Investiture of Jeremiah Avon-El
The Investiture of Jeremiah Avon-El as Szodan of the Unified Governorates of Benacia, conducted in Merensk on 17.XV.1678 and followed by the combined weddings of father and son to their respective brides - culminating in large-scale parade of the Black Legions and the issuing of new regimental standards, marks the formal transfer of power from the outgoing regime of Constantine Loup to that of his successor.
Following the retirement of the Szodan Constantine on 11.XIV.1679, Jeremiah Avon-El, as the designated successor acclaimed by the the Merensk Garrison, proceeded to obtain personal oaths of loyalty from those members of the Command Executive whose services he would retain before welcoming his supporters from the Directorates to take their place on the Board of the Chiefs of Staff. After securing the Panopticon Citadel he went on to scrutinise the treasury. The UGB had initially relied heavily upon the Natopian subsidy and the fiscal transfers made by member states of the Raspur Pact in Benacia towards the Black Legions and, in spite of efforts at diversification - primarily in the licencing of mineral concessions and the granting of monopolies - made since then, the finances remained precarious. The Black Legions took the lion's share of the top level budget, leaving precious little of the subsidies and the tributes received from the Governorates to return in investment in other aspects of the state. The Szodan needed the UGB's finances to be in a healthy state if he hoped for his reign to be a successful one and spent the first months of the transfer of power period securing these before focusing on the formalities of assuming sovereign power.
Reading of auguries
Upon securing the treasury and thereby loyalty of the legions, the Szodan Jeremiah was eager to have his assumption of sovereignty solemnised at the earliest opportunity by sacred rituals in the Cedrist tradition, being mindful of his Kalirion ancestry and scornful of the indifference shown by his predecessor to such matters.
To discover an auspicious date on the earliest practicable occasion of which his investiture could be held, Jeremiah gave secret instructions to the Magister Ryabin Chryseoï, commander of the Southern Banner Group of Benacia Command, seek out the King of the Sacrifice, the High Priest of the Cult of Mors, who dwelt within the ruinous temple of his god located at the heart of the maze of sewage and offal splattered backstreets whose gang-haunted rookeries formed the Old City of Shirekeep. Ulf, the long-lived King of Sacrifice had dwelt in internal exile within the confines of the Temple of Mors ever since the prohibition against blood sacrifice had first been decreed by the Kaiserin Noor in 1644 AN.
The venue chosen for the investiture was the Temple of Viviantia, goddess of life and fertility in the Cedrist and Cedrozurvanite pantheons, located in the First Section of the Second Circle of the Citadel at the heart of Merensk. The site was chosen over the Panopticon within the Centrum district, the administrative heart of the UGB in view of the lack of attention given by Constantine Loup, the first Szodan, to ceremonial considerations. Tempted as he was to empty the chambers of the Panopticon of their myriad bureaucrats at bayonet point, the Szodan Jeremiah instead chose to select one of the eight temples built after the city's re-foundation, this being a testimony to his fidelity to the ancestral religion and an opportunity to propitiate the manifestations of the Highest Divinity.
Parades and festivities
- Alejandro Campos, President of Alduria
- Frederik Haabye Truls, Prince of the Elwynnese Republic
- Firdaus Abdollahi Mehr, Sardar of the Alalehzamini Autonomous Republic
- Li Naomiai Avon-El, President of the Elwynnese Congress, cousin of Jeremiah Avon-El
- Ander Avon-El, Ambassador to Alduria, also a relative of Jeremiah's.
- Sigrid Årud, Speaker of the Nordisketing (Normark)
- Ruadh Aldric, Regent and Lord Protector of Ransenar
- Sean O'Callaghan, Lord High Steward of Ransenar
- Col George Smith, Councillor for External Affairs
- Aurangzeb al-Osman, Principal Councillor of State
- Mahmood Sadri Maleki, Governor General