Unified Governorates of Benacia
|Unified Governorates of Benacia|
Realm of the Black Legions
|Motto: Faith and Endurance surpasses Might|
|Anthem: Obedience is Salvation|
|16.5.0 – present|
|Official language(s)||Praeta, Istvanistani|
|Official religion(s)||Holodomatic Cedrozurvanism|
|Demonym||Benacians, Gubernatorials, Gubs (informal)|
|- Adjective||Benacian, Gubernatorial|
|- Szodan||Jeremiah Avon-El|
|- Chief of the General Staff||Vüqar Rugahi|
|- Legislature||Benacia Command|
|Currency||Natopo (₦) / Benacian Sovereign (£)|
|Time zone(s)||CMT -10|
|National animal||Sarts Szuk|
|National food||Forager's Soup, Lywinderbrot, & Lythemsch'ighwnibe-Ch'ape libzchaxwe|
|National drink||Schleps Gin|
|National tree||Juniperus Litovinus|
The Unified Governorates of Benacia (UGB) is a military governance system established following the Kalirion Fracture of 1671 AN, in order to govern the civilian population of the Isle of Benacia, Lachmeren, Lywall, Malarboria, Mishalan, and New Blackstone. Alongside the rival states of Inner Benacia and Kalgachia, the Unified Governorates controls roughly a third of the territory of the former empire of Minarboria. The governance of the territory is based upon a modified variant of Elwynnese, Imperial, and Modanese law, informed by Humanist political theory and syncretic religious practices. The UGB is a subject of the Raspur Pact and a member of the informal Natopian currency union which now dominates the economic life of the Benacian continent.
Citizenship in the Unified Governorates is determined through the Charter of Coordination and is open to all Benacian nationals resident in a sovereign Benacian nation (Shireroth, Batavia, Inner Benacia, Kalgachia, Tellia) on the eve of the death of Kaiser Ayreon IV, generally considered to be the commencement of the Kalirion Fracture, or their descendants. This generous provision is subject to their registration with the civil authorities installed in the Governorates and the signing of the Covenant. Non-Benacians can be naturalised on the basis of a points system calculated through proven service, corporate bona fides, commendable piety, and ideological conformity.
The indigenous population of Cisamarrese, Lach, Lywallers, Mishalanski, and Tellians, therefore face the inward migration of Babki, Constancians,Norse, Talenorian Sani, Tapferites, and other stalwarts of the Raspur Pact, drawn by the decision of Benacia Command to relocate away from the lawless anarchy of Shirekeep and establish its cantonments in the heartland of the former Minarborian Empire.
Citizenship and residency rights are strictly limited to biological humans (Homo Sapiens) with the few remaining nests of rogue Dolorites located outside of the Kalgachi sanctuary territories being dug up and summarily extirpated wherever they are detected. The anomalous exception to this are the Nezeni who, partially on account of enjoying the protection of a recognised Benacian power and partially on account of some particularly niche perversions picked up by the negotiating team in Slavegate, are tolerated, if overly scrutinised, as guests of the Unified Governorates. The only stipulation to which they are subject is that they may not be seen abroad outside of the city of Sansabury during the hours of daylight. If daytime travel is required, Nezini visitors, whether pilgrims at Sansabury or participants in the burgeoning entertainments district of Merensk, may only travel in sealed compartments on trains, or in vehicles with heavily tinted windows. Consideration is presently being given to the creation of special Nezini-only rest stations along the route from Stonetree to Sansabury and from Sansabury to Merensk. If a Nezeni is caught in public during the daylight hours, whether by accident or misadventure, the subject is obliged to assume a posture of supplication until rescued by one of the specially appointed chaperones set to the task by the UGB Bureau of State Security. Unless authorised, civilians are not permitted to assist, acknowledge, or harm, a Nezeni whilst it remains in the supplication pose.
Following the removal of those Red Lach who refused to sign the Covenant to Lachdolor the only category of technically unfree humanity remaining within the territories of the Unified Governorate are the descendants of the Froyalanish survivors of the Auspicious Occasion who remain subject to the old imperial policies pioneered by the late Imperial Mother, namely reduction through miscegenation, whereby male Froyalaners in the Worker Colonies were gelded and given over to the Konkordskaya Bratva and the clans of Lachdolor to serve as thralls whilst the females were given over to the incessant requirements of domestic and recreational service, with Froyalanish blood being thus diluted by the perpetuation of this process with each succeeding generation.
"I converse with my magisters in Praeta, my advisers in Istvanistani, and my lenders in Babkhi. The wife chides me in Elw, whilst my mistress whispers into my ears sweetly insincere nothings in the most beguiling Cisamarrese lilt. My dog responds to being told to 'fuck off' in Lach with a certain alacrity."
The culture of the Unified Governorates is, in large measure, determined by the nature of the peoples who comprise its society and the historical and material circumstances that have had, and continue to, acted upon them.
The Governorates, taken in an overview, are very much a colonial frontier society, being founded upon the successive ruination of Ashkenatza, Minarboria, and the fleeting moment of Shirerithian Imperial overreach into the region which has – with some justice – become known as the graveyard of empires.
The base population of the core territories of the Governorates, centred around the capital, Merensk, and comprising of the governorates of Lachmeren as well as Lower and Upper Lywall, consists of a substrata of Lywallers and Tellians, the near indigenous ethnicities of the region, alongside whom live the ever ubiquitous Lach, whose fractious clannishness bisects this invasive race, splitting them into Black and Red confederacies. In spite of persistent Imperial and now Gubernatorial efforts to suppress and reform the Lach through collective reprisal, selective incentives, and mass re-education, the legendary brigandry of the Lach remains endemic along the lesser patrolled minor roads of Upper Lywall.
Of Lywallers themselves there is little enough to say, their nature inclines them towards flippancy and contrariness. It was somewhat indicative of the scant regard in which Minarboria and Kalgachia held the rest of the world that these Lywallers, with their peculiar insistence upon forced 'jollity' at the most inappropriate of moments, were at one point put forward as candidates for diplomatic postings and service as regime mouthpieces. More than one serious international incident was triggered by a Lywaller with nominal authority “flying off the handle” at some routine activity, such as a military exercise in a neighbouring country. This tendency towards the histrionic may in some part have derived from the transfusion of migrants from the notoriously labile populace of Lunaris in Shireroth into the youthful body politic of Minarboria at the time of its foundation. For this reason those Lywallers still found within the bounds of the Unified Governorates tend to be rebuffed from state service and struggle to find guild accredited placements in all but the most menial of roles. A similar attitude eventually came to prevail in neighbouring Kalgachia when the armed forces there stepped in to end Lywaller maladroitness in the administrative and diplomatic spheres.
The former Minarborian lands, depopulated by plagues, famines, and wars, that have come under the sway of the Black Legions, have embraced a no-nonsense form of morality, appropriate to the needs of peasant folk putting their lives back together in the midst of a shattered world. Villagers, the inhabitants of the clustered settlements cobbled together in the form of moats, palisades, and dugout bunkers, had become inward looking and clannish, speaking devolved dialects of Istvanistani and Praeta that would be incomprehensible even to their near-neighbours. Out of necessity the peasantry manage their own affairs, rather than relying upon the government which, whether ruling from Sansabury, Shirekeep, or Merensk, remains impossibly remote from the day to day existence of the common man. In spite of the abolition of feudalism, these settlements where the only surface structures are an observation tower – the only brick structure for miles around, livestock pens, and a votive blood-smeared shrine dedicated to the Cedrist god of death – Mors – in an effort to avert the malignant eyes of the Tee-al from falling upon them, retained their own rough and ready social hierarchy, led by the blacksmith, the carpenter, and the miller, and a moot council of those up-jumped yeoman who had exploited the chaos of the Fracture to secure title over the arable lands and pasturage enrounding the settlements.
By dint of their Lywaller ancestry, the peasantry might be seen by some as manifesting some form of “indefatigable jollity”, the reality behind the smiles of the yeoman is altogether less serene than their demeanour might otherwise suggest. The “outwardly-cheerful tenor” of the laughing, dancing, hard-drinking peasant who seems to have never let go of his childhood is a deceptive one, for the realities of village life do not allow for the illusions of youth of last for long. Right from the moment when the children are assembled in their age cohorts, under the watchful eyes of the village elders, to witness the bringing of the cow to the bull, through to the rustic fêtes, where boy and girl are paired off to dance their first jig under the influence of cider far stronger than the small beer they grew up drinking at the dugout table, the ruling moot guided the breeding of the next generation in such a way as to ensure that – for all but the most moonstruck simpleton of no further use save than as an amusing object for villagers to torment – childhood was over by the fifteenth year. In such circumstances mutual affection amongst the paired is not required, although boy and girl would be given the opportunity to find out whether they were suited to each other. In the common practice of “bundling” a young courting couple spent nights together before marriage, with clothing or a blanket between them to prevent physical contact, allowed to chat and get to know each other.
Homosexuality is commonly known as the “Sickness of Lords”, a legacy of the period of Imperial rule during which time the “privilege” of contracting same-sex unions was exclusively reserved to the nobility. Whilst homosexuality is not illegal in the Unified Governorates, a legacy of a certain Imperial edict of toleration allowed to continue in its effect, country people tend to disapprove of the manifestations of most forms of degeneracy or vice, known as “town living”, amongst their own. Expressions of displeasure concerning any individual's conduct, proven or suspected, can take the form of following the culprit around whilst beating pots and pans, tipping dung and manure into their dugout, or worse, escalating levels of social ostracism culminating either in the individual being cast out of the village or disappearing altogether with all concerned subsequently denying even the existence of such a person.
Hermaphrodites were once considered to be changelings deposited by the Hateful Ones in the place of human children snatched away for fiendish experiment and sacrifice, and for this reason those afflicted by mixed-attributes at birth were customarily taken to the edge of the nearest mire or other polluted place and either drowned out of pity or left at the mercy of the elements to die either from exposure or of the ravening attentions of wild beasts. This stern duty would fall to the father of the child, supported by the elders lest he falter in his resolve. The mother would remain in her dugout for ten days, shunning the light and all forms of human contact until the proper purification rituals could be performed. All births are attended by midwives and the elders for this reason, so that imperfections may be searched out at the earliest opportunity and that no time be wasted raising stunted off-spring. For the purpose of avoiding misunderstandings with the authorities, who might take a dim view of infanticide and the unnecessary destruction of future works, such tragic occurrences are duly recorded by the village notary, often the only literate person in the settlement, as a miscarriage. As the UGB does not presently desire to incur the cost and inconvenience of suppressing a peasant revolt merely for the sake of discouraging a disagreeable practice, its officials are for the most part content to pretend as though they are unaware of what the rustic constituents of the Governorates get up to. Nonetheless the Civil Executive could hardly condone the wanton murder of prospective tax-payers, and for this reason outreach workers assigned to the task by Commissioner of Services, operating under the guise of mendicant preachers of the Covenanted Faith, tour the backcountry freely disseminating, along with dispensing blessings, basic medicines and rudimentary advice concerning sanitation and hygiene, specially edited psalms and parables promoting the notion that hermaphrodites enjoy the especial protection of Tempestas, the incarnation of destructive fury, and should be brought to her temples lest her unwelcome attentions be brought to bear upon those who would have harmed, even unto death, the bearers of her mark. In the beginning it was necessary to dispense a couple of fuel-air bombs over remote villages with a reputation for above average miscarriage rates, but subsequently – by word of mouth, propagated by bundlesmen travelling the backroads and paid to talk up stories of divine retribution – the notion appears to be gaining some traction.
Politically, the UGB is a stratocracy, that is to say the country is formally subject to the rule of the armed forces, moreover the armed forces in this instance are not a product of the nation but rather the nation was formed by the armed forces, known as the Black Legions.
|Szodan||Frumst Frainan||Jeremiah Avon-El||Head of State|
Board of the General Staff
|Chief of the General Staff||Frainan Streïakeï||Vüqar Rugahi||President of the Board of the General Staff|
|Frainan-Heszlin||Frainan Hohmin||Herlot bi Merensk||General Inspectorate of the Black Legions|
|Commander, Central Banner Group||Frainan Streïakeï||Bruno Rambert Strohkirch||Military Operations –|
|Commander, Eastern Banner Group||Frainan Hohmin||Selardi Jen Daniyal||Military Operations –|
|Commander, Northern Banner Group||Frainan Hohmin||Mihrzād Gushnasp||Military Operations –|
|Commander, Southern Banner Group||Frainan Hohmin||Ira Rasputin||Military Operations –|
|Commander, Western Banner Group||Frainan Streïakeï||Ulrich Varens||Military Operations –|
|Director (D1)||Frainan Uihmanzis||Karekin Bolkvadze||Information Technology|
|Director (D2)||Frainan Uihmanzis||Iago Kolbust||Logistics|
|Director (D3)||Frainan Uihmanzis||Ardashir Mooshian||Manpower|
|Director (D4)||Frainan Uihmanzis||Abdollah Abbasi||Planning|
|Director (D5)||Frainan Uihmanzis||Rudolf Maisuradze||Operations|
|Director (D6)||Frainan Uihmanzis||Manfred Selerensk||Military Intelligence|
|Director (D7)||Frainan Uihmanzis||Aryo Barzan||Political Affairs|
|Steward||Frainan Streïakeï||Aurel Dietrich||Executive Bureau|
|Marshal||Frainan Streïakeï||Aurel Dietrich||State Guard|
|Commissioner of Allocations & Appropriations||Ahmst Bræþstranin||Sigibert Behrends|
|Commissioner of Public Order||Frainan Streïakeï||Bruno Rambert Strohkirch|
|Commissioner of Information||Ahmst Bræþstranin||Klaes Schultheiss|
|Commissioner of Services||Ahmst Bræþstranin||Marius Hofmann|
|Commissioner of Works||Ahmst Bræþstranin||Friedemann Beringer|
|Commissioner of the Circuit of Benacia||Ahmst Bræþstranin||Hieronymus Brantley|
|Commissioner of the Circuit of Jadid Khaz Modan||Bivarhins Frainan||Rofolo Nur Pinito Kasha|
|Commissioner of the Lywall||Ahmst Bræþstranin||Kiran Lylow|
|Commissioner of New Blackstone||Frainan Uihmanzis||Ulrich Varens|
|Deputy-Director for Sport||Ahmst Bræþstranin||Uri Segler||UGB Bureau of Sports|
|Deputy-Director for Internal Security||Frainan Streïakeï||Bruno Rambert Strohkirch||Internal Security Bureau|
"Better to fear the School Master than to forget the lesson."—Popular saying, Attested in Lywall, 1676 AN
The Class of 1669, the generation of children born in that year, was the first to enter primary education under the full tutelage of the regime established in the territories now grouped together as the Unified Governorates without any prior experience of previous educational arrangements or the lack thereof. Education in the UGB was the responsibility of the Commissioner of Services, a member with portfolio of the Civil Executive, and the service in this instance provided to the children of Benacia was threefold, to impart the lore necessary and conducive to survival in a hostile environment; the honing of physical strength and intellect to the standards necessary for useful service in the Black Legions; and finally, but by no means the least in consideration, schooling was required to indoctrinate pupils with the core tenets of Humanism and the faith, so as to become loyal and effective manifestations of the Coordinated State and its Harmonious Society in every aspect of their being.
Although not an official requirement it was commonly understood that enrolment in the Party was an essential prerequisite for appointment to even the most junior of salaried teaching posts in the preparatory gymnasia of the Benacian Academy or even a licence to establish a one-room Clout School out in the backwoods of the continental interior.
As befits an administration established by the Raspur Pact , the Unified Governorates engage with the international community primarily through the Political Directorate and subordinate agencies of the Pact's Benacia Command. While the long-term goal of the ruling Executive Command is to reunify the continent under the banner of Benacian Confederalism, the imperatives of the present moment lead it to lend its full support to those Pact members and sufficiently cooperative non-aligned neighbours who are judged to be best placed to support the restoration of public order and vital economic linkages in the aftermath of the Kalirion Fracture.
|Alduria||Friendly||1675||Bilateral trading relationship. Inward and outward investment. Treaty of Merensk.|
|West Amokolia||Hostile||1672||Contact established along Inner Mishalan line of control. Relations soured by the Froyalan Question. Brief attempt at normalising relations abandoned after misguided Amokolian land grab in former Verionist Benacia.|
|Batavia||Neutral||-||No formal relations.|
|Constancia||Friendly||1672||Raspur Pact. Creditor. Imperial Constancian Embassy established at Merensk in 1676 .|
|Drak-Modan||Friendly||1672||Raspur Pact. Military assistance.|
|Elwynn||Friendly||1672||Raspur Pact. Military assistance.|
|Inner Benacia||Friendly||1671||Under the fraternal protection and guidance of the UGB.|
|Jingdao||Neutral||1674||Discrete low-level diplomatic contact after 1674.|
|Kalgachia||Neutral||1673||Slavegate Convention and detente. Secondary transit route for Aldurian-Kalgachi trade. Gradually increasing commercial exchanges.|
|Natopia||Friendly||1672||Raspur Pact. Creditor. Technological and industrial assistance.|
|Ransenar||Friendly||1673||Raspur Pact. Military assistance.|
|Sanama||Friendly||1672||Oil for arms trade agreement formalised as treaty.|
|Sathrati||Friendly||1674||Raspur Pact. Military assistance. Under the fraternal protection and guidance of the Honourable Company.|
|Sovereign Confederation||Friendly||1671||Raspur Pact. Military assistance.|
|Tellia||Neutral||1672||No formal relations. Non-recognition of Tellian zone of control.|
|Verionian Empire||Neutral||-||No contact. No formal relations. Perceptions skewed by the fallout (figurative and literal) of the "Great Disaster"|
The Unified Governorates economy relies heavily on the agriculture, defence, fishing, heavy industry, and mining sectors. The drive to secure an adequate industrial and resource base upon which to sustain the continental army inherited from Shireroth, impelled Benacia Command, the military governing authority, into invading Mishalan, Florencia and the Irridian Isles, and Inner Benacia in turn. During the first few years of its existence, the UGB was heavily reliant upon Natopian loans, brokered through corporate intermediaries, which it was then obliged to repay using the direct export of commodities, disassembled industrial machinery, and - to a certain extent - brazen plunder. It has since sought to diversify away from this over-reliance by building up Merensk as a worthy capital in its own right, with a service sector to match, and by establishing so-called "Financial Innovation Fusion Centres", the first of which was opened in Port Benacia during 1675, that would make financial instruments work for rather than against the national balance of payments. With debates raging in the Aldurian Parliament over taxation, Aldurian companies and businesses were attracted by the financial services to nonresidents provided in Merensk.
The occupation of the Lachdolor natural gas fields offers up the promise of increased revenues for the Unified Governorates once the proper infrastructure to exploit these reserves have been put in place.
Main Article: Black Legions
"By Our Faith! We Understand! We Only See as Zurvan Commands!"
The great disadvantage of Cedrozurvanism, aside from its basically inchoate nature, is the fact that its origins, derived from the melding of southern Benacian folklore with the theology and rituals of those Neo-Babkhan military cults which gained popularity in the Imperial Forces of Old Shireroth, are a matter of attested historical record. Were it not for the enjoyment of official patronage, Cedrozurvanism would rightly be regarded as a syncretic New Religious Movement. Certainly the temptation is there to consider the faith's emergence in the context of being a product of and answer to the traumas that beset a dying world, be they the seemingly endless procession of plagues and wars, civilisational die-back in the face of a hostile ecology, chronic levels of individual alienation, and on the more local level the ebbing and enfeeblement of the organised Cedrist "church" long before the Kalirion Fracture marked the termination of the Imperial Cult that had once laid at the heart of the Cedrist faith.
It was not until the Underkeeep Massacre of 1644 AN, when - at the behest of an Osmanid anti-kaiser - the populace of Shirekeep had risen up to righteously exterminate their inhuman neighbours, that the convergence and cooperation of the priestly castes and congregations of Cedrism and Zurvanism had first been noted. The killing of those competitor species termed as enemies of the "Human Supremacy" was in accordance with the notable ideological currents of the age.
The advantages of Cedrozurvanism, and the reason it enjoys the official patronage of the Unified Governorates lies in the very breadth of its appeal - the bull-slaughtering soldier cults of Tempus in the Black Legions enjoy a thread of fellowship with the bucolic fertility cults of Viviantia in the high dales of Mishalan, united in a pantheon of familiarly named deities emanating from the Highest Divinity of all.
The Command Executive of Benacia Command, the supreme authority governing the UGB during the early years of its foundation, certainly believed that religion was essential to the unity and well-being of the newly conquered state; this being less on account of spiritual consideration than out of a recognition of the political function played by religion and myth in a well-ordered and harmonious human society. The rulers of the Unified Governorates, finding themselves in command of a soldiery that was fiercely martial in its demeanour and outlook and ruling over a shocked and disorientated populace, considered the fostering of faith as a necessity for promoting the arts of peace - thereby reducing their charges to obedience and, thereafter, for the maintenance of civil policy. For this reason the Political Directorate and the subordinate Civil Executive were tasked to expound and promote a healthy and conspicuous fear of the Highest Divinity and its remorseless and unending capacity for harsh judgement, satiable only by blood propitiation and the utmost fidelity in thought and deed.
The history of the Unified Governorates can be traced back to the rise of Human Supremacist ideology in the backwards "3M region" in the wake of the collapse of successive attempts at establishing civilised governance in the area. The Kalirion Fracture would see the precarious settler communities become the base of operations for that portion of the Shirerithian Imperial Forces which remained loyal to the Raspur Pact after loosing faith in the ability of Shirekeep and the Kalirion Dynasty to restore control of the disintegrating empire.
- 1640-1644: Harvestfall Revolution in Minarboria draws attention to the deteriorating phylacteric field sustaining Liches (Revenants) in Lichbrook. Paralysis and disintegrations increase year on year by an order of magnitude.
- After the failure of the Lich-Queens could no longer be denied, Lichbrook was administered in their name by the Crown Council, established in the year 1644 by Decree of the Nobles of the Realm sealed by the Kaiser. The Council operated on the principle of the round table with the Countess of Amarr representing the Undead and The Dirigent of Musica representing the Living.
- 01.XII.1644: Underkeep Massacre shatters residual faith in Imperial Government. Deep Singer Mass Emigration to the unknown and subterranean portions of the West. Minority comprised of Biological Containment Corps and the Lifemesher and Wayfarer clades form an underground, in every sense, anti-human resistance movement in Shimmerspring.
- 1648: Final collapse of the phylacteric field. Virtually all Liches disintegrate over the course of the year. Surviving revenants scarcely number above triple digits. The loss of Liches and Deep-Singers within the same decade causes the population of Southern Benacia to be effectively halved.
- 1649–1651: Failure of the Crown Council sees Lichbrook demoted to Imperial Dominion. The Countess of Amarr stages an unsuccessful revolt. The ensuing Struggle for the South sees the State of Malarboria formed by Imperial interventions amidst the ruins of Lichbrook and Eastern Minarboria.
- 1651: Auspicious Occasion sees Elwynn purged of Vanic population and its peripheral territories dismembered. Most of Angularis is passed to Malarboria.
- 1651-1660: Reconstruction in Malarboria is hampered by poor relations between the Daemonically influenced “Coven of the Sun” and the Imperial Government. *The War of Lost Brothers (1653–1657) sees scarce capital resources diverted to sustaining the increasingly unpopular war effort.
- 1660: The Loyalist Legion, the mass participation party established to give the Coven of the Sun a vehicle for participation in imperial-level politics, suffers a humiliating defeat in the Folksraad election of that year to a coalition of humanist, separatist, and minority ethnic parties grouped together under the 'Coalition 1660' banner. The election signalled widespread and increasing dissatisfaction with the regime of the Daemon-Queen amongst denizens (free subjects of the state without Imperial citizenship).
- 1661: The Nationalist and Humanist Party lends its support to an uprising by Coalition 1660 activists by staging two simultaneous invasions; first consisting of Elwynnese rebels from the Army of the Southern League attacking via Angularis and Highpass, and secondly by an amphibious landing of troops from the islands of Jadid Khaz Modan in Amarr.
- 11.X.1662: Convention of Drakorda permits Kizzy Drakland, her daughter, and her daemonic familiars to evacuate from the country of what was now proclaimed as Modan, in return for surrendering the Sword of Fire to Daniyal ibn Daniyal Simrani-Kalirion.
- 07.XII.1662: Constitution of Drakorda is promulgated. Daniyal Simrani-Kalirion proclaimed Prince of Modan. State of Modan established.
- 10.XIII.1662: The State of Lywall, a protectorate established in the former Minarborian Empire, along with the islands of Amity, Miriroth, and So-Sara, are formally ceded by the Imperial Government to the State of Modan. Yardistan meanwhile is ceded to Brookshire.
- 13.V.1671 - Establishment of Benacian Stabilisation Force
- 05.VII.1671 - Fall Luikur
- 11.VIII.1671 - Death of Kaiser Ayreon IV
- 06.XI.1671 - Merensk Command Conference
- 15.XI.1671 - Declaration of Merensk
- 24.XI.1671 - Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Auspicious Occasion held in Merensk. Protected persons of mixed-ancestry fathered in the camps who have come of age are distributed, along with grants of land in Lywall, to veteran ex-Imperials, on the occasion of their honourable discharge from the Black Legions. Festival concludes with the veterans re-enlisting as officers at the invitation of the Commander-in-Chief. The tradition is begun that all veterans of the Black Legions will receive land and wives on the Auspicious Day in the year of their discharge from service.
- 18.XIV–06.XV.1671: Phase II of Fall Luikur sees the occupation of the "Gloomburg Corridor" linking Lywall with the disputed industrial heartland of Mishalan. Two legions pass over the Republic of Inner Benacia, sowing death and destruction in their wake, as an abject lesson to the emergent Black Lach confederacy of the futility of continuing incursions into territories incorporated into the Unified Governorates.
- 25.XIV.1671–03.VIII.1672: Operation Massive Wedge - Black Legions return to MoMA Station Sabatini and completes the Occupation of Port Benacia.
- Ahmst Mairstranin Bardaisan Porphyry received a crimson banner from the Frumst Frainan and a commission to recruit amongst those Red Lach whose chieftains had signed the covenant issued in former times by the Prince of Modan. An ESB Purser with sufficient bullion and Natopian script to cover expenses, as well as a regiment of Inspectorate Troops to protect the strong boxes, would accompany him.
- Waldemar Tarjeisson is brought out of retirement to lead the Litkov Expedition with the triple objectives of repelling Black Lach incursions into the Litkov Salient, securing the assets of the Imperial Mission in Kasterburg for the Black Legions, and re-establishing contact with the surviving followers of Adin ben Shmuel, the former leader of a puppet state in Nackholm. Waldemar's request for the support of a legion is refused - with a shortage of available fuel cells cited as the cause. Instead he was instructed to assemble such forces as he could muster and to depart for Litkov by no later than the 1st day of the twelfth month of 1672. A meeting with the Board of the General Staff held on the following day only secured a token release of manpower and equipment in return for the ESB Group agreeing to underwrite costs.
- Southern Mishalan is occupied by the Black Legions in conduction with the forces of West Amokolia in the west and Elwynn in the north. The Imperial Regency is obliged to acknowledge the fait accompli.
- During the year to date, Tyrannocricetus aliger attacks in Upper Lywall had resulted in 14,000+ deaths. As a consequence, an entire legion is assigned to the task of ensuring their complete extermination in the territories of the UGB.
- 10: Sixteen aldermen in Merensk, convicted of appropriating the infrastructure maintenance budget of their district for personal gain, are hung - the Commissioner of Works waiving his rights to receive the condemned for labour service - from gallows erected in the city's Zitadelle. A selected audience drawn from corporate, military, and political cadres are obliged to attend so that the lesson is fully imparted and absorbed.
The polity that would become the Unified Governorates began as the Benacian Stabilisation Force, a subordinate formation of Benacia Command's Central Banner Group. Initially formed to relieve IBFOR elements trapped in Republic of Inner Benacia after a revolution there directed against Shireroth and the Raspur Pact. However, as the contagion of revolution spread rapidly across Benacia, causing a fatal unravelling of the institutions and authority of the Imperial Republic, the Benacian Stabilisation Force was forced to widen its remit to include the pacification of the rearwards sectors of its zone of operations and with the implementation of the Fall Luikur directive by Benacia Command assumed responsibility for the seizure of as many of the facilities and depots of the Imperial Forces as it could secure. In practice only those officers formerly affiliated with N&H cadres, the ESB Group or the former Modanese regime rallied to the cause. As the officer corps of the Imperial Army and the Western Armada of the Imperial Navy had already been substantially purged during the administrations of Steward Soraya II of Octavius-Parini the legions and the banner fleets could not, for the most part, be relied upon.
As it was, the support of the air force, in-shore forces, and the auxiliaries, facilitated an attack on the MoMA Stations of Sabatini and Sagittarius in the so-called "First Island Chain" of Khaz Modan. This action, taken against confused and demoralised comrades-in-arms, however presaged the collapse of the Imperialist forces throughout the Khaz Modan archipelago, as a Yardistani led insurgency swept across the islands.
Because the Benacian Stabilisation Force lacked the strength to restore order across the entire continent its present priority comprises of establishing and preserving itself as a force in being, able to exert influence in the calculations of others by virtue of its existence. Where it has not been able to establish firm territorial control, which is to say everywhere outside of the Merensk-Smoxala bridgehead, one possibility under consideration was the "hiring out" of the Black Legions to the residual Imperial Republic as well as to those other "Vulture States" in need of shock troops in return for access to the necessary provisions and hard currency required to sustain its operations.
- ^ Conforming to the historic pattern whereby those who became dissatisfied with the state of affairs in the old Imperial Republic headed west to start anew.
- ^ Not to be confused with the Internal Security Bureau which reports to the Command Executive rather than it's civil counterpart.
- ^ So named for school master's propensity to clout any indigent yokel boy deemed to be tardy in his rote learning of Humanist homilies.