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This covers the last fifteen years of the eighteenth century.

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

The 18th Century (1785-1800)Edit

1785Edit

  • January 1-
    • 1785, the 85th year of the eighteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire in an official state of peace with its neighbors in the Amulak Spiral. Having concluded the Treaty of Topacia with its weary Marasharite neighbors, the Empire was in the process of absorbing the territories which had once composed the Haynsian Despotate. On February 2, 1784, shortly after the ratification of the Treaty of Topacia, Empress Aurelia had issued the final instruments of annexation, and had received a final oath of allegiance from all of the officers and personnel of the former Haynsian government and military forces. She then entrusted Major-General Surovius, who had continued to gain acclaim from the Empire's subjects for his exploits in the Galactic Void and in the Angelina Spiral, with responsibility for maintaining Laurasian jurisdiction in the Haynsia. Establishing his command headquarters on Haynes, Surovius proved instrumental in ensuring that no outbursts of rebellion erupted against the authorities of the Imperial Laurasian Government. The Empress and the Privy Council, moreover, focused on administrative arrangements for the Haynsian Provinces. By the decrees of February 7 and September 2, 1784, the territories once belonging to the former Haynsian Despotate had been organized into the Haynsian, Chalaan, and Tivranite Governorates, with 69 provinces and 207 districts. The Brigoff Stellar Nebula and Perekop, which had previously been under the authority of the Bucharanian Governorate, became part of the Chalaan Governorate. The provisions of the Statute of Regional and Provincial Administration would be gradually extended to the Haynsian territories during the course of the next three years. It was mandated that positions in the civil service of the three governorates were to be filled by native Haynsian nobles, though the top posts would be reserved to Laurasian officials. In addition, the decree of February 16, 1784, granted to all Haynsian mirzas (heads of noble families) the status of Laurasian nobles.
    • Aurelia, however, still pursued the same policy of redistribution of noble estates and properties to the imperial nobility as had been pursued in the Scottrian governorates; 65% of Haynsian noble property would fall into Laurasian hands by 1790. The Empress did, however, temporarily exempt the mizras and their households from Laurasian taxes, for a period of three years. She also reiterated her edicts relating to religious toleration. The Haynsian bazus and their acolytes were guaranteed in all of their rights and privileges, and utilized by the imperial administration. On the whole, therefore, Aurelia pursued a more generous policy towards the Haynsian elites than that used towards the Scottrians, hoping to discourage any future Marasharite hopes of fomenting discord in those territories against Laurasian authority. As per the terms of the Treaty of Topacia, the Imperial Government did not establish new Laurasian colonies in Haynsian territory, but encouraged extensive immigration and development of the colonies already established, such as those at Gezlev, Rostov, and Sevastapol (which had been discovered and colonized by a Laurasian commercial convoy in 1782, shortly before the formal annexation of the Despotate). Between 1783 and 1789, the population of Caladarian Galaxy natives in the former territories of the Haynsian Despotate would rise from 40 to 75 billion.
    • One setback, however, had occurred. On July 11, 1784, the former Haynsian Despot Bahavair II Karany attempted to escape from imprisonment. With the assistance of a sympathetic Donnian guards officer, he was able to obtain an unmarked transport, and made it as far as the Galactic Void before imperial authorities became alerted to his escape. In September 1784, the Empress dispatched a expeditionary force to Thronton, Uma, and the Trans-Angelina Transit Route to seek out and recapture the Despot. They were eventually able to corner him at the outpost of Balari, but Bahavair II, rather than give himself up to the hated Laurasians, rigged an explosion on his transport (November 1, 1784). The transport was destroyed and the former Despot was killed. Empress Aurelia was outraged when she learned what had happened to Bahavair, but eventually came to the realization that his death secured, rather than undermined, the Empire's position in the Haynsia. Thus, it was seen as a blessing in disguise. And indeed, in spite of this incident, Laurasian efforts at absorbing the Despotate had continued to proceed smoothly. As regards to the Durthian Rebellion, the Confederates were in a dire predicament. On July 17, 1784, Parma had instigated a major siege of Antwerp, one of the largest strongholds in the Southern Duchies. Spamalkan forces constructed encirclement barriers around Antwerp and mined the outskirts of the star system before severing the star system's supply routes. The garrison of Antwerp, however, managed to subsist off the star system's resources, and they constructed countermines near Antwerp's Entry, foiling Spamalkan attempts to progress further into the star system. In spite of this, the Spamalkans maintained a vice-like grip on the outskirts of Antwerp, ushering in a siege which was destined to continue for more than a year. Amerongen capitulated to Parma on December 29, 1784; the Spamalkan forces had, at the opening of 1785, reconquered most of Flanders and Brabant. In her New Year's proclamation, the Empress expressed her deep sympathy for the aims of the United Durthian States, and offered further regrets at the assassination of Stadholder-Prince William of Orange. She declared to her subjects that they must be willing to "take all efforts in order to maintain this Empire's security and to prevent the overreaching aims of tyrants."
  • January 21-
    • On January 21, 1785, yet another conspiracy to assassinate the Empress Aurelia came to a halt. This time, the chief culprit was Dr. Willanius Parrius, who had been born on Tudoria (February 2, 1741), to Sir Athanasius Parrius (1695-1766), who was one of the star system's most prominent landowners. Parrius obtained his education at St. Verne's School and then the University of Tudoria, graduating cum laude in 1763 with a bachelor's degree in general administration. He then entered the household of the Earl of Aeoleon, rising to become his Chief Secretary. When Aeoleon died in March 1770, Parrius then resumed his education at the University of Laurasia Prime, obtaining his PhD in Management in 1774. He then entered the service of the Imperial Chancellory, rising to the rank of Assessor and serving on the Empress's personal staff. Parrius, known for his hard work ethic and his intelligence, came to the notice of Lord Treasurer Burghley, who had known the young man's father. In 1775, he transferred Parrius to the Administrative Service of the Imperial Intelligence Agency. Shortly afterwards, Chancellor Walsingis entrusted him with a spying mission to Franconia, which he undertook from January to July 1776. Parrius gathered much intelligence for the Imperial Government concerning Queen Mariana, the Spamalkan Government, and anti-Laurasian elements in Franconia. In 1779, however, Parrius suddenly left for the Amulak Spiral without permission, reaching Parri and sending a communique to Burghley, begging pardon for his flight. Burghley was unaware of the man's motives, and forgave his conduct. In fact, Parrius had become a Traditionalist and was now in contact with Queen Mariana's spies. In 1780, he returned to the Empire and became involved in a brawl that almost cost him his life. In 1782, he obtained permission to travel to Franconia again, becoming a double agent for the Imperial Laurasian and Spamalkan Governments. He considered the Empress's assassination, and recommended pardon for certain fugitives from Imperial justice, such as the Earl of Almastead (who had remained in exile in Vendragia since the failure of the Malarian Rebellion twelve years earlier). He then encountered Lysimachus Pagentia and Sir Thomasius Morgania, two of the ex-Queen's agents, and was exposed to pamphlets and communiques attacking the Empress Aurelia. In 1784, Parrius again returned to the Empire, and was rewarded by the Empress with a substantial financial annuity and a seat on the Municipal Council of Christiania. He had by now completely formulated his plots of conspiracy, and by the end of December, 1784, had resolved upon assassinating the Empress. During the early hours of January 21, Parrius hid in the gardens of the Quencilvanian Palace (to which the Imperial Court had returned from Venasia Prime on January 9) and, armed with a blaster, determined to assassinate the Empress while she was taking her morning walk in the gardens. When the Empress appeared, however, Parrius was "so daunted with the presence of Her Majesty, in which he saw the image of the late Emperor, that he could not execute that which he had contrived." Within seconds, Valedictorian Guards penned Parrius to the ground and placed him in chains, carrying him from Aurelia's presence.
    • The Empress was shocked that this man, who had declared his absolute loyalty to her and to the Imperial State numerous times in the past, had now stooped to assassinate her and install the "demented witch" (Scottrian Queen Mariana) upon the Laurasian throne. She therefore demanded an extensive investigation into Parrius's background, his activities in the Amulak Spiral during his trips there, and his motives. On January 23, Parrius was incarcerated at the Fortress of Baureux on the Empress's orders. There, Chancellor Walsingis, Procurator-General Bromelius, and Lord Treasurer Burghley, as well as several other Privy Councilors, conducted an extensive interrogation of the prisoner. Parrius, who conducted himself with relative decorum and calm, declared that the "Lord Almitis had called to him to save the Laurasian Dominions from disaster" and that his actions towards the Empress were actually meant to spare her from "destruction". When Walsingis questioned him further on that point, Parrius declared that he sought to save the Empress's soul from "total annihilation in the after-life." He revealed information about his contacts, and how he had been influenced by supporters of the imprisoned ex-Scottrian Queen such as Sir Morgania, but declared that his sole concern was for the welfare and security of the Empire. Whilst the interrogation was ongoing, government agents seized all of Parrius's papers, personal items, and electronics. On his personal computer, they found dozens of communiques and transmissions between Parrius and the Queen's agents in Franconia, evidence which fully exposed his intention to assassinate the Empress and his sympathy for the aims of the "Scottrian Party", as Walsingis had dubbed Mariana's agents and supporters in the Amulak Spiral and within the Empire itself. The Empress, when informed by the Chancellor of the interviews, and shown all of the material seized by government agents, declared that there would be no mercy for Parrius, and that he would be smitten by the Lord Almitis for his sins and his betrayal of her. The whole incident, in itself, had provoked outrage among Aurelia's loyal subjects, and many at the Imperial Court were now clamoring for more severe measures to be taken against dissidents and supporters of the Scottrian Queen. On February 5, 1785, a coterie of nobles, led by the Earls of Hannah and Reoyania, submitted a petition to the Empress, urging for the penalty for traitors to be worsened and for Queen Mariana to be brought to justice. Empress Aurelia, still unwilling to raise her hand against Mariana (who, although not a reigning sovereign, was a cousin), rejected both requests out of hand. However, on February 12, after the interrogation of Parrius had been concluded by Walsingis, Burghley, and their colleagues, and the Ministry of Justice Bureau of Investigation (BI) had examined all of the materials seized at his residence, the Empress bypassed the proceedings of the Star Chamber and imposed a imperial writ of attainder upon Parrius. This was the first time in her reign that Aurelia had directly imposed a sentence of execution without allowing for a trial in the Empire's system. In contrast, her father, Antigonus III, and her sister, Didymeia I, had employed writs of attainder regularly throughout their reigns, as was within the context of their autocratic authority.
    • Aurelia, however, was so affronted by Parrius's conspiracy and his betrayal that she sought to have him administered a harsh punishment. Parrius was executed at the Private Grounds of the Fortress of Baureux on February 22, 1785. On the orders of the Empress, he was excommunicated by the Holy Synod, with his remains being dumped into the Pit of Traitors. All of his properties and financial funds were confiscated; his immediate family members and associates were fined and forbidden to set foot on Laurasia Prime or appear at the Imperial Court again; and a sentence of condemnation pronounced against any who expressed sympathy for his aims. The Empress also tightened penalties against nonconformists, and on February 27, granted Walsingis the authority to override lower judicial authorities and to arrest, torture, and confine individuals without prior authorization. Aurelia remained reluctant, however, to change anything else. She remained impervious (at least in the eyes of her subjects) to the danger of her isolated position and the threat of further assassination attempts. On March 2, she told a delegation from the colony of Kherson in the Northern Reaches (which was rapidly becoming a major imperial shipyard and spaceport) that "They [Mariana's supporters] are seeking to take my life, but it troubles me not. He who is on high has defended me until this hour, and will keep me still, for in Him I do trust." She refused to modify her lifestyle, nor would she allow herself to be be restricted by greater security measures advocated by Walsingis, Burghley, and others among her advisers. She showed herself in public as often as before, and would only permit her guards to carry ceremonial weapons. She would not listen to Leicesterius's suggestion that foreign clerics or those with any sympathy for Mariana be barred from the Imperial Court. The Privy Council therefore remained anxious about her safety, but were impressed by her courage.
  • March 28-
    • By late March, 1785, many throughout the Laurasian Empire had become more concerned about the ongoing Durthian Rebellion. Parma's blockade of Antwerp wreaked economic and social havoc upon a star system still reeling from its devastation by Spamalkan troops nine years earlier. Reports constantly leaked out from Antwerp to the rest of extra-galactic civilization about the sufferings of the world's inhabitants and the intolerable strain they had to endure because of the pressures of war. Parma had forbidden any humanitarian organizations from providing assistance to the injured and the other beleaguered inhabitants of Antwerp, and he had ordered for harsh measures to be taken against any convoys that attempted to ressuply, or conduct business with, the star system's defense forces. The Duke had also made further advances against Durthian forces elsewhere, preventing the States-General from launching counteoffensives into Brabant and Flanders. Reimerswaal (January 15-17); Limbourg (January 22); Zierich (January 27); Zuiderzee (February 2-11); Zurich (February 15-21); and Alkmaar (February 28-March 15) had been besieged and conquered by Spamalkan task forces under Don Alexandro Spinola, Parma's second-in-command of the Spamalkan military forces. The States-General had still not designated a successor Stadholder, although the late Prince of Orange's son and successor, Philip William, was aggressively pushing himself forward as a potential candidate. Many on the States-General, however, supported the idea of offering the Durthian Crown to a foreign sovereign. The Grand Pensioner of the States, Jan van Ultersdoot, had been engaged in parleys with many Durthian nobles and magnates since September 1784, on the possibility of inviting the rule of a "benevolent and beneficent" foreign sovereign over the States. By March 1785, this had evolved into a firm determination to obtain foreign protectorship and assistance. On March 9, the States-General passed a motion declaring that it intended to look after the "security of these states" and that in order to do so, a foreign monarch would be necessary to assume the Durthian Crown. Five days later, it made the first of several offers to both King Hensios III of Franconia and Empress Aurelia I of Laurasia.
    • King Hensios, engaged in war with the persistent Huguenot League and with Vendragia once again, would from the first reject all Durthian offers. Aurelia, on her part, who had already received a protectorship offer a decade earlier, during the early stages of the Durthian Rebellion, evaded responding to the offer. The Empress, however, was growing increasingly alarmed by Philicus's campaigns. The Spamalkan Emperor had instigated a major reorganization of his naval forces in late 1784, and using the resources of his recently-acquired Portugallian realms, was determined to expand upon what was already the largest navy of any of the Amulak Spiral powers. If he succeeded in his aims, the Spamalkan Emperor would command military resources matching those of his Laurasian compatriots. Aurelia, who prided herself on the fact that the Laurasian Empire possessed the largest military forces of any power in extra-galactic civilization (with the Marasharites and Spamalkans both tied for second, the Pruthians third, and the Franconians fourth), considered this a threat. Therefore, the Empress submitted the matter to the Privy Council. Beginning on March 28, 1785, and continuing for the next six months, the Council would vigorously debate the Durthian Question. Two factions quickly formed on the Council. One, led by the Earl of Leicesterius and Lord Treasurer Burghley (who found themselves allied to the same cause), supported accepting the protectorship offer and intervening directly into the Durthian Rebellion. The other, led by Chancellor Walsingis and Lord Husadarania, favored suppressing conspiracies against the Empress's life and engaging in a further expansion of military resources before any intervention. They wanted for the Empress to reject the offer and to act in a cautious but friendly manner towards the Durthians. Aurelia favored the aims of the latter faction (generally), but was also becoming aware of the need for involvement. On March 30, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued its first refusal of the Durthian offer, declaring that "Her Majesty is willing to provide all comfort and friendship to the Durthian Duchies, but cannot involve herself in seizure of a crown which does not belong to her by hereditary right." This was a hypocritical stance, for the Empress had effectively seized the Scottrian and Haynsian Crowns through her annexation of their territories. She had added the titles of "Empress of the Angelina Spiral", "Lady Despot of Haynsia", and "Queen of Scottria" to her official royal style just three months earlier. But for the time being, this was the stance maintained.
  • April 5-
    • By April 1785, Queen Mariana was fully in despair at her condition. The execution of Dr. Willanius Parrius, and the penalties inflicted thereafter in response to his attempted assassination plot against the Empress, had intensified the public outcry against Mariana and her supporters. Throughout February and March 1785, many prominent nobles, magnates, and officials throughout the Empire had been displaying their dismay at the fact that the ex-Queen of Scottria continued to reside in relative comfort. Mariana herself continued to deny that she had any connection to conspiracies against the Empress's life and throne, and she asserted that her misery was one at her condition of imprisonment, not at any anger of being deprived of authority as a reigning sovereign. In a letter to her cousin (March 27, 1785), the day before the Council's first session about the Durthian Rebellion, Mariana declared that "Alas! Was there ever a sight so detestable and impious before the Lords and man, as for there to be the predicament of a woman who has done no wrong, and who has sought no harm against Your Majesty!" Privately, however, Mariana had decided to bequeath her claim to the Imperial Laurasian Crown to Emperor Philicus of Spamalka. Aurelia, who was sympathetic (to an extent) towards her cousin, nevertheless now responded to the demands made for increasing the security net around her cousin. Therefore, on April 5, 1785, she formally appointed Sir Amnystas Pauletius, formerly Ambassador to the Serene Kingdom of Franconia (1776-1784), Governor-General of Haynsia (from January 2, 1785), and Justiciar of the Laurasia Prime Governorate (from 1783), as the new guardian of Queen Mariana. He therefore replaced the aged Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sir Rudomentus Sadielus, who was now in declining health (Sadielus was finally raised to the nobility as 1st Baron Sadielus of Tempura on April 17 at the age of 78).
    • Fifty-three years old at the time of his appointment (he had been born on January 11, 1732), Pauletius was a staunch disciplinarian notorious for his extreme Reformist beliefs. When Mariana learned of his appointment, she protested vehemently against it, not only because he was of "no higher quality than a knight" but also because he would be less tolerant than most of her cultural and religious beliefs. Aurelia had chosen Pauletius because he was "towards Almitis religious, towards us most faithful, by calling honorable, and by birth most noble." His integrity and his unflinching loyalty to his sovereign had been demonstrated during his service as Ambassador to Franconia and recently as Governor-General on Haynsia, and she could rely on him not to be moved by the Scottrian Queen's wiles or her charm. He would prove to be a diligent and strict custodian, never relaxing his vigilance nor swerving from his duty, and remained maddeningly impervious to Mariana's attempts to win him over. Pauletius arrived at Tuvarian Fortress on April 10, 1785, and wasted no time in imposing new "rigors and alterations" into the household. Mariana quickly realized that her life was going to be much more difficult, and that she would be virtually isolated. Pauletius scrutinized all of her correspondence: nothing got past him, and communiques from her friends abroad began to pile up on Walsingis's desk. Pauletius would permit Mariana no visitors, and strengthened the guard at the Fortress. Her servants were forbidden to take walks on the Fortress grounds, and when she went out she was accompanied by soldiers carrying firearms, who prevented any "unauthorized persons" from approaching her. Nor was she allowed to distribute donatives to the local population, a rule which she detested. Pauletius's security measures were tougher than any Mariana had faced before, but he had no solution to the risk posed by Mariana's personal bath-servants. Unless if he had them strip-searched, which was unthinkable to a man of his sensibilities, he could not be sure that they were not smuggling out messages. All he could do was place a close watch on them.
  • June 4-August 25-
    • On June 4, 1785, the Empress Aurelia and the Imperial Court officially departed from Laurasia Prime in order to commence the official progress of 1785. In May 1785, the Empress had announced her intention to progress to the Eastern Barsar Regions and the Northern Run Districts. She was now embarked on a journey to a region of much prominence and importance in the Caladarian Galaxy, and one which possessed a long history. The various Kimanian Dynasties, extending from the 3rd millennium BH to the ninth century AH, had established their base of power here; it had seen the rule of the Arachosian Empire, Sennacherid Empire, Arachaso-Kalbachan Empire, Lacian Despotate, Dasian Empire (in the form of the Illkhanids), Timurid Empire, Huntite Khanate, the barbarian kingdoms of Jarjanica, Rudorita, Halegothica, the Alexandrians, Devianiani, and Melorkia, and then the restored Celestial Dynasty of Kimania, before the region's subjugation by Antigonus I in 1506. The Empress's visit was therefore intended to impress the fact of her authority, and of her Empire's reach, in this region nearly sixty thousand light years away from Laurasia Prime. The Empress proceeded across the Kimanian Run through the Laurasia Prime Purse Region and then into the Eastern Core Worlds. She paid visits to Manil, Arias, the Station of Dosch, Chandlier, Meaganian, Tommy, Zutagia, Zennethia, the Prelone Asteroid Belt, Anusia, Kukilovo, and Murphy (June 4-11). The Empress then progressed rapidly through Brittany, Drennan, Sanegeta, Nathaniel, and Chapelle, reaching Roastafaria Minor by June 19. Two days later, the Empress reached the outskirts of Narra, one of the most important mining colonies in the Empire. There, she received a gift of rare Narian galite; toured the world's extensive Ore Refineries; and was entertained by the CEO of Christophsis Ores, Sir Gallus Trebonian. Aurelia remained at Narra for four days before departing on June 25. She visited Gilestis, Bookman, Rolle, Orion IV, Dorothea, Lange, Leseur, Nanking, and four military strongholds in the Orion Cluster (June 26-July 5, 1785), before reaching Christopher on July 7.
    • This crystalline world, known for the beauty and simplicity of its landscape, and the wondrous construction of its cities, which were carved from glittering gems, thralled the Empress and the Imperial Court during their visit. Aurelia resided at the Ice Palace of Christopher and toured the Christopherian Asteroid Belts, from which derived much of the Empire's chanlon, quadrillium, refium, neranium, and crystallium. The asteroids had been plotted mathematically over a thousand years earlier, and the shape of their formations impressed the Empress. The Court departed from Christopher on July 14, with the Christopherian Council of Magnates giving the Empress a gift of ores worth nearly €5 trillion dataries. From Christopher, the Empress proceeded to Cox, Banks, and Henderson (July 15-19). Henderson, which had many of the Empire's leading scientific and mathematical research institutions, witnessed the Court being entertained through a series of debates and geometrical performances staged by the world's leading academics. From Henderson, the Empress visited, through July 25, Constipex (famed for its vast spice ranges), Millard (home to one of the Empire's largest spacedocking facilities), Filorean, Newman Victoria (a renowned resort colony), and Nikki Lowell (site of many famous battles in galactic history). Then on July 27, the Imperial Court, bypassing Gardiner (still in shambles from Pugachevia's ravages a decade earlier), reached Kimanis Mooria. Kimanis Mooria, which had been one of the chief Throne Worlds for the Kimanian Zhou and Han Dynasties, and long a gateway to Kimania itself, impressed the Empress with its network of equatorial roadways, its massive spaceport and observation satellites, and its Xilleium Hypergate, the largest such gate outside of the Core Worlds. The Court stayed on Kimanis Mooria for two days before proceeding to the jewel of worlds, Kimania itself. The magnates and inhabitants of Kimania greeted the Empress with much ceremony (July 30, 1785). Kimanian Princes Zhou Enlai and Chou Furmasi presented a exotic Han Dynasty vase to Her Majesty; the world's Security Force staged a Dragon Parade for the Imperial Court's benefit; and a massive display of fireworks, colorful banners, and acrobatics was staged at the Forbidden Palace. Kimania was the most populous world in the Barsar Regions, with a population of over 200 billion.
    • The world's large cities, such as Shanghai, Kongria, and Peking, were as extensive and well-laid as any on Laurasia Prime, and each had as its masterpiece a massive Tomb to the Archs, a traditional Kimanian burial tomb. The Empress resided at the Forbidden Palace, which had been constructed by the Shogun Whu in the late 2nd century BH and had been home to generations of Kimanian monarchs. During the course of the next six days, the Imperial Court was entertained by Kimanian Maidens, Pantomime performers, banzatte (Kimanian dancers), and "players" of Kimanian martial arts. The Empress dined on Kimanian cuisine, including shushi-fo, Murxing pork, and rare Horthu tea. She toured the Qianlong Gardens; the Great Gateway of Peking; the Towers of Hax-so; the Grand Canal; the Temple of Heaven; the Summer Palace; and the Imperial Archives of Kimania (which had been reconstituted as an official archive of the Empire by Lysimachus I in 1535). Finally, on August 5, 1785, the Imperial Court departed from Kimania. Leo's Redoubt, Drea, Duana, Abshire, and Strongstine were toured by the Court in turn (August 5-10, 1785). At Duana, the Empress was able to tour the massive Appledarian Complex, home to the Empire's largest computer networking system and the chief node of Appeladarian Industries, one of the largest electronics corporations in extra-galactic civilization.
    • From there, Messalina, Chobania, Samantha, Reading, and Breha, all of whom were historic and important systems, were visited in turn by the Court, in succession to August 15. At Chobania, the Empress visited the Tomb of Toghun Temur; at Messalina, she resided at the grounds of the Grim Palace, which had been cherished by Arachosian Emperor Sargon the Conqueror; and at Breha, she toured Crystallia City, which was built atop a massive cliff on gigantic crystalline platforms. Goni, Riley, Jarman, Skold, Plath, Novina, Bailey, Allen, Preena, and Harrison all were visited (August 16-25, 1785). It was while she was at Allen that the Empress issued a manifesto commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Bosworthian Fields (August 22, 1785), in which her grandfather Neuchrus I had defeated Titus the Cruel and established the Neuchrian Dynasty. Aurelia made much of touting her own achievements, resulting from those of her great ancestor. The progress finally ended on August 25, and the Court began its journey back to the Core Worlds. On August 29, it reached Americana, and the Empress took up residence at Nonsuchia Palace, which she had confiscated after the death of the Earl in 1780. Here, important negotiations had been underway, which were to usher in the Empire's intervention in the Durthian Rebellion.
  • July 30-On July 30, 1785, Doge Nicolo da Ponte of Haxonia died on San Marino, aged 94. He had ruled for seven years, since his accession to the throne in 1778. At the time of his death, the Doge had been the oldest living monarch, and the only one from any of the sovereign states who had been born in the seventeenth century (January 15, 1691). The Doge's reign had seen the Haxonian Confederacy involved in conflicts with the Barbary States, Vendragian Confederacy, Grand Duchy of Masacavania, and in the Germanic Principalities, which had resulted in the enhancement of the Confederacy's position in the Little Amulak Cloud. Most of Cyprus, Lebanon, and the Dorite Worlds were once again under the control of the Haxonian government, and da Ponte's insistence on sacrificing nothing and utilizing the resources of his dominions had earned him much respect from his own subjects and from his fellow monarchs. His reform of the Haxonian High Council in 1782 had also served to decrease internal conflict among the aristocracy and to strengthen the position of both Doge and Senate. Condolences arrived at the Haxonian Court from all foreign monarchs, including the Empress Aurelia of Laurasia. The Empress, who had conducted a correspondence with the elderly Doge, and had heeded his advice on certain occasions, declared that his death "is a blow to us all, for he was a monarch determined to maintain his position but to also treat his subjects in a fair and admirable manner." Da Ponte was succeeded as Doge by the Haxonian High-Admiral and Procurator of Venezetio, Pasqual Cicogna, who had previously served as Ambassador to Franconia (1774-76) and Pruthia (1777-1781). He was crowned as Doge on August 3, 1785.
  • September 7-
    • Since the Privy Council commenced its "Durthian Consultations" in March 1785, numerous events had occurred which had substantially changed the views of the Empress on military intervention in the Durthian Question, and impacted the Empire's relationship with its Spamalkan compatriots. On April 22, 1785, Emperor Philicus had declared to his Council of State that he could not tolerate for any longer the continued flow of Laurasian mercenaries and financial aid to the Durthian Duchies, and that decisive action needed to be taken to display his displeasure at the policies of the Imperial Laurasian Government. Four days later, the Emperor had issued instructions to the Duke of Parma, ordering him to impose a strict surveillance on the activities and interests of immigrants from the Laurasian Empire in the Durthian Duchies, and to report all financial transactions by Laurasian nobles and banking institutions in the Duchies. Parma followed these instructions to the letter, in spite of protests from the Imperial Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On May 12, Philicus had taken even more direct action when he forbade Laurasian subjects from engaging in the transport of arms, industrial equipment, and electronics in his realms. Furthermore, he ordered the confiscation of all Laurasian civilian vessels in his star systems. Nearly 10,000 Laurasian starships in the Durthian Duchies and the Holy Spamalkan Empire were impounded as a result of these declarations. Empress Aurelia, when she received word of her Spamalkan contemporary's actions, declared to her Privy Council that war was on the horizon. By the beginning of June 1785, Philicus himself had come to this same conclusion. He was now ordering the Spamalkan High Command to issue contingency orders for the possibility of war with the Laurasian Empire, and diverted troops from Portugallia, the Peruvian Colonies, and Grenada to Parma's garrisons in Brabant and Flanders. On June 12, 1785, the Emperor forbade his subjects to travel to Laurasian territory; Empress Aurelia retaliated by freezing all Spamalkan financial assets in the Empire and banishing Spamalkans already in her dominions from her Empire. Furthermore, on June 22, she declared that any subject who distributed or published works expressing support for the Spamalkans or endorsing their campaigns against the Durthian rebels would be liable to fines or imprisonment. And then, finally, on June 26, while at Gilestis, she capitulated to the clamors of Leicesterius, Burghley, Hattonius, and others, authorizing for negotiations to begin with the United Durthian States over the conclusion of financial subsidy and expeditionary corps arrangements between the Empire and the States. Neither she nor Philicus were willing to enter into direct hostilities with each other at this stage; indeed, negotiations with the States were for the Empire to provide auxiliary support to the Durthians while technically remaining at peace with the Spamalkan Empire.
    • On July 2, 1785, delegations from the Imperial Laurasian and Durthian Governments convened at Nonsuchia Palace on Americana, one of the largest palaces of the Imperial Estate. Chancellor Walsingis, Sir Christopheus Hattonius, the Duke of Christiania, and Sir Rudomentus Sadielus (negotiating a diplomatic agreement for the last time in his 55 years of service to the Neuchrian Dynasty), comprised the chief members of the Laurasian delegation. Lord Treasurer Burghley, who had been appointed a commissioner by the Empress, had been stricken with feral gout two days earlier and had with permission retreated to Theobaldian House. The Durthian-States General were represented by Vice-Penisioner Jan van Gorts, General Peter-Alexander of Wilverhorst, and Secretary Andres Hessels of Utrecht (to which he had been reassigned due to the re-occupation of Brabant by Spamalka). Negotiations continued for over two months, as the two delegations wrangled over the terms of provision, the conditions of protectorship, and demands by the Empress that she be suitably "compensated" for providing aid to the States. The delegations found that their work gained especial importance when, on August 17, 1785, Antwerp finally capitulated to the forces of the Duke of Parma. The fall of Antwerp meant that all of Brabant and Flanders, was now under Spamalkan control once again. In light of this, the Durthians now attempted to persuade the Laurasians into allowing for Aurelia to assume the sovereignty of the Durthian Duchies, but they, acting on her instructions, refused. By the time Empress Aurelia arrived at Americana on August 29, negotiations were virtually concluded. The Empress staged a formal ceremony of greetings for the Durthian delegation, their presence having previously been kept a secret. Negotiations now came to their conclusion, and on September 7, 1785, Aurelia's fifty-second birthday, the Treaty of Nonsuchia Palace was concluded. It was ratified by the Empress on the day that it was signed, and by the States-General on September 16. By the terms of this agreement, the Empress of Laurasia acknowledged her recognition of the "absolute and total independence of the Durthian States from the overlordship and tyrannical rule of His Majesty of Spamalka." It was agreed that Spamalkan occupation of the Southern Duchies was an "illegal and illogical act", and that the Empire would not recognize any Spamalkan rights to Durthian territory. In pursuance with this, "Her Imperial Majesty of Laurasia agrees to provide the States-General the forces to wit": a corps of not more than 1,000 military vessels, including 500 Imperial-class warships and 300 support vessels, with squadrons of no more than 45,000 starfighters, 45 million Imperial Marines, and 95 million soldiers of the Imperial Laurasian Army.
    • This corps was to be placed under the command of an officer of the Empress's choosing, who was to have the title of "Lieutenant-General" in the Army of the Durthian States, and subject to the authority of both the Empress and the States-General. In exchange for respecting the autonomy and privileges of the States, and the customs of their subjects, the commander of the Imperial Expeditionary Corps was to have the right to maintain his troops at any systems of the Duchies; to coordinate military operations with the States-General; and to engage in confrontations with Spamalkan troops at his own initiative. He would be provided with a force of not more than 200 warships and 15 million mercenaries of the Durthian States Army, and would be permitted to impose martial law at any systems immediately affected by military campaigns. Besides the Expeditionary Corps, the Laurasian Empress was to provide an annual subsidy of €26.6 trillion dataries to the Durthian States, and such subsidy would be employed solely for the "conduct of military operations against the forces of the Holy Spamalkan Empire." As surety for this assistance, the Durthian States-General agreed to hand over Brill and Flushing into the custody of the Laurasian Empire; both systems would be garrisoned at the expense of the Imperial Laurasian Government, with forces separate from those attached to the Expeditionary Corps (but limited to not more than one-fifth of the Corps's warships and personnel each). Over Brill and Flushing, the Empire was to enjoy absolute jurisdiction, including control over laws, commerce, transportation, defense, and justice. These rights were to last as long as Durthia remained at war with the Spamalkans, and would become permanent only if Durthia defaulted on its military obligations. Finally, the Empress was permitted to appoint two representatives to the States-General, and to station her agents in Durthian territory as long as they complied with Durthian laws. The conclusion of the Treaty of Nonsuchia committed the Empire to the Durthian Rebellion more fully than ever before, and Philicus himself considered it a grievous assault on his sovereign rights. Laurasia now stood as the only power actively supporting Durthia in its struggle for independence from Spamalka; a state of undeclared war now set in between the Laurasian and Spamalkan Empires, which was to continue for the next two years.
  • September 17-
    • In the aftermath of the conclusion of the Treaty of Nonsuchia with the United Durthian States, the Empress Aurelia, Imperial Privy Council, and the Imperial General Headquarters entered into a flurry of preparations for the organization and dispatch of the Expeditionary Corps. The Treaty of Nonsuchia had stipulated that the Corps were to be dispatched by the commencement of the new year, and were to assume their duties promptly upon arrival. For the first time in over two decades (since the Huguenot Expedition of 1762-63), the Empire was sending a military force to the Great Amulak Spiral. The Empress now had to find the commander for her Corps. Burghley and Walsingis heavily favored Major-General Surovius, who had proved his ability in combat through his valiant actions in the War of the Bar Confederation and the Fourth Laurasian-Marasharite War. Surovius, however, was seriously wounded in a repulsorlift accident on September 12, 1785, and was therefore disqualified from assuming command. Field-Marshal Rumanstevius, who had been reassigned to duty in the Kalbachan Governorate, was also suffering from health issues, and begged to be excused from assuming command. Aurelia now turned to one who was close to her, and who had long been the chief proponent of the whole venture: the Earl of Leicesterius. Leicesterius's brother, the Earl of Sarah, lingering from his leg injuries, seemed to be a better choice to many, but Sarah made it clear that he would be unable to assume command. He recommended his brother instead. Leicesterius himself had suffered tragedy earlier in the year. On July 19, 1785, his only legitimate son, Antiochus Dudley, Lord Denbaghia, died at Wanstead Estate on Impania at only the age of five. Without asking permission to depart from the Imperial Court (then at Henderson), Leicesterius hastened to Impania to comfort his wife and supervise his son's funeral. The Empress was saddened by the news, and sent a courtier, Sir Antigonus Killganius, to the Earl with a message of sympathy. The death of Denbaghia, his only legitimate child, had a devastating effect on the Earl. Aged, sick, and desolate, he now seriously contemplated retiring from public life. Hattonius managed to dissuade him from taking this course, while Lord Treasurer Burghley invited Leicesterius and his wife, Countess Laetita, to Theobaldian House so that they could grieve together.
    • Leicesterius and his wife remained there throughout August 1785. Leicesterius, however, was brought from his dark state when on September 17, Empress Aurelia formally appointed him as the commander of the Expeditionary Corps. She had him promoted to the rank of Field Marshal in the Imperial Laurasian Army, as befitting his new position. With his weakened health, however, Leicesterius was not the best choice. Moreover, he had not engaged in combat in twenty-seven years, and Parma, who was to become his adversary, was a talented and experienced military commander. The Empress, on her part, could not bear to part with Leicesterius, and on September 25, she actually implored the Earl not to leave her. The following morning, the Empress changed her mind, and declared his departure essential. Then, on September 30, the Empress had Leicesterius woken in the middle of the night by a messenger, who informed him not to make any further preparations for a departure. Irritated and anxious, Leicesterius told Walsingis that he was "weary of life and all." The following morning, Aurelia revoked her order, but displayed such emotion at the fact of his departure that Leicesterius himself was brought to the emotional edge. She told Leicesterius that he must confine himself to his duties as commander of the Expeditionary Corps, and should not accept any offer of sovereignty from the States-General. On October 6, Leicesterius told Walsingis that "Her Majesty will make trial of me how I love her and what will discourage me from the service, but resolved I am that no universal respect shall draw me from my faithful discharge of my duty towards her, though she shall grow to hate me, as it comes very near, for I find no love or favor at all."
  • December 8-
    • By October 1785, the Empress had finally come to terms with the fact that Leicesterius had to depart for the Amulak Spiral, and she now turned her attention fully to preparations for the Empire's intervention. On October 13, 1785, the Imperial Court retired to the Palace of Placenta on Darcia. Here, the Empress issued an open "Declaration", twenty pages in length. In this declaration, she justified her actions to Emperor Philicus and to her subjects at large, declaring that the Lord Almitis had compelled her to intervention and that the Holy Spamalkan Empire's further advances upon the "independence and privileges of a sovereign people could not be tolerated without harming the tranquility of all galactic powers." The following month, Philicus finally expelled all Laurasian subjects from his dominions, and ordered his forces in Brabant, Flanders, Franche-Comte, Milania, and Naparia to be placed on elevated alert. On November 17, 1785, the 27th anniversary of her reign, Empress Aurelia told a session of the Imperial Privy Council that this intervention would serve to "preserve the independence of the United Durthian States and will defeat the evil intentions of Philicus and his subordinates." Preparations for the Corps intensified in the meantime, and by December 1, 1785, its starships and personnel had been assembled at Tivran, Doros, Theodoros, Dumblaine, Dumbarton, Branxholme, Erith, Lithiglow, and Caithness for departure into the Galactic Void. Leicesterius himself, accompanied by his stepson Estatius, his nephew Sir Philip Sidronius (who had graduated from the Cadet Corps in 1778 and advanced to the rank of Colonel through service in Haynsia, Scottria, and the Galactic Borderlands), his wife the Countess of Leicesterius, and his cousin Sir Demetrius Dudley, departed from Laurasia Prime on December 8, 1785. Empress Aurelia, attended by Walsingis, Burghley, and Hattonius, saw the commanding fleet of the Expeditionary Corps depart.
    • A massive ceremony of felicitations was staged in the Laurasia Prime star system, and the Empress commanded her subjects to pray for the success of the intervention. Aurelia had only reluctantly permitted the Earl to take his wife with him, having at first threatened to have her banished to remain on Impania. Estatius, on his part, had distinguished himself in a series of jousts and military exercises at the Imperial Court, and was granted an extraordinary commission in the Imperial Laurasian Army, although he was still taking courses at the Cadet Corps. Leicesterius and his subordinates reached Doros on December 11, after having made short stops at Kerch, Kherson, and Bucharina to gather military supplies and equipment. Finally, on December 16, 1785, the Imperial Expeditionary Corps of Durthia departed from the Angelina Spiral and the Empire, having formally assembled as an armada. It traveled quickly through the Galactic Void, reaching Flushing on December 21. When the Corps arrived there, they were given a tumultuous welcome. Leicesterius then embarked on a triumphal progress through Flushing, Niewpoort, Leiden, Middleburg, and Delft. Fireworks and bonfires were lit in his honor, and on December 26, while at Middleberg, he was treated to a lavish banquet. In Leiden, he was treated to a series of magnificent pageants, including one in which the star system itself was potrayed by a "fair maiden", menanced by various allegorical figures. The Earl was overcome by all of this adulation, and on December 29, 1785, in a report to the Privy Council, he remarked that "Never was there people I think in that jollity that these be." As 1785 ended, however, the affair of Scottrian Queen Mariana was assuming central prominence again.

1786Edit

  • January 1-1786, the 86th year of the eighteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire, which had previously tried to refrain from direct entanglement in the Durthian Rebellion, having concluded a military provision treaty with the Durthian States-General. In pursuance with the Treaty of Nonsuchia Palace, the Imperial Government had dispatched the Imperial Expeditionary Corps, commanded by the Empress's chief favorite, the Earl of Leicesterius, to provide support and to reinforce the Durthian forces. Leicesterius himself, although in declining health, had for years been one of the chief lobbyists for the Empire's intervention into Durthian affairs, and he firmly believed that his mission was one from the Lord Almitis himself: that it was his task to defeat the rampaging Spamalkans and to restore equilibrium in the Amulak Spiral. The Earl, in the midst of all the entertainments with which he was amused by the Durthians, sought to establish an offensive strategy for the defense of the United Durthian States. He was to find this goal elusive because Empress Aurelia, who still did not wish to become embroiled in absolute military conflict with the Spamalkans at this stage, sought to impose limits on the campaigns that Leicesterius could launch and the military moves which he could make. The Empress insisted that Leicesterius defer to the Durthian High Command and Prince Philip William of Orange (who was commander-in-chief of the Durthian military forces in spite of the fact that he was not Stadholder), and that he do no more than what was authorized with his military commission. Conscious of her position as a female sovereign, Aurelia was also determined to maintain firm control of the campaign, interfering whenever she considered it to be expedient. The Earl resented the Empress's attempts at interference, and he grew more and more insubordinate, taking less and less notice of her orders. In spite of these early signs of dissension, however, the arrival of the Expeditionary Corps served to inspire renewed hope in the hearts of the Durthians, and to raise their morale in the face of the threat posed by Parma's forces. Moreover, the Empress herself was satisfied about the Treaty of Nonsuchia Palace, and viewed it as an opportunity to extend Laurasian influence into the Amulak Spiral to a greater limit than previously. At the same time, however, the "Scottrian Question", in the form of ex-Queen Mariana, continued to vex the Empress, as it had for nearly two decades by that point. This year was to see the increase of tensions between Laurasia on the one hand, and Spamalka on the other, as well as the final conspiracy launched by Queen Mariana's supporters which would usher in her doom. Nevertheless, in her New Year's proclamation, the Empress praised "my loyal subjects for their persistent efforts in maintaining the prosperity and stability of our realms and for loyalty to my person and to this government. Nothing will prevent this our Empire from residing still in peace and in strength towards our neighbors, nor will the actions of dissidents or rebels disturb the reality of my sovereignty."
  • January 7-
    • On January 7, 1786, the ex-Scottrian Queen Mariana was, on the orders of Empress Aurelia, moved from Tutsarian Fortress on Cossack to the absent Estatius's fortified residence, Chartlerian Mansion, on Kigonia. The Empress, who had visited the residence a decade earlier during her famed Kenilian progress, was impressed by its defenses, its relative security from outside threats, and its location. She believed that this residence would better ensure the Scottrian Queen's security while also allaying her complaints about comfort. Queen Mariana herself, however, had no change in attitude, crying out in despair when she was told by Pauletius that the Empress had heeded her complaints. Mariana told him that "I will never enjoy true solace as long as I live in a prison!" Pauletius himself, however, believed that it would now be virtually impossible for Mariana to conduct any form of communication with her allies and supporters in defiance of his surveillance. He told the Privy Council on January 12, in his monthly report about the Queen and her status, that "I cannot imagine how it may be possible for them to convey a note as big as my finger." Chancellor Walsingis, however, was not as confident as Pauletius. He knew of her capability to send out secret communiques and to smuggle out messages. The Chancellor then had an epiphany, and now conceived the idea of using this to his advantage. He hoped that Mariana would incriminate herself and give him the excuse he wanted to get rid of her once and for all. Fate played into his hands that same month, January 1786, when on January 15, a Laurasian navigator, Gilbertius Giffordia, was arrested at Belkadan immediately upon his arrival from Franconia. He was conveyed promptly to Laurasia Prime, and brought before the Chancellor himself. Walsingis learned that Giffordia had been dispatched by Mariana's supporters on Parri with a view to re-establishing contact with her. Realizing that his plans were known, the weak-willed Giffordia was "persuaded" to work for Walsingis instead, and was instructed to pass on the communiques from abroad that were waiting for Mariana at the Franconian Embassy. Any replies which she gave Giffordia were to be brought directly to the Chancellor, whose secretary, Sir Pantordanus Phelippes, previously a codebreaker with the Imperial Ministry of Defense, would decipher, copy, and reseal the communiques and send them on to their destination.
    • In this way, Walsingis could monitor all of Mariana's correspondence. The trap was set. Giffordia was to inform Mariana that he had organized a secret route whereby communiques could be smuggled out from Chartlerian Mansion. This was done through the use of the household's supply transports, operated by Sir Agathon Perilus, a contractor with the Imperial Ministry of Works and Holdings. Perilus, an elderly man who felt sympathy for Mariana, agreed to smuggle her communiques in exchange for the promise of a substantial financial reward. He would not find out that he had been used until it was too late. Using this new channel of communication, Giffordia sent Mariana a communique introducing himself, along with letters of credence from Sir Thomasius Morgania on Parri, and described the secret channel through which she might communicate with her friends elsewhere. To Mariana, deprived of contact with them for so long, this was an answer to her prayers, and she responded enthusiastically to Giffordia's plan, never suspecting that he was not what he seemed. On January 29, the ex-Queen received two databooks worth of communiques from the Franconian embassy, and set out to answer them. The only individuals who were aware of Mariana's framing were Walsingis, his assistants, Leicesterius, and the Empress herself. Aurelia, although she was still unwilling to move against Mariana directly, had nevertheless given permission for this charade to go on, hoping to discover the identities of any of her subjects who might be conspiring against her. On February 1, 1786, she told the Franconian Ambassador that "You have much secret communication with the Queen of Scottria, but believe me, I know all that goes on in my empire. I myself was a prisoner in the days of the Empress my sister, and am aware of the artifices that prisoners use to win over servants and obtain secret intelligence."
  • February 5-On January 6, 1786, the Earl of Leicesterius, basking in the entertainments offered him by the Durthian authorities, and having progressed through Amsterdam, Haarlem, Utrecht, Rotterdam, Amersfoort, and Gronigen, reached Hague, capital of the United Durthian States. The States-General, which had become increasingly aware of the need for a foreign protector, and in defiance of the Treaty of Nonsuchia Palace (which had not included any provision for sovereignty by the Imperial Laurasian Government or its representatives), urged Leicesterius, on January 14, to accept the title of Governor-General of the United Durthian States. Leicesterius, who was flattered by this offer, and believing it was necessary, messaged Burghley and Walsingis, informing them that the Durthian offers should be answered favorably. It was not until January 25, however, before Leicesterius formally accepted the offer posed by the States-General. All of this had been conducted in secret, with no one revealing it in public. The Earl was further encouraged when the Durthian forces of General Steen Maltsen repulsed a Spamalkan corps in the Battle of Bosken (January 28, 1786). Leicesterius became convinced that with greater control over the resources of Durthia, he could begin a decisive push into Brabant and Flanders. His hopes, however, were not to be. On February 5, 1786, the Empress Aurelia learned from one of her Ladies of the Bedchamber, Lady Messalina Cibronia, that Leicesterius had been sworn in as Governor-General two days earlier. She now erupted into a fury which had not been previously witnessed by her courtiers. The Empress immediately contacted Leicesterius, castigating him for his "childish dealing. We could never have imagined, had we not seen it fall out, that a man raised up by ourself and extraordinarily favored by us above any other subject of this Empire, would have in so contemptible a sort broken our commandment in a cause that so greatly touched our honor. Our express pleasure and commandment in that, all delays and excuses laid apart, you do presently, upon the duty of your allegiance, obey and fulfill whatsoever the bearer shall direct you to do in our name. Whereof, fail you not, as you will answer the contrary at your uttermost peril." Leicesterius was greatly upset by her reaction. He believed that he had acted in her best interests, and now dispatched one of his secretaries, Sir Willanius Daviadia (who will become important later), to explain his reasons to her. Daviadia, however, was delayed by interstellar storms at Zest and Roosevelt, and could not depart until February 13. When he finally arrived on Laurasia Prime two days later, the Empress would not listen to him, and lectured him on his "superior's insolence." Leicesterius observed that "At the least, I think she would never have so condemned any other man before she heard him."
  • February 9-On February 9, 1786, Comet Demosthena commenced its periodical perihelion in the inner regions of the Laurasia Prime star system, making its second visit of the eighteenth century. 75 years had passed since its last appearance, on April 20, 1710, during the reign of Aurelia's father, Antigonus III. That period had witnessed the extension of the Laurasian Empire's territory over the entire Galactic Borderlands and the Angelina Spiral; Vectoria, Scottria, and Haynsia had all been absorbed into the Empire, along with Dejanican Lavella and the Marasharite Galactic Borderlands. It had also seen the domestic tribulations of Antigonus's reign; the continued Laurasian endeavors in the Great Amulak Spiral; the Almitian Reformation and Counter-Reformation; and the implementation of further important reforms to the Empire's governmental, political, and economic structure. Empress Aurelia herself noted all of these developments in a commemorative proclamation issued on this day to celebrate the comet's return. Comet Demosthena had been spotted far out in space by Laurasian satellites near the Marsian Asteroid Belt in September 1782, and it passed Marsia in December 1785 before making its approach to the moons of Laurasia Prime. The comet remained in the inner Laurasia Prime star system before departing out again in April 1786. It would not appear again until 1861.
  • March 14-
    • The Empress Aurelia, in spite of sharing in the jubilation of her subjects on Laurasia Prime at the appearance of Comet Demosthena (which continued to enthrall all, regardless of the fact that such apparitions occurred in countless star systems every day in the Empire), found herself under severe strain as a result of the Durthian Rebellion and the acceptance of the Governor-Generalship by Leicesterius. Walsingis and Burghley, who had both been aware of the offer before the Empress herself, were criticized by their mistress for not seeking to "arrest" Leicesterius before he accepted the offer. On March 3, Sarah would inform his brother that "our mistress's extreme rage continues to increase, rather than in any way diminish. Her malice is great and unquenchable." The Empress even threatened to halt the flow of military supplies to the Expeditionary Corps, but was ultimately dissuaded from this course of folly by Hattonius. Leicesterius now sought to pin the blame for his acceptance of the Governor-Generalship on Daviadia, claiming that the Secretary had instilled in him "ideas of defying Your Majesty's commands." Empress Aurelia did not believe this outrageous claim, to her credit, and on March 7, appointed Daviadia to the Privy Council. The Council itself was alarmed, fearing the Empress's anger might prompt her to recall Leicesterius and therefore expose the rift between them. The Spamalkans, they believed, should not see the Empire divided. They therefore exerted all of their abilities to pacify the Empress and tried to make her understand why the Earl had apparently defied her. It was only after the news came, on March 9, that Leicesterius had fallen ill, that Aurelia conceded that he had acted in what he had perceived to be her best interests. This did not stop the Empress, however, from dispatching on that very same day Sir Thomasius Heneagius to act as her messenger to the Durthian States-General and to the Earl himself. This was the very same Heneagius who had quarreled with Leicesterius during Twelfth Night festivities twenty years earlier. Aurelia appreciated the irony of this; Heneagius himself eagerly grasped at the opportunity to trump himself up over his rival. Heneagius departed from Laurasia Prime during the early hours of March 11, and reached Hague by the late hours of March 13, utilizing the Hague-Amsterdam Rapid Transit Corridor from the Galactic Void.
    • The following day, he was formally presented to the Durthian Council of State, the executive council which had been authorized by the States-General six months earlier. In the presence of the Earl, Heneagius immediately embarked upon his mission. He informed the Durthian officials present that the Earl would have to resign his commission as Governor-General. He then read out a communique of condemnation and disapproval, composed by the Empress herself, and demanded that the States-General compel Leicesterius to participate in a formal abdication ceremony. Leicesterius and his Durthian allies now sought to do everything in their power to persuade the Empress to reconsider. These protestations continued for several days, and it was not until March 23, 1786, before the Empress relented. She did so, however, only when Lord Treasurer Burghley, who had grown more supportive of Leicesterius, threatened to resign his post. Aurelia now allowed for Leicesterius to retain his position as Governor-General, but insisted that the Earl remain fully aware of his subordinate position and that by no means he presume to think that Durthia was his to rule, or that it was under her jurisdiction. The Earl complied with these conditions, and on April 7, ensured that at a state banquet in Utrecht, a place of honor was reserved for the absent Empress. Shortly afterwards, Raleghia informed Leicesterius that "Her Majesty is in very good terms with you, and thanks be to Almitis, well pacified, and you are again her Sweet Antioch." Exhausted and demoralized, Leicesterius admitted to Walsingis that he was weary. During all of this time, the front-lines between Durthia and Spamalka remained surprisingly stable, as Parma was still adjusting to the fact of the Expeditionary Corps' presence. Philicus, however, was by now fully engaged in plans for war with the Laurasian Empire, and on April 30, 1786, he ordered his Council of Foreign Affairs to begin considering negotiations with the Marasharite Empire over the possibility of an anti-Laurasian military alliance.
  • May 20-Scottrian Queen Mariana, who thanks to her correspondence was aware of Philicus's intentions against her cousin, and also of Leicesterius's contemps with her over the Governor-Generalship of Durthia, sent a communique, through Giffordia, to former Spamalkan Ambassador Mendoza. Mendoza, in fact, had been appointed by his master, Emperor Philicus, as Ambassador to Franconia on May 11, 1784. He had been greeted by King Hensios III and Queen-Dowager Catharina d'Medici with some ceremony, although both distrusted him. From this vantage point, he was able to continue his involvement in conspiracies directed against the Laurasian Empress. In her communique, Mariana informed Mendoza that she intended to "cede and give, by will, my right to the succession of the Laurasian Crown to your Emperor your master, considering the obstinacy of Her Majesty and the refusal of her to confer the succession to me." Philicus, however, soon had Mendoza inform the Queen that he had no intention of seizing the Imperial Laurasian Crown, instead resigning his claims to his daughter, the Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia. Then, on May 29, 1786, Giffordia provided Chancellor Walsingis with two communiques from Queen Mariana. The first was to Mendoza, assuring the Spamalkans of her support for their intended invasion plans and of their negotiations with the Marasharites. The second was to a supporter, Carolus Pagentia, asking him to remind the Emperor of Spamalka of the need for urgency in assaulting the Laurasian Empire. Pagentia's reply, which also arrived on Walsingis's desk, described how a Traditionalist priest, Demetrius Ballardia, had recently arrived from his residence in Franconia to orchestrate a rebellion by Almitian congregations against Aurelia, timed to coincide with a invasion by Spamalkan forces from the Little Amulak Cloud. Ballardia was soon under the surveillance of Walsingis's spies. Like many other Traditionalists who had left the Empire, he had an exaggerated concept of the level of Traditionalist support for Mariana in the Empire. Full of zest for his mission, he now visited a wealthy Traditionalist gentleman, Sir Antoninus Babingitia of Tyleria Perea, who had been a supporter of the Queen of Scottria for two years. Babinigtia, both handsome and zealous, was twenty-five years old (having been born at Dethickan Manor on Tyleria Perea, October 24, 1761), came from an long established Laurasian gentry family on Tyleria Perea, and had served as a page in Queen Mariana's household during the time of Aretha's guardianship of her (1777-81). It was known to the authorities, however, that he had been involved in a harebrained plot in October 1784 to assassinate the Council when it convened in the Public Chambers of the Quencilvanian Palace.
  • June 6-August 14-On June 6, 1786, Empress Aurelia and the Imperial Court departed from Laurasia Prime in order to commence the official progress of that year. The Empress now decided to venture to the Western Barsar Regions, still intent on avoiding the Huntite Provinces where Pugachevia and his units had rampaged a decade earlier. She was attended by Hattonius, Lord Knollysis, and the Earl of Oxfadia, with Burghley, Walsingis, and the other members of the Privy Council remaining on Laurasia Prime. The Empress proceeded from Tudoria to the Murphian Trade Spine, and thence southwards through the Galician and Ashlgothian Provinces to Beverly Hereidu (June 8, 1786). Beverly Hereidu, which had been brutally seized by the Dasian forces of Hulagu and Kitbuga in 858, still hosted historically significant sites, including the Palatial Ruins, the Valleys of Mumrah, the Memorial Library, and the Qadsia Tombs. All of these were visited by the Imperial Court, which remained on the world for four days (June 8-11). The Empress then proceeded to Ain Jalut, where the Dasians of Kitbuga had been destroyed by the Lesian Kingdom's forces in 860 (June 12), and from there to Organza, Solis, and Angela Masia (June 15-22). By June 23, the Imperial Court had reached Beatrice, and from there visited Trieste, Zee, Ginger, Stephanpoulos, Pocket, Mrpath V, and Ipkit. Stephanpoulos in particular impressed the Empress, who viewed a series of thearatical performances at its famed Dwelling Auditorium. At Ginger, the Imperial Court visited the Acropolis of Athor, the world's central religious and commercial complex. On Trieste, the Empress was able to sail in the Seas of Love, which attracted tourists from all over the Caladarian Galaxy. Then, on July 2, 1786, the Imperial Court proceeded to Stewart, where the Empress was treated to a massive banquet by the Culinary Academy of Mar'isina, one of the most renowned practical arts institutions in the Outer Borderlands. From Stewart, the Court visited Hannibal, Miller, Hamackai Barka, and Lesia Minor. By July 15, the Empress had reached Sharon Alfonsi. This world, with its massive underground cellars and its high-rise caverns, impressed the Court with its natural beauty. At the famed Turvian Caverns, a massive joust and gladiatorial contest were conducted. The Court remained at Sharon Alfonsi for two days, before proceeding to Lesia Major. The former capital world of the Lesian Kingdom boasted the largest population in the Western Barsar Regions (75 billion). The Celestial Palace of Gundobad, Azarian Tower, and the Skyscraper of the Winds all were graced with the visits of the Court. The Empress also prayed at the Jezebersy Monastery, the largest monastery of the Lesian Cryptics. In this, she displayed her toleration towards, and her acceptance of, the customs of her non-Almitian subjects. On July 22, the Court departed Lesia Major, and Aurelia now visited Meridu, Hemkura, Ruumlist, Armenia Major, Ghaza, and Sejucia (July 22-29, 1786). On August 1, she reached Teutonica, where she received fifteen Hospallian Warrior Uniforms. From Teutonica, the Empress toured Skye I, Anastasia Major, Aletis, Damascus, Eliza Spencer, and Caesearea. The Court began its progress back to Laurasia Prime on August 12, 1786, after further visits were paid to Curtis, Tatiana, Bree, Rhodes, and Jacksonian Backory. She arrived at the Quencilvanian Palace on August 14. During the progress, momentous events had occurred as regards to the Scottrian Queen Mariana.
  • July 17-
    • In June 1786, Ballardia and Babinigtia, who had been meeting with each other at Babingtia's residence in Soriana, Develaray Manor, were overheard discussing Emperor Philicus's planned military offensives against the Laurasian Empire and plotting the murder of the Empress herself, who was to be murdered either in the Public Audience Chamber of the Quencilvanian Palace, while walking in the Palace gardens, or even in her personal bedchambers. Babinigtia undertook to perform the deed of assassination himself, with the aid of six of his friends. These men, like Babinigtia himself, proved to be gently-born, idealistic young "fools" who did not have any common sense and were carried away by chivalrous fervor inspired by the Queen of Scottria. Chancellor Walsingis on his part, while keeping Babinigtia under the strictest surveillance, decided to turn his plotting to the government's advantage. It was fortunate that Sir Thomasius Morgania, Mariana's Parri agent, had learned about Babinigtia and had messaged her commending his loyalty and promising that there would be "many means to remove the beast that troubles the galaxy." It was a simple matter for the Chancellor to ensure that this communique reached Mariana. On June 25, 1786, as the Chancellor had expected, the ex-Queen of Scottria sent a communique to Babinigtia through Giffordia. He replied on July 6 with an outline of his conspiracy, asking for her approval and advice. Addressing Mariana as "My dread Sovereign Lady and Empress", he told her that "six noble gentlemen, all my private friends" would "dispatch the usurper Aurelia", while he himself would rescue Mariana from Chartlerian Mansion on Kigonia, and then, with the help of invading Spamalkan and Marasharite forces, install her upon the throne of the Laurasian Empire. Babinigtia asked that Mariana would extend her protection to those who carried out "the tragical execution [of Empress Aurelia]" and reward them. His communique was delivered to Chartlerian Mansion by Sir Phelippes, who had it smuggled through the normal route to the Queen. Walsingis now waited in suspense to see how Mariana would respond. On July 9, he informed Leicesterius that something momentous was about to happen. The Chancellor declared that "Surely, if the matter be well handled, it will break the neck of all dangerous practices during Her Majesty's reign."
    • The following day, Phelippes reported that the Queen's answer to Babinigtia had been sent out, and had come into his possession. This, however, proved to be only a brief note, in which Mariana promised to write more fully within the next few days. The communique which he and Walsingis had so eagerly awaited was finally composed in code on July 17, 1786 by the Queen's two secretaries, who transcribed it from notes in her own hand which she destroyed immediately afterwards. Phelippes, when presenting the communique to Walsingis, drew the image of a execution platform on it. In this lengthy communication, Mariana incriminated herself by endorsing the Babinigtia plot and Aurelia's murder. Her message said that "The affair being thus prepared, and forces in readiness both within and without the realm, then shall it be time to set the six gentlemen to work; taking order upon the accomplishment of their design, I may be suddenly transported out of this place." This communique was just what Walsingis wanted, for it enabled him to prosecute Mariana under the terms of the Bond of Association and the Treason Statute of 1786, which had been promulgated by the Empress Aurelia two months earlier. In order to discover the names of Babinigtia's co-conspirators, he forged a postscript to what Mariana had composed before sending it to Babinigtia on July 29, 1786. Mariana's supporters would later claim that Walsingis had forged other passages in the communique, particularly that endorsing Aurelia's assassination. However, Ambassador Mendoza reported to Emperor Philicus that the Queen was fully acquainted with every aspect of the plot. Babinigtia and his friends, to their folly, were now boasting about their planned conspiracy to others, and he even commissioned a group portrait of himself and the fellow conspirators to celebrate "the execution of so noble an act."
  • August 4-By the beginning of August 1786, Chancellor Walsingis had gathered together most of the evidence which he needed to bring the Queen of Scottria to her death. He now decided that it was not worth waiting for Babinigtia to reply to Queen Mariana. It was essential for him to strike now, before either of them got wind of what was going on and destroyed their correspondence, which the Chancellor intended to use as evidence against them. On August 4, Ballardia was arrested on Selena and conveyed to the Fortress of Baureux, on the grounds that he was a spy for the Holy Spamalkan Empire. Learning of this through his associates, Babinigtia panicked. He now sought out one of his co-conspirators, his former steward Pompey Savordia. He told Savordia that he should murder the Empress that very day. Savordia was ready to do so, but pointed out that he would not be admitted to the Court because of his attire. Babinigtia, absolutely desperate, now gave Savordia a silver chalice, worth about €800, and instructed him to buy himself a new suit of clothes. There was no time, however, and that evening, Babinigtia fled from his residence in Christiania offworld, intending to go into hiding. At this point, the Empress revealed to Lord Treasurer Burghley and the Privy Council about what had been going on, and commanded them to issue a proclamation condemning the conspiracy. The Ministry of Justice quickly circulated photographs of the co-conspirators and offered a reward of €41.3 billion dataries to any information leading to their capture. Five days later, on August 9, 1786, Pauletius had Mariana's belongings searched while the Queen was out hunting with her courtiers and guards. Three chests of communiques, jewellery, and money were impounded and forwarded to Chancellor Walsingis. Pauletius then arrested the Queen's two secretaries, Gilbertia Carlius and the Franconian Claude Nausac. After that, he and a batallion of troops went from Chartlerian Mansion to the hunting grounds, where he apprehended the Scottrian Queen herself. She was brought to a nearby lodge to compose herself, having burst into tears, and was then moved back to the Mansion under guard. Empress Aurelia, learning of Pauletius's swift actions, wrote to Pauletius: "Amnystas, my most faithful and careful servant, Almitis reward thee treblefold in the double for your most troublesome charge being so well discharged. Let your wicked murderess know how with heavy sorrow her vile conspiracies compel such actions. Bid her from me to ask Almitis forgiveness for her treacherous dealings toward the savior of her life for many a year, to the intolerable peril of my own." Shortly afterwards, the Empress ordered that Mariana's servants be dismissed and replaced with ones chosen by Pauletius. She did not relent when Mariana fell ill at the prospect of losing these friends.
  • August 14-In spite of all his efforts, Babinigtia could not evade the reach of the imperial authorities for long. On August 14, 1786, the ringleader of the assassination scheme was apprehended by Imperial Intelligence Agents at the Rifles of Clark on Olivia, in the Western Central Core. The authorities were led to this place through tips provided by starhoppers at Goss Beacon, Williams, and Dramis. Babinigtia had managed to flee this far from Laurasia Prime on his personal starfighter, and was intending to head for the Galactic Void when he was apprehended. He was transported back to Laurasia Prime, and to the Fortress of Baureux, the following day. By August 16, all of Babinigtia's fellow conspirators (fourteen in all) had been apprehended and interred at the Fortress of Baureux. They were all charged with treason, conspiracy, and les-majestie. On the orders of Chancellor Walsingis, the prisoners were placed in cells in distant portions of the Fortress, and were given their meals directly in their chambers. When news of these arrests was formally released to the public, many throughout the Empire expressed their relief. Chief Procurator Whitshiftus conducted a Te Deum service at the Westphalian Cathedral, and the citizens of Laurasia Prime's cities gave thanks, lit bonfires, and even held parties in the thoroughfares. The Empress was touched by these demonstrations of loyalty and concern, and composed a moving communique of thanks to her subjects on Laurasia Prime. Babinigtia's residences in Christiania, Soriana, and Constantinople were searched during the four days prior to his arrest, with many seditious Traditionalist and Spamalkan tracts being discovered. There were also prophecies of the Empress's death and diaries in which Babinigtia condemned and insulted her ministers. On August 18, Babinigtia was examined by Lord Treasurer Burghley, Minister Hattonius, and Procurator-General Bromelius. Fearful of torture and led to believe that cooperation would lead to a pardon, Babinigtia confessed that he had plotted to assassinate the Empress and made the first of seven detailed statements describing the conspiracy, in which he made no attempt to protect Mariana or any of his collaborators. Mariana's secretaries, on their part, confirmed that Walsingis's copy of the Queen's communique was an exact replica of the original. The Privy Council now demanded that the Empress move quickly to deal with the Queen of Scottria and with the conspirators. Aurelia tried to stall, knowing that her subjects were in favor of a quick trial and execution of all those involved. Her advisers were implacable, declaring that Mariana should not escape the fates of Babinigtia and his co-conspirators.
  • August 17-
    • On August 17, 1786, Pru'a IX the Great, Emperor of Pruthia and one of the most powerful monarchs of extra-galactic civilization, died at the age of 74. He had ruled for forty-six years (since 1740) and was at the time of his death the senior monarch of extra-galactic civilization, having remained in that position for twenty-two years. During the last several years of his life, the Pruthian Emperor's health had declined substantially. The Emperor suffered a series of minor strokes in 1784, which had exhausted him of physical vitality, and he was, during the last weeks of his life, incapable of movement or of speech. He had grown increasingly solitary during the closing years of his reign. With his circle of friends and associates having died off during the course of the preceding decade, the Emperor had become increasingly critical and arbitrary, frustrating his civil service, military commanders, and the officer corps. Pru'a remained popular to the end of his reign, but he took no joy from the displays of affection or loyalty from his subjects. He now considered provincial tours and military reviews to be an onerous and hateful duty, and he did not seem as interested in military affairs as previously. Pru'a had nevertheless remained active on the international stage. Aurelia's ally, Holy Austarlian Emperor Joseth II, had from the time of assuming sole authority in 1780 following the death of his mother, revived his ideas of obtaining the Electorate of Bavaria.
    • By May 1784, it had become essential for him to strike when he might have the possibility of Laurasian diplomatic support, and with the Durthian Rebellion distracting the attention of Franconia, Pruthia, Vendragia, Spamalka, and Haxonia, among other powers. He outlined his plans to Empress Aurelia in a communique of May 13, 1784, seeking the acquisition of Bavaria, the upper Palatinate, and Worms in exchange for Austarlian Brussalia. He hoped to achieve this object by agreement with Char'vak Theodore, Elector of Bavaria, and with his heir, the Duke of Zweickbrucken (1746-95). The Elector himself had ideas of becoming the head of a new Duchy of Burgundy which would include Burgundy, the Germanian Palatinate, and Julich-Berg. Aurelia, entangled by the Durthian Rebellion, the Scottrian Question, and the Marasharite Plan, nevertheless gave a prompt response to her ally's message, declaring that she would be willing to offer all necessary financial and diplomatic assistance, short of a military conflict. Joseth also sought to gain Franconian consent for his schemes, taking advantage of the fact that the Treaty of Versailles (1756), technically remained in effect between the two powers. Hensios III, however, opposed the Austarlian schemes, hoping to maintain the current situation in the Germanian Principalities for its own benefit, and to not involve itself in any additional conflicts, as it was still engrossed in the struggles of the Huguenots. The Imperial Laurasian Government, on its part, offered only half-hearted assistance; the Laurasian Ambassador to the Court of Munnich, the Viscount Cabanius (1724-96), did distribute bribes and hold a series of meetings with the Elector from July to November 1784, but accomplished little else.
    • Moreover, the Duke of Zweickbrucken was opposed to any territorial exchange. He was aware of Franconian opposition to the scheme, and knowing that he could count on direct Pruthian support, he rejected the Austarlian Emperor's proposals in January 1785. In addition to Pru'a IX, the Elector of Saxony and the King of Vendragia were also opposed to Joseth's plans. The Emperor of Pruthia now applied his efforts, in the waning year of his reign, to once again halting Austarlian ambitions and constraining Austarlian power. In September 1785, he orchestrated the formation of the Furstenbund (League of Princes), which united Pruthia, Saxony, Vendragia, and twenty lesser Germanic Principalities (including Brunswick-Wolfenbruttel, Saxe-Gotha, Saxe-Weimar, Mecklenburg, Oldenburg, Baden, and Brandenburg-Ansbach) to the common goal of "defense for all independent peoples" and was opposed to the ambitions of the Holy Austarlian Empire. The formation of this League took Joseth aback; it served as a major humiliation for him, and he was now forced to abandon his schemes of aggrandizement. It was not a defeat for Aurelia, who in a circular (June 3, 1785), issued to all of the Courts of Germania, had affirmed her support of the Treaty of Teschen (which Pru'a had used as his justification for forming the League), and denied any knowledge of Joseth's schemes. Joseth found that he could not rebut this, lest he reveal the existence of the secret Laurasian-Austarlian alliance. Besides the formation of the Furstenbund, Pru'a IX had also continued to monitor the situation in Durthia; in January 1786, he offered sanctuary in his dominions to any Durthian fleeing due to religious or economic persecution, reiterated his ban on all commerce between Pruthia and the Durthian Duchies, and fortified the boundaries of Cleves and Pruthian Westphalia. Furthermore, he turned a blind eye to the flow of Pruthian mercenaries into United Durthia, which enraged Emperor Philicus. Philicus however, was aware that he could not afford war with Pruthia, due to the Rebellion, his intentions in Franconia, and his schemes concerning the Empress of Laurasia.
    • Pru'a expired in his study armchair, within the private chambers of Scholessian Royal Palace in Potsdam, Berliania III, a peaceful end for a monarch who had relied so much upon war. Condolences now arrived from all foreign courts. Empress Aurelia of Laurasia, despite her awareness of Joseth's schemes, and the strains which had developed in her relationship with her Pruthian contemporary, nevertheless saluted the late sovereign as the "paragon to which all monarchs should turn." Joseth II expressed his sincere respects for his mother's great adversary; even Philicus acknowledged the value of the Pruthian Emperor's virtues and qualities of character. Although he had been married, Pru'a had no children, and was therefore succeeded to the Pruthian throne by his nephew, who became A'rua III. A'rua was the son of Prua's younger brother, Augustus William, who had died at only the age of 35 on June 12, 1758. He would prove to be the complete antithesis of his uncle, known for his laziness and indolence. Pru'a was now succeeded as senior monarch by Emperor Philicus I of Spamalka, the now rival of the Laurasian Empress Aurelia. The Pruthian Emperor's funeral would be conducted on Berliania III on August 24, 1786, and be attended by all foreign ambassadors.
  • September 13-On September 13, 1786, Sir Antoninus Babinigtia and his thirteen fellow conspirators were tried by the Special Court of the Laurasian Empire at the Senatorial Palace. The trial lasted for only seven hours, with the verdict being a foregone conclusion. Empress Aurelia, however, insisted that the usual penalty for traitors was insufficient in this case of "horrible treason". Burghley informed Hattonius that "I told Her Majesty that, if the execution shall be duly and orderly executed by protracting the same both to the extremity of the pain and in the sight of the people, the manner of the death would be as terrible as any new device could be. Her Majesty was not satisfied, however, and ordered me to ensure the penalty was toughened." The normal practice at the executions was for the executioner to ensure the victims were dead from the effects of incineration (radiation), before quartering and disemboweling them. In Burghley's opinion, ensuring that the lives and agony of Babinigtia and his fellow conspirators was prolonged for as long as possible would be a sufficiently awful punishment, and he was finally able to convince the Empress of this. At the trial, Babinigtia admitted his guilt with "good grace" but insisted that Ballardia had been the instigator of the plot. Ballardia, who had been tortured at the Fortress, had admitted only that there had been a conspiracy. The Empress had not wished for her cousin's name to be mentioned, but the Court convinced her that this would render the evidence nonsensical. She agreed, therefore, that the references to Mariana in the indictment and Babinigtia's confessions could remain. On September 20, Babinigtia, Ballardia, and five other conspirators, their death warrant having been signed by the Empress the day before, were dragged on hurdles from the Fortress of Baureux to St. Giles's Fields, where, on the orders of the Empress, a special scaffold and execution platform had been erected. Here, in front of crowds numbering well over 150,000, the condemned men suffered the full horrors of a traitor's death. Babinigtia protested to the end that he believed he had been engaged in a deed "lawful and meritorious." Ballardia suffered first, being strung up and radiated before being cut down, with their "privities and bowels cut off, taken out alive and seeing" before they were beheaded and quartered. Babinigtia, who was in extremis, cried out "Spare me, my Lord Paul!" The crowds, who had been vindictive, were revolted by the whole spectacle, and expressed such sympathy for the victims that when the remaining seven conspirators were brought to the same platform the following day, the Empress ordered for the prisoners to be radiated to death first before being disemboweled and quartered.
  • September 22-
    • By September 1786, the lull in confrontation between the forces of the United Durthian States and the Laurasian Empire (Imperial Expeditionary Corps) on the one hand, and those of the Holy Spamalkan Empire on the other, had come to a definite end. Both sides had seen their share of victories and defeats. Beginning on April 7, 1786, Spamalkan forces under the command of the Pruthian General and nobleman Peter Ernst von Mansfield besieged Grave on the orders of Parma. Grave was one of the most important supply bases for the Durthian States, and it commanded the route to Arnhaldat and Durstin. Leicesterius, who had been strengthening the garrisons of Utrecht, Maastricht, and Harlem, was unable to relieve the siege. Grave surrendered to General von Mansfield exactly a month after the commencement of the siege. The Durthians, who had been so optimistic about the arrival of Laurasian forces, lost morale and began to quarrel with Leicesterius over military operations. Following the fall of Grave, Spamalkan forces under Parma and Mansfield advanced to Venlo, which was located near the gateway system of Nimburg. The star system's garrison, with support from mercenary and Expeditionary troops commanded by Major-General Sir Rogeriua Willhamia and Durthian General Maarten Schenck, resisted the Spamalkans fiercely. Although the allied forces managed to penetrate Parma's forces and to kill Parma's secretary, along with his personal guard, the world buckled under relentless enemy assaults and capitulated on June 28, 1786. Following the fall of Venlo, Parma besieged Neuss, which was located on the border with the Germanian Principality of Cologne (a vassal-state of the Pruthian Empire). Neuss was besieged for nearly a month, before finally falling July 28, 1786. Through a combination of artillery fire, plundering, and destructive house-to-house fighting, the world was virtually devastated by Parma and left in ruins, 70% of its population slaughtered or forced to disperse. Leicesterius, however, secured successes of his own. On July 17, 1786, the Battle of Axel resulted in a victory for Sir Philip Sidronius and the young Maurice of Nassau, the brother of Prince Philip William of Orange. Axel's Spamalkan garrison was virtually exterminated by the allied forces, and this major star system fell into the possession of the allies. Following the fall of Axel, Laurasian-Durthian forces stormed Arions, Hasselt, Kollum, and Borgerhout (July 21-August 15, 1786), establishing a foothold in Flanders once more. On September 2, 1786, Parma, seeking to regain the initiative, commenced a siege of Rheinberg. In reaction to this, Leicesterius and his Expeditionary Corps moved towards Zutphen, a Spamalkan military arsenal fifty light years east of Rheinberg.
    • By September 18, the Earl's forces had seized the Jissel Asteroid Bases and constructed a gateway at the edge of the star system. Leicesterius had now received substantial reinforcements from the Durthians, including Haxonian, Vendragian, and Austarlian mercenaries. The Treaty of Nonsuchia Palace had been amended by agreement of both governments in June 1786, to permit for the diversion of more military resources to the command of the Laurasian Earl. The Earl of Estatius, Sir Willanius Pellhamia, and Sir Demetrius Norria commanded the three wings of the Corps. Upon receiving word of the siege, Parma dispatched the Spamalkan Governor of Friesland, Fransisco Verdugo, to Bocculo with a detachment of transports, destroyers, and corvettes. Verdugo's lieutenant Johann van Taxis soon arrived with 300,000 Spamalkan Army troopers and a battalion of dreadnoughts. Leicesterius, having established a command headquarters on Deventer, hastened to Zutphen when learning of Parma's approach. Parma and Verdugo reached Zutphen from Lochem, which served as a major transportation terminal. Parma, after having interrogated a Scottrian officer who had been captured two days earlier, considered commanding Zutphen's defense himself. Verdugo, however, persuaded him otherwise, and he now retreated to Bocculo, leaving Verdugo in command of the garrison. Taxis was dispatched to Arefort to fortify that base against Laurasian assaults. Parma then marched to Linge and intercepted a corp of mercenaries from Hanover, who had been hired by the Imperial Laurasian Government. In order to maintain Zutphen's garrison, Parma organized a supply route from Gronelo, Oldenzaal, Lingen, and Munstria. While this supply route was being organized, a convoy commanded by the Marquis del Vasto was formed to resupply Zutphen.
    • On September 21, Parma commanded Verdugo to depart from Zutphen, meet the convoy, and bring them into the system. Leicesterius's agents, however, intercepted the communique, and the Earl learned of the convoy. He now prepared an ambush and decided to wait for the convoy at Warnsveld, located two light years east of Zutphen. He was supported by Norria, Sir Willanius Stanelis, Lord Willoughby (the son of the late Duchess of Sufforia), Sir Philip Sidronius, the Earl of Estatius, and Sir Willanius Russalia. The Earl deployed his forces in front of Warnsveld, placing his destroyers in a frontal formation and organizing his corvettes and couriers in two flanking arches. During the early hours of September 22, the Laurasians met the Spamalkan convoy. As soon as they passed through Warnsveld, Stanelis launched an attack upon the Spamalkan vanguard, while the Earl of Estatius commanded an offensive from the rear. The Spamalkan vanguard were at first driven off by the allied forces, but the forces of Juan del Aguila managed to clear room for the transports. Stanelis's starfighters charged towards the Spamalkans, but were quickly repulsed. The Laurasians of Estatius, on their part, succeeded in penetrating the foremost ranks of Aguila's forces, but were soon repelled. Two more attacks upon the Spamalkan rear also failed. The Marquis del Vasto, seeking to reduce pressure upon the Spamalkan destroyers, then collected his couriers and marine corps, and attacked Stanelis's squadrons, only to be repelled in turn. Vasto soon retired from the confrontation, joining with Verdugo and Taxis, who had sallied from Zutphen to reinforce the Spamalkan convoy. Estatius and Sidronius, in the meantime, assaulted the Zutphen Arches, but were repelled. Del Vasto's corps soon advanced to Zutphen, managing to evade pursuing Laurasian battleships.
    • His chief subordinate, Count Hannibal Gonzaga, and the Albanian mercenary George Cregia assaulted the besieging forces without orders from the Marquis. Sidronius, on his part, who was commanding a landing operation at Zelft's Moon, was mortally wounded in a skirmish with Spamalkan troopers. Verdugo soon restored order in the Spamalkan ranks, and Leicesterius now called for a general retreat. Sidronius, on his part, was taken to the Hospital of Chermer on Arnhem. At first, it was believed that he would recover. These hopes proved vain, for the surgeons at the Hospital were unable to remove the blaster sharpnel, which had become lodged in his heart aetories. Sidronius died at Arnhem on October 17, 1786, aged only thirty-one. Empress Aurelia, who had chided him for his "recklessness in battle", was deeply affected by his death. In a proclamation to her subjects from the Imperial Court, the Empress would declare that "this young man sacrificed much for the cause of our Empire, and his death is a cruel blow from the hands of the Anti-Almitis." The Sidronius family had suffered much tragedy that year. On May 5, 1786, Sir Antigonus Sidronius, one of Empress Aurelia's most important courtiers and officials, had died on Permi at the age of 57. He had been followed by his wife, Lady Didymeia Sidronius, on August 9, 1786. The deaths of the Sidronises had also deeply affected the Empress. She particularly lamented the loss of Lady Sidronius, who had long been a devoted lady-in-waiting and friend of hers. Their son's body was brought back to the Caladarian Galaxy on November 6, 1786, and ten days later, he was interred, on the Empress's orders, at the Westphalian Cathedral. His funeral was one of the most lavish of the eighteenth century, with all important courtiers of the Imperial Court in attendance. As regards to the war, the successful retention of Zutphen by the Spamalkans harmed the Durthian position in Overijssel and Gelderland. On October 12, Parma reinforced the garrison of Zutphen personally. He remained there for nearly a month before returning to Brussels for winter headquarters. Leicesterius resumed the siege of Zutphen in November 1786. Deventer would fall into Laurasian hands on November 19, but the Laurasians would fail to seize the stronghold and the siege would be abandoned the following month.
  • September 27-The executions of Babinigtia, Ballardia, and their co-conspirators ushered in a flood of publications which quickly informed the populace of the Empire about the details of the Babinigtia Plot. The Empress's own subjects were now clamoring for Mariana's execution. Even now, however, the Empress wished to spare Mariana's life, if only because she could not countenance the execution of an anointed sovereign. She had hoped that the deaths of the conspirators would satisfy her subject's thirst for retribution, but she quickly realized that she had been mistaken. The Privy Council pointed out to her that there were many valid reasons for proceeding against Mariana. There was no doubt that the Scottrian Queen had plotted against her life, and evidence supporting this could be produced publicly. Mariana's removal would clear the way for an heir who would be acceptable to the Empire's subjects. It would also remove the chief focus for discontent and rebellion against Aurelia's rule. The Franconian Government had never been involved in the conspiracies directly and no longer supported Mariana, while Emperor Philicus, the Council believed, could not harbor any hard feelings against the Empire worse than those he already nurtured. Above all, the Empress was urged to think of her subjects, who had become fearful as a result of recent events and prey to rumors about the Empress's safety and Spamalkan ambitions. All of this unsettled Pauletius, who warned that he could not keep Mariana secure at Chartlerian Mansion indefinitely. He now recommended that she be moved to another stronghold. The Council wanted her sent to the Fortress of Baureux, but the Empress was appalled at the prospect and refused. She also raised objections to every other prison or fortress they suggested, but eventually was persuaded to agree to Mariana being transferred to Fotheringhay Castle on Mommica. It had been constructed by the Emperor Tiberius in 1420-23 and had been utilized as a military arsenal and prison by the Imperial Laurasian Government during the course of the preceding three centuries. Mariana was brought here on September 27, 1786. It was still not certain that Aurelia would allow for her cousin to be formally charged and tried. While she conceded that there was justification for doing so, Aurelia was aware that Mariana's supporters would argue that the ex-Queen of Scottria was a foreigner who had never been naturalized as a subject of the Empire, and therefore consequently out of the range of its laws. This, however, had been posed to a commission of Senators and Justices of the Star Chamber and Chancery, who concluded that Mariana's long residence in the realms of the Empire rendered her subject to the Empress's jurisdiction. She did not enjoy any diplomatic immunity.
  • October 11-
    • The Empress realized that she could not delay the trial indefinitely, nor could she allow Mariana to resume her prior position as a prisoner of state. Reluctantly, she now authorized for the Special Court, along with ten other commissioners (Privy Councilors, nobles, and justices of the legal system) to convene and consider the evidence against Queen Mariana. At the end of September 1786, the members of this specially-constituted tribunal began arriving at Fotheringhay Castle (for Aurelia absolutely refused to have any trial proceedings conducted on Laurasia Prime itself). Among these were Burghley, Walsingis, Hattonius, Knollysis, Husadarania, Hannah, Sarah, Pauletius, Bromelius, Whitshiftus, Sadielus, Rumanstevius, Greysius, Wrayius (Chief Justice of the Star Chamber), Cobhamia (Warden of the Cron Drift), and the Lords Montalgue and Lumelis (both Traditionalists). On October 10, Leicesterius, in his latest communique to the Empress, urged her to allow the law to take its course. It was frustrating for him to be out of the Empire at this juncture; he longed to use his influence with Aurelia to make her understand what she must do. The following day, the Special Court assembled, but the Scottrian Queen refused to acknowledge its competetence to try her, declaring that she was a twice annointed Queen and not subject to the ordinary laws of the Empire. Burghley was aware that this would compromise the trial, and sought to compel Mariana to reconsider. He told Mariana, in a firm and stolid tone: "In Laurasia, under Her Majesty's jurisdiction, a free prince offending is subject to her laws." Mariana scoffed at this, and declared "I am no subject, and I would rather die a thousand deaths than acknowledge myself to be one!" Burghley then warned that the Queen would be tried in her absence. Hattonius urged her to take advantage of the public platform a trial would afford her and clear herself of the charges against her. The Empress herself, hearing of Mariana's defiance, sent a communique to her cousin. In this, she told her that "You have in various ways and manners attempted to take my life and bring my empire to destruction by bloodshed. It is my will that you answer the honorable magnates of this Empire, as if I were myself present."
    • At this, Mariana capitulated, although still refusing to acknowledge the court's jurisdiction. On October 14, 1786, Queen Mariana's trial formally commenced. She was accused of treason, conspiracy, les-majestie, and felony against the person of the monarch. The second of these charges, conspiracy, was considered to be the most serious. The Empress had commanded for "careful" preparations to ensure that the proceedings would be conducted in a "proper and lawful" manner, but, as was the custom with all state trials in the legal system of the Laurasian Empire, Mariana was permitted no counsel to assist her. Instead, she conducted her own defense. Limping as a result of chronic rheumatism, she appeared before the commissioners of the court, being, in the words of Lord Knollysis, a "tall, black-clad, heavy-set woman of middle age with a face full and fat, double-chinned, and hazel-eyed." In spite of her poor physical condition, Mariana displayed much vitality and intelligence. She confidently, passionately, indignantly denied all knowledge of the Babinigtia Plot. Her crucial communique to Babinigtia was, she claimed, a forgery; the Queen went so far as to claim that she had never received a single communique from him and denied knowing who he was. As for sanctioning the murder of the Empress, Mariana said that "I would never make shipwreck of my soul by compassing the death of my dearest sister." All that she had ever done throughout the long years of captivity was to seek help to gain her freedom, by any means necessary. Her defense, which impressed all of the commissioners for its eloquence and its passion, was nevertheless crushed by the weight of the evidence against her, which, even in the Empire's autocratic system, was considered irrefutable. Burghley concluded that her guilt was established beyond all doubt. The commissioners saw their duty as clear, and were just about to pronounce Mariana guilty when a messenger arrived with the Empress's command, issued in the middle of the night since Aurelia had been unable to sleep, commanding for the court to be adjourned to Caladaria to reconvene in ten days' time. Procurator-General Bromelius, acting on the Empress's command, prorogued the court on October 16, and the commissioners began the journey back to Caladaria. Mariana was left to ponder her fate at Fotheringhay Castle while the Court again examined the evidence at the Provincial Court of Assizes in Pollis Caladari, Caladaria, patiently enduring the Empress's constant interference. Walsingis fumed that he would hope "to God Her Majesty would be content to refer these things to them that can best judge of them, as other princes do." The conclusions of the Court remained the same as before, however, and on October 22, 1786, they officially pronounced Mariana guilty of being an accessory to the conspiracy and of imagining and compassing Her Majesty's destruction. These were offenses punishable by death and disinheritance. The court did not announce the penalty, however, for that was to be the matter of the Empress, who had to ratify the verdict.
  • October 29-
    • On October 29, 1786, the Empress Aurelia, who continued to be vexed by the whole matter of life and death for her cousin, Scottrian Queen Mariana, ordered for the three Councils of State and a specially convened assembly of the leading nobles, Governor-Generals, military commanders, and officials of the Empire to gather at the Senatorial Palace and to provide her "advice and information" concerning the fate of the ex-Scottrian Queen Mariana. The Empress wished to hear her most prominent subjects out before proceeding any further. She even entertained a vain hope that they would recommend sparing Mariana's life. In contrast to Aurelia's wishes, however, the Councils of State (which had composed the Special Court) and the Assembly of Notables both loudly demanded for Mariana's head. They considered the fate of the Queen of Scottria to be a "problem of great weight, great peril, and dangerous consequence." They soon resolved to petition the Empress so that a "just sentence might be followed by as just an execution." The petition, presented to the Empress on November 12 at the Gilbertine Palace on Tudoria (to which she had retired on November 4), plunged her into an agony of indecision. She stressed to them that, throughout the twenty-eight years of her reign, she had been free of malice towards Mariana. "I have had good experience and trial of this galaxy. I know what it is to be a subject, what to be a sovereign, what to have good neighbors, and sometimes meet evil willers. I have found reason in trust, seen great benefits little regarded." She went on to say that she grieved that one of her own gender and kin should have plotted her death, and she had written secretly to Mariana, promising her that, if she confessed all, she would cover her shame and save her from the ultimate penalty. Mariana, however, continued to deny her guilt. Even now, if she truly repented however, Aurelia was inclined to pardon her. She sought to satisfy her subjects, but realized that they wished for the opposite of what she desired. She told them that "you have laid a hard hand on me, that I must give directions for Mariana's death, which cannot be but a most grievous and irksome burden to me. We princes are set on stages, in the sight and view of all the universe. It behoves us to be careful that our proceedings are just and honorable."
    • All the Empress could say in conclusion was that she would pray and consider the matter, beseeching Almitis to illuminate her understanding. She vowed to do what was right. Two days later, on November 14, Hattonius, on the Empress's instructions, introduced a motion into the Privy Council about whether or not Mariana could be punished some other way. However, it was discovered that there was no alternative besides solitary confinement. Mariana, on her part, did not fear what loomed. On November 16, the Empress warned her cousin that she had been sentenced to death, that her subjects had petitioned her to have the sentence carried out, and that she should prepare herself for her fate. Mariana, officially informed of the sentence by Pauletius three days later, showed neither fear or repentance. She declared that she would "confess nothing because I have nothing to confess." Instead, she sent communiques to all of her friends, including the Duke of Guise and Ambassador Mendoza, proclaiming her innocence and declaring that she was about to dye a martyr for her people. Pauletius tore down the Queen's canopy of estate shortly afterwards, informing her that she was now a dead woman so far as the law was concerned, and therefore undeserving of the trappings of sovereignty. That same day, she wrote thanking Aurelia for the "happy tidings that I am to come to the end of my long and weary pilgrimage." She asked only that her servants be present at her execution and that she be taken to Franconia for burial. It was her wish to die with no malice towards anyone else, but she reminded her cousin that "one day you will have to answer for your charge, and for all those whom you doom, and I desire that my blood may be remembered in that time." Pauletius, who read this communique, delayed sending it, fearful of the effect that it would have on the Empress. His fervent hope was that Mariana would be executed before Ascentmas.
  • November 23-On November 23, 1786, the Earl of Leicesterius, attended by his step-son the Earl of Estatius, returned to Laurasia Prime from the campaigns in the Amulak Spiral. Twelve days earlier, the Empress had granted Leicesterius leave to return to the Empire, fearful about his health. She also missed him, having not seen him in nearly a year. Leicesterius had departed from Flushing on November 19, the day that Deventer fell to the allied forces, and reached Belkadan by November 22. He had then been escorted by an imperial armada, commanded by Admiral Dracius, to Laurasia Prime, arriving there on this day. A "gracious" welcome was thrown for the Earl, with parades being conducted at the moons and in the cities of Laurasia Prime; a display of turbocannon fired at the outskirts of the system; and crowds at major public locations praising the Earl's accomplishments and his merits. The Empress (who had again returned to Laurasia Prime), Walsingis, Burghley, and his other colleagues in the Imperial Government all expressed their joy in seeing him. They all needed his assistance at this time. Although the Earl's influence on the Council had declined during his absence, with Hattonius and others having gained political prominence, the Empress still had a high view of his opinions and needed his support more than ever before. Aurelia and Leicesterius had a private dinner in her Chambers that evening. Shortly afterwards, the Empress sent a note to Procurator-General Bromelius, ordering him to make preparations for the public announcement of Mariana's sentence. This, however, deprived her of sleep that night. Franconian Ambassador Deplessie, who felt pity for Mariana, tried to plead for mercy for her with the Empress. Aurelia, however, told him that matters had gone too far, and that for her to live, Mariana must die. On November 24, the Councils of State sent another petition to the Empress, urging her to have Mariana's execution carried out, for the preservation of the Empire, the Almitian Church, and her own life. Aurelia's reply was distracted and undecided. She considered it "grevious" that she was forced to proceed against her cousin, having pardoned many criminals in the past. She expressed her fears about what her enemies would say of her, and declared that "I am so far from it [cruelty] that for my own life I would not touch her." She stated that she would prefer for Mariana to remain imprisoned, and then concluded that "Since so many have both written and spoken against me, I pray you to accept my thankfulness, to excuse my doubtfulness, and take in good part my answer answerless." That evening, however, the Empress, having drafted a formal proclamation of the sentence announced on Mariana, ordered Procurator-General Bromelius to read it out at the Public Council Chambers of the Quencilvanian Palace. Bromelius, however, was soon stayed by the Empress and ordered to refrain from announcing the sentence for the next week. The following day, the Special Court reassembled, this time at the Senatorial Palace on Laurasia Prime, and formally condemned Mariana to death. After that, Leicesterius, Burghley, and Walsingis used all of their powers of persuasion to compel Aurelia to do what her people would expect of her. They stated that she would lose all credibility if she did not.
  • December 2-
    • On December 2, 1786, the Empress and Lord Burghley redrafted the proclamation of the sentence against Queen Mariana. Two days later, the sentence was formally published, being read by Procurator-General Bromelius to the public and the notables of the Empire at the Quencilvanian Palace. The announcement of the sentence triggered an outburst of great public rejoicing throughout the Empire. The Empress, however, had not signed the actual death warrant, drafted by Chancellor Walsingis and Privy Seal Hattonius that same day, and in fact announced that she would not sign the warrant until February of the new year, at the earliest. She gave herself that time to steel herself into doing so. Throughout this period, the Empress's ministers would do their utmost to force Aurelia to face the inevitable and sign the warrant. The Empress was torn two ways, for both Franconian Ambassador Deplessie and Austarlian Ambassador Count de Utternich were trying to persuade Aurelia to show mercy to Mariana. Joseth II of Austarlia wrote to his ally on December 10, and in a bold gesture, reminded her that "Emperor Antigonus III's reputation was never prejudged but in the beheading of his bedfellow", a reference to Anna Boleyenia which greatly offended her daughter. However, Joseth was not seriously interested in saving the life of a woman he had never seen, and was only doing so in order to be seen as a benevolent monarch to his subjects. Grand Duke Feodor I of Masacavania, King Georg III of Vendragia, and Emperor A'rua III of Pruthia all urged the Empress to consider what could happen if she executed Mariana. Aurelia was now faced with the most agonizing decision of her reign. If she signed the warrant, she would be adhering to the old Dasian custom of condemning defeated monarchs to death, and would also be spilling the blood of her kinswoman.
    • This act could possibly provoke the Spamalkans and Marasharites into an alliance against the Empire (as, it turned out, it would). Yet if she showed mercy, Mariana would remain the focus of plotting by the Spamalkans and other elements for the rest of her life, thereby upsetting the stability and security of both the Empress and of her subjects. Aurelia knew where her duty lay, but did not wish to be responsible for her cousin's death. Throughout December 1786, and into the new year, the Empress existed under the most profound stress, which affected her judgment and even brought her to the brink of a mental breakdown. She became isolated from her ministers and courtiers, making excuse after excuse to the Council to avoid having to make a final decision on Mariana's life. Pauletius, on his part, could not delay sending Mariana's communique to the Empress indefinitely, and it finally reached her on December 23, 1786. Her reaction to it was fierce, and she, according to Leicesterius (when he was conversing with Hattonius), burst into tears. Following this, Pauletius forbade Mariana to communicate with the Empress again. On Ascentmas Day, 1786, the Imperial Court moved to the Ice Palace on Iego, with the Empress desiring to begin the new year far from Laurasia Prime. She did, however, agree that Burghley should prepare a formal warrant from the draft made by Walsingis and Hattonius. Once this was done, it was given to Sir Willanius Daviadia, who was now Minister of Internal Security, for safe-keeping. The Empress did not enjoy herself during the Ascentmas festivities, her mind fixed on her cousin. 1786 thus ended with the Laurasian Empire in the midst of anxiety about Mariana's fate, and with war tensions building in the Amulak Spiral.

1787Edit

  • January 1-1787, the 87th year of the eighteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire, as explained above, placed in a unsettling, unstable predicament. Thus far, the Imperial Expeditionary Corps, which had been dispatched to the assistance of the United Durthian States following the conclusion of the Treaty of Nonsuchia Palace in September 1785, had failed to reverse the balance between the Durthians and their Spamalkan adversaries. Although the allied forces had secured a series of victories (at Axel and Deventer) against the Spamalkan units, their failure to seize Zutphen, and their loss of Neuss, Grave, and Venlo had discredited the Earl of Leicesterius and served to strain relations among them. The Empress Aurelia had finally, and definitely, rejected the offer of the Durthian Crown in July 1786. As a result of this, the Durthian States-General had turned to Prince Philip William of Orange as the new Stadholder of the United Durthian States. Philip William had been formally elevated as Stadholder on December 7, 1786, with his brother, Prince Maurice of Nassau, becoming the head of the Durthian General Headquarters. In spite of this, the Earl of Leicesterius continued to hold the title of "Governor-General of the United Durthian States", although he had made his leave back to the Laurasian Empire. Spamalkan Emperor Philicus I, who was now senior monarch of extra-galactic civilization, was growing increasingly paranoid, and angered about the Empress Aurelia's territorial ambitions, her interventions into the Durthian Rebellion, and the threats posed by the resources and forces of her Empire. He realized that if the Laurasian Empire mobilized itself completely, the balance in Durthia would shift in favor of the "damned rebels". Philicus thus sought to prepare himself further, and to make contingency plans for the upcoming conflict with the Laurasian Empire. The Marasharite Empire of Abdulahamid II, on its part, was becoming increasingly fearful of Laurasian ambitions, and was now determined to recover the territories of the former Haynsian Despotate and to restrict Laurasian military power. Finally, the Scottrian Question was coming to its head. As the new year commenced, Empress Aurelia found herself under ever-increasing pressure from her ministers and subjects to execute her cousin, Mariana, formerly Queen of Scottria and Queen Consort of Franconia. All of this was to explode in this year, resulting in the largest military conflict of the eighteenth century. In her New Year's proclamation of January 1, 1787, the Empress promised her subjects that, as regards to the Queen of Scottria, she would "take measures which would be most fulfilling in the eyes of the Lord Almitis, and will, over the longer span of time, ensure the tranquility and stability of these realms."
  • January 6-On January 6, 1787, Empress Aurelia granted a personal audience to the Franconian Ambassador, the Monsieur de Deplessie. Deplessie, who had been under suspicion by Chancellor Walsingis and his subordinates in the Imperial Intelligence Agency four years earlier, due to the Thorckmortonia Plot, had now earned a grudging respect from the courtiers of the Imperial Household. In the audience, he suggested to the Empress that there would be no need to execute Mariana if she renounced her claim to the succession. He also urged the Empress to research all of the available "hereditary lines of the Imperial Dynasty" and to select a successor, a Reformist and Laurasian, who would be acceptable to the majority of her subjects. Aurelia, however, flared, and declared that, by the passion of Almitis, she would not designate "someone worse in the Queen's place." This angered Deplessie, who did not understand the Empress's fear of the consequences of naming any successor. He attempted to plead with her to delay the execution; she stated that she had done so already by not signing the death warrant. Two days later, the Ambassador delivered to the Privy Council a communique from his master, King Hensios III. In this communique, Hensios warned the Empress that he would consider it a "personal affront" if she executed Queen Mariana, and even threatened to revoke the Treaty of Blois, that seminal non-aggression pact between the two realms which had been signed fifteen years earlier. Aurelia retorted, and in a response to Hensios, declared that Mariana's execution was the "shortest way to dispatch the cause of so much mischief in my realms." Nevertheless, the Empress's reluctance to sign the warrant was obvious to everyone. Her ministers had failed to wear down her resistance. They even produced for her precedents from ancient Brethalian and Letousian myths to justify the execution of the person who had been at the center of every conspiracy against her for the past two decades. Burghley asked, "Was is not more than time to remove that eyesore?" Daviadia feared that the Empress would react in the same manner as she had with the Duke of Norfolkius, back in 1772, and that she would not act unless "extreme fear compels her." By the middle of January 1787, the suspense had become intolerable. The Council circulated terrifying rumors throughout the Empire, which alleged that the Spamalkans were planning to invade from the Galactic Void and that Queen Mariana was on the verge of escaping from Fotheringhay Castle. These rumors caused considerable panic throughout the Empire. On January 22, 1787, the Council informed the Empress that they had interrogated Ambassador Deplessie about a suspected plot against her life. This was an exaggeration, and although the Empress quickly learned the truth (that the allegations were false), she finally decided to put aside her scruples about offending the Franconians or other foreign powers. Moreover, Leicesterius told her, on January 28, 1787 (the 40th anniversary of her father's death), that the "Scottrian Queen must die" and that she could not delay further. She paced relentlessly in her apartments at nights, declaring in High Laurasian, "Suffer or strike! In order not to be struck, strike!"
  • February 1-During the early morning hours of February 1, 1787, the Empress suddenly sent for the efficient and respected Sir Willanius Daviadia, who had become Vice-Chancellor the previous month. When Daviadia entered the room, the Empress told him that she was disturbed by the continuing predicament of the Queen of Scottria. She expressed her anger at Leicesterius's "betrayal" and asserted again that Mariana was her cousin, the granddaughter of her aunt. Following this, however, the Empress stated that she was finally compelled to sign Mariana's death warrant without further delay. Daviadia placed the document before the Empress. She read it and signed it. She then told Daviadia that the execution was to take place at the Great Hall of Fotheringhay Castle; that Hattonius was to affix the Great Seal of the Empire to the warrant; and that the warrant was to be dispatched with all speed. Aurelia then stated that she would "not hear any more of it until it is done." Daviadia then gathered up his papers and was making ready to leave when the Empress detained him. Acting on the advice of Leicestertius and Whitshiftus, among others, she suggested that Pauletius, who had signed the Bond of Association, should quietly do away with Mariana, so that the Empress could announce that Mariana had died of natural causes and so avoid being held responsible for her death. Daviadia was horrified, declaring Pauletius would never do such a dastardly deed, and that he would be willing to suffer the punishment of the Autocrat himself before committing murder. The Empress told him that wiser persons than he had suggested this, and Daviadia submitted, agreeing to write to Pauletius. Daviadia then bowed, but the Empress held him again and told him not to give the warrant to the Privy Council until she had explicitly ordered it. Daviadia now attempted to protest, but Aurelia dismissed him from her presence. Following this, Daviadia, who acted in direct defiance of the Empress's command, and fully realizing the consequences of his actions, quickly scurried to the Privy Council Chambers. Burghley, Hattonius, Walsingis, Leicesterius, Knollysis, Husadarania, Hannah, Sarah, Aretha, Cobhamia, and Mildmay were all present. Daviadia handed the warrant to Burghley. Burghley told his colleagues: "My Lords, we must all take responsibility for what we are about to do, for I tell you, we shall all hang together." He then stated that they should all dispatch the warrant without further reference to the Empress, so that she would not obstruct Mariana's sentence thereafter. The Council agreed unanimously, all shouting their words of approval, and defying the Empress for the first time in her reign, affixed the Great Seal to the warrant. They then signed the order for the dispatch of the warrant. On February 4, 1787, the Council dispatched the order and the warrant to Mommica, with Sir Athanasius Bealius, Chief Secretary of the Privy Council, responsible for its delivery.
  • February 5-Following the dispatch of the warrant, the Empress Aurelia (still unaware of her Council's defiance), ordered Daviadia to come to her again. She told him that she had a nightmare about Mariana's execution. He asked her if she still wished to move forward with it. She answered in the affirmative, and then asked Daviadia if Pauletius had communicated back to him. He said no. Later that day, however, a transmission did arrive from the Scottrian Queen's guardian. It was not the response the Empress desired, however, for although Pauletius was one of those urging her to allow for the law to take its course, he would not stoop to murder. He affirmed that "My good livings and life are at Her Majesty's disposition, but Almitis forbid that I should make so foul a shipwreck of my conscience or leave so great a blot to my poor posterity as to shed blood without law or warrant." The Empress, when she read this communique, complained about it and wondered why Pauletius had signed the Bond of Association in the first place. She raged to her household servants, castigating Pauletius for his insolence and even threatening to order the Guards directly to dispatch Mariana. Then on February 7, the Empress ordered Daviadia to send another transmission to Pauletius, complaining of the fact that "it was not already done." Daviadia, realizing that she still hoped Mariana could be disposed of by covert means, told her that he required an official order from the Empress, and not a private communique from her secretary, to do anything against Mariana. At this, Aurelia capitulated. In fact, the warrant had arrived at Fotheringhay the previous day, with Pauletius ordered by the Privy Council not to disclose this to the Empress. During the evening hours of February 7, he informed Mariana that she must prepare to die at 8:00 A.M. Galactic Standard Time, the following morning. The ex-Queen took the news well, and was actually cheerful at dinner that evening. She then wrote farewell letters and gave instructions for the disposal of her personal effects and her remaining dowager funds from Franconia. She then spent several hours in prayer, and did not fall asleep until 2:00 A.M. in the morning.
  • February 8-The ex-Queen of Scottria, Mariana I, the last living sovereign of the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria, awoke at 6:00 A.M. the morning of February 8, 1787. She had slept for only four hours, but considered herself to be more "refreshed" than at any point previously in her life. The weather on Mommica was very fair that day, and the world's star, Horaii I, shined directly upon Fotheringhay Castle. Mariana ate her last meal, a two-course breakfast, and was then readied for the execution. She wept bitterly at the prospect of saying goodbye to her servants, but composed herself by the time she was summoned to the Great Hall. Escorted by the Warden of Fotheringhay Castle and her ladies, her surgeon, her apothecary, and the chamberlain of her household, ex-Queen Mariana entered the Great Hall of Fotheringhay Castle, watched by an estimated 400,000 spectators. Many were astonished that this almost legendary beauty was now a plump, middle-aged woman with a double chin. Her manner, however, was dignified and calm; she had dressed herself with care for her last public appearance. She wore a hood of lace over her head; a pomander chain and a cruficix of Scottrian gold, entitled Angus Dei; and another crucifix of bone with a wooden cross was in her hands. She had a pair of beads around her waist, a veil of lace fastened to the pair, and then a gown of black satin, with long sleeves, trimmed with pearl, satin, and jet, enveloped over her body. As she reached the execution platform, she turned to her ladies and said "You have cause to express joy than to mourn, for you shall see Mariana Stuart's troubles receive their long-expected end." The Laurasian Dean of St. Peter's Cathedral in Veil, Mommica, then attempted to offer consolation, but she refused, declaring that she was not of the Almitian communion and could therefore receive no comfort from him. She instead recited chants in her Scottrian faith, drowning out his recital of the Book of Common Prayer Service for the Sinners. Following this, the executioner and his assistant came forward to remove her outer garments. Much comment ensued when she took off her black gown to reveal a low-cut satin bodice and velvet petticoat of scarlet; by this, along with the ornaments she wore and carried, she proclaimed herself to be a martyr of the Scottrian faith. When the executioner knelt before Mariana to beg forgiveness for what he must do, she gave it readily, saying, "I hope you shall make an end of all my troubles." She was then brought to the center of the platform, which was laid out with absorbent cloths, and recited a string of Scottrian and Franconian confessionals. As she was doing so, the executioner fired his blaster. It required two rounds to bring down Mariana's body and to terminate her breathing; her lips, due to trauma in the chest and brain, moved for several minutes afterwards. The executioner now lifted Mariana's body up, crying "God save the Empress!" As he did so, the cap and wig on her head fell off, revealing grey hair; her face had also become so contorted as to be unrecognizable. Her body was then stripped of its garments and objects, so that no relics would remain. As they began to remove the clothes, however, her little dog crawled out, smeared with blood. He was washed, but refused all inducements to eat and eventually starved to death. That afternoon, on Chancellor Walsingis's orders, her body was securely encased in a heavy coffin.
  • February 9-
    • News of the execution of ex-Queen Mariana, which was now publicly released by the Privy Council, spread quickly throughout the Laurasian Empire. Throughout the Empire, but especially on Laurasia Prime, the Empress's subjects went wild with joy. Bells were rung in celebration at cathedrals and towers; turbocannons fired salutes; bonfires were lit; and impromptu feasts occurred everywhere. The celebrations would last for days. The Empress, however, did not rejoice. When news of Mariana's execution was broken to her at 9:00 A.M., the morning of February 9, 1787, the Empress's reaction was almost hysterical. She erupted, not only in a torrent of weeping, but also in rage against the Privy Council, who had defied her commands and had driven her to such a reprehensible act against her cousin. The Council, when it had dispatched the warrant, knew that the Empress would retaliate, but not in this manner. They quaked in fear at what she was capable of doing to them. The Empress berated the entire Privy Council, even beating Hattonius, Walsingis, Burghley, Leicesterius, Husadarania, and Knollysis over their heads with her staff. She had every single member of the Council, except for Sadielus, Bromelius, and Whitshiftus (who had not participated in the "warrant session"), banished from her presence and from the Imperial Court. Hattonius was paralyzed with apprehension; Walsingis fled to Barn Elmian Estate on Taurasia and feigned illness. The Empress even threatened to have them all arrested and tried for treason and conspiracy; defying her orders was ground for such offenses, and she was Autocrat. Not even Pauletius, Mariana's now-former guardian, escaped; the Empress deprived him of the Governor-Generalship of Haynsia on February 12 and imposed a fine of €11.2 billion dataries upon his estates. Burghley, who was threatened with degradation and imprisonment, wrote to Aurelia several times, begging to be permitted to lay himself "on the floor near Your Majesty's feet" to catch her mercy, and offered to resign. She ignored his messages, and declared she could never trust him again. The Empress was barely functioning, fearful for herself and her cousin. She feared that Almitis would punish her for Mariana's execution, and that her international reputation would be ruined. Her chief preoccupation was to exonerate herself from blame. After the worst outpourings of her anger had passed, she claimed to be ravaged by emotion and regret, hoping her enemies would say that one so moved by Mariana's death could not have condoned it.
    • There had to be a scapegoat, for the Empress had to convince her fellow monarchs that her ministers, and not her, were responsible. She backed down from her threats against the entire Council, understanding that they were the most important institution in her government, and that such an act of revenge would destroy her subjects' affection towards her. She now decided to blame Daviadia, asserting his defiance of her orders to keep the warrant secret had violated her sovereign rights. The Empress refused to heed Daviadia's pleas; on February 14, 1787, he was arrested, tried by the Court of the Star Chamber, and sentenced to pay a fine of €25.5 billion dataries. Daviadia was also sentenced to be imprisoned at the Fortress of Baureux, at the Empress's pleasure, and he was dismissed from the Privy Council, as well as his position as Vice-Chancellor. The Empress had threatened to attaint Daviadia and have him executed, but was dissuaded from doing so by Chief Procurator Whitshiftus, who pleaded with her to show mercy to the man. Bealius, who had carried the warrant, was dismissed from his post as Privy Council Secretary and forbidden to set foot on Laurasia Prime again. The other powers were not deceived, however. Emperor Philicus I of Spamalka declared that "It is very fine for the Empress of Laurasia now to give out that it was done without her wish, the contrary being so clearly the case." This was the last straw for him, and he, on February 23, 1787, formally commanded his Council of State to commence negotiations with the Marasharite Empire. Philicus himself mourned Mariana, declaring her a saint "of her species" and ordering all of his subjects to don black and mourn for her soul. It soon became apparent that Mariana had not made a will formally designating Philicus as her successor, but the Emperor was not concerned, and proceeded with his plans of war against the Empire. King Hensios III of Franconia officially condemned the execution. Massive demonstrations occurred on Parri, and Aurelia was decried as a "bastard and shameless harlot." All of this seriously damaged relations between Laurasia and Franconia, and the Empress herself, on March 5, 1787, threatened to support the Huguenots against the King of Franconia. Ultimately, however, nothing occurred between them. Joseth II of Austarlia lamented about Mariana's execution, but in the end, declared his firm support for his ally, Empress Aurelia. Marasharite Emperor Abdulahamid II, on the other hand, now seriously contemplated responding to negotiation offers posed by the Spamalkans, one of his Empire's long-time adversaries, and resolved to move against Aurelia before she could do anything more. Other sovereigns, such as Georg III of Vendragia and Doge Cicogna of the Haxonian Confederacy, expressed their dismay at Mariana's execution, but declared their support for what the Empress had to do.
  • March 17-
    • On March 17, 1787, Empress Aurelia, who was still upset about the whole affair of Mariana's execution, commanded that the offending Privy Councilors appear before Procurator-General Bromelius, Chief Justice Wrayius of the Imperial Star Chamber, and Chief Procurator Whitshiftus in order to justify their actions. Burghley, on behalf of them all, protested that Daviadia had acted within the limits of his authority; that the Great Seal was the final and valid authorization for the execution of the warrant, and that Aurelia had ordered for it to be affixed herself; and that they had all been driven by a desire for Her Majesty's safety. The Empress was still not satisfied, and her mood temporarily declined again when she learned of the death of Sir Rudomentus Sadielus (March 30, 1787). Sadielus had retired to Alicia in January 1787, and his health had declined during the course of the following two months. He died at Standen House, his family residence in the star system, at the age of 80. Aurelia ordered the Imperial Court into four days of mourning for Sadielus, who was the longest-serving official in the Imperial Laurasian Government at the time of his death. He would be buried at St. Mary's Church on Alicia on April 5.
    • On April 7, 1787, two days following Sadielus's funeral, attended by most of the courtiers of the Imperial Court (the Empress was represented by her faithful Lady Norria), Walsingis noted that "Our dishonor continues still. The Lord Treasurer is still in disgrace, and Her Majesty continues to berate me." On April 11, 1787, the Empress was dealt with another blow when Procurator-General Bromelius, whose health had come under considerable strain during Queen Mariana's trial, and the conflict with her execution that followed, collapsed of a stroke at the Senatorial Palace and died, aged 57. He would be buried at the Westphalian Cathedral, on her orders, on May 2. The Empress had to order the Court into yet another round of mourning, but during that time, she restored her relations with the faithful Hattonius. Hattonius, in fact, had already been recalled back to the Imperial Court on April 3, and the Empress, after seeing him perform at a series of jousts, apologized and reconciled with him. When Bromelius died eight days later, Aurelia turned to Hattonius, and decided to reward this man who had never married for her sake. On April 25, 1787, she formally appointed Hattonius as Procurator-General of the Governing Senate. He resigned his position as Captain of the Yeoman Guards, which he had held for nine years: it was now given to Sir Walterius Raleghia, who was becoming more and more the Empress's favorite.
  • May 5-By May 1787, the Empress Aurelia had come to realize that Mariana's death had been necessary and justified. She understood that it had rid her of the threat of internal rebellion, and that the mainstream Traditionalist congregations harbored no ill-will towards her or her government. The Empress also understood that most foreign powers would not retaliate against the Empire, but that the conflict with Spamalka would escalate. Aurelia, however, believed that the loyalty of her subjects and the strength of her military forces would hamper any possible Spamalkan offensive across the Galactic Void. Although she confided to the Franconian Ambassador that "Mariana's death will wring my heart for as long as I live", she also issued a proclamation to her subjects, expressing her thanks to Almitis that he had preserved her on her throne. Burghley was, on May 5, 1787, finally permitted to return to the Imperial Court. He had suffered tragedy himself, his mother having died in March. The Empress, although continuing to blame the Lord Treasurer for what had happened, expressed sympathy towards him for his emotional predicament, and eight days later, invited herself to Theobaldian House on Durglais. She remained there for most of the month, and was entertained by the Lord Treasurer, his son Robertius Cecilis (now arising into prominence at the Imperial Court), and the Cecilis family lavishly. During the Empress's long stay at Theobaldian House, peace between them was restored and she fully recovered her prior state. Aurelia also found herself again discussing with Leicesterius about the Durthian Rebellion. He was forgiven at the same time as Burghley; by May 17, in fact, all of the Privy Councilors involved had been permitted to return to the Imperial Court and to resume their duties of office. Queen Mariana would finally be buried at St. Peter's Church on Mommica on July 30, 1787, on the orders of the Empress. Pauletius, on his part, was appointed Chancellor of the Imperial Order of the Garter on May 23, 1787. He continued to serve the Empress faithfully until his death in Christiania on September 26, 1788. The Empress also appointed him as Governor-General of the Carian Governorate, to compensate for having deprived him of the Governor-Generalship of Haynsia.
  • June 2-By June 1787, Holy Spamalkan Emperor Philicus I had lost his patience and had become determined to strike against the Laurasian Empire. His subjects continued to mourn for the ex-Scottrian Queen Mariana through the end of May 1787. The Spamalkan Emperor had developed a sort of concern for the former Queen of Scottria, and remembered how, decades earlier, she had explored his late son, Don Carlos, as a potential husband. Although Philicus had never met Mariana, he considered her death at the hands of her second cousin, Empress Aurelia I of Laurasia, to be "a sin under the laws and the Gods of this Universe." Philicus, however, was motivated by political concerns. He realized that the execution of Mariana by the Empress of Laurasia would provide him a perfect excuse to instigate military conflict with the Laurasian Empire. Philicus and his military subordinates had continued to nurture the "Enterprise of Laurasia" project, and became convinced that the only way to achieve his goals was to establish an alliance with Laurasia's most persistent and immediate enemies, the Marasharite Empire. For the Emperor of Spamalka, this was an agonizing decision to make. Spamalka and Marasharita had been on hostile terms for more than three centuries, extending back to the Marasharite Empire's conquest of the Byzzarian Empire and its campaigns against Hungary, Bosnia, and the Danubian Principalities during the fifteenth century. The two powers had been engaged in a series of conflicts over Cyprus, the Barbary States, Aegyptiania, Grenada, Naparia, and the Dalmatian Protectorates throughout the eighteenth century, the latest having concluded in 1777. Marasharite Emperor Abdulahamid II considered the Spamalkans to be his worst enemy in the Little Amulak Cloud, and second only to the Laurasians themselves in terms of the threat which they posed to his dominions. However, he, like Philicus, now decided to adhere to the adage that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." Both Philicus and Abdulahamid found their antipathy for each other overridden by their hatred of Empress Aurelia and their fear of her territorial ambitions. Therefore, on June 2, 1787, delegations from the two governments convened at Rakgur, a Marasharite military arsenal located in the Syrian Provinces. Philicus was represented by Alvaro de Bazan, Marquis de Santa Cruz (one of the Holy Spamalkan Empire's most prominent military commanders), the Duke of Alcanatarra, and the Lord of Gadastarta; Abdulahamid, on his part, was represented by Grand Vizier Koca Yushuf Pasha (who had been elevated to the position on January 25, 1786, following the death of his predecessor Sahin Ali, who had himself become Grand Vizier when Halil Hamid died in April 1785), Diplomatic Pasha Helay Pasha, and General Karim-Ashuk, Chief of the Marasharite Military Headquarters. The two delegations greeted each other with the official pleasantries, and proceeded promptly to business. Negotiations would continue for nearly two months, as the Spamalkans and Marasharites wrangled over terms of contention between their two empires while at the same time devising the military alliance against the Laurasian Empire. The negotiations were conducted under a veil of absolute secrecy, and the Imperial Laurasian Government remained ignorant of the parleys between the Spamalkan and Marasharite Governments.
  • June 9-November 4-
    • Empress Aurelia, who had by this point fully emerged from her outburst of anger at the matter of Queen Mariana's execution, and determined to display the power and authority of the Laurasian Empire over which she ruled, embarked with the Imperial Court from Laurasia Prime on what was to become one of the most famous progresses of her reign (comparable to the Kenilian progress of 1775). Ever since August 1786, when she had returned from her progress to the Western Barsar Regions, the Empress had been discussing with Burghley, Walsingis, and her other ministers the possibility of a progress to the Empire's territories in the Northern Galactic Borderlands and in the Haynsia. Aurelia believed it essential to communicate to the Empire's Marasharite neighbors, to the Spamalkans, and to all of the powers of the Amulak Spiral that they were dealing with a vigorous, determined realm, which would not shriek out of fear or out of reluctance. She also wished to examine these territories which had been acquired by her military forces in the Fourth Laurasian-Marasharite War, and to intimidate the Marasharites. By March 1787, in spite of the troubles with her advisers over the death of Queen Mariana, the Empress had instructed the Imperial Chancellory and her household officials to begin making preparations for the progress. Then, the following month, on April 15, she had sent a communique to her ally, Austarlian Emperor Joseth II. In this communique, the Empress of Laurasia declared it essential "for me to demonstrate the strength of my Empire, so as to express to our common foes our might and our ability to withstand anything which they may hurl against us." Consequently, the Empress stated that she would like to have the opportunity to show to her ally some of the gains which had been made by the arms of the Imperial Laurasian Military, and to have another conference with him, so that they could elaborate the Marasharite Plan further. Joseth himself, who had continued reorganizing his military resources and strengthening his garrisons in his Empire's borderland territories, responded positively on April 27. Pleased that "Her Imperial Majesty has forgiven me for my reminders concerning the late Scottrian Queen", he went on to state that he would be willing to meet with the Empress and to tour her acquisitions in the Haynsia, but only under incognito. The Austarlian Emperor did not wish to expose his identity to the public at large, fearful that it might provoke immediate conflict. Nevertheless, he too sought to see with his own eyes what his ally's government had accomplished. Having received this assurance, the Empress then shared her communications with Joseth to the Privy Council. Lord Burghley, when he was restored to favor the following month, heartily supported the Empress's intended progress. Chancellor Walsingis, however, displayed more caution, declaring that the Empress should not "allow for your intentions to be so freely expressed to our neighbors."
    • Ultimately, however, Aurelia decided to proceed, and by the beginning of June 1787, preparations were well advanced for the Imperial Court. Joseth, on his part, made preparations at the Austarlian Court and commanded Chancellor Kaunitz to ensure that news of his rendezvous with Empress Aurelia would remain strictly classified. The Empress's progress, commencing on this day as previously noted, was to be a historical event. The authorities of the regions to be visited made intensive preparations, selecting the mansions, palaces, and estates where the Imperial Court would reside; preparing guidebooks and dossiers for the leisure of the Imperial Court; and providing for the entertainments to be provided for the Empress and her courtiers. The Empress was attended by Lord Treasurer Burghley, Procurator-General Hattonius, the Earls of Hannah, Hepudermia, Americana, Aeoleon, Darsis, and the two Calaxies; by all of her ladies and personal servants, including Chief Gentlewoman Baronius Parrius; and of course, by her faithful Earl of Leicesterius, along with his step-son, Estatius. Leicesterius, in fact, was due to return back to duty in the United Durthian States, but the Empress wished for him to gain some measure of the glories of her recently-acquired territories before he left. All of the ambassadors at the Imperial Court attended, with the exception of Marasharite Ambassador Habuk-Ashim, who reported the Empress's progress to the High Council with alarm. They seemed oddly unconcerned, telling the Ambassador to remain on Laurasia Prime. (In reality, negotiations with the Spamalkans were underway, and the Emperor of the Marasharites had decided that he would not act against Aurelia until an alliance had been formally concluded). The Empress, on her flagship, the IMS Galactica Laurasiaiana, proceeded through the Northern Provinces and to the Galactic Frontier Route. She paid visits to Massanay, Sassanay, Cibourney, Shannon, Dennis, Rastaborn, Coen, Deanna, Wendy, Sair, Berhamia, Istantius, Roxuli, Abraham, Margery, Satie, Juxles, Orkhan, and Bingley (June 9-15, 1787). These worlds, however, had already had the pleasure of being host to the Empress and her entourage, and she did not remain in these star systems for but a transitory moment. By June 16, the Imperial Court had reached Natalie, where the Empress resided in the High Tower of Krill in Tamasie City, the world's capital. Tamasie City, in fact, was the largest city of any star system on the Galactic Frontier Route, with a population of almost 34 billion. The Court stayed on Natalie for two days before proceeding onwards to Keely, Tiona, Abrianne, and Adrianne, all of whim had been visited by June 18. The Empress then proceeded from the Galactic Frontier Route into the Billian Provinces.
    • She stopped first at Billy Gasis (June 19, 1787), where the Gasian Astrodomos staged a ceremonial dance for the Imperial Court. The Empress toured the Villages of Rita and received a gift of Billian drums, cymbals, and tambourines, among the most prized musical instruments in the Empire. From there, the Court stopped at Teller (June 22); Kia (June 24); Pelaski (June 25); Bocarina (June 27); and Latrice (June 31). Teller, which had a Type III atmosphere, was a world where most of the Imperial Court were required to wear breath masks; this did not, however, distract from the joys of the stop, with the Empress viewing a contest of honor among Tella-Dor warriors. Kia was a far more pleasant world, with the Court's grandees finding relaxation in the Spas of Merth. Latrice, on its part, impressed the Empress with its beautiful algae forests, among the most life-intensive in the Caladarian Galaxy. From Latrice, the Court proceeded to Chardis, where Field Marshal Rumanstevius had clashed with Marasharite forces seventeen years earlier. Chardis itself, a world covered with geothermic cliffs and volcanoes, nevertheless had a visible beauty from outer space, and a pleasant atmosphere. By July 4, 1787, the Court had also progressed through Cando, Riababia Mogila (where the Empress paid her respects at the Memorial to Almitian Soldiers, erected five years earlier in honor of the soldiers who had died there in that battle), and Sackrandis (where the Empress observed a dogfight staged for her around the Sackrandian Station, the largest artificial installation in the Muggal Cluster). On July 7, the Imperial Court reached Ung, once one of the throne worlds for the Torfian Kingdom of Imegina. Ung, one of the premier agricultural worlds in the Empire, was also renowned for the beauty of its countryside and the relative dispersal of its population of ten billion inhabitants. The Empress enjoyed the world immensely, and stayed for four days, touring Salliche City, the Ung Refineries, and the Ung Military Base. From Ung, Kumong, Karlong, Pyongyang, Stary, and Kljondong were all visited by the Imperial Court (July 12-18, 1787). Then on July 19, the Imperial Court visited Larga, the site of one of the most famous victories of the Laurasian Empire in its military history. There, the Empress was greeted by Field-Marshal Rumanstevius himself, who had recovered from yet another bout of illness and was determined to be on harness to escort his sovereign through the star systems which he had battled over nearly two decades earlier. Larga itself now had a population of thirty-five million, having increased substantially since its seizure by the Laurasian Empire in 1770. The Larga prison system had been dismantled, and the world had become a major mining and electronics powerhouse for the Empire. Larga City, which dominated the world, had experienced rapid growth, increasing from 500,000 in 1770 to 1.7 million by 1787. It was dominated at its centerpiece by the Central Governor's Mansion, constructed from 1776-82. It was here that the Imperial Court resided during its two-day stay on Larga. Empress Aurelia witnessed a staged simulation of the battle; toured the sites of the former penal colonies; and received numerous gifts from the colonists on the world. She was astounded by the transformation of the star system, and of its relative prosperity. Then, on July 22, the Court proceeded to Kagul. Aurelia was greeted at the outskirts of the star system by a procession of system and military officials led by the Governor of Kagul, Sir Jong-Hidogong of the House of Seoul. He was one of the most prominent alien officials in the service of the Empire, having advanced rapidly through the imperial bureaucracy in the years since Laurasian occupation of his home world. The Empress visited the sites of battle, including where Grand Vizier Halil had established his headquarters. Kagul itself had also been transformed since its seizure by the Empire, and now boasted a population of 45 million. Aurelia observed the massive construction and urbanization efforts underway on the world, and the almost continuous stream of starships and goods into the star system. From Kagul (where she stayed for three days), the Empress toured the systems of Braila, Kilia, Verdorium Minor, Seoul, and Dilojong.
    • Finally, on July 29, 1787, the Imperial Court reached Imegina, capital of the Imeginan Governorate (which encompassed the entire Muggal Cluster), and once the capital of the Torfian Kingdom. The Empress was greeted by her Torfian, Tof, and Amelianian subjects in the star system with much enthusiasm. At the Palace of Gongmin (who had overthrown Dasian overlordship in AH 956), Aurelia received formalized greetings, in the Torfian manner, from the ten highest magnates of the Torfian Houses. Prince Kim-un-dong presented a gift of a Torfian ballisk to Her Majesty; he then staged a performance by Torfian maidens, in their floral garments and masks of white, for the Empress. The Empress toured the Sanctuary of the Torfian Kings; the Joguerian Temple, chief edifice of the Torfian faith; the Gateways of King Ramjin (855-79); the Torfian Folk Museum of Imegina; the Chaundekoung Palace, residence of King Tusamin (AH 401-32); and the Fortress Wall of Verdorium, constructed in the eighth century AH. The Court remained on Imegina for five days, with the Empress being guest of honor and designated "President" of the Verdorium Festival of Solace. When the Imperial Court departed on August 3, 1787, Aurelia expressed her thanks to her Torfian subjects and her joy at being resident in such a star system, which with 120 billion inhabitants, was one of the most populous in the Galactic Borderlands and definitely the most populous of the Empire's Fourth Marasharite war acquisitions (only Kalbacha, Rasdalla Major, and Arachosia Prime had a higher population in that region). From Imegina, the Court proceeded directly into the Northern Reaches. Sappho, the Dnieper Asteroid Basses, Kuban, and Voronezh were visited in succession (to August 7, 1787). On August 9, the Empress reached Tessy, which had in the space of seventeen years been transformed beyond recognition. It now had a population of seven billion (compared to five billion in 1770), with most of the increase due to the influx of Laurasian, Briannian, Rebeccan, and other colonists from the Core Worlds. Jubliee Wheel, one of the largest tourist attractions anywhere in the Empire, proved entertaining for the Empress, Leicesterius, and Estatius. She also visited the Ten Mile Plateau and the Trader's Quarter, the latter of which was a congregation place for merchants, businessmen, and entrepreneurs from throughout the Empire. From Tessy, the Court toured Voronezh (transformed by imperial authorities into the largest shipyard facility in the Northern Reaches), Khotyn (now home to the Imperial Academy of Auxiliary Sciences, established by charter in 1779), Kerch (a major communications terminal and battle site), Marson, Bucharina (capital of the Bucharianian Governorate and the most populous world in the Northern Reaches), Uma (now a major resort colony), Thornton (known for its massive casinos and entertainment houses), Iasi (another important military arsenal), Cantella, Crimea, Jimmie, and Bendery (seized by General Petevius Panius in 1771), all in succession to August 27, 1787.
    • Finally, on August 28, the Imperial Court reached Kherson, which had, since its initial colonization in 1774, been transformed into one of the Empire's most important military shipyards and penal colonies. Kherson's capital city, Gloriana City (named in honor of one of the Empress's symbolic motifs), sprawled, with massive thoroughfares, a huge commercial complex, Imperial Marines barracks, and a dockyard with massive warehouses, construction facilities, and a row of warships. The world now had a population of 97 million, and the countryside was being rapidly filled with new settlements and residences. It was here that the Empress learned that her ally, Joseth II, had arrived at Kaidek, which was located on the northern edge of the Galactic Barrier. Having assumed the incognito of Count Falkenstein, Joseth had departed from Dalmatia on August 15 and made a gradual journey across the Galactic Void. The Empress then learned, however, that he had departed from Kaidek, and was now on his way to Kherson. Determined to meet with her ally first, she hastily embarked on her personal courier (August 29, 1787) and hurried to intercept her ally. They met each other at Kaniev Point, a Laurasian starbase located ten light years north-east of Kherson. Joseth joined her entourage, and returned with her to Kherson. He insisted on maintaining his incognito; thus, no official ceremony of welcome was staged for him in the star system. He attended the Empress, therefore, as if he was one of her servants, but everyone was aware of his identity and treated him with the proper deference. The Imperial Court stayed at Kherson for three days, during which time the Empress christened three Decador-class destroyers, the Titus, the Khersonia, and the St. Joseth, named in honor of the Austarlian Emperor. At the same time, the proximity of the Marasharites (whose possessions were just forty thousand light years north of the Caladarian Galaxy), loomed in the minds of both sovereigns. They saw the arch which had been erected at the Dockyards of Kherson, provactively embalzoned with an inscription in Grecian: "This is the way to Byzzaria." They held a conference with Sir Yerevus Bulgania, the Empire's ambassador to the Marasharite Court. Bulgania warned that the Marasharite Government was engaged in preparations for a military conflict and that Emperor Abdulahamid was determined to reverse the losses of the Fourth Laurasian-Marasharite War. He was unaware of the Treaty of Rakgur, however (which will be described below), and so Aurelia continued to be apprehensive about the possibility of war. The Empress now decided to be cautious, and a planned tour of the Galactic Void Outposts, which intersected the Marasharite Zone, was abandoned. Instead, she decided to impress her imperial ally, the foreign ambassadors, and her court by conducting her Haynsian tour.
    • The Imperial Court departed from Kherson on September 3, 1787, and proceeded up to the Trans-Angelina Transit Route, passing through Kaidek, Merevop, and Bendery on the way. Once they had reached Batchbey, Joseth was astonished when a force of twelve Haynsian scoutships suddenly appeared before the imperial entourage; here were Haynsian troops, only recently conquered, now considered to be sufficiently loyal to serve as an imperial guard of honor. Impressed by this, Joseth confided to his Ambassador at the Imperial Court of Laurasia Prime, the Count of Villerhoff, that no one "could have expected to see me with the Empress of Laurasia, and the Franconian, Vendragian, and other ambassadors wandering through Haynsian voids! What a page of history!" The Court, now escorted by this Haynsian fleet (specially ordered by the Empress for the purpose of displaying her authority over them), visited the former Haynsian strongholds of Merevebey, Quickbay, and Quinta-il-Vily (Spear of the Raider). The last world, in particular, which had only twenty years earlier been the slave processing market for Haynsian raiding expeditions in the Galactic Void for over three centuries, was one which had a major impact on the Empress and the Imperial Court. She visited the Ishia Stockards, where Laurasian and other Caladarian Galaxy captives had once been branded like cattle and stripped of their belongings; the Platforms of Hushie, where newly-arrived captives were first tagged and numerated; and the Spaceport of Burh, where processed slaves were shipped to the Angelina Spiral for distribution and purchase by slavemasters in the Haynsia, Great Tesmanian Cloud, and in the Marasharite Empire's Homeland Territories. The world's inhabitants, most of whom had formerly been slaves themselves, greeted the Empress with great fervency, thanking her and her Empire for lifting them from the depths of misery. Aurelia trumpeted this up, declaring to her courtiers that "I have defeated the aims of evil tyrants and vile abusers." From Quinta-il-Vily, the Court reached Perekop (September 11, 1787), the gateway to the Angelina Spiral. The Perekop Rampart, long the Haynsian Despotate's chief barricade of access into its dominions, and now a Laurasian fortification line, was visited by the Empress, who received salutes from her garrison officers and personnel. After passing through Perekop, the Empress (and her ally with the Court) visited Badjay and the Brigoff Stellar Nebula (September 13-17, 1787), marveling in the Nebula's swirling clouds and electromagnetic shifts.
    • Palymer was then reached on September 18, where the Empress toured the Hospital of St. Trion's, constructed seven years earlier. She then toured Karasubusar, Little Boravia, Larger Boravia, Chalaa, Isis, Semafpol, and Semrnapoval (September 19-23, 1787), immersing herself in the customs, culture, and architecture of her Haynsian subjects. All of these star systems had been transformed by the Empire's authorities, with the Imperial Ministry of Space and Transportation sponsoring the development of Laurasian colonies on Chalaa, Isis, and Semafpol; of a astronavigation complex on Semnrapoval; and of a transportation terminal on Little Boravia. Karasubusar, the most populous of these systems (with 5 billion inhabitants), had sprawling cities across its equator, dominated by Haynsian Monuments and by the Gleris Commerce Market, cleared of its slave-trading and slave-distribution facilities. The Court then passed through Ikkerman, Doros, and Theodoros, reaching Balaclava on September 26. This world, now a major military arsenal for the Imperial Navy and a headquarters for the Imperial Engineering Corps, had been cleared of its Haynsian inhabitants and repopulated with Caladarian Galaxy colonists, Scottrians, and Grecian immigrants. Aurelia toured the Palace of Jay II Karany; the Military Barracks of Symbolon; and the Old Grecian Commercial Warehouses. She remained at Balaclava for two days before departing on September 28, 1787. The Empress now toured Gezlev, Rostov-on-the-Donetsk, St. Demetrius of Rostov, and Myasniovsky (September 28-October 3, 1787), the most populous Laurasian colonies in the Angelina Spiral. At Gezlev, she was greeted by Field Marshal Surovius, once Magnus Militium of the Haynsian Governorate, and one of her most prominent military officers. Aurelia marveled at the transformation of these worlds, previously obscure Haynsian outposts, into thriving and prosperous systems of the Empire. Joseth, however, was by now impatient to return to his dominions, and the Empress now decided to proceed to Haynes. The Court departed from Myasnivosky on October 3, and proceeded through Tivran, Appelodoros, and Bahichisiray (where the Empress visited the Bazaars of Shannai). On October 9, 1787, the Imperial Court reached Haynes, the most populous system in the Angelina Spiral (it had 50 billion people compared to Ediania's 37 billion) and the former capital of the vanquished Haynsian Despotate.
    • The Court stayed for ten days at the Palace of the Despots. Months earlier, the Empress had dispatched her Scottrian architect, Sir Charles Cameron, to repair and decorate the Palace, in anticipation of her visit. Cameron had preserved the Palace's Haynsian atmosphere. It possessed inner courts and secret gardens enclosed by high walls and mytle hedges. There were uncluttered chambers with tiled walls in glowing colors, thick carpets (of Haynsian velvetine), and elaborate tapestries. Each chamber possessed a marble fountain. Through the windows in her bedchambers (previously the Despot's private apartment), the Empress could see Haynsian minarets rising from the walls, and breathe the scents of roses, jasmine, orange trees, and Haynsian pomegranates. Surrounding the Palace was the city of Balacary, Haynes's capital. The city was dominated by nineteen mosques of the Haynsian Cult, from which, five times a day, the faithful were summoned to prayer. During her stay on Haynes, the Empress ordered for the construction of two more mosques. The city was filled with teeming Haynsian bazaars, as well as the sight of Haynsian princes and men in flowing robes and military armor, and their women, covered except for their eyes. On October 14, Aurelia, Joseth, and her courtiers ventured from Balacary to the Valleys of Haynes. They toured a region of mild temperatures, filled with olive trees, cyprus, pine, orchards, vineyards, pastures, and gardens of jasmine, laurel, lilacs, wisteria, roses, and violets. The massive numbers of fruit trees, shrubs, vines, and wildflowers transformed the Valleys into a vast garden. The Court dined in a specially-constructed pavilion in the middle of the Valleys, and on October 15, the Empress commissioned ten dreadnoughts at the Dockyards of Hisary, Haynes's second-largest city. She toured the world's fortifications, admiralty buildings, magazines, barracks, religious edifices, hospitals, and educational institutions, including the Martial Academy of Arts and the Clerical School of Haynes. When departing from Haynes on October 19, 1787, the Empress declared her satisfaction at her visit to the Court. Joseth too, had been impressed, fully convinced of the power and glory of the Empire. They now proceeded to Yevaporia, located in the Warrior Fastnesses. It was here, on October 22, 1787, that the two monarchs parted. Joseth proceeded rapidly back to Dalmatia, arriving there on October 26. The Empress, on her part, proceeded back to Laurasia Prime, arriving at her capital world on November 4. Her progress had made her the first Laurasian monarch to ever visit the Muggal Cluster and the Angelina Spiral. She was exhausted, but was not to have any rest. That will be explained below.
  • June 22-On June 22, 1787, the last Haynsian Despot, Jay XIV Karany, died. Following his abdication from the Haynsian throne in April 1783, the former Despot had been granted the title of Despot-Emeritus of Haynsia by the Empress Aurelia; given the honorary commissions of Field-Marshal and Fleet Admiral in the Imperial Military Forces; and conferred a substantial annuity, amounting to more than €600 billion dataries per year. In March 1784, he had been given the advisory position of "Haynsian Counsel to the Governor-General of Haynsia", which allowed him to provide his "advice" and "input" on the Imperial Laurasian Government's policies as regards to Haynes, Bakalava, Bahkhsiriay, and the other systems in the Haynsian Despotate, now under the Empire's jurisdiction. Jay XIV, however, found that he was effectively a dependent and pensioner of the Empress Aurelia; as a "honorary subject" of the Laurasian Empire, he was therefore obliged to follow Her Majesty's dictates. Government surveillance of the former Despot increased, and in June 1786, the Imperial Ministry of Works & Holdings ordered an investigation of the Despot's personal finance accounts. Two months later, the Despot gained permission to undergo a tour in the Amulak Spiral. He now took the opportunity to flee to the Marasharite Empire, and to take up residence at the system of Rhodes, in the Great Tesmanian Cloud. Marasharite Emperor Abdulahamid II granted him asylum. The Empress Aurelia was embarrassed that the former Despot had eluded her grasp, and fearful that the Marasharites would use him to their own advantages. The Despot, however, was considered a traitor by the Marasharites, who still did not acknowledge their loss of authority over the Haynsian Despotate. He was imprisoned on Abdulahamid's orders in January 1787 at the Military Prison of Rhodes, and died there at the age of forty-two. Jay XIV's death came while tensions between the Laurasian and Marasharite Empires were intensifying. On the orders of Emperor Abdulahamid, the former Despot's corpse would be pulverized into dust and scattered into space (July 3, 1787).
  • July 29-
    • While the Empress Aurelia and the Imperial Court were engaged in their triumphant Haynsian progress, negotiations between the delegations of the Marasharite and Holy Spamalkan Empires came to a successful conclusion. On July 29, 1787, the Treaty of Rakgur was concluded. It would be ratified by Spamalkan Emperor Philicus on August 6 and by his Marasharite counterpart, Abdulahamid II, on August 19. The two sovereigns, who had managed to overcome their scruples, found it an advantageous agreement for their purposes. By the terms of the treaty, the two empires agreed to acknowledge the present territorial situation as it existed between them. Philicus confirmed his recognition of Marasharite overlordship over the Barbary States of Morocco, Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, and Mauritania; Marasharite rights of access to the dockyards and facilities of the Order of Malta; and Marasharite jurisdiction over the systems of Aegyptiania, Palestina, and the Syrian Provinces. Abdulahamid, on his part, recognized Spamalkan control of Ceuta and Melilla, originally Portugallian systems that had been conquered by them in 1615; Spamalkan jurisdiction over the Balaeric Star Systems and the Azores; and in particular, the Spamalkan annexation of Portugallia and its colonies. All of this set aside, the two empires then acknowledged their "mutual distrust of the ambitions and the intrigues of Her Imperial Majesty, the Empress Aurelia of Laurasia, and her constant interference with the affairs of our galaxy and of our civilizations." A harsh denunciation of the Empress's support of the United Durthian States, of her annexation of the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria and the Haynsian Despotate, and of her execution of Scottrian Queen Mariana followed. In particular, the two governments agreed to consider Mariana's execution to be "the most heinous crime ever committed by any state in this century." It therefore followed that because of the constant outrages and aggressions of the Laurasian Empire, a military alliance had to be formed "so as to prevent any further disturbances of the galactic order." Thus, the two sovereigns agreed to conclude a defensive military alliance against the Laurasian Empire. The military forces of the two empires would cooperate in military campaigns; Philicus pledged to pay an annuity of $31.5 trillion florins per annum to the Marasharite Treasury, and in exchange, Abdulahamid II placed his Barbary corps, Elite Guards, and Arabian mercenaries at the disposal of the Spamalkan Emperor. A extensive offensive plan was devised for joint action by the two Empires against the Angelina Spiral and the Laurasian territories in the Northern Galactic Borderlands. The final provisions of the treaty provided for Marasharite re-acquisition of the Haynsia, Northern Reaches, Muggal Cluster, Billian Provinces, Tof Borderlands, and Galactic Frontier Route (that is, all territories seized from it by Laurasia during the eighteenth century), of Spamalka's re-acquisition of the United Durthian States; and for puppet states to be created in Scottria, Kalbacha, Xilania, Hunt, and the Barsar Regions, subject to both empires and with them assured access privileges.
    • The Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia, Philicus's daughter, was to be installed on the throne of the Laurasian Empire as a Spamalkan puppet. The foreign policies of the Imperial Laurasian Government were to become subject to the oversight of the Spamalkan Council of State, and the military forces of the Empire were to be strictly limited to no more than one-third of the combined military strength of the Holy Spamalkan and Marasharite Empires. When Emperor Philicus conferred his seal of ratification upon the Treaty of Rakgur, he considered it to be a document that would "restrain the ambitions and the overreach of the Empress of Laurasia" and would strengthen his own power in Durthia and outside of the Great Amulak Spiral. Abdulahamid II, on his part, viewed the agreement as an avenue to avenge the Marasharite Empire's humiliations against Laurasia. In light of all of this, the situation in Durthia continued to remain stalemated. Sir Demetrius Norria and Sir Willanius Pellahmia, Leicesterius's chief subordinates, attempted in vain to cooperate with the Durthian States-General to launch military campaigns against the Spamalkan forces of the Duke of Parma. In April 1787, Stadholder-Prince Philip William of Orange held a conference with his brother, Prince Maurice of Nassau, and with the Laurasian Command of the Expeditionary Corps at Haarlem to devise a series of planned counteroffensives into the Southern Durthian Duchies. Pellhamia and Norria, who wished to strike hard at the Spamalkans, proposed a vigorous assault against Zutphen, and moves against Neuss, Grave, Venlo, and Mechelen to expel the Spamalkans from those particular star systems.
    • Philip William, however, wished to capture Leiden, which served as a major arsenal and shipyard for the Holy Spamalkan Navy, and to secure control of the Spamalkan fortifications of Enkhuizen and Hoorn. Control of these star systems, the Stadholder believed, would weaken Spamalkan supply lanes and allow for Durthian troops to advance against Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges, Eindhoven, Lier, and Dunkirk. The Laurasian commanders protested at this, and declared that they would not expose their troops to a reckless offensive against enemy positions. The States-General, on May 2, 1787, had issued a manifesto of support for the Stadholder, and threatened to withhold the Durthian corps provided to the Laurasian Empire's military forces, if they did not participate in the offensives. Pellhamia had complained about this to the Privy Council, and the Empress Aurelia was enraged by the obstinate manner of her Durthian allies. At one point, she declared that she would revoke her commitments to the Treaty of Nonsuchia Palace and begin negotiations with the Spamalkan Government, as represented by Parma. Ultimately, however, Maurice of Nassau, proving his skills as a diplomat and as the "rational one", was able to alleviate the differences between the Expeditionary Corps and his brother. He now proposed for an offensive against Leiden, and the preparation of campaigns in the direction of Enkhuizen and Hoorn, while at the same time emphasizing the importance of Durthian strikes against Grave and Venlo. This satisfied both sides, and campaign preparations went ahead. Parma, however, who was beginning to receive substantial reinforcements as part of Philicus's preparations for full-scale military conflict with the Laurasian Empire, decided to take the advantage and to launch an offensive against the allied forces before they could join together against him.
    • What he had in mind was Sluis, located eight light years east of Flushing. Sluis had long been one of the chief commerical ports in the Durthian States, and Parma viewed it as a threat to his own communication lines. Assembling his squadrons at Kollum, Eindhoven, and Brussels, he advanced to the outskirts of Sluis (June 12, 1787). The Siege of Sluis, as the confrontation came to be known, lasted for over two months as the forces of Pellhamia and Prince Maurice of Nassau tried in vain to relieve the stronghold. Its fall on August 14, 1787, shortly after the conclusion and ratification of the Treaty of Rakgur, caused much alarm in both the Imperial Laurasian and Durthian Governments. Parma then repelled Durthian expeditions against Leiden, Enkhuizen, and Hoorn, destroying a Durthian supply convoy in the Battle of Tessborg (August 27, 1787). Five days later, Emperor Philicus ordered for Parma to begin assembling warships and Spamalkan troops at Antwerp, Dunkirk, Gembloux, and Namurs, in anticipation of a declaration of war against the Laurasian Empire. The Earl of Leicesterius, on his part, still on the Empress's Haynsian progress, remained in contact with his subordinates and with the Durthian States-General. He was unable to smooth over the differences, however, and on October 15, informed Empress Aurelia that he could be of no more use to the Durthian States. Five days later, the Empress formally discharged Leicesterius from his duties as Field-Marshal of the Imperial Expeditionary Corps. On November 3, 1787, the Durthian States-General deprived him of his position as Governor-General, thus leaving absolute military command authority in the hands of Prince Maurice of Nassau (in subordination to his brother). All of this was ongoing as war loomed between the Laurasian and Marasharite Empires.
  • November 7-
    • By November 1787, the Marasharite Empire of Abdulahamid II considered itself to be "sufficiently prepared" to launch the decisive blow against the Laurasian Empire. Ever since the conclusion of the Treaty of Rakgur at the end of July, 1787, the Emperor and his Grand Council had redoubled their efforts to strengthen the garrisons of the Great Tesmanian Cloud and to divert resources to the Galacric Void. Jassy, Akkerman, Izmail, Kolzuduzha, Silistria, Ruse, Varna, Kuchuk Kaynarca, Stavachany, and Ochania; all of these strongholds had seen the arrival of extensive reinforcements, in the form of Elite Guards, conscripts from throughout the realms of the Marasharite Empire; and troops provided by the Barbary States, Danubian Principalities, among others of the Emperor's vassal states. The Marasharite High Command had, working in conjunction with its Spamalkan counterpart, developed a plan of action against the Laurasian Empire. Two major forces had been formed in the Ochanian Provinces. One, under the command of Admiral Jezim Pasha, was to launch an offensive from the Trans-Ruse Route against Perekop, the Brigoff Stellar Nebula, and the Trans-Angelina Route. The second, under the command of High General Kasim-Bey, was to launch an offensive against Kinburn in the Northern Reaches (now one of the Empire's chief frontier military bases), and against Uma, Thornton, Merevop, and Kerch, with a goal towards driving a wedge into the Northern Reaches. At the same time, a third force, assembled in the Galactic Void, and under the command of Admiral Ajajay-Abjay, was to penetrate the Corporate Sector and the Theodoran Governorate. Theodore, Andrea Doria, Scanlan, Mackenzia Minor, Coronadia, and the upper Burglais Arm were to become the targets of this offensive. Marasharite intelligence indicated that this region was, compared to the other regions targeted, less heavily garrisoned, and therefore, in their eyes, more vulnerable to attack. The goal was to reconquer the Northern Reaches, the outer regions of the Haynsia, and the Galactic Frontier Route, thereby staking a Marasharite foothold in the Caladarian Galaxy. Abdulahamid had been assured by his Spamalkan allies that they would launch intelligence expeditions into the Barsar Regions, to keep the imperial authorities in those regions distracted, and that a Spamalkan offensive into the Galactic Borderlands would begin by no later than June 1788. Spamalkan and Marasharite forces would then conquer the rest of the Haynsia, and in conjunction with rebel elements in Scottria, drive the Laurasians from Ediania. With this strategical plan now organized, the Marasharite Government dispatched an ultimatum to the Privy Council and Empress Aurelia on November 7, 1787. This ultimatum was read to the Council by the Marasharite Ambassador, Habuk-Ashim, who had been conspicuous in his absence from the Haynsian progress. In the ultimatum, the Marasharites accused the Laurasian Empire of overt "hostility and aggression towards all the other powers of the Amulak Spiral, and of extra-galactic civilization", and of incessant interference in the affairs of sovereign states. It pointed to the Laurasian suppression of the Bar Confederation in Dejanica, and of the Empire's orchestration of the First Partition; to the Empire's provocation of tensions in the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria, its interference in the Marianian Civil War, and its ultimate conquest of Scottria with the War of Drury's Intervention.
    • Furthermore, the communique declared that the execution of ex-Scottrian Queen Mariana, one of the "most saintly women to have lived in this universe", was an abominable crime, for which the Marshals of Civilization would exact a terrible revenge upon the Laurasian species. Finally, the Empress Aurelia was accused of violating her honorable commitments towards Marasharita and Spamalka. She had, it declared, violated the Treaties of Kuchuk Kaynarca and Aynalıkavak through her annexation of the Haynsian Despotate; the Treaty of Topacia was an "illegal agreement", signed due to the compulsions of the Imperial Laurasian Government. Aurelia's aid to the United Durthian States, in their "unlawful" revolt against their Spamalkan sovereigns, demonstrated that her Empire's reach extended too far. In order to rectify all of these wrongdoings, the Marasharite Empire demanded that the Empress of Laurasia restore all gains made by her empire since 1774 (that is, the Muggal Cluster, Northern Reaches, Trans-Angelina Transit Route, the Haynsia, and Scottria), back to their prior owners; that she terminate all support for the Durthians and acknowledge Spamalkan jurisdiction over them; that she return Dejanican Lavella to the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and revoke the terms of the Partition Treaties of 1772-73; and that she give "due compensation" for having executed the ex-Queen of Scottria. Empress Aurelia, when she read the ultimatum, was enraged by its demands. Declaring the document "the work of the Anti-Almitis's minions", she ordered that no response be given to the ultimatum. Emperor Abdulahamid had given his Laurasian counterpart until November 15 to respond to his demands; he already knew, however, that she would reject them. On November 15, 1787, he issued a formal declaration of war against the Laurasian Empire, announcing, to his subjects, his goals of reclaiming all territories lost during the Laurasian-Marasharite Wars of the eighteenth century, and of ending Laurasian interference in the Amulak Spiral. The Treaty of Rakgur remained a secret; Philicus, however, promised Abdulahamid that he would enter the war against the Empire formally by no latter than the beginning of January, 1788. The Fifth Laurasian-Marasharite War of the eighteenth century had commenced.
  • December 1-
    • The declaration of war by the Marasharite Empire was, to the Empress Aurelia, both surprising and non-surprising. It was surprising in that Abdulahamid, who was still contending with troubles in the Barbary States and with the Haxonian Confederacy, had decided to declare war at this juncture. Ambassador Bulgania, when he had warned the Empress of the Marasharite preparations, had received false information from his agents at the Marasharite Court that Abdulahamid had no intentions to go to war until at least the end of 1788, at the earliest. His declaration of war therefore came a year earlier than the Imperial Laurasian Government had been anticipating. At the same time, the Empress was not surprised that Abdulahamid had decided to go to war. The Imperial Intelligence Agency had been sending reports about the buildup of Marasharite forces and military resources for some time now, and the Empress understood that her execution of Queen Mariana, while it did not arouse the wrath of most other powers, would provoke Laurasia's most persistent enemy into taking action of some sort. Aurelia was also aware that the Marasharites did not accept her annexation of the Haynsian Despotate, in spite of the fact that they had signed the Treaty of Topacia three years earlier. Finally, the Empress was herself determined to expel the Marasharites from the Great Tesmanian Cloud, and to begin work towards fulfillment of the "Marasharite Plan", which she had conceived with her ally, Joseth II. She had wanted to wait until peace was imposed in the Durthian Duchies, but Abdulahamid's declaration of war forced action earlier. Immeadiately upon the Marasharite declaration of war, Emperor Abdulahamid had imprisoned Ambassador Bulgania, as well as all Laurasian subjects in his realms, and he had issued the final instructions to his military forces to proceed with their planned operations. The Empress Aurelia, on her part, held an emergency session of the Imperial Privy Council and ordered Field-Marshal Rumanstevius and Lieutenant-General Surovius to assume their posts. Rumanstevius, who had become Magnus Militium of the Bucharina, Abrianne, and Imegina Governorates, already had his command headquarters established on Bucharina. Surovius, Magnus Militium of the Haynsian Governorates, and now a Lieutenant-General in the Imperial Laurasian Army, moved swiftly to Kinburn, intending to brace the garrisons of the Northern Reaches for possible Marasharite offensives. The Marasharites wasted no time in advancing against Laurasian positions, and during the first stage of their advance through the end of 1787, would actually manage to make some gains, taking advantage of the hastiness in organization of the Empire's garrisons and forces in those regions.
    • On November 16, 1787, just one day following the declaration of war, Admiral Jezim Pasha advanced from Kilirim and Ivrim, across the Galactic Void, and towards Perekop. In a series of skirmishes with Laurasian units at Hathbey, Menbey, and the Gateway Stations (November 16-19, 1787), Pasha managed to prevent possible counteroffensives against his supply lines. By November 22, he had reached Merevbey, so recently visited by the Empress and the Imperial Court. Merevbey was surrounded by Marasharite detachments and fell within a day. On November 25, 1787, Jezim Pasha destroyed a Laurasian task force under the command of Vice-Admiral Sir Samedius Gregius in the Battle of Quinta-il-vily, seizing that stronghold the very same day. By November 29, he had also captured Quickbey and was besieging the Perekop Rampart. Marasharite squadrons launched operations into the Brigoff Stellar Nebula, plundering Laurasian positions on Hirvey, Mervey, and Yesplantia. At the same time, High-General Kasim-Bey advanced to the Northern Reaches. By November 22, Kuban, the Dnieper Asteroid Bases, Thurman, and Dunst had captiulated to Marasharite advance squadrons. On November 26, the Marasharite General stormed Kerch, impouding a large number of Laurasian military supplies and ordering for the execution of 250,000 Laurasian garrison troops. The following day, his force appoached Kinburn, the first major target of its offensive. Marasharite couriers and starfighters began an extensive bombardment of the star system's outer defenses. The Marasharite force comprised of sixty destroyers of the line, ten dreadnoughts, four battleships, five squadrons of starfighters, and forty xebecs with 600,000 Marasharite and Barbary troops. The garrison of Kinburn, commanded by Lieutenant-General Surovius, had 200 warships with 500,000 Laurasian and 50,000 conscript troops. Although the Marasharites enjoyed a slight numerical advantage in terms of troops, they were outclassed by the Laurasians in terms of firepower and technology, for Surovius had ten turbolaser barricades at Kinburn's outskirts and a system of shield generators, planetary ion-cannons, and ship disruptors on the world's surface. During the early hours of December 1, 1787, the Marasharites conducted an amphibious landing on Kinburn, taking advantage of a temporary breach in the world's shields. At the same time, Marasharite ships attacked the Spit Defenses, and engaged in a running confrontation with the Laurasian armada. General Kasim-bey soon called in 55,000 reinforcement troops from Sappho (besieged by a Marasharite battallion), while Surovius on his part placed his corvettes and couriers on the far side of the system, holding them in reserve. By the middle of the day, Marasharite troops had penetrated to the Kinburn Command Compound. Surovius, however, now launched his counterattack with 30,000 Haynsian auxillaries and 15,000 Valedictorian Guards.
    • The Laurasians drove the Marasharites back some forty miles, but Surovius, commanding the troops on the front-lines, was wounded. He was rescued by one of his officers, Lieutenant Didius Secrius of the 75th Imperial Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. Laurasian reinforcements soon arrived, and Surovius repeated his attack, releasing his Haynsian and Dasian conscripts to swing around the rear of the Marasharite troops. At the same time, his couriers assaulted, driving the Marasharite xebecs and dreadnoughts from the Spit Defenses and inflicting severe damage upon their ranks. The Marasharites lost some seventy miles of ground on the surface, and 34 of the warships in space were destroyed or severely damaged. Surovius, however, was wounded during the combat again. Finally, during the early morning hours of December 2, 1787, Surovius launched a massive counteroffensive, employing his reserve troops and corvettes to finally drive the Marasharites from Kinburn. He was wounded yet again, and was forced to obtain hospital treatment. Nevertheless, the Battle of Kinburn resulted in the first victory for the Laurasian Empire, and with it, Surovius secured Laurasian control of Bucharina, Marson, and the lower Dnieper Route. Although Marasharite troops conquered Tessy (December 5-9), Sappho (December 14), and Bendery (December 17-22, 1787), Surovius was able to halt all Marasharite raiding operations into the Muggal Cluster. While this was ongoing, the Marasharite forces of Abjay-Abjay managed to seize Scanlan Minor (November 27-December 5, 1787) and to sack the outskirts of Andrea Doria (December 14), but were then contained by Laurasian naval forces under Admirals Dracius and Ushavious at Crossan (December 16, 1787). In a proclamation issued from the Imperial Court on Laurasia Prime on December 19, the Empress praised her military commanders for their efforts.
  • December 25-
    • Ascentmas Day, 1787, was not celebrated with much joy at the Imperial Court on Laurasia Prime. The Laurasian Empire was now at war with its implacable Marasharite adversaries, who had managed to regain control of a foothold in both the Northern Reaches and in the Haynsia. Although Lieutenant-General Surovius had obtained victory at Kinburn, the Empress's mood was not the most optmistic. Instead of discussing plans for vigorous offensives into the Great Tesmanian Cloud, Aurelia found herself contemplating the expulsion of Marasharite forces from Laurasian territory, and of instigating a counteroffensive across the Galactic Void. The Empress was also grappling with changes in her personal life, and at the Imperial Court. Leicesterius, following his abdication of his duties with the Imperial Expeditionary Corps, had retreated to Wanstead Estate on Impania. Having continued to decline in health, he sought to relax and to avoid the exertions of state. On November 14, the day before the Marasharites had declared war, the Earl had resigned his post of Master of the Empress's Vehicles, which he had held for nearly thirty years. He now recommended to the Empress that she bestow it upon his stepson, the Earl of Estatius. Estatius, now twenty-two, had become closer to the Empress during the course of the preceding months. Aurelia found herself fascinated by young Estatius, who had distinguished himself on the progress, and found his company to be "stimulating", a distraction from the pressures of state she faced. He possessed all of the attributes which she most admired in men, even though she knew that he lacked political acumen. Many courtiers noticed the relationship that was developing between them, for they now played cards and attended events with each other on a more routine basis.
    • Estatius was chivalrous and confident. A master of court entertainments and masques, he was tall, athletic, and well-formed. Women, including the Empress (thirty two years his senior), were suspectible to his charm, masculinity, and athletic physique. The young Earl paid the Empress extravagant compliments, and acted as if he were love-struck around her, compliments which she enjoyed. The Empress did indeed seem younger than her age, and she remained vigorous. She found that this was elevated even more when she was in Estatius's company, although she regarded him more as the son she never had rather than as a lover or suitor. He did remind her of Sir Thomasius Seymouris, who had first made her aware of matters sexual. However, this was not all of Estatius's personality. He was moody, imperious, and difficult, tending to become rashly impulsive when his temper flared. He had little sense of self-discipline, and could not hide his feelings or thoughts about others. He was easy to offend, and could not move beyond scruples quickly. He was a dreamer and a braggart, conducting himself in an aggressive manner. Estatius was as promisicious as any of the young men of the Imperial Court; by the time he was 21, it was alleged that he had slept with more than a hundred women. However, sexual relations did not distract from a devotion to Almitis, and he would meditate on his faith for hours on end. He yearned to retire to Chartlerian Mansion at times, and from time to time became subject to attacks of nervous prostration.
    • During these attacks, he would lie about for days, incapable of rational thought or movement. Estatius was driven by ambition; he sought to be the leader of the gallants and heroes of the Imperial Court. In order to do this, he needed to have an extravagant lifestyle, but money was something which was never his strong suit. Estatius also cherished to achieve his ambitions in the military sphere. He saw himself as Sir Philip Sidronius's successor, and was confident that he could lead men and inspire their devotion. Estatius, however, was rash, and one who despised authority. Raleghia, who had sought to replace the ailing Leicesterius as the Empress's chief favorite, now found himself overshadowed by this rising suitor. He became obessively jealous, determined to strike against Estatius by all means necessary. He sought to injure his rival. On December 21, 1787, the Empress visited the Earl of Sarah's mansion in Uris, Northanian Hall. The Countess, who believed the Empress's anger against Estatius's sister, Lady Dorothea Perrotus, had cooled, invited her to join the guests, along with her brother. Raleghia, in attendance, told the Empress that Estatius had brought his sister because he believed he could get away with a display of outright disrespect to his sovereign. Aurelia was angered at this, and ordered Lady Dorothea to remain in her chambers during the duration of her visit. Estatius guessed who was behind the Empress's actions. He defended his sister to the Empress and the Countess at dinner. He accused the Empress of having acted to please "that fool Raleghia." Angered at this, Aurelia said that she would not tolerate anything being said against Raleghia. Estatius, however, continued to rave, irritating the Empress further and leading her to attack the morals of his mother, the Countess of Leicesterius. This was too much for Estatius, who shouted that he would not have his family disgraced and declared he would send his sister away. Aurelia ignored him, however, and he, in a breach of protocol, stormed out of the room. He arranged for his sister to leave immediately, and now hastened from Laurasia Prime to the Galactic Frontier Route, intent on joining in the defense against the Marasharite intruders. The Empress, however, guessing that Estatius would do something rash, sent Lord Husadarania's son, Sir Antiochus Caranius, after Estatius. He managed to catch up with Estatius at Sauvania on December 23, and persuaded him to return back to the capital world.
    • Estatius agreed, and was reconciled with the Empress, although he continued to complain of her "extreme unkind dealing with me"-a complaint which would be heard many times in the upcoming years. This set the pattern for their relationship, with their personalities clashing, followed by a bitter argument, and then an eventual capitulation of the Empress. Estatius knew he had power over her, and knew how to exploit it. It astonished many that this Empress, who never tolerated insubordination, allowed Estatius to flaunt about. Aurelia, however, always knew that she had the upper hand, and that she could, with one world, condemn Estatius to imprisonment or death. Estatius, in turn, knew of this, and would for years take care to refrain from conspiracy against her. In light of all of this, with the Marasharite offensives and her first struggles with Estatius, the Empress was greeted with the news, during the late hours of December 26, 1787, that Spamalkan Emperor Philicus, who had finally tired of her interventions in Durthia, and in fulfillment of his arrangements with the Marasharites, had announced a declaration of war against the Laurasian Empire. Philicus ordered the Duke of Parma to prepare for counteroffensives into Southern Durthia, and he now hastened the plans for the intended operations against the Laurasian Empire. The last days of 1787, therefore, witnessed the Imperial Laurasian Government placing itself on a higher alert. On December 27, her ally, Austarlian Emperor Joseth II, informed her that he would honor the Treaty of Invictius Mesura, and two days later, he suspended diplomatic relations with Spamalka and Marasharita. The Empress also announced her intention to renegotiate the terms of the Treaty of Nonsuchia Palace with the Durthians, and to dispatch a commander who would better cooperate with the States-General. She realized that only a full-scale commitment of military resources to that theater could harm Spamalka. Aurelia also began looking at the possibilities of reaching out to Morocco, which continued to defy the Marasharite Empire, and of supporting Don Antonio, the claminant to the Portugallian Crown who had been residing in Franconia since his expulsion from the Azores by the Marquis de Santa Cruz in 1783. As the year 1787 ended, the Empire was fully engrossed in war, both in the outskirts of its own territory and in the Amulak Spiral.

1788Edit

  • January 1-
    • 1788, the 88th year of the eighteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire of Aurelia I engaged in the Fifth Laurasian-Marasharite War of the eighteenth century, and in the First Laurasian-Spamalkan War. During the course of the preceding two decades, Empress Aurelia had strengthened the territorial position and the political influence of the Laurasian Empire through her acquisitions in the Galactic Borderlands and Angelina Spiral, and by her involvement in the diplomatic and economic affairs of the Great Amulak Spiral, and the powers that resided there. This same involvement, however, had finally entangled the Empire in war with its former allies, the Spamalkans. Up until the very moment that he had declared war, Emperor Philicus had expressed to his advisers, and to his subjects at large, his dismay at the behavior of his former sister-in-law. He reminded all that he had played such an instrumental role in Aurelia maintaining favor with her sister Didymeia; that it was his intervention, alone, which had spared her from imprisonment, or worse, execution, at the hands of her half-sister. And how did the Empress of Laurasia repay him? Through war, and supporting the Durthian "vagabonds"! Philicus declared that his father and great-grandfather, both of whom had cultivated such positive relations with the Laurasian Empire earlier in that very century, would have been alarmed in the change of attitudes displayed by the Imperial Laurasian Government. Yet he, as sovereign of his Spamalkan, Durthian, Portugallian, and Italianian realms, could not tolerate the flow of Laurasian mercenaries and financial aid to the United Durthian States; nor could he take a blind eye to the Empress Aurelia's territorial expansions at the expense of the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria, the Haynsian Despotate, and the Holy Spamalkan Empire's long-time rival, the Marasharite Empire. He would rather "be struck down by the force of our gods" then allow Aurelia to expand her power and influence unchecked.
    • It was for these reasons that he had entered into war against the Laurasian Empire, and he was determined to defeat his former sister-in-law, to establish a sphere of influence in the Caladarian Galaxy, and to exterminate the United Durthian States once and for all. Marasharite Emperor Abdulahamid II, on his part, who had entered into an "alliance of convenience" with the Spamalkans, sought to regain the territories lost to the Laurasian Empire earlier in the eighteenth century, and to maintain his authority over the Barbary States and his territories in the Great Tesmanian Cloud, Little Amulak Cloud, and the Amulak Spiral proper. War was a means to an end, from the Marasharite Emperor's view, and it was a necessary means. Finally, the Empress Aurelia, on her part, entered the year with a renewed surge of confidence. She understood that the vast economic and military resources of her Empire, once they were mobilized to action, would allow for the tables to turn against Laurasia's adversaries. Still entertaining in her mind the "Marasharite Plan", Aurelia sought to deprive the Marasharites of their territories in the Great Tesmanian Cloud, and to force the Spamalkans to concede Portugallian and Durthian independence. For most of this year, the Laurasian Empire's focus would be on repelling the offensives directed against it by the Marasharites and Spamalkans; on sending reinforcements to the Durthian Duchies; and on preparing for counteroffensives into the Great Tesmanian Cloud and elsewhere. In her New Year's proclamation of January 1, 1788, the Empress assured her subjects that "this Empire, keeping its trust in the Lord Almitis, will defeat its enemies and will, with his grace, hurl back all the threats posed against it by the Spamalkan and Marasharite fiends."
  • January 25-
    • The Empress Aurelia, in pursuance of the objectives which she had stated in her New Year's proclamation to her subjects, now mobilized her government and her military forces for the war which had now descended upon the Laurasian Empire. Throughout the early weeks of January, 1788, the Marasharite forces in the Haynsian Governorates, under the command of Admiral Jezim Pasha, had managed to make more gains against the Laurasian Empire. Bypassing the Perekop Rampart, which remained under siege by Marasharite starfighter and transport units, Pasha advanced against Gezlev, the most populous of the Laurasian colonies established in the former territories of the Haynsian Despotate. Gezlev was besieged beginning on January 2, 1788, which lasted for five days. On January 7, the world's shield generators suffered a catastrophic reactor failure, and it capitulated to the superior Marasharite armada within hours. Following the humiliating Siege of Gezlev, which had seemed to expose the "unpreparedness" of Laurasian forces for combat at that juncture, Jezim-Pasha stormed Doros (January 8); Theodoros (January 9-11); Little Boravia (January 12); Isis (January 16); Chalaa (January 19); and Rostov-on-the-Don (January 22). A Marasharite offensive against Palymer and Karaubusar (January 21-27, 1788), however, failed, and by the beginning of February 1788, Laurasian forces stationed at Balaclava, Tivran, Greater Boravia, Haynes, and St. Demetrius of Rostov, under the command of Lord Greysius (who had been hastily summoned from his garrison command duties in the Ediania Governorate), had begun preparing for a series of counteroffensives into the Warrior Fastnesses. In light of this, the Empress now decided to organize her military commands. On January 25, 1788, Field-Marshal Rumanstevius, at his headquarters on Imegina, was named as the commander of the 59th, 60th, 61st, and 62nd Imperial Armies, and of the 40th, 42nd, and 45th Imperial Fleets. At the same time, the Empress elevated her cousin, Lord Howardis of Effinga, as the Minister of Defense and Chief of the Imperial General Staff. Howardis, a veteran of the War of Drury's Intervention, the War of the Bar Confederation, and the Didymeian War of Franconia, was considered to be one of the most experienced tactical officers in the Imperial Armed Forces.
    • Lieutenant-General Surovius was confirmed in his command of the armies of the Northern Reaches, and was also named Magister Militum of the Chalaa Governorate, thereby giving him authority over the Trans-Angelina Transit Route and the garrisons stationed there. Field-Marshal Lord Greysius, on his part, became Magister Militum of the other two Haynsian Governorates, given command of the 67th, 68th, 69th, and 70th Imperial Armies with the 51st, 52nd, and 53rd Imperial Fleets. Rear-Admirals Dracius and Ushavious, Vice-Admirals Gregius and Seniavin, and Fleet Admiral Hawkius were all placed under the overall direction of Lord Howardis of Effinga, and were assigned to duty in the Galactic Barrier (Dracius); the Muggal Cluster (Ushavious); the Burglais Arm (Gregius); and the Dasian Heartland (Hawkius). Finally, Sir Willanius Pellhamia, now promoted to the rank of Major-General, was given command of the Imperial Expeditionary Corps and of the Durthian Auxillary Corps in the United Durthian States, and was placed on awareness for the arrival of reinforcements, pending the conclusion of new treaty arrangements with the Durthian States-General. The Empress now turned to her faithful Leicesterius, and on January 30, she recalled him back to Laurasia Prime. Leicesterius, although in declining health, never wavered in his duties towards his sovereign, and arrived on the capital world by February 2. Once there, she appointed him as Commander of the Laurasia Prime Capital Command and as President of the Imperial General Headquarters. Leicesterius now regularly attended the Privy Council's sessions, and he took a major role in the further strengthening of armed forces. Lord Treasurer Burghley and Chancellor Walsingis worked day and night to mobilize the Empire's resources. Hundreds of trillions of dataries were now spent by the Imperial Treasury towards the procurement of military supplies, equipment, and armor; the drafting, training, and quick enrollment of troops and conscripts from throughout the Empire; and the strengthening of all the Empire's major defenses, garrisons, and military fortresses. Governor-Generals and Assemblies of Nobility throughout the Empire brought the resources of the gentry and of their star systems into play. By the end of February, 1788, the Laurasian Empire was fully geared for military conflict.
  • February 9-
    • Spamalkan Emperor Philicus, on his part, was engaged in his own further intensive preparations for his intended offensives against the Laurasian Empire. January 1788 had seen Spamalkan troops storming the Durthian garrisons of Lochem, Grenelo, Oldenvaal, and Lingen, in spite of the best efforts of Major-General Pellhamia and Prince Maurice of Nassau. These successes had convinced Philicus that he was on the way to turning the tables in the Durthian Duchies, and that a decisive blow against the States-General's protector, the Laurasian Empire, would seriously weaken the Durthian Rebellion. By February and March 1788, Spamalkan forces throughout Greater Spamalka, Lesser Spamalka, Valencia, the Basques, Portugallia, Naparia, and in Southern Durthia had been readied for a move across the Galactic Void. Philicus, who had been formulating his plans for years, was convinced that they would be successful. He envisioned that the main Spamalkan armada would move from his possessions in the Amulak Spiral, across the Galactic Void, and to the Western Galactic Barrier of the Caladarian Galaxy. Spamalkan troops would penetrate the garrisons of Waxefield, Onasi, Dehner, Ladelle, and Antwone, and would establish a foothold in the Borderlands. The Kalbachan, Rasdallan, and Canite strongholds would fall into the possession of the Spamalkan forces. At the same time, Traditionalist elements in the Laurasia Prime Purse region, the Malarian Provinces, and in the Huntite Provinces would erupt in revolt against the Imperial Laurasian Government. A smaller Spamalkan force would seize the Hutsite Reaches, Drea, Duana, Strongstine, Gardiner, and Leo's Redoubt, and harry the strongholds of the Kimanian Trade Run. Finally, a Spamalkan force, commanded by Parma himself, would combine with Marasharite armies in the Northern Reaches and in the Corporate Sector to drive down the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route, reach Laurasia Prime, and depose the Empress Aurelia. This plan, grandiose and filled with bold ideas of conquest and of war, aroused concerns from the Marquis de Santa Cruz, one of the Spamalkan Empire's most respected military commanders. Santa Cruz warned the Emperor Philicus, in December 1787, that he must not "rely so much on internal dissent in the Laurasian realms."
    • He pointed out that most of Aurelia's Traditionalist subjects were loyal to her, and would not seek to rise against her for Philicus's sake. He also pointed out that Spamalkan supply lines could be overextended, and that the Durthians might launch an offensive against the Southern Duchies whilst Parma was distracted by the Laurasian campaigns. Philicus, however, had refused to listen, and he had continued to press his schemes forward. Santa Cruz entered a great decline in health in early January, 1788, and was soon confined to his personal estate, Olivara House, on Lisbon in Portugallia. Despite the efforts of the Emperor's physicians, he died on February 9, 1788 at the age of 61. Philicus, who was upset about the loss of his subordinate (whom he had intended to appoint as commander-in-chief of the invasion forces), was now forced to seek out another commander. That turned out to be the Duke of Medinia Sidonia, who was regarded by Philicus as hard-working, competent, loyal, and efficient. While Medinia Sidonia, a veteran of the Portugallian War of Succession and the Cyprian War, was indeed a fine soldier and dedicated administrator, he had no naval experience, or experience in commanding a large-scale military operation. Throughout the remainder of February 1788, he begged numerous times to Philicus to be relieved of the command, pointing out his inexperience, his weak financial resources, and his ignorance of the Emperor's war plans. Philicus refused all pleas, and on February 26, 1788, named Medinia Sidonia as the commander-in-chief of the Spamalkan invasion forces. This mistake was to cost Philicus dearly.
  • February 27-As explained above, the forces of the Laurasian Empire in the Angelina Spiral, under the command of Field-Marshal Lord Greysius, had begun preparing counteroffensives against the Marasharite units. Greysius, who established his command headquarters at Vermapol on January 28, was determined to strike hard and to use the superior technology, organization, and supply lines of his forces to his advantage. On February 2, 1788, the Battle of Chanceldodt resulted in a decisive victory for Lord Greysius, who inflicted severe losses upon the ranks of Jezim-Pasha's starfighter and corvette squadrons. Four days later, Greysius drove Marasharite units from Semnrapoval, Semafpol, and Baina. By February 15, Laurasian units had terminated all Marasharite raiding expeditions into the Brigoff Stellar Nebula, and had isolated Chalaa, Isis, and Little Boravia. Jezim-Pasha launched a massive counteroffensive against Palymer, Balaclava, and Tivran on February 17. This, however, came to grief in the Battle of Himmeria (February 22, 1788), in which nearly half of the Marasharite starfighter corps was captured by Lord Greysius. Little Boravia, harried by Laurasian raiding expeditions, capitulated to Greysius on February 24. Then, on February 27, 1788, Greysius scored a larger victory in the Battle of Isis. Marasharite units in the star system were raided by faster Laurasian corvettes, and two Eclautor-class destroyers cut off Marasharite communication lines from the northern outskirts of the system. Greysius then launched a flanking maneuver against the farther side of Isis, catching the orbiting Marasharite warships off guard and breaching the world's northern shield defenses. Laurasian troops stormed onto Isis, and within two days, the star system was back in Laurasian hands. By March 5, Chalaa, Doros, Theodoros, and Rostov-on-the Don had all been reconquered by the Laurasian Empire, while Gezlev was besieged by units under the command of Commodore Sir Thomasius Interria. On March 9, 1788, Greysius relieved the siege of Perekop, driving Marasharite destroyers and dreadnoughts towards Merevebey and Quickbay. At the same time all of this was going on, Lieutenant-General Surovius was making substantial reacquisitions in the Northern Reaches. On February 4, he repelled a Marasharite offensive against Dejan; two days later, the Battle of Billy Gasis ended in a decisive victory for Surovius and Admiral Ushavious. By February 12, Thornton, Thurman, Uma, and Dunst had all been reconquered by Laurasian troops. Merevop proved a harder nut to crack, and did not fall until March 7. But by the end of February, 1788, Laurasian troops had also recovered Kerch, Tessy, Sappho, and the Dnieper Asteroid Bases, terminating the Marasharite threat to Voronezh. Kuban was also under siege by a Laurasian force. And in the Burglais Arm, Scanlan Minor was recovered by Admiral Gregius (February 25, 1788), although Garner and Whytcliffia did suffer severe damage from Marasharite raiding expeditions.
  • March 14-On February 12, 1788, Chancellor Walsingis, acting on the instructions of Empress Aurelia and the Privy Council, had dispatched a communique to the Durthian-States General. In this communique, Walsingis declared that the "common enemy" of both states, the Holy Spamalkan Empire, was one which could not be defeated except through the total application of military force. Consequently, he declared that Her Majesty of Laurasia was willing to renegotiate alliance arrangements with the United Durthian States, to provide for the diversion of more of the Empire's military resources to the Durthian theater of conflict. Prince Maurice of Nassau, gaining more influence in the affairs of Durthia, and with his own bloc of supporters on the States-General, heartily supported this. Within three days, he convinced his brother, Stadholder-Prince Philip William of Orange, and the Durthian Council of State to respond positively to the Chancellor's offer. Then, on February 25, 1788, delegations from the two governments had convened at Delft, in order to handle negotiations over the revision of alliance arrangements. Sir Willanius Pellhamia and Sir Demetrius Norria acted as the plenipotentiaries for the Imperial Laurasian Government, while the Prince Maurice himself and the Penisionary of Utrecht, Jar-Marladat, represented the United Durthian States. After nearly a month of negotiations, the Treaty of Delft was signed on March 14, 1788. By the terms of this treaty, the provision arrangements between the Laurasian Empire and the United Durthian States were formally transformed into a formal military alliance. It was now agreed that the Empress of Laurasia would divert substantial reinforcements to the "aid and needs of the Durthian States"; the Imperial Expeditionary Corps was to be folded within this larger Laurasian force, and was now to operate under the orders and the direction of the Imperial General Headquarters. The Empire agreed to recognize Durthian privileges and the customs of its subjects, as previously, but was now to have a co-ordinate role with the Durthian States-General in planning and executing military offensives against Spamalka. Durthia, on its part, agreed not to make any separate treaty with the Holy Spamalkan Empire; to permit Laurasian troops unrestricted access across their territories; and, in a secret codicil, to support Laurasian ambitions in the Great Tesmanian Cloud, Morocco, and Portugallia. Although Durthia remained at peace with the Marasharite Empire, it nevertheless agreed not to conduct commercial relations with that power or to provide any financial loans or other aid to Marasharite authorities. The Treaty of Delft was ratified by the Empress Aurelia on March 19 and by the Durthian States-General on March 24.
  • March 27-
    • Throughout the early months of 1788, the Empress Aurelia and her Privy Council waited impatiently for Austarlian Emperor Joseth II to oblige by his commitments under the Treaty of Invictius Mesura and to declare war against the Marasharite Empire. Several times, the Empress wondered aloud to Burghley and to Walsingis whether Joseth had been bluffing when he talked about partitioning the Marasharite Empire's dominions, and also if he had the stomach for military conflict. These fears, however, proved to be unfounded, for Joseth finally issued a declaration of war against the Marasharite Empire on March 27, 1788 and publicly revealed his military alliance with the Laurasian Empire. Austarlian troops, assembled in Bukovina, Dalmatia, Royal Hungary, Transylvania, and Croatia, immediately launched a series of offensives into the Pazak Cluster, Olthenia, and Belusia. Austarlian troops quickly stormed Pest (March 27-April 4); Ivill (April 7); Tirana (April 9); and Conkura (April 15), putting pressure on Marasharite resources in those regions. The Prince of Saxe-Coburg, who acted as the Austarlian commander-in-chief, then launched an offensive against Moesia (April 16-25, 1788). Despite the fierce resistance of the Marasharite garrison, Moesia ultimately fell on April 25. By the middle of May 1788, Torontal and Temes, both of whom were important strongholds in the Pazak Cluster, had been seized by Austarlian troops. A Austarlian move against Kovin (May 14-21, 1788), failed however, as did an offensive against Banja Luka and Denherria (May 25). Nevertheless, the Austarlian entry into the war on the side of the Laurasian Empire served to help the Laurasians advance further against Marasharite units in the Northern Reaches, Trans-Angelina Transit Route, and Burglais Arm. Kuban and Bendery had both been reconquered by Laurasian forces by the end of March, 1788. On April 5, General Surovius destroyed a Marasharite starfighter squadron in the Battle of Dilojong, and then stormed Akkan, Kilia, and Seoul, conclusively expelling them from the Muggal Cluster.
    • By April 14, the remaining Dnieper Asteroid Bases had been secured, and the remaining Marasharite units were pushed out of the Northern Reaches. That same day, Lord Greysius obtained victory in the Battle of St. Demetrius on the Rostov, ending the Marasharite move against that stronghold. Quickbay fell on April 19, followed by Batchbey five days later. On May 4, 1788, the Battle of Cherson resulted in a smashing victory for Laurasian forces. Jezim Pasha himself was killed when his starfighter collided with a half-destroyed Marasharite battleship. By May 17, 1788, Quinta-il-vily and Merevebey had both been recovered, and the Marasharites were expelled from the Haynsian Slave Highway. Marasharite units, however, commanded by General Hevah-Bey, now launched a sudden counteroffensive into the Dasian Heartland. Storming Belkadan (May 22, 1788), they drove towards Sernapasia, Houston, and the Oirat Complex. Although Sernapasia fell into Marasharite hands (May 26) and the Oirat Complex was blockaded, the Battle of Houston (May 29-June 2, 1788), resulted in a decisive victory for Laurasian forces under Admiral Gregius. By June 6, Gregius had stormed Andrea Doria and Garner, driving Marasharite troops from the Corporate Sector and the Theodoran Governorate. And then on June 11, 1788, Gregius destroyed a Marasharite force in the Battle of Tyson. Hevah-Bey was forced to abandon his siege of the Oirat Complex, and by June 22, both Sernapasia and Belkadan had been recovered by Laurasian forces. By the end of June, 1788, all Laurasian territories occupied by the Marasharites had been recovered, and the Empire's military forces were now posed for offensives across the Galactic Void and into the Great Tesmanian Cloud.
  • July 17-
    • On June 28, 1788, shortly after Admiral Gregius and Lieutenant-General Surovius completed the expulsion of Marasharite troops from the territory of the Laurasian Empire, the Spamalkan Armada, under the command of the Duke of Medinia Sidonia, finally departed from Lisbon, in Spamalkan Portugallia, and began its journey from the Amulak Spiral to the Galactic Void. Medinia Sidonia, having heard of Laurasian victories against the Marasharites in the northern Caladarian Galaxy, and of the Austarlian entry into the war against Marasharita, had grown even more pessimistic about the prospects of victory against the Laurasian Empire. Emperor Philicus, however, had overridden these objections, and believed that the Empress Aurelia's energy had been drained by her focus on the campaigns against Marasharita. In this, however, he was to prove grievously mistaken. The initial Spamalkan force, as envisioned in Philicus's plan, comprised of nearly ten thousand military warships, including 700 Crucia-class dreadnoughts, 600 Santa-class destroyers, and nearly a thousand Impacia-class battleships, along with 150,000 starfighters and nearly 600 million Spamalkan troops. It was a substantial armada, and was intended to match by far the Laurasian Empire's garrisons and fleets in the Galactic Barrier. Empress Aurelia, however, had been alerted of Philicus's plans by her Intelligence Agency, and the Privy Council had taken all measures to slow the Spamalkan advance. On July 2, a Laurasian task force operating from Flushing, under the command of Admiral Whyrtia (who was in declining health and would die on August 4), intercepted an advance Spamalkan supply convoy near the Straits of Medra, along the route to the Void Transit Highway. The ensuing Battle of the Straits of Medra resulted in a tactical victory for the Laurasian Empire, for Whyrtia managed to inflict severe damage upon the Spamalkan transports, capturing thirty of them. He was soon forced back to Flushing, however, and Medinia Sidonia continued his advance. Five days later, he captured a Laurasian commercial convoy in the Void of Verth, some thirty-thousand light years northwest of the Caladarian Galaxy, and imprisoned the crews of the ships involved.
    • Finally, on July 17, 1788, the Spamalkans reached Hogland Point, which was located nine hundred light years north-west of the Galactic Barrier. Here, however, they were confronted by a fleet under the command of Admiral Dracius. Dracius, although heavily outnumbered (he had only seven hundred warships compared to two thousand for the advance Spamalkan formations), managed to bring them to combat for two days. Using the superior mobility of his starfighters and his knowledge of the surrounding stellar regions, he destroyed nearly half of the Spamalkan armored transports (343 out of 700) and captured 40 Crucia-class dreadnoughts before being compelled to retreat by Medinia Sidonia's approach. The Battle of Hogland Point therefore ended as a tactical victory for the Laurasian Empire. On July 20, 1788, Lord Howardis of Effinga, who had established his command headquarters on Onasi, arranged his vast force of 9,000 warships and military support vessels, including 230,000 starfighters (the chief Laurasian advantage over the Spamalkans), along the Barrier and launched reconnaissance expeditions against the Spamalkan units. This was the largest military combat force ever assembled by the Laurasian Empire (out of the Empire's total of 175,000 warships and nearly 5 million starfighters), and it was necessary, for this was the largest threat to its territory ever posed by a foreign power. The following day, July 21, 1788, the Battle of Outer Onasi resulted in a strategic victory for Laurasian forces, as Howardis of Effinga and Dracius managed to disrupt the crescent formation of the Spamalkan advance squadrons, to capture seventy Spamalkan armored transports, and to arrest Spamalkan raiding expeditions against Dehner. Although Medinia Sidonia's units managed to storm Cane, Barching, and Sasha VI (July 22, 1788), they were unable to advance to the Metallasian Trade Route, with their expeditions against Onasi, Kathy, McKellen, and McFadden being repulsed. The following day, July 23, 1788, the Battle of McFarland occurred between the forces of the Spamalkan and Laurasian Empires. In a full-scale offensive, Dracius and Sir Athanasius Mooria disrupted the Spamalkan momentum and hurled their units back from Crusher and Frederickshamm. He pursued them as far as two hundred light years into the Galactic Void before Medinia Sidonia reformed his reformations and the Laurasians were forced to pull back. Nevertheless, the Duke of Medinia Sidonia was forced to abandon Barching and to re-assemble his command squadrons at Grasseles Point, which was located two hundred lightyears northwest of the Galactic Barrier. The Duke also dispatched a number of his destroyers and battleships to Heresfoort, in order to escort the Duke of Parma's forces, which were waiting at Dunkirk in the Great Amulak Spiral. Communications between Parma and Medinia Sidonia had proven to be far more difficult than previously expected; the Duke soon discovered that Parma's forces had yet to be equipped with sufficient transports or to be assembled into offensive formation, a process which could take at least six days. Furthermore, when on July 27, 1788, Sidionia's escort reached Heresfoort, it encountered a Durthian-Laurasian expeditionary force under the command of Prince Maurice's younger half-brother, Durthian Admiral Justin of Nassau.
    • Admiral Justin, who had received his instructions from the Durthian States-General, had departed from Haarlem and Flushing twelve days earlier and had established a barricade near Dunkirk, thereby preventing supplies and ships from being able to enter, or to leave, the star system into the Galactic Void. Parma, on his part, now wished for Medinia Sidonia to launch a full-scale offensive against Justin of Nassau's squadrons, and to use his corvettes to prevent further Durthian attempts at blockade. Medinia Sidonia, however, refused to do so, declaring that he could not risk sacrificing his convoy and that he might need the ships to prevent a Laurasian offensive from Brill and Flushing. As a consequence of this, the Spamalkan forces, both at Dunkirk and in the Galactic Void, were exposed to a counteroffensive from the forces of the Laurasian Empire and the United Durthian States. The Durthian Navy therefore enjoyed unchallenged naval supremacy in the regions intersecting Dunkirk, Heresfoort, and Flushing, although it was outnumbered by the Spamalkan fleets and did not possess naval armaments as advanced as those of its adversaries. A major part of the Spamalkan scheme of invasion against the Laurasian Empire: to bring in Parma's forces to launch an operation in conjunction with the Marasharites into the northern Caladarian Galaxy, could therefore not be carried out so long as the Durthians patrolled the relevant zones. Consequently, the Empress Aurelia and her Imperial Privy Council were able to breathe a sigh of relief, and the Empire was therefore not under threat from Parma's forces. It could focus on defeating Medinia Sidionia in the Galactic Void and on expelling Spamalkan units from the outskirts of the Galactic Borderlands.
    • On July 28, 1788, Admiral Dracius launched a surprise offensive against the Spamalkan supply transports, corvettes, and frigates at Hellsburner's Dial, which was located at the outskirts of the Galactic Barrier. In this offensive, the Admiral employed the use of eighteen automated transports, a strategy which had been employed by the Imperial Laurasian Navy to its advantage in the Battle of Chesma, eighteen years earlier. The transports, which were filled with combustives, quickly penetrated the arch of the Spamalkan forces. Although Medinia Sidonia's flagship, the IMS Alacantarra, was undamaged, eighty of the one hundred Spamalkan transports in anchor were destroyed, and the remainder of the formation was broken. Following this victory, Dracius drove Spamalkan troops from Mogilev, Waxefield, and the Gate Solarian Cluster. The following day, July 29, 1788, Medinia Sidonia, who was still determined to penetrate into the Kalbachan Provinces, and believed that he could penetrate through Laurasian fortifications at Vilmanstrand, Kathy Major, Rasdalla, Antwone, Dejan, and Shashanaya, reformed his formations at Oland, a minor outpost located eighty light years north of Waxefield. Dracius and Howardis of Effinga, however, were now more aware of the Spamalkan Armada's strengths and weaknesses as a result of these previous skirmishes, and they now determined to use their starfighters to inflict severe damage upon Medinia Sidonia's command formations. Throughout the early hours of July 30, 1788, the Laurasian starfighters and couriers, swooping from out of hyperspace, passed by the Spamalkan battleships and dreadnoughts, inflicting severe damage on them through a combination of turbolaser broadsides, torpedo assaults, and coordinated hits against Spamalkan defenses and weapons batteries.
    • They then stayed out of range of Spamalkan fire, darting among the ships of the Spamalkan fleet and confusing them. Medinia Sidonia was about to order a retreat when Admiral Dracius launched the decisive offensive, driving the Spamalkan warships towards Oland and then out of the star system. The Battle of Oland resulted in the destruction of 450 Spamalkan warships by the forces of the Laurasian Empire, the capture of three hundred others, and severe damage inflicted on over 40% of the remaining fleet. Medinia Sidonia, who had never been confident in the venture, and now convinced that all was lost, ordered his forces to pull back from the Galactic Barrier. During the early weeks of August, 1788, the Spamalkan naval forces would gradually retreat across the Galactic Void. They were pursued by Howardis of Effinga and Dracius, who in confrontations at Deveris Point, Knollia, and Hangast's Turn, destroyed a number of Spamalkan transports and corvettes. By the time Medinia Sidonia arrived back at Lisbon, on September 5, 1788, nearly 70% of the Spamalkan military forces had been destroyed. This was the greatest naval victory in Laurasian history, and the repulse of Philicus's attempted invasion irrevocably swung the balance in the war to the Laurasian Empire. By August 15, Barching, Cane, and Sasha VI had been recovered by Laurasian troops, and all foreign units had now been cleared out of the Empire's territory.
  • August 8-
    • The Empress Aurelia, having learned of the Spamalkan Armada's disastrous defeats at the Battles of Hogland and Oland, and of the retreat by the Duke of Medinia Sidonia back across the Galactic Void, decided to respond to an invitation extended by the Earl of Leicesterius, and to go to Garama in the Galactic Borderlands, where the 38th, 39th, and 40th Imperial Armies had been assembled in order to repel any potential Spamalkan expeditions into the Rogerian Cluster and the Wild Marshes. Although the victories obtained by Dracius and Howardis of Effinga now made it unlikely that there would be any renewed foreign operations into the territory of the Laurasian Empire, the Empress was nevertheless resolved to instill morale in her troops and to demonstrate to her subjects that she shared in their concern, and in their hopes for victory in the impending battles of the military conflict. The Empress departed from Laurasia Prime on August 4, 1788. She arrived at Garama four days later, having overriden a request by her Privy Council that she remain on Laurasia Prime and deliver a speech to her subjects from the Quencilvanian Palace. Although she had decided not to go on progress this year, in which the Empire's dominions were faced with intrusions by enemy forces, she nevertheless sought to display herself to her troops. Upon arriving at Garama, the Empress's entourage was escorted by Leicesterius, on his personal flagship, and his command vessels to Tilbury Grounds, located on the planetary surface. Emerging from her personal spacecraft, the Empress then drove on a repulsorlift, appearing before her assembled troops in the guise of an "Venasian Empress", in a white velvet dress with a shining silver cuirass. Her hair flowed down her back in long tresses, and she was preceded by a page carrying her silver helmet on a white cushion, with the Duke of Kalbacha Major bearing her sword of state. Leicesterius had stage-managed the occasion, incorporating much pageantry and spectacle. As the pennants fluttered in the breeze, and the drummers and pipers of the Imperial Regiments played, the Empress, with tears in her eyes, inspected the front lines of the millions of troopers and Marines assembled before her, calling our "Almitis bless you all!" as many fell to their knees and cried aloud, "Lord preserve our Empress!" As she passed, pikes and ensigns were lowered in respect. After a stirring service of intercession, she insisted on retiring to the official command headquarters, in the midst of her assembled Armies, and to reside there for the night.
    • The following morning, August 9, 1788, there was a burst of spontaneous applause as the Empress made her presence known before the Imperial Armies again. She commented to Leicesterius that she felt she was in the "midst and heat of battle." When the noise had died down, the soldiers staged a mock simulation of the Battle of Garama (1602), one of the most famous victories of the Emperor Demetrius Severus in his war with the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria, and then paraded before her. Then, mounted on a honorary steed of war, and dressed still with a silver breastplate, as well as a gold staff of war in her hands, the Empress again touched their hearts by delivering the most rousing and famous speech of her 44-year reign. "My loving people, we have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety to take heed of how we commit ourselves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but I do assure you, I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear. I have always so behaved myself that, under Almitis, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and goodwill of my subjects, and therefore, I am come amongst you, as you see, at this time, not for my recreation and disport, but being resolved in the midst and heat of the battle to live or die amongst you all, to lay down for my Almitis and for my Empire, and for my subjects, my honor and my blood, even in the dust!" At this, the soldiers gave a rousing cry. Aurelia then continued: "I know I have the body of a week and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a Emperor, and of a Emperor of Laurasia too, and think it foul scorn that Parma, or Philicus, or Abdulahamid, or Spamalka, or Marasharita, or any prince of the Universe, should dare invade the borders of my realm; to which, rather than any dishonor shall grow by me, I myself will take up arms, I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues. In the meantime, my Field-Marshal [Leicesterius] shall be in my stead, than whom never prince commanded a more noble or worthy subject, not doubting but, by your obedience to my general, by your concord in the camp, and your valor in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory, in this war, over these enemies of Almitis, of my Empire, and of my people." The soldiers then gave a resounding cry of joy, and all hailed the Empress.
    • Shortly afterwards, the Empress was informed that Emperor Philicus, realizing the futility of any further offensives at this juncture against the Laurasian Empire, had commanded Parma and Admiral Diego van Ver (who was to command the Spamalkan invasion of the Barsar Regions), to stand down, and to maintain their forces in the Durthian Duchies. Philicus was desolated by the defeat; on August 12, he retreated into the recesses of the Escorial Palace on Madrid, and sought to pray with his ancestors to gain consolation. Nevertheless, Philicus was determined to continue the war; it did not occur to him that the advantage had shifted to the Laurasian Empire, and he would pay dearly during the course of the next five years for his decision. Four days later, the Garaman Armies were ordered to report back to their normal garrisons. Leicesterius himself now returned to Laurasia Prime. He followed after the Empress, therefore, who had already arrived back at the Quencilvanian Palace on August 15. A massive Te Deum service was conducted at the Westphalian Cathedral; celebrations were held throughout the Empire to commemorate the failure of the Spamalkan offensives; and Leicesterius himself was greeted as a hero in the Empire's capital star system. Accolades were paid to Dracius, Howardis of Effinga, Gregius, Surovius, Rumanstevius, and Greysius, and the Empress announced, in a proclamation to her subjects on August 19, that the Empire was on the way to victory over its adversaries. On August 26, 1788, Estatius staged a triumphal military review at the Circus Maximus, which the Empress watched with Leicesterius, Burghley, Walsingis, and Hattonius. The Earl himself jousted against the Viscount Paladaria and the Earl of Zama. Leicesterius himself, who had regained his position of preemience among the Empress's favorites, dined every day with her. He was, however, a sick man, exhausted by the stresses of war, and he now sought to gain relief at Idyll, which had long been a favorite retreat of his.
  • September 4-
    • The Earl of Leicesterius, who had been so hailed by the Empress Aurelia and by the Empire's subjects for his vigorous efforts in organizing the defense of the Galactic Borderlands and for the Empress's own security, retreated to Idyll immediately after the conclusion of the military review. The Earl's health was now in a very precarious state, and he entertained fervent hopes that the waters of Idyll would restore him. Leicesterius proceeded slowly from Laurasia Prime, arriving at Shannon three days after the review. There, he wrote what became his final communique to the Empress. In it, he humbly besought "Your Majesty to pardon your old servant to be thus bold in sending to know how my gracious lady is, and what ease of her late pain she finds, being the chiefest thing in the world I do pray for, for her to have good health and long life. For my own poor case, I continue still your medicine, and it amends much better than any other thing that has been given me. Thus, hoping to find a perfect cure at the bath, with the continuance of my prayers for Your Majesty's happy preservation, I humbly kiss your foot. From your old lodgings at Shannon this August morning, by Your Majesty's most faithful and obedient servant, A. Leicesterius." At Shannon, however, Leicesterius decided to proceed back to Kenilian Castle on Taurasia, and from there to Idyll. The Earl, however, could not make it that further, and was forced to stop at his hunting lodge, Constock Lode, on Tyndaris. It was here, at 4:00 A.M. Galactic Standard Time, September 4, 1788, that the Empress Aurelia the Great's closest friend and chief suitor during the first thirty years of her reign died, aged 55. Leicesterius had hardly any one accompanying him when he died, save for his niece, the Countess of Ietas. The slanders continued, however, and Leicesterius was "spoken of reproachfully by many" (according to Baron Monompahlaus in one of his private communiques). News of Leicesterius's death spread quickly to the Imperial Court, and throughout the Laurasian Empire. The Empress herself, aware of her favorite's declining condition, but confident that he would rise above these troubles and would be back at her side again, was in her personal chambers, discussing with her advisers about the campaigns against Marasharita (to be described in quick order below), when Lord Treasurer Burghley approached her. Addressing her as "Gracious Majesty" and "My Madame", he broke to her the news that Leicesterius had died. Aurelia, previously in a cheerful and energetic mood, found her whole manner changed at that very moment. Burghley quietly exited the quarters to allow for the Empress to grieve. Estatius, however, now appeared, and, conducting himself in a carefree manner, asked Her Majesty why she was not enjoying the Court's entertainments. Aurelia responded in a grave manner, asking him if he was aware that his stepfather had died. Estatius replied, declaring his mother had told him. He did not seem to express any true concern for the man who had been his mentor and guardian. At this, the Empress plunged into an outburst of anger, calling Estatius an "ungrateful wretch", throwing objects at him, and shouting at him to leave her presence immediately. She then took up Leicesterius's last communique, re-read it, and then inscribed it "His last letter". The Empress than locked her chambers, sank down to the floor, and cried as she never had before. Aurelia now refused to emerge from her quarters; according to Chancellor Walsingis, she would not attend to state affairs "by reason that she will not suffer anybody to have access unto her, being very much grieved with the death of the Lord of Leicesterius." Aurelia remained within her bedchambers for two days, until Lord Treasurer Burghley finally had the doors knocked down.
    • The Empress finally emerged from her delirium, but remained in a darkened mood. When the Earl of Aretha, on September 9, messaged the Empress congratulating her on the Empire's recent victories against the Spamalkans and Marasharites, and condoling with her on her sad loss, she confided to this "very good old man" that "Although we do accept and acknowledge your careful mind and good will, yet we desire rather to forbear the remembrance thereof as a thing whereof we can admit no comfort, otherwise by submitting our will to Almitis's inevitable appointment. Notwithstanding His goodness by the former prosperous news, he has hath been pleased to keep up in exercise by the loss of a personage so dear unto us." In his will, Leicesterius left "my most dear and gracious sovereign, whose creature under Almitis I have been" a diamond and emerald pennant, and a six-hundred pearl necklace, which had been manufactured on Gilestis. He had lived extravagantly, however, having never recovered from the huge expenses of the Empress's Kenilian visit back in 1775, and he died virtually bankrupt, leaving his widow, Countess Laetita, with debts amounting to nearly €500 billion dataries. Nearly half of this amount was owed to the Empress, who had granted her favorite loans and annuities amounting to €215 billion dataries, with interest, during the preceding five years. She now exacted her revenge against Laetita, whom she never forgave for marrying her favorite. In October, 1788, the Empress ordered a detailed investigation of the Earl's financial affairs by the Heraldmaster's Department of the Governing Senate; confiscated Kenilian Castle and all of his properties on Laurasia Prime, Caladaria, Darcia, and Americana; and ordered the Countess to auction off the contents of his three main residences, Kenilian Castle, Wanstead Estate, and Leicesterius House. She had no sympathy for the widow, and continued to behave as if she did not exist. Laetita, although she had maintained a happy marriage with her second husband, decided to remarry for financial security. On June 5, 1789, at her father's estate on Azatha II, Rotherfieldian Greys, she would marry Sir Christopheus Blountia, the only one of her husbands who was younger than her (he was born in 1755), and a friend of her son, the Earl of Estatius. The title of Earl of Leicesterius became extinct, for Leicesterius had no surviving heirs. His illegitimate son, Sir Antiochus Dudley, did receive the bulk remainder of Leicesterius's goods that had not been auctioned off, while Leicesterius House and Wanstead Estate both became the properties of his stepson, the Earl of Estatius. Estatius renamed the former residence after himself. Leicesterius himself was buried at the Beuachamian Chapel on Sarah, next to his son Viscount Denbaghia, on September 19, 1788. The Empress was represented by her friend, Lady Norria; otherwise, few courtiers of the Imperial Court attended Leicesterius's funeral. His death, in the midst of the ongoing war, went virtually unnoticed and unmourned.
  • September 22-
    • By September, 1788, the Marasharite Empire had been placed within the context of a paradox situation. It was a paradox in that in when one theater of conflict (with the Holy Austarlian Empire), the Marasharites managed to actually make gains at the expense of their rivals, while in another (that with the Laurasian Empire), they suffered a series of humiliating defeats which drove them into the Great Tesmanian Cloud. The first to be noted will be that with the Laurasian Empire. At the same time that Dracius and Howardis of Effinga clashed with the Spamalkan forces of the Duke of Medinia Sidonia in the Galactic Void, and on the outskirts of the Galactic Borderlands, Lord Greysius, Field-Marshal Rumanstevius, and General Surovius pursued a coordinated campaign against the Marasharites. On July 9, 1788, the Imperial General Headquarters, acting on the Empress's orders, shuffled commands among these military commanders again. Gregius and Ushavious were now transferred to the oversight of Field-Marshal Rumanstevius, while General Surovius now answered to Field-Marshal Lord Greysius. Fleet Admiral Hawkius, on his part, had returned to Laurasia Prime from directing the defenses of the Barsar Regions, and he now assumed the effective oversight of the Imperial General Staff, and of the Admiralty, in light of Lord Howardis's absence. The commanders remained in control of their respective armies and armadas, however; only who they answered to was modified. Five days later, the 54th and 55th Imperial Fleets, subordinate to Rumanstevius and commanded by Admiral Ushavious, advanced from Sernapasia, Belkadan, Houston, and Tyson, into the Galactic Void. Marasharite forces in the lower Ochanian Provinces and in the Galactic Void were now commanded by Grand Admiral Hassan Pasha, who had been detached to duty in those regions by Emperor Abdulahamid II at the end of May, 1788. A series of confrontations now ensued at Liman, Desna, and Halting-Man's Point (July 15-27, 1788), which resulted in Ushavious repelling Marasharite counteroffensives and capturing a number of Marasharite xebecs and galleys. By August 2, 1788, he had reached the outskirts of Fidonsi, which was a major Marasharite supply base in the Lower Districts of the Ochanian Provinces.
    • It was necessary for the Laurasian forces to seize Fidonsi in order to proceed to against Ochania and Mardot, the chief Marasharite arsenals from which operations against the Laurasian Empire had been launched. Hassan Pasha, who was determined to bar a further Laurasian advance, assembled a massive force of fifty destroyers of the line, one hundred xebecs, two hundred galleys, sixty dreadnoughts, and five squadrons with 50,000 starfighters, along with 50 million Marasharite corps and 500 transports, in order to strike a decisive blow against the 54th and 55th Imperial Fleets. Ushavious, however, whose intelligence had fed him information about the Marasharite positions, now joined with Vice-Admiral Seniavin, who brought substantial reserves of starfighters, battleships, and corvettes from Glassia, Sierra, and Kronstadt (a major naval base for the Laurasian Empire in the Outer Borderlands). On August 13, a Laurasian advance convoy under the command of Captain Reingold Saken (a Theodoran), approached Hassan-Pasha's offensive front-line squadron. Pasha's Marasharite vessels quickly surrounded the convoy, but suddenly, a massive explosion erupted on Saken's flagship, the IMS Impruder. This explosion resulted in the destruction of twelve Marasharite galleys and the infliction of severe damage on another thirty. Saken himself was killed, having volunteered to sacrifice himself to slow the Marasharite advance. The following day, a Marasharite counteroffensive against Quinta-il-Vily, Thornton, and Dunst was brought to ruin by Ushavious and Gregius in the Battle of Summoria, which resulted in Hassan-Pasha losing a third of his xebecs. These preliminary confrontations had weakened the garrison of Fidonsi, which was now surrounded by Laurasian detachments from August 19, 1788. Three days later, the Battle of Fidonsi erupted between the Laurasian and Marasharite Empires. Fidonsi was located thirty-eight thousand light years northeast of Kinburn; the Laurasians had, in advancing this far, effectively cleared all Marasharite opposition from the intervening Galactic Void.
    • Lord Volyvonch, Rear-Admiral of the 55th Imperial Fleet and Ushavious's third-in-command, formed a offensive line northeastwards towards the formations of Pasha's force, which had now staked itself for battle at the outskirts of Fidonsi. Pasha now ordered his galleys, remaining xebecs, and battleships to attack spaceward towards what appeared to be a thin and vulnerable Laurasian offensive line. The leading Laurasian warships in the front line, the frigates IMS Kalbania and IMS Margarina, repelled the first move by the Marasharite galleys, but then seemed to be in danger of being cut off from their supply lines. Hassan-Pasha, believing he had the advantage, pressed against Volyvonch's formation, forcing the Laurasian destroyers and dreadnoughts back and opening a gap in their lines. It was at this point that Admirals Ushavious and Gregius launched the decisive move. Having hid his battleships, starfighters, and corvettes in reserve, Gregius launched a pincer movement offensive against Hassan-Pasha's command formations. At the same time, Ushavious closed the gaps in the front line and crunched the Marasharite xebecs and galleys into a pocket with his superior couriers and frigates. Within hours, the battle shifted totally to the advantage of the Laurasian Empire, and by the early hours of August 23, 1788, Hassan-Pasha had been forced to retreat. Nearly all of the Marasharite xebecs and galleys were destroyed or captured, and 20 million Marasharite personnel became prisioners of war. Following this decisive victory, Fidonsi captiulated to the Laurasian Empire on August 29, 1788, giving it a foothold in the Great Tesmanian Cloud. Hassan-Pasha now fled towards Mardot, but realized that defending this stronghold was useless. Mardot fell to Admiral Ushavious on September 4, the same day of Leicesterius's death. By September 14, Lord Greysius had repelled Marasharite expeditions against Perekop, Mereveby, and Batchbey, capturing a number of Marasharite officers and troopers in the Skirmish of Alanta's Point. At the same time, Major-General Surovius and Field-Marshal Rumanstevius arrived at Fidonsi, which they established as their command headquarters. From here, the 51st and 52nd Imperial Armies (soon to be reformed into the 50th Imperial Army), advanced with Ushavious's fleets to first Mardot, and then to Ochania. Ochania itself was one of the chief military strongholds of the Marasharite Empire in the Great Tesmanian Cloud. Having been under Marasharite control since 1506, it boasted a garrison of nearly four million Marasharite troops, protected by orbital defenses, a ring of space stations, and minefields in the outskirts of the star system. Furthermore, the garrison of Ochania possessed a defensive fleet of five hundred military warships. Surovius advocated a full-scale onslaught against the garrison, but Rumanstevius and Ushavious both opted for a joint siege by the Empire's land and naval military forces.
    • On September 22, 1788, Ochania fell under siege by the forces of the Laurasian Empire. During the course of the next three months, numerous actions would take place between the fleets of Hassan Pasha and Ushavious at the outskirts of Ochania, while the siege proceeded and the morale of the Marasharite garrison whittled away. Troops dispatched by General Surovius stormed Kilirim and Ivrim (September 23-29, 1788), preventing Marasharite reinforcements from reaching Ochania. Laurasian expeditions harried the length of the Upper Danube Military Highway, inflicting severe damage on a number of Marasharite colonies and fortresses. On October 2, 1788, after a minor clash near Berezin between opposing Laurasian and Marasharite corvettes, Hassan-Pasha ordered an offensive by the garrison destroyers and battleships against the 55th Imperial Fleet at Starzen's Station. Marasharite Admiral el Ghazi managed to destroy a number of Laurasian transports and to launch a assault on Starzen's Station, inflicting severe damage on the third and fourth Fleet dockyards. Ultimately, however, Admiral Ushavious's fleet-lines held, and the Marasharites were driven back with a loss of four of their offensive battleships. The Laurasians, however, rashly pressed their advantage, and a further confrontation on October 4 resulted in the Marasharites capturing five Laurasian transports and the troops onboard them.
    • On October 14, another Marasharite offensive resulted in the loss of nine Laurasian frigates and 200 starfighters; Ushavious, however, prevented Marasharite ships from breaking out to the Danube Military Highway. Then, on October 27, 1788, shortly after Trans-Ruse was stormed by a Laurasian Marine Corps, Hassan-Pasha pressed Admiral Ghazi into breaking out from Northern Ochania and assaulting Kilirim, hoping to draw off sufficient Laurasian strength so that the Admiral could call reinforcements from Stauvachany and break the siege. Ghazi managed to break out to Near-Kila, and to force a pursuit by Admiral Seniavin, but at 12:00 P.M., his flagship suffered a catastrophic reactor failure. Ghazi and his officers managed to escape, but the flagship and with it, eight Marasharite galleys, were destroyed in the ensuing explosion. This disoriented the Marasharite formations, and Seniavin caught up with the Marasharite task force at the outskirts of Kilirim. At the same time, Admiral Ushavious repelled a Marasharite offensive from Stauvachany, impounding a number of Marasharite corvettes at Turnadatia. The following day, October 28, 1788, Admiral Seniavin launched a full-scale offensive against Ghazi's forces. Although IMS Alexandra Karina, a Laurasian first-class frigate, was destroyed by a pair of Marasharite xilanium torpedoes, Seniavin, with the assistance of reinforcements sent by Ushavious, destroyed the two leading Marasharite destroyers in Ghazi's second-line formation, and forced a third to flee from the battlefield. Ghazi now attempted to flee for Hadjibey, which was beyond the range of Laurasian offensive forces. He was pursued by Seniavin, and on November 1, 1788, the Battle of Pirhen Adasi resulted in a decisive victory for the Laurasian Empire. Nine Marasharite destroyers were annhilated, and another fifteen captured; Ghazi lost more than a third of his naval officers and escort personnel. He managed to reach Hadjibey nevertheless, but without the bulk of his forces. By the middle of November, 1788, Laurasian forces had stormed Koca, Del Vile, and Pildrin, posing a serious threat to Stauvachany, Silistria, and Ruse. Ochania was now completely isolated. The Austarlians, however, had not been so successful. In June 1788, Emperor Abdulahamid appointed Pasha-General Kavik-Bey as commander of the garrisons of Serbia, Olthenia, and the Danubian Principalities, and ordered him to expel the Austarlians from Tirana. Kavik-Bey destroyed superior Austarlian armies at Megathon (June 15-22, 1788) and Berat (June 25, 1788). By the early weeks of July 1788, Austarlian forces had been expelled from Shrakapar, Mat, and Durres.
    • The Prince of Saxe-Coburg, who had been the chief Austarlian commander in the earlier stages of the campaign, had fallen ill on June 22, 1788, and been allowed to retire to his estates in Dalmatia to recuperate. His successor, the incompetent Count de Vorrhent, proved unable to stem the reversal in Austarlian fortunes. On July 14, 1788, Marasharite forces approached Tirana. In spite of impounding Marasharite vessels in a confrontation at Shirra (July 15-17, 1788), Vorrhent was ultimately unable to prevent Kavik-Bey from penetrating the star system's defenses and reconquering it (July 24, 1788). By the end of July 1788, the Austarlians had also been repelled from Conkura and Ivill. Kavik-Bey's forces then invaded Bukovina, overruning Zhasti, Zakhavana, Kitsman, Chernivsiti, and the Hyboskian Colonies (August 1788). Joseth, who was growing fearful that the pattern of failures in the last Austarlian-Marasharite War was repeating itself, now vigorously reorganized his military command. Count de Vorrhent was relieved of duty on September 7, 1788, after failing to relieve the Marasharite siege of Frasin, which had become a major commerical entrepot for the Austarlian Empire. He was replaced at this juncture by the Prince de Nassau-Siegen. Nassau-Siegen managed to repel a Marasharite offensive against Ejhanay (September 9, 1788) and secured Mohacs against further Marasharite moves (September 14-22, 1788). Frasin, however, fell to Kavik-Bey on September 29, 1788, and by October 12, he had stormed Mehadia, Slatina, and Timosara, inflicting humiliating losses on frontier Austarlian garrisons. It was not until November 25, 1788, however, by which point the Austarlians had been driven from Upper Temesvar, Pest, and Dubovrnik, that Joseth finally recalled old Field-Marshal Frehierr von Laudon, who had been one of Pru'a IX's most formidable adversaries during the Seven Year's War and War of the Bavarian Succession. He had also fought in the War of the Dejanican Succession and the Dalmatian War with Haxonia and Vendragia. Laudon, who became commander-in-chief that day, would completely reverse Austarlian fortunes and lead the Empire to a series of victories over its long-time Marasharite adversaries. That will be described later.
  • November 17-
    • The Laurasian Empire, in the midst of all of the victories which were described above, was in a especially jubilant state during these last months of 1788, whereas the Emperor Philicus's subjects were in distress at the failure of his offensives against the Laurasian Empire, and of the stalemate which had persisted in the Durthian Duchies throughout the months of their master's "Enterprise of Laurasia" project. Spamalka, through suffering such horrendous losses in its attempted invasion of the Empire, had lost the advantage to its Laurasian rivals, which would be clearly seen in the military campaigns of the following year. Empress Aurelia, on her part, although she continued to be bothered with thoughts of her late favorite Leicesterius, nevertheless had to turn her attention to the festivities to celebrate the destruction of the Spamalkan Armada, and the Empire's advances into the Great Tesmanian Cloud. With Leicesterius gone, preparations for the Accession Day festivities now fell to Estatius, Hattonius, and the Empress's Champion, Sir Antigonus Lesius. On November 5, 1788, in honor of the victories obtained over Medinia Sidonia and over the Marasharites, a commemorative coin was struck by the Imperial Treasury. It bore the legend "Almitis blew with His winds, and they were scattered"; on the reverse side, was a depiction of the Battle of Oland, with the Spamalkan warships fleeing before the might of the Empire's forces. This coin proved to be immensely popular, and it would become a permanent issue of the Imperial Treasury in 1790. Sir Thomasius Heneagius, who coincidentally had expressed his regrets for the death of his rival, Leicesterius, commissioned the Armada Jewel, cast by the Empress's chief jeweler Sir Nicholas Hillardia. He presented it to the Empress on November 10. The following day, Empress and Imperial Court moved to the Old Royal Palace in Christiania. Six days later, Accession Day was celebrated with much pomp and vigor throughout the Empire. Lesius, Hattonius, Oxfadia, Estatius, Raleghia; all these personages distinguished themselves in the gladiatorial contests and jousts that day, and the Empress reveled in the acclaim of her subjects. The thirtieth anniversary of her reign was indeed cause for much joy. She had reigned far longer than either of her siblings, and longer than her grandfather; all had no doubt that she would surpass her father's record in due course. Aurelia was now the second-most senior monarch of intergalactic civilization, behind only her enemy, Emperor Philicus. Services of thanksgiving, devotional processions, feasting, physical performances, jousts, bonfires, and parades; all of this marked the victories won, and the glories of the Empress's reign. The culmination of the celebrations came on November 26, 1788, when the Empress, passing through railings hung with blue cloth, behind which stood her cheering subjects, came in an elaborate canopied craft, drawn by two white steeds (harkening back to the medieval and ancient days on Laurasia Prime, and to the Brethalian myths), to the Westphalian Cathedral, to give public thanks for the successes of this war, and to acknowledge her, and her Empire's, debt to Almitis and Providence. The enormous procession which attended her was larger than any that had been seen since her coronation, twenty-nine years earlier. There were pageants, songs, and ballads sung throughout the City of Christiania in her honor as she proceeded onwards. At the west door of the cathedral, the Empress descended from her lift and fell to her knees, praising Almitis before the huge crowds. She then went inside the Cathedral, hung with massive Imperial banners and with captured banners of the Empire's Spamalkan and Marasharite enemies.
    • Following the sermon, delivered by the Archbishop of Laurasia Prime, Dr. Aurelian Zoprhus, and a benediction conducted by the Dean of the Cathedral, Dr. Carus Icasus, the Empress delivered a formal speech to the congregations, and to her subjects. She alluded to the "sacrifices made to bring our Empire to this stage of victory"; praised the devotion of her subjects and of her government; and declared that in the upcoming year, Laurasia would inflict such defeats upon the Spamalkans and Marasharites that they would truly be aware of her Empire's power and prestige. They responded to her speech with a great shout, wishing her a long and happy life (she had turned fifty-five two months earlier, three days after the death of Leicesterius). The Empress then went in procession to the Ecrelian Palace, dining with the Archbishop, the Dean, Chief Procurator Whitshiftus, and the chaplains of her imperial household. She then returned to the Old Royal Palace. Aurelia now had a high reputation with her fellow monarchs. She was praised by Doge Cicogina of the Haxonian Confederacy, who marveled that "This woman, mistress of an entire galaxy, has made herself feared by Spamalka, by Franconia, by Marasharita, and indeed, by all!" Hensios III of Franconia and A'rua III of Pruthia both lauded the Empress's "valor and prudence", while her ally, Joseth II, congratulated her on her victories. Aurelia's own subjects were now endeared to her, and she was now one of the most beloved sovereigns in all of Laurasian history. Traditionalists had proved themselves loyal, and had given their full support to the government, in contrast to Philicus's misguided hopes. The Empire was now united, and Philicus could not find any one to conspire against the Empress in his own interests. His own mood was worsened when on November 23, 1788, Bergen op Zoom, a major Spamalkan supply base, was stormed by General Pellhamia and Prince Maurice of Nassau; nearly two-thirds of the Spamalkan garrison died in the offensive. By the end of December 1788, the coalition forces had recovered Neuss, Lingen, and Lochem, and were preparing for a move against Gronelo and Sluis.
  • December 6-By the beginning of December, 1788, Ochania was under severe strain by the Laurasian Empire's military forces. Admiral Ushavious, who had successfully repelled all counteroffensives by Marasharite troops against his positions, and had prevented Hassan-Pasha from breaking out to the Danube Military Highway, was now convinced that a direct offensive against Ochania would be advisable. Field-Marshal Rumanstevius, who had continued to maintain the line against possible thrusts by Marasharite troops from Stauvachany, Hadjibey, and Kuchuk Kaynarca, was at first reluctant about the prospect of rushing into the Ochania star system. He still carried memories of the failed Laurasian offensives against Silistria, Ruse, and Varna back in 1773. Lieutenant-General Surovius, however, was more confident, believing that the garrison of Ochania was so exhausted that it would not be able to pose a substantial threat to the Empire's forces. In this, he was proved correct. On December 2, 1788, Lord Howardis of Effinga, who had returned to Laurasia Prime from the Galactic Void, and acting on the Empress's commands, gave the authorization for a final offensive against Ochania to be launched. Four days later, Ushavious and Seniavin combined their squadrons together to penetrate the star system at two junctures. Hassan-Pasha's remaining warships fought a running battle with the Laurasian forces as their line advanced, but in vain. Within four hours, Ushavious and Seniavin had swept all before them. Hassan-Pasha himself, who attempted to flee on his personal starfighter, was now a prisoner of the Empire; his remaining destroyers and assault vessels had been destroyed or captured by the Imperial Laurasian Navy; and Ochania's shields had been breached by extensive bombardment from superior Laurasian warships. Lieutenant-General Surovius then directed a offensive against Ochania's garrison, and by the end of the day, most of the planet's surface had been overrun by troops of the 50th and 63rd Imperial Armies. The Commander of the Garrison of Ochania, Cenzham Pasha, surrendered only on December 8, 1788, having attempted to resist Laurasian troops for some time. On the orders of Surovius, all of the Marasharite officers were bound in chains. Nearly ten million Marasharite troops died in the offensive, compared to just 200,000 Laurasian troops. With Ochania now in the possession of the Laurasian Empire, there was nothing to bar a further Laurasian advance into the Great Tesmanian Cloud. By Ascentmas Day, 1788, Bocasnea had been secured by Laurasian troops, and Vochanay was under siege by a Laurasian detachment. The Holy Austarlian Empire, on its part, had recovered some of its losses to the Marasharites. Laudon, establishing his command headquarters at Decs on December 3, repelled a Marasharite offensive in the Battle of Dumrovia, and drove towards Banja Luka, cutting a hole in the Marasharite supply lines. Banja Luka itself was besieged from December 7, 1788, and fell to Laudon on December 22. By the end of the month, Laudon had driven Marasharite units from Pest and Dubrovnik, and was besieging Slastin. The year 1788 therefore ended with the tide turning against Marasharita and Spamalka, who had failed to cooperate effectively with each other in campaigns against their enemies, and were still separated by mutual differences.

1789Edit

  • January 1-
    • 1789, the 89th year of the eighteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire having gained the upper hand in the confrontations of the Fifth Laurasian-Marasharite War and of the First Laurasian-Spamalkan War; both conflicts were now becoming known collectively as the First InterGalactic War. The year previously, it had seemed as if the Empire's military forces were on the defensive. The Marasharite Empire of Abdulahamid II, and the Holy Spamalkan Empire of Philicus I, both of whom nursed a considerable grudge against the Empress Aurelia's government, had both taken the initiative in offensives against the Laurasian Empire. The goal of Marasharite Emperor Abdulahamid had been the recovery of all territories conceded to the Laurasian Empire during the course of the eighteenth century. This included the Galactic Frontier Route, the Muggal Cluster, the Billian Provinces, the Tof Borderlands, the Northern Reaches, the Trans-Angelina Transit Route, and the Haynsia. Abdulahamid had been determined to ensure that the Laurasian Empire would not pose a future threat to Marasharite possessions in the Great Tesmanian Cloud, and that the Marasharites would continue to be assured a stake in the affairs of the Caladarian Galaxy. Emperor Philicus, on his part, as explained above, was angered by the flow of mercenaries and aid to the United Durthian States (which had been ongoing for years), and then the conversion of that indirect aid into a formal provision pact between the Laurasian Empire and the United Durthian States. He had also considered the execution of ex-Scottrian Queen Mariana to be an excuse for war, and for his seizure of the Imperial Laurasian Crown (to come into the possession of his daughter, who would be merely a puppet of her father's). These ambitions, as had been embodied in the Spamalkan Armada which was commanded by the Duke of Medinia Sidonia and advanced across the Galactic Void, came to ruin at the hands of Empress Aurelia's most skilled naval commanders, including Lord Howardis of Effinga and Rear-Admiral Sir Franconius Dracius. The Marasharite plans had also come to foul, with commanders such as Surovius, Ushavious, Gregius, Rumanstevius, and Greysius securing a succession of victories over Marasharite forces.
    • At the beginning of 1789, the last year of the 1780s, Laurasian forces had occupied the Lower Ochanian Provinces and were preparing to launch offensives against Silistria, Ruse, and other major Marasharite strongholds in the Great Tesmanian Cloud. The Empress Aurelia herself, pleased by the victories which had been obtained by her military commanders, praised her troops, her government officials, and her subjects in her New Year's proclamation. Although she had suffered personal tragedy due to the death of the Earl of Leicesterius, for thirty years her chief favorite and courtier, Empress Aurelia was determined to pay homage to his memory, and to the memories of her father and grandfather, through shepherding the Laurasian Empire in this war and expelling the Marasharite Empire from the Great Tesmanian Cloud, at the least. She was confident in her military commanders, and believed her alliances with Durthia and Austarlia would place her Marasharite and Spamalkan adversaries on the edge. In her proclamation (January 1, 1789), the Empress declared that "the Lord Almitis, through His bounty and His grace, has allowed for us to defeat the evil foreigners, and to permit no prince of the realms of the Universe to interfere or to harm this our Empire. As we look forward to the new year, we see our subjects, under the guiding hand of the Almighty Lord of the Heavens, obtaining further victories over the enemies of this realm, and exerting our influence far beyond the confines of this, our galaxy." And indeed, 1789 would see the Laurasian Empire secure a succession of victories over its Marasharite and Spamalkan adversaries, in the Great Tesmanian Cloud, in the Little Amulak Cloud, and in the Durthian Duchies.
  • January 11-
    • As mentioned above, Empress Aurelia had entered 1789 without her favorite of so many years, the Earl of Leicesterius. Yet immediately following Leicesterius's death, the Empress had turned to the Earl of Estatius. Although Estatius had disappointed her with his reaction to his stepfather's death, he nevertheless rapidly assumed the role of chief favorite, moving into his stepfather's old apartments at the Imperial Court and being constantly in the Empress's company. Courtiers seeking patronage and favors thronged about him, for they had heard of his "forwardness to pleasure his friends", and he did prove assiduous in using his influence with the Empress on their behalf. However, if she turned down his requests, he would sulk. He was, according to Hattonius, a "great resenter and weak dissembler of the least disgrace." Aurelia, whose patience he often strained, enjoined him to be content with his good fortune, but he did not cease his demands, and often threatened to retire to his estates off Laurasia Prime, believing this would bring her around to his point of view. Estatius thought he could manipulate her, but constantly underestimated her formidable intellect and strength of will. However, such was her affection for him was that she would forgive him for minor transgressions: this led him to believe that he could do almost anything. The major difference between him and Leicesterius was popularity: Estatius had a high standing with the Empress's subjects, whom he courted with "affable gestures and open doors, making his table and his bed popularly places of audience to suitors." The Empress soon grew jealous, wishing for him to be dependent upon her alone for his success; she did not wish for there to be any rivals for the affections of her people.
    • Estatius's old guardian, Lord Treasurer Burghley, attempted to act as a mentor to Estatius, but Estatius was resentful of Burghley's influence and power (he, despite the favorite's presence, continued to be the Empress's unchallenged chief adviser), and he also resented the rising influence of Burghley's son, Robertius Cecilis. He desired to reach spectacular heights of his own as soon as possible. The Empress herself, on her part, remained vigorous and healthy, still dancing six gaillards some mornings, and walking, riding, and hunting regularly. Age and victory had invested her with an even greater dignity and presence; whenever she appeared in public, she seemed to be "like a goddess" to her subjects. Estatius was clever enough to defer to her in this respect, and sought to communicate to her his love and devotion. He thought that his influence would be unchallenged as long as he retained the Empress's favor. However, he soon found himself to be "disabused" of this notion. In early January 1789, the Empress's attention again focused upon Sir Nicanor Blountia, the brother of Lord Mountjaria, described as a "scholarly youth with brown hair, a sweet fact, a neat composure, and a tall bearing." Impressed by his performance at a joust, the Empress sent the young man, on January 4, 1789, the gift of a chess set, with the pieces cast from gold. Blountia, grateful for the Empress's gesture, tied the piece of the Golden Queen to his crimson ribbon. Observing it, Estatius lambasted Blountia, stating that "I perceive that every fool must have a favor."
    • Angered by this, Blountia challenged Estatius to a duel at the Celestine Park. The duel (January 9, 1789), resulted in Estatius suffering an injury to his thigh, and being disarmed of his weapon. Aurelia, who did not tolerate dueling at the Quencilvanian Palace itself, was becoming weary of Estatius's high-handedness. When she learned of the duel, she responded that "By Almitis's blood, it was fit that someone or the other should take him down and treat him better manners; otherwise there will be no rule in him." She ordered Estatius and Blountia to apologize to each other, forbidding them to return back to the Imperial Court until they had done so. They did so, and later became devoted friends, although Blountia remained a favorite of the Empress. Blountia, on his part, was eager to resume his commission in the Imperial Laurasian Army (he had fought under Leicesterius's command in the United Durthian States, and had later been one of Dracius's fleet subordinates in the battles with Medinia Sidonia), but Aurelia would not allow it. She would appoint him a Gentleman Pensioner on January 11, 1789. That same day, Estatius quarreled fiercely with Raleghia, and challenged him to a duel, but the Council, alarmed, forbade it. Having discussed the further rise of Estatius's influence at the Imperial Court, it is prudent to turn to other matters: namely the conduct of the war.
  • January 25-
    • By January 1789, the Empress Aurelia and the Imperial Privy Council became fully convinced that, in order to strike a blow against the Holy Spamalkan Empire, it was necessary to exploit the turmoils in Philicus's most recent territorial acquisition: the former territories of the Stellar Kingdom of Portugallia. Philicus I, who had utilized his hereditary claim to the Portugallian Crown in order to seize and annex those territories in 1780-81, had, during the course of the decade, made himself exceedingly unpopular. The Emperor of Spamalka had granted numerous asiento bulls, or bulls of privilege, to Spamalkan merchants and navigators. These bulls granted them the right to "most favored status" at all Portugallian colonies, and permitted them to trade their goods, and to conduct their financial services, without having to pay taxes to the Portugallian Treasury or to report to the Portugallian Concordat for Economic Affairs. Increasingly, monopolies on gold, sugar, and on other goods produced by the Portugallian Colonies, such as Singapore, Malacca, Brazil, and the Caraccas, had been granted to Spamalkan, Milianian, and Naparian magnates; the Emperor ignored the complaints of the Portugallian Cortes. The Cortes itself successively lost influence to the Emperor's Portugallian Council of State, which assumed the authority to implement executive orders; to oversee the Portugallian bureaucracy; and to represent Philicus's interests in those realms. The Council of State was comprised mostly of Spamalkans, with Philicus refusing to allow for Portugallian nobles to hold anything other than advisory positions. The Emperor had also begun a crackdown on Portugallian religious customs, insisting on the imposition of regulations concerning estates, vestaments, and rituals based along the lines of the Spamalkan Catholic Order. All of these served to alienate the Portugallian nobility of Lisbon and the Colonies against Emperor Philicus, and to invite foreign intervention. Empress Aurelia, in seeking ways to strike back at Philicus for his launching of the Spamalkan Armada, and his patronage of ex-Scottrian Queen Mariana (while she lived), now decided to threaten his rights to the Portugallian Crown, and to back the claims of a Portugallian noble who would be able to muster a patriotic resistance to the Spamalkan occupiers. That turned out to be Don Antonio of Canto, who had, as previously mentioned, been in exile on Parri since 1783.
    • Don Antonio had continued to claim the title of "King of Portugallia", refusing to acknowledge Philicus's rights to the Spamalkan Crown, and operating his own mock court on Parri. King Hensios III had defied the Spamalkan Emperor's demands for Don Antonio to be handed over, and had allowed him to recruit mercenaries, maintain a network of spies, and issue manifestos across the Franconian Media, decrying the foreign occupation of his "hereditary realms". This was the person, Aurelia decided, who would become the next King of Portugallia. As early as March, 1788, the Imperial Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Imperial Intelligence Agency had been encouraging rebel tensions in Portugallia against Philicus's government. Now, the Empress decided to extend her support to Don Antonio. On December 19, 1788, Chancellor Walsingis, acting on the Empress's instructions, had sent a communique to Don Antonio. In this communique, Walsingis declared that "Her Majesty of Laurasia is concerned about your predicament, and recognizes that the rule, by the Spamalkan fiends, over your hereditary realms is against the laws of the Lord Almitis and the Laws of the Contrito of Portugallia." Therefore, the Chancellor declared that the Empress was willing to grant sanctuary at the Imperial Court to Don Antonio, and to negotiate with him a treaty to offer him military assistance to gain the Portugallian Crown and expel Spamalkan forces from his native realms. Don Antonio, who found this an irresistible offer, responded within two days. Praising the Empress Aurelia for her "wisdom and her generosity towards me", Don Antonio went on to state that he would be glad to negotiate a military alliance with the Laurasian Empire, and to accept Laurasian aid. Walsingis then ordered the Laurasian Ambassador at the Court of Parri, Sir Didomenes Ieries, to make arrangements for the translation of Don Antonio and his household to the Empire. Ieries did so, holding several conferences with King Hensios III and with Franconian Foreign Affairs Minister Necker (who had succeeded Vergennes upon his death on February 9, 1787). On January 3, 1789, Don Antonio secretly departed from Parri on the Franconian transport Claire, disguised as a navigator. His court followed on four smaller Franconian vessels. Thanks to the efforts of the Imperial Intelligence Agency, neither Parma nor Philicus got wind of what was going on. Don Antonio reached the outskirts of the Laurasian Empire four days later, and on January 13, Laurasia Prime. He was greeted by the Empress Aurelia secretly at the Diplomatic Palace, followed, on January 16, by a public revelation. Negotiations had been ongoing since his arrival, and the Privy Council was able to speedily reach agreement with the pretender, who was practical and a political realist.
    • On January 25, 1789, the Treaty of Christiania was signed by the Laurasian Empire and the Stellar Kingdom of Portugallia-in-exile, resulting in the establishment of a formal military alliance between the two realms. By the terms of this treaty, the Empress Aurelia agreed to assist "His Majesty of Portugallia" in regaining possession of his hereditary realms, in expelling Spamalkan forces from his territories, and in acquiring the Spamalkan Balearics, Colombiana, and parts of the Peruvian Colonies. To that purpose, the Empress would detach a substantial military force, as least as considerable as that which had been waging military campaigns in Durthia, and to place this force under the command of two of her respected military commanders. In exchange, Don Antonio agreed to provide all "worthwhile military assistance to the forces of Her Imperial Majesty of Laurasia", to recognize Laurasian acquisitions made at the expense of the Marasharite Empire, and to acknowledge the independence of the United Durthian States. Neither he nor Aurelia would conclude any separate treaties with their enemies without consulting the other. The Treaty of Christiania, when it was announced, enraged Emperor Philicus, who declared it further evidence that the Empress of Laurasia sought only to extend her influence so as to destroy the independence of all other powers. Aurelia, however, reacted to this in a mocking manner, declaring that Philicus's own record was not the "most admirable" and that means were necessary to maintain the balance of power between the two states. During the course of the next two months, the Imperial Privy Council and General Headquarters would make substantial preparations for the planned offensives in Portugallia. Sir Franconius Dracius and Admiral Seniavin, who had both proved their abilities in the previous year's campaigns, were now designated as the co-commanders of Laurasian naval forces; Field-Marshal Lord Greysius, as commander of the land forces. Don Antonio, on his part, and with the approval of the Imperial Laurasian Government, assembled his household resources, recruited mercenaries in the Empire, Durthia, and Franconia, and issued manifestos to his subjects from abroad, urging them to rise against the Spamalkans. In March 1789, in fact, he established communications with the Duke of Braganza, one of the most powerful Portugallian magnates. Braganza commanded much influence on the Cortes, and he, along with his allies the Duke of Braga and the Count de Porta, mobilized his retainers and personal corps for an outright revolt against Spamalka.
  • February 28-
    • By February 1789, the forces of the Laurasian Empire in the Great Tesmanian Cloud, and those of the Holy Austarlian Empire in the Amulak Spiral, had both made, and were continuing to make, further advances against the overstretched and outclassed forces of the Marasharite Empire. Attention must be first paid to the further exploits of Austarlian Field-Marshal Laudon. Slastin, which had been besieged by Laudon from December 27, 1788, fell on January 4, 1789. The reconquest of this stronghold forced Kavik-Bey to retreat to Timasora and Slatina. Laudon now pressed the offensive forward. By January 11, he had reconquered Conkura, Kitsman, and Zhasti, and was besieging the Marasharite supply base of Jagasonia. Kavik-Bey now launched a counteroffensive against Ivill, Pest, and Mitrovica (January 12-17, 1789) which came to an abrupt halt in the Battle of Tumu Severin, in which Laudon destroyed a number of Marasharite xebecs. On January 22, Jagasonia capitulated to the Austarlian Field-Marshal, and he soon stormed the Marasharite repository of Tuzla, freeing more than 300,000 Bosnian and Olthenian slaves. By the end of January 1789, Laudon had stormed the Olthenian strongholds of Turceni, Horezu, and Tismena; Craiova, the Province's capital, was besieged by Austarlian troops beginning on January 31, 1789, and would fall into their possession on March 2. On February 4, Kavik-Bey launched a counteroffensive from Timasaora, temporarily driving Austarlian units from Bihac and Luvanac, which they had stormed in June 1788. Laudon quickly recovered, however, and on February 14, 1789, the Battle of Corabia resulted in a decisive victory for the Holy Austarlian Empire. By February 21, Bihac and Luvanac had been recovered; Slatina had fallen into Austarlian hands; and Timasora was blockaded by a Austarlian expeditionary force. On February 24, the garrisons of Sarajevo, Mortu, and Targu Jiu fell to Laudon. The Holy Austarlian Empire now controlled most of Upper Serbia and Olthenia. By the middle of March 1789, Laudon had also recovered Mehadia, the Hyboskian Colonies, and Zakhavana, thereby reasserting Austarlian authority over all of Bukovina except for Chernivsiti.
    • On March 12, 1789, the Austarlian Empire's forces would occupy Silisburg, in the Marasharite Gateway Provinces, thereby opening a route of communications and intercourse with the Laurasian Empire's forces in the Great Tesmanian Cloud. This would prove pivotal. Admiral Ushavious and Lieutenant-General Surovius, on their part, had made further advances (the second stage to be described). Ushavious, promoted to the rank of full Admiral in January 1789 by a grateful Empress Aurelia (Dracius had been promoted in November 1788), advanced from Fidonsi, Ochania, and Del Valle against Duros. Duros was besieged by the forces of the Laurasian Empire from January 7, 1789; despite the efforts of the Garrison Commander, Hassalat-Bey, the world fell into the possession of Ushavious just three days later. Duros was quickly followed by Sivash (January 12-14); Surabaya (January 22); and Rauglaki (January 25). On February 2, Surovius intercepted and destroyed a Marasharite armored convoy in the Battle of Divan; by February 12, Laurasian troops had blockaded the garrison of Turkutkai, and were pressing perilously close to the outskirts of Kuchuk Kaynarca, where the Fourth Laurasian-Marasharite War had been ended in January 1774.
    • Mapudan-Bey, Marasharite Commander of the Garrison of Kolzuduzha, now launched a desperate offensive to relieve Turkutkai and to repel Laurasian troops from Ivirim, Trans-Ruse, and Del Valle. On February 15, 1789, the Marasharites destroyed a Laurasian communications relay in the Battle of Liman. Laurasian outposts on Grad (February 17); Vikhta (February 22); and Sofia (February 24) were stormed. On February 28, 1789, Mapudan-Bey attempted to storm Pernik, which had been seized by Laurasian forces one month earlier. Here, however, he now encountered a disastrous defeat. General Surovius, who had held his reserve of starfighters and Marines at Debleim, barricaded the outskirts of the star system and directed a frontal onslaught on Mapudan-Bey's ranks. Marasharite formations were repelled, and nearly half of the Marasharite personnel who landed on Pernik were slaughtered by superior Laurasian troops, Mapudan-Bey, however, brought his warships to formation, and his destroyers succeeded in reducing Pernik's shield generators. At this point, however, Surovius released his reserves, and the Marasharites were quickly hurled back. By the end of the day, the Battle of Pernik had resulted in a decisive victory for the Laurasian Empire. Surovius now stormed Vikhta and Grad (March 1, 1789). On March 7, Sofia was reconquered by Laurasian troops, and from here, Surovius intensified the siege of Turkutkai. Turutukai, site of a decisive Laurasian victory back in 1774 which had hastened the end of the Fourth Laurasian-Marasharite War, fell into the Laurasian Empire's hands, this time permanently, on March 12, 1789. Ushavious, at the same time, destroyed superior Marasharite armies at Vimeshin, Chios, and Navarino, occupying all three strongholds (March 2-22, 1789) and giving the Empire a foothold in the Gateway Provinces. By the beginning of April 1789, Laurasian forces were besieging Hadjibey, Vitvoka, and Kaushany. Ruse and Silistria suffered from constant Laurasian expeditions. On April 4, the Battle of Athos resulted in another naval victory for the Laurasian Empire, sundering supply lines to Chesma and Lesbos.
  • March 17-
    • Following the conclusion of the Treaty of Christiania in January 1789, with the Portugallian pretender Don Antonio of Canto, the Empress Aurelia and her Privy Council turned their attention to the other possibility, one which had been in their minds since the beginning of the war: the establishment of a military and diplomatic alliance with the Marasharite Sultanate of Morocco. Morocco, as previously explained, had, by 1787, effectively broken away from the overlordship of the Marasharite Empire. Under the rule of the vigorous Khatib III, Morocco had conquered the formerly Marasharite vassal systems of Nouackhott, Atar, Kiffa, and Aleg (1787-1788), thereby acquiring control of the northern portions of the Barbary State of Mauritania in the Little Amulak Cloud. Khatib was now determined to gain the rest of Mauritania; to expel the Holy Spamalkan Empire from Ceuta and Melilla; and to force the Marasharite Empire to acknowledge Morocco's full independence as a sovereign state. He now considered alliance with a foreign power, in particular the Laurasian Empire, to be fitting for his goals. Laurasia and Morocco had already been enjoying diplomatic and economic relations for some years. The Treaty of Kuchuk Kaynarca (1774), had permitted for the Laurasian Empire to establish, subject to conditions laid by the Marasharite Government, commercial and diplomatic ties with the courts of the Barbary States. The Empire had opened relations with Tripoli (1774); Tunis (1775); Algiers (1776); Mauritania (1777); and Sale (1777). In February 1778, Empress Aurelia dispatched Sir Demetrius Hogania to the court of Sultan Khatib II of Morocco in Casablanca, in order to establish a treaty between the two governments. Hogania succeeded in his mission. The Sultan, who spoke Spamalkan, Haxonian, and Franconian, was reasonably well-educated, and he proved amenable to all Laurasian offers. A Treaty of Amity and Commerce had been signed on April 2, 1778, approved by the Marasharite Government ten days later, and ratified by the Empress Aurelia. Diplomatic consulates had at that date been exchanged between the governments of the two realms; full commercial relations established, with Laurasian and Moroccan merchants, starhoppers, and navigators assured rights of access and of tariff-free transport in the territories of the other; and provisions made for the release of all Caladarian Galaxy natives held as slaves by the Court of Casablanca. Shortly afterwards, the Empress and the Sultan began conducting a correspondence over matters of interest between their two realms. This was continued by Khatib's son, Khatib III, when he became Sultan in 1781. That same year, Aurelia, overcoming her previous reluctance for arms sales between the two realms, authorized for the exportation of naval-grade neuranium to Morocco in exchange for vitier, an essential ingredient in the manufacture of nylon torpedoes. In 1785, the Empress formally chartered the Barbary Merchantile Consortium, a consortium of Laurasian businessmen and entrepreneurs for the development and maintenance of factories, trade arrangements, and common liabilities in Morocco and in the Libyan States.
    • The following year, the Consortium was granted a monopoly on all non-essential commerce between the Empire and the Barbary States. Thus, by 1789, the Empress had a good grasp of the state of affairs in Morocco, and realized that alliance with that state would be essential in defeating the Marasharite Empire. On March 4, 1789, Lord Treasurer Burghley, in a Privy Council discussion about ongoing preparations for the campaigns in Portugallia and the Portugallian Colonies, suggested that negotiations with Morocco be geared towards obtaining the Sultanate's support for the war against Spamalka. Aurelia agreed, and two days later, ordered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, now under the direction of Lord Buchamia, to open a "avenue" of communications with the Moroccan Chancellory. On March 7, the Ministry sent the first of several communiques to the Morrocan Government. In these communiques, it was declared that the Empress of Laurasia desired for the "reduction in influence of the Spamalkan and Marasharite monarchies", for the maintenance of a "reasonable balance of power in the Little Amulak Cloud, whereas all of the Barbary States shall exist in unison and without being subject to the authority of a foreign state", and for "common operations against Spamalka, for the aim of restoring Portugallian independence". Therefore, the Empress, the communiques stated, now proposed a full military alliance between the Laurasian Empire and the Sultanate of Morocco. The Empire promised to assist Khatib III in any conflicts which he might undertake against his neighboring States, and in forcing recognition of his sovereignty from the Marasharite Empire. Khatib, when he received these communiques, was at first cautious. He did not wish to rush into an alliance with the Empire at the first juncture, and sought instead to examine "all angles" of what was occurring. Eventually however, he concluded that an alliance with the Empire would be beneficial for his purposes. On March 17, 1789, the Sultan responded positively to the Laurasian offers, agreeing to open a conference with representatives from the Imperial Laurasian Government over the conclusion of an alliance. Chancellor Walsingis now acted promptly, and on March 25, 1789, delegations between the two governments convened in El Aauin, a Moroccan resort colony in the outskirts of the Little Amulak Cloud. Negotiations would continue for nearly a month.
  • April 7-On April 7, 1789, the Emperor of Marasharita, Abdulahamid II, the enemy of the Laurasian Empress Aurelia the Great and erstwhile ally to the Spamalkan Emperor Philicus I, died at the Imperial Palace of Topacia, aged 64. Abdulahamid had ruled for fifteen years, since the death of his older half-brother Mustapha III in January 1774. Like his brother, Abdulahamid died while his realms, the Marasharite Empire, were engaged in war with their most powerful enemies, the Laurasian Empire. Unlike his brother, however, Abdulahamid died during the early stages of such a military conflict; the Fourth Laurasian-Marasharite War was to continue for nearly another three years after his death. Ever since the failure of the Marasharite offensives into the Haynsia, the Northern Reaches, and the Corporate Sector during the early months of 1788, Abdulahamid's health had entered a serious decline. The Emperor had, in any case, never enjoyed the most robust health; his years of confinement, before his accession to the throne, had deprived him of much exposure to the public, and of the capability to travel and maintain physical alertness. Consequently, he had became lazy, indulging himself in the excesses of luxury and with the maidens attached to his household. This had continued throughout his reign, and it had worsened with the passage of time. Abdulahamid, however, was also distressed by the failure of his Empire's offensives against the Laurasians. The Holy Austarlian Empire, on its part, was performing far better than it had five decades earlier, having gained military combat experience through the wars with Pruthia, Haxonia, Vendragia, and Franconia, among other powers, and having undergone extensive military reforms. All of this combined with increasing nationalist tensions against the Empire in Albania, the Grecian Provinces, and Syria, as well as the mutiny of Morocco and its refusal to adhere by the terms set by the Emperor's government. Abdulahamid finally deemed that he could take no more and he expired, lamenting that he could not preserve the realms bequeathed to him by his ancestors. He was now succeeded as Marasharite Emperor by his nephew, Selim III, son of his predecessor Mustapha. Selim was determined to continue the war against the Laurasian Empire, and to suppress any further outbreaks of rebellion against his authority.
  • April 21-
    • After nearly a month of negotiations between the diplomatic delegations of the Imperial Laurasian and Moroccan Governments, the Treaty of El Aauin was signed by the Laurasian Empire and the Sultanate of Morocco on April 21, 1789 (which was, coincidentally, the eightieth anniversary of Neuchrus the Reformer's death). Sir Demetrius Hogania, who had served as Consul to the Court of Casablanca since 1778; the Lord Casalarania of Chapelle; and Sir Sixtus Cagranius signed as the plenipotentiaries of the Laurasian Empire. Abel el-Quahed, Chief Secretary of Diplomacy to the Sultan; Governor Mers-el Crasat of Rabat; and General Sevah el-Medidi of Agadir signed as the plenipotentiaries of the Sultan of Morocco. By the terms of this treaty, a military and diplomatic alliance was established between the Empire and the Sultanate. In the preamble to the Treaty, it was declared that "the Emperor of Marasharita has, through his constant aggressions and his hostility to the stability and prosperity of all other powers, demonstrated his oppressive nature and the cruelty of his species." It was therefore declared necessary for the two monarchies to combine against such a great evil, and to take all measures of war necessary to ensure that the Marasharite Empire's power and influence would be restricted. Consequently, the Holy Spamalkan Empire of Philicus I was also decried in the treaty; its "oppression" over the Durthian Duchies, and its unlawful occupation of the Serene Kingdom of Portugallia and the Portugallian Colonies, justified an alliance against that power. Thus, the Sultan of Morocco undertook himself to support the acquisition, by the Laurasian Empire, of the territories of the Great Tesmanian Cloud and Gateway Provinces; to recognize the independence of the United Durthian States, and its sovereign rights to the territory of the Durthian Duchies; and to denounce the Spamalkan acquisition of Portugallia.
    • To that end, the Sultan pledged to declare war on the Holy Spamalkan Empire, and to provide a force of not more than 700 military warships, twelve million soldiers of the Moroccan Army, and a subsidy of €6.7 trillion dataries ($10.1 trillion ducats), in the campaign to restore Portugallia's independence and to install Don Antonio of Canto on the Portugallian throne. The Laurasian right to establish military bases in the Azores, Malacca, Singapore, and Brazil was acknowledged, as far as the Empire "respected the customs, autonomy, and privileges of the subjects of the Portugallian Crown." In exchange, the Empress of Laurasia pledged herself to provide for the transport expenses of all Morrocan soldiers employed in the military campaigns; to continue the exportation of military arms, equipment, and supplies to Morocco; and to provide the Sultanate military forces with which to subdue Mauritania and repel invasions by Marasharite and Barbary forces. Ceuta and Melilla were to become possessions of the Sultanate of Morocco. Finally, the Treaty provided for full Laurasian support for Moroccan independence; the acknowledgement of such by the Imperial Laurasian Government; and the establishment of full-status diplomatic embassies at the courts of the respective powers. The Treaty of El Aauin was ratified by the Empress Aurelia on April 24 and by the Sultan Khatib III on May 2. Immediately upon the ratification of the Treaty of El Aauin, both Laurasia and Morocco proceeded forth with their respective military campaign plans. By the beginning of May, 1789, the Empire had assembled its naval forces for the Portugallian Expedition, as it was labeled, at Branxholme, Erith, Dumbarton, Dumblaine, Baltinglass, Leith, Stirling, Derith, and Cork in the Angelina Spiral; Haarlem, Flushing, Brill, Neuss, Lochem, Hague, and Gravelines in the Amulak Spiral; and Belkadan, Sernapasia, Scanlan, Houston, Tyson, Kerch, Kuban, Thornton, Merevop, and Voronezh in the confines of the Caladarian Galaxy. The Sultan of Morocco, on his part, assembled his military squadrons at Tangier, Fes, Agadier, Tautoan, Meknes, and Nador. Spamalkan Emperor Philicus, on his part, strengthened the garrisons of Lisbon, Corruna, San Sebastian, and Santander, and ordered the Duke of Parma to maintain his forces for readiness in the Southern Durthian Duchies. These measures, however, did not prove sufficient against the forces of the Empire and of its allies, as would shortly be demonstrated.
  • May 14-
    • While the negotiation and conclusion of the Treaty of El Aaouin was ongoing, and the preparations underway for the offensives in the Little Amulak Spiral, the Laurasian Empire's military commanders continued to make gains in the Great Tesmanian Cloud against the Marasharites, while Laurasia's Durthian and Austarlian allies advanced in their respective theaters of combat. Following the Battle of Athos, Admiral Ushavious's military squadrons advanced against Taganrog, which served as a major Marasharite military arsenal and transport link. From Taganrog, Marasharite troops could be rapidly moved to reinforce Silistria, Ruse, and Shumen. It was thus important for the Empire's forces to seize control of this stronghold. After a series of confrontations with Marasharite forces at Kelindari, Bostra, and Nemedia (April 5-9, 1789), the 50th and 53rd Imperial Fleets reached the outskirts of Taganrog on April 11. The ensuing Battle of Taganrog lasted for two days, with Marasharite Admiral el-Ghazi (once again facing Laurasian forces in combat), conducting a fierce resistance. Ultimately, however, the power of the Empire's forces proved too great, and Taganrog fell. From Taganrog, Admiral Ushavious stormed the Marasharite fortresses of Chigrin (April 15) and Bushin (April 17).
    • On April 22, 1789, after having resisted Laurasian forces for over three weeks, Vitvoka capitulated to Admiral Ushavious. Kaushany followed four days later, with Ushavious and Gregius capturing a number of battleships and dreadnoughts. Aldeormeia was stormed (April 30, 1789); by May 3, both Koron and Moreia had been stormed by Laurasian detachments. Then on May 14, 1789, Admiral Ushavious and Field-Marshal Rumanstevius, operating from Navarino, launched a massive offensive against Chesma, site of Admiral Hawkius's victory nineteen years earlier. The Grand Council, fully aware of the symbolic importance of this star system, had ordered Admiral el-Ghazi to take command of the world's garrison and defenses. Chesma now boasted one of the largest forces then at the disposal of the Marasharite Empire. This force comprised of one hundred destroyers, fifty xebecs, seventy galleys, and a corps of transports, frigates, and couriers. Admiral Ushavious, however, had assembled a substantial force of nearly three hundred military warships with 25 million soldiers of the 61st and 62nd Imperial Armies. Chesma, however, now fell under a siege by the forces of the Laurasian Empire, for the Admiral understood that a direct offensive into the star system would be an act of folly.
    • The siege continued for thirteen days, as the garrison of Chesma fiercely resisted Laurasian offensives, repelling moves by the Admiral's units against the Chesma Straits and the Nemeian Outpost. Ultimately, however, Admiral Ushavious was able to exploit a gap in the front lines of the Marasharite forces, and on May 28, 1789, launched the final and decisive offensive. Laurasian warships quickly surrounded the Nemeian Outpost; a set of automated transports was then released, destroying thirty of the Marasharite xebecs and the garrison flagship, the Coros. Within seven hours, the naval confrontation was effectively decided, and by the early hours of May 29, el-Ghazi had been forced to retreat from Chesma, and the world had capitulated to the Empire. In the meantime, Yefstavy had been secured by Laurasian units (May 21-25, 1789), and the Bosporan Straits were now under direct assault from Laurasian forces. As regards to the Holy Austarlian Empire, Chernivsiti was besieged by Field-Marshal Laudon beginning on March 17, 1789; it fall ten days later completed the expulsion of Marasharite forces from Bukovina. Laudon, with the assistance of his subordinate, Prince Siegen of Carlsbad, then defeated the Marasharite garrisons of Megathon (March 24-29); Berat (April 2); and Durres (April 7), recovering those strongholds for the Austarlian Empire. Sharakapar and Mat had both been stormed by April 15, and on April 25, Austarlian troops approached the outskirts of Tirana. Despite Marasharite counteroffensives at Devoli, Has, and Korce (April 26-May 7, 1789), Tirana was reconquered by Laudon's forces on May 12. Laudon then destroyed a Marasharite supply convoy at Regec (May 15). By the end of May 1789, Marasharite forces had been expelled from the Lower Pazak, including the stronghold of Korns and Qumic. Prince Siegen had distinguished himself in the meantime by seizing the Serbian systems of Palanka, Rudorac, and Cacack.
    • On June 7, 1789, Chancellors Walsingis and Kaunitz, in a series of communiques over the continued military offensives against the Marasharite Empire agreed that Prince Josias of Coburg, previously one of Field Marshal Laudon's field commanders, and now in command of the Austarlian offensive against Balti and Chrisnau in the Danubian Principalities, should coordinate military offensives in the Gateway Provinces, the Danubian Principalities, and the upper Great Tesmanian Cloud with Laurasian Lieutenant-General Surovius. Surovius, who had stormed the Marasharite terminal of Piatra Nemat in the Gateway Provinces (June 1-3, 1789), had now established a direct route of contact with Austarlian forces at Silisburg, and with the Laurasians having driven the Marasharites from Chesma and Navarino, cooperation now seemed pivotal. On June 12, 1789, Surovius and Prince Josias held their first joint command conference on Moreia, and agreed to launch a coordinated push against Galati, Bocasni, and the Sucreava Colonies. By June 26, Galati had been stormed by a joint Laurasian-Austarlian corps, while Surovius overran the Marasharite fortresses of Oradea, Bihor, and Blaesti, penetrating deep from the Gateway Provinces into Marasharite Wallachia, in the outskirts of the Great Amulak Spiral.
    • In the Durthian Duchies, in the meanwhile, the Duke of Parma found himself hard-pressed to maintain his recent gains in the face of renewed Laurasian and Durthian offensives. By the beginning of January, 1789, reinforcements from the Empire had begun to arrive in substantial numbers in the United Durthian States. Flushing, now the chief center of Laurasian operations in Durthia, had become transformed into the Empire's largest extra-territorial garrison. It boasted a defense force of six million troops of the 69th Imperial Army; a system of turbolaser batteries, particle shields, and defensive barricades; and a patrol fleet of nearly two hundred warships. General Pellhamia, who had repelled Spamalkan moves against Brill, the Inner Gravelines, and Neuss, was now ready to launch a massive counteroffensive against Deventer, Axel, and Sluis. On January 7, 1789, Prince Maurice of Nassau, coordinating operations with the Empire's forces from Hague, defeated a Spamalkan convoy in the Battle of Rittersburg. Five days later, Gronelo, which had been seized by Parma the year before, fell once again into the hands of the allies. By the end of January, 1789, Axel and Sluis were both under siege by Laurasian and Durthian forces, while Parma's offensive against Meurs and Rees had been repelled, with the Spamalkan Duke losing nearly a third of his assault vessels. On February 5, however, the Battle of Steenbergen resulted in a decisive victory for Parma, who impounded a number of Laurasian transports. Laurasian offensives against Lier, Veurne, and Menen also proved indecisive, although, on February 19, Pellhamia destroyed a Spamalkan convoy in the Battle of Diest. He then maintained the defenses of Wouw, and in conjunction with Prince Maurice of Nassau, destroyed a Spamalkan corvette corps near Niezji. Turnhout fell to the Allied Coalition on March 4, and by March 17, Parma's units had been driven from Aaylst, Diskmuide, and Roselare.
    • Maurice of Nassau and General Pellhamia now moved their troops in the direction of Geertuidenberg. This stronghold had been captured by the Marquis of Vasto in November 1788, and had since been the site of Spamalkan expeditions against Hague, Amsterdam, and Roosevelt. Its capture was essential to terminate this threat to the Durthian Capital Worlds and to secure the route to Nassau, located in the outskirts of the Principality of Orange, which had been blockaded by Spamalkan forces for over two years. By the end of March 1789, although Parma had overran Laurasian positions at Dillenburg and Lochem (which fell into Spamalkan hands for the second time), Pellhamia and his subordinate, Brigadier General Sir Demetrius Whertfadia, had effectively isolated Venlo and Jissel. Rheinberg, which had been recaptured on March 22 from the Spamalkans, became a major supply repository for the impending offensive. Finally, on April 7, 1789, Geertuidenberg was assaulted by Generals Pellhamia and Whertfadia. Although a allied offensive against Warnsveld and Bergh's Scone failed, Parma was unable to move from Namurs and Ghent to resupply the stronghold. Geertuidenberg fell on April 10, giving the allied coalition a major victory. By the middle of May 1789, allied forces had also secured Bep and Gies, breaching into Brabant. Parma's losses in these recent campaigns against Laurasia and Durthia demonstrated what effect the diversion of the Empire's military resources into this conflict could have. On June 3, 1789, the Empress Aurelia conferred the Order of St. Antiochus the Great upon Admirals Seniavin, Gregius, and Ushavious, and upon General Pellhamia, as a reward for their victories and their valor in combat.
  • June 5-
    • As explained above, the Laurasian Empire's military preparations for its offensives in the Portugallian Homeland Territories and in the Portugallian Colonies had become well-advanced by the beginning of May, 1789. The same was true for the Duke of Braganza's retainers and supporters in Portugallia itself. Sintra, Porto, and Vila Nova de Gaia were among Braganza's chief strongholds; it was in these star systems that he assembled his mercenaries for action against the Holy Spamalkan Empire. Don Antonio of Canto, in the meantime, had by now assembled a substantial military force of more than two thousand warships and 95 million troops, comprised of his Portugallian supporters as well as Haxonian, Durthian, Franconian, and Scottrian mercenaries. Empress Aurelia, on her part, had followed the preparations closely, and she was now convinced that the stage was set for the commencement of the offensives. On May 11, 1789, in a session of the Imperial Privy Council, the Empress expressed her hope that her Spamalkan counterpart would be humbled and that "the threat which he has continued to pose to my realms, and to the tranquility of extra-galactic civilization, will be permanently terminated." Five days later, the assembled forces of the Laurasian Empire, under the joint command of Lord Greysius and Admiral Dracius, departed from their various garrisons in the Empire and in the Durthian Duchies. On May 25, the two military commanders decided to divide their military forces into two smaller armadas, and to launch co-ordinate offensives into the outskirts of the Little Amulak Cloud. Dracius proceeded immediately towards Corunna. Corunna was a major Spamalkan naval dockyard, supply post, and transportation terminal located ten thousand light years north of Lisbon. From this stronghold, Spamalkan convoys patrolled the commerce routes leading to the Peruvian Colonies, the Azores, and the Malaccas.
    • Its capture would be vital in disrupting the Spamalkan commercial lanes and in giving the Empire a vantage-point from which to strike against Spamalkan colonies and military convoys. After a series of confrontations with Spamalkan units at Quiebron (May 29-June 2) and Habana (June 3), Dracius reached the outskirts of the Corunna star system (June 4, 1789). Under his immediate command was Major-General Sir Demetrius Norria, who had been reassigned from his duties in the Durthian Duchies two months earlier and attached to the Portugallian Campaign. The ensuing Battle of Corunna (June 5-8, 1789), witnessed a series of decisive offensives by Laurasian warships and troops into the star system. Dracius placed his starfighters and couriers in reserve at Aaia, seeking to sunder all supply lines to the star system. At the same time, he directed his battleships and destroyers in a frontal offensive against Corunna's defenses. The Corunnian Asteroid Belt was quickly overwhelmed by Laurasian units, and by the early hours of June 7, they had penetrated the world's shield defenses. General Juan de Avila, commander of the garrison of Corunna, proved to be incompetent and unable to repel Laurasian landings on the world. Within hours, Norria's troops had secured the Corunna Command Citadel, the Upper Fortress of Citade Alita, and the Corunna Military Repositories. Combat continued for another day, as Dracius seized most of the Spamalkan merchantile ships in harbor within the star system. General de Avila surrendered during the afternoon of June 8, and Corunna was now in the hands of the Laurasian Empire. From Corunna, Dracius stormed Vigo (June 9-14); Salamander (June 16); and Baiona (June 22).
    • At the same time all of this was ongoing, Greysius had made his appearance at the Azores (June 1, 1789). He and Don Antonio (who had established his command headquarters at Franca's Point), quickly stormed Porta Delegada (June 2), impounding a number of Spamalkan warships and gaining the loyalty of the Portugallian garrison. Although a allied offensive against Horta (June 3-6, 1789), failed, Don Antonio's corps seized the Spamalkan fortifications of Salga, Gruto de Naval, Gruta das Torres, and Pico Nebula (June 2-9, 1789), inflicting serious losses on the Spamalkan position in the Star Cluster. Then on June 12, 1789, the Battle of Prainha, fought between Greysius and Don Antonio on the one hand, and Spamalkan Admiral Cassandaro de Svila, on the other, resulted in a decisive allied victory. By June 25, Flores, Villa de Corvo, and Villa de Porto had all been stormed by allied troops, driving Spamalkan units from the Faisal Sect. With the Laurasian Empire's forces having secured this succession of victories over the Spamalkan garrisons, the Duke of Braganza now deemed it prudent to rise in revolt. On June 27, 1789, from his estates on Sintra, Braganza, Braga, and de Porta announced that they were officially in rebellion against the Spamalkan Emperor Philicus I; rejected his authority over the Serene Kingdom of Portugallia's territories; and pledged their allegiance to Don Antonio as King of Portugallia. Rebel forces, now reinforced by the pretender's mercenary corps, and by Laurasian detachments, drove Spamalkan troops from Cavado, Braixo Vouga, Franca de Xira, and Coimbra (June 28-July 3, 1789).
    • By July 5, when Lord Greysius defeated a Spamalkan armored convoy in the Battle of Sao Roque, Braganza had also stormed Oliveres, inflicting a humiliating loss upon the Holy Spamalkan Navy and impounding thirty Spamalkan corvettes. Within another three days, allied forces had stormed San Sebastian and Biscay, pressing perilously close to Lisbon. On July 14, 1789, Lisbon was formally placed under siege by the forces of the Laurasian Empire and the Serene Kingdom of Portugallia (in exile). Dracius and Greysius now combined their land and naval forces for the decisive blockade of the Portugallian capital system. Braganza, on his part, had stormed the Spamalkan arsenal of Montalegre (July 10-11), thereby providing a vital supply line to the allied forces at Lisbon. Lisbon's garrison was commanded by Don Alfredo Marssiano, the Duke of Cadiz. He had a force of five hundred military warships and 33 million Spamalkan, Portugallian, and mercenary troops at his disposal. This was compared to the allied forces of nearly six hundred warships, with 12,500 starfighters, and 40 million troops of the Imperial Laurasian Army, Imperial Marines, and Portugallian Corps. Furthermore, Braganza provided auxiliary support to the besieging forces. The siege would be destined to drag on for the next two months. Dracius and Greysius would focus their effort on suppressing supply lines to the star system, repelling Spamalkan expeditions against their conquests in the Azores, and in establishing a barricade in the Lisbon Straits. On July 19, 1789, matters would be changed further, by the arrival of the Earl of Estatius.
  • July 19-
    • Ever since March, 1789, the Earl of Estatius had declared to his allies and associates at the Imperial Court that he would obtain glory, financial relief, and recognition if he were to serve in the offensives against the Holy Spamalkan Empire in Portugallia and in the Portugallian Colonies. His service in the United Durthian States under his stepfather, the Earl of Leicesterius, had created in him a fanatic hatred of Spamalkan Emperor Philicus. Estatius had come to believe that the Emperor of Spamalka was the agent of the "Anti-Almitis" and that he needed to be defeated at all costs. He was, in the Earl's view, even more of a threat and a vicious enemy than the Empire's perennial Marasharite adversaries. On April 16, 1789, the Earl had first raised to the Empress Aurelia the prospect of his participating in the Portugallian offensives as a fleet subordinate of Greysius. He pointed out his combat experience in the Durthian States and desired to command Imperial Marines in operations within the Azores, at Lisbon, and in Brazil. The Empress, however, feared his rashness, and on April 29, after having been pestered by the Earl three further times, she explicitly forbade his leaving the Imperial Court without her permission. Aurelia told Chancellor Walsingis and Lord Treasurer Burghley that the "vain youth would seek to trump himself up, at risk to the success of our ventures." Estatius, however, now defied the Empress's commands, and he maintained a secret correspondence with Brigadier-General Sir Rogerius Willhamia, one of Greysius's command subordinates. With his aid, Estatius was able to secure the promise of a commission in the Imperial Marines Corps, and of the command of the 4th Imperial Batallion.
    • He delayed his secret departure from Laurasia Prime until June 22, 1789. Estatius reached the Galactic Void in less than two days. The Empress did not learn of his flight until the early hours of June 25, while completing her morning toilette. She discovered a farewell communique which had been composed by the Earl and left in her office. Aurelia, thrown into utter despair and rage at this, now questioned the ladies of her Privy Chamber as to his whereabouts. They trembled in fear, telling Her Majesty that they did not know where he had gone. The Empress now stormed up and down the private apartments of the Palace, with her ladies and guards following her. Chancellor Walsingis attempted to inform her of a planned audience with the Pruthian Ambassador, but the Empress said that he could wait. When he asked as to what he should tell the Ambassador, Aurelia responded that he should say, "The Empress is looking for the Earl of Estatius!" The Chancellor, himself just informed of Estatius's departure, informed her that he was already in the Void and had joined a convoy of Laurasian warships heading to reinforce the Empire's position in the Little Amulak Cloud. In fury when hearing of this, Aurelia had taken one of her shoes and thrown it at the Chancellor, shouting she would send everyone present (ladies, guards, councilors all) to the execution gallows. She then sank to the ground and burst crying. Her faithful Chief Gentlewoman, Lady Parrius, comforted her, and the Empress ultimately emerged from her bout of anger. She rose and then warned anyone from revealing what had transpired, on pain of death. The Empress now proceeded to business. She dispatched Lord Husadarania, in vain, to intercept the convoy before it reached Corunna.
    • The Empress then messaged Dracius, and in a furious communique (July 4, 1789), stated that "His offense in so high a degree that the same should be punished by death. We command that you sequester him from all charge and service, and cause him to be safely kept until you know our further pleasure therein, as you will answer for the contrary to your peril, for as we have authority to rule, so we look to be obeyed. We straitly charge you that you do forthwith cause Estatius to be sent back in a safe manner. Which, if you do not, you shall look to answer for the same to your smart, for these be no chilidsh actions." The Empress's attitude, however, was soon mollified when she learned of how Estatius had distinguished himself in confrontations with Spamalkan troops at Sao Jorge and Riberia Grande (July 5-10, 1789), and on July 12, she rescinded her order, permitting for the Earl to remain with the offensive forces for the time being. Estatius reached Lisbon on July 19, 1789, and quickly proved his valor in combat. On July 26, he would lead a charge by Laurasian Marines against Lisbon Terminal, overruning several of the docks and pining his sword of honor against the Chief Gateway. Such actions would induce the Empress to forgiveness, and to praise his qualities and merits to the Privy Council. Burghley, however, pointed out that Lisbon had not yet been taken, and stated sourly that Estatius would eventually place the Empire's military forces in harm's way. While this was ongoing, the Empire's forces in the Great Tesmanian Cloud had obtained a major victory.
  • July 21-
    • By the beginning of July, 1789, the allied forces of the Laurasian and Holy Austarlian Empires, under the command of Lieutenant-General Surovius and the Prince of Coburg had begun to proceed against Bocasani. The capture of Galati, Bihor, and Blaesti had posed a serious threat to the Marasharite strategic position in the Danubian Principalities. Chrisnau suffered from continous Austarlian and Laurasian moves. Emperor Selim III, who followed the events of the war closely, now ordered, on July 4, for General Osman Pasha (then stationed at Covasnha), to advance against Prince Coburg (who was then besieging Targu), in the hopes of dividing him from his Laurasian allies. Osman Pasha at first made some gains, briefly storming Austarlian garrisons on Vidin, Sokin Bajaka, and Oradhea (July 6-11, 1789). On July 14, he was defeated in a confrontation with Laurasian and Austarlian troops at Timis. Three days later, General Surovius, advancing from Oradea and Bihor, joined with Prince Coburg's corps near Arad. Then, on July 21, 1789, General Osman-Pasha, seeking to again divide Coburg and Surovius, launched a offensive against Focasani in the Gateway Provinces, which had been stormed by Rumanstevius in March 1789. Surovius and Coburg, however, had anticipated Osman-Pasha's move. The Laurasian Lieutenant-General had stationed his Marines and a corps of warships, under the command of Commodore Sir Aurelius Marvus, near the outskirts of Focasani. The main allied forces, under Surovius and Coburg, waited at Milcov, located three light-years northeast of Focasani. Therefore, when Osman-Pasha's warships and troops penetrated into the star system, they were able to land on Ooboesti and Vrancea, the two outlying worlds. Marasharite expeditions penetrated to the Alexandru Asteroid Belt, and it seemed as if they had obtained the advantage. Surovius and Coburg, however, now launched a decisive offensive against the outskirts of Focasani.
    • Within four hours, Ooboesti and Vrancea had been recovered by allied forces, and Osman Pasha was forced to flee towards the Muteni Straits. It was at this point that Commodore Marvus launched an offensive from the rear, cutting off General Pasha's route of escape. By the end of the day, the Battle of Focasani had ended in a decisive victory for the Laurasian and Holy Austarlian Empires. Out of 350 Marasharite warships, 113 were destroyed and another 65 were captured. Nearly 700,000 Marasharite troops were killed in the land confrontations of the battle, compared to just 75,000 allied units. General Osman-Pasha himself barely managed to flee the star system, but was forced to leave behind his flagship, the Cassadrios, and the bulk of his Army Corps. For this victory, Surovius was praised in a proclamation by the Empress Aurelia. Following the Battle of Focasani, the Laurasians and Austarlians both made further advances. By the end of July, 1789, Surovius and Rumanstevius had stormed Brasov, Cluji-Napora, Berenakza, Kazanka, and Krye, securing the Empire's position in the Gateway Provinces. On August 4, 1789, Surovius obtained another victory over the Marasharite forces, under the command of General Al-Kedik, in the Battle of Yelanets. He then repelled Marasharite counteroffensives against Trans-Ruse, Ivrim, and Kaushany (August 5-9, 1789).
    • In the meantime, Field Marshal von Laudon stormed the Serbian systems of Cuprjina, Valjveo, and Karanovac (August 1-17, 1789), driving ever closer to Belgravia, where the previous Austarlian-Marasharite War had been ended in 1739. The capture of this stronghold, which had been held by the Holy Austarlian Empire between 1718 and 1739, was considered essential to the Emperor Joseth and his advisors on the Council of State. By August 22, Laudon had secured Palez, Sabac, and Loznica, expelling the last Marasharite units from Olthenia and the Lower Pazak Cluster. On August 25, 1789, he destroyed a Marasharite force in the Battle of Uzlce, capturing nearly 200,000 Barbary and Syrian warriors. On that same day, Surovius gained a decisive victory in the Battle of Kucuk Kaynarca. This world, so important symbolically to the Laurasian Empire, capitulated on August 27. By the end of August, 1789, Grand Vizier Cenzaze Hassan Pasha (who had assumed the post on May 28, 1789), and had established his command headquarters at Karansebes (where he had destroyed a Austarlian force in September 1788 and thus gained the notice of the Grand Council), was preparing a counteroffensive against the Gateway Provinces.
  • August 2-
    • By August 1789, the situation in the Serene Kingdom of Franconia had degenerated once again into civil conflict. King Hensios III had, since December 1776, attempted to negotiate a settlement with the Franconian League, which was ardently opposed to the Huguenot Confederation. The Duke of Guise and his supporters, however, wished to disrupt the Huguenot Confederation and divide their assets with King Hensios. The Estates-General of Blois, in December 1776, which had only one Huguenot delegate, pressured the King of Franconia into conducting a war against the Huguenot Confederation. Hensios had then asked the Estates-General to finance him with the necessary taxes to defeat the Confederation; the Third Estate, however, vetoed the King's request, and as a result, he did not receive the funds. Regardless, open warfare ensued. Poitou and Guyenne had then seen the rise to dominance of the Huguenots, a situation Hensios exacaerbated in September 1777 by the Concodat of Beregac and the Edict of Poitiers, when he revoked many of the privileges which had been granted to the Confederation. The Prince of Conde had seized Le Fere in November 1779, resulting in a series of skirmishes between government and Huguenot forces until the Treaty of Fleix in November 1780. The death of Hensios's brother, the Duke of Anjou, in June 1784, had worsened the situation and deprived him of his last surviving sibling. Hensios of Navarre, who had now become the heir to the throne, sought aid from Empress Aurelia of Laurasia. The Empress, however, distracted by the events in Durthia, and (after 1787), with the wars with Marasharita and Spamalka, refrained for years from intervention.
    • In December 1784, the Duke of Guise signed the Treaty of Joinville with Emperor Philicus I of Spamalka, who pledged them a grant of $3.4 trillion ducats per year to maintain their struggle against the King and his authorities. In July 1785, Hensios, desperately attempting to maintain the peace, issued the Edict of Nemours, revoking his namesake's rights of succession to the throne and cracking down further on Huguenot privileges. This strategy did not work, however, and in May 1788, the Uprising of the Barricades, provoked by the Duke of Guise, resulted in the King being forced to flee from Parri. Guise and his supporters now constituted the Committee of the Sixteen, and took control of the Franconian government. The following month (June 1788), the King agreed to the Edict of Union, surrendering to the most recent demands of the League. This was negotiated by his mother, Queen Dowager Catharina d'Medici, who was now in declining health. In September 1788, Hensios convened a session of the Estates-General at Blois; he soon became convinced that Guise had manipulated members of the Third Estate, and that he was a dangerous threat to the Franconian Crown. On December 23, 1788, the Duke and his brother, the Patriach of Guise, were lured into a trap by the King's guards at the Chateau de Blois. The guardsmen, having told the Guise brothers that the King wished to meet them, then fell upon them and hacked them to death with viboswords. Guise had been popular with many in the Kingdom, and in January 1789, the Franconian League declared war on King Hensios.
    • On January 5, 1789, his mother, Queen-Dowager Catharina d'Medici, died at the age of 69 at the Chateau de Blois. Her death marked the passing from the scene of a woman who had played a important role in Franconian affairs for more than four decades. Two days later, Guise's younger brother, the Duke of Mayenne, assumed leadership of the League. The League utilized the Holonet to disseminate messages and pamphlets attacking the King; the Franconian Sorbonne proclaimed it lawful to depose Hensios from the throne. In June 1789, King Hensios and his cousin, Grand Prince Hensios of Navarra, instigated a siege of Parri, attempting to secure the capital star system from the League. On August 1, 1789, King Hensios was mortally wounded by Jacques Clement, a fanatic supporter of the Franconian League. Clement had disguised himself as a Franconian cleric and had gained access to the King's presence. He stabbed the King with a dagger. Clement was instantly killed, and Hensios was taken to the medical quarters. At his deathbed, he formally named Hensios of Navarra as his successor, enjoined his troops and subordinates to be loyal to him, and declared that he would soon meet his ancestors. Then, August 2, 1789, Hensios III of Franconia, last of the Valois Dynasty, and last surviving son of Hensios II and Catharina d'Medici, died at the age of only 37 from his wounds. Hensios of Navarra now became King of Franconia as Hensios IV, the first ruler of the Bourbanoite Dynasty. News of Hensios's death was received with much joy on Parri, and throughout the League's territories. The new King of Franconia decided to postpone the offensive against Parri. He would now seek to gain the assistance of a foreign power: namely, the Laurasian Empire. Hensios was aware of the Empress Aurelia's fear of the Huguenot League and of her desire to have a strong, and friendly, Franconian monarchy than one which was unstable and hostile. And his efforts to secure a military alliance with the Empire would soon meet success.
  • August 22-
    • The Empress Aurelia convened a special session of the Imperial Privy Council at the Gilbertine Palace on Tudoria. The Empress had continued to monitor the progress of the Empire's military forces in the Great Tesmanian Cloud, Portugallian Homeland Territories, and the Southern Durthian Duchies. Events in the Great Tesmanian Cloud have already been noted. It is now prudent to address the continued events surrounding the Siege of Lisbon, and of other offensives in Portugallia. Throughout August 1789, the forces of Admiral Dracius and Lord Greysius kept up the pressure upon Lisbon's defenses. On August 5, a Spamalkan counteroffensive, launched by General Manuel Commenraz against Peinche, which had been secured by Laurasian forces three days earlier as a communications terminal, failed. The Earl of Estatius then distinguished himself in a series of confrontations at the Lisbon Spaceports (August 7); Almada (August 11); and Matosinhos (August 14). On August 17, 1789, Admiral Dracius's subordinate, Commodore Sir Thomasius Gangius, destroyed a Spamalkan naval convoy in the Battle of Maia, preventing the reinforcement of Lisbon from the Spamalkan garrisons of Cavado, Algrave, and Fairo. Viseu, a major Spamalkan mining and industrial goods colony, fell to the Commodore on August 20. By the time Empress Aurelia convened the Privy Council, Dracius's forces were pressing upon Lisbon's Northern Straits, having overrun Alfa Pendular, Belem, and Chiado Spaceport. During the early hours of August 20, the Empress had received a communique from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in which the Sultan of Morocco pledged to enter the war against Spamalka by no later than the end of the following month. With all of this in mind, the Empress conducted herself in a confident, upright manner.
    • She declared to her Privy Council that the continued victories by her forces had humbled the Empire's adversaries, and that all were aware that she would not shrink on her promises. Aurelia quickly moved on to affairs in Franconia. The Empress had been monitoring the civil conflicts in this, once Laurasia's most persistent enemy from the Amulak Spiral, for years, and she was utterly alarmed by the assassination of King Hensios. Following his death, most foreign sovereigns, with the exception of Spamalkan Emperor Philicus I, had expressed their shock and regrets at his death. In a communique to the new King of Franconia (August 7, 1789), the Empress had declared that "the death of your predecessor, by such foul and vile means as would be employed by any agent of the Anti-Almitis, is one which brings great sadness to my heart and to my dominions." Two days later, Aurelia had ordered for a memorial service to be held in the murdered Franconian King's honor at the Westphalian Cathedral. These actions had served to further strengthen relations between the Imperial Laurasian Government and the authorities loyal to King Hensios. The Empress herself leaned towards intervention, realizing that Laurasian aid to Hensios would ensure Franconia's future friendship and cooperation with the Empire. Chancellor Walsingis and Lord Treasurer Burghley were among the chief proponents of it among her advisers, believing that intervention would give the Empire a leverage in the affairs of the Amulak Spiral, and a counterbalance to the further ambitions of the Holy Spamalkan Empire. This was all quickly revealed at the Privy Council's session, with the Empress's councilors almost unanimous in urging her to move forward with treaty negotiations with her Franconian counterpart. Aurelia obliged, and on August 25, ordered Lord Buchamia (Minister of Foreign Affairs), to send a message to his Franconian counterpart, Necker, requesting for alliance negotiations between the two realms. Necker responded positively on August 31, and on September 4, Hensios himself granted permission for negotiations to proceed. Delegations from the two governments would convene at Carcassone, one of Hensios's chief strongholds in the Grand Duchy of Navarra, from September 7, 1789. On that day, the Empress and the Imperial Court, having conducted a minor progress through the Galician and Goldarian Provinces, and now residing at the Palace of Harmony on Clancia, celebrated her fifty-sixth birthday, and the Empire's continued war successes, with much pomp and ceremony.
  • September 22-
    • By the beginning of September 1789, the Marasharite Grand Vizier Cenzaze Hassan Pasha had assembled his military forces at Rymnik (which had been controlled by the Marasharite Empire as a military base since 1434), Drobea, and Pitetsi. The Grand Vizier had decided to launch a series of counteroffensives against Austarlian and Laurasian units at Focasani, Oradea, Bihor, Balesti, and the Bosporan Straits. On September 5, 1789, the Grand Vizier advanced from Rymnik against Oradea. In a series of confrontations with Prince Coburg and Laurasian Admiral Seniavin at Mures, Satu Mure, and Lower Oradea (September 5-11, 1789), he managed to inflict a series of defeats upon the allied forces, and to thrust to the outskirts of Oradea. Over the course of the next four days, the Grand Vizier wasted his manpower and naval resources in launching a series of assaults against the garrison of Oradea. This gave General Surovius the advantage. Surovius now decided to launch a surprise offensive against Rymnik, bypassing the Grand Vizier's positions in the outskirts of the Oradea star system. He reckoned that the Grand Vizier would hasten back to this major military base, and that his supply lines would therefore become overextended. Coburg, who had been repelling Marasharite assaults against Galasti and Silisburg, was to join with him at the decisive moment and cut off the Grand Vizier's lines, preventing his retreat. On September 20, 1789, the 50th Imperial Army and the 66th Imperial Fleet advanced to Rymnik. Surovius and Seniavin had 570 warships and a force of nearly one million soldiers of the Imperial Laurasian Army at their disposal. The garrison of Rymnik alone had 235 warships with 1.3 million soldiers; the Grand Vizier's main command force had 700 warships and nearly 2 million Marasharite troops. Surovius would thus be outnumbered. However, Coburg had a substantial force of 550 warships and 3 million troops of the Imperial Laurasian Army, which would give the balance in the confrontation. As Surovius had expected, Grand Vizier Cenzaze Hassan Pasha quickly hastened from Oradea with his formations, and by the early hours of September 22, was approaching Surovius's formations in the outskirts of Rymnik.
    • The first confrontations of the Battle of Rymnik saw the garrison of that star system combining with the troops and marines of the Grand Vizier, and Surovius's first landings on Rymnik Post and the Rymnik Asteroids were repelled. By midday, however, the advantage had shifted. Coburg's formations now advanced swiftly from Galasti to Rymnik, and launched an immediate offensive against the Grand Vizier's force. He drove all before him, and by 2:00 P.M. Galactic Standard Time, the Prince had stormed several of the Marasharite command positions. Surovius now launched a vigorous counteroffensive from the rear. Seniavin released his reserves of starfighters and marines, bottling up the garrison of Rymnik and laying a series of mines at the Rymnik Asteroids. The General then landed his corps on Rymnik Minor, crippling the Marasharite enemy artillery and utilizing infantry square formations to repel massive counterattacks by Marasharite marine corps. Bogsa soon fell to Surovius's units, and he now combined with Coburg for a decisive push against the Grand Vizier and Garrison General Kemeneskh Mustafa of Rymnik, driving their formations directly into the star system. Seniavin's flank attacks against the Rymnik Posts inflicted serious damage upon Marasharite positions and swept away most of their destroyers and dreadnoughts. By the middle of the afternoon, allied troops had landed on Rymnik and were advancing towards Mustafa's chief command headquarters. The Austarlian corps under Coburg advanced and pinned down Marasharite formations near Rymnik Station, while Surovius launched a massive flanking attack against the Grand Vizier's forces, attacking them with his marines and transports. By the end of the day, the Battle of Rymnik had ended in a complete and utter victory for the Laurasian and Holy Austarlian Empires. Grand Vizier Cenzaze Hassan barely managed to flee Rymnik, but Garrison General Kemeneskh Mustafa became a prisoner of war, along with his officers. The Marasharites lost nearly 1.4 million troops, all of their turbocannon and ion cannon batteries, and a third of their warships. Surovius and Coburg, on the other hand, lost only 150,000 troops and less than a fifth of their warships. Celebrations erupted throughout the Laurasian Empire. The Empress Aurelia declared Surovius her best commander; on October 15, 1789, she would reward Surovius by raising him to the nobility as Baron Surovius of Rymnik. He would be conferred the Order of St. Seleucus the Victor, the Empire's second highest military honor, in December 1789.
    • Following the Battle of Rymnik, Laurasian and Austarlian forces made swift gains. Mures and Satu Mure were reconquered by the end of the month, and on October 2, the Sucreava Colonies fell to a combined assault by Surovius and Coburg. Bacau and Tighina both capitulated to the allies five days later. At the same time as these operations were ongoing in the Gateway Provinces and the Danubian Principalities, Austarlian Field-Marshal Laudon had made a major gain at the expense of the Marasharite Empire. Smederevo, Palez, Sabac, and Zemun had been stormed by Laudon's forces in August 1789, and on September 15, the Field-Marshal had commenced the siege of Belgravia. He surrounded this major Marasharite military bastion, which had been in their possession (with the interlude 1718-39) since 1521, with nearly 300 military warships and a substantial force of Austarlian troops, Marines, and Reiffers. Despite the efforts of Marasharite General Al-Sissi of Aegyptiania, Belgravia fell on October 8, 1789. Nearly two-thirds of the Marasharite garrison died or were captured. By the end of November, 1789, Laudon had secured the rest of Lower Serbia. This included the strongholds of Kragujevec (October 12-14); Svilajnac (October 18); Aleskinac (October 22-25); Soko Banja (October 30); Soko (November 4); and Srebnirca (November 12). The Second Battle of Karanovac, on November 21-22, 1789, resulted in another humiliating defeat for the Grand Vizier and the fall of this Marasharite military stronghold to the Holy Austarlian Empire. Laudon also repelled Marasharite counteroffensives against Palez, Braska, and Kovin.
  • October 6-As regards to the Portugallian campaigns, September and October 1789 witnessed dramatic advances by the forces of the Laurasian Empire, Don Antonio of Canto, and the Duke of Braganza. On August 25, 1789, Laurasian and Portugallian troops, under the command of Braganza and General Norria, advanced from Maia to the Tagian Straits. Along the route, Norria and Braganza seized seventeen Spamalkan transports and commercial vessels at Lourdes (August 27, 1789). Two days later, the Battle of the Tagian Straits resulted in a decisive victory for the allied forces. By September 11, the Portugallians had liberated the systems of Gunimares and Seixal, and on September 15, 1789, another Spamalkan counteroffensive, launched from Vigo, Cadiz, and Gibraltar, came to ruin in the Battle of Cale Guestria. By September 29, Porto Santo and the Madeira Comets had been stormed by Dracius, who captured a stockpile of Spamalkan turbocannons. Two days later, Philicus suffered a serious blow: Sultan Khatib III of Morocco, adhering to the Treaty of El Aauin, issued a declaration of war against the Holy Spamalkan Empire. By October 4, Almiera, Granada, Grehalio, and Lower Gibratar had all been seized by Moroccan expeditions, and Ceuta was blockaded by the Sultan's forces from Agadir and Casablanca. Three days later, October 7, 1789, the Duke of Cadiz finally surrendered, and Lisbon now fell to the Laurasian Empire and to Don Antonio of Canto. On October 14, 1789, he was formally acknowledged as King of Portugallia by the Cortes of Muraillo. And by the end of October, 1789, the Spamalkan garrisons of Odivelas, Fairo, and Cavado had been ejected. Most of the Portugallian Homeland Territories had now been liberated from the Spamalkan Empire. Philicus, who had retreated into the recesses of El Escorial on Madrid, was embarassed by these losses. On October 22, 1789, General Norria was dispatched to Fez, in order to provide reinforcements to the Sultan in his siege of Ceuta, and to fulfill the Empire's military obligations in the alliance. Marasharite Emperor Selim III now declared the Sultan a contamacious traitor, and on November 2, 1789, would issue orders to the Beys of Algiers and Tunis, ordering them to advance into Morocco.
  • November 17-
    • The Empress Aurelia, who once again resided at the Fountain Palace on Venasia Prime with the Imperial Court, celebrated the thirty-first anniversary of her reign with much pomp and ceremony. Sir Antigonus Lesius, the Empress's Champion, ensured that the Accession Day jousts staged for the benefit of Her Majesty and her courtiers would be one of much "joy, ceremonial, and triumph." The Empress observed a parade of returning troopers of the Imperial Laurasian Army, Valedictorian Guards, and Imperial Marines. She herself rewarded several of the Empire's military veterans in the parade with the Order of St. Antigonus the Conqueror, which was the highest honor which could be accorded to enlisted soldiers in the Imperial Military. They were afterwards treated to a afternoon banquet with the Empress, and were guests of honor at a ceremonial joust among the chief courtiers of the Imperial Household. Oxfadia and Hattonius both distinguished themselves; the latter, although his health was beginning to enter a decline, was nevertheless still an accomplished duelist. The Empress then attended a series of masques and balls which were held in her honor, including the Ball of Praise by the assembled matrons and noblewomen of Venasia Prime. This was followed by a performance of Venasian High Maidens at the Palace Court, and by a massive fireworks display. Manifestos issued from the Imperial Court to the subjects of the Empire praised the efforts of the Empress's military forces in the confrontations with the enemy, and also the accomplishments made by the Empire's allies. The following morning, November 18, 1789, the Empress attended a service of benedictions and praise conducted in honor of the Imperial Military at the Matronly Church of Fa'kha in Ta'cuaghay, and offered her fervent prayers for the continued success of her military forces. And indeed, the Empress's prayers were not in vain.
    • Hadjibey, which had long been a headquarters for the Marasharite Navy in the Great Tesmanian Cloud, finally capitulated to the forces of the Laurasian Empire on October 21, 1789. By October 24, Shumen was being constantly harried by Laurasian units from Ivrim, Ochania, Kilidrim, Hadjibey, Navarino, Chesma, and Moreia. On October 29, 1789, Admiral Ushavious utterly destroyed a Marasharite force launched from Briceni in the Battle of the Lower Danube Asteroids. Bessarabia was in Laurasian possession by November 3, and on November 7, 1789, Akkerman fell under siege from the forces of the Laurasian Empire. Despite the efforts of Garrison General Mustafa-Pasha, the stronghold fell to Admiral Ushavious and Field-Marshal Rumanstevius ten days later. With the fall of Akkerman, Laurasian forces advanced to the Peldavian Gateways and Stauvachany. The garrison of Stauvachany, isolated from its supply routes and realizing that resistance was futile, surrendered to Admiral Ushavious on November 24, 1789; the Peldavian Gateways followed ten days later. By the beginning of December, 1789, Varna had been virtually isolated by the Imperial Laurasian Navy, and Ushavious now stationed his units at Bessarabia, Duros, Del Valle, and Kuchuk Kaynarca, determined to make a decisive move against this Marasharite stronghold which had previously eluded Laurasian forces. Surovius, in the meantime, had ruined a Marasharite counteroffensive at Yesidan (November 5-9, 1789) and had stormed the Marasharite arsenals of Yuzhne, Teplovar, and Rezni in the Gateway Provinces, completing the expulsion of Marasharite units from that region.
  • December 12-Following the declaration of rebellion by the Marasharite Empire against the Sultanate of Morocco in early November, 1789, a new theater of war quickly opened in the Barbary States and in Mauritania. Moroccan forces, which had already been assembled at the Sultanate's chief strongholds from the conclusion of the Treaty of El Aauin with the Laurasian Empire, took the advantage from the first. Advancing from Nouackhott, Atar, and Kiffa, the Sultan's younger brother and heir apparent, Prince Ahmad al-Mansur, defeated a Mauritanian-Marasharite force in the Battle of Kedai (November 5, 1789). Selibaby, which was the Marasharite consulate of affairs in the Guidmaka District, was stormed five days later. By November 12, General Norria, whose chief military command headquarters was at Fez, had repelled a Marasharite offensive against Kenitra and Nador, gaining the respect of his Moroccan allies. On November 16, 1789, Ceuta, having been besieged by Moroccan and Laurasian forces for more than a month, surrendered. Two days later, Norria and Morooccan General Haydir en Barabrossa secured a major victory over Spamalkan units in the Battle of Aranjuez, driving Spamalkan troops from their strongholds at Ifini, Marrakesh, and Kanish. On that same day, King Antonio I of Portugallia (as he was now recognized by his subjects and by Laurasia, Durthia, Austarlia, Dejanica, Pruthia, Franconia, and Haxonia), defeated a Spamalkan force in the Battle of Teutores, preventing their advance against Lisbon. By the end of November, 1789, Portugallian forces had completed the expulsion of Spamalkan units from the das Flores, Horizomo, and Santa Marma sects of the Azores Star Cluster. On December 3, 1789, two days after Dracius repelled a Spamalkan offensive against San Sebastian (which had now become a major base from which Laurasian troops and naval vessels harried Spamalkan commerce), the Siege of Nordeste, the last significant stronghold held by the Spamalkans in the Azores Star Cluster, commenced. King Antonio assigned his nephew, Prince Fernando, to command the siege along with Braganza and Field-Marshal Lord Greysius. Nordeste's garrison and defenses were commanded by the Count de Muur, who was under orders from Philicus to not surrender and to await reinforcements from Canaira and Tenefire. On December 7, however, Dracius's destruction of a Spamalkan naval force under the Duke of Majorica in the Battle of the Cayman Nebula put paid to all hopes for the garrison of Nordeste. Nordeste's inhabitants, in any case, despised their Spamalkan occupiers and were determined to rid themselves of them. On December 12, 1789, they erupted in revolt against the garrison, overruning the world's shield generators and blockading the Garrison General and his main troops in their headquarters. Within hours, the world had been flung open to the allied forces, and Nordeste fell into the possession of Portugallia and the Laurasian Empire. The Count de Muur did not surrender, however, until December 21, after receiving word of further victories by Dracius at Cacabanna and Sibana over Spamalkan relief squadrons. On December 24, 1789, the Siege of Mellila commenced, as this last Spamalkan foothold in the Barbary States was surrounded by a force of nearly 800 Laurasian, Moroccan, and Portugallian warships with nearly 35 million soldiers from the three allied states. As the year 1789, and the 1780s, came to an end, the Laurasian Empire and its allies had gained the ascendancy on all fronts.

1790Edit

  • January 1-1790, the 90th year of the eighteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire and its allies, the Holy Austarlian Empire, the United Durthian States, the Stellar Kingdom of Portugallia, and the Sultanate of Morocco, having obtained the dominant position in the InterGalactic War. The Marasharite and Holy Spamalkan Empires, who had been reluctant allies at first, were hampered by the inefficiency of their military and diplomatic resources; by the overextension of their forces; and by the internal dissensions which existed in both realms. The Holy Austarlian Empire's military forces, under the command of the aged but still skilled Field Marshal Laudon, had conquered the Banat of Temesvar, the Pazak Cluster, Serbia, Olthenia, Belgravia, Upper Bosnia, most of Wallachia, and Albania, having inflicted a endless series of humiliations upon the Marasharite Empire in the Balkan Provinces. Its cooperation with the Laurasian Empire had yielded results, with Surovius and Coburg having developed a close relationship and a good partnership of military coordination and cooperation. Surovius, Rumanstevius, Seniavin, and Ushavious had led the Empire to an uninterrupted series of victories in the Great Tesmanian Cloud and Gateway Provinces. Marasharite forces clung on to Izmail, Jassy, Varna, Shumen, Kolzuduzha, Ruse, and Silistria, but with a growing unease, and a painful awareness of the superiority enjoyed by their adversary's military forces. Durthia, on its part, had reestablished itself in portions of Brabant and was beginning to drive Spamalkan units from the Northern Provinces. Portugallia had restored its homeland territories, driven the Spamalkan garrisons from the Azores Star Cluster, and was ready to launch campaigns to reclaim its colonial territories. Morocco, under Khatib III, had repelled all Marasharite offensives and had advanced further into Mauritania. This year would see the allied coalition make more gains and the entry of Franconia into the conflict. However, it would see the sudden withdrawal of the Holy Austarlian Empire which, in spite of its victories over the Marasharites, was facing troubles in Hungary and Burgundy, and had a poor relationship with the Haxonian and Vendragian Confederacies. The Empress Aurelia entered the last decade of the eighteenth century as probably the most powerful sovereign of inter-galactic civilization. Ruling over an Empire of nearly sixty-two million star systems, encompassing the whole of the Caladarian Galaxy and Angelina Spiral, Empress Aurelia could reasonably claim to have a full stake in the affairs of the Great Amulak Spiral. And it was this message which she trumpeted in her New Year's proclamation (January 1, 1790). The Empress declared that "the Lord Almitis has, in his greatness, and his glory, bequeathed us with much success and much prosperity. He has ensured that this Empire will continue to enjoy success, with the valor of its troops overawing all." For the Empress, however, there was ahead personal tragedy, anxiety about affairs at the Imperial Court, and renewed worries about the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Empire's old ally, Pruthia.
  • January 7-After four months of long, arduous negotiations, the Treaty of Carcassones was finally signed by the delegations of the Laurasian Empire and Serene Kingdom of Franconia on January 7, 1790. The Laurasian signatories to this agreement were the Laurasian Ambassador to the Court of Parri (who actually resided at Toulouse with the King's Court), Sir Achilles Prasius; Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Baron Burnqhamia of Kherson; and Sir Antigenes Selevies. The Franconian Royal Government was represented by the Dukes of Toulouse and Nice; Foreign Affairs Minister Necker; and the Lord Hensios de'Bravanate of Orange, a Durthian-Franconian hybrid who had been in the service of the Franconian Foreign Service since 1779. By the terms of this treaty, a diplomatic and military alliance was established between Laurasia and Franconia. The Empress Aurelia pledged herself to "the recognition of His Majesty's authority over the entire extent of his realms, including Parri, Orleans, Burgundy, Brittany, the Metzian Lordships, Lorraine, Bar, Normandy, Calais, Poitiers, and Anjou." Therefore, the Franconian League was to be formally denounced by the Imperial Laurasian Government. Prohibitions were to be imposed on the provision of mercenaries, loans, or financial aid to the League. Furthermore, the Empire pledged to provide a force of not more than 1,200 military warships and 20 million Imperial Laurasian Army troops to the aid of the King of Franconia. Hensios, on his part, affirmed his recognition of the independence of United Durthia; conferred such recognition for the restoration of Portugallia's independence; and agreed, with all of his effort, "to resist Spamalkan and Marasharite pretensions to Morocco, the Barbary States, and other territories therewith in the Little Amulak Cloud." The King agreed to grant Laurasian forces free privileges of military transit through his realms, and to allow for the Empire to hold Boulougone as a base of operations against the League forces. The Treaty of Carcassones was ratified by the Empress Aurelia on January 12 and by King Hensios on January 12. On January 22, 1790, Empress Aurelia appointed Lord Willoughby, the son of the late Dowager Duchess of Sufforia, as the commander of Laurasian forces in Franconia. Willoughby, already stationed at Flushing, would arrive at Boulougone by February 1, 1790. Hensios, on his part, had gained a series of victories at Ardres, Coutras, and Arques since August 1789. Laurasian intervention would serve to buttress the King's position.
  • January 19-
    • After a siege of nearly a month, Mellila fell to the allied forces of the Laurasian Empire, Stellar Kingdom of Portugallia, and Sultanate of Morocco on January 19, 1790. The fall of Mellila was a disastrous blow to the Holy Spamalkan Empire. All of the Spamalkan military equipment, supplies, and arms at Mellila were captured by the allied forces. General Alvardo de Silva, Commander of the Garrison of Mellila, was, by the agreement of General Norria and Sultan Khatib III, transported back to the St. Xaeranian Prison and Fortress on Kherson, in the Laurasian Empire. Nearly half of the world's 5-million man Spamalkan garrison died during the course of the long siege, and the world's extensive military factories, spaceports, and dockyards now fell into Moroccan hands. Following the fall of Mellila, Laurasian and Moroccan forces made substantial gains in the Canaries, Mauritania, and Algiers. The Algerian strongholds of Gorgol, Tarzant, and Rosso fell on January 22; three days later, the Battle of Gama resulted in another decisive victory for Laurasian General Norria and Moroccan Prince al-Mansur. By January 25, when Laurasian forces had overrun the Spamalkan garrison of Fuertuventura, Marasharite and Mauritanian troops were expelled from Dar-Naim, Ayoun el Atrous, and Nema. On January 26, 1790, Oran capitulated to the Laurasian Empire after a brief struggle between allied forces and the Algerian garrison. By the middle of February 1790, Laurasian troops conquered the Spamalkan systems of Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, and Del Rossio. Prince al-Mansur, on his part, had gained further renown in Morocco, and elsewhere, through his victories at Setif, Belida, and Batna. At the same time, Dracius and Fernando inflicted a series of humiliations upon Spamalkan forces in the vicinity of the Azores Star Cluster and in the Spamalkan Colonies (known as the "Spamalkan Main"). On January 24, 1790, the Battle of Bayona was waged between a Spamalkan force under the command of Don Pedro de Zubiaur on the one hand, and a Laurasian-Portugallian force under the command of Admiral Dracius. Within five hours, Dracius had obtained a decisive victory, and he captured a third of the Spamalkan battleships. From Bayona, Dracius stormed Terceira, Santa Delegada, and Ferrel (January 25-February 2, 1790), capturing a large amount of Spamalkan equipment and humiliating Emperor Philicus.
    • By February 7, 1790, the 50th and 51st Imperial Armies, as well as the 66th and 67th Imperial Fleets combined with the Portugallian 1st and 2nd Expeditionary Forces, for a directed offensive against the Spamalkan strongholds of San Juan de Ulua, San Domingo, Sao Vicente, and Cartagena, all of were major commercial and military strongholds for the Spamalkan force. Dracius and Prince Fernando defeated Spamalkan fleets in confrontations at Sesimbra and Lower Cadiz (February 8-11, 1790). Then (February 13, 1790), Dracius blockaded the outskirts of San Juan de Ulua, which was under the command of Don Francisco Lujan. The Laurasian-Portugallian force comprised of two hundred warships with a combined total of 11,000 starfighters and 1 million troops. The Spamalkan garrison, on the other hand, had one hundred warships with 3,000 starfighters and 950,000 troops. Lujan, in a foolish attempt to drive the allied forces from the star system, launched a frontal attack against their offensive lines, intent on impounding their transports and recovering a number of lost Spamalkan turbocannon. Dracius, however, who had stationed his destroyers and battleships to take the brunt of any Spamalkan moves, then launched a counterattack against the charging Spamalkan dreadnoughts with his mobile corvettes and couriers, sending them into disarray and driving them through the star system. The Spamalkans lost ten of their dreadnoughts and more than 300,000 military personnel. Dracius then captured Almanza Point; Imperial Marines and Portugallian troops proved to be superior to the Spamalkan terceiros stationed there. A series of confrontations around Almanza Station then ensued, with Lujan losing his flagship, the Santa Clara, and his support vessel, the San Pedro. Both vessels succumbed to superior allied turbolaser fire. Dracius then brought his transports and frigates forward, and within hours, San Juan de Ulua's shields had been penetrated by Laurasian troops. Although the IMS Angelica was lost, and another Laurasian battleship, the IMS Swallow, suffered severe damage, Dracius's marines managed to penetrate the three chief Spamalkan defense batteries.
    • By the end of the day, the Laurasians had captured the Spamalkan transports Minion and San Salvador; and by the early hours of February 15, Lujan was finally forced to surrender to the allied forces. The fall of San Juan de Ulua proved a major humiliation for Emperor Philicus, who now lambasted his military commanders for their incompetence. From San Juan de Ulua, Dracius's forces now proceeded to Sao Vicente, previously a Portugallian colony, which had now become a military outpost for the Holy Spamalkan Empire. On February 19, 1790, the Spamalkan Commodore Andres de Equino attempted to bear down upon the Laurasian-Portugallian forces, launching a sally with two of his dreadnoughts, the Santa Maria de Begona and the Concepcion. He stationed his largest battleship, the San Juan Bautista, near the outskirts of Sao Vicente, which was defended by a minefield and a barricade of outposts. The Commodore's attempt, however, came to ruin, as Dracius employed his starfighters and corvettes to harry the Spamalkan warships. Laurasian automated transports then anchored the convoy, and the Santa Maria de Begona was destroyed within an hour. The Laurasian ships, then encircling the Spamalkan force, withstood all enemy fire and ultimately overwhelmed the Concepcion, which was captured during the afternoon of the day. Commodore de Equino then attempted to launch a final offensive with his corvettes and frigates, but Portugallian Prince Fernando, who had been harrying Espirito Santo, moved into the rear of the star system, attacking the barricade defenses from behind. De Equino was forced to flee, and Sao Vicente fell to the allied forces during the early hours of February 20. By the end of February, 1790, Dracius and Fernando had stormed Salvador, Olinda, and Pernambuco, establishing a foothold in the Spamalkan-occupied colony of Brazil. From here, Dracius planned to storm Cartagena and San Domingo, both of whom suffered from continual Laurasian raids.
  • February 20-
    • By January 1790, the physical and mental condition of the Austarlian Emperor Joseth II had become utterly exhausted. During January, 1790, Field-Marshal Laudon, himself in declining health, had gained a string of further victories in the Marasharite Province of Bosnia, consolidating his earlier gains in the Temesvar, Olthenia, and the Pazak Cluster. On January 5, 1790, the Battle of Brcko had resulted in a decisive victory for Laudon. Marasharite Admiral Al-Sasik, who commanded the Marasharite naval forces in the confrontation, was captured and became a Austarlian prisoner of war. Over the course of the next six days, Laudon stormed the Marasharite garrisons of Zenica, Mostar, and Bijor, terminating any remaining threat posed by the Marasharites to Banja Luka (which was now one of the Austarlian Empire's chief military arsenals, and a command headquarter for the operations). On January 14, the Marasharite Governor of Bosnia, Hapik-Pasha (who had established his command headquarters on Tesjani because Sarajevo was in Austarlian hands), launched a counteroffensive, seeking to penetrate into the Lower Pazak and to drive Austarlian units from Mehadia, Past, and Dubrovnik. Although the Governor managed to destroy a Austarlian force near Slatina (January 17-22, 1790), Laudon inflicted a ruinous defeat upon him in the Battle of Guinan (January 24, 1790), ending the Marasharite moves. By February 12, 1790, the aged Austarlian Field-Marshal had driven Marasharite troops from Zivornik and Zivinice, and was blockading Tesjani. Other troubles, however, had descended upon Joseth's dominions. Joseth, who unlike his ally Empress Aurelia was not popular with his subjects, had attempted to impose a series of radical administrative and judicial changes upon his realms.
    • Between 1780 and 1790, the Emperor issued more than 17,000 new laws, which covered all matters of concern, ranging from the clothes and cultural customs of his subjects, to their morals, education, and healthcare. He sought to build a rationalized, centralized, and uniform government for his diverse territories, a hierarchy with himself as supreme autocrat. He sought to imbue his government personnel with a dedicated spirit of service; to provide advancement without favor for class or ethnic origins; and to maintain a merits system. The Emperor was successful in introducing a uniform budgetary system (previously, Austarlia, Bohemia, Hungary, Croatia, Transylvania, Dalmatia, Burgundy, and Galicia had all had their own separate budgets), and he instigated an extensive reform of the legal system, which included the abolition of the death penalty, relaxations on the press and on organized religions, and the establishment of principles of equality for all criminal offenders. Joseth also suppressed more than a third of the monasteries of the Austarlian Religious Order; reduced the number of holy days; simplified Austarlian rituals; abolished ecclesiastical courts; and defined marriage as a civil contract, being far more radical in his innovations then Aurelia (a relative moderate on religious matters), had been with hers. Joseth's reforms, however, offended his subjects. His nobility were angered by the high taxes levied on them, and by his egalitarian and despotic attitudes. His subjects in Hungary, Croatia, Dalmatia, and Burgundy were angered by his attempts to curtail their self-government privileges and to subordinate all to his personal rule. Many Austarlians believed the Emperor was a tyrant, and feared the impositions of his secret service. In 1784, Joseth attempted to make Austarlian the official language of all his realms, and refused all demands by his Hungarian nobles that he submit to the traditional coronation ceremony. By October 1789, rebellion had exploded in Burgundy (the Brabarintine Revolt) and in Hungary (the Horea Revolt), both of whom seriously threatened the Emperor's authority.
    • By the beginning of January 1790, Buda, Pest, and the Austarlian stronghold of Great Liega in Burgundy had fallen into the hands of rebels, and Joseth was forced to cancel his ambitious plans for offensives into Marasharite Macedonica and Thracia. The Empire's realms became ravaged with civil and economic turmoil. All these matters worsened the Emperor's health, which had been poor since November 1788. Disillusioned, and abandoned by even his Chancellor Kaunitz, Joseth withdrew all of his Hungarian reforms on January 30, 1790. He then retreated to the recesses of the Imperial Palace on Vienna, and refused to appear in public again. Finally, on February 20, 1790, the Emperor of Austarlia died, having reigned as sole monarch for a decade, and after a total of twenty-five years on the Austarlian throne. The death of Joseth II was greeted with shock and sadness by Austarlia's allies. The Empress Aurelia in particular, who had not been able to afford the diversion of military resources to assist Joseth in suppressing the revolts in Hungary and in Burgundy, and who had not been obliged to do so in any case, nevertheless declared that his death was a "severe blow to the security of this universe." She lamented over his end and recounted her memories of their meetings. Joseth would be buried at the Imperial Crypt on February 27. His brother, Grand Duke Lea'dus of Tuscany (who had warned Burghley two decades earlier about the Ridolfius Plot), was now hastily summoned to Vienna to assume the Austarlian throne as Emperor Lea'dus II. Although Lea'dus was by no means hostile to the Laurasian Empire, he nevertheless believed that Austarlia's pressing internal troubles required his attention first. Lea'dus was determined to suppress the revolts in Hungary and Burgundy; to preserve what he could of his brother's reforms; and to turn his attention to the deteriorating relationship with Haxonia and Vendragia. By March 1790, the new Emperor had resolved upon bringing the war with Marasharita to an end. During the early months of his reign, he focused his efforts on examining and revising his brother's legal and administrative measures; on reinforcing the garrisons in Hungary and in Burgundy; and on ingratiating himself with the nobility of his realms. Tuscany was now in personal union with the Holy Austarlian Empire, as a result of Le'adus's accession to the throne, and he sought to defend it against Haxonian aggression. This was to become his primary focus.
  • February 21-
    • The Empress Aurelia, who had entered the year with such triumph and joy, experienced two personal tragedies during February 1790, at the Imperial Court. The death of her ally, Emperor Joseth II, has already been noted. It would in the immediate future have an impact upon the Fifth Laurasian-Marasharite War, leading to the termination of the Empress's ambitious "Marasharite Plan". As regards to the personal tragedies, however, the Empress had already seen her share. The deaths of Chief Procurator Parsius (1775); Procurator-General Bagonius (1779); Jadia (1783); the Sidronuises (1786); Bromelius and Sadielus (1787); and Leicesterius (1788), had all deeply affected the Empress when they had occurred. Then on May 31, 1789, Sir Walterius Mildmay, Minister of Finance, and one of the Empress's trusted advisors, had died on Oxia Vixius. His death had much upset the Empress, and for months afterwards, she declared that she feared the Lord Almitis's wrath was now beginning to be displayed. This, however, was only the preliminary to the beginning of a long series of deaths in the last decade of the eighteenth century. The Empress would find herself stripped of almost everyone with whom she had entered her reign; by 1800, the entire Imperial Court and Government will have undergone a significant realignment. On February 12, 1790, Baroness Meguilla Parrius of Welch, Chief Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber and Mistress of the Robes, died at the age of eighty-two. Lady Parrius was the Empress's longest-serving lady in waiting: she had served her for fifty-six years, since the moment of her birth. To Aurelia, Parrius was like the mother she had never had. Her death was a great blow to her. The Empress ordered the Court into a day of mourning for the late Baroness, and herself wore black for some days afterwards.
    • On her orders, Lady Parrius would be given a state funeral at the Westphalian Cathedral on February 15. She was now succeeded in her positions by Lady Norria, long a close friend of the Empress. Unbeknownst to Aurelia, Lady Norria would also be carried away in the wave of deaths that were to occur during this, the last decade of the eighteenth century. The next one in the cycle happened almost immediately. On February 21, 1790, the day after the death of Aurelia's ally Joseth II, Ambrosius Dudley, the Earl of Sarah and last surviving of the sons of the Duke of Northumberlais, died at Sarah House in Christiania at the age of fifty-nine. He was accompanied by his wife, the Countess of Sarah, and by his step-nephew, the Earl of Estatius. When the Empress learned of Sarah's death, while attending a session of the Privy Council, she hastened from the chamber and burst into tears. Only nine days had passed since the death of her senior lady-in-waiting, and now her beloved favorite's only surviving brother was dead. Sarah would be given a ceremonial funeral at the Westphalian Cathedral on February 27, 1790, although he would be interred at the Collegiate Church of St. Didymeia's on Sarah. The Empress assumed a brave face, and now threw herself into work.
  • March 4-By the beginning of March 1790, the forces of the Laurasian Empire and the United Durthian Duchies had made a series of further gains in Brabant and Flanders against the Holy Spamalkan Empire. The Duke of Parma, who had previously been so acclaimed by his sovereign, Emperor Philicus, for his operational successes, was now struggling to hold off the advances of the allied forces. During January 1790, Cambrai, Luxembourg, and Nimburg were stormed by Maurice's forces, breaching into Southern Brabant. Although Parma repelled allied offensives against Bruges and Ghent (February 1790), he was unable to prevent Maurice of Nassau and General Pellhamia from seizing Geertruidenberg. In February 1790, Prince Maurice ordered Count Charles de Heraugiere of Cambrai to make a reconniter of Breda. Heraugiere was able to discover a weakness in the star system's defenses; when he reported back on February 22, 1790, the Prince and General Pellhamia agreed that the operation would proceed. By February 25, Nassau and Pellhamia had moved to Willemsted, located thirty light-years east of Breda. Then on March 3, 1790, Heraugiere and his corps were able to penetrate into the star system and soon dispatched a warning signal to the allied forces. They now initiated their assault against Breda. On March 4, Heraugiere and his Franconian mercenaries assaulted Breda's arsenals and shield generators, storming most of them within hours. By the middle of the day, Prince Nassau's warships had entered the star system, while General Pellhamia launched a series of coordinated land offensives against Breda Citadel and the Central Fortress. Within hours, the Breda garrison was surrounded and cut off from its supply lines. Finally, during the early hours of March 5, 1790, the Haxonian mercenary-General Paolo Lanzaveechia, Commander of the Garrison of Breda, surrendered to the allies, on the condition that they would respect the properties held by Spamalkan troops in the star system and would not "harm anyone's religion or customs". Pellhamia and Maurice of Nassau agreed to these terms. Parma was humiliated by this stunning defeat, and the Emperor of Spamalka ordered for the garrisons of Namurs, Brussels, and Antwerp to be strengthened in response. During the course of the next two months, the unified allied forces would conquer Hertogenbosch (March 11-15); Steenbergen (March 22); Roosendaal (March 29); Oosterhout (April 4); Nivelles (April 14); and Warvur (April 27-May 11), further entrenching themselves in Brabant. The Count of Mansfield's counteroffensives against Breda and Lier (May 1790) would end in utter failure, with Maurice of Nassau obtaining a major victory in the Battle of Spamnjaardsgat (May 21, 1790).
  • March 14-While the Laurasian Empire's forces, and those of its allies, continued to gain a series of victories in the Barbary States, Spamalkan Colonies, Durthian Duchies, and Marasharite Empire, events proceeded further in Franconia. By the beginning of March 1790, with the assistance of Lord Willoughby and the Laurasian reinforcements under his command, King Hensios had managed to consolidate his control of Burlada, Montejurra, and Tudela, repelling offensives by Spamalkan and Haxonian mercenaries. On March 2, 1790, the King of Franconia resolved to gain control of Dreux, a major agricultural colony in the hands of the Franconian League. During the course of the next four days, Franconian units stormed the League garrisons of Olite, Chartes, and Nogent. The Duke of Mayenne, however, reinforced Dreux on March 11, and King Hensios wisely decided to refrain from a direct offensive against the stronghold. Instead, the King decided to send reconnaissance expeditions to the outskirts of Dreux and to deploy between the minor Franconian colonies of Nonancourt and Ivry. He had at his disposal 70 warships of the Franconian Royal Navy; 30 warships of the Imperial Laurasian Navy; and a corps of 2.2 million Franconian, Navarran, and Imperial Laurasian troops. Mayenne, on the other hand, commanded a larger and diverse force of nearly 6 million Haxonian, Franconian, and Durthian troops with 150 warships. He also had a number of troopers provided by the Guise family and detachments of rebel Franconian personnel. The Duke of Amale served as the commander of the foreign mercenaries and as Mayenne's second-in-command overall. On March 14, 1790, the two forces clashed on Ivry. The battle opened with a volley of turbocannon fire from the King's forces. Mayenne then unleashed a general offensive with his Haxonian mercenaries, but they, sympathetic to Hensios and heeding his promises of greater pay, defected to his side. The Baron de Biron, the Duke of Montpeiser, and General Aumont, the King's battlefield subordinates, now joined together to disrupt Mayenne's left flank and to cut off his battleships. King Hensios himself now pursued the Duke out of the star system. In the naval confrontation that ensued, the Count of Egmont was killed, while the Duke of Aumale was forced to surrender. By the end of March 16, the Battle of Ivry had ended in a decisive victory for the King and for his Laurasian allies. Mayenne was forced to pull back to Senlis. Aumale, on his part, remained a prisoner of the King until his death on June 29, 1793. Esonne, Hauts, and Julich fell to Hensios in April 1790, as he pushed forward to Parri.
  • March 29-
    • By March 1790, the situation in the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth had descended into one which was unacceptable for the Laurasian Empire. The decade following the Partition Diet (1775) had witnessed the Imperial Laurasian Government, through Ambassador Stackelburg, continuing to maintain its influence in the affairs of the Commonwealth, and seeking to obstruct further reform initiatives by the Dejanican nobility and government. By the mid-1770s, it had become apparent to many in the Commonwealth that a fundamental "renewal" of the Commonwealth's strength and unity would occur only if the middle nobility involved themselves and supported a process of further reform. The first conflict of reform was over the Zamaskia Code. Andrew Zamaskia, formerly the Crown Chancellor of the Commonwealth, and long a proponent of reforms to the Dejanican government, was commissioned by the Diet in 1776 to formulate a new legal codification, based loosely off the Codex Aureliana of the Commonwealth's protector, the Laurasian Empire. This legal code would be aimed at the unification of the laws of the Commonwealth. Among the former Chancellor's collaborators in this great project were the reformers Joachia Wycharazia and Jozef Wybkickia. In 1777, in his Patriotic Letters, Wybkickia expressed the primary aims of the reform movement: the strengthening of the Commonwealth's central government and the improvement of relationships among the Commonwealth's classes. The proposed code would deal with some of the issues of contention in the Commonwealth, without tampering with the privileges of the nobility. Marriages between the nobility and the common classes would be permitted; the larger municipalities would be granted non-voting representation on the Diet, independent of the planetary governments; and the Diet's approval would be required for all future religious bulls and manifestos issued by the Dejanican Patriarchs. Ambassador Stackelberg, who rightfully feared that the Code would unite the Dejanican population to a greater extent than ever before, decided to ally with the Patriarch of Krakow, Nicolai Wonaclaia, in opposing the Code. The Diet, many of whose magnates were bribed by the Laurasian Ambassador, agreed, and in September 1780, decisively rejected the Code. As the 1780s progressed, polarization among the ruling classes increased, but the reform camp also gained increased strength. To many, the necessity and inevitability of changes was becoming more apparent. The younger noble generations were the ones who were now following the path to effective reform. Political restlessness took root among all classes, inspiring a flood of pro-reform materials throughout the Commonwealth.
    • Authors such as Stanis Slazic and Hugo Jolljata affirmed the view in their works that the Commonwealth required reform and that the longer time was spent without doing so, the more vulnerable it would become. Jozef Palisawakia was another Dejanican author who voiced his concerns for the Commonwealth's classes, particularly for the commoners, and their possible fate under foreign rule. Many realized that reform could only be achieved if the Commonwealth's neighbors were distracted, and more importantly, disunited. The dissolution of the Laurasian-Pruthian alliance, which by 1780, was merely a formality, was of vital importance. The War of the Bavarian Succession (1778-1779), although they drained the energies of both Pruthia and Austarlia for a time, did not affect the situation in the Commonwealth. Other events, however, such as the Ameridinian Rebellion; the Vendragian-Franconian War; and in particular, the Durthian Rebellion, would all have a more substantial effect on the affairs of the Commonwealth. By 1786, this had become apparent. The death of Pru'a IX that year terminated any last semblances of alliance between the Laurasian and Pruthian Empires, as the new Pruthian Emperor A'rua III had a innate dislike of Laurasian Empress Aurelia. Three years earlier, the Empress's annexation of the Haynsian Despotate had served to arouse fears in Pruthia and in the Commonwealth alike, while worsening the Empire's relations with the Holy Spamalkan and Marasharite Empires. The Durthian Rebellion became the most important crisis among the inter-galactic powers, and by the time of Prua's death, the United Durthian States were receiving military and financial assistance from the Laurasian Empire. War now seemed to be a greater possibility between Laurasia and Spamalka. Many in the Commonwealth believed that closer relations with Pruthia would be beneficial, so as to provide it a defense against its other, aggressive neighbors, both of whom were colluding against the hated Marasharite savages. Two factions now emerged in the Commonwealth. The first was the Patriotic Party, led by aristocrats of pro-Pruthian sympathies. They were annoyed by Empress Aurelia's interference in the affairs of the Commonwealth, and were opposed to King Stanis Vorrust I, viewing him as a Laurasian puppet. This faction was represented by members of the Pulawy group, including Prince Adamis Czarskia, the Potockia brothers, and their Haxonian associate, Scripolie Pitoli. They counted on a Dejanican-Pruthian alliance as the means of regaining the partitioned territories lost to Austarlia and Laurasia. The other faction, the so-called Imperialist Faction, led by Prince Rzewuski and Grand Hetman Branickia, sought to overthrow the King and to maintain the relationship with the Laurasian Empire.
    • In August 1787, King Stanis held a conference with Ambassador Stackelburg at Kaniev, and offered to tender Dejanican military aid in any possible Laurasian conflict with the Marasharite Empire. Empress Aurelia rejected this offer derisively, declaring to Burghley that the Commonwealth had not been engaged in military conflict for more than five decades and had no military experience. The following year however, the Imperial Laurasian Government proposed a defense treaty and the participation of a Dejanican corps in the hostilities. In order to formalize a military alliance and to strengthen the Commonwealth's forces, the King summoned a Diet to deliberate on Warsaw in the autumn season of 1788. On October 9, 1788, the Diet convened on Warsaw, and was soon confederated, with Stanis Malackowia elected as Marshal of the Diet. The Great Diet, as this body would be labeled, would drag on for four years. The pro-Laurasian faction turned out to be ineffective. It consisted of the non-uniform, conservative, anti-King group on the one hand, and of the King and his supporters at the Dejanican Court and on the Permanent Council, on the other hand. The King's supporters, including Crown Chancellor Jalek Malackowia, considered an alliance with Laurasia as an essential element of Dejanican politics. The lack of unity and conflicts within the pro-Laurasian faction were taken advantage of by the possibly more numerous patriotic faction, advocates of independence from Laurasia with the aid of Pruthia. The Pulawys and Marshal Malackowia were among the members of the nationalist faction. This faction eventually become dominant on the Diet and was able to persuade the King to support the measures which they promoted.
    • In November 1789, with the First InterGalactic War fully under way, one hundred and forty of the Commonwealth's most prominent star systems signed the "Act of Unification of the Systems", by which they advocated for greatly increased political and economic rights for the residents of the systems to the King and Diet. But now, the matter of a Dejanican-Pruthian alliance reached its head. Pruthian Ambassador Ludwig Heinrich Bucholtz had proposed a treaty of alliance as early as October 1788. Pruthians, however, believed that it would usher in a long debate which would serve, at best, to weaken Laurasian and Austarlian influence in Dejanica. To many Dejanican politicians, however, it became a new and increasingly, the only available strategy. The reception of the Pruthian proposal by the Diet exceeded their expectations, and it significantly strengthened the Patriotic Party. For over a year, however, the Pruthians decided against taking any action, and sought to keep their options open. Ambassador Bucholtz was actually reprimanded by the Pruthian Cabinet for taking matters too far. By October 1789, however, the run of successes by Laurasia and her allies against Marasharita and Spamalka increased the value of the military alliance for the Pruthian Government. The patriots, on their part, were now drifting closer to the King. By February 1790, concrete proposals were being exchanged between the Pruthian and Dejanican Courts. The Pruthians demanded the concession of Danzig and Torun (where they had enjoyed free trade privileges since 1772) and for the elimination of all remaining Dejanican tariffs. The threat of a Dejanican-Austarlian alliance, however, caused the Pruthians to withdraw most of the demands that the Dejanicans were finding hard to accept. The Treaty of Warsaw was finally signed on March 29, 1790, a year and half after the first proposal of the military alliance. The Treaty was formally ratified by Emperor A'rua III on April 4 and by the Dejanican Diet on April 23. The Treaty was merely defensive, with both monarchies promising to defend each other against attack. Its conclusion, nevertheless, alarmed the Empress Aurelia and her Privy Council considerably. On April 5, 1790, the Empress declared that the rashness of her Pruthian counterpart had "exposed all powers to further instability and disunion." Lord Buchamia, on the Empress's orders, issued a series of communiques to the Pruthian Bureau of Foreign Affairs during that month, expressing concern at the Pruthian Government's actions and intentions. The Empress of Laurasia, however, was also aware that Pruthia's relations with Haxonia and Vendragia were worsening, and that many in the Pruthian Government harbored hopes of advancing at Dejanica's expense. The Empress's efforts were also devoted to the prosecution of the war effort. For the time being, she could only watch events in Dejanica with apprehension.
  • April 6-
    • On April 6, 1790, Sir Caligula Walsingis, Chancellor of the Laurasian Empire, and one of the Empress Aurelia's chief advisers, died at the age of fifty-eight. During the course of the preceding three years, since the execution of Scottrian Queen Mariana in February 1787, the Chancellor's health had entered a severe decline. Walsingis complained constantly of ill health, and he retreated to Barn Elmian Estate on Taurasia on a routine basis, seeking to escape the pressures and the conflicts of the Imperial Court. By November 1789, the Chancellor was heard complaining about pains in the stomach, head, and back, urinary complications, and kidney stones. A emergency surgical operation at the Hospital of St. Katherine's (January 19, 1790) alleviated the Chancellor's symptoms only temporarily. By March 1790, he had ceased attending meetings of the Privy Council, and lay in delirium at his house in Christiania, Setheria Place. His colleagues on the Privy Council, including Burghley, Knollysis, Hattonius, and Husadarania, visited him at his residence routinely. Empress Aurelia, still distressed by the deaths of Sarah and Lady Parrius earlier in the year, could not bring herself to see her dying Chancellor. At his deathbed, he was attended by his wife, children, and faithful secretary, Sir Phelippes (who had become Vice-Chancellor in March 1789, a reward for his loyal service in the Queen Mariana affair, and would hold that position until his own death in 1797). His funeral was swift and private; he was buried at St. Chalmer's Cathedral the following day. Walsingis had exhausted himself, and his finances, in servicing the Empress. He had preserved her from all of the conspiracies promoted by the Spamalkans and by others, and had gained much respect from many throughout the Empire for his service to her. The Empress, when she learned that Walsingis died, burst into tears and stayed in her bed for several hours, refusing to move until at last prompted to do so by Burghley (after much persuasion had been applied). Hailing him as "one of the most loyal servants of any sovereign anywhere", the Empress ordered the court into four days of mourning for the late Chancellor; erased all of his debts and obligations; and granted his widow, Lady Urania Walsingis, an annuity of €9.9 billion dataries a year, as well as a travel allowance and the use of vessels from the Imperial Household Corps. Walsingis's death so deeply affected the Empress that she decided to leave the Chancellorate vacant for the time being. Lord Treasurer Burghley did become Imperial Privy Seal (adding further burdens to the shoulders of a man approaching his seventieth birthday), and his son, Robertius Cecilis, now came to carry out the Chancellor's duties, without actually holding the office. The Empress had come to recognize his abilities, for his father had prepared him for state office. Cecilis, who was born on June 1, 1763, in Christiania, was the only son of Burghley and his second wife, Lady Messalina Cecilis.
    • He was from his younger years physically deformed; the Empress would call him "Pigmy". Cecilis resented the name at first, but would eventually realize that it was only a term of affection. Being delicate, he had been educated by tutors before attending the University of the Empire, graduating magna cum laude in 1783 with degrees in administration, forensics, and jurisprudence. He then became a member of the Imperial Diplomatic Service, and from 1784 to 1787 served at the Laurasian embassies in Franconia and Durthia. Upon his final return to the Empire, he resumed his education, and in 1789, received his MA in Political Science, this time from the Imperial Jurisprudence Academy of Christiania. And then, in January 1790, the Empress had, on the persuasion of Lord Treasurer Burghley, appointed Cecilis to the Privy Council. He was designated as Minister of Imperial Works and Holdings, and as Secretary of the Privy Council. This was an extraordinary honor for a man not yet thirty years old. Cecilis quickly gained respect with the Council, and among the other bodies of state, for his intelligence and excellent concentration on affairs of business. He was an astute politican and a gifted administrator, with a limitless capacity for hard work. He had "beautifully modulated" speech, a charming manner, and a good sense of humor. Although he was possessed of cunning, and involved himself in Court intrigues as his father had during the early years of the reign, Cecilis was nevertheless absolutely loyal to the Empress, the Neuchrian Dynasty, and the Laurasian Empire. Although she was never as close to him as to his father, Aurelia trusted Cecilis without question. To many at the Imperial Court, however, it seemed as if the Empress, by promoting the son of Burghley and the stepson of Leicesterius, was trying to recreate the court of her youth. While Cecilis was content to share the stage with Estatius, the latter, aware that he was relegated to the role of court favorite, was resentful of Cecilis's political position and sought to undermine it.
    • He saw no reason why he should not be favorite and chief political adviser at the same time, and never understood why the Empress would not allow for him to exercise such authority. Estatius's insistence on regarding Cecilis as his rival led to the formation of factions at the Imperial Court, resulting in much squabbling and opportunism. Estatius and his followers were avid for military glory and the continuance of the war with Marasharita and Spamalka, while Cecilis and Burghley would, in the course of time, advocate for peace (a view which would ultimately prevail). From 1790 onwards, Estatius began building an aristocratic following at the Imperial Court, and throughout the Empire. Those who were excluded from political office, as well as those who sought to aggressively pursue the continued war, hastened to offer Estatius their support. He also sought to gain the support of the Uniction Reformists on Laurasia Prime. Cecilis, on his part, kept a vice-like grip on court appointments and political offices, and in the course of time, came to dominate the affairs of the Privy Council. The Empress, who was now seeing her own generation of friends and councilors gradually disappearing, had to adjust to a court under the influence of a younger, less congenial generation, whose ideas and tastes were unlike her own, and who were becoming increasingly dismissive of the attitudes and authority of their elders. She also had to maintain the peace among her courtiers and provide a balance between the factions, another task which drew upon her energies.
  • April 24-
    • By April 1790, the forces of the Laurasian Empire and its Portugallian and Moroccan allies had made further gains in the Barbary States and in the Crone Colonies against the Marasharite and Holy Spamalkan Empires. On March 5, 1790, Admiral Dracius advanced from Salvador against Cartagena with the 66th Imperial Fleet, 1st Portugallian Expeditionary Force, and the 55th Imperial Army. The Governor of Cartagena, Don Pedro Fernandez de Busto, fully aware of the fate of San Juan de Ulua and Sao Vicente, attempted to ready his star system's defenses against the allied offensives. He organized a systematic evacuation of non-combatants from Cartagena's capital city, Equarillo; called for reinforcements from neighboring star systems; and mustered the militia and garrison troops available to him. Governor de Busto, who had a force of only seventy warships and 700,000 military personnel, knew that he was hopelessly outnumbered, and could only entertain the hope that his master, Emperor Philicus, would provide extensive reinforcements. Cartagena itself, however, was well protected from a potential offensive against its leeward side. De Busta decided to concentrate his military forces near the La Busta Spaceport and to construct a boom across the Boca Grande Straits, hoping to blunt allied moves in the outskirts of the star system. He placed the garrison naval forces under the command of Vice-Admiral Don Pedro Vique Manrique. Manrique was assisted by Captain Juan de Castanada on the battleship HMS Santiago, and by Captain Martin Gonzales on the HMS Occasion. In Equarillo, Captain Pedro Mirabel commanded the Cartagena Citadel, with nearly a third of the land troops and most of the world's turbocannon batteries. Across the northern continents of Cartagena were stationed the 2nd and 4th Regiments of the Cartagena Militia, who were supported by a number of native auxiliaries and by three shield generators.
    • As for the Laurasians, Dracius delegated land command duties to Major-General Sir Demetrius Norria. During the early afternoon of March 9, 1790, the allied forces appeared near the outskirts of Cartagena. Dracius dispatched Commodore Martinius Frobisherius to probe the defenses with corvettes and couriers. Frobisherius examined the La Busta and Boca Grande barricades, but was forced to retreat by directed fire from Spamalkan warships. This convinced Dracius that the best way by which to assault the star system was by an offensive through La Caleta, on the windward side of Cartagena. Although La Caleta was protected by a string of mines, Dracius reckoned that the Spamalkan garrison's focus on the leeward side would permit his warships entry. At midnight on March 9, Laurasian troops stormed the La Caleta Monitoring Station, capturing a number of Spamalkan officers, while Dracius directed a naval diversion. A confrontation soon ensued as the Laurasian battleships bombarded the Spamalkan defenses with ion cannon fire. Commodore Frobisherius directed an offensive which resulted in Laurasian ships swinging around La Caleta and penetrating to the Las Indias Spacegate, storming the Spamalkan defenses there. Laurasian troops soon seized the Spacegate and penetrated Cartagena Minor, with more than 70,000 Spamalkan military personnel losing their lives in the confrontation. Admiral Manrique dispatched Captain Gonzales to launch a counteroffensive with the Occasion and four of the garrison dreadnoughts; Dracius, however, repelled him in a swift and sharp action, using his starfighters and automated transports to devastating effect. By the early morning hours of March 10, 1790, Laurasian troops had landed on North Cartagena, and soon drove to the outskirts of Equarillo, making several breaches in the Spamalkan command lines. The Cartagena Citadel was bombarded constantly by Imperial battleships. Admiral Manrique, however, on the Santiago, attempted a counter-landing at Cartagena Minor, but was repelled by Norria's marines and space troopers. Manrique was forced to pull back with his warships. As the day progressed, Laurasian troops seized control of Cartagena Station and pushed into the cities of Gallesas and Alonsa, penetrating to the Southern Cartagenan Ocean.
    • On March 12, Captain Castaneda of the Santiago attempted to reinforce the Citadel, trying to divert fire from the battleships in orbit. Castaneda, however, found his supply lines harried by Laurasian starfighters, and all his efforts at landing marines were foiled by AS-class walkers and DS-class fighters. Captain Gonzales now attempted to flee across the Boca Grande Straits, but lost several of his frigates to superior Laurasian firepower. Captain Mirabel, who still held the Cartagena Citadel, resisted all Laurasian frontal offensives, and it was not until March 17, 1790, before the citadel was finally overrun. Mirabel himself was captured, as was Captain Gonzales. Admiral Manrique and Captain Castaneda barely managed to flee the star system, as Laurasian warships penetrated La Busta Spaceport. The fall of Cartagena to the Laurasian Empire was a major blow for the Spamalkan position in the Crone Colonies. By the end of March, 1790, San Juan, Augustine, and Tortallo had all been captured by Laurasian troops. On April 2, Prince Fernando destroyed a Spamalkan convoy in the Battle of Al-Murdir, allowing for him to impose a blockade of Olinda (April 5-11, 1790); the world was then subjected to a frontal offensive on April 12, and fell within four hours. By April 21, Serro, Caete, and Pitangui had all defected to the Portugallian Prince, who now posed a serious threat to Bahia and Rio de Janiero, the capital star systems of Brazil. Emperor Philicus, utterly desperate and determined to expel allied units from his colonial territories, ordered Admiral Don Pedro de Acuna to launch a counteroffensive at the Gibraltar Straits, to disrupt allied supply lines to the Balearics and Azores Star Clusters. De Acuna, with units from the garrisons of Alonzia, Barcelona, Cadiz, and Seville, advanced against the Straits on April 26, 1790. Admiral Dracius, who was then harrying the defenses of San Domingo (having seized the Portugallian system of Tiradentes two days earlier), diverted units under the command of Commodore Frobisherius to repel the Spamalkan moves. Frobisherius, operating from Ceuta, Agadir, and Casablanca in Morocco, intercepted Acuna's fleet near the Straits. In the ensuing Battle of Gibraltar Straits (April 28, 1790), Frobisherius destroyed fifty Spamalkan galleys, captured another twenty, and blunted all of Acuna's frontal offensives. The Laurasians lost only two corvettes to enemy fire. Acuna was forced to retreat to Algecircas in Spamalka, while the Laurasian Commodore took advantage of his victory to storm Jimena and Sao Roque (May 1-4, 1790). On May 12, Empress Aurelia would promote Dracius to the rank of Vice-Admiral, and Frobisherius to the rank of Rear-Admiral, for their successes in the Colonies and in Morocco.
  • May 7-On May 7, 1790, King Hensios IV of Franconia commenced the siege of Parri, which had continued to serve as the chief headquarters of the Franconian League. Hensios was fully aware that possession of the Franconian capital world would confirm his contested claim to the Franconian Crown, and would place a severe dent in the ambitions of his enemies. The King of Franconia was supported by the troops of the Laurasian Major-General Lord Willoughby, whose 70th and 71st Imperial Armies proved auxiliary and command support to the Franconian Royal Army. Within hours of arriving at Parri, Hensios's forces surrounded the star system, imposing a blockade and destroying a number of hypergates to sunder communications and supply lines to the capital world. Hensios had 3.3 million troops of the Franconian Royal Army, and slightly over a million of the Imperial Laurasian Army, along with 250 warships, at his disposal. This was compared to the nearly 8 million troops possessed by the garrison of Parri, who also had access to a naval force of 370 warships. Due to the limited number of turbocannons and siege batteries in the Franconian-Laurasian force, it seemed likely that only a long blockade could force Parri's surrender. Charman Emmanuel, Duke of Nemours, assumed command of Parri's defenses. It was from Montmare that Hensios stationed his turbocannons, and bombarded the planetary shields from there. His forces engaged in numerous confrontations with the naval garrison, attempting to use mobility and their organization to repel their offensives. The siege, however, was destined to drag on unsucessfully for five months, as the authorities and people of Parri refused to submit to him as their King. Hensios was also distracted by confrontations with League forces in Brittany, the Metzian Lordships, Avignon, and Navarra, and was forced to divert units from the siege of Parri to maintain his own conquests. Orthez and Jarnac became the scenes of fierce confrontations between Hensios and the forces of the House of Guise (May 1790).
  • June 6-August 19-
    • On June 6, 1790, the Empress Aurelia and the Imperial Court departed from the Quencilvanian Palace on Laurasia Prime in order to commence the official progress of 1790. This year, the Empress had decided to embark on a progress through the Kalbachan and Rogerian Provinces, which had not been visited by her previously. It would also mark her first significant excursion into the heart of the Galactic Borderlands. Shortly before departing from Laurasia Prime, the Empress told Lord Treasurer Burghley that "the Lord Almitis has preserved me still, and my journey will confirm the continuing might and power of our Empire." The Imperial Court, proceeding westwards from Laurasia Prime, paid visits to Caladaria, Darcia, Mercedes, Merandaz, Constantine I, Andriana, Sapphire, Kelby, Metallasia, Metallina, Zeena, Tyndaris, Ietas, Heuthros, Courdina V, Gordasis, Economus, and Adys (June 6-12, 1790). The Empress also toured Cannae, site of the Heuthrian General Hannibal's victory over the Stellar Republic in 216 BH, one of the worst defeats in Laurasian military history. Utilizing the Metallasian Trade Route, the Empress progressed quickly to the Rogerian Cluster. Roger Minor, one of the Empire's chief agricultural colonies, was reached on June 13. The Empress, who enjoyed a banquet of Rogerian wheats, stayed in the star system for two days. From Roger Minor, she progressed to Roger Major (June 14-17, 1790), observing where the Arachosian Emperor Ashari-Adad (246-59) had destroyed a Rogerian-Kalbachan force in 248. From Roger Major, the Empress progressed through Will and Wildcats (June 18-22, 1790), renowned for their natural beauty and the diversity of their wildlife. By July 1, 1790, the Imperial Court had departed from the Rogerian Cluster. The Empress now visited Bane (July 2-4, 1790), touring the world's infamous Caracllian Caves.
    • Here, legends persisted of the Dark Murderer, an alleged ghost who haunted all of those who trespassed on his realm. These myths dated all the way back to the 3rd millennium BH, and had become famous throughout the Laurasian Empire. The Empress displayed no "fear" when visiting the Caves, and a performance of Banian "manacles" was staged for the Court's benefit. Cognus and Zannah were then visited by the Imperial Court in turn (July 5-10, 1790). At Cognus, the Empress received an honorary tribute from the Kitachi Maidens, among the most skilled martial-arts artists in the Empire, and at Zannah, a gift of Cremllian gems. Palaris III, which the Court visited from July 12 to 14, 1790, particularly enthused the Empress with its vast pastures of iffimirte and its swirling magnetic clouds. Here, the Empress stayed at the estate of Sir Julius Caesar, who claimed to be a descendant of the Laurasian dictator of that same name from the 1st century BH. Caesar presented her with a gown of Palarian silver, among the rarest and most extravagant materials in the Caladarian Galaxy, as well as a "black mantle with pure gold, a taffeta hat, white, embrodiered with emblems of passion, and a jewel of gold set with rubies, neurites, and diamonds." The Empress departed from Palaris III with great contentment (as it seemed to her guests). From Palaris III, the Empress proceeded to Gadweria (July 18, 1790). She toured the massive Rings of Fire, one of the Twenty Wonders of the Galaxy (as had been compiled by the Millian historian Vo'rill in the 3rd century AH). The Empress stayed at the Palace of King Verna, the legendary Kalbachan conqueror of Bane in the 3rd century BH. Goriance was then graced with the Court's presence; the Empress paid her respects to the Caverns of Horir, which encompassed the remains of Cadanian City, which had been destroyed by a volcanic eruption in the thirteenth century.
    • She then sought spirtual solace at the Kalbachan High Tomb of Gagana, where she received blessings from the Marshalnia of the Kalbachan Order, Tuda. From Goriance, the Imperial Court visited Sherry, Seeben, Sabinia, Richel V, Gwynne, and Dehner (July 20-24, 1790). Finally, on July 26, 1790, the Empress reached Kalbacha Minor. She stayed at the Palace of Artaxerxes I, one of the largest surviving Arachosian edifices in the Caladarian Galaxy. Aurelia visited the Tombs of the Arachosian Family (July 27, 1790), and paid her respects at the tomb of Xerxes, founder of the Arachaso-Kalbachan Dynasty. Kalbacha Minor, which had served as a throne world for the Arachso-Kalbachan Dynasty and Great Kingdom of Kalbacha, had a population of three billion by the late eighteenth century. And then, on August 2, 1790, after touring Vervia and the Iswill (where she saw a simulation of Levashius's victory there in October 1744), the Imperial Court arrived at Kalbacha Major. The Empress was greeted by the Governor of Kalbacha, Sir Tyautas Temershin (a Kalbachan of half-Laurasian descent), by the Princes of the Kalbachan House, and by the Arachosian Hierearch of Kalbacha Major, Shishak-Isides. The Empress now progressed through Kalbacha City, reveling in the acclaim of her subjects. She took up residence at the Great Palace of Kalbacha, that 12th century BH edifice which had been the residence of Kalbachan sovereigns for more than 2,000 years. The Empress reveled in the glories of the Inner City of Kalbacha, and on August 5, visited the Sur Arena, where in 545, the Kalbachan nobleman David-nay was proclaimed the Great King of Kalbacha (545-571). The Imperial Court stayed on Kalbacha Major for six days, with the Empress visiting the Point of Departure, where General Ibliya (501-546) had forced Artaxerxes VII, last Emperor of the Arachso-Kalbachan Dynasty, to flee from Kalbacha Major in 545. On August 9, the Empress departed from Kalbacha Major, declaring her joy for her visit. She proceeded to Toggul, site of a confrontation between Artaxerxes V and Ashur-tilani (506). At Toggul, the Empress was entertained by the Kalbachan nobleman Prince Harid-nay of the House of Sourul, father-in-law of Prince Nicholas Repanius, formerly Ambassador to Dejanica and Marasharita. From Toggul, the Empress toured Toma and the Bori Nebula (August 11-17, 1790). At Toma, she was entertained by the daughters of Lady Russalia. The Empress then began her journey back to Laurasia Prime, arriving there on August 19, 1790. In spite of the progress, her mood was considerably worsened, primarily because of Austarlia's sudden departure from the war (as will be described below).
  • June 22-By June 1790, the situation in the Barbary States had progressed far in favor of the Sultanate of Morocco and the Laurasian Empire. In February 1790, Moroccian Prince al-Mansur, with the assistance of Sir Demetrius Norria (before his reassignment to the Colonial theater), repelled a series of Algerian counteroffensives against Nema, Ayoun el Atrous, and Dair-Naim, consolidating Morocco's control of those star systems. On March 2, 1790, al-Mansur obtained a decisive victory over Algerian forces in the Battle of El-Setif, capturing more than a third of their frigates. Chlef and Timnecen were both in Moroccian hands by March 21, and on March 25, the stronghold of Annaba surrendered to Prince al-Mansur without a fight. By the end of March 1790, Mauritania was on its last knees. A Moroccian victory at El-Sadant (March 25, 1790), prevented any further Marasharite reinforcements from reaching the outskirts of Nema. By April 5, Bogue and Zougreat had both fallen to Moroccian-Laurasian forces. On April 8, 1790, the siege of Kaedi, the last significant Mauritanian stronghold, commenced. The system was surrounded by the 2nd Moroccian Expeditionary Force and the 64th Imperial Fleet of the Laurasian Empire. The following day, Sultan Khatib III of Morocco died suddenly at the age of 47 after having reigned for nine years. Prince al-Mansur, who had been commanding the siege forces of Kaedi, now rushed back to Casablanca in order to assume the throne as Sultan Ahmad-Mansur I. Empress Aurelia of Laurasia extended her condolences for the sudden death of his brother. Kaedi proved extremely resistant, however, and the siege dragged on for over two months. Finally, on this date, June 22, 1790, the world fell to the allied forces of the Sultanate of Morocco and the Laurasian Empire. A attempted Spamalkan move from Ori Laka (June 24, 1790) ended in failure at Timbuctu, and by early July, 1790, all of Mauritania was occupied by allied forces. Most of Algiers, with the sole exception of Quarrkia and Bejuda, was now under allied occupation as well.
  • July 19-
    • By July 1790, the Laurasian position in the Great Tesmanian Cloud had been strengthened considerably. The early months of 1790 had witnessed a succession of Laurasian victories over the overstretched Marasharite units. On January 7, 1790, Admiral Ushavious and General Surovius held a conference of strategy at Del Valle. It was now decided to launch a direct offensive against the defenses of Varna; to isolate Kolzuduzha, which suffered from Laurasian expeditions; and to besiege Shumen, with the intention of forcing its garrison into surrender. During the course of the next twelve days, Surovius repelled moves by Marasharite fleets against Quickbey, Ochania, Focasani, Stauvachany, and Kinburn, obtaining a major victory in the Battle of the Rifles (January 11, 1790). On February 1, 1790, Admiral Ushavious launched a direct offensive with the 68th Imperial Fleet against Varna. Defeating Marasharite patrol units in confrontations at Ovill (February 2) and Makacash (February 5-9), he then pushed Marasharite warships from the Rings of Varna Outer, employing the superior firepower of his warships to disorient and confuse his Marasharite adversaries. Over the course of the next six days, Laurasian units cleared the Marasharites from Shivrlia and Nord-Varma; a attempted Marasharite counteroffensive from Ruse and Silistria was ruined in a confrontation at the Peldavian Gateways.
    • By February 15, 1790, Ushavious's warships had appeared in orbit of Varna, and relentlessly bombarded the world's defenses. It was not until February 26 before the shields cracked, and a landing corps was issued. General Surovius now directed the final land offensives, and within hours, all resistance at Varna was suppressed. The Commander of the Garrison of Varna, General Shazhat-Padalia, finally surrendered on March 3, 1790. Laurasian units now cleared the Marasharites from Briceni and Pistra, and pressed to Silistria. April 1790 witnessed Laurasian units storming the Marasharite garrisons of Bolhrad, Isdadid, and Ashrytz. Marasharite moves against Kotovsk and Teplodar (April 22-May 3, 1790), failed to change the situation. Kolzuduzha, realizing that continued resistance was suicide, surrendered on May 12, 1790. And on May 24, 1790, Ushavious annhilated the opposing Marasharite force in the Battle of Jassy. Jassy was one of the chief Marasharite strongholds in the Great Tesmanian Cloud. Colonized by the Danubian Principality of Moldavia in 1408, Jassy remained part of the Principality until 1564, when it was directly incorporated by Marasharite Emperor Suleiman I the Magnificent. Before that, it had been sacked by the Haynsian Despotate in 1513, and by the Marasharites themselves in 1538. Jassy was seized by the Dejanican Commonwealth in 1686, and remained in their possession for four years until its recapture by Marasharite and Haynsian forces in 1691. The world was sacked yet again in 1738 by the forces of Field-Marshal Munnich, and as a result, Marasharite authorities strengthened its fortifications. By 1787, it had a population of nearly two billion, making it one of the most populous systems in the Ochanian Provinces. As a result of Ushavious's victory, this world, renowned for its fortifications, religious edifices (with more than two thousand faiths represented), resorts, nature preserves, and museums, fell into the hands of the Laurasian Empire. Here, the Fifth Laurasian-Marasharite War would be ended nearly two years later.
    • By the end of June 1790, Trabzon and Kulvecha had been stormed by Laurasian troops. Ruse and Silistra were now under a serious threat from Laurasian troops. On July 4, 1790, after the Marasharite naval port of Samsun had been seriously damaged by a Laurasian raiding expedition, Marasharite forces under the command of Kapudan-Pasha Hussein advanced towards Kerch in the Northern Reaches. Marasharite Emperor Selim III was determined to obtain a surprise victory at the expense of the Imperial Laurasian Navy; Hussein himself dreamed of nothing but Marasharite victory. Bypassing Laurasian patrols at Fidonsi, Trans-Ruse, and Ivrim (July 9-14, 1790), he reached the outskirts of Kerch two days later. Admiral Ushavious, alerted to the Marasharite advance, had already established his command headquarters on Thornton, and now prepared to repel this latest Marasharite threat to Laurasian territory. On July 19, 1790, just as Hussein commenced his assaults against the outskirts of the Kerch star system, the Laurasian fleet appeared. Ushavious formed a offensive line on the frontal tack, quickly sundering many of his Marasharite foe's escape routes. Hussein, confident that his larger force (he had a three-to-one advantage in firepower and troops towards Ushavious), could fight on two fronts at once, now detached his battleship squadrons to form a parallel line to the east of the Laurasian line. Seeing that the Marasharites had detached only their battleships, Admiral Ushavious sent twelve of his frigates to form a second line to leeward of the main line. Three hours of long-range fighting then ensued, and the Laurasian ships soon pursued the Marasharites, forcing them to stretch themselves out from Kerch. By the end of the day, the Battle of Kerch Straits had ended in a decisive victory for the Laurasian Empire. Most of the Marasharite battleships were destroyed in the confrontation, and Admiral Hussein was forced to terminate his plans for moves against Uma, Thurman, Merevop, and Bendery. By the end of July 1790, Pleven and Ala Dag had both been stormed by Laurasian troops. Bad news, however, now arrived from the Great Amulak Spiral, regarding Laurasia's ally, Austarlia.
  • August 4-
    • As previously stated, the Austarlian Emperor Lea'dus II had, since the time of his accession to the Austarlian throne in February 1790, seriously considered the possibility of concluding peace with the Marasharite Empire. The early months of his reign had seen a final series of Austarlian successes against the Marasharite forces. Tesjani fell to Laudon on March 7, 1790. By March 28, Laudon had conquered the Marasharite systems of Cangraniuna and Veheria. From April 4-13, 1790, the forces of Prince Coburg besieged Orsova, which was a Marasharite military base in the Danubian Principalities. Orsova's fall on April 13 secured Austarlian occupation of Wallachia and Lower Moldavia. By the middle of May 1790, Austarlian units were besieging Zhuzhova and the Danubian Iron Gates. Laudon, whose health had entered a further serious decline, obtained one last victory over the Marasharites in the Battle of Kalefata (May 25, 1790). By that point, the Austarlian Emperor's plans for ending the war had proceeded even further. Lea'dus had continued in his efforts to rollback many of his brother's more radical reform measures. On May 9, 1790, he was formally crowned Emperor of Austarlia on Vienna. On that day, the Emperor reconfirmed the privileges and immunities of the Austarlian, Bohemian, and Hungarian nobility, exempting them from income and property taxes. He was also forced to restore a third of their landed properties so as to placate their concerns. On May 15, Lea'dus revoked his brother's decrees concerning education and the precedence of languages, thereby restoring Hungarian as the official language of that constitutent kingdom. And on June 4, 1790, the Emperor of Austarlia sent a communique to his Pruthian counterpart, A'rua III, requesting for his assistance in negotiating an end to the conflict with the Marasharite Empire and for a conference between them directly to discuss the disputes with Haxonia over transit privileges in the Dalmatian and Upper Venetian Provinces.
    • A'rua, who inherited his uncle's supsicion for Austarlia, did not respond to the Emperor's request until June 14. Following the Pruthian acceptance of the Austarlian request, Chancellor Kaunitz contacted Marasharite Grand Vizier Celebizade Serif (who had assumed his post on April 16, 1790), with an offer for an armistice and negotiations between the two Empires to conclude the war between them. In this, he was violating his obligations to the Laurasian Empire. Le'adus, however, whose forces were making progress in Burgundy against the rebel forces, was desperate to focus all of his effort on a compromise settlement with his Hungarian nobles. Grand Vizier Serif, believing that the withdrawal of Austarlia from the conflict would relieve the pressures on Marasharite resources, and allow for the Empire to focus its attention against Laurasia and Morocco, submitted the request to the Grand Council. Marasharite Emperor Selim III finally granted his approval (June 24, 1790). Four days later, Field Marshal von-Laudon suffered a stroke at Sarajevo and was forced to retire to his estates on Novy Jicin in Austarlian Moravia. Prince Coburg now assumed temporary command of all the Austarlian forces, and on July 3, 1790, held a armistice conference with Marasharite General Al-Eedir at Negotin. The Truce of Negotin was signed three days later, leading to the cessation of all military hostilities between the Austarlians and Marasharites. Each side was to hold the territories they now occupied. The Imperial Laurasian Government, for the time being, remained in ignorance of the Austarlian negotiations with Marasharita.
    • Then on July 14, 1790, Field-Marshal Laudon died at Novy Jicin, aged 73. The Empress of Laurasia, still unaware of the Austarlian negotiations, sent a communique to Lea'dus, expressing her condolences and declaring that the allies would soon crush Marasharite resistance. By that point, however, delegations from the two governments had convened at Sistova, a Marasharite stronghold in Upper Macedonica, for the negotiation of the peace between them. The Pruthian Ambassador to the Marasharite Court, Count Ernest von Fereheirr, proved instrumental in the negotiations process, and in obtaining terms more favorable to the Marasharite Empire. Emperor Lea'dus, desperate to end the war (prompted by Haxonian violation of Austarlian territorial rights in Salzburg and the Styrian Duchies), declared his willingness to concede most of the gains made by Austarlian forces during the course of the conflict. The Marasharites, on their part, proved amenable, and sought to maintain their rule of Serbia, Albania, the Danubian Principalities, and Bosnia. Finally, on August 4, 1790, the Treaty of Sistova was signed, resulting in the withdrawal of the Holy Austarlian Empire from the Fifth Laurasian-Marasharite War. By the terms of this treaty, the Emperor of Austarlia pledged to withdraw all of his units from the Great Tesmanian Cloud and the Gateway Provinces in a "prompt and speedy manner"; to terminate his military alliance with the Laurasian Empire; and to recognize Marasharite overlordship of the Barbary States. He agreed to restore Wallachia, Lower Moldavia, Serbia, Bosnia, Albania, Lower Bulgania, and the Danubian Gateway Provinces to the authority of the Marasharite Empire. Belgravia, Tirana, Chrisnau, and Sarajevo were among the chief strongholds to now be returned to Marasharite authority. In return, Selim III agreed to restore the Pazak Cluster, the Banat of Temesvar, Olthenia, and Banja Luka to the Austarlian Empire, which thereby regained 90% of the territories it had lost in 1739. Austarlia also acquired Orsova, Veheria, Hawtin, Unna, and Zhuzhova, thereby rounding out its territories in Bukovina. All Austarlian units in the restored territories were to be withdrawn by the end of the year. Selim, on his part, agreed to recognize Austarlian rights of influence in Dejanica, and to remain neutral in any conflict between Austarlia on the one hand, and Haxonia as well as Vendragia on the other. The Treaty of Sistova was ratified by Emperor Lea'dus on August 5, and by Emperor Selim III on August 11.
  • September 8-
    • Following the conclusion of the Treaty of Sistova, Marasharite Emperor Selim III and the Grand Council, determined to regain the advantage in the military offensives against the Laurasian Empire, began the diversion of Marasharite military units from the Danubian Principalities, Bosnia, and Macedonica to the Great Tesmanian Cloud. On August 2, 1790, two days before the Treaty was signed, Selim had declared to the Council that he would not countenance the continued occupation of the territories won by his ancestors by a power "possessed of much avarice and ruled by an Empress dominated by greed and desire for power." By August 17, 1790, Marasharite military squadrons had been assembled at Chrisnau, Izmail, Shumen, Ruse, Silistria, Batal-Pasha, Kilrania, and Kalefata. Two days later, the Emperor formally designated Admiral Hussein and Pasha-General Bereim-Kasa as the joint commanders of the intended Marasharite counteroffensive. They were to expel the Laurasian garrisons from Varna, Jassy, Ivrim, Trans-Ruse, and Kilidrim; to drive towards Focasani; and to cut off Laurasian supply lines to Ochania, Kolzuduzha, and Del Valle. Bereim-Kasa in particular, a veteran of the Second Cyprian War and the Vendragian-Gilanian War, was determined to strike a blow against the Laurasians. By August 26, Marasharite units, operating from Kilrania and Chrisnau, had stormed the Peldavian Gateways, Pleven, Trabzon, and Doros, posing a serious threat to the Laurasian position in the Gateway Provinces. By September 1, 1790, General Bereim-Pasa had advanced to Kabarda on the Upper Danube, formerly a Marasharite military base which had been occupied by Admiral Ushavious seven months earlier.
    • The Marasharite supply lines had become overextended as a result of these offensives, leaving them exposed to a series of swift counter-assaults by Admiral Ushavious and General Surovius. On September 5, 1790, Admiral Ushavious, who had held a command conference at Bendery, departed with the 67th Imperial Fleet. He stopped at Kherson in order to order to collect reinforcements from the 62nd and 63rd Imperial Fleets. Upon departing from Kherson (with a force of nearly four hundred warships, 2.1 million Imperial Army soldiers and Imperial Marines, and two squadrons of 14,000 starfighters), he proceeded rapidly to the Lower Ochanian Provinces. During the early hours of September 8, 1790, Ushavious and his force intercepted the main Marasharite battlefleet under Admiral Hussein near Telindra, located forty light years east of Kabarda. Admiral Hussein now formed his squadrons into an offensive battle-line, but Ushavious formed his battleships into three parallel lines, which merged into one line as they approached the flank of the Marasharite fleet. Admiral Hussein, seeking his tail threatened, turned north and came back parallel to the Laurasian fleet. Ushavious followed suit, with the two fleets ending up in paralleled tracks, towards a northeasterly direction. Ushavious then ordered three of his frigates to guard against an Marasharite doubling of the Laurasian line, leaving thirteen of his dreadnoughts in the line. Ushavious then turned towards the Marasharite ships. The Marasharites began to bear away, and by the middle hours of the afternoon, were in full retreat. The Laurasians followed closely, inflicting much damage. Five Marasharite xebecs were destroyed, another six damaged, and the Vice-Admiral Hausein-Pasha's flagship, the Idieter, suffered a catastrophic shields failure. The Laurasians soon retreated, and battle ceased for the night. The following day, the Laurasians attacked the Kapitana and Melike Bahri, both of whom had been seriously damaged in confrontation with the Laurasian forces the previous day. Within an hour, Melike Bahri surrendered to the IMS Marie Magadelene, but the Kapitana presented a stout resistance. She was now assaulted by the IMS George Pobolysnia, the Gospderia, and the St. Andreus. By noon, she was completely surrounded, but it was not until three hours later that the ship, the largest in the Marasharite fleet and battered beyond endurance, finally surrendered. The ship then suffered a catastrophic reactor failure and most of its crew died, before the Laurasians could begin their boarding procedures.
    • By the late hours of the day, Admiral Hussein had managed to flee on his starfighter, but nearly two-thirds of the Marasharite warships had been destroyed or severely damaged, while 600,000 Marasharite troops and personnel were Laurasian prisoners of war. The Battle of Tendra had therefore ended in a decisive victory for the Laurasian Empire. Admiral Ushavious and General Surovius wasted no time in regaining the advantage. By September 12, Marasharite raiding expeditions against Quinta-il-vily, Batchbey, Merevbey, and Quickbay had terminated, and Ushavious had instigated a siege of the Peldavian Gateways. The Battle of the Peldavian Gateways (September 14-16, 1790) ended in another decisive Laurasian victory. On September 19, Pleven and Trabzon both surrendered to superior Laurasian forces without a fight. And then on September 24, 1790, Surovius destroyed a Marasharite corps in the Battle of Batal-Pasha. His subordinate, General Sir Honorius Ferven, stormed a Marasharite position in Seraksian City, capturing more than 20,000 elite Marasharite Troops. Batal-Pasha's capture by the Laurasian Empire proved a serious blow for the Marasharites. By the end of September, 1790, Kilia and Kabarda were both under siege by Laurasian units. Admiral Ushavious repelled a Marasharite counteroffensive against Stauvachany (October 4, 1790) and captured a Marasharite convoy at Kakilaria (October 7). By October 11, Marasharite units had been expelled from Briceni and Rezni. On October 15, 1790, Duros surrendered, completing the expulsion of Marasharite troops from the Ochanian Provinces. Kilia finally surrendered five days later, and Kabarda fell on October 22 after a directed offensive by General Surovius. By the end of October, 1790, Shumen was blockaded by the forces of the Empire.
  • October 7-
    • As previously mentioned, King Hensios IV of Franconia, with the assistance of the Laurasian Major-General Lord Willoughby, had laid Parri, the capital world of the Serene Kingdom of Franconia and now headquarters for the Franconian League, under siege since May 1790. The King's forces had pursued a strategy of blockade and harassment, intending to sever the supply lines leading to the Parri star system and therefore compel the beleaguered garrison into surrender. During the first few months of the siege, it seemed as if events were trending in the favor of the King of Franconia. Hensios, though distracted by conflicts elsewhere in the Franconian realms, and by confrontations with the League in Brittany, Lorraine, Normandy, and the Pale of Calais, was able to repel many of the League's attempts to relieve the garrison of Parri. He defeated a League convoy in the Battle of Jersey (May 27-June 4, 1790), and then stormed Guernsey (June 7); Caen (June 11); and Bayeux (June 14-17), terminating League expeditions towards Calais and into the Franconian Channel Colonies. By the end of June 1790, Hensios had blunted League forces at Orleans and Crayon, and on July 7, he obtained another victory in the Battle of Cherbourg, preventing the League units from seizing the military factories and spaceports in the star system. The King attempted numerous times during this month to negotiate the surrender of Parri, but the Duke of Nemours and the Franconian League Council rejected all of his demands; the siege dragged on. By August 1790, the King's forces had seized all of the outposts in the immediate vicinity of Parri, and he had received more than 250,000 Franconian, Laurasian, and mercenary troops as reinforcements.
    • It was at this point, however, that Hensios's luck fled him. Fulfilling his obligations under the Treaty of Joinville, Emperor Philicus ordered the Duke of Parma (who had managed to blunt Laurasian-Durthian operations against Nemurs, Brussels, Antwerp, and Maastricht during the preceding months) to detach a expeditionary corps and send it to open the supply lines of Parri. Parma had done as ordered, and he had begun his to progress from Gembloux and Briell on August 28, defeating Franconian border patrols in a series of confrontations at Graveline's Mist, Dunkirk, and the Pas-de-Norde Gateways. On September 4, the Battle of Charleroi resulted in a decisive victory for Parma, who captured nearly a third of the Franconian destroyers that opposed him. Franconian units at Mons, St. Quentin, and Brabaggia failed to stem his advance, and by September 11, he was approaching Upper Lurdon, just seventy light-years to the north of Parri. Six days later, King Hensios, realizing that his forces were outclassed, and fearful of being cut of by Parma's corps, decided to terminate his siege of Parri. A final attack against the barricades of Parri (September 19, 1790) failed, and the King of Franconia hastily pulled back. Parma reached Parri (September 23, 1790), and was hailed by the world's population for saving them from the grasp of the "scheming and conniving fiend of Navarra, who seeks to gain rule over territories which do not belong to him." And although the Spamalkan Duke then stormed Stephani and Julianne (September 30-October 5, 1790), he was soon compelled into retreat by news of a Laurasian-Durthian offensive against Cambrai and Nimburg; he halted his campaigns and returned back to Luxembourg (October 7, 1790). Four days later, the Battle of Cambrai resulted in a tactical victory for the Holy Spamalkan Empire; General Pellhamia was forced to terminate this offensive and to reinforce the garrisons of Lier, Axel, and Amsterdam. Nevertheless, Hensios had suffered a serious setback in his ambitions, and on October 15, 1790, was forced to withdraw from Sancerre after a bloody confrontation with the world's inhabitants, supported by a League expeditionary force. By the end of October 1790, Rouen was firmly in the hands of the Franconian League, and Hensios's units had been forced to retire from the Trans-Parri outposts.
  • November 5-
    • Although events in Franconia and Durthia had gone in the favor of the Holy Spamalkan Empire and Franconian League (as far as the Siege of Parri was concerned), the allied forces of the Laurasian Empire and the Stellar Kingdom of Portugallia continued to make progress in the Colonial Territories. Admiral Dracius, pursuing his ultimate goal of seizing the Spamalkan stronghold of San Domingo, now directed a operation against Santiago. Santiago, located two hundred light years northeast of San Domingo, controlled access to the vital Cidade Viaha Highway, along which the Spamalkans transported agricultural and mineral goods from San Domingo, Cartagena, and Augustine to Vigo and the Galician Worlds. After storming the Spamalkan outpost of Praia (May 15, 1790), Dracius's forces had then progressed to the outskirts of Santiago. Three days later, he penetrated the outer defenses of the star system; within hours, a corps of Imperial Marines and Imperial Army soldiers under the command of Sir Christopheus Cariellia landed on Santiago Outer, surprising the Spamalkan garrison and seizing control of the communications terminal without much difficulty. Dracius then unleashed a surprise offensive with his starfighters, frigates, and corvettes, commencing an intensive bombardment of the world's defenses. The Spamalkan-Portugallian garrison returned fire, but it proved sporadic, and it soon petered out when Cariellia's troops stormed the chief weapons arsenal in the Santagian Asteroid Belts.
    • Within another five hours, the shields of Santiago had been breached, and Laurasian troops overran the world with little resistance; Dracius faced no substantial naval opposition, and twenty Spamalkan transports fell into Laurasian possession. By May 22, 1790, Santiago was completely in the possession of the Laurasian Empire. Dracius impounded seventy Portugallian commercial vessels at Santiago Spaceport and handed them over to the custody of the Portugallian Stellar Navy. Santiago's main ordnance warehouses were sacked by Laurasian troops, with turbocannons, blasters, grenades, personal shields, body armor, and nellpepper (an ingredient in artillery shells) being seized in large quantities. From Santiago, Dracius captured the Spamalkan garrison of Porto (May 25, 1790) and dispatched a reconnaissance expedition, examining the defenses of San Domingo and other neighboring Spamalkan bases. By June 1, 1790, San Domingo was under direct threat from the allied forces; the Battle of San Domingo now commenced in earnest. The Spamalkan garrison, which had hastily constructed a minefield barricade, now sought to bring in reinforcements, but it was already too late. Dracius now detached Cariellia and his corps of Marines to the farther side of San Domingo.
    • He then made a staged landing at San Domingo Point, causing the Spamalkans to divert many of their troops and defensive warships towards his direction. Scarely did the Spamalkans make their move that Cariellia and his corps assaulted the planetary side, landing in the Northern Quadrant of San Domingo and threatening the Spamalkan garrison from the flank. The Garrison Commander, General Cristobal de Ovalle, attempted to assume new positions, and detached a squadron of garrison starfighters to harry Dracius's transports. Cariellia, however, stormed the Quderia Landing Bay, and the Laurasian forces advanced further, receiving intensive fire from the Spamalkan troops as they did so. By this point, San Domingo's shields had been conclusively breached, and the world was subject to constant landings by armored troops from above. Cariellia soon penetrated the Lenba and the Mereda Checkpoints, rushing his troops forward to capture the cities of Vidad and Combad (June 3-5, 1790). The Spamalkan units were swept away by Laurasian troops and armored vehicles under Cariellia and Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Laetus Powellia, and the Laurasian columns now converged in Agnes's City, the world's capital. The Fortaleza Ozama, the chief fortress of Agnes's City, resisted Laurasian offensives while the rest of the city fell into their hands without much difficulty. General de Ovalle himself fled from the world, abandoning his family and his garrison commanders. By late day of June 8, 1790, the Fortaleza Ozama had finally been overrun by Laurasian troops, having endured a significant bombardment over the course of the preceding two days. All remaining Spamalkan troops in the countryside and on Torra de Homejae (San Domingo's sole moon), had surrendered by the following day, and the world was completely in the possession of the Laurasian Empire. The world's spacedock, warehouses, and military arms factories were comprehensively plundered by Laurasian troops.
    • The fall of San Domingo proved a heavy blow to the Spamalkans. Dracius and Prince Fernando now stormed Popayan, San Juan de Pasto, and Santa Maria (June 12-22, 1790), securing their position in New Granada, Spamalkan Hisparilla, and the Spamalkan Spice Colonies. In July 1790, Fernando moved against Rio de Janiero, placing this capital star system of Portugallian Brazil under siege. The Portugallian inhabitants of the world, who were disenchanted with Spamalkan rule, ultimately rebelled against the world's authorities on July 22, 1790, and joined arms with Fernando's forces; within hours, Rio de Janiero was once again in Portugallian possession. On August 2, 1790, Bahia, isolated from its supply routes and feeling threatened by the Prince's seizure of Canderso, surrendered without a fight. At the same time, Dracius stormed Bogota and Tunja (August 1-12, 1790), humiliating the Spamalkan Governor Don Rigo de Variellio in those confrontations. By the end of August, 1790, Caenanela and Laguna had both fallen to Dracius and Prince Fernando, entrenching them further in Brazil. And on September 14, 1790, the Battle of Grao Para resulted in a decisive victory for the combined allied forces. Within another six days, the Spamalkan garrisons of Parati, Cabio Firo, Itamarca, and Brazilla had surrendered, with allied forces driving deep into the interior of the Brazillian Territories. Bertioga, however, resisted until its final capture on October 3, 1790, completing the reconquest of Brazil. Repeated Spamalkan counteroffensives against San Juan de Ulua, the Balearics, the Gibraltar Straits, and Santiago (October 4-9, 1790), yielded no results, with Dracius capturing a Spamalkan convoy at Ser Marria. On October 14, the allied forces began their push towards Malacca, storming the Spamalkan garrisons of Johor (October 15-19); Pahat (October 22); and Penang (October 29).
    • By November 3, allied forces, having stormed Kedah and Perak, had reached the outskirts of Malacca itself. Spamalkan General Don Ferdinand de Alberquerque now stationed his forces in a "parallel" formation, attempting to blunt the allied advance. The Battle of Malacca (November 5, 1790), saw the Spamalkans having some success at first; a series of rash assaults by Dracius against the Spamalkan formations resulted in the loss of thirty frigates. The battle soon turned in his favor, however, as Portugallian Admiral Enrique de Amerigo penetrated through the Spamalkan left flank, exposing a gap in Alberquerque's battleship formations. Malacca was doomed, and Alberquerque himself, who commanded the fleet from his personal starfighter, was killed in a running confrontation with Portugallian frigates. The land garrison of Malacca, having suffered constant bombardment, surrendered during the late hours of the day. The fall of Malacca restored control of the most populous and economically important Portugallian colony (it specialized in the spice and medicinal trades) to the control of King Antonio I. This would be secured by the conquest of Ordin (November 9); Mulatarr (November 15); and Perai (November 16-22). By the end of November, 1790, Singapore was being harried constantly by Admirals Dracius and de Amerigo, while the whole of the Spamalkan Spice Colonies were under Laurasian military occupation.
  • November 17-
    • The Empress Aurelia's mood at the beginning of November, 1790, was decidely "mixed". Although the Empress was enthused by the victories of her military commanders over the Spamalkans and Marasharites (in spite of the failure of Hensio's siege of Parri), she was distracted by events at the Imperial Court, again concerning her favorite, the Earl of Estatius, and by the actions of the Holy Austarlian Empire under Le'adus II. Following the conclusion of the Treaty of Sistova, Emperor Lea'dus had wasted no time in extending further overtures to his Pruthian neighbors and in nuturing diplomatic relations with that power. Emperor A'rua III had himself become more amendable to building friendly relations with Lea'dus. Within months of the Treaty of Warsaw, its value had already become reduced to the Pruthian Government. A'rua's parleys with the Holy Emperor of Austarlia gradually convinced him that the Austarlian sovereign would not pose a threat to his own security. The Dejanican Diet, on its part, now took a series of foolish decisions which undermined the alliance with Pruthia. On July 27, 1790, the Diet demanded that the Pruthian Cabinet provide an explicit guarantee of the Commonwealth's territorial intergity against the intrusions of foreign powers. The King's Minister, Count Reinhold von Isgriff, refused to answer to the Diet's demands, declaring that the provisions of the recently-concluded alliance meant that Pruthia was obliged to support Dejanica only if it were assaulted by a hostile power. The Diet, however, continued to press it, and on August 14, declared its intention to revoke privileges to Pruthian Martialists at Krakow and Lublin. This angered Emperor Pru'a, and he issued numerous protests to his Dejanican counterpart, King Stanis Vorrust I. The King was ultimately able to compel the Diet to back down from its threats, but on September 9, the Diet affirmed that the Commonwealth's territories could not be divided. A'rua, who had still been half-expecting Torun and Danzig as his rewards for "aiding" the Commonwealth, now saw the Commonwealth as far less valuable to his future goals. Four days after this humiliating setback, he opened negotiations with Austarlian Chancellor Kaunitz and the Austarlian Council of State, aiming towards the resolution of "certain differences between our respective Empires." Negotiations proceeded rapidly at Reichenbach, and on September 27, 1790, the two powers concluded a treaty there.
    • By the terms of the Treaty of Reichenbach, Austarlia agreed to honor the committments made at Sistova towards the Marasharite Empire; to terminate its alliance with the Laurasian Empire; to grant the Burgundians amnesty for their rebellious acts and to guarantee their constitutional rights; and to affirm Pruthian rights to Bayreuth and Ansbach (both margarivates would become formally part of Pruthia following the abdication of Char'vak Alexidos on December 2, 1791). In exchange, Pruthia agreed to defend Austarlian territories against the actions of any "immediate aggressors" (implying Haxonia and Vendragia); to recognize an Austarlian stake in the affairs of the Dejanican Commonwealth; and to provide financial compensation to Austarlia for all of its military expenses incurred since January 1, 1789 (amounting to $300 trillion Austarlian krona). The Treaty of Reichenbach was ratified by Lea'dus II on October 2, and by A'rua III on October 5. Five days later, Lea'dus, obliging by the Treaty's provisions, sent a communique to the Imperial Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Laurasian Empire, informing them that his obligations under the Treaty of Invictus Mesura towards "Her Imperial Majesty of Laurasia" were formally terminated. This had angered the Empress Aurelia, and she even feared that the Austarlian and Pruthian Empires were going to declare war against her. This proved to be an exaggerated fear, but Lea'dus's actions had seriously damaged relations between Laurasia and Austarlia; for the remainder of her reign, Aurelia would entertain a heary distrust of Austarlia, even after the death of Lea'dus II in 1792. Lea'dus's conclusion of the Treaties of Sistova and Reichenbach, however, had freed Lea'dus to focus on internal affairs. On November 11, 1790, Lea'dus was finally crowned Apostolic King of Hungary at Buda, and he shortly afterwards concluded the Final Settlement with the Hungarian nobility, confirming their official language, privileges, and positions in government administration and the military. Six days later, the Pact of Barbia reconciled his subjects in Burgundy, restoring the Brabantine State Assembly and all of the customs previously enjoyed by those in Burgundy. These arrangements restored internal tranquility in the territories of the Holy Austarlian Empire. Lea'dus's attempts to convince Aurelia that he harbored no ill-will towards her, failed however.
    • And then on October 16, 1790, the Empress learned from Lord Treasurer Burghley that on May 14, 1790, a little over a month after the death of Sir Caligula Walsingis, Estatius had married his daughter and heiress, Franconia. Franconia was the widow of the late Sir Philip Sidronius, to whom she had been married in 1783. She was one of the most beautiful ladies at the Imperial Court, and had been a lady-in-waiting to the Empress since 1788. Although the Empress bore no-will for Franconia, she was nevertheless angered by the marriage, and believed that Estatius should have consulted her first. For the next several days, she raged in her bedchambers, refusing to see anyone and threatening to have the couple cast into the Fortress of Baureux. Eventually however, she was persuaded that Estatius had only done what "every other man of rank and wealth did": that is, to marry in order to produce heirs. Aurelia, however, remembered that Estatius was the great-grandson of her own aunt, Lady Antonia Boleyenia, and of one of her father's mistresses, Anna Hastinga, Countess of Hannah (1683-1744). She believed that his union with Franconia would present a family line that would seek hold of the Imperial Laurasian Crown. The Empress's birthday (September 7, 1790), had been celebrated with much pomp and circumstances. Now fifty-seven, however, Aurelia was aware that her advancing age caused further unease at the Imperial Court, for she still had not named a successor. She knew that Estatius and others would continue to think that they could gain influence through gaining access to her ear. This all colored the Empress's attitude as she entered November 1790. And indeed, as the Empress had feared, Estatius used all of his "gallantry" and "pleasantries" to induce Aurelia to forgive him for his marriage. On Accession Day (November 17, 1790), Estatius, who was wearing black funerary clothes, entered the Circus Maximus in a funeral procession, to symbolize his disgrace. He was attended by many of his friends and associates, including the Earl of Oxfadia.
    • It was soon obvious to all that the Empress had forgiven him, although she would never agree to receiving Franconia as his countess. Estatius then distinguished himself in the Accession Day jousts and athletic competitions that followed. This occasion marked another ending for the Empress: her Champion, Sir Antigonus Lesius, stage-managed the ceremonies for the last time, having done so for the preceding twenty years. To mark his retirement, Lesius put on a magnificent paegant of vestal virgins, with lyrics performed by the Christiania Symphony Orchestra. At the end of the ceremonies, the Empress embraced Lesius, presented him with a pennant of favor, and granted him a retirement pension of €22.2 billion dataries per year. Lesius then retired to Dichetlian Park on Caladaria with his mistress (and later wife), Lady Anna Vasavoria, formerly one of the Empress's ladies-in waiting; he would die there on February 11, 1798, at the age of 64. No sooner had Lesius retired than the Empress of Laurasia was dealt with another blow. On November 18, 1790, the Earl of Aretha, who had been the guardian of ex-Scottrian Queen Mariana for fifteen years, as well as Imperial Marshal and one of the Empress's chief advisors, died at the age of 62 at his estate on Trebek. The news of Aretha's death shook the Empress considerably, and she lamented to her ladies that the Lord Almitis had been particularly cruel to her in that year. Walsingis, Sarah, Parrius, and now Aretha; she wondered why all of this was occuring. Aretha would be buried at his family plot on Aretha, Talibetan Chapel, on November 22; his son Gilbertius succeeded him as Earl of Aretha. For the time being, Aretha's post of Imperial Marshal remained vacant.
  • December 22-
    • Whilst the Accession Day festivities were ongoing on Laurasia Prime, Major-General Baron Alexander Surovius continued to distinguish himself in his victories against the Laurasian Empire. Surovius, well on his way to becoming the only Laurasian commander in the history of the Space Age to have never been defeated in battle, cleared Marasharite units from Baia and Suret (November 2-9, 1790). Shumen, in the meantime, now completely isolated from its supply lines, posed a serious resistance to the forces of the Empire. Admiral Ushavious repelled Marasharite moves from the Shumen Straits and the Soroca Outposts (November 12-14, 1790), and by Accession Day, Laurasian units finally breached the star system's outer defenses. A fierce confrontation ensued, and it was not until November 22, 1790, before Shumen City was finally overrun by Laurasian troops. The world's garrison surrendered the following day, with General Surovius (who had arrived on November 21), himself accepting the surrender of the commanders. The fall of Shumen now pressed the Laurasian threat to Ruse and Silistria even more than previously; by the end of November, 1790, Laurasian forces were pressing perliously close to these, among the last significant Marasharite strongholds of note in the Great Tesmanian Cloud. On December 5, after blunting a Marasharite offensive in the Battle of Hewerau, Surovius decided to move against Izmail, which was one of the Marasharite Empire's most formidable military arsenals. It possessed a garrison of nearly two million troopers and Marasharite Guards; a fleet of one hundred warships; and a complex system of shield generators and ion disruptors. Four days later, on December 9, 1790, Surovius and Ushavious blockaded the star system and installed stockades on the farther side of Proedy. Ushavious's third-in-command, Admiral Jose de Ribas (a Portugallian in the service of the Imperial Laurasian Navy), successfully stormed Marasharite positions at Proedy, Lower Izmail's Outpost, and Khalar, seriously weakening the Marasharite formations. By December 15, Surovius's troops had issued the outpost of Gergail, posing a serious threat to Marasharite communications lines from Izmail and the Izmail Starbase to the outskirts of the star system. On December 17, Ushavious drew the naval garrison out and decisively crushed them in the Battle of Siegen, five light-years east of Izmail.
    • Four days later, the two Laurasian military commanders launched a joint naval and land offensive against the world, having bombarded the world immediately following the confrontations at Siegen. Surovius sent a warning to the Garrison Commander of Izmail, Aidos Mehmet Pasha, warning him that if he did not surrender, much retribution would be exacted. General Aidos-Pasha ignored the message, and ordered his troops to resist the Laurasian onslaught. During the late hours of December 21, 1790, the Laurasians, advancing from the northerly, easterly, and westerly vector directions, penetrated through Izmail's inner defenses and the Izmail Starbase; soon, a third of the world's land surface was overrun by Surovius's troops. By 8:00 P.M. Galactic Standard Time, the Marasharite garrison had been overwhelmed by the fury of the Laurasian offensives, and Cridel City fell into Surovius's hands. Nevertheless, they had resisted fiercely, and much fighting had occurred at the planetary ramparts and throughout the countryside. It was not until December 25, 1790, before General Aidos-Pasha and his command officers were captured. Nevertheless, the Siege of Izmail had resulted in a decisive victory for the Laurasian Empire. The Laurasians suffered 250,000 casualties, compared to the Marasharites's loss of over 800,000. The remainder of the garrison (more than a million men), became prisoners of war. Aidos-Pasha and his officers were executed by blaster fire on December 27, and Surovius treated the world's inhabitants with much brutality. His troops sacked many of Izmail's businesses and properties. The fall of Izmail now left Ruse and Silistria as the only remaining Marasharite strongholds of note in the Great Tesmanian Cloud. As the year 1790 came to an end, the Empire had gained a definite advantage over its Marasharite foes.

1791Edit

  • January 1-1791, the 91st year of the eighteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire and its remaining allies (the Stellar Kingdom of Portugallia, Sultanate of Morocco, Serene Kingdom of Franconia, and United Durthian States) having made further advances against their common enemies, the Holy Spamalkan and Marasharite Empires. This must be placed in context, however. During the course of the preceding year, the Empress Aurelia's military forces in the Great Tesmanian Cloud, under the command of Lieutenant-General Baron Alexander Surovius of Rymnik and Vice-Admiral Theodosius Ushavious had all but expelled the Marasharites from the Ochanian Provinces. At the beginning of the new year, Marasharite garrisons held on tenaciously to Ruse, Silistra, Anapa, and minor bases such as Kars, Ardahan, Akhaltsikhe, Bayazaid, and Poti; their hold over the Danubian Principalities also remained weak, due to the continued Laurasian occupation of the Sucreava Colonies, Oradea, Bihor, and other Gateway strongholds. In the Barbary States, the position of the Marasharite Empire had been seriously weakened. Under its new Sultan, Ahmad al-Mansur I, himself a renowned military commander in his own right, Morocco had repelled all counteroffensives by Marasharite and Barbary forces, besides occupying all of Mauritania and Algiers. Tunis continued to hold out against the allied forces, but there was no doubt that the Sultan of Morocco had gained the advantage. As for Spamalka, its situation was horrendous. The loss of Brazil, Portugallia, the Malaccas, the Spice Colonies, and the Balearics to the allied forces of Laurasia and Portugallia had seriously damaged the Emperor Philicus's reputation, the security of his Hereditary Dominions (Lesser Spamalka, Great Spamalka, Catalonia, Valencia, the Basques, Spamalkan Navarre, Galicia, Asturias, Andalusia), and the economic vitality of the Holy Spamalkan Government. The Spamalkan Council of State found itself hard-pressed to pay the salaries of the soldiers of the Holy Spamalkan Army; the state had now incurred a deficit of nearly $1.4 quadmillion ducats, the most crippling debt of any state, and the Stock Exchange of Madrid had lost more than half of its value. Many of Philicus's subjects were now protesting the conditions produced by war, and were beginning to desire for peace, so that "normalcy would return to these dominions under our Gods." Emperor Philicus, however, refused to make peace until his hereditary realms had been secured and the Durthian Duchies subjected to his authority once again. The Emperor of Spamalka continued to declare to his advisers and his subjects that he would stop at nothing to restrain the influence of the Empress of Laurasia, and to secure a reliable ally for the Holy Spamalkan Empire in the form of the Franconian League. The League had managed to retain Parri, in the face of offensives by King Hensios IV. Although Hensios now had definite control of Orleans, of the Metzian Lordships, and of Poitiers, he nevertheless found that his position would never be secure so long as the League forces held out in defiance of him, and as long as the Spamalkans supported them. All of this was in the Empress Aurelia's mind as she issued her New Year's proclamation. She lamented all of the sacrifices which had been made during the course of the preceding year, and again praised the efforts of her commanders and her military subordinates in the campaigns. The Empress, however, also declared that her subjects must "march on until absolute victory is obtained." And indeed, this year would see the Laurasian Empire and its allies slowly advancing their position, although reverses would be suffered in Franconia and in the Portugallian Colonies.
  • January 22-
    • The Empress Aurelia, besides dealing with the circumstances surrounding her Empire's continued conflict with Marasharita and Spamalka, also contended with further upheavals at the Imperial Court. She found herself distressed by the brazeness of her godson, Antiochus Harringtia, who at the end of December 1790 had published his translation of Orlando Furioso, a 3rd century BH Meaganian poem which was known for its bawdiness. This translation had circulated among the ladies of the Imperial Household, and the Empress was appalled when she read it. She learned that Harringtia was the author, and declared that it was inappropriate for her ladies to be reading such material. Harringtia was reprimanded by the Empress, who commanded him not to return to the Imperial Court until he had translated all of the works of the Meaganian Ariosto, the author of the original poem. This would take him most of the year to complete. Estatius, on his part, was now coming increasingly under the influence of Franconius Bagonius. He was the youngest son of the late Procurator-General Sir Nicholas Bagonius, having been born in Christiania at Yorth House on January 22, 1761. His elder brother Antoninus (who had been born in 1758), had joined the Imperial Intelligence Agency upon his graduation from the University of the Empire in 1781, and had been assigned by Chancellor Walsingis as an agent on Parri. He had become acquainted with the new King of Franconia, Hensios IV, during that time. Their mother, Lady Anna Bagonius (1727-1789), had been Lord Treasurer Burghley's younger sister. The Lord Treasurer, however, had no time for his nephews, suspecting them of working to undermine his son's influence. He had therefore refused to extend his patronage to them. This had led to a bitter family rift, leading Bagonius to align himself with Estatius's faction. Bagonius himself, now thirty years old, was an accomplished lawyer and member of the Christiania City Council, having graduated from the University of Christiania Law School in 1779 at only the age of eighteen, and having served on the Christiania Inns from 1784. He had been an attache of Sir Amnystas Pauletius (1781-82), and was well acquainted with Leicesterius, Walsingis, and others on the Privy Council. He was of "middling stature, with his countenance indented with age before he was old, and his presence grave."
    • This man, destined to become Chancellor of the Empire under Lysimachus II, was more intelligent than either Cecilis or Estatius, but the Empress never liked him and never appointed him to high office. Bagonius, nevertheless, quickly established a friendship with Estatius, who soon perceived that he could strike a blow against Cecilis by promoting his friend's rise. Bagonius, who was proud and calculating, saw in Estatius's "rare perfections and values" a means by which he could achieve political prominence and discomfit the Cecilis family. However, it had already been seen that while the Empress might give Estatius anything he wanted (within reason), she would not allow him to dispense patronage to anyone else, and those who came to him looking for favors usually went away unsatisfied. Aurelia feared that Estatius would build up a substantial base of support. Bagonius quickly determined the situation and sent a communique offering Estatius his advice. He told him that he should not appear to the Empress as "A man of a nature not to be ruled; of an estate not founded on his greatness; of a popular reputation; of a military dependence: I demand whether there can be a more dangerous image than this represented to any living monarch, much more to a lady and of Her Majesty's apprehension." He urged Estatius to abandon his military ambitions in order to set the Empress's mind at rest, and seek advancement by peaceful means. It was sensible advice, but Estatius ignored it. The Earl also neglected to allay Aurelia's jealousy of his growing popularity. The Empress was jealous not only of this, but at his play-acting with other women. On January 22, 1791, the Empress caught Estatius flirting with two of her Ladies of the Privy Chamber, Katharina Bridigius (who was then 22) and Aurelia Russaila (25); she slapped Mistress Bridigius (who later became Estatius's mistress) and banished the girls from the Imperial Court for three days. Estatius, however, could also be jealous, and grew angry if the Empress paid attention to one of her male courtiers.
  • February 11-
    • Following the fall of Izmail, Admiral Ushavious and General Surovius had convened a strategical conference at Del Valle (January 3, 1791). In this conference, the two Laurasian military commanders decided to launch, over the course of the following months, a three-pronged military offensive that would eliminate the final Marasharite strongholds in the Great Tesmanian Cloud, drive into the Danubian Principalities, and sunder Marasharite supply lines leading to Upper Bulgania and Macedonica. Ushavious now resolved to storm Ruse and the Marasharite garrisons of Kornos, Meveros, and Hetheros, thereby depriving them of their last routes of access into the Galactic Void. Surovius, on his part, would move against Silistra, and from there, advance to Chrisnau and Silisburg, both of whom had been restored by the Austarlians to the Marasharite Empire in October 1790, in accordance with the Treaty of Sistova. Finally, a smaller Laurasian expeditionary force under the command of General Sir Honorius Gudovia would seize Anapa and the Caucasian Colonies, thereby depriving the Marasharites of their last strongholds on the Upper Danube. Following the conference, the Laurasian forces proceeded immediately. Admiral Ushavious, advancing from Del Valle, repelled a Marasharite counteroffensive against Stauvachany, Ochania, and Fidonsi in the Battle of the Era Straits (January 4-11, 1791). On January 15, 1791, Admiral Ushavious captured the Marasharite communications relay of Novoruuk, thereby severing communications by the General Headquarters with Ruse and Kornos. Within the next five days, he destroyed Marasharite patrol fleets at Tambov, Razgrad, and Batan. Girgiu was then secured by Laurasian forces (January 22, 1791), and on January 26, Meveros was stormed after a confrontation with Admiral Hussein's subordinate commander, Commodore al-Methi of Tripoli. Hetheros surrendered without a fight on February 2, 1791; Kornos fell on February 6 after a Laurasian assault ruined the system's supply lines. Finally, on February 9, 1791, Ushavious's forces, with auxiliary support from Surovius, blockaded Ruse. The star system resisted for two days; the Marasharite General Husain al-Fifi barricaded the Ruse Ramparts and launched several raiding parties from the Ruse Outer Facilities. Ultimately, however, the strength of the Laurasian forces proved too great, and the star system's defenses were penetrated on this day, February 11, 1791. The land garrison of Ruse was overrun within hours, the Ramparts destroyed, and General al-Fifi himself killed in the Battle.
    • The world finally fell into the possession of the Laurasian Empire, after having eluded it back in 1773. Following the fall of Ruse, Admiral Ushavious stormed Byala, Tsenevo, and Borovo, completing the subjection of the Marasharite Void Garrisons. At the same time, Surovius had made advances of his own. Overrunning the Marasharite garrisons of Lom, Montana, and Vedktherom (January 4-19, 1791), Surovius then besieged Varshets (January 23-27, 1791). This stronghold, home to a substantial garrison of Marasharite Elite Guards, fell only after a series of ruthless, coordinated Laurasian assaults against its defenses. Following the fall of Varshets, Surovius quickly stormed Brusarti, Glavinistia, and Dulovo (January 28-February 4, 1791), driving Marasharite units into Silistra. Pildrim, already in Laurasian possession, proved to be the vantage point where Surovius blockaded the Silistrian Asteroid Belt (February 7-14, 1791). Silistra itself was constantly bombarded by Laurasian warships, and the General landed three regiments of Marines who quickly secured control of the Northern Cloud Mists and the Orbital Platforms. And then, on February 21, 1791, a Bulganian officer, who held sympathy for the Laurasian Empire, and disgruntled with his superiors, shut down the planetary shield grid. Surovius quickly took advantage of this, and the world's defenses were conclusively penetrated. Silistra was totally overrun by February 26, with Marasharite Garrison General Basir-Ashad and his chief officers becoming Laurasian prisoners of war. The fall of Silistra now extinguished the Marasharite presence in the Ochanian Provinces. Surovius then captured the minor garrisons of Vikin, Sitovo, and Turakan in the Gateway Provinces (February 29-March 7, 1791), finally completing the expulsion of the Marasharites from that region. By the middle of March, 1791, Laurasian forces were advancing into the Danubian Principalities and against Anapa, as General Gudovia's efforts had been focused on securing his supply lines and repelling Marasharite moves towards the Northern Reaches.
  • March 27-
    • By March, 1791, the position of the Holy Spamalkan Empire had deteriorated further in the Colonial Territories, while the Sultanate of Morocco had made major advances in Tunis, with its forces beginning to press into Tripoli. On December 7, 1790, a Spamalkan counteroffensive against Penang and the Malacca Straits was repulsed by Dracius and Field-Marshal Lord Greysius (who had been out of action for some months due to illness) in the Battle of Ang-Haydang. By December 14, the combined Laurasian-Portugallian forces had captured the colonial garrisons of Brunei, Bedok, Tuas, and Sangahor. Then on December 19, 1790, the allied forces imposed a blockade of Singapore Colony. Singapore was one of the most significant colony worlds in the hold of the Holy Spamalkan Empire. Having been originally colonized by the Vendragian Confederacy in 1519 (following a war with the Malaccan Potentates), it had been transferred to Portugallia as a result of the Treaty of Hador (1596), which was signed during King Richar's War against Franconia. Singapore briefly enjoyed a period of independence from 1657 to 1665, under the leadership of the rebel Lee Yuan Kew, before it was reconquered by Portugallian forces under the Duke of Corbon. By 1781, when Emperor Philicus I of Spamalka was acclaimed as King of Portugallia by the Portugallian Cortes, Singapore had a population of nearly two billion inhabitants. It was renowned throughout extra-galactic civilization for its financial, shipbuilding, electronics production, agricultural, and consumer services sectors. It was also a major communications and transportation hub, with spices from Malacca and Penang being shipped through here to Brunei and then onwards to Brazil, Portugallia, Spamalka, and the Barbary States. The world was therefore defended by a substantial Spamalkan garrison and by a patrol fleet of some two hundred military warships. Its capture would not be easy.
    • Dracius's first frontal assaults against the And and Jurong Defenses were repelled (December 22-29, 1790), as the Spamalkan frigates Lahia and Basa Maria, equipped with Singaporan arms, proved to be formidable opponents to the Imperial Laurasian Navy. Field-Marshal Lord Greysius, who had blockaded the Spamalkan arsenals of Lang and Juhong, was able to land on the New Quarter of Singapore (January 2, 1791) and to seize its fortifications. The rest of Singapore's garrison remained intact, however, and several naval skirmishes occurred between them and the allied forces throughout the early months of 1791. By March 12, 1791, however, the world's shield defenses were faltering, and four days later, Dracius (with assistance from Prince Fernando) launched a coordinated naval offensive through the Port Garrison of Singapore, overrunning the famed dockyards and landing on the planetary surface. Laurasian landings became more intensive, and they soon began to advance, seizing Pulau Tekong and Pulau Ubin. It was not until March 27, 1791, before Upper Garrison, Singapore's chief fortress city, was finally stormed by Laurasian and Portugallian troops. And even then, all resistance on Singapore did not cease until April 12. The fall of Singapore, nevertheless, secured control of the Malaccas for Portugallia, and forced Emperor Philicus to call on a loan from the Haxonian Consortium of Milan. Naparia itself was now being harried by Laurasian and Portugallian naval expeditions; Taranto and Corome were both sacked by Laurasian expeditions in April 1791. And on April 14, 1791, the Second Battle of the Gibraltar Straits was fought between detachments of the 66th Imperial Fleet under Rear-Admiral Sir Pompey Braderia, and a Spamalkan convoy under Admiral Giovanni Doria (a Milanian commander in Spamalkan service).
    • Admiral Doria assaulted the Laurasian force, with six of his galleys bearing down upon the IMS Centurion, Rear-Admiral Braderis's flagship. Braderia, however, employed his corvettes and couriers to harry the galleys, and then launched his starfighters into the Spamalkan flanks, disorienting them. The Spamalkan turbocannon on their lead frigate, the Icania, suffered a widespread systems failure, and the frigates were soon forced to retreat. Within hours, Braderia destroyed nearly a third of the Spamalkan convoy, with more than 100,000 Spamalkan military personnel dying in the confrontation. Doria was forced to retreat, and the Gibraltar Straits came firmly under the military occupation of the Laurasian Empire's military forces. The Laurasians suffered only 300 casualties; for his victory, Braderia would be promoted to the rank of full Admiral and knighted by the Empress Aurelia in June 1791. As for the campaigns in the Barbary States, Sultan Ahmad-al Mansur and his new Laurasian attache, General Sir Rudomentus Herria, destroyed a Algerian force at the Battle of Chlef (March 2-7, 1791). This followed the Moroccan occupation of Sidi bel Abbes, Tlmecen, Tebessa, Bou Salada, and Skidda during January and February 1791. By March 22, the last Algerian stronghold remaining in the possession of the Marasharite Empire, Bordji Arrerjdi, had fallen, and allied forces were now pressing onto the territory of Tunis. On March 24, 1791, the Sultan destroyed a Marasharite-Tunisian force in the Battle of Gabes. Ariana and Sfax then fell into their possession (March 28-April 4, 1791), followed by Sousse (April 7) and Bizerte (April 12-15). Kairouan capitulated on April 14, 1791, the same day of the Battle of Gibraltar Straits, and by April 24, Laurasian-Moroccan forces had seized the Tunisian systems of Gafsa and Ben Arous. By the end of April, 1791, allied forces were approaching the outskirts of Tunis itself.
  • April 22-Following the conquest of Silistra and Ruse by the forces of the Laurasian Empire in February 1791, advances had been made into the Danubian Principalities and in the direction of Anapa. On March 17, 1791, Surovius repelled a Marasharite counteroffensive against Oradea and Balesti. Two days later, the Battle of Satu Mare resulted in a decisive victory for the Laurasian Empire, as this stronghold fell to Ushavious and Surovius with little resistance. By March 25, Surovius had stormed Drobea and Pitetsi, recovering these worlds which had been restored to the Marasharites upon the Austarlian withdrawal the previous year. On March 29, 1791, Silisburg fell under siege from the forces of the Laurasian Empire; the world's garrison was totally outclassed by the larger and superior enemy forces, and it fell into the possession of Surovius just two days later. By April 7, Chrisnau was under serious threat from Laurasian units, with Surovius having overrun the Marasharite garrisons of Galati and Bocasani. On that same day, Laurasian General Gudovia destroyed a superior Marasharite force in the Battle of Eruzrum. Two days later, he stormed Shamkhal, Sulak, and Semender, inflicting a series of humiliating defeats upon his Marasharite opponent, General Sevir-Pasha. Bayazaid capitulated almost without a fight (April 15, 1791). And then, on April 22, 1791, Gudovia launched a major offensive against Anapa, the largest remaining of the Marasharite military bases in the Great Tesmanian Cloud. Anapa's garrison, however, could not resist the coordinated assaults of the Laurasian forces, with Gudovia focusing on the discipline, firepower, and organization of his land units to overwhelm Marasharite command positions. By the end of the day, the world had surrendered to the Laurasian Empire, with nearly 100,000 Marasharite troops and Elite Guards becoming Laurasian prisoners of war. The fall of Anapa was shortly followed by those of Kars (April 24) and Ardahan (April 29-May 5, 1791). By May 9, General Gudovia had instigated a blockade of Akhaltsikhe, having effectively isolated Poti from outside support. Marasharite moves against Eruzrum, Kabarda, and Duros ended in failure (May 10-19, 1791).
  • May 3-
    • Although the Pruthian Empire of A'rua III had proven itself reluctant to provide support to the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and was now shirking from its commitments to defend the Commonwealth in case of war, the leading figures of the Dejanican Diet nevertheless deemed it prudent to move forward with their plans. Laurasia was still engrossed in war with Marasharita and Spamalka; Austarlia was contending with internal reforms and with hostile diplomatic relations versus both Haxonia and Vendragia; and Pruthia itself seemed as if it would soon become involved in those same tensions. In April 1790, the Diet appointed a so-called "Commission for the Betterment of the Form of the Government", in order to hasten the preparations. King Stanis Vorrust I now actively participated in the sessions of the Commission and offered his own suggestions for the legislative proposals. In October 1790, additional elections were held in order to supplement the Diet, which was prolonged beyond its original term. The proposed reforms had gradually gained support from all segments of society, with nearly two-thirds of the newly elected Diet delegates becoming involved in the Committee deliberations. In January 1791, the Commonwealth's local sejminiks were reformed by an act of the Diet. The numbers of those who could vote were restricted, thereby depriving the magnates of many of their traditional clients. This was followed by the Free Royal Municipalities Act (April 18, 1791), which would be formally incorporated into the final constitution. This act addressed a number of matters relating to the municipalities and planetary systems of the Commonwealth, expanding the electoral and property rights of commoners, burghers, and merchants. They were granted personal legal inviolability, access to offices and distinctions, the right to acquire non-landed properties, independent self-government, and limited representation in the Diet. The acquisition of noble status by commoners was made easier, while nobles themselves gained additional rights to engage in commerce and manufacturing. Although the legislation did not grant all estates equal citizenship rights, it nevertheless caused a significant change in social, political, and economic relations within the Commonwealth, serving to strengthen the government in the face of foreign threats. Following this, the Diet authorized for the final drafting of the formal constitutional settlement.
    • The King took a leading part in drafting its provisions; the protests of the Laurasian Ambassador Sir Yerevus Bulganius, formally Ambassador to the Marasharite Court (he had assumed this new position on September 14, 1790), availed nothing. Stanis Vorrust I himself wished for the Commonwealth to become a formal constitutional monarchy, with the King taking the dominant role; Potockia, however, wished for the Diet to become the chief branch of government. Nevertheless, this did not hamper the drafting of the Constitution's provisions. The Hetman's Party strongly opposed all efforts at advancing forth a new Constitution; in response, the proponents of the document pushed forward the debates on it while many of the deputies were gone on recess. On May 3, 1791, the Diet again convened, with only half of its members present, and with its Chambers surrounded by the King's Royal Guard. The proposed constitution was read and formally adopted, with much rejoicing on Warsaw and throughout the rest of the Commonwealth. A protest was submitted by a number of pro-Laurasian deputies, but the following day, the protests were formally overridden by the Marshal of the Diet, who validated the conclusion of the constitutional settlements. This marked the first time in more than 76 years that a constitutional act had been passed by the Diet without the interference of Laurasia or another of the Commonwealth's foreign neighbors. The Friends of the Constitution, a Dejanican noble group which had been formed in February 1791, now sought to support and defend the Constitution, and to propose future reforms. Anti-Laurasian dissent increased daily throughout the Commonwealth. The Constitution itself was a remarkable document.
    • It declared that its goal was to ensure that the "integrity of the Commonwealth, civil liberty, and social order will be maintained in equilibrium." Article I acknowledged the position of the Dejanican Holy Order of Patriarchs, but assured toleration for all religious minorities, congregations, and faiths. Article II confirmed many of the centuries-old privileges of the Dejanican nobility, stressing that all were equal and had the inviolate right to property. Article III incorporated the Free Royal Cities Act into the Constitution. The right of habeas corpus was extended to commoners, who now gained the right to acquire landed property as well and were eligible for military officers' commissions, public offices, and seats of limited representation in the Diet and on the executive commissions of the Permanent Council. Article IV placed all commoners under the protection of the national law, but made it clear that they remained subordinate to the nobility and their social superiors. Article V declared that all "power in civil society should be derived from the will of its inhabitants." The constitution provided for the separation of powers into the bicameral Diet, the King and his Permanent Council, and the judicial courts.
    • Article VI provided that all legislative power remained with the Diet. The Diet was now to be convened for a full session once every two years; the King would have the power to call the body to special session whenever there was a national emergency. The Chamber of Deputies, the Diet's lower house, was now to be comprised of 435 deputies, with Greater Dejanica, Lesser Dejanica, and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania receiving one hundred deputies each. This was meant to reduce the complexity and the argumentative nature of the Chamber, which previously had more than 3,000 members. The King's Chancellory now became responsible for providing legislative drafts to all local assemblies, so that the deputies could prepare in advance. The Dejanican Senate, now capped at 130 members, was now subjected to the King's direct jurisdiction; he would now have the right to designate those ministers and religious officials who would sit on the debate, and retained his tie-breaking vote. The King and all deputies had the right to propose legislation. "General laws": that is, laws concerning constitutional, civil, criminal, and taxes within the Commonwealth, could be approved by a simple majority of both houses. 'Resolutions": that is, treaties of alliance, declarations of war and peace, ennoblements, and increases in the debt limit, would have to be approved by a two-thirds majority of both houses and ratified by the Permanent Council. The Senate was allowed to suspend the enactment of laws already passed, but such suspension would expire upon the next session of the Diet.
    • Article VI confirmed the reduction of the voting rights of the nobles at the sejimiks, imposing a property qualification. Nobles who were in military service regained the right to vote, but only those over the age of eighteen were allowed to exercise this right. The eligible voters would elect deputies to the powiats, special sessions of the local assemblies which would in turn hold elections for the Diet. Article VI also abolished the liberum veto, confederations, confederated diets, and the mandatory "instructions" of sejimiks to their deputies. This was intended to deprive the Laurasian Empire of the means by which to intervene in the Commonwealth's affairs. Articles VI and VII defined the nature of the Permanent Council. The Council could not interpret or create laws, only enforce them. Acts of the Commission on Foreign Affairs had to be approved by the Diet under all circumstances. The King remained President of the Council, to be composed of the Primate of Dejanica; ministers of police, the seal, foreign affairs, war, and finances.
    • The Council's non-voting members were to include the Crown Prince, the Marshal of the Diet, two secretaries, and ten lesser ministers of state. All executive orders of the king required the countersignature of the Minister who was affected; if he refused, the King could propose the order directly to the Diet, which would then pass it by a simple majority vote. The ministers were responsible to the Diet, not the King; they could be removed from office with a two-thirds majority in both houses (a vote of no confidence). Ministers could also be impeached by the Diet Court, which could convict them by a simple majority vote. The King now became the commander-in-chief of the Commonwealth; the office of hetman was formally abolished. The King could also grant pardons, commutations, and reprieves, except in cases of treason. The Council's orders would be executed by the commissions. The Constitution also changed the government from an elective to a hereditary monarchy, although the coronation pact was retained. This was intended to reduce the destructive influence of foreign powers at each election. Upon the death of King Stanis Vorrust I, the throne would become hereditary and pass to Elector Ernest Augustus I of Saxonia of the House of Wettin. This provision was contingent on the Elector's consent. Ernest Augustus, however, who was aware of the consequences, and fearful of the Laurasian Empress Aurelia's military might, would reject the condition in September 1791.
    • Article VIII separated the judiciary from the other branches; judges were to be elected. Courts of first instance now were to exist in voivodeships, with judges in constant session elected by the regional assemblies. Appellate tribunals, culminating in the Crown Tribunal and Lithuanian Tribunal, were established for the Commonwealth's provinces. Referendary courts were established to deal with cases among commoners and the municipalities; the Sejm Court became the highest court in the Commonwealth. Article IX covered procedures for regencies, with the Permanent Council, headed by either the consort or the Primate, assuming responsibility. Article XI covered the Commonwealth's military forces, removing the caps which had been imposed in 1768 and 1775 through the initiative of Empress Aurelia. The Constitution itself required further elaboration, which was provided by a series of laws through May and June 1791 concerning the courts, the reformed Council, the Commissions, and municipal administration. The Constitution also included provisions for an amendment process. Finally, the King and the Diet began drafting plans for a new legal codification, based off the Codex Aureliana of the Laurasian Empire. This Constitution, a major accomplishment in the history of Dejanica, nevertheless aroused the fear and hatred of Empress Aurelia.
  • May 9-The Empress Aurelia and the Imperial Court arrived at Theobaldian Estate on Durglais; she now stayed with Lord Burghley for the next ten days. The Empress's arrival came just six days after the adoption of the 1791 Dejanican Constitution by the Dejanican Diet. When she first learned of the Constitution's conclusion while attending a session of the Imperial Privy Council, the Empress erupted into a fury. She declared to her advisers that the Lord Almitis was "scourging these dominions for our sins by inviting the introduction of new vigor and energy into a power which once threatened this Empire's rightful position." Referring to the brutal Fourth Dejanican War in the 1630s, the Empress declared that "Vologravius did not stop at anything to humiliate our honor. How long is it before the present King of Dejanica deigns to do the same?" Burghley's son, Cecilis, had stated that "The worst possible news has arrived from Dejanica: the King has become almost sovereign." Before her departure for Durglais, Aurelia had ordered Lord Buchamia to instruct Ambassador Bulganius to post a formal protest with the King and the Dejanican Commission of Foreign Affairs. Ambassador Bulganius did as ordered, but pointed out that without military force, the Dejanican Commonwealth would continue to "drift its own way." This was all on the Empress's mind as she visited Theobaldian Estate. The Empress knighted Burghley's youngest son during the visit; they staged a play in which it was imitated that she formally appoint Sir Robertius to the Chancellorate. Aurelia ignored this, but nevertheless praised Cecilis for having followed in his father's shoes. In private, however, the Empress consulted with Burghley about affairs in Dejanica. Burghley, who had at the public festivities begged leave to retire (which had been courteously refused by the Empress), nevertheless proved his loyalty to her again, and advised her that she should not take action against the Commonwealth at this juncture. He pointed out that the Empire's military forces were still diverted to the conflicts against Marasharita and Spamalka, and that until at least one of those wars were ended, Laurasia would not be able to effectively impose its will on the Dejanican government. The Empress agreed reluctantly, and for the time being focused her efforts on fomenting dissent in Greater Dejanica and Lithuania against the Diet, and in favor of the Empire. In the meantime, her attention shifted to other matters: namely, the continued progress of her forces in Durthia and elsewhere.
  • May 19-By May 1791, General Sir Willanius Pellhamia and the Durthian Prince Maurice of Nassau had made further progress in Brabant against the forces of the Duke of Parma. Amersfoordt had fallen to the allied forces in February 1791, in spite of Parma's counteroffensives against Roosevelt, Breda, Utrecht, and Brill. On March 15, 1791, Pellhamia had obtained a decisive victory over a Spamalkan convoy in the Battle of the Upper Jissel, capturing a number of Spamalkan warships and allowing Durthian forces to harry the supply lines of Gravelines and Dunkirk. Gies and Biep then became the scenes of constant skirmishes between allied and Spamalkan forces, but by the middle of April, 1791, both strongholds were definitively in the hands of Prince Maurice. The Prince of Nassau decided that the seizure of Zutphen, which had eluded the Earl of Leicesterius's grasp nearly five years earlier, would allow for him to push onwards towards Nijimegen, a site of constant struggle between the Durthians and the Spamalkans. He sought to deny the Spamalkans from bringing reinforcements for a counteroffensive against Gies, Biep, and Amersfoordt. The garrison of Zutphen itself was hopelessly outnumbered by the combined allied forces, and isolated from its supply lines. On May 19, 1791, General Pellhamia advanced against Zutphen's Sconce, which, if taken, would cause all hope for the garrison to flee. The Imperial Marines used a false communications signal, and captured Spamalkan battleships, to trick the Spamalkan garrison into admitting them; they then seized control of the transit terminals and opened them to the Durthian forces. Within hours, the Laurasian-Durthian forces overwhelmed the Sconce Outposts, and established a barricade around the outskirts of Zutphen itself. Maurice then opened up a heavy bombardment with his destroyers and dreadnoughts. The Spamalkan garrison remained under siege for eleven days. Finally, on May 30, 1791, the garrison, realizing any further resistance was useless, surrendered. Zutphen now fell into the hands of the United Durthian States and the Laurasian Empire. Its loss was a major blow to the Spamalkans. Maurice treated the surrendered garrison with much generosity, allowing many of them to depart as long as they surrendered their arms and military supplies. He then decided to move against Deventer, which had been recaptured by Spamalkan units in January 1791. The Siege of Deventer (June 1-10, 1791), saw the Spamalkan garrison, commanded by the Flanderian General Hermann van den Burgh, posing a fierce resistance to Nassau and Pellhamia. The stronghold, however, was ultimately breached, and surrendered during the late hours of June 10. From there, Nassau and Pellhamia stormed the Spamalkan garrisons of Delfji, Hulst, Himlada, and Valenciennes (June-August 1791), pushing perilously close to Groningen. Utrecht was now definitively secured from Spamalkan assaults.
  • June 6-Whilst the allied forces made continued gains in the Durthian Duchies, the Colonial Territories, and Tunis, those of the Laurasian Empire in the Great Tesmanian Cloud completed the expulsion of Marasharite forces from that satellite galaxy. By May 1791, the Marasharites held on tenuously to Akhaltsikhe, Poti, and the minor garrisons of Bai Rham, Sheka, Arparchai, Tulcea, Pleven, and Verin. Generals Gudovia and Surovius were determined not to rest until every last Marasharite unit in the Cloud had been destroyed or compelled into surrender. Akhaltsikhe was, as previously stated, besieged by the forces of General Gudovia from May 9, 1791. Gudovia took care in storming the world's supply outposts and in launching expeditions against the Akhaltsikhe Asteroid Belts, preventing the world's garrison from attempting a breakout offensive. A series of confrontations with Marasharite units at Akhura and Khoy (May 14-19, 1791), resulted in Gudovia capturing Marasharite General Yusuf Pasha. Akhaltsikhe itself was subjected to a final assault (May 24, 1791), and stormed, with nearly half of the garrison being slaughtered. On May 26, 1791, Surovius and Gudovia combined to destroy a Marasharite force under General El-Hereri in the Battle of Arparchai; more than 200,000 Marasharite troopers lost their lives in the land confrontation. By June 2, 1791, Tulcea and Bai Rham had both surrendered to the forces of the Laurasian Empire. Four days later, Gudovia and Ushavious (who had repelled a Marasharie expedition from Kena in the Grecian Provinces the previous month) advanced against Sheka, on the junction of the Higher Caucasian Military Route, which directly bordered the Dejanican Duchy of Northania and Semigallia. The ensuing Battle of Sheka (June 6-7, 1791), resulted in severe casualties for both forces, but ultimately, the Laurasian commanders prevailed. The fall of Sheka left Pleven and Verin defenseless; by June 14, 1791, both systems had been captured. And then on June 18, Gudovia launched a massive offensive against Poti, the last Marasharite stronghold of note in the Great Tesmanian Cloud. The Battle of Poti lasted only four hours and ended in a decisive victory for the Laurasian Empire. Poti was then followed by the Marasharite outposts of Plodiv and Akhalzc (June 22-27, 1791), completing the occupation of all Marasharite territories in the Great Tesmanian Cloud. By early July, 1791, Chrisnau was under direct threat from the Laurasian Empire, and Surovius's assaults against Demberg, Velven, and Herven kept Marasharite units off-balance. On July 9, 1791, he launched a flanking offensive against the Marasharite strongholds of Bagadag and Macin in the Danubian Principalities; both had been conquered by July 18, with the Marasharites suffering more than 400,000 casualties. By the end of July, 1791, Chrisnau was under siege by Surovius, and Marasharite Emperor Selim III was beginning to consider opening peace negotiations with the Laurasian Empire.
  • July 15-
    • During the course of the two months following the reduction of Gafsa and Ben Arous to the authority of the Sultanate of Morocco (in conjunction with its Laurasian allies), allied forces gradually advanced their position in the Canaries, in Tunis, and in the Colonial Territories against the forces of the Barbary States, Holy Spamalkan Empire, and Marasharite Empire. General Herria and Sultan Ahmad-al Mansur I secured victories over Marasharite units in confrontations at the Gabes Nebula (May 3-9); Tozeur (May 11); and Kasserine Comets (May 14-19). The Tunisians and Marasharites suffered the loss of nearly 300,000 troops and one hundred warships in these confrontations, while the combined allied forces lost only 15,000 personnel and only twenty of their own warships. By May 22, 1791, allied forces had reached the outskirts of the Tunis star system. The Siege of Tunis formally commenced the following day, and dragged on for nearly a month. Although the Sultan of Morocco and General Herria had forces at their disposal enjoying a three-to-one advantage over the garrison of Tunis, they nevertheless encountered fierce resistance. The High Admiral of Tunis, Ber Reydin, launched a series of daring naval expeditions against Moroccian and Laurasian positions in Algiers. He harried Ain Bedea (May 25-29, 1791) and stormed the Moroccan-occupied stronghold of Medea (June 2, 1791), capturing nearly 30,000 Moroccan warriors as prisoners of war. From Medea, he stormed the garrisons of Bejaa and Ouragla (June 4-7, 1791). On June 11, 1791, however, Admiral Braderia, who had provided reinforcements to the Moroccan garrisons of Ceuta, Agadir, and Fez, intercepted Ber Reydin at Biskra. The ensuing Battle of Biskra (June 12-14, 1791) resulted in a decisive victory for the naval forces of the Laurasian Empire. Braderia quickly recovered Medea and Bejaa (June 15-19) and on June 21, destroyed Ber Reydin's supply convoy in the Battle of Tarpal. Finally, on June 26, 1791, while Admiral Braderia drove Tunisian units from Ouragla and Ain Bedea, Tunis capitulated to the allied forces of Morocco and Laurasia.
    • Sultan Ahmad-al Mansur himself, commanding the military forces, received the keys of submission from Hasul Basul, the Governor of Tunis. By the end of June, 1791, Moroccan troops had stormed Tatouine, Skhira, and El Kef, completing the subjugation of Algeria and Tunis. During the course of May and June 1791, Laurasian naval forces under the command of the Earl of Cumbria (1758-1798) had continued to harry Spamalkan fortresses and arsenals in Andalusia, Granada, Valencia, and the Canaries. Ubeda, Baeza, and Gudadix were stormed by Laurasian task forces (May 4-9, 1791), and on May 17, Cumbria destroyed a Spamalkan force under Admiral Antonin Reyes in the Battle of Scalia. By May 24, the Spamalkan military arsenals of Osuna, Ecuila, and Lebrija had fallen to the Earl, and Spamalkan naval convoys at Minorca and Barceleona found themselves constantly harried by Laurasian expeditions launched from those star systems. On May 29, however, Cumbria's attempt to storm the defenses of San Fernando failed, and on June 4, Spamalkan forces under the same Admiral Reyes were able to repel a Laurasian offensive against Granada itself. Although Cumbria quickly retaliated by destroying the Spamalkan military fortresses of Roquetas and Estepona (June 15-19, 1791) and seized Spamalkan transports at Nijar (June 22, 1791), he was unable to prevent Reyes from reinforcing the garrisons of Grand Canaria, Arrceife, and Calceta le Somo (June 24-29, 1791). On July 2, Cumbria, seeking to regain the advantage, launched a offensive against Cape St. Vincent, a departure point on the Trans-Atlantian Highway which led to Cartagena, San Domingo, and Santiago, all of whom remained in Laurasian hands. His second-in-command was Fleet Captain Sir Willanius Monsoria, later to become head of the Imperial Naval Command under Lysimachus II. Over the course of the next two days, Cumbria and Monsoria seized several Flemish and Spamalkan commercial vessels at Antequedera and Rincon de la Victoria. On July 7, 1791, just as his force approached the outskirts of Cape St. Vincent, Cumbria decided to instead redirect his units to the Berlengas Pulsars, located ten light years to the east. The Pulsars had been colonized in the fifth century AH, and had been under the control of Portugallia, Greater Spamalka, the Marasharite Empire, and the Order of the Knights of Malta and Cyprus at various times during the preceding five centuries.
    • On July 14, however, Spamalkan Admiral Francisco Columa, who was preparing to reinforce Cadiz and Seville, discovered that Cumbria was heading towards the Pulsars. He now decided on a strategy of interception. Archduke Albert, who served as Governor of the Canaries and had been Viceroy of Portugallia (1786-89), ordered Columa to push his offensive with all speed and, upon disrupting the Laurasian force, to join with the force of High Admiral Alsono de Bazan, who was stationed at Algrave. On this day, July 15, 1791, Columa launched a surprise offensive against Cumbria's naval squadrons, taking advantage of their lowered state of readiness to penetrate the Laurasian Admiral's defensive lines. Within five hours, he had secured the most decisive naval victory yet for the Holy Spamalkan Empire in the more than two and a half years that had passed since the destruction of the Spamalkan Armada. Thirty of the forty-five Laurasian battleships were destroyed; a third of their corvettes and transports; and almost all of their frigates and couriers. Columa also captured more than two-thirds of the industrial and military equipment, arms, and merchantile transports which had been seized by Cumbria. Cumbria was forced to halt his offensive against the Berlengas Pulsars. By July 24, Laurasian forces had been expelled from Ecuila, Lebrija, Ubeda, and Gudadix, while Spamalkan units besieged Baeza and Scalia. On July 29, Cumbria was defeated again in the Battle of Las Noches; Baeza and Scalia both fell back into Spamalkan hands the following day. This string of Laurasian reverses was to continue into September 1791, as would be demonstrated below, and would motivate Philicus to continue the war.
  • July 22-September 16-
    • On July 22, 1791, Empress Aurelia and the Imperial Court formally departed from Laurasia Prime in order to commence the official progress of 1791. The previous year, the Empress had announced that she would be progressing to the Rasdallan and Canite Provinces. The Empress was determined to visit those territories which, five decades earlier, her father had seized from the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria. These were also territories of much historical and symbolic importance, having been controlled by the Arachosian Kingdoms of Northania and Marcia; by the Timurid Empire; the Rasdallan Dynasties; and the Arachosian Empire (along with its successor-states). The Empress paid brief visits to Andriana, Merandaz, Sapphire, Chloe, Trebesos, Mylae, Rainnan, Ietas, Tyndaris, and Wroona (July 22-26, 1791) before proceeding to the Metallasian Trade Highway and from there, rapidly into the heart of the Galactic Borderlands. The Empress reached Halesia (July 27, 1791), receiving tributes from the cadets of the Imperial Naval Academy there and visiting the Halesia Military Command Citadel; both facilities had been chartered in 1751, during the reign of her half-brother Demetrius II. From Halesia, the Empress toured the Riverite Asteroid Belt (renowned for its unique formations and its mineral riches), Bristain, Devily, and Partsia (July 28-August 5, 1791). At Devily, Aurelia was honored by the Rasdallan Tower Droids in their annual Parade of Honors; at Partsia, she received a gift of twelve Hevenian Statutes, mysterious statuettes renowned for their antiquity and for the virtual indestructibility of their components. From Parsia, the Empress visited Vilmanstrand (August 6, 1791), now one of the Empire's chief military assembly bases. She toured the Berwick Barrier and the Vilmanstrand Approaches, now transformed into major hyperspace transit terminals by the Imperial Ministry of Space and Transportation. Frederickshamm was next graced by the Imperial Court's presence (August 7, 1791), with the Empress touring the High Cities of Kramia and the Frederickshamm Docks. From there, she visited Wheaton, McFadden, Fraser, McKellen, and Crusher (August 8-11, 1791). Over the course of the preceding half-century, these star systems had seen a influx of colonists from the Core Worlds and Outer Core, seeking to escape the overcrowding of the Empire's capital star systems. The Empress marveled at the Springs of Wheaton; visited the Spiral Cities of McFadden; and took a stroll in Crusher's famed Equatorial Gardens. From Crusher, the Imperial Court visited Aspo, Vyborg, Janeway, and then Barching (August 12-15, 1791).
    • The Empress's visit to Barching, one of the most ancient Rasdallan colonies (it had been colonized in the 21st century BH), was particularly memorable. With a population of 57 billion, Barching was the ninth most populous system in the Galactic Borderlands, surpassed only by Kalbacha Prime, Imegina, Arachosia Prime, Rasdalla Major, Kathy Major, Vector Prime, Kathy Minor, and Kania. The Empress toured the Industrial Peaks and the Soaring Tower of Barching, reveling in the sights of these landmarks. The assembled Barchianite magnates of the world, among the wealthiest alien personages in the Empire, entertained the Court vigorously during its two-day stay. Following her departure from Barching, the Empress visited Patricia I (August 16); Noonan's Star (August 17); Sasha VI (August 19); the El Paso Colonies (August 20-22); Hango (August 23); Pellinge (August 24); and Helingsia (August 25). On August 26, the Imperial Court reached Hidemnia Sauria, which was one of the most beautiful worlds in the Laurasian Empire. The world adhered to strict standards of cleanliness, rivaling Venasia Prime by the rigor of its standards. The Empress was able to bathe in the Springs of Cala, one of the largest aristocratic bath complexes in the Empire; to enjoy the sights of the Flying Flames of Kisi; and to tour the Saurian Luxury Quarters, home to several of the largest and most lavish private residences in the Galactic Borderlands. The Imperial Court stayed until August 29, and now proceeded to Kathy Minor. This world, once one of the Rasdallan Throne Worlds, boasted several famous sites, including the Tooth Temple, the Morturary of Amelianian King Offa, the Grammite Financial Tower (the third-tallest freestanding structure in the Caladarian Galaxy), and the Valleys of the Shadows of Hope. The Empress, who resided at the Rasdallan Treasure Palace during her stay, toured all of the world's various sites.
    • Then on September 3, the Court reached Kathy Major. This world, the most ancient Rasdallan colony (having been reached by sleeper ships as far back as the 27th century BH), impressed the Empress with its Grand Palace, Historic Settlements (which contained many of the earliest colonial relics, exvacuated by archeologists and historians during the preceding three centuries), Shang Fuh Canals, War Pho Temple, and Ther Tu Walkway. The Empress marveled in the unique Rasdallan architecture of the Grand Palace, and announced her intention to construct a similar palace on Constantia (the Grand Palace of Constantia, which would be built between 1793-1800). On September 6, the Court departed for Jakarta, site of Kublai Khan's disastrous defeat in 893. They arrived there the following day; the Empress celebrated her fifty-eighth birthday at the Tangernian Palace, which had been constructed by Rasdallan King Rama X in the 3rd century BH. The Court stayed for three days; on September 9, simulations of the Battles of Jakarta in 893 (Kublai Khan vs the Mapjurhait Dynasty of Rasdalla) and 1744 (Laurasian Empire vs Celestial Kingdom of Scottria) were staged for the Empress's amusement. Then on September 10, she proceeded rapidly to Rasdalla Major, staying there for five days and observing the activity of the world's Crescent Volcano. From Rasdalla Major, the Court visited Kania, Sockroth, and Austarlis (September 15-19, 1791). Finally, on September 22, 1791, after touring the Barrier Badlands, the Empress began her progress back to the Core. She arrived at the Gilbertine Palace on Tudoria (September 25, 1791), utterly exhausted. Nevertheless, further events had taken place in her absence as regards to the war, and that will be explored below.
  • August 11-
    • As August 1791 opened, Empress Aurelia and the Imperial Laurasian Government had themselves resolved on hastening the Fifth Laurasian-Marasharite War to an end. As previously explained, the Empress of Laurasia's anger about the events in the Dejanican Commonwealth, and the blatant disregard of the Empire's interests by King Stanis Vorrust I and his supporters on the Diet, had grown to exponential proportions. Aurelia, however, had been told by Burghley, and had realized herself, that intervention could not take place until one of the Empire's military conflicts was ended. She now turned to ending the war with Marasharita. Emperor Philicus I of Spamalka, who had bickered with his Marasharite "allies" constantly, and never provided them effective support, was still too obstinate at this point to consider concluding peace. However, Marasharite Emperor Selim III was, according to several reports, far more amendable. The Empress realized that he would be pushed only by a further string of Laurasian military victories. By now, Aurelia had come to accept that the Marasharite Plan was not to be, especially because of Austarlia's withdrawal from the war the year before. She therefore sought to force Marasharite concession of all their remaining territories in the Great Tesmanian Cloud, to obtain recognition of the independence of Morocco and Portugallia, and acknowledgement of Moroccan gains in Mauritania and Algiers. Thus, on August 3, 1791, the Empress ordered General Surovius to move with all speed against Chrisnau, and Admiral Ushavious to waste no effort in assaulting Marasharite naval positions in the Grecian Provinces. Surovius, on his part, stormed Halati and Kerin (August 4-9, 1791), and by August 14, had reached the outskirts of Chrisnau. Admiral Ushavious, on his part, now advanced from Focasani and Rymnik into the Grecian Provinces.
    • At 12:00 P.M. Galactic Standard Time, August 11, 1791, Ushavious's fleet encountered the Marasharite-Tripolite forces of Admiral Hussein Pasha south of Kaliakra. Ushavious now decided to divide his fleet into three columns and to assault the Marasharites from the vantage of Kaliakra, in spite of the fact that the Marasharites had more corvettes and battleships with which to harry Laurasian moves. Hussein-Pasha's subordinate, Admiral Salid Ali, who commanded the Tripolite and Barbary corps, headed east, followed by Hussein Pasha with the bulk of the Marasharite xebecs, galleys, and destroyers. Ushavious then turned galactic-south to a parallel east-west course near Kaliakra and formed up mostly into one line, with Ushavious's flagship, the IMS Predetecha, in the third position. Salid Ali, who led his ships due north, attempted to double the Laurasian formation, but Ushavious moved out and assaulted him while the rest of the Laurasian force approached. The Marasharites were forced to begin retreating south, but soon found their escape line cut by faster, more mobile Laurasian starfighters. By the end of the day, the Battle of Kaliakra had ended in a decisive victory for the Laurasian Empire. Admiral Salid Ali was himself captured, along with fifty of his sixty frigates and corsairs. Admiral Hussein-Pasha managed to escape, although he had to abandon his flagship, the Hejidia, and most of his xebecs and galleys. The Laurasians suffered only 4,000 casualties, compared to the Marasharite loss of more than 330,000.
    • The Marasharites, all total, lost 110 of their warships, either to enemy action or capture, out of a total force of 195. The Laurasians lost only three warships and none of their starfighters. As a result of the Battle of Kaliakra, Ushavious was able to storm Rhodes, Hiros, and Peragmum (August 12-19, 1791). On August 21, he destroyed a smaller Marasharite naval convoy in the Battle of Barezund, preventing any Marasharite units from attempting a move against the Gateway Provinces. For these victories, Ushavious would be awarded the Order of St. Seleucus the Victor in October 1791. Two days later, Surovius launched the decisive assault against Chrisnau. The Battle of Chrisnau lasted for two days, but on August 25, 1791, the world finally fell into the possession of the Laurasian Empire. These victories finally convinced Marasharite Emperor Selim III of the futility of continuing the war against the Laurasian Empire. On August 31, 1791, he announced to his Grand Council his intention to begin negotiations with his Laurasian counterpart to end the war. On September 8, 1791, Grand Vizier Koca Yusuf Pasha (who had regained the position in February 1791 following the sudden death of his predecessor Celebizade Serif), sent a communique to the Imperial Ministry of Foreign Affairs, requesting for a military armistice and for negotiations to commence between the two Empires. Empress Aurelia, then at Jakarta, lept for joy in her private bedchambers when informed of the Marasharite request. She approved it immediately. On September 14, 1791, Admiral Ushavious and General Surovius (granted the power to negotiate armistice arrangements) met with Admiral Hussein Pasha and the Marasharite Pasha of the Grecian Provinces, Mehmed Emin, at Navarino. The Truce of Navarino was signed four days later (September 18, 1791), suspending all hostilities between the two empires, both in the Amulak Spiral and in the Barbary States. Two days later, the Truce of El-Niger suspended hostilities between Morocco on the one hand, and the Barbary States (with the Marasharite Empire) on the other. As a result of these truces, Selim III agreed to treat with the former Marasharite vassal, Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur of Morocco, and to allow allied forces to retain the territories they now held until the final peace treaty was negotiated and concluded. Preparations for a diplomatic conference began in earnest.
  • August 30-
    • Whilst the Fifth Laurasian-Marasharite War was finally moving to its closing stages, events continued to transpire in the clash between Laurasia and Portugallia on the one hand, and the Holy Spamalkan Empire on the other. Following the Battle of the Berlengas Pulsars, and the consequent Spamalkan recovery of various Andalusian systems, Admiral Sir John Hawkius (overseeing all naval operations from Laurasia Prime), decided that a renewed offensive against Biscay, Lugo, Ourrense, and Flores would restore the intiative to the Laurasian Empire. On August 5, 1791, Ferrol and Corunna had both been recovered by Spamalkan forces under Admiral Coloma. Two days later, Coloma repelled a Laurasian-Portugallian offensive against Carblo and Riberia, inflicting severe losses upon the Laurasian starfighter squadrons. By August 17, however, Cumbria and Lord Thomasius Howardis (son of the late Duke of Norfolkius) had advanced to Corvo and Almeira. Two days later, however, Cumbria (who had temporarily parted ways with Howardis in his efforts to storm Galician strongholds), was ambushed by a Spamalkan task force under the Count of Santa Gadea at the outskirts of Almeira. The ensuing Battle of Almeira (August 19-20, 1791), resulted in Cumbria being put to flight. Santa Gadea captured thirty Laurasian transports and more than 50,000 Imperial Marines. Cumbria himself managed to flee from the battlefield, but on August 22, was wounded in a confrontation with Spamalkan starfighters at Ames. As a result of this, he was forced to retire to the medical headquarters on Ceuta, and to cede command of his units to Admiral Sir Rudomentus Grenvilla. Grenvilla joined back with Lord Howardis at Azurna (August 24, 1791) and proceeded to move against Flores and Corvo. Emperor Philicus, on his part, had assigned Admiral de Bazan to command the 7th Spamalkan Naval Fleet; Generals Martin de Bertendona and Marcos de Aramburu were placed under his command (for the land corps attached to the fleet). Bazan soon learned that the Laurasians were planning an offensive towards Flores. On August 30, 1791, he intercepted and surprised Howardis's force (the 66th Imperial Fleet with detachments from the 68th and 69th) near Flores. Howardis had rendevouzed at Flores Garrison, and was intending to resupply his ships before proceeding further. Bazan now tried to disorient the Laurasian squadrons, but the flagship of his naval subordinate, Vice Admiral Sancho Pardo, suffered a computer systems failure, forcing the attack to be delayed. It was not until that afternoon before Bazan's forces bore down on the Garrison Straits. Howardis, alerted to the renewed Spamalkan advance, managed to flee with his leading battleships, but Grenvilla decided to fight and to proceed straight towards the advancing Spamalkan force. Howardis's flagship, the IMS Defiance, received heavy fire from Aramburu's flagship, San Cristobal, before veering off.
    • The IMS Defiance was then assaulted and boarded by General de Bertendona's troops, with the ship's defenses being effectively neutralized. Six other Laurasian frigates soon followed. The boarding party encountered serious resistance, and the IMS Gloriana launched a counteroffensive, forcing General de Bertendona to call off further landings at neighboring Laurasian frigates. The bridge of San Cristobal was soon shattered by Laurasian nylon torpedoes, and she was forced to call for reinforcements. The Ascunion and La Serena then appeared, with General Aramburu directing an thrust against the Defiance, Gloriana, and ten other Laurasian dreadnoughts. Grenvilla's flagship, the IMS Revenge, was soon surrounded by Spamalkan warships, and heavily bombarded. He was seriously wounded in the ensuing confrontations, and it was not until the early hours of September 2, 1791, before the outnumbered and outgunned Laurasian force surrendered. In spite of the serious damage inflicted by Grenvilla upon the Spamalkan ships (thirty of which were either destroyed or crippled during the battle), he was treated honorably by his captors, and died on Bazan's flagship, the Santo Cruz, on September 6 from his injuries. As a result of the Battle of Flores, Laurasian and Portugallian forces were expelled from Salamander, Sebastian, and Alacantara (September 7-19, 1791). On September 24, Oliveres was stormed by a Spamalkan force, and four days later, Admiral Bazan repelled Laurasian moves against Cangas, Cambre, and Marin. Fuertaventura was recovered in October 1791. Admiral Dracius, however, maintained Laurasian control of Cartagena and Santo Domingo, ruining Spamalkan forces in the Battles of Compostela (October 2-5) and Lower Tehnacian (October 11). By the end of October, 1791, Spamalkan forces were besieging the Gibraltar Straits and had expelled Laurasian units from Minorca and the Northern Balearics. A stalemate now ensued, however, which lasted through the close of the year.
  • October 21-On October 21, 1791, over a month after the conclusion of the Armistice of Navarino, delegations from the governments of the Laurasian Empire, Marasharite Empire, and Sultanate of Morocco convened at Jassy in the Great Tesmanian Cloud. Following the conclusion of the Armistice of Navarino, the Empress Aurelia had held numerous consultations with her Privy Council as to where the conference should be held. Burghley had at first suggested Idyll or even Laurasia Prime itself, but Husadarania and Lord Howardis of Effinga convinced the Empress to choose one of the star systems in the Great Tesmanian Cloud which had been overrun by the Empire's forces. This would impress upon the Marasharites the fact of their defeat and demonstrate the upper hand now held by Laurasia and her allies in the negotiations. Aurelia had selected Jassy, noted previously for its resorts, museums, and religious sites. On October 5, 1791, she appointed Lord Treasurer Burghley's son, Sir Robertius Cecilis, Minister of Foreign Affairs Lord Buchamia, Lord Howardis of Effinga, Admiral Ushavious, and Sir Athanasius Heveria as the plenipotentaries for the Laurasian delegation. Marasharite Emperor Selim III, on his part, had designated Grand Vizier Koca Yusuf Pasha as the chief plenipotentary of the Marasharite delegation. He was supported by Subordinate Viziers Yere-Pasha and Gali-Pasha, Admiral Hussein, and General Merdi el-Perdi of Syria. Sultan Ahmad-al Mansur of Morocco, on his part, designated his Chief Secretary of Diplomacy, Abel el-Quahoud, as well as General Ahmed el Abbas, Governor of Tangiers al-Ghalib, and Vicar al-Mutaf of Kenitra as the Moroccian plenipotentaries. The two delegations convened at the Classical Palace of Jassy, an 9th-century AH Bulganian edifice. Cecilis now proved his innate diplomatic skill, treating the Marasharite plenipotentaries with much respect. He adhered to all Marasharite greetings and treated the Grand Vizier with great civility. The Grand Vizier, impressed by the good conduct and manners of the Laurasian delegation, proceeded quickly to business with them. Nevertheless, negotiations would continue for over two months, as the two delegations wrangled over the terms of territorial delienation, the restoration of commerical and diplomatic relations, and in particular, the independence of Morocco. El-Quahoud had with him demands that all of Algiers, Mauritania, and Tunis be conceded to the Sultanate of Morocco, besides acknowledgement of its acquisition of Sale, Ceuta, and Melilla. These were viewed as too extreme by the Marasharite Grand Vizier and his subordinates. Likewise, the Grand Vizier sought to regain control of the Tesmanian Gateway Provinces, but found that Cecilis and Buchamia were unwilling to compromise on that point. However, the Laurasian delegation proved adept at responding to Marasharite terms for commerical relations, protection of religious minorities, and transit privileges; Cecilis also assured the Grand Vizier that the Laurasian Empire had no intention of making territorial acquisitions of its own at the expense of the Barbary States or the Holy Spamalkan Empire. This served to calm Marasharite fears; the mutual desire to conclude peace also hastened negotiations along.
  • November 17-
    • Empress Aurelia and the Imperial Court found much pleasure in the Accession Day festivities, marking the 33rd anniversary of her reign. The Earl of Estatius and Sir Nicanor Blountia, once rivals for the ear and patronage of the Empress, and now close friends, engaged in a friendly joust with each other at the Circus Maximus. Sir Cassidius Sidronius, the nephew of the late Sir Antigonus, and the new Empress's Champion (having succeeded Lesius upon his retirement the year before), staged a pageant of the Brethalian Goddesses for the benefit of Her Majesty and the Court. The Empress observed a debate among Hera, Juno, and Aphrodite (the Goddesses of the Universe, Wisdom, and Nature respectively) as they debated the merits of universal existence and the qualities necessary for a successful ruler. Hera declared that it was necessary for a monarch to "hold their authority in such a manner as to impress their subjects and to communicate to them their subordinate place"; Juno stressed the importance of benevolence and generosity by the ruler towards the ruled; Aphrodite, of the ruler's relationship with her subjects and her leading officials. Following this, the plays The Pompeys of Brethalia and All Time Has Come were staged for the Court. Then, the Empress paid visits (from this day through November 29) to the residences of some of her chief courtiers. She was entertained by Lord and Lady Montague at Cowdray Mansion in Constantinople. Lady Montague was so overcome by honor of having the Empress as her guest that she threw herself into Aurelia's arms and wept, declaring "O happy time! O joyful day!". The pageants and novelties which were staged by the Montagues during the Empress's visit reminded her of those at Kenilian Castle on Taurasia, sixteen years earlier. This, however, also evoked memories of the Earl of Leicesterius, and the Empress reiterated to her hosts that "never a more loyal or faithful subject lived than he."
    • Following this, she visited the residences of the Dukes of Christiania and Constantinople, the Barons Cobhamia and Cranamia, and then, on November 24, the Earl of Heuthros's residence, Balting House, in Heliotrope. This was the same Earl who had eloped with Lady Katharina Greysius thirty years earlier, and had been imprisoned at the Fortress of Baureux for his actions. Heuthros, who had inherited all of the Seymouris estates following his mother's death in April 1787 (aged 79), put on a magnificent show for the Empress and the Imperial Court, in hopes of regaining her favor. During the course of the preceding five years, a force of three thousand laborers and droids had enlarged his residence, erecting temporary buildings in the gardens to accommodate the members of the Imperial Court. A crescent-shaped lake had been specially dug in front of the House, with three ship-shaped islands with trees for masts, a fortress, and a Snail Mount, from which turbocannon fired a salute at the Empress's arrival. It was besides this lake, seated under a green satin canopy, that Aurelia watched a water pageant, while musicians in boats played for her. The Empress stayed for four days, during which time there were banquets, dances, athletic competitions, fireworks, songs, and allegorical entertainments. At the end of her visit, she told Heuthros that she would never forget her visit. She saw musicians playing for her as she departed with her entourage, and gave them great thanks. On November 29, 1791, the Imperial Court returned back to the Quencilvanian Palace from this tour of Laurasia Prime's aristocratic circles. The Empress, however, received word that her beloved Hattonius was gravely ill. Hattonius had collapsed from a panic attack at a session of the Imperial Privy Council (November 15, 1791), and retreated to Ely Place, his residence in Christiania. Still unmarried and childless, his health declined rapidly, and the efforts of his physicians availed him nothing. On December 4, 1791, the Empress visited Hattonius at Ely Place, feeding him his medicines and herbial broths she had prepared herself.
    • Hattonius, in his last words to the Empress, declared that "I have dedicated life and limb to Your Majesty, and I beg Almitis will recognize all." Aurelia assured him that he would, and kissed him on his forehead. Hattonius died on December 11, 1791, at the age of only fifty-one. The Empress was plunged once more into grief. Everyone of importance to her was dying. Lady Clitonia, long one of the Empress's most faithful ladies in waiting, had died on April 14, 1791 at the age of 64, which had greatly saddened Aurelia. Hattonius was given a magnificent state funeral at the Westphalian Cathedral on December 16, with all of his colleagues at the Imperial Court and on the Privy Council in attendance. For a time, the Empress became melancholy, obsessed with fearful thoughts of death. In February 1792, she would actually forbid her courtiers from using the words "death", "demise", "decease", "funeral", or "burial" in her presence. The death of Hattonius, and of the Ministers of Education, Sentient Services, and Space and Transportation that year, saw Lord Treasurer Burghley enjoying, by December 1791, a position of pre-eminence in the Imperial Laurasian Government which matched that of his role during the early years of the reign. He held an extraordinary collection of offices, being Lord Treasurer, Imperial Privy Seal, President of the Privy Council, Master of the Imperial Court of Wards, Chancellor of the University of Laurasia Prime, acting Minister of the Imperial Chancellory, and Comptroller of the Imperial Household. Burghley was now acting very much as he had when he was Chancellor, authorizing many of the Privy Council's actions completely by himself. And indeed, at the end of 1791, he, the Earl of Hannah, and Lords Knollysis, Cobhamia, and Husadarania were the last surviving members of the Empress's original Privy Council in November 1758.
  • December 24-
    • By December, 1791, the situation in the Serene Kingdom of Franconia had deteriorated for King Hensios IV. Following the failure of the Siege of Parri in September, 1790, the Franconian League's forces had, with the assistance of the Holy Spamalkan Empire, made substantial gains in Brittany and Normandy against the King's forces. Dinan, Redon, and Rennes capitulated to the Duke of Nemours in October 1790. On November 3, the King of Franconia and Lord Willoughby launched a counteroffensive from Orleans, attempting to strike against Noyon, Caen, and Bayeux. This offensive, however, was brought to ruin in the Battle of Arst (November 8-11, 1790). By November 22, League and Spamalkan forces had overrun the garrisons of Rheims and Brugge, consolidating their position in the Northern Parri Provinces. Nantes surrendered to Parma and Nemours on December 2, 1790, and five days later, Willoughby suffered a humiliating defeat in the Battle of Guerande. On December 25, 1790, Spamalkan forces under the command of General Juan de Aguila seized Brest in a surprise offensive, which became the chief Spamalkan headquarters in Brittany. By the end of February, 1791, Spamalkan and League units had stormed Blavet, Vannes, Vitre, Saint-Malo, and Treuger, effectively driving the royal garrisons from Brittany. A series of royalist offensives against Rouen, Parri, and Calais (March-April 1791) failed to produce any results, and on May 4, 1791, Aguila stormed the Franconian military arsenal of Bretagne. The Battle of Dieppe (May 11-15, 1791) resulted in severe losses for the allied forces. By November 1791, Evereux, Fecamp, Vernon, and Etienne had all been stormed by Aguila's forces, who had erected a new command headquarters at Breuic. On November 21, 1791, Aguila obtained another victory in the Battle of Blain, capturing over 100,000 soldiers of the Franconian Royal Army. This succession of losses had driven the King of Franconia to the brink of desperation. In accordance with the Treaty of Carcassones, he sent numerous urgent appeals to the Empress Aurelia. Finally, on December 3, 1791, the Empress responded to the pleas, and authorized for the diversion of vast reinforcements to Brittany and Normandy, in the form of the 51st Imperial Army, the 61st and 62nd Imperial Fleets, and the 9th Corps of Imperial Marines.
    • She also sought a new commander for the forces: Lord Willoughby seemed incompetent, from her view, and his health had entered a serious decline (which would lead to his untimely death nine years later). The Earl of Estatius, who had been among those urging her to act, had eagerly requested command of the forces. Since returning from the Portugallian campaigns in October 1789, he had been restrained by his courtly intrigues, and by the Empress's own instructions, from involving himself in the war further. On December 4, the Earl issued the first of his requests, but Aurelia refused. He then asked again four days later, but the answer was still no. On December 19, 1791, the Earl made his third plea, standing on his knees and pleading with her for more than two hours. Lord Treasurer Burghley supported his pleas, but the Empress remained adamant, considering him "too impetuous to be given the reins." Finally, on December 22, King Hensios himself intervened, advising the Empress to choose Estatius as the commander of her forces. He had a good point: Surovius, Greysius, Pellhamia, and Ushavious were all still engaged in the Marasharite campaigns, and the Empress was planning for intervention in Dejanica; Rumanstevius was now retired from military service. On December 24, 1791, the Empress finally capitulated, and five days later, Estatius formally departed from Belkadan at the head of the first wave of reinforcements. He proceeded swiftly across the Galactic Void, but would not make his arrival in Franconia until the new year. As the year 1791 ended, the Empire's Fifth, and last, Marasharite War of that century was drawing to a close, but the First Spamalkan War continued at full steam.

1792Edit

  • January 1-
    • 1792, the 92nd year of the eighteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire in a position of both ascendancy and of vulnerability. In spite of the withdrawal of the Holy Austarlian Empire from the war in August 1790 (due to the conclusion of the Treaty of Sistova), the Empress Aurelia's military forces, under the command of such officers as Surovius, Ushavious, and Seniavin, had continued to obtain success against the Marasharite Empire. Over the course of the preceding year, the Empire's forces had expelled the remaining Marasharite units from the Great Tesmanian Cloud; the Marasharite Ochanian and Gateway Provinces, which had been subdued by the Marasharite Empire from the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries, were now under the military occupation of the Imperial Laurasian Government. The Marasharites had also lost ground in the Barbary States. The Sultanate of Morocco, under its vigorous and experienced Sultan Ahmad-al Mansur, had repelled all Marasharite counteroffensives and had occupied Mauritania, Sale, Tunis, and Algiers. And with the assistance of the Laurasian Empire, the Sultan of Morocco had also seized the Spamalkan garrisons of Ceuta and Melilla, consolidating his position in the Barbary Straits. The diplomatic conference at Jassy, which had convened from October 1791, was well advanced on its way to concluding a formal peace treaty among all the powers involved. In regards to the First Spamalkan War, however, the success of the Empire's military had been more limited. The United Durthian States, whose military forces were under the expert direction of Prince Maurice of Nassau, had firmly entrenched itself in Brabant and Flanders, with the seizure of Zutphen, Breda, and Devanter having disrupted Spamalkan supply lines. Maurice definitely had the upper hand over his archenemy, the Duke of Parma, and this year would see further advances for the allied forces in that theater. At the same time, however, Spamalkan naval fleets under the command of General Aguila and Admiral Bazan had repelled Laurasian-Portugallian offensives into Galicia, the Canaries, and the Northern Balearics, maintaining their supply lines to Gran Colombia, New Spamalka, and the Rio de la Plata. This year would witness the forces of Laurasia and Portugallia obtain victories and suffer reverses both, as the odds between the opposing states became more even. Finally, Empress Aurelia and the Imperial Privy Council continued to remain anxious about the situation in the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In the immediate months following the promulgation of the Dejanican Constitution, a series of reactions had occurred at the courts of the Commonwealth's neighbors and of various foreign powers.
    • Emperor A'rua III of Pruthia, who was strongly opposed to the newly-implemented Constitution, feared that the Dejanican Commonwealth would regain such military strength that it would rescind all commitments to the Court of Berliania III; revoke the free-trade privileges at Danzig and Torun; and resist all future efforts by foreign powers to influence the Commonwealth's internal affairs. Austarlian Emperor Lea'dus II was likewise concerned. However, at first, both monarchs decided to recognize the new Dejanican Constitution. They were both distracted by the deteriorating relations with Haxonia and Vendragia (as will be further described below), and wished to focus on strengthening their own military and economic resources. A'rua III issued his formal recognition of the Constitution on May 17, 1791, being followed by his Austarlian counterpart seven days later. Throughout June and July 1791, the Pruthian Ambassador to the Court of Laurasia Prime, Count Sigmund von Vraud, attempted to persuade the Empress of Laurasia and her leading advisers to accept the constitutional arrangements in the Commonwealth, if only because of "pressing circumstances". The Empress refused, and instead now embarked on a course of persuasion. She sought to convince the Pruthian and Austarlian Governments to disavow their recognitions and to support the restoration of traditional "constitutional arrangements" in the Commonwealth. Aurelia was especially fearful of how the governmental reforms in Dejanica might influence her own subjects, and even harbored a paranoia that the authority of the Laurasian autocracy was under threat if Dejanica was not restored to its earlier constitutional traditions. For months, this was the public facade which the Empress maintained to the Imperial Court.
    • In a private outburst to her Chancellory Secretary, Sir Aetius Murlius, on November 14, 1791, however, she revealed her real strategy: "I am breaking my head to push the courts of Vienna and Berliania III to involve themselves in the affairs of Haxonia and Germania. The Austarlian court is willing but the court of Berliania refuses to move. There are reasons which I cannot explain to them. I wish to engage them in these affairs in order to have more elbow room. I have in mind much unfinished business and it is necessary that they be kept busy so that they cannot hinder me." In December, the Empress informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that she would never agree to the new Dejanican political structure, and that she was determined to act as soon as negotiations with Marasharita were concluded. She predicted that Pruthia and Austarlia "will oppose us only with a pile of written paper." She anticipated protest, but Austarlia, facing war with Haxonia, would do nothing, and if Pruthia's agreement to ignore its treaty with Dejanica had to be bought with additional Dejanican territory, she would agree to another partition. She understood also that, once forces were released from action in the Great Tesmanian Cloud, she could effectively intervene to restore the 1775 Treaty of Partition and Government. All of this will color events as 1792 proceeds. In her New Year's proclamation, the Empress declared her intention to "halt the aims of the Spamalkan scoundrels; to restore peace to this Empire's territories; and to maintain our influence in Dejanica and elsewhere."
  • January 9-
    • On January 9, 1792, after nearly three months of negotiations, the Treaty of Jassy was signed by the diplomatic delegations of the Laurasian Empire, Marasharite Empire, and Sultanate of Morocco (with the Stellar Kingdom of Portugallia in agreement), thereby concluding the Fifth Laurasian-Marasharite War, the last conflict of the eighteenth century between the two Empires. In the preamble to the Treaty, it was declared that "the governments of Their Imperial Majesties of Laurasia and Marasharita, and of His Sultanic Majesty of Morocco, desire the restoration of peaceful relations among our states, the reestablishment of an equilibrium in diplomatic and economic affairs, and the elimination of all ties of hatred among us." The Treaty comprised of fifteen articles, dealing with relations among all the governments. Article I confirmed the cessation of military hostilities among the belligerents. All prisoners and fugitives of war captured by both sides in the military campaigns were to be exchanged and restored back to their freedom. As with the Treaty of Kuchuk Kaynarca in 1774, they were to be compensated for their experiences under imprisonment. Article II provided for the resolution of criminal and judicial cases among the powers involved. Articles III and IV specified that all Laurasian forces present in the Danubian Principalities, Upper Bulgania, and the Amulak Grecian Provinces were to be withdrawn back to the Laurasian Empire by no later than January 1, 1793. Among the systems restored to the Marasharite Empire were the Sucreava Colonies, Bihor, Galasti, Chrisnau, Ploti, Silisburg, the Amulak Gateways, Bagadag, and Macin. Likewise, all Marasharite units in Tripoli and the outskirts of Tunis were to be withdrawn back to their prior garrisons. Article V, one of the most important articles of the Treaty, affirmed the absolute independence and sovereignty of the Sultanate of Morocco. The Sultan of Morocco was now formally released from all bonds of vassalage towards his former suzerain, the Emperor of Marasharita. He was now to be recognized as fully sovereign, with the ability to treat in all matters with foreign courts, to maintain his military forces, and to have sole jurisdiction over his subjects. The Marasharite Bureau of Moroccan Affairs was to be dissolved by no later than June 1792. As specified in Article VI, the Barbary States of Mauritania and Sale were now conceded in their entirety to the Sultanate of Morocco as its "perpetual and inviolate territory". Article VII provided for the concession of the Algerian systems of Oran, Blida, Batna, Setif, Annaba, Chlef, Ouragla, Tebessa, and Medea to the authority of the Sultanate of Morocco; Article VIII, for the concession of the Tunisian systems of Ariana, Gabes, Gafsa, Sousse, Bizarte, and Sfax to Morocco.
    • All other Tunisian and Algerian systems occupied by allied forces were to be restored to the respective Bays of Tunis and Algiers by no later than December 2, 1792, and all allied garrisons evacuated from the restored star systems. Articles IX and XI concerned the territorial acquisitions of the Laurasian Empire. By the terms of these articles, the Empire now acquired all remaining Marasharite territories in the Great Tesmanian Cloud. This included Chesma, Navarino, Chios, Lesbos, Aldoromeia, Athos, Ochania, Focasani, Rymnik, the Peldavian Gateways, Silistra, Ruse, Shumen, Varna, Kuchuk Kaynarca, Kolzuduzha, Akkerman, Izmail, Jassy, Duros, Del Valle, Bessarabia, the strongholds of the Danube Military Highway, Trans-Ruse, Ivirim, Pilidrim, Fidonsi, Anapa, and the Caucasian Colonies. The inhabitants of these regions were proclaimed subjects of the Laurasian Empire, and all territorial claims by the Marasharite Government formally abolished. Article XII provided that the Marasharite Government would compensate its Laurasian and Moroccan counterparts for all military expenses incurred since January 1, 1790 (amounting to over $1.1 quadmillion bajaks for the Marasharite Treasury). As specified by Article XIII, the Emperor of Marasharita granted full and unprejudiced recognition of the Laurasian Empire's annexation of the Haynsian Despotate, thereby confirming the provisions of the Treaty of Topacia (1784). Article XIV dealt with the restoration of economic and diplomatic relations among the three governments, with Laurasian and Moroccan subjects assured tariff-free commerce for a period of two years; religious toleration and administration; and free navigation throughout Marasharite territories, in adherence with Marasharite laws. Article XV, the last article of the Treaty, provided for the Marasharite termination of its military alliance with the Holy Spamalkan Empire, and for all of the treaty's terms to come into effect promptly, pending ratification by the three governments. The Empress Aurelia was informed by Lord Treasurer Burghley of the Treaty's conclusion in her Private Throne Room. When she learned of it, the Empress fell to her knees, declaring that Almitis had blessed her realms and that "one burden has been pulled out of the mud." She got up, with Burghley reminding her that the war with Spamalka still continued. Nevertheless, the Empress ordered all of her subjects to celebrate the conclusion of the Treaty of Jassy. Chief Procurator Whitshiftus held a Te Deum service at the Westphalian Cathedral, and numerous festivities were held at the Imperial Court to mark the treaty's conclusion. The Treaty of Jassy was ratified by the Empress Aurelia on January 11; by Sultan Ahmad-al Mansur I of Morocco on January 14; and by Marasharite Emperor Selim III on January 17. Secretary Cecilis and Lord Buchamia would return to Laurasia Prime on January 19, 1792, being received by the Empress and the Imperial Court with much lavishness and praise. They would be conferred the Order of St. Crassus four days later as a reward for negotiating the Treaty.
  • January 29-
    • On January 2, 1792, the Earl of Estatius (who had been promoted to the rank of Major-General in the Imperial Laurasian Army by the Empress Aurelia before his departure), and designated as commander-in-chief of the Empire's military forces in Franconia, arrived at Compeigne in the Pale of Calais. There, the Earl and his chief naval forces were greeted by King Hensios IV and his chief military commanders, including the Duke of Nice and the Baron de Biron. The King of Franconia, who was determined to impress his Laurasian allies, and flatter them with the splendor and wealth at his disposal, staged a series of magnificent ceremonies for the Earl's benefit. Estatius soon became enamored of the King of Franconia, and in his first report to the Imperial Privy Council, declared that the Empire possessed a worthy ally. At first, Estatius and his Franconian allies managed to obtain some victories in Normandy and the Pale of Calais against the forces of the Franconian League and Holy Spamalkan Empire. On January 7, after the greeting ceremonies were concluded, the Earl proved his prowess in a confrontation with League units and troopers at Bryon, capturing a number of League starfighters and transports. During the course of the next four days, Laurasian troops seized Jersey, Stephani, and Julianne, driving a wedge into the Franconian Channel Provinces. Estatius then approached Theobouranne, which had become a military headquarters and dockyards for the League Navy, and inflicted severe damage on it (January 15, 1792). By January 22, the Earl had also stormed Franconian command positions at Gournay, Maubeuge, and Le Cateau, advancing Franconian forces closer to Rouen. Rouen itself, the most important system in Franconian Normandy, now became a chief objective of King Hensios. Estatius, however, now revealed that he regarded war as some superior sport, and he more and more took relish in his duties as the commander of the Laurasian forces. Estatius waited for three days at Gournay, believing that an offensive against Noyon could sever Rouen's supply lines. Hensios, however, deemed such a move rash, and decided to proceed directly against Rouen. On January 29, 1792, the King of Franconia's forces, comprising of nearly a million military personnel and some 200 warships, laid the garrison of Rouen under siege. Rouen's garrison was commanded by the Admiral de Villars and Spamalkan Admiral Carlos Coloma, who had brought reinforcements from Antwerp and Brussels.
    • The Duke of Parma, who was engaged in defending Namurs and Nijimejen against Maurice of Nassau, had a corps in place at Rouen to provide support to the garrison. Hensios now ordered Estatius to advance from Gournay and to sunder the Rouen Transit Line, by which Spamalkan supplies and troops flowed to the garrison. Estatius, however, wasted his time in entertaining his men and in touring the star systems in the vicinity of Gournay, placing himself in danger and earning a rebuke from the Privy Council. On February 9, 1792, he finally headed to the Transit Line, but by that time, Spamalkan troops had secured firm control of the Dial Maze, preventing a Laurasian cut-off. Empress Aurelia, who was now redirecting military units, released from the Marasharite War, from the Barbary States and the Gateway Provinces to the border with Dejanican Belusia, and the Great Wormhole of Pozhark in the Galactic Void, told her advisers that "Where he is, or what he doth, or what he is to do, we are ignorant." She now regretted having sent Estatius. On February 17, the Empress ordered Estatius to retire from his post of command and to return back to the Caladarian Galaxy. Estatius raged and sulked to his subordinates, and on February 20, told his commanders that "Her Majesty is content to ruin me." Nevertheless, he complied, and began his journey back across the Void two days later, managing to gain "recognition" by scattering a Spamalkan naval convoy in the Mists of Argonaut. Estatius reached Belkadan on February 25, 1792, and Laurasia Prime the following day. Estatius, however, had aroused the Empress's anger by conferring military decorations upon twenty-four of his subordinates, an action which she had explicitly forbidden. However, when Estatius actually arrived at the Quencilvanian Palace, peace was restored, and on March 1, 1792, he departed back to Franconia to rejoin his forces, thanks in largely part to Burghley's intervention. Estatius arrived back at the outskirts of the system on March 7.
  • March 1-It was noted in the first entry of this year that the adoption of the Dejanican Constitution of May 3, 1791, had led to its temporary recognition by the courts of the Pruthian and Holy Austarlian Empires. For A'rua III of Pruthia, it was a matter of appearing to be faithful to his "ally"; for Lea'dus II, it was a necessary measure. The Emperor's worries had intensified during the course of 1791. Although relieved of internal troubles following his Hungarian Settlement in November 1790, Lea'dus found the situation with Haxonia and Vendragia to be vexing. In January 1791, Haxonian authorities at Pianca and Picanza impounded fifty Austarlian commercial ships of the Krupps Works of Vienna, angering the Austarlian Government. Four months later, Austarlian navigators were detained unlawfully at Tiestia, in spite of assurances by the Haxonian Government for free transit privileges. That same month, the Austarlian Prince Max'ius of Varennes, the most prominent emigrant nobleman in the Haxonian Confederacy, attempted to return back to Salzburg, but was arrested and imprisoned by Haxonian authorities at Pisa, violating his rights of diplomatic immunity. All of these events irritated Emperor Lea'dus, who went so far as to state that the actions of the Doge and Senate "compromised the honor of all sovereigns, and the security of all governments." Pruthia, as well, was provoked by border clashes with Vendragian units in Cleves, Ravensberg, and Holstein. On August 25, 1791, the Emperor of Austarlia finally met with his Pruthian counterpart, A'rua III, at Pillnitz, a year after he had first proposed a conference between them. There, the two sovereigns drafted the Declaration of Pillnitz, stating their readiness to declare war if further aggressions were provoked by the governments of Haxonia and Vendragia. The Declaration however, served only to inflame tensions. By December, 1791, Doge Pasqual Cicogina had ordered the Haxonian War Council to draft preparations for war with Austarlia; the month before, King Georg III began mobilizing the garrisons of Hanover, Celle, Heligoland, Irvania, the Sheriffian Colonies, and the Neo-Cyprian Colonies for action against Pruthia and Austarlia. Both powers had already concluded the Treaty of Bercester in November, 1791, formalizing a military alliance by them. Emperor Lea'dus's health, on its part, entered a severe decline, and by January 1792, he was suffering from numerous physical ailments. His health declined further through the first two months of 1792, and by the middle of February, his eldest son and heir apparent, Archduke Fransios of Styria and Lower Austarlia, had effectively assumed the reins of oversight over the Austarlian government. On March 1, 1792, Emperor Lea'dus II died, aged only 44, and after having reigned over the Holy Austarlian Empire for only two years. Archduke Fransios, who was then twenty-four years old, assumed the throne as Fransios II. Condolences arrived from most foreign courts, with the exception of Haxonia and Vendragia. The Emperor declared his intention to not give in to the provocations of the two Confederacies.
  • March 11-
    • Following his return to his command post at Rouen, in the Serene Kingdom of Franconia, the Earl of Estatius again sought to involve himself in the tasks of military command. During the last days of February 1792, League and Spamalkan forces under the command of Admiral de Villars managed to reconquer a number of outposts and garrisons in the immediate vicinity of Rouen. De Villars stormed the royal arsenal of the Yser Comets (February 26, 1792), and two days later, drove Franconian and Laurasian units from Ypres and Neuve Chapelle, which had served as supply outposts for the Franconian Royal Navy. On March 4, Admiral de Villars obtained another victory in the Battle of Carency, with the Franconian League seizing more than $400 million worth of Franconian banknotes. Loos fell to the Admiral two days later, and King Hensios was forced to reinforce Gournay and Compeigne in the face of the renewed League threat. He therefore "welcomed" Estatius's return, and believed that with the help of the Laurasian Admiral, they would be able to recover their losses and storm the defenses of Rouen. On March 9, Estatius (who had defeated a Spamalkan starfighter squadron in a skirmish at Louviers), and had driven Spamalkan troops from Evereux, sent a communique to the Empress Aurelia. In it, he said: "Most fair, most dear, and most excellent sovereign, the two windows of your Privy Chamber shall be the poles of my sphere, where, as long as Your Majesty will deign to have me, I am fixed and immoveable. While Your Majesty gives me leave to say I love you, my fortune is as my affection, unmatchable. If ever you deny me that liberty, you may end my life, but never shake my constancy, for it is not in your power, as great a Empress as you are, to make me love you less." Estatius then followed this with his assertion that he would subdue all of the enemies of Laurasia and Franconia alike, and that they would be made fully aware of the Empire's power. The Earl, however, failed to live up to these ideals. By March 15, although Estatius had stormed the League garrisons of Lens, Lievin, and Arras, he failed to prevent the Duke of Parma from reinforcing Rouen by juncture of Luxembourg, Limburg, and Cambrai. On March 22, 1792, Hensios launched a direct assault against the Rouen Trade Line, which ended in diasastrous failure in the Battle of Roubaix. Two days later, Estatius successfully defended Gournay from a Spamalkan counteroffensive, but suffered humiliation when he failed to prevent Spamalkan troops from destroying the allied communications terminal at Champagne.
    • By the end of March 1792, Evereux was once again in League hands, and even Boulougone was threatened by a Spamalkan move. Then on April 6, 1792, Estatius, seeking to secure Valenciennes, dispatched his brother, Commodore Sir Antigonus Deverania, and detachments from the 62nd Imperial Fleet, to assault Spamalkan positions at Verdun. Commodore Deverania was skeptical about his brother's planned move, but proceeded nevertheless. The Commodore departed from Le Cateau the following day and began his advance towards Verdun. During the early hours of April 8, 1792, however, a Spamalkan convoy under the Rear-Admiral Juan de Heures ambushed the Laurasian force at Mirecourt, which was located five light years south of Verdun. The Battle of Mirecourt resulted in a decisive victory for the Franconian League and its Spamalkan allies. Commodore Deverania was himself killed in the confrontation, being wounded when his flagship, the IMS Kaureliana, was bordered by Franconian and Spamalkan troops. Admiral de Heures captured ten Laurasian transports and five Indicator-class frigates, forcing Estatius to terminate the planned moves against Verdun and Rouen. By April 14, Estatius had suffered further losses in confrontations with League and Spamalkan troops at Lievin, Douai, and Marc. And on April 19, 1792, Parma reenforced Rouen yet again, with Admirals de Villars and Columa forcing Hensios to abandon his positions at Rouen Straits. Finally, on April 24, 1792, the Empress, who was angered by the Earl's overall incompetence and his lack of progress, and vexed by the constant communiques he sent her, complaining of illness, recalled him for the second and last time. Estatius, who was anxious to be back at the Imperial Court, and saddened by the death of his brother, obliged. He departed from Rouen on April 29, 1792, and arrived back at Laurasia Prime on May 7. The Empress received him coolly at the Diplomatic Palace, and expressed her condolences for the death of his brother (whose corpse had been ejected by the Spamalkans in open space). Estatius, on his part, blamed Lord Treasurer Burghley and his son Secretary Cecilis for what had happened, believing they had poisoned Aurelia's mind against him. Hensios, on his part, realized that Rouen was too strong for his forces, and he finally withdrew from the siege on May 8, 1792. The King of Franconia, however, retained control of Valenciennes, Lille, and Boulougone in the face of renewed League offensives.
  • April 18-
    • By April, 1792, the Empress Aurelia had firmly resolved upon intervention in the affairs of the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The conclusion of the Treaty of Jassy in January of that year finally allowed for the Empress to impose her will upon a recalcitrant Dejanica, and to restore the constitutional settlements which had been made two decades earlier, following the First Partition of Dejanica. The death of Lea'dus II, and the accession of his relatively inexperienced son Fransios II, allowed for Empress Aurelia to finally push forward her views to the courts of Vienna and Berliania III. Emperor A'rua III of Pruthia, whose forces continued to clash with Vendragian units in the Germanian Principalities, and who feared the prospect of war with a Laurasian Empire pulsating with power and vigor (as a result of its victories over the Marasharites), was by now seriously considering the abandonment of his Dejanican allies. On March 19, 1792, the newly-appointed Pruthian Ambassador to the Court of Laurasia Prime, Baron von Woxelholm, told the Empress and Lord Treasurer Burghley that "my master harbors no ill-intentions for your state, and hopes to find a cooperative relationship with Your Majesty." Five days later, A'rua himself sent a communique to his Laurasian counterpart, declaring his willingness to set aside the Treaty of Warsaw and to recognize Laurasian rights at intervention, if Aurelia on her part pledged not to deal with Dejanican territorial integrity unless if in full consultation with his government. Aurelia, who was pleased at this, readily accepted; for the time being, this understanding between them remained secret. And on March 24, 1792, Austarlian Emperor Fransios II, persuaded by the ailing but still powerful Austarlian Chancellor Kaunitz (who had now served four Austarlian sovereigns, from Char'vak V through Fransios II himself), sent a communique to the Imperial Laurasian Government, expressing his solidarity for the aims of Empress Aurelia, towards "the maintenance of peace and stability among our powers and with Dejanica."
    • These assurances from foreign courts now allowed the Empress to exploit the tensions within the Commonwealth, and to find allies among the disgruntled traditionalist sects of the Dejanican nobility. These included magnates such as Stanis Potockia, Seweryn Rezuskia, and the former Grand Hetman of the Commonwealth, Branickia. On April 2, 1792, Ambassador Bulgania held a conference with the three noblemen at Vilinus in the Grand Duchy of Lithaunia, offering them the support of the Laurasian Empire in restoring their "traditional liberties and the constitutional structure of the Commonwealth". Branickia and Potockia in particular, who had already been assembling mercenaries, military supplies, and arms at their personal estates since January 1792, responded readily to the Laurasian assurances. Now joined by the Kossawockia brothers, the pro-Laurasian magnates moved to Targowica, receiving a formal assurance of support from the Empress Aurelia on April 9. Then, on April 18, 1792, they formally proclaimed themselves to be the Targowica Confederation, announcing their resistance to the Constitution of 1791 and their intention to restore the Cardinal Laws, those sacred privileges of the Dejanican nobility which had existed for nearly three centuries. In their proclamation, the Confederates criticized the Constitution for contributing to a "contagion of democratic ideas" in the territories of the Dejanican Crown. It asserted that "The Diet has broken all fundamental laws, swept away the liberties of the nobility, and on the third day of Aeweryn, of this year lately past [May 3, 1791, according to the Dejanican calendar] subjected this Commonwealth to a revolution and a conspiracy."
    • They then said that they "can do nothing but turn trustingly to Her Majesty, the Empress Aurelia of Laurasia, a distinguished and fair Empress, our neighboring friend and ally who respects the Commonwealth's need for well-being and always offers it a helping hand." They aligned with the Empress and asked for her military intervention. Empress Aurelia, pleased by the Confederation's praise towards her, ordered Ambassador Bulgania, on April 24, 1792, to deliver a ultimatum to King Stanis Vorrust I and the Permanent Council. The ultimatum demanded that the King of Dejanica summon a Extraordinary Diet to officially repeal the Constitution of 1791; to restore the Cardinal Laws, including the right to confederation, the liberum veto, and the right of resistance; and to reconfirm the Partition Treaties of 1773. As the Empress had predicted, the ultimatum was rejected by the King on April 28, who declared that "this Commonwealth is not subject to the dictates of foreign powers." These were extraordinary words coming from the mouth of a sovereign who had been installed by that very same Empress as a puppet nearly three decades earlier. And it was exactly what Empress Aurelia wanted. By the beginning of May, 1792, Laurasian forces were assembled at Navarino, Chesma, Athos, the Peldavian Gateways, Vimeshin, Hadjibey, Kaushany, Silistra, Bessarabia, and along the Danube Military Highway, ready for an advance into the Commonwealth.
  • May 18-
    • On May 4, 1792, Empress Aurelia officially informed the Pruthian and Austarlian Ambassadors, in an audience at the Quencilvanian Palace, of her intention to invade the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Empress now had a good opportunity to do so; Austarlia and Pruthia were both now embroiled in military conflict in the Germanian Principalities and in the Swiss Territories. On April 20, 1792, the Haxonian Senate, after extensive pressure had been applied by Doge Cicogina, issued an official declaration of war against the Holy Austarlian and Autocratic Pruthian Empires; King Georg III of Vendragia, determined to maintain his interests in Hanover, and to seize Cleves and Holstein, followed two days later. The Empress of Laurasia could therefore now be certain that neither Austarlia nor Pruthia would intervene in favor of the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth (although Pruthian Emperor A'rua III had not yet formally renounced the Treaty of Warsaw). Fourteen days later, on May 18, 1792, the Laurasian Empire's military forces launched a full-scale military invasion of the Dejanican Commonwealth, while Ambassador Sir Yerevus Bulgania delivered a formal declaration of war to the Dejanican Foreign Affairs Minister, Joachim Chreptowicz. The Empire's military forces were under the command of Lieutenant-General Sir Demetrius Norria (who had been reassigned to duty in the Great Tesmanian Cloud in October 1791) and Field-Marshal Lord Greysius (who had likewise been reassigned to duty in the Cloud in December 1791).
    • These were among the most experienced and respected of the Empire's military commanders, and the Empress trusted them implicitly. The Laurasian offensive plans, drafted by the Imperial General Headquarters, now called for Lord Greysius to advance through Ukranian Dejanica and into the Great Wormhole, to take Kamienec Podolski, Chelm, and Lublin, while approaching Dejanica Prime from the south. Norria was to advance through Minsk, Vilna, Brezez Liewski, and Bialystok, approaching Dejanica from the north. He was to link with Greysius there and both commanders would then besiege the capital world of the Commonwealth. Whereas the forces of the Empire actually enjoyed superior intelligence capabilities in Dejanica (thanks to the Imperial Intelligence Agency and to the Targowica Confederation), being aware of Dejanican troop distribution and capabilities, the Dejanicans had far worse intelligence, receiving contradictory and often erroneous reports, and unsure whether there would be conflict to the moment the Laurasians invaded. King Stanis Vorrust I was the commander-in-chief of the Commonwealth's military forces (as had been specified under the Dejanican Constitution of 1791).
    • In practice, however, he delegated this position to his nephew, Prince Josef Poniatowskia. Poniatowskia, theoretically, had at his disposal the military forces of the Crown of Dejanica (composed of 3,100 warships and 6.6 million military personnel) and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (composed of 2,000 warships and 3.2 million personnel) compared to the Laurasian Empire's invasion forces of nearly 7,000 warships with 11.3 million military personnel. In reality, the forces of Dejanica and Lithuania, which were still forming in accordance with the military provisions of the Dejanican Constitution, had only 2,000 warships with 5 million military personnel. The Dejanican Crown Army was in the midst of reorganization, with orders having been issued on unit numbers and composition only the previous month. The Army was also short on equipment, military arms, and experienced command officers. In the southerly regions of the Commonwealth (the Ukranian and Gateway Voivodeships, encompassing Dejanican Ukrania and the Western Gateway Provinces in the Great Tesmanian Cloud), the Dejanican forces were initially concentrated separately in three regions of the expected front. These were under the command of Generals Tadeuz Kosciusko and Michal Wielhorskia, as well as Prince Poniatowskia himself. The Dejanican Crown Army and Navy in Ukranian Dejanica, commanded chiefly by Prince Poniatowskia and supported by Kosciusko, numbered about 1,300 warships with 2.5 million military personnel. They were faced on this war front by the forces of Field-Marshal Lord Greysius, who had under his command 4,000 warships and 6.2 million military personnel. Greysius's forces, in turn, were divided into four smaller groups: the 39th Imperial Army, under the command of Major-General Sir Caelius Kutzarania; the 42nd Imperial Army, under Major-General Sir Honorius Dunaria; the 45th Imperial Army, under the command of Major-General Sir Otto Derfelden (a Archleutan); and the 49th Imperial Army, under Brigadier-General Sir Andreus Levarania. The Targowica Confederation, on its part, did not possess a substantial military force, with the Imperial General Headquarters deciding that they should be withheld from combat. In Lithuania (whose Belaranian and Eastern Lithuanian Voivodeships fell in the Great Tesmanian Cloud), the Lithuanian Army and Navy numbered about 600 warships with 2.3 million personnel; there was also a Crown detachment which had about 200,000 personnel, the remainder of the force. They were commanded by the Germanian Duke Louis of Wurttemburg. Wurttemberg did not make any military preparations, and his military forces were utterly unprepared.
    • The Empire's military forces in that theater under General Norria had 3,000 warships and 5 million military personnel. This force was also divided into four corps: the 51st Imperial Army, under the Marshal of the Targowica Confederation, Dejanican General Szymon Kossaria; the 54th Imperial Army, under Major-General Sir Leonidas Meliaria; the 59th Imperial Army, under Lieutenant-General the Lord Dologruvkius (a nephew of the late Laurasian military commander of that name from the Fourth Laurasian-Marasharite War); and the 61st Imperial Army, under Brigadier-General Sir Honorius Feneria. King Stanis, on his part, concentrated his Royal Guards and Dejanica's planetary garrison as a central reserve force. Dejanican General Koscizusko proposed a offensive plan by which the entire Dejanican military would be concentrated and engage one of the Empire's invasion forces, in order to ensure numerical parity and boost the morale of mostly inexperienced Dejanican units with a quick victory; this plan was rejected by Prince Poniatowskia. Poniatowskia also sought to avoid any serious engagements in the first phase of the war, hoping to receive Pruthian reinforcements. Within hours of invading Dejanican territory, a fierce confrontation developed between the opposing forces of Empire and Commonwealth.
    • In the Tesmanian and Ukranian theaters, the 1st Imperial Expeditionary Force under Field-Marshal Lord Greysius encountered substantial opposition from the first, as they faced the chief Dejanican forces under the command of Prince Poniatowskia and General Kosciuszko. A series of confrontations ensued between Laurasian and Dejanican forces at Brovary, Boryspil, and Fastiv (May 18-22, 1792), as Generals Kosicuzsko and Wielhorskia harried the Laurasian supply lines and managed to inflict damage upon the advancing forces. On May 24, 1792, General Kutzarania launched an offensive against Slaytuvuch which was repelled by a Dejanican frontal attack. By May 29, when General Koscisuzko joined with Prince Poniatowskia near Janow, Laurasian forces had incurred substantial casualties in confrontations with Dejanican garrisons and offensive squadrons at Bila Tserevka, Kaniev, and Drabiev. Nevertheless, the Empire's forces had subdued the major Dejanican strongholds of Smila, Talne, Uman, Zhaskiv, Kolotchen, and Maltyn. As a result of these successes, Prince Poniatowskia judged his forces to be too weak to directly oppose the four columns of the Imperial Laurasian Military in battle, and began a fighting withdrawal to the Bug Transit Highways along the Northern Straits and in the vicinity of the Great Wormhole, with a goal of fortifying Lubar and Polonne against Laurasian thrusts. Kosicusko, now acknowledged as the leading subordinate commander of the Commonwealth's military forces on this front, commanded the rear guard. Poniatowskia, who was promised conscripts and reinforcements by his uncle, the King, and aware of the numerical inferiority of his forces, believed that the fortification of the Volhynia would serve to maintain a firm line against Greysius's advance. Prince Michael Lubworskia assumed responsibility for the supply lines of the Dejanican offensive forces. In the meantime, events on the Lithuanian frontier had changed to the worse for the Dejanican Commonwealth.
    • On May 22, 1792, by which Laurasian forces had already secured the Lithuanian worlds of Utena and Visaginas, Pruthian Emperor A'rua III, whose attention was now fully distracted by the wars with Vendragia and Haxonia, and who wished to stake out his own sphere of influence in the Commonwealth, announced that he no longer considered his obligations under the Treaty of Warsaw to be binding. The Emperor of Pruthia declared that the Commonwealth's "violations" of the rights of Pruthian Martialists was unacceptable, and that the Diet's refusal to consider the secession of Torun and Danzig "damaged the means of effective assistance between our two realms." Furthermore, A'rua declared, he was not bound to help enforce a Constitution which had been drafted without his foreknowledge or consent. All of this pleased Empress Aurelia greatly, who was now fully confident that the Commonwealth would be swiftly subdued to the power of the Empire's military forces. The Duke of Wurttemberg, on his part, who had little understanding of the government and customs of the Commonwealth in which he served, and who had been offered a handsome financial compensation by the Imperial Ministry of Foreign Affairs, neglected to assume his command duties over the Lithuanian Armies. He feigned sickness at his headquarters on Wolczyn, and issued contradictory orders to his immediate subordinates. As a consequence, Laurasian forces in Lithuania were able to advance effectively unopposed. By May 25, General Norria had occupied the Dejanican arsenals of Moletai, Ignalina, Pasvalays, and Birzai without resistance. On May 27, he destroyed a Dejanican supply convoy near Roksisis's Comet. A series of minor skirmishes with Dejanican fleet ensued at Drybin, Kilchaw, and Hrbosk, and on May 31, Minsk, capital of the Minsk Voivodeship and one of the most important Dejanican systems in the Great Tesmanian Cloud, capitulated to the Laurasian Empire without a fight. By the beginning of June, 1792, Laurasian forces had also stormed Kupsiki, Skhlow, Slawharad, Chavusky, Slutsk, Bernadino, and Lahosk, inflicting a series of humiliating defeats upon overstretched Dejanican garrisons.
  • May 20-
    • Following his failure to conquer Rouen, King Hensios IV of Franconia, whose efforts had been engaged in repelling counteroffensives by Franconian League and Spamalkan forces into the Metzian Lordships, Poitiers, and the Pale of Calais, decided that he needed to secure his rear and his supply lines. The King now decided that Craon, which was located one hundred light years to the southeast of Rouen, needed to be taken so that he could effectively organize his reinforcements and prepare for a renewed counteroffensive against Evereux, Rouen, Douai, and Marc. On May 14, 1792, the King ordered his cousins, the Duke of Montpensier and the Prince of Conti to convene on Laval and organize their military formations for action against Craon. They did as ordered, and by May 18, having secured League bases on Orne and Maine-st-Loire, began their advance towards Craon. By the early hours of May 20, 1792, Craon was completely surrounded by the Franconian Royal Forces, with contigents from the 51st Imperial Army and 62nd Imperial Fleets, commanded by Major-General Sir Antiochus Verus, providing auxillary support. The King of Franconia, however, had not anticipated that League forces under the command of the Duke of Merceour and the Marquis de Sable, with auxillary contigents commanded by the Spamalkan General Juan del Aguila (reassigned from duty in the Colonial Territories to the Durthian Duchies in March 1792), were already advancing from Douai and Cambrai to reinforce the garrison of Craon and to repel the Franconian-Laurasian offensive. The garrison of Craon, on its part, resisted the allied forces fiercely, repelling several frontal offensives launched by Conti and General Verus during the course of the two days following the commencement of the siege.
    • Then at midday on May 22, 1792, Merceour and de Sable appeared at the northern outskirts of the Craon star system, and launched an immediate counteroffensive against the allied formations. They surprised the besieging force, penetrating through their left flank and capturing a number of Franconian transports, corvettes, and frigates. The right flank was then assaulted by the garrison forces of Craon, who now drove the Franconian warships before them and burst from the Craon Asteroid Belt. Montpensier, who found that his supply lines were under threat, and his potential escape routes were disappearing, was forced to flee from Craon on May 24, 1792. The Battle of Craon therefore ended in a decisive victory for the Franconian League and Holy Spamalkan Empire (which was still officially in a state of peace with the Serene Kingdom of Franconia). The Spamalkans under General del Aguila distinguished themselves in particular, capturing much of the enemy artillery, ammunition stocks, shield generators, firearms, armor, equipment, and military supplies. On May 28, 1792, Laval, which was left completely defenseless due to the rout at Craon, surrendered to the Duke of Merceour without a fight. The Prince of Conti was forced to retreat to Gontier. Over the course of the next two months, Merceour distinguished himself in a series of victories at Mayenne, Manche, Chalons, and Montmrail, posing a serious threat to King Hensios's forces in Poitiers, Southern Brittany, and in the vicinity of Orleans. These victories of the Franconian League, however, could not overshadow the events in Durthia or in the Colonial Territories, which saw the Laurasian Empire, as well as its Durthian and Portugallian allies, obtain further successes.
  • June 9-
    • By June 1792, the Empress Aurelia, whose military forces were obtaining further victories in Durthia, the Colonial Territories, and in the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth, had experienced more turmoil at the Imperial Court. The wound which had been caused by the death of Sir Christopheus Hattonius remained open into the middle of 1792. As a consequence, both the Ministership of Justice and the Procurator-Generalship of the Governing Senate remained vacant for several months following his death. Finally, in May 1792, the Empress Aurelia was persuaded by Lord Treasurer Burghley and his son Secretary Cecilis to fill the vacancies in these, the highest judicial positions in the Imperial Laurasian Government. On May 28, 1792, she formally appointed Sir Demetrius Puckerania, who had graduated from the University of Constantinople Law School in 1764 with a JD in jurisprudence and civil law, and had then obtained his PhD in Judicial Sciences in 1769, to be Procurator-General of the Governing Senate and Minister of Justice. Puckerania, who had served with the Christiania Inns since 1767, become a honorary member of the Valedictorian Guards in 1782, and been knighted in 1787, was respected with many among the administrative and judicial officials of Laurasia Prime. Puckerania would serve in these positions for the next four years, until his death in April 1796. Empress Aurelia also had other, more personal concerns, again related to the Earl of Estatius, but also to her other favorite, Sir Walterius Raleghia. Estatius, following his return to Laurasia Prime in May 1792, had applied to become Chancellor of the University of Christiania, which Hattonius had held from 1787 and which had also become vacant upon his death.
    • On May 25, 1792, however, Empress Aurelia, who believed that she needed someone dependable and of "appopriate academic qualifications" to hold the post, appointed her Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lord Buchamia, to the position instead. Buchamia was an ally and friend of Lord Treasurer Burghley, and aligned with the Cecilis faction. Estatius complained bitterly, but this availed him nothing, and he now decided to belatedly take Bagonius's advice, angling for high political office so as to break the hold of power exerted by the Lord Treasurer. Sir Antoninus Bagonius returned from Parri on May 29, 1792, following another tour of duty there for the Imperial Intelligence Agency; Estatius promptly enlisted his support. Antoninus, who had a uncertain temper and was hard to cooperate with, nevertheless was willing to use his talents in Estatius's service. It was decided that he would help the Earl build his own intelligence network, hoping thereby to impress upon the Empress that, being so well-informed, Estatius deserved political credibility and had been taken seriously. Estatius also sought to gain influence at the Franconian Court and curry the favor of King Hensios IV. By early June, 1792, Estatius was ambling around the Imperial Court, with Franconius reminding him that he should continue to work towards political office, and hold off from his dreams of military glory. With so many of the Empress's advisers and ministers having died, Bagonius pointed out, there would be an opening for him. He would only have to be patient.
    • As regards to Raleghia, a series of events had occurred since the middle of the previous year which were now to bring his reputation crashing down. In May 1791, Raleghia, who as Captain of the Gentlemen Pensioners was sworn to protect the Empress's ladies and maids in waiting, and consequently controlled access into their bedchambers, fell in love, and became involved in a secret affair with, Lady Aurelia Thorckmortonia, the daughter of Sir Nicholas and eldest among the Empress's maids of honor. As noted above, she was the cousin of that Sir Feresus who had, a decade earlier, been the chief instigator of the harebrained Thorckmortonia Plot. The affair between Raleghia and Lady Thorckmortonia progressed quickly, and in July, she became pregnant with his child. Lady Thorckmortonia was not like Raleghia's other sexual conquests, however. She now began to insist on marriage, although it was certain that the Empress would not have considered her a good enough match for him. Therefore, on October 2, 1791, in great secrecy, Raleghia and Lady Thorckmortonia were married on Americana. Lady Aurelia now returned to her duties at the Imperial Court, attending to her responsibilities and doing her best to conceal her pregnancy. By February 1792, however, this had become impossible. Her thickening figure had given rise to rumors among the personages of the Imperial Court, and some were now pinpointing with deadly accuracy the father of her child. Raleghia, on his part, denied the rumors, and declared that "There is none in the entire Universe that I would be fastened to." On February 19, Lady Aurelia, whose period of pregnancy was reaching its close, invented a pretext to gain permission to take leave from the Court. Seeking refuge at Heshorne House, the Soriana mansion of her elder brother Sir Marius Thorckmortonia, she went into labor and on March 7, 1792, gave birth to her and Raleghia's first son, who was named Damasius. Entrusting her son to the care of her brother, she returned to the Court on April 9, where it was easily observed that she had dramatically lost weight. The rumors became more insistent, until finally, on May 4, word leaked out from her brother's household about the birth of her son and her secret union with Sir Walterius. The Empress was informed of her favorite's "brutish offense" by Lord Knollysis two days later, and erupted into a fury about the fact. She now declared that she would tolerate no traitors within her realms, and that Raleghia would suffer the ultimate penalty. On May 27, 1792, the Empress summoned Raleghia back from his post in the Colonial Territories (description shall be provided below of the Empire's progress in that theater). Raleghia arrived back at Laurasia Prime on June 4; five days later, the Empress ordered for both him and his wife to be arrested and imprisoned at the Fortress of Baureux. The couple were now accused of marrying without the Empress's consent, of seduction, and of "tricking" Her Imperial Majesty. Worse than all of this was the Empress's bitter sense of betrayal, for Raleghia had been one of her chief favorites for ten years, and this marriage seemed to mock all of his protestations of devotion to her. At the Fortress of Baureux, Raleghia and his wife were lodged in separate apartments. He was not strictly kept, being allowed to walk in the Fortress Gardens and permitted to see his wife from a distance. He was desperate to be free, and was willing to do anything to achieve it.
  • June 14-
    • The Laurasian Empire's military forces continued to make gains in the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth in both the Lithuanian and Ukranian theaters. As regards to the former, King Stanis Vorrust I, who was enraged by the Duke of Wurttemberg's defiance, and disturbed by the Pruthian abrogation of its military obligations, decided, on June 4, 1792, to replace Wurttemberg as commander of the Lithuanian Armies with General Josef Judycki. General Judycki, who had been one of the supporters of the new Constitution, now sought to mobilize his men and military resources, belatedly, against the Laurasians under General Norria. He stormed a Laurasian offensive outpost on Larnopyl (June 5) and managed to defeat General Meliaria in the Battle of Cherven (June 6-9, 1792). On June 11, however, General Meliaria and the chief naval commander of the Empire's 2nd Group, Rear-Admiral Sir Theodosius Cassadaria, intercepted Judycki at Mir in the Belaranian Province. Mir, one of the Commonwealth's chief military arsenals, had been previously seized by the Earl of Soria and General Sir Antiochus Rumanstevius in 1708. The ensuing Battle of Mir on this day, June 11, 1792, resulted in a decisive victory for the Laurasian Empire. The Mir Military Complex fell into the possession of the Empire's forces, and Judycki lost nearly 50,000 of his troops. Following the fall of Mir, Laurasian forces quickly stormed the Belaranian strongholds of Kapyl, Myzadyel, and Kaplk. Then on June 14, 1792, after having penetrated through the defenses of Ukmerge and Trakai, Vilno, capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, fell to General Norria's forces after only a brief struggle with the planetary garrison. Thus humiliated the Dejanican High Command. By June 23, Niewiez and Kaunas, at the Great Wormhole, had both fallen to Laurasian forces, with Norria's units penetrating into the heartland of the Amulak Lithuanian Provinces. General Judycki, now in utter disgrace, was dismissed from his post on that date and replaced with General Michael Zabiello.
    • As regards to the Ukranian theater, June 14 also saw Field-Marshal Lord Greysius obtain a decisive victory in the Battle of Borsuskwoce over Dejanican General Wielhorskia. By that date, Lord Greysius had also destroyed Dejanican forces in confrontations at Opsa (June 4-9) and Stolpce (June 12). On June 17, after Greysius had secured Malyn and Korosten, Prince Poniatowskia finally received reinforcements from Dejanica Major, under the command of Prince Lubormirskia. The 45th Imperial Army, under General Derfelden, now moved to Zielence, providing advance cover for General Kutzarania's 39th Imperial Army. Two days before the reinforcements arrived, Poniatowskia had established his chief headquarters on Polonne. After holding a meeting with his subordinates, however, the decision had been made to withdraw from the star system, which did not have adequate fortifications. Lubormiskia's forces, comprised of some 300,000 military personnel with 110 warships, included Generals Josef Zajacek and Ludwig Trokin. It was on June 18, 1792, that General Derfelden's forces neared Zielence. Derfelden's goal was to assault the star system's defenses and to penetrate to Zaslaw, thereby disrupting the Dejanican left flank and permitting a further advance by Kutzarania. At 7:00 A.M. Galactic Standard Time, the Battle of Zielence commenced with the exchange of turbocannon fire between the opposing forces.
    • Within a few hours, the artillery exchanges ceased. General Derfelden's troops then landed on Zielence Station and began their advance towards the Dejanican center. Many of the Dejanican troops pulled back, with panic induced by Laurasian artillery fire and a series of coordinated attacks by Derfelden's troops and Imperial Marines. Prince Poniatowskia, however, now reviewed the Dejanican formations, reorganized his front-line naval and army forces, and launched a counterattack. Poniatowskia's first counterattack failed however, as Laurasian units now secured Zielence City and pushed Dejanican battle formations back. Poniatowskia attempted to assault Laurasian transports and frigates above Zielence, but was driven back by starfighter squadrons. General Derfelden then launched a general offensive towards Southern Zielence, but the Dejanican mobile warfare corps rallied and punched a hole through the Laurasian frontline, ending Derfelden's moves. Derfelden then attempted to launch a offensive against Zielence Dockyards, but this was blunted due to Dejanican marines and corvettes penetrating from the Northern Skirts. Poniatowskia's forces then blunted a rash advance by Derfelden and pushed back into Zielence City, while Dejanican corvettes and fighters gradually pushed Laurasian warships away from the planetary orbit. At 5:00 P.M. Galactic Standard Time, Derfelden, who realized that his supply lines were in danger (due to the constant harrying of Dejanican units from Zislow and Upper Polonne), was forced to call a retreat. The Battle of Zielence therefore ended in a victory for the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth. King Stanis Vorrust I celebrated this victory, but the Dejanicans would find that it had no impact upon the course of the war. The Dejanican Crown Army, under the command of Prince Poniatowskia, found itself compelled to continue its retreat, yielding to the more powerful enemy in order to avoid annihilation. By June 24, Field-Marshal Greysius's forces had conquered the Ukranian systems of Mykola, Hershad, Haisyn, Kolzayn, and Hadnirastia; on June 27, he obtained a crushing victory over General Koscisuzko in the Battle of Tomashpil, capturing a number of Dejanican troopers and armored transports. By the beginning of July, 1792, Zelwa, Akme, and Silulai in Lithuania had fallen to the Empire's forces, and General Zabiello now withdrew his forces towards the direction of Brest, attempting to establish a defensive barrier along the Amulak Void.
  • June 25-
    • As mentioned previously, the Laurasian Empire's military forces, in conjunction with its Portugallian and Durthian allies, experienced both successes and reverses against the Holy Spamalkan Empire. Corvo was stormed by Admiral Dracius (January 7, 1792), after a brief confrontation with a Spamalkan naval convoy near the Baharias. By January 15, Dracius's forces had stormed La Vega, Peravia, and Bani, consolidating Laurasian control of Santiago and San Domingo. On January 22, a Spamalkan counteroffensive against Les Noches and Augustine Colony, both of whom had become major Laurasian supply bases, came to ruin at the hands of the Earl of Cumbria in the Battle of Les Odors. By the middle of February 1792, Cumbria and Dracius had managed to recover Alacantara and Oliveres, while Portugallian Prince Fernando repelled a series of Spamalkan moves against Vigo, Baiona, and the Eastern Azores. On March 3, 1792, Admiral de Bazan, who had established his chief operational headquarters at Barcelona, launched a major offensive to clear Laurasian and Portugallian troops from Sao Vicente, Ponta Delegada, and Terceira. Although Sao Vicente was briefly overrun by a Spamalkan fleet (March 3-9, 1792), and Bazan inflicted severe damage upon Laurasian fortifications at Biscay (March 14, 1792), the offensive came to a crashing halt as Dracius secured a decisive victory in the Battle of Casita (March 19, 1792), which forced Bazan to abandon his moves against Ponta Delegada. By March 25, Dracius had recovered Sao Vicente, Ferrol, and Ourense, driving to the outskirts of Riberia, Granada, and Algercircas. At the same time, Prince Maurice of Orange and Lieutenant-General Sir Willanius Pellhamia advanced against Nijmegen, which had been threatened since September 1791. The Siege of Nijmegen commenced on March 28, 1792, and lasted until April 11, when the stronghold fell to allied forces. By the end of April, 1792, by which time Dracius had stormed Durate and Puerto Plata in the vicinity of San Domingo, Groningen and Leuven had both been secured by Prince Maurice. The Empress Aurelia and the Imperial Privy Council, in the meantime, had been engaged in vigorous preparations for an offensive to secure the allied hold over the Azores Star Cluster and to harry Spamalkan supply lines to the Spamalkan Main. The ultimate objective of this offensive, as formulated in a communique of the Imperial General Headquarters (April 11, 1792), was to seize Spamalkan merchantile convoys and to thereby threaten the resources available to the Holy Spamalkan Treasury, which was dependent upon the supply lines for bullion.
    • On April 19, 1792, the Empress was persuaded to appoint Sir Walterius Raleghia, who had now reached the rank of Major-General in the Imperial Laurasian Army (having fought with distinction against the Spamalkan Armada and in the United Durthian States), as the chief commander of this intended offensive. Raleghia was to ultimately remain subject to the oversight of Dracius (who was shortly to become Vice-Admiral), but would have control over the tactical and strategic operations of this enterprise. On April 22, Rear-Admiral Sir Antigonus Burroghia, previously commander of the IMS Herennia, the second-largest ship in Dracius's forces, was designated as the commander of the naval forces and as the second-in-command of the planned offensive. The Earl of Cumbria, who had returned to station at Vigo earlier that month, and had reached the rank of Admiral, became another of Raleghia's subordinates. Sir Martinius Frosbisherius, who had been promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral in January 1792, served as Raleghia's aide-de-camp. On May 6, 1792, Raleghia and his immediate subordinates departed on his flagship, the IMS Aemdallia, and arrived near Cape Finistierre four days later. Raleghia then proceeded to Vigo and held a command conference with Cumbria, who had been engaged in organizing detachments from the 51st, 62nd, and 64th Imperial Fleets for the offensives. It was on May 27 that he received his recall orders from the Empress (as had been described below). Frosbisherius now became the commander-in-chief of the forces, due to the Empress's greater trust in him over Burroghia and the Earl of Cumbria. On May 29, 1792, as provided in the operation instructions issued by the General Headquarters, the Empire's forces separated at Cape St. Vincent. Burroghia now headed towards the Azores, intent on joining up with Prince Fernando and awaiting the approach of Spamalkan convoys. Frosbisherius, on his part, now headed into the Galician Provinces, intent on harrying Spamalkan fortifications and colonies in that region. On May 29, 1792, Admiral Burroghia and his forces, having seized Spamalkan outposts on Bayamon and Ponce, intercepted a Spamalkan convoy near Cape St. Vincent. The lead ship of this convoy, the Santa Clara, carried a considerable amount of military arms, mineral goods, and bullion with an estimated value of more than €200 trillion dataries. In the ensuing Battle of the Straits of Cape St. Vincent, Burroghia disrupted the Spamalkan fleet formations and rushed his marines to the Santa Clara, whose crew put up a considerable resistance. Ultimately, however, the flagship was captured, and more than third of the Spamalkan fleet personnel killed or captured. Following the capture of the Santa Clara, Burroghia launched a raiding operation against the Spamalkan hypergates and dockyards at Sancular de Barrameda, inflicting serious damage on the star system's facilities and capturing more than 50,000 Spamalkan garrison troops. The Santa Clara, escorted by ten Laurasian destroyers, was hastened to the Galactic Void and thence, back to the Empire. On June 4, Admiral Burroghia seized another Spamalkan naval convoy at Caguas, having pursued the convoy across a distance of more than seventy light-years. He now learned that Spamalkan Emperor Philicus, determined to maintain the supply lines, and to disrupt the Laurasian offensive, had prepared a fleet at Cadiz and Seville to move against the Laurasians. Admiral de Bazan now assumed supreme command of Spamalkan naval operations, and was determined to give nothing to his Laurasian foes.
    • Frosbisherius, on his part, managed to storm the Spamalkan garrisons of Cienfuegos, Gramama, and Villa Clara (June 2-11, 1792), and on June 14, even threatened the defenses of Havanna and Santiago de Cuba, impounding a number of Spamalkan naval and commercial vessels in the vicinity of the two star systems. Four days later, the Admiral seized fifteen Spamalkan transports, with more than 30,000 Spamalkan Marines being killed or captured by Laurasian boarding parties. On June 20, however, he suffered a reverse in the Battle of Bayamon, being forced to terminate plans for an offensive into San Juan. Burroghia, however, continued to press the offensive, and on June 25, was informed of the approach of Spamalkan forces near Corvo. The Santa Cruz, lead flagship of the Spamalkan force, was pursued by three Laurasian frigates under the command of the Earl of Cumbria. The Laurasians were soon forced to halt their pursuit due to the arrival of Spamalkan reinforcements, but the Santa Cruz experienced a navigation failure and crash-landed in the Corvo star system. The following day, its crew was reached by a Spamalkan courier; they destroyed the stranded vessel and carried away its cargo before attempting their deparature. Burroghia's troops, however, now penetrated to Outer Corvo, halting the Spamalkan rescue party, killing a third of their number, and in turn seizing the cargo. Burroghia now learned that the Spamalkan 7th Fleet, with the Madre de Deus, San Bernando, Buen Admiral, and San Christophoro had departed from Cadiz. Determined to intercept and destroy this force before it reached Bogota, he now determined to secure the garrisons in the vicinity of San Domingo before making his move. July 1792 would witness the Laurasian seizure (with Portugallian support) of the Spamalkan strongholds of Cienfugeos (June 29-July 3); Holguin (July 5); La Vega (July 8-11); Higuey (July 16-19); Guantanamo (July 22); Manzanillo (July 24-26); and La Romana (July 27). By the end of July, 1792, Admiral Burroghia was fully prepared to intercept the Spamalkan force; his Spamalkan opponent, Admiral de Bazan, had made a grave miscalculation by directing his forces to proceed in the vicinity of Corvo and Cartamangua, confident that his forces would be able to brush aside all Laurasian thrusts. This mistake would soon become apparent. In that same month (July 1792), Prince Maurice of Nassau destroyed a superior Spamalkan force under Parma in the Battle of Naarden (July 5-8). By the end of the month, Durthian-Laurasian forces had secured control of the Spamalkan strongholds of Nivelles, Hardenberg, and Tournai, thereby cutting deep into Spamalkan supply lines. Parma's counteroffensives against Breda, Axel, and Devanter (July 22-August 2, 1792), ended in failure.
  • July 27-
    • By July 1792, the military and political situation of the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth was in dire straits. In spite of the efforts of King Stanis Vorrust and his Commissions of Foreign Affairs and Defense, the Commonwealth's military resources could not be mobilized effectively for action against the Laurasian Empire. The Targowica Confederates, who now controlled Hrodna, Masty, and Asimany, continued to harry the government's supply lines. Although they were not in direct combat with the Commonwealth's military forces (because of their lack of offensive power), they nevertheless provided valuable intelligence and communications information to the Imperial General Headquarters on Laurasia Prime and to the Empire's commanders in the field. Following the fall of Siluai, advanced through Masty and Iuje towards Grodno. Grodno was one of the most important star systems in the Great Tesmanian Cloud, with a population of nearly ten billion by the late eighteenth century. It was, however, weakly defended, and the Imperial Intelligence Agency had provoked major tensions on the world against the King and his subordinates. On July 5, 1792, the Battle of Grodno occurred, with General Norria's subordinates, Generals Kossaria and Dologruvkius, launching a series of coordinated assaults against Dejanican positions in the star system. The commander of the Garrison of Grodno, Dejanican General Kanzes von Meriz, attempted to fight off the Laurasian landings, but his efforts proved to be in vain. By the end of the day, Grodno was in the possession of the Laurasian Empire. By July 10, Laurasian troops had also secured Samharon, Karelicy, and Voronava, establishing a direct communications and transit line with the Targowica Confederation. In the meantime, on July 3, Prince Lubormiskia, who had sympathies for the aims of the Targowica Confederation, and had come increasingly into conflict with the King and with Prince Poniatowskia, announced his defection to the Confederation and to the Laurasian Empire. He now handed over control of the Dejanican strongholds of Kamanaria, Samanchyn, and Khlmeneystia to the Empire's military forces. The King quickly dismissed him from his military command and labeled him a traitor, but this did nothing to stem the renewed momentum gained by Laurasian forces. On July 7, General Kosciusko fought a delaying battle with the Laurasians at Wlodzimierz. Although he managed to destroy nearly a third of the Laurasian starfighters, and to disable several Laurasian frigates, Kosciusko was ultimately forced to retreat when Lord Greysius's automated transports disrupted the momentum of the Dejanican lines. Poniatowskia continued his retreat to the Bug Straits, surrendering Lida, Ostroh, Rine, and Korets to the Laurasian advance. On July 13, Major-General Dunaria captured a Dejanican convoy at Anne's Shaft, penetrating from the Great Wormhole to the outskirts of Krakow and Chocim.
    • Then on July 18, Lord Greysius reached Dubienka; within a few hours, his forces had overran the world's positions and were penetrating to the Outer Dubranian Highway. Koscisuzko, however, unleashed his mobile corps and troopers from Dubienka's Moon, repelling Laurasian assaults against the Moon Fortresses and landing on Northern Dubienka, forcing Greysius to halt his offensives at the outskirts of the star system. The Laurasians launched several frontal offensives against Dubienka's Moon, attempting to penetrate its shields with a heavy turbocannon and artillery bombardment. Kosicuszko's defenses, however, held, and more than 30,000 Laurasian military personnel were killed during the attempted bombardment. Three Laurasian frigates were destroyed, and ten of their corvettes were seriously damaged by Dejanican starfighters and defensive fire. By the end of the day, Greysius was forced to call off the offensive, with his forces now retreating from the Dubienka star system. Kosciusko, however, was forced to abandon the stronghold and to retreat towards Chelm (in the Amulak Spiral) in order to maintain his supply lines. In spite of this failure at Dubienka, Laurasian forces continued to make gains. On the same day of the Battle of Dubienka, Bialystok capitulated to General Norria, who thereby penetrated into Greater Dejanica from the Galactic Void. Five days later, Brest in Belarania fell to the Lord Dologruvkius, thereby virtually completing the subjugation of the Tesmanian Voivodeships to Laurasian military occupation. On July 24, 1792, however, Lord Dologruvkius was defeated in the Battle of Krezmen-Wies, thereby preventing an offensive towards Dejanica Minor and into Lower Pomerania. Despite this reverse, however, the Empire's forces were pressing ever closer to Dejanica Major. By this point, however, King Stanis Vorrust, who believed that he could reach a diplomatic settlement with the Laurasian Empire, had begun considering a military ceasefire. He overrode the protests of Prince Poniatowskia and General Kosciusko, who still considered the war to be open and had planned on uniting the Dejanican forces for a push against the Laurasian armadas. Kosciusko had even proposed that negotiations be conducted with the Holy Spamalkan Empire, in the hopes of obtaining the assistance of Aurelia's enemy, Philicus I, against her in the Commonwealth. On July 26, the day that a Laurasian assault against Markusow was repelled by Prince Poniatowskia, the King sent a formal request for a ceasefire to the Imperial Laurasian Government. Empress Aurelia, when she learned of the Dejanican request, was sent into a mood of elation.
    • The Empress was then at the Royal Palace of Horacia, and was on the verge of embarking for her progress that year (to the Arachosian and Vectorian Provinces in the Southern Galactic Borderlands). She immediately ordered Lord Buchamia to accept the Dejanican armistice request, but only on the condition that the King formally join the Targowica Confederation and renounce his adherence to the Dejanican Constitution of 1791. Stanis Vorrust, when he learned of this condition, attempted to beg the Empress of Laurasia to reconsider, even offering to abdicate his crown in favor of one of her courtiers (such as the Earl of Estatius). The Empress refused, and demanded that he adhere to her demands. With no choice left to him, Stanis Vorrust submitted during the late hours of July 27, 1792. Two days later, the Permenant Council, having been assured by Ambassador Bulgania (who had returned to his post on Dejanica Major two days earlier), that there would be no territorial changes, formally ratified the armistice request. Prince Poniatowskia and General Kosicusko, who continued to protest at the decisions being made, were ordered to lay down their armsw and to hold a formal conference with the Lord Greysius and General Norria at Rawa. On August 5, 1792, the Terms of Rawa were signed, thereby terminating the War in Defense of the Constitution (as the nearly three-month conflict had become known). Four days later, the Dejanican military commanders returned to Dejanica. On August 14, 1792, the Targowica Confederation's chief magnates, including Princes Branickia and Potockia, arrived on Dejanica. With the assistance of Ambassador Bulgania, they now assumed the chairmanship of the Permenant Council, and were permitted to exercise "temporary" executive authority until the arrangements of the Cardinal Laws and 1775 Dejanican Constitution could be formally restored. The Constitution of 1791 was effectively declared inert; this ad hoc state of affairs in the Commonwealth would continue for more than a year. By September 1792, Laurasian forces will have occupied Dejanica Major and the other chief strongholds of Greater Dejanica, Little Dejanica, and Amulak Lithuania.
  • August 3-On August 3, 1792, Admiral Burroghia received word that scouting probes had identified the location of Admiral de Bazan's convoy at Corvo Midpoint, which was located ten light years to the east of the Corvo star system. Burroghia, who already had his chief warships and armored corps stationed in the vicinity of the star system, now advanced rapidly against the Spamalkan positions, intent on using the element of surprise to overwhelm their positions. By 12:00 P.M. Galactic Standard Time, Burroghia had launched a flanking maneuver against Admiral de Bazan's convoy, with the Madre de Deus being surrounded by the Laurasian ships IMS Foresight, Golden Dragon, and Prudentia. Although the Laurasian destroyer IMS Dailaria was seriously damaged by Spamalkan corvettes and forced to retire from the battle, Burroghia nevertheless gained the advantage. By 3:00 P.M. Galactic Standard Time, the San Bernando and San Christophoro had both been destroyed by a series of Laurasian automated transport attacks; two hours later, Imperial Marines overwhelmed the defenses of Buen Admiral, and by 10:00 P.M., the Madre de Deus had been boarded and forced to surrender. Burroghia spared the lives of Captain Fernano de Menorca and the rest of his crew, commending them for their bravery in the thick of battle. Admiral de Bazan himself managed to flee on his starfighter, and was forced to retire to Cadiz, having lost over 40% of his initial convoy. On August 9, the Imperial General Headquarters ordered Burroghia to transport the captured Spamalkan vessels back to the Empire. Burroghia departed from Cabiona two days later and proceeded quickly across the Galactic Void. His forces had impounded nearly €1.7 quadmillion dataries worth of Spamalkan assets and goods, and had secured a allied breachead in the Cubian and Puerto Rican Sectors of the Colonial Territories.
  • August 12-
    • By August 1792, the Empress's attitude towards Sir Walterius Raleghia, although still one of anger, had mellowed due to "intervening circumstances". These circumstances were related to the arrival of the captured Spamalkan convoys at Charasia. Raleghia had, from the time of his initial imprisonment, continued to beg for mercy from the Empress for his "unlawful" marriage with Lady Aurelia Thorckmortonia. On July 1, informed of Aurelia's impending move to Horacia, he sent a lengthy communique to Secretary Cecilis. In this communique, Raleghia that "My heart was never broken until this day that I hear the Empress having embarked from here so far off, whom I have followed so many years with so great love and desire in so many journeys, and am now left behind in a dark prison all alone. While she was yet at hand, so that I might hear of her once in two or three days, my sorrows were less, but even now, my heart is cast into the depths of misery. I that was satisifed to behold her riding like Cliethus, riding like Diana, walking like Aphrodite, the gentle wind blowing her fair hair about her pure cheeks like a nymph; sometimes sitting in the shade like a goddess, sometimes singing like a angel, sometimes playing like Orpheus. Behold the sorrow of this universe! One error has deprived me of all. She is gone in whom I trusted, and for me has not one thought of mercy." Later, learning that the Empress would be proceeding by the Fortress of Baureux, he begged the Lieutenant, his cousin Sir Geogrius Carania, to bring him out to the public stockades so that he could see her and possibly attract her attention, but the Lieutenant refused. Carania later reported to the Empress that Raleghia tried to kill himself at this point, and was only prevented from doing so by a Fortress guard, who wrenched a concealed dagger from his hand at injury to himself. Carania also told Aurelia that Raleghia's mind was troubled by thoughts of his unfaithfulness. Until August, however, the Empress was unmoved.
    • Thus, it was on August 12, 1792, that Admiral Burroghia arrived at Charasia with his captured Spamalkan convoy. Disorder soon broke out at the shipyards and on Charasia's moons, as the inhabitants went amock at the thought of obtaining access to the seized treasures. Empress Aurelia, determined to maintain order, and to prevent the outbreak of rebellion, agreed to release Raleghia, aware that his reputation among the Imperial Laurasian Navy would serve to chasten the star system's population. Raleghia arrived at Charasia two days after his release, and successfully managed the transfer of the convoy goods and currency to the Imperial Treasury. The Empress, hearing of his success at this, allowed Raleghia to remain at liberty, but barred him from the Imperial Court. On August 15, 1792, she also deprived him of his position as Captain of the Gentleman Penisioners (he was replaced wih Sir Antigonus Besteria) and revoked all loans and grants which had been given to him during the preceding four years. The Empress's overall anger remained high, and for the next five years, Raleghia would be obliged to remain at Sherbornian Estate on Aquilionia, which the Empress had granted him in January 1791. His wife, now Lady Aurelia Raleghia, would not be released from the Fortress until December 15, 1792; she quickly joined him on Aquilionia and proved to be a domineering wife. The fall of Raleghia from imperial favor inspired much happiness and rejoicing among the magnates and notables of the Imperial Court. The Earl of Estatius, who had long considered Raleghia to be one of his greatest rivals, was among the many who now gloated over the former favorite's fall.
  • August 15-November 3-
    • On August 15, 1792, the Empress Aurelia and the Imperial Court officially departed from the Royal Palace of Horacia in order to officially commence the imperial progress of 1792. The previous year, upon her return from the Rasdallan Provinces, the Empress had announced her intention to progress to the Arachosian and Vectorian Provinces. These regions, once the homeland region for the Arachosian Empire, had been conquered during the early century by Aurelia's grandfather and father, Neuchrus I and Antigonus III. From Horacia, the Empress paid brief visits to Cinnamon, Pandy, Louza, Bartello, Theresa, Donald, John, Levinston, Zennethia, Nosauria, Zutagia, Zesia, Denver, and the systems of the lower Horacian Run (August 16-22, 1792). By August 23, the Imperial Court had reached the Western Herglite Trade Route, which spanned for nearly thirty-five thousand light years from Herglia Minor in the Central Core to Roger Major, intersecting with the Metallasian Highway in the heart of the Galactic Borderlands. It was by this means that the Imperial Court rapidly progressed into the Galactic Borderlands. Upon reaching Roger Major, the Court transferred to the Metallasian Highway, traveling another 35,000 light years to the Southern Galactic Borderlands. The Empress reached Aprilla (August 25, 1792), touring the Streams of Hospitality and residing at Sudlarian Chests, which had been constructed by King Offa the Great of Marcia in 1192-96. The residence possessed more than two thousand rooms and was the largest surviving of the residences of the Amelianian monarchs. From Aprilla, the Imperial Court visited Verthegesso (August 26-27) and then, on August 29, reached the outskirts of the Gate Solarian Cluster. The Cluster, which had once been one of the chief territories of the Arachosian Empire, and was among the most densely populated globular clusters in the Caladarian Galaxy, possessed many worlds of historical, strategic, and cultural importance. Empress Aurelia first visited Ompus Septimia (August 29-September 3, 1792), where, in 342, Tikhara and Sargon the Conqueror's mother, Jezebel, had been decisively defeated by Tudiya and Naradius during the Wars of the Arachosian Diadochi. The Imperial Laurasian Navy staged a simulation of the Battle of Ompus Septimia, with Arachosian, Vectorian, Kalbachan, and Rogerian conscripts donning the garb and armor of soldiers and sailors of the Arachosian Empire, and with actors playing the roles of the major commanders and diadochi.
    • The Empress was much amused by this spectacle, and by the efforts of the Governor of Ompus Septimia, Sir Tiridates Meresies (a Laurasian of Arachosian descent), to ensure the historicity of the simulation. She then toured the Palace of Gorias and the grounds of the Arachosian Treasure Vaults, which had once been one of the chief reserve repositories for the Arachso-Supreman Empire. Following her departure from Ompus Septimia, the Empress visited Telos IV (September 5); Arthost (Septermber 6-7); Sargossia (the namesake world of Sargon the Conqueror, September 8-10); Akhania (September 12); and Lellwehr (September 14). The Empress's fifty-ninth birthday, which occurred during her visit to Sargossia, was celebrated with a parade of Arachosian Martial Warriors conducted by the municipal and planetary authorities of Sargossia; by a series of jousts and athletic tournaments in the Arachosian Halls of the Kill; and by a formal salute by the Arachosian Assembly of Legates, one of the largest non-Laurasian noble associations in the Empire. On September 17, the Imperial Court reached Kennedy, which had been colonized in 1118 by Amelianian King Cearl of Marcia. The Empress was impressed by the Kennedy Academy of the Arts, which had been established by the famed art collector and business patron Sir Robah Konnaugh of Meredith (1588-1669) in 1643. The Academy possessed more than 500,000 individual works of art, and had been bequeathed to the Imperial Ministry of Culture and Communications by Sir Konnaugh's widow, Rasria, upon her death in 1695.
    • The Empress was able to observe the works of such renowned artists as the Arachosian Gunthes (299-385), who had been the chief court artist for Sargon the Conqueror and then the first Arachso-Supreman Emperor, Tudiya; Yeseverenes (3rd century BH), known for his incorporation of natural elements into his works; Rembrandt (1606-1669), the most renowned immigrant artist in the history of the Caladarian Galaxy (from Durthia); Phidias (178-238), a renowned Laurasian sculptor of the First Laurasian Space Age; Orphelius (7th century BH); and Tay-Nagh (796-876), who served as Chief of the Artistry and Architectural Corps under Genghis Khan and his son Ogedei. The Empress departed from Kennedy two days later and visited the Amelianian colonies of Jadaurine, Kylnatha, and Essie in quick succession (September 19-24, 1792). On September 26, the Empress visited Sir Antiochus Harringtia at his private estate on Corupedia, Kelstonian House. By now, she had forgiven her godson for his publication and circulation of Orlando Furioso; he presented her with a beautifully bound copy of his complete translation of Ariosto's poems. From Corupedia (where the Empress had visited the Hives of Malar), the Imperial Court proceeded through the Sargossia Asteroid Belts (September 27); Dolmes (September 28-October 2); Vector Minor (October 3); Ashurna's Star (October 4); Mercia (October 6); Nagi-raka (October 7-8); and Francia (October 11). On October 14, 1792, the Imperial Court reached Vector Prime, once a throne world for the Arachosian Empire, Arachaso-Supreman Empire, and Amelianian Kingdom of Marcia. This had also been the capital world of the Vectorian Empire, which had been subdued by the Laurasian Empire in 1711 (during the early years of the reign of Aurelia's father, Antigonus III).
    • With a population of over 72 billion, Vector Prime was the 6th most populous system in the Galactic Borderlands. By 1792, the star system had been under the rule of the Empire for eight decades, and, regardless of certain nationalist rumblings, had become adjusted to the jurisdiction of the Imperial Laurasian Government. The Empress was received by the Arachosian Houses of the Nobility and by the star system's authorities in a grand ceremony at the Vectorian Bases, and from there proceeded slowly into the inner star system. The Empress then visited Vishnu's Moon and the Asteroids of Plieser, before descending into the world and to Asad City. The marvels of Asad City, and of the world in general, astounded the Imperial Court. The Empress declared to Estatius and Oxfadia (who were both escorting her on this journey), that such a city "was the realm of lords of martial valor." During the next four days, the Imperial Court stayed at the Himmalian Palace, which had been constructed by Goria's son, Ashurbanipal, in 424-27. It had served as the chief residence of the Vectorian Emperors prior to 1711. The Empress attended a session of the Vectorian Honorary Council of the Houses; visited the Tombs of Salaah, the Der-Elaam Mortuary, and the Courts of Sly Mirth; and observed a Vectorian competition of spears in the Arena of Sargon. When the Imperial Court departed on October 18, the Empress received a honorary salute from her Vectorian subjects in Asad City, who launched Arachosian flares to mark the Court's departure. From Vector Prime, the Empress visited Victoriae, where Gorias had annhiliated the Torfian forces under King Hulaugh in 382. Her Majesty visited the ruins of the Martial War Memorial and expressed her respect for the man who had ended "such a grevious threat to the stability and security of the Caladarian Galaxy."
    • From Victoriae, the Empress visited Camarania (October 22-24), before reaching Arachosia Prime the following day. With a population of 125 billion, Arachosia Prime was the most populous and important system in the Galactic Borderlands, and the tenth-most populous in the Empire (after Laurasia Prime, Homidinia Major, Istantius, Kimania, Hunt Major, Venasia Prime, Samarkand, Goldaria, and Robert). The Empress was welcomed by a vast assemblage of her Arachosian, Amelianian, and Vectorian subjects at the Gateways to Arachosia Prime. She visited the Straits of Antrim, the Five Pillars of the Arachosian Gods, the Comets of Tidanus, and Arachosia Prime's moons (Sargon the Great, Shamashi-Aadad the Discoverer, Exa'lard, and the Stations of the World) before reaching the planet itself. Upon arriving in Archalay, the Empress and her Court proceeded through the Historical Districts. They visited the Crypt of the Arachosian Sovereigns (where the Empress led a mass in honor of the souls of Sargon the Conqueror and his successors), the Mausoleum of Sargon the Conqueror (where his bones had been restored following their rediscovery at Claa in 1718, to which they had been dumped by Timur the Devastator), the Monument of the Arachosian Achievements, the Gallery of the Great Warriors, and the Crypt of the Marcian Kings, before reaching the Marcian Royal Palace. Here, she stayed during the next six days, making renewed visits to the above-mentioned sites and also to the Great Arachosian Temple of the Gods (the third incarnation, which had been constructed by Vectorian Emperor Ashurna in 1618-22); the Arachosian Classical Academy of War (which had been established in 1625 and rechartered as a Imperial Naval Academy in 1721); and the University of Arachosia Prime (established by Demetrius II in 1748).
    • The Empress's visit to the University of Arachosia Prime was particularly memorable. She replied in High Laurasian, Arachosian, and Vectorian to the loyal speeches made by the diverse scholars and professionals of the University; watched the presentations of honorary degrees by the Chancellor of the University, the Arachosian Sir Isharanna Marhapia; and attended debates, sermons, lectures, dinners, and two tragedies of the renowned Arachosian lyricist and playwright Sennacherib Carib (483-556), whose life witnessed the fall of the successor-states to Sargon the Conqueror's Empire. The two tragedies in question were The Sad Fates and The Death of Gods, both of whom dealt, in a symbolic form, with the decline and fall of the Arachosian succession. On the final day of her visit to Arachosia Prime (November 1, 1792), she delivered a parting address to the University scholars and facility personally, stating that "If I had a thousand tongues instead of one, I would not be able to express my thanks." The Court now toured the Galactic Barrier, visiting the outpost worlds of Harna (November 1); Arapkhaka (November 2-4); Carchemish (November 6); Ur (November 8); and Uruk (November 9) before beginning its journey back to Laurasia Prime. The Empress made a brief stop at Carina on November 11, 1792, where she stayed at Rycarian House for two days with two of her long-time servants and friends, Lord and Lady Norria. During her visit, she praised them for having been the parents of "such a victorious military commander who has subdued this Empire's enemies under our heel." In this, she was referring to their son, Lieutenant-General Sir Demetrius Norria (who would be promoted to the rank of Field-Marshal in April 1793 for his success in the War in Defense of the Constitution and in the First Laurasian-Spamalkan War). Lord Treasurer Burghley, who had been a good friend of the Norrias for many years, was also present during the visit, and whilst the Empress was having a conversation with the Norrias, his legs gave out beneath him. She quickly noticed this and ordered that a chair be brought for him to sit in. She then told Burghley and the others present that "If I have always undertaken the care of your bodies, shall I neglect your minds? Almitis forbid!" Following her departure from Carina on November 13, the Empress proceeded direct to Laurasia Prime, finally arriving at her capital world a day later.
  • October 5-
    • Whilst the Empress Aurelia and the Imperial Court were on progress to the Arachosian and Vectorian Provinces, the Laurasian Empire's forces, in conjunction with its Portugallian and Durthian allies, continued to make further gains in the Colonial Territories and in the Southern Durthian Duchies. Admiral Burroghia, who had gained much prominence throughout the Empire for his victories over Bazan and his disruption of Spamalkan commercial lanes, became involved, on August 16, 1792, in a dispute with the Imperial General Headquarters. Lord Howardis of Effinga, who had issued detailed instructions concerning naval operations in the Cuban and Puerto Rican Sectors, now became convinced that a direct offensive against Caraccas and Bogota would be in order, thereby entrenching allied forces in the heart of the Spamalkan Main. Burroghia however, who considered himself to be insufficiently "rewarded" for his efforts in the Colonial Territories, and was eager for military glory and recognition of his own, pushed plans for an offensive against the de la Plata and the Central Peruvian Colonies, determined to gain access to the wealthy Spamalkan mining colonies at Lima, Quito, Paramaribo, and Manchu Pizzu. Howardis, however, was backed by the Empress and the Privy Council, who did not wish to launch into rash expeditions which would overextend allied supply lines and give Philicus the opportunity to launch a major counteroffensive. Therefore, when Howardis ordered Burroghia to begin preparing for departure back to San Domingo, and to take command of the forces being assembled for the moves into the Spamalkan Main, the Admiral refused. This caused a major conflict in the chain of command, which ultimately resulted, on August 21, 1792, in Burroghia being deprived of his military command and ordered to retire to his estates on Vetta. Vice-Admiral Dracius now assumed direct command of the planned offensives. Into early September, 1792, however, Laurasian and Portugallian forces suffered some reverses.
    • On August 19, 1792, Spamalkan Admiral Don Pedro de Zubiaur, who had established his command headquarters at Leticia, two hundred light-years north of Bogota, repelled a Laurasian offensive against Arauca in the Battle of the Straits of Saba. Two days later, he reconquered La Romana and Manzaillo, sending raiding expeditions as far as Cartagena, Santiago, and the Baharis Straits. On August 25, 1792, de Zubiaur encountered and destroyed a Laurasian naval convoy in the Battle of Saint Maarten, securing the stronghold from Laurasian reconnaissance expeditions. By September 3, he had stormed Ciengfuegos and Villa Clara, even raiding as far as Cape St. Vincent and impounding a number of Laurasian shield generators. Admiral Dracius, however, with support from a auxillary force commanded by Portugallian Commodore Don Luis de Santos, was able to blunt a Spamalkan move against Holguin (September 4-9, 1792). By September 14, Dracius had reconquered La Romana, Manzaillo, and Villa Clara, thrashing a superior Spamalkan naval detachment in the Battle of Haleguin. On September 17, Commodore Santos, operating from Portugallian bases on Caeta and Camilla in the Brazillian Colonies, stormed the Spamalkan intelligence post of Skeldon. By September 22, when Dracius had destroyed a opposing Spamalkan force in the Battle of Pasto, he had also secured Bartica, Anna Regina, Parika, and Vreed en Hoop, effectively expelling Spamalkan units from the Lower Guyana Straits and into Eastern Colombiana. On September 25, Dracius and Santos, who had reunited at Aruba, smashed the Spamalkan 8th Colonial Fleet in the Battle of Riohacha. The following day, the Spamalkan colony of Cucuta, known for its agricultural goods, foodstuffs, and raw materials, surrendered to Admiral Dracius without a fight. Admiral Zubiaur now mustered his units from the garrisons of Bonaire, Saventa, and Ricon, and positioned them at Tunja, hoping to bar a further allied advance. A series of confrontations at Barranquila and Inrida (September 26-October 1, 1792), alerted Dracius to his Spamalkan counterpart's actions. He now decided to place Commodore Zubiaur's squadrons in reserve at Inrida, intending on launching the first move against Zubiaur. Dracius anticipated that, when Zubiaur came to the point of believing he had the advantage, he would release Santos into conflict and cut off the Spamalkan supply lines. This was a gamble, but it would pay off.
    • Four days later (October 5, 1792), the opposing forces clashed in the Battle of Tunja. Zubiaur managed to repel initial Laurasian moves against his front-lines; as Dracius anticipated, Zubiaur's minefields and barricades proved to be a substantial barrier to the direct assaults of his destroyers and corvettes. The Laurasian Admiral now began a feigned retreat; Zubiaur, discarding the advise of his commanders to remain at Tunja and to fortify the Amazonian Colonies, now moved out against Dracius. At this point, Santos swept behind his rear, penetrating the defenses with his mobile corvettes and frigates, and issuing a series of rapid landings on Tunja's exposed northern quadrant. Zubiaur, finding himself squashed between the opposing forces, was forced to flee; Tunja was in allied hands by the end of the day. The fall of Tunja left other Spamalkan garrisons exposed to a swift Laurasian move. By October 14, the Empire's military forces had seized Yopal, Vallepudar, Mocoa, Cali, Puerto Carreno, and San Andres, penetrating to a range of thirty-light years from Bogota. On October 16, Admiral Zubiaur launched a counteroffensive from Mitu, crushing a Laurasian convoy in the Battle of Sinju (October 17-19) and on October 24, driving into Barranquila, forcing the Laurasian garrison to flee in an ignominious fashion. Dracius, however, halted the Spamalkan moves in the Skirmish at Pereira (October 27-29, 1792), and on November 2, captured Florencia in a surprise assault, forcing Zubiaur to retreat back to Bogota. By November 10, 1792, Laurasian and Portugallian forces had occupied Bucaramanga, Ibague, and Neiva; they now held nearly two-fifths of the Spamalkan Colombiana.
  • November 24-
    • At the same time of these events in the Colonial Territories, matters had begun to shift in Franconia. By early August, 1792, the momentum of the Franconian League, and of its chief military commander, the Duke of Merceour, had come to a halt. The Imperial General Headquarters of the Laurasian Empire, which now found that it had greater flexibility in military deployments due to the end of the Fifth Laurasian-Marasharite War and the War in Defense of the Constitution, began, from July 29, to divert greater reinforcements to the Franconian theater of conflict. By August 14, 1792, Lieutenant-General Norria was once again in command of Laurasian forces in Franconia, having arrived at Orleans five days earlier. He had brought with him the 68th Imperial Fleet; the 39th, 42nd, 45th, and 59th Imperial Armies; and detachments from the 65th and 66th Imperial Fleets in the Great Tesmanian Cloud. All total, this amounted to the addition of nearly four thousand military warships and some 2.9 million personnel of the Imperial Laurasian Army to the allied strength in Franconia. The renewed Laurasian deployments now began to slowly, but surely, shift the course of affairs in Franconia. Already on August 5, 1792, King Hensios IV had obtained a decisive victory over Spamalkan Admiral Aguila and the Duke of Merceour in the Battle of Rochefort, keeping that important arsenal and base of the Franconian Royal Navy in his possession. He then repelled a series of Spamalkan-League offensives against Poitou, Orleans, Passchendale, Anglouemme, and Royan (August 6-15, 1792). On August 17, General Norria destroyed a force under the Marquis de Sable in the Battle of Hazezbrouck, driving League units from Chatellerault, Santes, and Niort.
    • By August 22, Norria had also stormed Mayenne, Mirecourt, Manche, and Chalons, pushing League units back from Orleans. Although Merceour and Sable repelled a Laurasian offensive against Caen (August 24-29, 1792), and captured a Laurasian transport group at Armentieres (September 5, 1792), they were nevertheless unable to halt the general thrust of the allied offensives. Norria moved swiftly to Montmrail, which was placed under siege by allied forces from September 8, 1792. Despite fierce resistance, the stronghold fell ten days later. On September 19, Norria captured Marc; on that same day, Prince Maurice of Nassau and General Pellhamia destroyed a Spamalkan-League force under the Duke of Parma in the Battle of Gravelines, seizing that important naval base from the Holy Spamalkan Empire. By the end of the month, by which time Douai and Rennes had both been cleared of League-Spamalkan units, Nassau had conquered the Spamalkan garrisons of Lannoy, Dahlen, Coevorden, and Kallo, penetrating to the very outskirts of Brussels, Luxembourg, and Nimburg. On October 8, 1792, Merceour suffered yet another defeat in the Battle of Valenciennes, with the King of Franconia decisively terminating the League threat to that stronghold. King Hensios then moved to Noyon, which had thus far defied his authority. Noyon was placed under siege from October 14, 1792.
    • Although General de Aguila managed to repel the first Franconian move into the star system (October 15-17) and even drove Franconian units from Gontier (October 18-24), humiliating the Prince of Conti, he was ultimately unable to prevent Noyon's fall to King Hensios on October 29, 1792. Two days later, Prince Maurice of Nassau defeated Parma yet again in the Battle of Steenwijk, securing that stronghold for the United Durthian States. On November 4, 1792, General Norria crushed Sable and the Duke of Cannes in the Battle of Soissons, forcing him to evacuate Reins. He recovered Gontier on November 9, and then combined with the Duke of Montpensier to mount an offensive against Laval and Evereux (November 11-15, 1792), which ultimately ended with a final allied victory in the Battle of Lievin, and the conquest of both strongholds. On November 17, 1792, the 34th anniversary of Laurasian Empress Aurelia's reign, Norria stormed Verdun, defeating del Aguila and Coloma through a series of decisive mobile strikes and feints. By this point, Emperor Philicus, who was alarmed by the allied advances, had ordered Admiral Zubiaur (who had himself lost out to Dracius and Portugallian Commodore Santos in the Colombiana Colonies), to Biscay. There, a Laurasian expedition under the Earl of Cumbria was attempting to resupply Bordeaux, which still remained in danger of falling to League units in Aquitane and Northern Navarra. Zubiaur, managing to parry Dracius's pursuit units at Cape St. Vincent and Bermuda, arrived at Biscay on November 22, 1792. Three days later, he managed to launch a surprise offensive against Cumbria's formations. The ensuing Battle of Biscay resulted in a victory for the Holy Spamalkan Empire, with Cumbria's flagship, the IMS Victoriana, being boarded by Spamalkan troops after its defenses were disabled. Cumbria was forced to flee on a courier, and nearly a third of his warships were destroyed or captured. As a result of this battle, Bordeaux fell to the Duke of Nantes on November 28, 1792, and allied units were expelled from Burlada and Tarfalla, posing a brief threat to Hensios's temporary capital at Pamplona. On December 4, however, Norria and Admiral Frosbisherius defeated Zubiaur in the Battle of the Count, thereby stalling the Spamalkan advances. Although Del Agila stormed Lorient (December 9, 1792), he was blunted by General Melinia in the Battle of Ambrieres (December 14), retaining the allied hold over Stephani and Julianne. By the end of December, 1792, allied forces had definitively secured Poitiers, Orleans, and Lower Parri from League-Spamalkan offensives, and were preparing for a renewed move into Brittany, Normandy, and the Pale of Calais. This period also witnessed a severe blow for Spamalkan Emperor Philicus and his ambitions to reconquer the Durthian Duchies. Following his humiliating defeat to Prince Maurice of Nassau in the Battle of Steenwijk, the Duke of Parma entered a rapid, and alarming decline in health.
    • Throughout the early weeks of November, 1792, the Duke complained of nausea, fatigue, physical weakness, and chronic bowel movements. By November 18, 1792, his condition had deteriorated to the extent that Emperor Philicus, who still held some regard for Parma's abilities, and regarded him as the only one capable of halting future Durthian offensives, ordered for Parma to be placed under medical treatment at Arras. Parma, who had over the course of the year petitioned constantly to be retired to return to his dukedom and to resign from his position as Supreme Governor of the Durthian Duchies, was subjected to intensive treatments by Spamalkan and Flemish physicians. In spite of these efforts, however, his decline continued. On November 26, the Duke fell into a coma from which he never emerged. Six days later, on December 3, 1792, he died at the age of only forty-seven. Parma's death came as a severe blow to Spamalkan military plans and hopes in the Durthian Duchies. Until shortly before his final decline, Parma had been planning for a series of counteroffensives to recover Gravelines, Maastricht, Breda, Bergen op Zoom, Groningen, Devanter, and other strongholds which had fallen into the hands of Prince Maurice and his Laurasian allies during the preceding four years. His death, however, brought an abrupt end to this scheme. Emperor Philicus received word of his chief military commander's death with much lamentations, declaring that his father and great-grandfather would be appalled to see as to where the Spamalkan dominions had descended, and that Parma, such a loyal servant, had been stricken down by the unfortunate chances of fate.
    • The reaction of the allies to the death of their chief enemy, however, was very different. Prince Maurice of Nassau, in a speech to the States-General on December 7, declared that Parma's death relieved the United Durthian States of a great challenge, and that they would now push on forward, victoriously, until all Spamalkan units had been expelled from Durthian territory. Empress Aurelia of Laurasia, still holding memories of how Parma had been involved with the activities of the Spamalkan Armada back in 1788, and how he had been one of the chief supporters of conspiracy against her throne, reacted with some relief when learning of his death. The Empress told Lord Treasurer Burghley that Parma's death now relieved her Empire and allies of such a great adversary, and that the Spamalkans would not be able to present a unified front. Parma was buried on Castro on December 14; two days later, Emperor Philicus appointed the Pruthian General Ernest von Mansfield, who had been one of Parma's loyal subordinates, as the new Supreme Governor of the Durthian Duchies and as commander-in-chief of Spamalkan forces in that theater. Mansfield would serve in the position for nearly two years.
  • December 17-
    • By December 1792, the political situation in the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth had fallen further into shambles. From the time of their assumption of power in August 1792, the magnates of the Targowica Confederation had proven themselves to be arrogant, incompetent, and divided among themselves. Potockia and Branickia in particular, who had differing views about what course the Commonwealth should take, and who had long been rivals for political power and influence, argued vehemently. Potockia, who believed that the Constitution of 1791 was too "radical" and had pushed things too far, nevertheless still believed that a reform of the Dejanican Diet was essential to strengthen the Commonwealth against its foreign enemies. He sought to abolish the liberum veto; to reform the procedures of Diet legislation, election, and discipline; and to allow the Diet greater authority over commerical and financial concerns in the Commonwealth government. Potockia also sought to confirm the privileges granted to the Commonwealth's municipalties and planetary governments the previous year, and to allow the King greater say in the introduction and enforcement of laws. Branickia, on the other hand, wished for an absolute restoration of the Commonwealth's pre-1791 constitutional state. He sought to confirm all of the Cardinal Laws; to preserve the liberum veto and the right to confederation against all intrusions; and to eliminate the privileges granted to commoners and the local governments. Branickia also sought reappointment to his old position as Grand Hetman of the Commonwealth, and to gain a firm assurance from the Imperial Laurasian Government for the Commonwealth's ancient constitutional form and its territorial intergity.
    • The Empress of Laurasia, however, their erstwhile ally, was not so willing. By November 1792, the Commonwealth had experienced outbursts of civil unrest on Brest, Praga, Bialystok, Chochim, Dejanica Major, Thorn, Wronclaw, Vilno, Kaunas, Lublin, and Katowice, directed against both the Targowica Confederation and against the Laurasian Empire's occupying forces. The Diet, on its part, remained in abeyance, and Branickia alienated the planetary elites through exacting traditional levies and grants of homage from them. Empress Aurelia, who realized that the Targowica Confederation was not the means to control Dejanica (for she viewed excessive anarchy as too-damaging to Laurasia's position and influence), now came to the conclusion that a second partition was necessary to address the situation. On November 18, 1792, she told Lord Treasurer Burghley that "this Commonwealth, a cancerous infestation in extra-galactic civilization, needs to be pared down to size so that it will not press on the other powers." She also found foreign affairs to her favor. By then, Pruthia and Austarlia had suffered numerous defeats against Haxonia and Vendragia. On September 20, 1792, a Vendragian force under the Duke of Cumberland destroyed a Pruthian-Austarlian force under the Duke of Brunswick in the Battle of Valmy. By the following month, Haxonian forces under the command of the Duke de Clare had stormed Savoy, Nice, and Bologna, repelling Austarlian units from the Venetian Provinces and into Dalmatia. By November 6, the Pruthian systems of Mainz, Frankfurtia, and Jemappes had fallen to superior Vendragian units, who were now pressing against Cleves, Gulderland, and the Pruthian Westphalian Colonies. Pruthian Emperor A'rua III, who was fully engaged in the war therefore, was thus willing to make a compromise with the Empress of Laurasia. He now abandoned all obligations towards Dejanica, formally withdrawing from the Treaty of Warsaw (November 21, 1792). Five days later, the Imperial Ministry of Foreign Affairs, acting on Empress Aurelia's instructions, sent an communique to its Pruthian counterpart. In this communique, the Imperial Laurasian Government proposed for a conference in Christiania, Laurasia Prime, in order to conclude a treaty for a "second partition of the territories of the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth".
    • The Empress herself then sent a further communique, addressed directly to A'rua III, assuring him that Pruthia would be able to acquire Greater Dejanica, the remainder of Dejanican Pomerania, Torun, and Danzig. A'rua responded positively to this, and on December 5, 1792, agreed to a diplomatic conference between the two governments over Dejanica. On December 17, 1792, delegations from the Imperial Laurasian and Pruthian Governments convened at the Diplomatic Palace in Christiania, in order to craft the second treaty of partition. The Empress of Laurasia was represented by Secretary Cecilis, Minister of Foreign Affairs Lord Buchamia, Lord Howardis of Effinga, Sir Willanius Caranius, Lieutenant-General the Lord Surovius of Rymnik (who had experienced poor health throughout much of the year and had therefore been unable to serve in either Franconia or the Colonial Territories), and the ailing Vice-Chamberlain, Lord Tacitus Knollysis of Azatha II. The Emperor of Pruthia was represented by the Pruthian Ambassador Count Rohann von Versgrift; the Pruthian Secretary of Finance, Count Johann Christoph von Wollner; Count Carl von Halter of Darmstardt; and Pruthian Field-Marshal the Lord Siegreven. Negotiations would continue, in absolute secrecy, for more than a month, before the final treaty would be concluded. As the year 1792 concluded, the Laurasian Empire was at peace with Marasharita; had made further gains against the Holy Spamalkan Empire; and was on the verge of expanding further at the expense of the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

1793Edit

  • January 1-
    • 1793, the 93rd year of the eighteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire's military and political position considerably strengthened, as compared to a year earlier. The conclusion of the Treaty of Jassy, which had terminated the Fifth Laurasian-Marasharite War, had resulted in the Empire acquiring the Marasharite Ochanian and Gateway Provinces (that is, all of the remaining Marasharite territories in the Great Tesmanian Cloud). More than 700,000 star systems with a population of over two trillion inhabitants had now come under the governance of the Imperial Laurasian Government. The Empire now shared a 40,000-light year boundary with the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth (including its protectorate, the Dejanican Duchy of Northania and Semigallia), and controlled the Peldavian Gateways, Ochanian Wormhole, and the Trans-Void Highway, thereby allowing for Laurasian influence to penetrate more into the Great Amulak Spiral then it ever had before. The Marasharites had also conferred final recognition of the annexation of the Haynsian Despotate, which greatly relieved the Empress. Empress Aurelia, whose jurisdiction now extended over sixty-eight million star systems throughout the Caladarian Galaxy, Angelina Spiral, and Great Tesmanian Cloud, had now been confirmed, without a doubt, as the most powerful sovereign of extra-galactic civilization. The Laurasian Empire was now the largest, most populous, and most extensive of any of the galactic powers. Other concerns, however, continued to hold the attention of the Empress and of the Imperial Privy Council. The War in Defense of the Constitution, which had lasted for only a little more than two months, had resulted in the consolidation of Laurasian influence over political and economic affairs in the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth; effectively dismantled the Constitution of May 3, 1791; and left the Commonwealth fully exposed to the predations of its greedy, more powerful neighbors. Indeed, the conference between the delegations of the Imperial Laurasian and Pruthian Governments, concerning a second partition of the Commonwealth's territories between the two powers, was still ongoing at the commencement of the new year.
    • As regards to the First Spamalkan War, Laurasian forces, in conjunction with those of the Empire's allies Franconia, Durthia, and Portugallia, had made further gains against the Holy Spamalkan Empire during the course of the preceding year. The Spamalkan Spice Colonies and the Colombiana Territories were largely under the control of allied forces. Lieutenant-General Sir Demetrius Norria, in command of the Laurasian forces in the Serene Kingdom of Franconia, had gradually begun turning the tide of the military conflict in favor of King Hensios IV and the Franconian Royal Government. Although the Franconian League and its Spamalkan allies continued to dominate Brittany, Normandy, and the Pale of Calais, they no longer posed a serious threat to Poitiers and Orleans, with the King of Franconia now obtaining more and more support from his subjects. Many now considered the Franconian League to be threatening to the Kingdom's stability and prosperity. In Durthia, Prince Maurice of Nassau had secured Durthian supply lines and penetrated deep into the Southern Durthian Duchies, with his forces entrenched across much of Brabant and Flanders. The death of the Duke of Parma the previous month had removed Nassau's most formidable and effective enemy. As a result, this year would see Nassau's Durthian forces, in conjunction with its Laurasian allies, make further progress against the Holy Spamalkan Empire's garrisons and forces in the Southern Durthian Duchies. In her New Year's proclamation (January 1, 1793), Empress Aurelia declared that she would "seek to maintain, with the help of the Lord Almitis, this Empire's rightful dominion over its new found conquests and to continue to defeat the efforts of our mortal enemies to undermine our prosperity and stability."
  • January 23-
    • On January 23, 1793, after over a month of negotiations, the Treaty of Christiania was signed by the delegations of the Laurasian and Autocratic Pruthian Empires. This treaty, which by the agreement of the two governments was to remain secret until its official release, now constituted what became known as the Second Partition of Dejanica. Twenty-one years after the two powers had agreed on the first partition of the Commonwealth's territories, they once again agreed to divide Dejanican territories between them. In the preamble to the Treaty, it was declared that the "political instability in the Commonwealth's territories, and the threat posed by such instability to the other powers of extra-galactic civilization, requires for a solution which will satisfy all and will serve to restrain the forces of rebellion and dissent." Consequently, the Treaty stated, it was necessary for the Commonwealth's outlying territories to be disposed of, so as to "reduce the tensions ongoing against the Dejanican government and to relieve it of territories which pose a serious financial, military, and diplomatic burden." By the terms of this agreement, the Autocratic Pruthian Empire acquired, by far, the lesser portion of territory and population once again. However, these territories were of great strategic importance to Pruthian Emperor A'rua III and would serve to consolidate the Pruthian Empire's rule over Ducal Pruthia, Pomerania, and the former territories of Dejanican Pruthia. Pruthia therefore now received the star systems of Danzig and Torun, where it had enjoyed free-trade and transit privileges for two decades; Greater Dejanica, including the Voivodeships of Gniezno, Poznan, Sieradz, Kalisz, Plock, Brezc Kujwaski, Inowroclaw, Rawa, and the Dobryzn Colonies; and parts of Lesser Dejanica, including Bedzin, Blahia, and Bochinia (from the Krakow Voivodeship), Mlawa, Grozec, and Liw (from the Masovian Voivodeship). All total, the Autocratic Pruthian Empire acquired 58,000 star systems with a population of nearly two hundred billion inhabitants. The Laurasian Empire, on its part, was now to receive the majority of the Ukranian and Belaranian Provinces in the Great Tesmanian Cloud. To it fell the territories belonging to the Voivodeships of Kiev, Braclaw, Podolia, and Minsk, as well as Braslau, Utena, Smarhon, Kreva, and Vyzuonos (Vilinus Voivodeship); Slutsk and Mir (Nowogrodek Voivodeship); Pinsk, Wolcyzn, and Dubroyvistya (Brest Litovsk Voivodeship); and Volymdr (Volhynian Voivodeship).
    • Among the systems, disputed in the previous year during the War in Defense of the Constitution, to come into the possession of the Laurasian Empire were Brovary, Borospil, Fastiv, Bila Tserevka, Kaniev, Drabiev, Smila, Talne, Uman, Zhaskiv, Kolotchen, Maltyn, Ingalina, and Birzai, among others. All total, the Laurasian Empire acquired more than 150,000 star systems with a population of over 350 billion. As a result of the Treaty of Christiania, and of the subsequent Grodno Diet (which would occur later on in this year), the Empress Aurelia will have extended her authority over three-fourths of the Great Tesmanian Cloud. After November 1793, only the Dejanican Duchy of Northania and Semigallia, Lithuania, and Tesmanian Dejanica would remain outside of the Empire's jurisdiction, confined to the northeastern portions of the Great Tesmanian Cloud. The Empress herself, when she was informed by Lord Treasurer Burghley of the Treaty's successful conclusion, declared with glee that it would only be a matter of time before the Commonwealth succumbed completely to the power and influence of its neighboring states. As per the agreement, however, the Treaty of Partition was not yet publicly revealed, with the Empress, in February and March 1793, issuing a series of instructions to Field-Marshal Lord Greysius's forces in the Commonwealth to retire from the star systems allocated to Pruthia, and to make preparations for the formal occupation of the Tesmanian Provinces of Belarania and Ukraine by the Empire. A'rua III, on his part, stationed units at Konigsberg, Elbing, Balbork, Bromberg, Ortelsburg, Johannesburg, Lyck, and Marienburg in order to prepare for a formal move into the Commonwealth's territories. In the meantime, events continued to proceed with the First Spamalkan War and with the Imperial Court.
  • February 7-
    • Whilst the Second Partition of Dejanica was ongoing, allied forces in Franconia, the Durthian States, and the Colonial Territories continued to make gains against the Holy Spamalkan Empire. Emperor Philicus, who found that many of his most valuable colonial possessions were now in the hands of the Laurasians and Portugallians, and who had been deprived of his most talented military commander (in the form of the Duke of Parma), experienced further misfortune as allied forces continued to advance. On January 3, 1793, General Norria held a strategy conference with the Dukes of Montpensier and Nice at Gournay, and it was decided that a renewed push would be made against Caen, Alencon, and Argentan, all of whom had served as major supply bases for the Franconian League. King Hensios was particularly interested in recovering Alencon, which had once been the hereditary dukedom of his predecessor, King Hensios III. From these strongholds, allied forces were to advance against Liseux, Cherbourg, and Bayreux, with the intention of imposing pressure on the supply lines of Caen and of forcing the Duke of Merceour to strain his military resources. Four days later after this conference, Montpensier, with the 7th Franconian Royal Army and detachments from the 45th and 59th Imperial Laurasian Armies, launched a massive assault against the League stronghold of Tourlaville. Despite the efforts of the Marquis de Sable and General del Aguila, Tourlaville fell on January 10, 1793. By January 14, Montpensier had stormed the Normandian systems of Avranches, St. Lo, and Herouville, inflicting severe damage upon Franconian communication and supply lines. On January 15, General Norria, who had repelled another series of League-Spamalkan offensives against Boulougone, Orleans, and Douai, defeated a Spamalkan force under General del Aguila's subordinate, the mercenary-General Johann von Frust of Pruthia, in the Battle of Ouistreham. Liseux, which found itself under serious threat from the combined forces of Norria and Montpensier, capitulated on January 19, 1793. The following day, the Duke of Nice drove Spamalkan troops from Dieppe and Vernon, securing the Franconian control of Louviers, Le Havre, and St. Etienne. On January 24, 1793, the Battle of Mont Aignan resulted in a decisive victory for Nice and Montpensier; Spamalkan General del Aguila lost nearly 50,000 troopers when he attempted to breach Franconian defensive positions.
    • By January 27, Fecamp and Sotteville had both been secured by Franconian-Laurasian troops, thereby forcing the Duke of Merceour to strengthen the garrisons of Rouen, Caen, and Dunkirk. On January 29, Prince Maurice of Nassau, who had repelled Spamalkan counteroffensives against Mons, Goes, and Zutphen (December 1792-January 1793), destroyed a Spamalkan force in the Battle of Roermond. He then secured the defenses of Venlo (January 31) and two days later captured the Spamalkan trade entrepot of Schoonhoven, thereby opening a communication line from Gravelines to Stephani, Jersey, and Guernsey. This allowed for him to send reinforcements to King Hensios and to harry Spamalkan naval forces operating in the vicinity of Lilles, Calais, and Antwerp. On February 6, 1793, General Norria stormed the League outpost of Quevilly, thereby forcing League units to terminate their operations against the Channel Provinces. The following day, February 7, 1793, the Marquis de Sable and Admiral Coloma, attempting to halt the momentum of the allied forces, launched a sudden counteroffensive against Royan and Passchedale. Sable managed to land nearly 50,000 troops on the northern atmosphere of Royan, while Coloma blockaded the outskirts of that star system and sent raiding expeditions against Passchedale. General Norria and the Prince de Conti, who had captured Flers two days earlier, now advanced swiftly from that stronghold to Royan. Surprising de Sable and Coloma, Norria quickly drove Spamalkan troops from Northern Royan and halted any further attempted landings by Sable in the star system. At the same time, the Prince de Conti launched a series of offensive thrusts which disoriented Admiral Coloma's fighter corps and forced him to retreat from Royan in rapid order. The Battle of Royan therefore ended in a decisive victory for the allied forces of the Laurasian Empire and Serene Kingdom of Franconia. Norria and Prince de Conti now secured the League garrisons of Abbeville (February 9-12); Beauvais (February 14); Laon (February 18); and Soissons (February 22), thereby securing Compeigne and Amiens from League forces and driving them in the direction of Dunkirk and Calais. On February 24, 1793, Norria and Admiral Frosbisherius secured a major victory in the Battle of Creil, thereby allowing for supply lines to open for a potential siege of Dunkirk. By the end of February 1793, most of Lower Normandy and Picardy were in the hands of the allied forces.
    • At the same time all of this was ongoing, Admiral Dracius and Portugallian Commodore Santos continued their advance towards Bogota. On January 5, 1793, the Battle of Soledad resulted in a victory for Dracius over Spamalkan Admiral Zubiaur, who had once again returned from action in Franconia. Two days later, he and Commodore Santos stormed Neiva and Villavicencio, which were two of the Holy Spamalkan Empire's chief producers of industrial equipment and electronics. Although Zubiaur managed to storm a Portugallian intelligence outpost at Pacora (January 11, 1793) and briefly subdued the Laurasian garrison of Yopal (January 13), he was ultimately defeated in the Battle of Bonaire (January 17, 1793), in which Dracius's warships devastated the Spamalkan Command Headquarters. By January 23, Dracius had stormed the Spamalkan garrisons of Saventa and Ricon, terminating any threat to Inrida and forcing Admiral Zubiaur to retreat towards Bello and Monteira. On January 28, 1793, Commodore Santos distinguished himself when he launched a daring raid upon the Spamalkan shipyards of Tocumen, capturing more than forty Spamalkan warship models and smashing the Shipyard Construction Facilities before retreating. For this, he would be promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral in the Portugallian Navy by King Antonio I on February 25, 1793. On January 30, Dracius conquered Soacha, thereby placing his forces at the junction of the Bogota-Andes Transit Highway. Bogota itself was now experiencing numerous raids from allied forces, and on February 9, 1793, a Laurasian-Portugallian corps seized Mito and Leticia, thereby giving them a vantage point from which to launch an intelligence operation into Bogota's outskirts. Zubiaur's counteroffensives against Arauca, Tunja, Manziales, and Florencia (February 11-19, 1793), brought him nothing, and on February 24, Dracius's forces finally reached the outskirts of Bogota. After further confrontations with Spamalkan troops at Armenia and San Migueltio (February 25-26, 1793), which ended in victories for the Laurasians, the Admiral proceeded to installing barricades around the Bogota star system, intent on using the strategy of circumvallation to defeat the garrison. By the end of February, 1793, Bogota was completely isolated by the forces of the Laurasian Empire and Serene Kingdom of Portugallia. The siege would continue for over a month.
  • March 5-
    • By March 1793, the influence of the Earl of Estatius, who had remained at the Imperial Court and continued to curry favor with the Empress Aurelia, had grown further. It had grown, at least in the sense that the Earl now had his own coterie of friends and supporters at the Imperial Court, and was able to keep himself informed of everything which transpired among the Court's elites. Estatius's intelligence service, which he maintained with the assistance of Sir Antoninus Bagonius, allowed for him to keep himself informed of sensitive information concerning potential conspiracies against the Imperial Laurasian Government, both within the Empire and overseas, and to keep track of the Imperial Ministry of Foreign Affairs's diplomatic transactions. In his effort to ingratiate himself further with the Empress, Estatius shared with her all information that he acquired. As a result, the Empress had finally come to consider Estatius, who was now twenty-seven years old, as being serious enough to merit political office. On March 5, 1793, she formally appointed the Earl to the Imperial Privy Council and named him as Minister of Regional and Provincial Administration, thereby giving him oversight over the Empire's local administrative divisions. Estatius also became Vice-Captain of the Gentleman Pensioners and a honorary member of the Valedictorian Guards. The Earl was delighted at these appointments, which would now allow for him to play the role of statesman. He did it diligently, and now proved to be as effective a member of the Council as his stepfather, Leicesterius, had been. He attended every Council meeting; worked with his peers on matters of importance; and provided advice at intervals to the Empress and to Lord Treasurer Burghley.
    • One of the Earl's colleagues wrote that "His Lordship has become a new man, forsaking all of his former youthful tricks, carrying himself with much gravity, and making himself known for his speeches and judgment." As the youngest member of the Privy Council, Estatius stood out, representing the interests and the goals of the younger generation. He sought to promote for more vigorous military campaigns against the Holy Spamalkan Empire and to orchestrate further interventions in the affairs of Dejanica. This brought him into conflict with his former guardian, Burghley, who was now beginning to explore avenues of peace with the Spamalkan Government, but raised his own popularity among the young courtiers and with the Empress's subjects on Laurasia Prime. Estatius, however, soon discovered that not everything would go his way. On February 4, 1793, Sir Gilbertius Geradia, Chief Justice of the Imperial Court of the Chancery (since 1781), Master of the Imperial Rolls, and Attorney-General of the Empire (since 1759), died at the age of sixty-nine. Geradia, who had graduated from the University of the Empire Law School as valedictorian of his class in 1742, and had earned his PhD in Jurisprudence four years afterwards, had served with the Christiania Inns from 1746 to 1759, gaining recognition for his vigor in casework, before becoming Attorney-General (the Imperial Laurasian Government's top trial lawyer) in January 1759, within a week of Empress Aurelia's coronation. During his thirty-four years at the post, Geradia cooperated with Chief Procurator of the Holy Synod Amnystas Parrius in reformation of the ecclesiastical education system; sat on the investigative commissions which dealt with the Malarian Rebellion, Ridolfius Plot, and Pugachevia Rebellion; and presided over the hearing of Sir Willanius Daviadia (1787), when he was implicated in the debacle surrounding the execution of ex-Scottrian Queen Mariana. Knighted in 1779, Geradia had become Chief Justice of the Chancery and Master of the Imperial Rolls two years later, becoming known for his calm presiding style and his consideration of all cases before him.
    • Geradia's death inflicted another blow to Empress Aurelia, who once again had to come to grips with the death of a long-serving adviser. Estatius, who now saw his chance to extend his patronage, urged the Empress to appoint Sir Franconius Bagonius to the Attorney-Generalship. The Empress, however, considered Bagonius to be inexperienced and too young, refusing to appoint him to the position. On March 18, the Empress erupted in fury when Estatius mentioned Bagonius and once again espoused his qualifications for the office. Following this outburst, she barred Bagonius from her presence and asserted once again that he was not "worthy enough to hold the position." Six days later, however, the Empress appointed Sir Thomasius Egertonia, future Procurator-General of the Empire, to the positions of Chief Justice of the Imperial Court of Chancery and Master of the Rolls. Egertonia, who had graduated from the University of Darcia Law School in 1762, and had gained prominence for himself due to his private litigation for magnates of the Imperial Court, had joined the Christiania Inns in 1779, rising to become Master of the Bench six years later. He pleaded cases before the Chancery, Common Pleas, and Requests, and in 1787, was commended by the Empress for a legal oration delivered at the Senatorial Palace. Egertonia became Solicitor General in 1789, and in this position, gained much respect from Lord Treasurer Burghley and from others among the Empress's most senior advisers. Nevertheless, his appointment angered Estatius. During the succeeding months, Estatius would do all in his power to convince the Empress to appoint Bagonius to one of the positions, but the Empress remained insistent. In April 1793, Estatius would tell Bagonius that "Her Majesty bade me to go to bed, as if a child, when I once again raised the subject of your appointment, but I shall continue until you have a position which is rightfully yours."
  • March 22-On March 22, 1793, after several weeks of siege, Laurasian Vice-Admiral Sir Franconius Dracius and Portugallian Admiral Don Luis de Santos launched a final offensive against the defenses of the Bogota star system. The Bogota garrison, which had been isolated from its supplies, and which had come under severe pressure due to constant bombardment and artillery fire from Laurasian and Portugallian warships, proved to be unable to resist the allied forces. Within five hours, the Bogota Orbital Outposts had been penetrated, and allied troops commenced their transport to the planetary surface below. A series of confrontations ensued in the cities of Cajica, Chia, Cota, Soacha, Tabjo, and El Rosal which continued through March 26, but by that date, allied troops had reached the Central Citadel of Bogota, which served as the garrison and governmental headquarters of the star system. The Spamalkan Commander of the Garrison of Bogota, General Don Marquez Gabriel, was killed in the final confrontation, as allied troops penetrated the inner defenses of the Citadel. By midday on March 27, 1793, the star system was finally fully secured by the forces of the Laurasian Empire and Serene Kingdom of Portugallia. The fall of Bogota now entrenched the allied forces in the middle of the Spamalkan Colombiana, inflicted serious damage upon the Emperor Philicus's international reputation and dignity, and allowed for Dracius to advance southwards into the Peruvian Colonies. On March 29, the Spamalkan outposts of Funza, Tabio, and Masquera, located in the Amazonian Straits, surrendered to Admiral Dracius; two days later, he defeated Admiral Zubiaur in the Battle of Esmrealdas, thereby penetrating from the Colombian Defiles into the Ecaudorian Sector. On April 4, 1793, the Spamalkan garrison of Manabi was stormed by Laurasian detachments; five days later, Laurasian troops reached Santa Elena, which was located 55,000 light years from the Galactic Void, and stormed the stronghold within hours. By this point, Laurasian forces have penetrated farther from the Caladarian Galaxy than ever before, far surpassing General Suris Vamaus's penetration to Rzalah in 1734. On April 8, Portugallian units captured the Spamalkan outposts of Napo and Orellana, and on April 11, Puyo. By April 14, 1793, Dracius had defeated Zubiaur again in the Battle of Machala, and had stormed the Spamalkan colonies of Riobamba, Tulcan, and Arogues.
  • April 15-
    • Throughout March 1793, King Hensios IV and the Laurasian Field-Marshal Sir Demetrius Norria (promoted to that rank in April 1793), had continued to push into Brittany and Upper Normandy against the forces of the Franconian League and Holy Spamalkan Empire. On March 2, 1793, Norria defeated a Spamalkan force under General del Aguila in the Battle of Auray. By March 7, he had stormed the Spamalkan garrisons of Morlaix, Concarneau, and Vitre, thereby posing a serious threat to the defenses of St. Malo. St. Briec fell to Norria and the Prince de Conti on March 11; two days later, they repelled a League counteroffensive from Bordeaux in the Battle of the Lower Anjou. On March 19, Rennes surrendered after a surprise assault by the Duke of Montpensier; two days later, Sable and del Aguila were defeated in the Battle of Finistere, which now prevented Spamalkan naval expeditions from providing reinforcements by means of the Upper Galactic Void. On March 25, 1793, Vannes came under siege from allied forces; its fall on April 1 entrenched them closer to Rennes and Quimper. Quimper itself fell two days later, and by April 6, Morbihan was being seriously threatened by Norria and Frosbisherius (who retained allied control over Biscay and Quiebron). At the same time, Hensios IV repelled a League offensive against St. Germain (March 11-18, 1793) and captured Strasbourg (March 24), thereby ending any enemy threat to the Metzian Lordships. On April 6, 1793, Norria and the King of Franconia instigated a siege of Blaye, which was a major League naval base and operations headquarters in Brittany. The garrison of Blaye was commanded by Governor Jean-Paul d'Aubterre, who was one of the King's most ardent opponents. Likewise, Laurasian naval forces at Blaye were commanded by Rear-Admiral Sir Menelaus Hougtonia, and the Franconian units by Marshal Jacques d'Montainon. Bec d'Ambes was secured by the allied forces within the first day of the siege, but Blaye's defenses proved to be resilient. By April 9, Admiral Coloma and General Joanes de Villavicosa had moved from Craon and Brest, determined to end the siege and to reinforce the garrison of Blaye. In defiance of the expectations of both the Imperial and Franconian General Headquarters, Coloma and Villavicosa's counteroffensive proved to be successful.
    • Admiral Coloma then launched a surprise attack against Hougtonia's force at the Blaye Outskirts (April 15, 1793). Outlining a pincer maneuver, he cut off Hougtonia's starfighter squadrons and pushed them to the center of his force, compressing the chief Laurasian offensive warships into the central line. Admiral Hougtonia now launched a counteroffensive with his frigates and corvettes, attempting to break out to Blaye and to stretch the Spamalkan naval lines. This ploy failed, however, and the Laurasian armada, which was now reduced to effective impotence as a result of the Spamalkan maneuvers, experienced a catastrophic defeat. By the end of the day, Spamalkan warships had broken through the Laurasian fortifications at the Blaye Outskirts and had provided direct provisions to the planetary garrison, thereby enabling them to escape the effects of the siege. On April 19, Admiral Hougtonia launched a series of attacks against Spamalkan convoys, attempting to strain the Spamalkan offensive and to force them to divert their efforts from the Blaye star system. This also failed, and on April 21, the Laurasian Admiral was compelled to retreat on his flagship, the IMS Diamarilla, and with several of his escort destroyers and dreadnoughts. Thirty Laurasian transports, with more than 60,000 soldiers of the Imperial Laurasian Army, in reserve, were captured by Admiral Columa, while Franconian Colonel d'Montanion was killed as Spamalkan Marines under General Villavicosa stormed the Franconian Command Mount on Blayis IV, the outermost planet of the Blaye star system. The Siege of Blaye had been completely lifted by April 22, 1793, with a decisive victory for the Franconian League and Holy Spamalkan Empire.
    • Admiral Hougtonia now retreated to Quimper, assembling the 68th Imperial Fleet for a move against the Spamalkan military base at Lannester. The ensuing Battle of Lannester (April 25-27, 1793), witnessed Admiral Hougtonia, supported by reinforcements sent by Admiral Frosbisherius (from the system of La Rochelle, which had been captured by allied forces two months earlier), attempting to sunder the system's supply lines and to drive Spamalkan warships towards Brest and Vannes. The battle was an unequal confrontation, for Hougtonia enjoyed a nearly 3-1 numerical advantage over the Spamalkan garrison and naval forces, under the command of Admiral Juan de Plaies. Eventually, however, Admiral Coloma launched a decisive move from Vannes against the Laurasian rear at Lannester, capturing Laurasian operational outposts on Gironde and Croac. Hougtonia was ultimately forced to retreat from Lannester on April 27, 1793, and to return to the operational headquarters at Quimper. Forty of the sixty Laurasian frigates engaged in the confrontation were destroyed or captured by the Spamalkans; nearly 150,000 Imperial Laurasian Navy personnel became Spamalkan prisoners of war. Following the Battle of Lannester, Spamalkan forces under Coloma and Villavicosa managed to recover several Brittanian strongholds lost to the allied forces. Morlaix fell on May 1, 1793, followed by St. Malo (May 5); St. Briec (May 6-9); and Vitre (May 11). On May 15, Villavicosa managed to defeat Field-Marshal Norria's subordinate, Major-General Sir Richardius Cressus, in the Battle of Rennes. Two days later, he stormed Auray, defeating a Laurasian assault against Auray's Prime City. By that point, however, the Spamalkan momentum had ran out, and on May 22, 1793, Field-Marshal Norria destroyed a Spamalkan force in the Battle of Praganon. Within four days, he had recovered both Vitre and St. Briec, although on May 27, a Laurasian move against the defenses of Rennes was repelled by Admiral Coloma in the Battle of Bilarbachay. By the end of May, 1793, nevertheless, Franconian-Laurasian forces had generally recovered from the failure of the Siege of Blaye, and were once again on the offensive in Brittany and Upper Normandy.
  • May 7-
    • On May 7, 1793, nearly five months after the conclusion of the Treaty of Christiania, the Imperial Laurasian and Pruthian Governments formally announced the Treaty's provisions. Empress Aurelia and her Pruthian counterpart, Emperor A'rua III, both justified the conclusion of the Second Treaty of Partition in their respective proclamations to their subjects, and to foreign courts at large. In her proclamation, the Empress of Laurasia claimed that "revolutionary extremism in the Commonwealth's territories" compelled her to look after the safety and security of the realms of the Laurasian Empire, and that this could only be done through acquisition of those provinces which "most directly threatened the tranquility of my realms." Emperor A'rua III, on his part, asserted that the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth had violated its own obligations under the now-defunct Treaty of Warsaw; that the rights of Pruthian Martialists needed to be ensured; and that the Empire required absolute jurisdiction over Danzig and Torun, for the promotion of inter-galactic commerce and transportation. Within hours of issuing their proclamations, both sovereigns ordered their military forces to occupy the territories which they had agreed to partition among themselves. The Laurasian Field-Marshal Lord Greysius, who had already completed the withdrawal of the Empire's occupation forces from Greater Dejanica and Kuayvia in March 1793, now ordered for his troops to formally dismantle the remaining Dejanican garrisons in the conceded Belaranian and Ukranian Provinces and to announce the formal annexation of those star systems to the Laurasian Empire. Laurasian military might in these systems was virtually unchallenged, and within a week of the proclamation, the authorities and inhabitants of those territories had formally acknowledged the jurisdiction of the Laurasian Empire. The nobles and government officials of Dejanica in those regions were also compelled to swear a direct oath of allegiance to Empress Aurelia as their new sovereign. For Pruthia, however, it was not so easy. Pruthian units swiftly occupied Poznan, Gnienzo, and Kalisz without much resistance (May 7-12, 1793), and by May 15, had assumed garrison duties throughout most of Greater Dejanica, Kuayvia, and Dejanican Pomerania. Torun and Danzig, however, posed the greatest challenge for the Pruthian forces of occupation, commanded by General Count Peter von Feheierr. On May 16, 1793, the Governor of Torun, the Dejanican nobleman Karl Wroncaz, refused to surrender garrison and governmental duties to the Pruthian Empire's authorities, and ordered for his militia to strengthen the star system's defenses.
    • Two days later, he was joined in his defiance by the Municipal Council of Danzig, which had been granted such privileges under the Constitution of 1791. General von Feheierr was therefore forced to place both systems under military blockade, from May 21, 1793. To the surprise of all, they resisted Pruthian military forces for over two months. It was not until August 2, 1793, before Torun and Danzig finally capitulated to the Pruthian Empire. Emperor A'rua, angered at the insolence and the resistance of the Dejanican authorities of these systems, forbade the use of Dejanican among the governmental authorities; extended his uncle's administrative and legal regulations into the newly-acquired territories; and encouraged Pruthian colonists to take up residence in both star systems, to the detriment of the native populaces. At this stage, however, the Dejanican Diet had not yet been summoned to formally ratify the partition. On February 22, 1793, the magnates of the Targowica Confederation, led by Branickia (who had finally broken with Potockia), petitioned the Empress Aurelia to affirm the territorial integrity of the Commonwealth. The Empress had issued them vague assurances, which all proved to be lies when the Partition Treaty was formally announced two months later. The Targowica Confederation now realized that it had been tricked, but with Laurasian military forces having already occupied the territories in question, and with Dejanica Major itself garrisoned by a Laurasian "diplomatic" corps, they found they could do nothing. Empress Aurelia now began to make preparations for exacting recognition of the Partition from a newly-convened Dejanican Diet. On May 28, 1793, King Stanis Vorrust issued a proclamation declaring he would not resist Laurasian or Pruthian actions, and indicating his willingness to summon a Diet as soon as possible. By June 1793, preparations for the Diet were fully underway.
  • May 25-
    • Following the Battle of Machala, Laurasian Admiral Sir Franconius Dracius continued to pursue decisive military campaigns into the heart of the Peruvian Colonies, thereby occupying many of the Holy Spamalkan Empire's most important colonial strongholds and posing a serious threat to the Rio de la Plata. On April 17, 1793, the Battle of Guaranda resulted in a decisive victory for Dracius and his subordinate, Commodore Sir Richardius Hawkius, the 31-year old son of Dracius's friend and superior, Fleet Admiral Sir John Hawkius. The younger Hawkius, who had graduated from the Imperial Naval Academy of Laura in 1782, had obtained distinction through his service in Durthia and in the Barbary States from 1785 to 1791. He participated in the Siege of Ceuta, the Battle of Bayona, and the First Battle of Gibraltar, among other confrontations. In December 1792, Hawkius had been promoted to the rank of Commodore, becoming the youngest officer with that rank in the Imperial Laurasian Navy. He had been placed under Dracius's command in March 1793. Hawkius's exploits at Guranda, including the chase and capture of three Spamalkan dreadnoughts, earned him much notice from his superiors and at the Imperial Court. By April 22, Laurasian-Portugallian forces had overrun Ibarra, Loja, and Porotvejo. At Porotvejo, Dracius seized a haul of Spamalkan spices and mineral goods valued at more than €300 billion dataries. Repelling a series of Spamalkan feints against Manabi and Santa Elena, Dracius then captured the Spamalkan penal colony of Macas (April 26, 1793), freeing more than 200,000 captives and penal laborers. The fall of Macas was quickly followed by that of Puerto de Orellana (April 28-29, 1793), which was the third most populous system in the Ecaudorian Sector. By the beginning of May, 1793, Laurasian expeditions were striking against Macchu Pizzu, Norte Chicho, and Ambato. On May 4, Admiral Hawkius led a daring expedition against Valparaiso, which was probably the most important commerical and trade terminal for the Holy Spamalkan Empire in the Peruvian Colonies.
    • The ensuing Raid on Valparaiso (May 4-6, 1793), resulted in Hawkius capturing more than sixty Spamalkan, colonial, and Milanian vessels at the Valparaiso Dockyards; the seizure of thirty models of the Holy Spamalkan Navy; and the penetration of the star system's shield defenses. Hawkius then destroyed a Spamalkan intercept force at Rio de la Hacha (May 11, 1793), forcing Spamalkan Admiral Beltran de Castro to abandon his flagship and retreat towards San Mateo. On that same day, Portugallian Commodore Santos stormed Buena Vista, thereby granting Portugallia control over the Upper Aires Highway. By May 18, he had cooperated with Dracius in expelling Spamalkan units from Babahoyo, Zamora, and Ibarra. On May 21, 1793, the Battle of Esmeralda occurred, with Dracius overruning Spamalkan tactical positions and storming the world's orbital defenses through use of automated transports. This star system, which was one of the chief mining colonies in the Peruvian Colonies, now fell into Laurasian hands. From Esmeralda, Laurasian units seized Alejhandra, Nicola, and America (May 22-24, 1793), driving Spamalkan units towards Quito and Guadyaquil. Guadyaquil itself fell on May 25, 1793, with the failure of its shield generators opening the stronghold to a swift Laurasian occupation. Although Dracius's assault on Ayacucho (May 28, 1793) ended in failure, Laurasian forces nevertheless stormed Latachunga and Puerto Basaquario, thereby consolidating their control of the Ecaudorian Sector. Only Quito now resisted the Laurasian forces. Isla del Ray and Contradora fell on June 6, 1793, thereby completing the expulsion of Spamalkan units from the Colombiana Regions.
  • June 12-September 22-
    • On June 12, 1793, Empress Aurelia and the Imperial Court officially departed from Laurasia Prime in order to commence the progress of 1793. On March 15, 1793, the 600th anniversary of the murder of the King of Rudorita, Odoacer (destroyer of the Huntite Khanate), at the hands of his great enemy, King Theodoric the Great of Halegothica, the Empress had officially announced that she would visit the Huntite and Mereditan Provinces in this year, instead of the Nagai and Sassi-Ruukan Provinces, as had been previously intended. By this point, eighteen years had passed since the execution of the notorious rebel and pretender, Anastasius Pugachevia. Although memories of the Pugachevia Rebellion were still relatively fresh in the regions which were now to be visited, the Empress nevertheless considered this trip to be a demonstration of the Laurasian Empire's ascendancy, and as a sort of homage to the events which had occured in those territories centuries earlier. These territories, which had been under the rule of the Empire since 1517, had been home to many successive galactic powers. This included the Huntite Empires; the Robertian Empires; the Robertian Hegemony; the Huntite-Robertian Union; the Carolyne Khanate; the Timurid Empire; the Huntite Khanate; the Kingdom of Rudorita; the Kingdom of Halegothica; the Mereditan Despotate; the Kingdom of Jageronia; the Huntite Caliphate; and numerous other powers. The Empress's visit, on the occasion of what had been one of the most decisive events during the Barbarian Period, would cast the impression to all as to who ruled now. Proceeding from Laurasia Prime, the Empress paid brief visits to the Station of Dosch, Katie, Arias, Manil, Meaganian, Chandlier, Tommy, the strongholds of the Nexus Route, Ipsus V, Bolgrahay, and Robbay (June 12-15, 1793). On Robbay, she stayed at Parham Park, the private residence of Sir Demetrius Pophamia, Chief Justice of the Star Chamber (since June 1792).
    • Following her departure from Robby, the Empress and the Imperial Court proceeded rapidly up the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route. She arriverd at Elijahana during the late hours of June 15 and stayed there for a day, being entertained by her now former Empress's Champion, Sir Antigonus Lesius. From Eljahana, the Imperial Court proceeded through Whoppi (June 17-18); Goldberg (June 19); Beharis (June 20); Sheppard (June 21); Hasselbeck (June 22-23); and Walters (June 24). At Goldberg, the Empress was observant to a performance of Haakh Mimes, who were among the most renowned comedic acts in the Empire; at Hasselbeck, the Empress toured the Foundries of Duxum Corporation, one of the largest non-Laurasian industrial conglomerates in the Laurasian Empire; and at Walters, the Empress visited the Beaches of Hadar, a major tourist attraction in the Empire. From Walters, she proceeded to Iego (June 25, 1793), spending a fortnight at the Ice Palace, and then to Dickinson (June 26); Abuza (June 27); Abrianna (June 28); McEvlogue (June 29); Alamaia I (June 30); Brenda (July 1); and the OsonBoka Nebula (July 2-4). By July 5, the Imperial Court had reached Parsons, where the Empress officially dedicated the Imperial Crevllius-class Starfighter Construction Facility, which had been under construction from February 1790. The Facility possessed sixty berths and more than two hundred production lines, and would over the course of the decade become vitally important to the Imperial Laurasian Navy. From Parsons, the Empress moved on to Meredith (July 6-8, 1793). She resided at the Glome Palace and observed numerous scientific experiments conducted by the scholars of the University of Xander, one of the Empire's prime experimental research institutions. She then passed through Jeanne and Izonza; at the later world, a simulation of the Battle of Izonza (1189), one of the earliest clashes between Theodoric and Odoacer, was staged for the benefit of the Empress and the Imperial Court. Izzia, Luveria, and Julianne were then visited (July 9-11, 1793), and by July 14, Aurelia had reached Leah.
    • This world, renowned for its beautiful mountain ranges, its idyllic spas, and its massive entertainment facilities, kept the Court entranced for two days. From Leah, the Empress visited Lorna, Garnett, and Ber Bachman (July 15-19, 1793), with a corps of Zack-class Protocol Droids being presented to the Empress at the last of these star systems. Negro then became the next system graced by the Court's presence (July 20), with the Empress visitng the grounds of the Malachor Academy for Theology and Reflective Sciences, which had been established in the eighth century AH. On July 21, 1793, she proceeded to Akamaar, and there attended a ceremony held at the Freia Kallea Museum of Astronautics and Space Exploration, to mark the thousand-year anniversary of the charting of the Larkian Way by that famed Briannian navigator (763-825). Kalla had retired to Akamaar and died there in February 825; the Museum had been established by Emperor Lysimachus I (that famed patron of education, the arts, and sciences) in 1537. From Akamaar, the Court toured Jabul, Clathbourne, and the Caroline Asteroid Belt (July 22-24, 1793), with the Empress visiting the grounds of the Kavin Space Installations, which dated to the 3rd century BH. At Clathbourne, the Empress toured the Rings of Naira. Then on July 25, 1793, the Court, after passing through Gargonia, reached Hunt Minor. This world, host to the Pugachevia rebels two decades earlier, had nevertheless recovered its prominence; by 1793, it had a population of more than sixty-five billion. The Empress stayed at the Clannic Palace of Pandra, which had been constructed by Emperor Huladuni of the Huntite-Robertian Union in the 8th century AH. She visited the massive Spaceport of Hunt Minor and observed the constant stream of traffic that went in and out of the star system.
    • The Court stayed on Hunt Minor until July 28, before moving to its sister star system, Hunt Major. This world, once capital to so many successive galactic powers, became the object of Aurelia's intense attention. The Empress toured its historical sites, including the Malabar Construct (one of the earliest Huntite settlements on record, dating back to the 9th millennium BH), the Syrivan Tower, the Secondary Palace of Halegothica, the Victory Row of Boontha the Conqueror, the Spoils of Herasia, and the Arboretum of Habath. The Court stayed at the Central Palace of Hunt Major, and the Empress was entertained by the Huntite Princes Kalintha and Zeldo of the House of Skarrg. On August 4, 1793, she departed from Hunt Major in a cheery mood, and proceeded towards the Sk'atha Cluster. Timur's Star, the namesake world of that devastating Dasian conqueror, was visited (August 5), as were Orenaria, Kleeva (known for its droid factories owned by the Huntite House of Yerevub); and Halattia (a world with many Laurasian and alien retreats of the Empire's nobility). Then on August 9, 1793, the Court reached Samarkand, once capital world of the Timurid Empire. Samarkand had recovered much of its previous economic vitality and prosperity during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and by 1793, had a respectable population of more than 40 billion. The Empress was greeted at the outskirts of the star system by a massive procession of Dasian and Huntite model starships; a display of stimulated works at the Garrison of Ibilar; and then a reception by the assembled nobles of the world at the Chestary Mounds. The head of the nobility, Lord Temujin-Imjuin of Praedor, was one of the most prominent alien noblemen in the Empire, and claimed to be a descendant of the Carolyne Khan Duwa Temur. He greeted the Empress with much ceremony and with respect; during her visit, she would create him as Earl of Praedor in the Laurasian nobility. The Empress stayed for three days, visiting the Tombs of the Timurid Dynasty (which had been carefully restored in the late fifteenth century under the Huntite Caliphate).
    • The body of the conqueror himself was long since gone, having been lost in the thirteenth century, but the Empress was presented the Devastator's battlesword, which had been discovered by a archeological expedition of the University of Hunt Major in 1767. The Court stayed at the Palace of the Pano, a fourteenth century edifice which had been utilized by the Huntite Caliphs extensively. On August 12, the Court once again departed, with the Empress thanking the Dasian and Huntite magnates of the system for their hospitality. From Samarkand, she proceeded across to Maurya, Gedrosia Max, and Gabriella (August 14-19, 1793). The Empress's stay on Gabriella was particularly notable, as she visited the Affavian Preserves, one of the largest environmental preserves in the Empire. Then on August 22, after proceeding through Downs, Upper Morsia, and the Lower Sheldonian Colonies, the Court reached Sheldonia. The Empress stayed at the Citadel of Don, officiated over ceremonies at the Sheldonian Stock Exchange, and received gifts from the Sheldonian Matrons, one of the largest private clubs in the Outer Borderlands. From Sheldonia, the Court, bypassing Veliky, visited Boontha, Estella, and Blasavania (August 24-27, 1793). There then followed visits to Iscar, Solay, Clarise, Horne, Lector, and Grumman's Star. Then, on September 6, 1793, the Imperial Court reached Jasonia, formerly capital of the Huntite Khanate, the Kingdom of Rudorita, and the Kingdom of Halegothica. During her stay, which continued for the next five days, the Empress stayed at both the Great Palace of Jasonia and the Palace of King Theodoric the Great, paying her respects to the Halegothican ruler (who had now been dead for 566 years), at his private crypt. Jasonia, which had a population of 81 billion in 1793, impressed the Empress considerably, with the diversity of its historical and architectural sites, the polite manners of its chief figures of authority; and its great economic activity.
    • The day after her arrival, September 7, 1793, the Empress of Laurasia celebrated her sixtieth birthday. The Governor-General of Hunt, the Viscount Ruggalius of Lector, staged a grand ceremony for the occasion of Her Majesty's birthday at the Auditorium of Malar; a series of jousts, athletic competitions, allegorical entertainments, and plays were conducted; and the Empress received a song of congratulations from the assembled nobles and magnates of the star system. She was also given, as a gift, the Banners of Theodemir, which had belonged to King Theodoric the Great's father and predecessor, King Theodemir. On September 11, the Empress's departure from Jasonia was marked with a grand parade of departure by Halegothican soldiers of the Honorary Guard of Jasonia, and a performance by the Silac Star Convoys in the outskirts of the star system. From Jasonia, the Court paid brief visits to Newman Victoria, Nikki Lowell, Constipex, Filorean, and Millard (September 12-18, 1793), which had already been visited by the Empress some years earlier. Finally, on September 20, 1793, the Empress began her progress back to Laurasia Prime, utlizing the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route from Meris. She arrived at her capital world, exhausted, two days later, and declared her resolution to remain at the Quencilvanian Palace until the conclusion of the new year. Aurelia quickly emerged from her exhaustion, however, and in October 1793, she would translate the Historical Sciences of Boethius, the famed 5th century Laurasian historian from Caladaria, in just twelve days. It is now expedient to turn to further events with the First Spamalkan War and with the Second Partition of Dejanica.
  • June 11-On June 11, 1793, Field-Marshal Lord Arthurius Greysius, 14th Lord of Wiltonia, one of the most prominent military commanders of Empress Aurelia the Great's reign, died at his estate, Tevalanian House, on Wiltonia, at the age of fifty-six. His death marked the beginning of an avalanche, for the vast majority of the Empire's most prominent military commanders would die during the remainder of the decade. Admiral Whyrtia had died on January 22, 1793, at Dumbarton, while Admiral Seniavin had died on February 13, at Vandross; Empress Aurelia was deeply affected by the deaths of both of these commanders as well.
  • June 24-
    • Commodore Hawkius, who was now determined to deal a severe blow to the Spamalkan supply lines extending to Quito, and to secure the Laurasian positions for a move against Santiaro and Atacantara, moved from Contradora on June 9, 1793. Within four days, Hawkius had stormed the Spamalkan garrisons of Danli and Comayagua, inflicting a series of humiliating defeats upon Admiral Zubiaur and Spamalkan General Carlos de Gustar. By June 14, Laurasian units had penetrated to the Spamalkan hypergates at Arica and Iquique, defeating a Spamalkan convoy under Commodore Helarios in the Battle of Jose Sanmarga. Arica itself was now assaulted by detachments from the 67th Imperial Fleet; the ensuing Battle of Arica (June 16-17, 1793), resulted in a decisive vistory for Hawkius, who captured twenty Spamalkan transports and nearly 30,000 Spamalkan Marines. By June 18, he had driven his units forth to Iquique, launching raids as far as Antofagasta and Copiado. Hawkius then ordered for his forces to halt at Atacames Point, but on June 23, he was informed by his subordinates that probes had indentified the movement of a Spamalkan convoy towards San Mateo. Hawkius, who reasoned that this convoy was preparing to reinforce the garrison of San Mateo, and to launch an offensive to secure the Spamalkan hold of Antofagasta, now decided to intercept the convoy before it could reach the star system. Two days later, June 25, 1793, he reached the San Francisco Point, four light-years east of San Maeto, and ordered his chief dreadnought, the IMS Inspire, to reconnoiter the approaching Spamalkan convoy. The Inspire, however, was driven back by Admiral Beltran de Castros's courier squadrons, who inflicted severe damage on its shields and ion batteries that compelled the warship into retreat. De Castros, alerted to the Laurasian force ahead, now shuffled his units, placing his heavy battleships and destroyers in the front. From his flagship, the San Francisco, he launched a ion charge against Hawkius's force, disabling a number of the Laurasian transports and frigates.
    • Hawkius, however, repelled the first Spamalkan assault against his strategic positions. He soon found himself encircled by the ships of Spamalkan Captain Fernando de Felipon, who moved out from San Mateo upon orders from Admiral De Castros. The Battle of San Mateo Straits, as the confrontation became known, lasted for four days. Finally, on June 29, 1793, Commodore Hawkius was forced to surrender when his flagship, the IMS Dasirana, was surrounded and boarded by Spamalkan troops. This battle therefore proved to be the first decisive loss for the Laurasian Empire in the Peruvian Campaigns, and it had repercussions. Fleet Admiral Hawkius, when he learned of his son's capture, was sent into an emotional flurry. Admiral Dracius, who had been engaged in besieging San Pedro Sula (which fell to him on June 30), decided to call off any offensive moves against Atacantra, Santiaro, and Antofagasta. On July 4, Spamalkan Admiral De Castros stormed Arica and Atacames Point, driving Laurasian units back towards Danli. Danli itself was recaptured on July 23, 1793, after a series of confrontations in the Hondurian Straits between De Castros and Dracius. By the end of July 1793, he had also expelled Laurasian units from Macas, Tena, Puyo, Portoviejo, and Babahoyo, thereby relieving the pressure on the supply lines of Quito. In August 1793, Dracius was forced to strengthen the defenses of Esmeralda, and he repelled Spamalkan moves against Alejhandra, Azogues, and Cuenca. By September 1793, Laurasian units had withdrawn from Southern Peruvia, and De Castros was now hailed as a hero by Spamalkan Emperor Philicus I.
  • July 25-
    • The middle months of 1793 witnessed substantial progress for the Laurasian Empire and Serene Kingdom of Franconia against the forces of the Franconian League and Holy Spamalkan Empire. On June 2, 1793, St. Malo was subjected to a renewed counteroffensive by the forces of the Prince de Conti and Field-Marshal Sir Demetrius Norria. In spite of the efforts of Spamalkan Admiral Coloma, the world succumbed to the Empire and Franconians four days later. By June 19, 1793, allied forces had also stormed Fougeres, Plomeur, and Dournanenez, with General del Aguila being humilated in the Battle of Sarkosy (June 16, 1793). On June 22, the King of Franconia himself led an attack on Auray; the world fell within hours. Morlaix had been recovered by June 30, and on July 4, 1793, the Prince de Conti smashed a Spamalkan-League force in the Battle of Lannion, defintively securing that stronghold for the Franconian Royal Government. On July 7, Vannes fell after a combined offensive by allied forces under Norria and the Duke of Montpensier; Rennes, cut off from its lines of support, fell three days later. The Battle of Concarneau (July 16, 1793), ended in another decisive victory for Norria, whose use of encircling tactics annhilated four League regiments on the planetary surface. Lorient was then secured by allied forces (July 19-21, 1793), and on July 25, 1793, Nantes fell to the Duke of Montpensier. The King of Franconia, on his part, had begun to effect reconciliation with many of his Franconian subjects. The Franconian League, which had over the course of the past three and a half years continued to vigorously oppose King Hensios and his reign over the Franconian realms, had done so in large part because the King had continued to adhere to the Huguenot faith. Many Franconian patriots considered Huguenotism to be the practice of "enemies of this realm and defilers of this Kingdom's honor." They therefore were not able to tolerate the rule of a King who adhered to a sect which was utterly foreign to the prior beliefs and practices of the Franconian Catholic Order.
    • By April 1793, King Hensios himself had come to realize that continuing adherence to Huguenotism would prevent him from being able to finally occupy Parri and to assert his position as King of Franconia. He now finally, and belatedly, took into account the advise of his predecessor Hensios III, who on his deathbed had told him that the inhabitants of Parri, and the leaders of the Franconian League, would never tolerate a King of Huguenot persuasions. On June 29, 1793, the King had announced to his Royal Council (the Conseil royal) that he had begun seriously considering the possibility of converting to the Franconian Catholic Order, in order to earn the allegiance and support of his subjects on Parri and elsewhere, and to demonstrate that he was not working against Franconia's interests. Empress Aurelia of Laurasia, when she learned of Hensio's announcement, instructed her Ambassador to the Court of Orleans, Sir Thomasius Edmondia (who had become Ambassador in June 1792), to inform the King of Franconia that the Imperial Laurasian Government would consider it "damaging" to the internal tranquility of the Franconian realms, and the suppression of the Franconian League, if Hensios decided to change his faith. Hensios, however, who was now being urged by his mistress, Gabrielle d'Estrees, to convert to the official faith of the Franconian State, decided to proceed forth with his plans. On July 25, 1793, the King formally issued a proclamation at Orleans, renouncing all connections to the Huguenot Congregations and declaring his official conversion to the Franconian Catholic Order. In his proclamation, the King declared that he was undertaking this action in order to "bring an end to the ruinous divisions and struggles within these realms" and to begin the process of reconciling the subjects of Franconia towards their government. Hensios even told the Duke of Montpensier that "Parri is well worth a Rite", referring to the Franconian rites of communion and supplicance, an essential part of the Catholic Order's ceremonies. Hensios's proclamation reverberated throughout the Franconian dominions, and news of it soon spread from Franconia to the courts of foreign powers throughout extra-galactic civilization. The Holy Spamalkan Emperor, Philicus I, was angered when he learned of Hensios's declaration. He informed his chief ministers that the King of Franconia's action would unify his subjects more than ever before, and thereby make it more difficult for the Spamalkan Empire to keep Franconia weak and disunited. The Durthian Stadholder, Prince Philip William of Orange, and his brother, Prince Maurice of Nassau, both welcomed the news of Hensios's conversion, hoping that it would inspire the Franconian League to lay down its arms and to combine with Hensios in defeating Spamalkan forces, both in the Pale of Calais and in Parri, as well as within the Southern Durthian Duchies.
    • King Antonio I of Portugallia expressed similar sentiments. Hensios's chief ally, the Empress Aurelia of Laurasia, had a far more negative reception. She actually erupted into a fury of discontent, informing Lord Treasurer Burghley and Secretary Cecilis that "His Majesty of Franconia has succumbed to the pressures imposed upon him by the rebellious segments of his kingdom's population." On July 31, 1793, the Empress, in a personal communique to Hensios himself, shared with him that she felt "grief, regret, and groaning within my soul as the result of Your Majesty's announcement. It is dangerous to do ill that good may come of it, yet I hope that sounder inspiration shall come to you." Within a few days, however, Aurelia's view had changed. The Empress eventually realized that this was actually a very wise decision on Hensios's part, and that it would serve to disunite and weaken the Franconian League. And indeed, this is what occurred in the weeks and months following Hensios's announcement. The King of Franconia now found that his conversion had secured him the allegiance of the vast majority of his subjects. By August 7, 1793, the nobles and gentry of Poitou, Rochelle, Nantes, Orleans, Evereux, St. Quentin, Valenciennes, Douai, and the Metzian Lordships had all announced their unconditional support for King Hensios, rejecting the efforts of the Franconian League and of the Holy Spamalkan Empire to promote "dissension and disunion within the realms of this state." Four days later, Field-Marshal Norria and the Prince de Conti, who had destroyed a Spamalkan military outpost on Dournanenez, secured the surrender of the garrison of St. Nazaire, commanded by the Duke of Marseilles. The fall of St. Nazaire now opened the way for a concenrated offensive by Laurasian-Franconian forces against Bordeaux, Pau, and Bayonne. On August 15, 1793, the same day that the Duke of Bayeux and the Autarch of Dunkirk both capitulated to King Hensios, Norria and the Prince de Conti launched a major offensive against the League garrison of Agen. Agen had a garrison of more than 100,000 troops and a substantial store of military arms, equipment, and shield generators. The ensuing Battle of Agen ended in a decisive victory for the allied forces of the Laurasian Empire and Serene Kingdom of Franconia. By August 19, Norria and Conti had secured the League outposts of Talence, Anglet, and Mont-de-Marsan, thereby entrenching themselves in the outskirts of Pau. Pau was blockaded from August 22, 1793. The garrison of Pau, who had been sent further instructions by the Marquis de Sable and the Duke of Mayenne, was resilient, but it was ultimately the star system's inhabitants, now demonstrating an unparalleled loyalty to King Hensios, who proved pivotal in the star system's fall (August 24, 1793).
    • A number of Pau's most influential residents, led by the Head Master of the Pau Merchantile Academy, Jean de-Gimbaud, disabled the world's shield generators, thereby permitting allied troops unrestricted landing rights on the world. Pau's garrison, not supported by the planetary population, was crushed within hours. The fall of Pau now encouraged Bayonne to surrender quickly to Conti (August 26, 1793). By August 30, Norria and Conti had also driven League units from Talence, Merginac, and Passec, again capitalizing on the support of the population and chief magnates of those star systems. By September 3, 1793, the combined allied forces, comprised of the 67th Imperial Fleet, detachments from the 49th and 55th Imperial Armies, and the 8th Franconian Expeditionary Force, had placed Bordeaux under siege. Spamalkan Admiral Coloma, who had managed to repel allied raids against Craon and Blain, now attempted to relieve the beleaguered garrison of Bordeaux. On September 7, 1793, however, he was encountered by Admirals Frosbisherius and Hougotonia in the Battle of the Straits of Lagos. Frosbisherius, now employing his superior mobile corps and starfighter squadrons, launched a maneuvering thrust against the Spamalkan-League formations of Coloma's fleet. Laurasian warships, sundering his escape routes, knived into the center of the Spamalkan force, while the Valdicator-class starfighters inflicted serious damage upon the unwieldy, bulky Spamalkan battleships and armored transports. By 6:00 P.M. that afternoon, Admiral Coloma had been forced into retreat, and the Battle of the Straits of Lagos ended in a decisive victory for the Laurasian Empire. Bordeaux continued under siege until September 14, when Norria, receiving naval support from Frosbisherius, launched the decisive offensive against the world's defenses. Bordeaux fell as Laurasian and Franconian troops breached the world's shields and launched a massive operation which drove League units into the Citadel of Naupart. With Bordeaux now in the possession of the allies, the process of clearing League units from Navarra and Aquitaine proceeded rapidly. On September 17, Field-Marshal Norria smashed a League force under the Count d'Ambrac in the Battle of Occitaire; by September 22, Burlada and Tarfalla had both fallen to the Prince of Conti, and on September 27, the Duke of Nantes was defeated in the Battle of Attarabia. Two days later, he was captured by Laurasian units at Ansoain, and brought before Conti and Norria in chains. On their orders, Nantes would be imprisoned at the Armory of Salo-de-Male on October 3, 1793. By the beginning of October, 1793, the forces of King Hensios and the Duke of Montepensier had advanced to Caen and Rouen; both strongholds were now under serious threat.
  • October 19-
    • On October 2, 1793, the day before the Duke of Nantes was imprisoned on the orders of Field-Marshal Norria and Prince Conti, the Siege of Caen by the allied forces of the Serene Kingdom of Franconia and the Laurasian Empire commenced. King Hensios IV of Franconia, who was determined to secure this major stronghold, and who viewed its seizure as a necessary means to expel Spamalkan forces from the Pale of Calais, himself personally directed the Franconian-Laurasian forces (numbering nearly a million personnel with over five hundred warships) which instigated the siege. The Duke of Montpensier acted as the King of Franconia's second-in-command and as the chief tactician of the siege efforts, while Norria's third-in-command, Major General Sir Seleucus Anthoria, acted as the commander of Laurasian units and as third-in-command of the overall siege. Caen's garrison was commanded by the Duke of Mayenne and by Franconian Admiral Andre de Bracas. Spamalkan Admiral Coloma, from his headquarters on Calais, attempted to provide supply support to the garrison of Caen. In a series of confrontations at the Ille-de Franconia, Sedan, and Velues-de Roses (October 3-8, 1793), however, he would be blunted by Admiral Frosbisherius, who impounded a number of Franconian blockade runners and supply frigates at the Ardennes Nebula. On October 11, Mayenne, vainly attempting to break out from the stranglehold imposed on the star system by the King's forces, launched an assault against royal positions at the Maginot Asteroid Belts; this was bloodily repulsed by a coordinated counteroffensive from Montpensier's starfighter squadrons. Admiral de Brancas then attempted to use his defensive corvettes and frigates to penetrate through to Louvain, but was repelled on October 12. On October 14, Caen's shields failed, a result of sabatoge by elements on the world now loyal to King Hensios, and the following day, he formally launched an invasion of the planetary surface.
    • It took four days to overcome the League's resistance, but on October 19, 1793, Mayenne, realizing that further resistance was hopeless, surrendered. Admiral de Brancas managed to flee to Rouen, determined to continue the fight from there. Hensios, however, had secured a great victory. On October 22, Mayenne formally signed the Armistice of Villette, thereby agreeing to terminate his rebellion against the King of Franconia; to surrender the strongholds of Montcornet, Chalons-sur-Saone, and Seurre to the possession of the Franconian Royal Government; and to provide intelligence information about League forces and military strongholds. In return, King Hensios formally pardoned Mayenne. Mayenne's defection proved a great blow to the Franconian League; by October 27, Doullens, Carvin, and Percenne had all been secured by the King. On October 29, 1793, Field-Marshal Norria and Prince de Conti, returning galactic-north from Navarra, besieged Fort Crozon, a Spamalkan military outpost located thirty light years east of Brest. The Siege of Fort Crozon, as it became known, continued until November 6, when the Garrison Commanders, General Tomas des Praxdes, was finally forced to surrender. Blain, Blavet, and Ambrieres fell in quick succession to allied forces (November 8-14, 1793), and on November 15, Craon, now isolated by the 68th Imperial Fleet, was finally forced to surrender. Three days later, King Hensios captured Angers, and from thence penetrated northwards to Dunkirk. The Battle of Dunkirk (November 22-28, 1793), resulted in a decisive victory for Hensios, and this major naval base, utilized by the Franconian League, finally fell into his possession. By the end of November, 1793, the League held on tenaciously to Calais, Rouen, Parri, Brest, and the Ardennian Worlds.
  • November 23-
    • Whilst progress was made in the Serene Kingdom of Franconia by King Hensios IV and his Laurasian allies, the Second Partition of Dejanica came to its culmination. On June 17, 1793, King Stanis Vorrust I, who was now viewed as weak and as impotent by the vast majority of his Dejanican subjects, and hoping that continued cooperation with the demands of the Laurasian Empress Aurelia would spare the rest of his Commonwealth from outright partition and destruction, formally issued the summons for the Dejanican Diet to convene. On the insistence of the newly-appointed Laurasian Ambassador, the Schauerian Sir Jacob Sievers (who had assumed his post February 16, 1793), the King ordered for the Diet to convene at Grodno, which was now just one hundred light-years north of the border with the Laurasian Empire in the Great Tesmanian Cloud. The Diet, elected according to procedures defined by the Ambassador and his allies on the Targowica Confederation (basically resembling those used for the Repanian Diet of 1767-68), formally assembled at the New Castle of Grodno on July 22, 1793. Immediately, the Diet Chambers were surrounded by troops of the Imperial Laurasian Army, wielding blasters and under instructions to control all access and communications in the Diet sessions. The Ambassador, acting upon instructions issued to him by the Imperial Ministry of Foreign Affairs, announced that "the loyal soldiers of Her Imperial Majesty's armies will occupy the properties of any deputy opposed to the will of the Commonwealth." This threat intimidated many of the members of the Diet, and when they began their formal discussions on August 2, they rapidly approved measures "introduced" by the Ambassador, which had been crafted by Empress Aurelia herself. The first of these concerned the conclusion of an "Eternal Alliance between the Laurasian Empire and Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth", presented to the Diet as the "request of the Dejanican people" by those who supported friendly relations with the Imperial Laurasian Government. This proposal, passed by the Diet on August 9, 1793, mandated that the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth establish a formal military and diplomatic "alliance" with the Laurasian Empire. The Empress Aurelia was once again acknowledged as the protector of the Commonwealth's interests, with the rights to protect it against "foreign invasion and domestic insurrection". In effect, in the words of a disgruntled Dejanican deputy, the Commonwealth became a "Laurasian protectorate". The Empire was now granted the right to unlimited military access through the Commonwealth's territories, and to install garrisons in such star systems as "Her Majesty of Laurasia shall deem necessary for the preservation of the alliance." The Dejanican Government was not to conclude any treaties or alliances with other foreign powers without the explicit approval of the Empress of Laurasia, and such agreements were not to contradict the "fundamental aims of the alliance." Also, the King of Dejanica was forbidden to accredit ambassadors and ministers to foreign courts unless if they had been pre-approved by his protector, the Empress. This was meant to forestall Dejanican efforts at gaining assistance or sympathy from foreign powers.
    • Then on September 2, 1793, the Diet formally abolished the Constitution of May 3, 1791, effectively restoring the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth to the constitutional arrangements of 1773 and 1775. The free election of the Dejanican king, the right to form confederations, the right of resistance by the nobility, and the liberum veto were all confirmed by the Diet. The Permanent Council was now to be chaired by the Ambassador of the Laurasian Empire to the Court of Dejanica, who gained the right to approve and to modify all motions introduced on the Council; confirm the King's appointments before they were presented to the Diet; and to veto the King's executive orders, as he deemed necessary. The Ambassador also gained the right to withhold the execution of laws passed by the Diet. Ten days later, the Diet agreed to a Treaty of Commerce with the Laurasian Empire, granting Laurasian merchants, navigators, and corporations unlimited rights of tax-free transit, commercial activity, and transport in Dejanican realms. And then on October 7, the Diet agreed to limit the size of the Commonwealth Military Forces to one-fiftieth of that of the Laurasian Empire (no more than 2.2 million military personnel and 1,400 military warships). It then confirmed the freedom of religion privileges granted to all foreign faiths and minorities. The Virtui Militari, a military order which had been created by King Stanis Vorrust in June 1792 to reward heroism (during the War in Defense of the Constitution), was abolished on October 24, 1793 (an abolition confirmed on January 4, 1794). Then, on October 23, 1793, the Diet agreed to acknowledge the annexation of the Belaranian and Ukrainian Provinces in the Great Tesmanian Cloud by the Laurasian Empire, thereby acceding to those terms of the Treaty of Christiania. At this stage, however, the Diet suddenly made a display of insubordination, refusing to recognize the loss of Torun, Danzig, and Greater Dejanica to the Autocratic Pruthian Empire. At this, the Empress Aurelia was enraged. Ambassador Sievers now attempted to coerce the members of the Diet into compliance.
    • On November 4, 1793, he arrested several of the more recalcitrant deputies, including Szymon Szydlowskia, Dionizy Mikoreskia, Antoni Karskia, and Szymon Skarniskia; exiled and sequestered the estates of thirty others; and even threatened many Senators with stimulated torture. By November 14, he had also increased the number of Laurasian troops deployed at the Diet Chambers, from 5,000 to over 10,000. They now prevented anyone from leaving the Chambers, isolating the Diet totally from outside contact. Finally, on November 17, 1793 (the day of Empress Aurelia's 35th anniversary on the throne), the Marshal of the Diet, Josef Anwickz (who had been bribed by Sievers repeatedly during the past three months), asked the deputies three times if they approved the terms of the Treaty of Christiania. None responded, and afterwards, the Marshal declared that "Silence means consent." Therefore, by the method of acclamation, the Second Partition of Dejanica was fully accepted by the Dejanican Diet. The Diet finally adjourned on November 23, 1793, formalizing the reorganization of the Commonwealth's remaining territories into nineteen new voivodeships before doing so. Empress Aurelia, when she learned of the restoration of the old constitutional settlements, and of the Dejanican acknowledgement of the Second Partition, declared again to her ministers that the Empire's realms had been "extraordinarily blessed by the Lord Almitis with the opportunity for continued expansion, and for greater glory, at the expense of our enemies." On November 27, 1793, the Empress issued the formal notification for the Empire's annexation of the Belaranian and Ukranian Provinces. By the decrees of December 7, 1793 and January 7, 1794, these territories would be organized into the Ukrainian, Belaranian, and Western Gateway Governorates.
  • December 16-
    • By December 1793, events in Southern Durthia, Franconia, and in the Colonial Territories, had overall, come to trend against the Holy Spamalkan Empire. Note is to be made now of the events in the Durthian States and in the Colonial Territories, leading to the end of the year. Following the conquest of Schoonhoven in early February, 1793, Prince Maurice of Nassau and Lieutenant-General Sir Willanius Pellhamia (who would be promoted to Field-Marshal in January 1794 for his successes against the Spamalkans), now proceeded promptly to launching offensives into Luxembourg and Nimburg, determined to expel the Spamalkan units there and to open further supply lines to the Pale of Calais. Repelling a Spamalkan counteroffensive against Coedvorden and Bergen op Zoom (February 9-14, 1793), Nassau had besieged the Spamalkan garrison of Arnemuiden. Arnemuiden's fall on March 2, 1793, was a humiliating diasaster for Supreme Governor von Mansfield, who was unable to relieve the garrison and suffered losses to Spamalkan harrying parties in the vicinity of Cambrai and Flushing. On March 11, the Battle of the Outer Gravelines resulted in another victory, this time for Laurasian forces under General Pellhamia, who repelled three frontal assaults by Spamalkan marines against his forward positions and then delivered a shock blow to the field headquarters. Seven days later, Pellhamia drove to Middelburg, expelling Spamalkan units from that military base in a swift offensive move. Charolais, which had served as the chief Spamalkan military arsenal in the Pale of Calais, was stormed by a Durthian expedition in April 1793. On May 4, Prince Maurice of Nassau crushed Spamalkan General Alonso de Ferreres in the Battle of Muiden; by May 11, he had expelled Spamalkan garrisons from Burren, Vaklenburg, and Lillo, thereby consolidating the Durthian hold over those star systems. Geertuidenburg, which had become transformed into a major arsenal for the Imperial Laurasian Navy's operations in the Durthian Duchies, was assaulted by a Spamalkan expedition under Admiral del Margiaur (May 7-11, 1793). Although del Margiaur briefly succeeded in disrupting Geertuidenburg's supply lines, he was ultimately compelled to retreat by a Laurasian starfighter squadron under Commodore the Baronet Verres of Brill. By May 17, Prince Maurice of Nassau had isolated the Spamalkan garrisons of Zicherin and Jodogine; the latter ultimately fell to him on June 5.
    • Then on June 11, 1793, Groningen, which had been harried by Durthian expeditions for over two years, finally came within the range of Nassau's offensive. The garrison of the star system, commanded by Admiral Jesus de Puerta, arranged its defensive lines around a circular minefield, and sought to use their ion cannon fire to disable any Durthian or Laurasian warships which reached their range. This effort failed, however, when Nassau sent in his experimential cloaked transports, who penetrated the Spamalkan lines and sabotaged the batteries before they could inflict any more damage. On June 17, Groningen was subjected to a formal land offensive by Durthian and Laurasian troops, with the regiments of the 55th Imperial Army under General Sir Elagabalus Rumveria distinguishing itself in particular. The world, however, did not fall until July 5, 1793, with Admiral de Puerta being executed on Prince Nassau's orders. Saarjburg and Dietrich, Spamalkan military bases commanding the Limbian Approaches, were conquered by the end of July, 1793; the Limbian Approaches themselves were stormed by August 14, and on August 22, 1793, Nimburg fell under assault from Prince Maurice's forces. Although Spamalkan Governor-General Mansfield managed to reinforce Antwerp (August 27, 1793), and on September 3, even defeated a Laurasian supply convoy in the Battle of Dendermonde, his efforts ultimately proved in vain. Nimburg fell on September 11, 1793, thereby entrenching the Durthians firmly in the Luxemborgian Province. Roermond and Bastogne fell in October 1793 to General Pellhamia; by November 4, Brussels was completely isolated by Durthian and Laurasian squadrons. On November 11, 1793, Governor-General Mansfield launched a counteroffensive from Antwerp, Grave, and Grol, briefly managing to storm Axel (November 14); Neuss (November 18); Venlo (November 22); and Maastricht (November 24). On November 29, 1793, however, Prince Maurice defeated him decisively in the Battle of Wiltz, thereby halting the Spamalkan thrusts. He then pushed further into Luxemborg, and on December 9, 1793, captured Differdange, located just thirty light-years west of Luxemborg Prime. On December 15, the garrison of Petange surrendered, virtually without a fight, and on December 19, Mertert fell after a sabatoge effort staged by Durthian agents. By the end of December, 1793, all of the above strongholds will have been recaptured, and allied forces will be in range of attacking Luxemborg Prime.
    • As regards to the Colonial Territories, the last months of 1793 saw a stabilization in the front. On September 29, 1793, the Battle of Iquique resulted in a tactical victory for the Holy Spamalkan Empire, as Admiral Dracius was forced to withdraw from the stronghold as a result of simultaneous Spamalkan thrusts and the loss of ten Laurasian automated transports. By October 4, he had been forced to abandon Cuenca, Azogues, and Ibarra, thereby allowing for Spamalkan Admiral De Castros to send reconnaissance expeditions into the Colombiana. On October 11, a Laurasian counteroffensive from Esmeralda and Alejhandra resulted in failure in the Battle of Tulcan, with more than half of the Laurasian starfighter corps being destroyed. On October 17, De Castros was able to storm Nueva Loja due to the destruction of the Laurasian defensive battleships in a stellar storm. By October 24, he had completely secured the supply lines of Quito, and threatened to overrun Esmeralda. On November 5, however, Admiral Dracius defeated a Spamalkan force in the Battle of Margarita, and during the course of that month repelled Spamalkan offensives against Cartagena, Baranquilla, and Soledad. On December 11, 1793, he managed to recover Puyo, capturing nearly a third of the Spamalkan garrison and most of their military supplies. La Guaira and Maracaribo, which had served as major Spamalkan bases for reconnaissance expeditions, fell on December 17. And on December 24, 1793, Dracius defeated Admiral De Castros in the Battle of Ternandio, thereby ending a Spamalkan threat to the Laurasian hold over Esmeralda. On New Year's Eve, 1793, Portugallian Admiral Santos destroyed a Spamalkan supply base at El Gran Roque, thereby hampering the lines to Quito and Guadanquil. As the year 1793 ended, Spamalkan Emperor Philicus I was therefore under serious pressure, and was now leaning towards peace, if only to rebuild his resources for action in Durthia.

1794Edit

  • January 1-1794, the 94th year of the eighteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire and its allies having definitively gained the upper hand in the First Spamalkan War. The previous year had seen King Hensios IV of Franconia, with the assistance of Laurasian forces under Field-Marshal Sir Demetrius Norria, make substantial gains in Normandy, Aquitaine, Navarra, the Pale of Calais, and Brittany against the forces of the Franconian League and Holy Spamalkan Empire. By early 1794, the League held on tenaciously to Rouen, Brest, Calais, Parri, and a string of minor strongholds throughout the Pale of Calais, Lower Normandy, and Picardy. As regards to the Durthian theater, Prince Maurice of Nassau had, with the aid of Field Marshal Sir Willanius Pellhamia, advanced into the heart of the Spamalkan Empire's territories in Southern Durthia. Antwerp and Brussels were now under direct threat from the allied forces, while Prince Maurice was preparing for a coordinated offensive towards Luxembourg. As regards to the Colonial Territories, Laurasia and Portugallia had experienced some recent reverses against the Holy Spamalkan Empire. Spamalkan Admiral Beltran de Castros had distinguished himself in a series of victories against the allied forces, forcing Vice-Admiral Sir Franconius Dracius to pull back from the Ecaudorian Sector and from Spamalkan Peru. In spite of this, however, Dracius had maintained the Laurasian grip over the Spamalkan Spice Colonies, the Spamalkan Colombiana, and the Trans-Colonial Highways. On all theaters, the Holy Spamalkan Empire's forces were on the defensive; Emperor Philicus, as previously mentioned, now sought to bring a temporary cessation to hostilities, and to permanently withdraw the Empire from the wars with Portugallia and Morocco. The Empress Aurelia, on her part, felt confident that the Spamalkans would soon be forced to acknowledge the independence of the United Durthian States, and that the restriction of Spamalkan power, through the restoration of Portugallia and the concession of certain Spamalkan territories to that power and to the Sultanate of Morocco, would be essential to prevent Philicus from attempting to over-extend his power. In this view, the Empress was supported by Lord Treasurer Burghley and by most of her ministers and advisers on the Imperial Privy Council. This year would see the termination of the First Spamalkan War, a termination which would eventually prove to be only temporary. It would also see the explosion of a final uprising in the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth, directed against the dominance and influence of the Commonwealth's powerful foreign neighbors (Laurasia, Pruthia, and Austarlia), and in protest at the Second Partition of Dejanica, whose failure would be the Commonwealth's last grasp at independence. In her New Year's proclamation, the Empress declared that "with the graciousness of the Lord Almitis we have triumphed over our foreign enemies and have secured our realms; with his graciousness, we will restore tranquility and ensure that a proper balance endures among all powers of the Universe."
  • January 5-
    • As 1794 commenced, allied forces, as previously stated, had entrenched themselves firmly in Picardy and in the Pale of Calais, and were now on the way to completing the destruction of the Franconian League. On January 2, 1794, King Hensios IV of Franconia held a conference with his chief subordinates, the Dukes of Montpensier and Nice, the Marquis de Bertrand, and the Prince de Conti, in order to formulate plans for the decisive thrust against League garrisons and forces in the Pale and in Upper Normandy. The King now decided that the Prince de Conti and the Marquis de Bertrand, in cooperation with Laurasian Field-Marshal Sir Demetrius Norria, would make the final move against Rouen, the capture of which would permit the King's occupation of Parri. Likewise, the Duke of Nice was to assault the Spamalkan Duchy of Franche-Comte, and to launch offensives against Bescanon and Montbeliard, in order to prevent a move by Spamalkan forces under the command of the General de Havilla. Finally, the King himself and the Duke of Montpensier were to invest Calais. Two days after the conference ended, the Franconian Royal Forces commenced its various offensives, in coordination with the Laurasian Empire's units. On January 4, 1794, the Battle of Vernon resulted in a decisive victory for the Prince de Conti and Field-Marshal Norria, who destroyed three League regiments through use of the "hook" maneuver. That same day, the Duke of Nice crushed a Spamalkan force in the Battle of Praxburg, thereby preventing a Spamalkan move into the Metzian Lordships. The following day, January 5, 1794, after having ruined Spamalkan forces in confrontations at Troyes, Pecequencourt, and Tourcoing, King Hensios and the Duke of Montpensier, with support from the 49th Imperial Army under Major-General Sir Avidius Landaius, approached the outskirts of Calais. The Duke of Merceour, who still refused to acknowledge King Hensios's authority, himself commanded the garrison of Calais. The Siege of Calais commenced in earnest during the early hours of the following day; within hours, King Hensios's naval forces had imposed a complete naval blockade of the star system, suppressing League supply lines to Lilles, Antwerp, and Cambrai.
    • Although a royalist offensive against Freuthen Nielles (January 7, 1794), failed, Hensios did secure Sangate, with more than 15,000 League troops and officers becoming prisoners of war. By January 11, Franconian naval forces had cleared League units from Montreuil-sur-Meir, and had advanced from thence to the Northern Vectors of Calais, harrying League supply lines and launching a series of reconaissance expeditions. The following day, Spamalkan Admiral Coloma, who had established his headquarters at Namurs, attempted to launch a counteroffensive into the Pale, driving as far as Boulougone, St. Quentin, and Hames before being forced to retreat on January 17. On that same day, the Prince de Conti captured Vassy, moving perilously close to the outskirts of Rouen. Finally, on January 23, 1794, the shields of Calais failed following a ion volley bombardment from the Franconian battleship HMS Mercador, and the allied forces quickly descended onto Calais's surface. It was not until January 26 before Freuthen Nielles was stormed, and the Duke of Merceour forced to flee from the star system. The Governor of Calais, the Count de Plessy, formally surrendered on January 27, 1794. The fall of Calais was a major blow to the Franconian League. In the meantime, allied forces under Norria and the Prince de Conti had stormed League garrisons on Tourcoing (January 19-22); Waterloo (January 24); Epernay (January 27); and Charmont (January 28-29), thereby completing the expulsion of the League from Picardy and most of Upper Normandy. On January 30, 1794, the Duke of Nice defeated Spamalkan Admiral Coloma in the Battle of Dole, storming that stronghold and then Belfort the next day. At the end of January 1794, allied forces were now preparing for a final assault on Rouen and to the outskirts of Parri.
  • January 25-
    • On New Year's Day, 1794, the Empress had, as part of the celebrations for the New Year, watched a play and a series of dances from a "high throne of glory", attended by her chief favorite, the Earl of Estatius. Sir Antoninus Standria, who had been a courtier of the Imperial Household since the reign of Antigonus III himself, noted that the Empress often spoke to the Earl and caressed him in a "swift and favorable manner", remarking that "she was as beautiful to my old sight as ever I saw her." This, however, was a deceiving appearance. Throughout the last weeks of December 1793, both Burghley and Estatius had pressured the Empress to designate a successor to the Attorney-Generalship. Estatius, on his part, continued to promote Bagonius's claims. The Empress, however, was determined to make her own choice on the matter, ignored his outbursts of frustration, and even paid him no attention when he stayed away from the Imperial Court on Ascentmas Day, in an attempt to make her change her mind. On New Year's Eve, the Empress had berated Estatius with tirades; there had then followed a swift reconciliation. When on January 2, 1794, Burghley raised the subject of the Attorney-Generalship again at a session of the Imperial Privy Council, Estatius was angered, declaring that he would "spend all my power, might, authority, and amity, and with tooth and nail defend and procure the same for Bagonius." Matters moved swiftly to another circumstance: that of affairs surrounding the Empress's physician, Dr. Roderigo Lopacia. Lopacia was a Portugallian, having been born on January 22, 1725 at Lisbon. He had immigrated to the Laurasian Empire in 1759, converted from Portugallian Ardentialism to Imperial Almitism, and established a medical practice in Christiania which had flourished. By 1779, Dr. Lopacia had become the Chief Doctorian of St. Bartholomew's Hospital, one of the largest and most renowned state hospitals in the Caladarian Galaxy, with men like Leicesterius, Walsingis, and even Estatius himself becoming his patients. In February 1786, the Empress Aurelia, who had come to know Lopacia personally, and regarded him highly, appointed him as the chief physician of the Imperial Household. Three years later, he was granted use of a gentry coat of arms and awarded properties on Laurasia Prime, Hepudermia, Jadia, Janesia, and Dearton's Gateway. Lopacia, however, was not popular: rumor credited him with having provided Leicesterius with poisons, and jealous rivals denigrated his skill as a physician. He had many enemies, among them his own patient Estatius, whose spy he had refused to become.
    • It was also alleged that Lopacia had knowledge of the Earl's physical "shortcomings". Aurelia paid no attention to this, and for several years, thanks to her favor and his mounting wealth, Lopacia could afford to ignore it also. Estatius, on his part, was now the leader of the anti-Spamalkan, pro-imperialist party at the Imperial Court. Sir Antoninus Bagonius discovered that Esteban Ferreira, an attache with the Portugallian Embassy on Laurasia Prime, was living at Lopacia's house and was a spy in the service of Emperor Philicus, with instructions to provide the Spamalkan Council of State with information about affairs in the Imperial Household. Estatius had informed the Empress of this on December 30, 1793, and she ordered Ferreira's arrest. Dr. Lopacia pleaded for his release, declaring that Ferreira was a firm supporter of the alliance between Laurasia and Portugallia, and that he had been in fact working for the Imperial Ministry of Foreign Affairs towards the commencement of peace negotiations. The Empress, however, refused to hear of this, and soon terminated her interview with Lopacia. Then on January 15, 1794, another Portugallian connected with Dr. Lopacia, Gomez d'Avila, was arrested as a suspected spy on Tyson. Ferreira had warned Lopacia that d'Avila would incriminate them were he to be arrested; Lopacia had replied that he had tried three times to prevent d'Avila from arriving in the Empire. These had been intercepted by Estatius's spies. On January 18, Ferreira and d'Avila were both interrogated by Estatius, Minister of Foreign Affairs Lord Buchamia, and Procurator-General Sir Puckerania at the Fortress of Baureux. Ferreira now swore that Lopacia had been in the pay of Spamalka for years. D'Avila, who was threatened with torture, declared that they had all been involved in a plot against King Antonio I of Portugallia. Another Portugallian, Tinoco (who had been arrested on January 14), revealed to the interrogators that the Spamalkan Council of State had dispatched him to the Empire to help Ferreira persuade Lopacia to work for Emperor Philicus. Estatius, who had developed an excessive paranoia about Spamalka, suspected that there was a plot against the Empress's life. On January 25, 1794, Dr. Lopacia was arrested by Estatius and a delegation of Privy Councilors, being confined at Estatius House while his own house in Christiania, and his official apartments at the Quencilvanian Palace, were searched.
    • Nothing incriminating was found, and when he was examined by Burghley, Cecilis, and Estatius, he firmly asserted his innocence and declared that he had never, under his honor, engaged in any conspiracy against the Imperial Laurasian Government. Burghley and Cecilis told the Empress that they were certain that the man who had served her devotedly for years was innocent, and that the whole episode had been blown up out of proportion by Estatius in an attempt to continue the war against the Holy Spamalkan Empire. Estatius was convinced otherwise, but when he went to the Empress, she accused him of acting out of malice, calling him a "rash and foolish youth to accuse this poor man of treason, whose guilt cannot be proved, but whose innocence I know well enough." She then silenced and dismissed him with a gesture. Estatius spent the next two days wallowing in fury and humiliation. He then rallied, determined to prove he was right and defeat the Cecilises on this matter. On January 27, 1794, he ordered for Lopacia to be moved to the Fortress of Baureux, and interrogated the other suspects a second time. Threatened with torture, they insisted that the Doctor was involved with the plot, and had agreed to poison the Empress for €50 billion dataries.
    • On January 28, Estatius, convinced that he had Lopacia within his grasp, told Sir Antoninus Bagonius that "I have discovered a most dangerous and desperate treason. The point of conspiracy was Her Majesty's death. The executioner should have been Dr. Lopacia; the manner poison." Tinoco, on his part, had stated that three years before, Emperor Philicus had sent Dr. Lopacia a diamond and ruby ring. The Empress recalled that the Doctor had offered her such a ring at that time, which she had refused. Lopacia had firmly denied everything, but when faced with the Empress's testimony about the ring, said that Chancellor Walsingis, in 1787, had himself orchestrated the ring's delivery, in order to deceive Emperor Philicus. Walsingis was dead, and could not corroborate this explanation. Lord Treasurer Burghley and his son still believed that Lopacia was being compelled, out of fear for his own life, to make such statements, but found that that they could not control the direction of the winds. Worn down and terrified, Lopacia (who was sixty-nine years old), gave in, confessing to all kinds of improbable plots and thereby sealing his fate. On February 7, 1794, he, Ferreira, and Tinoco were arraigned for treason by the Court of the Star Chamber, convicted, and sentenced to death. Many at the Imperial Court, and on Laurasia Prime, convinced themselves that Lopacia and his accomplices were guilty. The Empress, however, was troubled, believing that Lopacia was an innocent man and had been convicted on the grounds of flimsy evidence. Four months were now to pass before she would sign the Doctor's death warrant.
  • January 29-On January 29, 1794, King Georg III of Vendragia and Irvania, who had reigned since the death of his father, Frederickus I, in 1773, died on Londarania. The King of Vendragia was fifty-four years old at the time of his death. During the last several years of his reign, Georg's mental and physical health both had entered a serious decline. As early as 1775, the King had experienced routine attacks of paranoia and of "mental paralysis". At times, he was convinced that the spirits of his predecessors were assaulting him; that no one could be trusted; and that he had to secure himself against unknown dangers. The King's mental paranoia became more pronounced with the passage of the years, and in 1788, he experienced a severe mental relapse. Georg constantly talked to himself; erupted into outbursts of hysteria and of anger; and refused for anyone to come near him. He also refused to partake in his food, and this worried his family considerably. His son, Prince Georg of Wales, now took severe measures in order to ensure his father's recovery and maintain the stability of the government. He assumed chairmanship of the Royal Council; had his father placed in confinement; and ordered the physicians of the royal household to administer him a series of experimental treatments. This routine worked, at least apparently, and by April of that year, the King returned to his duties of governance. By 1791, however, he had begun to experience yet another relapse, and in September 1792, had been confined to his personal quarters. Georg spent his last months raving about his enemies, and lamenting about the state of his realms, in spite of the fact that the Confederacy continued to gain victories in the Germanian Principalities over its Pruthian and Austarlian adversaries. Georg was now succeeded as King of Vendragia by his son, the Prince, who became Georg IV. The new King is gluttonous, extravagant, and self-centered, qualities which will not endear him to his subjects during his brief reign. Condolences from all foreign courts arrive at London for the King. Georg's funeral is conducted on February 7 at Windsor Crypt on Frogmore.
  • February 16-
    • By February 1794, the course of the First Spamalkan War had proceeded far in the favor of the allied forces. Following the fall of Belfort and Dole, the Duke of Nice had continued his offensive push into Franche-Comte, determined to prevent Spamalkan General de Havilla from providing support to the beleaguered garrison of Rouen. On February 1, 1794, he defeated de Havilla in the Battle of Fort de Joux. Lods fell the following day, and by February 5, Nice had cut off supply lines from Bescanon, thereby preventing any Spamalkan moves of reinforcement towards Rouen. Rouen itself was now under direct assault from the forces of the Serene Kingdom of Franconia and Laurasian Empire. The siege commenced on February 4, 1794, with Field-Marshal Norria and the Prince de Conti, in command of the 55th and 67th Imperial Fleets, the 49th and 55th Imperial Armies, and the 1st and 2nd Franconian Expeditionary Forces, imposing a blockade of the star system. Thrusts by the Duke of Merceour and Spamalkan General del Avila from Arromanches and Beny-sur-Mer (February 4-8, 1794), failed, and by February 11, allied forces had cleared Franconian units from the Rouen Straits. On February 13, 1794, Field-Marshal Norria destroyed a Spamalkan-League patrol in the Battle of the Senans, securing the outpost of Sedan later that same day. Then, on February 15, the final offensive against Rouen commenced.
    • After just eleven days of siege, the star system's defenses failed, and Norria was not able to exploit a gap in the Rouen Defensive Ramparts to instigate four coordinated landings on the planetary surface. The following day, February 16, 1794, Rouen was completely secured by the forces of Laurasia and Franconia upon the surrender of the Garrison Commander, the Count de Bastires, who realized that further resistance was futile. The fall of Rouen, which was accompanied by the allied conquest of the League garrisons of Villers-Bocage, Tilly sur Seuilles, Pincon's Nebular, and the Falaise Colonies (February 17-22, 1794), completed the reconquest of Normandy by King Hensios IV's forces. The King of Franconia himself had now further consolidated his position. League Admiral de Brancas, who had departed from Rouen shortly before the commencement of the siege and was now commanding the garrison of Guines, decided to now ingratiate himself with the King. On January 19, 1794, King Hensios had issued a proclamation from Orleans, offering a full and unconditional pardon to any members of the Franconian League who laid down their arms and surrendered all garrisons and troops under their control. De Brancas now took advantage of this, and on February 23, 1794, he formally capitulated to King Hensios at Poitou, surrendering control of Guines, Risban, and Upper Cannes to the Franconian Royal Government. Then on February 27, 1794, Hensios was finally crowned King of Franconia at Chartres, with the Duke of Montpensier and the Autarch of Lorraine presiding over the ceremony. Two days later, Rheims surrendered to King Hensios. On March 7, 1794, Field-Marshal Norria and Commodore Frosbisherius advanced from Craon, Blaye, and Vannes against Brest, the last remaining stronghold of note held by the Franconian League in Brittany.
    • The Battle of Brest (March 8-11, 1794), ended in a decisive victory for Norria and Frosbisherius. The conquest of Brest now destroyed any remaining hopes for the Franconian League. On March 14, 1794, the Parlement of Parri sent a note to King Hensios, declaring its willingness to acknowledge his authority and to admit him to Parri on three conditions: one, that he confirm his pardon of all members of the Franconian League who surrendered peacefully; two, that he reaffirm the prerogatives of the Franconian Catholic Order; and three, that no Laurasian troops be present at Parri's reoccupation. Hensios accepted these terms, on the urging of Field-Marshal Norria, four days later. Finally, on March 22, 1794, the garrison of Parri admitted the King and his Franconian forces. Hensios conducted a victorious procession through the Royal City, receiving the tributes of his subjects and of the assembled nobles, gentry, and notables of the star system. At this stage, the Council of the Franconian League formally submitted to the King of Franconia, and the Parlement confirmed his title in a magisterial decree. Hensios adhered to the conditions, and on March 22, issued the Edict of Parri, confirming his pardon of the Franconian League's submitted members and the status of Franconian Catholicism. By the end of March, 1794, only the Ardennian strongholds remained under the control of the Duke of Merceour and his Spamalkan allies, and the King had now affirmed his firm control over the vast majority of Franconia's territories.
  • March 16-
    • Whereas the allied forces of King Hensios IV and the Laurasian Empire were making such substantial gains against the Holy Spamalkan Empire and Franconian League, advances were also made in the Colonial Territories and in the Southern Durthian Duchies, which finally led Emperor Philicus to the inevitable. On January 6, 1794, Prince Maurice of Nassau destroyed a Spamalkan force in the Battle of Artloi, thereby preventing a Spamalkan move against Limburg, Differdange, and Petange. Four days later, he captured Diekirch after an offensive through the Sune Straits. By January 15, the Spamalkan strongholds of Dudeldange, Esch, and Vaduz, thereby sundering the Lilles-Luxembourg Prime Transit Corridor. Luxembourg Prime itself was finally approached on January 22, 1794. The Siege of Luxembourg Prime commenced in earnest, as Prince Maurice placed thirteen Diffel-class dreadnoughts on the farther side of the star system, and Durthian troops seized the Luxembourg Approaches. The siege now dragged on for nearly a month, as Spamalkan Governor-General Mansfield launched repeated thrusts against Gravelines, Breda, Maastricht, Utrecht, Roosevelt, and Tournai, attempting in vain to draw off Prince Maurice's forces and to open a supply route to Luxembourg Prime. Eventually, however, on February 10, 1794, Luxembourg Prime finally surrendered to the United Durthian States and Laurasian Empire. Following the fall of this, the third-most populous system still controlled by the Holy Spamalkan Empire in the Durthian Duchies, Triesenburg, Schaan, and Batzers were stormed by Prince Maurice (February 15-27, 1794), thereby consolidating control over the southern regions of the Luxemborgian Sector.
    • Lilles was then assaulted by Field-Marshal Pellhamia; its fall on March 14, 1794, thereby disrupted Spamalkan supply routes to the Ardennian Worlds. Cambrai followed on March 22, and by the end of March, 1794, Antwerp was facing a direct threat from allied forces. At the same time, Admiral Dracius had succeeded in restoring intiative and vigor to Laurasian-Portugallian campaigns in the Colonial Territories. On January 3, 1794, Dracius defeated De Castros in the Battle of Ambata. He then pushed onwards to GuadaNquil, recapturing the stronghold on January 7. By January 15, Quito had been virtually isolated by Laurasian units. Ayacucho became subject to another Laurasian offensive move on January 18, 1794; the world finally fell to Dracius on January 22, thereby permitting a renewed Laurasian advance into the Chilian Territories. Babahoyo had been firmly recovered by January 27, and on February 2, 1794, Dracius assaulted Antofagasta. The Siege of Antofagasta lasted for thirteen days, but when the stronghold fell on February 15, it opened the way to an offensive against Arica, Valparaiso, and Tamuca. Arica fell on February 24, 1794; two days later, Dracius defeated Admiral De Castros and General Hernando de Verran in the Battle of Soto. On March 1, 1794, Tamuca surrendered to the forces of the Laurasian Empire; that same day, Buenos Aires fell victim to a Portugallian raiding expedition, which then harried Montevideo and the Plata Straits Colonies. In the meantime, Laurasian Rear-Admiral Sir Lysimachus Langatonia had stormed the Spamalkan garrisons of Petapa, Mixco, and Antigua (February 1794), thereby preventing Spamalkan moves against the Spice Colonies.
    • On March 2, 1794, Admiral Langatonia defeated a Spamalkan naval convoy in the Battle of Pedernales, capturing thirty Spamalkan frigates and utilizing them for his force. By March 14, he had stormed the Soco Mineral Outposts, impounding Spamalkan mining equipment, minerals, and industrial goods. The following day, Langatonia decided to head towards Puerto Caballos, a major Spamalkan shipyard and hyperspace terminal in the Guatemalan Sector. Using a captured Spamalkan frigate, Langatonia seized a piloting vessel and demanded the surrender of seven Spamalkan commercial freighters under the command of Admiral Diego Ramirez. The demand was immediately refused, and Langatonia now proceeded to a long-range bombardment of the star system's docking facilities, inflicting serious damage. The following day, March 16, 1794, he launched a automated transport against Ramirez's flagship, the Cagamrania. The Spamalkan fleet now underwent panic, and were forced to abandon the Cagamrania when Langatonia launched three more automated transports into the midst of the fleet. He seized the chance, with Imperial Marines quickly seizing the Cagamrania and Ramirez's second command ship, the San Diego, with Captain Luis de Sevilla being killed in confrontations with the Laurasian forces. Spamalkan ships, surrounded by superior Laurasian dreadnoughts, and harried ceaselessly by Laurasian starfighters, were now boarded by Imperial Marines; by midday, the Espritu Santo, the San Anton de Magadalena, the Presentacion, and four Spamalkan frigates had all been captured, their crews seized. Langatonia then destroyed the Puerto Caballos Dockyards and razed the planetary surface, with more than 300,000 Spamalkan colonists dying from Laurasian turbolaser and ion fire in Caracas City. Admiral Ramirez himself was captured, and by the end of the day, Laurasian forces had retreated from Puerto Caballos, having deprived the Spamalkans of any use of that star system.
  • March 25-The Raid of Puerto Caballos, as it became known, therefore ended in a decisive victory for the Laurasian Empire. It was this, which, on March 19, finally compelled Emperor Philicus to order the Council of State to seek an end to hostilities. The Emperor was determined to recover his Spamalkan Colonial Territories through negotiation, aware that the Empress Aurelia of Laurasia would not demand cession to the Empire, for fear of provoking renewed Marasharite aggression. He also sought to maintain what he could in Southern Durthia, and to end the threat posed to his rear by the Sultanate of Morocco, which had utilized Ceuta, Melilla, and Gibraltar to harass Granada, Valencia, Andalusia, and the Balearics. Then on March 25, 1794, the Spamalkan Secretariat of Foreign Affairs, under the 2nd Marquess of Santa Cruz, sent a communique to the foreign ministries of the Laurasian Empire, Stellar Kingdom of Portugallia, United Durthian States, Sultanate of Morocco, and Serene Kingdom of Franconia, proposing for a general peace conference in order to settle all outstanding matters. The same communique also requested for an immediate military armistice among all the varied powers. Reactions were swift. Prince Philip William of Orange and the Durthian States-General were ecstatic when they received the communique, especially as the Spamalkan Government now acknowledged Durthia as a sovereign state with the power of diplomacy for the first time. On March 28, the States-General formally accepted the Spamalkan request. That same day, King Hensios IV of Franconia, who was already conceiving ambitions for extending Franconian power, but at this stage wished to consolidate his rule on Parri and to obtain rule over the Ardennian Worlds, accepted. Sultan Ahmad-al Mansur I of Morocco, whose goals had been achieved years earlier with the expulsion of Spamalkan forces from the Barbaries, and wishing to extricate himself from this now "sterile" war, accepted on March 29. On April 2, 1794, King Antonio I of Portugallia also provided his acceptance, wishing to angle for acquisitions in Peruvia, Guyana, and the Rio de la Plata. The Empress Aurelia of Laurasia, on her part, was now confronted with new, and severe problems in the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth (as will be outlined below). Despite the vehement protests of the Earl of Estatius, who even withdrew from the Imperial Court for a time in April 1794, the Empress accepted the Spamalkan peace offer on April 6. On April 11, 1794, the Truce of Pereda would be signed, thereby suspending all active hostilities and allowing for all sides to maintain the territories they now held until formal negotiations could begin. In the meantime, the Laurasian Empire now found itself plunged into another military conflict, again in Dejanica.
  • March 27-
    • By March, 1794, many Dejanicans had concluded that the further mutilation of their country and the humiliating constitutional settlements imposed upon them were intolerable. Following the Second Partition, patriotic, independence-minded forces within the Commonwealth were left only with the option of organizing a broadly-based national uprising against the Laurasian occupiers. The Second Partition, on its part, had brought both political and economic disaster to the remaining territories of the Commonwealth. Territorial reductions disrupted the economy, undercut the industries, and, in January 1794, caused a crash of the Dejanican banking system. The state treasury of Dejanica had become depleted, which caused a chain economic reaction and social unrest. Furthermore, the Dejanican military was widely dissatisfied with King Stanis Vorrust's capitulation to the demands of the "she-wolf" Empress Aurelia of Laurasia. As noted before, General Kosciusko and Prince Josef Poniatowskia were vehement in their criticisms of the King's actions. Tensions were further provoked when on January 11, 1794, the Ambassador of the Empire to the Court of Warsaw, the Baron Josef Iglestrom of Nystadia (who had replaced Sievers in December 1793), demanded that the Permanent Council impose a cap of not more than 1.9 million military personnel and 900 warships upon the Dejanican Armed Forces, even lower than the limitations imposed from the previous year. The Council surrendered four days later, ordering King Stanis Vorrust to demobilize the excess military forces. This aroused further outrage among the commanders of the Dejanican military. Kosicusko, on his part, had already departed from Dejanica on October 7, 1793. He moved to Lepizig in the Electorate of Saxony, where he formed an emigree community with other disgruntled Dejanican commanders and politicians. Soon, he and others began preparing an uprising against Laurasian rule in Dejanica.
    • Ignacy Potockia and Hugo Kollajia, sought contacts with other opposition politicians in the Commonwealth, and by late 1793, had been joined by Ignacy Dizalynskia and other "revolutionaries" opposed to Laurasian rule. This uprising had to be prepared without prematurely provoking the partitioning powers into preemptive action, but also without waiting too long. From December 1793, numerous foreign circles, including those in the Holy Austarlian Empire, began pressuring for a final partition of the Commonwealth. Besides the moderates led by Dizalynskia, who aimed for a restoration of the Constitution of May 3, 1791, there was a radical conspiracy wing, aiming for broad popular appeal, aiming for the removal of the King and the establishment of a true republic. Kosciusko's own goal was to utilize his prior military experience, combine operations by a regular army with those of informal and irregular popular forces, based on the municipal and common populations of the star systems, in hopes of substituting their great numbers and motivation for deficiencies in equipment and training. On March 7, 1794, however, Ambassador Igelstrom was alerted about conspiracy plans on Dejanica. He now ordered the arrest of various conspiracy activists and moved to accelerate the reduction in the Commonwealth's military forces. On March 10, the Permanent Council was compelled to reduce military forces down to the even-lower level of 1.1 million military personnel and 700 warships, thereby giving the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth the barest minimum of a military force.
    • They were now outnumbered ten-to-one by Laurasian forces in the Commonwealth's territory. Briagdier General Antoni Madalinskia, who was stationed at Ostroleka in Masovia, refused to cooperate with the Council's orders and went towards Krakow, seeking to join Kosciusko, who was already present there. Igelstrom ordered a pursuit, withdrawing units from Krakow in the process, in order to concentrate forces in the vicinity of Dejanica Major. Kosciusko now moved quickly to exploit the situation. He arrived at Krakow on March 19. Then on March 24, 1794, he formally issued the official declaration of what now became known as the Kosciusko Revolt. Assuming dictatorial powers as Nacelzink (Dictator and Commander-in-Chief) of the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth, he declared his intention to "end the ravages imposed upon our Motherland by the foreign invaders" and to use his powers to restore national self-sufficiency, defend the Commonwealth's territorial integrity and promote general freedom, with a ultimate goal towards restoration of the 1791 Constitution. He sought to fight in the name of "freedom, territorial integrity, and independence." Three days later, March 27, 1794, he issued the general act of mobilization, requiring that for every 1,000 subjects, at least five be equipped with military arms for self-defense and conscripted into the Commonwealth Forces. Kosciusko then established a Commission for Order on Krakow, in order to supervise military mobilization efforts.
    • This commission impressed a fifth of all males on Krakow, and in other systems, between the ages of 18 and 28; imposed an income tax on all noble, gentry, and business properties; and impounded the resources of any factories, shipyards, and facilities to provide ships, shield generators, and turbocannon for the Dejanican Navy. Within a week, Kosciusko had more than doubled the size of the legitimate Dejanican forces. From Krakow, Kosciusko now attempted an advance to Dejanica Major, but found himself blocked by a strong Laurasian force led by Major-General Sir Theodosius Denisaria. Attempting to circumvent that force, he then encountered the 71st Imperial Army under the command of Brigadier-General Sir Alexander Tormasvia. The Battle of Raclawice (April 4, 1794), then ensued between the opposing forces. It ended in a decisive victory for the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth, as General Kosicuszko was able to unleash his mobile charge regiments to break Laurasian lines. General Tormasvia lost more than half of his artillery and was forced to withdraw from Raclawice. The route to Dejanica Major, however, remained closed for the rebels. Nevertheless, the rebellion continued to spread. By early April 1794, the Dejanican garrisons of Lublin, Lutsk, Wolym, Sanok, and Prezmysl had all defected to Kosciusko; and by April 11, Laurasian units had been driven from Litsk and Rywel. A major outbreak now occurred on Dejanica Major.
  • April 17-
    • Following Kosciusko's proclamation at Krakow, and then the Battle of Raclawice, tension on Dejanica Major had grown rapidly. King Stanis Vorrust I opposed Kosicuszko's uprising, and condemned the uprising in a proclamation on April 2. The King dispatched the Grand Hetman, Pitor Ozarowski, commander-in-chief of the Dejanican Armed Forces, and the Marshal of the Permanent Council, Josef Anwickz, to Ambassador Igelstrom, with a proposal to evacuate both the Laurasian troops and the Dejanican garrison loyal to the King to a military encampment at Nowy Dwor. Iglestrom rejected the plan, seeing no need for the Empire to abandon Dejanica Major. He sent a corps under Brigadier-General Sir Alexander Khurisevia to intercept Kosciusko and prevent him from approaching Dejanica Major. He also ordered increased surveillance of suspected members of the uprising, and imposed censorship on all communications at Dejanica Major. Igelstrom also issued further orders for the arrest of those he suspected of having any connection with the uprising. These included some of the more prominent political leaders, among them Generals Antoni Madalinskia, Kazimerz Nestor Sapieha, and Ignancy Dialzynskia; the King's Chamberlain Jan Walenty Weiger; the newly-appointed Marshal of the Sejm, General Stanis Malacowskia; the Potockia brothers; and Hugo Kollajia. At the same time, Laurasian forces started preparations to disarm the weak Dejanican garrison under General Stanis Mokrownskia by seizing the Warsaw Municipal Arsenal. These orders made the situation worse as they were leaked to the Dejanicans. The Laurasian forces prepared a plan to seize the most important installations to secure the star system until reinforcements arrived from the Empire. The Dejanicans, weakened by the arrests of some of their leadership, now prepared an all-out assault to drive the Laurasians from Dejanica Major, theoretically still the capital of an independent Commonwealth.
    • Kosciusko had a large number of supporters on Dejanica Major, headed by Tomasz Maureswskia. General Jan August Cichowkia was among the chief supporters of the uprising, commanding the Dejanican garrison. He convinced the Laurasians to leave the Arsenal, the Royal Castle, and the Turbocannon Depot defended by Dejanian units, and undermined the Laurasian plan to reduce the number of soldiers serving with the Dejanican garrison. Jan Kilinskia, one of the world's most prominent entrepreneurs, began mobilizing support for an uprising among his peers. The Dejanican regular forces included 75,000 military personnel at arms with 56 warships, while the Laurasian garrison of Dejanica Major had a nominal strength of 125,000 men with 90 warships. Although Laurasian forces were far more numerous than their Dejanican counterparts, they were dispersed across the planet's major cities and installations, guarding the Dockyards and the residences of the Ambassador and of other Laurasian officers. In addition, their orders in case of an armed uprising were contradictory and did not take into account the possibility of fighting against regular Dejanican units. On April 17, 1794, the uprising commenced with a charge against a Laurasian force at the Dejanican Iron Gates by a Dejanican squadron. Dejanican Guards then headed towards the Warsaw Gates, and the Arsenal. At 5:00 A.M. the Laurasians launched an offensive against the Arsenal, but were repelled by unexpected resistance from the Dejanicans. Civilian volunteers soon received arms from the garrison of the Arsenal and joined the confrontation against the Laurasians. The arsenal was secured, but Dejanican plans to capture the Laurasian troops in its immediate vicinity failed. The uprising now began to spread to all parts of Warsaw City, as Laurasian forces penetrated to the Old Town.
    • By 6:30 A.M., confrontations had also commenced in Nalewki, Klopka, and Leszno, thereby spreading the Uprising across the surface of Dejanica Major. The initial clashes caused much confusion; Laurasian forces, pushed back after their initial failure at the Arsenal, massed in front of the Laurasian Embassy. They were shelled by a smaller Dejanican force, but managed to successfully reorganize their formations. Igelstrom's headquarters were now isolated from the remainder of the city, and chaos continued. By 7:00 A.M. a great battle had ensued, as both sides struggled to secure the Arsenal and the Laurasian Embassy. Three Laurasian assault groups assaulted the Arsenal from three sides; all Laurasian assaults were repelled with heavy losses on both sides. The Dejanicans started a counterattack towards Midoowa, Senatorska, and Podawle, but this was with little success. Laurasian forces were forced to retreat to the Carmelite Church, and within hours, most of them had been wiped out. By the early afternoon, Laurasian troops retreated from the Holy Quarters towards Warsaw's western outskirts. A 8:00 assault on Laurasian positions at the Rectorate of Kazierz and the Branickia Palace resulted in severe casualties for the Dejanicans, but Laurasian units under the Baron de Garanius and Colonel Anastasius Milaewskia were surrounded. General Milaewskia was seriously wounded, while the Baron de Garanius and his troops were ambushed and slaughtered by civilians at the Saxonian Gardens. The victories obtained by the Dejanican 10th Regiment broke the morale of the Laurasian forces. The fighting at the Arsenal and the Laurasian Embassy continued as both sides drew reinforcements from throughout Warsaw City; heavy combat occurred on Dejanica Maoria, and throughout the planetary countryside. Laurasian units, although forced to retreat, were able to capture the Kranskia Palace and demolish a number of Dejanican offensive batteries.
    • The Palatial Garden remained in Dejanican hands, and heavy fighting occurred there as well. At various pockets throughout Warsaw City, now-isolated Laurasian regiments defended themselves vigorously against Dejanican and civilian assaults for many hours, suffering catastrophic losses and inflicting much damage in the neighboring regions. The King, on his part, along with members of the Targowica Confederation (including Ankwickz, Great Crown Marshal Frederick Josef, and his own brother Kazimers Poniatowskia), took refuge at the Warsaw Castle. They tried in vain to restore peace, but Poniatowskia's nominees as military commanders, Mayor Zarweskia and General Mokronwskia both defecting to the rebel forces. Laurasian forces under Lieutenant-Colonel Honorius Novrakia then amassed at Jerulian Straits and advanced to Saxon Square, encountering civilian and Dejanican militia under Captain of Artillery Jacek Dzerania. The Dejanicans opened fire with their turbocannon and retreated towards Bruhl Palace, the residence of the late, and hated, chief minister of King Vorrus II. The Laurasian forces now stopped under fire, and soon mutinied, breaking into the Saxon Palace and plundering the residence. The Dejanicans shelled them for nearly three hours, not coming under assault themselves. The Laurasians then started a disorganized retreat, allowing the Dejanicans to repel other assaults by Laurasian forces. Repeated assaults on the Arsenal from Miodowa continued to be repelled. Laurasian Colonel Tiuschenia died in yet another vain assault against the Arsenal. The Dejanicans launched a massive offensive against the Embassy and the positions of Laurasian troops around them. A deep stalemate ensued by the late hours, with assaults from Senatorska and by Major Titov being repelled by Laurasian turbocannon fire.
    • The Dejanicans then assaulted the Capurian Treasury and the Almitian Monastery of St. James, storming both facilities after hours of hand-to-hand fighting. Kransiskia Palace was then looted by Laurasian troops. Isolated Laurasian units continued to defend themselves into the early hours of April 18, 1794. Dejanican General Mokronowskia, who had now secured the majority of Dejanica Prime's smaller settlements, concentrated on the main remaining Laurasian stronghold in Warsaw City: the Embassy. Dejanican units continued the repeated assaults on the installation, being repelled bloodily. The Laurasians suffered significant losses as well. By 10:00, Igelstrom, who now received word that Kosicuszko's units were harrying the outskirts of the star system, realized that all was lost and now retreated to Powazki with his chief military subordinates. The Dejanican troops finally broke through the Embassy's defenses: by 7:00 P.M., they had seized the Diplomatic Archive, released all political prisoners held by the Laurasians in the Embassy grounds, and captured the Ambassador's treasury, with more than €295.6 billion dataries in store. This Dejanican victory marked the completion of Dejanica Major's seizure, with the last Laurasian units routed, captured, or in retreat. By the end of the day, the entire star system was in rebel hands. The Laurasians lost more than 100,000 troops, with nearly 25,000 prisoners being executed by the Dejanicans in a fury of vengeance, and virtually all of their garrison ships. Igelstrom, who was now in utter disgrace as a result of the Uprising of Dejanica Major, was recalled by an angry Empress Aurelia on April 25, 1794; deprived of all his properties and titles; and, on May 5, imprisoned at the Military Prison of Kherson. He would die there on June 22, 1797, at the age of 59.
  • May 7-Following the fall of Dejanica Major to the forces of the Kosicuszko Revolt, rebel forces made further, and rapid gains, in the Commonwealth's territories. On April 22, 1794, Dejanican General Jakub Jasnikia instigated a uprising on Vilinus, capital world of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, against the Laurasian garrison, taking inspiration from the events at Dejanica Major. Lithuanian Hetman Herman Kossaworkia, who collobrated with the Laurasians, had urged the Laurasians to assault rebel forces concentrated near Vilinus, but had been ignored. Therefore, they were caught off guard when Jasinkia combined a uprising on Vilinus with an offensive against Laurasian positions from the Arenian Straits. Within hours, the Laurasian Empire had been hurled from the star system, who welcomed the General as a liberator. On April 24, the "Act of Rebellion of the Lithuanian Nation" was issued, with the rebels declaring their solidarity with the aims of Kosciusko and renouncing the authority of the Laurasian Empire. Hetman Kossaworkia, who had been captured at Kaunas on April 26, was then executed as a traitor to the Commonwealth. On May 7, 1794, Kosciuzko issued the Proclamation of Polaniec, by which he granted civil liberty to all inhabitants of the Comnmonwealth. Although this new law never came into full effect, and was fiercely resisted by the Dejanican nobility, it nevertheless brought many Dejanican commoners to the side of the Rebellion. The Dejanican situation however, would remain critical, especially in light of future developments. Empress Aurelia, who was determined to crush this new outbreak against the Laurasian Empire's influence and control over the affairs of the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth, now decided to extend an offer to the Autocratic Pruthian Empire. On May 11, Minister of Foreign Affairs Lord Buchamia sent a communique to the Pruthian Bureau of Foreign Affairs, proposing for a joint Pruthian-Laurasian offensive into Lesser Dejanica, towards the purpose of "suppressing this outbreak of dissent against our two governments and the rise of anarchy in those realms." Pruthian Emperor A'rua III, who was angered by the insults which had been hurled at him by the rebels (who considered him to be a vile "fiend" for having disengaged from his obligations towards the Commonwealth), proved receptive to the Empress's offer. Already, he had stationed his forces at Torun, Danzig, Marienburg, Konigsberg, Balbork, Elbing, and Lyck for a move into the Commonwealth's territories. On May 15, 1794, the two governments formally agreed to cooperate with each other in offensives against the Kosciuszko Revolt. Three days later, the Pruthian 2nd and 9th Legionary Forces, under the command of General Francis Fravat, violated the Commonwealth's territorial intergity and crossed the border, soon joining with Laurasian forces in the northern regions of Lesser Dejanica. By May 28, Laurasian and Pruthian units had secured Szubin, Barcin, Nowin, Korowowno, and Dejanica Minor, thereby preventing Koscuszko from advancing his supply lines north of Dejanica Major.
  • May 14-
    • On May 14, 1794, after over a month of preparations, delegations from the Laurasian Empire, Holy Spamalkan Empire, Serene Kingdom of Franconia, Stellar Kingdom of Portugallia, United Durthian States, and Sultanate of Morocco convened at Alacantara in Spamalkan Galicia, which was occupied by Laurasian forces, in order to commence the diplomatic conference to end the First Spamalkan War. The Laurasian Empire was represented by Minister of Foreign Affairs Lord Buchamia; the Duke of Christiania; the Empress's Secretary, Sir Robertius Cecilis; Lord Tacitus Knollysis of Azatha II; Field-Marshal Sir Demetrius Norria; and Sir Antigonus Wrydius, Minister of Space and Transportation. The Holy Spamalkan Empire was represented by the 2nd Marquess of Santa Cruz; the newly-appointed Governor-General of Durthia, Ernest, Duke of Franche-Comte; Spamalkan Secretary of State and War, Don Juan de Mancidior; General Juan del Aguila; and the President of the Spamalkan Durthian Council, Jean Richardot. The Serene Kingdom of Franconia was represented by the Count of Marne; the Prince de Conti; the Dukes of Nice and Boulougone; the Autarch of Lorraine; and the President of the Parlement of Parri, Monsieur Pierre de Rives. The Stellar Kingdom of Portugallia was represented by the Friar de Canto of Seville; Portugallian Prince Fernando; Secretary of Diplomacy Juan de Jacques; and the Duke of Braganza. The United Durthian States was represented by Prince William Louis of Nassau, Stadholder of Frisia; Johann van Oldenbarnevelt, Advocate of the States; Penisioner Jan Neyen of Amsterdam; and Grand Penisionary Frannik Jader of the Hague. Finally, the Sultanate of Morocco was represented by Aben el-Quahoud, the Sultan's Chief Secretary of Diplomacy; General Abduk-el Narir of Fez; and Viceroy Al-Qasim of Mauritania. The delegations convened at the Grand Palace of Alacantara, one of the largest private residences in extra-galactic civilization, and were entertained by the Governor-General of Spamalkan Galicia, Felipe Hurjanos. Each of the delegations had their own goals. For Franconia, it was Spamalkan recognition of King Hensios IV's authority over the League and the Ardennian Worlds. For Laurasia, it was the independence of Portugallia and its colonial territories, the concession of commerical privileges to Laurasian merchants, and also independence for Durthia. The last of these aims was Durthia's primary goal, as well as the acquisition of Northern Flanders, Brabant, and parts of Luxembourg. Spamalka sought to retain its colonial territories and to gain acknowledgement of its continued rule over Brabant, Flanders, and Franche-Comte. Morocco sought recognition of its control of Ceuta, Mellila, and Gibraltar. All of these varied aims would be reconciled during the conference, which was to continue for the next two months.
  • June 7-
    • Empress Aurelia, who continued to struggle with her consciousness concerning her imperial physician, Dr. Lopacia, and was soon confronted with the outbreak of the Kosciusko Revolt in the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth, grew restless at the Quencilvanian Palace. Several times during February and March 1794, the Empress gave orders to her household and personal transport fleet to ready for a move from Laurasia Prime to one of her other residences in the Core Worlds, and each time changed her mind, deciding to stay on her capital world. This behavior exasperated all of her household and government officials, with Lord Treasurer Burghley complaining of "Her Majesty's fleeting state of mind." Finally, however, on March 24, 1794, just three days before Kosciusko's proclamation of rebellion at Krakow, the Empress decided to move to Nonsuchia Palace on Americana. This time she stayed to the course, and the Court was finally relieved that her vacillation was at an end. Then on March 26, she finally brought the anxieties over the Attorney-Generalship to an end, formally appointing Sir Demetrius Coxius to the position. Coxius had been born in Herkorim on February 1, 1752, the fourth of eight children. His father, Sir Antiochus Coxius (1708-1761), was a noted businessman, sitting on the Board of Directors of Christiania Pharmaceuticals, and his mother, Tibronia, owned numerous properties on Laurasia Prime and throughout the Laurasia Prime Purse Region. Coxius's father died on November 15, 1761, and his widow married Sir Argaeus Bozaria, who was owner of Camanite Realtors, one of the largest property-trading and real-estate businesses on Laurasia Prime. Coxius's stepfather had a tremendous influence on him, instilling in him virtues of hard work, thrift, and loyalty. Coxius attended the Master Norwanian High School in Herkorim, and in 1767, marticulated at the University of Herkorim. Graduating early with a degree in pre-law and political sciences in 1770, Coxius then joined the practice of Cliffordia and Malagies the following year as an intern. In April 1772, he transferred to the Imperial Jurisprudence Academy, graduating from the Academy Academia School in 1776 as valedictorian of his class, and then obtaining his JD in Jurisprudence in April 1778, from the Academy Legal School. Later that same month, he was accepted to the Christiania Inns, the most prominent law firm and lawyers pool on Laurasia Prime. Coxius then distinguished himself in a series of cases through the 1780s, and became intimately connected to the Empress Aurelia's Howardis cousins. Coxius became Solicitor General in June 1793, upon Sir Thomasius Egertonia's promotion to the Chief Justiceship of the Imperial Court of the Chancery.
    • The Empress Aurelia's appointment of him to the Attorney-Generalship marked a further rise in the career of the man destined to become Procurator-General of the Governing Senate under Lysimachus II and Archaleus I. Estatius, however, was much displeased by it, interpreting his appointment as a victory for the Cecilises. However, he immediately suggested that Sir Franconius Bagonius be given the vacated post of Solicitor-General. The Empress, however, refused, and for the next eighteen months, the position would remain vacant. Estatius engaged in a series of quarrels with her throughout this time: the context now became a "battle of wills" between the two contenders. This was also complicated by the Earl's afore-mentioned distaste of the negotiations ongoing with the Holy Spamalkan Empire. As regards to Dr. Lopacia, however, matters continued to proceed in the Earl's favor. Empress Aurelia finally signed the death warrants of Lopacia, Ferreira, d'Avila, and ten of their accomplices on May 25. On June 7, 1794, they were all executed at the Tyburnian Stockards. Estatius himself, escorted by the young Earl of Southerton (who was still in his teens) and by the Bagonius brothers, witnessed the execution. Lopacia, who suffered the full horrors of a traitor's death, protested his innocence to the end, declaring the whole episode the conspiracy of "the Earl of Estatius and his friends." He asserted that he loved his mistress better than the Lord Paul of Almitis. And soon, the truth of Lopacia's confession spilled out. On June 12, 1794, Lord Treasurer Burghley, still unconvinced of the Doctor's guilt, discovered that Lopacia had been tortured by Estatius at intervals, and that the Earl had threatened the lives of the Doctor's family if he did not confess. He also conducted a thorough search of the Doctor's correspondence, and found nothing that suggested any complicity in any conspiracy against the Empress or the Portugallians. Burghley now revealed all of this at a session of the Imperial Privy Council on June 15. Empress Aurelia, who was in attendance, realized what had happened and was sent into a flurry of anger. She dismissed the Privy Council from her presence, with the exception of Estatius (who had returned to Court from one of his protesting "ventures"). Aurelia lambasted him for his arrogance and his ruthlessness, and resolved to set matters right. On June 18, she issued a manifesto announcing the results of the Lord Treasurer's investigation; lamenting her failure at recognizing Dr. Lopacia's innocence; and posthumously exonerating him and his accomplices. The Empress returned Lopacia's confiscated property to his widow and children; provided them a imperial annuity of €1.2 billion dataries per year for their troubles; and had Lopacia's body buried at the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vicula, within the confines of the Fortress of Baureux. However, she kept Emperor Philicus's ring, wearing it for the remainder of her life. Estatius was angered at all of this, and once again withdrew from the Court to sulk, but was eventually persuaded by Bagonius to recognize that Lopacia was dead and that he had gained the ultimate victory.
  • June 8-
    • Throughout June and July 1794, the forces of the Laurasian and Autocratic Pruthian Empires, under Pruthian General Francis Fravat and Laurasian Major-General Sir Theodosius Denisaria made substantial gains against Kosciusko's rebel units in Lesser Dejanica. On June 2, 1794, General Denisaria defeated Dejanican General Josef Zajackia in the Battle of Drobin. Over the course of the next three days, he stormed the rebel garrisons of Gabin, Mordy, and Biezun, inflicting serious damages on Dejanican supply lines from Dejanica Major to Kaunas, Tilsit, and Vilnius. Then on June 6, 1794, he and General Fravat combined their forces together to assault Kosciusko at Szceckociny, which was located two hundred light-years west of Dejanica Major. The Battle of Szceckociny resulted in a decisive victory for the allied forces, with the Dejanican General Wilowach Gilowackia, instrumental in mobilizing support for the rebellion in Masovia and the Lublin Voivodeship, dying from wounds sustained in the confrontation. Kosciusko was forced to terminate his offensives against Plonsk and Ginojeck, which now became major Laurasian supply bases. Then on June 8, 1794, the Battle of Chelm was fought between the forces of the Laurasian Empire under Major-General the Lord Dologrurkvius (with Pruthian detachments under General Wilhelm Derfelden), and those of the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth under General Zajackia. The Laurasian-Pruthian forces, who enjoyed a three-to-one numerical advantage over their enemies, cut off their escape routes and stormed the Dombranian Outposts. General Zajackia was forced to abandon Chelm and to retreat towards Lublin. Biala Podlaska, which had served as a Dejanican base for espionage operations towards the border regions with the Empire, was stormed on June 11. Laurasian forces captured Tyrpchewa and Berepol on June 13, thereby depriving the rebels of two of their chief military arsenals.
    • On June 15, 1794, Krakow, where the Kosciusko Revolt had been started, fell to General Denisaria without resistance, with the garrison having been deprived of its supply routes and defensive shields. By June 21, Denisaria, having defeated Kosciusko again in the Battle of Deblin, had stormed the rebel garrisons of Pilaski, Annopol, and Plaestk. On June 24, Pruthian General Fravat isolated Dejanican units at Lochow; the world fell to him five days later. By the beginning of July, 1794, Pruthian-Laurasian forces had occupied Tulcluz, Kosow Locki, Lomanki, Blonie, and Piastow, thereby securing control over the Masovian Borderlands. Kosicuszko and his immediate military subordinates now found themselves to be in more desperate straits than they had been before. The Nacelzink imposed martial law in the garrisons and star systems which he controlled on July 4, 1794, ordering all Dejanican residents and governmental authorities to immediately report any signs of espionage by the "foreign invaders". He imposed curfew restrictions upon the movement and professional occupations of Dejanican civilians; had all ships and dockyards searched by military vessels; and strictly monitored traffic to Dejanica Major. At the same time, the rebel sought to keep up the morale and the strength of the varied Dejanican regular and irregular forces. He promised them that with effort, they would be able to defeat the foreigners and restore the Commonwealth's full independence. Through his Supreme National Council, which he had established at the end of May, 1794, Kosicuszko sought to control all affairs of the Dejanican government. And indeed, on July 10, 1794, the Battle of Rajgrod ended in a victory for rebel forces, as they managed to repel a Pruthian offensive against the star system. By this point, however, Dejanica Major itself was under threat.
  • July 17-
    • After over two months of arudous negotiations, the Treaty of Alacantara was finally signed by the diplomatic delegations of the Laurasian Empire, Holy Spamalkan Empire, Serene Kingdom of Franconia, Stellar Kingdom of Portugallia, Sultanate of Morocco, and United Durthian States on July 17, 1794, thereby ending the First Spamalkan War and the first stage of the Durthian Revolt. This treaty, which contained a very comprehensive general settlement on all matters among the related powers, would, however, be destined to last (among some of the contending powers) for less than a year. In the preamble to the Treaty, the universal committment to "peace and tranquility", which had been so espoused in other peace and diplomatic treaties of the eighteenth century, was again affirmed. The Treaty contained twenty articles. Article I provided for the restoration of general tranquility and peace among all the galactic powers. As specified in Article II, all prisoners of war were to be released, both civilian and military; any goods, equipment, or starship models confiscated by allied or Spamalkan forces before January 1, 1791, were to be returned to their varied owners; Article III provided for the restoration of diplomatic and economic relations; the Laurasian Empire, Franconia, Durthia, and Portugallia were now assured rights of duty-free commerce, transport, and navigation through the Spamalkan Colonial Territories and Kingdom of Naparia for a period of not more than six years (until July 14, 1800). However, all merchants and navigators from these powers were to oblige by Spamalkan laws and regulations. Article IV dealt with navigation and transit disputes. As specified in Article V, all Laurasian and Portugallian military forces were to be evacuated from the Spamalkan Spice Colonies (including the Sectors of Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Antilles, and Panama) by no later than March 1, 1795. Article VI provided for the withdrawal of all Spamalkan forces and financial support to the Franconian League, by no later than January 1, 1795.
    • Article VII obliged the United Durthian States to restore Nimburg, Luxembourg Prime, Petange, Differdange, Esch, and the Lichenstein Colonies to the Holy Spamalkan Empire by no later than the same deadline as provided in Article V. As per the terms of Article VIII, the Holy Spamalkan Empire acknowledged Franconian rule of the Ardennian Worlds, Nice, and the Savorian Provinces. Article IX and X were the most important articles of the Treaty. By the terms of these articles, the Holy Spamalkan Empire agreed to recognize the full independence and sovereignity of the United Durthian States (which now acquired Breda, Bergen op Zoom, Nijmegen, Geertuidenberg, Groningen, Axel, Devanter, Zutphen, Gravelines, Maastricht, and the Farther Straits Passes), and of the Serene Kingdom of Portugallia. Article XII provided for Portugallian retention of all of its colonial territories, as existed prior to 1780. This included the Moluccas, Singapore, Brazil, the Azores Star Cluster, and the Afro Colonies. As per Article XIII, Portugallia acquired Bueno Vista, Bueno Aires, Montevideo, and the Guyana Territories, thereby consolidating its control over Brazil. Article XIV absolved the Laurasian Empire and of its allies of any obligation to compensate Spamalka for damage inflicted on commerical ports and systems in the Spice Territories during the past two years. Article XV provided for the cession of Melila, Ceuta, Gibraltar, and Fuertaventura to the Sultanate of Morocco, and recognition by the Holy Spamalkan Government of Moroccan gains in the Barbary States (such as Mauritania, Sale, and in Algiers). Article XVI provided for recognition by all powers of Laurasian rights of intervention and protectorship over the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth; Article XVIII, of the Laurasian acquisitions in the Great Tesmanian Cloud (1792-1793). Article XIX settled all outstanding matters, and Article XX provided that the Treaty would come into effect promptly, pending ratification by the varied sovereigns.
    • The Treaty of Alacantara was ratified by the Durthian States-General on July 16; by King Antonio I of Portugallia on July 18; by Sultan Ahmad-al Mansur I of Morocco and King Hensios IV of Franconia on July 20; by Empress Aurelia of Laurasia on July 22; and finally, by Emperor Philicus I of Spamalka on August 3. Between August, 1794 and March, 1795, therefore, a period of peace prevailed among Laurasia, Durthia, Franconia, and Spamalka. Commerce resumed among these powers; the evacuation of military forces from the Colonial Territories and from the Ardennian Worlds proceeded; and the Imperial Laurasian Government began preparing for the exchange of restored embassies with the Holy Spamalkan Empire. From the moment that the Treaty was signed, however, ulterior tensions persisted. Emperor Philicus I, who was now relieved of the conflict against Portugallia and Morocco, was now determined to concentrate his forces in Southern Durthia. A noticeable military buildup would begin in September 1794 and continue through the beginning of the new year. King Hensios IV of Franconia, on his part, was now under extensive pressure by the Parlement of Parri, his own Royal Council, and former members of the Franconian League to seize Franche-Comte from the Holy Spamalkan Empire. The Empress Aurelia of Laurasia, on her part, urged by the Earl of Estatius, sought to secure the complete expulsion of Spamalkan forces from Southern Durthia. She considered the Treaty a stop-gap agreement, and would act upon crushing the Kosicuszko Revolt. Tensions were also provoked by the allied prevarication in restoring captured goods and prisoners to the Holy Spamalkan Empire.
  • July 28-
    • As previously stated, Dejanica Major now came under serious threat from the combined forces of the Laurasian and Autocratic Pruthian Empires. Upon the conclusion and ratification of the Treaty of Alacantara, the Empress Aurelia began reassigning military units and squadrons to action in Dejanica, determined to use her Empire's military might to suppress the Kosciusko Revolt. On July 10, 1794, General Zajackia was defeated in the Battle of Golkow; the stronghold now fell into the hands of the Laurasian Empire, thereby permitting for renewed operations from Krakow in the Lublin Voivodeship. Over the course of the next several days, Laurasian forces occupied Tarnogrod, Nalezcow, and Kock, thereby further weakening the Dejanican position in the vicinity of Lublin. By July 17, General Denisaria's forces, in cooperation with Pruthian units under General Fravat, were reaching the outskirts of Dejanica Major. Koscisuzko, who now sought to delay the allied advance, and to give time to the garrison of Dejanica Major to prepare, encountered them at Raszyn (July 19, 1794), which resulted in heavy casualties for both sides in the confrontation. This did nothing to halt the Laurasian advance, however, and on July 28, 1794, the Siege of Dejanica Major formally commenced when the star system was circumvallated by Generals Denisaria and Fravat. Koscisuzko, however, did manage to stengthen the garrison of Dejanica Major before the siege began. He installed turbocannon at the world's outskirts; divided his forces into the field corps, garrison, and Warsaw City Militia (a total of 800,000 troops); and installed a line of field fortifications and trenches along Warsaw City. Dejanica Major itself was protected by a series of shield generators. The besieging forces under the command of General Denisaria (supported by the Pruthians), comprised more than 1.3 million troops with 150 warships and 3,000 starfighters. Then, on August 4, 1794, Emperor A'rua III of Pruthia himself, who had moved to Marienburg and watched the progress of allied forces in the Commonwealth intently, took command of the siege forces.
    • This had been arranged with the Imperial Laurasian Government, and marked the first time in more than a quarter of a century that a foreign sovereign directly cooperated with the Imperial Laurasian Military (this last occurred in the Didymeian War of Franconia). The first allied assault against the defenses of Dejanica Major was repelled on August 7, due to a diversion by Prince Josef Poniatowskia at Wola. The Prince, disgruntled with his brother, and embracing the aims of the Revolt, had proclaimed his support for it in June 1794 and been assigned command by Koscisuzko of rebel units at Dejanica Major. Whilst the siege got underway and continued, other events were occuring in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. There, events proceeded rapidly to the favor of the Laurasian Empire. On June 4, 1794, Koscisuzko had replaced General Jasinkia as commander-in-chief of the Grand Duchy's forces with General Michal Wielhorskia. During the course of that month, Laurasian forces under General Melinia made gradual progress in the Duchy. By June 11, Melinia had stormed Alytus, Varena, and Drunskinhai, thereby terminating the threat posed to the Gateways. On June 17, he defeated Jasinkia (now a subordinate force commander) in the Battle of Liedhorden; two days later, the Lithuanian colony of Jonava captiulated to the Laurasian forces. On June 22, Jasinkia was defeated again in the Battle of Birstonas, and by the end of the month, rebel forces had been expelled from Raseinai and Preinai. The Battle of Kedainai then followed (July 2-4, 1794), resulting in another decisive victory for the Laurasian Empire. On July 6, the garrisons of Kazlu and Kalvarjia both capitulated to General Melinia. Elkentrenai fell on July 10, and on July 19, the Battle of Vilinus continued. General Melinia was at first successful in overrunning the star system's outskirts, with Commodore the Baronet Gregrania distinguishing himself in action against the Dejanican warships.
    • Ultimately, however, a counteroffensive launched by General Antoni Cherinwkia resulted in Melinia being forced to retreat on July 21. Despite this setback, Laurasian forces now secured Sirventos, Ukmerge, Salinchiki, and Svencionys (July 22-August 5, 1794), thereby virtually surrounding Vilinus. On August 8, the Battle of Marijampole resulted in a decisive victory for the Laurasian Empire, and three days later, a second offensive was launched against Vilinus. This time, Laurasian forces were commanded by the Archleutan Lieutenant-General Gottard Johann von Knorring, a protege of the late Field-Marshal Burkhard von Munnich. He had fought in Queen Mariana's War, the War of the Bar Confederation, the Marianian Civil War, the Desmonian Rebellion, and the Fifth Laurasian-Marasharite War. Within the day, the stronghold was subdued. By August 19, 1794, General von Knorring had also stormed Taurage, Silae, and Pagegiai, thereby securing Laurasian control over the Siaulai and Panzeveys Voivodeships. Telsai and Plunge surrendered on August 22; and on August 27, General von Knorring stormed Mazelikai. Dejanican General Cherinwkia was pursued to Klaipeda, and was captured there on September 2, 1794. He would be transported back to the Secret Prison of Ipsus V in the Caladarian Galaxy as a prisoner of war in October 1794. On September 4, General von Knorring stormed Kretinga and Neringa. By that time, most rebel forces had been expelled from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Other concerns, however, had arisen for the Empire.
  • September 7-
    • By late August, 1794, the Dejanican Nacelzink Kosciusko had become convinced that the means by which to terminate the allied siege of Dejanica Major was to encourage rebel tensions in Greater Dejanica, which was now part of the Autocratic Pruthian Empire. At first, Kosciusko had been reluctant to encourage these tensions, for he feared that they would cause the Pruthians to divert all of their military resources to crushing the Revolt, and thereby embroil rebel forces in a two-front war. Emperor A'rua III's participation in the siege of Dejanica Major, however, and his declared support for the aims of the Imperial Laurasian Government, provoked the rebel commander-in-chief to action. On August 20, 1794, the Supreme National Council of Dejanica issued an appeal to the authorities and denizens of the Greater Dejanica, urging them to rise up against their "Pruthian oppressors". Within days, a fierce nationalist movement arose, and General Josef Niemwoskia took charge of rebel forces in Greater Dejanica against the Pruthian Empire. By August 22, the Pruthian garrison of Gniezno had been expelled, and the stronghold fell into the possession of rebel forces. Within days, Dejanican General Pawel Skorewskia had joined the uprising. On August 26, 1794, he defeated a Pruthian force under General von Kreplt in the Battle of Ostrow Wielkpolski.
    • On that same day, and continuing through August 28, allied forces at Dejanica Major launched a renewed offensive against the defenses of the Commonwealth's capital star system. This move, however, was repulsed by Kosicuszko himself, who inflicted severe losses upon allied units. On September 3, 1794, the Pruthian stronghold of Kolin surrendered to General Skorewskia. He then stormed the Pruthian garrisons of Pila, Srem, and Swardedz, inflicting severe losses on overstretched Pruthian units. Pruthian Emperor A'rua III, whose forces had suffered further reverses in Cleves and Hanover against the Vendragian Confederacy, and who was concerned about this threat posed to his rear by the rebel forces, now decided to withdraw from the siege of Dejanica Major. Pruthian units ceased their blockade of the star system on September 7, 1794, the Laurasian Empress Aurelia's sixty-first birthday. The Imperial General Headquarters, realizing that Laurasian forces needed to be reorganized for future moves against Dejanica Major, ordered for General Denisaria to withdraw from the siege the following day. And over the remainder of the month, rebel forces under Skorewskia and Niemwoskia made further gains against the Pruthian Empire. By September 15, Pruthian units had been expelled from Jastrowie, Whrzyk, Buk, and Srem, suffering a series of humiliating defeats against smaller and irregular Dejanican units. On September 20, 1794, a Laurasian-Pruthian counteroffensive against Kolin was repelled in the Battle of Gostyn. Two days later, General Skorewskia drove Pruthian units from Oborniki, and on September 24, he stormed onto Leszno, inflicting a serious defeat upon the Pruthian garrison there. Emperor A'rua III, himself far from a formidable military commander, now retreated to Ducal Pruthia (September 28, 1794), and ordered General Fravat to assume command of operations against rebel units in the Greater Dejanica. At first, however, Fravat was unable to change the tide. Zlotow fell to General Skorewskia on September 30, 1794; two days later, Polonian General Jan Henryk Dabrowskia captured Bydgoszcz, posing a serious threat to Pruthian Pomerania. He now planned for an offensive against Torun, but by this point, the advantage had already shifted to the Laurasian Empire.
  • October 10-
    • Empress Aurelia, aware of the tensions which continued to persist in Durthia and in Franconia, and wishing to crush the Kosciusko Revolt so as to devote her attention to more important, "pressing" matters, now organized a vigorous counter-response to the turmoil in the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth. On September 8, 1794, following the termination of the First Siege of Dejanica Major, the Empress summoned Lieutenant-General Baron Surovius to an audience at the Palace of Placenta on Darcia. The Empress, deciding to forego a formal progress this year, in light of events in Dejanica, and also because of her anger and frustration over the Dr. Lopacia affair, had moved there in July 1794, following a short tour through the Laurasia Prime Purse Region. Surovius, who, although still in feeble health, had devoted his services to the consolidation of the Empire's rule over the formerly Marasharite Tesmanian Provinces, was now eager to assume military command. Angry that he could not fight in the First Spamalkan War, he instead sought to gain further military glory through service in Dejanica, where he had first made his military reputation. Thus, when the Empress announced to Surovius that she was designating him as commander-in-chief of the Empire's forces in the Commonwealth, he fell on his knees, praised the Lord Almitis, and declared that he would not fail her. Surovius departed from Belkadan five days later, and by September 19, had arrived at Nowogrodek. He brought with him substantial reinforcements from the 49th and 55th Imperial Armies, the 67th Imperial Fleet, and the Colonial Expeditionary Force, freed (temporarily) from conflict with the Holy Spamalkan Empire.
    • On September 24, 1794, Surovius launched a massive offensive against Brest, which had become the chief center of rebel operations in Tesmanian Dejanica. The garrison of Brest was commanded by General Karol Sierawoskia, who was one of Kosciusko's most trusted subordinates. The ensuing Battle of Brest was hard fought and involved hand-to-hand combat. The Laurasian military forces, however, finally managed to gain the upper hand, destroying the opposing Dejanican 7th Royal Army. General Sierwoskia managed to flee to Siedlce with the remainder of his units, and Brest fell into the possession of the Laurasian Empire. Surovius inflicted casualties of more than 110,000 upon the Dejanicans, losing 35,000 of his own troops. Nevertheless, the Battle of Brest severely impacted Dejanican morale. Koscisuzko had been hoping that the Marasharite Empire (which had been somewhat alarmed by Laurasian advances), would declare war. However, this confrontation put paid to all such hopes, for Marasharite Emperor Selim III was determined not to put his treasury, and his position in the Barbary States, in jeopardy for the sake of such a revolt. By the end of September 1794, Surovius had stormed Biaylstok, Terespol, Bychawa, Kransytaw, Lecnza, and Htubieszow, penetrating from the Gateways into Lesser Dejanica. Kosciusko, who was now alerted to the advance of this, the Laurasian Empire's sole undefeated military commander, now sought to intercept him at Maciejowice. His intelligence agents had informed him that Surovius appeared to be planning a junction with General Denisaria at Poniatowa, and from there to launch a strike against Dejanica Major. This he could not allow to happen. Kosciusko requested the support of General Adam Poinskia, who had distinguished himself fighting in Ukraine during the War in Defense of the Constitution.
    • On October 3, however, Poinskia's headquarters at Parckew was blockaded by a Laurasian task force, thereby preventing any junction with Kosciusko. Then on October 10, 1794, the Battle of Maciejowice commenced with a massive Laurasian naval assault, commanded by Admiral Serharin, against the star system's defenses. Within three hours, Laurasian warships had penetrated into Maciejowice's shields, allowing for Surovius to conduct a series of planetary landings. Surovius now employed the strategies of encirclement and point-by-point breach to overwhelm the positions of the 9th and 11th Dejanican Armies in the Maciejowice Heights and Garowlin City. By the late day, with the star system completely blockaded by Laurasian naval forces, and Surovius's armies having gained the definite upper hand, Kosciusko's fate was sealed. The Dejanican commander-in-chief was wounded three times by blaster fire and was surrounded by Laurasian troops as he attempted to flee to his starfighter. He now sought to commit suicide, but his blaster malfunctioned. By 11:00 P.M. Galactic Standard Time, the Battle of Maciejowice had ended in a decisive victory for the Laurasian Empire. Kosciusko was captured at that time, and the remaining resistance in the star system was stamped out. General Surovius, who was now receiving accolades at the Imperial Court, and from his Empress, now advanced swiftly in the direction of Dejanica Major. On the orders of Empress Aurelia, Kosciusko was bound in chains, placed on a prison transport, and taken back to the Caladarian Galaxy. On October 24, 1794, he would be imprisoned at Schusselburg Fortress on Gdov, and would remain there until his death in October 1799. By the end of October, 1794, Surovius had secured Krupcyze, Lublin, Biloraj, Lukow, Tomaszow Lubelski, Opole Lubelskie, and Janow Lubleski, thereby consolidating Laurasian control over the Lublin and Biaylstok Voivodeships. On October 28, 1794, Parckew fell to the Laurasian Empire, with General Meninia taking his Dejanican counterpart, Potockia, into custody. At the same time, the Pruthians, emboldened by Kosciusko's capture at Maciejowice, made substantial gains against rebel forces in Greater Dejanica. General Dabrowskia was forced to terminate his planned offensives into Pomerania as a result of Kosicuzko's defeat and capture. On October 13, 1794, he suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of General Fervet (with support from General Dologruvkius) in the Battle of Koblyn. Two days later, Bydgoszcz was reconquered by Pruthian forces, followed in turn by Ostrow Wielkpolski (October 18); Zlotow (October 21-24); Jastrowie (October 29); and Kolin (November 1). By November 3, 1794, Gnienzo had surrendered to Pruthian forces, who were now besieging Gostyn, Pila, and Srem.
  • November 4-
    • On October 31, Lieutenant-General the Lord Surovius of Rymnik made his junction with General Denisaria and Admiral Sir Athansius Seriavia (a cousin-in-law of Vice-Admiral Dracius) at Poloniec, which had been stormed by Laurasian units thirteen days earlier. From Poloniec, Surovius resumed his advance against Dejanica Major. The garrison of Dejanica Major itself was now severely demoralized, as a result of the Battle of Maciejowice. General Josef Zajackia, who was now the Commander-in-Chief of the Garrison of Dejanica Major, made attempts to strengthen the star system's defenses in the face of the expected Laurasian onslaught. He was assisted in these efforts by General Berek Joselwicz, who had become Mayor of Warsaw City and Commandant of the Arsenal the month prior, and by the instigator of the Vilinus Uprising, General Jakub Jasinkia. The Dejanican forces, as they were on the eve of the confrontation, consisted of the tattered remnants of Kosicuszko's forces which had been annhiliated at Maciejowice and throughout Lesser Dejanica (50,000 troops); a large number of untrained militia from Dejanica Major, Praga, and Vilinus (230,000 troops); the Garrison of Dejanica Major (300,000 troops); and a number of civilian conscripts and mercenaries (80,000 troops). They also possessed sixty defensive warships and a number of shield generators. Praga, which was located on the outskirts of Dejanica Major, now became the focus for the battle. Zajackia organized the Dejanican military forces into three lines, each devoted to protecting a particular part of the star system. He himself commanded the Central Approaches and the defenses of Praga Military Outpost. General Jasinkia commanded the Northern Defenses, while General Wladyslaw Jabinoskia commanded the Southern Defenses. Laurasian forces, on the other hand, consisted of the 49th and 66th Imperial Armies under Generals Surovius and Denisaria, and 55th Imperial Fleet under the command of Admiral Seriavia. Both military commanders were battle-hardened; Denisaria on his part, combined his battle-hardened veterans with fresh reinforcements sent by means of the Ochanian Wormhole.
    • All total, the Laurasian Empire's forces at Praga numbered over 700,000 troops with nearly two hundred military warships. Surovius reached the outskirts of Dejanica Major on November 3, 1794. Immediately upon their arrival, the Laurasian warships started a massive barrage of the Dejanican shields and orbital defenses. Dejanican General Zajackia now wrongly presumed that the Laurasians would commence a siege. Surovius, however, envisioned a swift and effective assault upon the Dejanican defenses. At 3:00 A.M. Galactic Standard Time, the morning of November 4, 1794, Laurasian troops landed in the Praga Vector and within two hours, commenced an all-out assault against the Command Headquarters and the Colonized Valleys. The Dejanican defenders, who were not expecting Laurasian assaults from the Vector, were completely surprised, and soon the Dejanican lines on Praga's surface were broken into several isolated pockets of resistance, bombarded by Laurasian troops with artillery and by the Empire's warships from above with turbocannon fire. Admiral Seriavia had quickly surrounded and destroyed the small Dejanican orbital force in a swift confrontation at Praga Point, with more than 70,000 Dejanican naval personnel becoming Laurasian prisoners of war. General Zajackia was then wounded in a confrontation with Laurasian troops, leaving his troops without a central command. This forced the Dejanican troops to retreat into the Praga Citadel, and for Dejanican transports to attempt a move to the Vistulan Nebula. Within four hours, the Battle of Praga ended in a decisive victory for the Laurasian Empire. Dejanican General Josewicz, severely wounded as he tried to repel Laurasian moves into the Praga Headquarters, was captured by Laurasian soldiers of the 77th Regiment, 4th Infantry Division; he was bound in chains and placed on a transport, being imprisoned at Kherson on November 9. He ultimately succumbed to his battle wounds on May 5, 1795. General Jasinkia was killed in combat with Laurasian troops, while General Jabinoskia managed to flee on his personal starfighter (he would ultimately be captured at Klodawa in January 1795 and imprisoned on Minsk, dying there in 1800).
    • Following the end of the Battle of Praga, Laurasian troops, enraged by what had happened to the Diplomatic Garrison of Dejanica Major back in April 1794, began plundering and looting Praga businesses, homes, and properties. During the course of the next month, more than €60.3 trillion dataries worth of property and goods would be destroyed or seized by the Imperial Laurasian Army, while more than 3 million inhabitants of the star system would be evicted. The Imperial Laurasian Government later claimed that Surovius was unable to restrain his troops for taking the revenge on the Dejanicans, but this explanation satisifed few. The highest-ranking commander of the remaining Dejanican rebel forces, General Tomez Wawreckia, wishing to spare Dejanica Major the fate of Praga, withdrew his forces to Radozyce. The following day, November 5, 1794, Dejanica Major was occupied by the forces of the Laurasian Empire with little opposition. The inhabitants of the capital star system, overawed by the power and numbers of the Laurasian force, and fearful of the consequences for direct resistance, were cowed. King Stanis Vorrust, who had effectively become a prisoner of Kosicuszko's Supreme National Council, himself greeted General Surovius at Bruhl Palace. Surovius now established his command headquarters at the former Laurasian Embassy and imposed martial law on Dejanica Major. Dejanican General Wawreckia, in the meantime, realizing further resistance was futile, surrendered all of his forces on November 16, 1794, to General Denisaria, thereby handing Radozyce, Wysowka, Poniec, and the Lower Colonies into the possession of the Laurasian Empire.
    • The following day, November 17, 1794, the day of Empress Aurelia's 36th anniversary on the throne, Generals Dabrowskia and Niemwoskia surrendered to Pruthian General Fervet at Kalisz, thereby ending the Greater Dejanican Uprising, and with it, the Kosicuzko Revolt. Indeed, by that date, Surovius had in custody all of the major leaders of the Revolt, including Ignancy Diazlynskia, the Potockia brothers, General Michael Wielhorskia, General Stanis Mokronwskia, General Jan Zajackia (captured on November 14), Sejm Marshal Stanis Malackhowia, General Jan August Cicowskia, Hugo Kollajia, and Prince Josef Poniatowskia. When word reached Laurasia Prime first of the Battle of Praga, then of the swift occupation of Dejanica Major, and finally, of the surrenders in Greater Dejanica and at Radozyce, celebrations erupted there, and throughout the Empire. The Empress Aurelia jumped up with joy when informed by the Privy Council of the Battle of Praga, declaring that the Lord Almitis had stayed behind the Empire and that the Dejanican perfidy had been crushed. Chief Procurator Whitshiftus presided over a Te Deum service at the Westphalian Cathedral. On November 7, 1794, Surovius himself sent a report to the Empress containing only three words: PRAGA IS OURS! SUROVIUS. The Empress of Laurasia responded equally briefly, BRAVO, FIELD MARSHAL. AURELIA. She thereby promoted Surovius, who had been in the Imperial Laurasian Army for forty-seven years, and had fought in numerous conflicts (War of the Rough Wooing, Didymeian War of Franconia, Huguenot Expedition, War of the Bar Confederation, Fourth and Fifth Laurasian-Marasharite Wars, Kosicuszko Revolt), to the rank of Field-Marshal. On December 3, 1794, Surovius would be further rewarded with the Order of St. Honorius the Liberator, the highest military decoration in the Laurasian Empire. And he was not the only one rewarded. On November 24, the Empress promoted Sir Franconius Dracius to the rank of Fleet Admiral and conferred upon him the prestigious Order of St. Honorius. General Denisaria would be promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-General and given the Order of St. Antiochus the Great. And on December 7, 1794, Vice-Admiral Ushavious would also be promoted to the rank of Fleet Admiral. Vice-Admiral Frosbisherius (promoted to that rank in September 1794), died on November 15, 1794, before the Empress could confer upon him the Order of St. Seleucus the Victor. She did so posthumously however, and on November 28, he would be buried at the Westphalian Cathedral in a great ceremony.
  • December 13-
    • By December 1794, the Empress Aurelia the Great truly straddled the international stage. The suppression of the Kosicuzko Revolt had confirmed the Laurasian Empire's reputation as the most formidable and effective of all the powers of extra-galactic civilization; it had extended its influence further into the Great Amulak Spiral; and had displayed the Empire's military capabilities. Now, however, the Empress Aurelia and the Imperial Privy Council had to consider what was now to be done to a prostrate Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth. They agreed that because the Commonwealth's territories were so unstable, and there continued to be such unrest against the Imperial Laurasian Government, it would be unwise to allow any Dejanican government to exist. Secretary Cecilis, in particular, insisted that two centuries of experience (since the time of the Borderlands Wars) had shown that it was impossible to make friends with the Dejanicans; they would always support any future enemy of Laurasia, be this Marasharita, Spamalka, or even Pruthia. Furthermore, the buffer state concept, upon which the Empire had relied throughout most of the century, did not apply to ideas that could cross frontiers. Therefore, on December 13, 1794, the Privy Council decided to treat Dejanica as a conquered enemy: all Dejanican regalia, banners, and state insignia, along with the Commonwealth's archives and intelligence files, were seized, collected, and dispatched to the Empire, from December 1794 to March 1795. The newly-promoted Field-Marshal Surovius was now designated as Viceroy of the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth by the Empress Aurelia, entrusted with absolute authority over all affairs in the Commonwealth for the interim.
    • Surovius declared martial law in all Dejanican star systems; ordered the abolition of all remaining Dejanican military units and squadrons; and effectively dissolved the Permenant Council, entrusting its duties to a commission of Laurasian-appointed civil officials, the Council of State. Following this now came the inevitable question of partition. The Empress would have preferred outright Laurasian annexation of all that remained of Dejanica. This would have given the Empire a substantial base in the Great Amulak Spiral, and greater ease when conducting campaigns there in the future. However, Lord Treasurer Burghley pointed out to her that such a annexation would be unacceptable to Pruthia and Austarlia: both powers would work together then to expel the Empire's forces from the Commonwealth, and might even align with Spamalka. Therefore, the Empress now decided to propose a third and final partition of the Commonwealth's territories, including the Dejanican Duchy of Northania and Semigallia (whose Duke, Peter von Bironia, now found Talinin and Mitau to be garrisoned by Laurasian "diplomatic corps"). On December 22, 1794, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs raised the idea to its Pruthian and Austarlian counterparts. Pruthian Foreign Affairs Minister, Count Vogeholrt, responded positively, and declared his master's readiness for either total partition or one in which Dejanica Major, Praga, and parts of Lesser Dejanica were left behind as a rump puppet state. The newly-appointed Austarlian Foreign Affairs Minister, the Baron Thurgut (who had become the chief influence in the Austarlian Government following Chancellor Kaunitz's death in June 1794), suggested a return to the status quo, but with total control of Dejanican government resources by the three powers. Aurelia's proposal, however, was the most extreme: she wanted to subdivide the entire remaining territory of Dejanica and thereby simply erase this dangerous neighbor from the map. Her proposal would ultimately be accepted by Emperor A'rua III on December 25, and by Austarlian Emperor Fransios II on New Year's Eve, 1794. Preparations now began in earnest for the negotiations leading to the Third Partition of Dejanica, which would take place in two stages. As the year 1794 ended, the Laurasian Empire was on the verge of its last territorial expansion of the century, while matters ramped up again in the Amulak Spiral.

1795Edit

  • January 1-1795, the 95th year of the eighteenth century, began with the Laurasian Empire, as was previously stated, enjoying the ascendant position in extra-galactic civilization. The previous year had seen the termination of the First Spamalkan War. As a result of that conflict, which had probably been the most extensive for the Empire throughout the entire eighteenth century, the power of its Amulak rival, the Holy Spamalkan Empire, had been greatly restricted. The Serene Kingdom of Portugallia and the United Durthian States had both been restored to their independence; both had also made territorial acquisitions at the expense of Spamalkan Emperor Philicus I. Tranquility had been restored in the Franconian realms, which had been ravaged by internal civil war for more than three decades by this point. King Hensios IV of Franconia, who was now a correspondent of the Empress Aurelia's, had finally consolidated his authority over his realms and occupied Parri as his capital star system, thereby confirming him as the successor to the Valois Dynasty. The Sultanate of Morocco on its part, now enjoyed firm diplomatic and economic relations with the Laurasian Empire. As regards to the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the suppression of the Kosciusko Revolt had confirmed the influence of foreign powers over that state's affairs. Empress Aurelia, as previously stated, was concerned about the continued existence of the Commonwealth, and was now determined to extend her Empire's authority over all remaining Dejanican territories in the Great Tesmanian Cloud. Beneath all of this, however, other tensions were brewing. The King of Franconia now sought to convince his Franconian subjects that he was not a puppet of Spamalka or any foreign power. Furthermore, he entertained ambitions of expelling the Spamalkans from the Duchy of Franche-Comte and of consolidating Franconia's future diplomatic position in regards to its long-time adversaries. Prince Philip William of Orange and the Durthian States-General, on their part, sought to expel all remaining Spamalkan garrisons from the Southern Durthian Duchies, and to thereby bring all of those territories of Char'vak the Bold back under one jurisdiction. Finally, Spamalkan Emperor Philicus I himself still sought to reimpose his authority in the Durthian States, and to punish the Laurasian Empire for its constant interventions in "his" affairs. All of these matters were to erupt in this year, marking the commencement of the Second Spamalkan War, the last military conflict for the Laurasian Empire in the eighteenth century, and the Third Partition of Dejanica, by which the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth would be eliminated. In her New Year's proclamation, Empress Aurelia again asserted her goal of maintaining the "Empire's military and diplomatic position" and of terminating the threat posed to the Empire by the "perfidious Dejanican government and people."
  • January 7-
    • Empress Aurelia, at the commencement of the new year, continued to grapple with the affairs surrounding her favorite, the Earl of Estatius, and also with a uncomfortable and unsettling question: that of the succession. Her relationship with Estatius, which had been damaged due to the Dr. Lopacia affair and the Treaty of Alacantara with the Holy Spamalkan Empire, had begun to recover by July 1794. The Empress could not bear to see her favorite in distress, and she desired his company, as a reminder of youthful vitality and of the Earl of Leicesterius, who had been the most important man in her life. On August 8, 1794, the Empress reconciled with Estatius in a private audience at the Presence Chambers of the Quencilvanian Palace; she told the Earl that all past differences between them should be ignored, and that in spite of the fact that she considered political appointments to be of "a important nature and one within the context of my prerogatives", she would not ignore Estatius's advice merely out of spite. Estatius choose to accept this, and he returned to his diligent attendance at sessions of the Imperial Privy Council, in spite of the fact that his efforts to secure the Solicitor-Generalship to Bagonius consistently failed. The following month, the Empress granted Estatius a loan of €72.2 billion dataries to defray his debts, telling him: "Look to yourself, good Estatius, and be wise to help yourself without giving your enemies the advantage, and my hand shall be readier to help you than any other." Estatius, on his part, had now grown in prestige as a statesman, and had increased his popularity with the Empress's subjects. He employed four secretaries to deal with his correspondence; remained in close contact with the Empire's ambassadors at foreign courts; and used his intelligence network to keep himself abreast of confidential information. In one field of affairs, however, Estatius knew not to intervene: the succession. By 1794, with the Empress long past her childbearing years, this had become a very sensitive topic. Aurelia herself, who as the last representative of the mainline Neuchrian Dynasty, was aware of the consequences of her death, nevertheless sought not to grapple with the question directly.
    • By that time, there had emerged three potential heirs to the Imperial Laurasian Crown. The first of these was the Earl of Hannah's eldest grandnephew (the Earl himself was childless), Lord Lysimachus Harringtia of Teth, a descendant of the Emperor Antoninus Pius and through his mother, Lady Dorothea Portania, of Emperor Probus. Lord Harringtia, who had been born in 1777, and was now attending the Cadet Corps, was respected by many at the Imperial Court for his intelligence, vigor, and vitality. He displayed an absolute loyalty to the Empress, involving himself in no scheme or other conspiracy among the Court's circles. Empress Aurelia, however, was concerned about his age, believing him not to be experienced enough to assume burdens of office. The teenager was only in the early stages of his professional education, and she feared the prospect of such a young man being invested with the throne. Only during the following years would her views change. The second possible heir to the Crown was one of the Empress's Greysius cousins: Lady Margarina Stanleis, Countess of Duana (1740-96), the only surviving child of the Empress's second first cousin, Lady Eleanora Brandeis, child of Grand Princess Octavia. Her husband had been Antigonus Stanleis, 4th Earl of Duana, who had been a member of the Privy Council and Lord Lieutenant of the Tyburnian Stockards, and had died on September 21, 1793 at Strongstine. Lady Stanelis was forty-six years old in 1794; she had two sons of her own, Feresus Stanleis, 5th Earl of Duana (who had died on April 19, 1794), and Willanius Stanleis, 6th Earl of Duana (born in 1761). For many, including Lords Knollysis and Husadarania, this was the most solid line of succession: the younger Earl was, in the eyes of many, the one who should be designated as the successor. The Empress, however, raised objections to this, declaring that if she favored one over the other, she would be breeding faction and division. The third and final potential heir was the late Dowager Countess of Lennaxia's granddaughter, Lady Theodosia Stuartia, a second cousin to the Empress (her great-grandmother was Aurelia's first aunt, Queen Consort Constantia of Scottria). Lady Stuartia had, since the death of her mother in 1782, been raised by her maternal grandmother, the powerful Countess of Aretha.
    • The Countess herself, as well as Estatius's mother the Dowager Countess of Leicesterius, Chief Procurator Whitshiftus, Procurator-General Sir Puckerania, and the Earl of Aretha all supported Theodosia's claim. In the face of all these competing claims, the Empress sought to stay above, and would not permit any talk of these succession possibilities in her presence, or among the Privy Council. Consequently, any work which urged her to resolve the question and to designate one of these three individuals as her heir was met with a swift official response. This had already been seen in February 1793, when a member of the Christiania City Council, Sir Peter Wentwarthia, had published a holonet tract entitled A Exhortation to Her Imperial Majesty for Establishing the Succession. In this work, Wentwarthia had urged the Empress to formally designate her successor and to not leave the Imperial State in want of an heir. Empress Aurelia had been enraged when she read his work, and on March 7, 1793, Wentwarthia had been arrested at Calaxis II; tried and convicted by the Court of the Imperial Chancery on charges of sedition, conspiracy, and civil disobedience; and consigned to the Post Settlement Prison. He remained there until his death on July 4, 1797 at the age of seventy-five. The Imperial Ministry of Culture and Communications, acting on the Empress's instructions, had confiscated all physical and electronic copies of the tract; banned its further publication; and forbidden any further mention of the succession. Thus, the next work, when it appeared, originated from outside the Empire. On January 7, 1795, at Antwerp in the Spamalkan Durthian Duchies, a inflammatory work entitled A Conference about the Next Succession to the Crown of Laurasia was published, and quickly distributed over the Galactic Holonet. Its author, the Laurasian Traditionalist emigre Pausanias Parsonia, dedicated it to the "Most Noble Earl of Estatius, for that no man is in more high and eminent dignity at this day in our realm." The work discussed the claims of all Aurelia's possible successors, and called on Estatius to play the role of Emperormaker upon her death. Estatius, fully aware of Aurelia's commands concerning discussion of the succession, was embarrassed to have his name associated with such a subversive work. He was troubled by the suggestion that he should determine a matter which was strictly a question of royal prerogative. The Empress quickly obtained a copy of the work, and was enraged by what it contained. She went to Estatius and showed him the work. He greatly feared her reaction, but was relieved to find that she made little of it, realizing that he had been the victim of a foreign attempt to discredit him. The Ministry of Culture and Communications once again confiscated all copies, and a strict surveillance was imposed on the Holonet. Parsonia himself was attained and convicted, in absentia, on charges of conspiracy and sedition, and all of his accounts on Christiania and throughout the Empire were closed. The whole affair also served to worsen relations with the Holy Spamalkan Empire, and to convince the Empress of the necessity of re-intervention to expel them from the Durthian States entirely.
  • February 23-
    • By February 1795, discussions among the Imperial Laurasian, Pruthian, and Austarlian Governments concerning the Third, and final, Partition of the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth had proceeded quickly. Difficulties were, from the first, encountered by the three governments. On January 3, 1795, the Empress had, in a communique addressed personally to her colleagues, the Emperors of Pruthia and Austarlia, declared once again that "the time has come for the three Courts to take effective measures, not only to extinguish the last remaining sparks of dissent in the neighboring monarchy [Dejanica], but also to prevent it from ever flaming up again from the ashes." The Empress now proposed that the "liquidation of the affairs of the Commonwealth" would be best effected by negotiations in Christiania, Laurasia Prime. This further proposal was accepted by the Austarlian and Pruthian Empires, even though the Pruthian Government was still uneasy about what Austarlia would demand. And indeed, a major source of contention arose: that concerning Krakow and the Lublin Voivodeship. Chancellor Kaunitz, before his retirement in August 1793, had indicated in his personal correspondence that the acquisition of this, the former capital system of the Dejanican Commonwealth, was necessary to consolidate Austarlian rule over Galicia and Lodomeria. In January 1794, Empress Aurelia herself had promised the Court of Vienna to procure for it the right of garrisoning Krakow. The Pruthians, however, had occupied the stronghold in July 1794, in the midst of the Kosciusko Revolt, and whilst Austarlian authorities in Galicia had been studying means by which to occupy Krakow without arousing the hostility of their neighbors. The Austarlian Government, angry that the Laurasian Empress's assurances had fallen flat, was now determined not to be forestalled again, and to occupy as much of Dejanica as its resources and opportunities permitted. Minister Thugut, on his part, told the Laurasian Ambassador to the Court of Vienna, Sir Cassander Athapas, that his government would not renounce its claims to Krakow and the Lublin Voivodeship. He stated that "regardless of the cost, the Court of Vienna must some day possess that region, even if war results from it."
    • On January 1, 1795, shortly after Austarlian agreement to a Third Partition, he sent to Christiania a statement of Austarlia's total claims in the impending partition. He demanded the systems of Krakow and Sandomierz, with their associated outposts; the Lublin Voivodeship, including Chelm; the regions between the Vistula and Bug Highways; and beyond, the remainder of Dejanican Volhynia, Brest, Bialystok, and even the Pinsk Region, in the Great Tesmanian Cloud. These demands showed Austarlian determination to make up for its non-participation in the Second Partition of 1793. Emperor A'rua III of Pruthia, on his part, had already drawn up a potential region of partition (which had been formulated as early as July 1794). He sought to gain the Masovian Voivodeship, including Dejanica Major and Krakow; the Western Vistula Colonies; Warmia; Lodz; the Swietokyrszkie Voivodeship; and the Windwawa Barrier Regions of Northania and Semigallia. The Emperor's advisors, however, were aware of Austarlia's claim to Krakow and most of the Western Vistula Colonies, and that parts of Lodz, besides all of Swietokyrszkie and the Windwawa Barrier Regions, fell within the zone of Laurasian ambitions. Moreover, relations between Laurasia and Austarlia seemed to be getting closer, suggesting that they would connive to deprive Pruthia of any share in the partition. Therefore, the Pruthian Cabinet followed a policy of extreme caution. They assured the Laurasian Ambassador to the Court of Berliania III, Sir Alopehus Carunna, 1st Baronet Carunna, that they were opposed to Austarlian acquisition of Krakow.
    • However, they did not disclose their own ambitions. Empress Aurelia, however, who following the suppression of the Kosicuszko Revolt in November 1794, viewed herself as mistress of the situation (her forces occupied all of the Commonwealth except for Krakow), and therefore sought to force through a partition, whether the Empire's neighbors wished it or not, and in accordance with her demands. Already, before making the formal proposals of partition in December 1794, the Empress had decided what she wanted: the Dejanican Duchy of Northania and Semigallia (including the Windwawa Barrier Regions); the Northern Wormhole of Barbarossa; Tesmanian Dejanica, including Podlaskie, Swietokryzkie, Brest, Bialystok, and parts of Eastern Lublin; the whole of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, including Vilinus and Kaunas; and the Bug Highways of the Galactic Void. Her view therefore was that if Austarlia agreed to this, and renounced all claims to Chelm, Volynia, Podlaskie, and the Pinsk Region, then she would be willing to support their acquisition of Krakow and Sandomierz. Pruthia, on its part, would have to content herself with Masovia, Warmia, and Lodz, and to abandon any claims in Lithuania or Northania. On January 8, therefore, Lord Buchamia sent a response communique to Thurgut, demanding categorically that Austarlia abandon her pretensions in the Great Tesmanian Cloud. If she did, she would be assured of Laurasia's unconditional support in the dispute with the Court of Berliania III. If she did not, as it was suggested, then the Empress would be obliged to seek a separate agreement with Pruthia.
    • In the meantime, on January 11, 1795, the Chair of the Pruthian War Council, General Bogislav Taurentzien, held a conference with Ambassador Carunna and finally presented his master's territorial demands. In this memorandum, Pruthia laid claim not only to Masovia, Warmia, and Lodz, but also to the Vistualian Colonies, most of the Lublin Voivodeship, and the Barrier Regions. At this, the Laurasians responded, in a diplomatic note of January 15, with a peremptory "invitation" to Pruthia to cut down her claims by half. Lord Buchamia declared that Krakow and Sandomierz were properly within the "sphere" of Austarlia; and that the Empress of Laurasia herself could not dispense with any part of Northania and Semigallia. Austarlia, aware of her Laurasian neighbor's considerable military strength, and of the fact that Laurasian forces occupied virtually all of the regions in question, yielded. Through a preliminary response on January 17, and then a full communique on January 22, Minister Thugut directed the Austarlian Ambassador to the Court of Laurasia Prime, Count Louis Cobenzl, to accept in full the Empress's territorial plan, while using every effort to cut down the Pruthian partition to the smallest possible bounds, and seizing the opportunity to conclude secret arrangements with the Empire. The Pruthian Cabinet, however, decided to work towards peace with Haxonia and Vendragia, and the maintenance of the Empire's claims in Dejanica. Taurentizen and others entertained delusional thoughts that the Pruthians, if they deployed military forces in the Commonwealth's border regions, would compel Laurasia and Austarlia to defer to Pruthian territorial demands.
    • However, no one thought of what could happen if the two Empires combined to stand against Pruthia's pretensions. Furthermore, none of A'rua III's advisers seriously thought of the prospects of war over Krakow and Semigallia. Pruthia sought to succeed by bluff, but this would not work. Taurentzien, instructed by the Bureau of Foreign Affairs to hold fast to Pruthian demands, was told to declare that Pruthia would prefer would there to be no partition if no deal could be obtained. Between Laurasia and Austarlia, however, negotiations proceeded quickly. On January 25, 1795, Cobenzl issued the assurances provided to him by Thurgut to the Imperial Laurasian Government. Six days later, in an audience with the Empress Aurelia, he indicated his willingness to confer with the officials of Her Majesty's government to settle all of the arrangements. The Empress now designated Lord Buchamia, Secretary Cecilis, and, to much surprise, her favorite, the Earl of Estatius, as the Laurasian plenipotentiaries for the conference. Cobenzl on his part, assisted by the Austarlian diplomats Baron von Holtz and the Count of Bacs, made ready for the conference. The conference for the Preliminary Treaty of Partition convened at the Diplomatic Palace, between the delegations of the Imperial Laurasian and Austarlian Governments, on February 13, 1795. Negotiations quickly proceeded, and it would take only a month for agreement to be reached.
  • March 16-
    • By March 1795, while the Laurasian Empire was engaged in the affairs surrounding the suppression of the Kosicuzko Revolt and the impending Third Partition of Dejanica, affairs in Franconia and in the Durthian Duchies had reached fever-pitch. As mentioned previously, the only powers satisfied totally by the Treaty of Alacantara had been Portugallia and Morocco. Both powers had obtained territories from the Holy Spamalkan Empire which were of vital strategic importance to them: in the case of the former, the war had seen a restoration of a state of national independence. With Durthia and Franconia, however, matters were different. In November 1794, the Dukes of Mayenne and Merceour, both of whom had managed to evade capture by King Hensios during the campaigns of that year, had been received by Spamalkan Emperor Philicus I at Madrid. Both, who had been such prominent leaders of the Franconian League, were unwilling to acknowledge Hensios's authority, even after his conversion to Franconian Catholicism. King Hensios himself, when he learned of how these traitors had escaped to the Holy Spamalkan Empire, his realm's greatest enemy in the Great Amulak Spiral, was utterly enraged. The King of Franconia believed that unless these two rebels were back in his custody and executed, then there would be no halt to the threats which faced him. Several times, in December 1794 and January 1795, the King had petitioned the Court of Madrid to hand Mayenne and Merceour over into his custody. Emperor Philicus, however, seeing them as useful pawns for extending Spamalkan influence into Franconia, refused. This interacted with clashes between Franconian and Spamalkan forces in Navarre, Nice, and the Ardennian Worlds which continued into the early months of 1795. Spamalka, in violation of the Treaty of Alacantara, had continued to suppress Franconian commerce into Franche-Comte, and had increased the number of garrisons stationed on Franconia's borders. Finally, the United Durthian States, whose Prince Philip William was now in declining health, was determined to rid itself of the Spamalkan presence in Southern Durthia, and thereby to secure its own frontiers. For both Durthia and Franconia then, preemptive action was necessary to prevent Spamalka from overreaching further. On February 29, 1795, the King of Franconia declared to his Royal Council that he would make it known to his subjects that he stood for Franconia's interests.
    • He also sought to gain Franche-Comte and to force the Spamalkans to hand over Mayenne and Merceour. Then on March 5, 1795, the King of Franconia, through his foreign minister, the Count de Baslo, sent a communique to his Spamalkan counterpart. In this communique, Hensios lamented that only a "short time has passed since the conclusion of treaty arrangements between our two powers", and yet, the Holy Spamalkan Empire continued to display overt aggression. He demanded the evacuation of all Spamalkan forces from Brabant, Flanders, and Franche-Comte; the surrender of Mayenne and Merceour to appopriate Franconian authorities; and the recognition of Franconian commercial rights from Franche-Comte and throughout Naparia. Four days later, the Durthian States-General tendered its own ultimatum to the Spamalkan Council of State (diplomatic embassies had not yet been exchanged between the two powers). Emperor Philicus, on his part, was "offended" by these ultimatums, and on March 11, rejected them utterly, declaring that he would not subject himself to such humiliations. Thus, on March 16, 1795, King Hensios IV issued a formal declaration of war against the Holy Spamalkan Empire, barely six months after the conclusion of the Treaty of Alacantara. He was followed by the Durthian States-General four days later. The Second Spamalkan War had commenced. On March 22, 1795, however, King Antonio I of Portugallia, himself in declining health, officially announced his neutrality in a proclamation from Lisbon. He was followed by Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur I of Morocco just two days later. These declarations of neutrality encouraged Philicus. The Laurasian Empire on its part, under Aurelia I, still grappling with the Dejanican question, found itself alarmed by the outbreak of a renewed military conflict. Nevertheless, the Empress of Laurasia found herself bound to support her allies. On March 28, 1795, the Laurasian Empire declared war on the Holy Spamalkan Empire, bringing itself into the Second Spamalkan War after only six months of peace. Consequently, however, Laurasian forces were still deployed in Franconia, Durthia, and in the outskirts of the Colonial Territories. Most of Colombiana, Peruvia, and Chile had been evacuated by late 1794, but the Empire's military forces turned its attention once again to the Spamalkan Spice Colonies.
  • March 22-
    • On March 22, 1795, after a month of negotiations, the Preliminary Treaty of Christiania was signed by the delegations of the Laurasian and Holy Austarlian Empires, thereby constituting their formal agreement concerning the Third Partition of Dejanica. As a result of this treaty, which was officially termed by the chancellories of both governments as a "ministerial declaration", the apportionment of the Commonwealth's territories between the two powers was now formally regulated. In the preamble, the Partition was justified with the assertion that the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth had become infected with "the most perverse principles" and with "views most pernicious and most dangerous to the tranquility of the neighboring Powers." This, the Treaty declared, had been proven by the recent "insurrection" (the Kosciusko Revolt). Furthermore, nothing could prevent the recurrence of such turbulence except a firm and vigorous government. The Empress of Laurasia and Emperor of Austarlia had therefore resolved by "experience" that there existed an "absolute incapacity on the part of the Commonwealth of Dejanica to give itself such a government and to live peaceably under law." Therefore, they had "recognized in their wisdom and in their love of peace and of the happiness of their subjects that it was an indispensable necessity to have recourse to a total partition of this Commonwealth among the neighboring Powers." By the following thirteen articles, the Imperial Courts guaranteed to each other the territories previously agreed. The Laurasian Empire was to acquire all remaining Dejanican territories in the Great Tesmanian Cloud: the Duchy of Northania and Semigallia (in its whole); Tesmanian Dejanica (with Podlaskie, Swietokyrzkie, and Eastern Lublin with Chelm); the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (with Vilinus, Kaunas, Marijampole, Siaulai, Alytus, Utena, Panezeveys, Taurage, Klapieda, and Telsai Voivodeships); and the Bug Highways of the Galactic Void.
    • The Holy Austarlian Empire was to receive the remainder of the Lublin Voivodeship; Krakow and Sandomierz; Subcarpathia; the remaining enclaves of Lesser Dejanica; and the Western Vistula Colonies. Furthermore, following the ratification of the Treaty, the two governments promised to communicate their agreement to the Court of Berliania III with a request for its adherence; and if this invitation were accepted, they would acquiesce in the annexation by Pruthia of the remaining Dejanican territory in the Amulak Spiral. In any case, however, once this communication had been made to Pruthia, the two sovereigns would proceed to take formal possession of the territories assigned to them by that treaty. The Treaty also provided for Austarlia's recognition of all territories seized by Laurasia and Pruthia in the Second Partition (1793); for mutual assistance for each other in case Pruthia attempted any acts of aggression; and for the Empress of Laurasia to use all diplomatic means for the Austarlian Government to gain compensation for its losses in the Germanian War. Such "compensation" would come in the form of territorial acquisitions at the expense of the Electorates of Baden, Bavaria, or Saxony. Empress Aurelia was elated at the conclusion of the Preliminary Treaty, having dictated the settlement in accordance with her wishes, and having seized the greater share of territory. Austarlian Emperor Fransios II was also satisfied, having gained almost the whole of the territories which Austarlia had desired. The Treaty of Christiania was ratified by Empress Aurelia on March 25 and by Emperor Fransios II on April 1. The months following the Treaty's conclusion, however, proved to be quiet. Neither Aurelia and Fransios, nor A'rua III, made any further moves until the outcome of the Pruthian negotiations with Haxonia and Vendragia was known. That will be explored below.
  • April 3-Following the declaration of war by the Laurasian Empire, military campaigns in the Second Spamalkan War commenced in earnest. On April 3, 1795, the Imperial General Headquarters issued instructions to Field-Marshal Sir Demetrius Norria, ordering him to assist King Hensios in his campaigns at the Ardennes and in Franche-Comte. At the same time, the General Headquarters ordered Rear-Admiral Sir Sosthenes Lancastaria, who commanded Laurasian units near the Azores Star Cluster, to proceed immediately against Recife, a major Spamalkan naval base and agricultural colony located 8,000 light-years west of Galicia. Lancastaria approached the Capibaribe Straits on April 6, 1795. The Garrison of Recife, with more than 80,000 troops and 30 defensive warships, was commanded by Governor-General Jorge de Albuerquerque, a Portugallian who remained in the Spamalkan service following the conclusion of the Treaty of Alacantara. Recife, however, had not fully prepared its shield defenses, and was therefore exposed to a swift Laurasian offensive. During the early hours of April 7, 1795, Admiral Lancastaria launched a preliminary naval bombardment of Recife's defenses and outposts, which were quickly overwhelmed by the superior turbolaser fire of the Laurasian warships. Following this bombardment, he landed his Marines and Imperial Army Corps on the planetary surface. The Laurasians assaulted Fort Sao Jorge and the Valleys of Frulria, overwhelming the Spamalkan garrison in short order. They suffered only 2,000 casualties (out of an invasion force of 95,000), compared to more than 30,000 casualties for the Spamalkans. Within hours, Recife was in the hands of the Laurasian Empire. Governor-General Albuerquerque managed to flee to Spamalkan Olinda, but found that stronghold blockaded by Laurasian naval units, so that he could not move out from it. Admiral Lancastaria now strengthened Ft. Sao Jorge, and during the course of the next four days, repelled a series of Spamalkan counteroffensives against the star system. Then on April 12, 1795, he launched a full-scale offensive against Olinda. Within a day, that stronghold was secured also, and Governor-General Albuerquerque became a Laurasian prisoner of war. Lancastaria systematically plundered the agricultural plants, shipyards, and treasuries of Recife, impounding more than €50.5 trillion worth of goods. Among the products seized were cinnamon, mace, Benzoin resin, frankincense, gum-lac, aloes, calicoes, silks, pepper, cloves, indigo, and rutile quartz. During the remainder of the month, Laurasian forces secured a run of further successes in the Colonial Territories. By April 18, Lancastaria himself had stormed the Spamalkan garrisons of Oranjested, Bonaire, Kralerndjik, and Phillipsburg, thereby entrenching the Empire within the Spamalkan Antilles. Three days later, Caracas was raided by a Laurasian task force under the Earl of Cumbria. Then on April 25, 1795, Cumbria and Lancastaria combined their forces to confront Spamalkan units under Admiral de Blanca in the Battle of Trinidad. This confrontation was fought for more than two days, but was ultimately decided by the mobility of the Laurasian starfighters and couriers. By the end of April, 1795, Laurasian units had also secured Saba, Aruba, and St. Eustatius, thereby posing a severe threat to Spamalkan commercial lanes through the Antilles.
  • April 17-
    • While the Laurasian offensives in the Colonial Territories recommenced, after the temporary period of peace, events in Durthia and in Franche-Comte proceeded swiftly. Immediately following the declaration of war, Prince Maurice of Nassau, whose forces had been stationed at Wiltz, Breda, Maastricht, Devanter, and Zutphen, proceeded once again into the Luxembourgian Sector, determined to re-subdue those strongholds and to thereby sunder Spamalkan supply lines to Franche-Comte. On March 21, 1795, Prince Maurice launched a swift offensive against the Spamalkan stronghold of Mertert. Mertert, whose garrison was still being reassembled following the world's restoration to the Holy Spamalkan Empire in January 1795, was unable to pose a serious resistance. The stronghold capitulated to Prince Maurice within three hours of his first assault. By March 24, Alscheid, Budellange, and Petange had all been stormed by Durthian units. Esch, however, proved to be more of a problem for Prince Maurice, and did not fall until April 2, 1795. At the same time, King Hensios made gains in the Ardennian Worlds against the remaining cells of those Franconian League members who had refused to surrender. On March 23, he defeated the Marquis de Sable in the Battle of Vise. Frasnes and Dinat were in his possession by March 27, and on April 1, 1795, Hensios conquered the Spamalkan border outpost of Famenne, thereby completing the Royalist subjection of the Ardennes. On April 5, Hensios repelled a Spamalkan counteroffensive against Valenciennes, and from there stormed Lons-le-Saunier and Jura (April 6-11, 1795), thereby entrenching himself in the outskirts of Franche-Comte. In Durthia, however, the Spamalkan response was already stirring. On February 20, 1795, the Governor-General of the Southern Durthia, Duke Ernest of Franche-Comte, died at the age of only forty-one in Brussels. He had been succeeded as Governor-General by Pedro Acevedo, Count of Fuentes. Fuentes had served as a page at the Court of Madrid during the early years of Philicus I's reign; and then served with the Duke of Alba, who had been successively Governor of Miliania, Viceroy of Naparia, Governor-General of the Durthian Duchies, and Viceroy of Portugallia.
    • He took part in the War of Succession in 1780; became Captain General of Portugallia in 1789; and from 1791 to 1794, served as a subordinate to the Duke of Parma, Governor-General Mansfield, and then Duke Ernest of Franche-Comte. Fuentes was therefore an experienced Spamalkan military commander and statesman, and Emperor Philicus hoped that he would turn the tide against the allied powers. And indeed he did for a time. On April 4, 1795, Fuentes had already defeated a Durthian force in the Battle of Leuven, recovering that stronghold. By April 14, he had also stormed Ypres, Liege, and Roosevelt, thereby posing a threat to the Durthian rear in the Luxembourgian Sector. Then on April 20, 1795, Fuentes moved to assault Huy, occupied by a Durthian garrison commanded by General Char'vak de Heraugiere. With his naval forces commanded by Don Valentin Pardieu de la Motte, Fuentes was able to besiege and storm the star system within two days. By April 23, Heraugiere himself had been captured and forced to capitulate to Fuentes. Fuentes placed the Citadel of Huy under the command of Captain Juan de Zornosa, and from this stronghold captured the Durthian bases of Gross, Neuss, Verviers, and Bassenge (April 23-May 4, 1795), thereby consolidating Spamalkan control over the Huy Region. Repelling Durthian counteroffensives against Tournai, Cambrai, and Mons (May 5-14, 1795), Fuentes then secured Tiel and Doetichem (May 19, 1795), thereby securing Brussels. By the end of May, 1795, Spamalkan forces were harrying Gravelines, Dunkirk, and Nijmegen. During that same month, King Hensios found his advance into Franche-Comtes blunted. On April 16, 1795, he had launched a major offensive towards Bescanon, storming the Spamalkan garrisons of Joux, Montbeliard, and Arc-et-Senans. By April 28, his forces had approached the outskirts of Bescanon. The ensuing Siege of Bescanon (May 2-14, 1795), was ultimately broken by the arrival of General del Avila, who had been reassigned to duty in Miliania in September 1794 and had hastily returned to Franche-Comte upon the declaration of war. Del Avila then expelled the Franconians from Joux (May 19, 1795), and on May 24, destroyed a Franconian-Laurasian force in the Battle of Peugeot. By the beginning of June, 1795, Spamalkan forces had also expelled the Franconians from Arc-et-Senans, Jura, and Dinat, penetrating into the Ardennian Worlds.
  • April 26-On April 26, 1795, Doge Pasqual Cicogna of the Haxonian Confederacy, who had reigned for a decade since succeeding Nicolo da Ponte in August 1785, died at the age of 70 on Haxonia Prime. Cicogna's reign had seen the Confederacy's position in the Italanian Regions, via-vis both the Austarlian and Holy Spamalkan Empires, being considerably strengthened. As a result of the still ongoing Germanian War, Cicogna had been able to extend Haxonian authority over Florence, Pisa, and Sardinia, besides consolidating the Confederacy's hold on the Venetian and Farther Dalmatian Provinces. He had also promoted commerce throughout the Haxonian realms; a policy of religious toleration; and a flourishing of the arts, science, and architecture. Following Cicogna's death, there ensued a complicated election process. Seventy ballots followed during the course of the next several days. Ultimately, on May 7, 1795, Haxonian Senator and Civiatore Marino Grimani was elected as the next Doge of the Haxonian Confederacy. Born on July 21, 1732, on Haxonia Prime, he was of the same generation as the Laurasian Empress Aurelia. Grimani was formally crowned as Doge on May 13, 1795.
  • May 5-
    • On May 5, 1795, the Treaty of Basel was signed by the Autocratic Pruthian Empire on the one hand, and by the Vendragian and Haxonian Confederacies on the other. As a result of this treaty, Pruthian involvement in the Germanian War, which had been ongoing since April 1792, was formally terminated. By the terms of the Treaty, Pruthia recognized the acquisition, by the Vendragian Confederacy, of Luneburg, Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Oldenburg, and Jutland, thereby consolidating Vendragian control over the Electorates of Hanover and Celle. The Pruthian Emperor A'rua III also acknowledged Haxonian rule of the Venetian Provinces, Haxonian garrison rights at the Jura Colonies, and the acquisition, by Haxonia, of Sardinia, Pisa, and Florence. In return, the two Confederacies agreed to recognize Pruthian interests in the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and to restore Frankfurt, Jemappes, and Mainz to the authority of the Pruthian Empire. The Treaty of Basel was ratified by Emperor A'rua III on May 9, 1795; by King Georg IV of Vendragia on May 14; and by the newly-elected Doge of Haxonia, Marino Grimani, on May 22. Its conclusion and ratification alarmed the Imperial Laurasian and Austarlian Governments to some extent. Both Aurelia and Fransios believed at first that this peace was only the prelude to a potential Pruthian attack on Austarlia or an alliance with Haxonia, Spamalka, and Marasharita to prevent the Partition of Dejanica. For a time, the Courts of Vienna and Christiania considered alternatives. Thugut even suggested that a puppet Dejanican protectorate be left in existence, and even to assist Dejanica in recovering all territories seized by Pruthia since 1771. This last proposal, was, however, rejected by the Empress Aurelia on May 21, 1795.
    • Aurelia however, even made a suggestion to the Vendragian Ambassador, the Earl of Nottingham, that she assist the Confederacy in restraining the territorial ambitions of Pruthia. The Ambassador however, rejected this out of hand, informing the Empress of Laurasia that he could not afford for "His Majesty's realms to be tied down in matters of no concern to him." Therefore, at the beginning of June 1795, both Aurelia and Fransios decided to strengthen their military garrisons in the Commonwealth's borderland territories. Throughout that month, Austarlia assembled its forces in Bohemia, Moravia, and Galicia, while the Empress Aurelia placed all occupation forces in the Commonwealth on yellow alert and entrusted Surovius with the task of preparing for any possible Pruthian moves. The two governments even cooperated on preliminary plans for an invasion of Pruthian Silesia and Ducal Pruthia. In this instance, the Empress of Laurasia and her ministers were exaggerating the extent of the danger. They were predicting Pruthia's decision on the basis of her prior history: one of swift, sudden, and unprovoked action. However, the Pruthian Cabinet was at this stage desperate for peace, and to rebuild Pruthia's military resources following the humiliations in the Germanian Principalities. The Emperor of Pruthia, on his part, was entering the stages of a slow decline in health, which would drag on for more than two years. He knew that opposing Laurasian and Austarlian aims in Dejanica would bring upon Pruthia a struggle almost as dangerous as the Seven Year's War had been. Moreover, Pruthia's financial and political vulnerabilities precluded any aggressive war of conquest. Pruthia therefore became resolved to deal with the situation in another manner.
  • June 20-As explained above, the Holy Spamalkan Empire's forces under General Juan del Avila and the new Governor-General of the Southern Durthian Duchies, the Count of Fuentes, had by June 1795, begun to make gains against the forces of the Serene Kingdom of Franconia and the United Durthian States. Events in Franconia now shifted to the favor of the Spamalkans. On June 3, 1795, the Second Battle of Vise was fought between the Count of Fuentes (who now assumed command of military campaigns against Franconia) and the Duke of Montpensier; the result was a Spamalkan victory. By June 7, Fuentes had stormed the Franconian strongholds of Maubeuge, Neuve Chapelle, and Artois, thereby threatening Douai, Noyon, Dunkirk, and Champigne. On June 12, Fuentes defeated Field-Marshal Norria's subordinate, Major-General Sir Thomasius Baskrania, in the Battle of Hulluch, thereby opening the way to a Spamalkan seizure of Chateau Thierry, Meaux, and Chantily (June 14-16, 1795). At the same time, General del Avila defeated the Prince de Conti in the Battle of Vitry Le Francois (June 12, 1795) and expelled Franconian units from Montbeliard and Lons-le-Sauiner, thereby completing the reassertion of control. Then on June 20, 1795, the Count of Fuentes reached Le Catelet, which was one of the chief assembly bases for the Franconian Royal Navy in Picardy. The ensuing Siege of Le Catelet lasted for six days, with efforts by Field-Marshal Norria, the Prince de Conti, and the Duke of Montpensier to relieve the stronghold ending in failure. Le Catelet capitulated on June 26, 1795. By June 28, Fuentes had stormed La Capelle, Morchain, and Creil, thereby entrenching Spamalkan garrisons in Picardy. On July 2, 1795, Field-Marshal Norria managed to repel a Spamalkan offensive against Beauvais, and on July 4, he destroyed a Spamalkan landing corps in the Battle of Amiens, thereby preserving that system for Franconian control. In that same battle, however, the Duke of Nice, who had now been serving as commander of the Franconian corps attached to Field-Marshal Norria's command, suffered serious injuries; he died shortly after word of the victory was won. This was the first of two losses in military command which the allies would experience during that month.
  • July 21-
    • On July 7, King Hensios, saddened by the death of Nice, launched a counteroffensive, placing his forces under the command of Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne, Duke of Bouillion (who now assumed the Duke of Nice's position of command as Legate-General) and Francais d'Orleans Longueville, Duke of Chateau-Thierry (now in Spamalkan hands). The two commanders repelled Spamalkan units from Orleans (July 8-11, 1795); stormed the garrisons of Lens and Maubeuge (July 12-14); and on July 17, destroyed a Spamalkan force in the Battle of Ham. The Duke of Bouillion was ruthless, and ordered for the execution of all the Spamalkan officers. They were mounted on spikes and ejected into outer space, an outrage which greatly offended the Holy Spamalkan Empire. The Count of Fuentes, who now had Admiral Coloma under his command (from July 11), therefore determined to continue the offensive. With reinforcements arriving from Hainaut and Artois, he pushed towards Doullens, one thousand light years northeast of Parri. On July 21, 1795, he arrived at the outskirts of Doullens and instigated a siege. When receiving word of the siege, Bouillon and Francois d'Orleans, Governor of Picardy, joined with the former League commander, Admiral Andre de Brancas (now loyally serving King Hensios) and Laurasian General Baskrania; with these combined forces, they now sought to relieve the stronghold of the Spamalkan siege. The Franconian garrison of Doullens, on its part, prepared its defenses, hoping for reinforcements. Allied forces reached the outskirts of Doullens on July 24, 1795. Admiral de Brancas, deciding not to wait for reinforcements under the Duke of Nevers, decided to launch an immediate assault against the star system, overruling Baskrania's objections. Fuentes placed thirty of his warships, under Admiral Coloma, to intercept the allied forces. Brancas launched a reckless frontal assault against the Spamalkan formations, creating confusion among them, but was ultimately repelled with heavy losses for allied forces. Fuentes then ordered his warships to surround the Franconian squadrons, with the Franconians being deprived of their turbocannon, ion batteries, munitions, and equipment. Brancas himself was captured by a Spamalkan boarding party, and despite offering to pay a ransom for his life, was executed on the spot: Emperor Philicus considered him almost a traitor for having become the King of Franconia's servant. As a result of the Battle of Doullens, the Duke of Bouillon was forced to retreat to Amiens with the remainder of his forces. Doullens, on its part, finally fell to Spamalkan forces on July 31, 1795. Fuentes was ruthless, and all of the garrison commanders and officers were executed. The Spamalkans plundered the star system's businesses, homes, and properties, impounding more than $33.9 trillion crowns worth of goods and funds. With Doullens secured, Fuentes was able to reinforce Cambrai and to advance further into Picardy. On August 6, 1795, Abbeville surrendered to the Holy Spamalkan Empire, followed by Laon two days later. By the middle of August, 1795, Soissons and Boulougone will both be under threat from Spamalkan units.
  • August 5-
    • Whilst these events were ongoing in the Serene Kingdom of Franconia, Laurasian forces continued to make gains in the Colonial Territories. The same period of time, however, also witnessed a daring Spamalkan expedition to the Great Tesmanian Cloud, which for a short time alarmed the Empress Aurelia and the Imperial Privy Council. Following the conquest of St. Eustatius at the end of April 1795, Admiral Sir Soesthenes Lancasataria and the Earl of Cumbria pursued a series of offensives to expel the Spamalkans from the other Antilles. On May 7, 1795, after the failure of a Spamalkan counteroffensive against Bonaire and Philippsburg, Cumbria assaulted Tobago, which served as a major Spamalkan spice production outpost and transport outlet in the Spice Colonies. The Siege of Tobago lasted for four days, ultimately ending in Laurasian victory on May 11. Following the conquest of Tobago, Laurasian units stormed Bermuda, Bahia, Barbados, and Anguilla (May 15-24, 1795); on May 28, Cumbria destroyed a Spamalkan convoy in the Battle of Montserrat, securing more than €5.5 trillion dataries worth of goods. Although a subsequent Laurasian assault upon Neuva Esparta (June 3-5, 1795), failed with a counteroffensive launched by Spamalkan Admiral Zubiaur, and Laurasian forces were driven from Saba (June 10, 1795), Cumbria nevertheless continued the successful harassment of Spamalkan commercial lanes across the Colonial Territories. On June 13, 1795, however, after storming St. Martin, Cumbria suffered serious injuries in a combustive explosion on his flagship, the IMS Readdrant. As a result of these injuries, he was forced to step down from his command, beginning his journey back to the Laurasian Empire on June 18. Admiral Lancasataria took over command, but on June 23, 1795, was informed by the Imperial General Headquarters of his reassignment to duty in the Great Tesmanian Cloud. The Empress Aurelia, who was now engaged in all of the associated preparations with the Third Partition of Dejanica, desired a trusted military commander to ensure that there would be no outbreaks of dissent in the Barrier Regions or in Lithuania. He was now to be replaced by perhaps the most famous naval commander of the Empire: Fleet Admiral Sir Franconius Dracius. Dracius had returned to Laurasia Prime in December 1794, having overseen the withdrawal of Laurasian units and naval garrisons from the Colonial Territories. He had become Superintendent of the Imperial Naval Academy of Laura, and was considering retirement from active military service. Empress Aurelia, however, relied upon him as the commander with the most experience in fighting the Spamalkans. He accepted his commission willingly and without qualm. Departing from Belkadan on June 28, 1795, he arrived at Recife four days and immediately took command of a series of offensives against Marigot, Brades, and Ft. de Spamalka (June 29-July 7, 1795), by which all of these strongholds were subdued.
    • On July 10, Santo Domingo surrendered to the Laurasian Empire once again, and on July 15, Dracius ruined Admiral Zubiaur in the Battle of Sao Juan. By this point, however, the Emperor of Spamalka had been throwing his resources into a daring expeditionary raid against the Laurasian Empire itself, to demonstrate that the Empress Aurelia's dominions were not beyond range of retribution. On June 8, 1795, the Emperor of Spamalka granted his approval to a proposed expedition by the Spamalkan Naval Command geared against the Great Tesmanian Cloud. The Marquess of Santa Cruz was aware of the need for Spamalkan reinforcements in the Colombiana and in Durthia; he was also aware of the danger that existed to Naparia and Milania, in the form of the Haxonian Confederacy. Therefore, considering the Empire's focus on so many fronts, and the need to maintain garrisons throughout its territories, he proposed for only a raiding expedition, as a intended "revenge" against the Imperial Laurasian Government. The intended goal of this expedition was to seize strongholds in the Southern Ochanian Provinces; to raid to the Trans-Angelina Transit Route; and capture prisoners, ships, and goods before retreating. On July 9, 1795, the Emperor designated General Carlos de Amesquita, a veteran of the Durthian Revolt and War of Portugallian Succession, as the commander of the expedition. Admiral de Zubiaur was reassigned to the expedition on July 19, and by July 26, a Spamalkan force of nearly four hundred warships, 800,000 troops, and a support force of Marines and transports had been prepared at Port Louis in Spamalkan Navarre. Amesquita departed from Port Louis on July 28, 1795, and proceeded rapidly with his force across the Galactic Void.
    • Along the way, they captured a number of Laurasian commerce vessels in transit from the Caladarian Galaxy to the Haxonian Confederacy. On August 5, 1795, Ameqsuita reached the outskirts of Kars. The star system, which had a garrison of less than 20,000 troops, was quickly overwhelmed. During the course of the next eight days, Spamalkan units seized Eruzum, Shamkhal, Ardahan, Poti, Karbada, Duros, and Akhaltsikhe, killing nearly twenty million civilians; exterminating most of the Laurasian garrisons in those star systems; inflicting severe damage on their shipyards and facilities; and impounding more than €136.7 trillion dataries worth of goods and services. Lieutenant-General Sir Honorius Gudovia, who had established his command headquarters on Anapa, now moved to intercept the Spamalkan force. General de Amesquita and Admiral Zubiaur proved to be too elusive, and they launched expeditions against Sitovo, Turakan, and Navarino (August 24-29, 1795), inflicting further damage and harrying the garrisons before beginning their retreat back to the Amulak Spiral. By September 6, 1795, all star systems which had been seized or plundered by the Spamalkans were back in Laurasian hands, but the expedition had demonstrated the apparent vulnerability of the Empire's territories in the Great Tesmanian Cloud. Empress Aurelia, who was then on progress, ordered for a thorough investigation of the readiness of all garrisons in the Caucasian Colonies; commanded General Gudovia to impose regular patrols in the Galactic Void; and diverted units from the still-occupied Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth to the Lower Danube Military Highway. She soon realized, however, that Amesquita's expedition had little impact on the war overall.
  • July 29-November 10-
    • On July 29, 1795, the Empress Aurelia and the Imperial Court formally departed from Laurasia Prime in order to officially commence the imperial progress of 1795. The Empress had deferred her progress the previous year, but now, with the situation in Dejanica secure, affairs at the Imperial Court, and progress being made in the Second Spamalkan War, she decided to make her long-awaited visit to the Sassk-Rukkian, Hospallian, Rhedite, and Nagai Provinces in the Southern Galactic Borderlands. The Imperial Court proceeded to the Clancian Trunk Line, paying brief visits to Janesia, Dearton's Gateway, Azatha II, Apathama Vixius, Maroni, Reoyania, Conservan, Condtella, Dramis, Clancia, and Goss Beacon (July 29-August 8, 1795). At Goss Beacon, she then proceeded to the Central Core Diplomatic Highway, proceeding from there to the Murphian Trade Spine. It was this route which allowed the Imperial Court to make a rapid progress to the southwestern Barsar Regions. On August 14, the Empress reached Sejucia, and stayed there for two days. She visited the Grand Palace of the Sejucian Sultans, marveling at the treasures of the residence, and received salutes from Selucian Handriatas (Ladies) of the Sanctorum of Topali. From Sejucia, the Empress paid visits to Redia and Nicole (August 15-18, 1795). These worlds, which had been at the very frontier of the Laurasian Empire's territories at the beginning of the century, now served as patrol garrisons into the Galactic Borderlands. Nicole, which was shrouded by fog, and had a population of less than one billion, was nevertheless one of the most historic worlds in the Barsar Regions, the site of numerous battles in galactic history and one which contained numerous seaside resorts, aquariums, and observation facilities. The Empress professed herself to be impressed by what the world offered. Redia, on the other hand, dominated by swirls of electromagnetic lights in its atmosphere, was a major resort colony: it generated most of its income from tourism, gambling, and trade. From Redia, the Empress paid a renewed visit to Teutonica (August 23, 1795) and then progressed through Hakura, Ruumlist, and Helen (August 24-28, 1795); Ruumlist in particular, known for its textile manfactures and massive warehouses, proved to be a economic showcase for the Imperial Court.
    • She then proceeded to Tong (August 30, 1795), which was dotted with a number of spaceports, neuranium mines, and navigation terminals. This was the site of a major victory by Timur the Devastator over the Nagai in 1002. Pompus and Milking then became objects of the Court's visit (August 31-September 3, 1795), and on September 4, Aurelia visited the former Tashian fortress-world of Both. She stayed at the Varonian Fortress for the next four days, celebrating her 62nd birthday there (September 7, 1795). It was on this occasion that the Empress's Serjant-Painter, Sir Antiochus Goweria, executed the official Anniversary Portrait. From Both, she progressed through Killing, Jacksonian Backory, Bree, Tatiana, and Curtis (September 8-19, 1795). Killing, as its name implied, was known for its massive gladitorial arenas and competition alleys; Bree, for its central Commerce District; Tatiana for its pleasant countryside; and Curtis for its extensive agricultural ranges. On September 23, Rhedita, formerly capital world of the Rhedite Consortium, was reached. The Empress stayed there for three days, touring the grounds of the Cloudian Cities of Chumah; the Figgerian Industrial Complex, which had been constructed by the eccentric Sir Eccletus Figrania (1398-1469) in the fifteenth century AH; and the Spire of Kuna, which dated to the 2nd millennium BH. Upon departing from Rhedita on September 26, Aurelia proceeded to Lwheek, the former capital world of the Sassi-Ruuk Imperium. This world, which had more than twenty billion inhabitants by the late eighteenth century, was a mostly desert world, with domed cities separated from each other by hundreds of miles.
    • The Empress, however, enthused over its merits, and attended a dinner held in her honor by the Houses of Savalite Honor, a Sassi-ruukian hereditary noble organization which had existed since the twelfth century. Departing from Lwheek on September 30, she then traveled through Natalia Wood, Chathania, So'thrita, Dedantia, Ivar's Star, and Velsaquez (September 30-October 12, 1795). On October 14, she reached Nagosh, homeworld of the Nagai, more impressed with this world's massive forest reserves and its cavern cities. Staying for four days, Aurelia then moved on to Bernicia, once a Nordanian and Marcian throne-world (October 19-21, 1795), and then to Kaley, Inspirata V, Ida, Agester, and then finally, Deira, formally capital world of the Amelianian Kingdom of Nordania (October 28, 1795). King Edwin's Palace, which had more than seven thousand rooms, and was one of the finest examples of Amelianian architecture in the Caladarian Galaxy, became host to the Imperial Court during the next five days. The Empress of Laurasia was entertained in the Great Dining Chambers; received tributes and accolades from her Amelianian subjects; and watched a series of Amelianian odes, bard recitals, and contests of valor. She visited the Chest of Nordanian Kings, the Valley of the Kilore, and the Saynassan Reservations. On November 3, 1795, after paying a brief visit to the Montassara Nebula and the Francian Outposts, the Empress began her journey back to Laurasia Prime. She arrived at her capital world on November 10.
  • September 3-
    • In the United Durthian States, while the Spamalkan forces (under the Count of Fuentes) pushed into Picardy and the Pale of Calais, the advantage shifted back and forth between the two opposing sides. On June 6, 1795, Spamalkan forces under Fuentes's command subordinate, General Cristobal de Mondragon, Governor of Antwerp (who had served in the Spamalkan Army for sixty-three years and was now 81 years old) launched an offensive against Axel. This stronghold, now a major Durthian intelligence and relay outpost, fell into Spamalkan possession just four days later. Devanter was now under constant threat from Spamalkan expeditions, and on June 14, General de Mondragon scored another victory in the Battle of Naarden, driving the Durthian-Laurasian forces from this important garrison. Prince Maurice of Nassau, who had strengthened the garrisons of Bergen op Zoom, Breda, Haarlem, and Maastricht, was determined to halt any further Spamalkan threat. The ailing Field-Marshal Sir Willanius Pellhamia (promoted to that rank in January 1795), distinguished himself in action at Zutphen (June 18, 1795), and on June 22, had secured the defenses of Brill by blunting a Spamalkan move from Mons and Brussels. On June 24, Roosevelt was recovered by Prince Maurice, who then expelled Spamalkan units from Ypres and Graveline Outskirts. On July 1, 1795, Pellhamia and Prince Maurice (assisted by his cousin Prince Philip of Nassau), defeated General Mondragon in the Second Battle of Leuven, thereby recovering that stronghold. Maurice now sought to subdue Groenlo, from which Spamalkan expeditions harried the Durthian strongholds in Gelderland and Holland. By July 10, allied forces had stormed Oosterwool, Dahlen, and Jemmingen, thereby pushing in front of Brielle and to the outskirts of Groenlo.
    • The Siege of Groenlo actually commenced on July 14, 1795, and continued for ten days. The Garrison of Groenlo was commanded by Durthian General Jan van Sirlum. Here, however, Maurice suffered a major reverse. General Mondragon, who had pulled back to Antwerp, now prepared for a counteroffensive to relieve Groenlo and to seize Borgerhout, thereby breaching into Durthian supply lines. On July 24, 1795, he launched his planned moves, with Spamalkan thrusts catching the besiegers off surprise and storming into Borgerhout. Prince Maurice, who could not afford to be cut off, was forced to lift the siege and to withdraw. Borgerhout fell to the Spamalkans on July 27; by August 2, they had once again occupied the Graveline Straits and Jemmingen. On August 9, 1795, General Mondragon, with support from Admiral Coloma, stormed Durthian positions at Hardenberg, thereby forcing Prince Maurice to terminate his raids against Antwerp and Tournai. Nimburg, however, fell to a Durthian force under the Stadholder of Frisia, Count William Louis, on August 14; by August 19, he had also secured Schaan and Triesen, thereby entrenching the Durthians once again in the Lichenstein Sector. Field-Marshal Pellhamia, on his part, defeated Spamalkan General Ambrose Spinola in the Battle of Rijnberk (August 24, 1795), thereby securing that stronghold for the Durthians. Pellhamia, however, suffered a violent heart attack at the outskirts of Lilles just two days later, and was forced to retire to Rotterdam. He died there on September 2, 1795, at the age of 70, thereby depriving the allies of a talented military commander. Prince Maurice was now confronted with renewed actions against Mondragon. On August 24, 1795, General Mondragon headed to Rheinberg, in order to protect the star system from a Durthian offensive. He established his headquarters at Dinskalen, fourteen light years east of Wesel. Prince Maurice followed him with his combined military forces and established his own position at Bislich. Both forces were separated by the Lippe Straits. For several days, both forces engaged in a series of running naval and teritary skirmishes. Prince Maurice now took the opportunity to plan a mock ambush, by which he hoped to lure Mondragon into general action on Bislich and to destroy his forces. Mondragon entertained similar designs. On September 1, he gave the command of the ambush to his favorite commander, Prince Philip of Nassau. He instructed him to cross the Lippe Straits with a number of warships, ambush the Spamalkan convoy, and board its ships. The goal was to seize the convoy, separate it from the armored Spamalkan escort, and lead it to the Durthian camp, thereby forcing Mondragon to intervene with a larger force. Then, after the appearance of Mondragon with his main armada, Nassau was to retreat to Bislich, thereby luring the Spamalkans into an ambush. Nassau received the command of 200,000 Durthian-Laurasian troops, accompanied by his brothers Ernest Casimir and Ludwig Gunther, and by Laurasian Commodore Sir Lepidus Verus. Mondragon, however, learned of the planned Durthian moves through the interception of allied communications and reinforced the convoy, placing it under the command of his lieutenant, Admiral Juan de Cordoba.
    • He now intended to turn Nassau's surprise into a trap. During the early hours of September 2, 1795, Durthian forces crossed the Lippe Straits. Maurice awaited with his force of some 500,000 troops and seventy naval warships near Wesel. Philip of Nassau divided his naval corps into four squadrons; one under Captain Sallandt; one under the Count of Kinsky; one under Lieutenant Balen; and the last under Commodore Verus. At Krudenberg Outpost, Nassau sent several of his ships under Balen to surprise the convoy. Upon finding a force much larger than expected, Balen sent a report back to Nassau. Nassau, however, believed it to be only the convoy's escort and moved with his forces to launch an attack against the Spamalkan mobile corps. Mondragon, anticipating the Spamalkans, had deployed his forces behind a hyperspace relay, with Admiral de Cordoba commanding seven Marine Companies. Nassau, with a detachment of his frigates, corvettes, and armored transports, was surprised by the Spamalkan forces under Captains Hendrik van Bergh and Carlo Carricalo. Van de Bergh clashed with the Durthian scouts, instigating the action. The Battle of the Lippe Straits commenced, with the Durthian ships finding their long-range volleys to be useless, and themselves compacted into a narrow stray of space. Spamalkan ships quickly cut off Nassau's flagship, the Blach, and instigated a boarding action. Prince Philip, his brothers, and their cousin, Durthian Rear-Admiral Ernest von Solms, were seriously wounded at the beginning of the battle, as Spamalkan turbolaser fire and boarding parties combined to inflict much havoc on the Blach's bridge. Kinsky and Balen's corps were unable to reach the center of the Durthian force, and some of the Durthian ships, themselves boarded by Spamalkan troopers, began to flee. Commodore Verus managed to put disorder into the Spamalkan mobile corps with his starfighters, but Martinengo launched a enveloping maneuver, allowing Cordoba to regroup his warships and vigorously pursue the attack, overunning Krudenburg Outpost. Despite the stubborn resistance offered by the Durthian-Laurasian forces, they were soon broken and were forced to begin a general retreat. Cordoba pressed the offensive, recapturing five Durthian prison transports and several Laurasian frigates. By the end of the day, the Battle of the Lippe Straits had ended in a decisive victory for the Holy Spamalkan Empire. Prince Philip was captured by the Spamalkan troopers, and was in serious condition.
    • Commodore Verus was also wounded in the last assault and would die at Hulst on September 20. Captain Sallandt and Count Kinsky both died during the final stages of the battle; Count Ernst of Solms was seriously wounded and captured. He and Philip were both taken to Rheinberg, being visited by Mondragon and the van den Berghs, and treated by Spamalkan surgeons. Despite all the attentions, both Durthian commanders died of the wounds they had sustained: Nassau during the late hours of September 4, and Solms on September 7. On September 21, 1795, Count Ernest Casmir, eldest of Prince Philip's brothers, was released from captivity by Mondragon and given the bodies of Philip and Solms. They would be buried at Arnhem on September 29, 1795, in a ceremony attended by Prince Maurice. Following the Battle, Prince Maurice was forced to terminate his planned moves against the Spamalkan forces. On October 11, 1795, he moved against Meurs, but was repelled by a Spamalkan task force. Four days later, he dispatched Count William Louis of Nassau-Dillenberg to intercept a Spamalkan force at Twente, but the Spamalkans evaded him and reached Enschede, leaving only three abandoned transports in Durthian hands. Then on October 18, Mondragon moved back towards Mechelen, with Maurice's attempt to intercept him being defeated in the Battle of the Meusse Straits (October 24, 1795). By the end of October, 1795, Spamalkan units had secured Sluis, Aaylst, and Kollum, bringing them to their maximum territorial extent. At this point, however, Spamalkan fortunes would alter.
  • October 24-
    • As regards to the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth, affairs proceeded rapidly. On August 10, 1795, the Laurasian Ambassador to the Court of Berliania III, the Baronet Carunna, and his Austarlian counterpart, the Count von Ulterdet, formally presented the Preliminary Treaty of Partition to Emperor A'rua III and the Pruthian Cabinet. Included with this formal presentation was a "request" that the Autocratic Pruthian Empire should accede to the territorial arrangements exactly as they had been defined. The Pruthian Cabinet debated over the matter for several days, but ultimately on August 21, Emperor A'rua himself intervened, instructing Taurentizen to communicate his approval of the arrangements to the Laurasian and Austarlian Courts. A'rua, however, sought to gain a modification in the territorial shares thus allocated to the Holy Austarlian Empire, although he agreed to recognize Laurasia's territorial interests in full. This therefore required a final round of negotiations among the three governments, to conclude the second, "preliminary", treaty of partition. On September 6, 1795, Empress Aurelia formally proposed for a second diplomatic conference in Christiania, in order to solve the territorial delienation matters and to provide arrangements for the immediate abolition of the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth's institutions. This was accepted by A'rua III and Fransios II four days later. Formal negotiations opened once again at the Diplomatic Palace on September 16, 1795, with Lord Buchamia, Secretary Cecilis, and the Earl of Estatius representing the interests of the Imperial Laurasian Government; General Taurentizen, Ambassador the Baron Von Hartz, and Count Simon von Volherhort of Augsburg those of the Autocratic Pruthian Government; and Austarlian Ambassador Cobenzl, the Count of Bacs, and Baron von Holtz those of the Holy Austarlian Government. Negotiations continued for over a month, as the Pruthian and Austarlian delegations wrangled bit