Empereur de Castaire
|Reign||22nd March 1745 - today|
|Coronation||21st June 1745|
Dynasty and Family
|Born||22nd March 1720|
Steve I (full name: Steve Stéphane Sacrecouronne, born 22 March 1720 in Lucrécy) of the House of Sacrecouronne is since 22 March 1745 the current Empereur de Castaire and thus Head of State of Castaire. He married Princess Belle (‡1754) of the neighbouring Kingdom of Cantoras and has three children with her, Lukrezia, Florian and Emilia.
While his political ambitions are based on conservative ideas, he is also open to more liberal ideas, especially regarding the representation of the people. Nonetheless, a majority of his work serves the securing and increase of the Crown's power. Combining these two strains of ideals, under his reign the first castairien parliament was formed, to express and discuss His will promoting welfare of the Empire.
Steve is a 1,85 m/6'1" tall man with golden ear-length slightly welled hair and blue eyes. His formal dress consists of a single breasted dark red military tunic and black trousers. The tunic has golden epaulettes and embroidered cuffs showing the rank of an emperor. Over his tunic he wears a light blue sash bound together above his right waist, held by a black belt with golden inlays and a centerpiece featuring the coat of arms of the Sacrecouronne family. Furthermore there are 3 ropes of golden thread at the right side of the tunic. He also carries a gold-caged rapier named Rosentod at his left hip. The collar marries up with the cuffs, showing the same golden embroideries. Also, he dons the highest military badges and medals, sticked at the sash. These are namely five medals, the star badge of the Imperial Castorian Order and the chain of the imperial cross around his neck.
Born on March 22nd 1720 in the imperial palace as the child of Nathanaël II and Louise, the young Steve was a very curious and vivacious child.
Compared to his father, a overly militaristic emperor, Steve was much more interested in books, history and education overall. He read much and became an educated and enlightened crown prince capable of leading the whole nation.
His education was mostly maintained by the imperial advisor and personal consultant, Alberich who remained a friend of the young prince until today. He taught Steve the basics of politics, his rights and obligations and, most important, a social reasoning and understanding for his subjects fears and hardships. He was also taught to write political statements, orders etc., just everything needed to become emperor one day. When he was not busy with Alberichs tasks, the young prince trained swordsplay and shooting together with his brother Mitchell.
His father always enforced a military education for Steve, but often he simply refused to attain the lessons. Nonetheless and being highly appreciated by Nathanaël, Steve became a fencing prodigy and is even today regarded as the best swordsman in Castaire.
Because of being utterly rich, he never got to know the actual worth of money and had no clue how to properly spend it. Thus, he often bought things without need to exorbitant prices as the merchants simply betrayed him.
The most important person in Steves life was Belle, the Cantorian princess. Both met in rather young years, as their mothers Empress Louise and Guinevere were childhood friends. The princely children were often together, playing in the residence, running through the gardens, always trying their parents patience.
Though it might seem rather odd that Steve had more contact to a foreign princess than to the Castairian noble children, it is to be said that during his childhood, the nobility wasn't that fine with the imperialty. Nathanaëls militarism and thus, ever-increasing conscription made them very unpleased, though Steve wouldn't recognize that in his young age. Nonetheless, Belle became a constant in his life, he could always rely on her. When they spent time together, any observer could see that they really like each other and once, it was to become even more.
At his 16th birthday, Nathanaël organized a grand ball for him and invited all the important princes and aristocrats from the surrounding duchies and kingdoms and thus also his childhood friend Belle.
She came to stay at the imperial palace for a week and spent her whole time there with Steve. When the ball took place, she was the most beautiful girl at the ball, wearing a white-golden dress, even impressing the high nobility of Castaires states. As it was his birthday, he was obliged to hold the first dance and immediately made his choice. Both seemingly floated over the parquet, visibly being united in the whole situation. They danced together the whole night and had a lot of fun together.
At the end of the day, both went out of the palace and walked in a moonlighted night through the magnificent gardens, sat down in the pavilion at the palace pond and watched the stars in the sky. After a long talk they ended their meeting with a seemingly endless kiss and both felt that this will be the one and only love for them.
At the age of 10 years, Steve got the title of a Lieutenant which started his military career. He was educated to once become a great tactician. He got a first experience in leading his own command with 17 years, when there was an uprising in the border city Lacrosse. Steve got the imperative of the First Imperial Corps "Archon", which was sent out to bring down the insurgents. He successfully infiltrated the city and captured many of the leaders. It is important to mention that Steve resisted his fathers wish to execute all of the leaders and sent them back to their families. It is commonly known that this act of grace granted Steve an enormous boost of his popularity amongst the people.
Grand War Against Cantoras
Nathanaël gained knowledge about the love of his eldest son and the princess of Cantoras. As he was always looking for a casus belli against Cantoras, which rich gold deposits he wanted to annex, he was glad to be finally able to declare war against the invidious foe. He proclaimed that the princess has seduced his son and as this was a dishonor and seemingly also a provocation and an offense, he declared war on Cantoras on April 14th 1738. Furthermore, Nathanaël forbade Steve to meet Belle anymore and she got banned from all Castairian territories. Nonetheless, both lovers found a way to meet several times throughout the war.
In the curse of war, Steve was forced by his father to command the First Army Command attacking the Capital of Cantoras, Camelot, aware that if the soldiers are successful, Steve would have to captivate his own love as she was in the Cantorian Castle. But as the soldiers broke through the walls and charged the castle, there was no track of the Princess, the soldiers were just able to arrest her father, King Arthur VI. The Princess had escaped in the meanwhile into a secret hideout, where she waited for the war to end and met Steve several more times, getting new information about the course of the war. After many lossy battles, the Armée Impériale was able to defeat the Cantorian knight legions in the battle at Lucrécy Fields in January 1742, which was followed by the surrender of the imprisoned king of Cantoras and the Treaty of Liramond on 5th February 1742.
Marriage and Children
As the war ended, Steve told his father his will to marry Belle. Nathanaël had no other choice than to allow his son to do so, as a severe illness began to bother him and he wanted his son to lead a happy life. So, Steve was allowed to marry his love at March 29th 1742. The marriage was a magnificent ceremony in the Imperial Cathedral of Lucrécy and was crowned by a beautiful garden festivity at Palais Castaire, which's construction ended just some days before, so the newly married couple were the first ones to live in the recently completed palace.
Their first daughter was born on August 25th 1743 and was named Lukrezia, after Castorians wife. Exactly one month after the coronation, Florian was born on April 22nd 1745. The last child, Emilia, came into world on December 6th 1748.
As his father died on 21st March 1745, the coronation of the young couple was situated 3 months later on 21st June 1745. Even as everything regarding the preparations of the ceremony was completed even before the Empereur died, the 3 moth break is a usual time to embrace public mourning. The ceremony was held in the Angelic Cathedral in Lucrécy, the coronation cathedral since the beginning of the Empire. It was a wonderful ceremony with many high dignities from surrounding nations, followed by a banquet in Palais Castaire.
|“||Why all the stairspam? - It is Castaire, the name says it all.||”|
– Steve I
Steves reign started with several alterations: he abolished torture as a mean of investigation and also the death sentence for most crimes. Then, he reformed the monarchy into a constitutional system, so he gave his younger brother Mitchell the order to hold general elections for a new parliament. This happened on 1st May 1745, were the first Imperial Parliament was elected from all the people of Castaire. Mitchell then formed a government and got the title of a Chancelier.
Steve also made up several laws against poverty and decreed the Habeas Corpus Act (which disallows the imprisonment of people for more than 24 hours without judicial decision) which made him extraordinary popular. Many of his decisions were strongly influenced by Belle, as she was educated (similarly to Steve) to understand the peoples problems. They understood their imperial office merely as "servants of the state" than to be absolute rulers. This lead to an immense popularity of the imperial couple, especially amongst the poor people of the Empire.
The Legislation Crisis
Following those alterations, Steve declared his will to reduce the nobilities power to support the rule of Crown and Government. The governing system of Castaire until then was heavily based on feudal rights: the nobility owns and the peasantry serves. Those remnants of an obsolete system were rigorously fought by Steve, as His main intent was to centralize the power in Monarchs hands, to be only used by the Government. For sure, that opposed the nobility, who feared a substantial loss of their rights and powers. Nonetheless, especially the bourgeoisie and the educated society strongly supported those ideas. Within the new parliament, whose Lower House consisted mainly of commoners, a vote for the new law was conceivable. The nobles now realized that they will loose much of their power to the Corps Législatif and insisted to keep their privileges. Furthermore, they demanded to retain the legislative power, which was given to the Corps by the empereur just some months ago. Steve ordered a parliamentary decision to solve this issue, probably aware that the lords would vote against the law. But somehow it happened, that the lords didn't attend the highly important session and couldn't vote, so the legislative power remained in the hands of the Corps. The lords were extremely upset, thus starting to revolt against their rightful Empereur.
|“||The Crown's power is absolute, calling it into question is high treason. Whoever does so will get to know the real extent of Imperial power.||”|
– Steve I Stéphane, Manifest against the Duke of Verelon
Following the legislation crisis and the abolition of serfdom in Octobre 1749, several lords schemed a revolt against the Crown, and in late March 1750, some days after the glorious ceremony of the Anniversaire de l'Empereur (Empereurs Birthday), they sieged Mallais. Steve himself took command of the Ist corps "Archon" (the same as in the Battle of Lacrosse) and led it towards the sieging army. Contrary to most other monarchs, Steve didn't watch the course of the battle from his command post, but directly engaged in battle together with his infamous cavalry of the Garde de l'Empereur. They broke through the lines of the enemies gunners and made it to their command post, where His Majesty captivated most of the figureheads of the revolt.
|“||While Our great nation's past was signed by military efforts and expansion, a new era will start with this law, an age of science, trade and welfare.||”|
– Steve I Stéphane, Speech before the ballot of the Foreign Relations Act
Completely contrary to the policy of his father of violent annexations, he created a dense web of international alliances to ensure security and economical boosts through the repeal of tariffs. Especially with its former "hereditary enemy" Cantoras, Castaire drastically improved their relations, on the one hand via the marriage of Princess Belle, but also with economical support for the giant agricultural state. Thus, Cantoras improved its whole infrastructure to a standard near the Castairian one, especially in urban areas.
Death of Belle
In the second half of the year 1754, an unknown disease started to bother the Impératrice. None of the countless doctors was able to find out what disease it was as the symptoms were never seen before. In the early morning of December 17th 1754, her struggle had an end and she died in the arms of her husband Steve. Her state funeral was held 3 days later, on December 20th 1754, where the most of Lucrécys inhabitants and many foreign dignities attended.
Upon her death, Steve was unable to reign for around two weeks and let noone into his rooms. The only person who was allowed to visit the emperor was his butler Jomes, who finally managed to convince Steve that he is not the only griever and his children need his attention and encouragement to deal with the death of her mother.
Soon after Belles death, Steve ordered to build not just a memorial, but the most splendid sacral building ever in honour of his beloved wife. This new cathedral is under construction since the beginning of the year 1755 and is about to be finished in early 1762.
The time without Belle brought Steve to many new decisions, especially according to the health system. It was fine before, and one of the most advanced in the whole world, but he and his brother Mitchell then created the so called health insurance to further improve the medical advancement of the Empire.
He also passed several laws to boost the economy and now, Castaire has reached a new peak of wealth and welfare.
Titles, styles, honours and arms
Titles and styles
22 March 1720 – 21 March 1745: Son Altesse Impériale Prince Steve de Castaire
since 22 March 1745: Sa Majesté Impériale l'Empereur de Castaire
Full Title as Empereur de Castaire
Sa Majesté Impériale Steve Ier Stéphane, par la Grâce de Cadriel
Empereur de Castaire et Roi de Chastain,
Chevalier de l'Archon, Duc de Lucrécy,
Prince of Cantoras et
Defénseur de la Vraie Foi
- Empire Castairien
- Ordre du Saint Cadriel: Knight Grand Cross (1736), Sovereign (1745)
- Ordre de l'Empire Castairien: Knight Grand Cross (1736), Sovereign (1745)
- Ordre des Roses: Sovereign (1745)
- Ordre du Faucon Or: Sovereign (1745)
- Privy Council: Prince Consultant (1736-1745)
- Royaume de Chastain/Family Orders
- Imperial Family Order of Nathanaël I: Princely Member (1736), Sovereign (1745)
- Supreme Commander of the Armée Impériale (1745)
- Supreme Commander of the Marine Impériale (1745)
- Supreme Commander of the Armée De L'Air Impériale (1745)
- Colonel-in-chief of the Garde Du Corps Impériale (1745)
Equipment & Mounts
22nd March 1720 - 21nd March 1745
as Princesse Impériale
Empereur de Castaire
since 22nd March 1745
Roi de Chastain
since 22nd March 1745