Battletech : Rise of the Republic
The Rim Worlds Republic
The Rim Worlds Republic was a major Periphery power until it was destroyed by the SLDF under Aleksandr Kerensky during the Amaris Civil War, 2766-2780. The Republic was located anti-spinward and coreward of Terra, bordering the Lyran Commonwealth in a region of space known as The Rift.
The Republican capital world of Apollo is located near the Dark Nebula. Existing understanding implies the Rim World Republic must have stretched along nearly the entire Lyran Periphery border, reaching almost to the Free Worlds League and the Draconis Combine. The Republic also reached some distance into the Periphery, especially since the Republic hid military caches and small colonies (with production facilities) deep in unexplored space.
The Rim Worlds Republic is most notable for being the original dominion of House Amaris before Stefan Amaris embarked on his plan to usurp the leadership of the Star League from House Cameron. The Republic no longer exists, having its industrial base destroyed in 2767 by Aleksandr Kerensky in retaliation for Amaris’ murder of Richard Cameron. Many of its worlds were claimed by the Lyran Commonwealth after the SLDF concluded its campaign to liberate the Terran Hegemony, also known as Operation Liberation. The remnants of the Rim Worlds Republic broke into smaller states, bandit kingdoms, became independent systems, or simply disappeared from star maps altogether.
In 2237, in the midst of the Outer Reaches Rebellion, Hector Worthington Rowe, an undergraduate student studying classics and history at the University of Thebes, Alexandria, volunteered to join Reinfield’s 3rd Alexandrian Militia in an attempt to defend his school. Shortly afterwards, Terran Alliance forces (the 14th and 29th Alliance Special Combat Battalions) invaded Alexandria, killing 3000+ Alexandrians. Alliance forces retreated off-world in 2238.
After the end of the rebellion, Rowe started a student group in order to protest against the “Great Alliance Devil”. The group became militant, and in 2244, hijacked a flotilla of Jumpships belonging to the Skye Freight and Goods company. Rowe arrived at an isolated Terran Alliance garrison world, Lucianca, home to the 151st (Altairian) Fusiliers. Rowe and his guerrillas infiltrated the Fusiliers, assassinated the commanding officers, and staged mock trials against the unit – invariably executing each soldier through torture. Rowe was forced to flee, however, when one of the hijacked Jumpships escaped.
Rowe and the remaining assailants blackmailed the remaining Jumpships, and departed for the Periphery, eventually arriving at the Dark Nebula_. Along the way, Rowe raided small colonies and outposts, taking slaves (especially women), livestock, parts and food. After six years on the run, R_owe found a habitable world beyond the Dark Nebula, and founded Apollo and the Rim Worlds Republic on 8 September, 2250, and named himself First Consul of the Republic. Hector Rowe ruled for more than 50 years until his son, Maxwell Achilles Rowe, deposed him from power and became First Consul in 2305 – through bribery. Hector Rowe quickly committed suicide.
Rather than use great force, the Rim Worlds Republic expanded by guile and seduction. When Maxwell Rowe discovered refugee colonies on his border in 2334, the Republic used trade agreements, as well as shared ventures to improve education and infrastructure, to ingratiate the Republic with its neighbors. Such agreements did not halt Republican colonization efforts, and by 2338, the Republic had settled the worlds of Icar, Persistence, Winfield, Derf, Gotterdammerung, Lackhove and Golandrinas. A chance hostile encounter with the Tamar Pact in 2339 turned the attentions of the Republic towards the Inner Sphere.
Realizing the extremely tenuous situation, Maxwell journeyed to the Tamar Pact to meet its leader, Kevin Tamar. The two leaders were relieved to pen a non-aggression treaty, and the Republic was free to secure its future – under the rule of Maxwell’s daughter, Arabella. Without a home to return to, Maxwell departed unexplored parts of the Periphery and was never heard from again.
During Maxwell’s diplomatic mission, Arabella had organized the Helot slave caste and staged a coup d’etat. Under Arabella’s reign, the Rim Worlds Republic focused public efforts on education and infrastructure, especially in aid of the Helot class. Arabella also realized naval assets might induce panic among her neighbors, so she focused on building a large, defensive army. Arabella’s reforms paid dividends; the Rim Worlds Republic was transformed from a feudal barbarian state with Roman trappings into a nation with a surplus of skilled labor, comparable with Enlightenment-era France. During this period, the Republic also colonized the worlds of Barcelona, Black Earth, Beta VII, and Malibu.
Upon Arabella’s death in 2376, she was succeeded by her son, Michael Edward “Mishka” Durant. Durant was a boastful, gluttonous, lecherous man, but he understood his nation’s strengths and weaknesses. Michael negotiated trade agreements with the Draconis Combine, the Terran Hegemony, the Lyran Commonwealth and the Free Worlds League, trading labor for technology and recognition. Michael also maintained a steady rate of Periphery exploration and colonization. He was succeeded by his sister, Heather, upon his death, around the year 2400.
Heather Durant maintained a careful policy of Republican neutrality, but profiteered from the Lyran-Kuritan conflict beginning in 2407. Although the Republic refused to back the Lyran Commonwealth, the Republic opened its borders to intelligence operatives of both sides. Establishing the Republican intelligence service, the AsRoc, the Republic increased its influence, its territory, and its military through exchanges of information and special operatives. In fact, it was AsRoc operatives who stole the original BattleMech blueprints from the Terran Hegemony during “Operation Prometheus”, giving both the Lyran Commonwealth and the Rim Worlds Republic first access to BattleMech technology. BattleMech technology gave the Republic a pair of key advantages:
Every Inner Sphere power needed to build their army from scratch.
The Republic could practice and perfect BattleMech tactics in their Periphery holdings, away from prying eyes
Amaris First Consuls
During investigations of an attempted poisoning of Director-General Jacob Cameron in 2448, Terran Hegemony intelligence operative Terens Amaris discovered a link (real or fabricated) between the plot and both Draconis Combine and Republican covert operatives. Terens’s husband, David Chi Wong, had just been promoted to ambassador to the Rim Worlds Republic, so Terens, her husband and two adopted children (both Wongs) traveled to Apollo. There, Terens met and befriended Heather Durant. Both Terens and her husband were granted dual Republican and Terran citizenship, and both were granted titles within the Republic. Terens and Heather also became lovers, and in 2459, was designated heir apparent to the Rim Worlds Republic. Terens mothered more children with Ambassador Wong, the start of the Amaris line. In 2463, Heather passed away, making Terens Amaris ruler of the Rim Worlds Republic. Dual citizenship and Terens’s marriage to Terran Ambassador Wong allowed the Republic quick entry into the confidences of the Terran court.
The Amaris line struggled with identity due to its dual citizenship. Gregory Amaris, First Consul of the Republic at the birth of the Star League, ruled the Republic as a Hegemony protectorate. Republican citizen uprisings in response to high taxes and foreign occupation, especially the occupation of Efrimal Long maximum security (political) prison in 2573, led Gregory to impose martial law and issue the Universal Act of Loyalty, an oath all Republican citizens were obliged to take. The Rim Worlds Republic went into open revolt, necessitating invasion by the Star League during the Reunification War, after Gregory endorsed the Pollux Proclamation and issued the Manchester Directive, both in 2575.
The arrogant leadership of Gregory Amaris came to an end through assassination in 2599. The assassins, a junta run by Admiral Hakim Wbika, installed Richard Amaris as the new President of the Republic. Seeding antagonism within the junta, Richard was able to break the junta in 2604 when General Samuel Macao tried staged a coup d’etat, only to be executed along with Admiral Wbika by the palace guard and President Richard.
Richard died in 2619, leaving the Republic to his daughter Amanda. Before Amanda could institute sweeping political reforms, and hold open elections, Amanda Amaris was assassinated in 2620, but the attempt also killed the assassin, her cousin Willard Amaris. Amanda’s brother, Jeffrey Amaris, held office only long enough to institute free elections and abdicate to Amanda’s baby daughter, Selanta Amaris.
Before her 19th birthday, Selanta’s government was run by a trio of “Protectors”, Jimmy Siever, Honor Chan and George Wong, who died and was replaced by Jonofra Marcus within months of taking the position. Though each of the three Protectors plotted to overthrow President Selanta, Selanta averted any issues by gifting the three men with Canopian, Terran and Atrean ambassadorships. Selanta also proved her cunning with her handling of her cousin, Tadeo Amaris. Stricken with incurable cancer, Selanta ruled from her sickbed, allowing her cousin Tadeo to rule as regent, a smooth transition of government. Tadeo rebuilt the Republican army, but in doing so postured himself against the Lyran Commonwealth. At the behest of Archon Sarah Steiner-Dinesen, the Star League held massive military games on the Republican border, on Black Earth. In response, Selanta secretly informed the Star League High Council Tadeo did not have the authority to practice his military adventurism. The incident broke domestic faith in Tadeo, making it impossible for Tadeo to stage a coup, at the same time strengthening the Rim Worlds Republic Military.
When Selanta died of cancer in 2687, the Republic faced its bloodiest transition. Selanta’s successor, her son Bertram Amaris, was killed moments before taking the oath of office, by his cousin, Gregor Siever. Gregor’s brother, Carl Siever, in shock at the events unfolding before him, found himself also attacked. Carl was able to defend himself and kill his brother, losing the use of an arm in the process. Carl was a paranoid man, and not harboring any political ambition, abdicated for his niece, the granddaughter of Selanta Amaris, Cynthia Amaris. Carl Siever lived out the remainder of his life in a Buddhist monastery on Derf. Cynthia devoted herself to statecraft; at the age of 40 (2716), Cynthia married Inner Sphere industrialist Stefan Gorienko. The marriage appeared to be one of necessity – Cynthia desired an heir, in order to prevent another bloody succession. Stefan “The Usurper” was born in 2717.
Amaris Civil War
Though it is arguable if House Amaris had prepared for a coup for generation, the Rim Worlds Republic sat poised for just such an endeavor around 2750. The Republic maintained a sizable army with a gigantic reserve, a well educated/trained population, and a large defense industry. Republicans had even penetrated every level of Star League administration. Stefan Amaris seized his opportunity. Stefan chose to foster a close relationship with the young, naïve and selfish Richard Cameron, First Lord of the Star League. Under the tutelage of the Terran courtiers, including President Stefan, Richard became paranoid and megalomaniacal, and pushed away his regent, “Protector” Aleksandr Kerensky.
By 2762, when Richard came of age, Stefan Amaris was already a close confidant. Richard began by disbanding the Star League High Council in 2762, ruling the Human Sphere unilaterally. Richard then issued the Taxation Edict of 2763, a steep increase in taxes from throughout the Human Sphere, but especially upon the Periphery. As the tax increase was a clear infraction on the Reunification Treaties, the Periphery governments quickly became militarized, and prepared for another Inner Sphere invasion.
The Taxation Edict of 2763 caused the Crisis required to move the SLDF and Aleksandr Kerensky away from the Terran Hegemony. The vacuum left by the SLDF deployment was compensated by the deployment of the Rim Worlds Republic Military. By December, 2765, Stefan was ready. Stefan presented The First Lord with a ceremonial, jewel-encrusted laser pistol in the Star League High Council chamber, Unity City, Terra, and then shot the First Lord in the head. Stefan Amaris proclaimed himself First Lord of the Star League.
Stefan ordered Aleksandr Kerensky to maintain operations (against the Taurian Concordat), which Kerensky refused. Both sides then requested aid, which was flatly refused by each Territorial State and each Inner Sphere State. Thus started the Amaris Civil War (2766 – 2780). Kerensky began his operations by conquering the Rim Worlds Republic, led by Stefan’s regent, the patriotic Mohammed Selim, an unambitious administrator Stefan could trust. Kerensky took the Rim Worlds capital of Apollo (renamed Terra Prime by Stefan Amaris to “honor” First Lord Richard) in 2769.
After cutting away Amaris’s base of support, Kerensky began a campaign to liberate the Terran Hegemony in 2772. By 2779, the outcome of the war was a foregone conclusion, and on 30 September, 2779, Stefan Amaris was taken captive by the SLDF after Aleksandr Kerensky himself personally knocked down the palace doors in Unity City in his Orion.
Stefan and his accomplices were held humanely until evidence was found confirming Stefan’s atrocities. Stefan Amaris was executed by firing squad; the order came from Aleksandr Kerensky himself. There is no definitive end to the Rim Worlds Republic. Kerensky led the conquest of Apollo in 2769, and Terra fell in 2779. After the execution of Stefan, a long campaign was conducted, both officially and through vigilanteism, to end the Amaris/Wong/Siever lines – anyone with a claim to the Amaris throne was executed or lynched.
Despite the end of House Amaris, the Rim World Republic might have endured. However, the loss of the core of the Republic to annexation by the Lyran Commonwealth, as well as the the power vacuum left by the death of the Amaris family and the Rim Worlds Republic Military, meant the remaining independent worlds, literally more than 24 systems, were left to fend for themselves. Several bandit kingdoms arose in the vacuum of the collapse of the Republic, financed by privateering and de facto mercenary deals (both the Lyran Commonwealth and the Draconis Combine hired pirates to raid one another); the rest persisted as Periphery independents or simply disappeared.
When Hector Rowe founded the Rim Worlds Republic, Apollo possessed an extremely small population – only Rowe’s militants and slaves taken prisoner during Rowe’s flight were present. Rowe dealt with this situation with pragmatism. Anyone with technical skill was allowed to practice their trade, and female slaves could gain social status by marriage. Everyone else was consigned to mundane labor or slavery. In spite of the small population, Apollo thrived. Commerce was also conducted in a most pragmatic manner – goods, services, and slaves were the currency of the Republic.
The strife of the Exodus era Inner Sphere quickly alleviated the population problem. The Republic expanded as a flood of immigrants sought refuge. In 2376, the Stewart, Brannigan, Sterling and MacGregor clans joined the Republic and settled Somerset, near the Dark Nebula. Skilled refugees (artisans and technicians) of the Rasalhague Principality, fleeing the brutality of Coordinator Shiro Kurita of the Draconis Combine, settled the cold worlds of Steelton, Toland, Wotan and Bensinger. Refugees from the Sarna Supremacy and the Capellan Hegemony also sought refuge within the Republic, settling the worlds of Star’s End, Anywhere and Erewhon. With the origins of many worlds a result of refugee immigration, the Republic developed a fiercely independent attitude towards the Inner Sphere.
The great weakness of the Rim Worlds Republic was the lack of natural resources, especially compared with the resource heavy colonies settled in the Taurian Concordat. However, immigration and the reforms of Arabella Rowe gave the Republic a surplus of skilled, inexpensive labor with a moderate standard of living, a resource the Republic utilized to the utmost. Combined with the close political ties fostered with the Terran Hegemony, the Republic ultimately became the most powerful Periphery realm in existence.