A direct descendant of Kossandra Centrella, the founding ruler of the Magistracy of Canopus, Crystalla had the misfortune to be the Magestrix of the Magistracy during the Reunification War. Crystalla inherited a nation less than fifty years old but already very wealthy; that wealth was also a large part of her nation's undoing, as it attracted the avaricious interest of the Inner Sphere powers.
Kossandra Centrella had been a warrior hardened by battle and possessed of considerable experience when she founded the Magistracy; in contrast, Kossandra was possessed of a keen understanding of people and human nature rather than military skills. With war between the Star League and the nations of the Periphery increasingly certain, Crystalla used her ability to spot people with talents she lacked to make up for her own shortfalls. Perhaps the best example of this was her recruiting people such as the skilled mercenary officer Adam Buquoy to lead the Magistracy Armed Forces to make up for her own lack of martial skill; Crystalla had trained as a MechWarrior and was adept at small unit tactics, but knew that she lacked the ability to craft the high-level military strategy needed to defend the Magistracy effectively. Buquoy had a keen mind for tactics and strategy and an encyclopedic knowledge of warfare; Crystalla gave him the authority to plan and conduct the defense, and did everything in her ability and power to provide the MAF with the war materiel it needed to fight.
|“||This popinjay expects us to hand him the keys to our jeweled cities on a golden platter. That is an absurd notion. We are Humans, yes, but we are also Canopians, and Canopians we shall remain. What does he offer us for the "privilege" of joining his Star League? What can he offer us that we cannot already buy?||”|
|— Magestrix Crystalla Centrella, transcript of Ministerial Minutes, 7 October 2576|
Crystalla knew that the Magistracy had little chance of winning the war, but remained a pragmatist throughout. Crystalla recognized from the outset that if Weapons of Mass Destruction were used during the war, the population of the Magistracy would be the ones who suffered the most, and WMDs were not used by the MAF during the War as a result.
The War began on 14 May 2577 when Duke Brion Marik landed on Canopus to deliver the declaration of war. Brion had been selected to deliver the message because while he was an economist, rather than a diplomat or Free Worlds League Military officer, he had been a part of the delegation sent to try and influence Crystalla into accepting the Pollux Proclamation, and the two had built a rapport. Brion stated that while a state of war existed between the two nations, the task force led by General Marion Marik - Brion's grandmother - would fight in accordance with the Ares Conventions, despite Ian Cameron having officially suspended the Conventions. Crystalla began by thanking Brion for both his candor and that of his grandmother and then stated that the MAF would defend their homes with dignity, tenacity and honor. With this exchange of words, the two confirmed that the campaign to conquer the Magistracy would be hard-fought and bloody, it wouldn't be a dirty war, unlike that being waged on other fronts.
Even after her capture as a result of the capture of Canopus IV in 2584 Crystalla refused to assist with the conquest of her realm and set out to make the most of a bad situation, using her abilities to read and manipulate people to begin gaining influence and control of Ian Marik, the son of future Captain-General Marion Marik and Star League Defense Force military governor of Canopus IV.
|“||Darling, you wanted to take all my people away from me, so if they’re being naughty then it’s for you to deal with them. Do you want to give them a good spanking? Or me?”||”|
|— Magestrix Crystalla Centralla in response to being directed to order the MAF to surrender.|
|“||Anything you say, Governor. Coffee? Tea? Or would you prefer me, governor? I can provide whips and handcuffs if you think I need punishing.||”|
|— Magestrix Crystalla Centralla responding to Ian Marik's declaration that he was the new military governor of Canopus IV, 2 May 2584.|
Her efforts met with a not-inconsiderable degree of success prior to his recall to the Free Worlds League after a number of Marik family members died in action, deaths which left the Parliament unsettled over so many heirs to the Captain-Generalcy in hostile realms. This left Crystalla to deal with Marion Marik and then subsequently Melissa Humphreys, each of whom was as formidable in their own way as she was.
Although control over the Magistracy was stripped away from her, Crystalla was allowed to retain her title, and she subsequently styled herself Magestrix-Dowager and worked with both women. Crystalla and Marion's relationship was difficult, with Crystalla never getting along with Marion, but her working relationship with Melissa was a lot better, and Crystalla grew to both respect and like Melissa. That respect didn't prevent Crystalla from refusing to ever quite acknowledge the positive effects that Melissa's reconstruction plan for the Magistracy had after the Reunification War, however.
When the Star League decided to restore civil rule of the Magistracy, replacing the occupation government, Melissa approached Crystalla to retake the title and position of Magestrix, but Crystalla refused, stating that her time was past and that it was time for the next generation to take over. Rule passed to Crystalla's daughter, Rinalla, and although Crystalla died peacefully in 2611 she had the opportunity to see Rinalla grow into the role of Magestrix and to see Rinalla's daughter mature into a young woman.
Crystalla was described as a svelte and elegant woman, with honey-colored skin, fine bone structure and lustrous black hair; she was considered by some to be the veritable image of a catwalk model or multimedia star.
|Magestrix of the Magistracy of Canopus
???? – 2584
| Succeeded by|
|Magestrix-Dowager of the
Magistracy of Canopus
2584 – 2604
| Succeeded by|
- Before Crystalla makes any Opposed Action involving social skills, she makes a CHA Atribute Check first; if the check is successful, she may either: add the Margin of Success for that Attribute Check to her Margin of Success, or reduce her opponent's Margin of Success by a similar amount. This may potentially reduce the opponents score below 0, thereby turning it into a Margin of Failure.
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 57-58, "Crystalla Centrella"
- The Periphery (1st Edition), p. 39, "Crystalla's Reply"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 188, "Magistracy of Canopus Front"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 97, "Over The Edge (2577)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 105, "Mopping Up (2584-2588)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 7, "Stalking Prey"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 187, "Magestrix Crystalla Centrella"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 58, "Rinalla Centrella"