Created by the Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth, the term Archonette refers to the leaders of so-called "Little Kingdoms" within the Lyran Commonwealth and Lyran Alliance, temporary regions created to better coordinate local reconstruction and defense efforts during or following a crisis.
Succession War era Archonettes
During the First Succession War the Commonwealth's Periphery provinces, including many former Rim Worlds Republic worlds, were all but overlooked with the focus on the fighting against the Free Worlds League and the Draconis Combine. Though not seeing direct combat since the Amaris Coup, with the LCAF dragooning of commercial shipping services for the war effort restricting the flow of even essential supplies of food and water, some worlds starved while others were able to maintain a surplus. This allowed bandits on the less-fortunate worlds to prey on those who were better off.
Even after the war's conclusion, the situation continued in part as Archon Richard Steiner focused primarily upon reconstruction of interior military industries. Richard recognized that, if the situation was left to fester, it could lead to rebellion. He determined that a local representative would be more responsive than one on far-away Tharkad, so Richard created the temporary role of Archonette, a chief administrator on twenty or so of the wealthiest and most-resource-rich Periphery worlds. These individuals received special authority to control and oversee the reconstruction and even distribution of all vital resources on that world and all the surrounding worlds within a one-jump radius. The special powers granted to an Archonette even gave them complete authority over the local nobility and governments within the "Little Kingdom" under their control.
Once all the worlds within an Archonette's little kingdom had returned to sustenance level or better, Richard rewarded them with large monetary bonuses, generous land grants and titles of nobility. While Richard assigned LIC agents to each little kingdom as a precaution, these considerable rewards were enough that there was only one notable instance of an Archonette refusing to give up their power: Gregory Uther of the Archonette of Somerset, who was assassinated by the LIC after he attempted to assassinate the Duke of Somerset.
Overall the program was considered so successful that Archons Elizabeth and Katrina Steiner would repeat it in the aftermaths of the Second and Third Succession Wars, though better preparation would reduce the number of Archonettes down to ten by Third Succession War.
Jihad era Archonettes
In 3072 Peter Steiner-Davion established four Archonettes (based on Arcturus, Halfway, Inarcs, and Kaumberg) to coordinate the Alliance's response to the Word of Blake Jihad. This was intended to allow more rapid response by the LAAF and allow for faster rebuilding. In actual fact, the Jihad-era Archonettes were as much a problem as a solution. The Kaumberg Archonette started a war with the Democracy Now movement, and Duchess LaRue of the Inarcs Archonette refused to return power to Tharkad. It took the arrival of the 1st Royal Guards and 2nd Bolan Guards and the arrest of Duchess LaRue to return the power to the capital.
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 55 - "History - The Second Succession War - The Little Kingdoms"
- Handbook: House Steiner, p. 39 "History of the Lyran Alliance - Second Succession War (2830-2864) - Reconstruction"
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3072, p. 94
- Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers, p. 84
- Field Manual: 3085, pp. 94-95