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The Laurasian Empire is a galaxy-spanning empire which extends its jurisdiction over the Caladarian Galaxy and its two satellite galaxies, the Angelina Spiral and the Great Tesmanian Cloud. The Empire was established in AH 1321 by Seleucus the Victor, following the end of the Great Briannian War, and emerged from the Stellar Kingdom of Laurasia. The Stellar Kingdom had been originally established in AH 412 by Arasces I the Founder (AH 412-32), following the end of the Arachosian Period. Laurasia enjoyed strength and prosperity during the First Laurasian Period (412-630), during which it exerted its power over the Core States, including such rivals as Gordasis, Courdina V, Clancia, Goldaria, Marshia, Rebecca, Briannia, Chancia, and others. At the death of Horax (603-23), Laurasia governed a vast dominion spanning from the Central Core to the outskirts of the Middle Territories. After Horax's death, however, the Kingdom entered into a severe decline, experiencing a civil war and losing control of most of its worlds. By 630, Laurasia had been subdued by the Lacian Despotate, to which it was a vassal state for twenty-seven years. In 657, with the Lacian Despotate itself entering terminal decline, King Perseus (653-59) overthrew Lacian overlordship and reasserted Laurasia's complete independence.

During the Second Laurasian Period (657-840), the Stellar Kingdom of Laurasia enjoyed a even-greater period of strength and prosperity. Under the successive kings Constantine (659-87); Marcus Aurelius (687-712); Flavius Aetius (712-46); Hercules I (746-62); Gordian II (762-76); Hercules II (776-99); and Polares (799-809), the Stellar Kingdom of Laurasia extended its power from the Galactic Center and the Wild Marshes to the Shendonanan and Roastafarian systems. By the time of Polares however, Laurasia had become overextended and was under severe strains. The devastating Trajanic Civil War (810-32), caused by the ascension of the baby King Trajan (809-23) to the Laurasian throne, resulted in the severe disruption of Laurasian power. Heredotus (823-30); Andrea Septimia (830-32); and Neuchrus (830-32), struggled with each other for control of the Laurasian state. Eventually, Gordian III (832-40) emerged victorious, but was soon after confronted with the formidable Dasian challenge.

In 840, the Dasian Khan and military commander Batya, as part of his campaigns throughout the Core Regions, overwhelmed Laurasia Prime and subdued the world, commencing the Dasian Yoke. During the Dasian Yoke (840-1080), Laurasia Prime and the Laurasian Purse Worlds were under the rule of a Dasian Bey, who acted as the military and political governor for the Dasian Golden Horde in the region. From 978-82, Arasces Arcracius, a Laurasian noble, briefly managed to restore Laurasian independence, but was eventually defeated by the Dasian Khan Tokhtamysh in 982. After nearly another century however, Laurasia emerged as a Grand Principality in 1075, as the Khan Ahmad attempted to instate measures in order to insure loyalty to the Dasians. The Grand Prince Honorius took advantage of the weakened Golden Horde's troubles, and in 1079, instigated a rebellion. In 1080, he defeated Ahmad and proclaimed himself King, thus ending the Dasian Yoke.

During the Third Laurasian Period (1080-1321), Laurasia recovered from the Dasian Yoke, reconstituted its home territories, and at times even dominated the Core Regions, during the first half of the twelfth century. The reign of Honorius the Terrible (1133-84) and the following Time of Laurasian Troubles, however, seriously weakened the kingdom, as it suffered losses against the Solidaritan Sultanate, the Celestial Kingdom of Briannia, and the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth. The reign of Leonidas the Restorer (1213-45), and the establishment of the Leonidian Dynasty, began the process of recovery. During the second half of the thirteenth century, by means of the War of the Deluge (1254-67), Laurasia seized control of the Central Core from Polonia, and reasserted itself. Yet it was not until after Seleucus's accession to the throne, in 1282, that the true process of expansion and reform began. His triumph in the Great Briannian War brought the Empire the Nexus Route regions, Schaueria Prime, the Horacian Provinces, the Northern Crimeanian Provinces, and the Venasian Triangle. Over the course of the next four and a half centuries, under Seleucus's successors, including the Leonidian Dynasty (1321-1416), the Tiberian Dynasty (1416-68), the Vespansian Dynasty (1468-96), the Nervian Dynasty (1496-1592), the Severan Dynasty (1593-1635), and the Neuchrian Dynasty (1685-1803), Laurasia gradually expanded from its position in the central-western Core Worlds to encompassing the entire Caladarian Galaxy. The fourteenth century witnessed a continuation of conflicts with Polonia, Solidarita, Venasia, and in the Wild Marshes, with territorial acquisitions being made from all of these states and the Empire's elimination of Briannia (1364); the fifteenth century saw the Empire's rapid expansion across the Core Regions, into the Middle Territories, and down to the Lower Barsar Regions, with all core states except Venasia being completely subsumed, and with territories seized from Kimania, Melanie, Anastasia, Lesia, and the Abbathian Dynasty; the sixteenth century saw the Empire's incorporation of the rump remnants of Venasia, and its conquest of Hunt, Kimania, and Lesia.

It also seized the Homidinian and Burglais Arm Provinces from the Mellorite Empire, imposed its overlordship over Neo-Anastasia, and acquired strongholds from the Neo-Xilanian Empire. Yet that century saw the commencement of Laurasian military conflict with the Dejanican-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Marasharite Empire, and the Haynsian Despotate, who now became the Empire's main enemies. The seventeenth century was dominated by its Crisis (1635-85), in which the Empire faced considerable external and internal challenges, and wars with Dejanica, Marasharita, Vectoria (after 1613), and the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria (from 1602). Neuchrus I the Reformer's accession in 1685, however, inaugurated another period of great expansion and strength for the Empire. It became greatly involved in the affairs of the Great Amulak Spiral, and by the end of that century, had subsumed the remainder of Xilania, Anastasia, and Mellorita, as well as the Kingdom of Karakorum. It was the eighteenth century which saw the Empire's greatest period of expansion, with the extension of its rule over the Galactic Borderlands and the satellite galaxies. Haynsia, Vectoria, and Scottria would be eliminated, and Dejanica partitioned. Wars with these states and with Franconia, Spamalka, and Marasharita dominated that century.

The timeline covers the history of the Empire until 1500. For the history of the Empire from 1501 to 1700, see the Timeline of the Laurasian Empire (1501-1700).

Timeline of the Laurasian Empire (1321-1500)Edit

14th century (1301-1400)Edit

The fourteenth century was the century which commenced on January 1, 1301, and ended on December 31, 1400, of the Hyperdrive Era system. The first two decades of the century were occupied by the Great Briannian War, which ultimately resulted in the formation of the Laurasian Empire. That period is not covered here. After 1321, the century witnessed the extension of the Empire's rule in the Central Core, Core Worlds, Outer Core, and Industrialized Borderlands.

1321Edit

  • By the beginning of 1321, the 21st year of the fourteenth century, it had come to be realized in the Celestial Kingdom of Briannia that the war against its Laurasian foes was lost. King Fre'dac I of Briannia, who had succeeded his wife Ulrika Eleanora to the Briannian throne on March 24, 1320, had been hopeful that an alliance of Melorkia, Ashlgothia, Polonia, and Venasia would be formed that would forestall the ambitions of Laurasian King Seleucus I. However, this had not come to pass, due to the collapse of the Galactic Exchange of Leslie in September 1320; King Sisebut of Ashlgothia had been compelled to end his intrigues directed against the position of Seleucus, and of Laurasia in general. Fre'dac himself was also prompted by Laurasian naval expeditions into the outskirts of his realms, which had continued unabated for several years; Gdov, the Belts of Barton, Dill, Vurdurg, and Vardar were all harassed by the Royal Laurasian Navy from January to March 1321, and King Seleucus had been contemplating plans for a major offensive against Briannia's defenses. The Briannian outposts of Jaiden, Twining, Roehke, Layla, and Sadie fell into Laurasian hands in March 1321. It was with all of these reverses that the King of Briannia finally accepted that the Great Briannian War, which had by then dragged on for two decades, needed to be brought to an end. It was thus that he informed Seleucus that he was ready to reopen negotiations, and a second peace conference was convened at Nystadia (April 28, 1321).
  • The Laurasian plenipotentiaries to the conference were the Arian Admiral the Baron Jacobius Bruce, 1st Baron Bruce (1269-1335), who had been recently created by King Seleucus as one of the first barons in the Stellar Kingdom of Laurasia, and Seleucus's Assistant President of the College of Foreign Affairs, the Archleutan Sir Andrey Osterman (1286-1347), recently created as one of the Kingdom's first knights. When the conference opened, however, the Laurasians were astonished to find that their Briannian adversaries expected easier terms then had been offered at Aland. The Briannians in turn were dismayed to learn that Seleucus now demanded permanent cession of Horacia, which he had previously sought to possess for only a "temporary" span. The King of Laurasia, however, now declared that if the Briannians were left in possession of that region, they would pose a mortal threat to his own position. Thus it was that negotiations temporarily stalled; Seleucus now launched his naval forces into Briannian territory once more. In May 1321, Admiral Apraskanius and the 2nd Royal Laurasian Fleet assaulted the Briannian outpost of Gefle and harried the northern outskirts of the Belts of Barton, but the stronghold proved too strong for the Laurasians; they instead ranged into the Vardar Marshes, ravaging Sudeval, Lacey, Fulcher, Aliea, and nineteen other Briannian strongholds along the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route. On June 23, having inflicted devastation across more than four hundred light years of Briannian territory, Apraskanius was ordered to withdraw.
  • His raid appeared to be the last straw for Briannia. Fre'dac I finally yielded Horacia and Northern Crimeania. Negotiations resumed in short order, and finally, on September 10, 1321, the Treaty of Nystadia was signed. For Seleucus and for Laurasia, it represented a major victory. The Stellar Kingdom of Laurasia now acquired the Nexus Route (with Jem, Dill, Boo, Jean, Caroline, Atticus, Harper, Lee, Finch, Scout, Ewell, Robinson), the Venasian Triangle (which included Ipsus V, Bolgrahay, Penshalay, Millia-in-the Core, and Robbay), the Briannian Duchy of Schaueria Prime (including Schaueria Prime, Tyleria Perea, Jessica Perea, Colsonia, Archleuta, Greenia, Hordania, Dorothy, Compost V, Shiloh, Calpurnia, Rashid, Smithia, Lydia, Avaskar, Steneborg, Linopking, Alvsborg, Gullborg, Kolchad, Farbissinia, etc.), the Horacian Provinces (with Horacia, Theresa, Donald, John, Levinston, Cinnamon, Pandy, Harvey, Momma, Bartello, Ergeme, Cageo, Kingpin, and Louza), and the Northern Crimeanian Provinces (with Ogla, Meris V, Eutagia, Cadaria, Anasia, Nathaniel, Hooper, Sanegeta, and Crimean IV). Laurasia was thereby expanded by the addition of more than 75,000 star systems across a span of some ten thousand light years, and found its position greatly amplified in the Core Worlds, Outer Core, and Industrialized Borderlands. Laurasia restored Gdov and the Kolomachana Territories to Briannia. As compensation for Horacia and Northern Crimeania, Laurasia agreed to pay $1.9 trillion denarius in installments over the next four years, while the Briannians gained rights of free commercial transit through the Horacian Provinces. All prisoners of war were to be freed; the King of Laurasia, on his part, pledged not to interfere in Briannian internal politics. Shortly after the conclusion of the Treaty (September 14, 1321), King Seleucus, who had been inspecting Meaganian, Capital, and Chandlier, was formally informed of the treaty's conclusion. He declared that "All scholars in arts usually finish their course in seven years. Our school has lasted three times that long...However, thanks to the Lord Almitis, it is so well finished that better would have been impossible."
  • News of the Treaty's conclusion resulted in outbursts of joy and jubilation throughout the Kingdom, from Laurasia Prime to Morgania Major, to Ivoria and to Clancia; the Great Briannian War had finally ended after twenty-one years. King Seleucus was beside himself with excitement, and the celebrations were long and prolonged. When the King arrived on Laurasia Prime (September 15), he was given a grand reception by his subjects, who wept and cheered when the Treaty of Nystadia was given a formal reading. Legate-Admiral Apraskanius and his subordinates asked Seleucus to accept promotion to Admiral; the King himself prayed at the Old Westphalian Cathedral. The King then shouted to a crowd outside of the Celestial Palace that they should rejoice; he toasted the Laurasian nation, and his Praetorian Guards fired their weapons into the air. The Treaty of Nystadia, ratified by both Kings by the end of September, did indeed signal a new beginning. In October 1321, the King held a masquerade party at the University of Laurasia Prime to celebrate the Treaty's conclusion. The culmination of all this came on November 25, 1321, when the King appeared before the Senate to declare that, in gratitude for Almitis's mercy in giving Laurasia victory, he would pardon all imprisoned criminals except murderers, annul all debts to the government, and eliminate all tax arrears accumulated from 1300 to 1318. A service was then conducted at the Old Westphalian Cathedral, with the King himself directing the liturgy, singing with the choirs, and giving his thanks to Almitis. At the end of this service, the Treaty of Nystadia was again formally read to all assembled. The newly-created Holy Synod, represented by Archbishop Theodosius Provickitis, then intoned its blessings for the sovereign; the Archbishop, in his oration, praised the King. Then he was followed by the first Chancellor of Laurasia, Sir Galerius Golovkinus: "By your tireless labors and leadership alone, we your loyal subjects have stepped from the darkness of isolation and depravity into the theater of fame of the whole galaxy, and so to speak, have moved from non-existence to existence, and have joined in the society of political peoples. For that and for winning a peace so renowned and so rewarding, how can we render our proper gratitude? And so that we may not be with shame before the entire galaxy, we take it upon ourselves in the name of the Stellar Kingdom of Laurasia, and of all ranks of the subjects of Your Majesty, humbly to pray you to be gracious to us and agree, as a small mark of our acknowledgement of the great blessings that you have brought to us and the State, to take the title: Father of the Fatherland, Seleucus the Victor, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Laurasians."
  • Seleucus, with a brief nod of his head, indicated that he would accept. Everyone present, from nobles to servitors to servants, and the whole of the Governing Senate, Holy Synod, Praetorian Guards, and Colleges of State, shouted "Vivat! Vivat! Vivat!" The crowds outside cheered, trumpets sounded, and all of the bells of the cathedrals and churches of Laurasia Prime were rung. The announcement was carried on the Holonet, and spontaneous praise broke out in Christiania, Colombia, Uris, Heliotrope, Herkorim, Menedelevium, Beneventum, Osraninpolis, Ostia, Ravenna, Soriana, Constantinople, and all of the other major cities; it soon spread to Jadia, the two Calaxies, the Post Settlement of Hepudermia, and the Neuron Plantita Station. Seleucus then delivered his own oration, declaring that his empire must "make efforts for the general good and profit which may Almitis grant us at home and abroad and from which our Empire will receive advantage." Following this, a herald formally stepped forward and read the formal proclamation of elevation (preserved, in the late eighteenth century, in the Imperial Archives), formally proclaiming Seleucus I as Emperor and Autocrat of All the Laurasians; announcing the reorganization of the Stellar Kingdom of Laurasia into the Laurasian Empire; and hailing him as the Victor and Father of the Fatherland. Recognition of the Laurasian imperial title was conferred immediately by Melorkia, the Rogerian Potentates, the Rudorite Kingdom of Kimania, the Huntite Caliphate, and the Neo-Merlites; Venasia and Polonia waited until 1335, Solidarita until 1339, Ashlgothia until 1342, the Abbathian Empire until 1355; and Neo-Anastasia, Lesia, and the Mereditan Despotate, until 1362. Jageronia was the last state to recognize the imperial title of the Laurasian sovereign, in 1364. Emperor Seleucus, as he now was, was the sole imperial sovereign in the Core Regions, and head of one of the most powerful states in the Caladarian Galaxy. The Laurasian Empire had thereby been established, and was, during the course of the next four and three-quarters centuries, to become the sole power of the Caladarian Galaxy and its satellite galaxies. 1321 thus ended with Laurasia greatly elevated.

1322-1323Edit

  • 1322 began with new prospects on the horizon for Laurasia. With the Treaty of Nystadia, the newly-established Laurasian Empire was finally at peace. Now, it seemed, the great energy and effort which had been placed into the military campaigns from the Nexus Route and Dennis to Narra and Christopher could finally be poured into the internal development of the Empire. And indeed, Emperor Seleucus would implement several more reform measures during the final years of his reign. Yet the Emperor was also determined to expand Laurasian territory; specifically, he wished to push into the Wild Marshes and the Galactic Borderlands. From his earliest years, Seleucus had heard about the satellite galaxies and farther beyond; the great wealth of the Byzzarian Empire, the emerging commercial and other connections of the Celestial Kingdom of Scottria in the Angelina Spiral, and the strange tales about the powers of the Great Amulak Spiral, including the Holy Empire of Saxony, the emerging Marasharite Empire, the Masacavanian Principalities of Kiev and Vladimir, and the Vendragian Confederacy, among other states.
  • He was determined to extend Laurasian commerce and diplomacy into these regions. Seleucus had already attempted to reach out towards the Bulganians, Byzzarians, and Serbians through the establishment of economic consulates on Kolzuduzha, Kuchuk Kaynarca, Izmail, and Jassy, and by sponsoring the existing commodities trade. However, these peoples were distant from Laurasia, and impervious to its efforts at communication. The Emperor also maintained direct relations with Laurasia's neighbor, the Kingdom of Amelianian Cordania, which had, following the collapse of the Marcian Empire and the invasions of the Donathians in the previous century, had emerged as the leading Amelianian power in the Galactic Borderlands. King Edward the Elder of Amelianian Cordania, who was nearing the end of his reign, had subdued Kania, Partsia, Barching, and the Southern Rasdallan Provinces, and waged vigorous campaigns against the Donathians, Lavellans, and Donathian Kthexox. From 1315, however, he had been on friendly terms with King Seleucus, and in 1319, the Treaty of Shashanaya had been signed, confirming the commercial ties between the two realms. Seleucus had strengthened this by dispatching Vitus Bering to survey the Morganian Minor Outlets and the Merlin Shadows; this mission would begin in 1324, and last beyond the Emperor's death. Moreover, the Emperor sought to strengthen his trade connections to the Northern Reaches and the Dasian Heartland. The rulers of Abbathia and Xilania were in a prolonged struggle; the Xilanian Emperors, in particular, looked to Laurasia for moral and financial support. Seleucus dispatched expeditions to the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route in 1314, 1316, and 1319, and in 1317, he had dispatched a commercial expedition to the Dali Trade Run; this, however, could not proceed due to the Solidaritan hold of the Western Redoubt.
  • Yet Seleucus did not abate his efforts. In March 1317, Sir Artemius Volyenskia (promoted to that rank of knight in 1322), had been dispatched as the Laurasian envoy to Ra'dai, capital of the Kingdom of Great Donathia. He was ordered to "study the true state of the Donathian kingdom, its forces, fortresses, and limits." Volyenskia, however, was placed under house arrest on the orders of King Sitric of Donathia (who had just seized power), and was forbidden to have free movement within the Donathian realms. Having heard of the failure of the Laurasian Dali Expedition, and alarmed by the successes Seleucus's forces had obtained against the Briannians, Sitric was concerned that Laurasian attention would be fixed upon his realms next. These concerns were legitimate. Volyenskia, although his freedom of movement was hampered, nevertheless reported on the "grievous tensions" at the court of Ra'dai, caused by Amelianian successes in the Central Galactic Borderlands, and by clashes with the Lavellans and Xilanians alike. He imparted to King Seleucus that the conquest of the Angelican Provinces, still held by Donathia, could be effected with ease. Volyenskia, who upon his return to Laurasia Prime later that year was named Governor of Kelvania Major, urged the King to take advantage of the situation and invade Donathia.
  • Seleucus, however, delayed until the end of the Great Briannian War. Soon after the proclamation of the Empire, the incident that was to provoke Laurasian intervention occurred; at Giron, a band of Angelican pirates attacked a Laurasian commercial convoy, capturing thirty of the forty freighters in the force and killing many Laurasian naval personnel (more than 40,000). This thereby gave the justification to Seleucus to proceed, and Volyenskia pressed upon him the necessity of maintaining Laurasian privileges and preserving the Empire's trade in those regions. The King rejected Volyenskia's ideas that he stir up rebellion among the Angelicans, Tofs, and Billians, and sought to only consolidate Laurasian grip over the minerals and commodities trade.
  • Thus it was that on May 3, 1322, the Emperor dispatched the Guards from Laurasia Prime; he then followed with the newly rechristened 1st Imperial Fleet, his wife, Empress Consort Eudoxia, Admiral Apraskanius, and others. His son, Grand Prince Seleucus, remained behind on Laurasia Prime to supervise governmental affairs in his absence. They proceeded to Heuthros, and from there to Patsy, near the border with the Kingdom of Donathia. The Emperor stopped at every major star system, received petitions, inspected fortifications and government buildings, asked questions about local administration and revenues, and examined objects of interest. At O'Neal, he met with the Chieftain of the Neo-Ecreutian Mercenaries, who pledged his loyalty and his men to the Emperor of Laurasia. Then on July 18, 1322, he embarked with his forces at Patsy and, having issued a declaration of war, crossed over into the Angelican Provinces. The advance against Giron, the first stronghold in the Laurasian path, followed. The outposts of Zachary, Donavan, and Sebastiani fell into Laurasian hands, and the Emperor had the Angelican pirate Nestet-Nevet, who had ambushed a Laurasian transport fleet, executed. Tarku submitted peacefully, and the Angelican princes there honored Seleucus. On August 9, 1322, Giron itself surrendered to the Emperor without a fight; the Governor of the system presented the keys to the system to His Majesty. From thence, the Emperor sought to occupy Eric, Shineski, and Iverman, to seize the worlds of the Prietest and the Immortalized Cluster, and to then advance against Angelica Minor, intending to then blockade Angelica Major and force the Donathians to conclude peace.
  • The Governor of Eric, however, refused to accept a Laurasian garrison, and Seleucus was compelled to launch a military offensive. Supply lines were lengthening; Laurasian communications with Patsy, O'Neal, Martina Mccasia, Mariah, and Blackria were in jeopardy, and the Emperor had to repel constant raids against his convoys. In October 1322, Seleucus returned to Laurasia Prime, but the Laurasians pressed forth. Eric was finally occupied by General Sir Michaelus Makshunia in July 1323, Shineski, Iverman, Titus, Sam, Evan, Aspen, Schulzki, Roach, and Etienne also fell into Laurasian hands, as did the Immortalized Cluster. It was thus that King Sitric was compelled to come to terms. The Treaty of Christiania (September 21, 1323), concluded the Laurasian-Donathian War of 1322-23; Giron, Eric, Shineski, Iverman, Titus, Sam, Evan, Aspen, Schulzki, Roach, Etienne, Angelica Minor, and the Immortalized Cluster were conceded to Laurasia; the latter two, however, would be restored a decade later. Emperor Seleucus could therefore boast that he had secured his Empire's position in the Wild Marshes. Donathia would be engrossed by renewed conflict with Ameliania, Lavella, and in the Galactic Borderlands during the succeeding decades.

1324Edit

  • Following his return to Laurasia Prime in November 1322, Emperor Seleucus and his wife, Empress Consort Eudoxia, had plunged once again into the ceremonies of the Imperial Laurasian Court. Indeed, at that time, the Ashlgothian Ambassador to Laurasia Prime, Alaric of Leslie, noted in his official account of the "spectacle" conducted in which the Emperor appeared as a captain of the Imperial Laurasian Navy; the "All-Joking" Synod conducted themselves in procession, with a model of an Aquilionian eel in tow; and with Empress Eudoxia herself, decked as a Murphian peasant-woman, proceeding with her ladies in waiting and acknowledging the acclaim of all the courtiers. Another strange ceremony had followed in March 1323, when the Emperor invited his Praetorian Guards and his court to witness the ceremonial destruction of the barracks on Ralina Vixius from whence he had first planned his military offensives against Briannia; he declared his resolution to always remain in peace with that kingdom. The Emperor spent much of his time at his prized Palace of Placenta on Darcia, drinking the mineral waters and taking exercise; he also satisfied himself with domestic duties around the Palace. Then in June 1323, the entire Imperial Court, including the ailing Empress-Dowager Praskovia (wife of Seleucus's late half-brother and co-ruler, Menelaus I), embarked from Laurasia Prime to Meaganian, where the Emperor had constructed the magnificent Pink Palace for his wife, the Empress Consort. This palace was surrounded by an extensive garden with fountains, pools, and statutes; it was, on Seleucus's command, opened to the public. In July, the Emperor embarked with his force for maneuvers on the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route.
  • These maneuvers were conducted around Blackria, Mariana Prime, Martina Mccasia, Katherine, Kigonia, Chancia, Rebecca, Durglais, and Nezbit. Then in August, he returned with his naval forces to Capital, where a ceremony was arranged to honor the sailing vessel which he had found at Vetta, and with which he had taken his first naval lessons in the vicinity of the Constantine Cluster. It was now known as the "Grandfather of the Laurasian Navy". There, the Emperor boarded the vessel, now flying the imperial standard. With four senior admirals manning the stations, and the Emperor himself in the captain's chair, the vessel passed in front of the 1st Imperial Laurasian Fleet, with twenty two Artabanus-class destroyers, two hundred galleys, and fifty support vessels. On a signal from Seleucus, the turbocannon of all the vessels roared out salutes. A feast then followed, with many lapsing. Then in October 1323, a celebration had been conducted of the second anniversary of the Treaty of Nystadia; Emperor Seleucus costumed himself as a Huntite va'kalah, then as a Horacian Father, and finally as a Imperial Army drummer. Shortly after this (October 13, 1323), Empress-Dowager Praskovia died, and was, on the Emperor's orders, interned at the Old Westphalian Cathedral alongside her husband, Menelaus I.
  • Yet by late 1323, Emperor Seleucus had resolved upon a ceremony of elevation, for himself, his Empire, and his wife. The Empress Consort Eudoxia, to whom he had been married for thirty-four years, had proven to be a partner of enormous energy, remarkable adaptability, and great loyalty. Seleucus's passion for her had ripened into love, trust, and mutual contentment. She traveled with him even when pregnant, and was often commented on her great stamina. They had a bond of joy in their son, the Grand Prince, and shared grief over the numerous infants they lost. They took pleasure in each others company. This respect and gratitude encouraged Seleucus, on November 15, 1323, in a decree to his subjects on the second anniversary of the Empire's foundation, to announce that he would be holding a second, imperial coronation, for himself and his wife in the following year. The coronation ceremony, which was to mark the Empire's ascendancy, was to be grander than any previous one. He commanded that no expense be spared. An imperial coronation mantle was ordered from Horacia (now under Laurasian rule), and a Christiania jeweler was commissioned to redesign the Royal Crown of Laurasia. The ceremony would be held in the Religious Quadrants of Christiania, as befitting ancient custom. The Senate, Holy Synod, and every official and nobleman of rank was commanded to be present, while Stephanius Yavorskius, Vice Chief-Procurator of the Holy Synod, and Baron Petevius Tolsotia were placed in charge of coronation preparations. At the beginning of March 1324, Seleucus was struck by a bout of internal strangury, and went to Almastead in order to take the waters. He recovered by March 22, and proceeded with the coronation plans. On May 7, he and his wife proceeded into Christiania, having retired to Darcia.
  • The crowds of the cities of Laurasia Prime, Jadia, Hepudermia, and the two Calaxies paid their due respects to their sovereigns; the Praetorian Guards and Christiania Palace maintained order and provided the escort, and turbocannons were fired to mark the appearance of the imperial couple. The Emperor and Empress were attended by all of the officials of the realm, the Senate, Synod, Colleges, the officers of the imperial household, and the military commanders of the Empire. The Empress was dressed in a purple gown embroidered in gold, and needed five ladies in waiting to carry her train. Emperor Seleucus himself wore a sky-blue tunic embroidered in silver and red silk stockings. Together, they went to the Celestial Balcony and looked out over the crowd at exactly the same spot where, forty-two years ago, the ten-year-old King Seleucus and his mother had seen the raging Royal Guards. Then, they descended the Imperial Staircase, walked through the Religious Quadrants, and reached the Old Westphalian Cathedral. In the center, a platform had been constructed, and on it, beneath a canopy of velvet and gold, two chairs encrusted with precious stones waited for the couple.
  • Provickitis, Yavorskius, and the other high clergymen, dressed in their clerical robes, met the imperial couple. Yavorskius presented the cross for them to kiss, and conducted them to the thrones. The services began while the Emperor and Empress sat side by side in silence. At the climax of the ceremony, they both rose; Provickitis intoned the formal blessings, the chief nobleman issued his prayer of injunction, and the Emperor, taking the Royal Crown, touched it on his wife's head and then crowned himself. He then took the Little Royal Crown, specially crafted for the occasion, and crowned his wife. He was then handed the imperial regalia; to his wife, he gave an orb and the wreaths of state. As Seleucus did this, Eudoxia, overcome with emotion, tears streaming down her cheeks, knelt before him and tried to kiss his hand. He pulled it away; she tried to embrace his knees, but Seleucus lifted her up. Prayers were solemnly chanted, cannon thundered, and the bells of Christiania pealed. The Chief Procurator then presented them formally as Emperor and Empress of All the Laurasians. Seleucus then retired back to the Celestial Palace, but Eudoxia proceeded at the head of a procession; the imperial mantle was borne, forcing her to stop a number of times. As she walked, Duke Menshevkius of Laurasia Prime followed slightly behind, scattering largesse among the watching crowd. At the Celestial Palace, Grand Prince Seleucus, who himself had been in tears at his parent's imperial coronation waited to conduct her inside; the magnificent coronation banquet followed. Largesse was distributed further, medals bearing portraits of the Emperor and Empress, and a depiction of the coronation were circulated. The rituals thereby established in this ceremony, the "imperial" coronation of Seleucus I and of his wife Eudoxia Lopasaria, was, with little modification, to be adhered to for the next four and a half centuries; Empress Aurelia's coronation of 1759, considered by all accounts to be the grandest in Laurasian history, resembled that of Seleucus and Eudoxia in almost every respect. It was not until 1362, however, on the orders of Antiochus I, that the Coronation Guidelines were compiled, formally establishing the main procedures for the imperial coronation ceremony.
  • Yet Eudoxia soon found herself facing disaster. Among the Empress Consort's attendants was a handsome young man named Willar Monsia (1288-1324), the younger brother of Anna Monsia, the Goldarian woman who had once been closely associated with the Emperor himself. Monsia was a foreigner, a Goldarian born on Laurasia with one foot placed in each culture. He was elegant, lively, clever, ambitious, and opportunistic. He had chosen his patrons shrewdly, worked hard, and risen to the rank of chamberlain and the post of secretary and confidant to the Empress Consort. She enjoyed his company. His sister Matrena had achieved equal success. She was married to a Schauerian Prince named Fedyla Balk (1282-1340), who then served as Governor of the Prelone Asteroid Belt. She herself was a lady in waiting and the closest confidante of the Empress Consort. Gradually however, the two siblings, on the pretense of assisting the Empress and looking after her interests, contrived to gain control of access to her. They controlled all messages, petitions, and appeals addressed to the imperial household. And since Eudoxia's influence over her husband was known to be great, the Monsia channel became immensely valuable. Government ministers, foreign ambassadors, foreign princes, and even members of the Emperor's family approached the Monsias with a petition and a bribe. Empress-Dowager Praskovia and her daughters, Duke Menshevkius, and Baron Tolsotia, all approached them. Besides the wealth gained from bribes, the Monsias also received estates, money, and goods directly from the Empress. Emperor Seleucus, on his part, was completely ignorant of this.
  • Gossip soon spread about the Monsias. It was whispered by many at the Imperial Court that the Empress Consort had taken Monsia as her lover. Lurid stories circulated, including one that Seleucus had discovered the two having sexual intercourse in the Seleucid Gardens. No evidence was ever cited. Eudoxia was generous, warm-hearted, and sympathetic, but also intelligent. She understood the consequences of what would happen if she had any affair. Seleucus's ignorance served as an indicator of his declining health. Eventually, when he learned, retribution was swift and deadly. It was on November 6, 1323, that one of Monsia's own servants, a Footman of the Privy Chamber, informed the Emperor of what was going on.
  • The Emperor's first action was to forbid anyone from petitioning him for pardons on behalf of criminals. Then on November 8, he had a trivial conversation with Monsia, and dinner with the Empress and Grand Prince Seleucus. Then the Emperor, saying he felt tired, dismissed everyone to their chambers. Monsia went to his quarters, undressed, and was about ready to head into his bedchambers when a detachment of Praetorian Guards, led by the Lord Bergvenny of Oxia Vixius, arrived, and arrested him on the charge of taking bribes. His effects and electronics were seized, his chambers were sealed, and he himself was taken way in chains. The following day, Monsia was brought to Seleucus's presence. He was so frightened of His Majesty that he fainted. Once revived, he confessed to everything that he was accused of. He admitted taking bribes, using revenues from the Empress's properties for his own use, and involving his sister in the conspiracies. He did not confess to any improper relations with Eudoxia. Nor did Seleucus seek to conduct the inquiry in private. On the contrary, he issued a proclamation ordering that everyone who had given a bribe to Monsia or knew of such a bribe should step forward.
  • On November 14, 1324, Monsia was convicted on all charges by the Governing Senate and sentenced to death. Eudoxia, however, did not believe that he would die. She sent word to Lady Balk not to worry about her brother, and then went to Seleucus himself to ask for a pardon. However, she misjudged her husband. The Emperor, however, refused to listen. Seleucus said that he was sorry to lose such a talented man, but that the crime demanded the punishment. On November 16, 1324, both Monsias were taken to the grounds of the High Tower of Christiania (the Fortress of Baureux, that dreaded place of imprisonment for criminals of state in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, would not be built for another two centuries). Willar Monsia behaved courageously, nodding and bowing to friends he saw in the crowd (which numbered more than 75,000). He calmly took off his jacket, mounted the platform, listened to the reading of the sentence of death, and then placed himself on the block. He was then executed by electrocution; his sister then received twelve blows of the knout, and exiled for life to Goodman, where she would die in 1332. Her husband, Lord Balk, was given permission to marry again if he wished. This ordeal strained the relations between Seleucus and Eudoxia. Though her name had never been mentioned by Monsia or his accusers, and no one dared to charge her with taking bribes herself, it was widely suspected that she had known of Monsia's activities and had ignored them. He therefore deprived his wife, on November 21, of all authority over her own household. Eudoxia however, steeled her emotions, and on January 7, 1325, would reconcile with her husband. Just over a month later, he would be dead.
  • The Imperial Academy of Sciences was founded (January 28, 1324). For more information on Seleucus the Victor's reforms, see Reforms of Seleucus the Victor.

1325Edit

  • In the last years of his reign, the health of Emperor Seleucus I entered a serious decline. Sometimes, the Emperor worked with his customary energy and enthusiasm. Among his last projects were the foundation of the Imperial Academy of Sciences and the reconstruction of the University of Laurasia Prime. More often, however, he was moody and apathetic. In these periods of depression, he would procrastinate and refuse to act until the last minute. When the Emperor was withdrawn, few dared to speak to him even when matters were pressing. What lay behind this, only gradually realized even by those who were close to him, was the fact that Seleucus was seriously ill. Tremors still shook his giant but weakening frame, and only Eudoxia, taking his head in her lap, could bring him peace. The years had taken their toll. In 1324, Seleucus was only fifty-two, but his huge exertions, his ceaseless motion, the violent excesses of drink in which he had indulged in his youth, had all undermined his once extraordinary constitution. Beyond these afflictions, he had a new illness, which was to ultimately kill him. For some years, he had suffered from an infection of the urinary tract, and in 1322, the symptoms had reappeared. His doctors and medical bots had diagnosed strangury, a blockage in the urethra and bladder caused by deficiencies in the stomach. During the winter solstice of 1322-23, the pain returned. At first, Seleucus mentioned it to no one but his valet, and continued to drink and carouse in his normal way. Soon, the pain grew stronger, and he had to consult his doctors. He followed the doctors' advice, taking their drugs, submitting to thermal treatments, and engaging in vigorous exercise, but the affliction continued. Then, in July 1324, the disease struck him again. Unable to pass urine, Seleucus was in agony. His personal physician, the Archleutan Dr. Blumentrost (1275-1338), summoned Dr. Thaddeus Horn, who was of half-Marshian descent, to provide assistance. Horn performed surgery on the Emperor, who was placed into anesthesia; he extracted six glasses of urine and a kidney stone. When Seleucus awoke, he experienced great spasms of pain, and crushed everything on his bedside, in spite of the relief medicines administered to him. His pain abated, however, and he was able to pass urine again.
  • At the beginning of October 1324, the Emperor emerged from his chambers, and in spite of his doctors' warning that he should not exert himself, went out of doors. He went to Darcia to see the new fountains installed in Placenta Park; he then set off on an arduous tour of inspection. He began at Bolgrahay, to celebrate the fall of that stronghold twenty-two years before. He then visited the ironworks of Chandlier, and observed the work at the Anusia Ramparts. This tour lasted almost the whole of October; Seleucus felt twinges of pain, but they did not slow his progress. On November 5, 1324, he returned to Laurasia Prime, but decided to travel almost immediately to Taurasia, to visit the Magge Ironworks and Commercial Factory in that star system. On Taurasia, the weather was rough: gray skies, high winds, and icy seas. In the Taurasian Rifles, Seleucus's marine yacht was approaching Lakhta Point when in the distance he saw a craft carrying a number of garrison officers swept out of control. It was soon driven aground into a shoal; the people inside struggled. Seleucus sent a skiff to assist, but the men could do nothing, and were afraid of drowning. Watching impatiently, the Emperor ordered his own yacht to take him alongside the grounded boat. Unable to come close because of the waves, the Emperor suddenly jumped into the sea, plunging into the shallow icy water up to his waist and wading to the stranded boat. His arrival and presence galvanized the desperate men. Responding to his shouts, they caught a tarp thrown at them, and with the help of other sailors and navigators now in the water besides Emperor Seleucus, the stranded boat was pulled and dragged off the shoal. The survivors then thanked Almitis for their salvation and were taken ashore to recuperate.
  • Emperor Seleucus returned to his yacht to change his clothes before anchoring at Lakhta. At first, it seemed that the icy waters had not affected him. He then went to sleep, pleased at his exploit in saving lives and re-floating the boat. During the night, however, he came down with chills and fever, and the pain in his intestine reappeared. He canceled his trip to Volta and returned to Laurasia Prime, where he took to his chambers. The disease never relinquished itself afterwards. At Ascentmas, the Emperor was well enough to make his traditional tour of the mansions and residences of central Christiania, accompanied by his band of musicians and carolers. On January 1, 1325 (four hundred years before the Duke of Norfolkius won the First Battle of Kagul), the Emperor was present at the customary fireworks. At Epiphany, he went out into the waters of the Oslo River for the traditional Blessing of the Waters, catching another cold during the ceremony. He also participated one last time in the celebrations of the Drunken Synod. During that time, they elevated a new Mock-Pope. Then he had his reconciliation with Eudoxia, and they went together to a wedding of one of his personal attendants. He then attended assemblies at the Galactic Exchange and the Old Hickory House. Then on January 16, the illness returned, and compelled him to take to his bed. Dr. Blumentrost again called Horn and other doctors. They now discovered that the Emperor's bladder and intestine had inflamed badly, and with their instruments, diagnosed him with gangrene. They conducted an emergency operation on the Emperor, and removed five-sixths of the gangrene. They then subjected him to a regimen of radiation. Seleucus bore through all of this, summoning Osterman and his other ministers to work. Then on February 3, he suffered a relapse, and calling a priest, received the Last Rites. Tolsotia, Aprakanius, and Chancellor Golovkinus were then admitted to his bedside. Seleucus ordered the pardoning and release of all state prisoners except murderers, and granted an amnesty to young noblemen punished for not presenting themselves for service. He then signed decrees regulating phelyeum narcotics and adhesives, remaining attentive to detail; all present wept.
  • By evening on February 6, 1325, the Emperor seemed a little stronger; the doctors, still administering radiation treatments, talked of letting the Emperor get some exercise. After partaking his hospital gruel, however, Seleucus was then struck with violent convulsions. The Senate, Holy Synod, presidents of the Colleges, officials of state, and the senior officers of the Guard, along with Grand Prince Seleucus and Empress-Consort Eudoxia, were immediately summoned. Soon, the surges of pain through Seleucus's body became so great that Osterman begged him to think only of himself and forget all matters of business. In agony, crying out loudly from the intensity of the pain, Seleucus repeatedly expressed contrition for his sins. Twice more, he received the Last Rites and begged for absolution. Seleucus then spoke to Archbishop Provicktis, and said fervently "Lord, I believe. I hope Almitis will forgive me my many sins because of the good that I have tried to do for my people." All the while, his wife and son remained by his bedside. Seleucus then turned to his namesake, and enjoined him to "preserve all that I have undertaken, to protect the just, punish the wicked, and enforce the position of my Empire." He then called for a stylus and writing tablet; he wrote "Give all to.." before lapsing into unconsciousness. Seleucus sank into a coma, and groaned. The Grand Prince and his mother knelt beside him, praying incessantly that he might be released from his torment by death. At last, at 6:00 a.m., the morning of February 8, 1325, with snow falling outside the Palace, and the skies darkened, Seleucus I the Victor, founder of the Laurasian Empire, died, aged fifty-two.
  • Grand Prince Seleucus, who was thirty-four years old at the time of his father's death, now acceded to the throne as Seleucus II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Laurasians. The new Emperor Seleucus delivered a speech to the Senate, Synod, and Colleges, declaring his resolution to adhere to all of his father's policies and reforms. He quickly consolidated his position of authority by granting an annuity to the Praetorian Guards, issuing amnesties to his subjects, and confirming those passed by his father. Manifestos were issued announcing the new Emperor's accession, and the Holy Synod conferred blessings for the new reign. On his orders, the body of his father, Seleucus I, was embalmed and placed in a bier, at the Celestial Palace, hung with Kimanian tapestries. For nearly a month, the public was allowed to file past and pay their respects. Then on March 8, 1325, the coffin was carried to the Old Westphalian Cathedral. Emperor Seleucus, his mother, now Empress-Dowager Eudoxia, and the chief nobles of Court walked at the head of a massive procession, which included courtiers, government officials, foreign envoys, and military officers, all bareheaded. Archbishop Provicktis then delivered the eulogy, comparing his late master to Moses, Paul, Solomon, David, and Arasces the Founder. He articulated the general disbelief that this man, who had set Laurasia on its path to galactic dominance, was dead: "O men of Laurasia, what do we see? What do we do? This is Seleucus the Victor whom we are committing to the earth!"
  • Yet matters moved along. Emperor Seleucus II, on his part, now sought for himself a wife. His first wife (to whom he had been married by his father in 1311), Grand Princess Fausta Socratos, had died on May 1, 1318, aged only 24. Their son, Grand Prince Desiderius, had then died in the White Nebula disaster (November 25, 1320), near the Cron Drift, aged only five. As a result, Seleucus had no living legitimate male heirs when he succeeded to the throne. Only his daughter, Grand Princess Constantia (who had been born in 1313), survived. Yet the opposition to female rulers remained strong, having been inflamed further by his father's own clash with Grand Princess Theodora. Emperor Seleucus, in fact had instigated plans for his son to marry Lady Honoria Diadones of Constantia (1303-51), but these had not been carried through before his death; the son now followed on these plans. On May 1, 1325, he married Lady Honoria at the Old Westphalian Cathedral, in a ceremony attended by all of the magnates of the Imperial Laurasian Court. And then on September 13, 1325, he and his new wife were crowned Emperor and Empress at the Cathedral. They now engaged in vigorous efforts to have a child, but these efforts were to come to nought.

1327Edit

  • Emperor Seleucus II the Strong, who as mentioned above had resolved upon the continuation of the policies and reforms of his father, Seleucus I, sought to thereby strengthen the machinery of the Imperial Laurasian Government. In this, he was encouraged by Duke Menshevkius, who had continued to remain a predominant influence within the ranks of the Court following the death of the first Emperor. It was thus that on February 19, 1326, that the Emperor had formally established the Supreme Privy Council, which was to act as his chief advisory board and as the leading organ of the civil service. This body, which assumed precedence over the Governing Senate, was to be composed of six members. These included all of the surviving chief officials of Seleucus I: Menshevkius himself, along with Admiral Apraskanius, Chancellor Golovkinus, the President of the College of Foreign Affairs Osterman, Baron Tolstoia, and the Duke of Mariana Prime. These advisers were entrusted with issuing ministerial instructions and civil service orders to execute the Emperor's commands, and were given day-to-day oversight over the administrative affairs of the Empire. The Council would last until its abolition by Seleucus's successor, Didius Julianus in July 1336, and it anticipated the Imperial Privy Council, which was to be established by Neuchrus I more than three centuries later, in 1692. Menshevkius, who had continued to maintain his position of standing with Emperor Seleucus (who nevertheless had a personal loathing for him), soon became the dominant member of this body. Yet Seleucus also implemented other reforms which proved to be of more benefit to the Empire.
  • The Emperor sponsored a massive expansion of the Imperial Court, thereby continuing with the cultural innovations introduced by his father. Beginning in November 1326, the Celestial Palace underwent a massive architectural renovation, which would result in its expansion to more than 3,000 rooms by 1332. In that year, it would be formally renamed the Quencilvanian Palace. It was Emperor Seleucus who was responsible for constructing the Public Senatorial Chambers, the Assemblage Auditorium, and the Tourist Information Center. He also instigated renovations to the Diplomatic Palace, Christiania Charterhouse, Lycian Crystella Palace, Palace of Placenta, the Palace of Harmony, and numerous other imperial residences in the Empire. The Emperor, moreover, implemented the Code of Courtly Ethics in January 1327, thereby providing strict regulations for protocol, precedence, and standards of personal behavior among his courtiers and attendants. He reorganized the Board of the Imperial Household and cracked down vigorously upon waste. Emperor Seleucus also instigated a major expansion of the Empire's judicial system. In March 1326, the Colleges of State Expenditures and State Income would be united to form the College of Finance; further reforms, implemented in the period 1327-1332, would result in the establishment of formal auditing procedures and a state budget for the Imperial Court. The Emperor also centralized judicial administration, and from 1327 onwards, would command the Senate to attach Procurators and itinerant justices to important star systems throughout the Empire, thereby dispensing justice among commoners and gentry alike. In 1325, 1329, and 1331, the Emperor reformed the imperial coinage, revising the value of the denarius, confiscating all foreign currency issue within his dominions, and decimializing stock bonds, interest rates, and government loans. He also maintained a close working relationship with the Chief Procurator, Archbishop Provickitis of Ralina Vixius; Seleucus, when making clerical appointments, sought to appoint men who supported further reform of church administration and adhered to the state's objectives in this.
  • Yet by early 1327, Emperor Seleucus had finally tired of Menshevkius; he was determined to get rid of this pestering, thieving figure who had gotten away with much while his father was alive, and who plundered the State for his own personal benefit. In March 1327, after Menshevkius had acted in a disorderly manner at a court reception, Seleucus said, ominously: "We shall see who is Emperor, you or I." Then in July 1327, the Duke of Laurasia Prime fell ill; he recovered at his estates on Little Mexicana, but when he returned to Christiania, he was ignored by the Emperor and by the other magnates of the Imperial Court. Then in September 1327, the moment of reckoning came. He was, on the Emperor's orders, arrested, deprived of all of his offices and titles, and stripped of his decorations; afterwards, the Emperor banished him and his family to Jenny. Menshevkius was now disgraced. Others of his friends and associates found themselves under Seleucus's heavy blow; Tolsotia was arrested and imprisoned at the Secret Prison of Ipsus V, where he died on May 11, 1329, at the age of eighty-four. Then in April 1328, the Emperor completed Menshevkius's destruction; he was accused of treasonable contacts with the Solidaritan Sultanate, lost all of his estates and properties, and exiled with his family to Takrania in the Malarian Provinces. He would die there on November 12, 1329, aged 56.

1330Edit

  • The year 1330, by itself, was largely uneventful, except for the deaths of two of the sovereigns of the Great Briannian War. On February 12, 1330, the Queen Mother of Venasia, Kemutha II, who had ruled since her accession to the throne in August 1299, died on Monderon, aged 59. The Queen Mother's health had entered a serious decline during the last months of her reign, and she had embarked on a journey to Maxiliana, intending to take advantage of that world's spas in order to revive her own condition. These efforts were in vain, however, and she died on her way back to Venasia Prime. She was now succeeded as Queen Mother of Venasia by her eldest daughter, who became Cryastalla I of Venasia. The new Queen Mother, who had been born three months following her mother's accession to the throne, was far less favorably disposed towards the Laurasian Empire. She viewed the Laurasian acquisition of the Venasian Triangle and Grand Duchy of Schaueria Prime as threatening to her own position, in spite of the fact that Venasia's hold of Decapolia, Hannis, Organia, and Permi had been consolidated as a result of the Great Briannian War. Consequently, the Queen Mother, from the moment of her accession, began a major military buildup of Venasian forces, particularly at Ka, Phyilis, Ruttum, Hapes, Thasadornia, and Venasia Secondary; in March 1330, she declared to the Council of High Ones that she could not countenance the continued, aggressive expansions of the Laurasian power. Then on August 1, 1330, Solidaritan Sultan Nizim III, who had harbored King Char'lac in the early 1310s, and thereby become entangled in war with his Laurasian neighbors, was deposed from his throne, as a result of a revolt on Istantius by the Janissary Guards. He was now succeeded to the throne by his cousin Darim I, who had bribed the Guards to support his cause. Darim, however, spared his uncle's life, and had him banished to Roxuli. Emperor Seleucus was alarmed by this, and by the end of 1330, he had begun to contemplate plans for a preventative war against the Solidaritan Sultanate.

1331Edit

  • 1331, was, for the Laurasian Empire, marked by two events: the Emperor Seleucus II's action over the succession, and the death of his mother, Empress-Dowager Eudoxia Lopasaria. The first must be addressed. By 1331, Seleucus had been married to his second wife, Empress Consort Honoria Diadones, for six years. Yet in spite of all their efforts, they had failed to have any children. Many at the Imperial Court rumored that either the Emperor's wife was infertile, or that he himself was now incapable of producing children. In any case, Emperor Seleucus was genuinely concerned by his lack of a son. He now began to consider his possibilities. One was that of Grand Prince Didius Julianus (who had been born on October 23, 1296, at the Diplomatic Palace), the eldest surviving son of his half-aunt, Grand Princess Theodosia (1262-1313), one of his father's many half-sisters. By 1331, Didius Julianus was thirty-four years old; in November 1325, he had been married to Lady Constantia Hercules (1305-52), daughter of the 2nd Duke of Conservan, who was one of the leading magnates in the Empire at that time. This had been on the initiative of the Emperor himself. Yet Emperor Seleucus was opposed to the idea of Didius Julianus becoming his heir apparent.
  • He did not wish to be followed by one who descended from the Marcellas, the family of his aunt Theodora, who had been such a formidable rival to his father during the early years of his reign. Consequently, the Emperor's attention fixed upon his own daughter: Grand Princess Constantia, who turned eighteen in 1331. This was a break from Laurasian tradition. There had already been the unhappy examples of Octavia Seslais, Andrea Septimia, the Regent Elena, and of Theodora. Their periods of government had convinced many Laurasians that if a woman were given the supreme authority, she would lead the State to dissolution and disunion. Yet Emperor Seleucus believed that his daughter, who was possessed of intelligence and learning, would be more then capable of controlling the fortunes of state. Thus it was that on Ascentmas Day 1331, that the Emperor ordered all of the leading magnates and officials of the Governing Senate, Holy Synod, Colleges of State, and the Imperial Court to assemble at the Quencilvanian Palace. There, they were compelled to take an oath of allegiance to Grand Princess Constantia, to recognize her as her father's heiress apparent, and to recognize the claims of any children which she might have. This move, however, was unpopular, for it was unusual for an Emperor to elevate an heir in this way. Moreover, misogynist feelings, which were to remain a strong undercurrent during the following centuries, prevailed, and many did not wish for Constantia to become Empress. These feelings were to reveal themselves in due course.
  • Months before this decision, on September 7, 1331 (402 years before the birth of Empress Aurelia I the Great), the Emperor's mother, Empress-Dowager Eudoxia Lopasaria, died at the Monastery of Windowia Photis, aged 62. Her death was greeted by the Emperor and the Imperial Court with much sadness; he ordered for his subjects to mourn for his mother, and issued a proclamation praising her virtues. On the Emperor's orders, she would be interred at the Imperial Mausoleum alongside her husband, Seleucus I, in October 1331.
  • Comet Demosthena is visible from Laurasia Prime. It will not be seen again until 1407.

1332Edit

  • 1332 saw the continuation of the concern in the Empire over the succession. Emperor Seleucus, who had compelled the chief institutions and nobles of the Empire to formally recognize his daughter Constantia as his heiress apparent, now to sought to solidify this order of succession further by arranging his daughter's marriage. The search for a suitor began in early January 1332; the Emperor, adhering to the customs of the Third Laurasian Period, issued a proclamation from the Imperial Court, commanding for officials, authorities, and noble guilds throughout the Empire to search for candidates for the Grand Princess's hand, and to bring these candidates to the attention of his own household. The search extended in several star systems throughout the Empire, and in April 1332, the Emperor made his selection; he now choose the Earl of Melarnaria, Sir Gregorius Lauscranius (1313-51), as his chief candidate. The Earl of Melarnaria, nineteen years old at the time, had nevertheless distinguished himself in military service in the Central Core, was renowned for his athleticism and physical attributes, and considered one of the most intelligent young noblemen in the Empire. All of this suggested that he would be a good protector and husband for the Grand Princess, and the progenitor of a great dynasty.
  • On May 4, 1332, the Emperor had them formally betrothed, introducing the Earl of Melarnaria to his daughter. Gregorius and Constantia treated each other with outwards respect, although both recognized that their marriage was being contracted for reasons of state. The actual ceremony itself was conducted on June 1, 1332, at the newly renamed Quencilvanian Palace; Chief Procurator Provkictis officiated, and the ceremony was attended by all of the chief magnates of the Imperial Court. Towards the end of June 1332, it would be formally announced by the Imperial Court that the Grand Princess was pregnant with the Emperor Seleucus's first grandchild; the Emperor was delighted by this news, and ordered for celebrations to be conducted on Laurasia Prime, and in the Empire's other star systems. In November 1332, however, he reaffirmed his earlier proclamation that Constantia was to be his heiress apparent, deeming this a more secure situation than the possibility of a regency, in the event of his early death. This year also saw the implementation of the University Statute of 1332 and the Act of Commercial Navigation, among the Emperor's last reform measures.
  • The Treaty of Resht (January 21, 1332), was signed by the Laurasian Empire and the Kingdom of Great Donathia. Ever since February 1331, the government of Emperor Seleucus II had been conducting negotiations with that of Donathia, still under the rule of King Sitric. The King of Donathia, who had been engaged in continuous conflict with Amelianian Cordania under King Ethelstan (1324-39), and had been expelled from Arachosia Suprema, was determined to secure his own territorial boundaries. At the same time, Emperor Seleucus wished for a free hand in any future military operations against the Solidaritan Sultanate, and he did not wish to be obstructed in this by his Donathian neighbors. Consequently, the two governments had opened negotiations, and had, within a short time, reached an agreement. By the terms of the Treaty of Resht, Angelica Minor and the Immortalized Cluster were restored to Donathia; in exchange, King Sitric secured an assurance of non-aggression from the Emperor of Laurasia and recognized Laurasian rights of campaign against Solidarita. The Treaty of Resht was to hold for more than twenty years.

1333Edit

  • 1333, the 33rd year of the fourteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire and the other powers of the Core Regions still residing in a state of peace. Such "peace", however, was destined to be transitory, and would give way to the renewed outbreak of military conflict, though this conflict was not to be as intensive or as wide-ranging as the Great Briannian War, of more then a decade earlier. The new conflict was to be centered in the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth, and was to concern the succession to the Polonian-Donguarian throne. By January 1333, the health of King Aug'sac the Strong, Seleucus the Victor's old ally during the Great Briannian War, had entered into a serious decline. King Aug'sac, who had continued to wear himself out with pleasures at the court, and indulged himself with his numerous mistresses, now found that he had to face consequences for those actions. Already, in November 1330, he had collapsed at a session of the Polonian Parliament at the Great Palace of Polonia Major, and had to be escorted from the chambers by his subordinates. In March 1331, he had suffered a panic attack in his private quarters, and had to call upon the services of his personal physicians. His health troubles intensified during the remainder of 1330 and 1331, and in June 1331, the King was forced to undergo emergency artery surgery.
  • As Aug'sac's health entered its terminal decline, he looked ahead to the future. The King of Polonia now sought to resume his efforts to secure the claim of his son, Prince Aug'sac, to succeed him to the Polonian-Donguarian throne. In July 1331, he had told the Polonian Senate that the implementation of hereditary procedures of succession for the Commonwealth would serve to alleviate its troubles and secure its position in the face of foreign threats. He then issued a proclamation from the Royal Court in May 1332, attempting to persuade his subjects of the need for a hereditary succession. And he wooed many of the magnates of Polonia Major, Polonia Minor, Wronzaz, Draguilli, Lublin, and Masan, seeking to obtain their support for his moves. Things advanced to the point that, in November 1332, the King was able to secure discussion of the matter in the Parliament. However, all of his further moves towards securing a hereditary succession failed, as the Laurasian Ambassador to the Court of Polonia Major, Sir Antigonus Dyrania (1279-1342), acting on the orders of the Emperor, managed to successfully bribe many Parliamentary delegates into voting against any motions of succession.
  • On January 9, 1333, King Aug'sac, his efforts to secure the hereditary succession having failed, entered his final illness. He was now confined to his quarters at the Royal Palace, and was unable to present himself in public any further. For nearly a month, he hovered on the edges of death, with all of his subjects in apprehension as to his fate. Finally, on February 1, 1333, after having reigned over Polonia and Donguaria for a third of a century, Aug'sac I died at the age of 62. The news of the King's death spread rapidly throughout the Commonwealth, and to the courts of foreign powers. Few mourned his death, for his Polonian subjects had learned to despise his avarice and his taste for luxury. Nevertheless, the customary period of mourning was proclaimed by the Polonian Primate, Teodor Potocki, who now assumed temporary responsibility for state affairs as Interrex. Aug'sac I was then laid in state, and his funeral would take place on February 24, attended by dignitaries from all foreign powers.
  • Emperor Seleucus, learning of the Polonian King's death, now viewed it as the perfect opportunity to maintain Laurasian "protectorship" over Polonia and to further extend Laurasian interests into the affairs of the Commonwealth. In a speech to the Governing Senate (February 23, 1333), Chancellor Golovkinus declared that intervention into the affairs of Polonia would be necessary "for the security of these realms and the maintenance of stability in the Core Regions." The Emperor then announced his intention to support the claims of Prince Aug'sac. He received the Prince in a formal audience at the Diplomatic Palace on March 8. During the course of March and April 1333, Laurasian units were assembled at strongholds throughout the southern Central Core, including Maschinga, Ergeme, Redderson, Dasinae, Satisba, Sthanon, Goldaria, Yularen, Daala, Pellaeon, Carina, Seejay Prime, Mommica, and Maxc-casi, readied for a intervention into the Commonwealth as the occasion demanded for it.
  • On March 22, the Emperor sent a communique to King Childebert III of Melorkia, who had continued to remain friendly with the Empire. In this communique, the Emperor of Laurasia expressed his belief that "the affairs of Polonia concern all galactic powers", and that unless decisive action were taken, instability would spread outwards. Childebert, who entertained ambitions of his own in the Polonian Provinces, and had no wish to see a Commonwealth that was both unfriendly and marred in anarchy, agreed. Four days later, a conference was opened at Resmania between delegations of the Imperial Laurasian and Melorkian Governments. Chancellor Golovkinus attached Foreign Affairs Minister Osterman and Demetrius Golinaria, Duke of Mariana Prime, as the Laurasian plenipotentiaries; the King of Melorkia was represented by the Duke of Algaica Belguica and Prince Louis of Melorkia Minor. The conference lasted for nearly a month, and concluded on April 15, 1333, with the signature of the Treaty of Resmania. By the terms of this treaty, the Laurasian Empire and the Confederate Kingdom of Melorkia agreed to work together to install Prince Aug'sac on the Polonian throne, to support the continuation of the Commonwealth's present constitutional situation, and to fight against any attempts by any other foreign powers to alter the situation.
  • Yet Laurasia and Melorkia were not the only interested powers in the Commonwealth's fate. There was also Venasia and Ashlgothia. As mentioned above, Queen Mother Cryastalla had been embarked upon a substantial military buildup since the commencement of her reign. She was far less favorably disposed towards the Empire then her predecessors had been, and was determined to find any means to limit Laurasian power. She decided that the situation in the Commonwealth was that means. Consequently, in April 1333, she instructed her Ambassador at Polonia Major, the Lady Executrix Tessalina, to organize a meeting of the Potocki and Czartoryski families. Lady Tessalina did so, and a conference was held at New Nosauria from April 21 to 29, 1333. At the end of the conference, she had secured their support for Venasian intervention and for the claims of Stanislaw I, former King of Polonia, who had been in exile at Kimanis Mooria since 1309. Stanislaw had returned to the Commonwealth two weeks after the King's death, and had been agitating for his own claims to the throne.
  • He now obtained the support of Interrex Potocki, who was fearful of Laurasian claims to intervention within Polonian territory. On May 9, 1333, in fact, the Interrex, persuaded by Ambassador Tessalina, called a convocation Parliament, in order to begin the election process. The Parliament agreed to a resolution banning consideration of any candidates selected by Laurasia or Melorkia, thereby narrowing the field of candidates. Prince Aug'sac, construed to fall under this ban, was alarmed, and on May 18, he requested of the Imperial College of Foreign Affairs that he be allowed to subscribe to the Treaty of Resmania. Seleucus eventually approved his request on June 6, and on July 1, 1333, after another month of negotiations, the Prince agreed to the Concordat of Charasia, by which he obtained the formal recognition of Laurasia and Melorkia for his claims. In exchange, the Prince promised to protect the diplomatic immunity and other rights of all Laurasian and Melorkian subjects in Polonia, and to agree to no treaties hostile to the interests of either power. The Concordat was ratified on July 6, and Emperor Seleucus invited Prince Aug'sac to participate in a gladiatorial tournament at the Post Settlement of Hepudermia.
  • By the beginning of August, Polonian and Donguarian nobles had begun gathering on Polonia Major in order to commence the selection process. Within a short period of time, however, the Laurasian intervention occurred. On August 11, 1333, Emperor Seleucus ordered Legate-General the Baron de Lamanius (1268-1355), to take command of Laurasian forces in the Central Core, and to send detachments into Polonia to assert Laurasia's claims in the election process. Lamanius did as ordered, and Laurasian troops poured into Polonian territory. By August 22, Watson, Ceres, and Sydney had all been occupied by Laurasian forces, and Frogglesworth was under siege. Interrex Potocki was outraged by this, and declared that the Empire had committed a "wanton, and uncalled for act of aggression." By the end of August 1333, Frogglesworth too had capitulated, and Daniel was blockaded by a Laurasian "diplomatic corps". On September 4, Queen Mother Cryastalla, alarmed by these Laurasian moves, announced her formal support for the claims of Stanislaw I, and sent a threatening communique to the Imperial Chancellory on Laurasia Prime, threatening retaliation for the "heinous violation" of Polonian territorial rights. On September 12, 1333, the Parliament formally elected Stanislaw as King-Emperor of Polonia-Donguaria. Emperor Seleucus, when he learned of this declaration, was outraged, and promised not to stand down until Aug'sac's "rightful place" on the Polonian throne was secured.
  • Cryastalla, on her part, now issued an ultimatum to the Imperial Laurasian and Melorkian Courts (September 16, 1333), demanding that the two powers disavow their support for Aug'sac, that they recognize Stanislaw as King of Polonia, and that they agree to not interfere in the Commonwealth's affairs in the future. Emperor Seleucus, when he received this ultimatum, scoffed at its demands. Nevertheless, he ordered for the garrisons of the Duchy of Schaueria Prime and the Nexus Route to be strengthened, and he commanded the Earls of Arias and Murphy to prepare themselves for military operations to the east. King Childebert, on his part, ordered the garrisons of Cholodio, Tournacia, Riparia, and Alsauborg strengthened. With no response to her demands forthcoming, the Queen Mother issued a formal declaration of war against both the Laurasian Empire and the Confederate Kingdom of Melorkia (October 10, 1333). For the first time in five centuries, Laurasia and Venasia had entered into military hostilities. Within days of the declaration of war, Venasian forces advanced swiftly into Laurasian territory. Bolgrahay was assaulted by a Venasian task force (October 12, 1333), falling into their hands two days later. Robbay followed on October 14, and on October 16, Ipsus V was besieged; it resisted until October 22, when it finally buckled under Venasian assaults. By the end of October, Dorothy, Hordania, Tyleria Perea, Jem, Dill, and Boo had all fallen into Venasian hands, while Atticus, Colsonia, and Smithia were being besieged.
  • Venasian expeditions, penetrating to the outskirts of Nathaniel, Crimean IV, and Sanegeta, also reached the Melorkian stronghold of Brittany, sacking its defenses (November 1, 1333). Two days later, on November 3, 1333, Archleuta fell to a rapid offensive launched by Venasian Princess Kamatha of Phyllis. Colsonia and Smithia, however, continued to resist Venasian assaults, remaining firm for their Laurasian garrisons under the command of General the Baron Melasgavius. Then on November 11, 1333, King Sisenand of Ashlgothia, who had been engaged in negotiations with the Consortium for months, and seeking to arrest Laurasian power in the Commonwealth, announced his own declaration of war, and launched his forces into Melorkian territory. Marsin was the first to fall to Ashlgothian forces (November 14), followed in short order by Jasmine (November 16), Les Mans (November 18), Cambrina (November 22), and Manorsia (November 25-December 1). Through the latter weeks of November 1333, also, Venasian forces overran Farbissinia, Shiloh, and Linopking, and were on the verge of finally overrunning Smithia. Yet by December 5, soon after Princess Kamatha defeated Baron Melasgavius in the Battle of Gotlandia, the tide had already shifted to the favor of Laurasia and Melorkia. Emperor Seleucus, in a series of proclamations to his subjects, had exhorted them not to despair, and expressed his utmost faith that the Empire would succeed. On December 11, 1333, the Emperor moved from Laurasia Prime, announcing that he would take direct command of operations against the Consortium. He also ordered General de Lamanius to move with all speed against Polonia Major. On October 24, a coalition of Polonian-Donguarian nobles led by Duke Michael Wiśniowiecki of Cossack, the descendant of False Demetrius I's sponsor from more than a century earlier, had announced their recognition of Aug'sac as King-Emperor of the Commonwealth, and denounced the claims of Stanislaw I. On Ascentmas Day, 1333, they signed the Pact of Mohi with the Empire, pledging cooperation with Laurasian forces. By the end of 1333, Cossack, Bordilla, Pressburg, Mohi, Donguaria Minor, and Gischala were under their control.
  • On March 5, 1333, at the High Hatsheput Hospital in Randanian City, Horacia, the Emperor's daughter and heiress apparent, Grand Princess Constantia, gave birth to her first child, a son. She and her husband, Duke Lauscranius of Melarnaria, named him Antiochus. Emperor Seleucus was greatly pleased to hear about his grandson's birth, and he ordered for his subjects to celebrate it. Antiochus would be destined to become Antiochus I the Great, and would play a decisive role in Laurasian history later in the century.

1334Edit

  • 1334, the 34th year of the fourteenth century, commenced with the tide of the war having shifted in the favor of the Laurasian Empire and its ally, the Confederate Kingdom of Ashlgothia. Emperor Seleucus, exultant still over the birth of his grandson, and determined to assert Laurasian dominance in the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth, now launched a vigorous series of counteroffensives against Venasian forces in the Nexus Route region and in the Duchy of Schaueria Prime. On January 7, 1334, Smithia finally fell to the forces of Venasian Princess Kamatha. This, however, proved to be the last major success for Venasian forces against their Laurasian enemies. Ten days later, the Princess moved against Rashid, hoping to overrun that stronghold's defenses and to drive a wedge in the direction of Kolchad, Alvorg, and Gulliborg. At Shiloh Points, however, she was intercepted by the 7th Imperial Fleet, commanded by Seleucus's chief fleet subordinate, the 2nd Duke of Christiania. On January 24, 1334, the Battle of Shiloh Points was waged. It lasted for seven hours, and when it had ended, the Venasians had been decisively defeated. Shiloh Points was secured by Laurasian forces, and the Duke of Christiania then proceeded to drive all Venasian units from the outskirts of Shiloh, Schaueria Prime, and Blueia (February 1334). On February 17, Smithia and Archleuta both fell back into Laurasian hands, and on March 5, the Emperor himself inflicted a decisive defeat upon the Princess in the Battle of Jean. Jem, Dill, and Boo were recovered by March 24, and on April 1, 1334, so was Dorothy. Venasian forces now launched vigorous raiding expeditions into the Horacian Provinces, attempting to keep their Laurasian enemies off-balance. Cageo, Louza, and Kingpin were harried by Venasian naval units (April 5-14, 1334), and on April 24, Levinston actually fell to a Venasian military force. On April 28, however, Seleucus defeated Princess Kamatha again in the Battle of Linopking, and on May 5, drove Venasian units from Levinston, the outskirts of Cageo, and Bartello. By May 14, Tyleria Perea, Dorothy, and Hordania were all back in Laurasian hands, and on May 22, Ipsus V was besieged by the Emperor's troops. It did not fall back into Laurasian hands, however, until June 6, 1334.
  • On that same day, "King" Stanislaw I was compelled to flee from Polonia Major, down the Denveranian Trunk Line, and into the dominions of Ashlgothia. During January 1334, Donguaria Prima, Croac, Aohi, Rohi, and the Trans-Croac Colonies had all defected to the cause of Prince Aug'sac. The Siege of Donguaria Secunda, which commenced on February 7, 1334, ended in victory for the forces of General Lamanius and Prince Aug'sac, bolstered also with Melorkian reinforcements. Following the world's fall on February 18, Daniel and Rupert had both been secured by Laurasian forces; Doris, Anthony, and Rawlings followed by March 7. And on March 19, 1334, the Confederates of Wronzaz and Kaidan had also defected to the Laurasian-Royalist cause. April and May 1334 saw Laurasian forces defeating all Venasian raiding expeditions launched in the vicinity of Crimean IV, Nathaniel, Drennan, and Hopper, thereby preventing the Consortium from providing any aid whatsoever to Polonian forces; Polonia Minor, Krakow, and Draguilli had also fallen into Laurasian hands. Polonia Major was placed under siege from May 24, and the King's departure on June 6 was the final culmination of his failure. By the end of June 1334, with the conquest of Lublin, Ostorkleka, and Polaga, the Commonwealth had been cleared of Stanislaw I's forces. Stanislaw himself, now ensconced at Ashlgothia Major, had lost his throne, without ever receiving the necessary "aid" from his Venasian allies.
  • On June 17, 1334, Emperor Seleucus sent a communique to Primate Potocki and the Polonian Parliament, urging them to formally denounce Stanislaw as King-Emperor of Polonia-Donguaria. To back this up, he ordered Laurasian troops to occupy the garrisons of Kaluszyn and Firley, dismantling the Polonian forces in both star systems. This proved the move necessary, and on June 22, they did denounce Stanislaw, declaring that he was a "false King of Polonia" and that they had been deceived into elevating him. He was formally deposed as King-Emperor of Polonia-Donguaria on July 1, 1334. By that time also, Bolgrahay was also back in Laurasian hands, and all Venasian forces had been expelled from Laurasian territory. Decapolia Minor then came under assault from the Emperor's troops (July 2-17, 1334), eventually falling. Agac, Aflac, Podrac, and Cadaria followed in quick order (August-September 1334), and on October 15, 1334, Princess Kamania herself died in the Battle of Lynne, conceding that stronghold to Laurasian arms. By November 1334, Laurasian forces had obtained the definite advantage on the Venasian front, and Queen Mother Cryastalla was now considering the possibility of negotiations.
  • On October 4, the Emperor issued instructions to General Lamanius, ordering him to move forth into Ashlgothia. Laurasian forces now drove Ashlgothian units from Manorsia (October 5-9, 1334), and on October 14, assisted their Melorkian allies in lifting the Ashlgothian siege of Algaica Belguica. On October 24, Imma was besieged by Laurasian-Melorkian forces. The Siege of Imma lasted for the better part of a month, as the Ashlgothian forces of General Gunsobad resisted fiercely. It's fall on November 19, however, opened the way to further Laurasian advances. Jeopardy and Trebek were then overrun (November 20-24), and on November 26, Emma fell into Laurasian hands also. Baiteman and Tahon were both blockaded, and Laurasian expeditions harried the outskirts of Nandia, Larkin, and Greg Minor. On December 4, 1334, General Lamanius scored a decisive victory in the Battle of Bryce, storming that world's defenses, capturing 250,000 Ashlgothian troops, and imprisoning the Ashlgothian Garrison General Alaric. Baiteman fell on December 11; Tahon was then subjected to a frontal assault on December 15, finally falling ten days later. By the end of the year, Laurasian forces were also blockading Kane, Kathryn, and Courtney, and were preparing an offensive against Brooke One.

1335Edit

  • 1335, the 35th year of the fourteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire's forces continuing to make further gains, in conjunction with its Melorkian allies. On January 3, 1335, Hannis was assaulted by Emperor Seleucus. This stronghold, one of the most important in the Venasian Consortium, commanded access to the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route and was, by the fourteenth century, fully restored to its position of earlier economic predominance. The Siege of Hannis lasted for nearly a month, as Lady Executrix Palimera, Generaless of the Upper Venasian Cluster, sought to throw back Laurasian assaults. Ultimately, however, Hannis' fall on January 24 merely confirmed the overall direction of the war's momentum. Maxiliana and Duris were now under siege from Laurasian forces, and by February 1335, the Emperor was preparing to launch an offensive against Ka, Monderon, and Venasia Secondary. In the meantime, in Ashlgothia, further major advances were also being made. Kane fell on January 14, 1335, and from thence, Laurasian forces stormed Brooke One (January 18), Allison (January 22), Matthew (January 25), West (January 28), and Thelma (February 2). Kathryn followed on February 6, 1335, and Courtney on February 11. By the end of February 1335, Laurasian forces were even threatening to overrun Leslie, Tea, and Jennings.
  • In March 1335, King Sisenand, who was still contending with outbursts of civil dissent on Larkin, Ashlgothia Minor, and India, and who recognized that there was no further advantage to be derived from the alliance with the Neo-Venasian Consortium, decided to bring the war to an end. On March 16, after Martinez fell to a Laurasian expeditionary corps under Admiral Sir Tacitus Amulus, Earl of Arias, the King sent a communique to General Lamanius, requesting for a military armistice. Lamanius, recognizing that he held the upper hand, forwarded this request to Emperor Seleucus, who was directing operations in Venasian territory from his headquarters on Schaueria Prime. The Emperor, who saw Laurasia's position in the Commonwealth as being secure, decided to accept the armistice request. On March 24, 1335, the Armistice of Jared was signed, thereby suspending hostilities among Laurasia, Melorkia, and Ashlgothia. Queen-Mother Cryastalla too, saw the writing on the wall, and on April 4, she also requested for an armistice: the Armistice of Arleen was signed between Laurasia and Venasia.
  • All the governments involved then decided upon a site for the diplomatic conference: Tolbiac, in the Confederate Kingdom of Melorkia. This conference convened on May 5, 1335, and lasted for over two months. This was due to the extensive wrangling among the diplomatic delegations. Laurasia was represented by Chancellor Sir Athanasius Sigelius (1292-1350), Archbishop of Constantinople. He had succeeded Golovinkius upon his death on January 6, 1334. Sigelius was aided by General Lamanius, Collegial President Osterman, and the Duke of Christiania. Venasia was represented by Lady Executrices Demania and Palimera, the former of which was the Queen Mother's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Primate Potocki and Prince Jerzy Czartoyski stood for the interests of the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth; Prince Louis of Melorkia Minor, those of Melorkia; and Ashlgothia, Prince Sisebut of Larkin. At points, it seemed as if the process would break down completely, and that no points of agreement would be reached. Eventually, however, the animus was overcome.
  • On July 24, 1335, the Treaty of Tolbiac was signed, thereby bringing an end to the War of the Polonian Succession. By the terms of this treaty, Aug'sac II was recognized by all parties as King-Emperor of Polonia-Donguaria. All of the previous arrangements of the Polonian Constitution were confirmed; the King-Emperor agreed to respect the immunities of his nobility, to refrain from aggressive foreign wars against his neighbors, and to grant privileges of equitable transit and access to all foreign subjects within his dominions. Laurasia and Melorkia agreed to withdraw all military units from the Commonwealth's territory by no later then July 1, 1336, and to restore all star systems, garrisons, and outposts in Polonian territory which they had occupied. As regards to territorial matters, the status quo ante bellum was restored between Laurasia and Venasia, and between Melorkia and Ashlgothia. The Laurasian Empire, however, was to occupy the Ashlgothian Borderlands Territories; vis, the strongholds of Courtney, Tahon, Bryce, Baiteman, Kane, Kathryn, Emma and Imma until September 1, 1347, as surety for its involvement in the conflict. All other parties, save Polonia, were to be compensated by Polonia for their involvement, to the tune of $400 billion denarius (Laurasian) each.
  • The Treaty of Tolbiac was ratified by Emperor Seleucus on July 28; by King Sisenand of Ashlgothia on August 2; by Queen Mother Cryastalla on August 8; by King Childebert on August 12; and by the Polonian Parliament on August 25. By September 1335, Laurasian forces were being withdrawn from Venasian, Ashlgothian, and Polonian territory, and a sense of equilibrium was returning to the Core Regions. Emperor Seleucus himself returned to Laurasia Prime in a victorious procession on October 2, 1335. He was greeted with the acclaim of his subjects at the two Calaxies, Jadia, Hepudermia, and in the cities of Laurasia Prime. The Governing Senate and Holy Synod conferred upon him the title of Polonius Maximus; he was the second Laurasian ruler, after his father, to be honored with such an designation. The Emperor then presided over a series of tournaments, jousts, parades, masques, banquets, and other celebrations to commemorate his victory. But by this point, the Emperor's health had entered a serious decline, due to the exertions of war. Seleucus had been complaining of stomach and back pains since November 1334; in September 1335, this had been joined with headaches, eye-strain, and inflammation of the bowels. On October 15, Seleucus suffered a violent attack of diarrhea and heat exhaustion in his private quarters, and had to be rushed to the Imperial Hospital.
  • The Emperor's physicians now attempted to provide him with all of the treatments possible, and for a time, it seemed as if he would be on the way up. But by November 5, Seleucus's condition had relapsed again, and it became increasingly clearer, to those within the Imperial Court, and to those without, that he was dying. This was confirmed five days later, when he was diagnosed with the dreaded Angrames malady. Seleucus himself, now facing death, now issued a proclamation from the Imperial Court (November 14, 1335), once again affirming his proclamation of his daughter, Grand Princess Constantia, as his heiress apparent. Constantia herself, along with her household, now entered a bout of illness at Williams, and were therefore unable to move to Laurasia Prime. The Emperor's cousin, Grand Prince Didius Julianus, then at Charasia, was in a much better position, and by December 1335, had definitively consolidated his place of prominence among the Laurasian nobility. He had now built up his base of supporters at the Imperial Laurasian Court, among them Chancellor Sigelius, who were aghast at the prospect of a female monarch. Seleucus continued to remain unaware of these plots.
  • On November 28, the Emperor suffered a stroke in his hospital room, the final onset of the malady, and was rendered completely immobile. Four days later, on December 1, 1335, Emperor Seleucus II the Strong died at the Quencilvanian Palace in Christiania, Laurasia Prime, aged 45, and after having reigned for a decade. The news of the Emperor's death spread rapidly from the Palace, and then across the Empire's dominions. Many bewailed their monarch, who they considered a true warrior for his decisive victories against Venasia and Ashlgothia in the recently passed War of the Polonian Succession. They also hailed the fact that he had continued the reforms of his father, the great Seleucus I. Nevertheless, many of these same subjects, especially those within the Court and the Imperial Laurasian Government, disagreed completely with his succession arrangements. This disagreement now showed itself in full form. The Chief Procurator of the Holy Synod, Provkictis, was himself opposed, and believed that female rule would doom the dominions of the Empire. He now was further encouraged by the Bishop of the Cron Drift, Didius Julianus's cousin Antigonus (1298-1371), who held ambitions of his own. And as also mentioned, Chancellor Sigelius threw his support to the pro-Didius cause. Didius himself, immediately upon hearing of the Emperor's death, moved swiftly to Laurasia Prime. He arrived there on December 8, and now took full advantage of his position at the Imperial Laurasian Court.
  • The Governing Senate, Holy Synod, and Colleges of State now declared that the Emperor's will, naming his daughter as his successor, had been mistaken, and that the "froth of the anti-Almitis had wrongly influenced his mind." Consequently, they refused to recognize Grand Princess Constantia as her father's legitimate heiress apparent. On December 19, Seleucus II was interred at the Old Westphalian Cathedral. Three days later, on December 22, 1335, the bodies of state proclaimed Didius Julianus to be Emperor and Autocrat of All the Laurasians. Presented to his subjects from the balcony of the Quencilvanian Palace, the Emperor announced his intention to uphold "the reforms of my predecessors" and to maintain the integrity of the Laurasian State. He moved swiftly to consolidate his position, conferring titles, honors, and monetary rewards upon the Chancellor, Chief Procurator, Bishop, and others of his supporters. And on December 26, he crowned himself Emperor with the Royal Crown of Laurasia. Thus as 1335, ended, Laurasia had a new master. Things were not all well, however, and tensions were to burst out shortly.

1336Edit

  • 1336, the 36th year of the fourteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire now under the rule of Didius Julianus, cousin of the late Emperor Seleucus II. Although Julianus had, in effect, seized the Laurasian throne, and had become Emperor in violation of the conditions laid down in the testament of Seleucus II, he sought to further legitimize his position in the eyes of his subjects. As part of this, the Emperor decided to extend the hand of reconciliation to Grand Princess Constantia and her husband, the Duke of Melarnaria. On January 7, 1336, the Emperor issued a manifesto from the Quencilvanian Palace, declaring that he did not, by any means, intend to "destroy the title, the liberty, or the immunity of all members of the imperial family", that he sought cooperation with them for the sake of the State, and that he hoped peace and prosperity would continue to transpire in the Empire's realms. Constantia herself, who already had ideas of rising up in force against her cousin and asserting claim to what was hers by right, nevertheless decided, on the advice of her husband, to play it safe at this time. On January 15, therefore, when the Emperor invited her to the Imperial Court, she did not dare to refuse. She, her husband, and their household departed from Melarnaria ten days later, arriving in the outskirts of the Laurasia Prime star system on February 4, 1336.
  • The Emperor made a point of staging celebrations for their arrival. He himself greeted them at the Grand Entry to the Quencilvanian Palace, embraced them, and then presented them to his courtiers, and to his subjects, from the Palatial Balcony. The Emperor proclaimed that he would always honor them, and he in fact, conferred $100 billion denarius, along with estates on Tarravania, Osama, Little Mexicana, and Explosansia Major, among other strongholds, upon the couple. During the course of the next two months, the Imperial Court's time would be occupied by banquets, masques, pageants, holomovie showings, plays, tournaments, and other athletic, as well as academic contests. On May 30, 1336, however, the Malarian patriot Davidios of Suri instigated a revolt on his homeworld, seeking the overthrow of Laurasian authority. He proclaimed that he could not continue to abide by the commands of the Imperial Laurasian Government, and promised to restore the glories of the Malarian people. By June 4, the rebel forces had seized Odika, Timsies, Timaslan, Acabania, and Takrania, and were threatening the defenses of Meehan, Manzo, and Ettleman. Emperor Julianus, who was determined to demonstrate that he would brook no defiance to his authority, ordered for General Lamanius, now reassigned from the Central Core, to move swiftly to crush this revolt. Lamanius did not waste any time. On June 16, having established his command headquarters on White, he defeated rebel forces in the Battle of Welch, preventing them from overrunning the stronghold. Then, in a series of confrontations at Cryst St. Constantia, Johnald, and the Jar Asteroids (June 6-19, 1336), Lamanius inflicted further decisive defeats upon rebel forces, repelling them decisively each time. Ettleman and Meehan were relieved on June 24, and by July 2, the defenses of Manzo had also been secured.
  • On July 16, 1336, Davidios launched an offensive against the Laurasian colony of Newerania; the ensuing Battle of Newerania proved to be a costly failure for the rebel leader, who lost 35,000 of his core troops and nearly all of his transports. On July 21, Acabania and Takrania returned to their loyalty towards the Imperial Laurasian Government, and by August 4, it was clear that the rebellion was doomed. Finally, on August 14, 1336, Davidios himself was defeated and captured in the Battle of Odika; within two days, Timsies, Timaslan, and Suri were back under government control. On the orders of the Emperor, the rebel was placed on a transport, bound in chains, and brought back to Laurasia Prime. There he was tried by the Senate (August 28, 1336), convicted on charges of treason, les-majestie, and conspiracy, and on September 4, executed at the High Tower of Christiania.
  • In the aftermath of this rebellion, Didius Julianus attempted to consolidate his authority further by implementing a series of reform measures. Already, in July 1336, the Imperial Court had moved from Laurasia Prime to the Palace of Placenta on Darcia, one of Seleucus the Victor's great constructions. On Darcia, the Emperor issued a manifesto (September 7, 1336), promising to reverse Seleucid promises in relation to land tenure and to reform any abuses within the Empire's judicial system. He ordered for the codification of all judicial decisions, decrees, and edicts issued since January 1330, and made a great effort to portray himself as the natural successor to the two Seleucids, declaring that all of his actions were a continuation of what they had achieved. He extended considerable grants of property and money to his nobles and courtiers, proclaimed a one-year alleviation of the imperial tax burden, and commanded for the release of all convicts who could demonstrate their innocence. On September 14, he ordered for the Heraldmaster's Office to revise the roll of obligations, and he now granted an exemption to each noble family, allowing for them to opt from military conscription and civil service for select members of their family.
  • On September 19, 1336, Chief Procurator Provkictis died, after having served in his position for fifteen years. Until his death, Provkictis had continued to remain a supporter of the Emperor's, and was a witness to the imperial charter of June 19, 1336, by which Didius Julianus had restored 1,500 confiscated ecclesiastical estates, chantries, and monasterial lands to the administration of the Holy Synod. The Emperor openly mourned the Chief Procurator's death, and commanded for an official period of such to be observed at the Imperial Court. Provkictis's body was laid in state at the Westphalian Cathedral for nearly a month; his burial on October 14 was accompanied with much ceremonial. Didius Julianus then moved to select his successor. He soon decided upon the Abbott of the Vemay Monastery on Jenny, Theodosius Beccarius (1290-1361), long a personal friend of his, and one of Provicktis's most loyal subordinates. Beccarius was formally named Chief Procurator on October 25, 1336, and assumed the duties of his office on November 3. In November and December 1336, however, the Emperor was confronted with revolts on Clancia, Hannah, Evelyn, Taxiles the Great, Hydapses, Haudrau, Goss Beacon, Conservan, and Reoyania, provoked by the minor Laurasian barons Sir Boethius Redmania and Nicomedus Ramparania. These revolts were suppressed, at the cost of more then 85,000 troops; Ramparania was captured by Laurasian marines at Palimisiano and was imprisoned at Windowia Photis, while Redmania managed to flee to the Solidaritan Sultanate. He arrived at the Court of Istantius on December 23, 1336, and was there received by the Solidaritan Sultan Darim I, who was determined to strike a blow against the Laurasian Empire. Darim himself felt his own internal position more secure as his predecessor, Nizim III, had died in exile on Roxuli (July 25, 1336). He could therefore move against Laurasia with less fear of rebellion.

1337-1339Edit

  • 1337 began with the Laurasian Empire and the Solidaritan Sultanate posed for yet another military conflict. This was due to the flight of the rebel Baron Sir Boethius Redmania to the Court of Istantius. Solidaritan Sultan Darim II, as mentioned above, had agreed to provide him sanctuary, and he now viewed Redmania as his means to strike back against the Laurasian Empire. Already, from November 1336, Solidaritan expeditions had been penetrating to Patsy, O'Neal, Chancia, Katherine, Durglais, and Blackria, harassing the defenses of those strongholds and irritating the Imperial Laurasian Government. Solidaritan authorities had committed violations of Laurasian commercial rights on Berhamia, Sair, and Sheryl; the Camare Market Incident on Laronn (January 8-14, 1337), proved to be especially galling, as Solidaritan agents of the Bureau of Economic Coordination seized 45,000 tons worth of Laurasian industrial and agricultural goods, imprisoned captains from Katherine Drive Yards, Christiania Pharmceuticals, and Constantinople Factories, and refused to allow Laurasian merchants further access to the Market. All of these incidents, combined with the harboring of Redmania by the Sultan, provoked Emperor Julianus, on January 24, 1337, to issue an ultimatum to the Solidaritan Court. In this ultimatum, the Emperor demanded that Redmania be handed back to Laurasian authorities; that all Solidaritan expeditions into Laurasian territory cease; and that the Solidaritan Government agree to respect all of the privileges of Laurasian merchants and navigators in the future.
  • Sultan Darim, when he received these demands, refused to even consider them. He declared that he would not "stoop" to the level of the Emperor of Laurasia, and that the Empire, in fact, should compensate the Sultanate for all previous outrages. On February 10, 1337, therefore, Emperor Julianus issued an official declaration of war against the Solidaritan Sultanate, commencing the War of 1337-39. Hostilities commenced in earnest. It was in fact, the Solidaritans, who made the first moves. Solidaritan Pasha Manzak-Shah, taking command of the garrisons of Dennis, Wendy, Coen, Shannon, and Michael, now moved across the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route and into Laurasian territory. He besieged and conquered Nezbit (February 11-19, 1337), storming that stronghold's defenses in a wanton manner. From Nezbit, Solidaritan units overran Blackria, Martina Mccasia, and Heuthros (March 1337), thereby striking to the edges of the Laurasian Purse Region. N'zoth was then sacked by a Solidaritan expedition (March 29-April 4, 1337), while Durglais, Elizabeth, and Chancia were isolated from outside support. On April 18, 1337, Pasha Manzak-Shah secured another victory in the Battle of Astrakhan, driving Metallasian and Rebeccan colonists from that star system and destroying all of their settlements. Sanjoros, Manil, and Rainnan fell into Solidaritan hands by May 6.
  • Emperor Julianus had not been idle during this time. Indeed, he had to contend with renewed revolts in the Central Core, centered at Stenbock, Goldaria, Marshia, Bainsborough, and Ruthania (March-May 1337), all of which his forces crushed ruthlessly. The Emperor also had to quell civil dissent at Marsia and the moons of Laurasia Prime, ordering for the executions of 75,000 recalcitrant starhoppers at the Asteroid Belt (May 1, 1337). Besides all of this, he had also been preparing for a series of surprise offensives into the rear of Solidaritan territory, thereby taking advantage of Solidaritan weaknesses. On May 11, 1337, Laurasian forces at Ipsus V, Bolgrahay, and Robbay, commanded by the Earl of Arias, launched a surprise sally against Esmeralda, Big Twinny, and Vindictoria. Esmeralda was the first to fall (May 13-14, 1337), and was followed by Big Twinny ten days later. Vindictoria resisted the Laurasian onslaught, but Arias succeeded in isolating it from outside support, in disrupting its communication lines, and in eliminating the threat it posed. He then moved forward to Leopoldia (June 1, 1337), laying that stronghold under siege. Frederickslandia and Alexandra also came under assault from Laurasian units, and Laurasian expeditions penetrated as far as Quanna.
  • Sultan Darim, surprised by the assault from his east, was forced to divert units to shore up his position there. This gave the Emperor the opening he needed. On June 14, 1337, he lured Pasha Manzak-Shah into a trap at Sauvania; the ensuing Battle of Sauvania was decided by superior Laurasian naval strength. Within hours, Manzak-Shah had suffered a decisive defeat, and was compelled into retreat. Heuthros was then relieved (June 16-21, 1337), and Rainnan was recaptured on June 26. A Laurasian breakout from Rebecca and Durglais then followed, and Impania was overrun (July 1-9, 1337). From Impania, General Lamanius stormed Shannon (July 16, 1337), inflicting a major and humiliating defeat upon Solidaritan arms. Sanjaros and Manil were back in Laurasian hands by July 25, and on August 3, 1337, the Second Battle of Martina Mccasia ended in a decisive victory for the Emperor's forces. Nezbit, Blackria, and N'zoth were all back in Laurasian hands by August 15, and on August 21, the Battle of Cynthia ended in another victory for General Lamanius, securing Patsy and O'Neal from further Solidaritan moves.
  • September 1337 saw Laurasian forces driving Solidaritan units from the outskirts of Elizabeth, Chancia, and Katherine; on September 21, moreover, the Battle of Coen ended with the Solidaritans being decisively routed, and forced to abandon that stronghold. Baron Redmania, on his part, who had been given an expeditionary task fleet by his Solidaritan benefactors, now attempted a foray into the Empire. Using a secret military route through the Constantine Cluster, he appeared at the outskirts of Venusia (October 2, 1337), laying the world under siege. Venusia, which was caught completely unaware by the rebel assault, did not hold up for long, and it fell on October 6. By October 12, Explosansia Minor, Little Mexicana, Ralina Vixius, and Augis IV were all in rebel hands, and Redmania was even threatening the defenses of Vetta, Aquilionia, and Taurasia. Emperor Julianus now ordered the Duke of Colombia to move against Redmania. Colombia did as commanded, and on October 24, he halted a rebel move against Wroona. He then secured the defenses of Clackimaris (October 28-November 4, 1337), and on November 12, won a further victory at Explosansia Major. Explosansia Minor then fell back into Laurasian hands on November 16. Four days later, Dennis was captured from the Solidaritans; on that same day, Redmania was defeated in the Battle of Augis V. By the end of the month, Ralina Vixius, Augis V, and Little Mexicana were back in Laurasian hands. On December 5, 1337, Rastaborn was besieged by the Empire's forces; it fell on Ascentmas Day, thereby capping off a victorious year of campaigning for the Empire.
  • Into 1338, Laurasian advances continued. On January 7, 1338, the Battle of Michael was waged. Manzak-Pasha, who had thus far failed to repel continual Laurasian moves into Solidaritan territory, was again blunted. Emperor Julianus and General Lamanius secured a decisive victory; they captured a number of Solidaritan arks, more then 100,000 tons of military supplies, and the Solidaritan flagship, the IMS Belduk. Manzak-Pasha himself then suffered a further defeat at Bower (January 14), and on January 22, Lang also fell into Laurasian hands. On February 1, 1338, Baron Redmania was defeated in the Battle of Sapphire, and was forced to retreat from the Constantine Cluster, through Sauvania and Metallasia, and back across to Solidarita. Four days later, the Emperor's forces quelled another uprising in the Malarian Provinces, this time at Malaria Outer, and on February 19, Leopoldia finally succumbed to Laurasian assaults. Frederickslandia followed on February 25; Alexandra, however, continued to resist. Nevertheless, Laurasian forces continued their advance forward; Wendy, Wayland, and Solidaritan Doris all fell in March 1438; and on April 5, so did Quanna. Laronn and Sheryl were besieged from April 19, finally falling on May 22, 1338. By June 1338, Methusalah, Massanay, and Sassanay were all under siege, and the Emperor won another victory at Canterwell (July 1-5, 1338).
  • In August 1338, however, another revolt broke out against the Emperor's authority: in the southern Central Core. The Duke of Christiania, an illegitimate relation of the Emperor's, had become increasingly disenchanted with his rule, and was determined to stake out his own position. At his estates on Olivia, Muppet, Mommica, Seejay Prime, Carina, Yularen, and Sipp, he had been, since October of the previous year, assembling mercenaries, military supplies, and his supporters. Christiania was indirectly supported by Grand Princess Constantia, in contact with her own supporters at the Imperial Laurasian Court, and maintained his own communications with her husband, the Duke of Melarnaria. Finally, on August 14, when the Emperor sent the Duke a summons to take command of Laurasian forces in the Duchy of Schaueria Prime, Christiania refused the summons. Two days later, he declared himself to be in a formal state of rebellion, and moved quickly to secure control of various strongholds. The garrisons of the star systems mentioned above defected to his cause almost immediately. Daala fell to him on August 22, and was followed by Pellaeon on September 1. On September 6, 1338, the Battle of Natasi ended in a decisive victory for the rebel, and he then secured control of the strongholds of Teller, Cooonia, and Chany. On September 24, 1338, Merkelis also fell into his hands; Maxc-casi capitulated on October 1.
  • The Emperor, alarmed by this outburst of dissent against his authority in the Central Core, also found his forces facing difficulties against the Solidaritan Sultanate. Manzak-Pasha was formally dismissed from his position of command by Sultan Darim on August 30, 1338; on September 4, the Emperor appointed Chosroes-Mezhuk to succeed him. Chosroes-Mezhuk, himself promoted to the rank of Pasha, now launched a series of expeditions into the Morganian Provinces, seeking to distract Laurasian forces. Merlin fell (September 6-19, 1338), and was followed in quick order by Gunevere (September 22), Lancelot (September 29), and Arthur (October 4). The Battle of Medusa (October 15, 1338), saw another reverse for Laurasian forces, although Solidaritan moves against Morgania Minor, and to Kanjur in the Kelvanian Provinces, failed. Lang and Bower were then recovered by the Solidaritans (October 21, 1338); Didius Julianus was then forced to abandon Frederickslandia and Big Twinny, and to halt the siege of Alexandra. The Siege of Methusalah was lifted by the Solidaritans on November 8, 1338, and by November 12, Massanay and Sassanay were also free of pressure.
  • By that point also, Christiania had made further gains in the Central Core. During October 1338, he subdued Constantia, Elainsborough, and Taxiles the Great, and on October 22, he had gained the allegiance of the Ivorian Hetman, Yakiv Lyzohub, himself acting in defiance of the Emperor. On November 7, 1338, the Battle of Seenay saw another reverse for government forces. Emperor Julianus, realizing the dangers of a two-front conflict, now sought peace on his northern flank. On November 14, he sent an offer of peace to Sultan Darim, who was then preparing an offensive against Wendy. Darim viewed this as a sign of weakness, and at first refused. However, on November 22, Skyler, Zoe, and Eaidon erupted in revolt under the banner of the native nobleman Clae-Jadae, and on December 1, Istantius itself was shaken by a series of riots and other violent protests. Darim, who was also facing the threat of war with Donathia, which had been harrying Roxuli and the Western Redoubt for some time now, decided to end the conflict as well. On December 5, he accepted the Laurasian request, and on December 12, the Truce of Finch was signed. Negotiations then opened at the famed resort world of Idyll (this occurring about four hundred years before the conference there that ended the War of the Dejanican Succession). The conference lasted for a month, until, on January 13, 1339, the Treaty of Idyll was signed.
  • By the terms of the Treaty of Idyll, the Laurasian Empire now acquired Dennis, Rastaborn, Shannon, and Michael, along the lower Industrialized Borderlands. These strongholds had been lost by Honorius the Terrible to Solidaritan Sultan Erutugul in 1158, some 180 years earlier, and their restoration to the Empire was a cause for great joy on Laurasia Prime. All other territories, occupied by Laurasian or Solidaritan forces, were to be restored to their respective owners; all prisoners and captives of war exchanged; and no financial compensation to be paid to either side. Baron Redmania was to be delivered up to Laurasian authorities, and Sultan Darim agreed not to recognize the claims of any others besides Emperor Julianus to his throne. The Treaty of Idyll was ratified by both monarchs by January 24. With it concluded, Emperor Julianus immediately turned his attention to the situation in the Central Core. On February 2, 1339, he moved from Deanna, which was being restored to Solidaritan authority, to Dearton's Gateway, and from thence, down the Clancian Trunk Line, to Goss Beacon. He repelled a rebel offensive against that stronghold (February 4-11, 1339), and on February 24, won the Battle of Haudjrau. Hydapses and Taxiles the Great then fell into his hands, and on March 7, 1339, Chany also capitulated to the Emperor. By March 17, his forces had secured the defenses of Goldaria, and were besieging Natasi, Daala, and Yularen.
  • Emperor Julianus also, through the middle months of 1339, took a series of further measures to consolidate his position further. In March 1339, he ordered for the creation of forty new earldoms, including those of Blackria, Nezbit, Williams, Reoyania, Dramis, Tommy, and Capital, and for the abolition of all remaining Principalities within the Laurasian Empire; the Emperor declared that from thenceforth, only members of the Imperial Family were to lay claim to the title of Prince. He also created thirty baronies and the dukedom of Merlin, distributing these new titles among his supporters, men loyal to him and of capability, particularly among members of the Beaumontia family, who had arisen to prominence during the latter years of Seleucus the Victor's reign. The Emperor also cracked down on members of the clergy who he viewed as opposed to his authority; in June 1339, he would order the arrest and confinement of Archbishop Rogerius of Selena, of Rogerius's nephews, the Bishops of Quencania and Varangia, and of Rogerius's cousin, the Vice-Procurator of the Holy Synod. He confiscated all of their estates and properties, and ordered for an injunction to be laid forbidding any criticism of his policies by religious officials. The Emperor also ordered for a reevaluation of noble military obligations, and imposed a new conscription levy in the Purse Region.
  • These policies, ironically enough, served to provide the last push for Constantia and her husband, Duke Leonidas. They now became convinced that unless if they moved now, the opportunity to grasp power would be forever lost to them. Constantia was by now fully convinced that Didius Julianus was a usurper, and she was unwilling to cooperate any further with him. By July 1339, with government forces having made further gains in the vicinity of Sipp, Mommica, and Olivia, the need for action seemed to be urgent. On July 23, Constantia, who had established a command headquarters at Ruthania, issued a call to all of her supporters and retainers, declaring that she would not bear the insult to her dignity any longer. Four days later, the garrisons of Capital, Chandlier, Meaganian, and the Prelone Asteroid Belt revolted against the Emperor, declaring that Constantia was the legitimate ruler. Hickoris V, Hammenor, and Tommy saw similar declarations against the Imperial Laurasian Government (August 1, 1339). Finally, on August 8, 1339, the Grand Princess raised her standard at Ruthania, and announced her rebellion against the Emperor. The Constantian Civil War had begun, and was to embroil the Empire for the next fourteen years.
  • On August 18, the Baron Redmania, who had managed to flee from the Solidaritan Sultanate, and evaded the grasp of Laurasian authorities, appeared at Dramis, announcing his support for the claims of the Grand Princess. He sought to secure that stronghold for the Grand Princess, but the Emperor's forces at Clancia, Conservan, and Condtella soon forced him into retreat. He then fled west, to Courdina V, gained the allegiance of the world's garrison, and established his headquarters there. On September 30, the Duke of Christiania and the Grand Princess joined together at Daala, and four days later, they recovered Hydaspes, Taxiles the Great, and Haudjrau, forcing the Emperor to retreat from those strongholds. Sonnia was then captured (October 6, 1339), and on October 14, Constantia established her command headquarters on Carina. Her husband, the Duke of Melarnaria, secured control of his world, of Williams, Pasquarillo, Palmisiano, and Azov, thereby denying government units easy access to the Western Central Core. The Duke of Christiania then secured control of Teta (October 14), and established a direct supply line with the Prelone Asteroid Belt; Anusia and Saray defected to the rebel cause on October 22.
  • On October 26, the Emperor moved to Carina, and managed to trap Grand Princess Constantia there. He ordered his forces to establish a blockade of the star system, and he called for reinforcements from the Malarian Provinces. Baron Miletius Gloucarania, however, who had now allied himself with the Duke of Christiania, secured control of Odika, Timsies, Timaslan, White, and Welch (October 27-November 4, 1339), taking advantage of festering dissent at those strongholds against Didius Julianus. And on November 14, the Duke of Christiania won the Battle of Chany, forcing Didius Julianus to retreat from Carina. By the middle of November 1339, with the defections of Wroona, Constantine I, Andriana, and Mercedes to her cause in the Constantine Cluster, Constantia controlled a compact block of territory, stretching from the Constantine Cluster down to the Goldarian Worlds, and with the Ivorian Hetmanate loyal to her cause. She also had control of the Western Murphian Provinces.
  • Emperor Julianus now sought to reclaim the outer Goldarian Worlds. He started by assaulting Taxiles the Great yet again (November 19-24, 1339), managing to reconquer the stronghold. He then besieged Goss Beacon, but finding it too well fortified, he then moved forth to Natasi, Daala, and Mara, taking the last two strongholds. Baron Gloucarania, however, overran Dramis (November 29, 1339), and moved in the direction of Condtella, Reoyania, and Conservan, thereby threatening Clancia. Didius Julianus was forced to halt his siege of Mara and to move northwards to secure that region. During December 1339, a series of confrontations at the Clancian Worlds and at Dearton's Gateway, Maroni, and Janesia ensued, as Julianus and Gloucarania batled indecisively. 1339 therefore ended with the Laurasian dominions bogged down in war.

1340Edit

  • 1340, the 40th year of the fourteenth century, began with the Constantian Civil War escalating yet further. And this escalation was found in the Laurasia Prime Purse Region itself. On January 7, 1340, the Archbishop of Katie, Creon Madaria, and the Governor of that star system, the Lord Manatha, announced their support for Grand Princess Constantia, and declared themselves to be in rebellion against Emperor Didius Julianus. Their forces quickly made major advances, driving government units from the garrisons of Caresolina (January 8-13) and Volterra (January 18). On January 21, 1340, the Battle of Travis ended in a decisive victory for Manatha's forces, and he then proceeded to secure the allegiance of Sentinum and Aquilionia, both of which had once been threatened by Baron Redmania. Archbishop Madaria, who had instigated the revolt, aired in his appeals to his flock his grievances against the Emperor and the Imperial Laurasian Government. The Archbishop declared that Emperor Julianus, a "heinous and unlawful usurper", had violated the law of the lord Almitis, treated his subjects in a tyrannical, brutal, oppressive manner, and that he had embroiled the Empire's dominions in "wars with no benefit for us, and which bring desolation, as well as ruin, to all." Consequently, it was justified in the eyes of the Lord Almitis to instigate rebellion against him, and to support the claims of those (i.e. Grand Princess Constantia), who had a legitimate claim to the throne.
  • Emperor Julianus rebutted these appeals by ordering the Holy Synod, on February 2, 1340, to deprive Madaria of his see, to excommunicate him and his supporters, and to pronounce anathema against any who sponsored rebellion against the Emperor's government. The Emperor also ordered for the priests and deacons of Laurasia Prime, and of other star systems under his control, to issue their own appeals to their congregations, to remain loyal to their master and his government. He now also took practical measures to suppress this new threat. Ordering General Lamanius to maintain the defenses of the Clancian Worlds, Julianus now moved to Vetta, establishing a command headquarters there (February 8, 1340). On February 14, he repelled an offensive by Manatha against Taurasia, and on February 22, recovered Sentinum. Aquilionia was besieged from February 26, and fell back into government hands by March 5. The Battle of Lusculum (March 7-13, 1340), also ended in another victory for the Emperor's forces, and by March 25, Caresolina and Volterra were both back in his hands as well. Finally, on April 9, 1340, the Emperor laid Katie under siege; the Siege of Katie lasted for the better part of the month, as Manatha's forces posed greater then expected resistance to Julianus's forces. Nevertheless, on May 5, 1340, it did fall, and Manatha himself was captured near Depp six days later, as he was trying to flee to the Constantine Cluster. He would be summarily executed on the Emperor's orders on May 16. Archbishop Madaria, on his part, did manage to flee, and found refuge with the rebel garrison of Capital.
  • By June 1340, the situation in the Central Core had changed further. Baron Gloucarania and the Dukes of Christiania and Melarnaria had taken advantage of the Emperor's distraction in the Purse Region to make further advances. Goldaria was laid under siege from February 9, 1340, and finally fell on March 27, thereby giving the rebels a major base of operations. Bainsborough and Elainsborough were captured in April 1340, and on May 12, the Emperor's troops were driven from Daala, Natasi, and the lower Goldarian strongholds. Ivorian Hetman Lyzohub, on his part, made moves into the Horacian Provinces, storming Theresa, Donald, John, and Levinston that same month. On June 16, 1340, Emperor Julianus and General Lamanius moved towards Paradine and Pasquarillo, attempting to regain the advantage. They were intercepted at Nikola, however, by the forces of the Duke of Melarnaria. The ensuing Battle of Nikola (June 16-22, 1340), ended in victory for the rebels, and Julianus was compelled to retreat. During July and August 1340, Cageo, Pandy, Cinnamon, and Bartello also fell into Ivorian-rebel hands, and rebel expeditions were soon threatening Duros, Murphy, and Kulikiovo.
  • On September 7, the Emperor sent an offer to Grand Princess Constantia; he declared that if Constantia terminated military hostilities, and recognized him as Emperor, then he would name her son, Antiochus, as his heir apparent. Constantia, advised by her husband and by Christiania to parlay with the Emperor to buy time, asked if a conference could be convened to negotiate an end to the rebellion. Julianus agreed, and on September 23, 1340, the two sides did indeed meet at Teth. The Conference of Teth lasted for over a month, and eventually collapsed as Constantia's efforts to persuade Julianus into proclaiming her heiress apparent, rather then her son, failed. By November 1340, hostilities were underway again, and on November 12, the Emperor did secure a victory in the Battle of Falloria Minor, preventing a move by rebel forces into the Purse Region. He then confronted revolts on Clackimaris, Osama, and Charasia, provoked by rebel agents, and on December 7, Merandaz fell to the Grand Princess. Heuthros, Ietas, and Tyndaris then defected, and by the end of December 1340, Gordasis was cut off from the rest of the Empire.
  • In the meantime, the Confederate Kingdom of Melorkia became engulfed in its own civil war. On May 31, 1340, King Childebert III of Melorkia died. The King of Melorkia, who had gained little from his intervention in the War of the Polonian Succession, had become increasingly paranoid and suspicious by the end of his reign. From 1334 to 1338, the King had contended with the Roastafarian Uprisings, which had been provoked by the Roastafarian patriot Marg. Roastafaria Major, Roastafaria Minor, Khagia, Dumbgwita, Ruthelaine, Jack, Rose, and the worlds of the lower Kimanian Trade Run had been consumed by the convulsions of this rebellion, which had done much to disrupt Melorkian internal unity. King Childebert had ultimately managed to quell the Uprisings, but at great cost to his security and his reputation. During the early months of 1340, he dealt with further outbursts of dissent on Cal, Morley, Shell, and Simon, which further taxed his energies.
  • Upon his death, Childebert left two sons: Clovis and Cholodio. However, in contrast to the customs of his predecessors, he had refused to partition his dominions among them, and was determined that Clovis, the elder son, inherit all of the territories intact. Clovis was formally proclaimed King of Melorkia within hours of his father's death. Prince Cholodio, however, who believed that he deserved a share in the inheritance, established his command headquarters, in June 1340, at Roastafaria Minor and planned a major revolt against his brother. In these plans, he received aid from Queen Mother Cryastalla of Venasia. Cryastalla, who had contemplated taking advantage of Didius Julianus's troubles to intervene in the Laurasian Dominions, now decided that Melorkia would be an easier, more obtainable target, and therefore turned her attention to Melorkian affairs. Finally, on December 9, 1340, Cholodio raised the standard of revolt against his brother, and now advanced to gain control over Manorsia, Riparia, and the immediate star systems. The War of the Melorkian Succession had begun, which was to drag on until 1348.

1341Edit

  • 1341, the 41st year of the fourteenth century, commenced with Emperor Didius Julianus resuming his struggle with the forces of Grand Princess Constantia, the Dukes of Christiania and Melarnaria, and the Baron Gloucarania. The Emperor now sought to advance against Courdina V, in order to secure the defenses of Gordasis, which was under considerable danger from the rebel forces. The rebel garrison of Courdina V was now commanded by Sir Rudomentus Chestrania (1299-1353), a veteran of the Great Briannian War, Emperor Seleucus's Donathian War, and the War of the Polonian Succession. Chestrania had defected from his allegiance to the Emperor in October 1340, and he had been vigorous in his support for Grand Princess Constantia. Julianus was therefore determined to punish the man, and believed that without swift action, his position would be further endangered. Advancing from Metallasia, Metallina, and Heuthros, the Emperor arrived at the outskirts of Courdina V on January 15, 1341. By the time he arrived there, however, he discovered that Chestrania had quietly slipped from the star system, leaving behind its garrison, and had gone to summon the assistance of other rebel forces. The Emperor, consequently, was forced to entrench himself around the stronghold.
  • On January 22, however, Chestrania returned with the Duke of Christiania, who had continued to repel all government assaults along the Clancian Trunk Line. Chestrania and Christiania, who had been engaged in the process of actively recruiting Solidaritan, Millian, and Dasian mercenaries, and who had secured control of the communications lines leading into the Morganian Provinces, possessed a considerable force. Their force comprised of the 9th, 10th, and 11th Imperial Fleets, and of the 9th and 10th Imperial Armies. All total, they had more then four hundred warships and nearly a million troops. The Emperor on his part, had the 6th and 7th Fleets, along with the 5th Army; he had 250 warships and 700,000 troops at his disposal. The numerical balance, consequently, favored the rebel forces from the start. Julianus, hearing of the approach of the rebel forces, contemplated a retreat at first, but was ultimately persuaded by his advisors to stand his ground and to fight. The Emperor, moreover, called for reinforcements from Rebecca, Katherine, and Chancia.
  • On February 2, 1341, the Battle of Courdina V ensued. The Emperor commanded the center of his forces, while Legate-Admiral Sir Athanasius Clacius commanded the right and General Sir Nero Caesar commanded the left. To counteract the numerical supremacy of his enemies, Julianus arranged his starfighter squadrons in a frontal position, and himself engaged in combat from his flagship. After a initial success, in which General Caesar's forces destroyed the rebel transport corps, things went badly for Didius Julianus. The center of the imperial forces were encircled by Chestrania and Christiania, and the Emperor found himself surrounded by the enemy warships. Many of Julianus's subordinates, including the Beaumontias and Admiral Clacius, now fled from the star system in haste. Didius Julianus continued to fight on, however, and the IMS Cordelia, the Emperor's flagship, assaulted the enemy ships with all of the weapons at its disposal. Finally, however, it was disabled and boarded; Julianus himself was captured by rebel troopers.
  • Christiania treated the captive Emperor with much respect, and now took him to Melarnaria, where he met with Grand Princess Constantia. From there, he was moved to Bristalian Fortress. He was initially left confined in relatively good conditions, but his security would later be tightened and he would be kept in chains. Constantia now began to take steps to have herself proclaimed Empress in Didius Julianus's place; she sought to become the first female ruler of the Laurasian dominions since Andrea Septimia five centuries earlier. Laurasia Prime, however, was not under her control, and Chief Procurator Beccarius was not enamored of her. The Synod and Senate wavered over whether or not to proclaim her, and in fact, they sent a delegation to Melarnaria, asking for the opinions of Didius Julianus. Julianus said that it would be wise for them to proclaim her, since he himself was in extremis. On April 1, 1341, the bodies of state proclaimed Constantia to be Empress-elect, as a precursor to her coronation. The proclamation itself was attended by many of Constantia's supporters, but the nobility of Laurasia Prime prevaricated, and continued to remain reluctant. The prejudice against female rule, so engrained in the Laurasian mind, was hard to stamp out.
  • In June 1341, Grand Princess Constantia advanced with her forces from Melarnaria, up the Clancian Trunk Line, to Laurasia Prime. There, however, her position became precarious. Although she secured the support of the Governor of Laurasia Prime, the Duke Stolypius of Ravenna, forces loyal to the Emperor and his wife, Empress Consort Constantia, remained in the vicinity of the star system. The inhabitants, consequently, were reluctant to transfer their loyalty to her. On June 24, this reluctance burst out into full-scale rebellion; the garrison of Laurasia Prime joined in, and Constantia, along with Duke Stolypius and her court, were forced to flee from the star system with their lives, and managed to make it to Constantine I. In spite of this, Constantia's supporters did entrench themselves in parts of the Purse Region; Archbishop Madaria reestablished himself at Katie, and many of the Emperor's associates did swear an oath of allegiance to the Grand Princess.
  • Nevertheless, the Emperor's cause was not completely gone; in fact, his wife, Empress Consort Constantia, played a major role in keeping it alive during his captivity. Empress Constantia gathered Didius Julianus's remaining lieutenants around her, as well as the imperial family, and on July 5, took back possession of Laurasia Prime in the aftermath of the Grand Princess's retreat. The Emperor's long-standing commander, General Lamanius, remained with her on Laurasia Prime, and the Earl of Jadia took command of the forces in the Murphian Provinces. The Empress generated genuine sympathy and support from Didius Julianus's more loyal subordinates, and this worked to her advantage. Bishop Antigonus of the Cron Drift, on his part, met with her on July 14, 1341, at Darcia, returning to his allegiance, after he had briefly defected to the Grand Princess, and Chancellor Sigelius provided vital administrative assistance. During the remainder of July and August 1341, Empress Constantia gradually regained control of Sapphire, Mercedes, Andriana, Dearton's Gateway, Metallasia, and Gordasis, thereby securing her position further.
  • On September 14, 1341, however, Grand Princess Constantia and the Duke of Christiania launched an assault against the Cron Drift, besieging the Bishop in the installations of that asteroid belt. Empress Constantia and General Lamanius got wind of this, and within a short time, they had encircled the rebel forces at the asteroid belt, cutting off most routes of communication and of escape. Grand Princess Constantia decided to flee from the stronghold with her close associates, Sir Lucius Cornelius Crassus and the Baron Demeria, while the rest of her armada delayed the imperial forces. In the subsequent Battle of the Cron Drift, the Grand Princess's forces were decisively defeated and Christiania himself was captured, though Constantia and her associates managed to flee towards Wroona.
  • With both the Emperor and Christiania held prisoner, negotiations were held in an attempt to secure a long term peace settlement, but Empress Constantia was unwilling to offer any compromise to Grand Princess Constantia, and Christiania refused to accept any offer which required him to swear an immediate oath of allegiance to Didius Julianus, as he had in the past. Instead, on October 27, 1341, the two competing sides simply exchanged leaders, Didius Julianus returning to his consort, and Christiania to the Grand Princess at Wroona. Five days later, on November 1, 1341, the Senate, Synod, and Colleges of State reversed their previous decision, once again acknowledging Julianus as the legitimate Emperor, and denouncing their recognition of Constantia as "Empress-elect". To underline his restored position of authority, and to reward his wife for her loyalty, Emperor Julianus arranged for a second coronation ceremony at the Old Westphalian Cathedral, which was held on Ascentmas Day, 1341; at that ceremony, the Emperor himself crowned his wife, and allowed her to take brief possession of the Imperial Sceptre and the Imperial Orb. As 1341 ended, therefore, there was no resolution to the conflict in sight.

1342-1344Edit

  • As 1342 began, the Laurasian Empire continued to be engrossed in the throes of the Constantian Civil War, while the War of the Melorkian Succession was ongoing elsewhere in the Core Regions. Emperor Julianus, who had been much shaken by his experiences while imprisoned at Melarnaria, and who was still in disbelief about the events of the preceding year, particularly his defeat and capture at the Battle of Courdina V, fell violently ill on January 6. For nearly a month, the Emperor's life were despaired of; false reports leaked out from the Imperial Court that he had the Angrames malady, and that his physicians had determined that he did not have much longer to live. Grand Princess Constantia and the Duke of Melarnaria were encouraged by these, believing that it was possible that soon, the imperial authority would truly be in the grasp of their hands. These hopes, however, turned out to be exaggerated. On January 30, Emperor Julianus finally emerged from his sickbed at the Imperial Hospital of the Quencilvanian Palace, and four days later, he resumed his normal duties of state. Moreover, on February 12, 1342, the Emperor issued a manifesto to his subjects, thanking them for their loyalty and continued dedication to him, pledging to finally bring the civil disturbances within the Empire's dominions to an end, and promising mercy to any of Constantia's supporters who defected and took a renewed oath of allegiance to him personally.
  • On February 19, the Emperor announced his intention to lead a series of renewed offensives against rebel forces in the outskirts of the Laurasia Prime Purse Region. He embarked upon this task in early March 1342, assembling a substantial force from the chief strongholds of the Purse Region. Repelling rebel moves against Chesham's Star, Sargent, and Promie, he then won a decisive victory in the Battle of Scout (March 19-24, 1342). On March 28, he defeated the Duke of Melarnaria in the Battle of Sklynn, and from thence secured the defenses of Gordasis. Courdina V was again assaulted by imperial forces in April 1342, and this time fell into their possession. Then on May 5, Dearton's Gateway, Janesia, and Maroni were cleared of rebel units, thereby reopening the communications lines to Clancia; Dramis, Condtella, and Conservan were secured by General Lamanius shortly thereafter. On May 21, 1342, seeing the way in which events were trending, Sir Chestrania met with the Emperor at Metallina and swore a renewed oath of allegiance to him, denouncing his earlier ties to the rebels. With his assistance, Julianus then reconquered Ietas and Tyndaris (May 24-June 4, 1342), drove rebel units from Sauvania and Heuthros (June 7), and then launched a penetrative offensive beyond Constantine I, clearing rebel units from the outskirts of the Constantine Cluster.
  • August 1342 saw Evelyn, Ruthania, and Teth falling into government hands, and the Earl of Jadia led a decisive offensive against Saray and Kulikovo, recovering both strongholds for the Imperial Laurasian Government. Anusia, the Prelone Asteroid Belt, and Mumbraine became further scenes of confrontation between the Laurasian and rebel forces, and by September 22, all of these strongholds were secure in their loyalty to the Emperor. With all of these advances, therefore, Constantia came under increasing pressure from the Emperor's forces at Wroona. The Dukes of Melarnaria and Christiania, in vain, sought to secure the defenses of Paradine, Pasquarillo, and Palimisiano, and had also campaigned around the Upper Galactic Center. Emperor Julianus, consequently, moved swiftly from Courdina V and Gordasis, through N'zoth, Azov, and Mylae, and towards Wroona. Wroona was besieged by the Emperor, beginning on October 4, 1342. The siege lasted for over two months, as Constantia's forces had established a series of defensive outposts, minefields, and orbital relays around the outskirts of the star system, and as Julianus continued to focus on maintaining his position in the Clancian Worlds. Finally, on Ascentmas Day 1342, the stronghold fell, but the Grand Princess, disguised as a starhopper, managed to flee from the star system, and joined the rebel forces at Williams.
  • 1343 saw a stalemate ensue between the Emperor and the rebel forces in the Central Core. However, the year opened and closed with Didius Julianus facing renewed attacks. On January 9, 1343, Julianus was trapped and besieged by the Duke of Christiania at Lalna, as rebel forces attempted a renewed thrust into the Constantine Cluster and towards the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route. The ensuing Battle of Lalna saw the Emperor attempting to break out from this siege, and to advance downwards towards Paradine. For a time, it appeared as if he might actually be captured a second time. However, Major-General Sir Tiberius Claudius Nero (1315-67), father of the future Emperor Tiberius, who had arisen to prominence fighting for the Emperor in this conflict and in the Solidaritan War of 1337-39, executed a fierce rear guard effort, breaking through rebel lines and giving the Emperor an avenue to escape. Nero was captured, but on February 6, after a attack on rebel positions near Wes, Emperor Julianus was able to secure his release.
  • Indecisive confrontations throughout the northern Central Core, and in the Murphian Provinces, marred the middle months of 1343. However, in November 1343, Sir Quintius Volusius, Earl of Tyleria Perea, instigated a new rebellion against the Emperor in the Duchy of Schaueria Prime. Within a short time, he had secured control of Alvurg, Shiloh, Calpurnia, Selena, and Colsonia, thereby setting up a new front for the Emperor's forces. The Emperor now ordered the Earl of Jadia to contain this new revolt. Jadia did as ordered, and on December 5, 1343, he inflicted a decisive defeat upon Volusius in the Battle of Avaskar. Alvurg and Shiloh were recovered shortly thereafter, but the rebel Earl then seized control of Dusaburg and Dorothy. He sent a stream of communiques to the rebel forces in the Central Core, and declared his intention to recognize Constantia as his Empress. By the end of December 1343, he had consolidated his position further by seizing Rashid, Kolchad, and Goteburg.
  • 1344 opened with Emperor Julianus battling numerous threats at the same time. He faced the threat of Earl Volusius in the Duchy of Schaueria Prime; of Grand Princess Constantia and her husband in the Melarnarian Provinces; of the Duke of Christiania in the outskirts of the Purse Region, and to the Galactic Center, and of the rebel Appius Caecus, 2nd Baron Caecus, who had taken control of Capital, Meaganian, Tommy, and Chandlier. Yet it was in 1344 that the advantage finally, and fully, swung Julianus's way. First, Baron Gloucarania, while leading an offensive against Duros, was assassinated by one of his own bodyguards (January 7, 1344), who had been bribed by the Emperor's agents. Gloucarania's death therefore removed one of the most talented rebel commanders from the same. Jadia, receiving reinforcements from the Emperor, now pressed his advantage to the hilt, and on January 15, he besieged, captured, and destroyed the rebel headquarters at the Prelone Asteroid Belt. Anusia was then secured (January 16), and on January 22, 1344, Tommy too came under assault. In spite of the efforts of Baron Caecus, Tommy also fell (February 9, 1344). On February 14, General Lamanius crushed the forces of ex-Archbishop Madaria in the Battle of Tarentum, cleared Fitizsimmons and the Station of Dosch, and on March 1, broke through the defenses of Katie. Madaria was captured, and he, on the orders of the Emperor, imprisoned at the Monastery of Windowia Photis, where he died on June 6. By the end of April 1344, all rebel units had been cleared out of the Purse Region; at Chesrone, Chesham's Star, Kelby, and Chloe, the Emperor's forces inflicted a series of crippling defeats upon the Duke of Christiania, hurling him back into the Central Core.
  • In May 1344, General Lamanius and the Earl of Jadia combined together to lay Meaganian under siege. The ensuing Siege of Meganian, which began on the 4th of that month, lasted for several weeks, as Baron Caecus, in conjunction with Earl Volusius, launched a series of counteroffensives against Laurasian units. Steneborg, Gullborg, Linopking, and Gitlandia, in fact, fell into rebel hands on May 19, and on May 24, Calpurnia was also reconquered by them. But in spite of all their efforts, the advantage was fully with the Emperor's subordinates, and Meaganian itself finally succumbed on May 28. By June 9, Calpurnia, Gitlandia, and Linopking had been recovered, and on June 19, Volusius was thrashed in the Battle of Schaueria Prime. He was then driven from Smithia on June 24, which he had conquered some months earlier; Selena was captured on July 6, Colsonia on July 10, and Dusaburg on July 22. At the same time, Goss Beacon, Taxiles the Great, and Hydapses fell into government hands (July 17-28, 1344), and on August 4, Paradine was abandoned by the rebels.
  • On August 12, Gullborg and Steneborg were besieged by the forces of the Earl of Jadia; both strongholds did not fall into government hands until September 1. Then on September 6, 1344, Earl Volusius died while leading an offensive against Compost V, in a vain effort to revive his fortunes. His death brought to an end the rebellion in the Duchy of Schaueria Prime, and by September 24, the entire region was once again secure in the hands of the Imperial Laurasian Government. Capital and Chandlier were then stormed by General Lamanius (October 1344), and on November 5, Baron Caecus himself was captured at Jem. He was, on the Emperor's orders, brought to the Post Settlement of Hepudermia and imprisoned there. His rebellion was then ended with the final recapture of Arias (November 10, 1344). In the Central Core, Paradine had been fully reoccupied by government forces, and on November 15, Siri, White, and Ularia were reconquered. Timaslan, Timsies, and Welch followed by December 5. And on December 15, 1344, the Battle of Marshia ended in victory for the Emperor. By the end of 1344, therefore, Constantia and her husband were on the downside of their hopes.

1345Edit

  • 1345, the 45th year of the fourteenth century, began with Emperor Didius Julianus restoring his position of authority, and reestablishing the civil unity of the Laurasian Empire's dominions. Indeed, during the early months of 1345, the Emperor made major advances against rebel forces. On January 5, 1345, the Battle of Bainsborough was waged; it ended in a decisive victory for Julianus, and the Duke of Christiania himself barely evaded capture. Bainsborough fell back into imperial possession, and was then followed by Elainsborough (January 20). On February 9, 1345, the Emperor launched a major offensive in the vicinity of Goldaria. Natasi and Daala were both besieged by his forces from February 15. The Duke of Christiania now instigated a counteroffensive against Clancia, Condtella, Dramis, and Taxiles the Great, seeking to draw off Julianus's attention. This counteroffensive, however, ended with the rebel defeat in the Battle of Partsan (February 21, 1345). On March 5, 1345, Natasi fell to the Emperor's forces; Daala followed twenty days later, thereby constituting a major reverse for Grand Princess Constantia. Constancia and the Sort Drift fell to Julianus in April 1345; in particular, on April 12, 1345, his victory in the Battle of Stenbock saw the Duke of Melarnaria again narrowly evading capture. Melarnaria grew increasingly isolated with the fall of Williams and Pasquarillo to the Emperor's forces on May 8, and on May 19, Palimisiano followed. By May 26, Azov and N'zoth were firmly in the Emperor's hands.
  • On June 6, 1345, Ivorian Hetman Lyzohub, who was fearful of dethronement, and wished to maintain the integrity of the Ivorian Hetmanate, sent a communique to the Emperor, offering to return to his oath of allegiance and subordination to him. Didius Julianus, seeing the value of maintaining the Hetmanate, and already looking beyond to other goals, decided to accept the Hetman's offer. On June 19, Lyzohub swore a renewed oath to the Emperor of Laurasia, and Ivorian forces evacuated the strongholds which they had seized in the Horacian Provinces. In July 1345, Yularen and Pellaeon also fell into the hands of the Emperor's forces, and Goldaria too, was now cut off. On August 8, Didius Julianus issued a formal order of pardon for all rebel soldiers who had surrendered to his forces, established a special tribunal on Laurasia Prime to try the cases of all noblemen and officers who had rebelled, and ordered for the alleviation of all tax burdens in the Central Core. Then on August 16, 1345, Melarnaria had to be abandoned by its Duke, and it was reoccupied by troops loyal to the Imperial Laurasian Government.
  • As September 1345 began, there was no question that Emperor Julianus once again enjoyed the ascendant position in his dominions. And with rebel forces now effectively contained to Goldaria, and to the southwestern Central Core, the Emperor could turn his attention to securing Laurasia's flanks. The situation in the Confederate Kingdom of Melorkia now deserved his attention. From 1341 to 1344, the Venasian Consortium's forces, intervening on the side of Cholodio, had gradually overrun Eutagia, Acamaria, Matthew, West, Mirohassani, Les Mans, and Jasmine, thereby effectively occupying the Southern Crimeanian Provinces. By April 1345, with the conquest of Ensrassburg, Kentaborn, and Tamars by the forces of Cholodio, who had proclaimed himself King of Lower Melorkia in November 1344, King Pharmond of "Upper" Melorkia, who had succeeded his father Clovis to the throne in January of that year, was in dire straits. He realized that he would soon be completely destroyed, his kingdom subjected to the rule of Cholodio, and perhaps a vassal of the Venasian Consortium. Consequently, Pharmond decided to appeal for assistance to the Laurasian Empire, his father's old ally. He made his appeal on September 2, 1345. Emperor Julianus, whose forces had the upper hand in the Central Core, and was confident that Constantia was contained, decided to respond to this appeal. Phramond had requested for the Laurasian Empire's intervention against Lower Melorkia and the Venasian Consortium, and to "insure the unity and uniformity of these Melorkian dominions."
  • On September 13, the Emperor's response to the appeal alluded to the need for "galactic stability and tranquility" among all powers. Julianus, therefore, decided that it would be in his interests to intervene. Ten days later, a conference opened at Alsauborg for a military alliance between Laurasia and Melorkia. This conference lasted until October 19, 1345, when the Treaty of Alsauborg was concluded. By the terms of this treaty, the Emperor of Laurasia agreed to recognize Pharmond as the only legitimate King of Melorkia, and to provide him military, as well as diplomatic assistance, in defeating Cholodio. In exchange, Phramond agreed to the concession of the Southern Crimeanian Provinces, with Eutagia, Acamadaria, and Benzitir V, to the authority of the Laurasian Empire. Following the conclusion of this treaty, Emperor Julianus sent an ultimatum to Cholodio on October 27, demanding that he end his rebellion and recognize Phramond as his King. He also sent a similar ultimatum to Queen Mother Cryastalla, demanding that she withdraw from her intervention in Melorkian affairs. Cryastalla and Cholodio both looked with askance upon the Laurasian ultimatums, and wondered why Julianus was making these demands of him when he still had not completely suppressed his own opponents.
  • On November 7, 1345, therefore, the Laurasian Empire issued a declaration of war against the Venasian Consortium; it still refused to recognize the Kingdom of Lower Melorkia as legitimate, and declared it still to be in rebellion. Laurasian forces now made advances in the Decapolian Provinces, and into Melorkian territory. Decapolia Major was besieged by the Earl of Jadia's forces, with assistance from the Hetman of Ivoria (November 8-17, 1345). It's fall constituted a major blow for the Venasians; Agac and Aflac were then attacked, and fell into Laurasian hands by December 11. On December 15, a Venasian expedition did sack Ipsus V, Caroline, and Jean, and launched a feinting move against Shiloh, but proved unable to hold any of those strongholds. The Laurasians retaliated by sacking Organia on December 21. On December 24, 1345, the Battle of Tamars ended in victory for the Laurasians and the Melorkians of King Phramond; Cholodio was forced into retreat.

1346Edit

  • 1346 began with the Laurasian Empire, still not completely out of the Constantian Civil War, now involved in the War of the Melorkian Succession. During the early months of 1346, General Lamanius maintained the status quo ante bellum in the Central Core, storming Chany (January 5, 1346), securin Muppet (January 11), and preventing the Dukes of Melarnaria and Christiania from breaking out to relieve Goldaria. Elsewhere, in Melorkia, Laurasian and royalist Melorkian forces continued to make gains. Kentaborn was besieged by the Emperor's forces, beginning on January 17, 1346. The Siege of Kentaborn lasted for ten days, until the stronghold finally yielded. Laurasian forces then drove through the defenses of Cholodio and Les Mans (February 1346), recovering both strongholds for Phramond. In the Decapolian Provinces, Laurasian units failed in their assaults against Colla and Tyrania, and on March 9, 1346, Venasian Princess Kamania actually defeated them in the Battle of Ruttum. The Venasians then assaulted Ogla, but were defeated by the Earl of Jadia in the Battle of Drennan (March 17-23, 1346). Further Laurasian confrontations with the Venasians at Hooper, Sanegeta, Nathaniel, George, Osriana, and Brittany, during April and May 1346, maintained Laurasian positions in the Northern Crimeanian Provinces, and Laurasian advances within the Southern Provinces. On June 5, 1346, Roastafaria Minor was sacked by a Laurasian expedition; from thence, Tolbiac and Shell were captured by Laurasian expeditionary forces, thereby weakening Cholodio's communication lines.
  • On June 22, Emperor Julianus won the Battle of Brooke One, allowing for him to recover Matthew, West, Mirohassani, and Thelma for the Melorkians. By June 26, Jasmine had also been assaulted by Laurasian forces; its fall on July 7, 1346, confirmed the overall trend of events. In August 1346, however, Lord Chestrania erupted in revolt against Julianus again at Arias and Tommy. Emperor Julianus, outraged by this, dispatched General Nero against him. Nero defeated him in the Battle of Roscoe (August 12-19, 1346), and on August 22, won a confrontation near Rebecca. The rebellion was crushed by September 5, and Chestrania himself was then captured at Tums, in the Murphian Provinces. On September 14, Tourbonne and Imun fell into the hands of the allied forces, and on September 29, Venasian Princess Kamutha suffered another serious defeat in the Battle of Monderon. Cambrina and Manorsia then fell in October 1346. By this point, the Consortium had a new ruler, Masania V. Queen Mother Cryastalla had died on Venasia Prime, on August 6, 1346, after having reigned for sixteen years, and had been succeeded by her daughter.
  • During the last months of 1346, a stalemate ensued in the Decapolian Provinces, while in Melorkia, Phramond focused on consolidating his gains. In the Central Core, on November 9, General Lamanius won the Battle of Sipp, thereby breaking through the defenses of that major rebel stronghold. Olivia, Mommica, and Maxc-casi had all fallen by November 24, giving a further advantage to the Empire's forces. Goldaria finally fell on December 7, 1346, and was followed by Carina ten days later. The Duke of Melarnaria and Grand Princess Constantia now relocated their headquarters to Seejay Prime, and managed to regain control of Constancia, Stenbock, and Goss Beacon (December 10-14, 1346). They then stormed Brithium on December 17, and reoccupied Muppet. By the end of 1346, nevertheless, their rebellion was in its death throes.

1347-1348Edit

  • 1347 was dominated primarily by the final end of the Constantian Rebellion in the Central Core, and by further advances on the part of the Laurasian Empire and the Kingdom of Upper Melorkia, thereby compelling an end to the War of the Melorkian Succession. In January 1347, Emperor Julianus reshuffled military commands, assigning General Nero to take charge of the operations against the Neo-Venasian Consortium; General Lamanius to the Melorkian front; and the Earl of Jadia to the Central Core. With this shift of military responsibilities came a shift in resources. On February 7, 1347, the Emperor issued a final instruction through the Imperial General Headquarters, ordering for a focus on bringing the "dissent in the Central Core to its long due end." The Earl of Jadia, therefore, focused on the recapture of Brithium in the Clancian Provinces.
  • The Siege of Brithium began on February 16, 1347, and lasted for nearly a month. When it was over, nearly two-thirds of the rebel garrison was dead, and more then three million individuals had died. Brithium's recapture opened the way to expeditions by government forces against Constancia and Stenbock (March 1347), both of which fell back into government hands. Goss Beacon proved to be a tougher nut to crack, and it did not finally fall until May 7, 1347. On May 22, Teta was besieged and conquered by the Emperor's troops. Seejay Prime now became the ultimate target. But on June 8, 1347, Grand Princess Constantia, and the Duke of Melarnaria, seeing the writing on the wall, decided that they no longer had a chance against the Emperor. Consequently, they sent an armistice request to him, promising to return to a full oath of allegiance to him and to lay down their arms, in exchange for a pardon and for a guarantee of their titles and estates.
  • Emperor Julianus, when he received this request, was overjoyed. After nearly eight years of internal conflict, the Emperor hoped that this would be the avenue to the restoration of peace, and that it would allow for him to focus his attention on bringing the War of the Melorkian Succession to an end. Consequently, he responded positively to the request on June 16, agreeing to pardon both Constantia and her husband, and to preserve their liberty. On June 24, 1347, the two surrendered, and Seejay Prime, along with all remaining rebel garrisons, fell into the hands of the Emperor. With this, the Constantian Rebellion had finally ended. True to his word, Emperor Julianus ordered for all of the titles and estates owned by the couple to be confirmed, and he allowed for them to return to Melarnaria. He also pardoned many of the troops and associates under their command, including the Duke of Christiania.
  • Julianus, however, ordered his agents and the Imperial Secret Service to monitor all with rebel sympathies; he installed strengthened garrisons in the southern worlds of the Central Core; and he maintained the prior military conscription levies, determined to leave nothing at chance. The Duke of Christiania was placed under rigorous survelliance. There turned out to be little need of this, however, as the Duke's health had entered a serious decline during the last several months. He died at Darcia on October 31, 1347, aged 47. Now, as regards to the Melorkian theater, Laurasian forces had, as mentioned above, made further advances. By April 1347, allied units controlled Obathia, Cyrus III, Cal, Morley, and Simon; Roastafaria Major too was in their possession, and Cholodio was at his wit's end. In September, Laurasian troops "intervened" in the Ashlgothian Borderlands Territories, preventing Ashlgothia from reoccupying those strongholds, as had been agreed in the Treaty of Tolbiac, and thereby consolidating the Empire's position in that region. And on November 4, 1347, Laurasian troops besieged and conquered Ka, Phyllis, and Ruttum, thereby posing a further strain on Venasian defensive lines. By the middle of that month, both Cryastalla and Cholodio became desirous of peace. On December 7, they sent a request for negotiations to the Emperor, a request joined by King Chindasuinth of Ashlgothia. This request was approved by Didius Julianus on December 14, without consulting his "ally" Pharmond. On December 26, 1347, a conference opened on Xxi for the negotiations to end the war.
  • The conference continued for nearly two months, as the delegations from each of the respective states wrangled over the peace terms. Finally, on February 15, 1348, the Treaty of Xxi was signed, thereby bringing an end to the War of the Melorkian Succession. By the terms of this treaty, the division of the former Confederate Kingdom of Melorkia into two smaller kingdoms, those of Upper and Lower Melorkia, was confirmed by all of the powers. Upper Melorkia was to control Melorkia Major and the Melorkian Provinces; this was to include the strongholds of Merovech, Tournacia, Algaica Belguica, Ripara, Alsauborg, Cholodio, Roastafaria Minor, Rasti, Kentaborn, Tamars, Ensrassburg, Brooke One, Hefner, Matthew, West, Mirohassani, Les Mans, and Jasmine, along with their associated star systems. Lower Melorkia, on its part, was to have jurisdiction over Manorsia, Roastafaria Major, Cambrina, Resmania, Obathia, Cyrus III, Cal, Morley, Simon, Stahl, Tolbiac, Dumbgwita, and Khagia, thereby constituting the Lower Melorkian Provinces. All territorial disputes between the Melorkian kingdoms and the Kingdom of Ashlgothia were to hereby be resolved, and any future disputes between the two kingdoms were to be mediated by the Imperial Laurasian and Venasian Governments. The Laurasian Empire itself now gained confirmation of its acquisition of the Southern Crimeanian Provinces, including Drennan, Acamaria, and Benzitir V. Laurasia also obtained permanent possession of the Ashlgothian Borderlands Territories, which it had occupied since 1335. All other Laurasian and Venasian military forces were to be withdrawn from Melorkian territory by December 1, 1349; moreover, the status quo ante bellum was to prevail between Laurasia and Venasia in regards to territorial, economic, and diplomatic matters; all Venasian strongholds occupied by Laurasian forces were to be restored to the control of the Consortium by no later then January 1, 1349.
  • Finally, all powers agreed to guarantee the constitutional and territorial settlement now established for the Melorkian kingdoms, and to not brook any interference by other foreign powers into their affairs. The Treaty of Xxi was ratified by the monarchs of all states involved by the end of March 1348. It was not until April 6, 1349, however, before Pharmond and Cholodio came to their own agreement in the Treaty of Cambrina, thereby acknowledging the division of the Melorkian territories between them, and the conditions imposed on them at Xxi. With the end of the War of the Melorkian Succession, Emperor Julianus was able to shift his attention to affairs within the Empire, and to the process of recovery which sought to assert itself in the aftermath of the Constantinan Civil War. The first years of the 1350s were to pass in more tranquility, but this would be but a transient period of such.

1349-1352Edit

  • As alluded to above, the middle of the fourteenth century arrived with the Laurasian Empire restored to a tenuous, but fleeting peace. During the years 1349-1351, Emperor Didius Julianus focused his efforts upon the economic, social, and political recovery of the Empire's realms from the exertions of internal conflict. In November 1348, he conducted a triumph through the Marsian Asteroid Belt, the moons of Laurasia Prime, and into the city of Christiania, impressing upon his subjects his accomplishments in battle, and his success in restoring the Empire's "natural" state of internal conformity. He now declared the alleviation of tax burdens throughout the Laurasia Prime Purse Region; ordered for the retirement and provisioning of many of the troops and personnel of the Imperial Forces; and had the Holy Synod bless the efforts of all those who had been involved in the war. In March 1349, the Emperor ordered for a codification of all decrees, edicts, and statutes which had been implemented since the commencement of his reign, and two months later, he had all measures which had been promulgated by Grand Princess Constantia and her supporters overruled. In June, the Emperor invited the Grand Princess, the Duke of Melarnaria, and their son, Grand Prince Antiochus, to the Imperial Court, which had then moved to Caladaria. Once they arrived, on June 26 of that month, the Emperor embraced them in full sight of his courtiers, expressed his delight at seeing them, and declared his hopes that the imperial family would not find discord again in the future.
  • In September 1349, the Emperor instigated another expansion of the ranks of the imperial nobility, creating thirty new peerages and bestowing these upon many of his most prominent supporters. General Lamanius was among the most renowned recipients of the Emperor's generosity, being granted the newly-created Earldom of Chandlier. Didius Julianus also ordered for the Heraldmaster's Office to draw up a list of all nobles and gentlemen who had wantonly defied imperial authority; forbade the construction of new fortifications or residences on noble estates for a period of ten years; and subjected the courtiers of the Imperial Household to a series of financial and personal inquiries. He also expanded the authority of the Imperial Secret Service, ordering for the establishment, on Vetta, of a new strategic operations center. In January 1350, the Emperor followed this up by issuing instructions to the planetary and municipal authorities of Laurasia Prime, ordering for them to provide regular updates to the Quencilvanian Palace Control of any stirrings of dissent, or possible conspiracies, in the capital star system. He also imposed restrictions upon communications and upon public assembly, but made it clear to the Senate and to his judicial officials that no man was to be accused of a crime unless if he had been offered the opportunity to give a reasonable defense.
  • By the middle of the century, the Laurasian Empire had become perhaps the single most powerful state in the Core Regions, and one of the preeminent states in the Caladarian Galaxy. In 1350, Laurasian dominions spanned from the Morganian and Kelvanian Provinces in the Wild Marshes, across to the Duchy of Schaueria Prime, the Nexus Route region, and the Crimeanian Provinces along the upper end of the Kimanian Trade Run. Laurasia now dominated the central, most prosperous portions of the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route, the Kimanian Trade Run, and the Metallasian Trade Corridor. It exercised its jurisdiction over the whole of the Central Core, with the Ivorian Hetmanate, which continued to retain a semblance of independence, nevertheless a protectorate of the Empire. The Celestial Kingdom of Briannia was also under Laurasian influence, and was far reduced in power compared to its position at the beginning of the century. Laurasia had also acquired the Ashlgothian Borderlands Territories and projected its influence into the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth, which was growing progressively weaker. It continued to face substantial enemies, however, in both the Solidaritan Sultanate and the Neo-Venasian Consortium.
  • Emperor Julianus had struggled for so long to face all of this, but he now confronted new questions. One of the most significant concerned the succession. The Emperor desired to pass on the throne to his son, Grand Prince Eusebius (1327-53), whom he had also created Duke of Americana in April 1347. As part of his effort to prepare his son for the responsibilities of rule, Julianus appointed him to the Governing Senate in September 1350, gave him responsibility for the financial affairs of the Imperial Household, and in March 1351, made him Mayor of Christiania and Vice-Governor of Laurasia Prime. The Emperor also, in December 1350 and in July 1351, had the Holy Synod confer its blessings upon his son, and he expressed his open desire that his son be crowned and proclaimed co-heir while he was still alive. Yet Julianus was, in part, restrained by the advice of Chief Procurator Beccarius, who was fearful of the consequences of moving forward too soon, and was also compelled to take into consideration that Grand Princess Constantia was still very much alive, and might yet assert her claims after his death.
  • But by September 1351, Constantia was no longer interested in the imperial throne herself. Having retreated to the Vemay Monastery on Jenny, and increasingly contemplating the idea of taking up the religious life, Constantia now decided to promote the claims of her son, Grand Prince Antiochus, great-grandson of Seleucus I, instead. This was further bolstered by the sudden death of her husband, the Duke of Melarnaria, on September 7, 1351. This occurred 382 years before the birth of Laurasian Empress Aurelia the Great. Antiochus himself, who was eighteen years old by September 1351, was determined to assert his claim to the Laurasian throne. He was, according to contemporary accounts and to Baron Monopahalaus, considered to be exceptionally handsome, being red-haired, freckled, blue-eyed, and with a large head; he had a short, stocky body, but considerable physical ability. Antiochus did not possess the reserve of his mother or the charm of his father, but was nevertheless possessed of exceptional energy and drive. He was infamous for his piercing stare, bullying, bursts of temper, and occasions at which he refused to speak at all. Much of it, however, was theatrical, for Antiochus wished to cast off a certain impression to others. He also had a commanding grasp of languages, speaking and writing, besides his native Laurasian, Goldarian, Briannian, Solidaritan, Polonian, Donguarian, Galician, Ivorian, Carinan, Murphian, Horacian, and Melorkian. He also understood Venasian, Kelvanian, Dasian, Arachosian, and Merlite. The future Emperor was very well-read, and was fascinated by the intellectual currents of the times. In his youth, Antiochus took great pleasure in adventure and in athletic pursuits; over time, he would invest more energy and focus in judicial, ecclesiastical, and administrative affairs, and would possess a work ethic comparable to that of his great-grandfather, the Victor.
  • All of these skills and attributes now served the Grand Prince in good stead. Beginning in November 1351, he gathered his own supporters at Melarnaria, Pasquarillo, Palimisiano, Williams, and Paradine, working closely with the garrisons and authorities of those worlds, and making sure to remain loyal, at least for the time being, towards the Emperor and the Imperial Laurasian Government. He curried the favor of many prominent nobles in the Empire, and was in December 1351, given a position in the College of Internal Security by the Emperor, as an Assessor. From this position, Antiochus not only continued his education, but also built up further contacts within the civil service, and gained intimate awareness of Julianus's strengths and weaknesses. He also learned of the dissent among the notables of the Empire against the idea of Grand Prince Eusebius becoming Julianus's successor as Emperor. Into 1352, events proceeded further. Emperor Julianus continued in his efforts of recovery from the ravages of conflict. He offered, in January 1352, promises of freedom of transportation, of religion, and of colonial development to any who moved in and rehabilitated the Empire's star systems. He lowered trade burdens, sought to liberalize transportation procedures, and invested vast sums of money into new manufacturing, agricultural, and mining projects, colonies, and stations. The Emperor also ordered for the release of all remaining captives and sponsored a rehabilitation of the imperial prisons, thereby relieving a major burden upon Laurasian taxpayers.
  • May 1352 saw three major events of consequence. On May 3, 1352, Empress Consort Constantia died at the Palace of Harmony on Clancia, at the age of 47. Her death proved an emotional blow to the Emperor, who was still grateful to her for her efforts to secure his release, and to maintain the integrity of his forces during his captivity. Constantia would be laid in state for some weeks, and she would be interred at the Old Westphalian Cathedral on May 24. The second event followed within weeks of the first. On May 18, 1352, at Dramis, Grand Prince Antiochus was formally married to Lady Anna Aquitaria of Commagenos (1322-1404), daughter of the Earl of Commagenos on Aroest, one of the largest cities in the Laurasian Purse Region. Lady Aquitaria, eleven years her husband's senior, was embarking upon her second marriage; her first husband, Sir Laudratus Brasius of Falloria Minor (1320-52), whom she had married in 1337, had died on February 9, 1352. They had not had any children (due to her husband's infertility). But even before Brasius's death, Antiochus had been contemplating marriage with her, and felt satisfied that he had this prize at hand. His marriage consolidated his position, and enhanced his claims of being the Emperor's natural successor. Julianus, hearing of it, and hastening to rebuff any such claims, now, on May 24, formally proclaimed his son, Grand Prince Eusebius, to be his heir apparent, and had him presented to his subjects from the balcony of the Quencilvanian Palace. This served only to increase tensions, and by September 1352, Antiochus was fully engrossed in preparations to launch rebellion against Julianus, assembling substantial military forces of his own. And indeed, that rebellion was to come at the opening of 1353.

1353Edit

  • 1353, the 53rd year of the fourteenth century, began with the Laurasian Empire once more being plunged into the specter of civil conflict. On January 5, 1353, from his command headquarters at Melarnaria, Grand Prince Antiochus formally announced that he was in rebellion against Emperor Didius Julianus, and that he intended to secure what was his by right: to be acknowledged as heir-apparent to the Laurasian throne. Antiochus and his forces, who had been engaged in extensive military preparations, and enjoyed the support of many among the imperial elites, made substantial advances from the start. Azov fell into his hands (January 5-6), followed, in short order, by Courdina V (January 8), Ietas (January 11), Mylae (January 14), Windowia Photis (January 18), Tyndaris (January 21), Gordasis (January 22), and Goss Beacon (January 24). On January 26, 1353, the garrisons of Americana, Explosansia Major, Osama, and Tarravania defected to the cause of the Grand Prince, renouncing their allegiance to the Emperor and to the Imperial Laurasian Government. On January 28, Antiochus defeated a imperial expeditionary force, under the command of General Sir Marcus Scalius, in the Battle of Brithium; that stronghold fell into his position. His units then stormed Lalna, Chesrone, and Depp (February 1-4, 1353), thereby entrenching themselves within the outskirts of the Laurasia Prime Purse Region. By February 14, with rebel forces taking control of Conservan, Dramis, Condtella, and Reoyania, Emperor Julianus found his position to be far more precarious.
  • On February 22, Grand Prince Antiochus instigated a siege of Clancia, seeking to breach the defenses of this major stronghold. This would give him a major projection point from which to penetrate northwards, through Janesia, Maroni, and Dearton's Gateway, to Laurasia Prime itself. The rebel forces imposed a series of stockades around the outskirts of the star system, halted all communications and transit to and from it, and launched a series of continual broadsides against its orbital stations and defensive outposts. Emperor Julianus, hearing of the siege, and determined to prevent any further move into the depths of the Purse Region, decided to move with his chief military forces and with General Nero, who had now become Chief of the Imperial General Headquarters. On February 28, the Emperor began his move from Laurasia Prime, and proceeded quickly down the Clancian Trunk Line. He arrived at the northern outskirts of Clancia the following day, and attempted to force a confrontation with Antiochus along the edges of the star system. Antiochus, however, who was not willing at this point to meet Julianus head on in battle, decided to left the siege and to instead concentrate on fortifying Condtella and Reoyania. Julianus himself reoccupied Clancia, on March 5, sent a expedition which sacked Paradine two days later, and was then forced to turn north, to suppress a series of revolts on Jem, Dill, Boo, Jean, Atticus, Caroline, and Millia-in-the Core.
  • This gave Antiochus a further opening. The Grand Prince now decided to secure his rear by making further gains in the Central Core. Five days after the Emperor's reoccupation of Clancia, Antiochus besieged and conquered Hydapses, Haudjrau, and Taxiles the Great, granting him control of the upper Galactic Center. The garrisons of Hannah, Teth, Evelyn, and Ruthania then defected to his cause on March 16, giving him access to the Murphian Provinces. He then launched a successful assault upon the Floating Cities of Seejay Prime (March 19-22, 1353), inflicting severe damage on them and compelling the Governor of the star system, the Lord Aederatus, to retreat. On March 26, Yularen and Pellaeon fell; Natasi followed on March 29, and on April 5, 1353, the Grand Prince won the Battle of Constancia, preventing the Emperor's forces in the Southern Central Core from reversing his gains. On April 9, he secured the support of Boethius Pramaius, Earl of Leicesterius on Jean, who was then Governor of Carina and Seejay Prime. This gave him control of all the southwestern regions of the Central Core, once held by his mother Constantia and her supporters.
  • On April 16, 1353, moreover, the Grand Prince won the allegiance of the Ivorian Hetman, Kyril Razumovsky, who had been elected to his position in January 1350. The Hetman swore allegiance to him at Maschinga. With his assistance, Antiochus was able to overrun Marshia (April 19-22), Bainsborough (April 25), Stenbock (April 29), and Goldaria itself (May 5). By May 11, with the capture of Daala and Elainsborough, most of the major strongholds in the Central Core, with the sole exception of Clancia, were in the hands of the Grand Prince. And by the end of the month, Constantine I, Andriana, Wroona, and Mercedes had also defected to his cause. On June 6, the Grand Prince met with a delegation of Almitian clerics, nobles, and governors at Tommy. They made clear to him that, while they continued to remain bound by their oath of allegiance to the Emperor, they would nevertheless support his claim to be his heir-apparent, and suggested a negotiated peace. Antiochus agreed, and he promised to protect all of their titles, properties, and positions once he acceded to the throne.
  • Then on June 22, 1353, Emperor Julianus launched a major offensive against Melarnaria, attempting to reclaim this world, which had for so long continued to remain a base of dissent and rebel tension against his authority. The Emperor's forces succeeded in imposing a blockade, and in making attacks against the world's defenses. Grand Prince Antiochus, who was then assaulting Chandlier and Meaganian, learned of the siege and decided to confront Julianus directly, in a decisive battle. He moved quickly across the Central Core, and on July 4, 1353, his forces arrived at the outskirts of the star system, facing those of the Emperor. By this point, however, the nobles and officials of the Empire were exhausted, and yearned for an end to the long civil disorder. Julianus himself, who was experiencing the first stages of the malady which would ultimately kill him, was tired, and sought a return, in peace, to Laurasia Prime. Consequently, on July 8, before the forces could join combat, he sent an armistice request to Antiochus. Antiochus, who now saw that he had the advantage, decided to accept the request. The Truce of Melarnaria was proclaimed on July 12, and all hostilities between the Emperor's forces, and those of the Grand Prince, came to a halt. In the aftermath of this truce, Antiochus and Julianus met each other personally on July 17, 1353. They began to talk privately about a potential end to the rebellion. The Emperor's son, Grand Prince Eusebius, however, was furious about the conclusion of the truce. He himself realized that he might lose his place in the line of succession, and now embarked in a huff, on July 23, to Taurasia, intending to muster support for a resumption of hostilities. Eusebius however, was then struck down with the Antigenes fever, and his condition rapidly declined. In spite of all the efforts of his physicians, he died nearly a month later, on August 17, 1353, aged 25.
  • The removal of Eusebius from the scene greatly simplified matters. Though he had a younger son, Perdiccas (1337-59), Emperor Julianus, who was exhausted and demoralized, lost all willingness to fight on. In this, he was encouraged by the Bishop of the Cron Drift and by Chief Procurator Beccarius, who saw opportunity in the end of hostilities. He therefore, on September 4, extended an offer to Antiochus to come to Laurasia Prime, and to conclude there a final treaty to settle all disputes between them. Antiochus, whose first son Willanius had been born at Jenny on the very day of Eusebius's death, agreed. The Grand Prince and the Emperor now embarked together to the capital world, arriving there on September 13. They were greeted by the inhabitants of Laurasia Prime, who expressed their especial admiration for the Grand Prince. Then, after some weeks of celebrations and of festivity, negotiations began. These negotiations ultimately culminated in the Edict of Christiania, which was promulgated on November 4, 1353. By the terms of this edict, Didius Julianus finally recognized Antiochus as his heir-apparent, and that he had a legitimate claim to the imperial throne. All hostilities between their forces were to cease immediately; all strongholds and worlds occupied by the Grand Prince were to be restored to the authority of the Imperial Laurasian Government; and all prisoners of war were to be released, and allowed to return to their homes, and to their lives. Emperor Julianus promised to listen to Antiochus's advice, and he was guaranteed continued rule over the Empire until his death. The conclusion of this agreement was met with much celebration on Laurasia Prime, and elsewhere throughout the Empire. On November 12, the Emperor presented Grand Prince Antiochus to his future subjects at the Quencilvanian Palace, and then, on November 26, named him to the Governing Senate. Antiochus and his household were to remain at Laurasia Prime until April 1354.

1354Edit

  • 1354, the 54th year of the fourteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire finally restored to an absolute state of internal tranquility, and with Grand Prince Antiochus, grandson of Seleucus II, now acknowledged as successor to his cousin, Didius Julianus. During the early months of 1354, Antiochus had continued to remain on Laurasia Prime, being treated with much generosity, and exalting in his position as the recognized heir-apparent. Emperor Julianus, on his part, engaged in a final outburst of energy, vigorously applying himself to the task of economic recovery and of legal reform. In April 1354, the Grand Prince and his household departed from Laurasia Prime, and moved thence to Melarnaria. There he was "duly received with joy and honor" by his mother, Grand Princess Constantia, his brothers, and the assembled inhabitants of that world. In a short time, his wife, Grand Princess Anna, joined him to celebrate, bringing with her their eight-month old son and heir, Willanius. This was the first time that Anna met her formidable mother-in-law. Antiochus had been given additional responsibilities by the Emperor as Governor of Melarnaria, and he now traveled to Azov, N'zoth, Paradine, Pasquarillo, Palimisiano, and Williams, enforcing the dictates of the Imperial Laurasian Government and ensuring the rule of law. He also further ingratiated himself with his future subjects in that manner.
  • In May 1354, Emperor Julianus, on his part, had held a series of ceremonies on Caladaria, Mercedes, Andriana, and Tyndaris, seeking to impress upon his subjects in those star systems the reassertion of imperial authority. From there, the Emperor then embarked on a journey to Ivoria, where he met with Hetman Razumovsky, who had returned to his loyalty to the Imperial Laurasian Government. Razumovsky gave his oath of allegiance to Antiochus, and conducted him on a tour of the Ivorian Order's strongholds, including Maschinga, Dasinae, Esther, Alladoria, Burderia, Micenta, and Storgath. This tour lasted until the end of July 1354. The Emperor then returned to Laurasia Prime on August 22, 1354. The following month, while at Goss Beacon, Antiochus fell violently ill; it was even feared for a time that he might die. He recovered by September 29, however, and then embarked on a tour of the Clancian Worlds. Fortunately for him, his destiny was now within reach.
  • On October 5, 1354, Emperor Julianus collapsed in his personal bedchambers at the Quencilvanian Palace. The Emperor was soon rushed by his servants to the Imperial Hospital, where he was then subjected to a series of treatments by his physicians. In spite of all their efforts, however, his health continued to decline, and he suffered from severe stomach pains, respiratory issues, and pain in his limbs. This agony intensified, and continued over a period of twenty days. Finally, towards 10:00 in the morning of October 25, 1354, Didius Julianus, who had reigned over the Laurasian Empire for nearly nineteen years, died in Christiania, Laurasia Prime, at the age of fifty-eight. News of the Emperor's death spread rapidly from the capital world, and then, across the Empire's dominions. Within hours, Antiochus had been proclaimed Emperor and Autocrat of All the Laurasians by the Governing Senate, Holy Synod, and Colleges of State. He was en route to Treoshia when he was informed that he was now Emperor, and saluted as such by all of his subordinates. Antiochus, however, did not at first seem to be greatly moved at the fact that he was Autocrat of All the Laurasians, and he continued with his journey as before.
  • When he reached Treoshia, he was hailed by the inhabitants and the garrison of the star system, showered with accolades, and proclaimed by them to be the "Savior of the Empire and of galactic civilization." Antiochus relished in these honors, and he promised that he would do his best as Emperor, to work for the "good interests of all my subjects, to deliver proper justice and order to them, and to enhance this Empire's position forward." Antiochus stayed on Treoshia for several days. During that time, his wife, now Empress-Consort Anna, and her household officials launched into a flurry of preparations on Melarnaria, for the official procession into the Laurasia Prime star system. Antiochus himself remained in constant communication with them, and with the authorities on Laurasia Prime. He was aided, in particular, by Sir Ricomedius Ghenteria (in office 1342-55), who had always been a quiet supporter of his at the Imperial Laurasian Court. The Emperor, through this agency, issued his first proclamation to his new subjects from Treoshia (November 7, 1354), expressing his hopes that his subjects would prosper and would be protected under his hand.
  • Finally, on November 12, he departed from Treoshia, and made his way thence to Melarnaria. There, he joined his wife in the flurry of household preparations, drew up lists of appointments to the Colleges, the Praetorian Guards, the Imperial General Headquarters, the Senate, the Synod, and the administration of Laurasia Prime, and sent out a stream of verbal orders, communiques, and manifestos to the authorities of Laurasia Prime. They too were engaged in vigorous preparations to give a proper reception to their new Emperor and Empress. The Emperor now decided that, alongside himself and his wife, he would be attended by his son and heir, now Grand Prince Willianus, his brother Gregory and by his sister-in-law, Theodora. His mother, Grand Princess Constantia, whom he trusted implicitly, and turned to for advice, would be entrusted with the responsibility of supervising his interests and those of the Leonidian Dynasty in the Central Core.
  • Finally, on December 7, 1354, the Emperor, Empress, and Imperial Court formally departed from Melarnaria, and proceeded rapidly to the Clancian Trunk Line, through Maroni and Dearton's Gateway, and thence onwards to Laurasia Prime. The Empress-Consort, in fact, was now seven months pregnant with their second child, but this did not delay Antiochus's resolve. Chief Procurator Beccarius, who had also been a secret ally of the Emperor's, was urging him to come as soon as possible. Two days later, during the early hours of December 9, the imperial retinue arrived in the outskirts of the Laurasia Prime star system. They passed through Marsia, Inspiter, Volcania, the Asteroid Belt, the moons of Laurasia Prime, and into the city of Christiania. The Emperor's subjects, gathered in massive crowds at all of these locations, and controlled by the Christiania Police, the imperial garrison, and the Praetorian Guards, greeted him with much "joy and happiness." His subjects adored him, and were glad that his reign marked the onset of something new for the Empire. At the Quencilvanian Palace, the Emperor was received by Chancellor Ghenteria, Chief Procurator Beccarius, the Senate, Synod, Colleges, and other officials of the Imperial Laurasian Government; he impressed them all with his energy, perceptiveness, and intelligence.
  • Plans for his coronation, already in place since before Julianus's death, now proceeded without further incident, and on December 14, the Emperor and Empress made their leave to Darcia, as had become a coronation custom during the reign of King Artabanus. On December 18, they made the second, formal coronation procession into the Laurasia Prime star system and took up their quarters at the Byrnes Palace. The following day, December 19, 1354, the coronation ceremony was held at the Old Westphalian Cathedral, with the Chief Procurator presiding. There was a change at this ceremony. In December 1353, Emperor Julianus had commissioned a new imperial crown, believing that the old Royal Crown of Laurasia, which had been used to crown every sovereign since Honorius the Liberator himself, was outdated and no longer necessary for the Empire. This crown, which was completed in September 1354, was crafted by the famed Horacian jeweler Hetapheres and his assistant, Imhotep. The crown contained 4,936 Marian diamonds arranged in splendid patterns across its entire surface. Bordering the edges of the mitre were 37 fine, large white pearls. The crown was also decorated with a large, precious red spinel weighing 398 carats, specifically imported from Gilestis in the Barsar Regions. It contained also, sapphires, rubies, aquarius, and tabastian stones, the last of which was perhaps the rarest fine earth mineral in the Caladarian Galaxy; the acquisition of these stones by themselves consumed one-third of the budget allocated for the Crown's construction.
  • The crown was modeled after the Great Matriarchal Crown of the Venasian Queen Mothers and the Bahari of the Horacian Kings. All total, it weighed nine pounds and cost $30.4 billion denarius to create. Emperor Antiochus now crowned himself with this, which he named the Great Imperial Crown; it was to be used for the coronations of all future Laurasian monarchs, from that point on. He crowned his wife, Empress-Consort Anna, with the older Consort Crown, which was nevertheless regilded and recast with a set of new diamonds and rubies for the ceremony. The officiating clergy, along with the nobles and other personages in attendance, wore splendid vestaments of silk, such as had not been seen on Laurasia Prime before, while the imperial couple and their attendants were attired in robes of silk, brocade, and gauze. It was a very moving and spiritual occasion; Antiochus fervently swore the coronation oath, and, intimating the custom followed by every Laurasian sovereign since Eurymaschus I, he tapped his chest and declared that all of his wealth was the wealth of his subjects. Following the ceremony, as the new Emperor and Empress went in procession through the religious quadrants, subjects ran alongside to catch a glimpse of them, crying "Vivat Imperator!" and "Almitis save their Majesties!" As 1354 ended therefore, the Empire had a new, and firm imperial master in authority.

1355Edit

  • As 1355, the 55th year of the fourteenth century began, the Laurasian Empire had become adjusted to the rule of Emperor Antiochus I, who would eventually become known as the "Great". From the onset of his reign, the new Emperor showed himself to be genuinely concerned in the welfare of his subjects, the stability of his dominions, and the integrity of his government. He took immediate, and vigorous, steps to continue the process of restoration from the travails of civil conflict. On January 5, 1355, at the Diplomatic Palace, the Emperor summoned a special session of the Senate, Synod, and the Colleges of State. There, he announced to them that the situation then transpiring within the Empire's dominions required prompt and immediate attention from him, and from his officials. In the aftermath of this, Antiochus implemented several measures to restore order. On January 11, he ordered for all nobles, clergymen, and personages in the Empire to dismiss all retainers and foreign mercenaries from their service. To prevent an outbreak of dissent from them over this, Antiochus implemented an immediate moratorium on the emergency military levies imposed by his predecessor; issued a series of charters confirming the restoration of earlier inheritance laws, and of the nobles' right to first claim on their estates; and forbade the Heraldmaster's Office from penalizing any nobles who were in default of their service obligations, without explicit permission from the Senate.
  • Moreover, the Emperor conferred estates, annuities, pensions, wardships, and trading privileges upon many of the courtiers and others in attendance at his household, thereby weaning them off any ideas of rebellion. He did not, however, tolerate peculation nor corruption, and in February 1355, he was to order the governmental censors to conduct a thorough investigation of all abuses and violations of the law which had transpired since January 1, 1350. Antiochus also implemented new ethics regulations for the imperial household, extended the jurisdiction of the Imperial Secret Service, and on March 9, granted the Praetorian Guards permission to quarter on, and search, the properties of subjects suspected of engaging in acts of treason or conspiracy against the state.
  • On March 12, the Emperor ordered for the demolition of all fortifications, posts, and garrisons which had been erected during the civil conflicts, and he mandated that all future colonies and outposts were to be established only in accordance with the directives provided through the Imperial College of Regional and Planetary Administration. Antiochus was to prove generous, however, in granting such permits, and in April 1355, he would establish the Office of Colonization Assistance, offering loans, equipment, and legal contracts to nobles, corporations, and guilds who could demonstrate that their activities would be to the Empire's benefit. Antiochus disbanded a number of superfluous military regiments maintained by his predecessor; revised the procurement and recruitment procedures for the Guards; and in May 1355, ordered a reorganization of all municipal police and enforcement agencies in the Empire. He also decreed a resumption of the occupation of all imperial strongholds and estates by officials handpicked by the Imperial Chancellory, and ordered for all obligations or liens placed on imperial, noble, and ecclesiastical property to be cleared. Antiochus also began a great expansion of the judicial and legal system, to become a hallmark of his reign.
  • In February 1355, he commanded the Senate to draw up a dossier of all vacant positions in the imperial magistracy, nobility, and solar courts, and to provide him reports about issues concerning the allocation of judicial resources. From May 1355 to November 1357, the Emperor and the College of Justice would be engaged in a process of ethics review, case codification, and judicial appointments; more then 20,000 officials would be reprimanded, moved, or dismissed, and their positions would be filled with men "cognizant of the law, respectful towards His Majesty, and loyal to the state." Antiochus asserted his right to personally decide cases relating to the imperial estates, and in July 1357, he would issue the Constitution of Clarandia, clarifying appeal procedures from the magistracy courts to the Senate, and from the Senate to the monarch. In August 1358, he would order the abolition of the Court of Imperial Enforcement, delegating such tasks to the Secret Service, the Senatorial Procurators, and the Senatorial Censors.
  • The Emperor also ordered, in August 1355, for the commutation and elimination of all sentences which had been imposed upon Laurasian subjects by either rebel or governmental authorities; he made it clear, in a proclamation issued on November 17, 1355, that no subjects would be held responsible for the "actions of their betters." He also enshrined it in imperial law, that no person could be compelled into military service by any private authority unless if the state were consulted. The Emperor also would begin, in December 1355, the process of redefining corporal punishment, abolishing the use of the barbaric cat-o'tails, of impaling, and of strangulation, and would, in March 1356, mandate that all future civil cases were to involve a jury.
  • The Emperor also sought to make the central government more efficient. In August 1355, he would order for the Senate to examine the executive institutions of the Imperial Laurasian Government, and to make recommendations as to how advice and governmental intelligence could be dispersed more effectively. The Senate completed its investigation in January 1356, and recommended to Antiochus the establishment of a central council of coordination. Antiochus took this advice, and on July 7, 1356, he would order the establishment of the Council of Civil Service, which became responsible for providing advice to the Emperor, overseeing the operations of the governmental bureaucracy and the Colleges of State, and executing the instructions of the Emperor and his leading officials. The Council was to be composed, besides the monarch himself, of the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Collegial Presidents, and ten councilors chosen by the monarch, from the nobility and the clergy. Antiochus was to rely upon this council extensively for the remainder of his reign, and he was a master at keeping competing noble, civil, and ecclesiastical interests in balance. He would treat the clergy and the nobility both with some respect, but would also make clear to them the position of authority he held. This would be made even more obvious in July 1357 with the reform of the Table of Ranks, with officials now being promoted based both on merit and on the monarch's personal appraisal of their work. Military officers gained elevated status, as did secretaries of the Imperial Household.
  • Finally, the Emperor took measures to alleviate the situation then prevailing in the Empire's financial system. He ordered for a new circulation of the currency, in April 1355, and commanded the Imperial Exchenquer to revise interest rates, loan rates, and credit rules, taking into account the new economic conditions. He ordered for a thorough investigation of all household and military accounts, and he refused to compensate any officials who did not have records of consistent performance. The Emperor imposed a prohibition upon the circulation of foreign currency, restricted access to hard metals, and imposed a series of protective charges upon goods of vital importance to the Imperial Household, and to the imperial military. At the same time, however, he distributed billions and billions of denarius to star systems, nobles, corporations, and officials in need of them; relaxed Julianus's restrictions on transportation and assembly; and reduced the number of official moneyers licensed to produce currency. In 1358, Antiochus would implement a more extensive reform of imperial currency, ordering for new denominations, of $1, $5, $10, $50, and $100 to be produced; abolishing larger values; and pegging the currency to tiranium, then the most plentiful rare earth metal in the Empire. He also declared that any currency not stamped with his official signature, and recognized as valid by the Imperial Exchenquer, was not to be valid currency. As a result of all these measures, governmental revenues would increase by more then 46% from 1354 to 1361; inflation and trade would rise; and unemployment would fall.
  • In March and April 1355, Antiochus made a series of further appointments. He now named Sir Ricomedius Lucrania to the position of Justiciar, which Didius Julianus had established in 1348 as the chief law enforcement position in the College of Justice, and which had now been given responsibility for all legal cases presented before the Senate and the imperial magistracy courts. He also made Archbishop Madaria of Katie, once again restored to his position, Treasurer of the Imperial Household. And on April 23, 1355, following the death of Chancellor Ghenteria, he appointed the Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod, Thomasius Becketius, as Chancellor.
  • Becketius had been born in Christiania, Laurasia Prime, on December 31, 1318. He was the third son of Sir Athanasius Becketius (1269-1335) and his wife Messalina (1291-1353), who was 22 years his junior. Becketius's father, who was the first Intendant of the Diplomatic Palace, had been especially favored by Emperor Seleucus, who had also entrusted him with responsibilities relating to the administration of all public facilities in the city of Christiania. His father, consequently, had been rewarded with estates throughout the Laurasia Prime Purse Region, and had also been one of the first recipients of a hereditary knighthood in the Empire. Thomasius, who was overshadowed by his two elder siblings, destined to inherit the lion's share of their father's estate, became destined for an administrative career. His father had him educated at Mertonia Priory, one of the largest private schools in the Empire, before he was then sent to the University of Laurasia Prime. Becketius graduated in 1341, having acquired an extensive knowledge of both contemporary and ancient languages: he fully mastered Dasian, Lacian, Arachosian, and Millian, the languages of species who had conquered or threatened Laurasian civilization. After working for the University Administration for two years, Becketius became a clerk in the service of Chief Procurator Beccarius. Beccarius soon recognized his intelligence and administrative ability, and earmarked him for promotion. By the time of Emperor Julianus's death in 1354, Becketius had taken minor orders, and had become Provost of Mertonia Priory as well as an Archdeacon of Westphalia.
  • The Chief Procurator, therefore, had become convinced that Becketius would accomplish great things in the Emperor's service, and was able to persuade the Emperor into agreeing to his appointment. Becketius himself was tall and slim with dark hair, finely chiselled features, an aquiline nose, and tapering hands. He was a good conversationalist, and had a great charm of manner. He was a man of enormous energy and versatile talent, though unlike the Emperor, he avoided all encounters with women, due to his vows of chastity. He was, in the words of Lord Monophalaus, "elegant, witty, generous, vain, and ambitious, thriving on his role as the "great" Chancellor." The Emperor had a firm grasp of Becketius's abilities, and enjoyed a good relationship with him. Becketius, as Chancellor, was to maintain an extensive household of his own, renowned for its luxury and prestige, and reflecting on the wealth and generosity of his imperial master, who allowed him such things: the same would happen with Serjanius in the fifteenth century, Cleander in the sixteenth, Plautianus in the seventeenth, and Wolesius in the eighteenth.
  • The remainder of 1355 passed in peace, as the Emperor conducted a series of progresses across his dominions, engaged in his initial reforms, and made clear to all of his subjects the extent of his authority. Yet tensions were building that would lead the Empire into war against both Donathia, in Polonia, and the Neo-Venasian Consortium shortly afterwards. The first of these conflicts was to be in Venasia. But on February 28, 1355, at Apathama Vixius, Empress Consort Anna had given birth to the imperial couple's second son, who Antiochus named Decabulus. This Decabulus would be destined to rebellion against his father, and to an early death.

1356Edit

  • 1356, the 56th year of the fourteenth century, commenced with Emperor Antiochus, held in acclaim by his subjects, and respected by his government, as well as his nobility, having done much to restore order and tranquility to the Laurasian Empire's dominions. On January 10, the Emperor and the Imperial Court had moved to Elizabeth. There, it had been announced that Empress Consort Anna was pregnant again. Many of the Emperor's subjects were becoming increasingly confident that the Leonidian Dynasty, stabilized as it seemed to be, would continue to reign over a prosperous, expanding Empire for many years to come. And that expansion now entered a new stage. Emperor Antiochus, since September 1355, had been consulting with the Imperial General Headquarters, with Chancellor Becketius, and with General Nero (Lamanius had died), on a new offensive conflict against the Neo-Venasian Consortium. The Emperor had read communiques and other reports indicating that the Venasians had supported many of the rebellious, conspiratoral movements which had arisen on Laurasian territory during the Constatinan Civil War, and that Queen Mother Masania, who had inherited her mother's dislike and loathing of Laurasian civilization, was herself preparing to restrain Laurasian power.
  • Antiochus was determined to take the first move, and to prevent the Consortium from gaining the advantage at Laurasian expense. Consequently, on Ascentmas Day, 1355, he had given his approval to strategic plans, drawn up by General Nero and his associates, for military campaigns into Venasian territory. And in January 1356, the Emperor strengthened the garrisons of Penshalay, Bolgrahay, Ipsus V, Robbay, and the chief strongholds of the Schauerian Provinces, for the move that was now to come. On February 9, he departed from Laurasia Prime, entrusting Chief Procurator Beccerius and Chancellor Becketius with responsibility for the safety of Empress-Consort Anna and of the Imperial Court. From thence, he moved to Atchinson, establishing his command headquarters there, and sending out a stream of communiques and orders to his military forces in those regions. On February 25, 1356, the Emperor ordered General Nero to take command of the garrison of Schaueria Prime, placing the 6th and 7th Imperial Fleets under his overall authority. And finally, on March 12, he sent a ultimatum to the Venasian Court, which was then at Relephon. In this ultimatum, he demanded the concession of Agac, Aflac, Decapolia Major, Decapolia Minor, and Podrac, for the Venasians to pay a substantial compensation to him for the expenses incurred in suppressing Venasian-sponsored "plots", and for the rights of Laurasian navigators and merchants traveling through Venasian territory to be respected.
  • Queen Masania was absolutely alarmed by these demands, and on April 2, she sent her response, declaring that she would not insult the honor of her goddesses, nor of her predecessors, by agreeing to them. This proved the final straw for Antiochus, who issued the final orders to his forces ten days later. Then on April 29, 1356, he issued a formal declaration of war against the Neo-Venasian Consortium, commencing the war of 1356-57. Laurasian forces made swift advances. The Emperor defeated a Venasian task force at Lythia (April 30-May 5, 1356), securing that stronghold. Repelling Venasian moves against Dorothy, Hordania, and Alvurg, he then proceeded to capture Rusum (May 18, 1356), and then dispatched a raiding expedition against Cadaria, sacking the defenses of that stronghold on May 25. Then on June 6, the Emperor advanced from Penshalay and Bolgrahay towards Colla, Ka, and Organia. Colla became the first target; the Siege of Colla, which commenced on June 8, lasted until the 24th, when the world capitulated to Laurasian forces. Ka proved more resistant, and in fact, Laurasian assaults, during June and July 1356, against that stronghold, generally failed. On July 1, however, Organia fell into Laurasian hands, thereby giving a vantage point for Laurasian expeditions into the Venasian Cluster. Indeed, Relephon, Pheleope, Duris, and Lynne would be subjected to a series of Laurasian raids over the next two months. On July 16, Antiochus won the Battle of Decapolia Minor; General Nero earned distinction by repelling the continual assaults of Decapolian stag troops upon his strategic positions. Decapolia Major was then laid under siege from August 4; Venasian moves against Shiloh, Rashid, Gullborg, Gitlandia, and Farbissna failed to turn the tide, and on August 22, Decapolia Major also fell.
  • In the meantime, on June 5, 1356, at Darcia, Empress-Consort Anna had given birth to the imperial couple's third child, a daughter who was named Messalina (1356-89). Following the birth of this child, Anna had, at the beginning of August 1356, moved from Darcia to Atchinson, and was there established. She did this, of course, with the Emperor's permission, and took charge of the affairs of his household from there. Archbishop Beccarius remained on Laurasia Prime. On August 29, the Emperor moved in the direction of Podrac. Venasian Generaless Temel Ka Dojo, however, launched a major offensive against Compost V, Bleuia, and Selena, overrunning all three strongholds (September 4-19), before storming the defenses of Linopking, Dusaberg, and Avaskar (September 24). On October 6, however, Antiochus defeated her in the Battle of Jessica Perea; by October 28, all of these strongholds had been recovered, and in November 1356, Podrac and Aflac were both conquered. Agac was secure in Laurasian hands by December 5, and on December 18, Antiochus won a further victory at Rhiata. By the end of 1356, therefore, the balance was firmly in the Empire's favor.

1357Edit

  • 1357 began with the Laurasian Empire's forces holding the upper hand over those of the Neo-Venasian Consortium, in the Decapolian Provinces and to the outskirts of the Venasian Cluster. With Agac, Aflac, and Podrac securely in the hands of Laurasian units, Emperor Antiochus now planned for a major offensive against one of his chief objectives: Hannis. The Battle of Hannis commenced on January 8, 1357, and lasted for the next four days. The Emperor divided his force, comprised of detachments from the 7th Imperial Fleet, in addition to a corps of Imperial Marines, Praetorian Guards, and the 9th Imperial Army, into three wings; the first to penetrate through the star system's northern vector, the second to overrun Venasian outposts at Hannis Outer, and the thread to break Venasian naval positions in the Hannian Asteroid Belt. The garrison of Hannah was commanded by Princess Kemal Ka So, who was one of the Queen Mother's most trusted subordinates. And indeed, the ensuing battle did prove to be very hard fought. Kemal herself led assaults against the Laurasian warships, and on January 12, she actually managed to briefly storm the IMS Carpathia, the largest dreadnought in the 7th Imperial Fleet. Venasian troopers seized control of the bridge and of the communications system, but they were eventually driven off by Laurasian troops led by General Nero.
  • Following this, the Laurasian forces finally broke the defenses of the Hannian Asteroid Belt, and on Antiochus's orders, moved forward with a full-fledged offensive to the orbit of Hannis itself. Within another two days, Hannis's defenses had completely collapsed, and despite all of Princess Kemal's attempts, the world was ultimately subjected to landings on the Imperial Laurasian Army. By January 19, Hannis was securely in Laurasian hands. Following the conquest of Hannis, Laurasian units stormed Maxiliana, Desulima, Maria, and Tarai (February 1357), thereby inflicting a series of further humiliating losses upon their Venasian foes. Even the tragic death of the Emperor's eldest son and heir apparent, Grand Prince Willanius, at Schaueria Prime from a bout of Antigenes fever (February 27, 1357), did not distract from the success and the momentum of the offensives. Venasia Secondary itself was sacked by a Laurasian expedition on March 7, 1357, and plans were laid for the conquest of Ruttum and Phyllis. At this point, Queen Mother Masania decided to sue for peace, and to turn her attention to other objectives.
  • On March 22, she sent an armistice request to Emperor Antiochus. Antiochus, who was himself concerned by events then transpiring in the Wild Marshes, agreed to the request, and on April 1, the Armistice of Aso was signed. A conference was then opened, on April 14, 1357, at Poltava in the Central Core, where nearly fifty years earlier, Antiochus's great-grandfather Seleucus had defeated Char'lac IX of Briannia. The Emperor detached Chancellor Becketius and Chief Procurator Beccarius to take charge of the negotiations; Venasian interests were represented by Generaless Tenal Ka and by Suliuma, Chair of the Venasian Council of High Ones. Ultimately, on May 14, 1357, the Treaty of Poltava was signed. By the terms of this agreement, the Decapolian Provinces, comprising the strongholds of Agac, Aflac, Podrac, Decapolia Major, Decapolia Minor, and Aso, along with Hannis along the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route, were now conceded to the Laurasian Empire. All other Venasian territories occupied by the Empire were to be returned promptly to the Consortium, and all prisoners of war exchanged. The Queen Mother also agreed to pay an indemnity of $1.2 trillion denarius, to be paid in four installments through 1361, and to recognize free trade privileges, for a period of seven years (until July 1, 1364), for all Laurasian merchants in her dominions.
  • The Treaty of Poltava, ratified by both powers by June 4, 1357, thereby ended the war with gains for the Laurasian Empire. Emperor Antiochus was joyous over this, and on June 14, he proceeded back to Laurasia Prime. There, he was greeted by the inhabitants of the star system with much praise, and they hailed him for his accomplishments in war. The Senate and Synod conferred upon him the title of Decapolius Maximus (June 22, 1357), and he ordered for all of his subjects to be given a tax relief award, to signify this. He held a series of tournaments, gladiatorial contests, games, pageants, masses, and other celebrations to mark his victory, and in January 1358, would commission the construction of the Obelisk of Antiochus in Constantinople. On July 4, Empress Consort Anna's new pregnancy was announced, and hopes were expressed at the Imperial Court that it would be a son. Antiochus himself firmly believed so. But he now turned his attention to the situation in the Angelican Provinces. Since 1355, Donathia had been under the rule of Eadwig, who was to rule until October 1359. Since the beginning of his reign, Eadwig had been confronted by disputes with his nobles, by the continuing rebellion of the Iffians in the Tof Borderlands and northern Outer Borderlands, and by various economic issues. Beginning in November 1356, he granted licenses to various privateers to launch raids into the Wild Marshes, seeking to gain more benefit for himself and his treasury.
  • One of the more notorious of these pirates was Harcwourg of Teller, who became loathed in the Laurasian Empire for his exploits. For much of 1357, he had harried various important strongholds in Upper Angelica, including Eric, Giron, and Shineski. Titus, in particular, became victim to a Donathian raiding expedition (July 1357), leading to the deaths of 450,000 Laurasian colonists, and the infliction of nearly $24 billion denarius in property damage. Emperor Antiochus, who was outraged by reports of this behavior, now ordered for the garrisons of the Angelican Provinces to be strengthened, and became determined to assert himself. On September 8, 1357, in Gloraid City, Chancia, the Empress Consort had given birth to their third son, whom Antiochus named after himself. Two days after his son's birth, the Emperor sent an ultimatum to King Eadwig, demanding for the end of all expeditions into Laurasian territory, and for Donathia to remain in compliance with the Treaty of Resht. Eadwig, however, engaged in yet another domestic dispute in his household, remained deaf to the ultimatum, and did not give a response.
  • Consequently, on September 24, 1357, the Emperor moved from Chancia to Patsy, and from there progressed through the Morganian Provinces. He brought with him substantial forces from the Purse Region, with General Nero and Admiral Sir Tacitus Gravius in command as his subordinates. The Emperor once again entrusted Chancellor Becketius and Chief Procurator Beccarius with the affairs of Laurasia Prime. Then on October 9, he issued a declaration of war, and launched a series of swift, lightning offensives. He defeated Harcwourg in the Battle of Iverman (October 14-21, 1357), and from there, destroyed Donathian raiding fleets at Zachary and Donavan (October 25), and on November 6, won an additional victory in the Battle of Hiron. Roach and Etienne were then cleared of Donathian units, and on November 14, 1357, Angelica Minor was besieged by the Empire's forces. The Siege of Angelica Minor ended on November 29, with the world's fall to the Emperor. December 1357 saw the Laurasian subjection of Corfu and Prima, and a Laurasian move into the outskirts of the Immmortalized Cluster. By the end of 1357, Laurasian forces were unstoppable.

1358Edit

  • 1358, the 58th year of the fourteenth century, commenced with Emperor Antiochus pursuing his campaigns against the Great Kingdom of Donathia, focusing specifically upon the Immortalized Cluster. On January 7, 1358, the Angelican stronghold of Borfu, in the Immortalized Cluster, was assaulted by Laurasian forces. The Battle of Borfu lasted for four days, before the stronghold fell into the Emperor's hands. From Borfu, Antiochus overran the Angelican systems of Kathu, Tandu, and Patau (January 11-29, 1358), inflicting a series of further humiliating defeats upon the Donathians. From Patau, a Laurasian expeditionary force then seized Pimjang, in the Satian Provinces (February 4, 1358), representing the greatest northwards penetration for Laurasian forces up to this time. Laurasian units even briefly crossed over into the Galactic Borderlands, attacking Donathian bases at Seeben, Sabinia, and Sherry (March 1358) before retreating. It was the last of these assaults, on Sherry, that finally convinced King Eadwig of the folly of continuing the war against the Empire. On April 14, 1358, he sent an armistice request to his Laurasian counterpart; Antiochus accepted the request almost immediately, and a truce was signed at Aspen ten days later.
  • After over a month of negotiations, the Treaty of Prima was signed on June 1, 1358, thereby bringing an end to Emperor Antiochus's Donathian War, destined to be the second, and last, conflict, fought between the Laurasian Empire and the Great Kingdom of Donathia. Donathia would, in the coming decades, be completely superseded by the Iffians and Cosites in the northern Galactic Borderlands. By the terms of this treaty, Angelica Minor, Corfu, Prima, and the Immortalized Cluster were conceded permanently to the Laurasian Empire, thereby consolidating the Laurasian hold of the Angelican Provinces. The King of Donathia agreed to compensate all Laurasians who had been harmed by raiding expeditions since January 1, 1357; to forbid such expeditions being launched into Laurasian territory in the future; and to agree to the commercial privileges of all Laurasian merchants, starhoppers, and the like who traveled into, or from, his dominions. In exchange, Antiochus pledged to make no alliance or sign no treaty adverse to Donathian interests, and to remain neutral in all future conflicts in the Galactic Borderlands. The Treaty of Prima, ratified by both monarchs by June 14, thereby marked another triumph for the young Emperor of Laurasia.
  • Following the conclusion of this treaty, Emperor Antiochus toured the Angelican Provinces, joined now by his wife, Empress Consort Anna. Their visit to Angelica Major (June 19-23, 1358), proved to be especially memorable. They then, from July 2, 1358, proceeded into the Morganian and Kelvanian Provinces, visiting Morgania Major, Morgania Minor, Kelvania Major, Kelvania Minor, Gunevere, Lancelot, Arthur, Merlin, Kanjur, and other strongholds in succession. On July 26, 1358, the Emperor received word about the death of his younger brother, Grand Prince Gregory, at Redderson. He proclaimed a period of mourning for him, and on August 7, hastened to Melarnaria, where he personally comforted his mother, Grand Princess Constantia, over the loss. Gregory would be interred at Nantian Abbey on Melarnaria ten days later. From thence, on August 22, the Emperor moved eastwards, to Pelley in the Schauerian Provinces. In January 1358, Queen Mother Masania had given birth to her fourth daughter, who she named Margarina. News of Margarina's birth had given Antiochus a new idea: perhaps he could marry her to his own son and heir Decabulus, and could thereby provide for continued peaceful relations between Laurasia and Venasia. Antiochus even had ideas that such a marriage could provide an avenue for the ultimate Laurasian absorption of the Consortium, something which was not to occur for another 148 years.
  • Nevertheless, in May 1358, the Emperor had dispatched Chancellor Becketius to Venasia Secondary, in order to negotiate with the Queen Mother and the Council of High Ones about the marriage. The Queen Mother received him graciously, and with much respect. Negotiations, thanks in part to Becketius's charm, diplomatic tact, and willingness to compromise, proceeded rapidly, and on June 27, the Venasians agreed to a betrothal, and for negotiations to commence to formalize all of the arrangements. Masania saw her own advantages from a marriage, believing it would divert Laurasian attention and resources away from her realms. Thus, as he returned from his Angelican campaigns, Antiochus now sought for a direct conference with his Venasian counterpart. The conference began at Pelley on August 28, 1358, and continued until September 15, when the Treaty of Pelley was concluded. By the terms of the Treaty of Pelley, Margarina was formally betrothed to Grand Prince Decabulus, and was to be handed over into the Emperor's care by no later then January 1, 1359. Antiochus agreed to take charge of her education, to respect her rights as a Venasian Princess, and to pay an extensive dowry to the Queen Mother. All of the arrangements reached at Poltava the previous year were to remain in place, and the two monarchs agreed to reconfirm its terms.
  • Following the conclusion of the Treaty of Pelley, the Emperor then moved to the Horacian Provinces, suppressing rebellions on Horacia, Theresa, Levinston, John, and Donald. Then he progressed rapidly to Katherine, where on September 23, 1358, the Empress Consort gave birth to a fourth son, who was named Leonnatus. The Emperor then brought his wife and the Imperial Court back to Laurasia Prime, where he stayed for the remainder of the year. Ascentmas 1358 was celebrated at the Quencilvanian Palace on Laurasia Prime. Antiochus, nevertheless, continued to keep himself abreast of affairs throughout his realms, and promulgated his currency reforms at this time. Yet 1359 was to bring another challenge for him: in the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth.

1359Edit

  • 1359, the 59th year of the fourteenth century, began with the Laurasian Empire once again residing in a state of peace and tranquility, as Emperor Antiochus had, through his short but decisive conflicts against both the Neo-Venasian Consortium and the Great Kingdom of Donathia, further extended its territorial position. Laurasia had recovered Angelica Minor and the strongholds of the Immortalized Cluster, which had been conceded back to Donathia under the terms of the Treaty of Resht in 1332. Furthermore, it had acquired Hannis and the Decapolian Provinces from the Venasians, further enhancing its position in the eastern regions. The Emperor and his wife, Empress-Consort Anna, thereby presided over New Year's festivities on Laurasia Prime with much vigor, and the Emperor touted his own accomplishments in the traditional proclamation to his subjects. But as mentioned above, another challenge emerged for the Empire: in the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth.
  • Ever since the end of the War of the Polonian Succession in 1335, the Commonwealth had lurched through crisis after crisis. King Aug'sac II, installed on the throne as effectively a Laurasian vassal, exercised little authority, and instead indulged himself in entertainments at his royal court on Polonia Major. He permitted for his nobles, in particular his Court Chancellor, the Baron von Iglenoski, to wield the most influence, and the most control over state affairs. Iglenoski, however, was himself lazy and incompetent, and he instead delegated many of the duties of governance to the Polonian Parliament. The Parliament was no longer as effective as it had been in the past, and in fact, thanks to Laurasian, Ashlgothian, and Venasian agents, was unable to get much of anything done. The free veto hampered much business; the Parliament of 1344, the most productive of the period, saw all of its legislative acts, primarily relating to finances, royal estates, and the armed forces, overturned just three years later. Under these conditions, therefore, the Commonwealth persisted.
  • In July 1357, at Frogglesworth, there had emerged a new rebel movement: the Hammers of the Golden Sword, who were led by Magnate Jerzy Pontowaki. Magnate Pontowaki (1300-59), was convinced that he, and he alone, could restore the glories the Commonwealth had once possessed, and perhaps bring it back to the strength levels it had enjoyed under Bathory in the late twelfth century. These hopes were to prove vain ones, but they were to invite foreign attention. Over the next year, he and his supporters assembled their strength at Daniel, Rupert, Doris, Watson, Sherlock, Frogglesworth, Anthony, Galich Majoria, and Galich Minor. Chancellor Iglenoski and the King, unable or unwilling to control the situation, did little to arrest Pontowaki's activities. Finally, in January 1359, Pontowaki announced the formation of the Golden Confederation, as was his right as a nobleman under the Polonian Constitution, and declared that he could no longer oblige by the dictates of the King any longer. He demanded that the Parliament be convened, and that it pass a legislative program for "the restoration of this monarchy's glory." Within a short time, he had secured control of all the strongholds mentioned above, and on February 5, seized Kaida, Dragulli, and Wronaz, posing a serious threat to the authority of the Polonian Government. Samoutiz, Chemeri, and Domanice followed by February 22. Baron Iglenoski, astounded by the outbreak of the rebellion, suffered a stroke and died on March 3, 1359.
  • He was now succeeded by the Baron de Kandacki, who assumed office on March 16. Chancellor Kandacki then persuaded the Polonian Senate, on March 26, 1359, following the rebel seizure of Wawer, Dobre, and Nowa Wies, to request the assistance of Emperor Antiochus. This request, sent on April 1, was given a prompt response by the Emperor. Antiochus declared that he was more then willing to preserve the constitution and the territorial unity of the Commonwealth's realms, and on April 17, he ordered the forces of General Nero to advance into the Galician Territories. Nero did as ordered, and on April 22, 1359, assaulted Anthony. Anthony fell quickly into Laurasian hands, followed, on May 4, by Watson. Sherlock proved a tougher nut to crack, and it did not fall until May 17. By the end of May 1359, Daniel and Wronzaz were both being besieged by Laurasian units.
  • In June 1359, the Emperor himself moved from Laurasia Prime once more, down through the Central Core, and crossed over to Anthony. He now relegated General Nero to subordinate status, and on June 8, secured a declaration of consent from the Polonian Parliament, enabling him to take all measures necessary to crush rebel dissent. He now intensified the siege efforts of Daniel. The stronghold finally broke under the Laurasian assault, and fell on June 22, 1359. Wronzaz followed on June 26, and Laurasian troops then swept to overrun Dobre, Now Wies, and Domanice (July 1359). By August 7, with Samoutiz and Galich Minor both under siege by Laurasian forces, the "Golden" Confederation was in dire straits. Magnate Pontowaki now sought to launch a counteroffensive back into Laurasian territory; his units stormed Stenbock, Natasi, and Barty in a series of surprise moves, to August 18, 1359. On September 6, however, with the assistance of the Ivorian Hetman Razumovsky, Antiochus inflicted a decisive defeat upon the Polonian nobleman in the Battle of Jahraes. Matlock and Wayne fell on September 22, and the Siege of Samoutiz finally ended on October 7, with a Laurasian victory. General Nero then led the successful Laurasian offensive against Kaida (October 9-15, 1359). On November 1, the Earl of Jadia won his own victory at Chemeri, driving rebel units from that stronghold. Doris and Frogglesworth were then recovered later that month. Finally, on December 8, 1359, Antiochus defeated and captured Pontowaki in the Battle of Volodormia. Pontowaki was now placed on a transport and trundled to Polonia Major, where he was tried by the Polonian Senate, and then executed on December 21. As 1359 ended, however, Antiochus demanded that the Parliament and King Aug'sac agree to "compensation", for his having interfered. By "compensation", Antiochus meant territorial gain.
  • On November 16, 1359, the future Emperor Tiberius II (1416-37), first ruler of the Tiberian Dynasty, was born in Rome Colony, Mumbraine. He was the eldest son of Antiochus I's famed General, Sir Tiberius Claudius Nero, 1st Baron Nero (1315-67), and his wife, Lady Livia Nero (1334-1429). General Nero was granted permission by the Emperor to retire from his duties on the front to be with his wife at Mumbraine. No one, at the time, was aware of Tiberius's imperial destiny. He would spend his first years, raised in a wealthy and prominent Laurasian noble family.

1360Edit

  • 1360, the 60th year of the fourteenth century, commenced with the Pontowaki Revolt in the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth, as it would become known to later historians, having been suppressed by the forces of the Laurasian Empire. Emperor Antiochus, who had intervened to crush this revolt on behalf of King Aug'sac II and the Polonian Parliament, was now demanding "compensation" for his efforts. On January 7, 1360, the Emperor sent a communique to Polonia Major, with a "request" that a conference be convened on Goldaria in order to resolve all outstanding "differences" between the Empire and the Commonwealth. The Polonian Parliament, understanding that they had little leverage as long as Laurasian forces continued to occupy the Galician Provinces, and recognizing the need to maintain friendly relations with the far more powerful Laurasian state, decided, after a series of discussions over the communique, to give in. On January 15, the Senate passed a motion indicating its support for the commencement of diplomatic negotiations with the Imperial Laurasian Government; the Magistrial Court seconded this motion six days later, and on January 24, the Royal Council of State was authorized to respond to the Laurasian communique. The response was in the affirmative, and Polonian Chancellor Kandacki informed the Emperor of Laurasia that negotiations could proceed.
  • It was not until February 12, 1360, before delegations from the two states convened on Goldaria. Once again, Emperor Antiochus assigned Chancellor Becketius to take charge of the negotiations; he was assisted by General Nero and by the new President of the College of Foreign Affairs, Sir Athanasius Volehynsius (1321-74). The Commonwealth, on its part, was represented by Prince Jan Sapieha of Polonia Minor, Count Karl Wronclaski of Wronkzaz, and General Lew Walecsa of Pressburg. Negotiations continued for nearly a month, before the conclusion of the Treaty of Goldaria on March 11, 1360. This treaty would be ratified by Emperor Antiochus the day after it was signed, and by the Polonian Parliament on April 2. By the terms of the treaty, the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth agreed to the concession of Daniel, Jared, Matlock, Wayne, and Volodormia to the Laurasian Empire. All other Laurasian forces in the Galician Provinces were to be withdrawn by no later then July 1, 1360; all Polonian goods, military supplies, and repositories captured by Laurasian troops were to be handed over to Polonian custody. In exchange, however, the Commonwealth agreed to remove all tariffs on Laurasian goods; to allow for Laurasian corporations and firms to conduct transit, freely, and without restraint, through the Commonwealth's territories; and most importantly of all, to recognize future Laurasian rights of intervention in Polonian affairs, as was deemed necessary by the Emperor.
  • With the conclusion of the Treaty of Goldaria, Emperor Antiochus had thereby enhanced his position in the southern Outer Core, and further limited the power of his Polonian neighbor. He then conducted, from May to August 1360, a progress through the Central Core and Horacian Provinces, displaying himself once again to his subjects and underlining the extent of his authority. Chancellor Becketius returned to Laurasia Prime, and continued to supervise government affairs while there. On September 4, 1360, with his progress complete, the Emperor proceeded to Nystadia. There he was to meet, and receive a renewed oath of allegiance from the King of Briannia, Adolp'hac I. Briannia had fallen considerably from the levels of power it had enjoyed at the beginning of the century. Adolp'hac's father, King Fre'dac, had proven to be an impotent and weak monarch following the conclusion of the Treaty of Nystadia in August 1321. He was more concerned with the luxuries of the court, indulging himself with his mistresses, then with the cares of state. Consequently, Briannian military forces, as well as the Briannian economy, had experienced a sharp decline during the course of his 31-year reign. Moreover, the internal unity of the Briannian dominions had been disrupted by the two Uprisings of the Hats (1325-27, 1334-36), which also represented a high level of dissent and dissatisfaction with the Briannian Government. In August 1334, Emperor Seleucus II had intervened in Briannian affairs; his Ambassador to the Court of Briannia, Sir Telemachus Urathon (1286-1345), had forced the Rikstag to agree to the Treaty of Alemeda, by which the Laurasian Empire became the formal suzerain of the Celestial Kingdom of Briannia and was granted the right to intervene in Briannian internal affairs, if the Laurasians deemed events in Briannia "threatening" to their own security. In 1343, during the Constantian Civil War, however, the Nationalist faction in the Rikstag had declared their independence of all commitments to the Empire, and from 1343-46, had launched a series of raiding expeditions against the Nexus Route, harrying the defenses of Caroline, Jem, Dill, Boo, and Jean.
  • In November 1346, Emperor Julianus, provoked by these expeditions, and determined to reassert Laurasian dominance over Briannian affairs, had ordered a task force under the command of Admiral Sir Galba Tethos to occupy Briannia, Nystadia, Vardar, and the Belts of Barton. King Fre'dac was forced to dissolve the rebellious Rikstag, to acknowledge the Emperor's right to maintain garrisons within his territories, and was compelled to dismantle his remaining military resources. Fre'dac became even more powerless then he was before, and hated by his subjects. His death on April 5, 1351, at the Royal Palace, had been greeted with little mourning by them. He was now succeeded to the Briannian throne by his son, Adolp'hac. His accession had to be ratified by Emperor Julianus, and all of his actions, as well as those undertaken by his Rikstag, had to be submitted to the Laurasian Ambassador for his formal consent. Briannia's economic decline accelerated; by 1359, its population had fallen to 6 billion, from the height of 23 billion at the beginning of the century. Adolp'hac, like his father, indulged himself in luxuries at the Royal Palace, but had, in June 1356, already been forced to tender another oath of obeisance, this time to Emperor Antiochus.
  • Now Antiochus sought a personal submission. On September 7, three days after the Emperor's arrival at Nystadia, Adolp'hac too, along with the Briannian Royal Court, also made his appearance. The ceremony which ensued was conducted according to a strict protocol. Adolp'hac was greeted with fewer honors then the Emperor; he approached Antiochus in a servile, submissive manner; and he had his servants kept at a distance from him. Antiochus, along with Empress Consort Anna, who had joined him for the occasion, sat enthroned. Adol'phac, once he had reached them, fell to his knees before them, and asked for Antiochus's blessings. Antiochus readily gave it, had the King of Briannia kiss his hand, and then stood. He placed his hands on the King's head, pronounced him a loyal and true vassal, and then raised him up. Adol'phac then swore his oath of allegiance, and was then presented by the Emperor to the crowds. Antiochus then graciously permitted him to sit, and had him, along with his household, participate in the entertainments. These continued for four days. Finally, on September 12, the Emperor and the King made their leave of each other, and each returned to their capital worlds.
  • Antiochus did not stay at Laurasia Prime for long, and he again departed it on October 4, conducting a tour of the Katian Provinces, Arias, and the lower Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route. In October 1360, Antiochus ordered for the establishment of a commission to investigate all disputes over ecclesiastical land, to compensate monasteries, convents, chantries, and religious houses for the losses they had suffered in recent years, and to decide on the obligations owed by Synostic officials to the Imperial Exchenquer. This commission would continue its work for the next three years. The Emperor would also order the Imperial Colleges of Manufacturing, Agriculture, Labor, Commerce, Natural Resources and Energy, and Sentient Services to conduct an extensive survey of all properties, businesses, and land claims at imperial colonies; the Colonial Survey would take over two decades to complete. The last months of 1360 were occupied primarily, therefore, by continuing governmental innovations. But on November 11, 1360, in reaction to the birth of Queen Mother Masania's fifth daughter Alania, Antiochus ordered for Grand Prince Antiochus and his future wife, the Venasian Princess Margarina, to be formally betrothed at the Old Westphalian Cathedral. This ceremony was meant to consolidate the succession. However, it inspired some consternation on Venasia Prime, and worries elsewhere about the Emperor's ambitions.

1361Edit

  • The early months of 1361, the 61st year of the fourteenth century, passed with the Laurasian Empire's dominions continuing to reside in peace. Emperor Antiochus continued to focus on his legal and financial innovations, and on January 18, he was to issue instructions to all magisterial, provincial, solar, and municipal courts in the Empire, commanding them to provide complete records of all the cases which they had decided in recent years, and to deliver this information to the Senate, in anticipation of a general reform of judicial procedures. The Emperor also conducted further tours across the Purse Region, Clancian Provinces, and Malarian Provinces; his visit to Malaria Prime, at the beginning of February 1361, was particularly notable. Then, on April 18, 1361, Chief Procurator Beccarius, who had been such a loyal ally and subordinate to the Emperor, died on Muppet, while he was undertaking a visit to St. Joseph's Cathedral in that star system. The Chief Procurator's death now left the Emperor with the task of finding a replacement for him.
  • He immediately thought of Becketius, who had recently expressed more interest in the affairs of the Almitian Church, and who had acquitted himself well. Grand Princess Constantia, however, along with the Archbishop of Christiania, Sir Gilbertius Follarania, warned him that the Chancellor was too worldly a man for such high office. For the time being, nothing more came of it, for Antiochus was now focusing his efforts on strengthening the garrisons of the Schauerian Provinces, facing the possibility of renewed war with the Neo-Venasian Consortium. At the same time, he was constructing a new imperial residence on Americana, which was to become known as the Palace of the Greats. In July 1361, however, a uprising broke out at Hammenor, Bristalai, Mumbraine, Ewell, and Robinson, as the inhabitants of those star systems protested against the taxation policies of imperial authorities. Antiochus moved swiftly to suppress these troubles, destroying a rebel fleet at Castilla (July 29-August 5, 1361). On August 18, the Emperor secured another victory at Atchinson, annihilating another rebel force. By the end of August, the Nexus Rebellion had been suppressed; the chief instigator of it, the Millian Bardos-Yardos, was captured by Laurasian forces, trundled to the Cron Drift, and after a quick conviction by the Senate, executed on September 6.
  • In the meantime, Empress-Consort Anna had been pregnant again, and on September 11, 1361, at the Station of Dosch, she gave birth to her second daughter, who was named Eleanora in honor of her grandmother (1361-1414). The Emperor hastened to the Station of Dosch to comfort his wife and to see his new daughter. Three years had passed since the birth of their last child; the imperial couple had decided to take a break from the burdens of childbearing and rearing in that time. Nevertheless, Eleanora's birth was greeted with much celebration and joy throughout the Empire. Later that month, the Emperor entrusted Chancellor Becketius with responsibility for the education of Grand Prince Antiochus. Antiochus was now, at the age of four, given a formal tutor: the scholar Sir Catullus Lucar (1317-94), whose History of the Core-Robertian Wars (1375), was to be a masterpiece of scholarship. Antiochus and Anna then spent Ascentmas 1361 at Evelyn in the Central Core.

1363Edit

  • 1362 passed with only one major event of note taking place: the final installation of Thomasius Becketius as Chief Procurator of the Holy Synod. On January 7, 1362, the Imperial Court moved from Evelyn to Arias, and then conducted a tour through Meaganian, Capital, Fitzsimmons, the Station of Dosch, Tarentum, Katie, Vetta, and Taurasia. While on this tour, the Emperor settled his mind, deciding that he did want Becketius as his new Chief Procurator. Becketius was a loyal friend to him, and would, in his opinion, help him continue the reform of the Almitian Church, which had been instigated by Seleucus the Victor more then sixty years earlier. With Becketius in place as Chief Procurator, the process would be made much easier. On February 9, 1362, while at Vetta, the Emperor ordered Becketius to bring Grand Prince Antiochus to him, and to have the Grand Prince receive formal oaths of allegiance from magnates at the Imperial Court. While this ceremony was ongoing, Antiochus took Becketius aside, and informed him of his opinion to make him Chief Procurator.
  • Becketius was horrified by this. He was aware of the Emperor's intentions towards the Church, and he was not fully supportive of them. He did not wish to defy the autocratic authority, but felt that a ecclesiastical position would require for him to defend the interests of Almitis. He was also aware that his enemies would use his position as a means to drive a wedge between himself and the Emperor. He therefore begged His Majesty to reconsider, and pointed out that he himself was no priest, having no intimate knowledge of the central ceremonies of the Church. Antiochus ignored these protests; once he had resolved on something, little could be done to dissuade him. In May 1362, in the presence of the Emperor, the Senate, and the Synod, Becketius was formally named Chief Procurator of the Holy Synod. He was ordained a priest on June 2, and was then formally installed as Chief Procurator in a ceremony at the Old Westphalian Cathedral. He now resigned his position as Chancellor, in order to focus on his ecclesiastical duties; he was replaced by Sir Gregory Ridellia.
  • Becketius became a changed man during the ceremony. Tears streamed down his face as he was ordained Chief Procurator. It seemed that, overnight, the proud and worldly courtier had become an ascetic priest committed to the service of Almitis. Becketius now declared himself to be "shepherd of souls" and the Imperial State's enforcer within the spiritual realm. Becketius now threw himself wholeheartedly into his new role. He now wore a monk's habit, declaring that it was to remind him of the "weakness of the flesh". Archbishop Follarania of Christiania was skeptical, and would become one of Becketius's greatest enemies on the Holy Synod. During the latter half of 1362, however, the Emperor continued to remain satisfied with his choice, and he conducted further tours through the Murphian, Horacian, and Northern Crimeanian Provinces. Then on January 25, 1363, he and the Imperial Court arrived back at Laurasia Prime once more.
  • When the Emperor and Empress made their appearance, they were cheered by the assembled crowds in the star system, and as was custom, greeted at the Quencilvanian Palace by a delegation of nobles, clergy, and officials, headed by Chief Procurator Becketius. Becketius brought Grand Prince Antiochus forward to the Emperor, and all cried their wishes for a stable succession. Antiochus focused his efforts once more upon legal reform, and upon various construction projects throughout his Empire. He also focused on the establishment of new colonies, garrisons, and outposts in the Malarian and Angelican Provinces, sponsoring the colonization of more then 25,000 star systems between January 1363 and May 1366. In March 1363, however, the Emperor was forced to move hastily to the Kimanian Trade Run, crushing uprisings on Sanegeta, Hooper, Drennan, Eutagia, Chapelle, and Nathaniel. Then in May, he met Ivorian Hetman Razumovsky at Maschinga, and received another oath of allegiance from him. By this time, however, Antiochus was contemplating the complete abolition of the Ivorian Hetmanate, and its incorporation into the Laurasian Empire. This was to be seen in the following year.
  • The Emperor now turned his attention to a legal paradox concerning the clergy; their right to be tried in ecclesiastical courts, which had been upheld ever since the days of Arasces the Founder himself. For the past nine centuries, anyone who was in holy orders, even the lowliest clerk or deacon in the hierarchy, had been able to claim the benefit of clergy and be tried in these ecclesiastical courts. The courts had been deprived of much of their earlier authority under Seleucus I, and they were not allowed to punish offenders by the shedding of blood, imposing only the lightest penalties. This system was, in the Emperor's view, scandalous, unfair, and intolerable, and he was determined to ensure that all offenders, no matter their status or rank, were tried in a uniform manner in the imperial courts. The first sign of trouble surrounding this issue, and which was to poison Antiochus's relationship with Becketius, emerged at a clerical council which was held at the Cron Drift (July 1, 1363). Becketius complained about the Emperor's seizure of certain estates at Patty, Colsonia, Archleuta, and Uber-Commerce from the Health Boards of St. Jude's. Three months later, at the Diplomatic Palace in Christiania, the Emperor issued a proclamation commanding for all clerks, deacons, and reverends who had been convicted of crimes during the past three years to be dismissed from their positions, and ordered that all such cases be investigated by the Senate, so that he could decide whether or not to take further action.
  • Becketius opposed this. Himself aware of abuses in the Church, he had nevertheless hoped that Antiochus would allow for the Synod to take the initiative in correcting them. Consequently, he was able to secure the support of a number of councilors, metropolitans, and archbishops, and on October 7, they submitted a communique to the Emperor, asking for him not to pursue these policies. Antiochus was angered at this, and on October 14, in an act of petty vindictiveness, he confiscated Becketius's estates in the Decapolian Provinces, which had been awarded to him in 1359. The rift between the Emperor and the Chief Procurator had begun. When the Emperor's brother, Grand Prince Willanius, died on October 31, 1363, Antiochus ordered his interment at Melarnaria. Becketius protested this, asking that all princes of the imperial line be interred at the Imperial Mausoleum, as had previously been the custom; he was ignored. Becketius then defied the Emperor by ensuring that all clerks who committed criminal offenses while in Church service not be brought before the Synod or the ecclesiastical circuit courts, actions which enraged Antiochus. By December 1363, Becketius was forced to back down, and the Emperor had all currently ongoing investigations of clerical cases transferred to the Magistracy Court of Criminal Appeals on Laurasia Prime.
  • In the meantime, on Polonia Major, Aug'sac II died (October 17, 1363). The death of the King-Emperor of Polonia-Donguaria, greeted with little mourning by his subjects, nevertheless attracted attention from the Imperial Laurasian Government. Emperor Antiochus, who remained determined to maintain Laurasian supremacy over the Commonwealth and its affairs, ordered his agents on Polonia Major to bribe and cajol members of the Parliament, and to support the claims of the Polonian Prince Stanislaw to the Commonwealth's throne. These developments would continue into 1364.

1364Edit

  • 1364, the 64th year of the fourteenth century, commenced with there being an escalating conflict between Emperor Antiochus and his Chief Procurator, Thomasius Becketius. The Emperor now sought to have Becketius formally submit to imperial authority in public, and to fully assert his own views in regards to the Almitian Church and its ecclesiastical judicial system. On January 25, 1364, the Emperor summoned the Synod and the Conference of Almitian Prelates to the Quencilvanian Palace. There, in the Assemblage Auditorium, he announced the promulgation of the Constitutions of Christiania, a set of sixteen laws, which, Antiochus claimed, enshrined the customs of his predecessors, particularly Seleucus I. The Constitutions dictated that all clerks, deacons, reverends, deans, priests, and other officials who committed felonies while in Church service (i.e. murder, conspiracy, robbery, rape), were to be tried only in the Imperial Courts; all misdemeanors would continue to be tried in ecclesiastical courts, but imperial officials would supervise the proceedings and would have the right to translate the cases directly to the Senate if necessary. All investigations were to be conducted solely on the Emperor's authorization, and the Synod was not to audit ecclesiastical properties, nor fine or otherwise punish clergymen for transgressions of Church law, without obtaining the Senate's approval.
  • Becketius protested, but he was overruled, and the Emperor had all members of the Synod, along with all of the prelates in attendance, affix their signatures to a declaration supporting the provisions enshrined in the Constitutions. Becketius, who was heartbroken over all of this, attempted twice in the following months to flee from Laurasia Prime, but was prevented by the municipal authorities and by the Praetorian Guards from doing so; in May 1364, in fact, Antiochus had him placed under house arrest in Colombia, and even contemplated depriving him of the Chief Procuratorate at this time. Nevertheless, lingering feelings of kindness for Becketius, and hopes that he would turn his behavior around, restrained him for the time being. While the Synod was overseeing the enforcement of the Constitutions, the Emperor turned his attention to imperial expansion in two theaters: in Briannia and in Ivoria.
  • Briannia was his first target. In January 1364, the reorganized Imperial Secret Service, soon to be renamed the Imperial Intelligence Agency, informed Antiochus about stirrings of nationalist dissent, by Briannians, at Gdov and Vardar. Antiochus was also alarmed by reports that Solidaritan Sultan Ibrahim II, who had succeeded his father Darim I to the throne in December 1354, was contemplating intervention, in order to impose the Sultanate's own authority over the Briannian realms. All of this, consequently, convinced the Emperor of Laurasia that unless action were taken now, then the situation would develop badly for the Empire. Thus, on February 22, 1364, the Emperor ordered the occupation of all remaining Briannian territories by imperial forces and issued a decree deposing King Adolp'hac from his throne. Legate-General Nero, who continued to enjoy the Emperor's utmost confidence, himself commanded the military operations; within four days, Nystadia, Alemeda, Gdov, Vardar, and the Belts of Barton had all been occupied by the Empire. Briannia itself followed on March 7, 1364; King Adolp'hac, seeing the writing on the wall, posed no resistance, lowered the shields, and ordered the garrison and authorities of his capital world to surrender peacefully to the Laurasian General. Adolp'hac and the Briannian Rikstag, the following day, were compelled by General Nero to sign a formal declaration of abdication and dissolution. The Celestial Kingdom of Briannia was thereby formally abolished and annexed into the Laurasian Empire, 204 years after the death of Gu'starai I, 46 years after the death of Char'lac IX, and 43 years after the end of the Great Briannian War. Adolp'hac himself was allowed to retire to Charasia; he would die there on February 12, 1371, aged 60.
  • Antiochus then turned to Ivoria. The Ivorian Hetmanate, by 1364, was simmering with increasing dissent against the Laurasian Empire. Hetman Razumovsky, although he continued to profess his loyalty to the Emperor of Laurasia, nevertheless engaged in conspiracies of his own, seeking to extend his power. He constructed, from 1352 to 1359, a Headquarters at Alladoria. This "headquarters" was in reality a major military fortification, where he stockpiled supplies, military equipment, and starships for future use in a possible rebellion against the Imperial Laurasian Government. Razumovsky placed one of his subordinates, Petro Kalnyshevnsky (1290-1403), who had served under Hetman Mazeppa during his rebellion against Seleucus I, in charge of the Headquarters of Ivoria, as it became known. He also maintained contacts with Venasian Queen Mother Masania and with Solidaritan Sultan Ibrahim. In April 1364, Emperor Antiochus learned of these contacts, and decided that no longer could he tolerate the Hetmanate's continuing existence. On August 7, 1364, therefore, the Emperor ordered for the occupation of Ivoria, Satisba, Sthanon, Maschinga, Burderia, and Dasinae by Laurasian forces, and for the Hetman to be compelled to abdicate.
  • General Nero also commanded these operations, but faced some Ivorian resistance. Most Ivorians, however, were not desirous of a long and exhaustive war, and many in fact, did not approve of the Hetman personally. Thus, on September 19, 1364, Ivoria was occupied by the forces of the Laurasian Empire, and Hetman Razumovsky himself was forced to surrender to Nero's troops. Nero then compelled him to sign a declaration of abdication, and on September 27, 1364, Emperor Antiochus announced the formal abolition of the Ivorian Hetmanate, and the incorporation of its territories directly into the administrative system of the Laurasian Empire. On October 7, General Kalynshevnsky met Nero at Esther, and pledged an oath of allegiance to Emperor Antiochus. In exchange, the Emperor allowed for Kalynshevnsky to remain in command of his Headquarters, provided he allowed for his units to be employed in Laurasian campaigns, and to enforce Laurasian laws among the inhabitants. He agreed to these terms. The Headquarters of Ivoria were to persist until 1375.
  • On October 17, 1364, Emperor Antiochus had Becketius arraigned for contempt of court in Christiania, and also called him to account for the disposition of funds, relating to the Imperial Estates, for which he had been responsible for as Chancellor. Becketius realized now that the Emperor was out for his head, and decided that it was absolutely necessary to escape. Bribing some of his guards, the Chief Procurator, on October 22, was able to disguise himself as a common navigator, slip out of the Diplomatic Palace, and flee on a small fighter from Laurasia Prime. He proceeded quickly up the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route, crossed over to the Nexus Route at the minor colony of Henshalay, and from there made his way into the Venasian Consortium. When the Emperor learned of Becketius's departure, he was outraged, and he took final action. On November 4, 1364, he proclaimed Becketius a traitor, formally dismissed him from the Chief Procuratorate of the Holy Synod, and ordered that any who supported Becketius, or spoke out for him, was liable to fines, confiscation of property, and imprisonment. Becketius, on his part, made his way to Venasia Prime, and was received by Queen Mother Masania, who saw in him a means of striking back against Laurasia. Masania had been engaged in a extensive process of rearmament and military expansion during the last several years, and felt confident that she could fight Antiochus on more equal terms. Antiochus, who was outraged at this, sent a communique to Masania, demanding on December 24, that she turn Becketius over to him. She refused, and insisted that the Chief Procurator enjoyed diplomatic immunity. 1364 therefore ended with all in doubt.

1365Edit

  • 1365, the 65th year of the fourteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire on the brink of war with the Neo-Venasian Consortium, concerning the matter of former Chief Procurator Thomasius Becketius, who had taken refuge with Venasian Queen Mother Masania V. On January 5, 1365, Emperor Antiochus issued instructions to the Imperial General Headquarters, commanding for them to make preparations for the instigation of renewed offensives into Venasian territory. Five days later, the Emperor himself moved to Hordania, and he took further steps to strengthen the garrisons of all the chief strongholds in the Schauerian Provinces. Then on January 19, the Emperor ordered for the arrest and banishment of all of Becketius's relatives, associates, and servants, from Laurasia Prime to Windowia Photis, Jenny, Chloe, and Terell in the Malarian Provinces. On his orders, they were condemned for their association with the former Chief Procurator; deprived of all their titles, honors, and properties; and condemned to hard labor at the systems to which they were exiled. Antiochus also ordered the Synod to impose a sentence of anathema upon Becketius, and all of his honors were ceremonially removed from the Quencilvanian Palace. The Emperor's petty revenge did inspire consternation among many of his subjects, who believed that the man himself, and not his family, should have been the target of ultimate punishment.
  • In February 1365, Emperor Antiochus issued a final ultimatum to Queen Mother Masania, demanding for Becketius's release and for the Venasian concession of Organia, Colla, and Ka to his authority. The Queen Mother did not respond to this ultimatum, and denounced its provisions. Consequently, on February 27, 1365, a declaration of war was issued by the Emperor of Laurasia. Antiochus, however, soon discovered that he was to be confronted with a fight on more then one front. Two days following the declaration of war, the Donguarian Prince Hajanik Sobieski, from his headquarters on Bordilla, announced the formation of the Grand Confederation, and his intention to overthrow all forms of Laurasian dominance over the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth. Sobieski was funded by, and received considerable mercenary assistance from, the Queen Mother of Venasia. And within a short period of time, he made considerable gains. His forces besieged and conquered Jared (March 1-3); Daniel (March 6); Wayne (March 12); Volodormia (March 17); and Ergeme (March 22), thereby penetrating across the border into the Central Core. Jared, Denver, and New Nosauria were then overrun by the end of March 1365. In the meantime, Venasian units under Genraless Tenal Ka, once again taking command on behalf of the Queen Mother, stormed Millia-in-the Core (March 2-14), won the Battle of Uber-Commerce (March 25), and on April 4, 1365, defeated the Earl of Jadia in the Battle of Agac.
  • Emperor Antiochus himself now vigorously reorganized military commands, and shifted his resources accordingly. He resolved to take command of the offensives into Venasian territory, hoping to correct the "insult" inflicted on him by the Queen Mother. At the same time, he entrusted Legate-General Nero with responsibility for intervening in the Commonwealth, and defeating the Grand Confederation. Nero, who had already established his command headquarters on Natasi, wasted no time in carrying out his orders. He defeated a confederate force at Micenta (April 7-14, 1365), and on April 22, drove off confederate units from Storgath, Esther, and Jahares. He then recovered Ergeme (May 1, 1365), and from thence to Volodormia, besieging the stronghold. Volodormia was recovered by Laurasian units on May 8. On May 17, he sent detachments to Polonia Major, Wronzaz, and Lublin; the Polonian Parliament, compelled thus, was forced to issue a declaration on May 22, 1365, denouncing the Grand Confederation and announcing full support for Laurasian campaigns against them. By the end of May 1365, Doris had been captured by Laurasian troops, while Watson and Wayne were both under siege.
  • In the Schauerian Provinces, Harper, Lee, and Finch fell into Venasian hands (April 1365), and Antiochus suffered a reverse at Ewell (May 4-9, 1365). Generaless Tenel Ka even sacked the Belts of Barton, sent a harrying expedition against Manil and Arias, and threatened the defenses of Shiloh, Colsonia, and Calpurnia for some weeks. But by the beginning of June, momentum had ran out for her, and on June 18, 1365, the Emperor defeated her in the Battle of Steneborg. He then recovered Millia-in-the Core, Lee, and Finch, and then won, on July 13, a rematch at Ewell. By this point also, Watson and Wayne had fallen to General Nero, and on July 22, Laurasian forces scored victories in two different theaters. Antiochus defeated Generaless Tenel Ka in the Battle of Ulter-Commerce, while Nero won a smashing victory at Frogglesworth. Both strongholds fell into Laurasian hands, and on August 3, 1365, the Emperor recovered Harper.
  • Chancellor Ridellia, on his part, supervised the suppression of revolts in the Constantine Cluster in August 1365, and also dispatched an expeditionary force to Shannon, Dennis, and Rastaborn, thereby warning the Solidaritans against launching any assaults. These actions aided Emperor Antiochus immensely, and he grew more confident in his Chancellor's abilities. On August 16, Antiochus recovered Agac and drove into the outskirts of Ka, inflicting a serious defeat upon Venasian forces there. He then repelled a Venasian offensive against Hannis, and then moved to secure Ruttum; it fell on September 8. In the Polonian Commonwealth, Sobieski lost the Battle of Daniel (August 21-September 4, 1365), and on September 24, Sherlock fell to General Nero. Nero then besieged Anthony, which would eventually fall on November 1, 1365. On October 7, 1365, in the midst of all this, Empress-Consort Anna gave birth to her seventh child, Julia (1365-99), on Metallasia. Emperor Antiochus ordered his subjects at Laurasia Prime to celebrate the birth, but continued to remain engaged in campaigns to his east. During October 1365, he stormed Phelope, Monderon, and Lynne, thereby further humiliating his Venasian enemies. On November 7, however, an offensive against Maxiliana ended in failure, and Ka had to be abandoned on November 17. On December 3, 1365, Tenel Ka won the Battle of Organia, thereby recovering that stronghold for her mistress. However, on December 9, 1365, with Laurasian forces having overrun Draguilli, Wronzaz, and Cossack, Prince Sobieski died suddenly at Donguaria Secunda, which his forces were besieging. The Grand Confederation, deprived of its leader, now began to weaken.

1366Edit

  • 1366, the 66th year of the fourteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire holding the definite edge in the Third Laurasian-Venasian War. Emperor Antiochus had succeeded in maintaining his Empire's position in both the Schauerian Provinces and in the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth, although ex-Chief Procurator Becketius remained beyond his grasp, at the Venasian Court. Nevertheless, the early months of 1366 saw the termination of the threat posed by the Grand Confederation in the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth against the Laurasian Empire, and the culmination of the Emperor's reforms to the Almitian Church. On January 7, 1366, the Emperor, who was then renewing his offensive against Maxiliana, issued a reconfirmation of the Constitutions of Christiania, laying an injunction against any clergyman or other official who attempted to dispute its provisions. Then on January 15, the Emperor did launch his offensive against Maxiliana. The ensuing Siege of Maxiliana lasted for the better part of the month, and finally ended with victory for the Laurasian Empire (February 1, 1366). Two days later, Antiochus defeated Generaless Tenel Ka again, in the Battle of Hapes. Not only was she defeated, however, losing nearly two-thirds of her warriors and clawfighters, she was captured by the Emperor's troops. Antiochus, respecting her skill and her abilities in battle, ordered for he to be treated honorably, and taken to confinement at the Secret Prison of Ipsus V, which had been constructed under Seleucus II.
  • Then on February 14, the remaining magnates of the Grand Confederation, led by Polonian Prince Stanislaw Worzynski, requested a conference with General Nero. Nero agreed to their request, and they met at Jotapata (February 22-25, 1366). Ultimately, they agreed to the Pact of Jotapata, by which the Grand Confederation agreed to lay down its arms, to acknowledge the renewed authority of King Stanislaw and the Polonian Parliament, and to support Laurasian territorial acquisitions in the Galician Provinces, as compensation for the Empire's "efforts". Nero, in conjunction with Polonian officials, then supervised the disarming of all rebel forces, and the restoration of those strongholds to their earlier allegiance, during March and April 1366. On March 19, the Emperor, leaving the Earl of Jadia in charge of maintaining Maxiliana, Hannis, and Lynne against Venasian counteroffensives, made his way to Schaueria Prime. There, he reunited with his wife, Empress Consort Anna, who brought with her Grand Princess Julia. It was at that time that Anna, who was now forty-four, conceived their last child.
  • In May 1366, Emperor Antiochus fell violently ill while at Shiloh; he was then placed on a transport and taken to medical treatment at the Academic Hospital of the University of Archleuta, one of the most renowned medical institutions in the Empire. While the Emperor remained in that condition, other events were proceeding. On April 17, General Nero, with permission from the College of Foreign Affairs, had proceeded to Polonia Major, and compelled King Stanislaw to call the Parliament into session. Parliament reassembled on May 5, and on May 12, 1366, the Senate passed a motion supporting the territorial claims of the Empire in the Galician Provinces. The Magisterial Court backed this motion on May 17, and on May 24, King Stanislaw was authorized to begin negotiations. A conference opened at Gisala on May 29, 1366, and continued until June 8, with the signing of the Treaty of Gisala. This treaty, ratified by June 14, resulted in the concession of Frogglesworth, Rawling, Doris, Anthony, Watson, Sherlock, and Rupert to the Laurasian Empire, thereby widening its territorial base in the southern Outer Core. Laurasian abilities to garrison troops in Polonian territory, and to intervene in Polonian affairs, were increased; and the Commonwealth agreed never to harbor, or to support the claims of, the "fiend, exile, and rebel Thomasius Becketius."
  • Following the ratification of this treaty, Emperor Antiochus finally emerged from his delirium, and prepared for the resumption of military campaigns against the Venasians. He was especially provoked when on July 7, at the Venasian colony of Odentae in the Venasian Cluster, Becketius pronounced his ill-will against all who had signed the Constitutions of Christiania, and declared that the wrath of the Anti-Almitis would descend upon the Laurasian dominions. By this point, however, the health of Queen Mother Masania had entered a severe decline, and from July 11, she was forced to take refuge in the Royal Residence. She lingered there in agony for more then a month, until finally dying on August 23, 1366, aged 50. She was now succeeded by her daughter, who became Kendura II. Kendura II recognized the need of the Consortium to return to a state of peace, and on September 14, she extended an armistice request to Antiochus. Antiochus, faced with new civil tensions in the Clancian Provinces, decided to accept. On October 7, 1366, the Truce of Aberdeen was signed.
  • Negotiations then opened at Sarah, leading to the conclusion of the Treaty of Sarah (November 4, 1366). By the terms of this treaty, Laurasian acquisitions from the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth were recognized by the Queen Mother. All prisoners of war were to be exchanged, no side was to pay financial compensation to the other, and the status quo ante bellum was to prevail between Laurasia and Venasia. Becketius was to be handed over to the Emperor's custody. However, before this transfer could take place, he managed to slip from Venasia Prime without a trace (November 22, 1366). Antiochus became enraged by this, but was not willing to instigate renewed war with the Consortium at this point. He instead shifted his focus to internal matters, and made a victorious procession to Laurasia Prime, on December 1, 1366. The Emperor ordered for extensive celebrations to be held to mark the end of the war, and on December 7, he promulgated the Edict of Constantinople, formalizing the reorganization of the Magisterial Court of Criminal Appeals. It now assumed greater jurisdiction over criminal cases involving clergy, members of the imperial household, and foreign subjects in the Empire's territory. Then on December 23, 1366, at the Old Royal Palace, Empress Consort Anna gave birth to her eighth and last child, a son, who was named Demetrius, in honor of the saint on whose feast day he was born. He was destined to become Demetrius the Fat (r. 1399-1416), last monarch of the Leonidian Dynasty.
  • On December 9, 1366, Solidaritan Sultan Ibrahim II died on Istantius. He was succeeded by his son, who became Suleiman III. Suleiman was imbued with a passionate hatred of the Laurasian Empire and for its monarch, Emperor Antiochus. This hatred would become evident in the following years.

1367Edit

  • 1367, the 67th year of the fourteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire once again restored to both internal and external peace, with the conclusion of the Third Venasian War. Emperor Antiochus had further enhanced his reputation with his subjects, who were now comparing him to his great-grandfather, the great Seleucus himself, and were hailing him for his continued territorial expansions of the Empire. The Emperor spent the early months of 1367 at Laurasia Prime, continuing to preside over the affairs of his government, and seeking from the Imperial Intelligence Agency answers about the whereabouts of Becketius. They were unable to come up with any information as to where the ex-Chief Procurator had gone. Yet these months were not all occupied with the tasks of administration, and of presiding over the Imperial Court. The Emperor also indulged in a passionate affair with Lady Salonina Matidia (1350-76). Lady Matidia was the daughter of Sir Athanasius Matidia, 1st Baron Matidia of Metallasia (1313-90) and his wife, Terentia (1325-86). Lord Matidia, who had served in the Imperial Laurasian Army since 1334, and been involved in the Constantian Civil War, the Second and Third Venasian Wars, and the annexation of Briannia (1364), was one of the most respected courtiers in the Empire. The Emperor had conferred estates upon him at Metallasia, Metallina, Nicator, and the Cron Drift, and had made him Baron in 1365. Salonina, on her part, had become a lady-in-waiting to Empress Consort Anna in March 1366, before she was transferred to the Emperor's service four months later. It was how she attracted his attention.
  • The Empress herself had departed to Darcia on January 7, 1367, and this allowed for Antiochus to indulge his secret passion for his mistress. He was not the first Laurasian sovereign to have mistresses, and he would not be the last: the examples of Caligula, Antiochus III, and Antiochus IV in the following century would be especially notable. In April 1367, the Emperor, with his mistress in tow, dedicated the Column of Antiochus in Christiania, meant to commemorate his victories against Venasia, Donathia, and in the Central Core. Shortly afterwards, he was forced to suppress a uprising at Chesrone, Chesham's Star, and Mylae by Sir Willanius Tallafania, a distant relation of the Empress Consort; Tallafania would be executed at the High Tower of Christiania on May 4, 1367. At the same time, Antiochus was engaged in marriage negotiations for his daughter Messalina; in July 1367, she was formally betrothed to the Polonian Lord Otherius Sazonci of Galich Majoria (1348-95), who was converted to Almitism under the name of Oedipus, and made a baron in the nobility of the Empire. This marriage was meant to further secure Laurasian influence in the Commonwealth.
  • Then on August 18, Emperor Antiochus met Queen Mother Kendura at Ipsus V, where the two monarchs held a conference and discussed amicably about trade, diplomatic, and court affairs. Following this conference, in which Antiochus secured her assurance that a vigorous search would be conducted for Becketius in her dominions, he proceeded to Sanegeta. Once there, he presided over the dedication of the new Hypergate of Shishak's Point (August 28, 1367), which had been under construction since June 1366. Soon afterwards, the Emperor received word that his mother, Grand Princess Constantia, who had now retired to the Monastery of Windowia Photis, was deathly ill. He now hastened to the Central Core to see her, but on September 10, 1367, she died before he could reach her. Antiochus proclaimed a period of mourning for her, and on his command, she was buried at the Cathedral of St. Paul's on Melarnaria, next to his two brothers, Gregory and Willanius. The Emperor then conducted another progress through the Central Core, being now joined by his wife, and on December 4, 1367, they retired to Marshia. There, they held court for the Ascentmas season.

1368Edit

  • 1368, the 68th year of the fourteenth century, saw the Emperor confronting another rebellion: this time along the upper Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route. In January 1368, the Emperor and the Imperial Court returned to Laurasia Prime from their stay at Marshia. By now, the relationship between Antiochus and Anna was beginning to undergo serious strains. Anna had become aware of Antiochus's affair with Lady Matidia, and was very much upset by it. Antiochus, on his part, was growing increasingly irritated of his wife's independent nature, and the domineering way in which she handled the affairs of the Imperial Household. Consequently, both imperial partners, who nevertheless retained a bond of concern for eachother, due primarily to their children, decided to separate for the time being, each to their own household. But before this plan could be carried out, a rising occurred on Durglais, which then spread to the surrounding star systems.
  • On February 17, 1368, Jerome Lusarangia, 1st Earl of Durglais, announced that he was now in rebellion against the Emperor of Laurasia. The Earl of Durglais had become increasingly angered by the intrusiveness of the imperial authorities in his star system; believed that he had not received just reward from His Majesty; and fancied ideas of occupying the imperial throne himself. From July 1367, he had been gathering his supporters and inciting dissent on Durglais, Katherine, and other worlds along the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route. The Imperial Intelligence Agency had been aware of his activities, and had reported them to the Emperor, but he, consumed by his affair with Lady Matidia and by the business of administration, had not paid sufficient attention to their warnings. The Earl's rebellion, therefore, caught the Emperor off guard.
  • By March 11, the Earl's forces had seized control of Blackria, Nezbit, Elizabeth, Katherine, Chancia, and Rebecca, in addition to Durglais, and thereby posing a direct threat to the authority of the Imperial Laurasian Government. Antiochus himself now departed from Laurasia Prime (March 19, 1368), and took command of the operations against the rebel forces. The Emperor now pursued a methodical and ruthless policy of suppression. He halted a rebel move against Mariana Prime (March 25-29, 1368), secured a decisive victory at McBride (April 5), and on April 19, 1368, defeated Lusarangia in the Battle of Molodi, site of that famous battle where General Parlae had decisively defeated the Solidaritan Sultan Mulak-Shah two hundred years earlier. Soon afterwards, Chancia and Rebecca, whose inhabitants had never fully agreed with the Earl's goals, returned to their allegiance to the Emperor. On May 18, Katherine also capitulated, and on June 4, Antiochus defeated Lusarangia again in the Battle of Patsy. By June 19, the rebellion had been crushed, and the Earl himself was captured by the Emperor's troops.
  • Antiochus now ordered for the Earl to be bound in chains and imprisoned at the Cron Drift. He had all rebel officers and personnel tried and either executed, imprisoned, or condemned to penal labor in the Malarian Provinces. He pursued a vigorous policy of retribution, confiscating all of the Lusarangia estates, imposing martial law in the affected star systems, and suspending all public assemblies. He also ordered the Imperial College of Culture and Communications to impose a strict surveillance on all correspondence shared at the Imperial Court, and among the imperial nobility. All of these measures served, thereby to maintain the Emperor's authority. It was also at this time that a figure who was to become prominent later entered the imperial service. On July 12, 1368, Empress Consort Anna and her entourage were traveling back to Laurasia Prime where, near the colony of Osathia, they came under attack from a Angelican pirate fleet, led by the "High General" Neasrios. It seemed as if they were at a disadvantage, but thanks to the efforts of a young gentleman, Sir Willanius Marshallia, who served on the Empress's flagship, IMS Tesmania, the attack was repelled. Marshallia himself was gravely wounded, and had to undergo surgery. When he was out of it, he was presented to the Empress, who thanked him for his service and earmarked him for promotion.
  • The Empress, with Antiochus's permission, made Marshallia a servant and page for Grand Prince Antiochus; the two soon became good friends. This was the same man whose service was to extend all the way to the reign of Tiberius II, and was to become one of the Empire's most respected military commanders. Now, in August 1368, the Emperor held another conference with Queen Mother Kendura at Bolgrahay. From there, he proceeded to meet with Solidaritan Grand Vizier Al-Gashim, who too promised that his government would search for the fugitive Chief Procurator Becketius. And then, on September 19, the Emperor returned to Laurasia Prime again. It was at this time that he and his wife, Empress Consort Anna, marked their formal separation. Anna now, with Antiochus's permission, went to Constancia, establishing her own household there. Anna brought with her, Grand Prince Antiochus, with whom she had a special affection, and would raise him during the succeeding years. Antiochus, on his part, glad that his wife was away, resumed his affair with Lady Matidia, and continued with the business of government. He attended sessions of the Senate and Synod on a routine basis, dealt with his ministers and the Council of Civil Service, and issued orders, decrees, and edicts as before. He also presided, on Ascentmas 1368, over the festivities at the Imperial Court.

1369Edit

  • 1369, the 69th year of the fourteenth century, commenced with Emperor Antiochus still residing on Laurasia Prime, presiding over the affairs of the Imperial Laurasian Court and continuing to pursue his legal and other innovations. Yet the Emperor did not remain entrenched on his capital world for much longer. On January 7, 1369, ex-Chief Procurator Becketius finally made his reappearance at Venasia Prime, indicating his willingness to seek a reconciliation with Emperor Antiochus. Queen Mother Kendura, keeping in mind the previous treaty arrangements reached with the Laurasian Empire concerning Becketius, ordered for him to be kept confined in the Prison Quarters of the Fountain Palace, which had long been used as a confinement ward for prominent prisoners of state in the Consortium. And she sent a communique to the Emperor of Laurasia, proposing for another conference between the two monarchs in order to arrange Becketius's transfer back to the Empire, as well as other matters.
  • Antiochus, when he received word that Becketius was being held by the Venasian Queen Mother, was overjoyed. He issued a proclamation to his subjects, declaring that the Empire's dominions had been "relieved of all trouble", and that he would soon be making clear that no one could escape his reach. The Emperor consented to the Queen Mother's offer for an additional conference. On January 22, moreover, he proposed that the Queen Mother's younger sister, Alania, be betrothed to his son, Grand Prince Antiochus, hoping thereby to build further ties between the two states. Kendura agreed to this. Finally, on February 4, 1369, the Emperor made his departure from Laurasia Prime, and proceeded to Reese, where the two monarchs had agreed to meet. The Conference of Reese commenced four days later, with the Emperor and the Queen Mother embracing each other in a cordial manner, exchanging gifts, and expressing their mutual regard. Soon afterwards, Becketius, who was in chains, was brought out.
  • The former Chief Procurator seemed at first repentant, prostrating himself before the Emperor and asking for mercy. He ruined it all, however, by offering to submit to the Emperor's pleasure in all things "saving the honor of Almitis", and by declaring defiantly that it did not become a priest to submit to the will of a layman. Antiochus erupted in fury and abuse, and he ordered Becketius removed from his sight. On February 17, he would be trundled to the Secret Prison of Ipsus V, and would be kept in confinement there for the remainder of the year. Antiochus and Kendura then returned to their negotiations, and on March 4, 1369, agreed to the Treaty of Reese. By the terms of this treaty, all prior agreements between the two governments were again affirmed. Most importantly of all, Grand Prince Antiochus and Princess Alania were now formally betrothed to each other. Alania was to be formally handed over into the Emperor's wardship. The Treaty, ratified by both monarchs on the day that it was concluded, served to maintain peace between the Empire and the Consortium for the time being. The two monarchs then made their leave on March 15, 1369, returning to their respective courts. The Emperor then conducted another tour through the Schauerian Provinces, and in August, he reached Arias. Antiochus then contemplated Becketius's release from prison, and even restoring him to his old position as Chief Procurator, believing that this generosity would induce the man to be more amenable to him. These plans, however, came to nothing. The Emperor then moved back to his capital world in October 1369, and finished out the year there.

1370Edit

  • As 1370 commenced, Emperor Antiochus was determined to formally proclaim and crown his eldest son, Grand Prince Decabulus, as his heir. This was not unheard of in Laurasian history, but the coronation of an heir during the father's lifetime had not happened in more then 267 years. The last time it had occurred was in 1103, when Honorius the Liberator had his son and heir apparent, Grand Prince Arasces (who succeeded him as Arasces III), crowned at the Old Westphalian Cathedral. The Emperor's decision to stage a coronation for his son, therefore, was greeted with apprehension and dismay when announced in a imperial manifesto on February 1, 1370. Much of this had to do with the fact that the Chief Procuratorate of the Holy Synod was still vacant, and the Chief Procurator had taken over what had been the Pope's responsibility in presiding over the ceremony. Many thought that Antiochus should deal with Becketius, and fill the vacancy in the position before proceeding. He refused however, and in March 1370, ordered the Imperial Chancellory and the Council of Civil Service to begin preparations for the ceremony. He also issued instructions to the Holy Synod, and compelled all of his clergy to carry out their duties at the ceremony. Moreover, the Emperor designated Archbishop Follarania of Christiania to preside over the ceremony in the Chief Procurator's place.
  • On June 5, 1370, the Emperor summoned Grand Prince Decabulus from Melarnaria, where he had been undergoing his education, to Laurasia Prime. Decabulus arrived two days later, and in front of a great company of nobles and other gentlemen, he was consecrated and honored by his father. Antiochus, however, had his son's wife, Grand Princess Margarina, kept with Anna at Constancia, having decided not to crown her for the time being. Then on June 14, 1370, Decabulus was crowned, as Emperor-apparent, and heir to his father, at the Old Westphalian Cathedral, with Archbishop Follarania of Christiania presiding over the ceremony, and his clerics assisting him. He would become known from this point as the "Young Emperor", though this was an honorary designation, and Antiochus made it clear that his son was not his co-ruler, and continued to remain a Grand Prince. The Young Emperor's contempt for his father, however, was already apparent, being especially visible at the coronation banquet, in which he mocked his father's services as a servitor.
  • The Emperor now expanded his son's household, under the control of his guardian, Sir Willanius Marshallia. Antiochus, still only fifteen years old, was already displaying characteristics which would mature further as he aged. He was considered by contemporaries to be exceptionally handsome, inheriting this from both his parents. He was also, according to the seventeenth-century Laurasian historian Cassius Dio, "most blessed in courtesy, most happy in the love of men and in their grace and favor." This was due to his reputation as a fountain of largesse, and he attracted a considerable following. He kept a lavish household, dispensed generous and gracious hospitality, and enjoyed an extravagant lifestyle. He possessed great skill in arms, spoke eight languages, and was intimately aware of the classics, theology, philosophy, and the sciences. Yet the Young Emperor was resentful that his father allowed him no means to gain governing experience, that he had no autonomy over the affairs of his own household, and that he was not allowed to travel without his father's permission.
  • The Emperor, however, while reluctant to give too much to any of his sons, nevertheless recognized that his eldest was a weak, vain, idle, untrustworthy, and irresponsible spendthrift, who could manipulate others with a shallow charm that blinded them to his less endearing traits. Among these was a violent temper and a talent for being extremely cruel and insensitive. He was also susceptible to the influence of those who were eager to exploit his grievances with his father. Nevertheless, the Emperor had high hopes for his children, and believed he could mould Decabulus into another ruler as himself. He was too forgiving, and was too indulgent of his children. Moreover, he and Anna competed for their affection; Anna herself was an indulgent mother who was only too willing to play the children off against their father. She was actually more sympathetic towards them than their father, and exercised greater influence over them. She was not above using them for her own political ends.
  • Antiochus sensed the growing alienation of his sons, but nevertheless continued in his own prior behaviors. Anna, on her part, was not present at the coronation ceremony; during May 1370, she participated in Antiochus's investment as Duke of Goldaria by his father, and then toured with him through the Goldarian Worlds. On June 24, she returned to Laurasia Prime, seeing her husband once more. By this time, Antiochus, prevailed upon by his advisors, and taking into consideration a petition from the Synod, which was submitted to him on June 11, decided to finally fill the vacancy in the Chief Procuratorate, and to deal with the matter of Becketius. On July 14, 1370, the Emperor announced his intention to release Becketius from imprisonment, and on July 22, he did so. Becketius was brought before him at Ausculum, and there, he and the Emperor had a great reconciliation.
  • Emperor Antiochus had now decided to forgive Becketius for his earlier offenses, and he expressed his wish that true friendship would prevail once more between them. On July 31, 1370, the Emperor formally restored Becketius to the Chief Procuratorate, pardoned him of all his earlier offenses, and invited him to return back to Laurasia Prime. He also announced his intention to have the Chief Procurator preside over another coronation ceremony for his son, who was now to be crowned with Margarina. Becketius declared his eagerness to resume the imperial service, and thanked his master for his kindness. On August 10, however, while at Lusculum, the Emperor fell grievously ill; he did not recover from this illness until September 26, and his life was despaired of by many. He recovered, however, and on October 16, he met with Becketius for the last time. Becketius then finally made his journey to Laurasia Prime, and on December 1, was received by his colleagues at the Diplomatic Palace. The Emperor's officials, however, greeted him with much apprehension, and the Young Emperor, who was to preside over the Court there that year, refused to receive him.
  • Becketius now began to assert himself as Chief Procurator again, and on Ascentmas Day, 1370, he announced that the Synod would impose a sentence of excommunication upon the Archbishops of Christiania, Colombia, and Constantinople, who he viewed as the most hostile "to the Church's status and the Church's rights." The three prelates, outraged at this, now quickly made their way to the Emperor, who was at Elainsborough with his wife, the Imperial Court, and his children, Grand Princes Antiochus, Leonnatus, and Demetrius, along with Grand Princess Julia. They now complained of Becketius's behavior, and asserted that he would "continue to disrupt the tranquility of these realms, and the unity of this Empire." Antiochus, enraged by what he heard, demanded: "Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?" Upon hearing these words, four Guards of the imperial household, Ricomedius Urania, Antoninus Tracius, Willanius Morania, and Athanasius Braccus, now quietly slipped from Elainsborough, and hastened to the capital. Antiochus soon learned of their intentions, and sent orders to summon them back. It was too late, however.
  • On December 29, 1370, the Guards reached Laurasia Prime, and proceeded post haste to the Westphalian Cathedral. There, they confronted the Chief Procurator, who was presiding over mass, made a series of wild accusations against him, and demanded that he leave the capital world promptly. Becketius refused, and told them to desist in their behavior. The Guards, angered by this, then armed themselves, returned, and demanded that the Chief Procurator resign immediately. He refused again. They then declared that he would die, and fell upon him, hacking him to death with their vibroswords, so that, Dio would say more then two centuries later, "he would rise no more, and would not be a threat to the Empire's integrity." Becketius's murder, news of which reached the Emperor on New Year's Eve, 1370, shocked all. The Emperor was now blamed by many of his subjects, and by foreign courts, for the murder; his reputation would never fully recover. Antiochus, nevertheless, burst into "loud lamentations", and acted in a bereaved manner. He asked for the forgiveness of Almitis, kept to his chambers, and refused to emerge from them. He also refused food for some days, and would remain in seclusion for several weeks, into 1371.

1371Edit

  • 1371 began with Emperor Antiochus still in despair over the murder of Chief Procurator Becketius, and with his subjects outraged by the fact of it. The Emperor continued to remain in isolation until the end of January 1371, delegating responsibilities of governance to Chancellor Ridellia and to others among the Council of Civil Service. On January 18, 1371, Becketius was interred at the Priests' Section of the Old Westphalian Cathedral, and a period of mourning was proclaimed for him. Then on February 6, the Emperor finally emerged from his convalesence, but decided to refrain from any return to Laurasia Prime for the time being. He issued a series of manifestos from Rebecca, to which he moved twenty days later, decrying those who had carried out the murder of the Chief Procurator and asserting that they would be punished by the hand of the Lord Almitis. Antiochus, however, took no further action against them, which in the eyes of many, would seem to confirm that they were acting on his orders. All of the tensions which emerged from Becketius's execution would later be used by Queen Mother Kendura, and by Solidaritan Sultan Suleiman III, to their advantage, in their future conflicts with the Laurasian Empire.
  • But in August 1371, the Emperor decided to turn his attention to a different threat: that posed by the Mereditan Despotate. Since 1356, the Despotate had been ruled by Ruiadari Condochir II, who had long been fearful of Laurasian territorial expansionism, and believed that the Empire would eventually seek to project its power into the Outer Borderlands. In order to counteract against this, the Despot had been engaged in a series of measures to expand his military forces, and also to launch probing expeditions, down the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route, and into the outskirts of Laurasian territory. Ipsus V, Bolgrahay, Robbay, Penshalay, Millia-in-the Core, and the strongholds of the Nexus Route were all observed by Mereditan probing parties from November 1368 to March 1371, who gathered intelligence for the Despot. Emperor Antiochus, when he was, on June 29, informed of this, was angered, and became determined to punish the Mereditans for their deeds. On August 5, therefore, he ordered the Imperial General Headquarters to prepare for the military campaigns into Mereditan territory. He mobilized his forces at the Nexus Route, made arrangements for the security of Grand Prince Decabulus and his other sons, and invested the Council of Civil Service with greater supervisionary powers over the affairs of the Purse Region, for the duration of his absence.
  • Finally, on October 17, 1371, the Emperor issued a declaration of war against the Mereditan Despotate and swiftly advanced his forces up the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route, and over to the Middle Territories. His advance was aided, in part, by the Treaty of Dazieha (July 19, 1371), which he had signed with the Kingdom of Temperance and the League of Way'tosk. The two Millian states had pledged non-interference in the Laurasian campaigns, and agreed to provide intelligence information on Mereditan strategic positions, economic resources, and political organization. The Mereditans themselves, in spite of all their boasts, and their "preparations", were in fact woefully unprepared for the Laurasian onslaught. Beharis became the first target of the Emperor's vengeance; it fell to him on October 22. Shepherd was besieged shortly afterwards, and was overrun on November 5. On November 8, Antiochus defeated Mereditan General Busarari Condochir in the Battle of Alamaia I. Dickinson and Izonza then were subdued (November 12-19, 1371), and on December 8, Walters also fell into Laurasian hands. By the end of the year, Goldberg and Hasselbeck were both being besieged by Laurasian forces, and Iego was being threatened by a Laurasian expedition.

1372Edit

  • 1372 commenced with Emperor Antiochus still pursuing his campaigns against the Mereditan Despotate. And indeed, the Emperor was to gain a series of further victories early in the new year, thereby compelling Despot Ruiadri Condochir to come to terms with him. On January 7, 1372, Antiochus defeated General Busarari Condochir in the Battle of Abuza. From Abuza, the Emperor applied renewed pressure to the garrison of Goldberg. Goldberg finally capitulated to him on February 14, after Laurasian forces burst through its orbital defensive garrisons and launched a series of assaults through the Goldberg Victor, inflicting ruinous losses upon the planetary garrison. By March 1, Hasselbeck had also succumbed to Laurasian pressure, and on March 9, the Emperor beat General Busarari again in the Battle of Jeanne. It was his seizure of Whoppi, on March 22, that finally compelled the Despot to seek peace. He sent a request for negotiations to the Emperor on March 24, 1372; the Emperor accepted this, and the Armistice of Meredith was signed shortly afterwards. Negotiations commenced at Zebitrope, ultimately culminating in the Treaty of Zebitrope, signed on April 11. By the terms of this treaty, the Eastern Vickian Worlds; that is, Whoppi, Goldberg, Hasselbeck, Walters, Shepherd, and Beharis, were conceded to the authority of the Laurasian Empire.
  • All Mereditan expeditions, reconnaissance or otherwise, into Laurasian territory were to cease, and the Mereditans promised not to sign any alliance detrimental to the interests of the Empire. The Treaty of Zebitrope, which was ratified by both parties on April 17, 1372, thereby ended the short Laurasian-Mereditan War. Following the conclusion of this treaty, Emperor Antiochus hastened from Beharis, back down the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route, and to Laurasia Prime. He arrived there on April 24, and was greeted by his subjects with a mixture of celebration and of agony. Many still remembered Becketius's murder, a year and a half earlier. On May 5, the Emperor issued a proclamation affirming he had no part in Becketius's death, participated in a ceremony of penance at the Quencilvanian Palace, and ordered for all of Becketius's relatives to be pardoned, restored to their titles and properties, and absolved of any further obligations in his service. In June 1372, the Emperor would even have a statute of Becketius placed in the Religious Precincts, again underlining the extent of his "penitence." Such measures were not to be seen again after his reign, as his successors would engage in antics of their own and make no apology for them.
  • By June 1372, the Emperor's second son, Grand Prince Antiochus, was entering his own. Approaching fifteen, Antiochus was the favorite child of his mother, Empress Anna. He was six feet five inches tall, described as "graceful in figure; his hair auburn; his limbs were straight and flexible; his face, dominated by its piercing blue eyes." He obtained a excellent education, knowing seven languages besides Laurasian, mastering military strategy, and picking up a variety of athletic skills. He loved music, and took pleasure in the sensual entertainments of both the secular and church lives. He was determined and single-minded. He was a man of great ability, possessed with immense courage and daring, and would become renowned as one of the Empire's greatest military campaigners. He inspired men to follow him, and possessed the skills of a natural leader. Antiochus was, however, possessed of a volatile temper; he could be ruthless, unscrupulous, and predatory, and was capable of violence and cruelty towards those who defied him. He was also very promiscuous, declaring he could not survive without sexual intercourse; in these less endearing traits, he, like his brothers, foreshadowed his successors. Antiochus was alleged, by the age of twenty-one, to have "had his way" with at least seventy young women. Moreover, he was ambitious, but had little thought for the Empire, at least at this time.
  • On August 27, 1372, Emperor Antiochus had Grand Prince Decabulus crowned a second time with his wife Margarina, on Laurasia Prime. He was not present for the ceremony however, conducting another tour through the Kelvanian and Morganian Provinces. In November, the Young Emperor met his father again at Caladaria, and he demanded that he be given the Governorship of Americana, ostensibly to further prepare him for his eventual imperial destiny. Antiochus refused however, and ordered his son to Melarnaria. The Grand Prince, however, requested permission to visit with Queen Mother Kendura, his sister-in-law, on Venasia Prime; she had, after all, invited him. The Emperor, reluctantly, agreed to this, and on December 1, the Grand Prince, his wife, and their household were escorted by an imperial convoy into the Consortium. Two days later, they arrived at the Venasian capital world, and were greeted by the Queen Mother with much ceremonial. Kendura now incited Decabulus, urging him to make further demands of his father, and listened "sympathetically" to his demands. In reality, however, she was pursuing her own goals. On November 9, 1372, she had concluded the secret Treaty of Permi with Sultan Suleiman III of Solidarita, pledging a common military alliance against the Laurasian Empire. Both monarchs had agreed that support of Decabulus, and encouragement of him against his father, would be the best means to accomplish this. On December 11, Antiochus, suspicious of his son's intentions, ordered him back to Laurasia Prime, to which he had once again returned. Decabulus, not yet ready for rebellion, obliged, and made his way there. The Emperor, Empress, and Grand Princes Antiochus and Leonnatus received him formally. They all passed Ascentmas 1372 on the world. Tensions, however, were building beneath the surface.

1373Edit

  • 1373, the 73rd year of the fourteenth century, commenced with tensions brewing in the Laurasian Empire. Emperor Antiochus, Empress Anna, Young Emperor Decabulus, Grand Prince Antiochus, and Grand Prince Leonnatus, along with Grand Princesses Margarina and Constantia (1366-1401, betrothed to Leonnatus), were all at the Quencilvanian Palace, and along with the Imperial Court, celebrating the commencement of the new year. By January 1373, however, Antiochus and Anna were now completely estranged from each other. Anna had, like Queen Mother Kendura, listened to, and taken into account, the complaints of her eldest surviving son, the Young Emperor. She expressed her sympathy with them, and agreed wholeheartedly with his complaints. Her love for Antiochus had long since died, and she was now determined to fight for the interests of her sons. Antiochus's heavy-handed imposition of his authority and his loss of international prestige, ensuing from the death of Becketius, had fueled resentments throughout much of the Empire, particularly in the Central Core. This enmity and resentment were systematically exploited by the Empress and her three eldest sons, who were determined to have the predominant influence in the state.
  • The stage was therefore laid for the most dangerous rebellion which was to ever confront Emperor Antiochus, and indeed, the second great civil conflict of the fourteenth century, following the Constantian Civil War. Each of the participants in the conspiracy had their own objectives. The Young Emperor and his brothers desired full authority over regions of the Empire, even if it meant the overthrow of their father. Anna wanted justice for her sons and, consequently, more power and influence for herself. She was prepared to countenance rebellion against her husband. Many nobles and other officials throughout the Empire sought the relaxation of the heavy hand of the imperial regime. Queen Mother Kendura and Sultan Suleiman sought to extend their own influence, to weaken the Laurasian Empire, and to recover territories lost to the Laurasians earlier in the century. They were therefore willing to work with the Emperor's sons against him.
  • In the meantime, other events continued to proceed. On January 22, 1373, the Holy Synod announced that Becketius was to be canonized; this had been authorized by the Emperor himself, who was still pursuing his game from disassociating himself from the man's murder. Becketius's canonization was carried out at the Old Westphalian Cathedral nearly a month later, on February 21. In Christiania, there would be established the Shrine of St. Thomasius Becketius, and similar shrines would appear throughout the Empire, dedicated to his memory. St. Thomasius's Hospital, in Osraninpolis, Laurasia Prime, would also be named after the deceased Chief Procurator. His cult was to remain one of the most popular in the Empire for the next 364 years, until 1738, when, in the course of his own religious reforms, Antigonus the Extravagant disbanded it, had Becketius's canonization revoked, and had his remains exhumed, tried, condemned, and incinerated for having dared to oppose his "lawful sovereign."
  • On February 28, the Emperor and the Court moved to Chancia, and he held a series of entertainments in honor of the nobles in that star system. His wife, however, was further provoked to anger, as Antiochus continued to indulge in his affair with Lady Matidia, and as he continued to refuse to recognize his son's rights. The Young Emperor, in fact, spoke out publicly, on March 5, against his father's refusal to delegate power to him and his brothers, and against Antiochus's decision to reward his youngest brother Demetrius with estates at Rebecca, Chancia, and Gdov which had originally been assigned to him. He insisted that he had no wish to give Demetrius these properties, and that the Emperor had no right to dispose of them. He also complained that he was not assigned any estates from which to draw a sufficient income.
  • When Antiochus refused to accede his demands, the Young Emperor declared that there were others in the Empire who "said that he should do so, and that it was the wish of the Lord Almitis that he do so." The Emperor now realized that the threat to him was greater then he realized, and that his son was being incited to action by others. It did not yet to occur to him at this point that his own wife, who was in constant communication with her sons, might be among them. On March 12, the Emperor was warned by some of his courtiers to take heed of his wife, but he still refused to believe that Anna, whom he had once called his "golden pearl", could betray him. Nevertheless, Antiochus did take some action. He now dismissed many of his son's guards and servitors, an action which served only to inflame his hatred further.
  • On March 17, the Emperor departed from Chancia, leaving his wife there with Grand Princes Antiochus and Leonnatus. The Emperor dragged his heir-apparent with him, even insisting that they sleep in the same room. In spite of all his efforts, however, on the night on March 22, while at Kayla, the Grand Prince persuaded the Guards to lower the security systems and to give him a freighter, which allowed for him to escape from the star system. The following morning, Antiochus discovered that his son was gone. He immediately dispatched a force to retrieve him, but his son was already racing towards the Schauerian Provinces. The Emperor then hastened to intercept him, and almost caught him at Shiloh, but it was too little, too late. On March 22, the Young Emperor Decabulus crossed the border into the Venasian Consortium, and then proceeded to Venasia Prime. His son's escape now confirmed his worst fears: rebellion was at hand.
  • At Venasia Prime, Queen Mother Kendura and Young Emperor Decabulus pledged themselves to aid each other against their common enemy: Antiochus. Antiochus now sent an ultimatum to the Queen Mother through the Ambassador, Sir Cassander Cleadrius, demanding that she return his son. When Cleadrius delivered the message to the Queen Mother, she asked who it came from. He, astonished, said that it came from the "Emperor of Laurasia". Kendura retorted, saying that the "Emperor of Laurasia" was on Venasia Prime, and that his father, who was formerly Emperor, was Emperor no longer. This, Antiochus, realized, was the final blow. On April 1, 1373, the Queen Mother of Venasia issued a declaration of war against the Laurasian Empire and launched her forces across the border. Uber-Commerce, Agac, Aflac, and Podrac, caught completely off guard, were overrun within days; Decapolia Minor followed on April 7, and then on April 12, so did Hannis. The Emperor was now at war, and he now faced more outbursts of dissent.
  • The garrisons of Morlan, Kanjur, and Kelvania Minor proclaimed their allegiance to Decabulus as Emperor on April 3; they were soon followed by Courdina V, Gordasis, and the strongholds of the Constantine Cluster, all of which rejected the Emperor's authority. The Chief of the Headquarters of Ivoria, General Kalynshevnsky, announced his support for Decabulus on April 22, and soon expelled Laurasian units from Ivoria, Maschinga, Dasinae, Esther, Sthanon, Satisba, and Ergeme, claiming these worlds for the rebel cause. Constantia and Melarnaria too revolted. On May 1, 1373, came another blow to the Emperor: Grand Princes Leonnatus and Antiochus, now at Clancia, formally revolted against him. Their mother, Empress-Consort Anna of Commagenos, on Ruthania, expressed her support for her sons, and convinced that world's garrison to give their allegiance to Decabulus.
  • The Emperor, incensed at the betrayal of his wife, now commanded the Synod to send a exhortation to Anna, ordering her to return to her "allegiance to her masters", and to remember her place as a woman. Anna, however, did not even deign to respond to this communique, and on May 12, with Shiloh, Alvurg, and Linopking falling into the hands of Venasian forces, she formally renounced all ties to her husband. On May 15, the Empress Consort, deeming that she would be safer at Venasia Prime, embarked from Ruthania and proceeded towards the Schauerian Provinces, accompanied by a small escort. Discovering that she was being pursued, she changed transports and changed her clothes. However, at Dura Minor, she was apprehended by a task force dispatched by the Emperor (May 19, 1373), detained "in strict custody", and dispatched to the Emperor, who was then at Caresolina. For the Emperor, who had still held some love for his wife, this was a bitter betrayal, and he was determined that his vengeance would be thorough. He made no public announcement of the Empress's arrest, not wanting her disgrace advertised, but had her sent to Windowia Photis and confined at the Monastery there, always the dumping ground for prisoners of state. Over the course of the next year, the Emperor would have her rotated among prisons in the Purse Region, and kept her whereabouts a secret from the public.
  • In the meantime, things worsened for the Emperor. On May 23, 1373, at Venasia Prime, the Young Emperor promised titles, income, and properties to anyone willing to ally with him. Lord Philip Dereanius, 2nd Baron of Volterra, arose in rebellion on the Grand Prince's behalf, in exchange for the promise of the dukedom of Christiania, a seat on the Governing Senate, and control of the hard spice trade in the Eastern Purse Region. His brother Aurelius, Earl of Manil, was promised a promotion to the rank of Duke, and the Governorship of Arias, while the Earl of Hepudermia was promised the Mayoralty of Christiania. And then, on June 1, 1373, Sultan Suleiman III declared war against the Empire; Solidaritan units promptly seized Dennis, Rastaborn, and Shannon, and threatened the defenses of Michael, Patsy, O'Neal, and Molodi. The Emperor was also now opposed by magnates in Kelvania; the Governor of Malaria Prime; the magnates of the Eastern Purse Region, and of the Constantine Cluster; the Ivorian Headquarters; the Queen Mother of Venasia; and all of his eldest sons. This is to say nothing of those in the Central Core, nor the Briannians, who had arisen in revolt against their imperial garrison. Of all Antiochus's legitimate sons, only Demetrius, his youngest, remained with him.
  • The offensives now intensified. The Young Emperor, Grand Prince Antiochus, and the Baron of Volterra now launched a major offensive against the strongholds of the Nexus Route, while Queen Mother Kendura's forces continued to slice through the Schauerian and Decapolian Provinces, and the strongholds of the Upper Rebeccan were exposed to the assaults of Sultan Suleiman. In Schaueria, Rashid (June 4), Calpurnia (June 8), Decapolia Major (June 9-11), Avaskar (June 12), Gitlandia (June 17), Goteborg (June 19), Archleuta (June 22), Colsonia (June 26), Smithia (June 27-29), Selena (June 30), and Tyleria Perea (June 31), all fell into the Queen Mother's possession. Jem, Dill, Boo, Atticus, Ewell, Finch, Harper, and Lee fell before his sons during those very weeks, while Fulcania, Chilisia, Lomanis I, and Osama fell to the Sultan and the Earl of Manil. Solidaritan and rebel assaults also broke the defenses of Soria, Kola, the Station of Dosch, Katie, Arias, and Fitzsimmons (July 1373), and penetrated as far as Americana, Explosania Major, Ralina Vixius, and Apathama Vixius. By August 9, with Hetman Kalynshevnsky in control of Horacia, Cinnamon, Pandy, Louza, Kingpin, Donald, and Theresa, it seemed as if everything were in despair.
  • Emperor Antiochus, however, enjoyed several inestimable advantages over his enemies, which worked in his favor. For one, he retained possession of the Clancian Worlds, the chief strongholds of the Purse Region, and, after August 12, of the Malarian, Angelican, and Morganian Provinces in their whole, thereby giving him a central position from which to advance. This also provided him with numerous invaluable economic and military resources which could be thrown against his enemies. Second, the institutions of the Imperial Laurasian Government, especially the Senate, Synod, Council of Civil Service, and judiciary, remained loyal to him, and used all of the powers that they had at hand in order to support the Emperor's efforts. And third, the Emperor proved to be magnanimous to his supporters, and willing to pardon those who had rose against him, but nevertheless surrendered peacefully. This contrasted greatly with his son, whose cruelty ultimately backfired on him. With all of this, therefore, Antiochus made great gains. His son proved too inexperienced to coordinate the various opposing forces; Queen Mother Kendura and Sultan Suleiman, on their part, failed to coordinate all of the opposing forces together, and themselves bickered over strategy. Antiochus, who displayed great energy and vigor, and great tactical skill, now divided accordingly. He assigned the Earl of Jadia to contain the rebellion in the Ivorian and Horacian Provinces, while he himself suppressed the disturbances in Kelvania and in the Central Core.
  • On August 20, 1373, the Emperor destroyed a rebel force in the Battle of Williams, and from thence swept forth to overrun the rebel strongholds of Hydapses, Haudjrau, and Taxiles the Great. Goss Beacon proved to be more resistant, but ultimately fell to him on August 21. By August 26, he had reconquered Natasi, Pellaeon, Daala, and Yularen, using his control of Goldaria to his advantage. From thence, he suppressed rebel units at Barty (August 27-September 1, 1373), and on September 4, humiliated the Earl of Hepudermia in the Battle of Brithium. Melarnaria succumbed to him easily, on September 7; many of that world's inhabitants bore a great loyalty for him, due to their memory of his parents. On September 12, Kanjur and Kelvania Minor were conquered by his forces; Kelvania Major and Morlan followed in short order. By September 19, the Emperor had also regained control of Ruthania, and had driven rebel forces from Teth, Tommy, Chandlier, and Capital. At this same time, the Earl of Jadia was recovering Cinnamon, Pandy, Theresa, and Louza, was besieging Kingpin, and had repelled moves by rebel forces against Watson, Anthony, Sherlock, Doris, and Rawlings. On October 7, 1373, the Emperor won another victory at Stenbock. In the Schauerian Provinces, Queen Mother Kendura had managed to make further gains; Jessica Perea was in her hands by October 17, and by October 24, the Young Emperor had overrun Hordania, Compost V, Bleuia, Greenia, Mumbraine, and Dorothy. His Siege of Hammenor, however, ended in failure (November 1-4, 1373), and on November 11, he was driven from Boo and Caroline.
  • The attempts of Grand Prince Antiochus to recover Tommy, to seize Murphy, and to drive government units from Anusia, Lonnie, and the Prelone Asteroid Belt (November 1373), all came to naught, though on December 7, the Grand Prince did win a victory at Malatia, humiliating his father's forces there. On December 15, Solidaritan Sultan Suleiman won the Battle of Sarah, and sacked Oxia Vixius, Augis V, Tarravania, and Little Mexicana. This did little to change the situation; Dennis, Rastaborn, and Shannon were soon recovered by the Emperor's troops, who then launched raiding expeditions against Solidaritan Doris, Massanay, Sair, Sassanay, and the Western Redoubt. By the end of 1373, the situation was still very confused, but the Emperor's prospects were generally improving.

1374Edit

  • 1374, the 74th year of the fourteenth century, commenced with Emperor Antiochus in the midst of the Children's Revolt, the greatest threat to his authority and security during his reign. Fighting did not abate across the commencement of the new year. On January 9, 1374, the Baron of Volterra, working with units sent by Grand Prince Antiochus and Sultan Suleiman, launched a major offensive against Vardar, hoping to drive the Emperor's garrison from the star system and claim it for the rebellion. He was aided by rebels operating from Briannia, who continued to reject the authority of the Imperial Laurasian Government. The ensuing Battle of Vardar, however, ended in a decisive victory for the forces of the Duke of Soriana, who had remained loyal to the Emperor, and had been placed in charge of the Briannian garrisons. Not only was Volterra defeated, but he was captured, along with his chief officers, 150,000 rebel personnel, and almost all of their chief transports. On the orders of the Emperor, the Baron was bound in chains and hustled to the Cron Drift, where he was thence imprisoned. Following this battle, Volterra itself fell to Soriana (January 15), and Briannia was cleared of all rebel units (January 22). The chief strongholds of the Nexus Route were all back in the Emperor's hands by February 1374, but Bolgrahay, Robbay, Ipsus V, and Millia-in-the Core were controlled by the Young Emperor and his units, who had been overrunning them since November 1373.
  • Emperor Antiochus destroyed another rebel force at Sipp (January 19, 1374), and on January 26, brutally suppressed a civil uprising on Courdina V. He then defeated the Pirate Coalition of Maur near Metallina (January 26-29), which had arisen to take advantage of the imperial troubles, and had all of their leaders executed. During February and March 1374, the Emperor's forces continued to battle across the imperial dial, fighting rebel insurgency movements in the Constantine Cluster and along the Metallasian Trade Corridor, supporters of Empress Consort Anna in the Melarnarian Provinces, and the Young Emperor's forces in the Murphian Provinces. This is to say nothing of continual assaults by Sultan Suleiman, who had overrun Patsy, O'Neal, and Nezbit, and was seriously threatening Katherine, Mariana Prime, and even Depp, and of the stalemate, which had now ensued in Schaueria and Decapolia, between the Queen Mother and the Emperor.
  • On May 12, Antiochus formally dismantled his wife's household at Reoyania, and then collected with him his daughter Julia, Margarina and Alania of Venasia, Annaliese of Jared (1338-1414), Constantia, and Demetrius's betrothed, Alexandra of Conservan (1363-74). The Emperor then proceeded through the Murphian Provinces, battling rebel units at Saray, Lonnie, and Kukilovo, and then hastened to Crimeania, where Nathaniel, Sanegeta, and Drennan had been overrun by his son's forces. This occupied his attention through June 1374; on June 18, the Emperor won the Battle of Chapelle, and then drove rebel units from Benztir V, Hooper, and the colony of Lindarania. At the same time, the Duke of Soriana was recovering Oxia Vixius, Chancia, Patsy, and Molodi from Solidaritan forces, and driving forward to relieve the siege of Michael. On July 8, 1374, the Emperor headed back to Laurasia Prime, collecting, at Windowia Photis, Anna. Anna was kept in custody, but she was in company with all of the other ladies. The Emperor arrived there two days later; Anna was imprisoned at the Post Settlement of Hepudermia, while Grand Princess Margarina was sent, along with Alania and Constantia, to Welch, there to stay until her husband could be brought to heel. On July 12, Alexandra of Conservan died, and would be interred at the Old Westphalian Cathedral on the Emperor's orders. Annaliese of Jared would be married to Sir Tacitus Greysius (1345-1403) on July 22, 1374; they would be the progenitors of the Greysius family, which would arise into prominence some four centuries later, during the rule of the Neuchrian Dynasty.
  • Emperor Antiochus then applied himself to the task of eliminating the Solidaritan threat. He was now, however, to have a miraculous victory, which greatly alleviated his burdens and allowed him to refocus his attention to the threat to his east. On July 14, 1374, the Duke of Soriana won a decisive victory over Sultan Suleiman in the Battle of Emmy. Suleiman was not only defeated, losing nearly half of his naval forces, but captured; for the first time in history, a Solidaritan Sultan had been captured in battle by a foreign enemy. The Emperor had the Sultan conveyed to imprisonment at the Vemay Monastery on Jenny, under heavy guard. News of the Sultan's capture greatly demoralized both Queen Mother Kendura and the Young Emperor; they now realized that the tide had turned. Then, just one day later, the Earl of Jadia defeated General Kalynshevnsky decisively in the Battle of Jahraes, forcing him to retreat back to the Headquarters, and to abandon his remaining strongholds in the Horacian Provinces. By the end of July 1374, Laurasian forces had absolute control of the entire Purse Region, and were advancing back into the Schauerian Provinces. Tyleria Perea, Jessica Perea, Selena, Colsonia, Archleuta, Smithia, and Shiloh were all recovered by the Emperor in August 1374, utterly humiliating both his sons and the Queen Mother. Uber-Commerce, Decapolia Major, and Linopking were soon in danger.
  • It was now obvious to Kendura, to the Young Emperor, to Antiochus, and Leonnatus, that there was no option left but to seek peace. Consequently, on September 5, 1374, the Queen Mother requested for an immediate armistice to the Emperor of Laurasia. Antiochus, seeking to end the discord as soon as possible, and absolutely triumphant, accepted the request four days later. The Armistice of LaForge was signed on September 19, 1374. That same day, the Emperor received his namesake son, Grand Prince Antiochus, at Kolchad; when he came face to face with his father, the Grand Prince threw himself weeping at his feet and begged his forgiveness. The Emperor gently raised him and gave him the kiss of peace. The following day, negotiations formally commenced at Lythia for the termination of hostilities. After ten days, the Treaty of Lythia was signed on September 30, 1374, being ratified shortly afterwards by Emperor Antiochus and Queen Mother Kendura. By the terms of this treaty, the status quo ante bellum was to prevail in territorial matters between the Laurasian Empire and the Neo-Venasian Consortium; all Laurasian territories occupied by Venasian forces were to be restored by no later then January 1, 1375. Kendura also agreed to terminate her alliance with the Solidaritan Sultanate. In exchange, the Emperor agreed to grant an increased income, of $500 billion denarius per year, to each of his sons, to provide them additional estates, and to pardon them for all of their offenses. However, Demetrius's inheritance was also recognized, and the Young Emperor was not given any authority of his own, though he was mollified for the time being by this grant of money and estates, satisfying his material wishes.
  • The Emperor's three sons also swore a renewed oath of allegiance to their father, promising to never demand anything more of him beyond the agreed settlement, and to never withdraw from his service without his permission. Antiochus, although he chose to forgive their treason and had been more then generous, nevertheless no longer trusted them, and from now on, his love for them would be marred by bitterness. He made it clear that Demetrius was now his favorite among his legitimate sons; his bastard son Gregory, who had fought loyally for him in Schaueria and elsewhere, was to rise high in his service. On October 9, the Emperor held a conference with Queen Mother Kendura at Rashid, and there embraced the Young Emperor, as well as Grand Prince Leonnatus. Venasian forces quickly evacuated Laurasian territory, and Antiochus spent the last two months of 1374 dealing with all remaining rebels. He was now determined to suppress the Headquarters of Ivoria, and to incorporate those provinces entirely into the Empire. The Emperor also refused to release his wife Anna from imprisonment, and now had her moved to confinement, at the Palace of the Greats on Americana. For the rest of his life, she was to remain under restraint. Though her sons were sympathetic with her plight, there was little they could do for her. As 1374 ended, therefore, things were far from finished.

1375Edit

  • As 1375, the 75th year of the fourteenth century, commenced, Emperor Antiochus I had fully reasserted himself as the master of the Laurasian Empire, and solidified his place as the most powerful sovereign in the Core Regions. The Emperor arrived in victorious procession at Laurasia Prime on January 3, 1375. He was attended by the Young Emperor (who continued to simmer with resentment against his father, though he kept it to himself), Grand Princes Antiochus, Leonnatus, and Demetrius, Grand Princess Julia, and the Earl of Jadia. He was adored by his subjects, who gathered at the two Calaxies, Jadia, Hepudermia, and in the cities of Laurasia Prime. The Emperor then proceeded to the Quencilvanian Palace, being greeted there by the Senate, Synod, Council of Civil Service, and the other chief officials of the Imperial Laurasian Government. Antiochus also received the congratulations of all foreign ambassadors, and of the collective nobility and gentry of the Empire.
  • On January 14, 1375, the Emperor (foreshadowing Aurelia the Great, who would engage herself in the same kind of post-rebellion measures four centuries later), proclaimed a general amnesty for all who had been involved in the Children's Revolt, save for his wife Empress Consort Anna, and consigned "all that transpired in the years 1373 and 1374 to profound silence and total oblivion." He ordered for the destruction of all outposts, garrisons, and fortifications erected by any rebel forces throughout the length and breath of the Empire, opened the imperial reserves to any merchants, businessmen, nobles, clergymen, and officials who needed funds for the restoration of their holdings from the desolation of conflict, and commanded the Almitian Church to absolve all rebel personnel and officers of any responsibility for the actions of their superiors. The Emperor also ordered for a commission to be established, in order to review the local administrative situation in the Empire, and he focused his efforts upon the reform of imperial estates.
  • Then on January 29, the Emperor compelled Sultan Suleiman, who was still his captive, to sign the Treaty of Mercedes. By the terms of this treaty, the Sultan agreed to recognize the Emperor of Laurasia as his suzerain; to reduce the size of his military forces; and to pay to the Imperial Exchenquer an annual compensation of $400 billion denarius, as compensation for the damages which had been inflicted in Laurasian territory by Solidaritan troops. He agreed to confirm the dissolution of his alliance with the Venasian Consortium, to a pledge of non-intervention in Laurasian internal affairs, and to the military occupation of Deanna, Wendy, Coen, Massanay, Sassanay, the Western Redoubt, Quanna, and Methusalah by Laurasian forces for a period of ten years (to end on February 1, 1385). The Sultan also agreed to recognize the Laurasian annexation of Briannia, to resolve all territorial disputes in the Wild Marshes in the favor of the Empire, to allow the Imperial Laurasian Government to keep all captives, goods, and equipment seized in Solidaritan star systems, to acknowledge the diplomatic immunity of all Laurasian subjects in Solidaritan territory, and to grant free trade privileges to Laurasian merchants, nobles, and corporations in his dominions. Finally, the Sultan pledged not to sign any alliances, or to engage in any economic or diplomatic undertakings, harmful to Laurasian interests. The Treaty of Mercedes, which constituted a major humiliation for the Solidaritan Sultanate, was ratified by both monarchs in February 1375. Suleiman was then released on March 8, 1375, and permitted to return to Istantius, which he did five days later.
  • In April 1375, the Emperor's sons swore another oath of allegiance to him at Charasia, and Antiochus presented them once again to his Imperial Court, proclaiming the end of all "previous troubles, and the restoration of my fatherly love for them." He then conducted a tour through the Central Core, attended by his son the Young Emperor. On May 9, 1375, moreover, father and son made a pilgrimage to Uglich, to pay their respects to the memory of Honorius the Terrible's youngest son, Grand Prince Demetrius, who had been murdered there on the initiative of Eurymaschus Gadavaranius in 1191, nearly two centuries earlier. Antiochus promised his own son that he would have "nothing to fear from him in the future" and tried to impress upon him the notion of familial loyalty. Decabulus put on the show of this, for the time being, but continued to remain privately resentful nevertheless.
  • On May 23, Emperor Antiochus ordered the Earl of Jadia to occupy the Headquarters of Ivoria on Alladoria, and to destroy it. This would be in retaliation for Chief Kalnyshevsky's support of the Children's Revolt, and his violation of Laurasian territorial integrity in the Horacian Provinces. Jadia did as instructed, assembling his units at Maschinga, Ivoria, and Burderia. On June 5, 1375, he blockaded the system of Alladoria with his units, surrounding it with turbocannon batteries, and demanded its prompt surrender. Kalynshevsky, who realized the folly of fighting the Laurasians, and understanding that he was at a serious disadvantage, surrendered almost immediately. He and his officers were taken into custody by the Earl who treated them generously. Jadia then destroyed the Headquarters, his troops eliminating every last trace of its existence, and confiscating all of its military supplies, shields, and arms. Exactly two months later, on August 5, 1375, Emperor Antiochus formally announced the destruction of the Headquarters of Ivoria, and confirmed the final abolition of the Ivorian Hetmanate, which had emerged in 1248 due to rebellion against the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth. On his orders, Chief Kalynshevsky and his officers were confined at the Secret Prison of Ipsus V. There, he was to remain until 1402, when he was released on the orders of Emperor Demetrius. Kalynshevsky, however, who was then 112 years old, decided to remain at the Prison's Habitual Quarters, and would die a year later, on October 31, 1403. His death came several months after that of the last Ivorian Hetman, Razumovsky, who died on January 1, 1403, in Christiania, Laurasia Prime, aged 74.
  • Emperor Antiochus conducted a further tour through the Central Core in September 1375, and in October, visited Alladoria, supervising the re-colonization of the star system by imperial authorities, in the aftermath of the destruction of the Headquarters. He also contemplated annulling his marriage with Empress Consort Anna and having her permanently confined to a monastery. The Emperor, however, was eventually persuaded against this, as it would call the legitimacy of his children into question. On November 5, 1375, Antiochus instead ordered for all references to Anna as Empress Consort to be expunged; for her honors to be removed from the Imperial Household; and for the Empress Consort's imprisonment conditions to be tightened. Anna was now forbidden all communication with the outside world; she was given only a few attendants; and she was deprived of access to her estates, as well as her imperial annuity. Antiochus even forbade the guards or the servants to refer to her as Empress, and instead mandated that she be called Lady. Finally, he promoted his mistress, Lady Matidia, to higher honors; she was made Baroness Matidia of Clackimaris on December 9, 1375, an action which enraged many at the Imperial Court, but which could not be challenged. 1375 ended, therefore, with the Empire continuing to reside in peace.

1376Edit

  • 1376, the 76th year of the fourteenth century, commenced with Emperor Antiochus at the Fortunata Mansion on Caladaria with the Young Emperor and Grand Prince Demetrius, and with the Imperial Court. In his New Year's proclamation to his subjects, Antiochus touted his destruction of the Headquarters of Ivoria, the restoration of domestic tranquility to the Empire's realms, and the fact that "under my watch, the imperial dynasty has been further secured, to an extent which has not been seen before." Yet during that same month, January 1376, the Emperor continued to contemplate the matter of his wife, Empress Consort Anna of Commagenos. Instead of annulling the marriage, he now came upon the idea that Anna should take the veil as a Nun of Almitis, which would thereby absolve him of any marital commitments, without challenging the legitimacy of their children. On January 22, the Emperor summoned Grand Princes Antiochus and Leonnatus to Caladaria. The two Grand Princes obliged by their father's command, and they arrived there four days later.
  • With all of his adult sons in company, Antiochus raised to them what he intended to do to their mother. At this, however, he inspired a great furor. Grand Prince Antiochus in particular, who among the Emperor's sons was the closest to Anna, asserted that he could "never forgive Your Majesty" if he profaned their mother's honor, or inflicted any harm upon her. He was soon joined in this by the Young Emperor, who begged his father to have mercy upon his wife. The Young Emperor, however, now allowed for some of his own resentments to boil over. He launched into a tirade of complaints about the manner in which his father treated him, declaring that "no Grand Prince yet in these realms has been laid so low." Paranoid, and believing that there was some sinister conspiracy against him, he now accused his father of keeping him a captive in his palaces, of limiting his allowance, and of preventing him from contacting his friends. Antiochus was astounded at this, and his own distrust of his son intensified yet further.
  • Nevertheless, the Emperor saw that by disposing of Anna, he would only worsen the tensions among his sons, and even perhaps, drive them to action against him. Consequently, Antiochus decided to back down from the matter of his wife, and to focus upon the Young Emperor once more. The Young Emperor, on February 7, now requested permission to make a journey to the Peschenga Monastery on Sarah, and from thence, to conduct a tour through the Malarian Provinces. Antiochus, believing that his son would attempt to join his friends, and seeing it for the ruse it was, refused. The Young Emperor then requested permission to move to the Cron Drift; Antiochus, who saw this as less threatening, reluctantly agreed. Young Emperor Decabulus departed from Caladaria ten days later, accompanied by his wife, and proceeded to the Cron Drift. He was then, however, ordered by his father to move further south to Melarnaria; Antiochus now intended for Grand Prince Antiochus to be given the Governorship of the region, so as to provide him with some administrative experience, and he wanted Decabulus to observe the business of government for himself.
  • Decabulus reached Melarnaria in March 1376, and set himself to work on the task of gaining the opinions of nobles and officials in the region, many of whom still had their own resentments about the Emperor. Antiochus, however, knew full well what his son intended, and he had his agents watch all of his actions. All of this, for the Emperor, was a means for him to track how his son would behave when not in his immediate presence. And he was not pleased by it. Decabulus himself eventually realized that he was under surveillance, and decided to refrain from his plotting for the time being. In spite of these troubles between father and son, however, the Empire's realms continued to reside in peace. In August 1376, the Emperor's third and youngest daughter, Grand Princess Julia, was formally betrothed to William d'Arch, the Chancian Prince of Elizabeth; Antiochus sought by this to maintain his grip over affairs along the upper Rebeccan, and to placate the non-Laurasian elites within the Empire. The following month, on September 28, his youngest, Grand Prince Demetrius, would be betrothed to Lady Helen Denteria, daughter of the Earl of Gordasis, who was one of Antiochus's most trusted courtiers.
  • Antiochus, however, now suffered an emotional loss. On September 4, 1376, which was, coincidentally, the 200th anniversary of the fall of the Huntite Khanate to the Rudorites of King Odoacer, the Emperor's mistress, Baroness Salonina Matidia of Clackimaris, died at Gladarian Monastery on Laura, aged 26. The Baroness's health had been in severe decline from the beginning of the year. On January 27, she had been admitted to St. Bartholomew's Hospital in Christiania, and had been diagnosed with the Antigenes fever. For a time, it was feared that she would die, but thanks to the vigorous medical treatments of her physicians, ordered by Emperor Antiochus himself, she emerged from her sickness on February 19. Baroness Matidia had then retired from the Imperial Laurasian Court, and she had ceased active sexual relations with the Emperor. Antiochus, however, continued to send her communiques and gifts, granted her further estates on Kola, Gascon, and Lauren, and in April 1376, ordered that she was to be given higher status then all other noblewomen in the Empire, save for the imprisoned Empress Consort. On May 15, Baroness Matidia went to Gladarian Monastery on Laura, seeking spiritual comfort. The Baroness's health, however, upon her arrival at the Monastery, resumed its course of decline, and she came increasingly to depend on the medical services of the Monastic Hospital. She was diagnosed with the Angrames malady on August 9, and it was declared that nothing further could be done for her. Her death, therefore, while it came at a very young age, was not necessarily shocking to anyone.
  • The Emperor, however, was still heartbroken over the fact of it, and he shut himself up in his private bedchambers for a time, refusing to conduct state business, and refusing to appear before his subjects. He emerged from this on September 11, emphasizing to his courtiers that "never a more holy or beautiful woman had lived then this." Antiochus then ordered for her to be given a lavish funeral at the Monastery; this funeral was conducted on September 23, 1376, attended by the Baroness's parents, brother, and friends. The Emperor himself did not attend, but nevertheless sent his condolences. Baroness Matidia was then buried in a beautifully decorated tomb, dedicated to her memory, before the high altar in the Monastery Church. Her body remained at this tomb for the next fifteen years. Then, in October 1391, Archbishop Hugalanius of Katherine visited Gladarian Monastery. The Archbishop was appalled at the sight of the tomb, and ordered for her body to be removed from it, and buried in the Nuns' Chapter House, for "she was a harlot, and so that the Almitian religion may not grow into contempt and that other women, warned by her example, may abstain from illicit and adulterous intercourse." Her body was re-interred, and the tomb was dismantled. More then four centuries later (c. 1799), the Pruthian visitor Paul Hentzner, known for his accounts of the Imperial Court under Aurelia the Great, would write a detailed description of Gladarian Monastery and the affair of Lady Matidia. Yet even before Lady Matidia's death, the Emperor had already entered into an affair with Venasian Princess Alania, betrothed to Grand Prince Antiochus. This affair was far more scandalous then the previous one, and it would prove to have diplomatic consequences in the future.

1377-1379Edit

  • The latter years of the 1370s passed in relative tranquility for the Laurasian Empire, marked primarily by a series of further reforms, implemented by Emperor Antiochus, and by the affairs of the Leonidian Dynasty. In June 1376, Emperor Antiochus had implemented the Edict of Christiania, which had laid down extensive procedures for Laurasian judicial processes. The Edict now regularized the use of juries and consultative panels at all levels of the judiciary. All civil cases, involving sums of more then $50,000 denarii, were to now involve a jury, comprised of twelve qualified, professional individuals, who would be selected by the officials of the municipal, planetary, solar, and district courts, and who would be responsible for considering the evidence, providing advice to the judge, and rendering an opinion. All civil cases with less then this sum were to remain solely within the power of the judge to decide. For the civil cases involving the greatest sums (more then $100 million), and for those in which nobles, clergymen, government officials, or corporations were a party, there was also to be a consultative panel, which would be responsible for ensuring the validity of all evidence, could issue opinions on the legality of actions taken, or the value of testimony given, and would acquaint the jury with all of the legal procedures involved in the determination of specific property or financial claims. The Emperor also introduced the concept of the "grand jury", by which all criminal cases were to be examined before they were brought to trial. Grand juries were also to have the authority to suspend or revise verdicts handed down in prior criminal cases, and were to formally refer all cases at dispute to the higher appeals courts.
  • The Emperor also reconfirmed that all clergymen could be brought before the imperial courts; ordered the final abolition of all trials by ordeal or combat; and mandated that the Magisterial Court of Criminal Appeals was to have the responsibility to issue supeonas and warrants relating to the investigation of criminal charges or offenses committed while in government service. The Senate was given additional powers to issue codifications of judicial rulings, to halt verdicts or opinions issued by lower judicial authorities, and to rule on the legality of actions taken by government officials. The Senate, moreover, was now to provide reports to the Council of Civil Service on all of its decisions, and was to refrain from publishing a verdict unless if it obtained imperial permission. Finally, the Emperor decreed the establishment of the General Eyre, mandating that all judicial officials were to undergo routine examinations by their peers, and any who were found deficient could be removed through those processes; this thereby relieved him of the onerous burden for making determinations about every justice or judge who was in the service.
  • Further reforms to land tenure, to court cases involving imperial estates, and to the prohibition relating to retainers, were codified in the decree of April 18, 1377. And in 1379, Antiochus would commission the compilation of an organic civil and criminal code, encompassing all laws, judicial decisions, and rescripts passed since the commencement of the Empire (1321). This would ultimately culminate in the Codex Aristobalnus (1389), which would be published towards the end of his reign, and would be a major source for later Laurasian legal codifications. Antiochus also focused his attention upon the local administrative system of the Empire. In 1377 and 1378, he reorganized the Empire's administrative divisions, ordering for the equitable division of imperial territories into systems, districts, and provinces. All remaining hereditary governorships were abolished; a uniform General Court of Assizes was created to handle the affairs of all district courts in each province; and the office of Quaestor of Finances was established. Antiochus also regularized the system of censors, extended the powers of the Aedile, which were now assigned on a provincial and district level, and subordinated all municipal authorities to the Imperial College of Colonial Administration. As a result of these innovations, the number of provinces in the Empire increased from 350 at the beginning of his reign to 700 by 1389; the number of districts, from 1,200 to 3,400; and the budget for local administration rose by more then 100%. The reforms introduced by Antiochus I were to remain in place until 1448, when Claudius II enacted his own substantial reform of the Empire's administrative divisions.
  • In February 1377, Grand Princess Julia's marriage to d'Arch took place; the following month, news of Antiochus's new affair, with Venasian Princess Alania, leaked out from the Imperial Court. Queen Mother Kendura, when she learned of this, was angered, and on April 22, she issued an ultimatum to the Emperor of Laurasia, demanding that he cease with his antics, and that he oblige by all earlier treaty terms. Antiochus did not respond to this ultimatum, and in June 1377, Kendura threatened to declare war against the Empire. The Emperor took notice of this, and, determined not to have his dominions plunged again into conflict at this juncture, resolved to set things straight. On September 21, 1377, he and the Queen Mother held a conference at Agac, during the course of which Antiochus assured Kendura that her sister was to be married in due time to Grand Prince Antiochus, and promised himself to refrain from any further sexual relations with her. Kendura, in turn, confirmed the terms of the Treaty of Lythia. The Emperor of Laurasia, however, did not keep true to his commitments, and he now made arrangements to conduct his liaison with the Venasian Princess in the strictest secrecy. The affair therefore continued for years more, and Alania would bear, in private, two illegitimate children, neither of which would survive. Grand Prince Antiochus, who by then had little desire to marry her, was angered by his father's deeds.
  • The Emperor conducted a progress through the Central Core and Purse Region during the latter months of 1377, and then hastened to suppress some minor outbursts of civil dissent in the Horacian Provinces. He then returned to Laurasia Prime on July 15, 1378, and the following month, staged a grand ceremony at the Quencilvanian Palace, honoring Grand Princes Antiochus and Leonnatus with the Order of St. Arasces Arcarius. The Young Emperor, on his part, continued to indulge himself in tournaments and other entertainments throughout the length and breath of the Empire, gaining renown for his athletic accomplishments. This continued into 1379. On January 19, 1379, the Emperor met with King-Emperor Stanislaw II of Polonia-Donguaria at Frogglesworth, confirming the Polonian Constitution and the Commonwealth's rights of territorial integrity. He then proceeded to a conference with King Childebert V of Upper Melorkia, held at Drennan in March 1379. Then in August 1379, the Emperor agreed to the Treaty of Durelia with the newly-reestablished Celestial Dynasty of Kimania, under the rule of Zhuvan Shogun (1369-98), the first native ruler of that ancient species in more than five centuries. It is expedient to give a brief explanation of his rise. The Rudorite Kingdom of Kimania, which had been established by the Rudorite General Buntha in August 1252, lasted for little over a century. Buntha himself had ruled over Kimania until his death on August 11, 1259, at Leo's Redoubt. After a brief civil war between his younger brothers Kuntha and Muntha, the throne passed to Muntha, who defeated and killed Kuntha in the Battle of Derangy (April 7, 1261), and established himself as King of Kimania. Kuntha (1261-95), had been engaged in wars against the Kingdom of Jarjanica, the Huntite Caliphate, and the Kingdom of Melanie Major. He worked in conjunction with King Livuigild of Ashlgothia (1268-86), who sought the elimination of Jarjarnican power. Following the death of Rechila II in August 1250, Chararic had become King of Jarjanica (1250-59). His reign had been dominated by his attempts to reform Arian Jarjanicsm, the traditional religion of his species, by border disputes with the Lesians, and by efforts to maintain control of his nobility. He was in particular challenged by Prince Ariamir, who in May 1258 defeated him in the Battle of Harrison, and forced him to recognize him as heir-apparent to the throne.
  • Chararic had then died in August 1259, and been succeeded by Ariamir (1259-61). Ariamir's reign had seen the continuation of religious and civil turmoil, and in May 1261, he was assassinated at Skold. Ariamir had then been succeeded by his brother Theodemar (1261-70). From 1263 to 1268, Theodemar and Kuntha found themselves at war; this First Rudorite-Jarjanican War, in which Kimania received assistance from Lesia under Ipshila I (1259-77), and which saw confrontations at Strongstine, Abshire, Riley, Hutsia Major, Hutsia Minor, Chobania, Messalina, Samantha, Goni, and Reading, ultimately proved indecisive, accomplishing nothing for either side. The war had ultimately been ended by the Treaty of Dodson (December 1268), which restored peaceful relations between Kimania and Jarjanica on the basis of the status quo ante bellum. Theodemar had then died in July 1270, and was succeeded by Miro (1270-83). Miro now became a target of both Kuntha and of King Livuigild of Ashlgothia. In 1272, the Kings of Rudorita and Ashlgothia concluded the Treaty of Courtney, directed against Jarjanica, and in 1273, they launched a joint invasion of that Kingdom's dominions. The ensuing war, which became known as the Mironian War, lasted until 1279. Livuigild, within short order, overran Plath, Skold, Jarman, Harrison, Allen, and Novina; then in June 1274, he destroyed a Jarjanican force under the command of Guntram in the Battle of Dominguez. Acone, Kelly, Caleb, and Dodson were seized by Rudorite forces in November 1274, and in April 1275, Miro suffered another reverse in the Battle of Apisida. By then, however, Briannia under Char'lac III (XI) had been drawn into renewed conflict with Venasia, now under Kalamania III (1270-99), who had succeeded her mother Kendura I in February 1270. Moreover, King Char'lac was concerned by events in the Barsar Regions, and was on hostile terms with King Louis I of Melorkia (1257-88), who eyed the Briannian Crimeanian Provinces.
  • In September 1275, the Queen Mother declared war upon the King of Briannia; by then, Briannia and Melorkia had already been at war for three months. In 1276-77, Briannian forces, led by King Char'lac himself, gained a series of successes in Decapolia and at Drennan, Acamaria, Eutagia, Benztir V, Hooper, and Sanegeta along the Kimanian Trade Run, maintaining their strategic position against both Venasia and Melorkia. In March 1277, King Miro, desperate for assistance, appealed for military aid to his Briannian counterpart. Char'lac responded, and the Treaty of Winehouse (August 11, 1277), had committed Briannia to military and diplomatic support of the Jarjanicans. During 1278, Briannian forces advanced into the Ashlgothian Borderlands Territories, storming Kane, Courtney, Bryce, Tahon, Baiteman, Imma, Emma, and Kathryn, thereby sundering Ashlgothian supply lines to the Southern Barsar Regions. By March 1279, with Briannian forces holding the advantage in all fronts, the powers moved eagerly to peace. The Treaty of Nathaniel (August 23, 1279), resulted in the concession of the Ashlgothian Borderlands Territories to Briannia, which was to form Ashlgothia's territorial vendetta against Briannia in the Great Briannian War. Jarjanica kept all of its territories intact, while the status quo ante bellum was maintained among Briannia, Melorkia, and Venasia.
  • Yet this proved the last hurrah for Jarjanica. From 1280-82, Miro contended with a series of revolts led by Prince Mufelda, with economic troubles, and with other concerns. His death in April 1283 left his son Eboric on the Jarjanican throne. King Livuigild, seeking to take advantage of Briannia's retreat into convalescence, and to compensate his realms for the loss of the Borderlands Territories, now provoked tensions within Jarjanica. He encouraged the activities of Prince Audeca, who in January 1284 revolted at Caleb. By June, he had secured possession of Allen, Novina, Skold, and Plath, and on September 19 of that year, he defeated and captured Eboric at Kershner. Audeca now proclaimed himself King of Jarjanica, and in January 1285, he had Eboric murdered at Preena. It was this which gave Livugild the casus belli he needed to invade and complete the destruction of Jarjanica. It was assailed by Ashlgothian forces in April 1285, and on November 7, Audeca was captured at Rana. He was taken in chains to Leslie, where he would die in May 1291. In December 1285, the Jarjanican Prince Malaric arose in rebellion and laid claim to the throne, but he was within short order defeated by Livugild, and in February 1286, he completed the incorporation of Jarjanica into Ashlgothia. Two months later, he died, and was succeeded by Reccared (1286-1301). This now led to a period of tension with Kimania, as Kuntha viewed the Ashlgothian moves into the Southern Barsar Regions as threatening to his own position. The two former allies then fought each-other (1289-91), a conflict ultimately ended by the Treaty of Mardy.
  • Following the death of Kuntha in June 1295, the Rudorite Kingdom of Kimania fell under the rule of a succession of less competent and effective sovereigns. He was succeeded by Kinsha (1295-1307), Rintha (1307-15), and Utha (1315-23). Each of these sovereigns saw their reigns consumed by ineffective conflicts with Ashlgothia, Melanie Major, and Lesia, as they failed to extend Rudorite power beyond the Eastern Barsar Regions. Utha was followed by Ruintha (1323-38), whose reign was marked by the Great Turban Rebellion of Ighowzu Kala at Kimanis Mooria, Gardiner, Leo's Redoubt, and Breha (1331-34). This rebellion ultimately ended in failure, but it signified a resurgence in Kimanian nationalism. Ruintha's assassination in July 1338 left his infant son Toutha as Rudorite King of Kimania (1338-69). It was during Toutha's reign that the Rudorites finally lost control over the Kimanians, who had now simmered under foreign domination for more than five centuries. Toutha was dominated by his chamberlain Tadata (1292-1358), whose foolish endeavors against the Huntite Caliphate under Orodi II (1342-62), principally in the wars of 1343-46 and 1349-52, accomplished little for the Kingdom. Finally, beginning in 1351, the Red Turban Rebellion was instigated in the Kimanian Worlds. The following year, the young Kimanian gentleman Zhu Huvan took control of rebel forces, and established his command headquarters at Kolombina. By 1356, he had captured Morangy, Derangy, and Karangy, and established Kabul as his chief headquarters. The struggle between the Red Turbans and the Rudorites continued for another thirteen years, but Kimanian forces gradually advanced to take control of Khartwia, Barangy, Narra, Christopher, Gilestis, Bookman, the Orion Cluster, Dorothea, Lange, Leseur, and Rolle (by 1361), and in 1363, eliminated Rudorite expeditionary forces under General Chantra in the Battle of the Zuyang Straits. In 1366-67, Zhu Huvan accomplished the subjection of Gardiner, Leo's Redoubt, and Kimanis Mooria, and finally, in September 1368, besieged Kimania itself. Kimania ultimately fell to him on January 15, 1369; King Toutha was captured and bound in chains. Zhu Huvan proclaimed the restoration of the Celestial Dynasty of Kimania, arrived at Kimania in April 1369, and made himself Shogun, taking the name of Zhuvan Shogun. Toutha was on his orders, imprisoned at Narra, where he would die in July 1370. It was this Zhuvan, and this Kimania, that was to become an enemy of the Laurasian Empire after Antiochus's death. 1379 ended, therefore, with the Empire still quiescent.

1380Edit

  • 1380, the 80th year of the fourteenth century, began with the Laurasian Empire's dominions still in a state of peace. On January 2, Emperor Antiochus returned again to Laurasia Prime, having conducted another tour through the Murphian and Schauerian Provinces during the last months of 1379. Seven days later, at the Diplomatic Palace in Christiania, Grand Princess Margarina gave birth to a son, Zosimus. Antiochus was overjoyed by the birth of his grandson, and the inhabitants of Laurasia Prime, as well as other star systems throughout the Empire, expressed their joy also. Moreover, the Emperor congratulated his son, Young Emperor Decabulus, and expressed his hope that there would be "many more heirs to follow." The boy's baptism was planned for January 25. However, tragedy now struck for the imperial family, for young Grand Prince Zosimus was weak, and had been born with an terminal brain condition. He fell ill in his hospital quarters, and died on January 12, 1380, just three days after his birth. When Antiochus received word of his grandson's death, he bewailed, declaring that great tragedy had befallen him, and cursing the Anti-Almitis for this. Zosimus would be interred at the Old Westphalian Cathedral on January 27, 1380, in a ceremony attended by the Emperor and the Imperial Court. His son and daughter-in-law were too heartbroken to appear.
  • Then in April 1380, Antiochus received alarming reports from his newly appointed Ambassador to the Court of Venasia Prime, Sir Peucestas Leraidon. Leraidon informed His Majesty that Queen Mother Kendura's daughter and heiress apparent, the 20-year old Princess Kumthis, had been openly airing her hatred and distaste for the Laurasian Empire. Kumthis, indeed, had gained more power and influence at the Venasian Court, largely due to the physical incapability of her mother. On August 22, 1379, the Queen Mother had suffered a major heart attack in her quarters at the Fountain Palace. This had paralyzed half of her body, drained her of much of her physical vitality, and left her, in effect, immobile. Kumthis, therefore, who had already been named to the Venasian Council of High Ones, and very much unlike the Young Emperor Decabulus, was playing an active role in administrative affairs, had taken charge of the Venasian Court. The Princess, described by contemporary sources as "plain in appearance, short, and not the most athletic", lacked humor, grace, and intellectual inclinations. However, she had real ability as a ruler, being tough on policy, clever, calculating, and far more astute then her mother. A political realist and pragmatist, she proved a crafty and greedy opportunist. She would become one of the Laurasian Empire's most ardent and determined foes.
  • The Emperor, hearing of these reports, ordered for Ambassador Leraidon to request an audience with the Princess. He did so, and on July 17, 1380, met her while the Court was at Venasia Secondary. Kumthis, though she was polite to Leraidon and gave nothing away, nevertheless came across to him as duplicitous, scheming, and xenophobic. Antiochus, when he learned of this, discussed further with his advisors about the implications of this young woman becoming Queen Mother. They could not form a definitive consensus then, and advised His Majesty to prepare for anything. And indeed, the situation now came upon them in full force. On September 18, 1380, at Venasia Prime, Queen Mother Kendura II died after reigning for fourteen years, and was succeeded by her daughter. Kumthis, in her first conference with the Council of High Ones following her accession, made it clear that all of her policies from that point forwards were to be directed towards undermining the Empire's position. Kendura was buried at the Royal Mausoleum of Celestia ten days later; Kumthis's coronation as Queen Mother was then held in November 1380, being a very lavish ceremony. She was to rule for the next forty-two years (until 1422), across the reigns of four Laurasian sovereigns (Antiochus I, Antiochus II, Demetrius I, and Tiberius II).

1381Edit

  • 1381 began with the Venasian Consortium having gained a new, vigorous, and ardently anti-Laurasian sovereign, and with a state of tenuous peace continuing to persist in the Core Regions. This situation continued, for Kumthis's efforts were to be focused, during the first years of her reign, on building up the Consortium's military forces, implementing a series of administrative and economic reforms, and provoking dissent within the Empire, from Antiochus's sons and from among his subjects, against him. Antiochus himself stayed at Laurasia Prime during the early months of 1381. He was engaged in a major expansion of the Quencilvanian Palace, and on March 9, 1381, was to dedicate the Antiochid Gardens, which was to become a centerpiece of the Palace's landscape. Moreover, the Emperor renovated and reconstructed parts of the Byrnes Palace, Old Royal Palace, and Old Westphalian Cathedral; ordered for the construction, on February 17, of the Forums of Antiochus; and lavished effort on the installation of new, Harkanian-class shield generators, defensive outposts, and hyperspace admission relays in the Laurasia Prime star system.
  • Antiochus also continued in his generosity to the Almitian Church, attempting to make up for the murder of Becketius a decade earlier. On January 19, he proclaimed that all church estates which had been acquired by the Church since 1325 were to remain inviolate, and could not be seized through right of public domain. He then sponsored the establishment of the Order of Fontevrault, which was to become a major missionary order within the Empire (February 1381). The Emperor increased the Holy Synod's budget, granted it more powers to collect tithes and dues from the church congregations, and limited the scope of the Commission of Economy. He also ordered for the foundation of one new cathedral, four new churches, and two new monasteries for every ten systems colonized during the next ten years. In April 1381, the Emperor was to revise the Charters of Monasterial Privileges, repealing Seleucus I's age restrictions for admission into the orders and limiting documentation requirements for applicants. As a consequence, the number of nuns, monks, apothecaries, and members of holy orders in the Empire would increase by more then twofold between 1381 and 1390.
  • In July 1381, Grand Prince Leonnatus was finally, and formally, married to his fiancee Constantia at Laurasia Prime. After the wedding, on August 7, 1381, the Emperor appointed his bastard son, Gregory, as Chancellor of the Laurasian Empire. Gregory was to continue to prove loyal in his service to his father, who would also make him Archdeacon of the Vemay Monastery and would award him extensive estates in the Laurasia Prime Purse Region. In September 1381, the Emperor embarked on another tour through the Central Core, and then destroyed a pirate redoubt at Ecreutus, having their leader, Reigh McDeigh, executed on Clancia. On October 19, his daughter, Julia, gave birth to a son, Philetaerus, at Conservan, but he died just eight days later. Antiochus was now forced to comfort her as well, and had the boy buried with full honors on Windowia Photis, on November 8. He then made his way to Melarnaria in December 1381, and celebrated Ascentmas there.

1382Edit

  • 1382 began with the Imperial Court ensconced at Melarnaria, and with Emperor Antiochus continuing to enjoy the relative state of peace which prevailed in his dominions. Yet this did not last for long, as his sons, the Young Emperor and Grand Prince Antiochus, were now engaged in a dispute at Melarnaria. The Young Emperor, who had been sent there to observe the machinations of state, as Antiochus executed his duties as Governor of Melarnaria, had grown increasingly impatient, and increasingly angry. He had made continual demands, from November 1381, that his younger brother give him the position of Aedile, and some role in the affairs of the Gubernatorial Council. Antiochus, however, aware of his brother's duplicity and his treachery, had refused, and had remained in constant contact with his father, seeking justification for this. The Young Emperor did not back down, however, and he now began inciting tensions at Goss Beacon, Williams, Paradine, and N'zoth against the Grand Prince's authority. Antiochus, when he learned of this, threatened, in March 1382, to banish his brother, and to compel him back to Laurasia Prime. Decabulus countered this, and said that he did not have the authority nor the presumption to do so.
  • The situation escalated to the point that Emperor Antiochus had to intervene. On March 27, the Emperor departed from Laurasia Prime, and hastened into the Central Core. He was proceeded ahead, however, by Grand Prince Leonnatus, who joined with Decabulus and inspired him in his further arguments with Grand Prince Antiochus. Tensions were therefore at the breaking point when their father arrived at Melarnaria (April 5, 1382). Although Emperor Antiochus realized the advantages of his sons being set up, one against the other, he nevertheless did not want for there to be full-out conflict. Therefore, he commanded for the Young Emperor to accompany him back to Laurasia Prime; for Grand Prince Leonnatus to return to Chancia, where his wife's household was established; and for Grand Prince Antiochus to move to Pasquarillo, to supervise the construction of new fortifications in that star system. His sons did as ordered. Then, on April 22, the Emperor moved back to Laurasia Prime, and there greeted his eldest daughter, Grand Princess Messalina, along with her husband, Polonian Lord Otherius Wedericki, to whom she had been married in 1372. Their sons Otherius and Lothair, along with their daughters Messalina, Constantia, and Gisana, were with them. Antiochus delighted in his grandchildren, and had the Young Emperor greet them as well.
  • The Young Emperor, however, had, through the means of Venasian Ambassador, Lady Malalia, managed to maintain contact with Queen Mother Kumthis. She had lent a sympathetic and calculating ear to his complaints about his father, and had given him advice as to how he should proceed. In August 1382, the Imperial Court moved to Wroona; en route to the star system, Decabulus once again complained about his situation, declaring that his father was being too restrictive towards him, and was not sympathetic about his needs. These complaints intensified once the Court had arrived at Wroona, and things got to the point that Decabulus threatened to commit suicide, which was viewed as a mortal sin by the Almitian Church. Eventually, the Emperor capitulated; he now agreed to increase his son's allowance, to give him a detachment of Praetorian Guards, and the Palace of Secrets on Paradine. Somewhat mollified by this, the Young Emperor accepted, and on September 19, promised his father that he would make no further demands of him. This, however, did not hold.
  • Antiochus had intended to travel to Goodman for his Ascentmas Court, but rebel tensions in the Constantine Cluster, particularly at Sapphire and Merandaz, and the disputes with his son convinced him to remain at Wroona for the season. It was a glittering occasion, and in the hopes of maintaining peace, Antiochus commanded for all of his sons to be present. He also summoned the Senate, Synod, Council of Civil Service, and the imperial nobility, exacting renewed oaths of allegiance from them at the Imperial Court. The Young Empress presided with her father-in-law, and there was much cheer. It was however, the Young Emperor's behavior that poisoned everything. He acted in a foul mood, and refused to have Sir Willanius Marshallia, his long-time friend and companion, with him. Marshallia himself was angered by an insinuation that he had looked upon Grand Princess Margarina in a "brazen manner", and he had demanded the right to prove himself. This had been rejected, and he stayed away. The Young Emperor's associates now took advantage of his disaffection, and drove a wedge between him and Grand Prince Antiochus, who was referred to as the "prince of cravens."
  • The Young Emperor now demanded that Antiochus be deprived of the Governorship of Melarnaria, and that he himself be given the Governorship of that province, as well as that of Clancia. He threatened to renounce his place in the succession and his titles, and to retire to a monastery, if he were not given what he desired. Antiochus, moved by his son's tears, decided to placate him by having Leonnatus and young Antiochus swear an oath of allegiance to Decabulus as their future Emperor. Leonnatus complied, but Antiochus refused, declaring that he owned no allegiance to his brother until the Emperor himself were deceased. Moreover, he now castigated his father for keeping their mother, Empress Consort Anna, a prisoner, and demanded that he set her free. Antiochus, angered at this, ordered all of his sons out of his sight and then commanded all to move back to Laurasia Prime. They did so, on December 30, 1382.

1383Edit

  • 1383, the 83rd year of the fourteenth century, commenced with tensions poisoned at the Imperial Court, as the Emperor Antiochus's dispute with his sons now reached a boiling point. On January 3, 1383, the Emperor, having made his return to Laurasia Prime, with the Imperial Court, summoned his sons before him, to an audience at the Quencilvanian Palace. There, "anxious to make peace between his sons", he attempted to resolve their quarrel, asking the Young Emperor to acknowledge that the Governorship of Melarnaria was Antiochus's, and to respect his rights as Grand Prince. The Young Emperor's response was crafty. He swore to do what his father had asked of him, as long as Antiochus would swear loyalty to him on "sacred relics." At this, Antiochus exploded in anger, and stalked out of the chamber. He ignored his father's commands to return, and uttered "nothing but threats and defiance."
  • The Emperor now realized that it was only a matter of time before tensions boiled over into another full-fledged rebellion. He now tried to keep Antiochus and Decabulus restrained at Laurasia Prime, but was then, on January 10, 1383 (four hundred years before the Laurasian victory in the Battle of Imokhill), waylaid with a bout of the Terellian flu. This gave the two Grand Princes the opportunity they needed to slip from the capital world, and to venture to their supporters; Antiochus to his headquarters on Melarnaria, Decabulus to Ruthania, where he had been stockpiling military supplies and equipment, and had, with the aid of Queen Mother Kumthis, been engaged in the process of hiring mercenaries. Grand Prince Leonnatus now offered his support to the Young Emperor. Finally, on February 7, 1383, the Young Emperor proclaimed himself to once again be in rebellion, and asserted that he would maintain his rights. He quickly seized control of Elainsborough, Bainsborough, and Tommy (February 8-19, 1383), and on February 22, stormed onto Goss Beacon, driving his brother's units from the world. He then secured the garrison of Stenbock (February 25), and overran the Goldarian Systems of the Beloved Ones. Taxiles the Great, Hydapses, and Haudjrau were then seized by Leonnatus's units (March 1-7, 1383), and by March 15, Natasi, Daala, and Yularen had fallen into the Young Emperor's possession also.
  • Emperor Antiochus, who finally recovered from his illness at the end of February 1383, realized the threat posed to his position. He now mobilized the garrisons of the Laurasia Prime Purse Region, issued a manifesto denouncing his son's actions, and on March 28, 1383, moved from Laurasia Prime, and south into the Central Core. On April 8, 1383, the Emperor approached the outskirts of Ruthania, determined to besiege and capture his son's chief headquarters before he could make any further advances against him. He was now joined by Grand Prince Antiochus, who had vigorously repelled all of his brother's offensives against Williams, Nikolai, and Palimisiano. The Young Emperor himself now hastened from Goldaria, which he and Leonnatus were besieging, and sought to take command of the forces of Ruthania. He now ordered his starfighters to fire upon the Emperor's flagship, the IMS Carmania; the Emperor himself was wounded in the arm, and his flagship suffered extensive damage. Decabulus had come to the point that he was willing to kill his own father in order to achieve his own ends.
  • Antiochus was forced to retreat from Ruthania, and had to retire to Teth to seek medical treatment. On April 12, 1383, he suspended his son's allowance, and on April 21, after his son's units had failed to storm Muppet, Mommica, and the Sort Drift, he ordered for the confiscation of all his son's estates and properties in the Purse Region. Antiochus now conferred these upon his namesake, Grand Prince Antiochus, and declared him "faithful to the imperial line." The Grand Prince now led a series of vigorous counteroffensives against his brother's forces, scoring a series of decisive victories. On April 28, he lifted the Siege of Goldaria, capturing thirty of the forty transports deployed by Decabulus. From thence, he recovered Natasi and Daala (May 5-12, 1383), and on May 16, drove off Leonnatus in the Battle of Yularen, which was a ferocious confrontation. Antiochus then subdued Stenbock (May 22-25), recovered Taxiles the Great (May 26), Hydapses (May 28), and Haudjrau (May 29-30), and on June 1, 1383, won another victory at Marshia.
  • By the beginning of June 1383, Leonnatus and Decabulus were in desperate straits. Running out of funds with which to pay his mercenaries, Decabulus now launched a series of raiding expeditions against Cageo, Louza, Kingpin, Dasine, Jahraes, Redderson, Ergeme, and Maschinga. His forces were especially brutal, sparing neither "man, woman, or child, and indulging in an extensive regime of rapine, of mass deportations, and of property destruction." However, Decabulus's health, which had never been that great, now took a absolute turn for the worse. On June 7, 1383, while attacking the colony of Codrderia, the Young Emperor fell violently ill with the Antigenes fever, which he had contracted at Ergeme. He was now forced to take lodgings at the property of Hudat Editmakovsky, a Ivorian merchant who had been spared by his forces. He was then seen by the Archbishop of Ivoria, who came on his request, and made a fervent confession of his sins. A communique was now dispatched to the Emperor, informing him of his son's condition. Antiochus, who was still wary of his son, sent him, on June 9, his physician, some funds, and a token of his forgiveness, a sapphire ring which had belonged to his grandfather, Seleucus the Strong. He also sent a message, expressing his hope that, after his son were recovered, they would be reconciled.
  • By the early hours of June 11, 1383, the Young Emperor realized that he was dying, and overcome with remorse for his sons, asked to be garbed in a monk's habit, and laid on a bed of ashes, with a noose around his neck and bare stones at his head and feet, as befitted a penitent. When Antiochus's ring was brought to him, he begged that his father would show grace and mercy to the Empress his mother, who had now been in captivity for ten years, and that all his companions would plead with the Emperor to set her at liberty. He also asked that the Emperor provide for the needs of the Young Empress and ordered that all his possessions, besides the ring, be distributed to imperial subjects. One of the attendants asked why he did not give the ring away also. He responded that he wished it to serve as a "token of forgiveness." Then, towards midnight, the Young Emperor died on Codrderia, aged only twenty-eight. One of his companions, Sir Tlepolemus Rossaria, was sent to break the news to the Emperor. Antiochus was now at Ruthania, which had returned to his allegiance to him, and when the companion approached him in his quarters, at the Craven Palace of Ruthania, the Emperor knew what he had come for.
  • Antiochus now bewailed his son, throwing himself upon the ground and calling down the curses of the anti-Almitis. He made a point to learn all of the details of the Young Emperor's death, and was greatly moved by them. With the death of the Young Emperor, the remnants of his rebellion collapsed. On June 15, Grand Prince Leonnatus reconciled with his father and brother at Constancia, and by June 17, all rebel strongholds were back in the Emperor's hands. Antiochus now had his son's body embalmed, placed in a coffin, and brought to Melarnaria. His funeral was conducted on June 24, 1383, and he was interred at the Cathedral of St. Paul's, next to the bodies of his grandparents and uncles (re-translated to the New Westphalian Cathedral in 1560). More then four centuries later, in 1794, Empress Aurelia was to order for the erection of a memorial gravestone above the graves of the Young Emperor, his siblings, and grandparents, among other relatives, etched with the words from the Book of Joseph, 1:13: "Forgiveness is possible for all men who seek it, and all men who ask for it." Antiochus, on his part, dispatched the Archdeacon of St. Paul's to Windowia Photis, to break to the Empress the news of her son's death.
  • He found the Empress Consort calm, collected, and prepared. She had had a dream, she told him, that foretold her loss. She had seen her son lying on a couch with his hands together as if in prayer, and it had struck her that he looked like a tomb effigy. On his finger could be seen a great sapphire ring, and above his white face, there hovered two crowns. The first was the one he had worn at the coronation ceremony, but the second was a circlet of pure dazzling light, comparable to the Holy Grail and its brilliance. The second crown, more beautiful then anything else in reality, foretold that he would find comfort in private. The Archdeacon was astonished by her composure and behavior, but her grief ran deep: in 1393, she would confess to the Archbishop of Christiania that she was still troubled by the memory of the Young Emperor.
  • The Young Emperor's death now left Grand Prince Antiochus as his father's heir apparent; on July 1, 1383, Antiochus embraced his son in a ceremony at Melarnaria, formally anointed him heir apparent, and presented him to the Court, though he decided to now abandon the coronation custom which he had attempted to introduce; never again would a Laurasian heir-apparent be crowned before the death of the reigning monarch. Antiochus's widow, Margarina of Venasia, was allowed to retain all of her dower properties. She would establish her chief residence at Kigonia, and would reside there until her death on September 18, 1397, aged forty. In September 1383, the Emperor would, in a manifesto to his subjects, proclaim that the death of his son was "one of the greatest blows ever laid upon a Emperor." Antiochus would remember his son with both sadness and pain for the remaining years of his reign.
  • In July 1383, Emperor Antiochus I, who was becoming known as the "Great" by some of his subjects, was fifty. He had now reigned for nearly twenty-nine years, and had, due to his ceaseless exertions, aged beyond his years. His hair was grey, his stocky body had become corpulent, and he was now bow-legged. Moreover, he was partially lame in one of his legs, and he continued to suffer from periodic illness, in spite of all the treatments lavished upon him by his physicians. Empress Anna, on her part, had now, as previously mentioned, been a prisoner for a decade. She was sixty-one, and years of confinement had wrought their effect, teaching her wisdom, patience, and true piety. The death of their son, and the Young Emperor's dying request, together with the pleas of Grand Princess Messalina, all now moved Antiochus considerably. Still retaining a sense of affection and love for his wife, in spite of her treachery, he decided to now release her from captivity. On July 14, 1383, the Emperor ordered for Anna to be removed from confinement, rescinded all orders and decrees concerning her public status, and restored her to her place as Empress Consort. From now on, she was to resume her previous duties, and would even occasionally appear in public at Antiochus's side, though they would not normally reside together, and they were still personally estranged.
  • Emperor Antiochus now turned his attention to other matters: specifically, the Kingdom of Upper Melorkia. Mention has already been made of the Emperor's earlier conference with King Childebert V of Upper Melorkia in 1379. The Melorkian kingdoms had continued to remain divided from each other in the aftermath of the War of the Melorkian Succession. Pharmond II of Upper Melorkia, following the conclusion of peace in 1348-49, had proven, during the last twelve years of his reign, to be an incompetent and weak ruler. Under his watch, Upper Melorkia had continued to undergo many travails. In particular, the Tournacia Rebellion (1353-54) and the Civil Riots of Merovech (1355), demonstrated that the integrity and unity of the Melorkian dominions had slipped away. Pharmond managed to overcome these challenges, but the Melorkian economy, along with the Melorkian military forces, continued to decline during these years. After his death on January 8, 1362, he had been succeeded by his nephew, who had become Childebert V. Childebert, who had been raised at the courts of Childebert IV and Clovis II, and had fought during the latter stages of the War of the Melorkian Succession, was a cautious monarch, determined to remain at peace with his neighbors and to avoid direct hostilities with Lower Melorkia. He cultivated peaceful relations with the breakaway kingdom, even signing a commercial treaty with King Pepin II (1366-83) in 1371. Childebert had also aligned himself closely with the Imperial Laurasian Government.
  • Already, in April 1365, he had signed a mercenary provision pact, the Pact of Hooper, which allowed for him to hire up to 500,000 Laurasian mercenaries every four years for his military forces, and to recruit up to 50,000 mercenaries from other races, every six years, from the Empire's dominions. It went the other way also; Melorkian mercenaries, fighting under Laurasian command, took part in the conflicts of the 1360s and 1370s, including the Children's Revolt and the destruction of the Headquarters of Ivoria. By 1375, Childebert had signed economic treaties with the Empire and the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth. Thus, there were already foundations for a relationship between Laurasia and Upper Melorkia. Childebert himself now sought for greater protection for his kingdom, and viewed a treaty with the Laurasian Empire as the only means of achieving this. In February 1383, while the Young Emperor's final rebellion was underway in the Central Core, the King sent a communique to the College of Foreign Affairs on Laurasia Prime, proposing for negotiations between the two states, geared towards a military alliance, and protectorship of the Empire for Melorkia. It was not until July 22, 1383, however, before Emperor Antiochus responded to his request. He now consented to negotiations, and on August 3, he gave his son, Chancellor Cassanova, the responsibility for handling them.
  • On August 18, 1383, delegations from the two states convened at Georgevisk, a Melorkian colony on the Kimanian Trade Run, which had been established in September 1377. Chancellor Cassanova headed the Laurasian delegation; his Melorkian counterpart was Prince Bertand de Adonne of Kentaborn, who was assisted also by Vice-Prince Bernard de Beleio. Negotiations continued for over a month, as the two delegations wrangled over the exact terms of the alliance. Finally, on September 26, 1383, the Treaty of Georgevisk was signed by the Laurasian Empire and the Confederate Kingdom of Upper Melorkia. By the terms of this treaty, the Emperor of Laurasia became the official and sole suzerain of the Kings of Upper Melorkia, guaranteeing the Melorkians' internal sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to regard "all enemies of the Melorkian state as his enemies." Henceforth, the Kings of Upper Melorkia would be obliged to swear allegiance to their Laurasian counterparts, to support the Laurasian Empire in war, and to have no diplomatic communications with other powers without Laurasia's prior consent.
  • Free trade privileges were guaranteed for all merchants, travelers, and others who traversed between the two realms. Laurasian subjects in Melorkian territory were to enjoy diplomatic immunity, and for all offenses committed in Melorkian realms, they could be tried only by Laurasian courts. The Empire also agreed to send military advisors, diplomatic agents, and a defense corps to Melorkia Major, to provide support and advice to the King, and to maintain the Laurasian position at the Melorkian Court. These officials, however, were forbidden to interfere in Melorkian internal affairs, or to influence the enactment of the King's laws. Moreover, in order to provide for the "more effective defense" of Melorkian interests, King Childebert agreed to the concession of George, Osriana, and Brittany to the Empire. The Treaty of Georgevisk, which would pave the way for Laurasian annexation of Melorkia within the next three decades, was ratified by Emperor Antiochus on October 4 and by King Childebert on January 7, 1384. The transfer of the above-mentioned strongholds to Laurasian authority took place in February 1384, and by 1385, the Laurasian Assistance Corps would be in place at Melorkia Major.
  • During the last months of 1383, Emperor Antiochus conducted a tour through the Central Core, in order to continue the process of dissipating rebel tensions, and of reconciliation. As he had a decade earlier, the Emperor announced a general amnesty for all who had participated in the rebellion; this amnesty was formally proclaimed at Ivoria on November 7, 1383. On November 29, the Emperor summoned Grand Princes Antiochus, Leonnatus, and Demetrius, who was nearing eighteen, to him at Goldaria. There, he reconfirmed Antiochus's position as Governor of Melarnaria, gave Leonnatus the Governorship of Clancia, and conferred estates, along with the title of Duke of Gordasis, upon Demetrius. In spite of the Emperor's efforts, however, his two elder sons continued to remain at logger-heads, and in December 1383, Antiochus and Leonnatus would have a major argument. Antiochus and Demetrius, however, were on better terms, and decided that it would be best to defend their interests against Leonnatus. The Emperor, on his part, now spent Ascentmas at Seejay Prime; Empress Consort Anna was present as well, for the first time in over a decade. 1383 ended, with the Empire restored to peace and having further extended its influence through the protectorship of Upper Melorkia.

1384-1385Edit

  • The years 1384 and 1385 passed with the Laurasian Empire continuing in a state of general peace, marred, nevertheless, by domestic disputes within the Imperial Court, and by the occasional outburst of civil dissent. On January 14, 1384, soon after the final ratification of the Treaty of Georgevisk, Emperor Antiochus and the Imperial Court headed to Cinnamon. Two days later, the Emperor met with his new vassal, King Childebert of Melorkia. Childebert now, in accordance with the terms of the treaty, pledged an oath of allegiance to the Emperor of Laurasia, and promised to always remain faithful towards his commitments. Antiochus, on his part, pledged that the Empire would always be a willing "friend and ally" of the Melorkian monarchy, and that Childebert had nothing to fear. A month of celebration and of festivity then ensued, as the Emperor and the King showed their "mutual regard for each other", and as the Laurasian and Melorkian Courts honored each other. They then made their leave on February 16, 1384; Anna was not with the Emperor during this whole time, instead having moved to Clancia. She was visited by her eldest daughter, Grand Princess Messalina, who was pregnant.
  • Antiochus, following his departure from Cinnamon, then toured the strongholds of the Horacian Provinces, and on March 17, 1384, presided over the dedication of the New Vaults to the Kings, on Horacia. Following this ceremony, he ordered for the construction of forums, outposts, cathedrals, garrisons, and colonies along a thirty-light year radius from Horacia towards Bartello, and then embarked for Saray. In April 1384, the Emperor visited the ruins of the Golden Palace, and ordered for the construction of a monument in honor of the Khan Uzbeg (913-41), who had been the greatest of the Khans of the Golden Horde, and had been responsible for the confirmation of the Almitian Papacy (919). Antiochus then proceeded northwards, through Anusia, Mumbraine, Hammenor, Bristlai, Hordania, and Dorothy, to the Nexus Route. On May 7, he reached Briannia, and stayed there for some weeks. Then a month later (June 10, 1384), the Emperor proceeded to Laurasia Prime, was greeted by his subjects with much vigor and enthusiasm, and presided over the games at the Great Arena of Leonidas.
  • On June 14, Grand Princess Messalina gave birth to a son, Willanius, at the Quencilvanian Palace; the Emperor was overjoyed with the birth of this grandson, and conferred many rewards upon Messalina and her husband, Lord Otherius. At the same time, Antiochus ordered for Venasian Princess Alania to be confined at the Post Settlement of Hepudermia; he now ceased his affair with her, thereby helping to alleviate some of the tension between him and his children. Then in July, the Grand Princess, her husband, and her mother moved from Laurasia Prime to Kigonia, where they stayed for another two months. The Emperor remained at Laurasia Prime, once again presiding over the business of government. Leonnatus and Antiochus, on their part, continued to manage affairs in the Central Core, but engaged in disputes over jurisdictional boundaries, taxation, and law enforcement. The two brothers also clashed over which of them had the right to report to the Emperor on affairs at the Galactic Center, which overlapped their jurisdictions.
  • Emperor Antiochus, who was irritated by this, ordered his sons to come to Laurasia Prime (November 8, 1384). They did as obliged, and the Emperor, in a formal audience at the Quencilvanian Palace, issued a decree clarifying the dispute over the Galactic Center, ordering for both of his sons to report on affairs there, and granting them increased salaries, so as to whet their appetites. Secretly, he also ordered for the Censors and Aediles of the respective jurisdictions to keep watch on their activities, and to report to him anything suspicious. Antiochus then called Grand Princess Messalina, her husband, and Empress Consort Anna back to Laurasia Prime. On November 17, they came, and the Empress Consort had a joyous reunion with her sons Antiochus, Leonnatus, and Demetrius. On December 6, the Emperor had the Senate issue a formal decree (senatorium ordinarium), confirming the succession, and he had Leonnatus, as well as Demetrius, swear promissory oaths.
  • 1385 then began, with the Imperial Court still assembled, as it were, on Laurasia Prime. On January 5, 1385, however, Grand Princes Leonnatus and Antiochus departed back to their posts in the Central Core. Anna, along with Messalina and Otherius, again retired to Kigonia. The Emperor continued to remain at Laurasia Prime until April 1385, presiding over the renovation of the Post Settlement of Hepudermia and the construction of the New Marsian Mining Garrisons. On April 5, he departed for the Central Core, making a tour through the Clancian Worlds. He then moved down to Reoyania, and on April 28, was joined by Empress Anna, Grand Princess Messalina, and Grand Prince Otherius. The Emperor then suppressed a series of minor uprisings at Dramis, Condtella, and Brithium in June 1385, and on July 7, arrived at Melarnaria, where he stayed with Grand Prince Antiochus for a time. Leonnatus joined them on July 16; the two brothers, however, had continued to conspire against one another, and on August 3, 1385, they almost came to blows. The Emperor had them separated, and for a time confined to their separate quarters. Eventually, on August 18, they were made to reconcile, and Antiochus set them at liberty. He remained at Melarnaria until September 19; he then departed with Leonnatus back to Clancia. On October 4, Leonnatus's daughter Constantia, born in January of that year, died; the Emperor comforted his son. He then made his way back to Laurasia Prime again, arriving there on November 1, 1385, and remaining until the close of the year.

1386Edit

  • 1386, the 86th year of the fourteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire continuing to enjoy the blessings of peace. Emperor Antiochus, in his New Year's proclamation to his subjects, expressed his opinion that the "Lord Almitis would continue to confer his benefits upon the inhabitants of this Empire, and will not let the security, the prosperity, or the well-being of his subjects to falter." On January 28, 1386, the Emperor made his departure from Laurasia Prime, and headed into the Malarian Provinces. He conducted a tour through Terell, Odika, White, Welch, Johnald, the Jar Asteroids, the Malyuta Nebula, Malaria Outer, Malaria Prime, Ettleman, Goodman, Evans, Suri, and other strongholds of the Malarian Provinces. He was accompanied on this tour by Grand Prince Demetrius, and by the chief figures of the Imperial Laurasian Court. The tour lasted for over a month, and on March 5, 1386, Antiochus again returned to his capital world. He then returned to the business of government again for another month. On March 27, Empress Consort Anna was ordered to come back to Laurasia Prime.
  • The Empress did as commanded, and she arrived at the capital world on April 4. The Emperor then decided to embark from Laurasia Prime again, setting out on April 10, 1386. He and Anna now proceeded through the Purse Region, visiting Clackimaris, Darcia, Americana, Explosansia Major, Chilisia, Osama, Tarravania, Little Mexicana, Apathama Vixius, Oxia Vixius, Ralina Vixius, and other major strongholds. Emperor Antiochus also continued to remain in contact with his son, Grand Prince Antiochus, and ordered him, on April 22, to take measures to suppress the outbreak of taxation riots at the Cron Drift, Maxc-casi, and Sipp. Antiochus was also commanded to yield thirty garrisons at the Galactic Center to his brother, Grand Prince Leonnatus. He expressed some dismay over these orders, but obliged by them nevertheless. On April 27, with Empress Anna still present, the Emperor headed to Taurasia, where he met with the Conference of Almitian Prelates and dedicated the New Tyranian Monastery in Bastilla City. He remained there through the summer months; on June 8, 1386, Antiochus was to commission the construction of the Great Tower of Hyla in Bastilla City, and in July, he received the first dignitaries ever dispatched by the Cosite Imperium to the Court of Laurasia Prime.
  • Grand Prince Leonnatus, on his part, who had remained at his command headquarters on Clancia, continued to engage in various conspiracies, directed primarily against his brother. None of these came to fruition however, for he remained under surveillance by the Emperor's agents. Antiochus, moreover, used the garrisons of the upper Galactic Center that he had compelled his namesake to hand over to Leonnatus's jurisdiction as outposts to restrain Leonnatus. This thereby constituted an additional check upon his son. Leonnatus, however, did not now have much longer to live. On August 19, 1386, while participating in a tournament at the Harmony Auditorium, Leonnatus was struck by a javelin thrown by one of the competitors. The javelin cut through his neck, killing him instantly. Emperor Antiochus and Empress Anna learned of Leonnatus's death while attending a play in Bastilla City. Both imperial parents reacted with sadness and the lamentations expected for the loss of a child, but observers noted that the Emperor, in private, seemed relieved by the death of Leonnatus, who had plotted constantly against him and his brothers.
  • Leonnatus would be brought to St. Paul's Cathedral on Melarnaria, and buried next to his brother, the Young Emperor, on September 5, 1386. Leonnatus's wife, Constantia, was pregnant with their third child at the time of his death. In October 1386, Emperor Antiochus would name the Earl of Osama as the new Governor of Clancia. On November 6, he finally moved from Taurasia; Anna returned to be with their daughter Messalina at Kigonia. The Emperor then conducted a progress to the Schauerian Provinces, before returning to Laurasia Prime again on December 7, 1386. There, he ended the year, with his youngest son Grand Prince Demetrius present, who continued to impress his father with his vigor for both state and military affairs.

1387Edit

  • 1387, the 87th year of the fourteenth century, commenced with Emperor Antiochus having lost another of his children, Grand Prince Leonnatus, and with the Emperor's dominions continuing to dwell in peace. This was not to last for long however. By January 1387, Solidaritan Sultan Suleiman III, who had been engaged in the suppression of civil dissent throughout his northern territories during the past decade, and also by conflicts in the Wild Marshes against the advancing Cosite and Iffian states, had now turned his attention again, back to the Laurasian Empire. Suleiman, though he no longer enjoyed a direct military alliance with the Venasian Consortium, had nevertheless continued to remain in secret contact with its Queen Mother, Kumthis, daughter of his former ally Kendura II. In a communique of August 17, 1386, the Sultan had declared that the "perfidious Emperor of Laurasia poses the greatest threat to both our realms, and that the continued expansion of Laurasian power and influence in this galaxy is intolerable."
  • The Sultan was encouraged in these sentiments by Kumthis, who in her responses, made the strong suggestion to him that he take action to "remedy the issues arising from the Empire." Suleiman decided to follow her advice, and in November 1386, he had commanded the Grand Council, along with Grand Vizier Musharim-Pasha, to instigate preparations for war against Laurasia. Solidaritan military forces now assembled at Deanna, Coen, Wendy, Methusalah, Quanna, Laronn, Sheryl, and the Belts of Mantin, determined to drive forth into Laurasian territory. The Sultan aimed for the recovery of Dennis, Shannon, Michael, and Rastaborn, to impose limitations on Laurasian military forces, and perhaps to even force economic concessions. Yet the Solidaritans were at a distinct disadvantage the whole time; Emperor Antiochus was aware of their plans. On December 19, 1386, the Imperial Intelligence Agency had informed the Emperor that the Sultan was preparing for a renewed military conflict. Antiochus, taking these warnings with much consideration, now ordered the General Headquarters to activate the memorandum of October 1, 1384, which had been prepared for any instance at which Laurasia and Solidarita would find themselves again in conflict.
  • On January 6, 1387, the Emperor moved from Laurasia Prime to Molodi, and from thence to Dennis. He would take command of the offensives himself, but would allow for Suleiman to make the first aggressive moves, so that the war could be painted in the light of a "defensive conflict" for the Empire. Suleiman, ignorant of the Laurasian knowledge about his plans, now issued a ultimatum to the Court of Laurasia Prime (January 22, 1387). In this ultimatum, the Sultan declared that the insults inflicted by the Laurasian power upon the Sultanate were "intolerable", and that these insults needed to be redressed. Consequently, he demanded the concession of the above mentioned strongholds back to the Solidaritan Sultanate, for all Laurasian garrisons along the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route to be downscaled in size, and for the Emperor of Laurasia to grant free trade privileges to Solidaritan merchants in his dominions. Antiochus, when he received the ultimatum, commanded for there to be no response. Therefore, on February 1, 1387, Sultan Suleiman issued a declaration of war against the Laurasian Empire, commencing the War of Suleiman's Aggression.
  • Solidaritan forces now made some advances into Laurasian territory. Mariah was stormed by a Solidaritan expeditionary force (February 2-7), followed by Nezbit (February 17), Durglais (February 22), and O'Neal (February 27). But by the beginning of March 1387, Solidaritan units were already overstretched, and Emperor Antiochus now launched a series of decisive counteroffensives. He sent a task force which sacked the defenses of the Western Redoubt (March 1-3), and on March 5, 1387, won the Battle of Coen. Coen now fell into Laurasian hands. Deanna was then attacked six days later, and fell on March 22. Solidaritan units were then driven from Durglais, O'Neal, and Nezbit (March 24-April 4), and on April 7, 1387, the Battle of Impania ended in a decisive victory for the Emperor's forces. On April 12, Wendy too capitulated to the Empire. From Wendy, Laurasian expeditions then sacked Doris, Quanna, and Sheryl (April 14-May 3, 1387), inflicting a series of further humiliating losses upon the Solidaritan Sultan.
  • On May 15, 1387, Sultan Suleiman ordered for his chief general, Musleiman-Pasha, to move against Kigonia, hoping thereby to swing around the Laurasian rear, and establish a foothold in Laurasian territory. Solidaritan units did win a victory at Lauren (May 19), and on May 24, forced the Earl of Rebecca to yield the colony of Shwanie. On June 1, however, the Earl, reinforced by units dispatched by Grand Prince Antiochus, decisively defeated Musleiman-Pasha in the Battle of Chesrone, and from thence, drove Solidaritan units back across, beyond Coen. On June 6, Methusalah was stormed by the Emperor's forces; Mariah was then recovered on June 10. On June 22, 1387, Antiochus won another victory in the Battle of Garamia, storming that stronghold. Massanay and Sassanay fell shortly thereafter (June 24-July 5, 1387), and on July 9, Cibourney also fell. By July 17, with Finch and Daramia being overrun by Laurasian forces, it became clear to the Sultan that his gambit had failed. On July 26, 1387, he requested for negotiations to commence. Emperor Antiochus, receiving this request, decided he had accomplished his goals, and on August 3, the Armistice of Candlewell was signed.
  • Negotiations then began on August 10 at Canterwell, ultimately culminating in the Treaty of Canterwell (August 23, 1387). By the terms of this treaty, the Laurasian Empire gained recognition of its hold of Dennis, Shannon, Rastaborn, and Michael, thereby confirming the terms of the Treaty of Idyll. Moreover, Laurasia now acquired Massanay, Sassanay, Cibourney, and the Western Redoubt, thereby extending further to the Wild Marshes. Suleiman agreed to again recognize the terms of the Treaty of Mercedes, but was absolved by the Emperor of any duties as a subordinate. All Laurasian military forces were to withdraw from other Solidaritan territories by no later then January 1, 1389, and full relations, in accordance with the Treaty of Mercedes, were to resume promptly. The Treaty of Canterwell was ratified by Emperor Antiochus on August 25, and by Sultan Suleiman on August 31.
  • The Sultan of Solidarita's health, however, had declined considerably over the course of the past year, and on September 3, just three days after he ratified the treaty, the Sultan suffered a major heart attack. He was now confined to his quarters, but there was nothing further that his physicians could do for him. On September 13, 1387, Suleiman III died, after having reigned for twenty years. He was now succeeded by his son, who became Chosroes III. Chosroes, who had to focus again on internal affairs, and understanding the folly of war at this stage, sent a communique to Emperor Antiochus on September 20, reaffirming the Sultanate's commitment to peace. Emperor Antiochus himself returned to Laurasia Prime in October 1387. There, he was presented with his grandson, Grand Prince Anastasius, who had been born to Leonnatus's widow, Constantia, at Chancia on March 29, 1387. On November 25, 1387, the Emperor would make his grandson Duke of Chancia, the title by which he would be known until his death. Antiochus then moved to Meagania on December 9, and ended the year there.

1388Edit

  • 1388, the 88th year of the fourteenth century, passed with the Laurasian Empire now in the midst of increasing tensions, and of elevated risk for war, as the Emperor and his designated heir-apparent, Grand Prince Antiochus, now had a series of disputes with each other. In January 1388, Emperor Antiochus conducted a victorious tour through the Purse Region, Malarian Provinces, and into the Central Core, in order to celebrate the rapid and decisive victories which he had secured over the Solidaritan Sultanate. The Emperor then made another journey to Melarnaria, meeting with Grand Prince Antiochus on March 19, 1388. The Grand Prince's complaints about his treatment, however, had intensified. Antiochus had resented the fact that the Emperor did not accord him a seat on the Governing Senate, and that Antiochus had decided to abandon the pre-enthronement coronation ceremony, which had been used for his elder brother, the late Young Emperor. In April and May 1388, father and son had a series of verbal arguments, as the Grand Prince, who was now thirty years old, demanded a greater stake in the affairs of state, and as the Emperor refused to yield.
  • Ultimately, Antiochus decided to return to Laurasia Prime, and arrived back at his capital world on June 6, 1388. Grand Prince Antiochus, whose complaints about his father had only intensified yet further, was now in contact with Queen Mother Kumthis. Kumthis, once again seeing the opportunity of using her Laurasian rival's domestic troubles to stir up dissent in his Empire, lent a willing ear to the Grand Prince's entreaties. Kumthis now informed Antiochus of the Emperor's plans to engage his almost-forgotten fiancee, Venasian Princess Alania, with his younger brother, the Emperor's favorite son, Grand Prince Demetrius. Antiochus, although he had a strong affection for his brother, was nevertheles angry that his father would do such a thing without consulting him or even informing him of the change. This only inflamed his passions further, and in September 1388, the Grand Prince began to muster the support of his subordinates for a potential revolt, in order to maintain his rights. The Emperor had grown increasingly corpulent, and he was now no longer as cognizant or energetic as before. Consequently, he did not pay as much attention to his son's covert activities as he had before.
  • Nevertheless, on July 10, 1388, the Emperor decided to depart from Laurasia Prime. He ordered for Empress Consort Anna to remain at the Diplomatic Palace, and had her placed under house arrest, concerned of the possibility that she might lend her assistance to her favorite son. Antiochus was never to return to his capital world again, and he was never to see his wife again. He now proceeded due east, passing through the strongholds of the Eastern Purse Region, including Arias and Katie, and then on to the Schauerian Provinces, arriving at Schaueria Prime on August 5. Antiochus now focused his efforts on strengthening the garrisons of the Schauerian Provinces. He ordered for an increase in the military conscription levy; one of 1 in every 50,000 men was decreed on August 18. In October 1388, the Emperor would raise the levy again; now 1 in 25,000 men were called up for service in the imperial armed forces. The Emperor also raised tax rates on movable goods, particularly spices, which had long been a lucrative source of income for the Imperial Laurasian Government. He sent instructions to the governors and authorities of star systems throughout the Empire, ordering them to keep cognizant of any outbreaks of dissent against his authority.
  • Queen Mother Kumthis now requested for another conference with her Laurasian counterpart, to discuss the matter of Alania, and to address "other pressing concerns." Antiochus, still hopeful that war could be avoided, agreed, and on November 16, 1388, the two monarchs met at Millia-in-the Core. Grand Prince Antiochus now arrived, and aligning himself with Kumthis, he demanded that his father agree to make him co-Emperor and arrange for his coronation as such, that he give him an active role in the government of Laurasia Prime, and that he give Alania immediately to him, for marriage. Antiochus refused all of these demands, and ordered his son to make no more of them. The Grand Prince refused; then at that point, he announced that he would no longer tolerate his father's insults. At that moment, Kumthis withdrew from the conference, and a Venasian fleet attacked Millia-in-the Core, forcing Emperor Antiochus to retreat from the star system. The Grand Prince himself now went with the Queen Mother, and formally announced his rebellion on December 4, 1388. By December 15, the garrisons of Melarnaria, Williams, Constancia, Goldaria, the Galactic Center, Marshia, Teth, Elainsborough, Bainsborough, Evelyn, Ruthania, Hannah, and Palimisiano had arisen in support of the Grand Prince. Moreover, the Venasian Consortium now issued a formal declaration of war against the Laurasian Empire; Venasian forces quickly overran Bolgrahay, Penshalay, Robbay, Ipsus V, Rashid, Shiloh, and Calpurnia on behalf of the Grand Prince. Antiochus, who had now retreated to Hordania, spent the last Ascentmas of his reign in misery there.

1389Edit

  • 1389, the 89th year of the fourteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire once again engrossed in the heat of both internal rebellion and external conflict. On January 7, 1389, Grand Prince Antiochus defeated his father's chief general, Sir Seleucus Ariadtes, in the Battle of Avaskar. Linopking, Farbissnia, and Steneborg fell into the hands of the Grand Prince and his Venasian allies (January 14-22), and on January 26, Antiochus was forced to withdraw from Hordania. In the Central Core, Muppet, Maxc-casi, and Natasi were secured by rebel forces, commanded by the Grand Prince's lieutenant, the Duke of Carina. Carina itself defected from its allegiance to the Emperor on February 6, 1389. February 1389 saw a series of confrontations between governmental and rebel forces at Sipp, Olivia, and Muppet in the Central Core; at Tommy, Capital, Murphy, and Meaganian in the Eastern Provinces; and also uprisings by the garrisons of Andriana, Ietas, Apathama Vixius, and Oxia Vixius against the Emperor.
  • Civil protests, in favor of Grand Prince Antiochus, who had gained much popularity, arose on Laurasia Prime itself. These were crushed by Chancellor Cassanova, who continued to oversee governmental affairs on Laurasia Prime in his father's absence. Agac, Aflac, and Podrac then fell to Venasian forces by March 14, and on March 29, 1389, Grand Prince Antiochus secured the allegiance of Decapolia Major, Uber-Commerce, and Hannis. On April 7, 1389, the Emperor suffered yet another reverse at Mumbraine; his forces, however, were successful in holding Smithia, Colsonia, and Archleuta, in the face of vigorous Venasian offensives. By May 1389, Antiochus's position, in the Central Core and elsewhere, was very precarious. Solidaritan Sultan Chosroes III even contemplated a declaration of war, in order to recover losses sustained in the War of Suleiman's Aggression. The outbreak of rebellions at Roxuli, Vindictoria, and Frederickslandia, however, deterred him from this.
  • On May 18, Antiochus, who had established a command headquarters at Alemeda, suffered a minor heart attack. He was now greatly troubled by his various health ailments, and was growing less and less capable of the tasks at hand. Five days later, he sent a communique to his son and Queen Mother Kumthis, offering to open negotiations if they in turn agreed to cease military hostilities. Antiochus, believing he now held the upper hand, agreed. Then, on June 4, 1389, he and Kumthis met with Emperor Antiochus at Vardar. The ensuing Conference of Vardar, however, accomplished little. Once again, Antiochus refused to reach a compromise and again proposed that Alania be married to Grand Prince Demetrius. To Grand Prince Antiochus, this was the clearest indication yet that his father meant to disinherit him in favor of Demetrius. Kumthis, on her part, refused to change the marriage arrangements. The allies now launched a series of further offensives, seizing Murphy, the Prelone Asteroid Belt, Greenia, Compost V, Lythia, and Dorothy in a series of rapid offensives (June 6-16, 1389), and on June 22, humiliating the ageing Emperor yet again in the Battle of Gdov.
  • By June 24, the Emperor's nobility, gentry, and officials in the Katian and Clancian Provinces were deserting him, tired of his autocratic and oppressive rule. The Emperor, who was becoming increasingly disheartened, now took command of the garrison of Alsora, hoping to hold its defenses against his son. On June 27, however, he was forced to flee the star system when its shield generators failed, thereby giving the Grand Prince an opening to enter. The Emperor now dispatched Sir Willanius Marshallia, who was now a Major-General, to guard his route of retreat with Imperial Marines. Marshallia, in the course of this, came upon an advance party of the Grand Prince's. He warned the Emperor of this. Antiochus took heed and moved swiftly to Clackimaris, thereby avoiding a confrontation with his son.
  • Antiochus was now joined by his illegitimate son, Chancellor Cassanova, and with Sir Marshallia in command of his forces, he moved to Valderones, which was a Laurasian colony eighty light years northeast of Laurasia Prime. Soon after his arrival (July 1, 1389), the Emperor received a devastating blow: his daughter, Grand Princess Messalina, had died of the Antigenes fever on Kigonia. This news, along with the painful awareness of his eldest surviving son's treachery, now accelerated Antiochus's physical decline. He was now suffering from the effects of blood poisoning, and could barely walk; he also had an abcessed wound, and worried about his son Demetrius, who was not with him. It was thus, that, on July 2, the Emperor sent a request for another conference with his son and the Queen Mother. They accepted, but in an act of petty cruelty, demanded that Antiochus come to them at the Station of Dosch. He had no choice but to agree, and two days later, in great pain, he arrived at the stronghold.
  • When the Emperor did arrive, Kumthis had a ping of pity, and she now offered to have a couch laid down for Antiochus to lay upon. Her Laurasian counterpart refused, however, and he had his servants keep him standing. In this position, therefore, he wearily undertook to accept any demands made of him. Kumthis now milked her position for all that it was worth. She now demanded that Hannis, Decapolia Major, Decapolia Minor, Uber-Commerce, Ultra-Commerce, Agac, Aflac, and Podrac be restored to the authority of the Venasian Consortium, as a "marker of good faith". Antiochus was to formally confirm his son, the Grand Prince, as his sole heir-apparent, and have all the nobles, officials, and clergy of the Empire swear an official oath of allegiance. He was to pardon all of those who had fought for the younger Antiochus. He was to surrender Alania into the Queen Mother's custody and arrange, without delay or excuse, for the Grand Prince to marry her. Finally, he was to pay an indemnity to the Consortium, to cover all of its military expenses. Defeated, Antiochus accepted these terms without demur, and then made the effort to leave. Kumthis, however, now demanded that the Emperor give his son the kiss of peace; he did so, but told him: "Almitis grant that I may not die until I have had a fitting revenge on you."
  • The Emperor was then brought on a transport back to Valderones, calling down the wrath of Almitis upon Antiochus, cursing his sons, himself, and the day he was born, and uttering blasphemies. When he came to the world, however, he asked for the Bishop of Valderones to hear his confession, and to absolve him of all his sins. He also received communion. Then on July 5, the Emperor's Vice-Chancellor, Sir Rogerius Molchatia, brought him a list of all those nobles and officials who had treacherously supported Grand Prince Antiochus and were to be pardoned. Molchatia saw the name of Demetrius, and said so, in distress, to the Emperor. When Antiochus learned that his youngest son had forsaken him, and had joined in rebellion against him, he lost the will to live. He told Molchatia to say nothing more to him, and dismissed the Vice-Chancellor from his presence.
  • During the remaining hours of his life, the Emperor either slept or lapsed into delirium, moaning with grief and pain. His bastard son, Chancellor Cassanova, remained with him, cradling his head and soothing him. In a moment of lucidity, Antiochus blessed him, declaring he was the only one of his sons who had remained true to him, and expressed the wish that he should become Archbishop of Christiania; he also gave Gregory his signet ring. He then became delirious once more, crying again and again: "Shame, shame on a conquered Emperor!" before falling into a coma. Then, early in the morning of July 6, 1389, Antiochus I the Great, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Laurasians, died at Valderones. He was fifty-six years old at the time of his death, and had reigned over the Laurasian Empire for thirty-four years, which was to be the fourth-longest reign of any Laurasian Emperor or Empress (after those of Aurelia I, Seleucus I, and Antigonus III). Gregory was the only one of his sons to be present at his deathbed. He and Sir Marshallia now had the body embalmed, wrapped in gold robes of state, and girded with a sceptre and sword. Finally, a small coronet was placed on the Emperor's head.
  • News of Antiochus's death spread quickly from Valderones, and throughout the Laurasian Empire. Queen Mother Kumthis, who was faced with the prospect of war in the Middle Territories, and was eager to ingratiate herself with the new Emperor, for devious purposes of her own, had wasted no time in evacuating Laurasian territories. She even restored the strongholds of the Decapolian Provinces back to the Imperial Laurasian Government, confident that she would secure them again later. This would later prove to be a grievous mistake on her part, and historians in later centuries would puzzle themselves as to why she did it. The new Emperor Antiochus II, was therefore able to move to Valderones. He arrived during the late hours of July 7, and came upon the sight of his father's body, laid out on its bier. No one could tell from the Emperor's expression "whether he felt joy or sorrow, grief, anger, or satisfaction", and he did not spend long to pray for his father's soul. But within a short time, Antiochus burst into tears. Falling to his knees, he bewailed his father, cursed himself for rebelling against him, and lamented that he had not been a faithful son.
  • The Emperor now had his father's body placed on a transport and sent to St. Paul's Cathedral on Melarnaria, where Antiochus, in his testament of December 11, 1387, had indicated he wished to be buried. The funeral was conducted on July 10, 1389, with the Emperor, Chancellor Cassanova, Sir Marshallia, and other magnates of the Imperial Court in attendance. Antiochus was interred next to his parents, sons, and siblings at the Cathedral. A tomb was soon raised, with a fine effigy attached to it. Antiochus's body was to remain on Melarnaria until 1560, when, on the orders of Emperor Antoninus Pius, it would be translated to the New Westphalian Cathedral on Laurasia Prime. The judgment passed upon Antiochus by his contemporaries was a harsh one. Many decried his excessive gentleness towards his sons, his paranoia, his autocratic policies, and his fickle habits. They also considered the ignominious end of his reign to be an omen of the anti-Almitis, and considered it Almitis's fortune that the Empire quickly emerged from it. But already, within a decade of his death, opinions were changing, and by the time of Antigonus I, at the end of the fifteenth century, Antiochus was recognized as one of the Laurasian Empire's greatest sovereigns, who had implemented a lasting program of administrative, religious, and legal reform, had expanded the Empire's territories in virtually every direction, and had brought stability to his dominions. In the eighteenth century, he would be praised by Vergil, Vassalina, and Monompahlaus for his "prudence, moderation, and concern for the interests and welfare of this Empire." In 1764, Empress Aurelia was to commission the construction of the Statute of Antiochus on Melarnaria; and in 1789, on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of his death, she erected the Mausoleum of Antiochus in his memory, in Christiania.
  • With Antiochus I dead, Antiochus II now plunged himself into the duties of governance. One of his first major acts as Emperor was to send Sir Willanius Marshallia to Laurasia Prime, with orders to release Empress-Dowager Anna from captivity. She was also to be authorized to take charge of the affairs of the Imperial Laurasian Government on Laurasia Prime until the Emperor was ready to take possession of his imperial inheritance. When Marshallia arrived at the capital world (July 11, 1389), he discovered that Anna was "already at liberty and happier then usual"; the Empress's guardians had not demurred when Anna had demanded to be set free. Anna was already presiding over the Imperial Court at the Quencilvanian Palace, and was overseeing the administration of the oath of allegiance to her son by the Senate, Synod, Council of Civil Service, and other institutions of the Imperial Laurasian Government. Marshallia informed the Empress-Dowager of her commission to act as effective Regent, and gave her the requisite instructions. Anna now came into her own. She was now sixty-seven years old, and had emerged from captivity an infinitely wiser woman. She had not, however, lost any of her energy or dignity, and her new authority sat easily upon her.
  • Anna was now eager to take her part in the affairs of government and to assist her son, who would need all the assistance necessary to administer the affairs of his vast Empire. Such was the respect she commanded that she would be the second power in the realm during the first years of her son's reign. Having listened to his instructions, the Empress now focused further upon drumming up support for him throughout the Laurasia Prime Purse Region; he had spent most of the preceding years in the Central Core, and was therefore an unknown to many of his subjects. The Empress ordered for allegiance ceremonies to be held throughout Laurasia Prime, and in the other major strongholds of the Purse Region. After a few days on Laurasia Prime, Anna set off on a progress through the Purse Region and up the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route. Wherever she went, she received oaths of allegiance on Antiochus's behalf. She transacted the business of court and chancery, issued instructions ensuring the enforcement of her son's will, and ordered for the release of all those unjustly imprisoned, provided that they agreed to offer their assistance to the Emperor in maintaining the peace of the realm.
  • She continued the state's policy of liberality towards the Almitian Church, rescinding her late husband's order concerning the provisioning of imperial supplies from the monasteries; this earned her their support. In every act of state, therefore, she displayed "remarkable sagacity", demonstrating all of the qualities of a wise, benevolent, and statesmanlike ruler. Her contemporaries were impressed, and found little to credit about the earlier rumors. Anna's mercy did not, however, extend to Alania of Venasia, whom she had brought up as a daughter and of whom she now had custody. The Princess remained in confinement at the Post Settlement of Hepudermia, on her orders. Alania was now twenty-nine, with her future still unsettled; Anna, however, was determined that it would have nothing to do with her son.
  • The Emperor himself, on July 29, 1389, received a formal oath of allegiance from all his courtiers, personnel, and officers at Schaueria Prime. Two days later, the Treaty of Shiloh was concluded with the Neo-Venasian Consortium, by which Antiochus again pledged to marry Alania as soon as possible. Kumthis, on her part, confirmed her adherence to the restoration of the status quo ante bellum between Laurasia and Venasia. Following the conclusion of this agreement, Antiochus traveled through the Schauerian Provinces, restoring order and reoccupying many strongholds for the Imperial Laurasian Government. Then on August 13, he embarked for Laurasia Prime. He stopped at Darcia first, and thanks to Anna's efforts, was welcomed with enthusiasm. Two days later, he moved to Caladaria, being again received with popular acclaim. He was now reunited with his proud mother, and gave orders that she was to always, for the duration of her lifetime, retain the highest position of precedence among all women in the Empire.
  • Shortly afterwards, the Emperor summoned Anna's former guardian, Sir Rudomentus Gandaria, into his presence. He formally pardoned him; in releasing the Empress from captivity, Antiochus had granted his mother the power to punish those who had been her jailers, but she had declined to do so. On September 17, 1389, Gandaria would be dismissed from his position as Imperial Justiciar by the Emperor, replaced by the Earl of Estatius, who had been a loyal servant to his father, and Athanasius Puccerius, Bishop of Lomanis (1325-95). The Bishop of Lomanis, who had served in his position since January 17, 1353, and was the Dean of Prelates in the Empire, was sixty-four years old at the time of his appointment. He had acquired much experience in politics and diplomacy, and was therefore of great use to the Emperor. Now, shortly after Antiochus's arrival at Caladaria, Grand Prince Demetrius joined the Imperial Court, then accompanied the Emperor and Empress-Dowager on a progress which took them through Americana, Explosansia Major, Maroni, Janesia, and Dearton's Gateway. They were greeted at Janesia by Chancellor Cassanova. Antiochus did not trust his half-brother, but did not wish to alienate him, and thereby create an enemy.
  • The Emperor thus honored his father's dying wish; on August 20, 1389, he formally elevated Gregory to be Archbishop of Christiania and named him to the Holy Synod. Gregory was formally installed as Archbishop in a ceremony on Augis IV, on August 24. Empress-Dowager Anna was against the elevation-despite his talents and abilities, he was hotheaded, difficult, and quarrelsome, and had no love for the half-brothers who had betrayed their father-but the Emperor overrode her complaints. He did, however, have Gregory ordained into the priesthood, thereby discouraging him from entertaining any ambitions for the imperial succession. On September 1, moreover, the Emperor dismissed the now Archbishop Gregory from his position as Chancellor. On September 15, 1389, he appointed in his place Sir Willanius Loncharania (1345-97), who had served as President of the College of Imperial Correspondence since June 1387. Of short stature, with a limp and a stammer, Loncharania, who was alleged to be the son of a colonial prostitute, was regarded by the Empire's nobility as an upstart. He was of humble origin, but had clawed his way to the top by pandering to the needs of his masters. He was able and practical, but also overambitious and overconfident, and used his newly won power to advance his and his family's interests. Vastly unpopular, he alienated many by his arrogance and blundering tactlessness. Yet for all his faults, he was unswerving in his loyalty to the Emperor.
  • On August 29, Grand Prince Demetrius married Lady Helen Denteria of Gordasis on Osama, and was confirmed in his title of Duke of Gordasis. At the time of the marriage, Emperor Antiochus conferred substantial estates in the Purse Region and at Shiloh, Schaueria Prime, and Hordania upon Grand Prince Demetrius; this made him one of the wealthiest and most powerful noblemen in the Laurasian Empire. Many believed this advancement signaled Antiochus's intention of naming Demetrius as his heir, as was his right under the Law of Succession of 1322, even though the Duke of Chancia had a better claim. Throughout all of these weeks, nevertheless, preparations had been in hand for the new Emperor's coronation. On September 1, the Emperor, attended by his mother, made his formal coronation procession into the Laurasia Prime star system, receiving praise from his subjects at the moons and in the cities of the world. Two days later (September 3, 1389), he crowned himself Emperor at the Old Westphalian Cathedral, in a ceremony presided by Chief Procurator Balbinus Fadermia (in office 1385-90). This was the most magnificent coronation of a Laurasian Emperor up to this point. Grand Prince Demetrius and Empress-Dowager Anna were among the chief personages present at the ceremony. The Emperor, at the subsequent coronation banquet, and at other events, celebrated "vigorously, gratifying all by distributing largesse according to rank, thus manifesting his liberality and great excellence." Coronation celebrations continued until October 1389.
  • The last months of 1389 passed in relative tranquility for the Laurasian Empire, as Emperor Antiochus continued to focus his efforts on consolidating his authority over his new subjects. In December 1389, he granted to his mother, Empress Dowager Anna, all of the dowager rights which had been enjoyed by Empress Consorts Honoria Diadones and Constantia of Taurasia. The year 1389 therefore ended with the Laurasian Empire's dominions once again at peace. War, however, was on the horizon, and it was to come in an unexpected quarter: from the Homidinian Provinces, and instigated by the Abbathian Dynasty. Those regions had been, since 1374, under the rule of King Saladin, and he had grown increasingly concerned about the increase in Laurasian power and influence, in the Core Regions and along the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route. Antiochus would soon gain the opportunity to obtain the glory in battle which he craved.

1390Edit

  • 1390, the 90th year of the fourteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire having acquired a new ruler in the form of Antiochus II, who had, through rebellion and collusion with the Venasian Queen Mother Kumthis, compelled his father, the now deceased Antiochus the Great, to affirm his claim as heir-apparent. As soon as he came to the throne, however, the new Emperor had proved himself to be a Laurasian patriot, concerned about the Empire's interests, and aware of its needs. And like his father, Antiochus was determined to expand Laurasian territory, and enhance Laurasian prestige. On January 19, 1390, in an address to the Councils of State at the Old Royal Palace, the Emperor asserted that he was aware of the "desires and the necessities of my subjects", and that he would not fail to fulfill them. He now hearkened back to the example of his great-great grandfather, Seleucus the Victor, and proclaimed that he would continue what Seleucus had started.
  • On February 2, the Emperor made his departure from Laurasia Prime, and ventured to Meaganian. Six days later, he commanded for his mother, Empress Dowager Anna, along with Grand Prince Demetrius, Alania of Venasia, Archbishop Gregory, and the chief figures of the Imperial Court to join him. The Empress Dowager did as ordered, and arrived at Meaganian, along with the others, on February 14, 1390. Then in March 1390, Emperor Antiochus convened a family conclave, which was attended by Anna, Demetrius, and Gregory. At this conclave, the Emperor confirmed his conferral of the Chancellorate upon Sir Loncharania. In order to prevent any outbreak of domestic dissent, he now forbade both Demetrius and Gregory from returning to Laurasia Prime, unless if he gave them explicit permission to do so. Anna, however, was able to persuade him to lift the ban upon the Grand Prince, believing that it was not justified. This was a decision which would later have repercussions for both Anna and Antiochus.
  • Following the dispersal of the conclave, the Emperor, Empress-Dowager, and Imperial Court embarked upon a tour through the Briannian Provinces and the Nexus Route region, in order to ensure the security of these strongholds in the face of any possible future moves, from either the Solidaritan Sultanate or the Neo-Venasian Consortium. The journey was also meant to display the Emperor further to his new subjects in those regions, and it succeeded at that. Yet both mother and son were concerned about the succession, since the Emperor did not have any direct heir at that time to succeed him. There were three possible successors: the Duke of Chancia, Grand Prince Demetrius, and Archbishop Gregory. Chancia, however, was only three years old at the time, and was under the influence of his mother Constantia, who had established her household at Metallasia. Constantia had feelings of antipathy towards both the Emperor and Empress-Dowager, and passed these feelings on to her son. Grand Prince Demetrius, on his part, was becoming increasingly ambitious, and although he had not yet engaged in conspiracy or otherwise betrayed his family, he was nevertheless clamoring for more then was his due. And Archbishop Gregory was handicapped by his bastardy, which had never been lifted by his father.
  • Anna had, by this time, managed to persuade her son that marriage to Alania was not the best course of action. She pointed out that the woman's affair with the late Emperor would forever serve as an impediment to them, and would cast doubt on the legitimacy of any children which they might have. Antiochus himself, who no longer truly desired Alania, agreed with what his mother was saying. The question of marriage thereby arose. On March 24, 1390, the Imperial Court arrived at Decapolia Major, and there, the Emperor, acting on his mother's advise, and following the custom of his predecessors dating back to the time of Arasces the Patient himself, issued a decree ordering for a thorough search to be conducted throughout the Empire's realms, in order to locate a "princess of noble and hereditary parentage", who could become the Emperor's bride. This search was to commence in April 1390.
  • It was at this point that the Emperor's attention was diverted to the upper Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route, where, as mentioned above, schemes were in place against the Laurasian Empire. The Homidinian Provinces had underwent much tribulation, and much conflict, since the commencement of the barbarian intrusions into the Caladarian Galaxy more then three centuries earlier. These intrusions had ultimately lead to the end of all the Dasian Khanates in civilized space; the last of them, the Homidinian Khanate, had fallen to the Rashanian Empire of Mellorita in May 1253. The Rashanian Dynasty had then been overthrown by the Ummadian Mellorites in July 1261. The Ummadian Dynasty, which had continued to rule until 1350, had projected their power to Esperanto, Theodore, and across the Larkian Way to as far west as the Vali Trade Run. However, faced with three successive civil wars (1280-92, 1340-43, 1344-47), they had finally been toppled by the Abbathian Mellorites in 1350, who had then established the Abbathian Dynasty. This Dynasty, which considered itself the successor to the earlier Dynasties, the Homidinian Khanate, and the Great Dasian Empire, among other earlier states, had thereby entrenched itself as one of the most powerful, prosperous monarchies in the Caladarian Galaxy. It had, however, continued to undergo civil dissent and foreign conflict, the same as its predecessors.
  • In March 1374, the Mellorite-Homidinian military officer Saladin had usurped the Abbathian throne, and taken charge of the Dynasty's affairs. During the course of the next fourteen years, Saladin waged a series of wars with the Neo-Xilanian Empire, the Mereditan Despotate, the Solidaritan Sultanate, and the Great Kingdom of Donathia, seeking to extend the power and influence of his Dynasty. By 1388, his dominions stretched from the Satellites of Ursula, King, Morg, and Calrissian near the Galactic Frontier Route, all the way to Ian, Mackenzia Major, Edmundia, and Coronadia in the Burglais Arm. The Xilanian Emperor Masari Embarthi III (r. 1376-99), was his vassal, having sworn an oath of homage to him at Chalassion in November 1387. Saladin, therefore, who was respected by his subjects and his contemporaries for his administrative abilities, as well as his military prowess, enjoyed much power and authority. Yet he had, by the late 1380s, become increasingly cognizant of the emerging threat of the Laurasian Empire, and he was determined to restrain its power before it could expand further. Thus, beginning in January 1389, the Great King of Abbathia had focused his efforts on strengthening his chief strongholds along the Kledis Var Line, in the Lacian Cluster, and in Eastern Homidinia; Elijahana, Dion, and Yutzy, in particular, had become major military bases for the Dynasty.
  • He also sought to gain allies for a potential future conflict against the Laurasian Empire. In September 1389, he sent separate communiques to the Mereditan Despot, Carragh Condochir I, and to the King of Jageronia, Cunipert. In these communiques, the Abbathian sovereign declared his concern at the "military expansionism, aggression, and undue ambition of the Laurasian Empire", and expressed a wish to restrain it. Saladin offered to restore the Eastern Vickian Worlds to Mereditan authority, and to sponsor the Jageronian acquisition of the Venasian Triangle region, if they renounced all treaties with the Imperial Laurasian Government and concluded a military alliance with him. Carragh Condochir and Cunipert, both of whom were also alarmed by the Empire's continued moves, and who sought to restrain them, concurred with Saladin. A conference was opened at Izonza on October 16, and on January 1, 1390, the Treaty of Izonza had been signed, formally codifying a military and diplomatic alliance among Abbathia, Jageronia, and the Mereditan Despotate. The three states now pledged to go to war against Laurasia by no later then July 1, 1390, and to not seek a separate peace without consulting each other.
  • With this treaty in hand, Saladin intensified his preparations for war, and by April, he was ready. On April 6, 1390, he sent a ultimatum to Emperor Antiochus, who was then at Colsonia. In this ultimatum, the King of Abbathia expressed his dismay about recent Laurasian actions: the protectorship of Upper Melorkia, the destruction of the Ivorian Headquarters, and the outright annexation of Briannia were among these. He declared that galactic peace, and galactic tranquility, were not possible unless if the ambitions of each power were "constrained within reasonable bounds." Consequently, the King declared, it was necessary for Laurasia to retrocede the conquests it had made from the Mereditan Despotate; to grant the Venasian Triangle regions to Jageronia; to provide for the privileges and immunity of foreign subjects in its territory; and to limit its military forces. Unless if these terms were met, Saladin warned, there would be "preemptive action taken to uphold the state of galactic affairs."
  • This ultimatum greatly alarmed Emperor Antiochus, and he understood that it was meant as a direct strike against the Empire, and as a measure of containment. On April 14, on his orders, the College of Foreign Affairs responded, declaring that "His Imperial Majesty of Laurasia cannot oblige by these vile and false terms", and that they would represent a humiliation, as well as a denigration, of Laurasian status and power. Saladin, who had expected that his demands would be rejected, now took action. On May 1, 1390, he issued a declaration of war against the Laurasian Empire; the First Abbathian War had commenced. On May 5, King Cunipert of Jageronia also declared war against the Empire, and was then followed, on May 12, by Despot Carragh Condochir. Four days later, the three powers revealed their anti-Laurasian alliance, and now resolved to combine their forces for a direct attack upon Laurasian territories.
  • For some time, the Abbathian Coalition made territorial gains against the Laurasian Empire. Beharis became their first target (May 15-21, 1390), falling into Abbathian hands within short order. From Beharis, Hasselbeck was besieged by Abbathian and Mereditan forces, beginning on May 24, 1390. The Siege of Hasselbeck continued until June 5, ending in another victory for coalition forces. Walters, Shepherd, Goldberg, and Whoppi were then subdued during the course of June 1390; through this first string of offensives therefore, all of the Eastern Vickian Worlds had fallen into the hands of the Laurasian Empire's enemies. On July 6, 1390, Robbay was assaulted by a Abbathian expeditionary force, which sacked its defenses. Hannis and the Laurasian colonies of Degruezda, Merguezda, and Ticopolis were then overran (July 7-13). On July 14, 1390, the Battle of Penshalay ended in another victory for Abbathian forces. But already, friction was developing among the allies. Saladin and Carragh Condochir could not agree on occupation arrangements for the Eastern Vickian Worlds, and on July 21, a border incident occurred at Leridan, which was eight light years to the northwest of Hasselbeck. By the beginning of August, allied offensives had come to an effective halt, and the window was now open to Emperor Antiochus to respond.
  • Antiochus had, through reports given him by the Imperial General Headquarters and the Imperial Intelligence Agency, reckoned that there were deep divisions within the coalition, which could not be overcome merely by an anti-Laurasian crusade. He also understood the vulnerability of their supply lines, and that these, stretched perilously down the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route, could be subject to a swift cut-off. The Emperor also recognized the value of his own military forces, enhanced by the reforms which had been introduced under his father. Consequently, he was now able to move forth with his plans. On August 4, 1390, the Emperor and Empress-Dowager Anna parted ways at Chandlier; she now proceeded to Melarnaria, to look after her son's interests in the Central Core. Antiochus then conducted another tour through the garrisons of the Schauerian Provinces, marshaling men, resources, and supplies as he went. Finally, on August 12, 1390, he began launching his counteroffensives.
  • On August 22, Atticus was threatened by a expeditionary force under the command of Abbathian General, the Edmundian Bosch-Der. Antiochus, however, had deliberately lured the man in, allowing for him to sack Atticus's defenses. He then intercepted him at Ewell. In the ensuing Battle of Ewell (August 24-25, 1390), the Emperor obtained a decisive victory, capturing thirty of the forty Abbathian battleships, inflicting more then 250,000 casualties, and driving them from the Nexus Route. He then recovered Penshalay and Robbay, and on September 7, 1390, defeated Bosch-Der again in the Battle of Barguezda. Derguezda, Merguezda, and Ticopolis were back in Laurasian hands by September 15. Then on September 23, 1390, the Abbathians were forced to withdraw from Hannis; their Mereditan and Jageronian allies provided them little effective assistance, and in October 1390, Emperor Antiochus's forces drove up the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route, capturing the strongholds of Metalorn and Invictoria.
  • On November 1, 1390, the Kingdom of Temperance, ruled then by Rhescuporis II (1384-91), signed the Treaty of Bacturis Invictis with the Imperial Laurasian Government, allowing for the Empire to use Deschanel, Borenraz, and Zooey for operations into the Vickian Worlds and against the Mereditan Despotate. In exchange, Antiochus pledged to guarantee the territorial integrity of all Temperanian territories. Four days after the conclusion of this treaty, which was ratified almost as soon as it was signed, the Emperor conducted his moves back into the Vickian Worlds. Goldberg fell before the Laurasians first (November 4-5), and on November 11, Whoppi fell back into their possession also. Hasselbeck proved to be a tougher nut to crack, and did not fall until November 19. Antiochus then engaged Mereditan forces in the Battle of Thenoria (November 22, 1390), decisively defeating them. Shephard, Beharis, and Walters were then recovered, by December 11, and on December 17, 1390, Abuza was seized by Laurasian forces. Izonza and Abrianna were under siege by Ascentmas Day, 1390. As 1390 came to an end, therefore, the Empire had gained the advantage.

1391Edit

  • 1391, the 91st year of the fourteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire having gained the upper hand in the First Abbathian War, as it became known. And indeed, the victories continued to come. On January 7, 1391, Emperor Antiochus encountered King Saladin himself for the first time, in the Battle of Brlla. The battle lasted for the next four days, with the Laurasian and the Abbathian forces clashing in a "ferocious, vigorous manner." It ultimately ended in a stalemate, and the Emperor of Laurasia was forced to halt his plans, at that point, for offensive moves against Brlla, Yutzy, and Elijahana. However, on January 15, Abuza fell to the Empire, being followed by Abrianna five days later. Antiochus then defeated the Coalition at Jeanne (January 22, 1391), and prevented a Mereditan counteroffensive against Hasselbeck, capturing five Mereditan starfighter squadrons near the Straits of Jeddediah (January 27-February 1). On February 7, 1391, the Emperor's forces besieged Jaumina, which was one of the chief strongholds in the Robertian Provinces, and a "crown jewel" of the Kingdom of Jageronia. Jamuina was renowned for its lavish resorts, its architecture, and for its vigorous trade in spices, medicinal products, and agricultural foodstuffs, which earned it the nickname of "Breadbasket of the Upper Rebeccan".
  • Emperor Antiochus was determined to have this world in his possession. He was now opposed vigorously by King Cunipert, who launched a series of raiding expeditions down the Rebeccan towards Hannis and Dergezuda, hoping in vain to break through Laurasian defenses. The Siege of Jamuina, nevertheless, lasted for more then a month, as the world's defenses held up against successive Laurasian assaults, and as Jageronian forces slipped across the Laurasian blockade, shipping in supplies and arms to the garrison. Eventually, on February 27, the Emperor was able to discover a means to cut off all transit into the star system, and he now took advantage of this. Laurasian units laid a series of mines across the Jamuina Heights and used tunneling machinery to construct a comet barrier, thereby hampering Jageronian transports from moving forward. On March 6, the final Laurasian assault against the world's shield defenses were launched, breaking them and allowing for the Emperor's troops to land on the world. Jamuina was finally secured by the Empire's forces on March 12, 1391.
  • Following the fall of Jamuina, a succession of other strongholds fell rapidly into Laurasian hands. Zebitrope, on the outskirts of the OsonBoka Nebula, was sacked (March 14-19). By March 22, Brenda, Sofia, McEvlogue, and Parsons had also been stormed by Laurasian units. The Abbathians continued to quarrel with their allies, and were themselves humiliated when Elijahana was finally overrun by Antiochus (March 25, 1391). But while all of this was transpiring, the Emperor's moves to secure for himself a wife had succeeded. His mother, Empress-Dowager Anna, had, in December 1390, concluded the search process in the Core Worlds, and had now decided upon her son's future bride: the Princess Eleanora of Briannia. Eleanora, who had been born on May 1, 1365, at Vardar, was the daughter of Briannian Prince Sancho Pavidia (1330-94), who was made a subject of the Empire in 1366, and became one of the first Briannian noblemen to enter the Laurasian nobility, following Briannia's absorption by Antiochus the Great. Her mother was the Laurasian Lady Katharina Ceccius (1339-79), a member of the House of Ceccius, one of the most respected Laurasian gentry families in the Arian Provinces. She herself was described as a "prudent maid, a gentle lady, virtuous and fair, neither false nor double-tongued. She was the wisest lady in all truth that might anywhere be found." Eleanora knew seven languages: Laurasian, Briannian, Solidaritan, Rebeccan, Venasian, Schauerian, and Arian. She was very conversant in literature and in the professional arts, and had a great fondness for music, dance, and theater. She was also subordinate, deferring to her superiors in all things, and content to remain in the background. Moreover, she was loyal, and was not willing to do anything to offend anyone who was close to her.
  • All of this had impressed Empress-Dowager Anna considerably. On January 9, 1391, she had held an audience at Katie, and had then taken her own measure of the Princess. After conversing with Eleanora's parents, Anna's resolve was hardened further, and in February 1391, she informed her son of the choice. Antiochus himself, having heard about Eleanora's "many good" qualities, decided that she was to be his wife. On March 19, 1391, a ceremony was held at Arias, in which the Emperor and the Princess of Briannia were formally engaged. The Emperor, who was still absent campaigning, was represented by a proxy. Antiochus, however, ordered, on April 5, 1391, for his mother to bring the Princess to him at Beharis. Anna obliged, and in spite of the fact that she would be nearer to the front lines, wasted no time in embarking on the journey. The Empress departed from Arias, with Eleanora and the Imperial Court, on April 11, and proceeded up the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route, arriving at Beharis three days later. There, she and her son, who had assigned the Duke of Colombia to take temporary command of the forces in Robert, had a joyous reunion. This reunion did not last for long however.
  • Disturbing reports now reached the Empress Dowager at Beharis. Chancellor Loncharania, who had also become acting Justiciar in June 1390 with the death of the Earl of Estatius, had made himself very unpopular on Laurasia Prime. Grand Prince Demetrius, seeking to take advantage of Loncharania's unpopularity, had built up his own power base by courting the Chancellor's opponents, and was now engaged in a duel with him for political supremacy. Anna now wasted no time in acquainting her son with her concerns, the Empress confessing that she was dismayed at the rapidity with which Loncharania had consolidated his position in the Imperial Laurasian Government. On her advice, the Emperor issued a mandate to Walterius Couteria, Archbishop of Darcia, to take charge of the situation. Anna herself was then to proceed to Americana, in order to keep a watch on the situation. Because of it's urgency, she spent only four days on Beharis, also meeting with her daughter Grand Princess Julia, whose husband, Lord d'Arch, had died in November 1389. During her stay, Anna finalized arrangements for Eleanora's dower, and granted her a number of properties. Anna also gave custody of Eleanora to Julia. Fortunately, her daughter and future daughter-in-law, had become good friends, and this greatly aided matters. Then, on April 18, 1391, Anna, escorted by Archbishop Couteria, departed from Beharis, and proceeded back down the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route towards the Purse Region. In the interim, the situation had worsened.
  • Grand Prince Demetrius, on April 15, had incited a revolt against Chancellor Loncharania at the Cron Drift. The Chancellor had been forced to move out from Laurasia Prime, and to suppress the revolt. Demetrius took advantage of his absence to persuade the Senate and Synod into issuing a manifesto, indicating their support for him as the future heir-apparent. Loncharania was outraged at this, and he demanded that Demetrius leave the capital world immediately. Demetrius refused, and conflict was about to break out before Archbishop Couteria, who had now proceeded ahead of the Empress's entourage, arrived (April 24, 1391). The Archbishop, seeking not to offend either Loncharania or the Grand Prince, acted as a conciliator. He went to great lengths to work with Loncharania on a equitable basis, not revealing the commission given to him by the Emperor to override Loncharania if it were necessary. The Chancellor found the Archbishop sympathetic; it was plain to Couteria that Loncharania was trying to act in what he thought were the Emperor's best interests, however misguided they were. Demetrius, on his part, remembered his earlier affection for Antiochus, and agreed to refrain from any rebellious actions for the time being. Intrigues continued, however, and could not all be suppressed.
  • At Beharis, meanwhile, events of their own proceeded. On May 12, 1391, Antiochus and Eleanora of Briannia were formally married, the ceremony presided over by the Archbishop of Shenandoah, who had come from the Huntite Caliphate to preside over the ceremony. The wedding took place at the Chapel of St. George, with the bride wearing a mantilla, and the groom, a rose-colored belted tunic of samite, with a mantle of striped silk tissue threaded with gold crescents and silver suns, a scarlet bonnet embroidered with gold beasts and birds, and buskins of cloth of gold with glided spurs. Immediately afterwards, Eleanora was crowned Empress of Laurasia by the Archbishop; the Emperor was in "good spirits", and the nuptials were followed by three days of feasting. Finally, on June 5, Antiochus returned to the front, having Eleanora and Julia sent back down to Bolgrahay for their safety. He now reduced Robert Minor (June 6-14, 1391), Deservo (June 22), and Ward (June 25). Brlla was again assaulted by the Emperor's forces (July 12, 1391); it surrendered to him that day, thereby giving him a further beach-head in the Homidinian Provinces. Digette, Dion, and Homidinia Minor then fell (July 16-19). On July 22, Antiochus sent an offer of negotiations to Saladin, demanding that Laurasian gains in the Robertian Provinces be acknowledged. Saladin refused, however, and on August 1, the Emperor seized Gwendolyn, ordering for the execution of the entire Abbathian garrison. This atrocity outraged many in the Dynasty. Then on August 22, 1391, Robert itself came under siege by the Empire's forces. While the Siege lasted, Antiochus launched another offensive, during the course of which (September 7), he won a brilliant victory over the Abbathians and Jageronians in the Battle of Alamaia, fighting with terrifying ferocity. Two days later, Iego was overrun by Laurasian units.
  • Back in the Purse Region, tensions were ramping up again. Archbishop Gregory of Christiania was now determined to take up his duties on the capital world, and by the end of August 1391, had begun preparing for this endeavor. Chancellor Loncharania refused him permission, however, and ordered him to retire to Clancia. Gregory defied him, however, and on September 14, he arrived at the outskirts of the star system. On Loncharania's orders, his flagship was boarded; the Archbishop was seized, bound in iron chains, and conveyed to the Post Settlement of Hepudermia. Much outrage now issued in Laurasia Prime's cities, as many were appalled that an Emperor's subordinate had treated a Laurasian clergyman, and son of Antiochus I no less, in this manner. Loncharania protested, declaring that he had been following Antiochus II's commands, but no one believed him. He now hastened to order Gregory's release, and allowed the Holy Synod to condemn those who had assaulted the Archbishop. On September 22, the Chancellor fled to Americana, while Archbishop Gregory went in victorious procession through the quadrants of Christiania.
  • Grand Prince Demetrius now pressed his advantage forth, setting himself up as the champion of the Empire's subjects. On October 5, he arrived at Laurasia Prime, convened the Councils of State, and ordered Loncharania to appear. Loncharania refused, and now moved to the Vemay Monastery of Jenny, shutting himself up there. When the Councils convened at the Quencilvanian Palace, Demetrius accused Loncharania of treason, and demanded his deposition. Two days later, he had the Dean of the Westphalian Cathedral read out a list of Loncharania's "offenses", and was gratified to hear the approval, raised by the subjects of the world, of the Chancellor's deposition and banishment. Archbishop Couteria was now given authorization to carry out the duties of Chancellor in the interim. Grand Prince Demetrius now ingratiated himself further with the Emperor's subjects, consolidating his position as the heir-apparent. He made a point of traveling through the Purse Region, and of making himself known to the people. Loncharania, however, escaped, on November 6, 1391, from the Cron Drift, where he had been confined, and fled to Schaueria Prime.
  • Empress Consort Anna had been delayed by stellar storms near Bolgrahay, and had only now made it back to the Core Regions. Loncharania demanded to see her as Chancellor of the Laurasian Empire, an office of which only Emperor Antiochus could deprive him. The Empress received him, but she had approved of his deposition, and had nothing to say to him. She now ordered Loncharania to be kept under restraint at Shiloh, and sent back word to Antiochus about what had transpired. Antiochus, still absorbed by the Siege of Robert, could do little at that time, and he sent orders to his mother, telling her to keep Loncharania under restraint, and to permit Couteria to retain control on Laurasia Prime, until the situation could be sorted out.
  • The Emperor of Laurasia was able to finally conclude the Siege of Robert on November 17, 1391. The stronghold was overrun by Laurasian forces, and Antiochus established his new command headquarters there. He then stormed Meris (November 22-December 4), and on December 7, 1391, won the Battle of Wakedia. Wakedia fell into Laurasian hands. By the middle of December 1391, therefore, Laurasian forces were pressing upon Meredith and the strongholds of the OsonBoka Nebula. Empress Anna, on her part, increasingly concerned about the situation on Laurasia Prime, was now requesting her son for permission to once again take charge of the government, and to return to the capital world. Antiochus would grant this in the instruction of December 24, 1391. Thus, as the year ended, Anna was preparing to take action to safeguard the Empire.
  • On August 1, 1391, in Mendelevium, Laurasia Prime, the future Emperor Claudius II (1441-54), was born. Claudius was the son of General Sir Nero Claudius Drusus, the Governor of Charasia (1363-92), and his wife Antonia (1365-1437). Claudius was the grandson of General Nero (Nerius), who had died in 1367, and was therefore the nephew of the future Emperor Tiberius. He was also the younger brother of the future General, Germanicus (1385-1419), who would become renowned for his exploits during the 1410s. Claudius would be raised in comfort on his family's estates during the early years of his life.

1392Edit

  • 1392, the 92nd year of the fourteenth century, began with the Laurasian Empire still engaged in war in the Robertian Regions, and at the Upper Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route, with the Abbathian Dynasty, Kingdom of Jageronia, and Mereditan Despotate. Emperor Antiochus II had scored a series of decisive victories over the forces of the Abbathian Coalition, thereby earning fame and prestige for himself. In the Laurasia Prime Purse Region, tensions were continuing to persist. Consequently, on January 5, 1392, Empress-Consort Anna departed for Laurasia Prime, having received her authorization from her son. She arrived at the capital world two days later, and immediately set things in order. The Empress was resolved to remind the officials and nobility of the Empire of their vows of allegiance to the Emperor. During January 1392, she summoned four different sessions of the Councils of State, the Conference of Almitian Prelates, the Colleges of State, and the chambers of Laurasia Prime. She publicly proclaimed her loyalty to the absent Antiochus and had all present swear a renewed oath of allegiance to him. Then, with the support of Archbishop Couteria and of the Council of Civil Service, she had Grand Prince Demetrius installed at the Diplomatic Palace, ordering him to remain there for the duration.
  • The Empress then conducted a tour through the Purse Region, beginning on January 23, 1392. This tour continued throughout March 1392, and saw the Empress be received with praise, as well as adulation, by the subjects of those star systems. On March 15, she decided to allow Chancellor Loncharania to return to Laurasia Prime. He did so, but when he arrived for an audience at the Quencilvanian Palace, Anna informed him that he was to keep to his duties in the College of Imperial Correspondence, and was not to interfere in any other affairs of state. Loncharania complied, although Grand Prince Demetrius and many others among the Empire's nobility were still opposed to him. Nevertheless, Anna was able to restore tranquility in the Purse Region, stamping out all signs of dissent against the Imperial Laurasian Government. The Empire, consequently, was secure for Antiochus.
  • But Emperor Antiochus himself had suffered a major bout of Terellian fever at Abuza in February 1392, and had consequently, been unable to launch his planned offensives into the OsonBoka Nebula. Indeed, as 1392 progressed, it became clear that a stalemate had set in between the Empire and the forces of the Coalition. Abbathian King Saladin continued for a time to refuse all negotiations with the Empire, and continued to rant about Laurasian territorial acquisitions, warning that he would have his due soon enough. However, the King of Abbathia was facing renewed problems north of the Corporate Trade Corridor, at Lawson, and in the Lacian Cluster. By June 1392, he finally came to the realization that the continuation of the war against Laurasia would bring no results, and would, indeed, only drain the vitality of his forces yet further. He therefore, finally, became willing to enter negotiations. Mereditan Despot Carragh Condochir and Jageronian King Cunipert, had, as early as October 1391, been showing a willingness of their own to negotiate. And Antiochus, now recovered from his illness, eager to return back to Laurasia Prime, and to turn his attention to the business of governance, hastened to end the war. Thus, on July 17, 1392, the Armistice of Izzia was signed.
  • Negotiations then commenced at Acre, a Abbathian-Homidinian colony two hundred lightyears northeast of Homidinia Major. They lasted for over two months, as the Emperor's diplomats, headed by Sir Nicanor Lersius (1320-96), wrangled vigorously with their Abbathian counterparts over the terms. Finally, on September 29, 1392, the Treaty of Acre was signed, thereby bringing an end to the First Abbathian War. By the terms of this treaty, Robert, Robert Minor, Desevro, Wakedia, Meris, and Jamuina were conceded to the authority of the Laurasian Empire, thereby extending its territorial base in the Robertian Provinces. All other territories occupied by Laurasian forces were to be restored to their respective realms by no later then April 1, 1393. All prisoners of war were to be exchanged, but there was to be no financial compensation; instead, all property, goods, and equipment seized by each side since January 1, 1391, were to remain in their possession. The Abbathian Coalition also agreed to acknowledge Laurasian rule of the Eastern Vickian Worlds, and to sign no treaties or alliances against the Empire. The Treaty of Acre, which was ratified by all powers, by October 19, was to maintain peace between Laurasia and Abbathia for the next fifty-two years.
  • Emperor Antiochus, victorious, now made his way back to Laurasia Prime. He departed from Beharis on October 22, 1392, and proceeded down the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route. Antiochus arrived at Laurasia Prime on October 27, and was greeted by the Empress-Dowager, his subjects, and the Imperial Laurasian Government with much enthusiasm. The Emperor conducted a triumph through the cities of Laurasia Prime, and then presided over a series of festivities at the Quencilvanian Palace, the Westphalian Cathedral, and the Diplomatic Palace. The Emperor, for the time being, and on his mother's advice, decided to retain the current arrangements of government. Loncharania continued to execute his duties in the College of Imperial Correspondence, and Archbishop Couteria was made Vice-Chancellor. During the last months of 1392, the Empire was again at peace. That peace, however, would once again be disrupted.

1393Edit

  • 1393, the 93rd year of the fourteenth century, began with the Laurasian Empire, having obtained victory in the First Abbathian War, once again residing in peace. Emperor Antiochus, on Laurasia Prime, had continued to bask in the acclaim of his subjects, many of whom considered him to be a worthy successor in many ways to Seleucus I. Many were also pleased by the Emperor's victories, and believed that they had advanced the position of the Laurasian State forward. Empress-Dowager Anna, on her part, was especially pleased with her son, and was able to exalt in her position of being the mother of such a "fine warrior and strategist." Yet Antiochus's military skills and capabilities were now called to the forefront again, and to a conflict with a power that the Laurasian Empire had had much interaction with throughout the century: the Neo-Venasian Consortium, and its still ardently anti-Laurasian Queen Mother Kumthis.
  • Kumthis had extricated herself from her war with the Kingdom of Melanie Major and the League of Way'tosk in September 1392, with the signing of the Treaty of Ruttum. This treaty had maintained the status quo ante bellum between the Consortium and its eastern neighbors, thereby changing nothing in the overall military or diplomatic situation. The Queen Mother, who was angered by her failure to make advances into the Middle Territories, had now decided to turn her full attention back to the Laurasian Empire. As alluded to above, Kumthis had continued to provoke civil tensions and rebellion against the Emperor of Laurasia, and she was determined to reoccupy, and to annex, the Decapolian Provinces, which had been lost to Antiochus the Great. The Queen Mother of Venasia now regretted her folly in restoring those strongholds to Antiochus II following the death of his father, and believed that unless if the opportunity were taken now, then the Consortium would never be able to assert itself over the Empire.
  • Consequently, on December 6, 1392, the Queen Mother had ordered Generaless Kemal Ka, daughter of her mother's chief military commander Tenal Ka (who had died in 1390), to assume command of the garrisons of Organia, Philiana, Maxiliana, and Ka, and to prepare for the offensives into Laurasian territory. The Venasian Council of High Ones had for months been debating the plans for a renewed military thrust into the Laurasian Empire, and was determined to execute these plans accordingly. It was not until January 14, 1393, however, before the Queen Mother decided to follow through with these plans. On that day, she issued final instructions to Kemal Ka, and commanded the Laurasian Ambassador to the Court of Venasia Prime, Sir Sibyrtius Baseras (1334-99), to appear before her at the Fountain Palace. In their audience, she then berated the Ambassador, declaring that the Imperial Laurasian Government had made many "grievous and arrogant affronts against my regime", and that these could not be tolerated any longer. Consequently, the Queen Mother demanded that the Ambassador "tell his master that unless these affronts are corrected, through the restoration of all territories acquired by his Empire since the end of the War of the Polonian Succession, then there shall be neither peace nor cooperation; there shall only be war, and the Gods of our race will set things right." Ambassador Baseras, shocked by the Queen Mother's threat, now sent a communique back to the Council of Civil Service and the College of Foreign Affairs.
  • Emperor Antiochus, receiving word of the Queen Mother's threats, now decided it prudent to depart from Laurasia Prime once more. He did so on March 28, 1393, leaving his mother, Empress Dowager Anna, in charge of affairs on Laurasia Prime, and with those of his wife, Empress Consort Eleanora. The Emperor of Laurasia then proceeded eastwards to Schaueria Prime, and he refused to respond to the Queen Mother's demands. Consequently, Kumthis declared, there could be no peace. On April 6, 1393, Kumthis issued a declaration of war against the Laurasian Empire, thereby commencing the Laurasian-Venasian War of 1393-95. Soon after the declaration of war, Venasian forces made a series of advances into Laurasian territory. Generaless Kemal Ka defeated a Laurasian task force in the Battle of Degruezda. From Degruezda, she besieged and conquered Bolgrahay (April 11-14, 1393), humiliating the Laurasian Earl of Caroline. Penshalay, Millia-in-the Core, and Ipsus V were then overrun by Venasian forces (April 22-29, 1393). At the same time, Venasian units seized Uber-Commerce (April 12), breached the defenses of Kolchad (April 16), and isolated Podrac (April 18-19). On April 22, 1393, Agac and Aflac both fell into Venasian hands, and Venasian raiding expeditions now penetrated to Theresa, Bartello, Momma, Horacia, Donald, and Levinston.
  • Emperor Antiochus, pursuing the same strategies he had utilized against Saladin and his allies, was now determined to let the Venasians overextend themselves, selecting targets which they could not hold in the long run. During May 1393, Venasian units secured Caroline, Jem, and Dill, and dispatched expeditions to harry Chandlier, Capital, the Belts of Barton, Vardar, and Alemeda. A Venasian force even appeared over Caresolina in the Eastern Purse Region (May 11-14, 1393). Generaless Kemal Ka, who had now became overconfident because of this seemingly easy series of victories, now launched a rash offensive against Schaheria Prime itself (May 23, 1393), bypassing the defenses of Avaskar, Gitlandia, and Aberdeen while she was at it. Antiochus, however, now sallied forth from Selena (where all Venasian assaults had been repelled), and penetrated across to Lynne. Lynne fell on June 4, thereby entrenching a Laurasian beach-head within the very vicinity of the Outer Venasian Cluster. Kemal Ka now turned back to shore up her supply lines. She was intercepted, however, at Rusum; the ensuing Battle of Rusum (June 7-11, 1393), ended in another decisive victory for the Emperor. Kemal Ka lost over 200,000 of her Venasian Maidens, almost all of her clawcraft, and half her transports. From Lynne, Laurasian forces recovered Agac, Aflac, and Podrac, and then drove through Venasian positions at Ultra-Commerce (July 2, 1393), thereby breaking the back of the Venasian offensives. Philiana was besieged and conquered on July 7, and on August 3, 1393, Monderon fell into Laurasian hands also.
  • September 1393 saw Laurasian forces recover Rashid and Calpurnia, smash Venasian units at Jean (September 7), and on September 14, sack Colla in a surprise move. Ka then capitulated on September 21, and on October 3, Organia was placed under siege. The Siege of Organia lasted until October 19, when the world fell before the Emperor's troops. From Organia, Laurasian troops laid waste to Venasian positions on Desulima (October 25-November 3, 1393), and on November 14, Antiochus gained another victory in the Battle of Kolchad. Uber-Commerce was then recovered (November 22-24), followed by Penshalay (November 30), Bolgrahay (December 5-14), and Millia-in-the Core (December 19). On December 22, 1393, the Emperor defeated the Queen Mother's forces again in the Battle of Parim. 1393 therefore ended with the Venasians in dire straits.

1394Edit

  • 1394, the 94th year of the fourteenth century, began with Emperor Antiochus II once again proving his military might and ability to his subjects. He was on the way to defeating the Venasian Consortium, which had under Kumthis attempted to take advantage of Laurasian internal troubles in recent years. On January 6, 1394, Sir Willanius Marshallia obtained a decisive victory in the Battle of Pulaski, storming that major stronghold and driving Venasian units to the Transitory Mists. Ruttum then fell under assault (January 11-19), and fell, with Laurasian troops ransacking many of the world's properties and residences. Tyrania was then attacked on January 22, 1394; it's fall on February 12 heralded another disaster for the Venasian Consortium, and for the Queen Mother. Nevertheless, the Queen Mother was determined not to give up, and with her forces still holding possession of Caroline, Jem, and Dill, launched a series of vigorous moves against Laurasian positions. Hammenor fell to a Venasian task force (February 15-19, 1394), and in March 1394, the Emperor's attempt to secure the defenses of Bristalai, Mumbraine, and Compost V was halted in the Battle of Dorothy. These strongholds fell into Venasian hands, and a Venasian task force also moved into the Central Core, threatening the defenses of Hannah, Ruthania, and the colonies of Teth before retreating (April 12, 1394).
  • But by the middle of April 1394, the Emperor's forces were preparing for the conquest of Phyllis, which had continued to defy Laurasian units. Antiochus also created a series of barricades at Lythia, Hordania, and Greenia, thereby aiming to bottle up Venasian units along the Nexus Route, and to prevent them from breaking out. On April 22, 1394, the Emperor launched his offensive against Phyllis; his starships breached the system's defenses from three different vectors, and the world's orbital garrisons failed to hold off Laurasian aerial assaults. Antiochus was ruthless, and he refused to give any quarter to the Venasian foe. Phyllis fell on May 18, 1394. Following the fall of Phyllis, Laurasian forces reconquered Degruezda (May 24, 1394), and, operating from Ipsus V, drove Venasian task fleets from Caroline and Jem. Dill's garrison, however, resisted, and it required the combined efforts of the Emperor and General Marshallia before it too fell (June 9, 1394). On June 18, Antiochus defeated Kemal Ka decisively in the Battle of Wagner; the Generaless herself barely evaded capture.
  • Hapes was sacked in July 1394, and Laurasian expeditions were now routinely harassing the outskirts of the Transitory Mists. Indeed, from July 17 to August 6, 1394, the Emperor ordered what came to be known as the "Retaliatory Raids"; task fleets of the Imperial Laurasian Navy devastated the Venasian colonies of Zadaria, Vergill, Relephon, Modus, Maires, Charubah, Peril, and Thasdornia, inflicting more then $5 trillion denarius in damage, seizing more then 50 million captives, and riddling those systems with minefields and the carcasses of abandoned starships. In retaliation, Kumthis ordered for the annihilation of the Laurasian colony of Ticopolis; this operation, carried out on August 18, 1394, saw the deaths of more then four million colonists from the Purse Region. She now became determined to force a final showdown with her Laurasian rival. On September 9, 1394, the Queen Mother departed from Venasia Prime, and ventured to Kendra-in-the Core, where she assembled her clawcraft squadrons, Venasian Maidens, and the Secret Commandos. She now moved to Konduchra, where, four hundred years earlier (June 28, 991), Timur the Devastator had thrashed Tokhtamysh of the Golden Horde. The significance of this star system was plain to the Queen Mother, and she hoped to obtain a triumph of her own.
  • Emperor Antiochus, however, was one step ahead of her, and he was determined to not give her any advantage. He dispatched his agents to trick the Queen Mother and her military commanders into believing that he would launch a direct assault upon the star system. And indeed, the Emperor, on September 15, did move with his forces to the outskirts of Konduchra, and launched a direct assault upon its defenses. Kumthis now ordered her Maidens and commandos to advance, and they succeeded in bottling up pockets of the Laurasian offensive forces. To the Venasians, it seemed as if this would be an easy victory. Antiochus's gambit now played itself out, however. At Macedonia Max, which had been recolonized by a consortium of Laurasian nobles (the Houses of Eritcus) thirty years earlier, and was another site of a Timurid victory, General Marshallia waited with his reserves, which included a number of the new Rhombus-class star dreadnoughts, commissioned earlier that year. With a signal from the Emperor, Marshallia and his units now moved out and assaulted Konduchra from its northern, less defended vector. Kumthis now found herself pressed by these newcomers, and her best units were sucked up into the Laurasian pockets, confused.
  • Within hours, the Battle of Konduchra had turned into a smashing victory for the Laurasian Empire, as significant and decisive as Timur's had been four centuries earlier. Nearly two million Venasian troops died, including almost all of the Commandos; 150,000 Maidens became Laurasian prisoners of war; and the Queen Mother lost over two-thirds of her warships. She herself barely escaped from the star system, and was hotly pursued by Laurasian starfighter units. On September 24, Venasia Secondary capitulated to a Laurasian task force. Kumthis was shortly afterwards informed that nothing could stop the Emperor of Laurasia from making his way to Venasia Prime, if he so pleased. Defeated, and realizing she was at the end of her wits, she decided to seek peace. On October 4, 1394, the Queen Mother requested negotiations with her Laurasian counterpart. Antiochus, who was now utterly triumphant, accepted, and a truce was signed at Kadesh ten days later. It was not until November 4, 1394, however, before delegations from the two states convened at Decapolia Major. Laurasian interests were represented by Archbishop Couteria, Archbishop Gregory of Christiania, and Sir Licinus Makatius (1340-1403), Procurator-General of the Governing Senate. Venasian interests were represented by Generaless Kemal Ka, Lady Executrix Nehemia, head of the Council of High Ones since 1391, and the Queen Mother's secretary, Lady Jasiu. Negotiations were to continue into the new year.

1395Edit

  • 1395, the 95th year of the fourteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire and the Neo-Venasian Consortium now coming to terms at the peace table, in the aftermath of Emperor Antiochus's decisive victory over Queen Mother Kumthis at the Battle of Konduchra. It did not take for long, into the new year, before they came to a conclusion. On January 7, 1395, the Treaty of Decapolia Major was signed, thereby bringing an end to the Fifth Laurasian-Venasian War of the fourteenth century. By the terms of this treaty, the Emperor of Laurasia made substantial territorial acquisitions. Lynne, Ruttum, Cadaria, Anasia, Maxiliana, Phyllis, Duris, Tyrania, Konduchra, and Macedonia Max were now conceded to the authority of the Laurasian Empire. Monderon, Ka, Colla, and Organia were to be occupied by Laurasian forces for a period of five years (to conclude on January 7, 1400). The Queen Mother of Venasia now agreed to acknowledge the commercial and free transit privileges of all Laurasian merchants through her dominions. She now formally renounced all territorial claims to the Decapolian Provinces and to Hannis, which were acknowledged as inviolable "territories of the Empire." She agreed to suspend all support for any rebellious factions or movements within the Empire, and to terminate any communications which she might have with Laurasian nobles, and with Laurasian officials. Moreover, the Queen Mother promised not to sign any treaties or contract any undertakings detrimental to the interests of the Imperial Laurasian Government; to recognize Laurasian acquisitions in the First Abbathian War; and to not obstruct Laurasian relations with the Millian States. Finally, Kumthis agreed to establish a demilitarized zone, of one hundred light years radius, between the Venasian Cluster and the boundary with the Empire.
  • The Treaty of Decapolia Major was ratified by Emperor Antiochus on the day that it was signed, and by Queen Mother Kumthis on January 15. Kumthis, however, continued to seethe with resentments against her Laurasian counterpart, and in the reign of his brother Demetrius, it would become clear that the Venasian predicament was far from over for Laurasia. Nevertheless, with peace restored, Antiochus could again turn his attention to internal affairs within his realms. The Emperor agreed to meet with the Queen Mother at Decapolia Minor (January 24, 1395). There, they embraced each other, expressed their joy for the end of the war, and promised "everlasting friendship between their states." After this meeting, the Emperor made his way back to Laurasia Prime. His arrival there, on February 7, 1395, was greeted with much enthusiasm and joy by his subjects. They "adored their master with all of the joy they could muster; he was received with the great acclaim of both officials and subjects; and mighty praises were offered up to the Lord Almitis for the successes obtained by his viceregent in battle." The Emperor was received by his beaming mother at the Quencilvanian Palace, along with Empress Consort Eleanora, Grand Princess Julia, and the Archbishops, Couteria and Gregory. Afterwards, he proceeded to the Westphalian Cathedral, where the Holy Synod blessed him. Then at the Diplomatic Palace, he was hailed by the Praetorian Guards.
  • In April 1395, the Emperor once again changed the arrangements in the Imperial Laurasian Government. He now restored Loncharania, in gratitude for his loyal service, to his full authority as Chancellor, and conferred upon him estates in the Malarian Provinces. Loncharania was to continue serving the Emperor loyally until his death on January 7, 1397, at Aquilionia. Archbishop Couteria was made Justicar, a position he was to hold until his death in November 1407, while Archbishop Gregory, made Vice-Procurator, was also given the rank of Metropolitan of the Purse Region. Empress-Dowager Anna, once again confirmed in her position of precedence, was awarded estates and the Order of St. Katherine's, established the year prior to honor female recipients. He also conferred estates and funds upon both his sister and his wife. Sir Willanius Marshallia, on his part, was made Earl of Taurasia (April 29, 1395), as a reward for his loyal services to the Leonidian Dynasty. Then on May 5, 1395, the Emperor and Grand Prince Demetrius met on Jadia. Antiochus embraced his younger brother, who was now twenty-eight, and each apologized to the other for the "wrongs which they had inflicted." Demetrius, who was now determined to make something better of himself, and to get past the petty trifles, also reconciled with Chancellor Loncharania and Archbishop Gregory. He was to remain quiescent and loyal for the remainder of his brother's reign, the precursor to his own, which would see another burst of expansion for the Empire.
  • Shortly after this conference, Emperor Antiochus, his wife, and mother, embarked on a imperial progress through the Purse Region, Malarian Provinces, and Kelvanian Provinces. This progress began on May 11, 1395, and continued until September 1. The Emperor dedicated numerous structures, founded more then two hundred colonies, and dispensed justice to his subjects. He also implemented some legal innovations of his own, setting down new procedures for physical combat and dueling among the nobility (decree of August 19, 1395), extending his father's judicial innovations to the newly annexed Venasian Provinces, ordering for the creation of a uniform code on etiquette, precedence, and conduct at the Imperial Court, among the nobility, and between the nobility and other social estates (which would promulgated in 1398 as the Treatises of Antiochus), and on August 25, commissioned the construction, at Melarnaria, of the Obelisk of Konduchra (which would be completed in January 1400, early in the reign of his brother). But new troubles now emerged farther to the south: along the Kimanian Trade Run.
  • The Treaty of Georgevisk proved to have little advantage for the Confederate Kingdom of Upper Melorkia. In the years after its conclusion, Laurasia had become too occupied with Venasia, Solidarita, and the Abbathian Dynasty to pay much attention to Upper Melorkia. In 1387, Emperor Antiochus had withdrawn the Laurasian Assistance Corps from Melorkia Prime, in the midst of the War of Suleiman's Aggression, and against the protests of the Melorkians themselves. Even the increasing power of Zhuvan Shogun did not distract the attention of Antiochus the Great or his son Antiochus II. Indeed, by 1390, Zhuvan had, through a series of wars with Jarjanican rebel movements under Prince Mechela (1371-74, 1376-79), Rudorite bands in the Hutsite Reaches (1370-75, 1384-87), the Kingdom of Ashlgothia under Wamba and Erwig (1373-75, 1382-86), and the Huntite Caliphate (1379-82, 1386-89) under Phradia III, extended the Celestial Dynasty's hold over the whole of the Eastern Barsar Regions, from the Upper Librarian Worlds (Cox, Banks, Henderson, Newman Victoria, Filorean, Constipex, and Millard), along the Northern Kimanian Trade Run, out to the Denveranian Trunk Line. This included the territories which had once belonged to the Kingdom of Jarjanica, destroyed by the Ashlgothians a hundred years earlier. In 1391, King Childebert V had sent a communique to the College of Foreign Affairs on Laurasia Prime, asking for renewed military aid, but the Imperial Laurasian Government did not deem it expedient to send another corps down to Melorkia Prime.
  • In 1392, he was told by the Laurasian Ambassador to the Court of Melorkia Prime, Baron Arrhidaeus Lamdamon, 3rd Baron Lamdamon (1341-1405), that no assistance was forthcoming to Melorkia unless if it were assaulted directly by its Lower Melorkian counterpart, or by other hostile foreign powers. Despite being left to his own devices, Childebert V now nurtured a dream of establishing, with Laurasian protection, a strong and united monarchy, into which Lower Melorkia would eventually be drawn. Shogun Zhuvan, on his part, viewed the situation in Melorkia as perfect for his own devices. He dreamed of bringing Kimania back to the glory days of the Hansian Dynasty (203 BH-AH 220), which had, at the opening of the 1st millennium AH, extended its suzerainty as far as Melanie Major, Ruthelaine, and Roastafaria Minor. The Shogun viewed the recovery of these territories as merely part of a natural process, and believed that the Melorkians themselves were in any case a base, foreign species. He therefore prepared to exert himself, and to bring Qiángdù (strength), back to the state.
  • Zhuvan now carried out a duplicitous, two-pronged policy. In March 1394, the Shogun sent a communique to King Louis II of Lower Melorkia on Manorsia, offering a military and diplomatic alliance between the Celestial Dynasty and the Confederate Kingdom of Lower Melorkia. He promised to help Louis regain control of Upper Melorkia, thereby reunifying the Melorkian dominions under one master. Louis, who had acceded to the Lower Melorkian throne in January 1383, and was determined to regain the glories of the great Clovis, accepted the Kimanian offer. A conference was then convened at Breha, and on June 9, 1394, the two powers had agreed to the Treaty of Breha, codifying their alliance. Zhuvan now agreed to launch, in conjunction with Lower Melorkian forces, operations into Upper Melorkian territory; to assist Louis in deposing his rival, King Childebert; and to provide financial aid to the Melorkian Government. Louis, in turn, recognized Kimanian rights of military transit through his territories. With this alliance concluded, both King and Shogun pursued a policy of extensive rearmament; by April 1395, Kimanian-Melorkian forces had assembled at Jack, Rose, Resmania, Cambrina, Obathia, and Cyrus III, posed for offensives northwards. Then on June 9, they dispatched a joint communique to King Childebert.
  • In this communique, they demanded that Childebert renounce all treaties signed with the Laurasian Empire, and that he acknowledge the suzerainty of the Kingdom of Lower Melorkia. He was to also dismantle all of his military forces, allow for Kimanian and Lower Melorkian troops to be stationed on his territories, and concede Roastafaria Minor to the authority of King Louis. Childebert ignored this ultimatum, and again appealed for assistance to his theoretical protector, Emperor Antiochus of Laurasia, begging for at least a expeditionary corps to be sent to him. Antiochus, still basking in his own accomplishments and in the love of his subjects, ignored this plea. Upper Melorkia was therefore left to face the allied threat alone. Thus, on August 3, 1395, the Shogun and the King of Lower Melorkia issued a declaration of war against the Kingdom of Upper Melorkia, and hurled their forces into Melorkian territory. Enrassburg was the first to fall victim to the allied forces (August 4-11, 1395), and on August 12, Les Mans was besieged by them. It too could not resist for long, and fell on August 19. By August 24, Kimanian-Melorkian forces had also overrun Matthew, West, and Mirohassani, and were pressing upon the defenses of Rasti. On September 2, the garrison of Kentaborn surrendered to Shogun Zhuvan. He now sent one last ultimatum to the King of Upper Melorkia.
  • In this communique, he expressed his amazement that Childebert had tied himself so closely to "the Laurasians, who have nothing to do with your peoples, and who, as can be seen by their endeavors against Solidarita, against Venasia, against Donathia, against Abbathia, have nothing in their minds but evil. We have already regretted having to destroy a number of Melorkians, and we now pray that Your Highness will disavow your ties with the Laurasians, accept the brotherhood of your lower neighbors, and acknowledge the gracious protection accorded to you by our Dynasty. For if you do not, then we will annihilate all of your people, and create gulfs, such that no man in the galaxy can say that there was not a warning." Childebert ignored this final ultimatum, and sent another plea for assistance to Emperor Antiochus. The Shogun, however, now marched directly upon Melorkia Prime, attacking the heavily fortified positions of the King at the southern outskirts of the star system (September 8, 1395). Childebert, who was abandoned by many of his nobles, managed to mobilize the garrison of Melorkia Prime and several local militias. The Melorkians offered a desperate resistance and succeeded in rolling back a series of Kimanian attacks on September 9 and 10. On September 11, the Shogun launched a full-fledged offensive and finally broke through the world's defenses. King Childebert and his court were able to flee on a destroyer, but the world fell before the Kimanians. Zhuvan now had the world sacked by his troops. Its properties were thoroughly plundered, its cities devastated, and more then four billions of its inhabitants were slaughtered, enslaved, imprisoned, or deported. Kimanian troops remained on Melorkia Prime until October 5, 1395, when the Shogun suddenly decided to retreat. He maintained hold of the other conquered star systems, but refused to help Louis campaign farther up into Melorkian territory. Louis, who was dependent on Kimanian support, and fearful now that the Shogun might turn on him, could do nothing. Nevertheless, much of Upper Melorkia was now occupied, and Childebert retreated to Algaica Belguica.
  • Emperor Antiochus, when he learned of the fall of Melorkia Prime, displayed little alarm. The Emperor was well aware, thanks to the Imperial Intelligence Agency, of Zhuvan's intentions in regards to Melorkia. Though these could not be tolerated, he also understood that Zhuvan continued to face resistance from his rule among his nobles; that the Kimanian forces were not the most loyal to their master; and that the Celestial Dynasty continued to clash with the Great Kingdom of Lesia, in the western Barsar Regions. Moreover, Antiochus had now conceived in his mind the idea of annexing the Melorkian kingdoms directly into the Laurasian Empire, which would allow for it to project its power down the Kimanian Trade Run. In November 1395, the Emperor shared these ideas with Chancellor Loncharania, Archbishop Gregory, and the Council of Civil Service. They all expressed their support for it, and advised him to proceed cautiously. On December 9, Antiochus sent a note to Childebert, declaring that the Empire would intervene to protect Upper Melorkia from further enemy assaults, and that "unavoidable matters" elsewhere, had delayed its response. On December 19, he and Empress-Consort Eleanora moved to Briannia, establishing their court there for Ascentmas. There, he would begin planning for a Laurasian expedition into Melorkia. 1395 ended, therefore, with the Empire on the verge of renewed war.

1396Edit

  • 1396, the 96th year of the fourteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire of Antiochus II preparing for its intervention in the Zhuvanian War, as the conflict involving the two Melorkian kingdoms and the Celestial Dynasty of Kimania had become known. The Emperor of Laurasia was well aware of the advantages that were inherent in an intervention in the whole affair, and also of the Kimanian intrusions into Upper Melorkian territory. This colored his actions as he moved forward. On January 9, 1396, the Emperor and the Imperial Court moved from Laurasia Prime to Murphy. There, he and his wife, Empress-Consort Eleanora, received gifts and felicitations from their Murphian subjects; attended the dedication of St. Sestorius's Monastery in Bryanie City; and held audiences with the ambassadors of Solidarita, Polonia-Donguaria, and Neo-Venasia. Eight days later, the Emperor ordered for his former fiancee, Venasian Princess Alania, to be handed over to the custody of her niece, Queen Mother Kumthis. This transfer took place at Ruttum on January 29, 1396. The Queen Mother now married her aunt, who was thirty-five and childless, to Lord Trion of Venasia Secondary (1379-1421). Alania now spent the rest of her life in peaceful obscurity, living on her estates at Venasia Secondary, Hapes, Venasia Prime, and in the Rifle Worlds. She would die on April 18, 1420, at the age of sixty.
  • Following the transfer of Alania back into Venasian custody, Emperor Antiochus now, on February 5, dispatched an ultimatum to Kimanian Shogun Zhuvan and King Louis of Lower Melorkia. In this ultimatum, the Emperor of Laurasia demanded that all Kimanian and Lower Melorkian forces evacuate the territories of the Kingdom of Upper Melorkia; that the Shogun agree to acknowledge the continued existence of the separate Upper and Lower Melorkian states; and that he compensate King Childebert for the damages inflicted upon Melorkia Prime. Zhuvan, when he received this ultimatum, refused to consider its demands, and on February 14, mocked the Emperor to his courtiers, declaring that he was "pompous, foolish, and arrogant, who will be unable to throw out our forces, who have been blessed by Confucius and his Lords." This proved to be a great mistake on his part. Antiochus was outraged when he learned of the statements made of him by the Shogun, and decided that they could not be tolerated any longer. On February 21, he ordered his wife to return to Laurasia Prime, and said his goodbyes to her. He also sent a communique to his mother, Empress-Dowager Anna, who was now spending much of her time at the Fontevrault Abbey on Dramis. The Emperor now moved down to Sanegeta, and on March 5, 1396, issued a declaration of war against Lower Melorkia and Kimania. Laurasian forces now made rapid advances.
  • On March 11, the Emperor dispatched the Assistance Corps to King Childebert at Algaica Belguica, helping him to bolster his defenses there. Laurasian forces then destroyed a Kimanian fleet at Tourbonne (March 12-19), recovered Dacia and Dagnaught (March 22-24) for Upper Melorkia, and on March 29, won the Battle of Rasti. In April 1396, the Duke of Columbia, acting on command of the Emperor, drove southwards and stormed Les Mans, Jasmine, and West in succession. Antiochus then moved towards Melorkia Prime; on May 5, he defeated Zhuvan's chief subordinate, General Hem-Shuvan, in the Battle of Xxi. Jemeina was then cleared of Kimanian units (May 11-14, 1396), and on May 22, the Shogun's counteroffensive against Chappelle, George, and Benztir V was ended in the Battle of Osiana. By the end of May, Laurasian forces were besieging Mirohassani and cleared Bethune and Imune of all Kimanian units. Then on June 6, 1396, Melorkia Prime was reoccupied by the Kingdom of Upper Melorkia. King Childebert, escorted by the Laurasian Assistance Corps and a task fleet dispatched by the Emperor, now returned to his desolate capital world, where the cities were in ruin, and with its outskirts littered with the debris of starships, turbocannons, and industrial waste. Four days later, the Emperor's forces attacked Obathia. The Siege of Obathia continued until June 24, when the stronghold fell into Laurasian hands. On June 27, Antiochus inflicted another defeat upon Lower Melorkian forces in the Battle of Roastafaria Minor. Then on July 14, 1396, Louis attempted, with some Kimanian units, a move of his own back into Upper Melorkian territory, hoping to seize Riparia and Alsauborg, from which he could launch raids into Laurasian territory. He was halted and defeated by the Duke of Columbia, however, in the Battle of Cholodio.
  • Kentaborn was reconquered in August 1396, and all Kimanian expeditions against Melorkia Prime were terminated. By September 5, with Laurasian forces having secured Mirohassani, and posed to assault Cambrina, Manorsia, and Roastafaria Minor, it was clear that the Kimanian invasion of Upper Melorkia was over. Zhuvan himself, who had just the previous year been venting his rage about the Laurasian Empire, and his determination to limit its influence, was now indicating a willingness to negotiate peace. The Shogun was now dealing with the revolt of the Faction of Red Tigers on Gardiner, Leo's Redoubt, Kimanis Mooria, and Henderson, and was faced with Lesian intrusions directed at Acone, Plath, Skold, and Harrison. Thus, on September 19, he requested for negotiations with the Laurasian Empire. Emperor Antiochus accepted, and the Armistice of Mayblein was signed on October 4, 1396. The Emperor of Laurasia did this in spite of the protests of King Childebert, who had been urging his overlord to press the advantage home, and to overrun all Lower Melorkian territories, which would have allowed for the creation of a unified Confederate Kingdom of Melorkia.
  • Antiochus, as mentioned above, did not wish for Melorkia to gain too much power, and he was determined to end the war on terms advantageous to him. Consequently, he proceeded swiftly to peace negotiations. These lasted for just over a month; Chancellor Loncharania took the primary role, wrangling over terms with the Kimanians. On November 8, 1396, the Treaty of Tourbonne was signed, thereby ending the Zhuvanian War and the Melorkian Expedition of 1396, as Laurasia's intervention in the conflict had become known. By the terms of this treaty, the status quo ante bellum was restored between Upper and Lower Melorkia, and between the Melorkian kingdoms and the Celestial Dynasty of Kimania. All Laurasian and Kimanian forces were to evacuate Melorkian territory, save for the Laurasian Assistance Corps on Melorkia Prime, by no later then June 1, 1397. The Treaty of Georgevisk was recognized by both Kimania and Lower Melorkia, acknowledging Upper Melorkia's status as a protectorate of the Laurasian Empire. All prisoners of war were to be returned, and no compensation was to be paid.
  • The Treaty of Tourbonne was ratified by Emperor Antiochus on November 11, by Shogun Zhuvan on November 14, by King Louis on November 20, and by King Childebert (reluctantly), on November 23. Following the ratification of the Treaty, the Emperor of Laurasia wasted no time in making his return back up the Kimanian Trade Run. He proceeded to Goldaria, where he was joined by Empress-Dowager Anna and by Empress Consort Eleanora. The Emperor issued manifestos ordering his subjects to celebrate his victories, and he commissioned the Victory Arch on Sanegeta, later that month; it was completed in 1398. On December 7, 1396, moreover, the Emperor commissioned the creation of a great mural at St. Paul's Cathedral on Melarnaria. This mural depicted the Emperor, Empress, Empress-Dowager, Grand Prince Demetrius, and the Duke of Chancia, son of Leonnatus. It was meant to mark the Empire's victory, and to serve as a certification of the Dynasty. Then on December 19, the Imperial Court attended the wedding of Grand Princess Julia with the Earl of Teth; unfortunately, they would not have any children during their brief marriage. 1396 ended, however, with the Empire restored to peace yet again.

1397Edit

  • 1397, the 97th year of the fourteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire, with the termination of the Melorkian Expedition of 1396, once again restored to peace. Emperor Antiochus, in his New Year's proclamation, boasted that the Leonidian Dynasty had "done more then any previous dynasty to enhance Laurasian power, and stake out the rightful position of this Empire in this galaxy." On January 7, 1397, he made his return again to Laurasia Prime. Following the death of Loncharania that same day, Antiochus appointed Sir Eustacius Tamanius (1352-1415), as the Chancellor of the Laurasian Empire. On January 22, moreover, the Emperor elevated Sir Lucius Seius Strabo (1361-1415), as Praetorian Prefect. The Prefecture had been established by Seleucus I, and since his reign had always been responsible for the affairs and oversight of the Praetorian Guards. However, the Prefect had not enjoyed any significant influence or leverage at the Imperial Court, and was for most of the century considered to be relatively insignificant. Antiochus, however, began to expand the Prefect's powers, giving him greater authority over law enforcement and the maintenance of public order in Christiania, naming him to the Governing Senate, and consulting him regularly. This was another of his innovations, and from this point on, the Prefect would become more prominent. This would have consequences for the future history of the Laurasian Empire, especially during the reign of Emperor Tiberius.
  • In March 1397, the Emperor conducted another tour through the Central Core, proceeding downwards to Goldaria, and from thence to Carina and Seejay Prime. He then made a brief return to Laurasia Prime, arriving back there on April 5, 1397. He was soon aroused again, however, by the outbreak of a civil rebellion against the Laurasian Empire: in the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth. King Stanislaw II had now ruled for thirty-three years, and had remained a loyal subordinate to the Emperors of Laurasia throughout that entire time. Yet he could not control everything which was transpiring in his realms, and the Polonian General Sar'lac Warnowcki now made plain his intentions against the Empire. On April 11, at Grockhov, he announced the formation of the Freedom Confederation, and declared his intention to "overthrow the perfidious and vile Laurasian power, which has kept the peoples of this Commonwealth under an oppressive thumb for so long." He now overran Zesia (April 14-19), Zutagia (April 22), Galich Major (April 24), and Galich Minor (April 29-May 5, 1397). On May 11, 1397, he defeated a Laurasian corps under General the Lord Sardaria in the Battle of Volodormia, but failed to penetrate its defenses. By the end of May 1397, Wawer, Debe Wielkie, Dobre, Krakow, and Lublin, were also in his possession.
  • Emperor Antiochus, provoked by the attack on Volodormia, departed from Laurasia Prime on May 12, 1397, and focused his efforts on strengthening the garrisons of the Ivorian Provinces. Moving from Maschinga, the Emperor then moved towards Watson, driving off a rebel offensive there (May 14-17). On May 22, Antiochus sent a message to the Polonian Diet, to which the Parliament had been renamed in 1394. In this message, he demanded that the Diet proclaim General Sar'lac to be an outlaw, and that it denounce all association with him. Moreover, the Emperor demanded the right to select the next King-Emperor of Polonia-Donguaria, and to establish a "diplomatic garrison" at Lublin. The Diet proved reluctant at first to respond to the Laurasian demands, but when a Laurasian force sacked Wronzaz (June 4, 1397), it gave in. On June 11, the Diet passed a series of resolutions, denouncing Sar'lac and his rebellion, depriving him of all his offices, and yielding the right of election for the next sovereign to "His Mighty Lord, the Emperor and Autocrat of All Laurasia..." Then on June 16, Antiochus lured Sar'lac into a trap at Pulawy, inflicting a decisive defeat upon him there. Sar'lac lost almost all of his Donguarian troops, along with his corps of Ashlgothian, Alexandrian, and Devianiani mercenaries.
  • By June 26, Galich Minor, Zesia, and Zutagia were in Laurasian hands, and the rebel General had also been expelled from Lublin. On July 4, 1397, Emperor Antiochus defeated General Sar'lac again in the Battle of Wilno. He then secured Kurbatow (July 5-9), and on July 14, stormed Debe Wielkie. Krakow and Wawer were both in Laurasian hands. Lublin was then assaulted on August 2, 1397, and laid under siege. General Sar'lac, in an act of desperation, now assaulted Daniel, Sherlock, Rupert, and Matlock, seeking to draw off Laurasian units from their intended goal of conquest. This ploy failed, and on August 24, Lublin fell. Finally, on September 3, 1397, the Emperor's troops captured General Sar'lac at Bialoleka. He was brought before Antiochus. Sar'lac impressed the Emperor with his bravery and courage; moreover, he treated the Laurasian sovereign with respect, but declared his willingness to die, and said he would rather be sacrificed then live to see the further humiliation of the Polonian realms. Antiochus decided to spare his life, but had Sar'lac banished to Aspen in the Angelican Provinces. In this, he disregarded the wishes of the Diet and of King Stanislaw, who had sought for the General to be tried by a assembly of his peers on Polonia Major. Sar'lac would die at Aspen on August 22, 1409, aged fifty-five.
  • With the end of the War of Sar'lac's Revenge, the Emperor turned his attention back to the Central Core, suppressing a series of uprisings at Natasi, Daala, Stenbock, and Constancia (October 1397). On November 3, 1397, Antiochus returned again to Polonian dominions, suppressing an outbreak of civil dissent on Tyrockin and Nur. Then on November 18, he sent a communique to the Polonian Diet, demanding that a conference be convened in order to decide "further outstanding disputes related to the lately passed matter of Sar'lac." The Diet capitulated to these demands on December 7, 1397, and the conference was scheduled to be held at Levinston, in the Empire. The health of King Stanislaw, however, now delayed matters.

1398Edit

  • 1398, the 98th year of the fourteenth century, commenced with Emperor Antiochus II having glorified himself again in the War of Sar'lac's Revenge, which had maintained Laurasian dominance over the affairs of the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth. The Imperial Laurasian Government had managed to compel its Polonian counterpart into agreeing to a diplomatic conference on Levinston, in order to settle arrangements outstanding from the outbreak of that rebellion. However, the health of King Stanislaw II, as mentioned above, had entered into a serious decline. On January 8, 1398, the King suffered a major heart attack in his quarters at the Royal Palace of Polonia Major. He was now confined to the Royal Hospital of Wanda the Beloved, named after the legendary Polonian ruler of the fourth century AH. In spite of the efforts of his physicians, his health declined yet further. On February 1, 1398, he died at the age of 68. Immediately upon Stanislaw's death, the Primate of Polonia, Wincenty Kadlbujek, assumed the duties of Interrex. He was to find his tenure historically short, however, as the Emperor of Laurasia sought to impose his choice upon the Commonwealth in due order.
  • On February 22, he ordered the Duke of Columbia to occupy Polonia Major with his troops; the Duke did this promptly, facing little resistance from the Commonwealth's weakened military forces. Many Laurasians understood that this was the complete reverse of the situation 188 years earlier, when the forces of Polonian General Zolywieski had occupied Laurasia Prime while the Stellar Kingdom was in dire straits. Polonians, in turn, understood the irony of the reverse, and were humiliated by it. Nevertheless, in spite of their protests, and their riots, they were unable to do anything to change the situation. On March 1, Primate Kadlbujek, who was both bullied and bribed by the Laurasian Ambassador, Sir Rufrius Crispinus, issued the instructions for the Convocation Diet to convene. The Diet assembled on March 21, 1398. It was now presented by Ambassador Crispinus with the Laurasian candidate: Prince Fre'dac Dlogoulz of Polonia Minor (1369-1425). The Prince, who had once sojourned at the Court of Laurasia Prime, had been on the Laurasian payroll since 1390, and had aligned himself with the Laurasian faction in the Polonian Senate. He was greedy, but had no ambition whatsoever for the expansion of the Commonwealth, and would be indebted to his Laurasian masters. The Diet, which was forbidden to consider any other candidates but the Laurasian one, yielded quickly. On April 7, 1398, Fre'dac was elected King-Emperor of Polonia-Donguaria by a unanimous vote in both the Senate and Magisterial Court. Unbeknownst to all, he was to be the last native sovereign of the Commonwealth.
  • The new King signed his pacta conventa on April 14, and on May 3, 1398, he was formally crowned King at Polonia Major. Then on May 8, negotiations finally commenced at Levinston. The Laurasian delegation had the upper hand, and the Polonians rapidly agreed to the Laurasian terms. On May 24, 1398, the Treaty of Levinston was signed. It was ratified by Emperor Antiochus on June 4, and by the Polonian Parliament on June 11. By the terms of this treaty, the arrangements which had persisted since the Concordat of Wronzaz (1364), were reconfirmed, with Laurasian rights of military access and intervention in the Commonwealth assured. Moreover, Zutagia, Zesia, Zennethia, Galich Major, and Galich Minor were now conceded to the authority of the Laurasian Empire. The Polonian Government agreed to compensate the Empire, to the tune of $1.1 trillion denarius, for the damages inflicted by Sar'lac and his troops upon Laurasian subjects, their businesses, and their property. Moreover, Polonia reaffirmed its commitment not to sign any treaties detrimental to the interests of its protector. The Treaty of Levinston provided the framework of relations between the Empire and the Commonwealth throughout the first quarter of the fifteenth century.
  • Emperor Antiochus, who had again displayed his power, returned to Laurasia Prime on July 29, after spending the preceding two months on a tour of the newly-acquired Galician Provinces. Shortly after his arrival, on August 8, 1398, his illegitimate half-brother, Archbishop Gregory, collapsed of a stroke while delivering a sermon at the Westphalian Cathedral and died, aged forty-six. The Emperor of Laurasia, who had developed some regard for the late Archbishop, ordered for him to be given a lavish funeral at Westphalia, which was conducted on August 25. In September 1398, it was briefly thought that Empress-Consort Eleanora was pregnant, and a premature outburst of joy arose in the city of Christiania. On October 7, however, this was revealed to be false, much to the consternation of many. Antiochus and Eleanora would continue to try, but their efforts would be for naught. After the Emperor's death the following year, it would be discovered that he was infertile, and that therefore, the imperial couple would have never conceived. Due to the customs of the imperial house, however, this was not known at the time. In November, Empress-Dowager Anna returned to Laurasia Prime, and was honored by the nobility, as well as the Councils of State and her son, in a ceremony at the Forum of Antiochus. She would remain with her son, his wife, Grand Prince Demetrius, and Grand Princess Julia for Ascentmas celebrations. 1398 therefore ended with the Empire at peace.
  • Two other deaths of significance also occurred this year, one of which was to have implications for the Empire's future territorial expansion. On January 11, 1398, King Childebert V of Upper Melorkia died on Melorkia Prime, after having reigned for nearly thirty-five years. He was 77 years old at the time of his death, the longest-lived Melorkian sovereign in history. Childebert died still convinced that only alliance with the Laurasian Empire would enable a restoration of Melorkian glory. He was now succeeded to the throne by his son Clovis III, who was fifty-one years old at the time of his accession to the throne. Clovis was destined to be the last King of Upper Melorkia. For the time being, however, he did not receive confirmation of his title from Emperor Antiochus of Laurasia, who was still formulating plans for further Laurasian action in that realm. Then (June 24, 1398), Zhuvan Shogun, restorer of the Celestial Dynasty of Kimania, died at Derangy, aged 69, and after having reigned for twenty-nine years. He was now succeeded to the throne by his elder son Homovius. He was buried in the Great Imperial Vault on Kimania.

1399Edit

  • 1399, the 99th year of the fourteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire dwelling again in a state of peace, and with Antiochus II, who was now becoming known as "the Conqueror" due to his exploits against the Abbathian Dynasty and elsewhere, reigning as Emperor. The century was now moving closer to its conclusion. On January 11, 1399, the Emperor, from the Quencilvanian Palace on Laurasia Prime, issued a proclamation stating that the "honor of his ancestors was being vindicated, and that the great Seleucus, under which this century began, would be proud at the accomplishments and the virtue of his successors." The Emperor remained at Laurasia Prime during the first two months of the year, attending sessions of the Senate, issuing instructions to the Colleges, the Council of Civil Service, and his subordinates, and conducting a series of lavish tournaments, masques, pageants, plays, displays, and other celebrations at the Imperial Court. He and his wife, Empress-Consort Eleanora, continued in vain in their efforts to produce a child. On February 7, Empress-Dowager Anna departed from Laurasia Prime and returned to Dramis, being seen off by her son and his wife with much ceremonial.
  • But on March 6, 1399, the Emperor decided to depart from Laurasia Prime and to undertake a tour of the Central Core. He now said his goodbyes to Empress Consort Eleanora, and gave her a signet ring, along with a platinum necklace and a set of gold amulets, as tokens of his good will. They were never to see each other again. He then proceeded through Maroni, Janesia, and Dearton's Gateway, and from thence, along the Clancian Trunk Line, through Clancia, Reoyania, Dramis, Condtella, Conservan, and Goss Beacon. On March 22, while approaching Hydapses, the Emperor received word that Sir Auchalus Basaria, Governor of Constancia, had, in an act of folly, erupted in revolt. The Governor, who had for some time entertained delusions of grandeur, believed that he could take advantage of simmering rebel tensions, as he viewed them, in the Southern Central Core. Antiochus now became determined to crush this revolt, and to thereby provide an example of what would happen to those who defied his authority.
  • By the early hours of March 26, the Emperor had approached the outskirts of the star system and now imposed a blockade, suppressing all communications and transit. Soon, the defenses of Constancia weakened, for the garrison of the world, which had never fully supported the Governor, yielded in the face of the Emperor's forces. Antiochus himself now led his troops and Imperial Marines onto the world, in order to seek out the traitorous Governor and his co-conspirators, and reassert control on the planetary surface. However, as he led his men through Radacia City, he was struck in the arm by a poisonous javelin thrown by one Junius Priscus (1366-99), a soldier of the Imperial Garrison. The Emperor attempted to remove the javelin himself, but screamed in pain and had to be taken by his men back to his flagship, the IMS Livia. His physicians managed to remove the javelin and dress his wounds, but a poisonous toxin, madium, which could not be detected by normal medical instruments, now spread through the Emperor's body. His immune system was destroyed by the toxin, and within a day, it became clear that his chances of survival were poor. When he realized he was dying, the Emperor called upon his mother to come to him from Dramis without delay.
  • Within a short time, Priscus had been captured by the imperial troops. Antiochus now asked him why he had killed him. Priscus responded boldly that the Emperor had had his father and siblings executed, and that he had intended to kill him. He then said that the Emperor should "take any revenge on me that you may think fit, for I will readily endure the greatest torments that you can devise, so long as you have met with your end, having inflicted evils so many and so great upon the Universe." Antiochus was so moved and impressed with this speech that he released him and pardoned him, and ordered for him to be allowed to retire, with a small monetary reward, in peace from Constancia. After his death, however, his brother and successor Demetrius I would order for Priscus to be arrested, flayed alive, and then executed (April 17, 1399); his body would be cast out into open space, and Demetrius would proclaim that "no man who has murdered a sovereign should be allowed the fruits of life."
  • Empress-Dowager Anna, upon receiving word of her son's condition, sent on a communique to Empress Consort Eleanora, breaking the news to her about her husband's condition, and then traveled as fast as she could from Dramis to Constancia, a distance of more then 10,000 light years. During the late hours of April 4, she arrived at Constancia, which was now back under imperial control (Governor Basaria would be executed at the Cron Drift in November 1399, for his treachery). Soon after the Empress-Dowager's arrival, Miletus, Abbot of Pinoria House on Constancia, heard the Emperor's final confession. He asked to be buried at his father's feet at St. Paul's Cathedral, in contrition for having rebelled against him. He now confirmed, as was his right under the 1322 Law of Succession, his younger brother Grand Prince Demetrius as his successor, and issued instructions, given under his seal, that the Councils of State convene immediately upon his death to proclaim him Emperor. Having done all of this, he received Holy Communion.
  • At 7:00 P.M., the evening of April 6, 1399, Emperor Antiochus II the "Conqueror" died on Constancia, aged only forty-one. He died in the arms of his mother, Empress-Dowager Anna, with whom he had been so close throughout his life, and in whom he had placed so much trust. When the news was broken to Empress-Consort Eleanora that her husband had died, she was inconsolable. Demetrius, who had been hastening from Laurasia Prime upon hearing news of his brother's condition, was intercepted near Condtella. In accordance with his brother's instructions, he was now proclaimed Emperor and Autocrat of All the Laurasians by the Senate, Synod, and Council of Civil Service on Laurasia Prime, and received the oath of allegiance from all of the chief officers, nobles, and prelates of the Empire. The now-Emperor Demetrius, who burst into tears when informed of his brother's death, continued his journey to Constancia. He arrived there during the late hours of April 7 and comforted his mother, who bewailed her son greatly. Four days later, the Emperor escorted his mother and Empress-Dowager Eleanora, along with the body of his late brother and predecessor, to St. Paul's Cathedral on Melarnaria. On April 25, 1399, Antiochus II was interred "with much imperial pomp" at the feet of his father. Bishop Hugalanius of Sarah presided over the ceremony, while the Empresses, Antiochus's mother and wife, acted as the chief mourners. Antiochus, like his father, would eventually be translated to the New Westphalian Cathedral on Laurasia Prime in 1560 by Emperor Antoninus Pius, for Pius wished to gather the remains of every one of his predecessors, and all of the imperial relatives, together at one common mausoleum. Pius gave special orders that he be re-interred at the feet of his father, as before.
  • The Emperor then made his formal procession into the Laurasia Prime star system (May 1, 1399), being greeted with the joy and vigorous acclaim of his subjects. Ten days later, he departed from the star system again and retired to Darcia, as was custom before the coronation. On May 23, he returned to the star system for his coronation, and on May 25, 1399, Demetrius I crowned himself Emperor at the Old Westphalian Cathedral, with Chief Procurator Hubertius Walterius (in office 1398-1405) presiding over the ceremony. Walterius was then appointed Chancellor by the Emperor, becoming the first person in imperial history to hold the chief positions in both state and Church (there would be more after him, most notably Reginaldius Polsius in the middle of the eighteenth century), while Sir Willanius Marshallia, Earl of Taurasia, who was now a Lieutenant-General, was, on June 6, made Chief of the Imperial General Headquarters and President of the College of Defense. In June 1399, the Emperor conducted his first progress through the Laurasia Prime Purse Region, attended by his mother and former sister-in-law. Thereafter, Anna (now 77, and having surpassed Honorius the Terrible's fourth wife Liciania Kalagastagania as the longest-lived Laurasian consort in 1398), went on her own tour through the Central Core, to help consolidate her son's support, while Eleanora now moved to her estates on Rebecca. On July 16, the Emperor had his childless, controversial, marriage with Helen, Duchess of Gordasis, formally overturned; she had not been crowned Empress, and Demetrius ordered that she was never to be considered an official Laurasian consort, by future historians or by governmental parlance. Helen, who had never loved her husband, did not contest this, and remained friendly with her ex-husband. She would remarry twice (to the Earl of Estatius, 1414-16 and to Sir Cornelius Laco, 1417), before her death on October 14, 1417, at Heuthros, and early in the reign of Emperor Tiberius.
  • On July 30, the Emperor met up with his mother again at Meaganian. Four days later, they were joined by Grand Princess Julia, who had become estranged from her husband, the Earl of Teth. Julia's health, moreover, had been in serious decline since November 1398; she suffered from issues with her immune system, abdominal infections, and tract disorders, all of which had not been cured or much alleviated by rigorous medical treatment. In view of Julia's state of health, therefore, the Emperor granted her the authority to make a will, and provided her $200 billion denarii so that she could do so. Julia directed that most of her funds be divided among various religious and charitable establishments, and that a donation be made in her name to beautify St. Paul's Cathedral on Melarnaria. By early September, it had become painfully apparent that the Grand Princess was dying. Realizing this, she begged to be veiled as a nun of Fontevrault, so that she might set aside the vanities of her rank and end her life in poverty and humility. This was a very unusual and astonishing request, since she was a married woman, and it was also forbidden by the canon law of the Almitian Church. When Anna and others tried to dissuade her, the Grand Princess insisted that it was what she wanted. Chief Procurator Walterius, who was present, tried to dissuade her, but she remained adamant.
  • Impressed by her fervor, and taking pity on her state and that of her anguished mother, the Chief Procurator, the Archbishop of Meaganian, and the Imperial Chaplains, agreeing that Julia's vocation was inspired by Almitis, agreed to set aside protocol and admitted Julia into the Order of Fontevrault. Julia, however, was too weak to take her vows, and early in the morning of September 4, 1399, just four months after the death of her elder brother, Emperor Antiochus, Julia too died. Emperor Demetrius and Empress-Dowager Anna mourned her loss; Demetrius had lost a sister, Anna a daughter. Anna in particular was heartbroken. Of her eight children with Antiochus I, only two still lived, in September 1399: Emperor Demetrius himself, and Grand Princess Eleanora. On the Emperor's orders, Julia was buried next to her father, brother, and grandparents. Her effigy depicted her in a supplication position, looking with reverence and devotion upon her father's effigy. During October, the Emperor toured through the Central Core with his mother. Then on November 6, they parted ways: he back to Laurasia Prime, she to Dramis. The Emperor now plunged himself again into the business of governance. On December 17, 1399, he issued instructions to the Imperial Chancellory, ordering for a search to be conducted, to obtain a bride for him from among the nobility and gentry of the Empire. 1399 ended with the Empire consolidated under the grasp of its new ruler.

1400Edit

  • 1400, the 100th and last year of the fourteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire now under the rule of Demetrius I, who was to be the last Emperor of the Leonidian Dynasty. Emperor Demetrius issued his New Year's proclamation from the Quencilvanian Palace (January 1, 1400), declaring that with the "end of this century, this Empire has established its position as the chief monarchy in this part of the galaxy." He reiterated what his brother, Antiochus II, had stated, and declared that the Empire's founder, Seleucus the Victor, would be pleased with the "fruitful results of his accomplishments." In February 1400, the Emperor ordered for the re-gilding of the Statute of Seleucus the Victor in Christiania, which had been erected by his father eighteen years earlier, and also had a magnificent new tomb raised over the Victor's grave. Then on March 14, 1400, the Emperor departed from Laurasia Prime and conducted a tour through the Laurasia Prime Purse Region; his visit to Clackimaris, which occurred from March 29 to April 6, proved to be the most memorable. At Americana, he ordered for an major expansion to the Palace of the Greats, and dedicated St. Antiochus's Monastery in honor of the memory of his father and brother.
  • Demetrius eventually made his way to Melarnaria, arriving there on May 14, 1400. While there, the search for a new imperial bride had concluded. Seven days later, Lady Maria Sompakalos of Chancia (1382-1446), was presented to the Emperor at the Golden Palace. Maria was beautiful and precocious, and the Emperor, who was now thirty-three years old, and still unmarried, was enthralled. He now became determined that this lady would become his wife. Her parents, Lord Neuchrus Sompakalos (1358-1402) and Lady Aurelia Sompakalos (1360-1417), who understood the value that this marriage would have for their family, were in full support of it. Demetrius and Maria were formally engaged on June 6; more then two months later, at St. Paul's Cathedral on Melarnaria, on August 24, 1400, the Emperor was married to Lady Sompakalos. Empress Dowagers Anna and Eleanora, along with Grand Princess Eleanora, attended the ceremony. The Emperor then took his new wife on a tour through the Melarnarian and Clancian Provinces, but eventually returned to Laurasia Prime on October 3. Four days later, Maria was crowned Empress Consort by her husband at the Westphalian Cathedral. Theirs was to be a happy marriage, though it would yield nothing for the Leonidian Dynasty.
  • By the latter months of 1400, the Empire was being presented with one final opportunity of expansion in the fourteenth century: in the Kingdom of Upper Melorkia. Clovis III, who had ruled since his father's death in January 1398, and had been recognized by Emperor Antiochus II as King in November of that year, had failed to restore any semblance of stability to his kingdom. Upper Melorkia, in fact, continued to suffer from the effects of the Zhuvanian War in 1395-96; Melorkia Prime, in particular, was still in ruins, and little in the way of recovery had occurred, either socially or economically. Clovis was even more unpopular with his Melorkian subjects then his father had been, and few had any respect for him. Corpulent and sickly, he remained primarily in the Ronclavan Palace, and devoted himself to the Melorkian Cults, ignoring the business of government. He was beset by the intrigues of his stepmother, Dowager Queen Blanche (1338-1407), third wife of King Childebert, who sought to disinherit Clovis's sons, Princes Louis, Charlemagne, and Clovis, in favor of her son Prince Hugh. With her encouragement, Hugh ensconced on his estates at Hefner, Les Mans, and Jasmine, paying little heed to the attention of the King. Clovis, therefore, who lived in constant fear of being deposed, or of seeing another invasion of his dominions, was forced to the conclusion that something more than a formal Laurasian protectorate was needed to insure the Kingdom's survival.
  • By that time, many of the leading figures in Melorkia were disillusioned by the alliance with Laurasia, since the latter had failed to provide any support during Zhuvan's 1395 offensives. Furthermore, the constant illness of the King raised the question of the succession, for not only was Hugh competing with Clovis's sons, but they were also competing with each other. Clovis, therefore, seeking to secure the succession to his eldest son Louis, and to prevent Melorkia from being dragged into civil war, sent, in September 1399, a special embassy to Laurasia Prime with instructions to negotiate a new treaty with Emperor Demetrius. This time, the Imperial Laurasian Government showed more interest, as there were no other hostilities then ongoing in the Core Regions. In November 1399, the Laurasian Assistance Corps was increased in size, and the new Laurasian Ambassador, Sir Petevius Kasasius, assumed direct control of Upper Melorkia's foreign relations. Negotiations between Laurasia and Upper Melorkia thereby proceeded, but the focus gradually shifted. King Clovis offered the Emperor of Laurasia more authority over the internal and foreign affairs of Upper Melorkia provided that the right of his dynasty to rule the kingdom and the autonomy of the Melorkian Cults would be guaranteed.
  • But by November 1400, Emperor Demetrius had decided that the annexation of Upper Melorkia would be more in the interests of the Laurasian Empire. Thus, he ordered the Imperial Colleges of Foreign Affairs and Correspondence to prepare a formal decree of annexation. The Imperial Intelligence Agency informed the Emperor, on December 1, that the King of Upper Melorkia did not have that much longer to live. Seventeen days later, on December 18, 1400, Clovis III, last King of Upper Melorkia, died. Ten days after his death, Demetrius I, refusing to acknowledge the claims of the three Princes, announced the formal annexation of the Kingdom of Upper Melorkia into the Laurasian Empire. Melorkia Major, Merovech, Tournacia, Algaica Belguica, Riparia, Alsauborg, Cholodio, Roastafaria Minor, Rasti, Kentaborn, Tamars, Ensrassburg, Brooke One, Hefner, Matthew, West, Mirohassani, Les Mans, Jasmine, and their associated strongholds were now acquired by the Imperial Laurasian Government, and Laurasian troops moved swiftly to occupy all of the chief garrisons and strongholds of Melorkia. They were completely unopposed, for the Melorkian military forces had effectively disappeared. The annexation, however, had not yet been formally confirmed. Nevertheless, as 1400 ended, the Laurasian Empire had undergone its last territorial expansion of the century.
  • On December 24, 1400, the future Emperor Tiberius III (r. 1468-69), first of the Four Emperors of 1469, was born in Terracina Settlement on Calaxis I, in orbit of Laurasia Prime, in the Laurasian Empire. He was the son of Sir Servius Galbcus (1368-1435) and his wife Mummia (1372-1403). The young Tiberius, born as Sir Tiberius Galbcus, would be raised in great wealth and comfort, in one of the Empire's most respected gentry families; his great-grandfather, Sir Lucius Galbus (1276-1341), had earned his knighthood in the course of his service to Seleucus the Victor during the Great Briannian War, particularly for his exploits at Poltava and Vardar.

15th century (1401-1500)Edit

The fifteenth century commenced on January 1, 1401, and ended on December 31, 1500, of the Hyperdrive Era system.

1401Edit

  • 1401, the first year of the fifteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire now established as the predominant power in the Core Regions. The preceding century had seen the Great Briannian War, and Laurasian triumph in that conflict over the Celestial Kingdom of Briannia. This victory had been achieved in conjunction with allies such as Melorkia, Venasia, and the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth. Following that conflict, the Empire, as it had been formally established, had gradually exerted its power and influence more and more in the Core Regions. The Constantian Civil War and the Great Revolt of 1373, alongside the Becketius dispute and other internal troubles, did not halt this advance of the Empire. Briannia succumbed completely in 1364; the Ivorian Hetmanate had been abolished, and its Headquarters formally disbanded, in 1375; and through a series of wars with its neighbors, Laurasia had extended its power into the Inner Territories, Industralized Borderlands, Outer Core, and the Kimanian Trade Run. Its protectorship over Upper Melorkia, and its consequent annexation of that kingdom, had thereby strengthened its own position. By 1401, the Empire extended from Morgania Major, Kelvania Major, and Kanjur in the Wild Marshes across to the Decapolian Provinces, Hannis, Permi, and the Venasian Triangle regions in the east. It dominated the Central Core, and the upper Kimanian Trade Run. The Empire had enforced itself upon the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth, and moreover controlled the Ashlgothian Borderlands Territories, allowing for its influence to radiate into the Barsar Regions. The Empire itself, had two years earlier, passed under the rule of Demetrius I the Fat, destined to be the last from the Leonidian Dynasty. Although, as implied by his title, he was overweight, he was nevertheless vigorous, and determined to advance his Empire's interests further. This was to be seen in the following years.
  • 1401 itself began with the Empire in a tenuous peace. Emperor Demetrius, recently married to Maria Sompakalos, had with his new wife retired to Constantine I. The commencement of the fifteenth century had been greeted with much celebration on Laurasia Prime, across the Empire's dominions, and elsewhere in the Caladarian Galaxy. There was a great festive spirit, and the Emperor himself, in proclamations to his subjects, enjoined them to consider that their state had been blessed by the fortunes of the Lord Almitis. On January 27, he and his wife formally embarked from Constantine I on a minor progress, passing through Andriana, Mercedes, Merandaz, Sapphire, Scout, Chloe, Kelby, Jenny, Rainnan, Chesham's Star, Metallasia, Metallina, Sauvania, Tyndaris, and Ietas, among other strongholds. They reached their capital world on February 15, and presided over a series of games at the Galactic Opera. During these same early, tranquil months of 1401, the health of the Emperor's mother, Anna of Commagenos, had hung on a thread. In retirement at Fontevrault Abbey on Dramis, the Empress Dowager had, into the new year, continued to monitor events. By March 1401, her health had recovered enough that she could again devote her attention to state affairs.
  • Indeed, two matters of concern arose: the outbreak of rebellion by the Lusarangian family in the south-western Central Core, and matters related to the formal incorporation of the defunct Kingdom of Upper Melorkia. The first was more immediate. The Duke of Olivia, who had earlier been engaged to Sompakalos himself, before she had been claimed by the imperial agents, had long had ideas of rebellion against the Imperial Laurasian Government, and sought to carve out for himself his own independent realm in the Central Core. On March 9, 1401, the Duke had formally submitted a petition to the Imperial Chancellory on Laurasia Prime, seeking redress for His Majesty's actions concerning his marriage with the Duchess of Mariana Prime, and for the promise of another marriage, for him, among the noble ladies of the Empire. Emperor Demetrius, seeking to maintain his own position, and unwilling to acknowledge the requests posed in the petition, did not even deign to respond to the petition. Olivia, therefore, became further disenchanted with him, and he continued to build up his military supplies, mercenaries, and supporters on Olivia, Muppet, Mommica, Maxci-casi, the Sort Drift, and Seejay Prime. Empress-Dowager Anna, however, had become aware of these rebel tensions through her agents, and she warned her son, on March 22, that he needed to take action before it was too late.
  • And action was indeed taken by Emperor Demetrius. On April 2, 1401, he formally proclaimed the Lusarangian family and their associates to be in contempt of his authority, issued another formal disavowal of their petition, and ordered for all of their strongholds and possessions to be confiscated. This order now pushed that family into rebellion against the Emperor. The Duke of Olivia raised his standard there on April 7, 1401, and refused thenceforth to acknowledge Emperor Demetrius's authority. Rebel forces, in this initial outburst of dissent, were able to make territorial advances. On the day of his proclamation of rebellion, Olivia's units stormed the governmental garrison of Clifton. The Battle of Muchacher (April 11-14, 1401), ended in a decisive victory for the rebels; following this, Seejay Prime, Stenbock, and Daala fell into rebel hands. By the end of April 1401, Yularen had also capitulated to the Lusarangia forces, and rebel expeditions were being launched against Constantia, Elainsborough, Bainsborough, Maschinga, Redderson, Ergeme, and Alton. Yet the Emperor of Laurasia was ready to exact his vengeance. He now dispatched the loyal Earl of Taurasia to suppress this rebellion and to restore his authority in the systems involved. Taurasia followed his master's orders to the letter. From his command headquarters on Goldaria, he advanced swiftly against rebel positions.
  • The Battle of the Sort Drift (May 2-4, 1401), ended in a decisive victory for the Earl. From thence, he drove rebel units from Muppet, Satisba, and Sthanon, and by May 14, had also recovered Daala. Then on May 18, he relieved the rebel siege of Pellaeon, ongoing since the beginning of the month. He then won another victory at Taylor (May 22, 1401), and crushed rebel detachments at Mucacher, Max-casi, and Redderson. By the beginning of June 1401, rebel expeditions against Constantia had been ended, and Carina secured. Stenbock was recovered on June 8, and Seejay Prime was besieged from June 10. Its fall on June 22, 1401, compounded earlier rebel humiliations. Muppet and Mommica were then recovered (June 24-29, 1401), and on August 2, 1401, Olivia was laid under siege. The Duke and his supporters resisted fiercely, but could not ultimately withstand the firepower and numbers of the superior Imperial Laurasian Navy. The world's fall on August 18, 1401, marked the effective termination of the rebellion. Yet the Lusarangias were able to evade the justice of the imperial authorities, and fled by freighter from Olivia, into the Horacian Provinces, and thence, in September 1401, into the Neo-Venasian Consortium. They reached Venasia Prime in short order, and were greeted by Queen Mother Kumthis with much ceremony. The Queen Mother, who had long been encouraging such tensions in the Empire (as explained above), now took up their cause, and refused all demands by the Imperial Laurasian Government to hand the rebels over. In October 1401, she exchanged a series of communiques with her Laurasian counterpart, defending the rights of the Lusarangias against "tyranny" and denouncing the Emperor for his policies. Demetrius, however, was not prepared to go to war with Venasia at this juncture; Kumthis, on her part, desired more preparation. Thus into 1402, the two sides were to keep a hostile eye on each other. In the Central Core, the Emperor's agents pursued a thorough-going policy of retribution. Between August 1401 and May 1402 nearly 100,000 individuals would be imprisoned or executed for their involvement in the rebellion, while all properties and funds belonging to them, and to the Lusarangia family, were confiscated.
  • As regards to the annexation of Upper Melorkia, Emperor Demetrius took steps to formalize the annexation. In February 1401, he had proclaimed, in a manifesto to the Imperial Court, that the annexation of these territories would serve to buttress the Empire's position against such adversaries as Venasia. Yet Melorkian Prince Philip d'Albret (1357-1411), who had been involved in the tying of Upper Melorkia to Laurasia by alliance, and had, since 1395, served as its Ambassador on Laurasia Prime, continued to protest the annexation. In April 1401, he submitted a formal protest to the Imperial Laurasian Court, denouncing the annexation and accusing the Imperial Laurasian Government of violating its obligations. Chancellor and Chief Procurator Walterius, on the orders of the Emperor, refused to heed these pleas, and on May 5, had the Ambassador arrested and confined to the Post Settlement of Hepudermia for his insolence. Empress-Dowager Anna expressed her support for her son's actions, sending out communiques to Laurasian officials and commanders in the Melorkian regions, urging them to uphold the Empire's position there. Ten days after the Ambassador's confinement, Laurasian General Sir Seleucus Anthoria imposed marital law on Melorkia Major.
  • He then, in July 1401, forced all of the Melorkian magnates to take an oath of allegiance to the Imperial Laurasian Crown. Laurasian military reinforcements to the Melorkian Provinces continued, and it was on September 12, 1401, that Emperor Demetrius issued the final decree of annexation. On the Emperor's orders, all the male members of the Melorkian royal family, including Princes Louis, Charlemagne, Clovis, and Hugh, as well as Queen-Dowager Blanche, were removed to the Purse Region the following month. By the end of 1401, the Laurasian annexation of Upper Melorkia had been consolidated. The Melorkian royals would meet varying fates. Charlemagne died on November 7, 1405 of natural causes, just four years after his arrival on Laurasia Prime. His half-brother Hugh was imprisoned on the Emperor's orders in April 1408, and would die at the Post Settlement of Hepudermia on May 29, 1413. Prince Louis would be killed in a starship accident in July 1414. Clovis, the last of the Princes to die, expired at Americana on May 29, 1419, having been poisoned on Emperor Tiberius's orders. Queen-Consort Blanche, on her part, was forced to convert to Almitism, take the veil as the Nun Daria, and was banished to the Monastery of Windowia Photis, where she died on November 18, 1407.

1402Edit

  • 1402 was dominated by the continued diplomatic tensions between the Laurasian Empire and the Neo-Venasian Consortium, and by a failed effort, on the part of the Lusarangia family, to reestablish themselves within the Empire. This attempt, they conducted in conjunction with Duke Anastasius of Chancia, son of the late Grand Prince Leonnatus. In January 1402, Emperor Demetrius, in his New Year's proclamation to his subjects, declared that he would not allow for his Empire's tranquility to be disturbed any further by the likes of the "Lusarangias, or other comparable traitors." He now ordered the judicial and legal authorities throughout the Empire to maintain a vigilant watch on any who displayed sympathy for the rebels. Moreover, he had the Holy Synod issue a formal sentence of excommunication against the Duke of Olivia, and threatened to extend a similar sentence to any further individuals. He also strengthened the garrisons of the southern Central Core yet further, focusing particularly on Carina, Seejay Prime, Goldaria, Teth, and Ivoria. The Earl of Taurasia took command of the region, and was formally named Governor of Goldaria on February 2, 1402. In March 1402, the Emperor himself conducted a progress through the Clancian Provinces. He visited Dramis, Condtella, Reoyania, Conservan, Goss Beacon, Williams, Clancia, Evelyn, Hannah, and Ruthania, intending to demonstrate that the heart of his Empire's dominions were secure. Yet he was now to face further and renewed troubles. On April 28, 1402, the Emperor received another communique from Queen Mother Kumthis, threatening to terminate diplomatic and commercial relations unless if he pardoned the Lusarangias and permitted them to return to their estates and possessions in the Central Core. Demetrius refused to do this, and he continued with his earlier policies of stamping out dissent. Yet now Queen Mother Kumthis sponsored another rebel against the Emperor: Duke Anastasius.
  • The Duke of Chancia, whose ambitions had grown following the death of his mother, Grand Princess Constantia, in September 1401, and still believing that he was the rightful heir to the Imperial Laurasian Crown, had been quietly assembling his resources on Sapphire, Merandaz, Katherine, Durglais, Rebecca, Americana, Little Mexicana, Heuthros, and Sauvania, determined to instigate a full-scale revolt against his uncle. He received financial aid, mercenaries, and encouragement from the Queen Mother, and maintained extensive contact with the Lusarangias. The Duke of Olivia, in fact, having been given a Venasian armed corps by the Queen Mother, and reorganized his supporters, was planning for a forcible intrusion into the Schauerian Provinces. All of this finally came to a head in May 1402. On May 8, 1402, the Emperor, having moved to the Station of Dosch, summoned the Duke of Chancia before him, commanding him to render a renewed oath of allegiance. The Duke refused to do this, and on May 13, formally proclaimed himself to be in rebellion against the Imperial Laurasian Government.
  • He now struck against government garrisons and positions throughout the Purse Region. Metallina was besieged and conquered by the Duke's supporters (May 14-15, 1402); Courdina V, Gordasis, and Tyndaris defected to his cause on May 20. By May 22, he had also stormed Depp, and from thence seized Osama, Augis II, and Darsis, thereby entrenching his forces into the Laurasia Prime Purse Region. Lomanis I, Alsora, and Anorr Minor then fell into his possession by the end of May 1401. On June 4, the garrisons of Clackimaris, Falloria Minor, and Americana defected to his cause; he then seized Ietas on June 6, and from thence overran Chesham's Star, Rainnan, and Merandaz. Scout and Wroona were both in his possession by June 14. Emperor Demetrius was also confronted now with the intrusion of the Duke of Olivia's supporters. On May 21, 1402, the Duke had sallied forth from Monderon with his forces, and moved across the border into the Schauerian Provinces. By May 24, he had besieged and conquered the garrisons of Aberdeen, Lythia, Calpurnia, and Rashid. Shiloh fell to him on May 28, 1402 and by June 4, he had also overrun Farbrisinia, Solis, Linopking, Alvurg, Gotlandia, and Goteburg. Smithia, Colsonia, and Archleuta were all under siege by the middle of June 1402. Emperor Demetrius, therefore, confronted with two challenges at once, now decided on his response. He ordered the Earl of Taurasia to proceed from Goldaria to Murphy, and to lead the defense of the Schauerian Provinces. The Emperor himself now embarked to suppress the threat from the Duke of Chancia in the Purse Region. On June 21, 1402, the Battle of Fitzsimmons ended in a strategic victory for Chancia's forces. From Fitzsimmons, Chancia lunged into the Central Core, isolating Janesia, Maroni, and Dearton's Gateway (June 24-29, 1402). He stormed N'zoth, Azov, and Pasquarillo (June 30-July 3, 1402), and by July 9, was threatening the defenses of Paradine, Palimisiano, and Ecreutus. On July 14, however, his offensive against Williams ended in failure in the Battle of Frankia, and on July 18, the rebel base of Stadium was stormed by government units.
  • On July 22, however, Chancia decided on a move against Dramis, hoping to capture his grandmother, the Empress-Dowager. He proceeded there four days later, evading government units at Palimisiano and Melarnaria, and reaching to the system in some time. He now besieged Dramis, hoping to capture Anna and to use her as a bargaining chip. Anna, cut off, now ordered her retainers and the planetary garrison to defend her, and sent urgent pleas to her son. Emperor Demetrius learned quickly of his nephew's act of perfidy, and moved to relieve his mother. He hastened from Taurasia, which was being defended by his units, to the outskirts of Dramis. On August 1, 1402, the Emperor launched a swift attack upon his nephew's positions at Dramis. Chancia was caught completely off guard; within two hours, the Battle of Dramis had ended in a decisive victory for the government forces of the Empire. Chancia himself, along with most of his chief lieutenants and over 150,000 rebel troops, were captured, as well as thirty rebel warships and 20,000 tons of supplies; Empress-Dowager Anna was escorted to safety. With the Duke of Chancia in his hands, the rebellion against the Emperor, in the Purse Region, collapsed quickly. Fitzsimmons, Rainnan, and Merandaz had been recovered the same day of the Battle of Dramis; by the end of August 1402, all other rebel strongholds had returned to their allegiance to the Imperial Laurasian Government. In the Schauerian Provinces, the Earl of Taurasia had made significant advances. Repelling rebel moves against Selena, Colsonia, and Tyleria Perea, he had then scored a crushing victory in the Battle of Bolgrahay (August 19, 1402), capturing the Duke of Olivia himself. By the end of September 1402, the rest of the Lusarangia forces had been suppressed, and full tranquility was restored across the dominions of the Empire. Emperor Demetrius, therefore, was once again fully master over all parts of his realms. He pursued a vigorous policy of retribution. Chancia and Olivia, were, on his orders, both imprisoned at the Secret Prison of Ipsus V, on October 1, 1402. The Emperor also imprisoned or executed more than eighty of their leading subordinates; had more than 100,000 common rebels attainted and either executed or sentenced to hard labor; and confiscated all revenues belonging to those associated with the rebellion. Chancia and Katherine, in particular, witnessed imperial authorities imposing martial law and striking vigorously against all with rebel sympathies. Martial law was declared in more than two hundred systems affected by the rebellions. In November 1402, the Emperor conducted another progress through the Purse Region, supervising the dismantling of rebel holdouts on Dosch, Fitzsimmons, Durglais, Heuthros, and Sauvania. He then returned to Laurasia Prime on December 9, and celebrated his victories. Yet as 1402 ended, the Empire would again be thrown into war.

1403Edit

  • 1403 began with the Laurasian Empire of Demetrius I having restored internal stability and unity with the suppression of the rebellions by the Duke of Chancia and the Lusarangia family. Indeed, the early months of 1403 witnessed the termination to these events coming to their head. The Emperor was angered that his nephew had taken up arms again him in such a wanton manner. He had to take into consideration, however, the fact that the Duke was his own family, and that his mother, Empress Dowager Anna, had expressed her wishes that mercy be shown to her grandson. This therefore colored Demetrius's final moves against him. On January 7, 1403, the Emperor had the Duke brought before him on Caladaria, where the Court was presently lodged. He addressed him kindly, promised to pardon him of all of his offenses, and asked him to disavow any association with any foreign powers. The Duke, however, "ill-advisely" replied to his uncle in a brash and haughty manner. He demanded that the Emperor abdicate his throne, acknowledge his rights as his successor, and that he restore the Lusarangia family to their rightful titles and positions. This angered Demetrius, and he now ordered for his nephew to be taken out of his sight. The Emperor now believed it absolutely necessary to eliminate Chancia, and that to do so would improve the security of his own position. He therefore consulted his advisors and the Council of Civil Service about what should be done to the Duke, in February 1403. Almost to a man, they suggested that the Duke be "quickly and speedily disposed of", that it be done in private, and that a proclamation be issued from the Imperial Court, announcing his demise. Demetrius agreed, and on March 8, 1403, ordered for his nephew to be moved from the Secret Prison of Ipsus V to the Post Settlement of Hepudermia. He was now placed in the custody of Sir Heredotus Viederia (1369-1428), who had recently been appointed Governor of the Post Settlement. Then on March 17, the Emperor had his nephew formally attainted, and issued secret instructions to Sir Viederia, ordering for him to dispose of the Duke as soon as he was given the word.
  • This word came on April 3, 1403, with the Emperor and his Imperial Court then lodging at the Old Royal Palace. In the midst of the celebrations, which included a great feast and a performance of acrobatics, His Majesty sent his instructions to the Governor, giving him the command to carry out the attainder. Viederia did as ordered. He and his lieutenants entered Chancia's prison chambers, announced to him the terms of the sentence, and then raised their blasters. Chancia begged for mercy, asking to be allowed to directly appeal to the Emperor, and for the Almitian Church to exonerate him of his past sins. Viederia refused to listen, however, and had his men fire. Chancia died almost instantly, with one round being enough to bring him to his end. The Governor of Hepudermia then communicated word about his death back to the Emperor. Demetrius was pleased to hear of this, and he now ordered for the Duke's remains to be taken and incinerated at Gunevere, in the Wild Marshes. This was done on April 8, and in absolute secrecy. Then on April 14, the Emperor issued his manifesto to his subjects, announcing the death of the Duke, and attributing it to the "fate conferred by Almitis." The Emperor took care to declare to his subjects that the death was justified, and necessary for the preservation of the Empire's realms. Many chose to accept it, but Queen Mother Kumthis and Kimanian Shogun Comovius were outraged.
  • The two monarchs, who had been in correspondence with each other as far back as November 1399, now decided that the only way to prevent further Laurasian aggression was to unite in a formal alliance against the Empire. It was on June 9, 1403, that a conference opened on Ka between delegations of the two governments. Negotiations dragged on for months, but ultimately produced the Treaty of Ka (September 17, 1403), by which the two powers pledged to declare war against the Emperor of Laurasia by no later than March 1, 1404, and to coordinate their military campaigns against him. The Venasian Consortium was to recover the Decapolian Provinces, Hannis, and the Laurasian gains of 1395; Venasia was also to take Elijahana, Bolgrahay, Robbay, Ipsus V, the Nexus Route, and the Duchy of Schaueria Prime, while Kimania's protectorship of Lower Melorkia was to be confirmed, and its acquisition of Upper Melorkia, the Borderland Territories, and the Zennethian Provinces supported. In November 1403, King Louis II of Lower Melorkia pledged to place all of his resources at the disposal of the Kimanian Shoguns, for their campaigns against the Empire. Yet 1403 saw its own short, sharp conflict between the Laurasian Empire and the Solidaritan Sultanate. Solidarita, as previously mentioned, had been under the rule of Chosroes III since September 1387. Chosroes, however, had proved to be a weak and incompetent Sultan. A war against the Neo-Xilanian Empire (1393-95), had ended in failure, and had resulted in the end of all Solidaritan claims to Zoe, Skyler, and the Dali Trade Run. Constant uprisings on Roxuli, Abraham, and in the Home Region (1395-98), had weakened the Solidaritan government's hold over those star systems. Moreover, the Sultan's position had been challenged by the "Young Solidaritans". That movement had first emerged in November 1385, on Sair, and had held conferences on Sheryl, Laronn, Quanna, Methusalah, Dennis, and Wendy during the course of the following eleven years. They had gained increased influence on the Solidaritan Divan, and among the noble and other elite circles of the Sultanate.
  • Finally, in February 1402, the Solidaritan Prince of Berhamia, Ali Pasha, who had built up his network of supporters throughout the Solidaritan realms, executed a coup d'etat at the Divan. He secured majority control of the body, and forced Sultan Chosroes to name him as his Grand Vizier. In control of the Solidaritan government, Ali Pasha therefore sought to pursue his goals: to reorganize and revitalize the Solidaritan government and military forces, and to transform the Sultanate, step by step, into a constitutional monarchy. During the course of 1402, he sponsored a reform of the taxation system; increased conscription rates; cracked down on the privileges of the noble elites; and cut back on waste at the Solidaritan Court. He also strengthened the garrisons of such systems as Abraham, Istantius itself, Ablincoln, Finch, Garamia, and Doris. By December 1402, he had also issued a charter of "general liberties" for the Solidaritan peoples, and in March 1403, forbade the Order of Muftis from interfering in the affairs of the Divan. Thus, Ali Pasha now sought to take advantage of the Laurasian Empire's recent internal troubles in order to execute an extension of his sultanate's power and influence. By April 1403, Solidaritan forces, assembled at the above-mentioned strongholds, were poised for a strike. On May 22, 1403, the Divan issued a ultimatum to the Imperial Laurasian Government, demanding for the restoration of Dennis, Shannon, Rastaborn, and the Western Strongholds; for the restoration to favor of the Lusarangia family; and for the Empire to make territorial "revisions" in the Central Core and in the Decapolian Provinces, in favor of its Polonian and Venasian neighbors. Emperor Demetrius looked with scorn upon these demands, and rejected them haughtily.
  • Thus, on June 3, 1403, the short Young Solidaritan's War began when Solidaritan units launched an offensive into the Empire's territory. Dennis fell quite rapidly into their hands, followed by Shannon (June 6); Rastaborn (June 9-11); and Patsy (June 12). O'Neal followed on June 14. Michael was then isolated, and by the end of June 1403, Blackria, Mariana Prime, Nezbit, and Martina Mccasia were all being harried by Solidaritan expeditions. Yet Solidaritan forces had overextended themselves, and proved no match for the Empire's superior forces. On July 1, 1403, the Battle of Kristiania ended in a decisive victory for Laurasian forces. The Emperor then repelled Solidaritan moves against Durglais, Rebecca, Briannia, and Nystadia (July 2-5), and on July 8, 1403, the Battle of Cline ended in another victory for the Empire. Candlewell and Canterwell were then conquered by the Empire's forces in a swift offensive (July 9-14, 1403). By July 16, Patsy and Rastaborn had been recovered. Then on July 22, the Earl of Taurasia executed a surprise offensive against Sheryl; the world fell within hours, and from it, Laurasian units overran Methusalah, Laronn, and Quanna (July 23-29, 1403). On August 2, 1403, Solidaritan Doris fell into Laurasian hands; Garamia and Finch were then conquered on August 8; and on August 12, Leopoldia was besieged. The Siege of Leopoldia dragged on for more than a month, but the world ultimately fell on September 15, 1403. Frederickslandia proved an easier nut to crack, falling on September 22, followed by Big Twinny (September 28) and Alexandria (October 2).
  • On October 8, 1403, a Solidaritan move against Massanay was brought to ruin in the Battle of Thompson. Then on October 14, the recapture of Shannon by Laurasian forces put the final nail in the Solidaritan coffin. Ali Pasha and Sultan Chosroes III, their position weakened by this string of Laurasian victories, were forced to sue for peace. The Armistice of Ion was signed on October 19, 1403. Negotiations then commenced on Alemeda, and lasted for some months. On December 7, 1403, the Treaty of Alemeda was signed. By the terms of this treaty, the Solidaritan Eastern Provinces, embracing Leopoldia, Big Twinny, Alexandria, and Frederickslandia, were conceded to the Laurasian Empire. These strongholds, lost by Honorius the Terrible back in 1158, were now once again in Laurasian hands, more than two and a half centuries later. The Solidaritans were compelled to pay an indemnity of $115 billion denarius to the Empire; to recognize the suppression of the Lusarangia family; and to pledge non-interference in Laurasian affairs. In exchange, all other Solidaritan territory occupied by Laurasia was to be restored by April 1, 1404. Emperor Demetrius could therefore bask in this swift victory, and it elevated his military reputation among his subjects. Solidarita was to remain neutral in the larger, more intense war which was now to break out.

1404Edit

  • 1404, the fourth year of the fifteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire having emerged from the short and victorious "Young Solidaritan's War", which had resulted in the acquisition of the Eastern Solidaritan Provinces. Moreover, through his execution of the Duke of Chancia and his imprisonment of the Duke of Olivia, Emperor Demetrius had consolidated his position within the Empire proper. At the beginning of January 1404, the Emperor and his Court moved to Briannia, taking up lodgings at the Royal Palace. Yet peace was not to remain for long. Throughout the later months of 1403, and into 1404, both the Venasian Consortium and the Celestial Dynasty of Kimania had continued to build their military resources and prepare for a full-scale military onslaught into the Empire's dominions. Queen Mother Kumthis and Shogun Comovius (who had acceded to the Kimanian throne on July 13, 1402, following the deposition and assassination of his elder brother Homovius), were both determined to halt Laurasian ambitions, and felt that no more time could be wasted. The Queen Mother, on January 9, 1404, placed her military forces under the command of Generaless Rajania of Venasia Secondary. The Shogun, on his part, appointed Jai-Jin (1358-1415), General of Messalina, as the supreme commander of his forces. By the end of February 1404, both states were ready. On March 1, 1404, both the Venasian Queen Mother and the Kimanian Shogun issued declarations of war against the Laurasian Empire, accusing him of having "chastened and humiliated his own subjects, disturbed the galactic peace, and engaged in aggressive war with all other foreign powers." At first, the coalition made gains. Generaless Rajania besieged and conquered Ruttum (March 1-4, 1404), destroyed a Laurasian task force at Esmeralda (March 9); and besieged Lynne (March 18). By March 25, Venasian units had also seized Podrac, Agac, Decapolia Minor, Cadaria, and Anasia, thereby seemingly imperiling the Empire's position in the Eastern Core Regions. At the same time, General Jai-Jin, with support from the Lower Melorkians, had advanced into the Borderlands Territories and into the Upper Melorkian Provinces. Matthew, West, and Mirohossani all fell into Kimanian hands during March 1404, followed by Courtney (April 4); Tahon (April 8); Bryce (April 11); and Baiteman (April 14). Kimanian moves against Imma, Emma, and Roastafaria Major inflicted serious damage on those star systems; Jasmine was stormed on April 19, 1404.
  • By that point also, Maxiliana, Duris, and Phyilis had all fallen into Venasian hands, and they had also overrun Colsonia, Lydia, Dorothy, and Compost V, penetrating into the Duchy of Schaueria Prime. Kolchad was placed under siege from April 18, 1404. Emperor Demetrius now moved to deal with these challenges. He now assigned the rising young Major-General Sir Tiberius Nero, 2nd Baron Nero, son of his father's famed military commander, the 1st Baron Nero, to repel the Kimanian offensives in the Borderlands Territories, and to take command of the garrisons of the Kimanian Trade Run. The Emperor himself, along with the Earl of Taurasia, moved against the Venasians. On May 5, 1404, the Battle of Dusaberg ended in a decisive victory for the Emperor, who captured 75,000 Venasian troops. The Earl of Taurasia then defeated Venasian forces in successive confrontations at Rashid, Calpurnia, Alvurg, Gitlandia, and Steneborg (May 6-17, 1404). The Battle of Avaskar (May 18, 1404), ended in another decisive victory for the imperial forces. Venasian moves against Drennan, Brittany, Sanegeta, and Hooper then failed (May 21-27, 1404), and by the beginning of June 1404, both Agac and Aflac were back in Laurasian hands. At the same time, General Tiberius won the Battle of Jennings (May 4-9, 1404), secured Thelma and Tea against further offensives, and on May 19, 1404, humiliated Jai-jin in the Battle of Cyrus III. He then executed strikes against Tamars, Khagia, Tolbiac, and Beverly Hereidu (June-July 1404), thereby disorienting the Kimanians and their Melorkian allies. Bryce and Baiteman were both recovered during that time as well. Jasmine would be secured by the Battle of Les Mans (August 1-4, 1404), in which the Kimanians lost nearly twenty warships and over 300,000 troops. By the end of August 1404, Laurasian units would storm Stahl, Cal, Morley, and Simon, penetrating into Lower Melorkia, and would be threatening Winehouse, Woolestone, and Armenia Minor.
  • In the Eastern Regions, a major confrontation now ensued. On June 19, 1404, with Kolchad having been recovered by the Empire's forces, Emperor Demetrius moved against the Venasians at Decapolia Minor. With the Earl of Taurasia, he isolated Venasian detachments attacking Compost V, Lydia, and Dorothy, and cut directly into the Venasian strategic lines. Generaless Rajania and Venasian High Regent Quinja now brought their units forth, attempting to halt this latest Laurasian attack. Four days later, they moved out from Decapolia Minor to Gaillard, which was located eight light years to the east. The Emperor, however, employing his better intelligence capabilities, and capitalizing on the organization of his forces, now launched a decisive strike against the Venasian Navy. The ensuing Battle of Gaillard (June 23-25, 1404), ended in a decisive victory for him. More than 150,000 Venasian troops were killed or captured, and a third of their fleet was dispersed. Following this confrontation, Podrac fell firmly back into Laurasian hands, and by July 1404, Venasian units had also been expelled from Lydia, Dorothy, and Compost V. Colsonia also fell back into Laurasian hands. Cadaria and Anasia were both recovered on August 5, 1404, followed in quick succession by Maxiliana (August 8), Lynne (August 10), Ruttum (August 12), and Phyllis (August 14). Further Venasian moves against Elijahana, Robert, Wakedia, and Meris failed, and on September 9, 1404, the Battle of Permi ended in a decisive victory for the Emperor. Organia and Venasia Secondary then fell into Laurasian hands afterwards; Ka was besieged in October 1404; and on November 3, the Battle of Robbay ended in another victory for the Emperor. Esmeralda, Malurdio, and Vindictoria then became scenes of further Laurasian victories (November 8-19, 1404), and on December 1, 1404, Ka fell. Monderon then capitulated on December 14, 1404, in the face of superior Laurasian might.
  • At the same time, General Tiberius continued to advance the Laurasian position forth in the Barsar Regions. Obathia and Cambrina fell into Laurasian hands in September 1404. Winehouse was then assaulted from October 3, 1404. A series of confrontations between the Laurasians and Kimanians at Tai, Do-Ching, and Amyria (October 8-19, 1404), failed to reverse the situation, and Winehouse finally fell on October 22. From thence, Woolestone was sacked by a Laurasian expedition (October 24, 1404); Khagia, Dumbgwita, and even Millard were all now being harried by Laurasian expeditions. Courtney, Matthew, West, and Mirohassani were recovered in November 1404. Ganja was then assaulted by the Laurasian General's forces (November 8-11, 1404). The Battle of Ganja was a vigorous confrontation, for the Kimanian garrison, in conjunction with a naval fleet commanded by Jai-jin, launched numerous attacks against Laurasian strategic positions. General Nerius had to call for reinforcements, reorganize his front lines, and lay minefields in the outskirts of their star system. His goals were ultimately successful, and Ganja finally fell on November 11. Jai-jin was himself captured at Hinds the following day, and bound in chains. From Ganja, Laurasian units conquered Gejeria, Gyrumi, and Tolbiac, during the remainder of November 1404. A Laurasian move against Yerevan failed (December 4, 1404), but on New Year's Eve 1404, the stronghold of Echimadzin was stormed by the Empire. Thus, as 1404 came to a close, the Empire had gained an advantage on all fronts. In the midst of all this, on April 1, 1404, Empress-Dowager Anna of Commagenos died on Dramis. She was eighty-two years old, being the longest-lived consort in Laurasian history, and the mother of two Emperors: Antiochus II and Demetrius I. Her wise and effective governance during the early years of her son, Antiochus II's rule, on Laurasia Prime, while he was engaged in his military campaigns, would be praised by Laurasian historians of later centuries. In the eighteenth century, Lady Vassalina, in her Lives of the Empresses of Laurasia (1748), was to especially praise her for her courage, intellect, and talent. On the command of Emperor Demetrius, she was interred at St. Paul's Cathedral on Melarnaria (re-translated to the New Westphalian Cathedral in 1560). In 1790, a new crypt and memorial would be raised to her memory, on the orders of Empress Aurelia the Great.

1405Edit

  • 1405, the fifth year of the fifteenth century, began with the Laurasian Empire on the offensive against the forces of both the Neo-Venasian Consortium and the Celestial Dynasty of Kimania. The early months of 1405 witnessed the termination of the Fifth Laurasian-Venasian War. On January 8, 1405, Generaless Rajania launched a series of desperate counteroffensives against the Emperor's forces, seeking to breakout from the Venasian Cluster and push to the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route. Cadaria fell into Venasian hands (January 8-9), followed by Anasia (January 11), Duris (January 14), and Ka (January 16). On January 17, the Battle of Doja ended in a victory for the Generaless; she repelled assaults by the 17th Imperial Fleet against her starfighter squadrons, broke through Laurasian strategic lines, and captured twelve of the thirteen armed outposts in the system. By January 22, Venasian units had also overrun the Laurasian bases of Rajay, Polsaray, and Willarnay on the Galactic Trade Route. Emperor Demetrius, however, had allowed for the Venasians to pursue this series of offensives, hoping thereby to expose them to the final, and fatal blow. On January 24, 1405, Laurasian forces penetrated through the Venasian Gateworlds, conquering the garrisons of Zadaria, Olanji, and Luhria. By January 28, the Emperor's forces had also stormed the Venasian garrisons of Febini, Vergill, Phelphon, and Phelope. On February 1, 1405, the Battle of Tarai ended in another decisive victory for the Emperor. Recovering Anasia, Duris, and Ka, he then stormed Maria, Arna, and Lar (February 2-9, 1405). On February 11, 1405, Rajay also fell back into Laurasian hands.
  • Attempts by Generaless Rajania to recover Venasia Secondary and to drive Laurasian units from Monderon, Organia, and Permi ended in failure. Then, February 18, 1405, the 400th anniversary of the death of Timur the Devastator, Emperor Demetrius laid Hapes under siege. The Siege of Hapes lasted for ten days, seriously weakening the Consortium's interior supply, communications, and military transit lines. Hapes's fall on February 28 finally convinced Queen Mother Kumthis of the futility of this conflict. On March 3, 1405, she sent a communique to the Emperor of Laurasia, who was then besieging Pinkett. In this communique, she requested for an immediate military armistice. Demetrius, overjoyed at the Queen Mother's capitulation, accepted the request almost immediately. On March 9, 1405, the Armistice of Chapelle was signed, thereby suspending hostilities between Laurasia and Venasia. It was not until April 1, however, before a conference formally convened on Venasia Prime itself, for the conflict to be negotiated to an end. A month of negotiations followed, with Laurasian Chancellor Walterius especially pushing the Empire's claims forward. Finally, on May 8, 1405, the Treaty of Venasia Prime was signed. By the terms of this treaty, the Neo-Venasian Consortium agreed to terminate all military alliance arrangements with the Celestial Dynasty of Kimania. Queen Mother Kumthis furthermore, conceded Monderon, Permi, Organia, Maria, Anna, Lar, Tarai, Pinkett, and Desulima to the Laurasian Empire; consented to the limitation of the size of her military forces; and granted the Empire's forces unlimited access through her dominions. The Treaty of Venasia Prime was ratified by the Queen Mother that same day, and by Emperor Demetrius on May 19.
  • In the meantime, Laurasian campaigns in the Barsar Regions continued. Hinds Prime itself was besieged by the Empire's forces, beginning on January 1, 1405. The Siege of Hinds Prime lasted for several days, as Kimanian General Jaj-jin and his subordinate, Admiral Liu Hew, attempted in vain to reinforce the star system. Ultimately, their efforts failed, and Hinds Prime captiulated on January 16. Armenia Major then fell into Laurasian hands (January 18-22, 1405), and on January 24, the Battle of Emily Deuistiania resulted in the firm repulse of a Kimanian counteroffensive, into the Melorkian Provinces, by General Nerius. From Armenia Major, Nerius proceeded to reduce Shell, Earl, and Sandra (January 26-February 8, 1405), thereby penetrating into the heart of the Barsar Regions. Armenia Minor fell on February 14, 1405, and on February 19, a Kimanian counteroffensive against Cal, Morley, and Simon was decisively defeated in the Battle of Hartman. Knight and Shell then fell into Laurasian hands (March 1405), while Rose and Jack were secured from the Lower Melorkians. Gybrumi then fell on April 1, 1405, depriving the Kimanians of one of their chief military bases. The Earl of Darcia then led an offensive against Shaki, which had been colonized as far back as the 1st century BH by the Armenians (April 2-4, 1405), and stormed the stronghold, inflicting serious losses upon the Kimanian garrison. By April 16, Shrivan had also fallen into Laurasian hands.
  • Then on April 22, 1405, Karabakh was besieged by the forces of the Empire; the Earl of Darcia and General Nerius combined their efforts. Jai-jin, operating from Bookman, Rolle, the Orion Cluster, Nanking, and Christopher, now pushed back into the Borderlands Territories, seeking to halt this latest Laurasian move. He penetrated to Peterslie, which had been colonized in the previous decade (April 24-25, 1405), stormed Baiteman (April 26), and drove Laurasian units from Allison, Brooke One, and Cyrus III (April 28-May 4, 1405). On May 8, 1405, the Battle of Obathia ended in another victory for the Kimanian General. Les Mans, Jasmine, and Algaica Belguica then became scenes of further confrontations between Laurasian and Kimanian units; by May 14, the Kimanians were harrying the defenses of Crimean IV, had stormed Acabania, and were even threatening Eutagia, Benzitr V, and Hooper. General Nerius, however, now launched a surprise offensive upon Messalina and Reading, using units which had been blockading Karabakh. This offensive move led to his seizure of Goni (May 18, 1405), and his appearance near the outlet of the Kimanian Trade Run. Thus, Jai-jin was forced to turn his attention back to the Barsar Regions. He and Nerius then exchanged a series of clashes at Breha, Chobania, Offshora, Gardiner, and Bookman, continuing into June 1405. On June 8, 1405, therefore, the Laurasian Earl of Constantia defeated Kimanian Admiral Hew in the Battle of Sanegeta, and then stormed Kimanian repositories on Jesse.
  • By June 14, he had recovered Allison, Brooke One, and Cyrus III, was besieging Baiteman, and had pushed out to Constipex and Filorean. On July 9, 1405, King Louis II of Upper Melorkia, whose forces had been driven from Dacia, Mayblein, and Toule, and realizing the way in which the winds were blowing, formally disavowed all treaties signed with the Celestial Dynasty of Kimania and extended an offer of negotiation to the Imperial Laurasian Government. Emperor Demetrius quickly took advantage of this, and gave his consent. A conference opened on Cholodio, and on July 21, 1405, the Treaty of Cholodio was concluded, by which Lower Melorkia declared itself to be a ally of the Laurasian Empire and agreed to provide military forces for further operations into the Barsar Regions. With Lower Melorkia now in the Laurasian camp, the Emperor himself now moved from Venasia Secondary to Hooper, and to Winehouse, in order to direct operations against Kimania. He completed the recovery of Baiteman (August 1, 1405), and on August 8, cleared all Kimanian units from Obathia and Peterslie. The Battle of Tea, on August 12, resulted in another victory for the Laurasians. Grassley, Aleppo, and Damascus then fell into Laurasian hands (August 14-19, 1405), and on August 22, so did Riley. Strongstine, Abshire, and Drea were now under threat. Qobba-Darkand was then taken in September 1405, and on October 8, the outpost of Shraugei was taken. Admiral Hew now fortified Esther, seeking to block a Laurasian advance towards Rolle. Emperor Demetrius retaliated, in November 1405, by ordering General Nerius to take Shalkh-Burakh, which was at the outskirts of Bookman.
  • Nerius proceeded against the stronghold, but Admiral Hew now launched a sudden offensive against Shell and Earl, seeking to recover both strongholds. On November 11, moreover, Kimanian General Shi-Huagin besieged the Laurasian garrisons of Koraygin and Shusha, which had been established in late 1404 to control traffic proceeding down to Beverly Hereidu and Hinds Prime. Four days later, however, Shi-Huagin was caught by the Earl of Constantia at Owens; the Earl captured twelve of his transports and blunted offensive moves towards Winehouse, Woolestone, and Armenia Major. From thence, he moved out towards Askeran, routing a Kimanian force there (November 22, 1405). By the end of November, Acone had been seized by a Laurasian expeditionary force, and on December 4, Koraygin was relieved. Shusha followed on December 12, and on December 19, 1405, Shalkh-Burakh finally fell into Laurasian hands. By the end of 1405, therefore, Laurasian forces held the advantage in the upper Barsar Regions.

1406Edit

  • 1406 began with the Laurasian Empire having driven the Neo-Venasian Consortium from hostilities and being in the ascendant over the Celestial Dynasty of Kimania in the Barsar Regions. This year, however, was to see the outbreak of overt rebellion in the Ashlgothian Borderland Territories and reverses suffered in the Upper Barsar Regions. On January 4, 1406, the Battle of Quba was fought between the forces of General Nerius, on the one hand, and those of Kimanian Admiral Hew on the other. This confrontation resulted in a victory for the forces of the Empire; Quba itself fell into Laurasian hands. Igdir was then stormed (January 17, 1406), and by the end of January, General Nerius was preparing for offensives against Gilan and Erevan. Baku fell on February 2, 1406, after a brief assault. Yet the rebel tensions in the Borderlands Territories, alluded to above, now broke out into full steam against the Imperial Laurasian Government. Emperor Demetrius himself had returned to Laurasia Prime in early January 1406, in order to respond to disturbances in the Wild Marshes. To those in the Borderlands Territories, this gave them their opportunity. At Tahon, Ashlgothian Prince Bato the Elder (1365-1409), issued, on February 9, 1406, a manifesto denouncing the exactions of Laurasian agents; demanding for the restoration of the Borderlands Territories to the Kingdom of Ashlgothia; and for the withdrawal of all Laurasian military units from the Melorkian Provinces.
  • The Emperor, disturbed by this outburst of dissent, ordered General Nerius to confiscate the estates of any in the Borderlands Territories who dared defy imperial authority. Nerius assigned Admiral Aulus Caecina Severus (1362-1429), to the task of carrying out these orders. Severus confiscated properties on Thelma and Jennings (February 14-19, 1406), but could not prevent the further outbreak of dissent. It was on February 22, 1406, that Prince Bato formally erupted into rebellion against the Empire. He was joined, in March 1406, by his son, Bato the Younger (1387-1409), whose center of operations was Hefner. By April 2, both Princes had secured control of Hefner, Matthew, and West. They therefore posed a serious threat to the position of the Imperial Laurasian Government in those regions. Salona and Narona both fell into their hands (April 4-14, 1406), and on April 22, they inflicted a ruinous defeat upon government forces in the Battle of Courtney. That stronghold now fell into rebel hands; from Courtney, Prince Bato the Elder, with the assistance of his chief lieutenant, Pinnes Avarich, seized the Laurasian garrisons of Epidarium, Delinium, and Burnum (May 1406). Kathryn was besieged from May 28, and fell on June 4, thereby inflicting another blow upon government forces. Admiral Severus, in conjunction with his colleague, General Marcus Plautus Silvanus (1369-1435), now launched a counteroffensive against rebel units at Sava, hoping to disorient their momentum and to push forth to Matthew. The ensuing Battle of Sava (June 8-14, 1406), ended in a decisive victory for Prince Bato, who thereby compounded his victory by seizing Drascium (June 19). By the end of June 1406, Imma had fallen into rebel hands, and Bryce was on the verge of doing so.
  • General Nerius, in the meantime, had been frustrated by the Kimanians in the Upper Barsar Regions. Kimanian units had attacked Cal (February 22-29, 1406), sacking the defenses of the stronghold. Nerius's attempts to move against Yerevan failed in the Battle of Turckaday (March 1, 1406), and during the course of March 1406, Laurasian units had suffered reverses in confrontations at Gilan, Goni, Samantha, and Breha. Acone was recovered on April 9, 1406, by the Kimanians; Khagia and Dumbgwita fell to them by April 18; and the Laurasians were driven from Beverly Hereidu on April 22. On April 29, 1406, the Battle of Shrivan ended in another victory for the Kimanians, who proceeded to recover Quba and to blockade Laurasian units at Igdir, Turcmenchay, and Hinds Prime. In May 1406, attempting to recover the momentum, Nerius assaulted Leo's Redoubt, Derangy, and Morangy. This, however, came to ruin in the Battle of Iffer (May 18-24, 1406), and on May 29, the defenses of Esther were fortified by Admiral Hew. General Jai-jin then stormed Rose and Roastafaria Minor (June 4-14, 1406), breaching into the Melorkian Provinces. Cansbrun, Purdill, and Martin fell by the end of June 1406; Winehouse and Woolestone were effectively isolated, and Kimanian units were now assisting rebel forces. Bato the Younger was able to seize Colaparia and Volcania (July 1406), and on August 4, even overran Cyrus III, forcing a Laurasian withdrawal from there. Peterslie was in his hands by August 11, and on August 19, the Battle of Crimean I ended in another humiliating victory for the rebel forces. Throughout September 1406, General Nerius, in conjunction with the Earl of Darcia, attempted to storm Erevan, to recover Shrivan, and to penetrate into Derbent, hoping thereby to disrupt rebel and Kimanian communications. This ploy failed. On October 14, 1406, the Battle of Mirohassani ended in another humiliating defeat for the Laurasians; Emma was firmly in rebel hands by the end of November. Madison and Kelly then were seized (December 2-4, 1406). Echimadzin was recovered by the Kimanians on December 14, 1406, and by the end of the year, the Empire was not in the best shape.

1407Edit

  • 1407 saw the Ashlgothian Rebellion reach its height, but at the same time, the momentum began to swing back into the direction of the Laurasian Empire. In January 1407, Prince Bato the Younger launched an offensive against George, hoping to storm that stronghold and to thereby drive a wedge into the Laurasian strategic position. A series of confrontations at Hugh, Geena, and Ott (January 9-14, 1407), witnessed the Laurasians suffering heavy losses. Admiral Severus was forced to reinforce the defenses of Osriana, and to call for reinforcements from Ogla, Meris V, Nathaniel, Zennethia, Zutagia, and New Nosauria. Ultimately, however, the rebel assault on George (February 2-9, 1407), ended in a victory for the Imperial Laurasian Government, and the stronghold remained in their hands. Rebel units, however, enjoyed more success elsewhere. Resmania, Dourif, and Passif's Star were besieged and conquered (February 1407); Jasmine was sacked by a rebel expeditionary force (March 2-4, 1407); and the Battle of Isabella (March 18-22, 1407), humiliated Admiral Severus. On April 2, 1407, General Silvanus was seriously wounded in the Battle of Zamien, and was forced to ask for his recall from duty by the Emperor. By the end of April 1407, rebel units had scored further victories at Searia and Braydania, both of whom were historic Ashlgothian colonies. On May 4, 1407, Emperor Demetrius, seeking to revive the Empire's military effort in the southern regions, and to strike a series of blows against the Celestial Dynasty of Kimania, announced that he would be assuming direct command of the operations in the Barsar Regions. Moreover, he reorganized the effort against the Ashlgothian Rebellion. The Emperor now appointed the young and arising Brigadier-General Sir Germanicus Secrus (1385-1419), as commander of the Empire's garrisons in the region, and ordered General Nerius to provide increased reinforcements to that region. At the same time, Demetrius himself embarked from Laurasia Prime (May 14, 1407), arriving at Melorkia Major five days later. From Melorkia Major, he repelled a Kimanian-rebel offensive against Merovech (May 22-25, 1407); recovered Jasmine (May 28); and drove rebel units from Les Mans (June 1), before triumphing in the Battle of Micci (June 4-14, 1407).
  • By the end of July 1407, Laurasian forces had also recovered Roastafaria Minor, Rose, and Thelma, thereby inflicting a series of losses upon the Kimanians and the Ashlgothian rebels. Hugh and Geena were recovered on August 4, 1407; from thence, Laurasian units under Germanicus and Admiral Severus seized Baiteman, Tahon, and Mirohassani in a series of lightning strikes. The Emperor then relieved Winehouse, recovered Armenia Major, and on August 25, 1407, won the Battle of Maccra. Terezania and Blacharia then fell, and on September 9, Shrivan was recovered. Laurasian and Kimanian units then clashed at Tenedos and Aprachai (September 14-22, 1407), and on October 1, 1407, the Battle of Dardanellia was waged. This clash between the Imperial Laurasian and Celestial Kimanian Navies leaned heavily in the Empire's favor, due to the larger numbers of destroyers and battleships held by the Laurasians, and ended in a decisive victory for them. Esther's defenses were blockaded, and Nanking was sacked on October 18, 1407. Quba and Baku then fell to the Emperor (October 22-November 4, 1407), followed by Mingrelia and Turcmenchay on November 18. November 1407 also saw the Laurasian recovery of Dourif, Passif's Star, and Braydania by General Germanicus from the rebel forces. On December 8, 1407, the Battle of Walden ended in another victory for the Empire. Igdir was secured on December 18, and by the end of 1407, the momentum had been restored to the Laurasians.
  • In the midst of all this, 1407 had seen the further penetration of Laurasian influence into the Middle Territories. In February 1407, High Regent Parladi I of Way'tosk, who felt threatened by both the Neo-Venasian Consortium and the neighboring Kingdom of Temperance, requested for negotiations with the Laurasian Empire, in order to secure his own position and to extend his diplomatic ties. Emperor Demetrius had accepted, and at Grand Junction, on March 14, 1407, a conference had been convened between the two governments. Negotiations lasted for nearly a month, being conducted primarily by the Earl of Taurasia (who had been assigned to command of the Robertian Regions, and oversaw the withdrawal of Laurasian units from the Venasian Cluster). It was on April 12, 1407, that the Treaty of Grand Junction had been concluded. By the terms of this treaty, the League of the States of Way'tosk formally accepted the overlordship and protection of the Laurasian Empire. Emperor Demetrius I became Way'tosk's formal suzerain, assumed responsibility over its defense and foreign affairs, and agreed to protect the integrity of the Way'tosk government. Way'tosk in turn, promised to grant Laurasian forces transit through its territories, and to pursue domestic policies friendly to Laurasian interests. Free trade and navigation was also proclaimed to be in effect between the two realms. Way'tosk was to remain a Laurasian protectorate for over a third of a century, until its annexation by Claudius II in 1443.
  • Comet Demosthena is visible from Laurasia Prime. It will not be seen again until 1482.

1408Edit

  • 1408 saw the forces of the Laurasian Empire making considerable progress against both the Celestial Dynasty of Kimania and the forces of the Ashlgothian Rebellion. The advances against Kimania were the most notable. Cansbrun, Purdill, and Martin were all recovered by Emperor Demetrius in January 1408. On February 2, 1408, the Emperor executed a renewed offensive towards the lower Kimanian Trade Run. Storming the Kimanian garrisons of Skyes III and Nandia (February 2-9, 1408), he then approached the outskirts of Yerevan, which time and time again had defied the efforts of the Empire's forces to seize it. Kimanian Admiral Hew now assaulted Laurasian units at Qui-Bingh (February 14, 1408), in one last effort to prevent a renewed Laurasian offensive against Yerevan. The ensuing Battle of Qui-Bingh resulted in a decisive victory for the Emperor of Laurasia; not only did Demetrius destroy more than 30% of the Kimanian offensive corps and impound most of their turbocannons and other military supplies, he finally captured Admiral Hew himself. The Admiral was brought before the Emperor on his personal flagship, the IMS Honorius the Liberator. Demetrius recognized that this man had fought well and bravely; consequently, the Emperor ordered for him to be treated well. The Battle of Qui-Bingh now opened the way to Yerevan, which was besieged beginning on February 22, 1408. The Siege of Yerevan lasted for nearly a month, and the Emperor had to repel Kimanian counteroffensives from Cox, Banks, Henderson, and the Orion Cluster. Ultimately, however, on March 20, 1408, Yerevan fell into the hands of the Empire. Emperor Demetrius ordered for the world's repositories, factories, and posts to be comprehensively sacked and destroyed; for its inhabitants to be deported; and for its resources to be stripped. The world would not be rehabilitated until the following century. From Yerevan, Derangy fell into the Emperor's hands (April 1-7, 1408); then on April 11, he moved against Echimadzin, occupying the stronghold within four hours. Nakchivan followed on April 18, 1408, and on April 22, Skold and Plath were both isolated by Laurasian units. Acone was seized on May 2, and a Laurasian expedition penetrated to Jarman, Harrison, Novina, and Rana.
  • The colony of Farnsworth was occupied in May 1408, and on June 3, the Siege of Reading commenced, which was to last for the next two months. Abshire, Riley, Drea, Duana, and Hutsia Minor were now being constantly harried by Laurasian expeditions, although Erevan continued to defy the Emperor. As regards to the rebellion, General Germanicus and Admiral Severus decided to take advantage of increasing dissensions among the rebel forces. The Princes Bato were now quarreling with Pinnes; the Princes were now leaning towards the possible conclusion of a settlement with the Imperial Laurasian Government, while Pinnes advocated for all military effort to be applied against the Empire's forces. As a consequence, they were unable to agree on future, coherent strategies of attack. In February 1408, rebel forces had been driven back from Drascium, Sava, Madison, and Kelly. Imma had then been recovered on March 9, 1408, by General Germanicus. Thus, rebel lines were already breaking. And it was on June 11, 1408, after a series of further confrontations at Bryce, Kristin, and Hefner, that General Germanicus advanced to Bathnicus, located eight light years to the northeast of Peterslie. The ensuing Battle of Bathnicus (June 11-14, 1408), resulted in a decisive victory for Laurasian forces; Bato the Younger was killed in the confrontation, and his flagship, the Hardamor, fell into Laurasian hands. From Bathnicus, the Laurasian recovered Salona and Narona (July 1408), and by August 9, were approaching the outskirts of Courtney. That same month, Emperor Demetrius stormed Morangy, and isolated Gardiner. Reading too, finally fell on August 11, dealing a severe blow to the Celestial Dynasty.
  • Yet the Emperor's attention was in part, diverted by the outbreak of another short, sharp conflict with the Solidaritan Sultanate. Ali Pasha, whose position had been weakened by the humiliating Young Solidaritan's War, tried for a time to continue with his reforms. In June 1404, he had sponsored the establishment of the Solidaritan Academy for the Marital Arts on Roxuli, attempting to improve professionalism and tactical skills among the rank and file of the Sultanate's forces. He sponsored the colonization of the systems of Ipshilion, Jodi, Emilio, and Chelsey during the course of 1404 and 1405; moreover, he relaxed restrictions upon industrial activity, repealed many of the monopolies in place on Istantius, granted subsidies to deserving businesses, and offered grants to those who sponsored scientific and technical research within the Sultanate. Yet all of these efforts were in vain. The Abbathian Dynasty of Homidinia, which was still under the rule of the great Emperor Haruna al-Rashid, now sought to gain commercial advantages within the Sultanate. In July 1406, the Abbathian Emperor's forces had occupied Roxuli, Zoe, and Abraham, thereby constituting a direct violation of the Sultanate's territory. A short, and pointed conflict had ensued, with Abbathian forces penetrating as far as Berhamia and Sair.
  • Ultimately, the Treaty of Roxuli (November 9, 1406), had resulted in the concession of commercial and transit privileges, by the Sultan, to the Abbathian Dynasty. Moreover, the Sultanate seceded Zoe and the Marmillion Reaches to the Dynasty, thereby further weakening its territorial base. Emperor Demetrius had been alarmed by this, and in June 1407, had ordered the Imperial General Headquarters to draft plans for intervention in Solidarita. Ali Pasha was deposed in November 1407, and replaced as Grand Vizier by the more fanatical Alridi Pasha. He now encouraged Solidaritan reconnaissance expeditions against Michael, Rastaborn, Shannon, and Leopolodia, hoping to provoke the Empire thereby. Finally, in September 1408, the Sultanate had issued a declaration of war, hoping to take advantage of the Empire's distraction with the campaigns in the Barsar Regions. Solidaritan forces seized O'Neal and Cline (September 9-17, 1408), blockaded Martina Mccasia, and on October 9, penetrated into the outskirts of Michael. Big Twinny was blockaded from October 11 to 14, 1408.
  • The Earl of Taurasia, however, acting on the instructions of the Emperor, now moved swiftly into Solidaritan territory. He stormed Impania (October 19, 1408); destroyed the shield defenses of Sheryl (October 24); and seized Finch (October 29), before occupying Solidaritan Doris (November 1). Then on November 9, 1408, Istantius itself was assaulted by the Empire's forces. The capital star system of the Sultanate was caught off guard by the Laurasian offensive. Alridi Pasha now sought to recall his units back to Istantius, Sair, and Berhamia. These efforts failed, and on November 18, 1408, Istantius itself fell, for the first time ever, into the hands of the Empire. The Earl of Taurasia wrecked much vegenance, deporting more than one hundred million persons and having all of Istantius's treasures and revenues impounded. Sultan Chosroes III himself was captured and on November 24, was forced to agree to an armistice with the Imperial Laurasian Government. Negotiations quickly proceeded, and on December 8, 1408, the Treaty of Kendra resulted in the concession of Roxuli, Abraham, Deanna, Coen, and Wendy to the Laurasian Empire. All treaties with the Abbathian Dynasty were disavowed; Alridi Pasha was dismissed from office, translated to Laurasian custody, and imprisoned at Jenny; and Chosroes pledged himself as a vassal to the Emperor of Laurasia. With this short conflict, the Solidaritan Sultanate had become dependent on the Laurasian Empire. In the Barsar Regions, the last months of 1408 saw the fall of Goni (September 9-14); Breha (September 22); Lange (September 29); Leseur (October 4); Taylsh (October 19); the colonies of the Shrivania (October 24); Hutsia Major (November 1); and Abshire (December 14) to the Empire's forces. And by the end of 1408, the Ashlgothian Rebellion was staggering towards extinction.

1409Edit

  • 1409 saw the final suppression of the Ashlgothian Revolt. January 1409 saw further victories for the forces of the Laurasian Empire. Searia and Braydania were both firmly secured by government forces that month; on January 22, 1409, the Battle of Sirca ended in a decisive victory for General Germanicus. From Sirca, Germanicus besieged and conquered Epidarium, Delinium, and Burnum (January 24-February 7, 1409). On February 11, 1409, the Siege of Courtney commenced. Prince Bato the Elder, however, harried the outskirts of Tahon, and on February 17, launched a surprise offensive against Mons Almus. Germanicus hastened to meet with him, determined to prevent this Laurasian colony (established in 1356) from falling into rebel hands. Bato, however, used his starfighters and corvettes to harry the lines of the Imperial Laurasian Navy, and employed a series of orbital bombardments to batter down the defenses of the stronghold. Mons Almus fell on February 29, 1409. This was a humiliating defeat for Germanicus. Tahon was then temporarily recovered by the rebel forces (March 2-4, 1409), who then proceeded to seize Splonum, Seretium, and Raetinium. This series of defeats now motivated Emperor Demetrius, on March 17, 1409, to order General Nerius to come to the aid of his colleague. Nerius did so without objection, and on March 24, 1409, he established his new command headquarters on Imma. He then cooperated with Germanicus to expel the rebel forces from Fruska Gora (April 1, 1409), and four days later, won the Battle of Srimricum, capturing Pines. Andretium, which had become Bato the Elder's headquarters, was then besieged, beginning on April 9, 1409.
  • The Siege of Andretium lasted for twelve days, during which time the Laurasians successfully recovered Tahon. On April 21, 1409 (three centuries before the death of Neuchrus the Reformer), Andretium also fell into Laurasian hands. Splonum, Seretium, and Raetinium then followed. Courtney finally was overrun on May 4, 1409, after a siege of nearly three months, and more than 400,000 rebel soldiers were imprisoned or executed. General Nerius then proceeded to Arduba, which he laid under siege (May 14, 1409). Arduba resisted fiercely, with Prince Bato himself commanding its defense. Ultimately, on June 10, 1409, the stronghold fell into the hands of the Laurasian Empire. Bato and his chief lieutenants were captured, and were brought before Generals Nerius and Germanicus. When Nerius asked the Prince why he had revolted, he replied: "Because you Laurasians have sent wolves to guard the flocks, and not the shepherds." Emperor Demetrius, on his part, as well as the Generals, were impressed by Bato's courage, bravery, and tactical skill. Thus the Emperor decided to spare Bato's life, ordering for him to be exiled to Arthur in the Wild Marshes (May 22, 1409). He was not generous, however, to the rebel lieutenants, or to others who had been involved in the rebellion. Between May 1409 and September 1410, more than 400,000 rebels would be imprisoned or executed for their offenses; nearly four hundred million persons were deported from the Borderlands Territories; and marital law was imposed in the Ashlgothian Colonies. Bato the Elder himself would live on Arthur for the rest of his life. In 1417, he would be granted a lifetime imperial pension of $1 billion denarii by Emperor Tiberius, and permitted to travel freely in the Core Regions. The Ashlgothian Prince would ultimately die on May 14, 1435, at Lusculum. As for Pinnes, he would be imprisoned at the Secret Prison of Ipsus V, dying there on June 8, 1439.
  • The early months of 1409, on their part, had witnessed a stalemate in the Barsar Regions, for Emperor Demetrius focused on consolidating his hold of the Borderlands Territories, and of the strongholds which he had conquered to that point. Laurasian units did, however, seize Ganja, Guria, and Ajaria in March 1409, consolidating their hold of Derangy, Morangy, and Leo's Redoubt. Another conflict now erupted that diverted the attention of the Laurasians. That conflict was with the Kingdom of Ashlgothia. Since 1403, Wittiza had reigned as sole King of Ashlgothia. He had implemented some reforms, promulgating, in 1407, a revised version of the Lex Ashlgothorium (Laws of the Ashlgothians), promoting economic development, and reducing the privileges of his nobility on their estates. Yet overall, Ashlgothia had been plagued with troubles. It had to contend with constant Scottrian and Arachosian raiding expeditions from the Galactic Borderlands; uprisings on Trebek and Jeopardy; and a decline in the value of the Ashlgothian currency. All of this, therefore, had left Ashlgothia exposed to the assault of a willing, and aggressive, foreign neighbor.
  • Foolishly, Wittiza had pledged his private support for the rebels of the Ashlgothian Colonies, furnishing them financial aid and expressing moral sympathy with their aims. This had been discovered by the Imperial Intelligence Agency in March 1409. Emperor Demetrius had now become determined to punish Wittiza for his support; he also sought the further extension of Laurasian territory, to strengthen the Empire's position versus the Celestial Dynasty of Kimania. Consequently, on April 24, 1409, he had ordered the General Headquarters to draft plans for offensives into the Barsar Regions. These had proceeded quickly, and the Emperor, on July 18, 1409, ordered for General Sir Publius Quinticilius Varus (1354-1409), to take command of the offensives into Ashlgothia. Varus prepared his units at Tahon, Bryce, Courtney, Baiteman, Imma, Emma, Kathryn, and the other chief strongholds of the Borderlands Territories. It was on August 4, 1409, that the Emperor of Laurasia issued a formal declaration of war against the Kingdom of Ashlgothia. Upon this declaration of war, the Empire's units moved swiftly into Ashlgothian territory. Vetera fell into Laurasian hands (August 8-13, 1409), and on August 19, the Ashlgothian colony of Moguntia followed. From thence, Varus seized Renee (August 20-24, 1409), and repelled a Ashlgothian move against Kane (August 28).
  • Yet Ashlgothian General Arminius (1382-1421), who was one of the King's most trusted subordinates, now took the initiative in styming the Laurasian offensives. Relying upon a strategy of feints, deception, and retreat, he now sought to lure General Varus and his chief operational forces to a trap. That trap was to be laid at Teutoberg, which was located one hundred light years northeast of India. On September 4, 1409, the Ashlgothian General released false intelligence, by means of information probes, which suggested to the Imperial General Headquarters that an advance should be conducted towards Kakriea, a red-giant system just to the east of Teutoberg. General Varus, who believed that this star system harbored an important Ashlgothian military repository, and would allow for a quick move against India and Warren, elected to take this course, against the advice of his generals. It was on September 11, 1409, that the General and Admiral Sir Suetonius Prasius (1367-1409), proceeded towards Kakriea, and towards their ruin. Varus's forces included the 20th and 21st Imperial Armies, the 9th Imperial Fleet, and a detachment of Praetorian Guards. Arminius commanded a force composed of the 2nd Ashlgothian Expeditionary Force and the 1st Auxiliary Corps, with fewer warships and personnel then his Laurasian foes. Yet he had superior intelligence capabilities, and more starfighters, with mobile attacking weaponry, at his disposal. This showed in the ensuing battle. Early on September 12, the Imperial Laurasian Military's forces proceeded through Kakriea. Varus had neglected to send the typical reconnaissance parties forth to clear the path, and as a consequence, the Laurasians suspected nothing of the ambush awaiting them.
  • With the Laurasian forces in place, Arminius released his trap. Lighter, more mobile Ashlgothian corvettes, starfighters, and transports swept upon the flanks of the Laurasian force, darting in and out relentlessly. Laurasian supply lines, due to the nature of their progress, were perilously stretched out, inviting to any enemy with the necessary capabilities to attack. The Ashlgothians soon surrounded the entire Laurasian fleet, employing their superior mobility to the full. Arminius had a good understanding of Laurasian tactics and weapons capabilities, due to his five-year trip to Laurasia Prime, when relations were still peaceful, and his observation of Laurasian battle simulations and military parades. As a consequence, his forces effectively countered all Laurasian attacks. The following day (September 13), the Laurasians attempted to break out in formation, and to force their way into Teutoberg. Many ships of the fleet managed to do so, but only at great damage to themselves. There, they were encountered by further Ashlgothian units, and found their route of escape blocked. Varus's chief subordinate, Admiral Prasius, attempted to flee from the battlefield, but he was intercepted and killed by a convoy of Ashlgothian couriers. By the end of the day, with Laurasian efforts to storm Teutoberg failing, the Battle of the Teutoberg Fields, as it became known, had ended in a decisive Ashlgothian victory. Varus himself committed suicide before he could fall into enemy hands.
  • More than 400,000 troops of the Imperial Laurasian Army, and a comparable number of naval personnel, lost their lives in the confrontation. Fifty of the sixty Laurasian warships were destroyed or captured, along with most of their supplies. Arminius had scored a decisive victory. The Battle of the Teutoberg Fields was one of the most humiliating defeats of the Imperial Laurasian Period. When Emperor Demetrius learned of the loss, he banged his head against the chamber walls and yelled "Publius Varus, where are my troops?" Generals Nerius and Germanicus were also astounded by the defeat. In its immediate aftermath, Arminius drove the Laurasians from Vetera and Moguntia, stormed Kane (September 22-October 4, 1409), and by the end of October 1409, had overrun Hefner, Brooke One, Benzitr V, and Rose also. November 1409 saw Laurasian moves against Nandia being repelled, and Ashlgothian expeditions striking against West, Madison, Mirohassani, Peterslie, Bryce, and Baiteman. Manorsia was seized on December 4, and on December 11, Arminius won another victory in the Battle of Lee. By the end of the year, the Empire, though having suppressed the Ashlgothian Revolt, found itself at war with both Ashlgothia and Kimania.
  • On November 17, 1409, the future Emperor Vespasian (1469-79), was born at the Calumnis Estate on Dayanie in the Murphian Provinces. He was the son of the minor aristocrat, Baronet Titus Flavius Sabinus (1375-1427) and his wife, Vespasia Polla (1385-1449). Sabinus had been a Governing Senator since 1403, and had also served as Viceroy of Murphy for a time (1406-09), but he was not prominent at the Imperial Court. His wife, Lady Polla, was the daughter of Sir Vespasius Pollo (1351-1424), who had fought in the campaigns of Emperor Antiochus the Conqueror in the Robertian Provinces, and had gained renown for his exploits during that conflict. Pollo had served as Vice-Chief of the Praetorian Guards from 1396 to 1403, then was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-General in 1407 and commanded the garrison of Ivoria until 1416. During the first year of his life, Vespasian would be much in the company of his grandfather, gaining from him a life-long passion and respect for the military.
  • On April 27, 1409, the impotent Solidaritan Sultan Chosroes III, who had failed to halt the aggressive expansions of the Laurasian Empire, was formally deposed by the Janissary Guards. Many Janissaries were dissatisified with the direction the Sultanate had taken, and fearful that the reforms implemented over the course of the past decade would destroy their own status and privileges. Chosroes was forced to sign a declaration of abdication on Istantius, and was then banished to Quanna. He would remain there until his death on February 14, 1418. He was now succeeded as Sultan of Solidarita by his younger brother, Prince Darim, who became Darim II of Solidarita. He was destined to be the last Sultan of the Solidaritan Sulanate, being dependent on his Guards and constrained by his Grand Vizier, Dwalat Pasha, a fierce conservative nevertheless possessed with a lust for power and wealth.

1410Edit

  • 1410, the tenth year of the fifteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire, as mentioned above, embroiled in war both within the Kingdom of Ashlgothia and in the Barsar Regions against the Celestial Dynasty of Kimania. During the early months of 1410, Emperor Demetrius took measures to consolidate the Empire's position in the Middle Territories and along the Kimanian Trade Run; he also sought to improve the defenses and the strategic disposition of those forces deployed against the Kimanians. In December 1409, therefore, the Emperor had granted preliminary approval to plans by the Senate and the Council of Civil Service for the annexation of the Kingdom of Lower Melorkia. Laurasian units, already stationed at such strongholds as Dumbgwita, Khagia, Rose, and Jack, were reorganized; the 22nd and 23rd Imperial Armies were reassigned to duty in the Roastafarian Provinces; and the Emperor sent a series of secret communiques to the Melorkian nobility, promising to maintain their status and privileges if they in turn sponsored union of their territories with that of the Empire. On November 9, 1408, King Louis II of Lower Melorkia had signed the Treaty of Tamars with the Imperial Laurasian Government, which formally designated him as a Laurasian vassal. The King of Lower Melorkia, however, had become encouraged, in late 1409, by the Battle of the Teutoberg Fields, in which Ashlgothian General Arminius decisively defeated the Imperial Laurasian Navy.
  • By early 1410, he was formulating plans of aligning with Kimania and Ashlgothia against Laurasia, throwing off his terms of overlordship, and reconquering the Upper Melorkian Provinces. The Imperial Intelligence Agency, however, was aware of his conspiracies, and it was such that Emperor Demetrius decided to move before it was too late. On February 20, 1410, the Emperor announced the formal annexation of the Kingdom of Lower Melorkia into the Laurasian Empire. This occurred nearly two centuries following the death of Clovis I, the most vigorous and powerful of all Melorkian sovereigns. Laurasian troops swiftly occupied Manorsia; compelled King Louis to sign a formal declaration of abdication; and then chained him onto a transport. The Lower Melorkian Provinces, including, besides Manorsia, the strongholds of Cambrina, Resmania, Obathia, Cyrus III, Cal, Morley, Simon, Stahl, Tolbiac, Dumbgwita, and Khagia, therefore formally acceded to the control of the Emperor of Laurasia. Louis himself would ultimately be banished to exile on Vindictoria; he would die there on February 7, 1415, at the age of forty-three.
  • The annexation of Lower Melorkia improved the Laurasian Empire's strategic position, and allowed for the Emperor to conduct more coordinated campaigns into the Barsar Regions. Laurasian units, in March and April 1410, made further gains against their Kimanian rivals. On March 2, 1410, the Battle of Krtsansi ended in victory for the forces of General Nerius, once again in tactical command in the Lower Barsar Regions. From Krstansi, the Hutsite Reaches colonies of Tarki, Vladivavkaz, and Astrakhan fell into Laurasian hands (March 6-14, 1410). By March 18, the Laurasian hold over Hutsia Major and Hutsia Minor had been consolidated; Offshora had also fully succumbed to the Empire's armed onslaught. On March 22, 1410, the Battle of Cox ended in another victory for General Nerius; the Kimanian military base of Kipp was stormed soon afterwards, and Kimanis Mooria was sacked on March 28. On April 4, 1410, Kimanian General Jai-jin attacked Laurasian positions at Cybertron Xerxia; the ensuing Battle of Cybertron Xerxia, fought nearly a thousand years after the famous battle there of the Third Barso War, ended in a Laurasian victory. He was then pursued to Nuguria (April 9, 1410), and defeated there. Laurasian units then occupied the colonies of Ralina and Neutria, and by the end of April 1410, were threatening Caleb and Dodson. On May 13, 1410, however, the Battle of Meghri ended in victory for the Kimanians; Jai-jin managed to capture a number of Laurasian automated transports.
  • June 1410 saw Kimanian forces recovering Quba, Derbent, Baku, Shaki, Guria, and Ajara; on July 2, 1410, the Battle of Leo's Redoubt ended in another humiliation for the Empire. Then on July 14, 1410, the Battle of Erevan occurred; the result was a tactical victory for Kimanian forces, who thereby terminated the Laurasian threat in that star system. Breha and Offshora were then cleared of Laurasian units, and on August 3, Cox and Banks were recovered. Laurasian expeditions against Gardiner, Dorothea, Nanking, and Christopher failed to redress the balance; the Battle of Christophsis (August 19, 1410), in which Shogun Comovius himself held ceremonial command of the troops, lead to the loss of more than 150,000 Laurasian troops. By the end of August, Laurasian units had also been pushed out of Goni, Lange, Abshire, and Talysh. By September 1410, following further confrontations at Kartli, Kakheti, Earl, and Shell, the front lines had stabilized, and a stalemate ensued between the Laurasians and the Kimanians that lasted into the following year.
  • As regards to Ashlgothia, 1410 saw a series of victories by the Ashlgothians, who pushed into the Borderlands Territories and thereby threatened the Laurasian position there. In January 1410, Ashlgothian General Arminius reorganized his military forces, and now decided to conduct a general offensive, in order to secure Nandia, India, and Warren from further Laurasian attacks. In this, he was sponsored by King Wittiza, who had developed a distaste for the Laurasian Empire. Arminius won the Battle of West (January 22-29, 1410), and occupied that stronghold. He then faced down Laurasian units under Admiral Severus in the Battle of Marsha (February 4, 1410), and defeated them decisively. The Laurasian post of Sicambria then fell, on and February 17, 1410, Bryce was besieged by Ashlgothian forces. In spite of the efforts of General Germanicus, Bryce fell on March 1. Then on March 4, the Laurasian General was injured in a chemical explosion on his flagship, the IMS Constellation, near Courtney, and was forced to take leave back to Laurasia Prime for medical treatment. Emperor Demetrius himself, who focused his efforts upon completing the absorption of Lower Melorkia, now named Admiral Severus as the commander-in-chief in the Borderlands Territories.
  • Severus, however, found himself hard pressed against the Ashlgothians. Tahon, Baiteman, and the colony of Morgan were in Ashlgothian hands by the end of March 1410; Imma followed on April 9, and on April 12, the Battle of Jennings resulted in another humiliation for the Imperial Laurasian Navy. Throughout May and June 1410, a series of confrontations ensued between Laurasian and Ashlgothian units at Tea, Mirohassani, Emma, Kathryn, Imune, Xxi, and Jemena, as the two sides struggled to gain the advantage. Tamars and Babania fell to the Ashlgothians in July 1410, but they were expelled by the Imperial Laurasian Army from Benzitr V. Rose, Hefner, and Brooke One were recovered the following month, and a expedition, by Ashlgothian forces, against Jasmine failed (September 9, 1410). Just six days later, however, Peterslie fell into their hands. Yet on October 4, 1410, King Wittiza died suddenly on Ashlgothia Major; having had no children, his death threw the Kingdom of Ashlgothia into momentary peril. Arminius himself temporarily suspended his moves into the Borderlands Territories, in order to support the claims to the throne of Prince Roderic, the late King's nephew. Roderic ultimately prevailed, and he was proclaimed King on November 1. Yet that nearly month-long interregnum allowed for the Laurasians to recover. Admiral Severus recovered Baiteman (October 5-14, 1410), then Tahon (October 16). Securing Martinez, Courtney, and Emma, he then repelled Ashlgothian units from Imma (October 22, 1410) and on November 5, won the Battle of Stargossa. Tamars and Babania were recovered later that month, followed by Peterslie on December 6. A Laurasian force even sacked Moguntia (December 11, 1410). Kane was besieged from December 16, and recovered on the last day of the year.

1411Edit

  • 1411, the eleventh year of the fifteenth century, began with the Laurasian Empire having experienced some losses to the Celestial Dynasty of Kimania in the Barsar Regions, and having reasserted its position in the Ashlgothian Borderlands Territories. Emperor Demetrius, by January 1411, had become determined to end the war with Ashlgothia, to continue the consolidation of his Empire's rule over Lower Melorkia, and to prepare for renewed offensives against the Kimanians. Consequently, he instigated a series of offensives in the outskirts of Ashlgothian territory, in order to force the Ashlgothians to the peace table. On January 8, 1411, Caitlin was stormed by a Laurasian expeditionary force; Walden fell into the hands of Admiral Severus four days later. The Ashlgothian colonies of Sejak, Vanna, and White were then stormed (February 1411). With Laurasian forces now moving against Greg, and with Nandia in serious danger as well, King Roderic, overriding the objections of General Arminius, now sought to commence negotiations with the Imperial Laurasian Government. On March 3, 1411, he requested for an armistice to be signed between the two states, and for negotiations for peace to commence. Emperor Demetrius accepted this quickly. The Armistice of Kevin was signed twelve days later, thereby terminating all active military hostilities between Laurasia and Ashlgothia.
  • A conference was convened on Bainsborough, beginning on April 13, 1411. After some weeks of negotiations, the Treaty of Bainsborough was signed on April 29, 1411, thereby bringing an end to the Laurasian-Ashlgothian War of 1409-11. By the terms of this treaty, the status quo ante bellum was imposed in territorial matters between Laurasia and Ashlgothia. All prisoners of war were to be exchanged, and properties seized in the conflict to be returned. The Ashlgothian Government agreed to recognize the Empire's annexation of Upper and Lower Melorkia, and any territorial gains which might be made by the Emperor of Laurasia from the Celestial Dynasty of Kimania. In return, Demetrius I pledged to respect Ashlgothian internal affairs. The Treaty of Bainsborough, ratified by both parties by the end of May 1411, thereby restored the peace between them, at least temporarily. On June 3, 1411, Emperor Demetrius launched a series of counteroffensives into the Barsar Regions. He besieged and conquered Jarman (June 4-19, 1411); stormed Preena (June 22); and recovered Quba (June 28). Derbent was then blocked by a Laurasian force, falling on July 4, 1411. Tarki, Baku, and Shaki were all back in Laurasian hands by July 21, and on July 27, Harrison fell to a Laurasian expeditionary force also. August 1411 saw Laurasian units storm Gilestis and Christophsis; the Christopherian colonies of Willona, Woods, and Penny were also seized. Laurasian moves against Cox, Bookman, and Rolle, however, failed, and on September 4, 1411, the Battle of Dorothea ended in a strategic stalemate. Kimanian General Abu Whazan, who had been appointed by the Shogun two months earlier, then defeated the Laurasians in the Battle of Aklatshi (September 19, 1411), and then drove them from Shell and Tolbiac. Beverly Hereidu was recovered on September 22 by the Kimanians, followed by Winehouse on September 26. By the end of October 1411, with further Laurasian reverses at Abshire, Drea, and Duana, a stalemate had ensued again between the opponents. Karabakh and Qoba-Darkand were both being harried by Kimanian expeditions.
  • In Ashlgothia, in the meantime, further instability transpired. General Arminius, who was angered by King Roderic's decision to end the conflict with the Laurasian Empire, now sought for himself a greater stake in Ashlgothian affairs. Consequently, at Leslie, Warren, and Reid, he assembled his own military supplies, troops, and equipment for possible action on Ashlgothia Major. Yet the General now found himself overshadowed by another: the Ashlgothian Prince Achila, cousin of the King (1381-1416). Achila was determined to become King of Ashlgothia in his own right. He was supported in his ambitions by Emperor Demetrius of Laurasia; the Emperor of Laurasia understood well that a weak, and divided Ashlgothia, would better serve his purposes then one that was united. Trebek, Jeopardy, and Alex became the main bases of operation for the Prince. It was in November 1411 that Achila formally proclaimed himself, at Olson, to be the rightful King of Ashlgothia, and refused to acknowledge the authority of Roderic. Roderic declared him a traitor, and ordered General Arminius to move against him. Arminius, having learned of Achila's Laurasian connections, buried his own plans for rebellion and obliged by his master's commands. Nevertheless, by the end of 1411, a civil conflict had emerged within those dominions; Achila and Roderic would fruitlessly dispute their claims with each other until 1414, thereby leaving Ashlgothia exposed to the renewed onslaught of the Laurasian Empire.

1412Edit

  • The year 1412 began with the Laurasian Empire once again stalemated against the Celestial Dynasty of Kimania. The Laurasian-Ashlgothian War of 1409-11 had ended, but Ashlgothia itself had now descended into internal anarchy. Emperor Demetrius would, in January 1412, command for the Imperial General Headquarters to draft plans for renewed offensives into Ashlgothian territories, when the time would come for them. He continued the expansion and the revitalization of the Empire's military forces, having introduced a new Conscription Code in 1410. It was his intention that the Empire's forces would not be humiliated again like they had been by Arminius at Teutoberg. Yet in early 1412, a new and greater opportunity arose for the Emperor, one which would lead to another substantial territorial acquisition for the Laurasian Empire. In September 1411, another coup had taken place on Istantius. The previous Grand Vizier, Dwalat Pasha, was violently overthrown; he was in fact, strangled by a number of Janissary Guards in his own personal chambers. In his place stepped forward the leader of the coup, the Janissary officer Kemal Attaurk. Attaurk was a Solidaritan patriot, believing firmly in the traditions, culture, and power of his native species. He sought to resume with the interrupted program of reform begun by Ali Pasha and his Young Solidaritans, and sought, above all, to overthrow Laurasian influence once and for all. He also wished to maintain the independence and territorial integrity of the Solidaritan Sultanate. Attaurk, within a short space of time (between September 1411 and March 1412), pursued a series of military, administrative, and financial policies, seeking to revive the Sultanate once more. Yet in that same time period, he aroused the ire of many Solidaritans, and thereby laid the seeds for the Sultanate's rapid, and final collapse.
  • He intensified tax collection, imposing new levies on capitations, withholding, and capital gains. This was meant to produce more revenue for the Solidaritan Treasury, but ended up inflaming tensions against the authority of the Solidaritan government. Attaurk was ruthless on tax evaders, and he employed the Grand Council to confiscate or impound the revenues and resources of those nobles and magnates who refused to pay into the Treasury. He implanted his agents in the imperial household and in the households of the princes of Istantius, Methusalah, Sheryl, Laronn, and Quanna; he imposed strict survelliance over the press and over personal correspondence; and he expanded the ranks of the Janissary Guards, recruiting more than 20,000 new members in one month alone (December 1412). All of this spurred dissent against him. Moreover, the Grand Vizier increased the funding diverted to the Court, believing it necessary that all be awed by the Sultan's splendor, and that of his officials. This only served to inflame resentments more. In January 1412, he ordered for the colonies of Alkhakic and Khalic to be nationalized, thereby depriving the nobles of their rights and revenues from both star systems. All of this proved too much for them. On March 7, 1412, Solidaritan Prince Al-Baghadi, seeking to maintain his own family, sent a secret appeal to the Sultanate's suzerain, Emperor Demetrius of Laurasia. In this appeal, he bewailed the "tyranny and the cruelties of the new Grand Vizier" and begged for intervention by the Laurasian Empire, so as to "protect the peoples of Solidarita from the grip of an oppressive master." Demetrius responded positively to this, and on March 17, 1412, he ordered the General Headquarters to activate its plans for a final intervention in Solidarita.
  • Then on April 9, 1412, the Emperor sent a communique to the Sultan and the Grand Council on Istantius. In this communique, Demetrius decried the situation then prevailing within the Solidaritan Sultanate, and that the policies of Attaurk were "harming the stability and tranquility of all galactic peoples." Consequently, he demanded that Attaurk be dismissed from office, and that the Solidaritan government submit all domestic policies to the future approval of its Laurasian suzerain. Darim II, powerless against his Grand Vizier, yet defiant of the Imperial Laurasian Government, refused to respond to these demands. Thus, on April 14, 1412, Demetrius declared the Solidaritans to be contumacious, and he issued a formal declaration of war. Laurasian forces, already assembled at the chief strongholds of the Northern Core Worlds, poured rapidly into Solidaritan territory. Solidaritan Doris was captured (April 16-19, 1412), followed by Finch (April 22); Garamia (April 25); and Laronn (April 28). Sheryl was laid under siege from May 4, 1412. It was a tougher nut to crack, but ultimately fell on May 17. By the end of May 1412, the Belts of Mantin had fallen, and Quanna was under siege. It too fell on June 8, 1412. Then on June 17, 1412, Emperor Demetrius commanded the Laurasian move against Methusalah; the ensuing Battle of Methusalah was hard-fought, but four days later, ended in another victory for the Empire. The Solidaritans could not stop the Laurasian onslaught; Canterwell, Thompson, Canderwell, Yaedln, and Jubsia all fell in July 1412.
  • Finally, on August 2, 1412, Attaurk attempted to stop the Laurasians at Sair. The ensuing Battle of Sair, in which the Laurasians outnumbered the Solidaritans more than three-to-one, ended in a decisive victory for the Laurasian Empire. Attaurk himself was captured, and on the Emperor's orders, bound in chains. From Sair, Laurasian units stormed Berhamia (August 8, 1412). Then, on August 12, 1412, Istantius was besieged by the Emperor of Laurasia. Sultan Darim, who was no military commander, and the Grand Council, had few forces at their disposal, lacked the support of the Solidaritan nobility, and were isolated. Istantius fell within a day. Laurasian troops landed on the world, and engaged in a policy of rapine, massacre, and devastation. The Tomb of the Sultans, the Solidaritan Great Palace, and the Janissary Barracks were disturbed and sacked, Istantius was robbed of all its artifacts and great treasures, and its cities were comprehensively plundered. More than six hundred million sentients were deported, imprisoned, or killed. Emperor Demetrius himself commanded these operations.
  • Darim II was captured. On August 16, 1412, he was forced to sign a declaration of abdication; the Grand Council was formally disbanded; and Emperor Demetrius seized the Gird of Sultans, which had been used to swear every Sultan since Erutugul himself. It was on September 9, 1412, that he issued the final decree of annexation for the Sultanate's territories. The Solidaritan Sultanate, which had lasted for 261 years, had broken away from Laurasian overlordship, and had superseded the Kazanian Khanate, ceased to exist, and all of its territories were therefore incorporated into the Laurasian Empire. Darim II himself was exiled to Chloe (he died there May 16, 1426). The end of the Solidaritan Sultanate came on the occasion of the 1000th anniversary of the Laurasian monarchy. Emperor Demetrius returned to Laurasia Prime in October 1412, conducting a grand triumph in the star system, and into the city of Christiania. He was hailed by the Senate with the titles of Melorkius Maximus, Solidaritus Maximus, and Kimanius Maximus (November 4, 1412). The last months of 1412 saw the Empire consolidate its hold of Solidarita.
  • On August 31, 1412, future Emperor Caligula (1437-41), was born at the Diplomatic Palace in Christiania, Laurasia Prime. He was the third of six surviving children born to General Germanicus and his wife, Agrippina (1386-1433). The future Emperor had two older brothers, Nero (1406-31) and Drusus (1407-33) and three younger sisters, Agrippina (the mother of Emperor Antiochus III the Mad, 1415-59), Julia (1416-38), and Livilia (1418-42). This Emperor would eventually become one of the most depraved in the history of the Laurasian Space Age. During his early years, he would be raised at the family's estates on Americana, Charasia, and Laurasia Prime.

1413Edit

  • 1413, the thirteenth year of the fifteenth century, began with the Laurasian Empire of Demetrius I having destroyed the Solidaritan Sultanate, which had been one of the leading powers in the Core Regions since the reign of Honorius the Terrible, and had been, during that entire period, one of Laurasia's primary enemies. The elimination of Solidarita thereby consolidated the Empire's territorial position, and extended its jurisdiction into the northern Industralized Borderlands, Inner Territories, and Middle Territories. Emperor Demetrius, by this point, had also come to realize that the long Kimanian War, which had lasted for nearly nine years by then, needed to be brought to an end. Thus, in January 1413, he moved swiftly to Jack, and made preparations for a final series of offensives into the Barsar Regions, to compel the Celestial Dynasty to peace. But it was the Kimanians who acted first. On January 19, 1413, Kimanian General Abu Whuzan launched a series of operations up the Kimanian Trade Run, seeking to breach into the Lower Melorkian Provinces. Driving Laurasian units from Gilestis (January 19-24), he then defeated and destroyed a Laurasian expeditionary force at Karabagh (January 26, 1413). From this, Merovech, Tourbonne, and Toule fell to surprise Kimanian expeditionary offensives (February 1413), and on March 2, the Battle of Shakhbulakh ended in another victory for the Kimanians. The Laurasians were then humiliated at Sultan-Bula (March 18, 1413); an entire battalion of the Imperial Laurasian Navy, the 15th Battalion of the 27th Imperial Fleet, was destroyed in action by the Kimanians. Yet Emperor Demetrius was now prepared for the final, and decisive, counter-strike.
  • On March 24, 1413, the Emperor repelled a Kimanian offensive against Enrassburg; from there, he lured the Kimanians to Isabella. The ensuing Battle of Isabella (March 26-April 1, 1413), though hard-fought, ended in a decisive Laurasian victory. Abu Whazan himself barely evaded capture. From Isabella, Laurasian units recovered Merovech and Tourbonne (April 2-15, 1413); secured the defenses of Qoba-Darkand (April 19); and sacked Orion III (April 22). Bookman was then blockaded by a Laurasian task force, and fell on May 3, 1413, dealing a humiliating blow to the Kimanian strategic position. Toule was reconquered on May 14, and on May 19, the Battle of Alenia ended in another victory for the Emperor of Laurasia. The Emperor's forces then pushed across the Aras Trade Route, isolated Christopher, and forced the Kimanians to Aslanduz, where they won a great victory (May 25, 1413). The Laurasians lost 50,000 troops and thirty of their warships; the Kimanians, almost all of their eighty warships, and more than 140,000 troops. Sultan-Buda was then recovered, and on May 29, the Battle of Katli ended in another victory for Laurasian arms. Breha was stormed again on June 3, and on June 6, the Battle of Karabezouk was the final nail in the coffin. Shogun Comovius was now forced to request for negotiations; on June 11, 1413, the Armistice of Herat was signed. Negotiations then began at Gulistan, a Kimanian colony five light years northwest of Christopher, in August 1413.
  • Finally, on October 24, 1413, the Treaty of Gulistan was signed. By the terms of this treaty, the Celestial Dynasty of Kimania conceded Woolestone, Winehouse, Armenia Major, Armenia Minor, Hinds Prime, Echimadzin, Ganja, Baku, Derbent, Gulistan, Katli, parts of the Aras Trade Route, Hinds Prime, Shrivan, Karabakh, Tarki, and the Upper Run to the vicinity of Rolle and Bookman to the Laurasian Empire. A boundary commission was established to define the exact boundary between the two states; the Imperial Laurasian Government acknowledged the Kimanian rule of Jarjanica. All Laurasian forces were to evacuate the Barsar Regions, not seceded, by January 1, 1415; all prisoners of war were returned. All goods seized in the conflict, however, were to remain in the possession of whoever had them. Moreover, Comovius recognized the Laurasian acquisition of both Upper and Lower Melorkia; Laurasian jursidiction over the Borderlands Territories; and Laurasian rights of intervention and campaign in Ashlgothia. He also pledged to limit the size of his garrisons at Beverly Hereidu and in the Orion Cluster, and to remain at peace with the Empire in the foreseeable future. The Treaty of Gulistan, ratified by both monarchs by the end of November 1413, thereby finally brought the long Kimanian War to an end. Emperor Demetrius could now turn his attention to digesting all of his conquests, but he was to have little peace. The following year would see the Empire thrown into conflict yet again.

1414Edit

  • 1414, the fourteenth year of the fifteenth century, began with the Laurasian Empire, for the first time since the opening of the century, fully restored to peace with all of its neighbors. Emperor Demetrius I, the Fat, had extended the Empire's jurisdiction over the Solidaritan Sultanate, the Kingdoms of Upper and Lower Melorkia, and into the Upper Barsar Regions, besides seizing territories from the Neo-Venasian Consortium. He had gained much renown with his subjects for his military exploits, and for the exploits of his military commanders. The Emperor had also become known as an effective administrator. He maintained, and extended the legal and judicial reforms which had been enacted by his predecessors; systematized the system of taxation; and improved the administration of imperial properties and domains. His military innovations had also expanded the armed forces, introduced new and more modern battle strategies, and improved the technologies employed by both the Army and Navy. Thus, it seemed as if the Empire was lying on solid feet. Yet his territorial expansions had now aroused the absolute concern of Queen Mother Kumthis of Venasia. The Queen Mother, ever since being forced back into peace with the Empire in 1405, had nevertheless not been idle. At Venasia Secondary, Hapes, Ka, Phelope, Febrini, Zardania, and other strongholds in the outer Venasian Cluster and in the Intermediate Provinces, she had embarked upon her own expansion and modernization of the Venasian military forces. The Queen Mother imposed new taxes upon bonds and servitude, and through the Council of High Ones, extended the system of internal tolls, as had long been the traditional right of the Venasian Crown.
  • She hoped that all of these new sources of revenue would provide sufficiently for any military campaigns in the future. She had also re-based the Venasian currency, introducing, in 1408, new silver talons for the Royal Treasury. This helped to improve financial stability. And she had extended diplomatic overtures to other states hostile to the Empire. Her message resonated with the King of Jageronia, Liutprand (1412-44), and with the Despot of Meredita, Cathal Condochir II. The Laurasian conquest of the Robertian Provinces, in 1390-92, by Emperor Antiochus II, had thereby extended the Empire's power and influence up the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route, and into the Outer Borderlands. It had also aroused the concern of both Jageronia and Meredita, who had both been invaded and forced to make concessions by Emperor Antiochus. King Liutprand was himself an ambitious ruler, and had already come into conflict with the Abbathian Dynasty and the Huntite Caliphate. He now sought to conquer the Robertian Regions, and to push his realm down as far as Elijahana, Bolgrahay, and Robbay. Cathal Condochir II, on his part, who had succeeded his nephew Carragh to the throne in 1402, sought to maintain the independence of the Despotate. As early as November 1412, the three monarchs had parleyed with each other; but it was not until January 9, 1414, before the Treaty of Jeanne was signed, thereby establishing a formal military and diplomatic alliance among them, against the Laurasian Empire.
  • The coalition now proceeded to their plans of attack against the Empire. The Queen Mother's goal was to clear Laurasian units from the Outer Venasian and Decapolian Provinces, to penetrate into the Duchy of Schaueria Prime, and to secure the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route. She also sought to place the League of Way'tosk, a protectorate of the Empire since 1407, in peril, and to thereby secure her eastern flank. King Liutprand and Despot Cathal Condochir, on their part, sought to cooperate in a series of offensives to expel the Laurasians from the Robertian Provinces. All of these preparations, which had in any case been in formulation for years, received their full maturity by the end of February 1414. On March 8, 1414, the Queen Mother of Venasia summoned the Laurasian Ambassador to the Court of Laurasia Prime, Sir Euytchius Srasius (1367-1432), to her presence. She demanded that the Empire restore all of its conquests, dating back to 1355, to the Neo-Venasian Consortium; that the Emperor of Laurasia restore the Solidaritan Sultanate; and that the Imperial Laurasian Government evacuate the Robertian Provinces. Ambassador Srasius was appalled by these demands, and looked upon them with scorn.
  • Four days later, however, the Ambassador was imprisoned on the orders of the Queen Mother. Venasian communications networks had prevented him from warning the Imperial Court on Laurasia Prime, about the Queen Mother's intentions. It was on March 18, 1414, that the Neo-Venasian Consortium issued a formal declaration of war against the Laurasian Empire; it was followed by both Meredita and Jageronia on March 22. The War of the Three Powers had therefore commenced, to last until 1417. Venasian forces made gains against the Laurasian foe. Lynne fell (March 23-24, 1414), followed in quick succession by Duris (March 26); Organia (March 29); Phyllis (April 1-2); Permi (April 8); and Ruttum (April 12). By the middle of April 1414, Cadaria and Anasia had both capitulated to the Venasians; Podrac and Monderon were subjected to a series of devastating Venasian raiding expeditions. In the Robertian Provinces, King Liutprand besieged and conquered Meris (April 7-19, 1414), drove Laurasian units from Jamuina (April 22), and won the Battle of Izonza (April 28); he was assisted in his efforts by the Mereditan Despotate. May 1414 saw the fall of Monderon, Agac, Aflak, and Bolgrahay to the Venasians in the Core Regions, and of Wakedia, Robert Minor, and Deservo to the Mereditans and Jageronians. Elijahana was also threatened by a Jageronian-Mereditan expedition. This continued also into June and July 1414. On June 3, 1414, the Battle of Wagner ended in another victory for the Venasians. Marcell, Rashid, and Calpurnia then fell (June 4-9, 1414), and on June 22, Venasian forces invaded the League of Way'tosk, capturing Bor'say, Bacturis Invictis, and Wayne (June 24-29, 1414). On July 7, 1414, Decapolia Minor succumbed; Lydia, Dorothy, Alvurg, Farbissinia, Aberdeen, and Shiloh all fell before Venasian forces; and Colsonia was blockaded, beginning on July 20. It's fall on August 2, compounded with that of Smithia (August 8); Archleuta (August 12); Tyleria Perea (August 18); and Drennan (August 22), all humiliated the Imperial Laurasian Government.
  • Emperor Demetrius, however, successfully maintained the defenses of Podrac, and on August 29, he repelled a Venasian offensive against Bartello, Levinston, and Donald. In fact, he had been preparing a major counteroffensive against the Consortium, and its allies. On September 1, General Nerius, who had assumed command of the garrison of Elijahana, was commanded to take charge of Laurasian forces in the Robertian Provinces. McEvlogue, Alamaia I, and Parsons became scenes to confrontations between Laurasian and coalition units (September 7-19, 1414). All of these battles ended in victory for the Laurasian Empire. General Nerius then recovered Jamuina (September 22); Meris (September 26); and Wakedia (October 1), inflicting further humiliating defeats on the coalition. Robert Minor was also secured by the Empire's forces. Emperor Demetrius, on his part, had recovered Lydia, Dorothy, and Alvurg. He now proceeded to the reconquest of Archleuta. Queen Mother Kumthis, seeking to entrap the Emperor of Laurasia, and to break out to Greenia, Compost V, and Mumbraine, reacted. On October 27, 1414, after a Venasian move against Jessica Perea and Selena had been repelled, the Battle of Bouvines was fought between the Laurasian Empire on the one hand, and the Neo-Venasian Consortium. At first, it seemed Kumthis had the advantage. She employed the Venasian Royal Dragons, which were ton-for-ton superior to many of the starfighters of the Imperial Laurasian Navy. She also had a more efficiently organized destroyer force. The Emperor, however, had held the Earl of Taurasia's forces in reserve at Chambon in the Core Worlds, and at the height of the battle, they were called into action.
  • The result was a decisive victory for the Laurasian Empire, and a defeat for the Queen Mother. Nearly half of the Venasian armored forces were destroyed in the confrontation, while the Laurasians lost only ten of their own warships. Archleuta now fell under siege from the Empire's forces; it was not until December 2, 1414, before the Venasian garrison capitulated. But by the end of the year, Laurasian troops had also recovered Decapolia Minor, Agac, Aflak, Rashid, and Shiloh, thereby imposing losses upon their Venasian foes. In the Robertian Provinces too, General Nerius made further advances; Deservo and Robert Minor fell back into his hands in November 1414; and on December 9, he thrashed the coalition in the Battle of Jeanne. Xander fell on December 14, and by the end of December, Laurasian units were harrying the OsonBoka Nebula.

1415Edit

  • 1415, the fifteenth year of the fifteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire of Demetrius I engaged in conflict with the Neo-Venasian Consortium and with the Consortium's allies, the Mereditan Despotate and the Kingdom of Jageronia. In the last months of the previous year, the Empire's military forces had enjoyed some successes. And this continued into the early weeks of 1415. On January 1, 1415 (three centuries before the death of King Lujak XII of Franconia), the Battle of Aberdeen ended in a victory for the forces of Emperor Demetrius. The Emperor proceeded to clear Venasian units from Drennan (January 7-10) and Bolgrahay (January 12), although a Laurasian offensive against Smithia, held by the Venasians, ended in failure (January 13). In the meantime, on January 9, 1415, General Nerius defeated King Liutprand's chief lieutenant, General Godomer, in the Battle of Shelley. By January 19, Parsons had been firmly secured by Laurasian forces, and Nerius proceeded to reduce the Mereditan-held colonies of Derelium, Corlass, Panna, and Newswhatium. February 1415, however, saw reverses for the Empire's forces. The Kingdom of Temperance, which was then under the rule of King Cotys V (1414-19), was tempted by Venasian offers, from April 1414, of control over Elijahana and the League of the States of Way'tosk. It was thus that on February 7, 1415, the King of Temperance issued a declaration of war against the League and the Laurasian Empire. As mentioned above, Venasian units had already occupied Bacturis Invictis, Bor'say, and Wayne. Venasian and Temperanian units now cooperated in seizing Par'say and Millian Sarah (February 8-14, 1415).
  • On February 22, a Temperanian force, with assistance from Venasian units, stormed Hooper and Sanegeta, thereby penetrating out to the Kimanian Trade Run. Chapelle followed on February 28, and on March 2, Grand Junction was firmly secured by coalition forces. By March 8, Laurasian units had also been expelled from the Millian colonies of Bone, Perinni, and Mersrinni. General Nerius was forced to strengthen the defenses of Elijahana, and consequently, Wakedia, Meris, and Corlass were all reoccupied by coalition forces that month (March 1415). On March 15, 1415, Agac fell once again into Venasian hands; Vindictoria and Esmeralda were assaulted from March 22, and both were in the possession of the Consortium by April 6.
  • Emperor Demetrius therefore had to contend with the new theater of conflict, and the new troubles, in the Eastern Regions. At the same time, however, he authorized for a series of renewed campaigns, led by General Germanicus, from the Ashlgothian Borderlands Territories and into the Kingdom of Ashlgothia. On September 9, 1414, Prince Achila had finally succeeded in capturing Ashlgothia Major; four days later, Roderic fell into his hands, and was, on his orders, executed. His remains were dumped into the vaccuum of space; General Arminius pledged his allegiance to Achila. Yet the Ashlgothian dominions had been seriously weakened by the civil war; in November and December 1414, Redia, Sejucia, and Ruumlist were disturbed by a major uprising. The value of the Ashlgothian gueldros declined, and the threat of piracy, and of smuggling, intensified within the kingdom's realms. Moreover, Ashlgothian raiding parties struck against Kane, Peterslie, and Jennings during this time, thereby giving the Empire an excuse for intervention.
  • It was on April 9, 1415, that the Emperor of Laurasia issued a renewed declaration of war against the Kingdom of Ashlgothia. General Germanicus now moved, swiftly, into Ashlgothian territory. He besieged and conquered Vetera (April 18-14); Moguntia (April 22); and Stapleton (April 28). The Battle of O'Connor, fought from May 1-4, 1415, ended in another victory for Laurasian forces. From O'Connor, Gigi was besieged by the Empire, beginning on May 9, 1415. The Siege of Gigi lasted for nearly two months, finally concluding on July 1, 1415, with the stronghold falling into Laurasian hands. Trebek was then sacked by a Laurasian expeditionary force (July 2-6, 1415), and on July 12, the Battle of Jeremy ended in another victory for General Germanicus. During those some months, events transpired further in the Core Regions. Eutagia and Acamaria were secured, in April 1415, by the coalition forces; Benzit V fell shortly afterwards; and Rose was even threatened by a Venasian expedition. On May 8, 1415, the defenses of Hammenor were breached by a Venasian force, which then went on to seize Caroline, Jem, Dill, and Boo. Moves against Jean and Atticus failed however (May 12-17, 1415), and on May 18, 1415, Monderon was recovered by the Laurasians. Drennan followed on May 22, and on May 26, the Battle of Boydaria ended in a decisive victory for the forces of the Empire and League. Bacturis Invictis was recovered in June 1415.
  • Then on July 7, 1415, Laurasian forces won two battles in two different theaters: the Battle of Bronson in the Upper Robertian Regions, and the Battle of Larma in Ashlgothia. As a result of these battles, Sheehan, Gehring, and Abuza fell into Laurasian hands in Robert, while Larma succumbed in Ashlgothia. Laurasian units then stormed Levy (July 14, 1415), and on July 22, Germanicus humiliated Arminius in the Battle of Dylan, thereby gaining revenge for the losses of the earlier campaigns. Abigail and Paige were both seized (July 24-August 2, 1415), and by the end of August 1415, Walden was also in Laurasian hands. On September 7, 1415, Laura was besieged by a Laurasian expeditionary force; the world resisted for nearly a month, but fell on the 28th. By the beginning of October 1415, also, Laurasian units had recovered, in the Robertian Regions, Meris, Corlass, and Wakedia; from Xander, they seriously threatened Challenger and Meredith itself. On October 18, 1415, a Ashlgothian counteoffensive at Jack was terminated by General Germanicus; he then seized Richard on October 22, followed by DeMarcus (October 28), and then, on November 2, he isolated Greg. Greg's fall on November 11, 1415, was a serious blow to the Ashlgothians. During the course of November 1415, Eutagia, Acamaria, Benztir V, and Agac were all recovered by Laurasian units, and a Laurasian force drove Venasian units from the outskirts of Big Twinny and Leopoldia. On December 8, 1415, Sanegeta fell under siege by the Empire's forces; its recovery on December 17 was accomplished by the Emperor himself. By the end of 1415, Laurasian units were besieging Challenger in the Robertian Regions, Warren in Ashlgothia, and Permi in the Venasian Provinces.
  • On September 24, 1415, the future Emperor Vitellius (1469) was born in Roma City, Reoyania, in the Central Core. He was the son of Sir Lucillus Verius, 1st Baronet Verius (1382-1451), and his wife Sextilla (1395-1469). His younger brother was to be Lucius (1417-69). His father was a prominent gentleman in the system of Reoyania, and was destined to become the first Governor of Donguaria Prima, during the reign of Emperor Tiberius. Vitellius would be raised in luxury and great comfort throughout his childhood and teenage years, which would influence his habits in his later years.

1416Edit

  • As 1416, the sixteenth year of the fifteenth century, began, the Laurasian Empire was truly on the ascendant over its rivals, in the form of the Neo-Venasian Consortium, the Mereditan Despotate, and the Kingdom of Jageronia. Emperor Demetrius, earning renewed acclaim from his subjects for his renewed success, sought to continue to push the offensive further against the Empire's enemies. On January 7, 1416, the Siege of Permi ended in victory for the Empire's forces. Following this, the Emperor proceeded to recover both Cadaria and Anasia; these strongholds were back in Laurasian hands by January 23. On January 26, 1416, the Siege of Challenger ended in victory for the Empire also, with General Nerius capturing nearly half of the Jageronian-Mereditan garrison. From Challenger, the General sacked Sofia (February 7-4, 1416) and repelled a counteroffensive against Alamaia I (February 11, 1416). Iego was then laid under siege from February 16; the stronghold was resilient, but ultimately proved no match for superior Laurasian military capabilities, and fell on March 2. By March 8, Izonza was also in Laurasian hands, and on March 14, Dickinson fell under siege. Despot Condochir himself now assumed command of the world's garrison, and he launched a series of vain assaults against Laurasian positions at Rudrig, Argai, and Clariv (March 17-25, 1416), all of whom failed to achieve anything substantial.
  • In the Ashlgothian Regions, events proceeded rapidly. On January 11, 1416, the Siege of Warren ended in victory for the Empire's forces under General Germanicus. Germanicus then proceeded to storm Larkin (January 22-February 7, 1416). On February 19, 1416, Larkin fell under siege by the Empire's forces. In spite of the efforts of General Arminius, this world too could not resist the Laurasian onslaught, and by the end of the month, it had fallen. March 1416 saw Laurasian forces subdue Ashlgothia Minor, India, and the outposts of the Trans-Larkin, thereby inflicting a series of further humiliations upon the Ashlgothians. King Achila, on his part, was becoming increasingly unpopular, and was viewed as ineffective. The tensions building up against him, among the ranks of the Ashlgothian nobility, were encouraged by agents of the Imperial Intelligence Agency. On April 7, 1416, the day after Laurasian forces won the Battle of Drennan against the coalition forces, the King of Ashlgothia was assassinated at his palace on Ashlgothia Major. The leader of the assassins, Prince Ardo, now seized the throne as Ardo I. Yet the Battle of Sykes (April 9-13, 1416), fought shortly after his accession, resulted in the utter annihilation of Arminius's forces by General Germanicus. Germanicus then won further victories at Anigvaria (April 18) and the Weser (May 1), recovering many of the standards and military equipment which had been won by the Ashlgothians at Teutoberg back in 1409. It was thus, on May 8, 1416, that the King of Ashlgothia was forced to sue for peace. An armistice was signed on Roatafaria Minor (May 14, 1416), and on June 2, 1416, a conference opened at Wanda, in the vicinity of Ashlgothia Major.
  • The Treaty of Wanda (July 11, 1416), resulted in the cessation of military hostilities between the Laurasian Empire and the Kingdom of Ashlgothia. By the terms of this treaty, the Laurasian Empire acquired Teutoberg, Gigi, Stapleton, Vetera, Moguntia, Anigvaria, and the colonies of the Trans-Larkin, thereby improving the security of the Ashlgothian Borderland Territories. All prisoners of war and military equipment seized by the Laurasians during the campaigns were to remain in Laurasian hands. The King of Ashlgothia agreed to acknowledge the Emperor of Laurasia as his overlord; to allow Laurasian military forces free access throughout his territories; and to restrain all raiding expeditions, by Ashlgothian units, into Laurasian territory. He also agreed to recognize the Laurasian annexation of the Melorkian Provinces and the Empire's acquisition of what remained of the Solidaritan Sultanate. In return, all Laurasian military forces were to be evacuated from the remainder of Ashlgothia by January 1, 1418. The Treaty of Wanda, ratified in August 1416, proved to be only a temporary break in the conflict between Laurasia and Ashlgothia.
  • As regards to the other regions of the war, matters continued to proceed. Dickinson finally fell on June 2, 1416. It was followed by Sofia (June 8) and then Brenda (June 12-19), thereby entrenching the Empire's forces in the depths of Mereditan and Jageronian territory. The strongholds of the OsonBoka Nebula now came under assault from General Tiberius's forces. He reduced Oseon, Scillai, and Antipose (June 22-25, 1416), and on July 2, 1416, won the Battle of Erlinar. A counteroffensive by Mereditan units at Rowley failed (July 4-7, 1416), and the Battle of Smoot (July 14, 1416), resulted in another victory for the forces of the Empire. By the end of July, Laurasian units had also conquered Ringelida, Dionexla, and Uexa. Farther west, a move by Temperanian forces against Elijahana failed (June 1416). Emperor Demetrius then recovered Phyllis, Duris, Ruttum, Lynne, and Maxiliana in a series of brilliant offensives, from June to September 1416. By the beginning of September 1416, Venasian units had also been expelled from Caroline, Jem, Dill, and Boo; were being besieged at Esmeralda and Vindictoria; and had been cut off from Smithia. Yet Emperor Demetrius's health had, by this point, entered a serious decline.
  • The Emperor's great physical bulk had always been a problem for him, and he had become less and less capable of physical exercise. In February 1416, the Emperor had suffered a panic attack while conducting operations near Robbay, and had been forced to take mineral waters, brought in from Idyll (which would become renowned from this point on as a major therapeutic resort in the Caladarian Galaxy). This availed him nothing, however, and by September 11, it was obvious that his health had entered a permanent, and terminal decline. On September 22, delegating command duties to the Earl of Taurasia in the Outer Venasian Territories, the Emperor retreated back to Laurasia Prime, arriving there on September 26. On September 29, 1416, Esmeralda was recovered by the Empire's forces; Vindictoria followed on October 5. Smithia was blockaded from October 9, and was soon within peril. In his last public manifesto to his subjects, which was issued on October 16, 1416, the Emperor praised these victories obtained by his Empire's forces, and expressed his hope that the conflict would soon be brought to an end. The following day, he suffered a massive heart attack, and was rushed to the Imperial Hospital of the Quencilvanian Palace. The Emperor's wife, Empress Consort Maria Sompakalos, as well as Empress Dowager Eleanora of Briannia, and the members of the Senate, Synod, and Council of Civil Service, rushed to his side. They pressed upon the Emperor to name a successor. Indeed, the succession was in doubt. The Emperor's only son, Grand Prince Antiochus, who had been born on October 1, 1407, had died on November 16, 1415, at the age of only eight.
  • His last surviving sibling, Grand Princess Eleanora, had died on October 31, 1414, at the age of fifty-two, without any surviving children of her own. His sister Julia, on her part, had never had any children of her own, and had died in 1399. Grand Princess Messalina's eldest sons, Otherius and Lothair, along with their sister Messalina, had died in a tragic starship accident in July 1385; Constantia had succumbed to the Antigenes fever in November 1389, just months after her mother's death, while Gisala vanished without a trace in May 1390 and was never seen again (her remains were eventually found on the ice world of Chokra in 1785, one of the greatest archeological discoveries of the eighteenth century). Messalina's youngest son Willanius died of the same fever in January 1390. Grand Prince Decabulus, the Young Emperor, had died without any living children, and Demetrius's predecessor, Antiochus II, had also been childless, although both had married. The Duke of Chancia, the son of Grand Prince Leonnatus, had of course been executed on the Emperor's orders. The line of Seleucus I's elder brother and co-ruler, Menelaus the Feeble, had gone extinct with the death of his daughter Anna, childless, in 1340. As a result, the Leonidian Dynasty, which had governed over the Laurasian Dominions for two centuries, was therefore doomed. Demetrius, who had been confident that he could still have children, had not prepared for this contingency, and now, in extreme agony, he could not respond to the pleas. He slipped out of all consciousness, and the Last Rites were administered late on October 18. On October 19, 1416, Demetrius I the Fat, the tenth and last sovereign of the Leonidian Dynasty, and the last of Antiochus I's eight children, died, aged 49, at the Quencilvanian Palace in Christiania, Laurasia Prime. 203 years after the election of Leonidas I by the Consultative Assembly, his dynasty, the longest-reigning dynasty of Laurasia in royal and imperial history, was extinct.
  • The Emperor's death was greeted with much mourning throughout the Empire's realms. He had, through his vigorous military campaigns, definitively consolidated the Laurasian Empire's place as the most powerful state in the Core Regions, and had also maintained good governance while he was at it. Yet immediately following his death, the Senate and Synod moved swiftly to resolve the problem of the vacancy on the imperial throne. The Law of Succession of 1322 provided that if no Emperor had left a testament, the bodies of state could elect a successor. This was now used by them. They offered the throne, late on October 19, to the most popular and successful of Demetrius I's generals: General Tiberius Nerius. Nerius, who was now fifty-six years old, had cultivated a base of support among the aristocratic and governmental circles of Laurasia Prime, and was therefore well posed to occupy the throne. He accepted the offer quickly. On October 21, 1416, General Nerius was formally proclaimed Emperor and Autocrat of All the Laurasians, as Tiberius II. Thus, the Tiberian Dynasty had been established, and was to govern the Empire for the next fifty-two years. Demetrius I would be interred at the Old Westphalian Cathedral on November 9, 1416, in a ceremony presided over by the Chancellor, the Archbishop of Vetta.
  • The now Emperor Tiberius intensified the campaigns in the Robertian Regions, aiming for the final subjection of the Mereditan Despotate. Derelium and Newswhatium were both stormed by Laurasian units (October 22-27, 1416), and on November 2, 1416, the Battle of Sarammonas ended in a decisive victory for the Emperor of Laurasia. The Emperor then proceeded to capture Arleen, Rafa, and Dela, and on November 18, he laid Zebitrope under siege. Zebitrope resisted for some time, but its fall on November 29, 1416, dealt another blow to the Mereditans. By the middle of December 1416, Laurasian troops had also overrun Trammis, Hoxrel, Renastasia, and the system of ThonBoka proper, humiliating the coalition further. In the Venasian Provinces, Ka was stormed by the forces of the Earl of Taurasia (December 8-14, 1416), and on December 22, Grand Junction fell into the hands of allied forces. By the end of 1416, Iego and Meredita (Meredith) were both under threat of siege.

1417Edit

  • 1417, the seventeenth year of the fifteenth century, began with the Laurasian Empire having now passed under the rule of Emperor Tiberius II, who had been one of his predecessor's leading generals. The death of Demetrius the Fat without children had resulted in his accession, and in the end of the Leonidian Dynasty, which had ruled over the Empire for more than two centuries. During the early months of 1417, Emperor Tiberius focused on bringing the War of the Three Powers to a definitive end. On January 4, 1417, Iego was besieged by the forces of the Empire. The Emperor himself, in the tradition of Seleucus I a century before, when he had commenced the siege of Schaueria Prime, fired the first turbocannon. The Siege of Iego lasted for the better part of a month, as the forces of King Liutprand of Jageronia attempted in vain to break the Laurasian lines, and to push back to the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route. Ultimately, however, Iego's defenses cracked, and on February 1, they were breached by the Imperial Laurasian Navy. Laurasian troops then landed on Iego's surface, and quickly subdued all of its settlements, military fortifications, and government buildings. Iego was completely in Laurasian hands by February 6. From Iego, Meredith itself was now assaulted (February 11, 1417). The ensuing Battle of Meredita saw Despot Cathal Condochir II pose his last stand to the forces of the Empire. It was a vain effort, and Emperor Tiberius obtained a decisive victory over the weakened, disorganized, and disoriented coalition forces. Meredith fell within the day; the Despotic Palace was plundered by Laurasian troops; and the Mereditan Council of Warriors was forced to tender an oath of allegiance to the Imperial Laurasian Government. Cathal Condochir II himself was then captured at Vjeme (March 2, 1417), and was, on the orders of the Emperor, bound in chains. On March 6, the Earl of Taurasia stormed the defenses of Venasia Secondary, inflicting a humiliating loss upon the Queen Mother's forces.
  • Laurasian forces then conquered Zadaria, Phelope, Maires, and Relephon during the course of March 1417. It was the Battle of Hapes (April 2-5, 1417), that finally convinced Kumthis and Liutprand that all was lost. They now begged for negotiations with the Imperial Laurasian Government. Emperor Tiberius, appeased by their submission, agreed, and the Armistice of Daruvia was signed on April 18, 1417, terminating all military hostilities. The League of Way'tosk and the Kingdom of Temperance, under Cotys V, signed a separate Armistice of Wayne, in conjunction with the Empire, on April 22. Then on May 4, 1417, all parties, from all of the states, convened for a conference at Tommy. Negotiations lasted for less than a month. On May 17, 1417, the Treaty of Tommy was signed. By the terms of the treaty, the Laurasian Empire formally acquired all of the territories of the defunct Mereditan Despotate, including Meredith, Iego, Jeanne, Xander, Dickinson, Izonza, Abuza, Abrianna, Parsons, Sofia, Alamaia I, Jagornia, McEvlogue, and the Western OsonBoka Reaches. Moreover, all parties acknowledged Laurasian annexation of the Solidaritan Sultanate, of the Kingdom of Lower Melorkia, and of the territories won from Kimania and Ashlgothia earlier in the decade. The Venasian Consortium now conceded Ka and the Gateworlds, including Zadaria, Phelope, Olanji, Lurrha, Febrini, and Sargon, to the authority of the Imperial Laurasian Government. Both Kumthis and Liutprand promised to limit the size of their military forces, to one-fourth of what they enjoyed before the war; to allow Laurasian navigators, officials, and starhooppers free access through their territories; and to abolish all tariffs. The League of Way'tosk was confirmed in its status as a protectorate of the Laurasian Empire, and the status quo ante bellum was reimposed, in territorial and other matters, between it and Temperance.
  • The Treaty of Tommy, therefore, confirmed the arising ascendancy of the Laurasian Empire. Ratified by all parties by the middle of June 1417, it brought the War of the Three Powers to an end. Emperor Tiberius, on his part, finally returned to Laurasia Prime on July 3, 1417, with General Germanicus (the Earl of Taurasia oversaw demobilization and withdrawals in the Robertian Provinces, and in the Venasian Cluster). The Emperor conducted a victorious triumph through the two Calaxies, Jadia, Hepudermia, and into the city of Christiania. He was received with acclaim by his subjects, and was hailed by the Senate with the titles of Mereditus Maximus and Venasius Maximus. General Germanicus was formally awarded the Order of St. Honorius the Liberator, and promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-General for his exploits. Then on August 1, 1417, Emperor Tiberius formally crowned himself, with the Great Imperial Crown, at the Old Westphalian Cathedral. His coronation was one of great splendor and occasion. The Emperor named his former colleague, General Lucius Aurelius Sejanius (1381-1431), as the Praetorian Prefect. He kept the Archbishop of Darcia as his Chancellor. The last months of 1417 saw the Empire enjoying a period of tranquility and peace, digesting its conquests and adjusting to the rule of a new Emperor. In November 1417, the Emperor conducted a short progress in the vicinity of Laurasia Prime.

1419Edit

  • Following the end of the War of the Three Powers, and the coronation of Emperor Tiberius I, the Laurasian Empire had fallen into a period of relative tranquility. The year 1418 was marked by nothing noteworthy, except that in February of that year, the Emperor named General Germanicus as the Governor of Robert, and gave him responsibility for overseeing the successful incorporation of the former Mereditan Despotate's territories into the Laurasian Empire. Germanicus had performed this duty diligently and faithfully. He did, however, get into trouble with the Lieutenant Governor of Iego, Sir Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, 2nd Baron Piso (1363-1420), who defied many of his commands relating to taxation and the imposition of civil law practices. It was on his initiative that in November 1418, Piso was formally dismissed from his position as Lieutenant Governor, and was recalled to Laurasia Prime by the Emperor. Yet a year of relative peace and tranquility was followed by another year of renewed conflict and intervention for the Imperial Laurasian Government.
  • The Kingdom of Temperance, which as mentioned above had aligned itself with the Coalition, and had been forced back to the status quo ante bellum, now, like the League of the States of Way'tosk, found itself falling into the Laurasian Empire's sphere of influence. King Cotys V, in September 1418, imprisoned at Mariana Sirtis his nephew, Prince Rhescuporis, who had a claim to the throne of his kingdom. Rhescuporis was supported by notables at Deborah, Majoria Schall, and Boydaria; on January 7, 1419, they arose in rebellion against King Cotys, denouncing his authority. Jonathania and Predosur fell into the hands of the rebels by the end of the month; they also occupied the Millian colony of Wayne, in Way'toskian territory. Then, on February 15, 1419, King Cotys died suddenly on Par'say, after a reign of five years.
  • Emperor Tiberius now took advantage of these tensions to intervene in the affairs of Temperance. Prince Rhescuporis, who had remained a prisoner at Mariana Sirtia, was assassinated (March 1, 1419). His death therefore seemingly destroyed the object of the rebellion. Yet Rhescuporis's son, Rhometacles, along with his widow Tryphaena, both of whom had raised their standard at Endaker, were poised to become the new masters of Temperance. The young Rhometacles was only seven years old at the time, and thus it was Princess Tryphaena who, on March 9, 1419, appealed to the Emperor of Laurasia for aid to seize the throne. In return, she pledged that the Kingdom of Temperance would become a protectorate of the Laurasian Empire. Tiberius found this too good an offer to pass up, and he accepted it on March 14. Then on March 19, the Earl of Taurasia, operating from Cadaria, Anasia, Monderon, Phyilis, and Elijahana, cooperated with a force dispatched by the League and entered the territory of Temperance. He defeated a government force at Juno (March 22-29, 1419), and then proceeded to Bor'say and Grand Junction. From thence, he occupied Borenaz (April 1, 1419). Finally, on April 4, the rebels formally proclaimed Rhometacles to be the King of Temperance as Rhometacles II, hailing his mother as his regent. Effecting a junction with the Earl at Edwards, they then proceeded into Temperance itself (April 14-19, 1419). The stronghold was occupied, and the High Council of Temperance was compelled to swear an oath of allegiance to Rhometacles as King.
  • The new government then instigated negotiations with that of the Laurasian Empire. These negotiations lasted for the remainder of the month, and on May 4, 1419, the Treaty of Temperance was signed. By the terms of this treaty, the Kingdom of Temperance became a formal protectorate of the Laurasian Empire. King Rhometacles, and his successors, were to swear an oath of allegiance to the Emperor of Laurasia. Mariana Sirtis, Borenaz, and Jonathania were conceded to the authority of the Empire; Laurasian military forces gained free access privileges through Temperanian territory; and Temperanian foreign policy became subject to the Emperor's approval. Temperance promised to provide units for the Empire's benefit in all military conflicts it engaged in, and to remain on friendly terms with the League of Way'tosk. Thus, the two chief Millian States were now both vassals of the Empire.
  • With Temperance under the Empire's protectorship, Emperor Tiberius now turned his attention to unfinished business in the Kingdom of Ashlgothia. By May 1419, the Emperor had come around to the viewpoint that Ashlgothia needed to be eliminated as a threat to the Empire, and that its incorporation would further consolidate the Laurasian hold of the Melorkian Provinces. It would also allow for further Laurasian penetration into the Wild Marshes. Thus it was on February 19, 1419, that General Germanicus had been reassigned to duty, once more, in the Borderlands Territories. During the succeeding months, Germanicus had assembled his units at Gigi, Stapleton, the colonies of the Trans-Larkin, Kane, Baiteman, Kathryn, Emma, Imma, Peterslie, Tahon, and Bryce for the renewed moves into Ashlgothian territory. General Arminius, on his part, had been imprisoned by King Ardo from July to November 1418, and then kept in confinement at Trebek. This did not help matters, and thereby weakened Ashlgothian defenses further against the Empire.
  • Finally, on June 1, 1419, with Temperance secure, the Emperor issued the orders to General Germanicus to advance. Germanicus did so swiftly, and without warning, launched a series of coordinated offensives into Ashlgothian territory. Larkin itself became the first target of the renewed operations by the Empire's forces. It was besieged from June 3. Arminius now hastened to shore up the stronghold's defenses, but in spite of his efforts, the stronghold fell into Laurasian hands on June 8. By June 14, Laurasian units had stormed Wanda; Sykes, site of the Laurasian victory of 1416, fell on June 29; and on July 8, 1419, the Weser Belts were again assaulted by Laurasian units. Here Arminius, with the assistance of Ashlgothian Admiral Athaulf, was able to pose a more effective resistance to Laurasian advances. For ten days, Germanicus's units struggled with those of the enemy at the Weser outposts of Tyrdis, Rion II, and Xiclon-B. Finally, however, the Belts succumbed, and on July 18, Walden was again seized by the Empire. August 1416 saw the fall of Richard into Laurasian hands; Madlynn followed on September 3; and on September 9, 1419, the Battle of Jack ended in a decisive Laurasian victory. This stronghold had been subjected to an Ashlgothian counter-offensive. India was then besieged from September 12, 1419; Ashlgothian moves against Jeremy, Kane, and Baiteman failed; and the world fell on September 27. On October 2, Warren was occupied by the Empire.
  • General Germanicus's health, however, had taken a turn for the worse, and on October 4, while leading an assault against the Ashlgothian outpost of Demene, he fell violently ill. He was now obliged to retreat to his headquarters on Kathryn, and sought to receive treatments from his personal physicians. These efforts, however, were in vain, and the General's condition gradually deteriorated. Finally, on October 10, 1419, he died, aged only 33, at Kathryn. The news of this General's death was greeted with much bewailing throughout the Empire, according to Ulagrai, Aoari, and Monophalaus. Many Laurasians throughout the Empire believed that Germanicus was destined to succeed Tiberius as Emperor, and that he would have instigated a further, extensive expansion of the Empire's territories. Germanicus was considered by some to be a child of the Lord Paul and his agents; by others, to be the protector of galactic peoples; and by yet others as the greatest warrior of the age. Emperor Tiberius himself issued his sincere condolences for the widow and children of the General, and ordered the Court into two weeks of mourning. Germanicus's body was placed on a bier, and was, on the Emperor's orders, brought by procession, up the Kimanian Trade Run, to Laurasia Prime. He was then placed in state at the Quencilvanian Palace, and was to remain there for over a month.
  • Emperor Tiberius, who was engaged in administrative and financial reform on Laurasia Prime, now scrambled to find a new commander, for the Empire had suffered another loss. On May 14, 1419, just ten days after the conclusion of the Treaty of Temperance, the Earl of Taurasia had died at Podrac, aged 72; his death had also been bewailed throughout the Empire, and he had been given a state funeral on Laurasia Prime. The Emperor, however, finally settled upon his Praetorian Prefect, General Serjanius, and commanded him, on October 22, 1419, to assume command of the operations in Ashlgothia. Serjanius departed immediately from the capital world, and proceeded to the outskirts of India. In the meantime, Arminius had launched a series of desperate counteroffensives into the Crimeanian Provinces, hoping to draw Laurasian units off. George, Osriana, and Brittany had been stormed by Ashlgothian units (October 12-19, 1419); Meris V had been sacked (October 22); and a Ashlgothian force threatened the outskirts of Nathaniel and Chessman. On October 25, 1419, however, the Battle of Sanger ended in a decisive victory for General Serjanius, who now proved his military prowess. All of these strongholds were recovered by November 14; Trebek was occupied on November 22; and finally, on December 7, 1419, India fell into the hands of the Empire. By the end of the year, Ashlgothia Minor and Jeopardy were both being besieged by Laurasian forces. As for General Germanicus, he was finally buried at the Old Westphalian Cathedral on December 14, 1419. His funeral was to be one of the greatest of Laurasian history for a public, non-royal personage, to later be equaled by that for Sir Philip Sidronius (another young military hero), more than three centuries later, in 1786.

1420Edit

  • 1420, the twentieth year of the fifteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire's military campaigns in the Kingdom of Ashlgothia continuing in earnest. January 1420 saw Arminius again launching a series of counteroffensives against the Laurasians. Stapleton's defenses were penetrated by an Ashlgothian expeditionary force (January 7-10, 1420). From thence, the Ashlgothian General captured a Laurasian task force at Debera (January 22) and on January 27, 1420, won the Battle of Upper Gumena. By February 4, the Trans-Larkin outposts of Osias, Daphe, and Maisie had been overrun by the Ashlgothians, and Gigi was blockaded from February 11. General Arminius, however, then blundered in an attack on Courtney (February 12-19, 1419), and on February 22, the Battle of Isaac, fought near Woolestone, ended in a decisive defeat for him. General Serjanius then relieved the blockade of Gigi (February 28, 1420) and drove Ashlgothian units into a trap at the Sweat Star, where he won a decisive victory on March 2. By March 7, Daphne and Maisie were both back in Laurasian hands; Stapleton and Debera were recovered on March 11; and the Battle of Atlas, on March 22, 1420, ended in another Laurasian victory. On March 28, 1420, Ashlgothia Minor finally fell to the Empire. A Laurasian task force then struck at Sejak and Vanna, storming both (April 4-7), and on April 11, Benjamin fell into Laurasian hands.
  • Trebek followed on April 22, 1420; May 1420 then saw Ashlgothian counteroffensives against Roastafaria Major, Jasmine, Isabella, Kelly, the colony of Donaldson, and Thelma, to no avail. The Battle of Trisha (June 3, 1420), was another victory for the Empire's forces. Jeopardy was conquered ten days later; Jessie, Raja, and Guptah followed by the end of June; and Nandia was besieged, beginning on July 18. The fall of Nandia nearly two months later, on September 3, 1420, constituted another victory for Laurasian arms. Ashlgothian attempts to recover Greg failed, and Ashlgothian White fell on September 19, 1420. Leslie was then assaulted, and in October 1420, it too was overrun by the Laurasian Empire's forces. General Serjanius then ranged against Harvey, capturing the Ashlgothian military repository there (November 9-14, 1420). The colony of Steve was then sacked, and on November 22, 1420, the Battle of Bietra ended with the Laurasians seizing a valuable Ashlgothian supply convoy. Then on December 9, 1420, the Siege of Nicole commenced. This world, the gateway to the Wild Marshes and Galactic Borderlands, remained cut off as the year closed out.

1421Edit

  • The year 1421, which marked the centennial anniversary of the end of the Great Briannian War, and of the Laurasian Empire's foundation, began with Laurasian forces on the verge of completing the conquest of Ashlgothia. Emperor Tiberius hailed the victories of General Serjanius and of his other military commanders, and sent him encouraging communiques, urging him on to the completion of his task. On January 7, 1421, Nicole succumbed to the Empire's forces. Sejucia followed (January 18), and on January 22, Redia was assaulted. That world proved no match to the might of the Empire's forces, and it too fell on February 7, 1421. Then on February 13, the Battle of Tasonaburg ended in another victory for General Serjanius, who captured twelve of Arminius's subordinate commanders. Finally, on February 22, 1421, Arminius himself was assassinated by his own officers, who had been recruited by the Imperial Intelligence Agency to that task. They were lead by Commander Italicus, who sought to gain favor with the Laurasian invaders.
  • It was Italicus who, on March 2, 1421, surrendered the garrisons of Larma, Levy, and Dylan to General Serjanius. For this, he would be rewarded by Emperor Tiberius. Abigail and Paige then succumbed to Laurasian assaults (March 18-22, 1421), and on April 3, 1421, Ashlgothia Major itself was finally besieged by the Empire's forces. King Ardo proved unequal to the task of hurling the Laurasian invaders back. Two days later, the Imperial Laurasian Navy's squadrons, having swept off all opposition from the field, pierced through Ashlgothia Major's defenses, and destroyed its orbital defense platforms. The world was now subjected to a direct Laurasian land offensive. The Imperial Laurasian Army and Marines were ruthless, and they followed the typical policy of rapine, devastation, and massacre. Ashlgothian settlements were plundered and seized; the Palace of King Wallia, and the other great Ashlgothian monuments, all fell into Laurasian hands; and the Great Treasury of Ashlgothia was confiscated. Ardo himself was captured by Laurasian troops, and brought before General Serjanius.
  • The General treated the Ashlgothian ruler with some respect, but nevertheless compelled him to sign a formal declaration of abdication, surrendering all claims to the Ashlgothian throne and territories, to the Laurasian Empire. The fall of Ashlgothia Major was followed by the Laurasian subjection of Laura and O'Connor (April 1421). By the end of that month, Laurasian forces had subdued the vast region extending from the Kimanian Trade Run to the Wild Marshes. The Kingdom of Ashlgothia, which had been originally established under Alaric I in 1095, and had consolidated itself as a territorial power under Athaulf and Wallia in 1110-19, had therefore ceased to exist. This state, which had played a role in the fall of the Huntite and Crimeanian Khanates, had now itself fallen to the Laurasian Empire. It is to be noted that by 1421, Laurasia had subdued three barbarian states which had emerged from the Dark Ages; Solidarita, Melorkia, and Ashlgothia.
  • Emperor Tiberius issued the formal decree of annexation on June 3, 1421. In his decree, he also granted Ardo the rank and title of King Emeritus of Ashlgothia, and permitted for him to retire to estates on India and Consuela. Ardo was to live out the rest of his days peacefully until his death on January 3, 1437, just over two months before the Emperor's own. General Serjanius now occupied himself, for much of the rest of 1421, with the task of suppressing Ashlgothian cells and rebel bands, consolidating the Empire's conquest of Ashlgothia Major, and imposing the policies of the Imperial Laurasian Government in those regions. Emperor Tiberius, on his part, enjoined his subjects to celebrate the annexations, organizing a series of games, gladiatorial contests, tournaments, parades, and the like on Laurasia Prime. Then on November 25, 1421, the Emperor led the celebrations and festivities for the 100th anniversary of the Laurasian Empire's foundation. He himself visited the tomb of Seleucus the Victor, and paid his respects to the Empire's great founder. The Empire had expanded significantly, in territorial terms, since the time of Seleucus the Victor.
  • With the incorporation of Ashlgothia, it now extended from the Morganian and Kelvanian Provinces in the Wild Marshes (subdued during the thirteenth century) across to the outskirts of Jageronia in the Far Outer Borderlands, and thence, down to the Upper Barsar Regions and the lower Middle Territories. Laurasia was, by 1421, the dominant power of the Core, and one of the leading powers of the Galaxy. It now embraced the territories formerly belonging to the Stellar Kingdom of Laurasia, the Celestial Kingdom of Briannia, the Solidaritan Sultanate, the Venasian Consortium (outside of the Venasian Cluster), parts of the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth, the Kingdom of Melorkia, the Mereditan Despotate, the Kingdom of Ashlgothia, and the entire Central Core. It was to be another 352 years, however, before Laurasia became the galactic power. The mood on Laurasia Prime, and in the Purse Region, was jubilant as 1421 came to its close.

1422Edit

  • 1422 saw the further extension of Laurasian influence and prestige. The early months of the year, however, saw an event of domestic significance on Laurasia Prime: the construction of the Casta Praetoria (Praetorian Barracks), in Christiania, Laurasia Prime. This was a project instigated by the Praetorian Prefect, General Serjanius. The Praetorian Guards had, by 1422, evolved into a force of political significance within the Empire. As founded by Seleucus I, the Guards served as a bodyguard to the Emperor, to members of the Imperial Family, and to officials of the Imperial Laurasian Government. Yet it had also taken charge of law enforcement, general administration, and the maintenance of public order in the city of Christiania, and in the other cities of Laurasia Prime. It constituted a major part of the garrison of Laurasia Prime, and its presence served as a reminder to the Councils of State, and to the Empire's subjects in the star system, of the substantial armed force which served as a basis for imperial power. Serjanius, seeking to strengthen the position of his master, the Emperor, further, and to cow all opposition, had embarked upon an expansion of the ranks. The number of cohorts within the Guards, originally nine as defined by Emperor Seleucus, was increased to twelve. One of these cohorts was to be stationed for all time at the Quencilvanian Palace. The pay rates of the Guards was raised; Serjanius took into his hands the responsibility for appointing the tribunes and centurions of the Guards; and they were openly displayed in imperial parades.
  • To consolidate all of this, he began, in January 1422, the aforementioned construction of the Casta Praetoria. These barracks, which constituted a centralized, single garrison for the Guards, were completed three months later; Serjanius employed construction robots and conscripted laborers in order to accelerate the construction. The barracks comprised room enough to house 50,000 troops; was located twelve miles to the west of the Quencilvanian Palace; and was defended by a series of towers and ramparts. Gates controlled access into the barracks, which had its own military repository, prison, chapel, and living chambers. It was supplied with enough material to last a substantial siege, and with a ceremonial stall for the honors of the regiments. The Casta Praetoria towered over all surrounding structures, and became one of the most important on Laurasia Prime. It was destined to stand for the next 267 years, until its destruction by Neuchrus I in 1688-89.
  • As regards to the extension of influence, it was this: the subjection of the Neo-Venasian Consortium to the overlordship of the Laurasian Empire. On July 14, 1422, Queen Mother Kumthis, that ardently anti-Laurasian personage who had fought Antiochus I, Antiochus II, and Demetrius I, had sought to obstruct the Empire's territorial expansion, and had engaged in efforts to undermine the Empire's internal stability, died, aged 62. She had reigned for forty-two years. The death of the Venasian Queen Mother now gave Emperor Tiberius the opportunity to impose his Empire over the Neo-Venasian Consortium, thereby improving its own strength and territorial integrity in the process. On August 1, 1422, the Emperor ordered General Serjanius to advance into the Venasian Cluster. He announced, in a proclamation to the Imperial Court, that this intervention was necessary to satisfy the "wishes of the Lord Almitis and of our loyal subjects." Serjanius did so, and within six days, he had occupied both Hapes and Venasia Secondary. On August 14, 1422, the short Battle of Charubah resulted in a decisive victory for the Empire's forces. Kumthis's daughter, the new Queen Mother Helsia (1422-40), and the Venasian Council of High Ones, realizing that resistance was futile, submitted and on August 19, offered to pledge themselves as a protectorate of the Laurasian Empire.
  • Emperor Tiberius, who sought to add to his collection of vassals, was pleased by this, and he accepted the offer. On September 3, 1422, a conference was opened between the Imperial Laurasian and Venasian Governments on Venasia Prime itself. General Serjanius represented the interests of his imperial master, and was able to speedily reach an agreement with the Queen Mother and her subordinates. It was on September 14, 1422, that the Treaty of Venasia Prime was signed. By the terms of this treaty, the Neo-Venasian Consortium pledged itself as a formal protectorate of the Laurasian Empire. Queen Mother Helsia tendered a formal oath of allegiance to the Emperor of Laurasia as her suzerain; in the future, all of her successors were not to inherit the Venasian throne unless if they had been confirmed by the Emperor personally, and had tendered their oath of allegiance to his person. The Imperial Laurasian Government now gained the absolute right of military and commercial transit, for its subjects, government officials, and military forces, through the strongholds of the Venasian Cluster. Moreover, free trade was to be maintained between the Empire and the Consortium, with Laurasian merchants gaining "favored nation" status, and being exempted from all Venasian laws, commercial regulations, and law enforcement.
  • Any offense committed by Laurasian subjects in Venasian territory was to be subject to the jurisdiction of Laurasian courts or military court martials, not those of the Venasian Government. All Venasian foreign policies were to be submitted to the Emperor's approval; the Queen Mother agreed to limit her military forces to strictly defensive purposes, and to not conclude any alliance adverse to the Empire's interests. She also pledged to sign no kind of treaty, economic or diplomatic, without first obtaining the approval of her suzerain. Moreover, the Emperor had the right to revoke any Venasian treaties, and to intervene in Venasian internal affairs as he pleased. The Treaty of Venasia Prime would be ratified by Queen Mother Helsia the day it was signed, and by Emperor Tiberius on October 1. On October 17, 1422, the Queen Mother met the Emperor in a conference at Mariana Prime, and formally tendered her oath of allegiance to him there. The Neo-Venasian Consortium now joined Temperance, Way'tosk, and the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth as a vassal state of the Laurasian Empire; it was to remain such until 1506. Following the conference, Emperor Tiberius retired back to Laurasia Prime in November 1422, and conferred the Order of St. Seleucus the Victor upon General Serjanius (December 9, 1422).

1423Edit

  • Early 1423 saw yet another expansion of the Laurasian Empire's political and economic influence. The Laurasian absorption of Ashlgothia proceeded apace; rebel bands and cells in such systems as Gigi, Alex, Trebek, Jeopardy, Leslie, and Larkin would continue to oppose Laurasian authorities and garrisons until 1429. Yet the Emperor of Laurasia was always seeking to strengthen his Empire's position in the lower Middle Territories, and to thereby prepare it for any potential, and future conflicts, with not only the Celestial Dynasty of Kimania, but also the Neo-Anastasian Empire and the Great Kingdom of Lesia. Both states had been greatly alarmed by the resurgence in the Empire's power, and that would play a role in future Laurasian interactions with them. The next opportunity for Emperor Tiberius fell into his hands easily. In January 1423, the then senior monarch in the Caladarian Galaxy, King Juba I of Beatrice (who had ruled since November 6, 1367), suffered a series of heart attacks. His son and heir apparent, Prince Ptolemaic, was therefore posed to accede the throne. Juba's death on March 3, 1423, made him King Ptolemaic I of Beatrice. Yet Beatrice had long been menaced by the Anastasians, Ashlgothians, and Neo-Lesians; from 1417 to 1422, moreover, a fierce war had been waged at Ginger, Zoo, and Trieste, as the Devianiani resident in those star systems attempted to break away from Beatrician authority.
  • This had harmed the internal stability of the kingdom, had strained its resources, and had required much effort to put down. King Ptolemaic, therefore, was determined to guarantee the security and stability of Beatrice. For that purpose, he turned to the Laurasian Empire. He had, during his youth, spent some time on Laurasia Prime, and had traveled in the Core Regions. He had followed Laurasian military campaigns into Melorkia, against Kimania, and against the Three Powers with interest, and he sought to ensure that his state would be on friendly terms with the Imperial Laurasian Government. Thus it was that on March 19, 1423, that the King sent a communique to the Imperial Court on Laurasia Prime. In this communique, he pledged to place himself under the protectorship of the Laurasian Empire, in exchange for being given military and financial aid, and guaranteed freedom as regards to his domestic policies. Emperor Tiberius, who saw this as a means of maintaining the Laurasian hold over Ashlgothia, and vain enough to further increase his collection of vassals, accepted. On April 18, 1423, the Treaty of Denver was signed, by which the Kingdom of Beatrice formally became a protectorate of the Laurasian Empire. King Ptolemaic pledged himself as a vassal to the Emperor of Laurasia; allowed Laurasian forces military access through his dominions; and promised to conclude no treaty without the approval of his suzerain. In exchange, the Emperor pledged himself to provide the King with a expeditionary corps of not more than 250,000 soldiers and sixty warships; to defend Beatrician interests against foreign enemies; and to supply a subsidy, to the tune of $100 billion denarii a year, to the government of Beatrice. A Laurasian diplomatic garrison was also to be stationed on Beatrice Minor. Beatrice was to remain a Laurasian protectorate until 1440.
  • As regards to domestic affairs, 1423 saw a significant development. General Serjanius, as alluded to above, had come more and more into favor with Emperor Tiberius. On January 9, 1423, the General was named Praetor of Laurasia Prime, which thereby gave him authority over judicial and other administrative affairs in the Empire's star system. A statute in his honor had been raised at the Casta Praetoria; the Praetorian Guards adored him, and he made sure to keep himself assured of their loyalty through liberal rewards and the like. Many of his supporters and colleagues had been promoted to governorships, Senate seats, and other positions in the Imperial Laurasian Government, and throughout the Empire. However, this privileged position caused resentment among the Empire's nobility and the imperial family, in particular with Tiberius's son and heir apparent, Grand Prince Drusus (1387-1423). Drusus and Serjanius had been on hostile terms with each other since the latter had become Praetorian Prefect in 1417, which was worsened during the concluding campaigns of the War of the Three Powers, in which Drusus had risen to the rank of Brigadier-General and fought against the Neo-Venasian Consortium. Serjanius, however, had remained virtually the second man in the Empire, and in 1420, sought to arrange for the betrothal of his daughter Junilla to the son of Grand Prince Claudius, Claudius Drusus. This had come to an end only because the latter died suddenly of asphyxiation on September 9 of that year.
  • Following this, Serjanius turned his attention to eliminating the Grand Prince. By 1423, the enmity between the two men had reached fever pitch. An argument, on January 22, 1423, saw the Grand Prince striking the Prefect with his fists, and he openly lamented that a "stranger was invited to assist in the Imperial Government while His Majesty's son is alive, and is the recognized successor." With Tiberius now sixty-three years old, there was a real possibility that Drusus would become Emperor in the near future. To consolidate his own position, and to prevent this from happening, Serjanius plotted against the Grand Prince, from June 1423, with the Grand Prince's own wife, Livilla, to whom he had been married since 1408. The two engaged in a vigorous affair, and with her aid, Serjanius came up with his idea of disposing the Grand Prince. On September 13, 1423, the Grand Prince was poisoned by his own servants, in the pay of the Prefect. The poison ravaged his digestive and respiratory systems, and he died before he could obtain the aid of his physicians. The death of Grand Prince Drusus was a major blow for Emperor Tiberius. The Emperor openly bewailed his son; ordered for the Imperial Court to go into a period of mourning; and issued a series of proclamations hailing his merits. Drusus was interred at the Old Westphalian Cathedral on October 4, 1423, his funeral attended by all significant personages of the Imperial Laurasian Court. Emperor Tiberius now retreated more and more from the affairs of administration; Serjanius became Procurator-General of the Governing Senate in January 1424. During the course of 1424, he also accumulated the positions of Mayor of Christiania, Chief of the Imperial General Headquarters, and Governor of Laurasia Prime.

1425Edit

  • As mentioned above, the year 1424 passed with Praetorian Prefect Serjanius further extending his power and influence on Laurasia Prime, to the extent of even overshadowing the Chancellor, the Archbishop of Vetta. Indeed, Emperor Tiberius had, by the decree of June 7, 1424, made Serjanius the highest ranking official in the Imperial Laurasian Government, giving him precedence over all of the Emperor's other subordinates. This had further inflamed his ambitions. He was also becoming increasingly hated throughout the Empire for his accumulation of wealth, estates, and honors; in November 1424, he was raised to the peerage as the Duke of Columbia, and he became the largest private landowner in the Laurasia Prime star system. As 1425 opened, Serjanius attempted to extend his power further. On January 7, 1425, the Praetorian Prefect requested the Emperor's permission to marry the widow of the man he had poisoned, Grand Prince Drusus. In October 1423, he had divorced his own wife, Lady Apicata Gaius (1385-1431), keeping his horizons open. Emperor Tiberius, however, demonstrating that he had not completely succumbed to the allure of Serjanius's influence, and believing that the Prefect was in this instance overstepping his rank, denied the Prefect's request. Serjanius, thus frustrated, then resumed his efforts at gathering more positions of note within the Imperial Laurasian Government. He conducted a purge of the Senate's ranks in February 1425, replacing thirty of them with his own supporters; moreover, he also convinced the Heraldmaster's Office to modify the Table of Ranks, so that his supporters in the Civil Service could be promoted with greater ease. He also managed to secure the implementation of the decree of March 7, 1425, by which the Praetorian Prefect gained the right to vet all communications and correspondence coming into the Laurasia Prime star system.
  • 1425, on the whole, was dominated by events of some significance in the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth. On February 27, 1425, Fre'dac I, King-Emperor of the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth, died at the age of 57. He had "reigned" over the Commonwealth for twenty-seven years, and throughout that time, had been a vassal of the Laurasian Empire. His reign, indeed, had seen the continued deterioration of Polonian military and economic strength. The Commonwealth was ravaged by a number of disturbances, ranging from a collapse in the Stock Market of Polonia Minor (1407) to the threat of the Tatar Pirates against the systems of Pressburg, Kaunas, and Ulthien (1408-12), and then, in 1416-18, the great Kymorsky Rebellion on Draguilli and Kaida. Moreover, Laurasian forces had intervened in the Commonwealth's affairs three times: in 1406, 1416, and 1420, in order to suppress anti-Laurasian sentiments and ensure the interests of Laurasian subjects residing in Polonian territory. In 1419-21, Emperor Tiberius had compelled the magnates of Wolbroz, Chemeri, Tursk, and Polonia Minor to sign the Concordats of Volodormia, by which they pledged themselves to contribute units to the Empire's defense, and to consult the Imperial Laurasian Government before conferring their assent to any measures passed in the Polonian Diet. By 1425, therefore, the Commonwealth was reduced to only the Central Polonian Provinces and the territories of the Donguarian Stellar Empire. The death of Fre'dac now gave Emperor Tiberius the opportunity to impose himself.
  • On March 9, 1425, the Emperor of Laurasia issued a proclamation from Laurasia Prime, expressing his "sadness" about the death of King Fre'dac, and announcing that the Commonwealth needed new, and more effective, forms of governance. He strengthened the garrisons of Doris, Anthony, Watson, Sherlock, Rupert, Galicia Major, and Zutagia, aiming therefore to project Laurasian influence and power across the borders into the Commonwealth's realms. The Emperor then ordered his agents within Donguaria to bribe the Princes of Donguaria Prime, Pressburg, and Mohi to make their "case" to the Diet. It was on April 2, 1425, that these Princes published the "Intervention Manifesto", inviting Emperor Tiberius to step in and to present himself as a candidate for election to the Polonian-Donguarian throne, so as to "restore tranquility and maintain the autonomy of the peoples of this Commonwealth." Prince Adam Czartyoski (1370-1461), was one of the most ardent proponents of Laurasian intervention, and he made numerous appeals to the Imperial Laurasian Government, calling for a reform of the Polonian-Donguarian government. Emperor Tiberius responded to these appeals on April 18, 1425, and formally registered as a candidate.
  • The Emperor found himself unopposed; his agents, in any case, distributed a liberal amount of bribes and favors to members of the Diet, and to other influential personages throughout the Commonwealth, including Interrex Clauz Wladlow of Legnica (1372-1430). It was on May 9, 1425, that the Diet formally convened on Polonia Major, in order to select Fre'dac's successor. A corps of Laurasian troops, detached by the Emperor from the diplomatic garrison at Mohi, was stationed near the Diet Chambers. They proceeded to business in quick order, and on May 14, 1425, formally elected Tiberius II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Laurasians, as King-Emperor of the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth. Emperor Tiberius formally accepted his election on June 3, and then submitted a set of constitutional resolutions to the Diet, for them to adopt before issuing his pacta conventa. The Diet, under the influence of Laurasian blasters and money, did not demur, and on July 11, 1425, after another month of discussion and debate, the Constitutional Resolutions of 1425 were formally passed by the Diet, and codified in the pacta conventa. These Resolutions confirmed the Laurasian Empire's status as protector and guarantor of the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth's independence and territorial integrity. The right of Laurasian troops to pass through Polonian-Donguarian territory unmolested, and for free trade between the two dominions, was again confirmed. The government, on its part, was substantially modified.
  • The King-Emperor, as head of state, was granted the authority in Polonia-Donguaria to call, postpone, and dissolve sessions of the Diet; to confirm ministers, senators, high officials, and governors nominated by the Diet, and to nominate and confirm the marshals of the local sejimiks of the Commonwealth; to sign all legislation passed by the Diet; to introduce and temporarily annul legislation; and to conduct the Commonwealth's foreign and military affairs. He was to be represented at Polonia Major by a Viceroy of the Commonwealth, who was to head the Commonwealth Councils of State and Administration, and to superintend the councils of Polonia and Donguaria. The Viceroy had the right to condone nominations of the Diet, and he was moreover given the sole authority to nominate and confirm planetary-level officials. The Administrative Council, to be composed of five members, was to be headed by the Viceroy. It was to be responsible for general administration, and for the exercise of executive responsibilities. The Council was to prepare projects and regulations for the Council of State, and was to handle all matters not within the jurisdiction of the individual ministers or government officials.
  • The Council of State, on its part, was to be composed of the ministers, councilors, secretaries of Polonian and Donguarian state affairs, referendars, and five officials nominated by the King-Emperor. It was to prepare the legislation to be proposed to the Diet; to confirm the final version of legislation which was voted upon by the Diet; to file charges against administrative officials, and to handle all disputes or judicial cases relating to the administration; and to receive reports from various ministries and commissions, preparing reports and dossiers for the King-Emperor. The Polonian-Donguarian Diet, in its reorganized form, was to consist of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. Deputies were to number 128, with not more than half of them coming from Polonia, and half from Donguaria. They were to be chosen for six years, with one-third of them chosen every two years. They were to possess legal immunity, and to be selected by eligible voters of at least twenty-one years of age. All deputy candidates were required to possess a certain amount of personal wealth. Diets were to be called every two years for one-month intervals. The Diet was to vote on civil, administrative, and legal matters. With permission from the King-Emperor, it was also to be able to vote on matters related to the fiscal system and military. It was to have the right to control government officials and file petitions. The Senate, to be composed of 64 members, was to include among its ranks princes, magnates, castellans, and clergy of the Commonwealth. It was to act as the highest court in the Commonwealth and to handle all matters of precedence or conflict in the administration. The Commonwealth's system of lower courts, legal institutions, military districts, and planetary governance was to be preserved intact, but subordinated to the Diet and to the Council of State.
  • With the Constitutional Resolutions in place, Emperor Tiberius accepted the Polonian-Donguarian pacta conventa on August 8, 1425. Then on August 22, 1425, his election as King-Emperor of Polonia-Donguaria was confirmed. The Diet proceeded immediately to establishing the new machinery of the Commonwealth's government and military; in September 1425, the Emperor appointed his first Viceroy, this being the Duke of Christiania. Then on October 3, 1425, he himself embarked from Laurasia Prime, proceeded through the Central Core, and into the Commonwealth's territories. From thence, he moved to Polonia Major, and on October 14, he was formally crowned as King-Emperor of the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth. The "Constitutional Period", as it would become known, with the personal union between the Laurasian Empire and the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth, would last for just five years, until the outbreak of the Great Nationalist Uprising in 1430. The Emperor would return back to his Laurasian dominions on November 3, 1425.

1426Edit

  • 1426, the 26th year of the fifteenth century, began with the Laurasian Empire having now entered into a "personal union" with the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth, which was a precursor to the Commonwealth's final annexation. Emperor Tiberius himself, however, had by this point become increasingly paranoid. He no longer trusted his nobility, and he loathed the rituals and ceremonial of the Imperial Laurasian Court on Laurasia Prime. The Emperor's behavior had become more erratic, and he had become less tolerant towards his subordinates, and towards his courtiers. The only person who consistently maintained his favor was Praetorian Prefect Serjanius. Serjanius, whose influence and power had continued to increase, was now entrusted by Tiberius with many important responsibilities, from presiding over the Senate (as Procurator-General), to handling Christiania's municipal affairs (as Mayor), to governing the interactions of the Council of Civil Service. It was inevitable that his power would only increase farther as the Emperor's paranoia deepened. And indeed, that is what occurred. In January 1426, the Emperor, having just found himself crowned as the King-Emperor of the Commonwealth, once one of Laurasia's most bitter foes, announced to his subjects, in a proclamation from the Quencilvanian Palace, that he was now translating his permanent residence to the Palace of Secrets on Paradine, and that from then on, the Prefect would be his representative with the Imperial Laurasian Government on Laurasia Prime itself. Tiberius explained this decision by declaring that he wished to have "deeper communion with the Lord Almitis", and needed a respite from all of the drama and the troubles afflicting his capital world. Serjanius, on this part, sought to make everyone understand that the Emperor had made this decision on his own free will, and that nothing had compelled him to to it.
  • It was on March 2, 1426, after over a month of delays and of "preparation", that the Emperor finally made his formal retreat from Laurasia Prime, leaving General Serjanius, as he had said, in charge of affairs in the capital star system. He now moved to Paradine with select members of his imperial household, and a special detachment of Praetorian Guards. There he was to remain during the last eleven years of his reign, refusing all entreaties by his subjects to return back to Laurasia Prime. With the Emperor's retreat, Serjanius gained absolute control of all communications on Laurasia Prime. He also controlled access to the Paradine star system, and forbade anyone to disturb His Majesty unless if they had special authorization. He also moved to consolidate his position by assuming the Chancellorate. On March 11, 1426, the Praetorian Prefect compelled the Archbishop of Vetta to resign as Chancellor of the Laurasian Empire, and assumed this position for himself; the Archbishop would retreat back to his star system, and die on May 1. Serjanius therefore held all of the chief offices of state (Procurator-General, Chancellor, Praetorian Prefect, Mayor of Christiania, Governor of Laurasia Prime), lacking only that of Chief Procurator of the Holy Synod; and the Chief Procurator was completely subordinate to him. He was to remain dominant for another five years.
  • In July 1426, the Laurasian Empire found itself plunged into another conflict with the Celestial Dynasty of Kimania. Shogun Comovius still reigned, and he was determined to recover the territories lost to the Empire. To that end, he had assembled his military units at Bookman, Rolle, the Orion Cluster, Nanking, Christopher, Beverly Hereidu, Earl, Shell, and at other strongholds throughout the Barsar Regions, determined to make his move northwards. His determination was fueled by the Laurasian colonization of Mirak, to the north-west of Gulistan, just two months prior. The Shogun therefore decided that the Laurasian threat needed to be eliminated before it was too late. On July 19, 1426, without a declaration of war, Kimanian units crossed the border into the territory of the Empire. They were under the command again of General Abu Whuzan, who had risen yet further in the Shogun's favor, and had conducted a successful defense of the Farther Trade Run against the Huntite Caliphate. General Whuzan made substantial gains against his Laurasian adversaries; indeed Laurasia, in spite of its subjugation of Beatrice and its conquest of Ashlgothia, found itself unprepared for the Kimanian moves. Whuzan's forces attacked Karabakh (July 19-24, 1426), and won a decisive victory there. The star system fell into Kimanian hands, and more than 75,000 soldiers of the Laurasian garrison resident there were slaughtered. Talysh then followed (August 3, 1426), and the Commander of the Garrison, Sir Antigenes Masavoich (1375-1426), was captured and executed on the orders of the Kimanian General.
  • From thence, he secured the surrender of the garrison of Gulistan itself (August 5-19, 1426), and then conquered, in September 1426, the Laurasian colonies of Bombak, Shuragei, and Gyrmi. Katli was threatened next by the Kimanians (October 1-3, 1426), and was overrun. Shusha and Shrivan were both blockaded by Kimanian units; Ganja was abandoned by its Laurasian commanders; and Kimanian expeditions struck against Winehouse, Woolestone, Isaac, Armenia Minor, Cal, Simon, and Morley, inflicting severe damage on all of these star systems during the course of October 1426. Shrivan fell on November 4, followed by Shusha four days later; Hinds Prime was soon cut off, and Baku was besieged. General Serjanius now took the initiative, and he ordered for the Duke of Briannia, who had assumed command of the garrisons of the lower Kimanian Trade Run in December 1425, to make his advance against the Kimanians. Briannia did as ordered, and on November 11, 1426, he won the Battle of Elisapol, thereby preventing a Kimanian move into the Melorkian Provinces. He then repelled a Kimanian expedition against Peterslie (November 14-19, 1426); won the Battle of Kamanny (November 25); and on November 30, relieved the siege of Baku. Hinds Prime was similarly relieved on December 4, and Kimanian units were driven from the outskirts of Beverly Hereidu. Abu Whuzan again attacked Cal (December 6-9, 1426), and suffered another defeat. On December 14, 1426, the Battle of Atsafka resulted in another victory for the Empire's forces. Shusha was recovered on New Year's Eve, 1426, and by the end of the year, the Laurasians had regained the advantage.

1427Edit

  • The year 1427, the 27th year of the fifteenth century, began with the Laurasian Empire once again at war with the Celestial Dynasty of Kimania. The string of successes by Laurasian forces continued into the early months of 1427. On January 3, 1427, the Battle of Ricohoran V resulted in a decisive victory for the Duke of Briannia. From this stronghold, Briannia recovered Katli (January 5-19, 1427); captured the Kimanian system of Celestia (January 22); and on February 4, won the Battle of Taramia. Shuragei was back in Laurasian hands by the middle of February 1427; shortly afterwards, Laurasian units recovered Shrivan (February 18) and ruined the Kimanians at Goni (February 23), seizing that important stronghold. Bombak and Ganja were both recovered by Laurasian units during March 1427; on March 9, the Battle of Breha ended in another victory for the Duke of Briannia, and he proceeded to occupy that stronghold as well as Samantha. Echimadizin was assaulted on April 1, 1427, and fell into Laurasian hands two days later. Yerevan was then invested by the Duke of Briannia, in conjunction with General Sir Aurelius Zasius (1383-1439), on April 8, 1427. Yerevan remained under siege for nearly a month, but its fall on April 28 was a major victory for Laurasian arms. Dorothea, Lange, and Leseur then succumbed in succession to Laurasian forces during May and June 1427, thereby penetrating the defenses of the Orion Cluster.
  • Orion III itself was blockaded from June 16, and its fall nearly a month later (July 10, 1427), consolidated the Laurasian strategic position on the Kimanian Trade Run. Cox was then plundered by a Laurasian expeditionary force, and on July 16, 1427, Rolle capitulated to the Duke of Briannia almost without a fight. On July 26, General Zasius entered the Kimanian stronghold of Nakhichivan without a fight. His plans for an ambitious offensive against Hutsia Major, Roschmelle, and Drea, however, had to be abandoned. Abu Whuzan now launched a counteroffensive against Laurasian positions. On August 4, 1427, moving from Derangy and Morangy, the General advanced in the direction of Echimadzin, hoping to take that stronghold, overrun Gyrumi, and then devastate the Laurasian colony of Tiflis, as well as Hinds Prime. This would cut a hole into Laurasian supply lines. The Duke of Briannia, then besieging Neutria, was forced to turn to relieve Echimadzin. He had at his disposal a force of 250,000 troops of the 20th Imperial Army, and the 22nd Imperial Fleet. With this force, he advanced rapidly to the outskirts of Echimadzin, outmaneuvered Abu Whuzan, and on August 16, 1427, won the Battle of Ashtrak, destroying nearly a third of the opposing Kimanian force. Abu Whuzan was forced to halt his offensive and to retreat towards Derangy. Briannia then completed the seizure of Neutria (September 1-3, 1427), capturing all of that world's turbocannon, shield generators, and military supplies.
  • Roschmelle was then seized by a Laurasian expeditionary force on September 18, and on September 23, Serdar-Adad was overrun and stormed by Laurasian troops. Ralina capitulated at the end of that month, and on October 6, the Duke of Briannia appeared before the outskirts of Messalina. The Siege of Messalina lasted for twelve days, falling on October 18, 1427. More than 150,000 Kimanian troops were taken prisoner. Reading proved an easier target, and fell on October 24; Gilestis V and Bookman followed during November 1427. Then on November 19, General Zasius encountered and defeated Abu Whuzan in the Battle of Maurat, and proceeded to occupy Hutsia Minor, inflicting another humiliating defeat on Kimanian arms. Tabriz and Celestia fell by December 6, and on December 14, Chobania also surrendered to the Empire's forces. With these defeats, Shogun Comovius, whose health was in decline, was forced to admit the inevitable. On December 22, 1427, he requested for an armistice with the Empire. Serjanius, acting on the Emperor's behalf, approved this request; the Armistice of Cox was signed five days later.

1428Edit

  • 1428, the 28th year of the fifteenth century, began with the Laurasian Empire having forced the Celestial Dynasty of Kimania to the peace table. Praetorian Prefect Serjanius, who had successfully overseen the prosecution of this, the Third Laurasian-Kimanian War to be fought since 1396, now assumed responsibility for negotiating and securing the peace. On January 9, 1428, a conference was convened at Turkmenchay, a Kimanian colony five light years to the northwest of Kimanis Mooria. Serjanius himself traveled from Laurasia Prime, joining the Duke of Briannia, Chief Procurator Stephanius Langtonia (in office 1407-28), and Sir Lysimachus Prasius, Governor of Ashlgothia Major (1389-1447), as one of the plenipotentiaries. Abu Whuzan and Kimanian Prince Li-Hi-Wing represented the interests of the Shogun. Negotiations lasted for a month. On February 10, 1428, the Treaty of Turkmenchay was signed, thereby ending the Third Laurasian-Kimanian War of 1426-28. By the terms of this treaty, the Laurasian Empire acquired Erevan, Igdir, Yerevan, Mazandaran, Herat, Nahikchevan, and Ordubad, thereby consolidating its control over the Armenian Provinces. All Laurasian gains made as a result of the Treaty of Gulistan were confirmed; Laurasian rights of free commercial transit through Kimanian territory were confirmed; and the Laurasian Embassy's privileges on Kimania were confirmed by the Shogun. All prisoners of war were to be exchanged; Kimania officially apologized for having violated the terms of the Treaty of Gulistan; and a financial indemnity, by the Shogun's government, to the tune of $1.1 trillion denarii, was to be paid to the Imperial Laurasian Government.
  • The Treaty of Turkmenchay, which was ratified by both governments by the end of March 1428, thereby restored peace in the Barsar Regions; it was not until 1446 before Laurasia and Kimania went to war again. On June 9, 1428, Shogun Comovius died, aged 67, and after a reign of twenty-seven years; he was succeeded by his fifty-year old son, who became Scrilio Shogun. As for the Empire, Serjanius returned to Laurasia Prime on April 9, 1428, and resumed with his earlier policies. He was now striking out against his political opponents across the spectrum, employing the Senate and the Court of General Assizes on Laurasia Prime to his advantage. Between November 1427 and October 1431, more than three hundred million individuals would be arrested and imprisoned or executed on the auspices of the Praetorian Prefect, larger than any preceding political massacre in Laurasian history since the time of Honorius the Terrible. Yet Laurasia remained at peace with foreign powers for the rest of 1428, and indeed, throughout 1429.

1429Edit

  • 1429, the twenty-ninth year of the fifteenth century, began with the Laurasian Empire residing in a state of general peace with its neighbors within the Caladarian Galaxy. Internally, however, great convulsions continued, as Praetorian Prefect Serjanius continued to exert his dominance over the Imperial Laurasian Government. By January 1429, Serjanius had arisen to a position which had not been enjoyed by any other favorite in the Empire since that of Duke Menshevkius, Seleucus the Victor's great favorite. Monopolizing most of the offices of state, he dominated government policy, controlled communications at Laurasia Prime, and access to Emperor Tiberius himself. He was determined to wield his influence yet further, and to do so by eliminating all of his opponents within the confines of the Imperial Court. He also sought to destroy the influence of the family of General Germanicus, who had been dead for a decade. Yet these final goals could not achieved while the Emperor's mother, Grand Princess Livia, continued to live. Ever since her son's accession to the throne in 1416, this venerable matron had enjoyed her own position of repute, and privilege within the Empire. Her son had raised her to the dignities of Grand Princess, and had mandated that she was to enjoy precedence over all other women at the Imperial Laurasian Court, save for the Dowager Empresses Maria Sompakalos and Eleanora of Briannia, the widows of Demetrius I and Antiochus II respectively. In 1420, the Emperor had even made it treason for anyone in the Empire to speak against his mother, on pain of death. Yet by 1423 in some ways, the relationship between mother and son had become strained.
  • The Senate sought to honor her with the title of Mother of the Fatherland, for having bequeathed the Empire with such a savior in the form of the Emperor; Tiberius vetoed this, although the following year, he did allow for the Holy Synod to issue a manifesto commending his mother for her virtues. Livia, moreover, showed herself all too willing to intervene in the domestic affairs of the Imperial Laurasian Household. This was particularly noted in the cases of Lady Urgulania Marasaria, who presumed that her relationship with the Grand Princess placed her above the law, and of Munatia Placiana, who was accused by some vengeful courtesans, in June 1425, of having murdered General Germanicus through devious means. She was saved by the Grand Princess's intervention. The Grand Princess also successfully stood up to General Serjanius, and intervened several times in 1427 and 1428 to protect members of the imperial household and the civil service from him. In March 1429, therefore, when her health entered a severe decline, the Praetorian Prefect rejoiced. He now was able to move against Lady Marasaria, seeing that Livia would be unable to stop him; on April 7, 1429, the Lady was arrested and confined to the Post Settlement of Hepudermia. On the orders of the Prefect, she was interrogated by Senators and by members of the College of Justice; then in June 1429, she, along with thirty of her associates, were condemned on charges of conspiracy, heresy, and corruption, and were banished from Laurasia Prime to Jenny. During July and August 1429, more than 2,000 individuals of all stripes on Laurasia Prime, closely associated to the Court, suffered a similar punishment at the Prefect's hands. Lady Placiana, on her part, was forced to publicly confess her crimes on August 8, 1429, and barred from the Imperial Court.
  • On September 28, 1429, Grand Princess Livia finally died at the Diplomatic Palace in Christiania, Laurasia Prime, aged 96. She was the longest-lived member of the Imperial Laurasian Family in the Empire's history, and indeed, of the history of the Laurasian Space Age. Emperor Tiberius, then at Paradine, issued a manifesto mourning his mother's demise. He did not, however, deign to arise from Laurasia Prime to attend her funeral, instead designating the Prefect as his representative. Serjanius presided over the ceremonies at the Old Westphalian Cathedral (October 8, 1429), in which the Grand Princess was formally interred at the Imperial Mausoleum. Yet her death completely cleared his path. He now turned his attention to General Germanicus's widow, Lady Agrippina Secrus, and to her two eldest sons, Nero and Drusus. All had continued to reside in the city of Christiania since the death of Germanicus a decade earlier. Lady Agrippina, in fact, had served as one of Grand Princess Livia's ladies-in-waiting, and was one of the most prominent women in the Imperial Laurasian Court. She had involved herself in the Court's affairs and intrigues, and she had shown opposition to the policies and brutalities of Serjanius. In 1426, she had requested the Emperor's permission to marry her brother-in-law, Senator Sir Gaius Asinius Salonius (1373-1432). The Emperor had refused, concerned about the marriage's political implications. Tiberius himself grew increasingly suspicious of the Lady, and played directly into the hands of Serjanius, who himself loathed her position and her influence.
  • Thus it was that on October 19, 1429, that the Prefect, acting on instructions received from the Emperor, ordered for the arrest and confinement, at the Old Royal Palace, of Lady Secrus and of both Lords Nero and Drusus Secrus. The Prefect also had more than four hundred of their supporters and associates arrested and imprisoned at the Christiania Municipal Prison, the Post Settlement of Hepudermia, and the Cron Drift. The period of the "true treason trials" now began, as the Prefect gained a special patent from the Emperor, on November 5, to unilaterally try any and all who he deemed to pose a significant threat to the Imperial Laurasian Government. He now used this authority to great effect, arresting another two hundred individuals on November 11, accusing them all of treason, les-majestie, conspiracy, and corruption. On December 3, 1429, Lady Secrus herself, along with her sons, were tried by the Governing Senate, Holy Synod, and Council of Civil Service at the Quencilvanian Palace. Some weeks of proceedings ensued, as the Prefect presented all of his evidence against them and engaged in a series of verbal arguments concerning their behavior. Yet finally, on December 20, 1429, they were convicted on all charges. On the orders of the Prefect, they were sentenced to perpetual exile from Laurasia Prime; confiscation of all properties, titles and honors; and condemnation by the Holy Synod. The punishment was carried out on December 22; on the command of Tiberius, they were all banished to Siri, in the Malarian Provinces. 1429 ended with the attitude at the Imperial Court poisoned.

1430Edit

  • 1430 began with the Laurasian Empire having fallen further into the oppressive grip of Praetorian Prefect Serjanius, who intensified and widened his policies of oppression. The Prefect's disposal of Lady Agrippina Secrus, and of her sons, has already been noted. January and February 1430 saw the convictions and executions, exiles, or imprisonments of more than five hundred other individuals, among the numbers who had been arrested on the Prefect's authority in the latter part of the previous year. The Prefect, moreover, had the Holy Synod issue, on January 18, 1430, a manifesto excommunicating thenceforth any man who denounced his policies, who labeled him the Anti-Almitis or a follower of that Lord, or who dared condemn the Emperor for permitting such policies. More than two million individuals would be affected by this manifesto during the course of the year. Serjanius also instigated a expansion of the prison complexes of the Cron Drift from February 1430, and sponsored the establishment of the first imperial prison on Laura; these facilities were to become especially significant during the Crisis of the Seventeenth Century. He now increased the size of the Praetorian Guards from twelve to twenty cohorts; authorized the Imperial Intelligence Agency to search the properties of any Laurasian subject without a warrant; and in March 1430, confiscated more than twenty communications outlets in the Purse Region.
  • In June 1430, the Prefect also suspended the freedom of public assembly typically granted to magnates of the cities of Laurasia Prime, and issued instructions to the Suffects to suppress any outbursts of "rebellious talk" in their neighborhoods of responsibility. He impounded all correspondence not to his liking, and in September, nationalized the Christiania Times, using it as a propaganda platform. Indeed, the Prefect took care to maintain his own public image and that of the Emperor, ordering for statutes of himself to be erected in every major star system of the Empire, and issuing ceremonial coinage reflecting his status as the Emperor's chief enforcer. He also maintained his own household at the Praetorian Barracks, and distributed favors to the troops under his command. Emperor Tiberius, on his part, continued to indulge in various bawdy activities at Paradine. The Emperor was sexually depraved, maintaining a bevy of concubines and male attendants to satisfy his needs, and engaging in relations with any he fancied. Such antics would arouse the moral indignation of later generations of Laurasian historians (in particular Lady Vassalina).
  • Yet the Empire now faced a major challenge in the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth: the Great Nationalist Uprising. Polonian sentiments against the dominance of the Imperial Laurasian Government had begun to simmer in June 1427, when Emperor Tiberius formally appointed Sir Marcus Crassus, 4th Viscount Crassus (1378-1431), as the Viceroy of the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth. Acting with the consent of the Emperor and of Prefect Serjanius, and taking advantage of the divisions among the Commonwealth's nobility, Crassus proceeded to violate the Constitutional Resolutions. He was also aided by the substantial numbers of Laurasian naval and armed units in the Commonwealth; the "diplomatic garrison" of Mohi now numbered more than 500,000 troops and had one hundred warships; and Polonia Major itself possessed the 9th Imperial Fleet and the 12th Imperial Army. Thus, Crassus had sufficient armed strength to impose his will. In September 1427, the Viceroy forced through the Diet laws to expand the secret police, to impose marital law at Legnica, Wroclaw, Kaida, and Wronzaz, among other star systems, and to crack down on freedoms of the press, speech, and assembly. He now employed the Polonian Okrana to his advantage, confiscated all communications outlets opposed to the Laurasian regime, and arrested the members of Polonian national movements. In September 1428, the Viceroy acted further by banishing from Polonia Major more than one hundred nobles of anti-Laurasian persuasion, and confiscating all of their estates and revenues. He insulted and assaulted his Polonian subordinates; overruled the Administrative Council and Council of State on questions of policy; and replaced Polonians with Laurasians in prominent posts within the administration, military, and Polonian Court.
  • In January 1429, the Viceroy proclaimed the abolition of all patriotic organizations in the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth; imposed his agents on the estates of all Polonian notables; and heavily restricted the communications of Polonia Major. His troops now garrisoned all of the capital world's major settlements, broke up public protests, and quartered on the properties and businesses of local Polonians. Two months later, he brutally suppressed a rebel movement at Polonia Minor, and ordered for more than 200,000 persons to be arrested and incarcerated at prisons within the star system. By the middle of 1430, with the Viceroy calling in additional Laurasian reinforcements, and refusing to summon the Diet as called for in the Constitutional Resolutions, the Polonians had been driven to the brink of rebellion. The Great Nationalist Uprising finally erupted on November 29, 1430, when a young Polonian Cadet, Pitor Wysocki (1397-1475), led his fellow soldiers in seizing the arms of the garrison of Parclaw City and attacking the Belwelder Palace, the main seat of the Viceroy on Polonia Major. The rebels managed to penetrate the defenses of the Belwelder and captured its military repository. Viceroy Crassus found himself helpless against this rebel force, for many of his own Polonian and Donguarian troops deserted to the cause of the rebels. Within hours, a general uprising had arisen across Polonia Major, and the Laurasian garrison found itself hard-pressed. The Polonian fleet of the star system, moreover, also defected to the rebel cause, and refused to obey the Viceroy's commands. He was therefore obliged to retreat from the star system, leaving it in the hands of the rebels.
  • The Administrative Council, which was taken at surprise by this uprising, now assembled to decide on a course of action and to respond to events. Unpopular ministers were removed and men like Prince Czatoryski (the original supporter of Laurasian intervention), Julian Niewmwicz (1358-1441), and General Josef Choplcki (1371-1454) were installed in their places. Led by Czatoryski, they initially tried to negotiate with the Viceroy. However, when Czartoryski told the Council that the Viceroy was ready to forgive the offenders, and that the matter would be amicably settled, radicals such as Mayrcy Mournicki (1403-34), objected and demanded a national uprising, to liberate the Commonwealth completely from the grip of the Laurasian Empire. Not trusting the Council, Mournicki now sought to replace it with his own Patriotic Club, which he himself had organized. On December 3, at a large public demonstration on Polonia Major, he denounced the negotiations between the Council and the Viceroy, who had established his headquarters at the outskirts of the star system. He now advocated a military campaign throughout the Polonian Provinces so as to consolidate the Rebellion and extend its message. His Club adopted a number of demands to be communicated to the Council, including the establishment of a revolutionary government and an immediate attack upon the forces of the Viceroy. The Polonian army, and the garrisons of Polonia Minor, Draguilli, and Lublin, now joined the Rebellion.
  • The remaining four members of the pre-revolutionary government therefore resigned from the Council, with their places being taken by Mournicki and three of his associates from the Patriotic Club. The new body now called itself the Provisional Government. To legalize its proceedings, the Government called for a session of the Diet, and on December 4, 1430, General Choplcki was proclaimed the Dictator of the Commonwealth, to govern until the Laurasians were expelled and forced to acknowledge the restoration of the Commonwealth's internal independence. Choplcki reluctantly accepted the Dictatorship, believing that any conflict with the Empire would end in defeat. He was concerned mainly to preserve internal order and stability on Polonia Major, and in the other star systems which had joined the cause of the Rebellion. Believing that Emperor Tiberius would be amendable, Choplcki neglected to launch any further advances against Laurasian units in the Commonwealth and instead, on December 9, dispatched a delegation to Laurasia Prime under Prince Franciszek Drucki-Lubeki (1378-1446) in order to seek negotiations with the Imperial Laurasian Government. On December 16, however, the Diet proclaimed that the Commonwealth was now at war with the Laurasian Empire, and Prince Lubeki was consequently imprisoned by Prefect Serjanius upon his arrival in the Empire's capital star system. By the end of December 1430, nationalist agitation had increased to fever pitch.
  • On November 8, 1430, the future Emperor Nerva (1496-98) was born at the Cocceian Estate in Bardasi, Briannia. He was the son of Sir Marcus Cocceius, 4th Baron Cocceius (1397-1462) and his wife, Lady Sergia Plautilla (1405-67). The future Emperor was to have one younger sister, Cocceia (1432-91), who was to marry Sir Lucius Titianus, older brother of Emperor Seleucus III. Nerva was born into one of the Empire's most respected gentry families, among the many which had arisen to prominence due to the reforms and innovations of Seleucus the Victor. He would spend his early years on Briannia, Gdov, and at the Belts of Barton, becoming familiar with both Laurasian and Briannian culture.
  • On December 23, 1430, Dowager Empress Eleanora of Briannia, widow of Antiochus II the Conqueror, died at Epermanian Monastery on Senna, in the Murphian Provinces. The Dowager Empress had retired there in 1424, and had spent the last several years of her life in service with the Almitian Church. She had become a noted philanthropist, had avoided involvement in the affairs of the Imperial Laurasian Court, and due to her prestige, as well as the respect she commanded, had remained immune to the regime and oppression of Prefect Serjanius. The Prefect, nevertheless, issued a manifesto praising her merits, and she would be brought to the Old Westphalian Cathedral on Laurasia Prime, being buried there on December 30 in a lavish ceremony, attended by many of the most important figures in the Empire.

1431Edit

  • 1431, the 31st year of the fifteenth century, began with the Laurasian Empire, still under the regime of Praetorian Prefect Serjanius, now confronted with the Great Nationalist Uprising in the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth. On January 7, 1431, in a proclamation to the Imperial Court, Emperor Tiberius temporarily emerged from his convalescence on Paradine, and issued a manifesto denouncing the rebellion in the Commonwealth. He declared that it would threaten the tranquility of both the Commonwealth and the Empire, and that it needed to be suppressed in order to maintain "order and stable government within this galaxy." On that same day, he sent his response to the entreaties of General Chlopcki, ordering for the Polonians to surrender to the grace of their Emperor. Disappointed by this, the General resigned from his position as Dictator the following day. The Patriotic Club, now under the direction of Joachim Lewel (1386-1461), thereby assumed absolute control of the Provisional Government. By this point, they had secured the adherence of the garrison of Masan, and had driven Laurasian units from Pasan and Garhasan, on the Denveranian Trunk Line. On January 25, 1431, on Lewel's initiative, the Polonian-Donguarian Diet issued the formal Instrument of Dethronization, thereby formally deposing Tiberius II as King-Emperor of the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth, severing the personal union between the Empire and Commonwealth, and formalizing the declaration of war against the Imperial Laurasian Government. On January 29, the Provisional Government rebranded itself as the National Government, and Michal Radziwill (1378-1450), was chosen to become the new Dictator. Choplcki was persuaded to become commander-in-chief of all Polonian-Donguarian military forces.
  • Yet the delays of the National Government had allowed for Prefect Serjanius to organize a vigorous response to the situation in the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth. At Watson, Sherlock, Rupert, Doris, Frogglesworth, and in the Ivorian Districts, the Prefect had assembled the Empire's military forces for a decisive counteroffensive. On February 2, 1431, he appointed General Sir Brutus Derehania (1385-1431), as the supreme commander of all Laurasian forces to be launched into the Commonwealth, and against the National Government. General Derehania did not delay in his advance. Two days later, he and his forces formally crossed the border into the Commonwealth's territory, and moved swiftly in the direction of Polonia Major. The first major battle, the Battle of Stozcek, was fought ten days later (February 14, 1431). In this battle, Polonian units under Admiral Joseph Dwernicki (1379-1457), managed to defeat a Laurasian reconnaissance force under Commodore Theodosius Gesimaria (1383-1448). This victory, however, was of mostly psychological value, and could not halt the Laurasian advance towards Polonia Major. The subsequent battles at Dobre (February 16), Wawer (February 19-20), Nowa Wies (also February 19), Kaluszyn (February 22), and Bialoleka (February 24-25), proved to be indecisive for the Polonians, who suffered greater losses against their Laurasian foes.
  • Polonian forces were now assembling near the Denveranian Trunk Line in order to defend the capital of the Commonwealth. On February 25, a Polonian-Donguarian contingent of more than 400,000 troops, and over eighty warships, met detachments of the Imperial Laurasian Military, with 600,000 troops and 120 warships, in the Battle of Olzyska Grochowska. The ensuing battle lasted for two days, with the Laurasian and the Polonian forces both suffering significant casualties. In the end, the Polonians were successful in preventing a further Laurasian move against Polonia Major, and General Derehania was forced to retreat to Sidelia, located twenty light years to the north of Polonia Major. Choplcki, who commanded the successful Polonian moves in the star system, was wounded, and was replaced now by General Jan Synerzkia (1387-1460), who like Choplcki thought a war against the Empire was fruitless. Nevertheless, he won the Battle of Grochkov (March 2, 1431), and from thence, managed to blunt Laurasian units in confrontations at Pulawy, Kurow, and Markuswow during the course of March 1431. Then on March 31, 1431, he won the Battles of Wawer and Debe Wielkie, humiliating the Imperial Laurasian Navy in both confrontations. Yet General Derehania was determined to continue forth, and he secured Mohi (April 6, 1431), before ruining Polonian units at Domanice (April 9). The following day, the Polonians won the Battle of Iganie, but this turned out to be their last significant victory of the Rebellion. The Skirmish of Porck, fought on April 11, also ended in Polonian victory, but they suffered greater casualties than their Laurasian foes.
  • From then on, the advantage was held by the Laurasians. Dragulli was reconquered by General Derehania (April 15-19, 1431); he then recovered Pasan and Garhasan; and on April 22, 1431, won the Battle of Masan, blunting the attempts of Synerzkia to cut through Laurasian strategic lines. From thence, Masan and Polonia Minor were both reconquered by the Empire's forces in May 1431. Derehania then won the pitched Battles of Wronow and Kazimeriz Dolony (June 2-7, 1431), capturing more than 150,000 rebel troops. From Kazimeriz Dolony, he assaulted Legnica, recovering the stronghold on June 18. On June 22, the Donguarian magnates of Cossack and Donguaria Prima held a conference with the Laurasian General at Pressburg, and declared their renewed allegiance to the Emperor of Laurasia. Donguaria's relative passivity in this rebellion, indeed, was a great aid to Laurasian efforts in maintaining the Empire's position in the Commonwealth. The Laurasians then recovered Grochkov (June 29, 1431), and on July 3, won the Battle of Boremel. Firley and Sokolow Podolski both fell into their hands during July 1431, and they blockaded Kaida; Wroclaw and Wronzaz both capitulated by August 8, 1431. Firley followed on August 12, and the Siege of Kurbatow (August 13-19, 1431), saw more than half of the Polonian armed supplies in that system being confiscated by Laurasian troops.
  • From Kurbatow, Derehania easily secured Polaga (August 22, 1431), and burst through Polonian defensive positions at Tyockin, Nur, and Wilno. General Synerzkia now attempted a vain counteroffensive against the Laurasians at Ostroleka (August 24-September 5, 1431), and failed, with the Laurasian General capturing more than 75,000 of his troops, and a number of Polonian turbocannon. Rajgrod then fell on September 12, opening the way to Polonia Major. On September 15, 1431, however, General Derehania suffered a stroke at his command headquarters on Berhan; in spite of the efforts of his physicians, he died during the late hours of that day. He was now succeeded, as commander-in-chief within the Commonwealth, by Vice-Admiral Sir Domitian Nucrus (1382-1456), destined to become the 1st Duke of Way'tosk. Vice-Admiral Nucrus now vigorously persecuted the final offensive towards Polonia Major. On September 19, he conquered the Polonian outpost of Wocala, penetrating the defenses held by Polonian General Josef Sowinskia (1377-1431), who was executed on his orders shortly after his capture. The Laurasian Empire's forces then imposed a complete blockade of Polonia Major, permitting no traffic in or out of the star system. Count Jan Krurkowiecki (1372-1450), who had become Dictator himself the preceding month, now, on September 24, 1431, surrendered unconditionally to the Empire. Laurasian troops now proceeded into the Polonia Major star system, although they still encountered stiff resistance from guerilla units and other scattered Polonian formations on the planetary surface. The remaining rebel units, under Bonawentura Niemjowski (1387-1435), withdrew to Modlin, one hundred light years west of Polonia Major. Eventually, they fled into the Wild Marshes, and thence to the Lavellan Provinces, thereby escaping the reach of the Imperial Laurasian Government. On October 5, 1431, the last remaining rebel forces in the field surrendered at Brodnica to Admiral Nucrus, thereby ending the Great Nationalist Uprising.
  • Events on Laurasia Prime, in the meantime, were transpiring, with great consequences for the Empire. The sons of Lady Agrippina Secrus and her late husband, General Germanicus, Nero and Drusus, had both been exiled to Siri on the initiative of Prefect Serjanius back in December 1429. Yet on March 9, 1431, both men had been found dead at Oprah Estate, where they resided. It was soon discovered that they had been poisoned, and the eyes of all became affixed on the Prefect. The Prefect himself denied any responsibility for their deaths, and claimed to mourn their loss, but this incident nevertheless weakened his position further. He had become yet more arrogant, openly receiving the attention and favors of those at the Imperial Court, attempting to court the senatorial elites, and in June 1431, finally becoming engaged to the Lady Livilla, with the Emperor's permission. Yet Emperor Tiberius himself was now being influenced by his chief secretary, Sir Agrippa Ledervaius (1385-1449), that Serjanius was an overly ambitious, envious personage, and that he needed to be eliminated. The Emperor came to believe that Serjanius desired the imperial throne for himself, and that all of his actions had been in accordance with fulfilling that goal. It was thus that, on October 15, 1431, ten days after the suppression of the Great Nationalist Uprising in the Commonwealth, that the Emperor acted, suddenly and to the surprise of almost everyone. Nevertheless, it demonstrated that it was he, and not Serjanius, who was still the absolute master of the Empire.
  • The Emperor sent a communique to the Governing Senate, commanding them to summon the Prefect before them. Serjanius, not knowing of His Majesty's intentions, obliged by the Senate's command, and proceeded to attempt to bully the body into conducting a series of further treason trials. The Senate, however, overruled him, and announced that by the orders of the Emperor, he was to be arrested and conveyed to the Post Settlement of Hepudermia. Ledervaius himself, who had traveled to Laurasia Prime specifically for the purpose of carrying out Tiberius's will, stepped forward and assumed immediate command of the Praetorian Guards. Serjanius was surrounded and chained by his own officers, and led out of the Senatorial chambers, and to the Post Settlement. Ledervaius now read a series of further communiques from the Emperor, accusing Serjanius of plotting to seize the imperial throne; of despoiling the Imperial Treasury; of treating with contempt all loyal servants of the State; and of issuing decrees and other orders without the Emperor's express authorization, and without his approval. Then on October 17, the Senate summarily condemned the Prefect to death; the Emperor approved this sentence, deprived Serjanius of his positions as Praetorian Prefect, Chancellor, Mayor, Governor, and Procurator-General; and ordered for the sentence to be carried out the following day. The once powerful magnate was executed in the Public Squares of Christiania, in front of a crowd of more than two million persons; his robes were stripped from his body; and his head was cut off, and paraded through the public thoroughfares.
  • Tiberius then indulged in a further policy of oppression. On his command, the Prefect's fiancee, Livilla, was arrested and confined at the Post Settlement of Hepudermia. She was attainted on November 4, 1431, deprived of all her honors and properties, and then chained in her cell chambers, without food or any other kind of nourishment. She would eventually die of starvation on January 7, 1432. More than seventy colleagues and associates of the Prefect were arrested and imprisoned or executed during the course of November and December 1431. His former wife, Apicata, was forced to commit suicide at Olivia; his son Strabo was arrested, attainted, and executed on October 26; and his other children, Captio Aelianus and Junilla, were imprisoned and then strangled on December 9, 1431. All of Serjanius's statutes and monuments were demolished; the Guards purged all signs of his influence from their ranks; and a sentence of excommunication was passed by the Holy Synod against his memory. All honors, properties, and decorations which he had conferred were abolished or confiscated, and damnatio memoriae was pronounced on his name by the Senate, the first time the body exercised this power (which had been conferred upon it late in the reign of Demetrius I). Moreover, riots erupted in Christiania, Columbia, Osraninpolis, Heliotrope, Soriana, Constantinople, Ostia, and in Herkorim against the supporters of Serjanius; more than $100 billion denarii in property damage was caused before these outbursts were suppressed in February 1432. That same month, Emperor Tiberius would impose damnatio memoriae upon Livilla and the members of Serjanius's family as well. On December 19, 1431, Secretary Ledervaius was made Chancellor of the Empire, and was raised to the peerage as 1st Baron Ledervaius of Metallasia (his world of birth). He was to remain Tiberius's chief minister for the remainder of his reign. 1431 ended with Serjanius gone, and with Laurasian dominance over Polonia-Donguaria restored.

1432Edit

  • The year 1432, the 32nd year of the fifteenth century, opened with a program of oppression and repression launched by the Imperial Laurasian Government within the territories of the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth. Emperor Tiberius, in a manifesto of January 17, 1432, declared that the uprising against his authority in the Commonwealth was a blot on his reputation and that of his Empire's, and that this blot needed to be erased. Consequently, he ordered for the revocation of the Constitutional Resolutions, and the imposition of absolute marital law in all of the Commonwealth's star systems. Admiral Nurcrus now reiterated the earlier abolition of all Polonian and Donguarian nationalist organizations; significantly increased the garrison of Polonia Major; and extended the jurisdiction of the Imperial Intelligence Agency to the Commonwealth's territories. On his orders, more than forty million individuals, accused of complicity in the Uprising, were arrested, interrogated, and either imprisoned or executed between December 1431 and November 1432. The Emperor, moreover, by a series of decrees in March 1432, outlawed many of the customs of the Polonian nobility; heavily restricted communications, transit, and public assembly in the Commonwealth's realms; and granted the Council of State unlimited authority over the Polonian civil service and over the implementation of laws. The Diet itself was now suspended "for all time to come", and absolute legislative initiative was conferred upon the Viceroy (Nurcrus was formally made Viceroy on April 8, 1432). Laurasian troops confiscated many of the estates and businesses which had been used by rebel movements; quartered on the properties of Polonian subjects; and beginning in May 1432, forced prominent Polonian magnates, officials, clergy, and military officers to swear an oath of allegiance to both the Viceroy and to Tiberius as Emperor of Laurasia. The program of Laurasian oppression would continue throughout 1432 and 1433, though at this stage, Tiberius refrained from a direct annexation of the Commonwealth's dominions.
  • In August 1432, a short, but sharp conflict, erupted between the Laurasian Empire on the one hand, and the Kingdom of Jageronia, along with the Hookiee Confederacy, on the other. King Liutprand of Jageronia, seeking once again to expel Laurasian units from the Robertian Regions, had sought for an ally to assist him in this endeavor. He now found this ally in the Hookiee Patriarch, Wroog, who was fearful of Laurasian ambitions along the Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route. The Treaty of Belederon had been signed on April 19, 1432, between the Hookiees and the Jageronians. They were to cooperate in expelling the Empire from the Robertian Regions, Elijahana, and Temperance. Temperance was to become a vassal of the Confederacy; Elijahana, Grand Junction, and Par'say was to pass under Hookiee control; and Jageronia would gain the remainder of the Robertian Regions. Thus, it had been that Hookiee and Jageronian forces had assembled for a move into the Empire's territories. On August 4, 1432, Wroog and Liutprand both declared war upon the Empire, and launched their forces into Laurasian territory. Jamaia fell to an allied offensive (August 4-7), followed by McEvlogue (August 10), Alamaia I (August 22); and Sofia (August 29). The Battle of Grazia (September 3-4, 1432), was a victory for the Hookiees, and from thence, they drove Laurasian units from Deborah and Borenraz (September 11). On September 14, Xander fell to the Jageronians, who were now threatening the Laurasian hold of Deservo, Gutium, and Robert Minor.
  • Emperor Tiberius, however, rapidly assigned the Governor of Robert, the Lord Brashanius, to launch a vigorous, and quick, counteroffensive against the Jageronians. Brashanius lured the Jageronians to a trap at Meris (September 29-22, 1432), and inflicted a decisive defeat upon their arms. He then recovered Xander and Alamaia I (October 1-4, 1432); defeated a Jageronian force at Izonza (October 11); and then stormed Corscio (October 14), an important Jageronian stronghold. Temperanian forces, on their part, won the Battle of Gedran (October 4-7, 1432), and then sacked Predosur (October 11), which had been in Hookiee hands since 1422. On October 28, 1432, the Battle of Renastasia ended in another victory for the Empire's forces; the Jageronians lost more than 175,000 troops. Then on November 4, the Hookiee colony of Kashyykk was stormed by a Laurasian task force; Belederon itself followed on November 9, and Laurasian forces were soon threatening Griffith, Lois, and Brian. This series of Laurasian advances, and the Laurasian seizure of Zebitrope, Trammis, and Hoxrel during the middle weeks of November 1432, finally convinced Liutprand and Wroog of the rashness of their moves. They therefore sued for peace on December 1, 1432. The Armistice of Hornsfield was signed two days later, and negotiations began at Moesby. These negotiations produced the Treaty of Moesby (December 30, 1432), which restored peace among all the powers with the status quo ante bellum, except that Lois and the colonies of Borstein and Malex was conceded to the Laurasian Empire, so as to better maintain its control over Temperance. Laurasia thus ended 1432 peacefully. The following year, 1433, would pass without anything of note occurring in the Empire, save for the continued oppression in the Commonwealth.
  • On April 28, 1432, the future Emperor Seleucus III (r. 1469) was born in Gorias Capital District, on Arias, in the Laurasian Empire. He was the son of Lucius Otho, 17th Laurasian Earl of Arias (1402-61), and his wife, Terentia Albia (1407-54). His family was one of the most ancient and noble in the Empire, having first emerged to prominence in the late tenth century, shortly after the reconquest of Laurasia Prime by Khan Tokhtamysh, and having inherited the Earldom of Arias (then known as the Princedom of Arias) in 1199, upon the extinction of the original Cremanies family. Young Seleucus would follow in his father's footsteps, and would eventually enroll in the Imperial Laurasian Army in 1450, upon his completion of his tutorial studies.

1434Edit

  • 1434 was marked by an event of much significance; the final incorporation of the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth. By January 1434, Emperor Tiberius had deemed that the continued existence of the Commonwealth would be impractical for the Empire, and that he should follow the example of Demetrius I, by directly incorporating a state which had already been subordinate to the Empire from years before. Laurasian dominance was prevalent in the Polonian and Donguarian Provinces; nationalist sentiments had for the time being been crushed; and the further expansion of the Empire's territory would appease his subjects, and do something to repair his reputation with them, damaged as it had been by the cruelties and the excesses of Praetorian Prefect Serjanius. Thus it was that on January 17, 1434, the Emperor formally announced the annexation of the territories of the Polonian-Donguarian Commonwealth into the Laurasian Empire. In his decree of annexation, he confirmed the abolition of all of the institutions of the Commonwealth, including the local sejimiks, the Diet, the Administrative Council, and the Council of State. The Viceroy of Polonia now became the Governor of Polonia Major; the Commonwealth, was, by the successive decrees of February 19 and March 5, 1434, divided into the Donguarian, Western Polonian, and Eastern Polonian Provinces. The full apparatus of Laurasian administration, civil service, and justice was introduced into the conquered territories; all Polonian law, and customs, were abolished; and all Polonian subjects were made denziens of the Empire, though not given rights as subjects (none except Laurasians would be until 1612).
  • Moreover, Emperor Tiberius confiscated the properties, titles, and honors of the Polonian-Donguarian nobility, and as had been done with other regions incorporated into the Empire, he created a whole new slate of peerages, for Laurasian magnates and those who he deemed fit to reward. Dukedoms of Donguaria Prima, Polonia Major, Polonia Minor, and Pressburg thereby resulted. All Polonian military units were dissolved, and incorporated into those of the Imperial Laurasian Military; Polonians were forbidden to hold office in the Imperial Laurasian Government; and the earlier prohibitions on public activity were reiterated. Thus, with the destruction of the Commonwealth, which had lasted for 265 years (since the Union of Lublin in 1169), the Empire had subdued the majority of its neighbors and enemies from the Great Briannian War. Solidarita, Melorkia, Polonia-Donguaria, and Briannia were all now part of the Empire; Venasia, deprived of most of its territories, remained only as a prostrate vassal. Consolidation of Laurasian rule over the territories of the former Commonwealth was to continue throughout 1435 and 1436; Emperor Tiberius also ordered for the Polonian Royal Crown and the Imperial Crown of Donguaria to be transported to Laurasia Prime, and placed at the Crown Armories.

1437Edit

  • The last years of Emperor Tiberius's reign witnessed a continuation of the treason trials and of the condemnations which had been carried out by Praetorian Prefect Serjanius, although in a somewhat reduced form. Chancellor Ledervaius was ruthless towards any who condemned the Emperor's policies, or who threatened his own position. In June 1435, a civil uprising on Calaxis II, Marsia, and Inspiter against the Chancellor's authority was suppressed by the Praetorian Guards; more than 150,000 dissidents were arrested and either imprisoned or executed on the Prefect's orders. Another outburst of dissent, this time at Americana, Lusculum, and Sarai in January 1436, resulted in the deportation of more than 250,000 persons from those three star systems, and the temporary imposition of marital law. Ledervaius, with the Emperor's permission, maintained the rigorous controls over communications and transit which had been imposed by Serjanius, and he refused to permit for any public assemblies on Laurasia Prime, or in other major star systems of the Empire, unless if they obtained license from the Senate for their activities. Ledervaius did, however, order a halt to confiscation of noble and aristocratic property as had been conducted by Serjanius; eliminated garrison payments and quartering practices the Prefect had pursued; and dismissed a number of the more superflous Guards regiments. He also lowered property tax rates, and confirmed the exemption of Christiania from all taxation by the imperial authorities. In November 1436, moreover, the Chancellor arranged for a series of lavish games to be held at the Galactic Opera, and he issued manifestos affirming his loyalty to the Almitian Church, as well as the loyalty of the Empire's subjects to their Emperor.
  • Emperor Tiberius himself now became more and more of a recluse on Paradine, and by December 1436, had once again withdrawn from all government affairs. One figure had now emerged as his heir apparent: Lord Caligula Secrus, the younger son of General Germanicus and Lady Agrippina Secrus. He had, since 1432, cultivated the Emperor's favor. With Tiberius's blessing, Caligula had married Junilla Claudilla at Tusculum in June 1433; she, however, died in November 1434, while giving birth to a stillborn son. The Emperor had, the following month, made Caligula a Suffect of Christiania, and in April 1435, Governor of Williams. These posts gave the young man political experience; he also had a honorary post in the Praetorian Guards, and was responsible for the security of the Emperor's household. He cultivated good relations with Chancellor Ledervaius and with the aristocratic circles on Laurasia Prime. Many were impressed by his energy and apparent patriotism, and thereby supported his claims to be the Emperor's successor. Though Caligula's mother, Lady Agrippina, had died at Siri on October 9, 1433, without ever being recalled, he did not hold this against the Emperor personally, and in fact had come to accept the necessity of his mother's exile. In December 1435, he became Quaestor of Paradine, and in March 1436, the Emperor made him Vice-Procurator General of the Governing Senate. Then in September 1436, the young man was created Duke of Tusculum, thereby giving him a elevated position among the Empire's nobility.
  • Praetorian Prefect Quintus Macro (1381-1438), who had succeeded Serjanius to that position in November 1431, supported Caligula's claims, and assured him of the loyalty of the Guards. With all of these factors working in his favor, Caligula was, in January 1437, finally able to secure a resolution to the matter. On January 7, 1437, Emperor Tiberius, whose health was by then in serious decline, signed and ratified his final will and testament. Using the 1322 Law of Succession to his advantage, the Emperor formally proclaimed the Duke of Tusculum to be his heir apparent. Caligula received an oath of allegiance from the bodies of the Imperial Laurasian Government, on the Emperor's command, two days later, thereby confirming his title to the succession. Then on January 16, the Emperor issued a proclamation to his subjects, justifying his decision and calling for any who opposed it to be "condemned and cast out by the Anti-Almitis himself." With the succession secure, the Emperor's health took a further downturn. He suffered a stroke in his private quarters on January 28, 1437, and on February 7, was moved to the Hospital of the Palace of Paradine. Tiberius first became incapable of speech, then of movement, and then finally lost his consciousness; by February 19, he was in a full-fledged coma. His doctors now despaired of him, and many throughout the Empire anticipated his death. Caligula now took steps to insure that the testament was obeyed, and had himself proclaimed Grand Prince on February 23, through the agency of Prefect Macro, to further consolidate his position as Tiberius's heir apparent. Tiberius lingered for another month in great agony, and to the agony of others.
  • Finally, on March 16, 1437, the Emperor Tiberius II, founder of the Tiberian Dynasty, died. He was 77 years old, the longest-lived sovereign in Laurasian history (a record which was not to be surpassed). Emperor Tiberius's death was greeted with much rejoicing on Laurasia Prime, and throughout the Empire's dominions. Many considered him, by his death, to be a tyrant and an imbecile, one who had allowed Prefect Serjanius to arise to such great power in the Empire's realms, and had himself abandoned the responsibilities of government. They considered him also to be mad, taking note of his personal excesses on Paradine. Yet Tiberius had overseen the Empire's further territorial expansion, in the Robertian Regions, Ashlgothia, and in Polonia-Donguaria; he had also subordinated Temperance, Venasia, and Beatrice under the Empire's suzerainty. By the eighteenth century, his reputation would be a mixed one, with some praising him for the military and diplomatic successes of his reign, and others decrying his domestic policies, and his own excesses. In any event, Caligula now succeeded him as Emperor and Autocrat of All the Laurasians. At the outset of his reign, Caligula was popular with all sects of the Empire's populace, from nobles, to government officials, to the military, to clergy, and to the common subjects. In his accession manifesto, the Emperor promised to govern in accord with the wishes of the people of the Empire. On his orders, two weeks of mourning for Tiberius were proclaimed. The Emperor's body was conveyed to Laurasia Prime, on March 19, and laid in state at the Quencilvanian Palace. Then on March 28, 1437, the new Emperor himself proceeded into the Laurasia Prime star system, and was given an enthusiastic reception by his subjects.
  • Many remembered that his father was the beloved and popular General Germanicus, and hailed him as his father's rightful heir. They hoped that he would continue Germanicus's legacy further, and preside over the further territorial expansion of the Empire. The Emperor's first acts were generous, though many were political in nature. He granted a series of bonuses and vacation privileges to the Empire's military forces, particularly the garrison of Laurasia Prime and the Praetorian Guards. He ordered for all of the treason reports and dossiers commissioned by his predecessor, Tiberius, to be destroyed, and for all trials or proceedings then planned to be stopped. He recalled almost all of those who had been exiled, and he pardoned more than half of his predecessor's victims. He had the remains of his siblings and mother brought back to Laurasia Prime; in September 1437, they were interred at the Old Westphalian Cathedral. He removed restrictions on communications and public assembly; cut back on the activities of the Imperial Intelligence Agency; and gave greater leeway to the municipal authorities of Christiania. The Emperor lowered all tax rates, reduced conscription rates, and issued a reconfirmation of the Sodomy Law of 1435, striking against sexual deviants and reasserting morality at the Imperial Court. He had all of Tiberius's concubines and menservants arrested and imprisoned on Ipsus V in April 1437. Then on April 19, 1437, Tiberius himself was interred at the Westphalian Cathedral. Four days later, Chancellor Ledervaius resigned; the Emperor appointed Sir Marcus Arrecinus Clemens (1396-1463) in his place.
  • On June 8, 1437, he crowned himself Emperor at the Old Westphalian Cathedral, and ordered for lavish celebrations to be conducted on Laurasia Prime as part of the attendant festivities. The Emperor respected the rights of the Holy Synod, encouraged renewed immigration into his realms, and even relaxed some restrictions imposed on the recently conquered Polonians, pardoning many of the most important officers and leaders of the Great Nationalist Uprising. Through all of these acts, he sought to establish his image as a benevolent and just sovereign. This period, however, was destined to last for only a short time. Indeed, in August 1437, signs were appearing that the honeymoon was over, for the Emperor indulged in outbursts against his personal servants at the Imperial Laurasian Court. Then on October 4, 1437, the Emperor suddenly fell violently ill, and had to be rushed to the Imperial Hospital of the Quencilvanian Palace. He was in delirium for ten days, and when he recovered from his illness, he was, in many respects, changed. Although it was discovered that the Emperor had contracted a bout of the Angrames malady, Caligula himself believed that he had been poisoned. He became irrational, and now decided to strike out at a number of individuals close to him, who he viewed with distrust. On November 4, 1437, the Emperor ordered for the arrest and imprisonment, at the Post Settlement of Hepudermia, of his cousin Grand Prince Tiberius Gamellus (1419-37), Emperor Tiberius's grandson. Gamellus had been a close friend and all of the Emperor's, but Caligula believed him responsible for his illness. He was tried by the Senate, convicted on all charges, and sentenced to death on November 9. This deed was carried out on November 14, in front of a crowd of more than 600,000 persons; it horrified many, who feared that the new Emperor might be in danger of becoming a tyrant.
  • And Caligula did not disappoint their fears. On November 17, he had both his former father-in-law, Sir Marcus Junius Silanus (1374-1437) and his brother-in-law, Baron Marcus Lepidus (1406-39), arrested. Silanus was tried and convicted by the Senate on November 22, and executed on Jadia, on December 3, 1437. Lepidus was sentenced to a long term of imprisonment, but would be released by the Emperor in March 1438 and for a time thereafter, actually favored by him. The Emperor also decided to get rid of Prefect Macro, who he now viewed as a threat. On December 9, 1437, the Prefect was arrested on the Emperor's orders, imprisoned at the Post Settlement of Hepudermia, and then, on December 14, attainted on charges of treason and conspiracy. He would be executed on January 11, 1438, and all of his properties and revenues were confiscated by the Emperor. He was replaced as Prefect by Chancellor Clemens, who was now one of the Emperor's chief favorites. 1437 ended with Laurasia having gained a new Emperor, who now seemed to be embarking on his own regime of terror, after a brief period of generosity and kindness towards his subjects.
  • On December 15, 1437, the future Emperor Antiochus III, the Mad, was born at the Imperial Hospital of the Quencilvanian Palace in Christiania, Laurasia Prime. He was the only child of Grand Princess Agrippina, sister of Emperor Caligula, and her husband Sir Gnaeus Ahenobarbus (1398-1440), whom she had married in 1435. This Antiochus was destined to become one of the most depraved monarchs in the history of Laurasia.

1438Edit

  • 1438 began with the Laurasian Empire, as previously mentioned, now under the rule of Emperor Caligula. In the early months of 1438, Caligula turned his attention to governmental matters again; his subjects breathed a sigh of relief, believing that he would not be another Tiberius after all. This was, however, only a temporary respite. In January 1438, the Emperor reformed the trial procedures of the Governing Senate and Court of General Assizes on Laurasia Prime. He mandated for all trial records to be made public; commanded the Senate to obtain depositions from all witnesses it summoned before it; and issued a series of judicial regulations, describing in detail how evidence was to be handled, and how the proceedings were to be conducted. As for the Court of Assizes, he mandated that all civilian juries chosen be comprised only of individuals who were conversant with the law, and forbade the juries from modifying any verdict passed down by the Court. He also authorized the Court to hold its sessions in public. On February 9, the Emperor formally established the Imperial Treasury, thereby combining the Reserve and the Exchequer into one uniform body; subordinated the body to the College of Finance; and ordered for all reports on public audits and revenues to be published in government dossiers.
  • The Emperor also subordinated all Praetors to the College of Justice (on February 14), thereby regularizing the judicial coordination system. Moreover, he exempted Constantinople and the Americanian Environs from taxation in March 1438, and established an Imperial Account for Emergencies in the Empire. He also expanded the operations of the Imperial Bank of Caladaria, and introduced new terms for loans and for credit. April 1438 saw the enactment of the Charter of Planetary Transit, thereby removing all of Serjanius's remaining restrictions on movement and on the transport of goods. He did, however, increase internal tariffs, and again increased the size of the Praetorian Guards. The Emperor also embarked on a number of architectural projects. He completed St. Augustine's Church and the Auditorium of Pliny in Christiania, both of whom had been begun under Tiberius. He improved the sanitation system of Laurasia Prime's cities, and sponsored the establishment of the Caverns of North Artica in June 1438. He sponsored the colonization of Boyega, Ridley, and Abrams in the Wild Marshes; ordered for the chartering of the Laurasia Prime-Metallasia Trace; and sent survey expeditions to the Galactic Center, to produce new and accurate maps of those regions. He also ordered for the establishment of new intelligence and agricultural outposts in the Muriel Cluster, and rehabilitated the ancient Redoubt of Ux-Parr. In September 1438, the Emperor would erect the Vatican Obelisk in Christiania, imported from Horacia, and he would order for the establishment of a new hyperdrive engineering factory at the Prelone Asteroid Belt.
  • Then in August 1438, the Emperor instigated another expansion of Laurasian influence: over the Kingdom of the Merlites. On August 9, the Emperor gave the order for the Empire's forces to cross the boundary into Merlite territory. The Imperial General Headquarters had drafted plans for such an operation in June 1436, and they had been given preliminary approval by Emperor Tiberius in January 1437, shortly before his final illness. These plans called for the swift occupation of major Merlite strongholds such as Bobria, Carolyn, and Korgia, and for the subjection of the Merlites to Laurasian tribute and military protection. Moreover, the Empire took advantage of long-simmering civil and economic distress within the Merlite realms, and Merlite fears of Scottrian and Anastasian territorial ambitions. Caligula, eager for glory of his own, did not defer in following through with plans laid under his predecessor. As expected, Laurasian operations proceeded swiftly. Bobria was occupied within a fortnight; Carolyn followed on August 14, and then came Korgia (August 18); Alec (August 22); Austin (August 24); Aretha (August 26); Evan (September 9); and the colony of Franklin (September 15). Finally, on October 4, 1438, Laurasian forces blockaded Merilash, threatening to bombard the world into oblivion unless if King Cabanchan II (1435-38) surrendered immediately.
  • The King of the Merlites, finding that he had no hope of foreign assistance, capitulated the following day. Laurasian troops occupied Merilash, and compelled Cabanchan to summon the Merlite Hereditary Council. All of these Laurasian operations were commanded by Admiral Nucrus. On November 1, 1438, Cabanchan was forced to abdicate, and the Council now selected the Laurasian candidate, Prince Corlio, as Corlio VII. Then on November 17, 1438, the Treaty of Merilash was signed. By the terms of this treaty, Corlio pledged himself as a vassal to the Emperor of Laurasia. In exchange for autonomy over his domestic affairs, and the right to maintain a military force, Corlio promised to conclude no treaty hostile to Laurasian efforts; to support the Empire in its campaigns against foreign enemies; and to grant free trade, transit, and communications privileges to Laurasian subjects in his dominions. He also agreed to allow for Laurasian intervention in times of rebellion or unrest, and submitted to the confirmation of all his future successors by the Emperors of Laurasia. The Treaty of Merilash, ratified by Emperor Caligula in December 1438, established Merlita as yet another Laurasian vassal. It was to remain as such until 1474. As for Cabanchan, he would banished to Morgania Minor, and would die there on August 1, 1470 (three centuries before the Battle of Kagul).

1439Edit

  • 1439, the 39th year of the fifteenth century, began with the Laurasian Empire having gained another vassal, in the form of the Kingdom of Merlita, and with Emperor Caligula having pursued a series of further reforms in the Imperial Laurasian Government. Yet the Emperor's paranoia returned in this year. It not only returned, but intensified, so that he soon earned the ire of many of his subjects. In January 1439, the Emperor conducted a short progress in the vicinity of Laurasia Prime, and issued a series of manifestos, announcing that the Empire continued to be blessed under his rule, and that he would ensure that the Empire's interests were always maintained. He was then conducting an expansion of the Quencilvanian Palace, and also planned to build for himself a new residence on Americana. Moreover, he conducted other beneficial projects. Taurasia was to see the construction of the Caliguilan Ramparts in this year, one of the most hailed architectural achievements of the fifteenth century. The Emperor also constructed a new retreat on Samos; contributed his resources to the construction of the Temple of Apollo, for the Laurasian Secrist cult, on Aquilionia; and ordered for the construction of hyperspace control terminals at Gordasis and Courdina V. Yet he now turned his attention back to affairs at the Imperial Laurasian Court. Indeed, what was transpiring there was to alarm the Emperor, and to launch him into a further spate of oppression.
  • His sister, Grand Princess Julia Drusilla, had died on June 10, 1438, in Constantinople, during an outbreak of pupetric fever in that city. The Emperor himself had been at his sister's bedside throughout most of her illness, had bewailed her death, and had ordered for her to be given a great state funeral at the Old Westphalian Cathedral. Throughout the early years of his reign, indeed, he had remained on good terms with all of his sisters. Grand Princess Livilla and Agrippina both received honors, properties, and annuities from their brother, and both were given precedence over all other women at the Imperial Court. Yet Caligula's own increasing personal irrationality contributed to a change in behavior on their part. Both sisters, in conjunction with Sir Lepidus, who had narrowly avoided execution earlier, now became involved in a conspiracy, in February 1439, for the overthrow of their imperial brother. There were some at the Court who believed that Caligula's overthrow would allow for the institutions of the Imperial Laurasian Government to become predominant. Agrippina herself was ambitious, and felt that by eliminating her brother, she would be able to gain increasing power and influence for herself.
  • The conspiracy was to include Caligula's seizure and imprisonment by a corps of select Praetorian Guards, loyal to the conspirators, and for Lepidus to be acclaimed by the Senate and the Synod as Emperor. Caligula himself would be banished to Jenny or Windowia Photis, and any associated with him (such as Chancellor and Prefect Clemens), were to be tried and executed. Yet this plot, from the first, was doomed to failure. On March 8, the Prefect himself, who made it his business to keep himself informed of all of the affairs of the Court, learned of seditious talk among the servants of the Household. He now alerted the Emperor to this, and expressed his belief that a conspiracy was being formulated against him. Emperor Caligula shrieked in terror, and he now ordered for a thorough investigation of the rumors, entrusting the Prefect with the responsibility. By March 12, Clemens had discovered the complicity of Agrippina, Livilla, and of Sir Lepidus in the conspiracy, and of their plans against the Emperor. Caligula was angered when presented with the evidence, but decided to show no mercy. Two days later, the Emperor ordered for his sisters, Lepidus, and twenty of their associates to be arrested. They were imprisoned at the Post Settlement of Hepudermia; Clemens, other Senators, and the Secretary of the College of Justice, Sir Ammonius Marthania, then vigorously questioned them. On March 19, 1439, the Emperor had them all brought before the Senate, and tried for their crimes. Within two hours, they were convicted of charges of treason, conspiracy, and les-majestie. Lepidus and the minor conspirators were sentenced to death; Livilla and Agrippina to imprisonment. The sentence against Lepidus was carried out on April 9, 1439, at Hepudermia; he was killed by firing squad, before a crowd of more than 500,000 spectators. The Emperor's two sisters, on their part, were taken from Laurasia Prime on April 14, and incarcerated at the Monastery of Windowia Photis. There, they were to remain until the end of their brother's reign. Emperor Caligula then ordered for a purge of his household servants, dismissing and exiling or imprisoning more than two-thirds of them between March and September 1439.
  • The Emperor was now dealing with financial pressures. In June 1439, the Laurasia Prime Stock Exchange, overburdened by years of reckless speculation, suffered a catastrophic collapse in its value; more than five million points were lost; and the economy was disjointed. Taxation revenues declined almost immediately, unemployment crept up to 8%, and inflation became rampant on Laurasia Prime, and throughout the Purse Region. Seeking to redress the situation, the Emperor then embarked upon a series of reckless financial policies of his own. He devalued the denarii by more than 10%; canceled all of the Imperial Household's outstanding debts and obligations; and ordered for all wills and testaments to be modified, so that items of value and revenues accrued to the Imperial Treasury. He called in loans from the Bank of Caladaria and other institutions; sold off imperial properties; and levied new taxes on lawsuits, weddings, and funerals. He even contemplated legalizing prostitution, so as to take advantage of its lucrative tax revenues. The Emperor also resumed Serjanius's confiscations, and extended these to the properties of the Church; more than 500 monasteries, abbacies, and citadels were seized during the later months of 1439. The nobles and clergy alike were alienated by this; Caligula further inflamed tensions by increasing the tithe demanded from church congregations, and levying a 10% capitation on all services offered by Deacons and Deans.
  • The Emperor's relations with the Senate and Synod collapsed. On August 3, 1439, he dismissed the Chief Procurator, the Archbishop of Caladaria, and more than twenty of his colleagues from office. He then ordered for all of Tiberius's surviving treason dossiers to be re-authorized, and declared that many of the charges they contained were valid. The Emperor then ordered for the arrest, attainment, and execution of more than two hundred personages, including the Earls of Darsis, Clackimaris, Janesia, and Reoyania; the heads of Katherine Drive Yards, IBSM, and Haladian Stores; and the Mayors of Constantinople and Columbia. He also imprisoned twenty members of the Senate, imposed restrictions on their discussion privileges, and barred his subjects from presenting any petitions to him. To enforce his will, the Emperor deployed the Guards more freely, again increased their size, and in November 1439, reintroduced conscription rates imposed by Serjanius. On November 9, he had the Senatorial Procurator of Clancia, Gnaeus Gaetuclius (1390-1439), attainted and executed for involvement with the conspiracy of Sir Lepidus. Then on December 3, the Emperor constructed a chain of warships stretching from Darcia to Hovium Minor. This feat, he claimed, was in imitation of the feat performed by Xer'xac of the Millian Empire, in his invasion of the Core in the 2nd century AH. The Emperor then had his personal corvette charge in the midst of the chain, and destroy it through successive bombardments. This was also combined with his movement of troops to Leslie, Larkin, Ashlgothia Minor, Trebek, Nicole, and Redia, apparently for an attack against the Neo-Anastasian Empire. At the last minute, however, he recalled the troops (December 18, 1439), and ordered for the Court to celebrate his victories. Many Laurasians, by the end of 1439, were angered by the antics of their Emperor.
  • On December 30, 1439, the future Emperor Titus (1479-81) was born in Ravarian City, Compost V, the son of future Emperor Vespasian and his wife Domtilla. Titus was their eldest child; his younger siblings were to be his sister, Domtilla (1445-66), named after her mother, and his own successor as Emperor, Antiochus (1451-96). Vespasian was serving as Aedile of Compost V at the time of his son's birth.

1440Edit

  • 1440, the 40th year of the fifteenth century, began with the Laurasian Empire swaying under the rule of the depraved Emperor Caligula, who was, in some ways, revealing himself to be even more of a tyrannical ruler than his predecessor, Tiberius, had become. Caligula had resumed with the treason trials and with many of the other hated policies of Praetorian Prefect Serjanius. Moreover, the Emperor was now trying to elevate his own status in the eyes of his subjects. Beginning in January 1440, the Emperor began appearing in public dressed as various prophets and angels from the Almitian Testaments, including Eusebius, Simon, Matthew, John, and St. Paul himself. He began referring to himself as the next "apostle of Almitis" in public and even ordered that this status be alluded to in charters and manifestos issued from the Imperial Laurasian Court. The Emperor then ordered, on February 14, 1440, for a sacred precinct to be set apart on Hepudermia at the Grove of Miletus, meant specifically for his worship as an acolyte of Almitis; in March 1440, the Emperor would carry this further by announcing plans to construct a new cathedral in the heart of Christiania, by which he would honor those disciples of Almitis which he associated with his own person. He commanded the Holy Synod to accept as canon the Book of Jasher, which, Caligula claimed, included prophecies of the rise of a "great sovereign prophet who would bring knowledge and power to his subjects, and would reveal to them his ties with Almitis, and how those ties protected them from all foreign threats." He issued manifestos through the body, threatening to excommunicate or interdict anyone who refused to acknowledge his special status within the Church.
  • He increased further the tithes demanded from Almitian congregations; confiscated a number of monasteries for his own purposes; and modified the Rituals Regulations, so as to incorporate references to him specifically. The Cathedral of Sts. Castor and Pollux, in Colombia, was rededicated in honor of the Emperor in April 1440. At many Almitian edifices, both on Laurasia Prime and throughout the Empire, the Emperor had his officials and the local clergymen remove many of the frescoes, statutes, and monuments of other Almitian figures, and replace them with ones of himself, and of the members of his own family and personal household. He went as far as to proclaim his father, General Germanicus, a saint on June 8, 1440, enshrining him in the pantheon of the Almitian Church's protectors, and having a obelisk erected in his memory at the Cron Drift. The Emperor also ordered for the arrest and imprisonment of the Metropolitans of Ashlgothia and Polonia, when they refused to enforce his religious policies in those territories, and he issued an injunction forbidding any Almitian clergyman from criticizing any of his innovations.
  • Besides his religious and other domestic policies, the Emperor also engaged in further follies, and in one true endeavor of expansion, for the Empire. In June 1440, the Emperor conducted a trip to Kanjur, and announced his intention of launching an invasion of the Hypasian Confederacy. Soon, however, he changed his mind, and he ordered for those of his household who had attended him to take advantage of the luxuries offered by the Kelvanian Provinces. Caligula himself visited the systems of Kelvania Major, Kelvania Minor, Mordan, and Anjun, during June and July 1440. His return to Laurasia Prime, on August 4, 1440, was marked by another triumph on Laurasia Prime; this was done in spite of the fact that the Emperor had not yet instigated any military campaign of any significance. He then ordered for a statute of himself to be erected in the Public Square of Christiania, and for prayers to be offered for his well-being at all of the Empire's religious edifices. Yet this was followed by his actual positive act for the Empire's growth. On August 19, 1440, he suddenly summoned his vassal, King Ptolemaic of Beatrice, to Laurasia Prime, ostensibly for a conference and a banquet in his honor at the Quencilvanian Palace. Ptolemaic, who had received assurances from the Imperial Laurasian Government that the Emperor intended to divert more military units for the protection of Beatrice, and that he was contemplating ideas of assaulting the Neo-Anastasian Empire, did not defer. He departed from his capital world the following day, crossed the boundary into the Empire, and proceeded thence to Laurasia Prime, arriving on the capital world on August 24.
  • He was received by Emperor Caligula and the Imperial Laurasian Court with great ceremonial, and was treated to a series of festivities in his honor. Caligula, however, had more sinister plans. On September 5, 1440, on the Emperor's instructions, Ptolemaic's food was poisoned. The King, knowing not of this, had his breakfast in his chambers, and fell violently ill. He was rushed by his staff to the Imperial Hospital, but in spite of the efforts of the physicians, the King of Beatrice died later that morning. His death left Caligula free to do as he chose with Beatrice. The Treaty of Denver gave the Emperor of Laurasia the ability to choose Ptolemaic's successor as King. Caligula now declared himself to be such, and announced the official annexation of Beatrice on September 9, 1440. Beatrice, Ginger, Zoo, Trieste, Safer, and Masau were all occupied by Laurasian units without trouble; the nobility and administration of the Kingdom were forced to swear an oath of allegiance to Caligula as Emperor; and Beatrice was incorporated into the Laurasian Empire. This gave the Empire control of the Beatrician Bend, which intersected Nicole and Redia, and thereby eased Laurasian access into the Upper Barsar Regions. The annexation of Beatrice would be consolidated by November 1440, and at that time, the Emperor formally organized its new provincial administration.
  • On October 5, 1440, the Queen Mother of Venasia, Helsia, died on Hapes after a reign of eighteen years. The Queen Mother's health had entered decline during the last two years of her life. She had been unable to participate in the rituals of the Venasian Court, and had delegated more responsibilities, both to the Council of High Ones and to her daughter, Princess Malichina. In accordance with the terms of the Treaty of Venasia Prime, Emperor Caligula confirmed Malichina as the new Queen Mother of Venasia. Malichina, on her part, reaffirmed her commitment to the terms of the Treaty, and on October 14, proceeded to Aflac, where she formally paid homage to her Laurasian suzerain. Caligula contemplated ideas at this time of disposing of the Queen Mother, and of annexing the Venasian Consortium directly into the Empire. However, his vanities made the Consortium's continued existence an appealing fact for him, and he did not proceed with that course of action. Malichina returned to Venasia Prime four days later, being formally crowned Queen Mother. Her mother, Helsia, was buried on November 1, 1440, at the Mausoleum of the Queen Mothers.

1441Edit

  • By January 1441, Emperor Caligula had become loathed by his subjects, and by many within the Imperial Laurasian Government itself, for his misdeeds. Many were now openly comparing him to such depraved and tyrannical rulers in the past history of Laurasia such as Honorius the Terrible. And of course, his reign was considered, in many ways, to be merely the continuation of that of his predecessor's, Emperor Tiberius. It had become apparent to the Praetorian Guards, the Senate, and to other factions within the Imperial Government that Caligula needed to be disposed of. Thus, a conspiracy for his assassination, from the preceding month, had been fomented by the Commander of the 2nd Cohort of the Guards, Sir Cassius Chaerea (1403-41). Chaerea felt himself personally insulted by the Emperor's antics, for whenever he had paid the proper respects to His Majesty, the Emperor had taken his hands "and caressed the officer's face in an obscene manner" (according to Sir Suetonius Tranquillius). On January 7, Chaerea met with his fellow associates in the Guards in order to plan out the assassination of the Emperor. Originally, they sought to murder the Emperor as he presided over the Candlemass pageant at the Imperial Court. Their plans however, shifted, when on January 12, the Emperor announced his intention to move the Empire's capital from Laurasia Prime to Melarnaria in the Central Core, an act which outraged many on the capital world. To Chaerea, it was necessary that the Emperor be stopped before he could carry out his plans. Thus, on January 24, 1441, Chaerea and twelve of his colleagues accosted the Emperor at the Great Chamber of the Quencilvanian Palace, as he addressed an acting troupe of young men, during a series of games and dramatics held in the memory of the Empire's founder, Seleucus the Victor.
  • The Emperor demanded the reasons for their defiance, and called upon his own regiment of Guards to deal with Chaerea and his men. Chaerea, however, left nothing to chance, and he now lunged at the Emperor, striking him several times with his vibroblade. Caligula's pleas for help availed him nothing, and he collapsed to the ground. By the time his personal bodyguards finally arrived, the Emperor was already dead. Chaerea and his men then dispatched those guards, and then proceeded to attack other prominent personages in the immediate vicinity. It now became apparent that the Commander was intent upon the general extermination of the imperial family. Forty other individuals, during the course of the next two hours, were killed by the conspirators. This included the Empress Consort, Caesonia, who had been married to Caligula in September 1439, and their infant daughter, Julia Drusilla (who had been born on January 7, 1440, at Americana). Empress Caesonia yielded to the conspirators bravely, posing no resistance to their arms; her daughter was killed by having her "brains bashed against the chamber walls." The Emperor's uncle, Grand Prince Claudius, now fled to his bedchambers in the Palace, and sought to hide from the conspirators. He himself witnessed a number of his friends and attendants being murdered by the conspirators. Yet fortune now worked in his favor. One of the loyal members of the Guards, Sir Gratus Carasius (1410-75), found the Grand Prince, dropped to his knees, and hailed him as Emperor and Autocrat of All the Laurasians.
  • The Guard assured Claudius that he was not one of the conspirators, and that the regiments were prepared to protect Claudius against them. He and some of his associates, having acknowledged Claudius as Emperor, then spirited him away to the Casta Praetoria in the city of Christiania; Praetorian Prefect Clemens himself hailed Claudius as Emperor and guaranteed him his safety. The Senate and Synod, in the meantime, had quickly assembled. A debate ensued among the two bodies of state, as they considered who should succeed to the throne (for Caligula had not named a successor before his death). The question was quickly settled by the Guards themselves, who now surrounded the Meeting Chambers of the Quencilvanian Palace, and demanded that the Councils proclaim Claudius, as they had proclaimed him. They had no choice, and during the late hours of January 24, Claudius formally became Claudius II, Emperor and Autocrat of All Laurasia. The new Emperor Claudius, who was the first Emperor to be proclaimed by the Guards, ordered for his predecessor's memory to be excommunicated. The Senate imposed a sentence of damnatio memoriae upon Caligula, his wife, and daughter. All of Caligula's statutes, public monuments, and honors were destroyed. The Book of Jasher was removed from the canon, and any regulations relating to the worship of Caligula, or his status as a prophet of the Almitian Church were revoked. The Holy Synod also renounced all manifestos it had issued on Caligula's behalf, and plans for the establishment of a cathedral in his honor were set aside. The Emperor also confirmed the privileges of the Almitian Church, and, to reward the Guards for having supported him, conferred upon them a substantial donative. This was the first time that the Guards had received a financial bonus on the accession of a new sovereign, and it was a practice which would be adhered to until the time of Neuchrus I.
  • The Emperor, on February 7, 1441, had the memory of Tiberius's mother, Grand Princess Livia Nero, posthumously blessed. He ordered for the remains of Caligula and of his wife and daughter to be interred at the Post Settlement of Hepudermia. Then on February 16, he formally released Caligula's sisters, Grand Princesses Agrippina and Livilla, from exile, and permitted them to return back to the Imperial Court on Laurasia Prime. Livilla returned to her husband, while Agrippina took charge of her son, young Antiochus, who was now three years old. On March 18, 1441, Claudius formally crowned himself Emperor at the Old Westphalian Cathedral, and staged, in conjunction with the coronation, extensive celebrations. A month before, on February 12, his son, Grand Prince Brittanicus, had been born at the Old Royal Palace, to his wife and consort at the onset of his reign, Empress Messalina (1417-48). Claudius had been married to Messalina on September 23, 1439, and they had a daughter, who became Grand Princess Octavia, in June 1440, before his accession.
  • The Emperor was then confronted with a challenge in the territories of Beatrice, which had been annexed by Caligula the year before. In July 1441, King Ptolemaic's former secretary, Aaedemon, who could not in his conscience support the continued Laurasian rule of Beatrice, decided to instigate a rebellion against the Imperial Laurasian Government. On July 17, he appeared at the outskirts of Trieste, and announced, in a proclamation to the subjects of Beatrice, his determination to resist the further intrusions of the Laurasian power. Trieste itself, only recently consolidated under the Laurasian grip, flung its gates open to the Secretary, and he now made it his chief headquarters. From Trieste, Aaedemon quickly secured control of the Beatrician colonies of Rusadier (July 18-22), Luxis (July 25), and Septem (August 1). On August 4, 1441, the Battle of the Atlaiana resulted in a decisive victory for rebel forces; from thence, Safer fell into Beatrician hands. Beatrician expeditions attacked Gigi, Stapleton, Walden, Warren, and Leslie during the course of August 1441, in the Ashlgothian Provinces, hoping to thereby keep the Laurasians off balance. Zoo fell on September 3, 1441, and was then followed by Banasa and Vollubis (both of whom were subdued by September 10). On September 12, the Battle of Chellah ended in another victory for Aaedemon's forces. Emperor Claudius, determined to consolidate his predecessor's conquest of Beatrice, now ordered Legate-General Sir Gnaeus Hosidius Geta (1410-95), to suppress the rebellion. Geta, whose chief subordinate was Brigadier-General Suetonius Paulinus (1413-76), who would become known as the suppressor of Boudicca's Rebellion two decades later, acted swiftly. In a feat of military daring, he pushed from India, along the Denveranian Trunk Line, and to Vollubis (September 14-17, 1441), reconquering the stronghold.
  • From thence, he defeated the Beatrician General Sabalus in the Battle of Bejara (September 23, 1441). Banasa and Chellah were then recovered by October 7, and on October 14, 1441, the Battle of Bolua ended in another victory for General Geta. Paulinus then distinguished himself at Chaka (October 17-22, 1441), and then penetrated the defenses of Luxis (October 28). On November 3, Septem was reconquered by the Empire's forces; Zoo followed on November 8; and on November 13, a move against Beatrice Minor, by Sabalus and Aaedemon, was defeated in the Battle of Stflis. Finally, on November 24, 1441, the decisive Battle of Sfasteria was fought between the Empire's forces under Geta and Paulinus on the one hand, and those of Aaedemon and Sabalus on the other. This battle resulted in a victory for the Laurasians, and in the capture of both Geta and Paulinus. Trieste was recovered by government forces on December 7, and the final rebel units were destroyed at Sinadda and Subbar on December 10. Aaedemon and Sabalus were, on the orders of the Emperor, bound in chains, placed on a transport, and on December 14, conveyed to Laurasia Prime. Arriving there two days later, they were both examined by the Emperor himself. Claudius then had them paraded through the streets of Christiania, and on December 20, both were attainted. Their executions at Hepudermia (December 23, 1441), was witnessed by a crowd of more than 400,000 persons. By the end of 1441, therefore, Laurasian rule over Beatrice was secure.

1442Edit

  • 1442, the 42nd year of the fifteenth century, began with the Laurasian Empire having now passed under the rule of Claudius II, who was, in so many ways, different from his two predecessors, Tiberius II and Caligula. Emperor Claudius, in fact, was determined that the Empire's internal stability be maintained, and that the errors of the preceding reigns be corrected. To that end, the Emperor sought to implement a series of policies, in regards to the Almitian Church, to finances, and to government, in order to strengthen his own position and that of the Imperial Laurasian Government. He announced his goals in the proclamation of January 7, 1442, declaring that the Lord Almitis had called upon him to look after the prosperity and the interests of his subjects. He sought to establish a positive relationship with both the Senate and the Synod, deeming this especially important because of the circumstances of his accession. The Emperor attended sessions of the Senate on a routine basis, treated its members with great respect, and participated in all discussions just like any other normal member. He made a point of insisting on the precedence of Senators in ceremonies of state, and of honoring their position at the Imperial Court.
  • Moreover, Claudius, in February 1442, issued a series of manifestos confirming the Senate's prerogatives, including its right to impose damnatio memoriae, to confer decorations and knighthoods upon prominent individuals in the Imperial State, and for its members to be exempt from all taxation. He encouraged the Senate to publish proclamations and decrees on matters of importance to the Imperial Laurasian Government, and he allowed for the Senate to issue its own ceremonial medallions and coinage, the first time this privilege had been granted to the body. Moreover, he set about remodelling the Senate into a more efficient and more responsible administrative body. He reminded the Senators about their duties of justice and administration, admitted five more members to the ranks of the body, and in 1447, ordered for the dismissal of all Senators who failed to meet the qualifications for office set by him personally. However, he guaranteed that all former Senators were to receive pensions, unless if they had been removed due to opposition or resistance to His Majesty, and he forbade the College of Justice from pressing charges against the Senate without foundation. As regards to the Synod, Claudius, in March 1442, reaffirmed its right to issue regulations and directives relating to Church affairs.
  • He forbade the Colleges of State from pressuring the Synod to extend the Almitian Scriptures, and confirmed the invioability of those documents. He took his role as Pontifex Maximus very seriously, and presided over all of the sacred ceremonies and festivals in which his presence was required. He reduced the tithe demanded of Almitian congregations to 10%; abolished the extra taxes upon the clergy, church property, and church services which had been imposed by Tiberius and Caligula; and further limited the powers of the Commission of Economy, restoring autonomy over tax returns, bonds, and obligations to the Church's monasterial orders and foundations. The Emperor eliminated many miscellaneous celebrations introduced by Caligula, simplified the religious calendar, and in June 1443, issued an absolute prohibition for any but the acknowledged saints and figures of Almitism to be honored by the Church in the future. In 1444, he enacted a series of measures to reduce proselytizing, and vigorously renewed the Heresy Laws, authorizing for the Church to conduct inquiries into such sects as Janeism and Almitian Heysachism. He also completed the reconciliation of the Old Believers with the Official Church, in January 1445, and formally abolished all remaining semblances of their autonomy.
  • The Emperor placed a renewed emphasis upon equity and the operations of the judicial system. Continuing the practice of Laurasian monarchs, going back to the time of Gordian I, he himself personally judged many legal cases relating to the Imperial Court and to the Empire's nobility; he also had the final say on cases heard by the Senate and the Court of General Assizes. Claudius, in June 1442, raised the qualifications for expert juries, by imposing a new minimum age of 25. He shortened the legal term, introducing the practice of holding breaks both in the summer solstice and in the fall solstice. Moreover, the Emperor required all plantiffs to be held to the same standards as defendants, and he also limited the amount of evidence which could be used in the Court, thereby clearing out the docket of many of the Empire's civil courts. In November 1442, he issued a decree mandating that any who had assumed rights to subjectship of the Empire were to retain such rights, but laid strict penalties on any who attempted to claim they were subjects without documentation. He reasserted the sharp differentiation between subjects and conquered peoples of the Empire, though from 1442 to 1445 he issued a number of decrees granting such rights to individual colonies and communities in Beatrice, Polonia, Donguaria, and Upper Melorkia.
  • The Emperor also continued with the centralization of the Imperial Laurasian Government. In July 1441, he had appointed as his Chancellor Sir Tiberius Claudius Narcissus (1387-1454). Narcissus, who would eventually become 1st Baron Narcissus of Clevemenia in September 1448, was of very humble origins, having once been a common laborer on Augis V. He proved himself, however, to be a loyal and efficient servant of the Emperor's. Claudius also appointed Sir Pallas Clasterius (1406-62) as the Secretary of the College of Finance and Chief Officer of the Imperial Treasury; Sir Callistus Galarnia (1410-52), as Secretary of the College of Justice; and Sir Polybius Iulia (1397-1446), as the Secretary of the Imperial Chancellory. Like Narcissus, all of these men were of humble origins, and all of them served the Emperor loyally. It was on the initiative of Iulia and Narcissus, in fact, that Claudius established the Imperial Council of Secretaries in February 1442, in order to coordinate the activities of the Colleges of State, and to dispense advice on government affairs to him. And in May 1448, it was Narcissus and Clasterius who were responsible for the reformation of the Empire's provincial administration. Emperor Claudius now abolished the system of districts and provinces as had been established by Antiochus the Great; he now reorganized the Empire into twelve Senatorial, and twelve Imperial Provinces.
  • The Senatorial Provinces were to encompass the Empire's oldest, more "civilized" regions: Laurasia Prime, the Central Core (except for Ivoria), Briannia, parts of Solidarita, Malaria, Murphy, and Schaueria Prime were included in this definition. They were to each be controlled by a Senatorial Procurator, appointed by the Senate but confirmed by the Emperor, and answering to both the Senate and to the Emperor. The Senate was to have the right to station its own representatives in these provinces, to demand additional reports from them, and to override the actions undertaken by the local governments of those provinces. The Imperial Provinces, on their part, were each placed under the authority of a Imperial Governor, answerable only to the Emperor, and appointed, as well as dismissed, solely by him. Over these provinces the Senate enjoyed only normal powers, and it was the Imperial Chancellory which would be responsible for maintaining oversight of these territories. In all provinces, governors were to enjoy both military and civil authority; to be assisted by a Praetor of Justice, a Aedile of Finance, and a Quaestor of Security; and they were to enforce the Empire's laws on a regular basis. The reorganization of the provincial administration, as implemented by Claudius, was to last for more than two centuries until Neuchrus the Reformer's comprehensive reforms of 1695-96.
  • 1442 also saw the execution of Grand Princess Livilla and of Lady Julia Filia (1408-43), the daughter of Emperor Tiberius's son, Grand Prince Drusus. Claudius's wife, the scheming and reprehensible Empress Messalina, was determined to root out other women at the Imperial Laurasian Court who, she believed, would pose a threat to her own security and position. It was thus that she, in July 1442, accused both Livilla and Lady Filia of having plotted to assassinate the Emperor and seize the throne for their own supporters. Emperor Claudius, who was entranced by his wife's beauty, and willing to believe anything she said, ordered for both women to be arrested and interrogated at the Old Royal Palace. Livilla strongly maintained her innocence, declaring that she would never move against the man who had freed her from the exile into which her brother, Caligula, had cast her; but Lady Filia was not so strong, and breaking down under pressure, soon confessed to a slew of outrageous crimes. She stated that she had indeed plotted against the Emperor; that Livilla had been complicit in the plot; and that she had also given herself over to the wiles of the Anti-Almitis. Claudius, when hearing this, decided that was enough for him. On August 8, 1442, he had both women attainted and conveyed to the Post Settlement of Hepudermia. There, they were executed on August 21, before a crowd of 600,000 persons. The Senate laid damnatio memoriae upon both of them; they were also excommunicated by the Holy Synod, and in October 1442, became the first, under the Empire, to suffer the indignity of being dumped into the Pit of Traitors on Jadia (which would be formalized by Emperor Claudius in November of that year). This was the only act of paranoia by Claudius during this year, otherwise, of reform and stability.

1443Edit

  • 1443, the 43rd year of the fifteenth century, commenced with the Laurasian Empire of Claudius II continuing to undergo a program of reforms in regards to its finances, government, and religious affairs. Yet the Emperor of Laurasia always had his goals set upon the Empire's territorial expansion. Claudius was determined to strengthen the Empire's position in both the Wild Marshes and in the Middle Territories. He acted first in the Middle Territories. To him, the continued existence of the League of Way'tosk and of the Kingdom of Temperance was unnecessary. By 1443, the Imperial Laurasian Government felt that the direct incorporation of those territories would strengthen the Empire's position in regards to both the Hookiee Confederacy and the Kingdom of Jageronia. This was an idea which Claudius himself had vigorously promoted. On January 18, 1443, in a manifesto to his subjects, the Emperor announced his intentions to take action in Way'tosk. On February 2, he ordered for the Laurasian diplomatic garrisons and troops stationed in the League's territory to assume full control of the garrisons and star systems there, and to begin the process of dismantling Way'toskian government operations. These units, which were commanded by General Geta, proceeded quickly; soon, Bacturis Invictis, Wayne, Bor'say, and Grand Junction had all seen the dismantlement of their previously existing governmental structures. Then, on February 19, 1443, Geta proceeded onto Way'tosk personally, and with his superior forces, forced the League Council to convene at the Palace of Emperor Heu'storr the Great.
  • There, the Council was presented with the Laurasian conditions: acknowledge the authority of the Imperial Laurasian Government, along the annexation of all the League territories into the Laurasian Empire, and be confirmed in turn, of possession of their personal titles, estates, and status. The President of the Council, Heur'lac, understanding that resistance to these demands were futile, capitulated quickly, along with his associates on the Council. On March 1, 1443, they signed the Capitulations of Way'tosk, embodying all of the terms presented to them by the Laurasian General. Four days later, Emperor Claudius, who had moved to Gunevere, issued a manifesto formally annexing the territories of the League of Way'tosk into the Laurasian Empire; abolishing the Council and all other League governmental institutions; and confirming the terms of the Capitulations of Way'tosk. All League resources and revenues were confiscated by Laurasian officials, and Way'tosk itself was placed under the jurisdiction of a imperial governor, appointed by the Emperor personally. The old capital world of the ancient Millian Empire, 1,116 years after its fall to Sargon the Conqueror, was now under the control of the Laurasian Empire.
  • The annexation of Way'tosk had been an easy task for the Emperor and his government. They now turned to one of a more challenging, and demanding nature: the subjection of the Hypasian Provinces. Laurasia's interactions with Hypasia had, in recent times, been of some note. The Hypasian Hegemony had emerged in 1353, as the collapse of the Kingdom of Greater Donathia proceeded in due course; its vassal, the Kingdom of Amelianian Cordania, was unable to maintain control in the Wild Marshes. From 1362, the Emperors of Laurasia had taken an interest in the territory. Antiochus the Great himself exchanged correspondence with the first Hypasian Hegemon, Cassel Vangh (1353-80), and in 1375, the two rulers had concluded the Treaty of Giron, thereby providing for tariff-free commerce and free transit between the two realms. This policy of friendliness had been continued by Vangh's successors as Hegemon, his son Tranh Vangh (1380-1409) and grandson Belivu (1409-40). Belivu, in particular, was friendly to the interests of the Laurasian Empire, and in 1413, he signed, at Patsy, a Treaty of Amity and Commerce with the Imperial Laurasian Government. Yet all of these hegemons had contended with the defiance of their various vassals, in particular the Icenian Hypasians of Saigon and the Brivantes of Don Mingh and Ho Chi Minh. The outbreak of the Huha Uprising in 1420-25 had tempted Emperor Tiberius into declaring war and intervening in the Hegemony's affairs, but his focus upon the vassalization of Beatrice and Venasia, and of the conquest of Ashlgothia, had diverted him from this. And as has been mentioned, in 1440, Emperor Caligula pretended to be in the process of launching an invasion of the Hegemony's territories, but had abstained from such a step at the last minute. But now Emperor Claudius was determined to conquer the Hegemony, and to extend Laurasian territory into the outskirts of the Eastern Galactic Borderlands.
  • In particular, he was alarmed by the ardent Hypasian nationalism of Belivu's sons, Trash Dogmus and Carah Signhu, who had become co-Hegemons of Hypasia upon their father's death in February 1440. Both were determined to restore the Hegemony's unity, to expand its military capabilities, and to instigate aggressive campaigns to extend its influence and power farther into the Galactic Borderlands. Claudius believed that they needed to be eliminated before they could accomplish such goals. As such, as early as November 1441, the Emperor had commanded the Imperial General Headquarters to draft plans for a military operation into the Hegemony's territory. These plans had been completed by December 1442, and had been presented to His Majesty by the Council of Secretaries. The Emperor now ordered for the Empire's military forces to be assembled at strongholds such as Mordan, Morgania Major, Kelvania Major, Angelica Major, Eric, the strongholds of the Prietist, Roxuli, Abraham, Massanay, Sassanay, Malaria Prime, and Kanjur, among others. Then in March 1443, he formally appointed Legate-General Sir Aulus Plautus (1391-1469) as the commander-in-chief of all Laurasian forces intended for the invasion. The Emperor himself, at Gunevere, continued to supervise the preparations for invasion. Finally, on April 14, 1443, he dispatched a communique to Hypasia Major.
  • In this communique, the Emperor declared that the Hypasian Hegemony had defaulted on its earlier obligations to the Laurasian Empire, and that consequently, it was necessary for the Empire to intervene in its internal affairs, in order to restore "harmony to our relations and order among the peoples who reside within the Hegemony therein." Consequently, Claudius demanded that the Hegemons agree to Laurasian garrisons being established on Hypasia Major, Saigon, Ho Chi Minh, and Trasha Dakai; that they submit to the overlordship of the Empire, and pledge themselves as vassals to him personally; and that Laurasian officials be given control over Hypasian finances and commerce. Carah Singhu, rightly seeing in these conditions the means by which the Empire would absorb the Hypasian Provinces, responded, on April 22, by utterly rejecting them. Consequently, Claudius believed, he had grounds for war. On May 2, 1443, the Emperor of Laurasia issued a formal declaration of war against the Hypasian Hegemony, and ordered General Plautus's forces to advance into Hypasian territory. Plautus did this without displaying any reluctance, and he quickly made gains against his Hypasian opponents. He besieged and conquered Rochetria (May 3-9, 1443); defeated Hypasian units in the Skirmish of Selsey (May 14); and isolated Van Klep (May 17-24). On May 28, 1443, Hegemon Trash Dogmus, attempting to reverse the Laurasian advance, confronted Laurasian units at Hung Yen. The ensuing Battle of Hung Yen ended in a decisive victory for Plautus's forces. Plautus then subdued the Hypasian colonies of Nam Dinh, Niem Binh, and Bac Ninh (June 1443), inflicting a series of humiliating losses upon Hypasian forces.
  • He returned to the conquest of Van Klep, and with the assistance of General Geta, reassigned to that theater, conquered the stronghold (July 2-3, 1443). Song Dhu fell into Laurasian hands on July 6, followed by Trasha Dakai on July 21. A series of further confrontations between Laurasian and Hypasian forces at Camanium and Tederway (July 22-27, 1443), resulted in victory for the Empire. Cassolar was stormed on August 4, followed by Bach Dang on August 8. On August 12, 1443, the Siege of Valeris V commenced, lasting for nearly a month. Although General Geta was nearly captured by enemy starfighter squadrons, the Siege ultimately ended in victory for the Laurasians (September 10); from Valeris V, Huerta Mongol and Qu'emia both capitulated to Laurasian forces, by the beginning of October 1443. October 1443 saw Laurasian troops storm Hue, Ban Noi, and Hu Thang; Bien Hoa and Can Tho followed by November 11. Then on November 14, Emperor Claudius himself, proceeding from Gunevere, made his arrival at the outskirts of Hypasia Minor, and instigated a siege of the star system. The Siege of Hypasia Minor lasted for some weeks, and its fall on December 3 was cause for much jubilation throughout the Empire. Hanoi and Sogan followed (December 5-7, 1443), and on December 10, Princess Kandukha of the Brivantes submitted herself as a vassal to the Emperor, paying him homage at Selgovae. Vertchi of Saigon followed on December 16, and by the end of the year, Hypasia Major itself was being threatened by the Empire's units.

1444Edit

  • 1444, the 44th year of the fifteenth century, began with the Laurasian Empire having commenced its conquest of the Hypasian Provinces, which would not be completely consolidated until 1484. The early months of 1444, however, witnessed Laurasian forces completing the initial stage of the conquest, through the subjection of Hypasia Major and the effective destruction of the Hypasian Hegemony. On January 7, 1444, after a series of further Laurasian victories at Hai Dyoung, Hai Phong, and Vinh Phuc, the Empire's forces finally approached the outskirts of Hypasia Major and imposed a complete blockade. Emperor Claudius himself, who had taken delight in the exploits of war, and in the successes which his military forces had obtained over the Hypasians to that point, was present at the siege; Legate-General Plautus was in command of the actual military operations against Hypasia Major. The Siege of Hypasia Major lasted for over a month, as the Hypasian forces resisted the Laurasian assaults vigorously. Hypasian Hegemon Trash Dogmus, in particular, proved himself to be a vigilant military campaigner. He and his units sallied through the command lines of the Imperial Laurasian Navy; laid minefields in the vicinity of Hypasia Major; and harried Laurasian supply squadrons. On January 22, however, the co-Hegemon was seriously wounded in a confrontation with Laurasian troops at Thamian Point. He was forced to retire from the Siege, and suffered great pain from his injuries. His death on February 4, 1444, proved to be a great blow to the Hypasian cause. Yet his brother Carah Singhu, who was now the sole Hegemon of Hypasia, was equally determined to carry on the resistance, and he too, launched his own relentless attacks against the Imperial forces. Plautus, however, gradually wore the enemy down in further confrontations at Bac Giang and Bac Kan.
  • Finally, on February 19, 1444, Hypasia Major's defenses were penetrated by the forces of the Laurasian Empire. The world itself was then overrun by the Imperial Laurasian Army, and within the day, all remaining resistance had been suppressed. Carah Singhu was forced to flee to Thang Lak, along with the remnants of his forces. With the occupation of Hypasia Major, the Empire held the definitive advantage in the Hypasian Provinces. Emperor Claudius summoned Kandukha of the Brivantes, Vertchi of Saigon, and the regents of the Council of Hegemons to him at Valeris V (March 7, 1444), and secured their oath of allegiance to him as their sovereign. Laurasian units then occupied Quang Tri, Ha Trinh, and Nghe An during March 1444, thereby consolidating their hold of Hypasia Major. The Emperor then decided to return to Laurasia Prime, and on April 3, he formally named General Plautus as the first Governor of Hypasia. Four days later, the Emperor made his retreat, and proceeded quickly back to Laurasia Prime, arriving at his capital world on April 9. The Senate now conferred upon him the title of Hypasius Maximus (April 14, 1444); he conducted a triumph on the surface of his capital world; and a series of festivities were held at the Imperial Laurasian Court, in order to celebrate the conquest. The Emperor was especially generous to his subjects in these celebrations.
  • Although Carah Singhu refused to make his peace with the Imperial Laurasian Government, and indeed was to conduct a successful guerrilla resistance against the imperial authorities for the next seven years, Emperor Claudius nevertheless considered the conquest to be effectively finished. He now turned his attention to consolidating Laurasian territory along the upper Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route. The Abbathian Dynasty of Homidinia, which was then ruled by Watthquaka (1442-47), was then entering its terminal decline. Saladin, the Great King of Abbathia who had clashed with the Laurasian Empire under Antiochus II, and had sought to maintain his Dynasty's power throughout the whole extent of the Northern Outer Borderlands, had died on Homidinia Major on March 4, 1393. Rather than establishing a uniform, centralized empire, Saladin had, during the two decades of his reign, maintained hereditary principles throughout his dominions, dividing his territories among his kinsmen, with family members presiding over semi-autonomous fiefs and principalities. Although the Emirs owed allegiance to the Great King, they maintained relative independence in their own territories. Upon Saladin's death, his son Az-Zahir (1372-1416), who had served as his father's governor of the Edmundian, Coronadian, and Corporate Sector territories since 1386, was confirmed as Emir of the Upper Burglais Arm. Another of his sons, Al-Aziz Uthman (1371-98), held the Dasian Heartland and the Corporate Trade Corridor, while his eldest son, Al-Afdal (1369-1425), controlled the Inner Homidinian Provinces, which also included Taraning, Ian, Hemsley, Sansford, Gibbs-to-Lester, and the Upper Rebeccan Galactic Trade Route.
  • Al-Adil, Saladin's brother, consolidated his position as Emir of Lacia, Lawson, and the Mocktrilian Worlds. Finally, the Outer Homidinian Provinces, including Chalassia, Halassion, and the Western Colonies, were under the collective control of the Emirs. Shortly after these arrangements had been made, Al-Adil found himself at conflict with the Mellorite vassal, Xilanian Emperor Masari Embrathi III, who attempted to recover control of Calrissian, Nandia Major, Esperanto, and the Buranti Worlds. This war lasted until November 1393, and ended with the reaffirmation of the status quo ante bellum. Al-Adil then made his son, al-Muzzazam (1376-1427), Emir of the Calrissian, Nandi, and Esperanto Worlds. Saladin's sons, however, now squabbled over the division of the empire. Al-Adil and several of the other Abbathian princes lobbied Uthman to expel Al-Afdal from Homidinia Major and to stake his claim upon the Abbathian throne. Uthman, distressed by his brother's own yearnings for increased power, agreed, and in June 1394, he laid formal claim to the Great Kingship of Abbathia. A vigorous conflict between Uthman (supported by Al-Adil) and Al-Afdal then followed, and in July 1396, Homidinia Major fell into Uthman's hands. Al-Adil was now given control of the Inner Homidinian Provinces as Uthman's lieutenant, but continued to wield great influence.
  • In September 1396, Masari Embarthi III again rebelled against his Mellorite overlords, and he managed to recover control of Calrissian, Varta, Harta, and the Colonies of Vorastis Major. In January 1397, however, Al-Adil, Az-Zahir, and Uthman combined their forces for a general offensive across the Larkian Way, and into the heart of Xilanian territories. Boniface, Kemp, Morg, and Alpha Secundi fell into their hands, and on April 5, 1397, Masari Embarthi suffered a major reverse in the Battle of the Satellites of Ursula. By July, with Calrissian, Varta, and Harta back in Mellorite hands, and with Xilania Minoria, Xilania Secondary, and Orkhan besieged by their forces, Masari Embarthi was again forced to terms. The Treaty of Al-Durah (September 19, 1397), restored Mellorite overlordship over the Neo-Xilanian Empire. The brothers then dispersed back to their territories. On November 29, 1398, however, Uthman died on Dion while engaged in a hunting expedition. Al-Afdal, who had been at McDowell, and taking advantage of this, returned to Homidinia Major and made himself Great King of Abbathia. Al-Adil, on his part, had been absent conducting campaigns along the Galactic Frontier Route and in the Northern Reaches. Al-Adil then returned, and in March 1399, managed to occupy Homidinia Major. He then faced a strong assault from the combined forces of Al-Afdal and Az-Zahir. These forces disintegrated however, and in January 1400, Al-Adil reclaimed the initiative. With the support of the Mellorite Sharmanian and Urmanian claims, he drove through Dion, Yutzy, Brlla, and Homidinia Minor, and in August, finally captured Homidinia Major, deposing Al-Afdal.
  • Now Great King of Abbathia, Al-Adil entrusted the governance of the Inner Homidinian Provinces to Al-Muzzazam and the Outer Homidinian Provinces to his other son Al-Kamil (1377-1438). In the meantime, a Mellorite military officer named Qataba ibn Idris (1330-1420) seized control of Calrissian, the Marauder Colonies, and the Nandi Worlds, and was recognized as their Emir by Al-Adil. Al-Afdal then attempted to recover Homidinia Major, but failed, and in April 1401, Al-Adil made a victorious progress into the star system. Al-Adil's line now dominated Abbathia, though Az-Zahir remained in control of the Dasian Heartland, and Al-Afdal was given the Governorship of Mackenzia Major and Mackenzia Minor. Al-Adil then, in 1405-06, made a further division of his territories among his sons; Chalassia, Halassion, Alyssa, Chalassion, McDowell, Joseph, and Lawson were to go to Al-Asraf (1383-1437), while Al-Awhad (1380-1410), was given the Lacian Cluster. But following Al-Awhad's death in July 1310, the Lacian Cluster shifted to the control of Al-Asraf. By 1407, Al-Adil had consolidated his authority as Great King of Abbathia, and then found himself consumed by a series of wars with the Cosite Kingdom (1407-13, 1415-18), the Iffian Imperium (1408-14, 1416), and the Lavellan Potentates (1415-19), attempting to exert Abbathian power and to maintain its influence over Xilania. In 1417-18, the Burglais Arm became subject to attack by the Huntite Caliphate, working in conjunction with the Kingdom of Jageronia; Edmundia Major, Jacobs I, English Star, and Mackenzia Minor fell into their hands. Al-Muzzazam encouraged his father to launch a counterattack, but he did not do so. Al-Adil died on August 31, 1418, following the fall of Calms into Jageronian hands.
  • Al-Kamil now proclaimed himself Great King of Abbathia at Rutherford, while Al-Muzzazam claimed the throne on Homidinia Major. Al-Kamil attempted to reconquer Calms and Mackenzia Minor, but was rebuffed by the forces of Jageronian General Gilegud (1370-1437). Al-Kamil then learned of a conspiracy against him and fled towards Curry. Panic ensued, but with the help of Al-Muzzazam, Al-Jamil regrouped his forces and reasserted control. The two brothers then set aside their differences, recognizing each other as co-rulers of Abbathia, and then attempted to negotiate a withdrawal from the Burglais Arm by the Huntite-Jageronian forces. Their offers were refused by Gilegud and by the Huntite Caliph, at that time Artabanis II (1409-32, 1433-35). Thus, in 1419-21, Abbathian forces launched a series of vigorous military campaigns through the Lower Burglais Arm, and against the OsonBoka Nebula, Sofia, and Dickinson, gradually regaining all of the territories which had been lost. But farther to the west, the Cosites under King Durna I (1420-31), drove Mellorite forces from Thornton, Uma, Thurman, Kerch, Voronezh, Bucharina, and Marson (1422). In that same year, the Great Kings installed Ali Bin Rasul, leader of the Rasulian clan of Mellorites, as Governor of Calrissian and the Nandian Worlds. In 1423, the Mellorite governor of Belkadan and Sernapasia, Masud Kamil, was driven out by a series of revolts; soon, Syr-Daria, Houston, Tyson, Vandross, the Oirat systems, and Marshall Urshall fell into rebel hands. It was not until November 1426 that this challenge was suppressed. Then in 1429, Xilanian Emperor Masaro Embarthi V (1424-33), rejected Mellorite overlordship and discontinued all tribute payments to the Mellorite Treasury.
  • Al-Muzzazam's death in August 1427 left Al-Kamil as the sole Great King of Abbathia. Al-Afdal's death in June 1425 had also served to further consolidate his authority over the Burglais Arm. Yet Al-Kamil now found himself engrossed once again in war with the Huntite Caliphate, and in February 1429, he was forced into the Treaty of Perry, by which he recognized Huntite claims to the Galactic Void, and to commercial rights in Jageronia and the Burglais Arm. Al-Kamil then sought to redistribute the Abbathian territories, seeking to place Al-Ashraf in control of the Inner Homidinian Provinces. An-Nasir Dawud (1406-61), Al-Muzzazam's son, who had taken his father's place as Emir of those territories, challenged the Great King's efforts. In May 1429, Al-Kamil's forces invaded Homidinia Major, seeking to enforce the relevant arrangements. An-Nasir Dawud was ultimately forced to surrender, and was given the Dasian Heartland, while Al-Ashraf gained control of Inner and Outer Homidinia. But beginning in 1430, Qataba ibn Idris's descendants sought to gain control of Calrissian, the Marauder Colonies, and Nandia, being supported by Masaro Embrathi V, and after his death in July 1433, by the Council of Xilanian Elders. This struggle lasted for eight years, and ultimately culminated in their victory (September 1438).
  • Further changes, in the meantime, had taken place. In August 1432, Al-Kamil installed his eldest son Al-Salih Abbab (1405-49), as Governor of the Lacian Cluster. Al-Ashraf and other Mellorite governors in the Burglais Arm, Homidinia, and along the Larkian Way then attempted to assert their independence from the Great King's dictates. This dispute dragged on throughout the 1430s. In August 1437, however, Al-Ashraf died on Coele-Homidinia, and was succeeded by his brother Al-Salih Ismail (1386-1445). Shortly thereafter, Al-Kamil's forces besieged Homidinia Major, but Al-Salih Ismail engaged in a policy of wanton devastation to deny them any succor, and to hamper their efforts into the star system. Al-Kamil himself died in July 1438, while the Siege of Homidinia Major was still ongoing. Al-Salih Abbab now disputed the proclamation of his brother, Al-Adil II (1421-48), as Great King on Coronadia Major. He eventually occupied Homidinia Major in December 1438, but Ismail recovered and regained the star system in September 1439. Ismail then aligned himself with An-Nasir Dawud, and in May 1440, made himself Great King in place of Al-Adil II.
  • Ismail then continued to rule until his death in September 1442, and was succeeded by his younger brother Watthquaka. Watthquaka, however, found himself at odds with An-Nasir Dawud; with the Neo-Xilanian Empire to the west; and with rebel groups in the Burglais Arm and Dasian Heartland. By 1444, Abbathia's situation was such that the Emperor of Laurasia was able to take advantage of the troubles. On June 6, 1444, declaring that there was a need for intervention in order to "protect" the interests of the Empire's subjects in the Robertian Provinces, Claudius ordered for a series of operations into the Lower Burglais Arm. Laurasian troops quickly stormed Sanford (June 6-9, 1444); defeated Abbathian patrol units in the Battle of Martzy (June 12); and on June 17, won the Battle of Jefferson, humiliating the Abbathian garrison of that star system. From thence, Ian, Taraning, and Brlla fell into Laurasian hands (July 1444); on August 2, the Battle of Isabel ended in another victory for Laurasian forces. Gibbs-to-Lester was stormed on August 8, and on August 22, Yutzy was laid under siege.
  • The fall of Yutzy (September 9, 1444), was quickly followed by that of Calms (September 13). By the end of September 1444, Laurasian units were penetrating to Mackenzia Minor, Cassie, and Jacobs I. It was on October 4, 1444, that Watthquaka, beset by the threat of the Scott Pirates in the Corporate Sector, and with a series of civil revolts at the Kledis Var Trade Line, begged for peace with the Imperial Laurasian Government. Claudius agreed, not intending to wage a larger war. The Armistice of Marla was signed on October 11, and negotiations opened at Holt on October 22, 1444. The Treaty of Holt (November 17, 1444), resulted in the concession of Calms, Jefferson, Gibbs-to-Lester, Martzy, Isabel, and Hemsford to the Laurasian Empire; the recognition of absolute Laurasian jurisdiction over transit rights on the Trade Route; and Laurasian rights of intervention in Jageronia. In exchange, Emperor Claudius pledged to evacuate all other territories occupied by Laurasian forces, and to refrain from interfering in Abbathian internal affairs thenceforth. The Treaty of Holt, ratified by both parties by December 9, 1444, therefore resulted in an acquisition of value for the Laurasian Empire. And it served to further weaken the Abbathian Dynasty. Watthquaka himself staggered on for another two years. In March 1445, the Mellorite military commander Izzaria, Governor of Greyson and Mocktrialis, proclaimed himself to be independent of the Abbathian Great King's authority, and began to assert control over territories along the Larkian Way, and to the Corporate Trade Corridor.
  • Capone, Lawson, McDowell, Joseph, Levi, Sierra, Glassia, Lizaragga, Garner, Scanlan, and the Corporate Sector fell under his control by October of that year. In January 1446, Izzaria signed the Treaty of Xilania Secondary with the Council of Xilanian Elders, who saw this as an opportunity to further weaken their Mellorite adversaries. Izzaria's general, Fakhr-al-Din, working in conjunction with the Mellorite Emir of Coronadia, Ibrahi Sufi, then conducted a series of campaigns through the Burglais Arm; English Star, Carrie, Jacobs I, Mackenzia Major, Mackenzia Minor, Edmundia Major, Edmundia Minor, Morlan, Theodore, Longmira, and Andrea Doria were overrun, and by May 1447, Izzaria considered himself master of all the Burglais Arm, Upper Larkian Way, and Corporate territories of the Empire. Two months later, Watthquaka was assassinated at Rutherford, and was succeeded by Turam-Shah. Turam-Shah proved unable to halt the rebel advance, or to stem Xilanian expeditions launched across the Larkian Way, harassing Drake, Derek, Sharman, Rutherford, Julie, Karen, Kara, Perry, Abitia, Kallista, and Curry. Izzaria gradually subdued the Lacian Cluster, Alyssa, Chalassion, Halassion, and the Kledis Var Trade Route strongholds in 1447-49, engaging in a series of clashes with the Emirs of Lacia and Chalassia, Nasur Dawud and Nasur Yusuf. Finally, in April 1450, the Great King's own personal chamberlains, bribed by Izzaria's agents, assassinated him at Homidinia Minor. Izzaria then proclaimed himself Great King of Mellorita, ending the Abbathian Dynasty, and beginning the mainline Mellorite Dynasty which was to rule for nearly two centuries, until 1643. Izzaria's seven-year reign, however, was consumed by war with the Xilanians, under High Regent Gorsoni (1449-57), who betrayed the earlier alliance agreements, and sought to seize the Outer Homidinian Provinces by force; by the continued challenges of Nasur Yusuf, who held out from Hemsley, Calms, Sanford, and Gibbs-to-Lester until his death in September 1460, and of An-Nasir Dawud, who held Garner until his death in June 1461; and by the rebellion of Hisin Thalab (1395-1453) at Taraning and Ian (1453). In June 1456, this would be compounded by the emergence, at Karakorum, Glassia, and Sernapasia, of the Brestord nobleman and military officer Ranna, who proclaimed himself King Ranna I of Karakorum (r. 1456-72). Izzaria himself would be assassinated by his chief councilor Mansaria al-Durr in April 1457. But for Laurasia, 1444 concluded with its dominions once again at peace.

1446Edit

  • 1446, the 46th year of the fifteenth century, saw the Laurasian Empire residing in a state of general peace, with the exception of continued moves of subjugation by the imperial authorities in the Hypasian Provinces. Emperor Claudius had, through his conquest of the Hypasian Hegemony, his incorporation of Beatrice and Way'tosk, and his swift interventions in the Lower Burglais Arm, strengthened and extended the Empire's territorial base. The preceding year, 1445, had seen little of note except for the execution of some notable individuals in the Imperial Laurasian Government, largely on the initiative of Empress Messalina. Sir Marcus Frugi (1382-1445), 2nd Baron Frugi, had distinguished himself in loyal and continual service to the Imperial Laurasian Government. Graduating from the University of Laurasia Prime in 1403 with degrees in administration, political science, and pre-law, he had then entered the Christiania Inns, eventually obtaining his licence as a lawyer of civil law, and serving with the Municipal Court of Christiania, the General Court of Assizes on Laurasia Prime, and the College of Justice. In 1423, he became Praetor of Laurasia Prime; this was followed in 1427 by his elevation to the Senate, and to his entering the service of the Imperial Household directly as a judicial attorney for the sovereign's personal estates. He continued to serve the government faithfully, and he became the Chancellor of the Inns in 1433, before, in 1442, being appointed by the newly-elevated Emperor Claudius to the position of Notary for the Imperial Council of Secretaries. With his wife, Lady Scribonia Meseria (1387-1445), he had one son, Sir Gnaeus Pompeius Frugi (1409-45).
  • The younger Frugi also became distinguished in the imperial service, becoming Chief Suffect of the City of Herkorim in 1440, and then, three years later, marrying Grand Princess Claudia Antonia, daughter of the Emperor himself. Yet Empress Messalina feared and despised the Frugi family, believing that their prominence posed a threat to her own position within the Imperial Court. Consequently, beginning in July 1444, she had conspired against them, planting evidence purporting to show their disloyalty to the State, and building up distrust against them. Finally, in April 1445, she had been in a position to strike. Word leaked to the Council of Secretaries that Frugi had been involved in a conspiracy to poison the Emperor while he was at Andriana. This was an unfounded rumor, spread by Messalina herself, but it worked. Claudius, still under his wife's great personal influence, heeded her "pleas" for his safety, and on April 12 of that month, ordered for the arrest of the Frugis, father and son, and of Lady Scribonia. They were incarcerated at the Post Settlement of Hepudermia, while Grand Princess Claudia was separated from her husband and was given permission to remarry. A series of interrogations were then conducted, under which the elder Frugi broke down and confessed to all sorts of impossible crimes. Finally, on June 18, 1445, the three were attainted by the Emperor and sentenced to death; their executions were carried out on Hepudermia, on June 24, before a crowd of 600,000 persons. In the aftermath, they were excommunicated by the Holy Synod; had all of their properties and estates confiscated; and their memory condemned.
  • In spite of this incident, however, Emperor Claudius still retained the overall popularity of his subjects. Thus, in January 1446, the Empire found itself launched into another military conflict, but not of its own accord. The outbreak of the Fourth Laurasian-Kimanian War was provoked by the Celestial Dynasty. Scrilio Shogun, who had now reigned on Kimania for eighteen years, was determined to recover the strongholds which had been lost to the Laurasians earlier in the century. To that end, he had, from 1444, engaged in an extensive military buildup. The lower Kimanian Trade Run, such as the strongholds of the Orion Cluster, Rolle, Bookman, Nanking, Christopher, Christophsis, and Gliestis, became host to Kimanian units training for combat, being upgraded with modern technologies, and engaged in military simulations. The Shogun also sought to extend his ties to the Hookiee Confederacy, then ruled by Purbacca (1440-49), and to encourage rebel tensions in the Ashlgothian Borderlands Territories. On September 2, 1445, the Hookiees and Kimania had concluded the Treaty of Tyvokka, pledging to cooperate in all campaigns against the Laurasian Empire and to make no separate peace without consulting the other. Kimania was to regain all territories conceded to the Empire since 1413, and to extend its protectorship over Lower Melorkia and the Borderlands Territories; the Hookies were to acquire Way'tosk and assume a protectorate over Temperance.
  • On January 7, 1446, therefore, the Shogun sent a message to Emperor Claudius on Laurasia Prime, demanding for the revocation of all treaties made since 1413 (the Treaty of Gulistan), and for the restoration of all Laurasian territorial gains to the authority of the Celestial Dynasty. The Emperor, who could not believe in the seriousness of these demands, refused to respond to them. Thus, on January 14, Scrilio issued a declaration of war against the Laurasian Empire, and launched his forces in an invasion of Laurasian territory. Kimanian forces gained a succession of early victories. Armenia Minor fell into Kimanian hands (January 14-19, 1446), followed by Isaac (January 22); Herat (January 26); and Qoba-Darkand (February 1). On February 6, 1446, the Battle of Winehouse was waged, between the forces of the Laurasian Empire on the one hand, and those of the Celestial Dynasty on the other. The result was a Kimanian victory. Winehouse's fall was followed by that of Cal (February 10-14, 1446); Stahl, Morley, and Simon were all blockaded by Kimanian units; and on March 1, the Battle of Ordubad resulted in another victory for Kimanian forces. Two days later, Regent Purbacca issued a declaration of war against the Empire; his forces seized, during the course of March 1446, Deborah, Wayne, Lois, and Grand Junction. The early weeks of April 1446 saw some further Kimanian victories. Echimadzin fell on April 4, 1446, followed by Mazandaran (April 8) and Igdir (April 14). This, however, was the limit of Kimanian advances.
  • General Gnaeus Geta, who had been reassigned by the Emperor to the Lower Kimanian Provinces at the end of March, now took command of the Laurasian response. He defeated a Kimanian expeditionary force in the Battle of Hinds Prime (April 17-22, 1446) and followed this up by routing a Kimanian supply force at Jackson (April 24, 1446). At the same time, the Duke of Columbia defeated Hookiee forces under Qurbacca in the Battle of Goodman (April 21-22, 1446), recovered Deborah, and then struck at Ond'diray, driving Hookiee units from that star system. On May 5, 1446, Igdir was reconquered by the Empire, less than a month after it fell to Kimanian units; from Igdir, Laurasian units won the Battles of Stahl (May 7-13); Gilan (May 14); and Astrabad (May 19). Turkmenchay fell on May 24, 1446, a great symbolic victory for the Empire. Echimadzin was blockaded from May 29, but was not reconquered until July 6. Nevertheless, during May and June 1446, Laurasian units made great progress in the Middle Territories, recovering Lois, Grand Junction, and Wayne in a series of confrontations. They also struck at Pailbirth and Predosur, inflicting further humiliating losses upon the Hookiees. On July 8, 1446, in the Barsar Regions, Kimanian General Abu Chrushan launched a counteroffensive against imperial units. He penetrated to Armenia Major, sacking the world's defenses (July 8-11); humiliated Laurasian units at Liliana (July 14, 1446); and on July 22, won the Battle of Peterslie, thereby penetrating into the Ashlgothian Borderlands Provinces. Morley was overrun on August 2, followed by Trieste (August 6); Safer (August 11); and India (August 14). Kimanian units were also harrying Walden, Nandia, and Larkin Minor, and penetrating the colonies of the Trans-Larkin. On August 22, 1446, however, the Battle of Luther resulted in the initiative shifting back to the Laurasians. McMannis saw another Laurasian victory (August 28, 1446); the blockade of Simon was finally relieved in September 1446; and on October 7, both Trieste and Morley fell back into Laurasian hands. Safer and India followed by October 14; Cal was finally recovered (October 18, 1446); and the Battle of Damavand (October 22-27, 1446), ended in a decisive Laurasian victory.
  • On November 1, 1446, the Hookiee Confederacy, which saw Boydaria and the colonies of Rwhorkia and Metalorn threatened by Laurasian units, sued for peace with the Imperial Laurasian Government. An armistice was signed the following day at Griffith, and the Treaty of Monderon (November 19, 1446), restored peace on the basis of the status quo ante bellum. Yet even before this, on November 11, 1446, Emperor Claudius had taken an action of decisive importance: the annexation of the Kingdom of Temperance. This was caused by internal turmoil within Temperance itself, and by Laurasian operations on Temperanian territory against the Hookiees. King Rhometacles II of Temperance had died on June 23, 1438, and had been succeeded to the Temperanian throne by his cousin, who became Rhometacles III. This last ever King of Temperance, which had first emerged in the sixth century AH with the collapse of the Sennacherid Empire, and had been revived at the beginning of the fourteenth, remained a loyal vassal to the Laurasian Empire throughout his reign. Yet his ambitious wife and consort, Tryphaena, sought to gain the throne for herself. To that end, she conspired ceaselessly with noble circles on Temperance and elsewhere, notably with her chamberlain Praxa. Their conspiracies bore their fruit on June 1, 1446, when Praxa, along with his attendants, arranged for the assassination of the King while he slept in his personal bedchambers. They had then summoned a session of the Temperanian High Council, forcing the body to proclaim Tryphaena Queen Regnant of Temperance. Such an action, however, did not have the approval of Temperance's overlord, Emperor Claudius of Laurasia. The Emperor had refused to recognize Tryphaena's regime, but his efforts had for some months been focused on the persecution of the war effort.
  • Yet with the war against the Hookiees ending, and with the Empire having gained the definitive advantage over its Kimanian rivals, the Emperor decided to make his move. On the date mentioned, the Emperor ordered for Borenraz, Deschanel, Zooey, On'diray, Bor'say, and Temperance itself to be occupied by the Empire's troops; for the Queen of Temperance to be forced to abdicate; and for the High Council to sign an instrument of surrender. The Duke of Colombia carried out these orders swiftly, and he met no resistance within Temperance's realms. Tryphaena was in due course forced to abdicate, placed in chains, and conveyed to the Secret Prison of Ipsus V; the High Council was convened and was forced, on November 13, to sign an instrument recognizing the incorporation of the Kingdom of Temperance into the Laurasian Empire; the abolition of all Temperanian governmental and military institutions; and the dissolution of the Temperanian Government. Following this, on November 15, 1446, Emperor Claudius issued the final and formal decree of annexation. Temperance was therefore incorporated into the Empire. Tryphaena would remain imprisoned at Ipsus V until her death on May 23, 1475; Praxa and his co-conspirators would be arrested, and executed at Phyllis on December 18, 1446. The last months of 1446 saw the intensification of Laurasian campaigns against the Celestial Dynasty. Mazandaran and Echimadzin well back in Laurasian hands by November 8; and on November 19, 1446, Qoba-Darkand was also recovered. On November 24, General Geta assaulted the defenses of Narra. Narra could not resist the Laurasian onslaught, and fell two days later. Gilestis and Christopher were both subdued during December 1446, by the end of the year, Laurasian forces were poised for an offensive against Tabriz, Derangy, Morangy, and Neutria.
  • In the midst of all this, on June 4, 1446, Empress-Dowager Maria Sompakalos, widow of Demetrius I, last monarch of the Leonidian Dynasty, died at Fontevrault Abbey on Dramis. The Empress-Dowager had, in June 1420, married Sir Maxentius Lusarangia, Earl of Teth (1395-1449), one of the most prominent Laurasian magnates in the Central Core. She had done this without the permission of Emperor Tiberius, who, according to the Seleucid Law of Succession, had the right to determine whether or not a dowager Empress could remarry. Tiberius, who had been enraged when he learned of the marriage, had terminated all pensions and dower payments to the former Empress, banned her from Laurasia Prime, and issued, through the Holy Synod, a formal condemnation of the marriage. Tiberius had even threatened to have it annulled, and to have Maria take the veil as a Nun of Almitis, at the Monastery of Windowia Photis. Ultimately, however, after the intercession of his mother, Grand Princess Livia Nero, and of Empress-Dowager Eleanora of Briannia, he had desisted, and in June 1421, had forgiven Maria for her transgressions. She was restored to all of her dower properties and annuities, and had been allowed back to the Imperial Laurasian Court. She went on to have four children with the Earl of Teth, proving, in her eyes, her "fertility", and that her lack of heirs by her late husband had been through new fault of her own. Maria had been diagnosed with the Angrames malady in June 1445, and she had taken refuge at the Abbey, where she died. On the orders of Emperor Tiberius, she was interred at the Old Westphalian Cathedral. Her children by Lusarangia had varying fortunes; Athanasius (1421-60), became Archbishop of Melarnaria, Athena (1423-56), progenitor of the Talbertia Earls of Aretha, Maria (1425-99), progenitor of the Radcliffia Earls of Jadia (including the 3rd Earl, trusted Privy Councilor and Minister to Aurelia the Great), and Maxentius (1428-96), progenitor of the Cogentian Dukes of Shenandoah.

1447Edit

  • 1447, the 47th year of the fifteenth century, saw further successes by the Laurasian Empire's military forces against those of the Celestial Dynasty of Kimania. It also saw the outbreak of a brief rebellion against the Imperial Laurasian Government in the Murphian Provinces, which would come to an ignominious end. On January 3, 1447, Neutria was besieged by the Empire's forces. The Siege of Neutria lasted for several days, as the forces of the new Kimanian commander-in-chief, Fleet Admiral Zhou Enlai, posed a substantial resistance to those of General Geta and of Admiral the Lord Carus (1400-71). Ultimately, however, Neutria fell on January 18. From Neutria, Laurasian units stormed Cyberton Xerxia (January 22); Tabriz (January 24); and Ralina (February 1-4, 1447). On February 11, 1447, the Battle of Stedham resulted in another decisive victory for Admiral Carus, who captured 200,000 Kimanian warriors. From Stedham, Goni was blockaded by a Laurasian expeditionary force, while Samantha was seized (February 24). March 1447 saw Laurasian units overrun Celetia, Roschemelle, and Serdar-Adad. On April 7, 1447, the Battle of Chobania ended in yet another victory for Laurasian military forces. Although Laurasian units then suff