Emperor Antigonus, who was now in the thirtieth year of his reign, commanded for his subjects to celebrate the new year with much vigor, to honor the victories obtained by the forces of his Empire over its Marasharite and Haynsian enemies. The Emperor, however, was not satisfied with the outcome of the war, believing that if all of the Empire's military resources had been thrown into the conflict, more could have been achieved. Field-Marshal Munnich and General Lacius both earned ire from the Emperor, who believed that they had not done enough to pursue the offensives in the Galactic Borderlands, Galactic Void, and in the satellite galaxies. Yet Chancellor Crownapoulos was also to earn a share of the blame from His Majesty; as the early months of 1740 progressed, Antigonus became convinced that the Chancellor himself had played a role in sabotaging Laurasian war efforts. This would motivate his actions later in the year. Nevertheless, the Emperor's attention was on this point fixed on the question of his marriage to the Lady Annaliese of Denver. On this first day of the year, January 1, 1740, Emperor Antigonus and the Imperial Court arrived in the outskirts of the Laurasia Prime star system from Darcia.
    • On his command, however, the garrison of Laurasia Prime was not officially notified of his arrival, and Chancellor Crownapoulos was commanded to ensure that the Emperor's presence in the Laurasia Prime star system would remain unknown to the Empire's population. Antigonus now embarked at the Second Station of Callista, determined to see his fiancee, Annaliese of Denver. The Lady of Denver had not been informed either about the Emperor's arrival, and thus, the visit was meant as a surprise. Adhering to ancient tradition, the Emperor disguised himself, and entered with his courtiers into the Lady's allotted bedchambers. With him was Sir Antoninus Brownius (1700-48), Chief Administrator of the Second Station of Callista, who bore a gift for the fiancee of the Emperor. Annaliese, however, failed to discern the Emperor's face through the disguise. Emperor Antigonus therefore revealed himself. Annaliese, "with most gracious and loving countenance and behavior", sank to her knees to receive him. The Emperor raised her up gently, welcomed her to Laurasia Prime with great courtesy, and kissed her on the mouth. He stayed into the afternoon, engaging in a halting conversation with the Lady, and later had dinner with her. Inside him, however, anger and disappointment were boiling to fever pitch. He had known, when he had first saw her in person, that he could never love Annaliese of Denver. In fact, he know realized, she revolted him. He was angry that she could not recognize him in disguise, and thought that she was boring, uneducated, and unattractive. He felt betrayed, ill-used, and deceived. Someone had made a very grievous mistake, and they were going to suffer for it.
    • Party of the fault lay with Holbienus, for he had "dolled" Annaliese up and misrepresented her in his official portrait. Yet Holbienus Antigonus could forgive: he was an artist, with an artist's conception of things, something which the Emperor could understand very well. But the Chancellor had suggested this marriage and had maneuvered the Emperor into it. He had extolled Annaliese's charms and her beauty. Crownapoulos, had he but known it, was doomed from the very moment Antigonus laid eyes on Annaliese of Denver. When the visit was over, the Emperor left his unsuspecting bride. He told Sir Brownius that he had been "struck with consternation when he was shown the Lady" that he had never "so much dismayed in his life as to see a lady so far unlike what had been represented." Scowling ferociously, he said "I see nothing in this woman as men report of her, and I marvel that wise men would make such report as they have done!" He then sought out the Earl of Southerton, and demanded his opinion. The Earl replied cautiously, but Antigonus grew angry and declared that "I love her not!" The Emperor, however, paid an official visit to Lady Annaliese on January 2, 1740; his presence was formally acknowledged by the garrison and authorities of Laurasia Prime. Preparations for the wedding continued. Chancellor Crownapoulos, on his part, was still receiving messages congratulating him on his sound judgment in choosing Annaliese as future Empress. Soon, however, word of the Emperor's discontent spread; it soon became apparent that he was melancholy and was not "pleasantly disposed" towards Crownapoulos.
    • The Emperor, during the late hours of that day, accused Crownapoulos, before the Privy Council, of having deceived him over Annaliese of Denver. Crownapoulos tried to shift the blame onto Southerton, but he reacted angrily to this, and defended himself vigorously. Crownapoulos then admitted that he had spoken of the Lady's beauty "in terms of commendation which had misled His Majesty and his Council", but protested that this was not his fault, as he had received false reports. The Emperor, however, remained furious with Crownapoulos. The Emperor, however, was compelled to move forward with the marriage, but continued to complain about it to Crownapoulos. On January 4, 1740, the Emperor formally conducted Lady Annaliese of Denver, in procession, into the Laurasia Prime star system. This was one of the last great spectacles of the reign. Annaliese was attended by the Dukes of Norfolkius and Sufforia, the Chief Procurator, and a host of prelates, lords, and knights. Emperor Antigonus was accompanied by the magnates of the Court, the members of the Councils of State, the Yeoman Guards, and the officials of Laurasia Prime as well as Christiania.
    • She proceeded through the two Calaxies, Hepudermia, Jadia, and into Christiania. At the Galactic Exchange, she was greeted by her household officials, and by the ladies assigned to her service: Lady Constantia Douglain and the Marchioness of Doracia, the Emperor's nieces; his daughter-in-law, the Duchess of Reoyania and Conservan; the Countess of Heuthros, the Countess of Ruthania, and Lady Audalius. At the Quencilvanian Palace, the Emperor himself received her, treating her with great respect, bowing to her, and doffing his hat as a gesture of affection. A series of jousts, banquets, masques, balls, firework displays, parades, and other celebrations marked her formal arrival on the Empire's capital world. Annaliese was then lodged at the Diplomatic Palace. Yet even then the Emperor's agents and secretaries explored all evidence of any precontracts involving Annaliese, and any defects in the marriage contract. This was kept a secret from Annaliese, who rejoiced in all of the lavish celebration. That night, however, the Emperor demanded of Crownapoulos his opinion of the Lady again, and made further complaint about her. The Chancellor was now filled with anxiety, and recognized that Antigonus was in a dangerous mood. Late on January 5, the Emperor confronted Crownapoulos over the matter again, but the Chancellor told him that the marriage had to proceed. Antigonus backed down again, and agreed to go ahead with the wedding the following day. He then informed the Privy Council that this was his intention, while Lady Annaliese made her own preparations in ignorance of what was proceeding.
  • January 6-
    • January 6, 1740, the wedding day of Emperor Antigonus and the Lady Annaliese of Denver, was the Feast of the Epiphany and the last day of Yuletide celebrations at the Imperial Court. The Emperor was up early, and dressed in his wedding clothes: a gown of cloth of gold, embroidered with silver and banded with black fur, a coat of crimson satin slashed and embroidered with rich diamonds, and a rich collar of gold around his neck. At 8:00 A.M. that morning, he declared to those assembled that "My lords, if were not to satisfy the galaxy and my realm, I would not do what I must do this day for any earthly reason." He looked pointedly at Crownapoulos, but matters had to proceed. Annaliese was wearing a gown of cloth of gold embroidered with large flowers of great Orient pearls. Her long fair hair was hanging loose, in token of her virginity, and she wore a coronet of gold with precious stones. A costly necklace was about her neck. With her face composed, her expression demure and serious, and escorted by the Comptroller of the Imperial Household, as well as the Mistress of the Empress's Robes, she followed the magnates to the gallery where the Emperor awaited her. She then bowed to him, and together, they proceeded to the Imperial Chapel of the Quencilvanian Palace, where the Chief Procurator awaited. Annaliese was given away by the Duke of Laurasia Prime. The ceremony then followed, attended by more than 150,000 persons.
    • When it was over, the Emperor and Empress went in hand to hear mass. The Emperor then changed, as did Annaliese, and escorted by the Dukes of Norfolkius and Sufforia, proceeded to their wedding banquet. Masques and other entertainments then followed. Antigonus, however, was in no mood by that point to consummate the marriage. Yet the Emperor's new wife was entirely ignorant of what was required of her, and she lay awkwardly as her husband did nothing. The following morning, the Chancellor asked the Emperor about the preceding night, and he told him that he had not consummated the marriage. Crownapoulos was much troubled by this. The Emperor was in a dangerous mood, and by the end of January 7, had told most of the influential magnates of the Court of his inability to make love to the Empress. He even ordered Dr. Butteria to issue a medical report stating that he was capable of sexual relations, but not with his wife. Annaliese of Denver now became the butt of jokes. Yet she settled into her position with dignity. Many people liked her and admired her courage and common sense; the subjects were impressed with what they had seen and heard of her. On January 11, she attended a tournament held in honor of her marriage. Yet her efforts to please had little effect upon her husband. The Chancellor told the Council that the new Empress remained a virgin because the Emperor "did not like her body, and could not be provoked or stirred to the act, though able to do it with others."
  • January 14-On January 14, 1740, Haynsian Despot Jay X Karany, whose health had been in decline since the end of the Third Laurasian-Marasharite War, died at the Khan's Martial Palace on Bahkchisiray of complications from a attack of Vremiaes paralysis. His death was widely mourned throughout the Haynsian Despotate, for he was viewed by many of his Haynsian subjects as the man responsible for turning back the "onslaught" of the Laurasian Empire. Marasharite Emperor Sassas III elevated the youngest son of Jay IX Karany, Nathaliet II, to the Haynsian throne.
  • January 25-On January 25, 1740, Sir Christopheus Hattonius, future Minister of Justice and Procurator-General of the Laurasian Empire, and one of the leading figures and favorites of the reign of Empress Aurelia the Great, was born in Chancellor City, Katherine. He was the son of Sir Willanius Hattonius of Holdenby, Oxia Vixius (died 1746) and his wife Cleopatra Hayndsia (died 1781), the daughter of Lysimachus Hayndisa of Ralina Vixius.
  • February 12-
    • As 1740 progressed, the Emperor Antigonus's dissatisfaction with his new wife, Empress Consort Annaliese of Denver, intensified yet further. The Emperor, in spite of his worsening health and great bulk, dallied once more with many of the ladies of the Imperial Court. He continually declared to Chancellor Crownapoulos, Procurator-General Audalius, Chief Procurator Cranmerius, and others that the marriage had been a mistake, and that he had to atone to the Lord Almitis for it. The Emperor appeared at all state occasions with his wife, but sought to avoid as much association with her as possible. Annaliese of Denver conducted herself in the same manner as before. On February 4, 1740, she and the Emperor were given a civic reception by the City Councils of Christiania, Constantinople, Ralispont, Ostia, Beneventum, Mendelevium, Soriana, Herkorim, Heliotrope, Uris, Colombia, and the other major cities of Laurasia Prime at the Senatorial Palace. They also attended a series of concerts and conferences at the Galactic Exchange. Emperor Antigonus, however, had canceled his plans for a February coronation, without giving an explanation to Annaliese, or to anyone else as to why. Nevertheless, Annaliese still found herself given the due honors at the Imperial Court. By this point, it had become well known among the ladies of the Empress's household that their mistress was a wife in name only. Inhabiting a sophisticated court where intrigue and adultery were commonplace, they found it scarcely believable that the Empress could be so innocent. This impression was furthered by one occasion.
    • On February 12, 1740, while she was in conversation with her chief lady-in-waiting, the Duchess of Reoyania, and with Ladies Ruthania and Egertonia, Annaliese espoused to them the qualities and solicitations of her husband. She asserted that he was a "kind and endearing" husband, and said that "when he comes to bed he kisses me, and takes me by the hand, and bids me: Good Night, sweetheart, and in the morning kisses me, and bids me: Farewell, Darling." The ladies exchanged furtive glances upon hearing this. After a pause, they told Annaliese that they hoped she would soon be pregnant, to which she replied that she knew very well that she was not. Lady Egertonia now stated her belief that the Empress was still a virgin. Annaliese, incredulous at this, repeated what she had said earlier and asked if she was not doing enough. Lady Ruthania now told her that more needed to be done, lest the Empire not have an additional Grand Prince. They then proceeded to enlighten her with the details of sexual relations. The Duchess of Reoyania then warned her imperial mistress that that if the Emperor had not expressed any interest in her at this stage, then the marriage would be terminated. Annaliese, from this point forth, became anxious. She now knew that something was very wrong with her glittering marriage; in one stroke her illusions about the Emperor had been effectively shattered. What was the meaning of his neglect? Did he not love her? Did he intend to set her aside, as he had done with Katharina? Or do away with her, as he had done with Anna Boleyenia? The Emperor, on his part, told the Council, on February 22, 1740, that his conscience would not permit him to consummate his marriage. The Council, realizing that they were being ordered to begin the process of annulment, told His Majesty that non-consummation would be grounds for such, and that they would investigate the matter further.
    • And in March 1740, there arrived a new figure on the scene: Lady Katharina Howardis, niece of the Duke of Norfolkius, and cousin of the late Empress Consort Anna Boleyenia. Lady Katharina turned nineteen that month; her uncle, the Duke of Norfolkius, who had long resented the influence of Chancellor Crownapoulos, and was hopeful that he could use his niece as leverage, in regards to the Emperor, decided to secure a place for her in the Imperial Household. On March 19, 1740, Lady Howardis, five days after her arrival at the Quencilvanian Palace, was appointed a lady-in-waiting in the household of the Empress Consort. She quickly came to prominence due to her great beauty, wit, and her flirtatious nature. She was in many ways Annaliese's contrast. She stood at only 5 ft 3 inches tall, whereas Annaliese stood at 5 ft 10 inches. She was slender like Annaliese, but, in the eyes of many, carried herself better than the Empress Consort. Like her cousin, Anna Boleyenia, Katharina was talkative, well versed in the techniques of courtly love, and vivacious, seeking to engage herself in everything and with everyone. She displayed at all times great optimism and energy, lacing it with a veneer of innocence and subordination. Katharina was also devout, and strictly adhered to the customs and services of the Almitian Church. All of this compensated for her lack of education (Katharina knew no other language besides Laurasian), and her lack of interest in literature or the classics. It was with these qualities that Katharina, on April 6, 1740, first caught the attention of Emperor Antigonus. Antigonus was entranced by her love for life, her understanding of the rituals of the Imperial Court, and her youthfulness, which to him suggested that she would be capable of bearing many children. The Emperor therefore began to court Katharina, sending her small gifts and in communiques, expressing his love for her. The Empress Consort had no idea of what was going on. Katharina, on her part, ignored the Emperor's ulcer, and received his attention with much eagerness. Antigonus, by this point, had grown even more corpulent. He was now incapable of much physical exercise, had aged beyond his years, and was frequently irascible. He was quick to burst out in temper and given to bouts of deep depression as the years advanced. Yet on occasion he could still exert himself to be charming, especially to the ladies, and he was now doing so for Katharina's benefit.
  • April 17-On April 17, 1740, Sir Thomasius Crownapoulos, Chancellor of the Laurasian Empire, Minister of the Imperial Chancellory, and President of the Imperial Privy Council, was formally created Earl of Estatius by his imperial master, Emperor Antigonus. The Earldom of Estatius had fallen vacant upon the death of Sir Antigonus Boucherius, 2nd Earl of Estatius, on March 13, 1740. Boucherius, who had acceded to the Earldom of Estatius in 1703, had been in the service of the Imperial Laurasian Government since the reign of Neuchrus I; he was, at the time of his death, the last surviving of that Emperor's chief officials. Boucherius's daughter, Lady Anna Boucherius (who had been married to Sir Willanius Parrius, brother of the future Empress Consort Katharina Parrius in 1737), had inherited the Barony of Boucherius, but not the Earldom, according to the rules of hereditary succession as devised by the Heraldry Chamber. This therefore freed the Emperor to reward one of his chief favorites. The investiture ceremony took place at the Diplomatic Palace in Christiania. In this same ceremony, the Chancellor was also named Imperial Privy Seal, thereby making him one of the Six Officers of State of the Imperial Household. According to the elevation proclamations, as issued by the Emperor, Crownapoulos was so honored because of his "successful" arrangement of the Emperor's marriage with the Lady Annaliese of Denver and his hard work in years of service to the Neuchrian Dynasty, particularly as regards to the reformation of the Imperial Almitian Church. In reality, Emperor Antigonus had, by this point, come to believe Crownapoulos was the one solely responsible for his marriage to the Lady Annaliese, and that Crownapoulos had conspired with the Empire's enemies to deny it the full benefit of its gains in the Third Laurasian-Marasharite War. The elevation of Crownapoulos was, therefore, partially an effort by the Emperor to deceive everyone at the Imperial Court as regards to his true intentions. Antigonus, moreover, had confided to Norfolkius that he meant to force Crownapoulos to terminate the marriage before he destroyed him. Antigonus was now telling all in company that he could "not overcome his aversion to the Empress sufficiently to consider her as his wife"; he was sure, he said mournfully, that Almitis would never send him any more children if he continued in this marriage, and declared that "before Almitis, he thought she was not his lawful wife." His Council remembered hearing this before, and hoped this Empress would not be as obdurate as the first had been.
  • May 31-
    • On May 31, 1740, A'rua II, the Autocratic Emperor of Pruthia, Elector of Brandenburg, Duke of Pomerania, Magdeburg, Ravensberg, Mark, and Cleves, Prince of Neuchatel, and Duke of East Pruthia, died at the Sansoucci Palace on Potsdam, in the Autocratic Pruthian Empire. He was fifty-one years old at the time of his death and had ruled for twenty-seven years, since 1713. A'rua II's reign had witnessed the transformation of the Pruthian Empire into one of the leading economic and military powers in the Great Amulak Spiral. A'rua, who had been known as the "Soldier Emperor", had devoted most of his efforts to strengthening and expanding Pruthia's military forces. With the aid of Lea'dus, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau (1674-1747), A'rua had transformed the Pruthian Military into one of the most formidable forces of any extra-galactic power. By the time of his death, one out of every five males in the Pruthian population was a active-duty member of the military forces of the reserves. Discipline, organization, and conformity were essential to Pruthia's military structure. Through a series of reforms from 1723 to 1733, A'rua had established the Canton System, by which the entirety of his realms were divided into "military cantons" for the purposes of military mobilization and conscription. A'rua combined the militias and police units of his various estates into a uniform national security force; required regular furloughs for all recruits into the Pruthian military service; and established strict procedures on military procurement and supply from the estates and businesses of all nobles and gentlemen in the Pruthian realms. A'rua sponsored the reorganization of the Pruthian General Headquarters and of the Pruthian War Staff, thereby subordinating both institutions to a Secretariat of Defense.
    • He also established the Potsdam Guards, which became the chief elite regiments of the Pruthian Emperors, and the focus of the honorary military structure. In order to accomplish all of this, A'rua levied uniform taxes, particularly on capital gains, income, property, and sales, upon all of his subjects; required the Estates of Brandenburg, Pomerania, and East Pruthia to provide him with comprehensive reports on the revenues and income of the territories they were responsible for; and introduced regular procedures for the state budget, and for payment of the state debt. He dictated the Regulations of State Officials, which provided the specific duties and obligations of all officials, representatives, and agents of the Pruthian State; the Regulations, furthermore, held them accountable for all failures. A'rua encouraged agriculture, industry, and mining alike; continued the generous religious freedom and settlement privileges as had been guaranteed by his successors; and sponsored the colonization of numerous star systems in East Pruthia. By 1740, Pruthia had the largest budget surplus of any Amulak power (only the Laurasian Empire had a larger surplus out of any of the powers), and a military that was the fifth-largest overall (after those of Laurasia, Spamalka, Franconia, and Haxonia), which was ahead of those of Austarlia, Vendragia, Portugallia, and the Marasharite Empire. A'rua's reign had also seen the acquisition of Dusseldorf, Upper Guelders, Cleves, Lubeck, Holstein-Gottorp, Scandalag Pomerania, Ravensberg and Berg, Lower Lusatia, Strelitz, and several minor principalities; with the exception of Scandalag Pomerania, A'rua had acquired all of these territories through treaty and threat of force.
    • A'rua had, in the last years of his reign, suffered from bad health. He had become grossly overweight, and he was no longer as athletic as earlier. He was now succeeded as Emperor of Pruthia by his eldest child, Crown Prince Pru'a, who became Pru'a IX of Pruthia. Pru'a, who was twenty-eight years old at the time of his accession to the throne, was handsome, energetic, ambitious, and intelligent, although he was only 5 ft 2 inches tall (Franjak I of Franconia, by contrast, was nearly 7 ft tall, and even Holy Spamalkan Emperor Char'va I stood decent at 5 ft 11 inches). He was nevertheless determined to assert the position of Pruthia in the Great Amulak Spiral, and to limit the power of Spamalka and Austarlia alike. He was also interested in improving diplomatic relations with the still-distant Laurasian Empire, and in fostering contacts with Franconia, Haxonia, Masacavania, and other powers. He sought to maintain Pruthian influence in the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth, but in cooperation with the Imperial Laurasian Government. Pru'a was destined to be one of the longest-reigning sovereigns of the eighteenth century, and would rule for the next forty-six years (until 1786).
  • June 10-
    • By June 1740, both Emperor Antigonus and Chancellor Crownapoulos's enemies had resolved upon action. The Duke of Norfolkius, as explained above, had been instrumental in bringing his niece, Lady Katharina Howardis, into the service of the Imperial Household. He had done this with the goal of undermining, and ultimately destroying, the Chancellor's influence. Yet in May 1740, Norfolkius conceived the idea that the destruction of the Emperor's marriage with Annaliese of Denver would accord with his goals. By casting her aside, Antigonus, in Norfolkius's mind, would also be able to get rid of Crownapoulos. Norfolkius found that he had the support of Sufforia, Cranmerius, Audalius, Americana, Hannah, and many of the other prominent personages in the Imperial Laurasian Government. They all had come to believe that Crownapoulos needed to be set aside, and sought to look after their own interests. It was on May 29, 1740, that Norfolkius, in a personal audience with the Emperor, raised the idea that Crownapoulos was now "deeply unpopular with Your Majesty's subjects", and that he needed to be dealt with accordingly. Emperor Antigonus agreed, for he had long since placed all blame upon Crownapoulos for the marriage. He felt very sorry for himself, let it be known that he was "weary of life", and was determined to gain revenge. On May 8, Antigonus had raised the subject of the marriage again in a session of the Privy Council, informing them that he did not wish to remain "bound to a wife of a nature that repelled him." But first, Crownapoulos had to be removed; Antigonus had abandoned his earlier idea of using the Chancellor to terminate the marriage.
    • The Emperor, therefore, decided to proceed in a dramatic fashion. Crownapoulos, on his part, had no idea of what was to await him. On June 10, 1740, the Chancellor opened a session of the Imperial Privy Council, at the Private Council Chambers of the Quencilvanian Palace. Just as he did so, he was then suddenly denounced by his colleagues as a "traitor to His Majesty", and was arrested by Valedictorian Guards who had been waiting outside of the chambers. When the Chancellor was taken into custody, he pulled his cap off his head and angrily flung it to the ground; this was the exasperated gesture of a gambler, who had now been tricked by the master which he had served. Crownapoulos was imprisoned, on the Emperor's orders, at the Fortress of Baureux. Two days after his imprisonment, he wrote a communique to the Emperor, declaring his innocence and begging for "mercy, mercy, mercy." The Emperor, however, refused to heed his pleas. On June 19, 1740, he issued an imperial manifesto formally depriving Crownapoulos of the Earldom of Estatius, barely two months after he had conferred the same upon him. Crownapoulos was also formally dismissed from his positions as Chancellor, Imperial Privy Seal, Minister of the Chancellory, and President of the Privy Council. He also was deprived of all honors and grants which had been conferred on him during the course of the preceding eight years.
  • June 29-On June 29, 1740, Emperor Antigonus, bypassing the normal judicial proceedings of the Special Court, imposed an imperial writ of attainder against the former Chancellor and Earl of Estatius, Thomasius Crownapoulos. In the writ of attainder, Crownapoulos was accused of les-majestie, treason, heresy, and corruption. The Emperor declared to his subjects that the former Chancellor had been "sowing discord in the Imperial Household", that he was secretly in favor of persons such as the late Bishop Fisherius and Sir Thomasius Morius, and that he had contrived the marriage of the Emperor with the Lady of Denver out of "spite for His Imperial Majesty." The Emperor also included the testimony of Sir Richardius Richius, who was again displaying his duplicity and usefulness. He testified that Crownapoulos was prepared, if necessary, to fight for the reformation of the Church even if it were in defiance of the Emperor. Due to this testimony by Richius, the Emperor claimed, Crownapoulos did not deserve a trial, and consequently should be immediately brought to justice. The writ of attainder therefore condemned Crownapoulos to death and commanded that his execution would be deferred until after the annulment of "our present marriage." Antigonus also reduced the death penalty to one of execution by firing squad, thereby showing some "mercy" towards Crownapoulos. The former Chancellor, on his part, wrote a communique to Antigonus, asking for him to spare his life, and stating: "To me, you have been most bountiful, more like a father than a master. I ask mercy where I have offended, but I have done my best, no one can justly accuse me of having done wrong willfully." Antigonus ignored this, and indeed, on the very same day the writ of attainder was imposed, he appointed Sir Eumenes Diadones, 1st Baronet Diadones of Charasia (1688-1758), as the new Chancellor, Privy Council President, and Minister of the Imperial Chancellory of the Empire. Diadones thereby replaced Crownapoulos in those positions. Diadones had served as Minister of Energy and Planetary Resources since 1734, and from 1737-40, was Vice-Chancellor of the Empire. Diadones would retain his new posts for the remainder of the Emperor's reign.
  • July 9-
    • Following the arrest and imprisonment of Chancellor Crownapoulos, Emperor Antigonus wasted no time in annulling his marriage to the Lady Annaliese of Denver. On June 24, the Emperor had dispatched Empress Annaliese to the Gilbertine Palace on Tudoria, on the pretext that she needed a venture from Laurasia Prime. Annaliese had left without question, but with forebodings. Franconian Ambassador Marillac reported to his government that the Emperor's attentions were now fixed upon "another lady of significance." Antigonus then claimed that he would join Annaliese at Tudoria, but refrained from doing so. By that point, the Emperor's affection for Lady Howardis, and his desire to end his marriage, had become widely known beyond the Imperial Court. Indeed, Antigonus visited her numerous times while still on Laurasia Prime, attended always by the Duke of Norfolkius. Katharina, on her part, receiving advice from her family, played upon her "virgin modesty" to lure the Emperor in; thus she followed in the footsteps of Anna Boleyenia and Theodora Seymouris. The Emperor was, for the last time, passionately in love. On June 29, 1740, the Imperial Privy Council and Governing Senate instigated official legal proceedings into the validity of the Emperor's marriage, on the grounds that it had never been consummated and that the Lady Annaliese was pre-contracted to marry Lord Feresus Meredius of Jared. By July 5, the Empress had heard about the rumors at the Court, and the commencement of legal proceedings, but she became determined not to become another Katharina of Shenandoah. On July 6, 1740, she was formally informed by the Councils of State about her husband's decision to reconsider the marriage.
    • She was asked if they ever consummated their marriage. Annaliese, who realized that Antigonus did not want to be married to her any longer, and understanding the dangers of opposition, dutifully replied that the marriage had not been consummated. This gave Chief Procurator Cranmerius the justification he needed to proceed forth. The Emperor, on his part, composed a communique in which he declared that his separation from Annaliese had no "ulterior motive"; that he had genuinely wished for the marriage to take place; and that he had been deceived by Crownapoulos, and by others among his subordinates, as regards to the Lady's appearance and traits. Both Sir Brownia and the Earl of Southerton lent credence to this, the Emperor said, as would the condemned Crownapoulos. More so, Dr. Butteria reissued his report on the Emperor's health, and gave evidence that the marriage had never been consummated. The following day, the Chief Procurator convened an assembly of the Holy Synod, of the other Councils of State, and of the most prominent figures of the Imperial Court, at the Senatorial Palace in order to decide on the validity of the marriage. Stephanus Gardinerius, Archbishop of Winchestrius, explained the causes of the "nullity of His Majesty's marriage" to the assembly, and then proceeded to list the reasons for an annulment: 1) The required documents to provide the invalidity of any precontracts had never been produced 2) The marriage had been contracted "reluctantly" 3) The consummation had been postponed because the Emperor was unsure about the precontracts and 4) The marriage had been contrived by the "evil designs" of Chancellor Crownapoulos.
    • The Duchess of Reoyania, Lady Ralanchaford (the widow of the late Viscount Georgius Boleyenia), Lady Ruthania, and Lady Egertonia all testified about the Empress Consort's statements relating to her husband's conduct and the non-consummation of their marriage. It was thus, on July 9, 1740, that the Holy Synod, under the direction of Chief Procurator Cranmerius, formally annulled the marriage of Emperor Antigonus with the Lady Annaliese of Denver. Annaliese was therefore deprived of the title of Empress Consort. On July 11, she signed a declaration signifying her agreement to the termination of the marriage. She beseeched the Lord Almitis to send the Emperor good life and health; expressed her hope to be readmitted to his "noble presence"; and declared her belief that the marriage had been the doing of the anti-Almitis, though she praised Antigonus's qualities and merits as sovereign and as a man. She signed herself "Your Majesty's humble sister and servant, the Lady of Denver." Emperor Antigonus, on his part, decided to be generous to his now ex-wife. By imperial manifesto on July 13, he granted her the honorary title and rank of "The Emperor's Sister", with precedence above all other women in the Empire. She was also created Baroness of Denver, given a lifetime imperial pension of €11.9 billion dataries a year, and awarded ten properties from the Imperial Estates, including Heverian Castle on Fulcania, once one of the chief residences of the Boleyenia family. On July 14, 1740, a delegation from the Privy Council delivered to Annaliese the final copy of the annulment decree; informed her of the Emperor's rewards; and communicated to her Antigonus's thanks for her easy submission to his will on this matter. Annaliese was relieved at the news, and she had emerged from her situation in a better state, financially, then before. Moreover, the Universe still knew that she was a virgin: Annaliese was therefore free to remarry if she wished.
    • The Lady would, furthermore, on July 21, 1740, be granted the privilege of returning to the Imperial Court as a guest aristocrat, with the same privileges as any of the Emperor's other courtiers. Annaliese now conducted herself in a manner "befitting a lady", returned her wedding ring to the Emperor, and praised his qualities. Moreover, she submitted all of her correspondence to his agents, and complied with all of his demands. This satisfied the Emperor greatly, who was happy that she had submitted in such a quick manner. Annaliese, on her part, had by now come to know all of the Emperor's children. She established a warm friendship with Lady Didymeia, who was just five months younger than her. Yet of the three, it was Aurelia, the bright perceptive child, of whom she was most fond. Annaliese had a kind heart, and she felt sorry for this little girl who had been so cruelly deprived of her mother. Aurelia's beauty, wit, and demonstrative nature charmed her; Annaliese thought it a pleasure to have her company sometimes. She asked the Emperor if she might be permitted to visit Aurelia on occasion; Antigonus granted her request. Franconian Ambassador Marillac, in a communique of July 21, 1740, to King Franjak, expressed his astonishment that Annaliese had submitted so quickly to the termination of the marriage.
  • July 28-
    • On July 28, 1740, at the Palace of Placenta on Darcia, Emperor Antigonus was married to his fiancee, Lady Katharina Howardis, just nineteen days after the annulment of his prior marriage with the Baroness Annaliese of Denver. They had been formally engaged to be married on July 19, in a ceremony at the Diplomatic Palace on Laurasia Prime. Lady Katharina was, according to official accounts, "adorned in the most exquisite costumes" and for her youthful age, managed to conduct herself with decorum. The Duke of Norfolkius, who had become uncle-in-law to the Emperor Antigonus for the second time, gave the bride away to her imperial husband. Baroness Annaliese of Denver herself, as well as the Ladies Didymeia and Aurelia, Grand Prince Demetrius, Procurator-General Audalius, Chief Procurator Cranmerius (who officiated the ceremony), and the Emperor's good friend, the Duke of Sufforia, were among the personages present at the ceremony. The ceremonies for the marriage were lavish. Largess was distributed to crowds in star systems throughout the Empire; an official imperial proclamation enjoined all to celebrate the marriage and to wish for its success in yielding more children to continue the Neuchrian Dynasty; and a three-day public holiday was proclaimed. Antigonus was forty-nine years old at the time of this wedding, and had by this point clearly lost the athleticism and physical attributes which had been so endearing earlier in the reign. The Emperor's vanity, however, ensured that official imperial accounts would continue to praise his merits. Katharina would be formally proclaimed Empress Consort on August 4, 1740.
    • On the very same day of Emperor Antigonus's marriage with Katharina Howardis, former Chancellor and Earl of Estatius, Thomasius Crownapoulos, was executed at the Fortress of Baureux, in front of a crowd of more than 300,000 persons. Crownapoulos conducted himself in a dignified and calm manner, and to the last, proclaimed his innocence. He declared, in the traditional speech offered to the witnesses of the execution, that he had remained a loyal and hard-working servant for His Imperial Majesty; that he was dedicated to reform of the Almitian Church; and that he had sought to strike against the Emperor's enemies without mercy. He was then dispatched by firing squad, with one volley being sufficient to bring him to his death. Crownapoulos's body was buried at the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vicula in the Fortress; Antigonus had also refrained from excommunicating him. Many within the Empire rejoiced at the execution of Crownapoulos, who had been responsible for the execution of the Emperor's religious and administrative policies and had accumulated much wealth for himself in the imperial service. Many viewed him as untrustworthy and as scrupulous; that he looked after only his own interests. His execution, however, went virtually unnoticed on Laurasia Prime, due to the festivities surrounding the Emperor's new marriage. Yet as time passed, Emperor Antigonus would come to regret the execution of Chancellor Crownapoulos, believing that others had "induced" him to sanction such a heinous act. On March 3, 1741, Franconian Ambassador Marillac would report to his government that the Emperor was lamenting that "on the pretext of light and transient charges, I put to death the most faithful servant that I ever had." On his orders, Crownapoulos would be granted a posthumous pardon in 1744 and interred at the Cathedral of St. Euesbius in Colombia, Laurasia Prime.
  • August 9-
    • On August 9, 1740, Emperor Antigonus and his new wife, Empress Consort Katharina Howardis (who was the youngest of his wives), embarked on a tour throughout the Laurasia Prime Purse Region, both to commemorate the state of peace which the Laurasian Empire then resided in and to also present the new Empress Consort to her subjects. Over this period of time, the imperial couple visited many different strongholds, including Caladaria, Darcia, Ralina Vixius, Oxia Vixius, the Cron Drift, Apathama Vixius, Augis V, Vetta, Aquilionia, Volta, Lusculum, Katie, Arias, Manil, the Station of Dosch, Janesia, Maroni, Dearton's Gateway, Aeoleon, Americana, Charasia, Katherine, Osama, Little Mexicana, Australasia, Rebecca, Metallasia, the Andrianian Cluster, Mercedes, and Constantine I. Baroness Annaliese of Denver, who had attended their wedding on July 28, received a visit from them on August 6, at Fulcania, before the official commencement of the progress. Ambassador Marillac reported to his government that Antigonus and Annaliese were on the "best possible terms, and they supped so pleasantly together that some thought she was to be restored to her place." This was not entirely a social call; the Privy Council presented Annaliese with one final document, a formal deed of separation. Moreover, Antigonus was treating Annaliese with less distinction then when she was an Empress. She dined at some distance from him. The Ambassador concluded from this that there was no likelihood of Antigonus taking her back. There were rumors still, however, and on August 8, the Emperor ordered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to officially inform all ambassadors abroad that he had remarried.
    • On that same day, Katharina had made her first official appearance as Empress on Laurasia Prime; they then departed for the aforementioned progress. Katharina enjoyed herself on the journey, and reveled in her new-found importance. Her doting husband was happy to gratify her every whim: every day, she had new accouterments, and appeared laden with the jewellery which Antigonus had showered her. He had rarely been so extravagant with his previous wives. Each day, Katharina discovered some new caprice, and her greed earned her the disapproval of many at the Court, including the Lady Didymeia, who did not treat her with the same respect as she had Theodora Seymouris and Annaliese of Denver. Didymeia found it discomfiting to have a stepmother five years her junior. Before long, Katharina Howardis revealed herself as a frivolous, empty-headed young girl who cared for little else but dancing and pretty clothes. This did not bother the Emperor much, who reveled himself. Nothing in Katharina's early life had prepared her for her present position. Her youngest years had been spent in impoverished gentility. She had then gone to live with the Dowager Duchess of Norfolkius, who had neglected her in every respect. But now, Katharina had the Emperor as her husband, unlimited riches at her disposal, and an army of servants at her beck and call. It all went to her head. However, she had a pleasing manner and personality, never displaying the arrogance which had been shown by her cousin, Anna Boleyenia. She had a kind heart, and was willing to help those in trouble. But she was also incapable of resisting the facile charm of sycophants. She had virtually no understanding of the intrigues and pitfalls surrounding her, and her obvious innocence would lay her open to particularly compromising situations. The Emperor, on his part, visited her routinely, but she did not conceive; Antigonus was no longer capable of fathering a child.
    • In late August, 1740, the Empress's household was reformed. The ladies appointed to serve Katharina included Lady Constantia Douglain, the Emperor's niece, the Duchess of Conservan, the Dowager Duchess of Norfolkius, the Countess of Jadia, Lady Margarina Howardis, and Lady Clitonia. The Countess of Ruthania, Lady Ralanchaford, Lady Egertonia, and Lady Baytonia were also attached to her. Ambassador Marillac reported throughout the course of the progress on the luxuries and other ventures of the Court. The progress itself continued until the Court arrived at Tudoria on October 22, 1740. There, the Emperor was astonished to hear that rumors had circulated, saying he had impregnated Annaliese of Denver during the progress. These had no basis, and a short investigation revealed the lie. In late October, 1740, Lady Constantia Douglain became involved in an affair with Lord Thomasius Howardis; she was banished from the Court by the Emperor as a result. In November 1740, many were still hoping that the Empress would become pregnant. Marriage, however, had rejuvenated the Emperor. Marillac would report on December 4, that the Emperor had adopted a new daily routine, and had resumed some of his prior exercises. The imperial couple came to the Fountain Palace on Venasia, staying there from December 7 to 18, and then moved to Hampsonian Palace on Jared for Ascentmas. Antigonus remained enchanted with his wife as the year closed out.
  • October 20-On October 20, 1740, Char'vak V, Holy Emperor of Austarlia, Archduke of the Austarlian Inner Duchies, Elector of Hapsburg, King of Hungary, Bohemia, Slavonia, and Croatia, Grand Prince of Wurttemberg and Baden, Grand Duke of Austarlian Burgundy and Brussalia, Grand Duke of the Vatican Circles, and Prince of Transylvania, died at the Favorita Palace on Vienna. He was aged 55 at the time of his death and was the second most senior sovereign, having ruled for twenty-nine years (since 1711). Emperor Char'vak had been hunting in the grounds near the Favorita Palace when he fell violently ill and retired to the Palace, where his death was witnessed by many of the chief courtiers of the Holy Austarlian Court of Vienna. Char'vak, who had been the erstwhile ally of the Laurasian Empire in the War of the Dejanican Succession and the Third Laurasian-Marasharite War, considered himself to be betrayed by the Laurasian inability and slow pace, in providing assistance to him against the Marasharites invading his dominions. At the time of his death, the hereditary dominions of the Holy Austarlian Empire were financially and militarily exhausted. The Holy Austarlian Treasury was virtually bankrupt, to the tune of two quadmillion Austarlian kronas, due to the Emperor's lavish courtly expenses, the administrative expenses of his realms, and the Empire's involvement in the Dejanican and Marasharite conflicts of the past decade. Rebellion and civil dissent flared in Hungary, Bohemia, Moravia, and Transylvania against the Emperor's government; Char'vak had ignored the advice of Prince Eugene of Savoy to replenish his treasury and reorganize his military forces. He had squandered all of his diplomatic and financial resources on securing the succession for his elder daughter, Mar'va Tarvania. With Char'vak dead, his daughter, who was inexperienced in cares of state and pregnant with her first son (Joseth II, who would be born on March 13, 1741) acceded to the Austarlian throne. Empress Mar'va Tarvania of Austarlia, as she now was, was twenty-three years old at the time of her accession. The Holy Austarlian Empress would soon be hard-pressed to defend her hereditary possessions, as the eyes of her contemporary, Pru'a IX, who was so recently established upon his throne, alighted upon the Austarlian Duchies of Silesia (Silania), which had been disputed between the Austarlians and Pruthians for more than a century.
  • October 29-On October 29, 1740, Sir Franconius Dracius, Fleet Admiral of the Laurasian Empire and one of the most prominent naval commanders in Laurasian history was born in the Northern District of Goodman. He was the son of Sir Athanasius Dracius (1712-85), a minor agriculturalist and small goods businessman on Goodman, and his wife Mariana Ethalaria (1715-94).
  • November 5-On November 5, 1740, Duke Ernestia Bironia of Northania and Semigallia, who had been installed upon the ducal throne with the support of the Imperial Laurasian Government the previous year, was deposed from his position by those very same patrons. Ever since being formally invested as Duke in January 1739, Bironia had conspired with noble and governmental circles within the Duchy who were opposed to the influence of Emperor Antigonus within his territories, and within the dominions of his suzerain, the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Bironia, furthermore, had revealed himself to be lazy and shiftless; he did not seek to vigorously promote the interests of his Laurasian supporters, and he lavished riches upon his own subordinates. All of this aroused the ire of Emperor Antigonus, who believed that if Bironia were not dealt with now, the Empire's position within the Commonwealth would deteriorate. To Antigonus, Bironia was a heinous betrayer, who did not deserve the support which he had been previously accorded. Consequently, the Emperor commanded the Imperial Intelligence Agency to stir up a palace coup against the wayward Duke. Bironia found himself betrayed by his own guards regiments and by Prince Anton Ulrich of Goldingen, who was one of the Laurasian Empire's most ardent supporters. The Northanian Diet formally condemned Bironia to life exile on the Northanian colony of Yaraslania, on November 14, 1740. This sentence would be confirmed by the Dejanican Diet in March 1741. As a result of Bironia's deposition and imprisonment, the throne of the Duchy of Northania and Semigallia fell vacant, and would remain so for the next several months.
  • December 4-Death of Sir Willanius Sandys, Lord Sandys of the Cron Drift and Imperial High Chamberlain of the Laurasian Empire (since 1730). The Emperor Antigonus III, who had considered Sandys to be a loyal and efficient subordinate, did not immediately appoint a successor to the position. The Chamberlainship, in fact, remained vacant for the next three years.
  • December 16-
    • By December 1740, the new Emperor of Pruthia, Pru'a IX, had finalized his plans for expanding the power and prestige of the Autocratic Pruthian Empire at the expense of the Austarlians. Mar'va Tarvania, herself, as she would admit in her personal memoirs, was "without money, without credit, without military forces, without experience and knowledge of my own and finally, without counsel because each of them wanted to wait and see how things would develop." Dismissing the possibility that other monarchs might try to take advantage of the situation to seize her territories, Mar'va Tarvania had focused on consolidating her own position; she sought to do this through honoring her husband. On November 21, 1740, she made her husband co-ruler of her Austarlian and Bohemian dominions (the Diet of Hungary was not then in session, and Hungarian law required for the Diet to approve the elevation of any other individual besides the monarch to regal dignities). In spite of this, Mar'va Tarvania would never allow her husband to decide matters of state and would often dismiss him from council meetings when they disagreed. The day after elevating her husband to co-rulership status, on November 22, 1740, the Empress received the formal homage of the Lower Austarlian Estates; this served as an elaborate public event, to serve as a formal recognition and legitimization of her status as sovereign. She also received an oath of fealty at Hofburg. Yet contrary to her wishes, sovereigns now broke their promises to recognize the Pragmatic Sanction.
    • By the time of his death, Emperor Char'vak had secured the accession of Laurasia, Spamalka, Haxonia, Vendragia, Dejanica, the Marasharite Empire, the Barbary States, Franconia, Bavaria, Saxony, Savoy, Tuscany, Florence, Pruthia, Portugallia, the Germanian Principalities, and Scanlania to the Pragmatic Sanction. Yet now, in November 1740, Elector Char'vak Albert of Bavaria and Franconian King Franjak I both reneged on their promises; the Elector of Saxony followed shortly afterwards. Then, on December 5, 1740, Emperor Pru'a declined to recognize the Pragmatic Sanction, and disputed Mar'va Tarvania's title as Holy Empress of Austarlia and Electoress of the Hapsburg Dynasty. Eleven days later, on December 16, 1740, the Pruthian Emperor executed a swift invasion of the Duchies of Silania. He was worried that, if he did not move to occupy Silania, King Vorrus II of Dejanica and Elector Augustus III of Saxony might cooperate with each other to seize Silania, in order to provide a corridor between their realms. Therefore, he struck quickly, using an obscure treaty between the Electors of Brandenburg and the Piest dynasty of the Duchy of Brieg, which had been signed in 1537, more than two centuries earlier, as his justification. Within seven weeks (December 1740-January 1741), Pru'a would occupy all of Silania with the exception of Glogau, Brieg, and Broslau. He thereby took possession of a territory which had been in Austarlian possession since 1526. Ohlau fell to him almost immediately, on December 18, 1740, and became the headquarters for his military forces.
    • Empress Mar'va Tarvania, when learning that Silania had been invaded, reacted in anger. On December 22, Pru'a offered a compromise to Mar'va Tarvania, promising to protect her rights against her other foreign adversaries if she in turn, acknowledged the concession of part of Silania to Pruthia. Fransios Stephen and her ministers urged her to accept, but she refused, fearing that any violation of the Pragmatic Sanction would invalidate the document. Fransios Stephen found resolve in his wife's defiance, and all became determined to fight for this "jewel of the House of Austarlia". Thus, the War of the Austarlian Succession had begun, which would drag on for nearly eight years. Mar'va Tarvania developed an immediate hatred of Pru'a, which turned into a lifelong enimity: from this point forwards, she would always refer to him as "that man". Laurasian Emperor Antigonus, on his part, watched the events between these two sovereigns, both of whom were young enough to be his children and had indeed, been born following his accession to the throne, with interest. But he decided that involvement would not be to his benefit. In a diplomatic proclamation from the Quencilvanian Palace (December 27, 1740), Antigonus formally announced his neutrality. He sought to focus on internal matters and to continue the absorption of territories conquered from the Marasharites, in that recent conflict. 1740 therefore ended with the Empire at peace, and with the Emperor having gained a new Empress-Consort.

1741Edit

  • January 7-
    • 1741, the 41st year of the eighteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire still residing in a state of relative peace and tranquility. This state, however, was to come to an end with the renewal of foreign tensions and complications for the Imperial Laurasian Government. In particular, troubles now emerged between the Empire and the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria. It is now expedient to describe the state of affairs in that realm, and the events which had occurred within Scottria during the course of the preceding decade. As mentioned above, King Jamsius V of Scottria had liberated himself from the guardianship of the Earl of Angus in 1728, and at that time, had assumed the reins of direct governance. King Jamsius's first action was to remove Angus from the scene of affairs. The Douglain family was forced into exile (May 1729), in the Laurasian Empire, while their stronghold of Tantallon, which had been fortified by Angus, was besieged and conquered by the King's forces at that same time. Jamsius then subdued the chieftains of the Western Districts, and the rebels of the Outskirt Districts. Besides taking the advice of his nobility, and employing the services of the Duke of Albany (who remained in harness until his death on July 2, 1736, at Mirefleurs), in Franconia and in the Italianian States, King Jamsius had a team of professional lawyers and diplomats, which included Adam Otterburn (1689-1748) and Sir Thomasius Erksinia of Haltoun (1675-1742). He also relied upon Sir John Tennent (1681-1749), who served as Yeoman and Accountant of the Royal Household. King Jamsius increased his own personal income by tightening control over royal estates, and from the profits of justice, customs, and feudal rights. He secured lucrative benefices, within the Scottrian Congregations, for his brood of illegitimate sons, thereby diverting substantial church wealth into his coffers.
    • He conducted fortification and expansion projects at several of his residences, including Stirling Castle, Falkland Palace, Linlithgow Palace, and Holyroodian Palace. Furthermore, King Jamsius maintained religious conformity among his subjects; between 1728 and 1742, more than 200,000 Scottrians, mainly laymen, but also including clergy, were attainted and imprisoned or executed for heresy. The most notable case was that of Patrick Hamilton, who was disintegrated at St. Andrews in 1728. In the late 1730s, the Laurasian Ambassador, Sir Rudomentus Sadielus (1707-87), who thus enters our history for the first time, and was later to become one of Empress Aurelia's leading officials, attempted to encourage Jamsius to close down Scottrian monastic establishments and confiscate their revenues. Jamsius refused, underlining his friendship towards the King of Franconia. And this leads to the next point. As early as August 1717, the Treaty of Rouen had stated that Jamsius should, upon obtaining his majority, marry a princess of the Franconian royal line. Yet the daughters of King Franjak were already engaged, or were in bad physical condition. In the solstice of 1729, Jamsius's envoys began negotiations for his marriage elsewhere, both to Catharina d'Medici (who had not yet married Prince Hensios of Franconia) and to Mary of Durthia, Princess of Hungary (1705-58), who was the sister of Holy Spamalkan Emperor Char'va I. Yet by 1735, Jamsius had definitively resolved upon a Franconian marriage. King Franjak insisted that his daughter Madeleine was in poor physical condition for marriage.
    • But on March 6, 1736, a contract was made for King Jamsius to marry Mariana of Bourdon (1715-38), daughter of the Duke of Vendome. Jamsius, in pursuance with this, visited Franconia from September 1736 to February 1737. It was on January 1, 1737, that the King married Madeleine of Valois, for he and King Franjak had finally reached agreement in regards to their union. Jamsius, who could not speak Franconian, was nevertheless delighted by his new wife, and all of the festivities. Their marriage, in turn, angered Emperor Antigonus of Laurasia, who was nevertheless still distracted by the Third Laurasian-Marasharite War. Jamsius and Madeleine arrived at Leith on May 19, 1737. Madeleine, however, declined rapidly, and she died on Ediania on July 7, 1737, at the age of only sixteen. Jamsius expressed some regret at her death, but proceeded to another marriage. On June 12, 1738, he wed Mariana of Guise (1715-60), daughter of Claude, Duke of Guise (1696-1750), and the widow of Lujak II, Duke of Longueville (1710-37). On May 22, 1740, Mariana gave birth to King Jamsius's first son and child, Jamsius, Duke of Rothesay. On April 13, 1741, his wife would give birth to Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany. Both sons, however, would die on April 21, 1741. These Franconian marriages served to nurture stronger ties between Scottria and Franconia, but also to encourage greater hostility towards the Laurasian Empire.
    • King Jamsius himself, as early as 1734, had contemplated ideas of renewing war with the Laurasian Empire. He sought to recover the Homi and Garaman Provinces, to restrict Laurasian military and diplomatic power, and to maintain his own kingdom's position in the Galactic Borderlands. By November 1740, the King had begun drafting, in secret, strategies for a potential conflict with Laurasia in the near-future. It was on January 7, 1741, that the King held the first in a series of consultations with the Scottrian Council of State and the Scottrian Estates, concerning the possibility of an offensive war against the Laurasian Empire. By that point, Laurasia and Scottria had remained at peace for twenty-seven years, since the conclusion of the Treaty of the Riverite Asteroid Belt in May 1714. This was to be the longest interlude of peace between the two powers during the eighteenth century (up to 1779). King Jamsius made sure to hold these consultations in secret. However, his mother, Queen-Dowager Constantia, who was now fifty-one years old and in declining health, was bitterly opposed to conflict with her brother's realm, and had for years sought to influence her son and other Scottrian officials in that direction. Jamsius, however, was ambitious, and determined to gain glory in war.
  • February 22-January and February 1741 witnessed the series of consultations between the King and his ministers continue, while at the same time, his War Council prepared the official strategies, and plans, for a conflict in the Galactic Borderlands. On January 20, 1741, King Jamsius had ordered the Earls of Caithness and Glencairn to prepare an official dossier on the state, positions, and organization of all Scottrian garrisons and units then stationed in the Galactic Borderlands. Five days later, Jamsius privately declared to Sir Otterburn that "this conflict will eliminate the face of shame which has descended upon my father's reputation, and will eliminate the disastrous results of the Battle of Grenada." Finally, on February 22, 1741, the War Council presented its official plan to the King; Jamsius now granted it his formal authorization. The plan envisioned for the recovery of the Homi and Garaman Provinces (that is, Sommers, Kaluna, Genoa, Cydamus, Gholaia, Garbia, Garama, Humbleton Mist, Vescera, Castellum Dimmdi, Gemallae, Thabudeos, Thubnae and Zabi), the Western Hypasian Territories (that is, the strongholds of Thak Duro, Guh Naso, and Pram Buhdamidal), and the Rogerian Cluster; the demolition of all Laurasian garrisons, military fortresses, etc. in the Vectorian and Arachosian Provinces; and the restoration, by the Imperial Laurasian Government, of any properties, financial compensations, or other tributes exacted from Scottria as a result of the disastrous war of 1713-14. King Jamsius even flirted with the idea of compelling his Laurasian counterpart to return all territories in the Northern Galactic Borderlands, which had been seized by his Empire since 1716, and of creating a neutral zone in the Neo-Merlite Provinces between Laurasian and Scottrian territories. He also sought to protect the interests of the Traditionalist factions within the Empire, and to protect those who faced persecution at the hands of Emperor Antigonus, Chief Procurator Cranmerius, and their subordinates. Acting in further accordance with his goals of war, the King of Scottria, on March 6, 1741, appointed General Roan O'Nell of Kirclady (1687-1742) as the Governor of the Districts of Kalbacha and Rasdalla, and as the supreme commander of Scottrian military forces in the Galactic Borderlands. O'Nell assumed his commission immediately, departing from Branxholme on March 8. He arrived at Rasdalla Major on March 14, 1741, and pushed forward with preparations of an imminent move into Laurasian territory. Yet Scottrian plans were soon to be completely disrupted.
  • March 12-
    • By March 1741, the suspicions of the Emperor Antigonus, Chancellor Diadones, and of the Imperial Privy Council, along with others within the Imperial Laurasian Government, had increased, as regards to Scottria's intentions. The Emperor of Laurasia, as explained above, was fearful of Jamsius's increasing ties to the Serene Kingdom of Franconia. In particular, he regarded his nephew's marriage to Mariana of Guise as abhorrent, and as a deterrent to the interests of the Laurasian Empire. Thus, the Emperor was determined to prevent any preemptive action on his Scottrian counterpart's part. Thus, on January 29, 1741, Emperor Antigonus authorized the Imperial Intelligence Agency to collect information on all diplomatic and governmental activities on Ediania, and to provide to him and his Council, data about Scottrian intentions and strategic dispositions. They received aid from Queen-Dowager Constantia, who still had some influence at the Royal Court, and access to the avenues of communication among the main bodies of state. Over the course of the next month and a half, Special Agent Sir Pisadies Clemdrius (1702-73), and his subordinates, had built up a substantial amount of evidence, suggesting that the Scottrians were aiming for a series of decisive strikes into the Homi, Garaman, and Rogerian Provinces. They provided this information to the Emperor and the Imperial Privy Council on March 12, 1741. Emperor Antigonus found his suspicions confirmed; he now took more proactive action, in response to the revelations. He ordered the Imperial General Headquarters to revive contingency plans, drafted over the preceding two decades, as related to any new, or potential, conflict with Scottria.
    • The Emperor, furthermore, issued instructions to the garrisons of the affected regions, mandating for increased vigilance and for the garrisons to keep their watch on the Scottrians. March and April 1741 saw a substantial diversion of military units from throughout the Empire, and particularly from the Northern Galactic Borderlands. Now that the Third Laurasian-Marasharite War was over, Antigonus and his ministers could focus their attention squarely on the Scottrian Galactic Borderlands. Field-Marshal Munnich, who had spent much of the past year rebuilding his standing with the Emperor, proved to be a vigorous proponent of these preparation schemes. In the meantime, beginning on March 22, 1741, Scottrian units began to deploy at the border strongholds of Vilmanstrand and Frederickshamm, which were located seven light-years to the west of Kaluna, and near the outskirts of the Garaman Provinces. Vilmanstrand had been colonized as far back as 1542, but it was not until 1649 before it was formally chartered by King Jamsius II of Scottria. During the second half of the seventeenth century, that star system had experienced a substantial explosion in population; by 1741, it had a population of more than six million. The Vilmanstrand Fortress was constructed from 1682-96, and experienced substantial modifications throughout the early decades of the eighteenth century; it was, by the time of this conflict, one of the most formidable military fortifications in Scottrian space. Frederickshamm was also a relatively recent Scottrian colony, having been formally colonized and chartered in 1653, although it was known to astronomers as early as 1336 and had served, from 1497 to 1632, as one of the leading smuggler hideouts in the Caladarian Galaxy. By 1741, nine decades after its formal colonization, it had a population of nearly one million. Both of these strongholds were important to the Scottrian Royal Navy, and thereby served as their chief assembly bases, for operations into the territory of their Laurasian neighbors. They were also to become the goals of the Laurasian offensive, the plans for which had already been formulated. Governor O'Nell now appointed Baronet Rob MacRoy of Testhulburne (1697-1741), as the Fleet Admiral of the 1st and 2nd Fleets of the Scottrian Royal Navy; he was to be in command of the garrisons and forces of Vilmanstrand and Frederickshamm. Yet on March 29, 1741, Emperor Antigonus ordered Lieutenant-General Lacius to assume command of the ensuing offensive; Lacius arrived at Roger Minor on April 6, and from there took command of the efforts, thus being made, by the Imperial Laurasian Military.
  • April 21-
    • Whilst preparations were underway, by both Laurasia and Scottria, for their next conflict, Empress Consort Katharina Howardis had become engaged in indiscretions at the Imperial Laurasian Court which would set the stage for her own downfall. The early months of 1741 had passed with little occurring at the Imperial Laurasian Court. On New Year's Day 1741, Emperor Antigonus had once again been generous with the Empress Consort. He had given her two pendant laces with twenty-six "fair table diamonds" and 158 "fair pearls", as well as a rope of two hundred large pearls. She also received from him a square pendant containing twenty-seven diamonds and twenty-six clusters of pearls, as well as a muffler of black velvet edged with sable fur, in which was sewed further rubies and pearls. Moreover, a "family gathering" was brought together at the Imperial Laurasian Court. Lady Didymeia had come to be present, although she had little in common with the giddy young Empress, and their relations were correct at best. Katharina did not worry about this, for Annaliese of Denver had also come to the Court. Annaliese danced with the young Empress, and received gifts from her in return. Early in February 1741, the Emperor went to Laurasia Prime alone, thereby marking their first separation since marriage. When he returned, he was sunk in apathy, and suffered from a renewed bout of pain. Katharina therefore had to preside over many of the ceremonies at the Court on her own merit. In private, she was dutiful in attending to her husband's needs, yet he had become increasingly melancholy and irascible.
    • Ambassador Marillac made comment about the Emperor's personal excesses. Moreover, the Emperor spent much of his time shut up in his personal quarters, and excluded even Katharina from his presence. He recovered by March 9, in time for his wife's twentieth birthday. During that month, Katharina interceded on behalf of both Sir Thomasius Wyatta, who had once again been imprisoned at the Fortress of Baureux, and the elderly Countess of Salaria. She managed to secure Wyatta's release (March 18, 1741), and to send a number of gifts to the condemned Countess, hanging under threat of attainder. This had raised the popularity of both Emperor and Empress, and for a time, they basked in it. By the end of March 1741, moreover, Katharina believed that she might be pregnant. Ambassador Marillac told the King of Franconia (communique of April 3, 1741) that this "would have been a very great joy to the Emperor, who it seems, believes it, and intends to have her crowned if it is found true." Katharina's hopes came to nothing, and on April 8, her physicians confirmed to her, following a medical examination, that she was not pregnant after all. Rumors then circulated that Antigonus planned to get rid of her and to remarry Annaliese of Denver. There was no foundation to this, as the Emperor hastened to reassure his wife, but his disappointment affected their relationship. Life at the Imperial Laurasian Court had become mundane. The Emperor's children had left. The young Empress was bored.
    • Disenchanted at the poor physical condition of her husband, and at odds with her own status, Katharina now, fatefully for her, strayed. She decided to turn her attentions elsewhere. She now found herself attracted to Sir Thomasius Culpepperi (1714-41), who had become Groom of the Emperor's Chamber in October 1740. Culpepperi, who had been born on April 9, 1714, at Magadalia, Augis III, was the son of Sir Alexander Culpepperi (1672-1741) and his second wife Constantia (1687-1739). He had graduated from the University of Dearton's Gateway with top honors in 1735, and had served as an attendant to Viscount Lisle, before becoming a courtier of the Imperial Household in September 1739.
    • He quickly caught the attention of Emperor Antigonus, and a year later, received an unprecedented promotion to Groom of the Chamber. Culpepperi was described by Lord Monompahlaus, then a young courtier himself, as the "most handsome man of vanity and self-worth to have resided at the Court." He was indeed, considered one of the most handsome courtiers of the Imperial Household. At 5 ft 11 in. tall, he was of average height, but compensated for this by an impressive physical bulk, smooth features, and penetrating brown eyes with sandy hair. He was intelligent and athletic, with a passion for the social sciences, forensics, psychology, and philosophy, and for shockball, tennis, rugby, track and field, and hunting. He was also arrogant, believing himself entitled to the attention of others, and competed with his peers for the attention of the ladies of the Court. In accordance with this, he was also a sexual character; by the time he first met Lady Katharina, Culpepperi boasted of having slept with over sixty women. Yet Katharina saw only an idol, one who was virtually the same age as her, and who she could share her affections with.
    • They met for the first time in July 1740. The Empress, over time, came to call upon the services of Culpepperi more and more. Eventually, it grew to the point that she secured for him a place in her own Privy Chamber, as one of her personal Yeoman Guards. But it was not until April 21, 1741, that she and Culpepperi succumbed to their passion for each other. That night, a night in which she and Antigonus slept separately, Katharina summoned the young gentleman into her private chambers, at the dead of night. They then had sexual intercourse for the first time. Every other night, he would steal into her chambers (the Emperor slept with her only three times a week), and they would have their secret meeting. These meetings were arranged by Lady Ralanchaford, the widow of Georgius Boleyenia. She had remained in good graces at the Imperial Court following her husband's execution, and in January 1737, Emperor Antigonus had restored many of her late husband's properties and funds to her. She served as a lady-in-waiting to Empresses Consort Theodora Seymouris and Annaliese of Denver, developing a great affection for both; in September 1740, she resumed her position after a brief leave of absence from the Court, this time towards Katharina Howardis. Lady Ralanchaford developed a great influence over the Empress Consort, and encouraged her in her indiscretions. Indeed, she would always ensure that her mistress could conduct her liaisons without intrusion by her husband or by servants. This would eventually have severe consequences for all involved.
  • May 20-By May 1741, preparations for military conflict, on the part of both the Laurasian Empire and Celestial Kingdom of Scottria, had intensified. On April 14, 1741, King Jamsius had secured the agreement of the Scottrian Estates to levy a new requisitions tax upon the incomes and benefices of the wealthiest third of his subjects; by that time, the King of Scottria was augmenting the exactions from his own royal estates, demanding new contributions from the Scottrian Congregations, and levying higher tariffs upon agricultural and mechanical products imported into his realms. Emperor Antigonus, on his part, continued the diversion of military forces to the Galactic Borderlands; issued comprehensive instructions to all authorities throughout the Empire, on the subject of war; and monitored the activities of the Imperial General Headquarters with great interest. Yet an event now occurred which would serve to greatly aid the progress of Laurasian military forces farther down the road, and at the same time, to harm the interests of the Scottrians. Beginning on May 20, 1741, an epidemic of Merellian fever broke out at nearly two hundred Scottrian garrisons in the Galactic Borderlands. These included the garrisons of Kania, Patricia I, Rasdalla Minor, Kathy, Vilmanstrand, Frederickshamm, and Devily. The epidemic raged for over a month; nearly ten million civilians and over six million personnel of the Scottrian Royal Forces lost their lives as a result. Among the victims of this epidemic were Admiral Mccroy of Testhulburne, who died at McFadden on June 6, 1741, at the age of forty-four. Scottrian forces were dangerously weakened as a result of the epidemic; King Jamsius was forced to declare a state of emergency in the affected regions, and to divert funds from the Scottrian Royal Treasury in order to contain any possible spread of the epidemic. In the Laurasian Empire, there was a similar, vigorous response. The Imperial Ministry of Space & Transportation, in conjunction with the Ministries of Internal Security and Commerce, imposed a quarantine in the Garaman Provinces, and suspended all Laurasian commercial or civilian transit into the Scottrian Galactic Borderlands. The imperial garrisons of the adjacent regions adhered to vigorous precautionary procedures, to prevent an outbreak of the epidemic. On June 3, 1741, the Emperor expressed his hope to the Privy Council that the Laurasian Empire would now have the upper hand in the conflict.
  • June 27-On June 27, 1741, Prince Louis Ernest of Brunswick-Luneberg-Bevern (1718-88), the son of Frederick Albert (1680-1735), the Prince of Brunswick-Luneberg, a vassal state of the Holy Austarlian Empire, and himself a Major-General in the Holy Austarlian Imperial Army, was formally elected as Duke of Northania and Semigallia by the Northanian Diet. In this, Prince Louis Ernest had the support of both the Austarlian Empress Mar'va Tarvania (who was primarily focused upon the War of the Austarlian Succession with her Pruthian and Bavarian adversaries), and of Laurasian Emperor Antigonus III, who still sought to maintain Laurasian political and military influence within the confines of the Duchy. Louis Ernest, however, remained in control of his dukedom only until December 6, 1741, when he was formally deposed by the same Diet which had elevated him. This was also on the initiative of Emperor Antigonus, who had by that point become convinced that Louis Ernest was too much of a puppet of the Austarlians, and could not be relied upon to respect Laurasian rights and privileges within Northanian territory. Following his deposition, Louis Ernest resumed his service with the Holy Austarlian Empire, serving during the remainder of the Silanian Wars and rising to the rank of Field-Marshal by 1749. From 1749 to 1784, Louis Ernest served in the Austarlian Duchies of Burgundy and Brussalia, and had dealings in the Spamalkan Durthian Duchies as well. He eventually retired to Eisenach, in Thrungia, and died there on May 12, 1788, aged sixty-nine, forty-six years after his deposition from the Northanian throne. From December 1741 to November 1758, the Northanian Diet, on authorization from its Dejanican counterpart and from King Vorrus II, governed the Duchy, in the absence of a Duke.
  • June 30-
    • On June 30, 1741, Emperor Antigonus embarked on his official progress, with his wife, Empress Katharina, and with the Imperial Laurasian Court. This particular progress was to be to the Solidaritan and Xilanian Provinces. The Emperor wished that this imperial tour would demonstrate the Empire's strength and internal prosperity; he also wished to display his Empress-Consort to more of his imperial subjects, and to enjoy himself by examining many of the star systems under his rule. The progress continued for the next three months. An immense variety of important star systems were visited by the Imperial Court. These star systems included Massanay, Sassanay, Cibourney, Dennis, Rastaborn, Shannon, Rebecca, Martina Mccasia, Blackria, Nezbit, Mariah, Briannia, Nystadia, Vardar, Gdov, Alemeda, the Belts of Barton, Leopoldia, Frederickslandia, Big Twinny, Wendy, Michael, Deanna, Coen, Istantius, Sair, Roxuli, Abraham, Alexandria, Laronn, Sheryl, Methausalah, Xilania Major, Nandia, Calrissian, Varta, the worlds of the Galactic Frontier Route, Norah, Simmons, Keeley, Natalie, and Adrianne. During all of this time, the Laurasian War of Rasdalla was ongoing in the Galactic Borderlands, and other matters, of great importance, were taking place in the Great Amulak Spiral. Yet the Emperor would not allow matters of state to detract him from enjoying the progress. The Empress was in high spirits, reveling in the warmth and approval of the Empire's subjects, in all of the star systems, who came to see her. Her joy was also due to the fact that she was able to continue her indiscretions with Sir Thomasius Culpepperi. But another, more unpleasant factor now came into the equation. It was while the Imperial Court was at Xilania Secondary (August 27, 1741), that Katharina came into touch with someone from her past.
    • His name was Sir Julius Dereanius (1713-41). He appeared at the Court with a recommendation from the Dowager Duchess of Norfolkius, to whom he was a distant relation, and who had led him to believe that the Empress would be pleased to have him in her household. But Katharina feared there was another reason that had prompted Dereanius's appearance at the Court, the same reason which had prompted Mistress Julia Bullemia to enter her service the previous year. Dereanius had information which could cause untold harm to Katharina's as yet unblemished reputation, and he might well have meant to exploit that knowledge, and to use it to secure his own advancement. Hence, when he requested employment, she dared not refuse him, and almost immediately appointed him her private secretary. She warned him: "Take heed what words you speak." When the Emperor asked her why she had employed Dereanius, she told him that the Duchess of Norfolkius had asked her to be good to him, and so, she declared: "I shall." Dereanius proved to be a very unsuitable addition to the household. He had a fiery temper, and was over-familiar with his imperial mistress, arousing the dislike of many who felt that Katharina was giving him preferential treatment. Moreover, Katharina was attracted to his charms, and she indulged in dalliances of her own with him. Their relationship would continue to escalate, arousing the first serious rumors against the Empress.
  • July 20-
    • While Emperor Antigonus and the Imperial Court conducted the progress of 1741, the forces of the Laurasian Empire in the Garaman Provinces, and the Wild Marshes, finally reached a state of readiness, to instigate military conflict with the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria. On June 27, 1741, Lieutenant-General Lacius reported to the Imperial General Headquarters and to Field-Marshal Munnich on the status of the forces under his command; then on July 4, the General Headquarters issued the final instructions for a military offensive. On July 9, 1741, Scottrian Governor-General O'Nell went from Rasdalla Minor to Ediania, on the orders of King Jamsius, in order to provide a comprehensive report about the status of Scottrian garrisons in the Galactic Borderlands, and to receive his instructions. It was with this that the General Headquarters, and the Imperial Laurasian Government, decided to strike. On July 20, 1741, to the utter surprise of their Scottrian adversaries, from King Jamsius and Governor-General O'Nell down to the subjects of Scottria themselves, Emperor Antigonus, who was then at the Palace of Sultans on Istantius, issued a declaration of war against the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria. In this declaration, the Emperor of Laurasia alleged that the Scottrian Royal Government had been actively engaged in undermining "lawful agreements and treaties with the Laurasian Empire"; moreover, he stated that his move was meant to preserve an "equilibrium of affairs" in the Caladarian Galaxy, and among the powers of extra-galactic civilization. Upon this declaration of war, General Lacius and his military forces, principally the 27th, 28th, and 31st Imperial Fleets, as well as the 7th, 9th, and 19th Imperial Armies, advanced swiftly into Scotrian territory. Lacius made his move from Vyborg, which had been colonized by the Imperial Ministry of Defense as a military outpost just fourteen years earlier, and now served as the striking base, for the Empire's forces, into the Scottrian Galactic Borderlands.
    • He destroyed the Scottrian outposts of Vipurri and Smoltygazk (July 20-22, 1741), and on July 23, captured a Scottrian naval convoy near Aditi Roy (which was the farthest-field "traditional" Hypasian colony in the Galactic Borderlands). Then on July 29, 1741, Lacius, taking advantage of Scottrian inaction, assaulted the defenses of Vilmanstrand. The ensuing Battle of Vilmanstrand lasted for the next seven days. Lacius enjoyed a nearly fourfold supremacy in numbers. He had nearly 250,000 troops and sixty warships, compared to the 35,000 troops and ten warships possessed by the enemy. The garrison of Vilmanstrand was commanded by General Carl Henrik Wrangel (1681-1755), a Archleutan emigre who had been in the service of the Scottrian Royal Government since 1705. Wrangel was a veteran of King Jamsius IV's War of 1713-14, and had also been engaged in confrontations with rebel movements and dissident nobles, in the Outskirt Districts and elsewhere, throughout the 1720s and 1730s. Nevertheless, he was completely bewildered and caught off guard by the Laurasian advance. Eventually, on August 5, 1741, Vilmanstrand capitulated to the Laurasian Empire; General Wrangel, along with all of his leading officers and subordinates, was captured; and the Vilmanstrand Fortress fell into Laurasian hands. King Jamsius now blamed General Rian O'Reilly (1688-1741), who was the Subordinate Governor of the Berwick Barrier, for the loss of Vilmanstrand; he was court-martialed and executed at Kathy Minor on August 11, 1741.
  • August 14-
    • On August 14, 1741, Scottrian Governor-General O'Nell, who had hastened back from Ediania as soon as the Laurasian declaration of war was issued, arrived at Frederickshamm, assuming direct command of all Scottrian forces arrayed against the onslaught of the Laurasian forces. Lieutenant-General Lacius, following the Battle of Vilmanstrand, had stormed the Scottrian outposts of Marlton, Littleton, and Peggy (August 6-9, 1741), and was now preparing for an offensive against Frederickshamm, and eventually beyond, to Patricia I and Devily. O'Nell now tried in vain to organize a counteroffensive by Scottrian forces against Vyborg, thereby outflanking Vilmanstrand. He managed to besiege and capture the Laurasian operational outpost of Scorrs (August 15-16, 1741), and on August 18, repelled a move by Fleet Captain Sir Nicanor Lausaus against Helenski Minor, in the Battle of the Valga. On August 22, 1741, however, General Lacius, who had focused his efforts on strengthening the garrisons of Vilmanstrand, Vyborg, Ladoga, and Onieda, intercepted O'Nell at Spurra, a minor Scottrian agricultural colony located five light years north-east of Frederickshamm. The ensuing Battle of Spurra resulted in a decisive victory for Lacius's forces, as O'Nell found himself unable to breach the Laurasian offensive lines, and found that all of the assaults by his Scottrian arquebusiers and starfighters were thrown back by the Laurasian corvettes, couriers, and destroyers. The Scottrians lost ten warships and more than 30,000 personnel in that confrontation, and achieved nothing.
    • O'Nell was now forced to retreat and to abandon Spurra, which fell into Laurasian hands. Lacius pushed his offensives further, and Bristain VI capitulated to the Laurasian Empire on August 30, 1741. By September 9, Lacius had also stormed Haapsalu, Livegardet, and Margardet, capturing large numbers of Scottrian military supplies, equipment, and armor in the process. His forces were now pressing ever closer to the outskirts of Frederickshamm. On September 11, 1741, the Battle of Lemi resulted in another decisive victory for Lacius; the Scottrian outposts of Parikkaala (which was a substantial naval arsenal) and Luumaki both fell into Laurasian hands. Then on September 22, 1741, the Battle of Sjorina resulted in an even-larger victory for the Laurasian Empire; nearly two-thirds of the Scottrian naval forces in the confrontation were destroyed or captured by the superior formations of the Imperial Laurasian Navy. Sjorina itself, a important Scottrian communications and supply garrison, was now utilized by the Laurasians to their advantage; Lacius now began to suppress the transit lines of the High Route, which connected Vilmanstrand to Frederickshamm. On September 29, 1741, Lacius's forces, under the direction of Vice-Admiral the Lord Regius of Sejucia (1685-1754), stormed the Bereoyeze Asteroids; this constituted another important victory for Laurasian arms.
  • October 18-On October 18, 1741, Constantia, the Queen-Dowager of Scottria and Grand Princess of the Laurasian Empire, died at the Methven Palace on Perevia, aged only fifty-one. The Queen-Dowager's last years had been marked with much unhappiness. As explained above, her influence over her son had eroded with the passage of time. Her efforts to persuade her son of the necessity of a positive relationship with the Laurasian Empire came to naught. In 1736, she had attempted to arrange a conference between her son and brother. She wrote numerous communiques to Chancellor Crownapoulos, and expressed her vigorous hopes that a conference could proceed. Ultimately, this effort came to naught. Constantia also found her marriage with Lord Methven to be unhappy. He, like her second husband Angus, was diverted by younger women, and did not pay a considerable amount of attention to his wife. Twice, in 1738 and in 1740, Constantia attempted to initiate divorce proceedings, but these were frustrated by her son, King Jamsius. This further imperiled relations between mother and son; Constantia came to believe that "evil influences" had taken possession of her son. She had received Mariana of Guise, upon her arrival in Scottria in July 1738, but had otherwise played no major, visible role, at her son's court. The Queen-Dowager's last bout of illness was unexpected, and she did not deign to make a will, fully expecting to recover from her troubles. Her death deprived Emperor Antigonus of his last surviving sibling; he alone remained of Neuchrus the Reformer's children. Constantia's death came thirty-nine years after the death of Grand Prince Craterus, and eight years after the death of Grand Princess Octavia. Emperor Antigonus burst into tears when informed of his sister's death; ordered all at the Imperial Court into a week of mourning; and himself donned black. He issued a series of manifestos to his subjects, hailing the good traits of his sister and praising her memory. King Jamsius, on the other hand, was cold, and he displayed no emotion about his mother's death; in fact, he, taking advantage of the fact that she had left no will, ordered for all of his mother's estates and possessions to be confiscated, and added to the Royal Estates. Jamsius did not even bother to order his subjects into mourning for his mother, which angered Emperor Antigonus. The Emperor of Laurasia vowed that he would obtain his sister's body and bury her at the Westphalian Cathedral. Constantia was, for the time being, interred at the Priory of St. Johns, an Almitian edifice on Perth, on November 5, 1741.
  • November 2-
    • Dramatic events, in the meantime, were occurring at the Imperial Court. The Court had returned from its progress on October 8, 1741. By that point, the Empress Consort's affairs with Culpepperi and Dereanius had reached their apex; she was now fully complicit with them, and it was inevitable that rumors of her indiscretions would spread through the Imperial Court. On October 21, 1741, John Lascellius, Associate Professor of Theology at the University of Laurasia Prime (1694-1746), came to Lambathian Palace in Christiania, and confided to Chief Procurator Cranmerius that he knew things about the Empress's past that would reflect upon her marriage with the Emperor. He vowed he would rather die declaring the truth, since it so nearly touched the Emperor, then live with the concealment of the same. Cranmerius asked him why he had not come before; the man replied that he had been wrestling with his conscience. The Chief Procurator was not an unkind man, but preferred to do whatever was expedient, and was an advocate of reform. He had never approved of the Emperor's marriage to Katharina Howardis, though he had nothing personal against her: it was what she represented that he privately and passionately opposed. He therefore saw in Lascellius a catalyst for change: if anything could be proven against the Empress, it might be possible to remove her from the political scene and discredit her supporters, the powerful Traditionalist faction. The way would be clear for the Emperor to choose a bride, chosen by Cranmerius and his partisans, that would promote the reform cause as Anna Boleyenia had. The Chief Procurator therefore listened patiently to what Lascellius had to say. He heard that Lascellius's sister Messalina (1696-1771), had been in the household of the Dowager Duchess of Norfolkius.
    • When pressed to enter Katharina's service, when she became Empress, Messalina refused to do so, telling her brother that Katharina was light in her behavior. Lascellius told Cranmerius that his sister could provide more information if needed. When he left, the Chief Procurator pondered. Fornication before marriage was not a crime, but would suggest a lightness of morals which could lead a young and impressionable girl into an adulterous relationship following marriage. Yet Cranmerius knew he was treading on very dangerous ground. Anna Boleyenia's fall had come because the Emperor had been desperate to be rid of her; he was deeply in love with Katharina, and likely to react violently to any inference about her. Thus, a solid case had to be established. Cranmerius knew Antigonus would sacrifice his personal needs for the interests of the state, and that he would not tolerate adultery. Thus he summoned Lady Didymeia Hallia. She told Cranmerius that the Empress, when young, had been encouraging the attentions of Sir Antigonus Manoria (1690-1741), her music instructor. Lady Hallia herself had reproved him. Katharina soon transferred her favors to Dereanius, and they soon became lovers. Hallia told the Chief Procurator that they had shared many nights together, and had sexual intercourse on a routine basis. Manoria, on his part, boasted about having "known" Katharina's body.
    • Cranmerius listened to all of this with interest, giving his informant due attention. He then took a written statement from her, and dismissed her from his presence afterwards. Cranmerius also learned of the rumors now circulating about the Empress-Consort in the household. Thus it was that on November 2, 1741, that the Chief Procurator decided to lay the information he had before the Emperor. He summarized the facts in a communique, and left them by Antigonus's side during a service in the Imperial Chapel. This service had been ordered by the Emperor to praise Katharina's merits, and the "success" of their marriage. Antigonus soon returned to his chambers, and read Cranmerius's communique. His first reaction was one of astonished disbelief. He summoned Cranmerius at once and demanded an explanation. The Chief Procurator repeated all that had gone before, and ended by saying he had been forced to convey the facts by communique "because I could not say it by mouth." Antigonus was stunned, but kept his composure. He told the Chief Procurator that he did not think there was any foundation in these malicious accusations; nevertheless, the Emperor ordered him to investigate the matter more thoroughly. The Emperor now ordered for the Empress to be kept confined to her personal quarters until her name was cleared. He himself would stay away from her until then. In fact, he never saw her again. Later that day, however, the Emperor told Sirs Wirtholesius and Brownia that he could not believe the evidence. The following day, the Chief Procurator, along with Chancellor Diadones and Procurator-General Audalius, questioned Lascellius again, but the man only repeated and confirmed what he had said earlier, affirming it to be the truth. Cranmerius sat on this for two days, before passing it to the Emperor. In the meantime, he learned that Dereanius had become the Empress's personal secretary. On November 5, he and the Council informed the Emperor that they believed the allegations against Katharina had a sound basis in fact. Antigonus, hearing this, slumped and then broke down in tears in front of the Council. Antigonus then hastened from Jared to Clancia, and kept out of the public eye, not wishing to air his shame.
    • Ambassador Chapuys, observing this, thought that the Emperor might be more merciful towards Katharina than her relatives, who had already abandoned her. Only Norfolkius showed some compassion for his niece. He was present when Katharina was informed of the allegations of misconduct laid against her, and witnessed her hysterical reaction. He told Marillac that she was refusing to eat or drink anything. He already assumed that Katharina would be executed in the end. Lady Ralanchaford, who was guilty of aiding and abetting crimes not yet known to the Council, realized that she was in danger, and suffered a mental relapse. Katharina, on her part, had dashed from her chambers before the Emperor left for Clancia, attempting to appeal to him. She had been dragged, kicking and screaming, back to her chambers by the guards. The Dowager Duchess of Norfolkius soon learned of the allegations; she reasoned that if Katharina had remained innocent during her marriage, she could not be executed due to infidelities beforehand. Yet she too was alarmed by it all.
    • On November 7, 1741, the Empress was, once again, formally interrogated by the Chief Procurator. He found the Empress in "such lamentation and heaviness as I never saw no creature, so that it would have pitied any man's heart in the Universe to have looked upon." Katharina was in a frenzy, but Cranmerius brought her hope, in the form of a communique from her husband, promising her mercy if she would confess her faults. When this communique was read to her, she calmed down a little. Katharina told him she was willing to do all he asked of her and that she would reply to his questions as "truly and faithfully as she would answer at the Day of Judgement." Katharina was so distraught that the Chief Procurator sought to extend the Emperor's mercy in an attempt to comfort her. When Katharina at last understood that Antigonus meant to deal gently with her, she "gave most humble thanks to His Majesty, who had showed her more grace and mercy then she herself could have hoped for." After that, she became "more temperate and moderate". The Empress told Cranmerius: "Alas, my Lord, that I am alive! The fear of death did not grieve me so much before as does now the remembrance of the Emperor's goodness, for when I remember how gracious and loving a Prince I had, I cannot but sorrow. But this sudden mercy, more then I could have looked for, makes my offenses to appear before my eyes much more heinous then they did before. And the more I consider the greatness of his mercy, the more do I sorrow in my heart that I should so misorder myself against His Majesty."
    • She then wept bitterly, but eventually calmed down. Cranmerius gave her leave for some hours, and returned. He gave her words of comfort, but she again grew hysterical. Cranmerius learned enough from her to conclude that there might have been a precontract between her and Dereanius, which would invalidate her marriage to the Emperor. The Chief Procurator obtained a written confession from her, but afterwards, she changed part of her confession. Katharina now claimed that Dereanius had raped her before the marriage, and that he was blackmailing her into resuming sexual relations with him. She claimed that she had named him her personal secretary in order to prevent him from "slandering my reputation." Cranmerius knew that she was lying, warned her that her life was forfeit, and reminded her again that the Emperor was prepared to be merciful. Her confessions, and her plea for her husband's forgiveness might soften Antigonus. Yet the Empress's confession did not satisfy Cranmerius. Katharina declared she had never accepted any of Dereanius's proposals for marriage. She had neither willingly indulged in illicit intercourse with him, or declared her love for him. She was too naive to realize that by admitting to a precontract she could have saved her life, for if she had never been the Emperor's legal wife, she would not be accused of adultery, which they were now trying to prove. Dereanius, Manoria, and others from the Duchess of Norfolkius's household were arrested on November 9, on the Emperor's orders, and conveyed to the Fortress of Baureux. This sent Katharina into hysteria. Katharina, however, now confessed to having exchanged gifts with Dereanius, and that they referred to each other as a married couple.
    • Dereanius kissed Katharina openly and often during their time in the household, as well as other ladies. The Dowager Duchess, on her part, cared little for the moral welfare of those under her charge. Moreover, Katharina confessed that Dereanius had "sexual relations with me, sometimes clothed, and sometimes naked, though not entirely." Dereanius would bring her gifts, but Katharina continued to claim that he came without her consent and not at her request. During her confession, she mentioned Culpepperi, thereby playing into Cranmerius's hands: he had heard of the rumors circulating around that gentleman, and now matters worked to his advantage. Culpepperi was, on November 10, arrested and conveyed to the Fortress of Baureux. The evidence against the Empress continued to build. Cranmerius sent her confession to the Emperor, along with her statement alleging that Dereanius had raped her by force. Katharina also wrote an additional plea to the Emperor himself, begging his forgiveness, lambasting herself for her sins, and expressing her faith in the Lord Almitis. She also sought him to consider the "subtle persuasions of young men, and the ignorance and frailness of young women." When the Emperor read this lengthy, abject plea, he was somewhat cheered. Cranmerius, however, told the Emperor that it was his opinion that Dereanius and Katharina had a precontract. This would end the marriage, but could spare Antigonus from having to execute another of his wives.
  • November 12-
    • On November 7, the Emperor came to Hamsponian Palace on Jared again, and conducted himself in a more cheerful manner. Yet just three days later, he returned to Laurasia Prime again. He then held a series of discussions with the Privy Council, which dragged on for hours. The Imperial Court was now seething with rumors that the Emperor wanted to change his consort yet again. Ambassador Marillac, on the orders of King Franjak, strove for a reconciliation between Antigonus and Annaliese of Denver. Moreover, Marillac heard that the Empress's physicians had told the Emperor she would never bear children, which was a false rumor. Katharina, on her part, had up to this point remained confined in her chambers. She was permitted no entertainment. On November 11, Cranmerius was able to convince the Emperor to have Katharina transferred to the Post Settlement of Hepudermia. Later that day, the Chief Procurator informed Katharina of this. Lady Ralanchaford, on her part, was now dispatched to the Fortress of Baureux for questioning. The following day (November 12, 1741), the Chief Procurator and Sir Wirtholesius came, with a detachment of Valedictorian Guards, to lead Katharina from Jared to Hepudermia. She was obliged to leave behind her gorgeous court dresses, her jeweled hoods, and her other personal possessions; she was given sober, unadorned clothes, as a reminder of her dues owed to Almitis.
    • At the Post Settlement, where she arrived during the early hours of November 13, Katharina was treated with respect. She lacked neither food nor comforts, and was served by her own ladies. Yet, from her point of view, she had been deprived of all the trappings of consortship which mattered to her and consigned to a seclusion which did little to alleviate her depression or allay her fears. She had no idea of what was to happen to her, nor was she informed of the testimonies given by those under questioning. That very day, all foreign embassies had been officially informed of the ongoing inquiry; the Emperor himself had issued a proclamation on it to his subjects. Cranmerius on his part, was still determined that Katharina be sacrificed in the cause of reform. The Chief Procurator and his supporters hoped that the investigations of the rumors in the household, and the continued interrogation of those already arrested, would yield enough information to persuade Antigonus into having her executed. Sir Antigonus Manoria was the first to be questioned. He explained how he had been engaged by the Dowager Duchess of Norfolkius. He admitted having tried to seduce her, and related an incident in which the Dowager Duchess had come upon them engaging in intimate foreplay. She had beaten them both for it, and commanded them never to be alone together again. This had not deterred Manoria, and he had gone so far as to caress her. He asserted, however, that he had never penetrated her. Eventually, he said, Katharina had tired of him, and transferred her attention to Dereanius. He then explained his jealousy, and what he had done afterwards. The Council, seeing that he had committed no crime and could not help them no further, then released him.
    • They next called Lady Katharina Tylania, one of the Empress's chamberers, believing she could prove the accusations of adultery. Sir Wirtholesius asked about Katharina's behavior during the late progress. Lady Tylania related that on at least two occasions, Katharina had gone to Lady Ralanchaford's chamber, and that she had taken only Tylania with her the second time. She insisted that all of her other ladies stay. Tylania had been ordered to wait outside the chamber, in which Katharina stayed for a long time. She then related exchanges between Katharina and Lady Ralanchaford. Wirtholesius was satisfied by this, telling Sir Rudomentus Sadielus (that long-time servant of the Neuchrian Dynasty) that she had "done us worthy service." The Council concluded that Katharina had gone to indulge in illicit intercourse with Dereanius (which was true). The Council then summoned Margarina Mortonia, who had been a companion of Tylania. She told them that Lady Ralanchaford was party to the Empress's indispositions, on Leopoldia, Frederickslandia, and at Xilania Minoria. Mortonia told them that the Empress had excluded her and other servants from her chambers, implying that Katharina had an ulterior motive in doing so.
    • Moreover, Lady Ralanchaford had conveyed communiques between Katharina and Sir Thomasius Culpepperi. She also recounted an incident in which the Emperor had come to see Katharina, and had to wait before he was admitted. The Council now questioned Mortonia closely about Culpepperi. They had suspected that Katharina had been mainly profligate with Dereanius, but now it seemed she had dispersed her favors. Mortonia confirmed their suspicions by telling them of Katharina's "yearning" for Culpepperi. Once, Katharina had been alone with Culpepperi for five or six hours, and Mortonia asserted that they had sexual intercourse. Katharina, in doing all of this, had been playing with fire, and had also been both indiscreet and stupid. The Council wasted no time in searching through Culpepperi's effects, finding a communique from the Empress in which she confessed her love and passion for him, and expressed her hopes for their relationship. The Council was now hot on the trail, continuing its relentless search for evidence. Ladies Bullemia and Restwardia provided further evidence about Katharina's dalliances with both Dereanius and Culpepperi. The Privy Council then called in Lady Ralanchaford. She had calmed down somewhat, and was lucid enough to be questioned. Thinking only of saving her own skin, she abandoned Katharina to the wolves and admitted that Culpepperi and Dereanius had both had sexual intercourse with her mistress. She testified about the beginning of this (in April 1741), and confirmed that Culpepperi had been in the chambers with Katharina on the occasion Mortonia had described. According to Lady Ralanchaford, Katharina was well aware of the role she was taking.
    • Ralanchaford, by aiding and abetting Katharina's crimes, was therefore guilty of treason. She was now dispatched to the Fortress, and fell once more into the grips of madness. Culpepperi himself was now interrogated. He confessed his love for the Empress, and admitted that he had visited her in private numerous times. He explained Lady Ralanchaford's role in arranging their meetings. The Empress, as their affair had progressed, and her fear of discovery deepened, had warned Culpepperi how not to divulge anything about their relationship. He had promised not to do so. At this stage, the Council wished to know if Culpepperi had committed adultery with the Empress. He answered, that although Lady Ralanchaford had "provoked him much to love the Empress, and he had intended to have relations with her, he did not progress beyond words." Chancellor Diadones spoke for all when he told Culpepperi that his intentions towards the Empress were "so loathsome and dishonest" that they themselves constituted treason (as, in the Empire's autocratic system, they did indeed). It became apparent to Culpepperi that he was doomed, and he was dispatched back to the Fortress. The Council then deliberated. They now knew for a fact that Katharina had indulged in an affair with Culpepperi, and had indiscretions with Dereanius. Thus, it was now agreed that Chief Procurator Cranmerius and Sir Wirtholesius were to interrogate Katharina again, and extract a written confession of adultery from her.
    • This visit occurred on November 15, 1741. Cranmerius promised her mercy if she confessed her indiscretions, but Katharina, under their interrogation, strenuously denied intimacy with either Culpepperi or Dereanius, and persisted in her denial, though she was lying to save herself, and her lovers. Rumors now swirled that Annaliese of Denver would become Empress once again. But such an idea never crossed the Emperor's mind, and he commanded the Archbishop of Winchestrius to state that there was no possibility of him taking Annaliese back. The Empress's fall was now common knowledge. The Howardises now were in danger; the Dowager Duchess herself ordered for all of Dereanius's remaining effects and communiques on her properties to be destroyed. She interrogated a number of her servants, and was worried that the Emperor would target her. The Duke of Norfolkius, having now absolved himself of any connection to his niece, told Ambassador Marillac that she had "prostituted herself to seven or eight persons." He publicly slandered Katharina at every opportunity, and became the most critical voice calling for her death. The Emperor now knew the worst, that Katharina had betrayed him with Culpepperi and with Dereanius. On November 16, Ambassador Chapuys informed Emperor Char'va that the Emperor might still be more likely to show mercy to Katharina than to her relatives, especially Norfolkius. Yet whether the Emperor wished to show mercy or not, the law would take its course.
  • November 22-
    • On November 22, 1741, the Holy Synod, acting under the direction of Chief Procurator Cranmerius, and in accordance with the Emperor Antigonus's instructions, formally annulled the marriage of the Emperor with Katharina Howardis. Katharina was now formally deprived of her title as Empress Consort; stripped of all honors, grants, and annuities which had been conferred upon her; and reduced to her prior rank of Lady. Emperor Antigonus ordered for the continuation of her imprisonment at the Post Settlement of Hepudermia, but she was now reduced to the status and privileges of any other prisoner. Yet Emperor Antigonus was also taking other measures. He ordered for the Council to continue with its investigation. Norfolkius was sent to search his stepmother's household, and to interrogate its occupants. Sir Willanius Asheria, one of her servants, told Norfolkius (November 24), how the Duchess had searched through and destroyed Dereanius's effects, and had wondered aloud if the Emperor would pardon the Howardises who knew about Katharina's indiscretions. The Duchess, on her part, took further note of her own predicament. She (being sixty-four years old) now feigned illness, but this did not prevent a delegation of Councilors coming to Fulcania to arrest her. Procurator-General Audalius interrogated her vigorously, although she claimed to suffer a relapse. Yet by early on November 25, she too was a prisoner in the Fortress of Baureux, having said enough to incriminate her entire family.
    • The Council, at the end of November 1741, decided to interrogate the Dowager Duchess again. Wirtholesius and Southerton visited her in the Fortress, finding her genuinely ill this time. They assured her that the Emperor would pardon her if she confessed all. She replied that she had perceived that Katharina had an affection for Dereanius, and that they exchanged monetary gifts. She begged the Emperor's forgiveness for not having disclosed what she knew before his marriage to Katharina. The lords assured the Emperor that she appeared "sorrowful, repentant, and sickly." They asked her many questions: How did she educate and raise Lady Katharina? When had she first realized that the Emperor favored her? Did they discuss the Emperor's courtship? What advice had she given the girl? The Duchess's answers revealed nothing that could point to the continuation of the liasion between Katharina and Dereanius after the former's marriage to the Emperor. In fact, she said that Katharina herself had admitted later that she had no idea where Dereanius was. It was obvious that the Duchess could not help further with the inquiry, so she was left alone to brood on her shortcomings as a guardian.
    • On December 1, 1741, Culpepperi and Dereanius were formally arraigned at the Senatorial Palace. Dereanius was to be tried for "presumptive treason", according to the indictment, which accused both the Empress and her accomplices of having led "an abominable, base, carnal, voluptuous, and licentious life." Katharina was described as a "common harlot." While "maintaining an appearance of chasity and honesty", she had led the Emperor on to fall in love with her, in spite of being a harlot before, and a adultress after. A separate indictment was brought against Culpepperi, charged with having had criminal intercourse with the Empress on August 29, 1741, and on numerous occasions before and after that date. Katharina was accused in the indictment of having insiunated to Culpepperi that "she loved him above the Emperor and all others." Culpepperi was accused of inciting her to adultery. Lady Ralanchaford was named as their go-between, having "falsely and traitorously aided and abetted them." The two men were tried together. Dereanius was accused of joining the Empress's service with "ill intent", and of engaging in intercourse with her afterwards. He was further accused of having concealed the precontract between them to facilitate Katharina's marriage to the Emperor; her acquiescence to this was taken as proof of her intention to continue in her abominable life. Dereanius pleaded not guilty to all of these accusations, but could say little in his own defense.
    • Culpepperi, although realizing the evidence was heavily weighed against him, changed his plea to guilty during the course of the trial and thereby sealed his fate. The Special Court formally pronounced both guilty (December 3, 1741); the Duke of Norfolkius, grim faced, and presiding once again as Imperial Steward (as he had in the trials of Anna Boleyenia and her accused lovers), sentenced them to the full penalties of a traitor's death. Ambassador Marillac sent word of the trial's outcome to the King of Franconia, saying he felt Culpepperi in particular deserved to die, even though he would not admit to having full intercourse with Katharina, "for he confessed his intention to do so, and his confessed conversations, being held by a subject to an Empress, deserved death." Many people had been disgusted by the unsavory details of the former Empress's intrigues which had been revealed at the trial. As for the fate of the Empress, the Ambassador held out little hope, predicting that "the end of these tragedies will be no less scandalous than pitiful." Katharina, still only twenty, was now the brunt of the Emperor's hatred. On one occasion, he even called for a vibrosword to slay her. On another occasion, the Emperor was so distressed that he burst into tears, "regretting his ill-luck in meeting such ill-conditioned wives, and blaming the Council for the last."
    • On December 6, Dereanius was tortured on the orders of Chancellor Diadones and the Council. Dereanius at first denied the allegations of precontract, but after being told that his accomplice, Willanius Davoria, had confessed to it, he submitted. He then signed a written confession, which set forth all the circumstances of his affair with Katharina. In it, he admitted that they had exchanged a "promise of marriage", that they had lived together as man and wife while he was in the service of her step-grandmother, and that they were regarded as betrothed by their friends in the household. He had been accustomed to call her wife, and she had often called him husband before witnesses; they had exchanged gifts and love-takens frequently, and he had given her money at intervals. He recalled that the Duchess had once caught him kissing her granddaughter, for which she had beat him. He then stated that the Empress herself had secured his entry into her service. He vehemently denied committing adultery with Katharina, but the Council did not believe it, and saw his actions as "proof of evil intent." The Emperor then read the confession, and refused to commute Dereanius's penalty, angry that he had not confessed to adultery. In the meantime, the families of both Dereanius and Culpepperi made frantic pleas to the Council for the sentences to be commuted. Culpepperi, on December 9, found his sentence commuted to simple firing squad, since he was of gentle birth. The Emperor signed the death warrants of both Culpepperi and Dereanius that very day, but the executions did not immediately take place. The Council investigated rumors that Annaliese of Denver was expecting the Emperor's child. It was eventually discovered that two of Annaliese's servants had slandered her, and they were imprisoned.
  • December 10-
    • On December 10, 1741, at the Tyburnian Stockards of the Cron Drift, Sirs Julius Dereanius and Thomasius Culpepperi were executed. Both, when they had been convicted by the Special Court, had been sentenced to the full penalties of a traitor's death. Culpepperi, as mentioned above, had saw his sentence commuted to one of death by firing squad. Dereanius, however, still had to endure the full penalties. Culpepperi was executed first. In his final speech, he asserted to the crowds that he had fallen for a "love of the heart" and that he treasured Katharina more than anything else, alive or dead. He expressed his wish that the Lord Almitis would have mercy upon him, and that the Emperor would be lenient with his wife. Dereanius, in his final speech, asserted that he had did much wrong, and that he fully accepted the consequences of the penalty now placed upon him. Their executions were attended by a crowd of more than 200,000 persons; Chancellor Diadones and Procurator-General Audalius were both present, as the official witnesses. Ladies Katharina and Ralanchaford, on their part, remained imprisoned at the Post Settlement of Hepudermia. The bodies of Culpepperi and Dereanius were then interred at the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vicula in the Fortress.
    • There was no hope now for Katharina, although Antigonus intended to have her attainted, rather then tried. Yet even know, the reformists were doing their best to bring further evidence against her and her family. It was imperative that the entire Howardis faction be neutralized, thereby allowing Cranmerius and his partisans to gain favor with the Emperor. The Duchess of Norfolkius was again questioned on the day that Katharina's lovers died, when she admitted having pushed Katharina in the Emperor's way even though she knew of her previous affairs, and confessed to having persuaded the Empress to take Dereanius into her service. She also admitted to destroying his property. On December 14, other Howardis family members were arrested on the Emperor's orders. Lord Willanius Howardis and his wife, and Lady Anna Howardis, the Dowager Duchess's daughter, were committed to the Fortress. Lady Katharina Howardis, Countess of Brenda, was also imprisoned. When the Duke of Norfolkius learned of these arrests, he grew fearful for his safety. He wrote a communique to the Emperor, excusing himself from all guilt, abandoning his family, and declaring his belief that the arrests were justified. But Antigonus was displeased with all of the Howardises, including the Duke.
    • The Emperor remembered how Norfolkius had encouraged his niece, and became determined that he should pay for it. He did not respond to the communique. In the meantime, the Emperor decided to punish others. Lord Willanius and his wife, Lady Katharina Tylania, Lady Julia Bullemia, Lady Aetolia Restwardia, Sir Willanius Asheria, Sir Willanius Dyrania, Aurelia Tylania, and Margarina Mortonia were all, on December 22, 1741, arraigned for misprison of treason "for concealing the evil demeanor of the Empress, to the slander of the Emperor and his succession." All pleaded guilty, and were sentenced to perpeutal imprisonment and forfeiture of all property. In March 1742, however, the Emperor would pardon most of them and have them freed. They were all destined to live beyond Emperor Antigonus's reign, dying in this order: Lady Katharina Tylania (1749); Lady Restwardia (1756); Sir Asheria (1759); Sir Dyrania (1761); Lady Aurelia Tylania (1765); Lady Mortonia (1769); Lord Howardis (1773); Lady Howardis (1781); and Lady Bullemia (1790). The Duchess of Norfolkius was also attainted for the same penalty. Yet this did not account for all of the Emperor's suffering. He knew now that the illusion of youth which he had enjoyed with Katharina was destroyed forever; all he had to look forward to were encroaching illness, old age, and death. He had at first meant to be merciful to her, but now decided that the law should take its course; he now sought to make her suffer as he had suffered. The King of Franconia, in a communique to Antigonus (Ascentmas Day, 1741), expressed his sorrow for the Emperor, to have been cursed with such a wife. Ascentmas season passed gloomily that year, with the Emperor making no effort to inject energy into the half-hearted ceremonies at the Court. He had grown heavier, and to all, seemed sad and much discontented.
  • December 19-While these events were ongoing at the Imperial Court, those of the War of the Rough Wooing (as the extended conflict of the 1740s would eventually come to be called), also continued to proceed. October 1741 witnessed Joenessu, Talapassari, and Kikee, all of whom were important Scottrian outposts in the vicinity of Frederickshamm, fall into the hands of Laurasian forces. Lieutenant-General Lacius, who had through this early succession of victories fully repaired his reputation at the Imperial Laurasian Court, now directed his attention to the subjection of Sasha VI. Sasha VI, which was one of the most important Scottrian strongholds in the Galactic Borderlands, found itself under direct assault from Laurasian units. The Siege of Sasha VI commenced on November 2, 1741, and lasted for the better part of the month. Lacius's forces incurred substantial casualties, as the commander of the garrison, the Earl of Blackheath, proved himself to be a formidable military strategist. Sasha VI's garrison had more than 175,000 troops of the Scottrian Royal Army, and these troops were determined to resist the Laurasian intrusions with all that they could muster. Lacius eventually gained the upper hand through severing all communication lanes to the star system, and directing his units in coordinated assaults against its defenses. Sasha VI's fall on November 22, 1741, was closely followed by those of Michelle, Malila, and Obama (November 24-December 3). On December 7, 1741, Perth was assaulted by the forces of the Laurasian Empire; this stronghold fell within hours, with Lacius losing less than ten percent of his assault forces. From Perth, Seeben and Sabinia fell (December 8-14, 1741). On December 19, 1741, however, Emperor Antigonus ordered Lieutenant-General Lacius to negotiate a temporary armistice with Governor-General O'Nell. Lacius obliged, and on December 22, he and O'Nell agreed to the Truce of Alkadaid, ordering for military operations to be on hold until July 1742. This agreement, however, was destined not to last. As 1741 ended, Laurasia was engaged once more upon war in the Galactic Borderlands.

1742Edit

  • January 21-1742, the 42nd year of the eighteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire now engrossed in war with the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria, and with the Emperor Antigonus having faced personal setbacks at the Imperial Court. This year was, early on, to see the end of the Emperor's foolish fourth wife, the Lady Katharina Howardis. It was also to see a series of triumphs by Laurasian military forces against their Scottrian adversaries in the Galactic Borderlands. Yet as regards to his marriage, Emperor Antigonus was left thoroughly disillusioned. He had already contended with "adultery" and "betrayal", on the part of Katharina's cousin, Anna Boleyenia. Now this girl too was committing, in his mind, a similar offense. On January 5, 1742, the Emperor told Chief Procurator Cranmerius that the "distressing matter of this marriage has revealed the penetration, into my confidences, of the agents of the Anti-Almitis." It was thus, on January 21, 1742, that the Emperor promulgated the Statute of Marital Fidelity. Under the terms of this particular statute, all women who were engaged to be married, whether they be of the nobility, gentry, or commoner classes, were now obliged to provide "complete, accurate, and truthful" information to their husband about any prior relationships which they may have been involved in; documentation concerning any previous marriages, if they had been married before; and proof that they would not "defile their honor" during their relationship with their new husband. Furthermore, the Statute declared if treason for any female member of the Imperial Household to engage in adulterous relationships while married to a lawful husband; any future Empress Consort would be bound by the provisions of this Statute, and was liable to execution if she did not prove faithful to her husband. The Statute of Marital Fidelity was to remain in effect for twenty years, until it was repealed by Antigonus's daughter, Empress Aurelia, in 1762.
  • February 7-
    • As revealed above with the Statute of Marital Fidelity, Emperor Antigonus had been greatly affected by Lady Katharina's "violation" of her wedding vows. Throughout December 1741 and January 1742, Antigonus had continued to erupt into a series of emotional outbursts. Ultimately, however, the Emperor followed his normal method: condemnation through writ of attainder. On February 7, 1742, the Emperor imposed an imperial writ of attainder against both the Lady Katharina Howardis and her former chief lady-in-waiting, Lady Ralanchaford. Lady Ralanchaford had descended further and further into mental imbalance, and was by the beginning of February, considered to be mentally incompetent. Nevertheless, Antigonus was determined that she share in the punishment of his former wife. In his writ of attainder, Antigonus declared that a "normal judicial trial is not necessary for this circumstance", and that the crimes of his wife and her "compatriot" deserved punishment directly from his hands. Yet the Emperor also extended some "clemency" to these two women, as he reduced their penalty from the full horrors of a traitor's death to one by firing squad. On February 8, the Duke of Norfolkius and a delegation from the Councils of State came to the Post Settlement of Hepudermia, in order to inform the former Empress about the formal writ of attainder. Katharina took the news bravely.
    • She again confessed to and acknowledged "the great crime of which she has been guilty against the most high Almitis and a kind prince, and lastly the entire Empire." Moreover, she begged Norfolkius to "implore His Majesty not to impute her crime to her whole kindred and family," asking that Antigonus extend mercy to them so that "they might not suffer for her faults." Lastly, she asked if the Emperor would kindly bestow her possessions upon her servants after her death, as she had no other means of rewarding them for their loyalty. Norfolkius promised to convey all of these requests to the Emperor. Katharina, however, had not been informed of the date of execution. Her suspense, however, did not last long. On February 10, the Duke and the Privy Council returned to the Post Settlement, with orders to convey the former Empress Consort to the Fortress of Baureux. As soon as she learned what they had come for, Katharina had a moment of blind panic, finally realizing that Antigonus was firmly resolved upon her execution. All her calm deserted her, and she refused to go.
    • The Council tried persuasion and then bullying, but to no avail. Eventually, they bundled her, shrinking with fear, onto the waiting transport, which was then escorted from Hepudermia, to Laurasia Prime, and into the city of Christiania by transports containing the Chancellor, Governing Senators, Valedictorian Guards, and those servants who were to look after the former Empress in the Fortress. The transport with Katharina was enclosed; when she was transferred into a repulsorlift, that too was also obscured, so she could not see. The Lady, wearing a black velvet dress, sat with four of her ladies and four members of the Privy Council. She was then conducted into the Fortress, indulging in much weeping. That afternoon, the Archbishop of Christiania, Lesius, came to hear the Lady's confession and offer her spiritual comfort. She swore to him, "in the name of Almitis and His Holy angels, and on the salvation of my soul" that she was repentant for all of her sins. She did not seek to excuse the faults and follies of her youth; Almitis would be her judge, and she looked for his pardon. She asked the Archbishop to pray with her for divine mercy, and fell to her knees beside him, beseeching the Almighty for strength to cope with the coming ordeal.
  • February 13-
    • During the three days preceding her execution, Lady Katharina showed considerable regret about her actions, and prepared herself for her fate. Still only twenty years old, Katharina had a hard time grasping the fact that she was not to have the potential of a full, worthy life. She continued to think about both Dereanius and Culpepperi, and lamented the fact of her marriage to the Emperor. Yet Katharina also experienced a great spiritual revival, and maintained her belief that the Lord Almitis would forgive her for her sins. She proved to be stoic and brave. The former Empress Consort, in fact, requested for a model execution platform to be brought into her chambers, so that she could practice her stance and poise for the final execution. Sir Antigonus Gagius, Lord Lieutenant of the Fortress of Baureux, granted her request. Katharina stayed constantly on the platform, and braced herself for her impending fate. Then on February 12, she gave her last, final confession to Chief Procurator Cranmerius, expressing her faith in the rewards of the afterlife. Cranmerius, who had some sympathy for this young woman, told her that the Lord Almitis would "look at all" to decide her fate, but that he would be lenient to those who deserved leniency. Finally, at 7:00 a.m., on February 13, 1742, Ladies Katharina Howardis and Atila Boleyenia, Viscountess Ralanchaford, were brought from their cells to the Public Execution Grounds. Katharina appeared pale and weak to many in the audiences, for she had refused food since being transferred to the Fortress.
    • Yet the Lady conducted herself with relative composure, and proceeded onto the platform with little assistance. In her final speech to the crowds, which numbered more than 600,000, Katharina described the punishment given to her as "worthy and just", declaring that she had sinned in the eyes of the Lord Almitis by engaging in affairs with men "beneath her rank and position." She admitted that Dereanius had not raped or blackmailed her, and that she had conducted her relationship with him "on my own initiative." She asked for mercy for her family and prayers for her soul. Katharina then became the first of the two women to die, bearing her end with much stoicism. It required only one round to bring her body down. Viscountess Ralanchaford was then brought up, but she was utterly incoherent and could not render a final speech. She too, died with only one round from the firing squad. Chancellor Diadones, Procurator-General Audalius, the Dukes of Norfolkius and Sufforia, and the Mayor of Christiania served as the official witnesses to the executions of these two women. On the orders of Emperor Antigonus, they were both interred at the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vicula of the Fortress of Baureux. Antigonus also decided to heed his former wife's last plea. On February 26, 1742, he ordered for the release of all members of the Howardis family who had been imprisoned on his command.
    • The Emperor ordered the Heraldmaster's Office to withdraw all preparations for confiscating the properties and dignities of the Howardis family, and he commanded for the elderly Dowager Duchess, whose health had deteriorated during the imprisonment, to be treated with much decency and respect. She would eventually die at Fulcania on May 7, 1745, at the age of sixty-eight. The Emperor, however, developed a bitter distrust of Norfolkius. On February 19, the Duke requested permission to retire to his estates for a time. Antigonus granted it, but ordered Norfolkius to leave immediately. When the Duke tried to protest this, he was overruled: Antigonus yelled at him and told him to "leave now!" He then ordered the Duke to stay out of his sight. Norfolkius obliged, leaving His Majesty's presence as fast as he could. He would stay away for more than two years, and he would never regain his prior position of favor with Antigonus. Ironically, it was Empress Didymeia who would reverse Katharina's attainder in September 1753, for it had not been signed by the Emperor, instead being authorized through the Privy Seal. Katharina's remains were given over to her family; she would be re-interred at Kenninghall Estate on Charasia on November 5, 1753.
    • Following Katharina's death, the Emperor was laid low. He had been devastated by Katharina's adultery, and it would be more than a year before he remarried again. Yet on February 25, 1742, shortly after Katharina's execution, Ambassador Chapuys reported that Antigonus seemed to be in better spirits: he had presided over three court banquets, and had once again changed his daily routine. The Emperor had gone about making arrangements for the ladies of his household, and had "made great and hearty cheer, without showing particular attention to any of the women present." It soothed his hurt vanity to once more be the center of female attention, though he was in no hurry to remarry. Few ladies, however, had a desire to marry the Emperor, due to the Statute of Marital Fidelity and to Antigonus's own marital history. The succession remained a problem. Grand Prince Demetrius continued to mature, but there were fears in May 1742 that he was once more ailing. These fears proved to be unfounded, but prompted the Councils of State to remind the Emperor of the need for more sons for the future peace of the Empire. But Antigonus was not ready to face marriage again, though his health had improved. He was better able to curb his temper, and his digestive system had improved. He overate and was overweight, but this was ignored by some of his physicians. His contemporaries thought him fit enough to remarry and sire children, and ignored his mental state. Chapuys concluded that the next Empress would be entirely of Antigonus's own choosing.
    • The Duke of Denver, however, who had followed the events surrounding Katharina Howardis, was ambitious. He thought that his sister Annaliese could once again marry the Emperor, and in the spring of 1742, he himself visited the Imperial Court at Reoyania. He petitioned Chief Procurator Cranmerius about the matter, and asked for his assistance. When Cranmerius approached the Emperor, Antigonus was unmoved: there could never be a reconciliation between Annaliese and himself. This was communicated back to the Duke by the Chief Procurator. It was recognized by all that the woman Antigonus eventually married would need nerves of steel and sharp wits, not to mention virtue without question. For the present, Antigonus concentrated on possible matches for his children. Lady Aurelia had been deeply affected by the end of her stepmother, and stated then and there that she would never marry, a resolution which she would never break. Marriage for her, had too close an association with death to ever seem safe. As for Didymeia, her opinion of Katharina Howardis had never been particularly high, so she was not as shocked as her young sister when she heard the news. Yet in April 1742, the Emperor reopened negotiations with Franconia for a marriage between Didymeia and the heir to the Franconian throne, the Duke of Orleans. This came to nothing.
  • March 5-
    • Soon after the events surrounding former Empress Consort Katharina Howardis came to an end, those of the War of the Rough Wooing resumed. On March 5, 1742, Lieutenant-General Lacius, acting on the direct command of Emperor Antigonus, reneged upon the Truce of Alkadaid which had been signed with the Scottrians barely four months earlier. Emperor Antigonus was convinced that the conditions were ideal for further Laurasian operations into Scottrian territory, and he now commanded for Lacius to move his units forth with all possible haste. Lacius, who had reorganized his units at Ranieda, Dasalaburgh, Sasha VI, the El Paso Colonies, Ladoga, Onieda, Cydamus, and Garama, now pushed forth towards the Vilmanstrand Approaches, which barred a Laurasian approach to Frederickshamm. On this day, March 5, 1742, the Battle of Dreckel was waged between the forces of Lacius's subordinate, Brigadier-General Sir Achilles Plausius (1687-1752), on the one hand, and the Scottrian Earl of Ross on the other. The confrontation lasted for more than three hours and ultimately ended in a decisive victory for Laurasian military forces. Dreckel itself, which had a population of nearly thirty million, and was one of the chief Scottrian operational outposts in the vicinity of the Vilmanstrand Approaches, now fell into Laurasian hands. Following the Battle of Dreckel, Lacius stormed the Scottrian garrison of Rasel (March 8-12, 1742). On March 14, 1742, General Plausius assaulted the Frederickshamm Anchorages, where several destroyers of the Scottrian Royal Navy were stationed.
    • The ensuing Raid on the Frederickshamm Anchorages proved to be a success, with Plausius capturing two Scottrian warship models and a number of ion cannons, shield generators, and mines. From thence, Lacius was able to proceed with a full-fledged offensive against the Vilmanstrand Approaches. The Battle of the Vilmanstrand Approaches began on March 16, 1742, and lasted for four days. Governor-General O'Nell himself, who was determined to blunt this latest string of Laurasian offensives, himself commanded the Scottrian forces in this confrontation. From the first however, the Laurasians held the advantage. They possessed nearly two hundred warships, with some 800,000 military personnel, while the Scottrians had 90 warships with less than 250,000 personnel. This battle, however, turned out to be hard-fought, and Lacius had to launch a series of flanking offensives through and against the Scottrian operational lines. Ultimately, however, during the late hours of March 21, Laurasian troops and Imperial Marines seized a vital position at the Approaches Gates, and this allowed them to disrupt the momentum of the Scottrian defensive efforts. The Vilmanstrand Approaches soon afterwards succumbed to the force of the Imperial Laurasian Army, but O'Nell was able to retreat in good order. Lacius thereby secured a pyrrhic victory, but at the cost of more than two-fouths of his entire force. He thereby suffered greater casualties and losses in battle than his Scottrian foes, and was forced to temporarily shelve plans for a direct offensive upon Frederickshamm. Nevertheless, the Laurasian move into the heart of the Scottrian Galactic Borderlands continued, relatively unobstructed. Crusher, Wheaton, and McFadden were all besieged and conquered by General Plausius's units in turn (March 22-29, 1742), thereby inflicting a series of humiliating losses upon the Scottrian garrisons of those strongholds. Although Briannian General Wolmendar Lowendal (1692-1767) failed to storm Brisios (April 3, 1742), which had been colonized by the Scottrians as a major communications terminal, Governor-General O'Nell nevertheless found his overall strategic position under threat.
  • April 27-April and May 1742 saw a general stalemate between the forces of the Laurasian Empire and the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria. On April 9, 1742, the Battle of Elise ended in a humiliating setback for General Lacius, who found that all of the attempted landings, by his Imperial Marines, upon the planetary surface of that stronghold came to ruin. Further confrontations at Cantor, McCartney, and Ryan (April 11-17, 1742), saw Scottrian units successfully resisting Laurasian assaults against those particular colonies; at Ryan, Scottrian General Fian O'Donnell actually managed to capture a number of Laurasian transports, and to recover Scottrian ion cannons, which had earlier fallen into the hands of the Imperial Laurasian Navy. Governor-General O'Nell, on his part, focused his efforts on strengthening the defenses and the garrisons of such strongholds as Frederickshamm, Devily, Patricia I, McKellen, Frasier, Janeway, and Barching. He also formulated plans for counteroffensives against Vyborg and Vilmanstrand. Scottrian units, in attempting this, were able to blockade Crusher (April 24, 1742), and to overrun Laurasian strategic positions on Hoyer, Pelosi, and Hastert (April 26-May 1, 1742). Eventually, these Scottrian units lost steam, and the Battle of Tillae (May 8, 1742), put an end to Scottrian strategic offensives. All of this coupled with the announcement, by the Scottrian Council of State on April 27, 1742, that Queen Consort Mariana of Guise was pregnant with the King's third legitimate child. This had inspired King Jamsius to provide for a more adequate defense of his royal dominions in the Galactic Borderlands, as he hoped to preserve them for his child. Yet by May 21, 1742, the Imperial General Headquarters on Laurasia Prime had formulated new plans for campaigns into Scottrian territory. Field-Marshal Munnich, the mastermind behind these operational schemes, proposed for a series of assaults against Frederickshamm, the Rasdallan strongholds, and the Canite Worlds. He believed that once these star systems had come into Laurasian possession, Kalbacha would be isolated, and King Jamsius would be compelled to come to terms.
  • June 14-
    • On June 1, 1742, the 5th Scottrian Fleet, under the command of Admiral Dian Pafadurr (1695-1756), who had been assigned to the Galactic Borderlands by King Jamsius the month prior, arrived at Rasdalla Minor. Pafadurr, who was not placed under the jurisdiction of Governor-General O'Nell, thereby retaining autonomous command over his own forces, was commanded by the King and the Council of State to ensure the security of Scottrian territories in the Galactic Borderlands, and to prepare for counteroffensives into the Rogerian Cluster. To that end, he proceeded with his forces to Aspo (June 6, 1742). Three days before that, he was reinforced by the units of Admiral Patrick Vanaugh (1688-1769); this force included a corps of Edithian-class starfighters, among the best models in the service of the Scottrian Royal Navy. Yet the Scottrians were now to find their plans hampered by their Laurasian opponent, Vice-Admiral Sir Vevanthius Levashius (1700-62), who was one of General Lacius's favorite subordinate commanders and a veteran of the Third and Second Laurasian-Marasharite Wars, the War of the Dejanican Succession, and the Third Franconian War. Levashius, was, on his part, supported by Commodore Sir Zadthanius Meservius (1716-94). On June 13, 1742, the two commanders revealed their prowess in the Battle of Memathon, completely routing Vanaugh's opposing forces. The Scottrians lost most of their couriers, corvettes, and frigates in that confrontation. Admiral Pafadurr then attempted a counteroffensive against Vyborg and the Vilmanstrand Approaches, but found himself rebuffed by Vice-Admiral Levashius in the Battle of Estre (June 14-15, 1742).
    • Then on June 16, Levashius and Meservius besieged and conquered the Scottrian garrisons of both McKellen and Janeway, thereby continuing the subjection of the Trekian Worlds, in the Central Galactic Borderlands, to the authority of the Laurasian Empire. Lacius himself stormed McFadden (June 19, 1742), repelling a series of successive assaults upon his marines by desperate Scottrian troops. Then on June 22, 1742, the Battle of Fraiser resulted in a decisive victory for Levashius. Levashius divided his forces into two offensive lines, with his rear serving to cut off Scottrian escape routes and to encircle the enemy forcers; the Earl of Glenbervie, commanding the garrison of Fraiser, found himself unable to penetrate through Laurasian lines, or to effectively harry the Navy's squadrons. Fraiser's defenses buckled under relentless bombardment, and the world was occupied before the end of the day. As a result of the Battle of Fraiser, Governor-General O'Nell was forced to withdraw from the defensive stockades erected around the Frederickshamm star system (June 25, 1742). Lacius now imposed a blockade of the stronghold. O'Nell quickly realized that resistance here was futile, and that he would be better served by abandoning this particular stronghold. He retreated from Frederickshamm on June 28, 1742, just three days after abandoning the defensive stockades in the vicinity of that star system. The world was now occupied by the Laurasian Empire, and Lacius established his command headquarters here. The abandonment of Frederickshamm was considered shameful at the Scottrian Court, and King Jamsius now began to plan to take direct command of his forces against the Laurasian foe.
  • July 6-
    • July 1742 witnessed a series of further clashes between opposing Laurasian and Scottrian forces. On July 3, 1742, Levashius directed a victorious offensive against Devily, which commanded the Devily-Barching Junction and was one of the most populous Scottrian military strongholds in that part of the Galactic Borderlands (by 1742, it had nearly thirty billion inhabitants). Nevertheless, Devily's garrison commander, the Earl of Brechin, proved no match for the superior Laurasian forces, and Devily fell swiftly into Laurasian hands during the late hours of that day. Then on July 6, 1742, Levashius and Meservius commenced the Siege of Barching. The Siege turned out to be a long ordeal, as Admiral Vanaugh posed a considerable resistance to all Laurasian assaults. Vanaugh mobilized the militia and the garrison forces of Barching effectively; established a series of minefields around the outskirts of the star system; and utilized his starfighter squadrons in order to constantly harry the Laurasian positions. Furthermore, Scottrian naval units managed to strike at McKellen, McFadden, and Wheaton, thereby disorienting the Laurasians and forcing Levashius to keep his communication lines reinforced. The Vice-Admiral was eventually able to bring his advantages (supremacy in numbers, better organization, as well as superior use of technology) in order to break down and to crush the Scottrian garrison. On July 22, 1742, Barching's minefields were finally breached by the Imperial Laurasian Navy; the naval garrison of the world was destroyed in a series of flank assaults, with Levashius relying particularly upon his automated transports, frigates, and couriers. Within the day, the naval force's resistance had eroded, and Barching's shield generators yielded. Yet it was not until August 1, 1742, before Admiral Vanaugh and his remaining subordinates were finally compelled into surrender. Vanaugh now became a prisoner of war, but he was, on the orders of Levashius, treated with commendable leniency.
    • While the Siege of Barching was ongoing, General Lacius made his own advances against the opposing Scottrian forces. From July 7 to 12, 1742, he engaged in a game of cat and mouse along the Frederickshamm Loop and the Metallasian Trade Highway with Governor-General O'Nell; O'Nell vainly attempted to keep his offensive squadrons ahead of the opposing Laurasian forces. Skirmishes between Laurasian and Scottrian starfighter squadrons occurred at the colonies of Condraxat, Morley, and the Asteroids of Tion, thereby resulting in severe losses for the forces of both sides. Admiral Pafadurr, on his part, maintained his chief offensive forces at the Scottrian strongholds of Hango and Pellinge, thereby hampering the provision of supplies and intelligence to the units of his superior. This proved to be to the benefit of General Lacius. On July 15, 1742, the Battle of Noonan's Star resulted in a decisive victory for Lacius, and for detachments sent by Vice-Admiral Levashius; Peggy was occupied by the Empire, and Scottrian supply lines to Kania were blockaded. O'Nell then attempted a vain counteroffensive against Sasha VI (July 22, 1742), but lost nearly a third of his arquebusiers in his attempt to recover that stronghold. Then on July 24, Admiral Pafadurr, who sought to withdraw his units back to Patricia I and the Riverite Asteroid Belt, and to blunt Laurasian advances further into the Rasdallan Provinces, began to dismantle and transport away the military arms, equipment, industrial goods, and agricultural stores at Hango and Pellinge. General Lacius, however, ordered Commodore Meservius to harry the Scottrian transports. On July 24, 1742, the Battle of Demorne resulted in a Laurasian victory; Meservius captured ten of the sixteen transports in the Scottrian convoy, and disrupted the Scottrian transfer of supplies to Patricia I. Then on July 28, Hango and Pellinge were both occupied by the Empire's forces, in the aftermath of the ill-fated Scottrian withdrawal. Pafadurr, who had failed to transport all of the supplies and arms at this stronghold, and had lost numerous ships to Laurasian assaults, was recalled by an indignant King Jamsius. The King of Scottria now appointed Grande Gordon, Earl of Kathy (1714-62), as the new commander of Scottrian naval forces in the Rasdallan Provinces. Kathy now sought to prepare a methodical strategy of defense against Laurasian offensives.
  • August 3-Following the conquest of Barching, Vice-Admiral Levashius and Commodore Meservius turned their attention to the Riverite Asteroid Belt, where King Jamsius IV's War had been ended in 1714. The Riverite Asteroid Belt, which up to that time had remained a major Scottrian stronghold, nevertheless proved no match to the superior firepower and organization of the Laurasian military forces. They were assaulted on August 3, 1742. By August 6, the bases of the Asteroid Belt had all fallen into Laurasian hands. Meservius then proceeded to storm the Scottrian naval headquarters on Troy Outpost (August 9, 1742), and to capture a substantial amount of Scottrian supplies and armor. The Earl of Kathy managed to repel reconaissance expeditions against Rasdalla Major, Kathy Major, and Patricia. Then on August 11, O'Nell made his arrival at Rasdalla Minor, thereby evading the pursuit forces of Lieutenant-General Lacius. Lacius, however, seized control of Councilen, Medina, and Alaska (August 11-13, 1742), thereby cutting off most supply lines to Rasdalla Minor. By August 13, Lacius began to install stockades at the outskirts of the Rasdalla Minor star system. Then on August 14, 1742, Wheaton and McFadden were both raided by the Earl of Kathy's forces; Lacius had to divert units in order to maintain Laurasian supply lines. Yet by this point, King Jamsius had become disappointed about Governor-General O'Nell's performance. It was on August 19, 1742, that O'Nell was summoned by the King back to Ediania, to answer to an inquiry into his actions. O'Nell was now disgraced in the eyes of his Scottrian peers.
  • August 24-
    • On August 24, 1742, Rasdalla Minor, which was under the command of Garrison General Jean Louis Bouquet (1706-91), who was a Franconian mercenary in the service of the Scottrian Royal Government, surrendered to the forces of Lieutenant-General Sir Petevius Lacius. Bouquet had come to understand the futility of resisting future Laurasian offensives, and was lured by Laurasian promises of leniency towards those who surrendered peacefully. According to the terms of the capitulation agreement, all Scottrian officers and personnel of the garrison would be permitted either to leave the service of the Scottrian Armed Forces or to return, unmolested, to the Kingdom's realms in the Angelina Spiral. All military armor, weapons, equipment, and agricultural supplies were to be handed over to the Laurasians; Rasdalla Minor was to acknowledge marital law; and any one who resisted Laurasian forces was to endure "sufficient" punishment. Lacius established his command headquarters here, and proved to be lenient to the star system's inhabitants. He forbade quartering on private properties, handed out rations and other supplies to civilians, and confirmed their local government privileges. This thereby earned their support. On that very same day, Scottrian forces under the Earl of Kathy managed to win the Battle of Haddon Rig, over Laurasian Vice-Admiral Levashius. Haddon Rig, which had been colonized in 1328, was a minor Scottrian stronghold located eight light years to the west of the Riverite Asteroid Belt. Levashius had been massing forces for an offensive against Patricia I and Kania; this victory that Kathy obtained inflicted severe losses on the Laurasian offensive corps, and resulted in the General Headquarters being forced to put plans for this offensive on hold. Lacius, who had established the Laurasian hold of Rasdalla Minor, had to temporarily suspend moves against Kathy. Then on August 27, 1742, Kathy managed to briefly reconquer Wheaton, McFadden, and McKellen, storming the Will Operational Outpost in a surprise move and killing more than 25,000 Imperial Marines. But on August 29, Lacius defeated a Scottrian expeditionary force in the Skirmish of Moore.
  • September 3-By the beginning of September 1742, the counteroffensives of the Earl of Kathy were already fraying. On September 3, Kathy, confident after his victory at Haddon Rig, launched a move against Barching and Partsia (which had fallen into Laurasian hands in June 1742). His plans, however, came to an abrupt end in the Battle of Kelso (September 2-4, 1742), in which Vice-Admiral Levashius destroyed the forces of his Scotrrian rivals. Levashius took advantage of their overextension, and of their poor communications, in order to shred their offensive lines. On September 12, 1742, Aland, which contained a Scottrian starfighter manufacturing facility, and the Aland Arsenal, with more than 35,000 garrison troops, was assaulted by Levashius. Levashius took advantage of the disorientation, and the ill-prepared condition of the garrison, to storm this stronghold. By September 19, Scottrian counteroffensives against Janeway, Crusher, and Fraiser had been repelled; then on September 23, Lacius stormed Kathy Minor. More than 100,000 Scottrian personnel lost their loves in that confrontation, and Lacius drove the Earl of Kathy back to his operational headquarters on Kathy Minor. By the end of September 1742, Wheaton, McFadden, and McKellen had all been reconquered by Vice Admiral Levashius. Then on October 5, 1742, Helingsia, which was located five light years east of Hidemnia Sauria, and was renowned for its production of neuranium, duranium, borite, and dilithum, was stormed by Levashius; this thereby brought into Laurasian possession one of the most important mining colonies for the Scottrian Royal Government.
  • October 11-On October 11, 1742, the Siege of Patricia I commenced, as Lacius was finally able to clear away the Earl of Kathy's defensive positions near Haddon Rig, and to lay this major Rasdallan stronghold under siege. The Earl of Kathy, nevertheless, posed fierce resistance to the Empire's forces; Scottrian starfighter squadrons harried Laurasian supply lines ceaselessly. Repeated Scottrian counteroffensives against Laurasian-held strongholds, from Pellinge and Noonan's Star to Janeway and Devily, ended in failure; finally, on October 17, Laurasian units breached Patricia I's shield defenses. The world was quickly overrun by Laurasian forces, and most of the Scottrian garrison (well over 500,000), were killed or captured by their Laurasian adversaries in a series of coordinated, mobile assaults upon their positions. The Earl of Kathy was now forced to retreat; Kathy Major itself, already menaced by Laurasian expeditions from Kathy Minor, now came under a serious threat.
  • November 2-
    • By the middle of October 1742, King Jamsius V of Scottria, who had thus far remained on Ediania, to attend to his pregnant wife, Queen-Consort Mariana of Guise, and to maintain his supervision over the Scottrian Estates and the Council of State, had resolved that only direct involvement in the military campaigns against the Laurasian Empire would make a difference in their outcome. The King of Scottria had always been disappointed by the performance of his military subordinates, and believed that nothing would change unless if he directed these operations in person. Jamsius announced his plans to the Scottrian Estates on October 18, 1742, to depart for the Galactic Borderlands; he now appointed the Earls of Glasgow and Cassilis, as guardians of his wife and of the realms, while he was away. Then on October 31, 1742, the King of Scottria, bringing with him the 7th and 8th Scottrian Royal Fleets, and much of his personal household, formally assumed command of Scottrian military operations at Lauder, a Scottrian outpost located in the Galactic Barrier. He proceeded thence with his forces rapidly into the Caladarian Galaxy, arriving at Onasi on November 1, 1742. The following day, King Jamsius defeated Lieutenant-General Lacius, who had been alerted of the King's arrival, in the Battle of Euther; Jamsius gained distinction for himself by directing the troops who seized two of three Laurasian strategic outposts within the star system.
    • Lacius was forced to retreat, while the King's forces secured Kania and stormed Laurasian outposts at Malgay, Sisko, and O'Brian. They were thus driven back to the vicinity of Rasdalla Minor, Hango, and Pelenge. On November 6, a counteroffensive by Commodore Meservius against Euther and Malgay was blunted by the Earl of Kathy in the Battle of Tweed. But then, five days later, Vice-Admiral Levashius stormed Sockoth, thereby advancing the Empire's military units ever closer to the outskirts of Kathy. And on November 14, 1742, barely two weeks after embarking on active command of the military offensives, King Jamsius found himself compelled to return to Ediania, due to the outbreak of the Nosdolon Uprisings, which protested the exactions of the King's representatives from the populations of Ediania, and of other strongholds in the Scottrian Homeland Territories. Jamsius now entrusted command of Scottrian forces in the Galactic Borderlands to Robert, Lord Axwell of Sharandia (1687-1751), ordering him to employ "all available resources" in order to blunt and hamper the Laurasian advance. Jamsius proceeded to Onasi, and thence across the Galactic Void, reaching Branxholme on November 17, 1742.
  • November 22-On November 18, 1742, one day following King Jamsius's arrival back at Branxholme, Lieutenant-General Lacius launched a renewed offensive against Euther, and finally managed to breach the defenses of that stronghold. Following this, Laurasian units peneterated to the outskirts of Rasdalla Major and Kania, storming the Scottrian operational outposts of Bel and Adalek. Sisko, Malgay, and O'Brien were back in Laurasian hands by November 21. Then on November 22, 1742, Lord Axwell of Shrandia, seeking to disrupt Laurasian supply lines, and to strike a blow against the Empire directly, employed the Canite Rapid Transit Route in order to penetrate to Solway, which was located in the Garaman Provinces. Solway had been colonized during the reign of King Robert II of Scottria in 1575, but fell into the possession of the Laurasian Empire in 1603, as a result of Emperor Demetrius Severus's successful Garaman War. During the course of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, its population had increased substantially; by 1742, it had more than 97 million inhabitants, and was one of the most prosperous Laurasian colonies in the Wild Marshes. Axwell thereby believed that such a bold strike into Laurasian territory would force Lacius to terminate his offensives in the Rasdallan Provinces and at the Galactic Barrier.
  • November 24-On November 24, 1742, Laurasian units under the command of Major-General Sir Thomasius Wortonius (1695-1768), the third ranking subordinate of Lieutenant-General Lacius, intercepted the Scottrian forces of Lord Axwell of Shrandia at the outskirts of Solway. General Lacius had been alerted to the Scottrian advance, and the Imperial General Headquarters had ordered for the garrisons in the Garaman Provinces to be strengthened, in the event of a Scottrian offensive. This strategy worked brilliantly, as the larger and more effectively organized Laurasians inflicted a decisive defeat upon Lord Axwell. Axwell's chief subordinate in battle, General Oliver La'Caman (1711-76), as well as Lord Axwell himself, were captured by Laurasian starfighter units, while the Earls of Casilis and Glencairn were killed in battle. Nearly one hundred Scottrian vessels were destroyed or captured in the Battle of Solway, which constituted a decisive victory for the Laurasian Empire. Wortonius received a formal congratulation from Emperor Antigonus. King Jamsius, in contrast, was angered and saddened by the result of the devastating Battle of Solway. On November 26, he commanded his subjects to lament the Scottrian losses in the Battle of Solway and to offer up prayers for the souls of those Scottrian troops who had laid down their lives in battle against the Laurasians. The King of Scottria himself now began to enter a rapid decline in health, and a bout of depression, as the Scottrian worlds in the Galactic Borderlands were now falling like dominoes before Laurasian forces. Kania's fall, on December 3, 1742, proved to be a particular blow; Lacius stormed the world's defenses in a decisive offensive, and the Earl of Dehner found himself at a loss.
  • December 8-On December 6, 1742, King Jamsius, who was then at Falkland Palace on Fife, fell deathly ill. The King suffered from a high fever and from other symptoms of disease. The royal physicians of the King's Household were baffled by his disease, and were at a loss to explain what he was suffering from. Jamsius's health, already in decline, fell further, and he was soon slipping in and out of consciousness. He now came to realize that he did not have long to live. Thus it was two days later, on December 8, 1742, at Linlithgow Palace on Linlithgow, that Scottrian Queen Consort Mariana of Guise gave birth to a daughter, the only legitimate surviving child of King Jamsius V of Scottria. The girl, who appeared to be a healthy and vigorous babe, was named Mariana after her mother. At the time of her birth, however, King Jamsius, only thirty years old, was lingering on his death bed. In delirium at Falkland Palace, the King was informed of his daughter's birth, which had occurred in a star system two thousand light years from Fife. Hearing of this, the dying King of Scottria ruefully exclaimed that, "It came with a lass, and it will go with a lass!" This was a direct reference to the marriage of Marjorie Bruce, daughter of Scottrian King Robert the Bruce, to Walter Stewart, High Steward of the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria, in 1515. The crown of Scottria had come to his family through a woman, and it would pass from his family through a woman. Jamsius's prophecy would turn out to be ominous, for just thirty-seven years after his death, following the deposition of his daughter, Scottria would lose its independence to the very Laurasian Empire now seizing its territories by force in the Galactic Borderlands.
  • December 14-
    • On December 14, 1742, just six days after the birth of Princess Mariana, her father, King Jamsius V of Scottria, succumbed to his illness and died at Falkland Palace on Fife. He was just thirty years old at the time of his death, but had been on the throne for the majority of his life (29 years), since 1713. Mariana, who was then only six days old, was formally proclaimed Queen Regnant of Scottria, the first and only female monarch of Scottria in its 500-year-history as an independent kingdom. Emperor Antigonus, who had learned of first his grand-niece's birth, and then her quick succession to the throne upon her father's untimely death, declared to the Privy Council that "this is a great opportunity for our Empire." The Emperor began to envision the marriage of his son, Grand Prince Demetrius, with the new Queen Mariana and believed that by such means, he could secure the ultimate absorption of the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria into the Laurasian Empire. His focus, however, remained on the military campaigns in the Galactic Borderlands.
    • King Jamsius's funeral was held on Ediania, on December 22, 1742; he was formally interred at Holyroodian Priory. At this date, the King's will was formally announced, and Jamsius Hamilton, Earl of Arran (1716-75), who was the cousin of the late King, grandson of Jamsius II through his own paternal grandmother Mariana, and heir to the throne, was appointed Regent of the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria. Arran was to hold this position for nearly twelve years (until 1754), but from the first, found his position of authority challenged by Archpriest David Beatonius of Ediania (1694-1746), who was one of the leading religious officials in Scottria. These disputes were to continue through the mid-1740s. As regards to the Galactic Borderlands, General Lacius rapped up the year's campaigns with his final seizure of Kathy Major (December 27, 1742), which dealt a serious blow to the Scottrian strategic position. The Earl of Kathy, in command of the garrison, narrowly avoided capture in this confrontation in which more than 250,000 Scottrian troops lost their lives. Thus, at the end of 1742, Scottria was under a regency, and many of its Caladarian Galaxy territories were under foreign control.

1743Edit

  • January 7-1743, the 43rd year of the eighteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire's military forces, under the command of Lieutenant-General Lacius, Vice-Admiral Levashius, and Commodore Meservius, among others, on the road of success in the Galactic Borderlands. Over the course of the preceding year, they had gained a succession of victories over their Scottrian foes. Moreover, the death of King Jamsius V, and the accession of his infant daughter Mariana, to the Scottrian throne, had quite transformed the political landscape. Emperor Antigonus, watching events from afar, was by now contriving notions of using the infant Scottrian Queen to his advantage. This would be seen later on in this year. Laurasian military successes continued right into the new year. On January 7, 1743, the Battle of Hidemnia Sauria resulted in a decisive victory for Lacius's forces. Hidemnia Sauria, which was one of the most important strongholds of the Rasdallan Provinces, now fell into Laurasian hands. The Earl of Kathy, who was now growing desperate, and who had, on January 3, regained his supreme position of command, now attempted to launch a series of counteroffensives, directed against Patricia I, Partsia, and the Riverite Asteroid Belt. These offensives came to a shuddering halt in the Batle of Adams (January 17, 1743), in which Vice-Admiral Levashius captured thirty of the Scottrian arquebusier units and put the rest to flight. Within a short time, Levashius pressed the offensive further: on January 24, he destroyed a Scottrian convoy at Ella. Curtis and St. John then fell (January 25-29, 1743), consolidating the Laurasian hold over Hidemnia Sauria. On February 8, 1743, Lieutenant-General Lacius defeated a Scottrian expeditionary force in the Battle of Hikura, thereby inflicting severe damage upon Scottrian positions.
  • February 1-By 1743, further developments had taken place in regards to Emperor Antigonus's religious policies concerning the Almitian Church. In November 1736, Chief Procurator Cranmerius and the Holy Synod had, with the permission of the Emperor, published the Ten Articles of the Almitian Faith. These articles provided basic guidelines for religious observance and belief in the Imperial Almitian Church. The Ten Articles asserted:
  1. The binding authority of the Almitian Scriptures, the three ecumenical creeds, and the first four ecumenical councils.
  2. The necessity of baptism for salvation.
  3. The sacrament of penance, with confession and absolution, which were declared "expedient and necessary."
  4. The substantial, real, corporal presence of Lord Paul's body and blood in the Eucharist.
  5. Justification by faith, joined with charity and obedience.
  6. The use of images in all religious establishments.
  7. The honoring of saints, apostles, prophets, and the Virgin Didymeia.
  8. The invocation of saints and prophets.
  9. The observance of various rites and ceremonies as good and laudable, such as clerical vestaments, holy water, Candlemass rituals, etc.
  10. The doctrine of purgatory, and prayers for the dead in purgatory.
  • The following year, Emperor Antigonus ordered for the establishment of a commission of divines and Councilors, to be lead by the Chief Procurator, to provide a further codification and explanation of the Almitian Church's chief tenets and beliefs. This commission first convened on March 5, 1737, and labored for the next several months. On September 19 of that year, they had published The Institutes of the Almitian Man. This work served as the chief formulary of the reformed Almitian faith in the Empire, and sought to explain to the Emperor's subjects the necessity for ecclesiastical reform, and the errors of the old ways. Indeed, the Emperor himself wrote the preface to the work, and ordered for its precepts to be declared valid by all Almitian clergymen, and within all Almitian congregations. In May 1739, the Holy Synod, under Antigonus's directive, further clarified Almitian doctrine through promulgation of the Six Articles, a summary of Almitian precepts. These articles reiterated Antigonus's views on six essential points:
  1. Transubstantiation.
  2. Procedures relating to the laity during communion.
  3. Clerical celibacy.
  4. Observance of vows of chastity.
  5. Permission for private masses.
  6. The importance of auricular confession.
  • In 1740 and 1741, further instructions to the Holy Synod and to Almitian congregations clarified the penalties for denying the truth of any of these claims; the Almitian Court of High Heresies was granted additional investigative and summons powers in order to enforce its provisions. In July 1742, Emperor Antigonus ordered for the revision of the Institutes. It was on February 1, 1743, therefore, that The Necessary Doctrine and Erudition for Any Almitian Man was published by the Synod, and at Chief Procurator Cranmerius's discretion. It was declared in this work that "all men under the name of Almitis have a duty towards him and towards their lawful sovereign." It was claimed that the Emperor's policies were only to the greater glory of Almitis, and that it was necessary to adhere to his standards. This work would become a major justification for the further religious reforms which would be enacted during the reign of Antigonus's son, Demetrius II.
  • February 13-By February 1743, Emperor Antigonus had definitely become convinced that he could take advantage of the new situation which now persisted in the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria. The Emperor had by then fully formulated his scheme to marry his son, Grand Prince Demetrius, to the new Queen Regnant, Mariana I. It was therefore in his interest to bring the military conflict to an end as soon as possible, and to open negotiations with the Scottrians over a possible marriage alliance. Thus, on February 9, 1743, the Emperor announced to the Imperial Privy Council his intentions as regards to a possible marriage, and to the termination of hostilities. Chancellor Diadones and Procurator-General Audalius both supported the Emperor's demands, while the Earl of Heuthros (the younger brother of the late Empress Consort Theodora Seymouris, who was gaining increasing prominence at the Imperial Court) and Field-Marshal Munnich were opposed. Munnich believed that further territorial gains could be made in the Galactic Borderlands. Antigonus, however, overrode their objections, and on February 13, he ordered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to send an armistice request to the Imperial Laurasian Government. This was done by agency of Lieutenant-General Lacius, who received his orders from Sir Rudomentus Sadielus, who was now Minister of Foreign Affairs. On February 15, 1743, Lacius formally delivered the offer to the Royal Scottrian Government. Regent Arran, who was ambitious and believed that Scottria would prosper if it co-existed peacefully with the larger and more powerful Laurasian Empire, decided to accept the armistice offer. The Truce of Hildakis was signed by Lacius and the Earl of Kathy on February 19, 1743, thereby suspending active military hostilities in the Galactic Borderlands.
  • March 2-
    • By February 1743, Emperor Antigonus had started to contemplate marriage again. One year had passed since the execution of Katharina Howardis, who had through youthful ignorance betrayed the Emperor's trust, and had dallied with men such as Dereanius and Culpepperi. The memory of Katharina's infidelity was still uppermost in Antigonus's mind, yet he sought to look after his future. The Emperor, who was now fifty-one years old, still entertained hope of building for himself a larger collection of heirs; he thought that he might still have the chance of becoming a father. Furthermore, Antigonus sought spiritual solace and comfort in his dawning years, and wished for a wife who could provide him both. Thus it was that the Emperor once again began looking for a wife. And he had, from the first, a candidate in mind: Baroness Katharina Latimerius (nee Parsius), the wife of John Nevilius, 3rd Baron Latimerius (1693-1743). This was Lady Latimerius's second marriage. Katharina, daughter of Sir Thomasius Parsius, Lord of Kendalia, and Lady Scribonia Greenia, as noted above, received a solid education, during her childhood and teenage years, from a series of tutors. By the time she became Antigonus's Empress Consort, Katharina had a commanding grasp of several different languages, including Franconian, High Laurasian, Spamalkan, Haxonian, Vendragian, Arachosian, Dasian, and Lacian. Many would be drawn to her warm and amiable personality and her intellectual qualities; she exuded goodwill. She was a good conversationalist, and loved a friendly argument, especially on matters of religious doctrine.
    • She would find favor with Cranmerius and his reformists because she was known to be "very zealous towards the Gospel." They would perceive that, like themselves, she might secretly nurture Reformist views. Katharina would be seen by them as the best instrument of persuading the Emperor to see their view of things. She proved to be popular with many, mainly because she had a pleasant manner with both nobility and servants alike. She was perceptive, articulate, thirsty for knowledge, both general and religious, and industrious. Her virtue was beyond question; no one would ever have cause to believe that she had been astray like Katharina Howardis. She was a rather austere woman, and used her intellectual powers to promote her own strong views on religion, society, and culture. She was quieter and more solemn then most of Antigonus's previous wives, and would not display the caprices of Anna Boleyenia and Katharina Howardis. Her chief interest was to be theology. With all these qualities, therefore, Katharina had no difficulty in finding husbands to marry. In 1729, when she was seventeen years old, she married her first husband, Sir Edwardis Bourroghia (1707-33), the grandson of the 2nd Baron Boroughia. Her husband served as a Gentleman Pensioner and as Keeper of Pensian Grounds on Gdov. He suffered from poor health, however, and died on April 7, 1733, at the age of only twenty-six. Katharina, who was not yet twenty-one, therefore found herself a widow. She did not remain a widow for long however. She spent time with Katharina Nevilius, Lady Stricklandia, who was the widow of her cousin Sir Walterius Stricklandia. Then, on August 7, 1734, she married Baron Latimerius, who was Lady Stricklandia's cousin. Latimerius, who was nineteen years Katharina's senior, had been married twice before and had two children, a son and a daughter. Her marriage to Latimerius was relatively happy; Katharina could take pride in the fact that she had a title, husband, step-children, and wealth. In 1736-37, the Latimerius family was directly impacted by the Uprising of Grace.
    • In fact, in January 1737, Katharina and her step-children were held hostage at Snape Castle, the Latimerius estate on Reagan. They were ultimately freed by government troops, but the whole incident reflected badly upon Latimerius's reputation. But by 1741, their fortunes had changed, and Latimerius was appointed to the City Council of Christiania, Laurasia Prime, in November of that year. His wife arrived at the Imperial Court in March 1742, and quickly became acquainted with many of the magnates and the nobles there. She became immersed in discussions about fashion, the arts and sciences, and theological matters, as well as politics. It was during this time that Katharina first became acquainted with Sir Thomasius Seymouris, the youngest brother of the Earl of Heuthros. Yet her husband's health declined over the course of 1742, and by December, he was in a pitiful condition. Katharina therefore took up the responsibility of tending to his needs. In early 1743, she reestablished her friendship with Lady Didymeia; the Lady's mother, the late Empress Consort Katharina of Shenandoah, had been Katharina's godmother.
    • On February 16, Katharina was appointed a lady-in-waiting to the Lady Didymeia. Shortly afterwards she was noticed by Emperor Antigonus for the first time. The Emperor found himself attracted by her beauty, intelligence, and "marital fidelity". He envisioned her as his wife, and sent her a number of gifts as tokens of his good-will. His wait did not last for long. On March 2, 1743, Baron Latimerius died in his personal bedchambers at the Quencilvanian Palace. He was accompanied at his bedside by his wife, his son and heir, John Nevilius, and the servants of his personal household. Emperor Antigonus ordered a day of mourning for Latimerius and issued a manifesto praising his merits and years of service to the Imperial Laurasian Government. Latimerius's funeral was held at St. Paul's Cathedral on March 9, 1743; Emperor Antigonus and Chief Procurator Cranmerius both attended the funeral. The Emperor expressed his condolences to the Baroness, and in his eulogy, declared that "never a more saintly man, dedicated to the service of his Lord and of his sovereign, hath lived within these dominions." In his will, Latimerius bequeathed his wife a number of properties and funds, and entrusted the welfare of his daughter Scribonia to her. She thereby became one of the wealthiest noblewomen in the Empire.
  • March 17-On March 17, 1743, the delegations of the Laurasian Empire and the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria convened at the Old Royal Palace in Christiania, Laurasia Prime, for the conference to end the first stage of what would be called the War of the Rough Wooing. Emperor Antigonus had, on March 4, 1743, proposed to the Regent Arran that negotiations be conducted on Laurasia Prime; Arran had agreed to this. Chancellor Diadones served as the chief plenipotentiary of the Imperial Laurasian Government, and as official host of the conference. Minister of Foreign Affairs Sir Rudomentus Sadielus; Stephanius Gardinerius, Archbishop of Winchestrius; the Duke of Norfolkius; Thomasius Wirdilus, Bishop of Jadia (1706-70); Procurator-General Audalius; and Lords St. Johansius and Gagius served as the other plenipotentiaries. Scottrian interests were represented by the Earl of Glencairn; George Douglas of Pitterneich (1686-1752); Sir Adam Otterburn; Sir William St. Hamilton (1701-82); and Lord Jamsius Delamarth of Behair (1705-87). In the opening speech at the conference, Chancellor Diadones proclaimed that it was the intention and hope of his master, Emperor Antigonus, to establish "cordial relations" between the Laurasian and Scottrian realms, and that this could be effectively secured through the marriage of Grand Prince Demetrius with Queen Mariana. The conference would drag on for the next four months, as the two delegations wrangled over the terms of the peace agreement and over the Laurasian proposal of marriage.
  • April 28-
    • Following the death of her husband, Baron Latimerius, Katharina remained at court. What kept her there was the obvious admiration of Sir Thomasius Seymouris (1706-49), the brother of the late Empress Theodora. Sir Thomasius was very handsome, impetuous, and extremely ambitious. He saw in the rich and attractive widow a means of increasing his fortune. He had been working on her emotional susceptibilities since January, upon his return from a diplomatic mission to the Durthian Duchies. Katharina, following her husband's death, began encouraging this dashing and unscrupulous adventurer as a suitor. She was both physically and emotionally attracted to him; before long, the two were discussing marriage. At this same time, Katharina's brother, Lord Parrius, was divorced from his wife, Lady Anna Boucherius (1717-71, on April 17, 1743). He accused her of adultery, and had even gone so far as to demand that his wife be excommunicated by the Holy Synod for her crimes. Yet Katharina had stood up for Lady Boucherius, and had gone to the Emperor himself, pleading for Anna's life and reputation. Antigonus had granted her request, although Lord Parrius inherited all of his wife's estates; in December 1743, he would become Earl of Estatius. Moreover, the Emperor was following his time-honored custom of advancing the relatives of the woman he meant to marry. He named Lord Parrius to the Privy Council in March 1743, and on April 23, made him a Knight of the Imperial Garter. Katharina, however, was still too involved emotionally with Seymouris. Antigonus saw this and was jealous: Seymouris was a younger man who epitomized many of the things Antigonus had been in his youth, and this did not endear him to his sovereign. Antigonus wanted Katharina, and he meant to have her. The Emperor was lonely and feeling sorry for himself; only Lady Latimerius's presence could ease him. Katharina responded correctly and respectfully, but she had no desire to be Empress of Laurasia or wife to a man who had already gone through five spouses.
    • Her heart was given to Sir Thomasius. The Emperor knew this, and decided on a course of drastic action. On April 28, he dealt with Seymouris by sending him on a permanent embassy to the Court of Brussels in the Durthian Duchies. This was a blow, for different reasons, to both Katharina and Sir Thomasius. Katharina was obliged to hide her true feelings. Antigonus had by now firmly decided that the Baroness Dowager of Latimerius should become his new bride, and that she would make a worthy bride. On May 6, 1743, the Emperor formally declared to the Imperial Privy Council his intention to procure for himself another wife and consort, one who would be more loyal and would not betray him in the same manner as had Katharina of Shenandoah, Anna Boleyenia, and Katharina Howardis. Yet on his orders, his intentions for marriage were kept secret from the Court, and from the Empire's subjects. It was not until May 25 before the Emperor began to send communiques of affection, as well as more gifts, to Baroness Latimerius. Antigonus told the Baroness that while he was aware of her emotional predicament, in the aftermath of her husband's death, he himself would prove to be a worthy new husband for her. She would, moreover, be honored by being elevated in status before the Imperial Court. Katharina would agonize for over a month, as she weighted the advantages and disadvantages of an imperial marriage.
  • June 19-On June 19, 1743, Lady Antonia Boleyenia, former mistress of Emperor Antigonus, and the older sister of the late Empress Consort Anna Boleyenia and Viscount Georgius Boleyenia of Ralanchaford, died at Hawtharnia City, on Apathama Vixius. Antonia herself had been in disgrace at the Imperial Court following her marriage to Brigadier-General Sir Willanius Staffordius (1700-56), the distant cousin of the late Duke of Americana, in 1734. Antonia had, however, received a pension from the Emperor during the last four years of her life, and was financially comfortable when she died. She would be buried at St. Barlan's Priory, on Apathama Vixius, on August 4, 1743. Her death received little notice at the Imperial Court.
  • July 1-
    • After four months of arduous negotiations between the Laurasian and Scottrian delegations at the Old Royal Palace, the Treaty of Christiania was signed by the Laurasian Empire and Celestial Kingdom of Scottria on July 1, 1743. The treaty was comprised of two chapters: the first concerned the conclusion of peace between Laurasia and Scottria, as well as matters relating to territorial dispositions, financial matters, and prisoners/spoils of war; the second concerned the engagement of the Grand Prince Demetrius with Scottrian Queen Mariana. As a result of the terms of this treaty, the Laurasian Empire acquired Vilmanstrand, Frederickshamm, Patricia I, Barching, Devily, the Riverite Asteroid Belt, Partsia, Kania, the Vilmanstrand Approaches, Frasier, McKellen, McFadden, Wheaton, Frasier, Janeway, the El Paso Colonies, Sasha VI, the Berwick Barrier, Rasdalla Minor, and Kathy Minor, thereby extending its jurisdiction over a sect of the formerly Scottrian Galactic Borderlands. Rasdalla Major, Kathy Major, Seeben, Sabinia, and the Galactic Barrier outposts were restored to the authority of the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria (with Laurasian troops to evacuate by no later than June 1, 1744), although Laurasian units would be permitted to occupy Onasi for a period of three years, as surety for the peace arrangement.
    • All prisoners of war were to be exchanged immediately, although the Imperial Laurasian Government would be permitted to keep all of the weapons, military equipment, and supplies captured during the conflict. Diplomatic and economic relations were restored between the two realms; the Laurasian Empire obtained the status of "most favored nation", thereby granting its merchants exemption from Scottrian tariffs and the right to trade and to transport goods in all Scottrian star systems. The Imperial Laurasian Government also gained the right to protect Almitian conclaves in Scottrian territory, and to monitor the actions of Laurasian subjects in transit through, or residing within Scottrian realms. In return, Emperor Antigonus pledged not to make any further territorial demands and to defend Scottrian realms from a foreign aggressor. As regards to the marriage pact, it was agreed that Demetrius and Mariana would be formally engaged at the age of ten, and that Mariana would reside at the Imperial Court on Laurasia Prime until the time of her marriage. Demetrius was to become King-Consort of Scottria, as Mariana would become Empress-Consort of Laurasia upon the Grand Prince's ascension to the Laurasian throne. Their eldest child was therefore to become heir apparent to both realms, although the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria was explicitly confirmed in its independence, retaining its own government, currency, diplomatic affairs, and military forces. If no children were born of the marriage, the personal union was to be dissolved. The Treaty of Christiania was ratified by Emperor Antigonus on July 4, 1743, and by the Earl of Arran, with the Council of State, on July 7. Many within the Scottrian realms, however, opposed the Treaty from the start, upset about the substantial territorial concessions and by the terms of the marriage. Arran, consequently, declared that the Scottrian Estates would formally review and certify the Treaty in December, and that Mariana would be "in pledge" for marriage to Grand Prince Demetrius.
  • July 12-
    • On June 6, 1743, Lady Katharina Parsius finally submitted to the entreaties of Emperor Antigonus, and declared her willingness to become his new wife. The Emperor was overjoyed at Katharina's "decision" and told the Imperial Privy Council that the Imperial Court would once again be graced with the presence of an Empress Consort. Then on June 14, the Emperor's engagement with the Dowager Baroness of Latimerius, and his intentions for a new marriage, were formally announced by the Privy Council, by proclamation, to the Imperial Court and to the Empire's subjects. Chief Procurator Cranmerius expressed his hopes for the marriage, and the Holy Synod issued a bull enjoining all clergymen throughout the Empire to pray for the "permanency and success" of the Emperor's incoming union. The actual marriage itself, the sixth and last marriage of Antigonus III, the most married Laurasian sovereign since Honorius the Terrible, finally occurred at Hamsponian Palace on Denver, on July 12, 1743. Chief Procurator Cranmerius officiated over the ceremony. The aging Emperor told all in attendance that his new wife would prove a faithful and loyal consort, and would be at his side in his waning years. Among those who were in attendance at the wedding were Chancellor Diadones, Procurator-General Audalius, the Dukes of Norfolkius and Sufforia (the latter was suffering ill health by this point), the Ladies Didymeia (now 27) and Aurelia (9), Grand Prince Demetrius (5), Sir Thomasius Seymouris, and the new Baron Latimerius.
    • The Baroness Annaliese of Denver was also present; she showed not the slightest annoyance at her former husband uniting himself to another lady. Indeed, she seemed very pleased about it. Katharina impressed all at the ceremony with her dignity, poise, and bearing; she treated everyone fairly, with great elegance and grace. Nearly everyone approved of her, with Sir Wirtholesius informing the Duke of Norfolkius that she was a woman of "virtue, wisdom, and gentleness, most necessary for His Imperial Highness." Ambassador Chapuys told Emperor Char'va that Katharina was "praised for her virtue" and that she was "of noble stature, graceful, and of cheerful countenance." The Emperor, it was said presently, was very satisfied with her. The subjects of the Empire also rejoiced upon the wedding. Yet Archbishop Gardinerius of Winchestrius was already watching the Empress. He was among the few who did not like the new Empress Consort, and suspected her of heretical tendencies. This suspicion would become more grievous over time. Yet the present was a time of celebration for most. A three-day public holiday was proclaimed by the Emperor; largess was distributed; crowds in star systems throughout the Empire rejoiced; and an official imperial manifesto of celebration issued. Katharina was formally proclaimed Empress Consort on July 16, 1743.
  • July 14-
    • On July 14, 1743, on the urging of his new wife, Empress Consort Katharina Parsius, Emperor Antigonus promulgated the Third Antigonid Statute of Succession, which was the final such measure of his reign. The Third Antigonid Statute declared that "whilst the rule of the female gender is not the most desirable in the eyes of the Lord Almitis, it is nevertheless far from being an abomination, and may under certain circumstances be necessary and proper for the stability and prosperity of the realms of this Empire." The Emperor kept constantly in mind the examples of Octavia Seslais, Andrea Septimia, Regent Elena, Regent Theodora, and Grand Princess Constantia. He was fully aware of how the governance of Seslais and Septimia had ushered in the subjugation of the Stellar Kingdom of Laurasia by a foreign enemy (whether it be the Lacian Despotate or the Dasian Golden Horde). He was cognizant how Elena's rule had ushered in domestic turmoil and ended in assassination, and that the memory of Regent Theodora, who had challenged, but ultimately been overthrown by, Seleucus the Victor, was "odious" and "detestable" in the eyes of the Laurasians. Grand Princess Constantia, in her quest to seize the throne, had plunged the Empire's dominions into civil war. Antigonus also considered the "nefarious" influence which had been exercised by the Empress Consorts Messalina and Agrippina Thrax, and the conniving, duplicitous actions of Grand Princess Julia Maesa, grandmother of Elagabalus and Alexander Severus. But he also took account of the wise rule of Empress Consort Anna of Commagenos (during her regency for her son, Antiochus II), and of the influence of his own grandmother, Grand Princess Margarina Beaufatia, who had been of much support to his father.
    • Thus, it was that he now felt confident enough to take this step. The Emperor now declared that "after legitimate male heirs, the female line may be vested with rule." Consequently, he restored both of his daughters, Ladies Didymeia and Aurelia, to the line of succession. Grand Prince Demetrius remained heir apparent to the throne, and it was specified that the two Ladies were placed after Demetrius, any potential children of his, and potential children of the Emperor by his new wife, Empress Consort Katharina. Their illegitimacy was not lifted, and they were not restored to their prior ranks of Grand Princess; the Statute stated that the measures taken were "out of necessity for the cares of the Imperial State." Nevertheless, the promulgation of the Third Antigonid Statute revealed that Emperor Antigonus was willing to acknowledge the possibility of his daughters acceding to the imperial throne; it was a step in the eventual renewal of his relationship with them, as encouraged by the Empress Consort. The Third Antigonid Statute was to remain in effect for the remainder of the century; it would be replaced by the Lysimachian Statutes of Succession in 1803, passed after Aurelia's death and by her successor, Lysimachus II.
    • As for Empress Katharina, so instrumental in the enactment of this statute, she sought to be, in all ways, a loving stepmother to the Emperor's three children. She was determined to provide for them a happy and stable domestic life. Their attendance at the wedding had been on her insistence. They had then left the Imperial Laurasian Court following it, but in August, after the Statute of Succession had been enacted, Katharina wrote to them. She invited them all back to the Court, saying it was the Emperor's pleasure and hers. In this, she secured Antigonus's consent. Lady Aurelia responded promptly, and expressed, in eloquent terms, her appreciation of Katharina's kindness, which she was sure she did not deserve. She promised that she would so conduct herself that Katharina would never have cause for complaint, and that she would be diligent in showing obedience and respect: "I await with much impatience the orders of the Emperor my father for the accomplishment of the happiness for which I sigh, and I remain with much submission, Your Majesty's very dear Aurelia." Before long, both Ladies Aurelia and Didymeia had returned. The Emperor had never felt comfortable in the company of Anna Boleyenia's precocious daughter, but now, under Katharina's benign influence, he softened towards her. Aurelia was now nearly ten.
    • Her early promise had been fulfilled, and she was now as intelligent and sharp-witted as many an adult. Already she showed signs of having inherited her mother's love of flattery and her coquettish manner, as well as her courage. Although she was temperamental, Aurelia was not as volatile as Anna Boleyenia had been, and her insecure childhood had taught her the value of discretion and dissimulation. Katharina was impressed by her traits, and took upon herself the duty of supervising Aurelia's education. Antigonus's eldest child, Lady Didymeia, was finding it a pleasure to visit the Court. She and the Empress established a firm relationship. Katharina did much to ease Didymeia's frustration by according her all the respect due to a Grand Princess. She became her confidante in everything except matters of religion, and being near in age, they shared similar interests. Grand Prince Demetrius, on his part, did not visit the Court as frequently as his sisters. The Emperor feared that his son might become ill. However, this did not prevent Katharina from overseeing his progress or being watchful of those who looked after him. In time, Demetrius would come to love his stepmother; she was perhaps the most gentle influence he knew in his short life. There was now a degree of harmony in the Emperor's family.
  • July 22-The Haynsian Despot Nathaliet II Karany was deposed from the Haynsian throne by Marasharite Emperor Sassas III. Nathaliet II had, during the course of his three-year reign, been engaged in secret correspondence with the courts of Franconia, the Haxonian Confederacy, and the Vendragian Confederacy concerning a possible tripartite alliance against the Laurasian and Austarlian Empires. His intrigues had been in violation of his terms of vassalage towards the Marasharite Court, and of the Treaty of Nis which had been signed to end the Third Laurasian-Marasharite War. Sassas was not willing to embroil his dominions in war as a result of a vassal-state's intrigues. Nathaliet was now succeeded to the Haynsian throne by the Kalga Jay, who assumed the throne as Jay XI Karany.
  • July 27-On July 27, 1743, the Earl of Lennaxia, acting on the orders of the Regent Arran, escorted the infant Queen Mariana and her mother, Queen-Dowager Mariana of Guise, to Stirling, officially for their "safety". The Archpriest Beatonius of Ediania was once again stirring dissent against Arran's administration, and had established himself at the head of the Anti-Laurasian Faction at the Scottrian Court. Beatonius sought to terminate the Treaty of Christiania, recover territories in the Galactic Borderlands lost to the Laurasian Empire, and align Scottria with Franconia. He envisioned a Franconian marriage for Queen Mariana.
  • August 4-At the Pillory of Traitors on Ediania, former Governor-General Roan O'Nell was executed on August 4, 1743, for "treason, conspiracy, and tactical incompetence." O'Nell had been blamed for the reverses suffered by the Scottrian forces in the Galactic Borderlands, and Archpriest Beatonius, managing to assert his position on this matter, had convinced the Council of State to arraign O'Nell on charges of military incompetence. O'Nell had been sentenced to death on June 20, and the Regent Arran, seeking a scapegoat to blame for Scottrian military failures, approved the former Governor-General's death warrant. O'Nell died bravely, refusing to believe that he had not performed to the utmost in his military service.
  • September 9-
    • On September 9, 1743, at the Chapel of Stirling Castle, Mariana I, who was only nine months old, was crowned Queen Regnant of Scottria. The coronation was presided over by Regent Arran, who declared to the assembled nobles present that Scottria, now with a matrimonial alliance with the Laurasian Empire, was entering a new phase of prosperity and internal strength. Mariana was held by her namesake mother as the formal blessings of reign were pronounced over her. Sir Ptolemy Yraudnius (1702-71), the newly-appointed Laurasian Ambassador to the Celestial Court of Scottria, presented his master's congratulations at the ceremony and expressed his hope that Mariana's marriage with Demetrius would yield results for both Laurasia and Scottria. The anti-Laurasian Archpriest Beatonius, however, continued to gain influence and supporters within the ranks of the Scottrian Estates, and was now planning to hamper Arran's plans of matrimonial alliance with the Laurasian Empire. And his plans, indeed, continued to proceed forth. Anti-Laurasian sentiments in the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria were inflamed by a serious diplomatic incident between the Laurasian Empire and the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria.
    • Regent Arran, succumbing to the demands of Archpriest Beatonius and his supporters on the Council of State, authorized a Scottrian commercial expedition to the Marasharite Ochanian Provinces and the Dejanican Duchy of Northania & Semigallia. The Regent also granted a license to the Corporate Alliance of Firth, conferring on them permission to conduct a trade mission, through the Barbarossa Wormhole and along the Bug Trade Routes, to Dejanica proper, Franconia, and the Grand Duchy of Tuscany in the Great Amulak Spiral. Emperor Antigonus, who believed that Scottrian trade should only be in conjunction with the interests of the Laurasian Empire, and fearful of the ties which could be renewed between Scottria and Franconia, ordered for the arrest and detainment of a commercial convoy of five hundred Franconian merchants at Roger Major (September 27, 1743). Regent Arran was enraged at this action, and demanded that the Empire provide security for all merchants traveling to and from Scottrian space, particularly those traveling with a formal license from the Royal Scottrian Government. Antigonus, on his part, claimed that his actions were directed against "rogues" and that he wished to prevent the menace of piracy from emerging and disturbing the peace in the Caladarian Galaxy. Archpriest Beatonius would point to this incident in the future as an example of Laurasian hostility.
  • October 27-On October 27, 1743, Sir Hansius Holbienus, who had been granted a Knighthood of the Imperial House by the Emperor Antigonus in March 1741, and was now the Head of the Chamber of the Artisans and Vice-Imperial Steward of the Imperial Household, died at the age of 45. Holbienus had contracted Soplaies disease during a visit to Mercedes and entered a rapid decline in health. Holbienus's death was greeted with sincere mourning by many of his patrons at the Imperial Court, not least of them being the Emperor Antigonus himself. The Emperor staged a lavish funeral for Holbienus on November 16 at St. Paul's Cathedral, and commanded for his family to be compensated from the coffers of the Imperial Treasury.
  • November 29-On November 29, 1743, the Scottrian Estates convened at Stirling Castle on the summons of Regent Arran. They were convened in order to formally condone the Treaty of Christiania which had been signed with the Laurasian Empire several months earlier. Arran, himself, however, had become largely opposed to the marriage arrangements of the Treaty of Christiania; he also held bitter memories of the Emperor Antigonus's violation of Scottrian trade rights two months earlier. Archpriest Beatonius, on his part, commanded a majority of supporters in the Estates, and was already planning on the rejection of the Treaty. Mariana of Guise, who favored closer ties with her home-country of Franconia, lent her support to the anti-Laurasian faction.
  • December 11-On the formal advice of Regent Arran, the Scottrian Estates formally rejected the Treaty of Christiania on December 11, 1743, declaring that its arrangements were "biased in the favor of the Laurasian Emperor" and that it would result in the loss of Scottrian independence. The Estates protested Laurasian interference in Scottrian affairs and the violation of Scottrian commerce by the Emperor and his government. It was declared that peace could only be made if the Laurasian Empire, without hesitation, restored all conquered territory (portions of Rasdalla and Kania) in the Galactic Borderlands back to its previous Scottrian rulers. Emperor Antigonus was enraged when he learned of the Estates' decision, and commanded Chief Procurator Cranmerius to condemn the "perfidy" of the religious officials of the Scottrian State.
  • December 20-On December 20, 1743, the Scottrian Estates and Regent Arran issued a formal declaration of war against the Laurasian Empire, barely six months after the end of the Rasdallan War of 1741-43. The War of the Rough Wooing had commenced, and was to continue intermittently for the remainder of the decade. The Scottrians, however, were weakened and disoriented from the earlier conflict, and Laurasian units in the newly-conquered Rasdallan regions had not yet fully demobilized. Emperor Antigonus commanded Lieutenant General Lacius and Field-Marshal Munnich to draft plans for renewed offensives into Scottrian territory, and he placed all Laurasian forces on formal military alert. He also issued a official manifesto of war to his subjects, declaring that he was determined to maintain the tranquility of affairs in the Caladarian Galaxy and that he would assert the marriage between Mariana and Demetrius, by force if necessary. The last days of December 1743 witnessed military operations resuming in earnest. On December 23, three days after issuing a renewed declaration of war, the Earl of Kathy directed a offensive against the Riverite Asteroid Belt and Barching, thereby hoping to seize these strongholds, and to inflict losses upon Laurasian military forces. These plans, however, came to nought in the Battle of Dehner, in which Vice-Admiral Levashius used his starfighters and couriers to entrap, encircle, and destroy the Scottrian starfighter squadrons. Then on December 28, General Lacius stormed the Scottrian military arsenals of Marcus and Cedric, which were located in the outskirts of the Galactic Barrier. Both strongholds had been colonized by the Scottrians in 1645, nearly a century before, and were important for traffic, by their military forces, into the Galactic Void. As 1743 ended, therefore, Laurasian military forces were once again pursuing campaigns in the Galactic Borderlands.
  • December 21-The Lord St. Johansius was appointed to become Imperial High Chamberlain of the Laurasian Empire by Emperor Antigonus III, succeeding the late Lord Sandys in the position. Johansius would hold the position for the next two years.

1744Edit

  • January 6-
    • 1744, the 44th year of the eighteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire, which had enjoyed an interlude of peace with the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria, once again conducting campaigns in the Galactic Borderlands. Emperor Antigonus, who was angered that the Scottrian Estates did not adhere to the Treaty of Christiania, and that the Regent Arran's promises had, in effect, been "lies", was determined to conduct this war, vigorously, to the point that all Scottrian territories in the Galactic Borderlands would be overrun. Yet at the same time, the Emperor sought to widen his Empire's diplomatic ties, and to consider the diplomatic situation in the Great Amulak Spiral as well as the situation in the Galactic Borderlands. The 1739 understanding between Char'va I of Spamalka and Franjak I of Franconia had soured. The two monarchs found that they had too many differences. In March 1740, Char'va had sought to settle outstanding political matters between the two sides by proposing the marriage of his daughter, Maria of Spamalka, to the Duke of Orleans, Franjak's younger son. They would then inherit the Durthian Duchies, Burgundy, and Charolais following the Emperor's death. Franjak was to renounce his claims to Milania and Savoy, ratify the Treaties of Madrid and Cambrai, and adhere to all alliance arrangements with the Holy Spamalkan Empire. Franjak countered, and on April 24, 1740, had offered to surrender Milania in exchange for immediate possession of the Durthian Duchies. The negotiations continued for weeks, going no where, and were abandoned in June 1740. King Franjak, on his part, sought renewed alliances against Spamalka; he secured the aid of the Elector of Saxony and of Marasharite Emperor Sassas III, as well as the Barbary States and Florence. Char'va, on his part, was now planning a military campaign against the Barbary State of Algiers; he embarked to Majorica in September, and launched his offensive.
    • Franjak decided not to attack Char'va during the duration of this expedition, which turned out to be an absolute disaster. On June 12, 1742, after receiving assurances of Marasharite and Barbary aid, and in spite of the fact that Franconian forces were already bogged down in the Germanian Principalities fighting Austarlia and Vendragia, Franjak declared war, using the murder of his ambassador to Marasharita, Jean Rincon, in July of the previous year as his excuse. 1742 and 1743 witnessed a series of Franconian and Spamalkan strikes against each other. The Duke of Orleans attacked Luxembourg, briefly storming the stronghold; Admiral Claude d'Annebault and Dauphin Hensios of Franconia laid siege, unsuccessfully, to Perpignan in Spamalka. Lillers and Landrecrecies fell in April 1743; the Elector of Saxony and the Circles of Thrunigia declared war on Spamalka, assaulting Brabant and Cologne. Artois, Hainault, and the Duchy of Julich, including Durem, became further theaters of conflict. Luxembourg fell to the Franconians again in September 1743, but the Circles of Thrunigia were forced to sign the Treaty of Venlo with Char'va. The Duchy of Guelders and the County of Zutphen were recognized as being part of the Spamalkan Durthian Duchies by the Circles. Landrecies was then recovered by Char'va, who then proceeded to storm Cambrai. Nice, in the meantime, fell to Franconian-Marasharite forces in April 1743; Marasharite expeditions harried Naparia, Tuscany, and the Spamalkan Hereditary Dominions ceaselessly during this time, aided by the Barbary States.
    • With all of this ongoing, Char'va had become determined to obtain other allies for his embattled Empire, and therefore decided to renew the military and diplomatic alliance with the Laurasian Empire. Emperor Antigonus, on his part, was eager to repair relations with Spamalka. The Franconian ties to Scottria, and the ambitions of Archpriest Beatonius for a Franconian marriage to be made for Queen Mariana, motivated Antigonus's decision to foster ties with Franconia's bitterest enemy. Antigonus had made the first offer in November 1743, and the Spamalkan Emperor had accepted. The diplomatic conference between the two powers convened on Celia, on January 6, 1744. Chancellor Diadones and Chief Procurator Cranmerius served as the chief plenipotentiaries of the Laurasian delegation, and as the official hosts of the conference. Emperor Char'va was represented by Fernando de Montoya, the Duke of Cadiz, who had served him well in diplomatic missions to Pruthia, Austarlia, and Haxonia. Negotiations between the two governments continued for more than two months.
  • January 12-On January 12, 1744, Lieutenant-General Sir Petevius Lacius, in recognition of his achievements in the War of the Dejanican Succession, Third Laurasian-Marasharite War, and the Rasdallan War, was promoted to the rank of Field-Marshal by Emperor Antigonus. Antigonus declared, in his manifesto of elevation, that Lacius had established himself in the eyes of the Lord Almitis and that he was a loyal, effective military commander, determined to further the interests of his master. Lacius thereby obtained equal rank with Field-Marshal Munnich, but officially remained his subordinate within the command structure. He now proceeded immediately to a series of renewed offensives, with Rasdalla Major and Kathy Major being the chief objectives. From January 15 to 19, 1744, the Earl of Kathy attempted in vain to block further Laurasian advances towards Kathy Major. Field Marshal Lacius, however, with the assistance of Vice-Admiral Levashius, and employing the superior mobility and reconnaissance skills of his squadrons, repelled all Scottrian offensives, in what became known as the Morlay Confrontations. By January 21, Lacius had destroyed Scottrian operational outposts on Chang, Strathclyde, and Barhilde, all of whom were Scottrian agricultural and mineral colonies in the vicinity of Kathy Major. The way to that stronghold was now clear.
  • January 19-On January 19, 1744, Franjak II, King of Franconia (1759-60), was born at the Chateau de Fontainebleau on Fontainbleau, in Franconia. He was the first son of Franconian Dauphin Hensios and his wife, Catharina de’Medici. Named for his grandfather, Franjak’s birth came after his parents had already been married for over a decade. From his earliest years, however, he did not possess the most durable health.
  • February 1-On January 22, 1744, the forces of the Laurasian Empire, under the command of Field-Marshal Lacius and of Vice-Admiral Levashius, reached the outskirts of the Kathy Major star system. The Siege of Kathy Major therefore commenced. Laurasian units disrupted the Scottrian minefields, isolated the flow of supplies and agricultural goods into the star system, and repelled frontal assaults by the defensive garrisons of the star system. The Earl of Kathy's attempted counteroffensives, in the direction of Barching, Frasier, and Janeway, ended in utter failure, as Laurasian garrisons stationed within those star systems repelled all Laurasian assaults. Kathy Major, whose inhabitants simmered against the exactions of the Scottrian Royal Government, and which could not survive without the benefits of interstellar commerce, proved to be an easier prize than the Laurasians had anticipated. On February 1, 1744, the Earl of Dublin, who commanded the garrison of Kathy Major, capitulated to Lacius and Levashius; Laurasian units quickly secured this star system, the loss of which was a major humiliation for Scottria. On February 7, 1744, Levashius was promoted to the rank of Fleet Admiral by Emperor Antigonus, who was pleased about the victories which he was obtaining. Levashius now began the Laurasian advance into the Kalbachan Provinces. From February 7 to 10, he stormed the Kalbachan colonies of David-nay, Krasowia, and Vicara, thereby weakening Scotttian supply lines and leaving the way open to further Laurasian moves. Lacius, on his part, obtained victory in the Battle of Mortio (February 11, 1744); Cane (Kania) capitulated to him the following day. Kathy then attempted another counteroffensive, this time against McKellen and the Vilmanstrand Approaches, but Rear-Admiral Meservius (also promoted) blunted his efforts in the Battle of Northup.
  • February 22-On February 22, 1744, the Battle of Jakarta was waged. Jakarta was one of the most important Scottrian strongholds in the Galactic Borderlands. By 1744, it boasted a garrison of 1.3 million personnel, along with some of the most advanced shield generators in the Caladarian Galaxy. This was the world where Kublai Khan's attempt to conquer Rasdalla had been blunted by the forces of the Mapurhait Dynasty in July 893. The Scottrian commander of Jakarta's garrison, the Laird of Anslie, was determined to repel further Laurasian incursions. He believed that he would bring Laurasian ambitions to ruin in this star system. Lacius, however, deployed hits units in a triangular formation, and took advantage of information supplied to him by probes, in order to detect weaknesses in Jakarta's orbital defenses. In the ensuing battle, supremacy in numbers, organization, and tactics proved key to the Laurasian victory. Laurasian ion-disruptors paralyzed many of the Scottrian assault ships, while automated corvettes rushed through defensive lines and disrupted the mines. Lacius then ordered for a hook maneuver against Jakarta's further side; Anslie's position was breached by Laurasian starfighter squadrons. Jakarta's shield generators then exploded, allowing for Laurasian units to land quickly on the planet. Anslie himself was captured, and Jakarta fell into the possession of the Laurasian Empire. Kuris was then stormed (February 24, 1744), thereby consolidating the Laurasian grip over Jakarta and Kathy Minor. Then on March 4, 1744, the Battle of Hidemnia Sauria resulted in a decisive victory for Vice-Admiral Levashius's forces; that stronghold once more fell into Laurasian hands. Then, on March 17, 1744, Lacius assaulted the defenses of Rasdalla Major. This world, once one of the old capital worlds of the Rasdallan Realms, possessed a very considerable garrison, and well-organized defenses. Nevertheless, it proved no match to the Laurasian onslaught, and fell on March 21. Then on March 24, Lacius repelled a Scottrian attempt to reconquer Patricia I, in the Battle of Barra.
  • March 25-After over two and a half months of negotiations, the Treaty of Celia was signed by the Laurasian Empire and the Holy Spamalkan Empire on March 25, 1744. By the terms of this treaty, a secret military and diplomatic alliance was concluded between the Emperors Antigonus III and Char'va I. The two sovereigns agreed to cooperate in all military campaigns conducted in Franconian territory. Char'va promised to compensate the Imperial Laurasian Government for military expenses, and to permit Laurasian units to use Spamalkan military bases at Dunkirk, Niewpoort, Ostend, Roosevelt, Graveline's Mist, and Antwerp as bases of operation against the Franconians. The Emperor Antigonus, on his part, agreed to acknowledge Spamalkan rule of the Duchy of Milania, in the farther regions of the Crone Galaxy; to make no peace with the Franconians without consulting his ally; and to grant Spamalkan units rights of military access in the Galactic Barrier regions. The Laurasian Empire was to issue a declaration of war against the Stellar Kingdom of Franconia by June 1744, and to launch its military units in a two-pronged offensive into Franconian realms, in cooperation with the Spamalkans. The Treaty of Celia was ratified by Emperor Antigonus on March 27, and by Char'va I on April 2, 1744.
  • April 4-April 1744 witnessed the series of Laurasian successes against the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria, in the Galactic Borderlands, continuing without interruption. On April 4, 1744, Fleet Admiral Levashius encountered a Scottrian offensive fleet, under the command of Laird Monaugh O’Connell of Albemaine, in the Battle of Iosta. Iosta was an important Scottrian military fortification and agricultural colony; more than twenty billion tons of foodstuffs and of other agricultural products were exported from this world on a routine basis, to other worlds throughout the Scottrian realms. Levashius secured a decisive victory, storming the Iosta Orbital Garrison and overrunning the planetary repositories, dockyards, and other installations. From Iosta, Levashius directed a series of raids, with the assistance of Briannian General Lowendal, upon the historic Kalbachan colonies of Ash-nay, Ashuria, and Chardwaice (April 7-12, 1744). Through this series of offensives, Levashius dealt a severe blow to the Scottrian strategic position in those regions, while at the same time terrifying the Kalbachan inhabitants of the central Galactic Borderlands. Then on April 17, 1744, Austarlis was stormed by Field-Marshal Lacius, who used his battleships and couriers, along with his specialized Marines and Arachosian corps, to his advantage. The forces of the Earl of Kathy were now hurled back to the Galactic Barrier. The fall of Austarlis completed the subjection of the Kanian Provinces to the Laurasian Empire. The Kalbachan industrial colony of Gwynne then fell (April 29, 1744); more than 25,000 Scottrian troops were killed or captured.
  • April 22-Following the conclusion of the Treaty of Celia, Emperor Antigonus and his ministers threw all of their attention into mobilizing the Empire’s military resources for the impending conflict. Chief among the Emperor’s concerns was gaining assurance that his military forces would continue to conduct triumphal campaigns against the Scottrians in the Galactic Borderlands, while at the same time pursuing the war against Franconia, in the Great Amulak Spiral. On April 8, 1744, the Earl of Heuthros informed the Emperor that Scottria was no longer in a position to threaten his realms; Antigonus became encouraged by this, and on April 12, announced his intention to embark personally on the war against Franconia. The Privy Council was opposed to this, and they, along with Emperor Char’va, attempted to convince the Emperor to change his mind. Char’va, in particular, believed that the Emperor would be a hindrance to the successful conduct of the campaign. Antigonus, however, pressed on with his plans. This marked the first time in thirty years that the Emperor would embark upon an active military campaign. Then, on April 22, 1744, the Emperor appointed the Dukes of Norfolkius and Sufforia, both of whom had long since obtained the rank of Field-Marshal, to be the chief subordinate commanders of the military forces that were to be dispatched. The Earl of Heuthros, on his part, who had petitioned the Emperor for months for a military command, was named the chief subordinate of Field-Marshal Lacius and Vice-Admiral Levashius, to command the planned offensives across the Galactic Void, and into the Outskirt Districts. He was promoted to the rank of Major-General. Heuthros was the first to depart, and would reach Rasdalla Minor on April 30, 1744. He would prove himself to be a competent and effective military commander.
  • May 1-On May 1, 1744, shortly after his arrival in the Galactic Borderlands, the Earl of Heuthros, along with Major-General the Viscount Lisle (the future Duke of Northumberlais, and father of the Earls of Leicesterius and Sarah), commenced his advance, under orders from the Imperial General Headquarters, from the Galactic Barrier regions into the Angelina Spiral. By the beginning of May, the Earl of Kathy had been isolated, by Field-Marshal Lacius, at Waxefield; he was therefore unable to halt the Laurasian assaults. Field-Marshal Munnich and the General Headquarters had advocated for this offensive to be launched, in spite of the fact that Scottrian forces continued to hold Kalbachan and Rasdallan territory. Heuthros easily brushed aside Scottrian resistance, capturing the relay outposts of the Lower Galactic Void (May 2-5, 1744), including the Scottrian garrisons of Rigel, Homeward, and Solway Moss. Then finally, on May 4, 1744, the Laurasian Empire’s military forces penetrated into the Scottrian Homeland Territories, for the first time ever. This marked only the second military conflict in Laurasian history in which Laurasian forces campaigned in the Angelina Spiral (the Third Laurasian-Marasharite War nearly a decade earlier was the first). Heuthros breached the Scottrian defenses of Raindburgh and Morvay, capturing a number of Scottrian warships (over twenty), alongside nearly two million tons of military supplies, armor, and processed minerals. Heuthros then established Morvay as his command headquarters, and made plans for an ambitious, and coordinated push, towards Ediania. Queen Mariana and the Scottrian Court remained safe at Stirling, which remained beyond the range of imperial forces (they were at a distance of eight thousand light years from Morvay).
  • May 12-
    • As May 1744 progressed, the forces of the Laurasian Empire continued to obtain victories both in the Galactic Borderlands, and now, in the Scottrian Homeland Territories. On May 9, 1744, the Kalbachan systems of Gadweria and Goriance were stormed by Fleet Admiral Levashius. Levashius was now dispatching his warships to harry the defenses of Sabinia, Seeben, and Kalbacha Minor; Scottrian forces were left at a limb. Just three days after Levashius’s triumph in the Kalbachan Provinces, the Earl of Heuthros began his advance from Morvay towards Ediania. The Imperial General Headquarters had, in its strategic plans, provided for this offensive; Emperor Antigonus, who had seen the goal of Haynes elude him in the Third Laurasian-Marasharite War, was determined that his Empire would inflict a similar humiliation upon the Scottrian foe. Munnich’s military reforms had definitively revealed themselves by this point, for Laurasian forces had now obtained a succession of victories over the Dejanicans, Franconians, Marasharites, and Scottrians during the preceding decade.
    • Heuthros stormed St. Mynetta (May 14, 1744), a major Scottrian shipyard colony at the juncture of the Timlar Cluster, and seized Scottrian transports for use in landings at the Ediania star system. On May 16, 1744, Fleet Admiral Levashius, in the Galactic Borderlands, besieged and destroyed the Scottrian communications outpost of Richel V, thereby severing all remaining communications lines between Waxefield and Kalbacha Major. On May 19, Heuthros launched an offensive against the Scottrian colony of Granthon, storming the military base which was located there. 75% of the world’s garrison was captured by the Imperial Laurasian Army; furthermore, Heuthros’s victory here drove a wedge into the heart of the Scottrian Homeland Territories. Then on May 22, the Earl of Kathy made an attempt to break out from Waxefield, so as to recover Gwynne, Gadweria, and Goriance. This attempt, however, came to a swift end at the hands of Field-Marshal Lacius in the pitched Battle of Castlia. Although Lacius’s forces suffered greater casualties then the Scottrian foe, Kathy found his own supply lines endangered. On May 26, 1744, Leith fell into the hands of the Empire’s forces; Heuthros was now repelling all Scottrian counteroffensives against his positions.
  • May 28-On April 30, 1744, Thomasius Audelius, 1st Baron Audelius of Waldonia, Procurator-General and Imperial Privy Seal of the Laurasian Empire, died at his estate, Saffron Walden, on the colony of Waldonia. He was fifty-six years old at the time of his death. Following Procurator-General Audelius’s death, Emperor Antigonus turned to the matter of his successor. It was not until May 28, 1744, before the Emperor formally appointed Sir Thomasius Wirtholesius (1705-50), the future 1st Earl of Southerton, as the new Procurator-General. He also became Minister of Justice, succeeding Sir Ricomedus Richius in that position. Southerton, who had entered the Imperial Civil Service in 1724, and once been secretary to both Chancellor Crownapoulos and Archbishop Gardinerius of Winchestrius, had become a Governing Senator in 1740. He was known for his great loyalty to the Emperor and the Neuchrian Dynasty. Writholesius, however, was also an ardent Traditionalist, and was determined to stamp out heresy among the Empire’s subjects. This would be shown during the course of the next three years.
  • June 2-
    • By the beginning of June 1744, the forces of the Earl of Heuthros were approaching within range of the defenses of Ediania. It was on June 2, 1744, that Heuthros breached the Edianian outpost of Canongate. Canongate, which had more than two hundred million inhabitants by 1744, served as the last barrier to the movement of Laurasian forces into the Ediania star system. The Earl himself, whose instructions were to thoroughly ravage the star system and to ransack all Scottrian governmental installations and structures, ordered for his men to lay waste on all the properties which they chanced upon, and to haul away goods for storage on the fleet transports. Ediania Spacedock managed, during the early hours of June 3, to repel a frontal assault by Laurasian troops, but Laurasian Starfighters and corvettes blasted away the Scottrian positions on Kingshorne and Holyrood, sacking those two outposts and seizing many artifacts from Scottrian crown and noble estates. Then, on June 4, 1744, Ediania’s shield defenses were penetrated by the Imperial Laurasian Navy; Ediania itself was now overrun by Heuthros’s forces.
    • The Laurasian Empire now occupied this, the capital world of the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria, for the first time ever. Heuthros himself commanded the frontal offensive, and under his direction, his units stormed the Governmental and Religious Districts. The Imperial Laurasian Army destroyed and ransacked all structures which they encountered. The Holyroodian Abbey, St. Giles, Greyfriars, and Edianian Fortress were among the structures penetrated and looted by the Laurasian troops. The Earl commanded that no brutality was to be employed against the civilians of Ediania directly, and laid a harsh injunction against rape and violent murder. Nevertheless, despite these injunctions, Ediania would be in ruins by the time Laurasian forces retreated on June 8, 1744. €41.1 trillion dataries worth of property damage was ultimately inflicted by the Empire’s forces, and more than thirty million sentients were killed.
  • June 15-By June 1744, the stage was set for the Laurasian Empire’s entry into the Fourth Franconian War. By May 1744, two Spamalkan forces were poised to invade Franconia. The first was under Ferrante Gonzaga, Viceroy of Sicily (1707-57), north of Luxembourg, while the other, under Char’va himself, was assembled in Cologne and the Spamalkan Palatinate. Char’va had assembled more than sixty million troops and nearly three thousand warships for the offensives; the Emperor of Spamalka had also arranged for more than two hundred warships, with two million personnel, to be attached to the arriving forces of the Laurasian Empire. On May 25, 1744, Gonzaga captured Luxembourg, and moved towards Commercy and Ligny. He issued a proclamation that the Emperor had come to overthrow a tyrant who allied himself with the infidels. In the midst of all of this, and obliging by the provisions of the Treaty of Celia, Emperor Antigonus issued a formal declaration of war against the Stellar Kingdom of Franconia on June 15, 1744. In his declaration of war, the Emperor claimed that Franjak had “constantly attempted to stir up dissent against my government’s lawful authority” and that he was opposed to the maintenance of peace among all sovereign powers. Therefore, he declared, peace needed to be re-imposed by force. Laurasian units in Zeeland and Artois, consequently, began to launch expeditions against Abbeville, Caen, Dunkirk, and Calais.
  • June 29-On June 29, 1744, the Imperial Laurasian Military's forces in the Angelina Spiral, under the command of the Earl of Heuthros, began their retreat from the Scottrian Homeland Territories back to the Laurasian Empire. They nevertheless continued to inflict damage upon Scottrian positions and strongholds during the course of their retreat. The Imperial Laurasian Government would claim that Laurasian units had stormed or ransacked the defenses of 3,000 Scottrian outposts and colonies; taken 35 million personnel, of the Scottrian Royal Forces, as prisoners of war; and recovered nearly a quadmillion dataries worth of goods, equipment, and military supplies. The Scottrian Homeland Territories, in particular Leith and Ediania, were left desolated as a result of this series of Laurasian offensives; the Earl of Arran was now convinced that alliance with the Laurasian Empire was not in the best interests of the Scottrian realm. The Earl of Heuthros arrived back at Onasi on July 15, 1744.
  • July 6-
    • With the Laurasian Empire's campaigns in the Scottrian Galactic Borderlands and in the Franconian Royal Dominions underway, other events were occurring at the Imperial Laurasian Court. Early in 1744, there had been vain hopes from some that the Empress Consort was pregnant. Sir Craterus Pagentia had written (January 17, 1744), that "We trust in Almitis, which hath hitherto preserved His Majesty to his glory and honor and our comfort, to preserve him longer and send him time enough to proceed to the siring of heirs." This was, however, a vain hope. Nevertheless, Empress Katharina continued to earn the acclaim of many at the Imperial Laurasian Court. In February 1744, she entertained the Spamalkan Duke of Najera, being assisted in this task by the Lady Didymeia. Ambassador Chapuys, who escorted the Duke into her presence, was impressed by her manner towards Didymeia, and told the Spamalkan Emperor that she was the one responsible for the Third Statute of Succession. Following Najera's departure from the Court, Didymeia focused her energies upon translating the Paraphrases of the Gospel of St. John written by the renowned Laurasian theologian and author Sir Erasmus Desideria. The Empress heartily improved of this exercise, and encouraged it. At the same time, Sir Wirtholesius, Audalius's successor as Procurator-General, aligned himself with Archbishop Gardinerius; they in time would threaten Katharina's position. Yet Katharina focused herself on aiding others, interceding on behalf of her brother, the Earl of Heuthros, and that of Lady Constantia Douglain, who was married to the Scottrian Earl of Lennaxia that year.
    • Thus, it was that on July 6, 1744, Emperor Antigonus announced to the Councils of State, and to his subjects, that he was appointing the Empress Consort as the Lady Protectoress of the Empire, while he was to be away conducting military campaigns against the Serene Kingdom of Franconia, in the Great Amulak Spiral. This marked the second time within the Emperor's reign that such a situation occurred; the first had been with Empress Consort Katharina of Shenandoah, thirty-one years earlier. Although many of his ministers still disagreed with his plans for a military campaign, they nevertheless did not have much qualm with his wife assuming the duties of regent. She had, to many, proven herself an intelligent, capable woman, and there was no doubt that she would vigorously look after her husband's interests during his absence. Moreover, the Emperor left instructions for the education of his son. Dr. John Chekius, a fellow of the University of Laurasia Prime, and a famous academic with secret Reformist tendencies, was appointed as an additional tutor for the Grand Prince.
    • Sir Antoninus Cookria was engaged to teach sports and recreational activities. Chekius and Dr. Antiochus Coxeria (future Archbishop of Mendelevium), drew up a new curriculum of study for the Grand Prince, to include languages and philosophy, as well as the liberal arts. Demetrius was already an extremely precocious and solemn child. He was from early on aware of the great destiny awaiting him, and whose shoes he must one day fill. From birth, he was isolated from the anxieties of court and over-protected by his father; he had never known the security of a mother's love, and grew into a self-contained child. Katharina, working hard, was able to win his affection. With Aurelia, things were easier. The child was eager and able to reciprocate her stepmother's warmth. Yet in March 1744 a rift occurred between the Lady and her father, leading the Emperor to banish his younger daughter from the Imperial Court. Katharina tried all she could to make amends, but failed.
  • July 22-On July 22, 1744, the 49th and 52nd Imperial Fleets of the Imperial Laurasian Navy, under the joint command of Fleet Admiral Sir Levashius, and of the Earl of Heuthros, instigated a siege of Kalbacha Minor, one of the former throne worlds of the Great Kingdom of Kalbacha. The siege required the combined effort of these two military commanders, due to the fact that Kalbacha Minor possessed a garrison of more than six million troops, and had a talented commander in the form of Lord Charles McEvologue (1691-1748), who was one of the leading commanders, of the Scottrian realms, in the Galactic Borderlands. The first initial frontal assaults, by Laurasian warships, into the star system were repelled; Levashius was forced to bring in substantial reinforcements of corvettes, starfighters, and ion disruptors in order to break the Scottrian defensive positions. Ultimately, however, Kalbacha Minor's shield defenses finally succumbed, on August 6, 1744; and by August 11, the star system was securely in Laurasian hands. Lord McEvologue was captured at the end of the Siege, but was treated with great leniency by Levashius and Heuthros. Nevertheless, more than half of the Scottrian garrison died during the course of the siege, and of the consequent land invasion. With Kalbacha Minor in Laurasian possession, Levashius and Heuthros were now able to sunder the supply lines leading to Kalbacha Major. Then on August 22, 1744, Field-Marshal Lacius launched a frontal offensive against Waxefield, determined to finally capture the Earl of Kathy, and to bring the whole of the Scottrian Galactic Barrier regions under the control of the Empire. Kathy, however, proved his tactical skill again by repelling Laurasian assaults, even managing to capture a number of Neuchrus-class dreadnoughts. Lacius was forced to thereby intensify the blockade of Waxefield, and to divert units for a renewed offensive against the stronghold. On August 29, however, the Battle of Gunrahia resulted in a decisive victory for Rear-Admiral Meservius, who thereby secured the last Scottrian enclave in Rasdallan territory. Alaska and Medina were also now firmly in Laurasian hands.
  • August 3-
    • On August 3, 1744, Emperor Antigonus formally departed from Laurasia Prime, in order to take command of the military campaigns in Franconia. Norfolkius and Sufforia had already departed at the end of June 1744, and had arrived at Calais on July 15, 1744, two days after that stronghold fell into the hands of Laurasian forces. Empress Consort Katharina formally assumed her rank as Lady Protectoress of the Empire. Fulfilling all expectations, she proved to be a vigorous and energetic Lady Protectoress. She handled finances, the affairs of the Imperial Court, and the oversight of the civil service with great vigor and care; supervised military conscription, mobilization, and supply efforts; and cooperated effectively with the Privy Council, Senate, and Synod. The Emperor's patent of authority granted her the power to suspend any officials who acted contrary to their duties; to issue decrees and proclamations in his name; and to be obeyed in all matters, by his subjects, as if he himself were present. She used all of these powers to her advantage, but took care to build up, and to maintain, support among the noble and ecclesiastical circles. The Empress was assisted by Chief Procurator Cranmerius, the Earl of Heuthros, Procurator-General Wirtholesius, Sir Willanius Pauletius, and Sir Willanius Petrus, who lent her valuable support during her regency.
    • Her stepdaughter Lady Aurelia would be greatly inspired by her stepmother's example of piety, strength of character, and dignity during the tenure of her regency; this would form a major influence upon her when she herself came to reign as Empress. When the Emperor left, Katharina led the court, and the Empire, in a prayer of intercession for his health and success which she herself had composed. Following his departure, she would write to him regularly. These were gentle, touching communiques which testified to the affection which had grown between them. In September 1744, following a plea from Lady Aurelia, Katharina was able to convince Emperor Antigonus to allow his daughter to return once again to the Imperial Court.
  • August 16-
    • As regards to the Franconian campaigns, swift progress was made. Breuteuil was stormed by the Duke of Norfolkius (August 13, 1744); this occurred five days before the Emperor's official arrival. The early weeks of August 1744 also saw the conquest of Ardres, Arras, Lens, Vimy, and Douai by Norfolkius's forces. On August 15, 1744, Norfolkius won the Battle of St. Omer, storming that stronghold and capturing more than 25,000 troops of the Franconian Royal Army. Then, on August 16, 1744, Boulogne was besieged by the forces of the Laurasian Empire, now under the overall command of Emperor Antigonus. The Duke of Norfolkius, however, remained in the actual strategic command of the Empire's units. The Duke of Torre, who commanded the garrison of Boulogne, fiercely resisted the Laurasian offensives; the Emperor and Norfolkius both launched several frontal assaults, upon the star system's defenses, that were repelled. The advantages inherent to the Laurasians, however, eventually prevailed. Antigonus and Norfolkius had superior supply and communication lines; coordinated their starfighter squadrons, in expert fashion, with their mobile assault units; and launched a series of coordinated bombardments against Boulogne's orbital defenses. Desperation increased on the planet, which found itself isolated from its supply routes. On August 23, 1744, the Duke of Torre surrendered to Emperor Antigonus, and the stronghold was occupied by the forces of the Empire.
    • Following the conquest of Boulogne, Norfolkius seized Hazebruck, Doullens, Bapaume, and Le Cateau (August 25-29, 1744), while the Emperor directed a successful offensive against Ham and Roye (August 27, 1744), which served to strengthen the Laurasian strategic position in that region. Drocourt, Le Basee, and Lens fell into Laurasian hands by September 7, 1744. Emperor Char'va, on his part, had made some advances of his own. Vitry-le-Francois was captured by Char'va on July 24, 1744; then on August 8, the garrison of St. Dizier, which had resisted fiercely for weeks, requested for terms. They surrendered on August 17, and were permitted to leave in peace by the Emperor, as long as they surrendered all of their military arms and equipment. Some of the Holy Spamalkan Emperor's advisers suggested that he reinforce this stronghold, but Char'va sought to attack Chalons. However, Franconian units at Jalons blocked a route of advance towards that stronghold. Instead, Spamalkan forces moved rapidly through Champagne, capturing Epernay, Chatillon-sur-Marne, Chateau-Thierry, and Soissons, all of whom were in their hands by September 22, 1744. The Sieur de Lorges, who was one of the Franconian commanders, sacked Lagny-sur-Marne (September 9, 1744), which had revolted in favor of the Spamalkans, but did not do anything to halt the Spamalkan advance. Panic now seized Parri.
  • September 24-On September 24, 1744, the Second Battle of Waxefield was waged between the forces of the Laurasian Empire under Field Marshal Sir Petevius Lacius, on the one hand, and those of the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria under the Earl of Kathy on the other. Lacius launched a series of frontal offensives against the Earl of Kathy’s positions. Kathy again proved his skill in battle, repelling Laurasian assaults, and inflicting severe damage upon the Empire’s military forces. Nevertheless, Lacius enjoyed supremacy in numbers, and he used his Neuchrus-class star destroyers to great effect, in conjunction with his marines and his automated transports. Waxefield was finally stormed by Laurasian forces during the early hours of September 26, two days after the battle commenced; the Earl of Kathy himself was captured. Lacius, with the typical respect for enemies, displayed by the Laurasians, who had fought bravely and well, ordered for the Earl to be treated as befitting his rank. Following the Second Battle of Waxefield, Lacius’s forces made a series of further, and decisive, advances against the Scottrians. On October 4, 1744, Zerba, which was the last remaining Scottrian outpost in the Galactic Barrier, fell to Lacius; Laurasian forces now enjoyed complete control over all access and communication lanes, from the Galactic Borderlands, into the Galactic Void. Then on October 22, 1744, the Battle of the Iswill resulted in a victory for Fleet-Admiral Levashius. The strongholds of the Iswill now fell into Laurasian hands, and more than 200,000 Scottrian troops were killed or captured in that confrontation.
  • September 25-The Pruthian Emperor A’rua III the Lazy (1786-1797), was born at the Sradtschloss Palace on Berliania III in the Pruthian Empire, on September 25, 1744. He was the eldest son of Prince Augustus William of Pruthia (younger brother of Pru’a IX, his uncle) and Princess Louise Amalie of Brunswick-Luneburg.
  • November 6-While Field-Marshal Lacius finally destroyed all remaining Scottrian resistance at Waxefield, and in the Galactic Barrier, the forces of the Empire, under Emperor Antigonus and the Duke of Norfolkius, made further advances against the Franconians. Montdider fell to the Emperor on September 14, 1744. Then on September 21, the Emperor’s forces approached the outskirts of Beauvais; Beauvais was laid under siege the following day, and remained in such a state for several days. The Duke of Angers tried, in vain, to repel Laurasian moves into the star system, and to restore his own communications with the King at Parri. Eventually, on September 30, 1744, Beauvais capitulated to Emperor Antigonus. Angers was himself taken into custody, and he, along with his leading officers, were presented before the Emperor. Following the conquest of Beauvais, the Emperor’s units seized Pontoise, Meaux, Berry, and Abreux (October 1-9, 1744); on October 19, Norfolkius defeated the Duke of Longueville in the Battle of Caan, overrunning three of the four Franconian command positions in the outskirts of that star system. Then on October 23, Chateau Thierry fell under siege by the Empire’s forces. King Franjak now launched a series of counteroffensives against Caen, Cantiny, Dury, and St. Quentin, attempting to distract the attention of his Laurasian foes. This effort, however, failed to make any difference in the Siege, and Chateau Thierry fell on October 28, 1744. La Fere and Rethel followed (November 6, 1744), and on November 11, Norfolkius destroyed a Franconian supply convoy in the Battle of Vervins, thereby pressing close to the major Franconian noble stronghold of Guise.
  • November 15-By November 1744, Holy Spamalkan Emperor Char’va I had become convinced that continued conflict with the Franconians would not be to the interests of his Empire. He was now experiencing financial troubles, as well as rebellion in Cologne, Groningen, Hainault, and Lesser Spamalka. Therefore, on November 4, 1744, the Emperor had sent a communique to his Laurasian counterpart, asking Antigonus to continue his invasion or to allow him to negotiate a peace. By the time Emperor Antigonus received his Spamalkan ally’s communique, on November 6, however, Char’va had already resolved upon negotiations. The day before, he sent an offer for a military armistice to King Franjak. Franjak, who wished to turn all of his military resources to the Laurasian threat, accepted the armistice offer on this day, November 15, 1744. The Armistice of St. Claire was signed four days later; then on November 22, 1744, delegations from the two governments convened at Crepy, with the Viceroy of Sicily and the Dukes of Cadiz, Alba, and Padua representing the Spamalkan Emperor, while King Franjak was represented by the Dukes of Bordeaux, Marseilles, and Grenoble. Emperor Antigonus, hearing of Char’va’s negotiation efforts with his Franconian enemies, tried in vain to persuade his Spamalkan contemporary to change his mind. He also sought to press his forces forth into Franconian territory, in order to apply more pressure on Franjak’s rear. Guernsey, Jersey, and Yorthia, which comprised the Franconian Channel Colonies, were seized from November 29 to December 4, 1744; this, however, failed to persuade Char’va that continued war would yield actual results.
  • December 7-On December 7, 1744, the Siege of Kalbacha Major commenced when Field-Marshal Lacius, having firmly secured the strongholds of the Iswill, destroyed the Scottrian outpost of Vervia. Laurasian military units isolated all supply lines to the star system, prevented Scottrian and other commercial vessels from providing material support and aid to the garrison of Kalbacha Major, and harried the orbital defenses of the Kalbachan star system. Vice-Admiral Levashius assisted Lacius in his efforts by blockading the Scottrian garrisons of Seeben, Sabinia, Bane, Cognus, and Zannah, thereby preventing the Scottrian commander of the Kalbacha Major garrison, the Earl of Sutherland, from drawing military units from those respective strongholds. Nevertheless, the Siege of Kalbacha Major was to drag on for the next three months, due to the exertions involved in subduing this major stronghold, and the fierce resistance of the Scottrian garrison. This marked the first time in history that Laurasian forces had reached Kalbacha Major in a military operation.
  • December 22-On December 23, 1744, after negotiations which had lasted for a month, the Treaty of Crepy was signed by the delegations of the Holy Spamalkan Empire and the Serene Kingdom of Franconia, thereby ending the hostilities of the Italianian War between them. By the terms of this treaty, Franjak and Char’va both pledged to return to the status quo ante bellum, as it had been established in 1738. The Emperor was to relinquish his claim to the Franconian Duchy of Burgundy, while the King of Franconia was to do the same for the Kingdom of Naparia, as well as renouncing any claims to Flanders or Spamalkan Artois. The Duke of Orleans was to marry either Char’va’s daughter Mary or his niece Anna, with the Emperor himself making the ultimate choice of bride. In the first case, the bride would receive the Durthian Duchies and Franche-Comte as a dowry; in the second, the Duchy of Milania. Franjak, meanwhile, was to grant the duchies of Bourbon, Chatellerault, and Angouleme to his son, while also abandoning his claims to Savoy and Piedmont, which was now confirmed as belonging to the Duchy of Milania. Finally, Franjak was to assist Char’va against the Barbary States. The Treaty of Crepy, ratified by Franjak and Char’va by New Year’s Eve, 1744, greatly angered Emperor Antigonus.

1745Edit

  • January 11-
    • 1745, the 45th year of the eighteenth century, commenced with the military forces of the Laurasian Empire continuing to gain a string of successes, both within the Serene Kingdom of Franconia, and in the territories of the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria. Empress Consort Katharina Parsius, who was responsible for issuing the New Year's proclamation, due to the continued absence of her husband, Emperor Antigonus (the first time ever that a woman issued such a proclamation), declared that the victories obtained "under the guidance, and the watch of Almitis" would serve to buttress and to strengthen the Empire's overall strategic and economic position yet further. And indeed, 1745 was to see the continuation of Laurasian military successes. On January 5, 1745, Major-General Sir Willanius Eure, 1st Baron Eure (1683-1748), who had been assigned to the Galactic Borderlands in July 1744, was ordered by Field-Marshal Lacius to resume the overall advance, by the Empire's military forces, across the Galactic Void. Eure obliged by his orders, and in swift order, proceeded across the Void into the outskirts of the Angelina Spiral. On January 11, 1745, Eure obtained a decisive victory over Scottrian border forces, under the Laird of Imokhill, in the Battle of Patroldaugh. He stormed the Scottrian military arsenal in the star system, captured twenty Scottrian shield generators and arquebusier models, and established a vantage point within the Scottrian Homeland Territories, for further Laurasian offensives.
    • Regent Arran, who vainly sought to maintain the integrity of the Homeland Territories, and to repel the threat posed by the Laurasians, now began to contemplate, and to enact, extraordinary measures in order to raise and maintain support for the Scottrian war effort. On January 20, 1745, after Eure had stormed Raindburgh and Morvay, Arran appeared before the Scottrian Estates, appealing to them to impose an elevated levy upon the estates of all businessmen, merchants, and navigators within the Scottrian realms; to raise collection fees on communications and transit systems; and to allow him to confiscate the properties of any who were determined to have ties with Scottria's enemies. The Estates, themselves worried by the Laurasian threat, approved all of these requests on January 22. Yet on January 24, 1745, Fleet Admiral Sir Vevanthius Levashius captured a Scottrian-Kalbachan supply convoy, in the Battle of the Mountevar Pulsar, thereby preventing the provision of military supplies and armor to the beleaguered garrison of Kalbacha Major. This was followed, on January 29, by the Conquest of Erith, in which that Scottrian military base fell to a coordinated offensive by Eure's squadrons.
  • February 2-
    • On February 2, 1745, the Regent Arran, in his vain effort to maintain the integrity of the Scottrian military forces, and to revive the war effort against the Laurasian Empire, reconciled himself with his long-time rival for political power and influence, Archlain Douglain of Lernax, Earl of Angus (former husband of the deceased Queen-Dowager Constantia). Douglain had returned to the Angelina Spiral from the Laurasian Empire in 1742, and was among those who opposed Arran's elevation to the Regency, upon the death of King Jamsius in December of that year. In April 1744, Arran had Angus arrested and imprisoned at Blackness Fortress. Angus remained there for several months, but in November, Arran was persuaded to release the Earl, due to the entreaties of the Earls of Bothwell and Rothes. Angus had then regained his place on the Council of State, but was kept out of the Regent's inner circle of confidence. But he too, suffered at the hands of Laurasian military forces.
    • On January 8, 1745, his estates on Melrose and Lernax had been plundered by Laurasian troops under the command of Sir Craterus Eure (1686-1745), Lord Eure's younger brother; Emperor Antigonus was already beginning to contemplate plans of confiscating the estates and titles of Scottrian nobles in conquered star systems, and allocating them to loyal Laurasian nobles such as the Eure brothers (these plans would not be realized in the Homeland Territories until the early 1780s, during his daughter Aurelia's reign, and after the final conquest of Scottria). Angus, on his part, was therefore determined to maintain his own position and the independence of Scottria. He and his younger brother, George Douglain of Pitendreich, were formally pardoned by the Scottrian Estates, of all prior charges, on February 6. Then on February 11, 1745, the Earl of Angus was formally appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Scottrian Royal Forces by the Regent Arran and the Council of State. He was charged with repelling the Laurasian offensives, and securing the Homeland Territories for the authority of the Royal Scottrian Government. Angus appointed his younger brother, Laird George, as his chief subordinate commander, and assembled his units at Jexburgh, one of the most ancient Scottrian colonies.
  • February 27-
    • On February 16, 1745, Baron Eure and his forces began their advance towards Jexburgh, determined to storm that major stronghold, which would provide Laurasian units a vantage point from which to storm the outposts of the Highlands Military Highway, one of the chief routes in the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria. Angus, however, had reconaissance units who kept him informed of all Laurasian movements, and strengthened the forces under his command in response. The Earl of Rothes (1693-1758) and his younger brother, the Master of Rothes (1697-1754), had both been placed under his command, bringing in substantial reinforcements and a number of Scottrian Specialist Guards. Sir Walter Scott of Beuxuluch (1695-1752), who had also suffered from Laurasian depredations, pledged his services to Angus. On February 21, Branxholme, one of the chief Scottrian strongholds of the Outskirt Districts, was stormed by Eure, but Sir Scott's units screened the Laurasian advance and harried Laurasian troop transports, striking and inflicting heavy casualties before going into routine retreats. Then on February 27, 1745, the Battle of Ancrum Moor was waged between the forces of the Laurasian Empire and the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria. Ancrum Moor was located four light years northwest of Jexburgh, and had been colonized by the Scottrians, during the reign of King Jamsius III of Scottria, in 1667.
    • By 1745, seventy-eight years after its initial colonization, Ancrum Moor had a population of more than thirty million inhabitants. The actual battle itself opened when Sir Walter Scott launched a feint assault against the Laurasian encampment at Gershit's Moon, retreating towards the Palace Asteroids of Ancrum Moor. Several Laurasian squadrons, under Sir Craterus Eure, followed in pursuit, but as they released the outskirts of the Asteroids and chased through the fields, they found that the main Scottrian force was hidden in the Veils of Ancrum, poised for attack. The Scottrians therefore had the element of surprise, and with their corvettes, launched a frontal charge which drove the Laurasians back in disarray. The superior Scottrian corvettes were employed effectively by Angus, and forty of the seventy Laurasian warships were destroyed or captured, while the remainder were forced to disperse. Baron Eure tried in vain to muster his forces back to formation, but Angus's forces pressed too hard, and the Laurasian Major-General was forced to order a strategic retreat from the star system. In the final retreat, Scottrian corvettes and arquebusiers continued to harry the Imperial Laurasian Navy; Sir Craterus himself was killed in battle. The Baron was devastated by his brother's death, but could not order his units to retrieve the body. The Laurasians then escaped into hyperspace. The Battle of Ancrum Moor was therefore a crushing victory for the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria; out of the total Laurasian force of two hundred warships, ninety had been destroyed and fifty captured by the Scottrians. 500,000 personnel of the Imperial Laurasian Navy were now prisoners of the Scottrians.
  • March 1-On March 1, 1745, Regent Arran visited Ancrum Moor, congratulating the Earl of Angus and Lord George Douglain for their victory over the "Laurasian mongrels". It was during the course of his visit that the body of Sir Craterus Eure was discovered floating in the depths of space. On the command of the Regent, Eure's body was lifted out of the space vacuum, placed in a coffin, and treated with the "utmost honor and care." The Scottrians held a respect for defeated adversaries similar to that of the Laurasians. Yet back in the Laurasian Empire, the reaction was one of despair, anger, and agony. Emperor Antigonus was enraged by the loss at the Battle of Ancrum Moor. On March 3, 1745, he dispatched a communique from his headquarters on Boulogne, commanding for Baron Eure to be arrested and dismissed from his post. This command was communicated to Lacius by the Empress Consort, Katharina Parsius, and the Privy Council, who themselves expressed their outrage at the humiliating Laurasian losses. Eure was placed into custody by troops under the command of Captain Sir Nicephorus Bramson (1707-81), and was dispatched back to confinement at the operational headquarters of Rasdalla Minor. Then on March 7, Sir Walter Scott reconquered Branxholme and Erith from the isolated Laurasian garrisons of those star systems; more than 175,000 Laurasian troops became prisoners of the Scottrians.
  • March 19-As regards to the military campaigns in Franconia, January and February 1745 had seen a string of further Laurasian military successes. Provins and Malau fell into Laurasian hands (January 5-9, 1745), and on January 12, 1745, the Duke of Norfolkius won the Battle of Montmrail, thereby maintaining the Laurasian hold of that particular stronghold. Rouen in Normandy then fell into Laurasian hands (January 18, 1745), followed by Bayeux (January 22); Dieppe (January 26); Evereux (January 27-February 1); and Fecamp (February 8). On February 17, 1745, Guines and Hames both fell into the hands of Norfolkius's units; Stephani and Julianne were subdued by February 22, and on February 26, 1745, Norfolkius obtained another victory in the Battle of Louviers. Yet by the end of February, Emperor Antigonus had become disenchanted about the course of events in the Great Amulak Spiral. He wished to turn his attention back to the affairs of the Imperial Laurasian Government, and to oversee the successful completion of Laurasian campaigns, against Scottria, in the Galactic Borderlands. Therefore, on March 19, 1745, he announced to his military commanders, and to the Imperial Court from afar, that he would be departing back to the Caladarian Galaxy by the end of April. Norfolkius was to once again assume overall command of all Laurasian military forces in Franconia (Sufforia had been granted medical leave in September 1744 and had already returned to the Empire). Empress Consort Katharina therefore prepared a formal welcome for the Emperor's return. Then on March 27, Sir Walter Scott defeated the 56th Imperial Fleet in the Battle of Aoforth, thereby forcing Field-Marshal Lacius to temporarily suspend all further expeditions, by Laurasian forces, into the Scottrian Homeland Territories. Lacius now placed the focus on intensifying the siege efforts of Kalbacha Major, and of conquering all other strongholds still held by the Scottrians in the Galactic Borderlands.
  • April 12-
    • On April 12, 1745, Emperor Antigonus, accompanied by Viscount Lisle and by other members of the Imperial Court, formally departed from the Laurasian command headquarters on Boulogne, thereby commencing his journey back towards the Caladarian Galaxy. His departure came while Laurasian forces continued to gain victories in the Galactic Borderlands, and to maintain their overall strategic position within Franconia. On April 6, five days before the Emperor’s departure, Fleet Admiral Levashius stormed the Kalbachan outpost of Ben-nay, capturing the archive of Scottrian intelligence files stored on that world, along with nearly 35,000 Scottrian troops. Kalbacha Major itself continued to buckle under the pressure applied to it by the Imperial Laurasian Navy; its inhabitants suffered from lack of foodstuffs, industrial equipment, and of other commercial supplies. By that point, the Empire’s forces had secured virtually all Scottrian territory within the confines of the Caladarian Galaxy, with the exception of the besieged Kalbacha Major, Palaris III, Bane, Cognus, Sabinia, Seeben, and Zannah, among other minor outposts and garrisons.
    • Then on April 15, 1745, Norfolkius repelled a Franconian counteroffensive under the Duke of Chateau-Thierry in the Battle of Jean-Paul, thereby maintaining Laurasian hold of Meaux and Barcy. Then, on April 22, 1745, the Emperor and his entourage, after a journey of several days across the Galactic Void, and into the Caladarian Galaxy, formally arrived back at the Quencilvanian Palace in Christiania, Laurasia Prime. The Emperor’s official arrival back at Laurasia Prime was one of much occasion and spectacle, having been arranged by the Empress Consort in conjunction with Chancellor Diadones, Chief Procurator Cranmerius, the Governor of Laurasia Prime (the Duke of Christiania), and the Mayor of Christiania with much care. The Empress herself greeted her lord and husband; they openly showed their affection for each other, and their pride in each other's achievements during the preceding months. Crowds of his subjects praised his prowess in battle, and his successful return from the theater of war.
    • A five-day public holiday was proclaimed, and all subjects were enjoined to commemorate the victories which the Empire had achieved over its foreign adversaries. Shortly after the Emperor's return, Spamalkan Ambassador Chapuys thanked Empress Katharina, on behalf of his master, for all that she had done for the Lady Didymeia. She "replied very graciously that she did not deserve such courtesy. What she did for the Lady Didymeia was less than she would like to do, and was only her duty in every respect." Katharina, moreover, told the Ambassador that "she had done and would do nothing to damage the friendship persisting between Laurasia and Spamalka, and she hoped that Almitis would avert the slightest dissension, as the friendship was so necessary and both sovereigns were so good." Chapuys could not help but admiring her. She was a very pleasant and well-meaning person. Yet the Ambassador was weary, and in May 1745, he applied to the Spamalkan Court of Madrid for his recall from the Laurasian Empire.
  • May 8-On May 8, 1745, the defenses of Kalbacha Major were finally breached by the forces of the Laurasian Empire under the command of Field-Marshal Sir Petevius Lacius. Kalbacha Major’s shield generators, which had been under constant pressure from Laurasian assaults, finally failed; Lacius himself directed the landings, by the Imperial Laurasian Army, upon the world. The Great Palace of Kalbacha, Sur Arena, and the quadrants of Kalbacha City all fell swiftly into Laurasian possession; Kalbacha Major, which had been in Scottrian possession from 1417 to 1438, and again from 1565 to 1745, was now firmly in the possession of the Laurasian Empire. Lord Malagart Rouglain of Pinkett (1697-1762), who had become commander of the garrison of Kalbacha Major two months earlier, was, on the orders of Lacius, treated with commendable leniency. He would eventually be dispatched to the Post Settlement of Hepudermia as a formal prisoner of state on May 19. The fall of Kalbacha Major, which had never before been occupied by Laurasian military units, was a major event in galactic history. It marked yet another stage in the ascent of the Laurasian Empire, already 423 years old, to the status of sole galactic power. Pockets of resistance by Scottrian troops against the newly-established Laurasian garrison, however, continued until September 1745.
  • May 11-The Lord St. Johansius resigned as Imperial High Chamberlain, having been appointed as Minister of the Imperial Chancellory and Assistant to the Procurator-General of the Governing Senate by Emperor Antigonus III. The position would remain vacant for a year.
  • May 14-
    • Following the final conquest of Kalbacha Major, Laurasian forces made rapid advances against the remaining Scottrian garrisons in the Galactic Borderlands. Palaris III was occupied by Fleet-Admiral Levashius on May 14, 1745. Levashius had by then suppressed all supply routes to Zannah, Sabinia, and Seeben; Zannah was the most substantial stronghold in the Galactic Borderlands, which was still in Scottrian hands. On May 16, Lord George Douglain of Pittendreich launched a counteroffensive against Patricia I, Barching, Devily, and the Riverite Asteroid Belt from the Galactic Void, attempting in vain to reconquer those strongholds and to drive a wedge into the Galactic Borderlands. This, however, was repelled by Brigadier-General Sir Antiochus Devreshius (1702-87), who captured thirty Scottrian transports and destroyed nearly half of the offensive force. Then on May 24, 1745, the Battle of Zannah, the last major confrontation within the confines of the Caladarian Galaxy between the Laurasian Empire and the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria, occurred. Field-Marshal Lacius and Fleet Admiral Levashius jointly commanded Laurasian forces, while the garrison of Zannah was directed by Lieutenant-General Haiymon McCroy (1700-69).
    • Unlike at Ancrum Moor, Scottrian units did not hold the element of surprise, and the battle resulted in victory for Laurasian forces. Zannah fell swiftly to the Empire; General McCroy himself was captured at the end of the battle. By the end of May 1745, Sabinia and Seeben were both firmly in Laurasian hands. Then, on June 4, 1745, Fleet Admiral Levashius launched the last, and most decisive, offense within the Galactic Borderlands against the forces of the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria. Defeating the Earl of Sutherland in the Battle of Vigil, Levashius completed the subjugation of the regions in the vicinity of Kalbacha Major. By June 7, 1745, his forces had conquered the last remaining Scottrian garrisons in the Galactic Borderlands. This included Palaris I, Bane, and Cognus. On June 12, Sutherland was cornered and captured at Turnquist, a minor Kalbachan colony located three hundred light years west of Kalbacha Major; this constituted a major humiliation for the Scottrians. The greater bulk of the southern and central Galactic Borderlands were now under the rule of the Laurasian Empire.
  • July 19-
    • Even though Emperor Antigonus had departed from Franconia, back to the Caladarian Galaxy, Laurasian military forces, nevertheless, continued to struggle with the opposing Franconians. Sotteville and Vernon were both conquered by the Duke of Norfolkius’s units (May 5-7, 1745), and on May 12, 1745, Norfolkius defeated the Duke of Avignon in the Battle of St. Etienne. By the end of May 1745, Laurasian units had also conquered Alencon, Bernay, and Avranches, thereby penetrating into Lower Normandy. On June 4, King Franjak, who was determined to repel this latest series of Laurasian offensives, and to regain the momentum in Artois, Normandy, and Champagne, ordered the Seigneur de Vervins to move towards Boulogne. To that end, Vervins managed to destroy the Laurasian outposts of Epernay, Barcy, and Chateau Thierry (June 6-11, 1745). Then on June 16, Vervins managed to blunt a move by the Earl of Aeoleon in the Battle of Meaux; 35,000 Laurasian troops were captured in this confrontation. Chantilly and Beauvais followed (June 13-19, 1745), and on June 22, Norfolkius was compelled to withdraw from Bayreux, Evereux, and Rouen.
    • By June 26, Vervins had also managed to end Laurasian raiding expeditions in the vicinity of Guise, Vitry Le Francois, and St. Menehould, thereby terminating the threat to Alsace. Then, on July 1, 1745, Vervins moved into the outskirts of the Boulogne star system. The Siege of Boulogne commenced, and lasted for most of the month. Norfolkius tried in vain to sunder the communications lines of the Franconian forces; he was consequently forced to strengthen the garrison of Boulogne. Yet Norfolkius was able to gradually assemble his military units for a counteroffensive against the Franconians. Finally, on July 19, 1745, the Duke assaulted Vervins at Port-a-dily, which was located seven light years to the southwest of Boulogne. The ensuing Battle of Port-a-dily resulted in a decisive victory for Norfolkius, who destroyed or captured nearly one hundred Franconian warships; more than 150,000 Franconian marines and soldiers died in the confrontation. Vervins himself was captured, and the siege of Boulogne was broken; however, the Emperor’s favorite warship, the dreadnought HIMS Octavia, suffered severe damage and had to be scuttled at the end of the battle. Following the Battle of Port-a-dily, Norfolkius recovered Meaux and Barcy (July 26, 1745), but failed to reoccupy Rouen or Evereux. August 1745 witnessed a stalemate between Laurasian and Franconian forces in Artois, the Pale of Calais, and Normandy; Norfolkius, however, repelled all Franconian counteroffensives.
  • August 5-
    • In June 1745, nearly two months after his return from the Great Amulak Spiral, Emperor Antigonus's health took a turn for the worse. He was stricken down with fever for several days. His leg was affected by the illness, and he suffered more bouts of agonizing pain. His illness did not improve his temper, which was further aroused by reports of heresy circulating within his Empire. This was to have consequences the following year. Moreover, on July 22, 1745, Ambassador Chapuys officially informed Emperor Antigonus, in an audience at the Old Royal Palace, that he was at last being recalled to the Holy Spamalkan Empire. Chapuys had been the Spamalkan Ambassador for sixteen years. Antigonus, saddened at the prospect of losing this man, with whom he had clashed in the past, went immediately to the Empress and warned her of the envoy's imminent departure. The next morning, as Chapuys sat in the palace gardens, he saw Katharina approaching, accompanied by only a few attendants. She told him that the Emperor had told her of the audience, and said she was "very sorry, on the one hand for my departure, as she had been told that I had always performed my duties well, and the Emperor trusted me, but on the other hand she doubted not that my health would be better in my native galaxy." Chapuys could, she added, do more to maintain the friendship between Laurasia and Spamalka, which he had done so much to promote, and for this reason she was glad he was going.
    • After more pleasantries, the Empress begged Chapuys to present to "His Majesty of Spamalka her humble service and to express explicitly to you all that I had learned here of the good wishes of the Emperor." She then left. Chapuys's formal departure from the Imperial Laurasian Court was on August 5, 1745; he was seen off by the Emperor and Empress, along with the Councils of State and the magnates of the Court, with much ceremony. He proceeded to Belkadan, and thence into the Galactic Void, arriving at Moorio Cabana five days later. Chapuys then went to Louvain in the Durthian Duchies. He was a man of considerable wealth, deriving from his ambassadorial pensions, a gift of €20 billion dataries from the Emperor, his estates at Annency, and various ecclesiastical sinecures, including the deanery of Vuilloneux, canonries at Toledo, Osma, and Malaga, various posts in Flanders, and the profitable house of Sant'Angelo di Brolo in Sicily. He founded the Diplomatic School of Louvain in 1748, and was one of the co-sponsors of the Galactic University of Annency in 1751. Between 1747 and 1749, he served as a economics advisor to Emperor Char'va, finally retiring in that later year. He would then spend the last years of his life in peace, and would die at Louvain on January 21, 1756, aged sixty-three.
  • August 22-On August 22, 1745, at Guildfaldian Hall on Sufforia, Emperor Antigonus’s close friend, Carolus Brandeis, 1st Duke of Sufforia, died at the age of 61. At his deathbed, the Duke of Sufforia was attended by his wife, Katharina Willoughby, Duchess of Sufforia, and by other members of the extended Brandeis family, including his daughters Franconia and Eleanora. Emperor Antigonus, in a rare show of sadness, burst into tears when he was informed that the Duke had died. Sufforia’s death was expected, for his health had been in severe decline for more than a year. Nevertheless, Antigonus lamented the death of his friend, and told Chancellor Diadones that the Lord Almitis would soon be summoning him to his death. The Emperor ordered the Imperial Court into a day of mourning for the Duke, and issued a manifesto lamenting the death of such a "loyal and effective nobleman." Sufforia was granted a state funeral by the Emperor, conducted at St. Georgius’s Chapel at the Palace of Placenta, on Darcia, on September 2, 1745.
  • September 2-
    • September and October 1745 witnessed the resumption of active military campaigns within the Serene Kingdom of Franconia. These campaigns witnessed both successes and reverses for the Laurasian Empire's military forces, which remained under the command of the Duke of Norfolkius. On September 2, 1745, the Battle of Juvigny resulted in a decisive victory for Norfolkius over the units of the Duke of Avignon. As a result of this confrontation, Norfolkius was then able to secure the Franconian star systems of Barisis, Rheims, and Mt. Blanc. Furthermore, the Earl of Sourania (1687-1756), who had become Norfolkius's chief subordinate two months earlier, launched a series of offensives into Brittany, aiming to thereby weaken, and to disrupt, the Franconian strategic position in that region. Sourania besieged and conquered the outposts of St. Malo and Dol-de-Bretagne (September 6-12, 1745), capturing a number of Franconian Royal Marines. Repelling Franconian counteroffensives against Stephani and Julianne, Sourania then obtained a victory in the Battle of Morbihan (September 14, 1745). By September 22, the Brittanian star systems of Treguier, Cotes d'Armor, Finistere, and Fougeres were in Laurasian hands, while both Dinan and Guerande were besieged by the Imperial Laurasian Navy. Yet it was towards the end of September that a string of Franconian successes began.
    • On September 26, 1745, King Franjak, who sought still to turn back the assault of the Laurasian foe, appointed Claude d'Annebault, Marshal (1738-52) and Chief Admiral (1743-52) of Franconia, who had previously been tied down by military combat in the Germanian Principalities against the Holy Austarlian Empire, as the commander-in-chief of all forces, within the Royal Dominions, engaged against the Laurasians. D'Annebault, who was one of the most talented Franconian military commanders, was quickly able to change the course of events. On October 8, 1745, Norfolkius assaulted Fontainebleau, thereby intending to isolate Parri from the south, and to impose pressure upon the garrison of Orleans. D'Annebault, however, utilizing a series of swift, lightning raids with his chief starfighters and transports, was able to compel the Duke into retreat. He then recovered Barcy and Meaux (October 9-12, 1745), and on October 16, 1745, defeated Norfolkius in the Battle of Fecamp, thereby recovering that stronghold. From Fecamp, d'Annebault drove Laurasian garrisons from Dreux, Chantilly, and Compeigne (October 17-22, 1745), and on October 24, he obtained another victory in the Battle of Le Cateau, recovering that stronghold for Franconia. On October 26, d'Annebault halted the Earl of Sourania from launching an offensive against Nannes and Redon, thereby retaining these important star systems of Brittany. And on October 30, he reconquered Guines and Hames in a surprise offensive, driving into the Channel Colonies.
  • October 29-On October 29, 1745, the Empress Consort Katharina Parsius, already renowned at the Imperial Court for her intelligence and her insight into matters of learning, published her first work, Meditations on Almitis. In this work, the Empress Consort declared that all Laurasians could gain true salvation by turning to the service of Almitis and that only believers of Almitis would obtain their reward in the afterlife. The Emperor Antigonus praised his wife's work in a imperial proclamation and commanded the Holy Synod to provide it as standard issue to the congregations of the Almitian Church.
  • November 6-By the beginning of November 1745, the forces of Admiral Claude d'Annebault had managed to restore some balance in the confrontations with the Laurasians. On November 2, 1745, d'Annebault stormed Montmrail, Epernay, and Chateau-Thierry, thereby pushing Norfolkius's forces yet farther north from Parri and Orleans. Four days later, the Admiral launched an ambitious offensive against Boulogne, seeking to keep Laurasian units confined to that star system, and to damage their communication lines. Norfolkius was forced to rush back to this stronghold, and to provide for its defense in the face of Franconian assaults. Taking advantage of this, d'Annebault now ordered Admiral Henri d'Suissy to secure Douliens, Dury, and Cantiny. This d'Suissy did, defeating Laurasian units in a series of confrontations in these star systems (November 7-11, 1745). On November 12, 1745, Sourania's attempt to resupply the garrison of Boulogne, and to break through Franconian siege lines, came to ruin in the Battle of Abbeville. Then on November 14, d'Annebault captured a Laurasian supply convoy near Guise. By November 19, he had recovered the Franconian systems of Vervins, Hirson, and St. Quentin, thereby terminating the threat to Guise. Bapuame, Vimy, Lens, and Drocourt were all back in Franconian hands by November 21. Then on November 24, 1745, d'Annebault and his forces retreated from the outskirts of Boulogne; Norfolkius was able to reoccupy the outposts in the immediate vicinity of that star system, and strengthened the garrisons of both Dunkirk and Calais. Yet this latest string of Franconian successes had put a dent into Laurasian hopes, and had thereby exposed the true vulnerability of the Empire's position within Franconia. Emperor Antigonus, in particular, was angered by the reverses.
  • November 9-On November 9, 1745, Doge Pietro Lando of Haxonia, who had reigned over the Haxonian Confederacy since 1738, died at the Doges’ Palace on Haxonia Prime. He was eighty-three years old at the time of his death. Lando’s reign had seen the preservation of the Haxonian Confederacy’s strategic and political position in the Peloponnese in the face of Marasharite assaults (1738-40). Lando had also provided invaluable support to the Holy Austarlian Empire, believing that the preservation of the Austarlian realms was essential for the overall stability of Italiania and the Germanian Principalities. His reign, however, had seen clashes with the Haxonian Senate over military and other commercial levies. Lando was succeeded as Doge by Senator Francesco Donato, who had been one of his chief supporters on the Haxonian Senate. Donato was seventy-seven years old at the time of his election as Doge.
  • December 7-
    • By December 1745, Emperor Antigonus had become convinced that the Laurasian Empire's military effort within Franconia needed to be completely revived. Consequently, the Emperor decided to shift the military commands and priorities within that theater. On December 7, 1745, Antigonus sent a communique to Norfolkius's headquarters (which had been relocated to Calais), and ordered the Duke to retire from his post of command, and to proceed immediately back to the Laurasian Empire. Norfolkius, who himself was becoming weary of the exertions of war, and who sought to recuperate on Laurasia Prime, posed no challenge to this command of the Emperor's. He made his leave from Calais on December 12 and proceeded quickly across the Galactic Void, arriving at Belkadan on December 16 and at Laurasia Prime on December 19. On December 9, Emperor Antigonus designated the Earl of Sourania as Norfolkius's successor, and placed him in command of all Laurasian forces within the Franconian realms. Sourania was able, during the last part of December 1745, to turn around Laurasian fortunes.
    • He focused on buttressing the Laurasian position in the Ardennian Worlds and the Pale of Calais. On December 11, 1745, Sourania captured the Franconian stronghold of Maubauge, which had until then defied Laurasian efforts. He then stormed Llle, Hirson, and Mezieres (December 14-19, 1745), and on December 21, repelled a move by d'Annebault in the Battle of Avenne. On December 24, Verdun fell to Sourania's forces, and on December 25, 1745, he obtained another victory in the Battle of Sedan, thereby seizing that important Franconian colony. While these successes were occurring within Franconia, a general stalemate remained in the Galactic Void. Field-Marshal Lacius spent the entire second half of 1745 consolidating the Laurasian hold of the Galactic Borderlands; in September and October 1745, he repelled Scottrian counteroffensives against Onasi, Dehner, Hidemnia Sauria, Waxefield, and the Upper Galactic Barrier, as the Earl of Arran tried in vain to reestablish the Scottrian position in the Caladarian Galaxy. 1745 therefore ended with the Laurasian Empire in control of the formerly Scottrian Galactic Borderlands, and continuing to wage war with Franconia.

1746Edit

  • January 25-1746, the 46th year of the eighteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire and the Serene Kingdom of Franconia having entered the final stage of the Fourth Franconian War. By the beginning of 1746, King Franjak I of Franconia, and his ministers on the Franconian Conseil royal, were becoming exhausted; the King, whose primary focus of attention remained on Italiania, his Spamalkan adversaries, and the War of the Austarlian Succession, was now determined to hasten to an end the conflict which had dragged on between Laurasia and Franconia without resolution, and to inflict a blow upon his enemy, Emperor Antigonus, within his own dominions. On January 7, 1746, the King of Franconia announced to the Conseil that he would be dispatching an expeditionary force against the Emperor of Laurasia's realms in the Caladarian Galaxy, with the goal of coercing the Emperor into a peace. It was not until January 25, 1746, however, before the King of Franconia formally assigned Admiral d'Annebault to the command of this expedition. Annebault, who had already been preparing his military squadrons and other forces for a potential offensive into the Galactic Void, and thence towards the Empire, had already been making extensive preparations for that purpose. He had assembled his units at Arne, Walmer, Dreux, Quiebron Bay, Nantes, Rennes, La Havre, and other Franconian strongholds, in Brittany, Normandy, and Gascony. The King of Franconia and Annebault both were convinced that with his own territories threatened, Antigonus would have no choice but to sue for peace. January 1746 itself witnessed the continuation of battles between Laurasian and Franconian forces in the Ardennian Worlds, and in the Pale of Calais. On January 5, 1746, the Battle of Longwy ended in a decisive victory for the Earl of Sourania's units; Sourania captured more than 75,000 Franconian troops, and overran the fortifications of that star system without difficulty. Following the conquest of Longwy, Laurasian units secured the Franconian border strongholds of Briey, Etain, and Conflan (January 7-14, 1746). On January 22, 1746, the Battle of Mers-La-Tour resulted in another decisive victory for Sourania. By the end of January 1746, Laurasian units had also recovered Vervins, Hirson, and Rethel, once again strangling the supply lines of Guise.
  • February 3-
    • King Franjak's preparations for offensives into the territory of the Laurasian Empire, in spite of his efforts to keep them confidential, eventually reached the ears of the Imperial Court. On February 3, 1746, the Imperial Intelligence Agency caught wind of the machinations by King Franjak and the Royal Franconian Government for their planned campaigns against the Burglais Arm. Emperor Antigonus and the Imperial Privy Council were informed immediately. Antigonus was alarmed at the threat which the Franconians could now pose to the Caladarian Galaxy directly. In reaction to the intelligence information provided to him, His Majesty commanded for the defenses of the chief strongholds and military fortifications of the Burglais Arm to be strengthened; for the Empire's subjects and authorities in those territories to be alerted about the possible Franconian effort; and all effort to be made by the Empire's offensive forces, within Franconia itself, to prevent a Franconian counteroffensive. Viscount Lisle, who had progressed to the rank of Major-General, was appointed by the Emperor on February 7, 1746, as the commander of the Imperial Armies and Fleets of the Burglais Arm. Coronadia, Edmundia, English Star, Jacobs I, Scanlan, Theodore, the strongholds of the Corporate Sector, Mackenzia Major, Taraning, Ian, and other worlds in that region were now under red alert. In the meantime, d'Annebault began his advance towards the Caladarian Galaxy.
    • He departed from Quiebron Bay on February 9, 1746. The Earl of Sourania, who now hurried from Calais in a desperate attempt to contain his Franconian adversary, was able to intercept d'Annebault at the Solent Gateway, located five hundred light years to the west of Quiebron Bay. The ensuing Battle of the Solent (February 11, 1746), turned out to be an inconclusive confrontation. D'Annebault actually had larger military forces than Sourania (600 to 200 military warships) who had been forced to leave the bulk of his transports, couriers, and frigates behind in the Pale of Calais. Nevertheless, Sourania was able to force d'Annebault to scuttle two of his largest warships, the Carraquon and the La Maitresse, both of whom possessed considerable complements of turbocannon. He also captured a number of Franconian shield generators.
    • D'Annebault, however, managed to overpower and destroy the HIMS Didymeia Rose, which had been commissioned in 1710 and had become one of the most famous warships of the Imperial Laurasian Navy, notable for its service in the Third Franconian War, War of the Dejanican Succession, and Third Laurasian-Marasharite War. Emperor Antigonus was greatly saddened by the loss of his ship, and by the deaths of more than 100,000 Laurasian military personnel in the confrontation. D'Annebault, although weakened, was able to continue his advance across the Galactic Void. On February 24, 1746, he reached the outskirts of the Burglais Arm. Franconian forces, however, were immediately confronted with the resistance of the forces of Viscount Lisle. Over the next several days, a series of confrontations were fought between Laurasian and Franconian units at Seaford, Beacheria, and Wight, as Franconian units attempted to penetrate Laurasian border defenses.
  • March 4-On March 4, 1746, Admiral Claude d'Annebault commenced the Siege of Garner. Garner had a population of more than two billion by 1746 and was one of the chief strongholds of the Corporate Sector, being important to the Imperial Laurasian Government for its economic institutes, currency reserves, and strategic position in the outskirts of the Outer Borderlands. D'Annebault desired this star system, so as to possess a bridgehead within the Empire's realms. Franconian units sought to storm the Laurasian outposts of Bonchurch and Whitcliff, but this effort was blunted by Commodore Sir Draco Morlais (1704-86), commander of the garrison of Garner. Furthermore, Franconian raiding expeditions against Cassie, Taraning, Sharman, Derek, Edmundia, Gibbs-to-Lester, Brlla, and Syr-Daria failed to achieve any substantive results. Ultimately, the superior organization of the Laurasian garrison, the virtually non-existent Franconian supply lines, and the encroachments of the Imperial Laurasian Navy and Army under Viscount Lisle forced Admiral d'Annebault to withdraw from the siege on March 17. D'Annebault lost nearly a quarter of his total forces, and most of his turbocannons. As a result, his Laurasian foes held the decisive edge. On March 21, 1746, Viscount Lisle defeated the Franconian Admiral in the Battle of Andrea Doria, thereby preventing a Franconian move against Theodore and Glassia, and compelling d'Annebault to begin his retreat back to the Great Amulak Spiral. D'Annebault came to realize that the Franconian effort to storm into the Burglais Arm was doomed to failure. The Franconians moved back, beginning on March 24, 1746, and found themselves harried by Laurasian starfighter squadrons along the entire length of their retreat. It was not until April 7 before d'Annebault arrived back at Le Havre. King Franjak, whose treasury was exhausted by the conflict, began to contemplate a military truce with the Imperial Laurasian Government.
  • April 17-On April 2, 1746, Emperor Antigonus commanded the Earl of Heuthros, who had over the past several months repelled constant Scottrian counteroffensives into the Galactic Borderlands, to begin preparations for departure to the Great Amulak Spiral, apparently to take command of the Empire's forces there from the Earl of Sourania. In private, however, the Emperor of Laurasia was beginning to realize that the Empire could not, at this stage, make any gains at Franconian expense, and that the territorial acquisitions in the Galactic Borderlands were sufficient. He also desired for peace, and wished to end his reign (which was now less than a year away from ending), in tranquility and co-existence with the Empire's neighbors. It was thus, on April 17, 1746, on the Emperor's command, that Chancellor Diadones dispatched a armistice offer to the Franconian Royal Court. King Franjak, who had been preparing to order his own government officials to extend an armistice offer, and eager to end this conflict harming the integrity and peace of his realms, accepted the Laurasian offer on April 22. The Armistice of St. Malo was signed by the Earl of Sourania and Admiral d'Annebault, on behalf of their governments, on April 24, 1746, terminating all military hostilities between the two realms until a peace conference could be convened.
  • May 14-On May 14, 1746, delegations from the Laurasian Empire and Serene Kingdom of Franconia convened at Ardres, a Franconian colony in the outskirts of the Great Amulak Spiral, for the peace conference to bring hostilities between Laurasia and Franconia to an end. Viscount Lisle, whose successful defense of the Burglais Arm had earned him the further favor of the Emperor, and who had gained his own faction of supporters at the Imperial Court, acted as the chief representative of the Laurasian delegation. The other Laurasian plenipotentiaries were the Duke of Norfolkius, Lord St. Johansius, Sir Rudomentus Sadielus, Sir Craterus Pagentia (1706-63, later Minister of Foreign Affairs under Didymeia I), and Sir Nicholas Worrton (1697-1767), a respected member of the Imperial Diplomatic Service. King Franjak, on his part, appointed the Dukes of Guise and Avignon, Admiral d'Annebault, the Sieur de Ramon (1708-73), and Guillame Bochtetel (1684-1762) as the Franconian plenipotentiaries to the peace conference; d'Annebault acted as the official host of the conference. The negotiations were to continue for nearly a month before the two delegations managed to strike an agreement.
  • May 26-By May 1746, religious conflict within the Empire had intensified again. At the center of it now emerged Anna Askewia (1721-46), who was considered one of the most educated women of her time. She was the daughter of Sir Willanius Askewia (1690-1741), who was a Governing Senator (1729-41), respected courtier of the Imperial Court, and one of the men who had sat on the Special Court which decided the fate of Empress Consort Anna Boleyenia. His daughter, Anna, received a good education from tutors, and became proficient in a wide of range of subjects, including theology. In 1737, her father married her to Sir Thomasius Kymia (1713-82), who was a prominent landowner and merchant in Christiania. They had two children, Anna (named after her mother, 1738-87) and Antiochus (1740-83), but in 1742, the couple experienced a major rupture in their relationship. They then separated, with Thomasius taking custody of the children. Anna then came to the Imperial Court, and became known for her sermons on theological subjects. She strongly supported the Almitian Reformation, and gained notice from the imperial authorities of Laurasia Prime due to her emphasis on morals, the administrative reorganization of the Almitian Church, and faith in the works of the Lord Almitis. But on March 7, 1745, her estranged husband had her arrested. She was brought to his estate on Charasia, and he demanded that she stay there. This was short lived, and she soon made her return back to Laurasia Prime. In January 1746, she was arrested again, but was released. By then, her sermons had come to be considered threatening by many of the Traditionalists at the Imperial Court. This included such prominent figures as Archbishop Stephanus Gardinerius of Winchestrius (who was attempting to convince Emperor Antigonus to repeal the Six Articles); Archbishop Edmundis Bonneris of Christiania (who had Askewia cross-examined in March 1746), the Duke of Norfolkius, Procurator-General Wirtholesius (an ardent Traditionalist), and Chancellor Diadones. On the orders of Gardinerius and Wirtholesius (who themselves questioned her), Askewia was examined and then tortured at the Fortress of Baureux, where she was confined. Sir Pagentia, Viscount Lisle, and Chancellor Diadones also questioned the woman. On June 19, 1746, she was formally charged with heresy, conspiracy, treason, and "dissent against the Imperial Laurasian Government."
  • May 29-On May 29, 1746, at St. Andrews Castle on Fife, the ardently anti-Laurasian Archpriest of Ediania, David Beatonius, was murdered by Jamsius Kirclady of Grange and John Leslie of Parkhill, who had been recruited by the Imperial Intelligence Agency for this mission of assassination within the Scottrian realms. Both men despised the wealth and influence wielded by the Archpriest and his faction; and both believed that peaceful relations with the Laurasian Empire was within the interests of the Scottrian species. Beatonius's body was dismembered by his murderers, who then publicly proclaimed to the subjects of the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria as to the deed which they had accomplished. The death of Beatonius was secretly welcomed by the Regent Arran, for it removed a major rival to his position of power. It, however, also aroused the anger of many Scottrians, who believed that the actions of the Laurasian Government were directly to blame for the Archpriest's death. Arran, however, had begun to contemplate making peace with the Laurasian Empire, so as to rebuild Scottrian military forces and foster closer ties with Franconia.
  • June 7-On June 7, 1746, after a month of negotiations, the Treaty of Ardres was signed by the Laurasian Empire and the Serene Kingdom of Franconia. It was Viscount Lisle and Baron Pagentia who were ultimately instrumental in securing the terms of peace from the Royal Franconian Government. By the terms of this treaty, all military hostilities between Laurasia and Franconia were to cease. All prisoners of war were to be released immediately, and the Emperor of Laurasia promised to restore all plunder and spoils of war seized by his military forces during the conflict. The status quo ante bellum was to prevail as regards to territorial matters; Normandy, Brittany, the Pale of Artois, the Ardennian Worlds, and Picardy, along with parts of Champagne, were to be restored to Franconian authority by no later than August 1, 1747. Boulogne, however, however, was to be occupied by the Laurasian Empire's forces for a period of eight years (until 1754), as compensation to Emperor Antigonus for the expenses which he had lavished upon his military campaigns. Laurasian laws, customs, and policies were to apply to Boulogne during the time of the occupation; Franconian subjects were to only gain admission into the star system with the approval of Laurasian authorities there; and Franconia would not be permitted to station military garrisons within a ten-light year radius of Boulogne. Full diplomatic and economic relations were to be restored between the two governments, and rights of free transit were guaranteed for the subjects of each government traveling in the territories of the other. The Treaty of Ardres was ratified by Emperor Antigonus on June 11, 1746, and by King Franjak on June 16. Then on June 24, 1746, Scottrian Regent Arran finally settled on a decision of making peace with the Laurasian Empire, and therefore sent a request for an armistice to Field-Marshal Lacius. Lacius, who thus informed the Imperial Privy Council, was given permission by the Emperor to approve the armistice request. The Armistice of McFadden was signed on June 30.
  • July 4-On July 4, 1746, Procurator-General Writholesius and Archbishop Gardinerius, who were both opposed to the Empress Consort Katharina Parsius on account of her religious beliefs, and who sought to maintain the interests of the Traditionalist faction at the Imperial Court, ordered the Ministry of the Imperial Chancellory to begin an investigation of the Empress Consort's financial affairs and the condition of her properties. This was in preparation for charges of treason, heresy, and adultery which would be brought up against the Empress. Both were confident that the Emperor would agree to condemning his wife; he was in a irritable mood at the time, for his health was continuing to decline, and the Empress's religious views were disturbing her husband, who believed that she should be subordinate to his authority and his viewpoints.
  • July 16-On July 16, 1746, ten days after her conviction on all charges against her by the Court of the Imperial Chancery, Anna Askewia, along with Professor John Lascellus (the same Professor who had exposed Katharina Howardis's infidelity four and a half years earlier, and had himself been arrested for heresy in May 1746) and Sir Nicholas Berttonia (1709-46), who had been arrested for alleged "prophecies" against the Emperor, was executed, by the full penalties of a traitor's death, at the Fortress of Baureux on Laurasia Prime. Askewia's execution was witnessed by a crowd of more than 300,000 individuals. Procurator-General Writholesius, who had taken a prominent part in the proceedings against her, and believed that he was suppressing religious dissent against the authority of the Imperial Laurasian Government, presided over the execution. Askewia was excommunicated by the Holy Synod and her body was dumped into the Pit of Traitors on Jadia. Eventually, however, she and her associates would be posthumously pardoned by Empress Didymeia in 1756, and transferred to internment at the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vicula in the Fortress of Baureux.
  • July 24-On July 24, 1746, delegations from the Laurasian Empire and Celestial Kingdom of Scottria convened at Kingsley, a Scottrian commercial stronghold in the outskirts of the Angelina Spiral. The Earl of Angus, the Earl of Rothes, Sir Walter Scott, and Lord George Douglain were the Scottrian plenipotentiaries to the conference, while the interests of the Emperor Antigonus III and the Imperial Laurasian Government were represented by Field-Marshal Lacius, Baron Pagentia, the Earl of Heuthros, and the Duke of Mariana Prime. Negotiations would continue for over a month, as the two delegations wrangle over the terms of the peace settlement. The Laurasians, controlling all Scottrian territory in the Galactic Borderlands, held the position of advantage.
  • August 4-
    • By August 1746, Emperor Antigonus's health had declined considerably. By 1746, the Emperor's weight had exceeded three hundred pounds. He was constantly afflicted by ulcers, headaches, stomach aches, itching, and by numerous other pains which left him weakened and exhausted. Antigonus could no longer participate in any of the athletic tournaments or other exercises of the Imperial Household; he could only observe the games and other ceremonies at the Circus Maximus, and reflect on what had once been. The Emperor had to be levitated about in a electronic wheelchair, and he relied greatly upon the assistance of his servants. As his health declined, however, his temper did also. Antigonus became more irritable, prone to bouts of anger and of petty vindictiveness. This was now to show in the upcoming incident. The execution of Anna Askewia had aroused distaste and anger from many. Empress Katharina herself was horrified to learn about the torture inflicted upon Askewia, and the manner in which her execution had been conducted. She kept her thoughts to herself, knowing that if it were to be discovered by her enemies that she shared Anna's views, she herself would be in danger. The Emperor on his part, had heard complaints about Katharina's interference in matters of religion. Previously, he had heartily approved of the strong religious bias in his wife's household. He was pleased to see Katharina spending so much time studying the Scriptures and discussing them with learned divines, and he enjoyed their debates on the subject.
    • Now it seemed that Katharina had become over-zealous, extorting her husband to rid the Church of Traditionalist vestiges. Antigonus did not like this suggestion, growing very stern and opinionated whenever the subject was raised. Katharina, however, ignored all else, and continued to pose her arguments with the Emperor. It came to the point (August 1, 1746), where she was abruptly cut off by her husband, who shifted their conversation to other matters. He eventually dismissed her on a good note, but she was little aware that her enemies were about to strike. Archbishop Gardinerius, who had overheard the conversation, seized his chance when the Emperor began to complain about her behavior. Gardinerius soothed his sovereign's vanity by replying that "His Majesty excelled all divines in wisdom" and stated that it was "unseemly for any of your subjects to argue with you in such a manner as the Empress has done; it is grievous for any of your councilors to hear it done, since those who were so bold in words would not scruple to proceed to acts of disobedience." Moreover, Gardinerius told the Emperor that Katharina's own religious views were undermining the security of the state. Antigonus was incredulous at the Archbishop's words, but his suspicious nature allowed him to believe that the matter was indeed a serious one. The Archbishop had managed to convince him that his wife was at the center of a heretical conspiracy to bring down the Imperial Government, and that she was supported by many influential figures at the Court. Antigonus now questioned Gardinerius closely on the matter. When they parted, the triumphant Archbishop came away with the knowledge that the Emperor had given his authorization for an arrest warrant against Katharina to be prepared.
    • Shortly afterwards, on the orders of the Privy Council, Lady Herbertia, Lady Tyrhwhittia, and Lady Lania, there of the Empress Consort's favorite ladies in waiting, were arrested, and interrogated. They were questioned about the religious books and artifacts in the household, and whether the Empress kept forbidden reading material. Their goods were also searched, in hopes that proof of the Empress's heresy would be revealed. On August 2, Antigonus was confined to his private chambers at the Palace. Only members of the Privy Council were allowed access to him. Katharina did not know what was going on, and went in to see her husband, again engaging the Emperor in religious debates. He allowed her to do this, for he was now on the alert for a sinister meaning to her arguments, and was carefully weighing every word she said. He confided his suspicions to Dr. Thomasius Wendria (1693-1757), who had become chief physician of the Imperial Household upon Dr. Butteria's death in November 1745. It was in the afternoon of August 3, 1746, that the warrant for the Empress Consort's arrest was drawn up; Antigonus himself signed it, and commanded for it to be entrusted to the custody of the Imperial Privy Council. However, the officer responsible for delivering the warrant accidentally dropped it. A servant loyal to the Empress found it and brought it straight to her.
    • Katharina now found herself facing her doom. There was the Emperor's signature: there could be no mistake. Her reaction was instantaneous and dramatic, her agony of mind manifesting itself in tears and hysterical screaming. She was distraught with terror, recalling the fate of Anna Boleyenia and Katharina Howardis before her, and realizing that, charged with heresy, her death would be much more horrible than theirs. In her grief and fear, she took to her bed, shaking and wailing. Her cries could be heard from beyond her chambers; they even reached the Emperor's apartments. Antigonus, not understanding what was going on, sent his physicians to try and calm her down. Dr. Wendria, guessing she had found out about the warrant, told her what he knew, warning her that Gardinerius and Wirtholesius were plotting her downfall. She should "conform herself to the Emperor's mind." His words afforded the Empress little comfort. Still she lay, weeping and crying, her self-control shattered. Eventually, the Emperor went to her himself. At the sight of him, Katharina calmed down a little, and managed to say that she feared he had grown displeased with her and utterly forsaken her. She was so obviously sincere in her grief that Antigonus was deeply touched, and gave her "kind words which refreshed her careful mind."
    • The Emperor stayed with her for an hour, and when he had left, Katharina made up her mind to cease her religious dabbling. She ordered her ladies and attendants to dispose of all forbidden material, and made it clear that from now on her chief priority would be to conform to her husband's wishes. Early on August 4, 1746, accompanied only by her sister and Lady Lania, she made her way to the Emperor's apartments, where she found him in conversation with his gentlemen of the Privy Chamber. When he saw Katharina, he welcomed her courteously, and after a while he brought up the subject of religion, "seeming desirous to be resolved by the Empress of certain doubts." Katharina, understanding that he was testing her, gave meek and dutiful answers, saying "Almitis has appointed you Pontifex Maximus, and of you, next unto Almitis, will I ever learn." Antigonus was not so easily mollified, declaring that his wife would seek to instruct him, rather than take instruction. Katharina protested her meaning to have been mistaken, for she understood that women should be loyal to their husbands. If she had ever differed from him on religion, she went on, it was only for her own information, and also because she realized that talking helped to "pass away the pain and weariness of your present infirmity, which encouraged me in this boldness, in the hope of profiting by Your Majesty's learned discourse. I am but a woman, with all the imperfections natural to the weakness of my gender; therefore in all matters of doubt and difficulty I must refer myself to Your Majesty's better judgment, as my lord and head."
    • This was a masterful speech, and a triumph of diplomacy. The Emperor was deeply depressed by it. "Is it so, Kate? And you posed your arguments to no other end?" She nodded. He then said "Then we are perfect friends, as ever at any time before." Katharina was absolutely relieved by this; she had escaped, and he was once again her loving husband. Again she sat beside him as he took her in his arms and kissed her before everyone present. Never again, he promised, would he doubt her. Some hours passed before he finally gave her leave to depart, and when she had gone, he praised her highly to his gentlemen. The Emperor, aware now of Gardinerius and Wirtholesius's intentions to get rid of Katharina, now sought to discountenance them. Katharina's servant had made sure to replace the warrant, and Writholesius now sought to execute it. He knew nothing of the events of the previous day. On August 5, 1746, the Procurator-General and a detachment of Valedictorian Guards came to the Antiochid Gardens to arrest Katharina. She was with her husband, walking in the Gardens, and was accompanied by several of her own ladies-in-waiting. The Emperor, however