War for Rosamund's Honor
|War for Rosamund's Honor|
|House of Osman|
Effective 1697, to strengthen diplomatic ties, Her Serene and Eminent Imperial Highness, The Princess Rosamund of Molivadia and Arboria, Princess of Constancia, Lady of the Holy Lakes, Scion of the King of Kings, was appointed Imperial Constancian Ambassador to the Imperial Republic of Shireroth, in a role similar to that taken by then-Princess Olympia, who was, for a time, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Imperial State of Constancia to the Bovic Empire of the Natopian Nation.
At the time of her appointment, as the eldest daughter of Primo de Aguilar, Autokrator of Constancia and Princess Esmeralda al-Osman, she was seen as heir apparent to her mother's dignities as Princess of Arboria in Natopia and Viscountess of Lumenetra in the Duchy of the Guttuli, Shireroth, both with significant territorial holdings; as well as heir presumptive to her father's dignity as Duke of Santiago in Nouvelle Alexandrie, as well as heir presumptive to her father's dignity as Prince of Molivadia in the Imperial State of Constancia.
Aside from these titles and honors, she was politically and economically influential due to her concurrently being an Imperial Senator in the Imperial Synklētos and member of the Council of Molivadia of the Imperial State of Constancia, a member of the Council of Arboria, a luminary of and Tribune Cohortis / Ahmst Tazstraneï of the Nationalist & Humanist Party, Scrivener-General and member of the Court of Directors of the Society of the Sacred Lakes, Vice Chair and member of the Board of Directors of Oranjesion Private Equity Capital, Vice Chair of the Princess Isabella Foundation, a member of the Board of Directors of the Osman-Aguilar Holdings Corporation, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Duke of Santiago Foundation, Tagmatarchis (Major) in the Molivadian Home Guard and civil-military operations officer (S-9) of the Princess Isabella's Own Volunteers. In sports, she was, next to her mother, a prominent member of the Imperial Constancian Tzykanion Association, as well as Patron of the Arboria Polo Federation. She was also alumna of the Sarayzenana and Dabirestân-e Pardanashin, Eliria University College and an undisclosed Aldurian university in light of the Second Elwynnese Civil War. This did not yet include the personal monetary wealth of her father as revealed by the Iron Harbour Papers.
On her 27th birthday, 22.VI.1700, she was invested as Duchess of Mar Sara, in the peerage of the Principality of Arboria of the Bovic Empire of the Natopian Nation, with pre-eminence, by her mother in a ceremony at Tirlar, and formally declared Vicegerent of the Principality of Arboria as well as Heiress Apparent.
Determination of a future groom for the only daughter of the Autokrator of Constancia was paramount since her birth, as evidenced by the creation of a Betrothal Desk in the Private Chancellery of the Office of the Autokrator mere days after her birth.
Unfolding of Events
Public notice of these events began with the chicha press speculation regarding the change in the Princess-Ambassador's close-in bodyguards. Legally entitled to personnel from the State Protection Authority as Imperial Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, as well as being a Constancian princess, a few royal watchers noted that while the State Protection Authority remained, albeit forming the external perimeter, her close-in bodyguards were now Arboreal Guard personnel of the Natopian Defense Force, as evidenced by the uniquitous Thworpper observed by keen watchers.
The adjournment sine die and dissolution of the 9th Imperial Synkletos was normal news, but the surprise appointment of Prince Utas Enrique Naian of Shireroth to the lifetime position of Imperial Senator of the Imperial State of Constancia (a position coincidentally held by Princess Rosamund) on 15.III.1700, in time for the convening of the 10th Imperial Synkletos on 14.I.1701 made the announcement truly sensational for royal watchers and the chicha press.
Months later, on the 66th anniversary of the Pact of Perpetual Friendship between the Kingdom of Constancia and the Bovic Empire of the Natopian Nation , 19.VII.1700, at midmorning, joint press conferences were held in Lindström City and Astérapolis announcing the betrothal of His Imperial Highness The Lord Utas Enrique Naian, Prince of Shireroth, Progeny of the Once-Living God, Knight of the Holy Lakes, Scion of the King of Kings to Her Serene and Eminent Imperial Highness, The Princess Rosamund of Molivadia and Arboria, Princess of Constancia, Duchess of Mar Sara, Lady of the Holy Lakes, Scion of the King of Kings. A subsequent announcement revealed that in happy celebration of this occasion, the Autokrator of Constancia was pleased to promote his daughter and eldest to the Imperial Constancian Army rank of Sarhang (Colonel), attached to the Military Household of the Autokrator.
In late 1700, Princess Rosamund, concurrent Ambassador of the Imperial State of Constancian to the Imperial Republic of Shireroth, was confirmed by the chicha press to be in a relationship with Lord Patrick Montgomery Wythe, grandson of Chrysostom Wythe, Count of Woodshire, Viscount Holly-Wythe, and was likewise rumored to be pregnant with his child.
The next day, 16.IX.1700, the Imperial Natopian Ambassador to Constancia was recalled to Lindström "for consultations". The day after that, the Imperial Constancian Ambassador to Natopia was summoned to Astérapolis. The Imperial Constancian Ambassador to Shireroth - Princess Rosamund herself - was very publicly recalled to Astérapolis as well, alongside a sudden Imperial Constancian Navy deployment to the southwestern Shirerithian sea lanes.
On 19.IX.1700, the Imperial Constancian Government announced the sudden addition of a 10% trade tariff on imports from Shireroth, effective immediately, and regretted that due to security and merchant traffic concerns, Shirerithian merchant ships would have to dock at Nivardom in lieu of transit through the Gulf of Aqaba, for the meantime. A significant number of Shirerithian tourists were likewise unceremoniously deported due to various violations of the Criminal Code.
Three weeks later, Rosamund and her father met with Prince Utas and his parents. In this meeting, Rosamund allegedly confirmed to the Prince Utas that she was not pregnant, has never been pregnant for she was a virgin, and that her friendship with Lord Patrick Wythe was merely friendship. She also insinuated that Patrick was gay and thereby unable to engage with relations with her. She also showed a medical record from her private gynaecologist confirming that she was both "not pregnant" and "intact". Prince Utas and his parents were happy with these reports and vowed to keep the engagement, with a wedding planned for mid-1701.
Prince Utas and Princess Rosamund went on a trip to the Lakes of Hurmu, staying in a private location on Cashma Island, with the view to get to know each other better. They also travelled around Hurmu for a few weeks, visiting also Lontinien and Rekozemlje.
By late 1700, however, the chicha press uncovered bribery and threats in Princess Rosamund's clinic, whereby Rosamund's secretaries had not only bribed the medical staff there, but also threatened to have them killed, were they not to produce the necessary medical records to satisfy Rosamund's father's need for a virgin bride for Prince Utas.
The Imperial Autokrator's office issued statements that the chicha press's "uncoverings" were nothing but lies, furthered by the press for sensationalism, and that if the press continued to report such lies, it would risk destabilise the freedom of the press in not only Constancia, but in all countries involved in this travesty. Unfortunate for Primo de Aguilar, his statement only led to further reporting on the issue.
At this point, Prince Utas informed via messenger to the Imperial Autokrator (communication that was leaked to the chicha press) that he was intending to break off the engagement to Princess Rosamund. Discussing the matter with Princess Rosamund, she told her father that it would be impossible as she had actually become pregnant at this point. Pressed to answer who the father was, she allegedly told him that she did not know, that it could have been Prince Utas or Lord Patrick or some other of the men she would normally meet up with. Moreover, she could not understand why this had happened, as she had always taken precautions to protect herself.
Rosamund was counselled to bring about an abortion, but she refused, citing the humanist aversion to it. As a national humanist, she said, she would not be able to kill her own flesh and blood for the mere reason that paternity might be in dispute.
The 10th Imperial Synkletos convened as scheduled, for the first time in Petropolis on 14.I.1701. The Autokrator of Constancia, Princess Esmeralda, Princess Rosamund, and Prince Iñigo were present. The newly-appointed Imperial Senator Prince Utas Enrique Naian of Shireroth was noticeably absent. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Imperial Senator and former Minister of Justice Matthäus Koeppen was appointed Mesazon, while the former Mesazon, Alexios Paxos was elected Speaker.
On 17.VIII.1701, Rosamund gave birth to a living baby boy. Upon news of this, the Shirerithian and Natopian ambassadors to Constancia were recalled to their respective capitals for consultations. Three weeks later, the Shirerithian ambassador returned to Constancia with a mission to find out who the father was. He had received the informal acceptance of the Imperial Government as well as the fathers of Lord Patrick and Prince Utas that whosoever would be father would marry Princess Rosamund in order to allow the child some legitimacy despite his parents' folly and global embarrassment.
In the meantime, the infant was placed in the care of a wet-nurse and a governess from an esteemed institution in Raspur, whilst Rosamund, barely a week after the birth was summoned into the chambers of Her Serene and Eminent Imperial Highness The Princess of Arboria, Princess of Molivadia so as to better give an account of her conduct and the circumstances which had led up to the present moment. On the following day the crimson banner was raised in Nivardom, signifying that no quarter was to be given, and a general mobilisation ordered in the lands of Molivadia and Raspur. As such, the paternity of the child remained unresolved.
Internal Border Clashes
There were numerous reports of sporadic internecine clashes between units of the 506th (Molivadia Province) Army not belonging to the 1st Vanguard Division, and the 508th (Raspur Khanate) Army at border crossings, but these reports, as well as claims of deaths and casualties in combat, remain unconfirmed and unverified.
1702 and the slow boil
Abeiron Maniakes intervenes
Abeiron Maniakes decided to exercise command authority, reimpose order, and remind the mutineers of their ultimate duty and obedience.
Palace Coup, Collapse and Dismissal of the Imperial Government
The Autokrator of Constancia had scheduled a visit to Augustinium and Santander on IX.2.1703, which involved a rather diverse entourage not seen since the state visit of the Kaiser Dominus, with the Autokrator flying his flag aboard the ESB Corporate Seafaring Transportation Service leisure cruise ship Harmony. This show of confidence in the government of the day was taken to belie numerous rumors of unrest in the Imperial Constancian Armed Forces and discontent elsewhere within the various corridors of power within the Imperial State.
At approximately 4:04 am of IX.4.1703, Aqaba local time, flash-override traffic was received throughout all Imperial Constancian government and military channels globally that SILVER CROWN, SHINY DIADEM, RED POPPY, MADDENING CROWD, and CAN OF WORMS were in effect. Maritime traffic in the Gulf of Aqaba was immediately halted, all civilian aircraft over Central Eura were ordered to land immediately at the nearest airport, and all civilian broadcasting terminated in favor of the Civil Defense radio and Armed Forces radio and television broadcast.
At 5:01 a.m., all government and military transmissions broadcast the Princess Esmeralda, dressed in mourning clothes, from the Crimson Drawing Room of the Imperial Palace at Asterapolis, where she regretfully announced the demise of the Basileusa Cleo at 3:25 a.m that same early morning, and that in accordance with previous protocols such as Operation Everlasting and the doctrine of necessity, the Basilinna Olympia had been graciously pleased to appoint the Princess Esmeralda as Autokrator of Constancia due to the sudden ill-health of her husband, who had taken to convalescence in Augustinium. Further Decrees revealed that the Basilinna had also been graciously pleased to exercise her Imperial Prerogative, in accordance with Article 7 of the Magna Carta, to dissolve the 10th Imperial Synkletos forthwith, but that the 11th Imperial Synkletos was to be elected and convened by IX.4.1705, as guaranteed by the Magna Carta. The present Imperial Government was likewise dismissed, effective immediately; and very surprisingly, a new Imperial Government was to be led by Imperial Senator the Prince Iñigo as Mesazon and Minister of Defense.
Mesazon Matthäus Koeppen, along with Speaker Alexios Paxos, Abeiron Maniakes, and certain Imperial Senators could not be reached, and there were rumors that they were under house arrest and incommunicado. Imperial Senator Sarah Dravot, speaking on behalf of the senior leadership of the Permanent Standing Committee, noted that the Permanent Standing Committee grieved for the loss of the Basileusa Cleo and retained full faith and confidence in the Imperial State and the Autokráteira.
On 14.X.1703, the Constancian ambassadors to Shireroth and Natopia informed the respective governments of the paternity of Lady Rosamund's now two-year still nameless old son. Thus, the ambassadors held, it was established that the father of the child was Prince Utas, and that the Imperial Constancian government expected a marriage between the Prince Utas and Lady Rosamund so that the child might be legitimate and without dishonour and that he might have a name.
This announcement caused a stir amongst the victorious soldiery camped outside the makeshift walls of Petropolis. Amidst the tumult in the camp, one contingent of Babkhan troops from Raspur marched out to the execution field, accompanied by dancing boys and flutists, leading bulls garlanded as if for sacrifice. Amidst the rites of cleansing carried out in the field, overseen by Zurvanite mobads, the bulls were sacrificed and roasted over fire-pit barbeques. As the first portions were offered up to the gods, one of the soldier's snatched up the steaming heart of one of the butchered animals and flung it down before the stake on which was impaled the eyeless head of Abeiron Maniakes. As he did so, the common soldier exclaimed, in halting Vey dialect, "If far Utas is the father of the noble child, why did we travel such a short distance to remove your head?"
Once the ensuing disorders were quelled, and a suitable period of time requisite for the restoration of decorum had elapsed, Prince Utas flew to meet his son and the mother of his child, Lady Rosamund, as well as the grandmother of the child, Princess Esmeralda al-Osman, the new Autokrator of Constancia. The Autokrator invited Prince Utas to give the child a name, and he chose Alexander Amirzadeh Augustin, in honour of the child's Alexandrian and Babkhi roots, with the surname Ayreon-Kalirion de Waffel-Paine y Primo de Aguilar al-Osman in the Martino naming tradition.