Born on the planet Marknick, a resource rich world near Erod's Escape, Cham Kithrong started his military career straight out of boot camp with assignment to the Taurian Guard. Cham was noted for his relaxed personality and charm, which he used to make contacts and friendships that served him well throughout his life. This circle of acquaintances included close relationships with many of the children of Protector Thomas Calderon, which would have an impact on him later in life.
After serving his mandatory service Cham went on to enrole in the Ecole Militaire, the principle military academy of the Taurian Concordat. Upon graduation he was assigned to the Taurian Velites where he met and was befriended by the legendary Marshal Hadji Doru. He was promoted to Colonel in 3050 and transferred to command of the Pleiades Lancers. In the year 3058 he was promoted again, becoming the youngest Marshal of the Concordat and was put in command of the newly created TDF VI Corps.
Marshal of VI Corps
The newly minted Marshal Kithrong and the VI Corps were shipped to the far rimward regions of the Concordat to protect the secret Far Lookers colonies established in this area. Once there they garrisoned many of these newly settled worlds to protect them from pirate raids and possible invasion from neighboring states. It was during this period that Jeffrey Calderon, youngest son of Thomas, came to the VI Corps to serve his mandatory military service. Marshal Kithrong befriended the young Calderon, taking him under his wing, and introduced Jeffrey to the mercenary officer Talia Martens of Prey's Divisionals, a fateful and consequential meeting to both Cham's future as well as the future of the Concordat itself.
With the accession of Jeffrey Calderon to the Protectorate Cham Kithrong became an influential confidant and advisor to the government. He was a firm and fanatical supporter of the Protector and his initiatives. Cham believed in Jeffrey and forsaw a golden age coming for the Concordat under his young friends inspirational guidance. With Jeffreys untimely death in 3061 Cham was devastated by his loss of a trusted leader and good friend.
The following years were trying for Marshal Kithrong. His influence was severly curtailed in the Shraplen government, and, even worse, he disagreed with many of the policies and decisions being made by Protector Shraplen. With the coming of the Trinity Alliance Marshal Kithrong became a public and vocal critic of Protector Shraplen and the current direction and leadership of the Taurian government. This came to a head in 3064 when Kithrong publicly announced the existence of Erik Martens-Calderon, son of the union of Talia Martens and Jeffrey Calderon, heir to House Calderon and rightful Protector of the Taurian Concordat.
Regent to an Heir and Rebellion
Marshal Kithrong became regent for Erik and started calling for Shraplen to step down in favor of a regency council for the youthful Calderon heir. Shraplen in turn ignored these demands and continued to focus on the "Davion Threat" and his Trinity Alliance. This continued to be the status quo until 3066. The independence of the New Colony Region, now the Fronc Reaches, and its recognition by the Magistracy of Canopus was the final straw for Kithrong and his supporters. To free themselves from the madness that seemed to control the Concordat government they declared the independence and creation the splinter Calderon Protectorate state in the planets of the rimward reaches of the Taurian Concordat.
Cham Kithrong and his loyal VI Corps took this extreme step feeling it was the only honorable way to protect the future of the Taurian people and the worlds they had sworn to protect. Though labled a traitor by the Shraplen government, Kithrong believes himself a true patriot and, in the following interview with NewsMakers Magazine made statements to this effect:
- NEWSMAKERS INTERVIEW: MARSHAL CHAM KITHRONG
- NM: Tell us a bit about yourself, Marshal. How did you get from loyal soldier of the Taurian Defense Force to leader of a secessionist movement?
- Kithrong: I wouldn’t call it a movement—though anyone who wishes to join the Protectorate is welcome to do so. And I remain a loyal Taurian. Despite what I’ve been forced to by the current government, I love the Concordat and I always will. And you’ll not find a single trooper in the VI Corps who won’t say the same.
- NM: You’ve taken an extraordinary step here, Marshal. Declaring planets independent of the Concordat. How does that square with the oath you swore when you joined the TDF, to “protect and defend the citizens of the Concordat against all enemies, wheresoever they may arise”?
- Kithrong: I swore to protect and defend the Taurian people. In its phrasing, that oath specifically recognizes the supremacy of the citizens over their government—a choice our nation’s founder made deliberately. My actions are fulfilling that oath, if in an unorthodox way.
- NM: How?
- Kithrong: The Concordat has been floundering ever since Jeffrey Calderon died. Grover Shraplen means well, but he’s a hopeless mess as a ruler. We need another Calderon on the throne, but the rightful heir is too young to assume that responsibility. Ideally, Lord Shraplen should resign in favor of a regency council, with competent members who recognize where the real threats to our nation lie and who will truly govern in the people’s best interests until Erik Martens-Calderon comes of age. Lord Shraplen has so far declined to do that. Hopefully, the existence of the Calderon Protectorate will get Shraplen’s attention—make him stop fretting over phantom Davions and think about how best he can genuinely serve the Taurian people.
- NM: So this is a giant publicity stunt?
- Kithrong: It’s a principled response to the dire situation in which we Taurians find ourselves. The Sixth Corps—and the people of Erod’s Escape and Marknick—have made real what many Taurians hardly dare acknowledge—that our beloved nation has lost its way, so badly that it’s time for a fresh start. We stand as an example of how to accomplish that. The Protectorate will also be a training ground for young Erik as he learns to responsibly wield the power that’s his by birthright.
Viewed by some as a Periphery version of Amaris, Cham Kithrong believes in the Concordat and would like nothing more than to return to the fold, but does not believe this can happen until a true Calderon sits again as Protector of the Taurian people. Until that day they will hold and protect the Calderon Protectorate as a beacon for what they believe is the truest ideals of the Taurian people. Though Kithrong is the public face and ruler of record for the Protectorate government, there is some indication that many of the public statements made by Baron Kithrong reflect policy decisions being made by Erik Martens-Calderon. It may be that Kithrong is acting as a buffer and sounding board for the young Calderon heir, allowing him time and space to grow into his role as leader of the Taurian people.
Marshal Baron Cham Kithrong is the Acting President of the Regency Council of the Calderon Protectorate. He heads the committee responsible for the stewardship and training of Erik Martens-Calderon, heir to the Calderon Protectorate, and, in the eyes of Kithrong and his followers, the Taurian Concordat itself
Kithrong and the Calderon Protectorate declared war on the Taurian Concordat on the 14th of March 3070. This unprecedented step was taken "in the name of all Taurian people"; as justification, Kithrong cited Shraplen's obsession with reclaiming the worlds of the Pleiades Cluster in defiance of the fact that the Word of Blake had effectively declared war on everybody as evidence that Shraplen was unfit to rule.
Kithrong deployed a number of Calderon Protectorate military units into the Taurian Concordat to assist the Concordat in the wake of the asteroid strike on Taurus that destroyed the capital city of Samantha and the Federated Suns counter-offensive against the Concordat following the second invasion of the Federated Suns by Concordat forces. However, with the Quixote-class WarShip TCS Vendetta bombarding cities on Federated Suns - and former Taurian - worlds in pursuit of the mercenary unit Hansen's Roughriders, Kithrong recalled the Protectorate troops on the 30th of June 3076 citing moral differences.
Having sent envoys to both Taurus and New Avalon to call for an end to the war between the Concordat and the Federated Suns, Kithrong stepped down as Regent-Protector on the 25th of June 3080, at which point Erik Martens-Calderon assumed the Protectorship. The decision made by Kithrong to stand down was unexpected, to say the least; critics of his announcement and the transfer of power to Erik argued that it was a symbolic gesture, and that Kithrong would remain the power behind the throne. In contrast to the opinion voiced by the critics, insiders who knew Kithrong took a different position, arguing that he had been impressed by Erik's drive and determination to become a worthy leader for the Protectorate, as well as his ability. One of Erik's early decisions was propose that the Protectorate act as arbitrators in the war between the Taurian Concordat and the Federated Suns, and that while the armistice was fostered by Kithrong, it was Erik who chose the various emissaries and dispatched them to Taurus and New Avalon.
- Handbook: Major Periphery States p.67-68
- Masters and Minions p.186-187
- Field Manuel: Periphery, p.56
- Dawn of the Jihad, pp. 22-23
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, pp. 126-127
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 128
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 48, "The Jihad In Review"
- Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 22, "Timeline of the Jihad"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 56, "The Jihad In Review"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 61, "The Jihad In Review"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 29, "Coming Of Age"