Lyran Commonwealth

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Crest of House Steiner
Lyran Commonwealth
Faction Profile
Time period: 2341[1] – present
Part of Federated Commonwealth from 3055 to 18th September 3057
Named Lyran Alliance from 18th September 3057 to 3084
Classification: Successor State
Controlled systems: over 300
Capital world: Tharkad
Ruler title: Archon
Military: Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces (LCAF)
Secret Service: Lyran Intelligence Corps (LIC)

The Lyran Commonwealth (also known as the Federated Commonwealth or the Lyran Alliance) is a large Inner Sphere Successor State in the BattleTech universe. The Lyran state is located in the coreward, anti-spinward region of space relative to Terra. For the majority of its history, the Lyran capital was located at the Triad on the icy world of Tharkad. While the Commonwealth was the realm of House Steiner, the Lyran Alliance was ruled by the Steiner-Davion family.

The Lyran Commonwealth is renowned for its strong economy, powerful nobility, and its military policy of promotion based on pedigree as well as talent. Unfortunately for the Lyran state, the promotion of so-called "social generals" has resulted in a military of varied capabilities. Even though incompetent "social generals" are not the rule, the prevalence of many poor officers has hindered the Lyran state throughout its history. Additionally, the Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces tend to fight defensive campaigns with heavier BattleMechs.

Though the military history of the Commonwealth is filled with missteps, the Lyran state has endured for many hundreds of years based on the capabilities of its industrial base and by the merits of the rare, capable officers produced by the system.

History[edit]

The Lyran Commonwealth was formed in 2341 as a merger between three mercantile alliances, the Protectorate of Donegal, Federation of Skye, and Tamar Pact. The founding charter called for nine "Archons" to rule to nation, but the impracticality of this system led to a coup by the leader of Donegal, Robert Marsden, who declared himself Archon Basileus in August 2375. An invasion by the Draconis Combine in 2407 resulted in the death of then-Archon Alistair Marsden, brother of Robert, in 2408. Rule fell to his wife, Katherine Steiner, safely ensconced on the new capital of Tharkad. The reign of House Steiner had begun.

The Lyrans lost territory to their neighbors, but the tide turned when a 2455 commando raid gave House Steiner plans for powerful new war machines, BattleMechs. The Age of War gave way to the golden era of mankind, watched over by the Star League, which the Steiners pledged to join in 2558. The Commonwealth economy prospered during this era, but it did not last. The Amaris Civil War laid waste to many worlds in the Terran Hegemony, though the Commonwealth was enlarged when it absorbed many Rim Worlds Republic systems.

The First Succession War between the remaining five Great Houses broke out in 2785. The 1st and 2nd Wars blasted the Inner Sphere back into the industrial age as total war resulted in the deaths of millions, cities were destroyed, and JumpShips annihilated. The 3rd War lasted generations, but saw a return to the Ares Conventions that limited the collateral damage. The Commonwealth traded worlds with the Free Worlds League, but steadily lost ground to the Combine.

In 3020, the waning years of the Third Succession War, Archon Katrina Steiner circulated a peace proposal to the other Great House rulers. Though they all rebuffed her, First Prince Hanse Davion of the Federated Suns was intrigued and the duo began a dialogue that resulted in an alliance the betrothed Hanse to Katrina's daughter and heir, Archon-designate Melissa Steiner. Coinciding with their marriage ceremony on Terra in 3028, the two nations launched invasions of their neighbors. The Commonwealth used Rasalhagian revolutionaries to their advantage during the Fourth Succession War, taking many systems away from the Combine. These gains were neutralized when Theodore Kurita recognized their independence in 3034, forcing the Lyrans to give up their hard-won planets to the nascent Free Rasalhague Republic. The abortive War of 3039 was intended as a full-scale invasion of the Combine, but the surprising strength of House Kurita caused the allied nations to rethink their intentions, calling off the attack in short order. The two nations merged together more closely after the failed war, resulting in the informal creation of the Federated Commonwealth.

In 3050, the Clans invaded the Inner Sphere, and Commonwealth forces lost battle after battle to Clan Jade Falcon and Clan Wolf. The 3052 Truce of Tukayyid stalled the Clan Invasion, thanks to ComStar, but many Commonwealth worlds remained vulnerable to attack. The 3055 assassination of Archon Melissa Steiner resulted in the formal union of the Lyran Commonwealth and Federated Suns with the acceding of Archon-Prince Victor Steiner-Davion. Because of his younger sister's manipulations, he quickly became unpopular among his subjects. When Free Worlds Captain-General Thomas Marik discovered in 3057 that Victor had replaced his son Joshua with a body double, he allied with Capellan Confederation Chancellor Sun-Tzu Liao and launched an invasion. Katherine Steiner-Davion seized on the opportunity and invoked war powers to secede the Lyran half of the nation from the alliance, calling it the "Lyran Alliance", and signed a peace treaty with Marik, resulting in the creation of the Chaos March. Grand Duke Morgan Kell all but seceded from the Alliance, creating a semi-autonomous region along the Falcon border known as the Arc-Royal Defense Cordon.

Crest of the Lyran Alliance
Lyran Alliance
Faction Profile
Time period: 30573084
Classification: Successor State
Controlled systems: 350+
Capital world: Tharkad
Ruler title: Archon
Military: Lyran Alliance Armed Forces
Secret Service: Lyran Intelligence Corps

A Clan Jade Falcon incursion in 3058 was stalled at Coventry by a multinational coalition led by Archon-Prince Victor. The powers recognized the need for cooperation to end the Clan threat, resulting in the resurrection of the Star League. Archon Katherine offered Tharkad to host the Whitting Conferences, though her scheming never resulted in assuming the mantle of First Lord for herself. When Victor led a task force to Clan space to ensure the destruction of Clan Smoke Jaguar, Katherine seized on the opportunity to take over the remaining half of the Federated Commonwealth. Though he initially did not contest Katherine's reign, Victor's hand was forced in 3062. The FedCom Civil War engulfed the Lyran nation for five years, including another Jade Falcon incursion in 3064. Katherine's loss in the civil war allowed Victor to set the lines of succession. He formally separated the Lyran Alliance from the Federated Commonwealth and installed Peter Steiner-Davion as archon in 3067.

In December 3067, the Star League fell apart as the Lyrans and others refused to support it any longer. The Word of Blake, a faction that was about to gain legitimacy with League membership, was furious and launched a Jihad against the other Inner Sphere and Periphery powers. The Lyran Alliance was devastated by the fourteen-year conflict because the Word targeted the Lyran's strong industrial base. The Alliance also faced off against the Free Worlds League and the Clans at the same time. Devlin Stone emerged as a state-less leader who united many of the various factions against the Blakists, eventually ejecting them from the Alliance and liberating Terra in 3079.

On 5 January 3084, the nation was renamed back to the Lyran Commonwealth. The nation enlarged at the expense of the fractured Free Worlds League, including a full-scale invasion in 3136. Archon Melissa Steiner's attempt to ally with Clan Wolf and settle them on the former League border backfired. The Wolves conquered dozens of worlds, batting aside every unit the LCAF threw at them. Simultaneous invasions by Clans Jade Falcon, Hell's Horses, and Wolf was more than the nation could take. The Wolves landed on Tharkad and routed the Lyran defenders, killing the archon, though the Clans did not attempt to hold the Lyran capital. After returning home and attaining the rank of khan, Alaric Ward revealed that he is genetically the child of Katherine Steiner-Davion and announced his intention to become archon.

Military[edit]

Since the fall of the Star League, the Lyran Commonwealth's High Command had a reputation for being bloated, inept, and ineffective. Early in its existence, the Commonwealth created the title of "Social General" for those important individuals who lacked other titles. Social generals are not unique to the Lyrans, but there is a preponderance of them compared to other nations. These individuals are officers (not necessarily high-ranking, despite the term) who received their position through networking as opposed to martial talent. These social generals decided in time that they possessed military authority and began overseeing actual military operations. Rank and awards were handed out like so many party favors and the structure soon became top-heavy. The incompetent leadership of the Lyran military has been responsible for many a bad decision, and poor leadership has reflected in the performance of their troops.

To compensate for the shortcomings or their High Command, the Lyrans are known for their use of large 'Mechs. Using their well-established industrial base, the LAAF fields a higher ratio of Assault 'Mechs than any other nation in the Inner Sphere. This has not always been a boon, however, as their enemies have been able to use more balanced forces to outmaneuver and defeat the Lyrans on many occasions.

The problems with the Lyran military only began to be reduced during the Archonship of Katrina Steiner, but even then, the command structure was often distrusted by the regular troops that engaged in battle. During the Third Succession War, the Commonwealth lost several worlds to the Draconis Combine due to poor planning, logistics, and support by the Lyran command structure despite strong commitment by ground forces. The Federated Commonwealth Alliance did much to change that, even eliminating social generals for a short time. Though the Federated Suns tried to help the Lyrans bring their military up to par with the Armed Forces of the Federated Suns, much of that effort was undone when Katherine seceded the Lyran Alliance and removed many of the quality officers because they remained loyal to her brother. In addition, Katherine brought back the so-called "social generals."

Recruits can enter the Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces (LCAF) at the age of sixteen. The LCAF has and does implement drafts to bolster unit strengths, especially in periods of intense warfare (such as the start of the Fourth Succession War in 3028).

Military Ranks[edit]

The military ranks for the Lyran Commonwealth were originally established in 2413 by Archon Katherine Steiner's Brandenberg Edicts. They were merged with those of the Federated Suns during the formation of the Federated Commonwealth, but re-established after Katrina Steiner-Davion separated the nation from the FedCom, forming the Lyran Alliance.

Manufacturing centers[edit]

A detailed list of some Lyran manufacturing and company centers.

Heavy Aerospace Industry[2][edit]

3067[edit]

Major Defense Industries[3][edit]

3067[edit]

Politics[edit]

Lyran Commonwealth (and Lyran Alliance) was basically a feudal monarchy with an assembly that served in a largely advisory capacity. This does not mean, however, that the people do not have rights and freedoms. The Steiner Archons have traditionally been rather liberal rulers, allowing their people the right to assembly, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press. Indeed, occasions in which these rights were taken away have been cause for crisis in and of themselves.

Archon[edit]

The Archon is the head-of-state of the Lyran Commonwealth. He or she is also the commander-in-chief of the Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces and has the authority to make any and all decisions relating to domestic and foreign policy.

Nobility[edit]

The Lyran nobility is very powerful. For instance, in the time of the Lyran Alliance, the state was divided into five provinces named for their capital worlds, Alarion, Bolan, Coventry, Donegal, and Skye. The rulers of these planets hold the title Duke or Duchess, and also serve as provincial rulers for those areas. They could essentially serve as head of state in their province so long as they did not override the authority the Archon. Indeed, some of these rulers were powerful enough to challenge the central authority.

Other noble rulers existed at every possible spectrum. Some ruled multiple worlds, while others ruled a city or tract of land. For every layer of nobility, a ruler could exercise his or her authority so long as he or she did not infringe upon the rights of the people or go against what a higher authority decreed.

Estates General[edit]

The Estates General was integrated into the governance of the Federated Commonwealth rather than subsumed. The Estates General is an assembly that meets on Tharkad and is theoretically composed of one individual from each world in the Lyran state, but in fact the least populous worlds are not represented. A member of the Estates General is elected to a six-year term and cannot hold a title more powerful than Baron.

The primary function of the Estates General is confirming the Archon, though this is often little more than a rubber stamp that grants legitimacy to House Steiner. In fact, it was originally created in 2376 by Robert Marsden in order to grant his coup legitimacy. Despite its origins, the Estates General has taken a leading role in determining who holds position of Archon, as it did in 3007 when it voted no-confidence in Alessandro Steiner, paving the way for his niece Katrina to take power.[4]

Rulers[edit]

Name Reign Descent
Archon Basileus of the Lyran Commonwealth 2346 - 2395
"The Nine Archons" 2346 - 2375
Robert "The Crusher" Marsden 2375 - 2395
Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth 2395 - 2408
Alistair Marsden 2395 - 2408
Steiner Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth 2408 - 2849
Katherine Steiner-Marsden 2408 - 2445 Wife of Alistair
Alistair Marsden-Steiner 2445 - 2467 Son of Katherine and Alistair
Michael I 2467 - 2472 Son of Alistair Marsden-Steiner
Steven 2472 - 2501 Brother of Michael
Margaret Olsen-Steiner 2501 - 2503 Wife of Steven
Robert I 2503 - 2528
Craig 2528 - 2555 Son of Robert
Tracial 2555 - 2570 Cousin of Craig
Viola Steiner-Dinesen 2570 - 2596
Kevin Steiner-Dinesen 2596 - 2647 Son of Viola
Sarah Steiner-Dinesen 2647 - 2672 Sister of Kevin
William 2672 - 2704 Son of Sarah
Jonathan 2704 - 2729 Son of William
Michael II 2729 - 2760 Brother of Jonathan
Robert II 2760 - 2781 Son of Michael II
Jennifer 2781 - 2791 Sister of Robert II
Richard 2791 - 2823 Son of Jennifer
Marcus 2823 - 2844 Nephew of Richard
Melissa Nin-Steiner 2845 Wife of Marcus
Claudius "the Cruel" 2845 - 2849 Brother of Marcus
Triumvirate Regency of the Lyran Commonwealth 2849 - 2859
Rebecca Morgan Steiner Wife of Claudius
Speaker of the Estates General Henry DeCalidore
Ilysa Aten
Steiner Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth 2859 - 3055
Elizabeth Steiner 2859 - 2895 Daugther of Claudius and Rebecca
Eric 2895 - 2913
Simon Borge-Steiner 2913 - 2914 Son of Eric
Tatyana 2914 - 2937 Sister of Simon
Marco 2937 - 2952 Son of Tatyana
Giovanni 2952 - 2980 Son of Marco
Alessandro 2980 - 3007 Son of Giovanni
Katrina 3007 - 3039 Niece of Alessandro
Melissa Steiner-Davion 3039 - 3055 Daughter of Katrina
Steiner-Davion Archon-Prince of the Federated Commonwealth 3055 - 3057
Victor 3055 - 3057 Son of Melissa
Steiner-Davion Archon-Prince of the Lyran Alliance 3057 - 3067
Katherine 3057 - 3067 Sister of Victor
Steiner Archon of the Lyran Alliance 3067 - 3084
Peter Steiner-Davion 3067 - 3071 (first term) Brother of Katherine Steiner-Davion
Adam Steiner 3071 - 3072 (first term) Cousin of Peter
Peter Steiner-Davion 3072 - 3073 (second term) Brother of Katherine Steiner-Davion
Adam Steiner 3073 - 3084 (second term) Cousin of Peter
Steiner Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth 3084 - 3141
Adam Steiner 3084 - 3121 Cousin of Peter
Andrew Steiner 3121 - 3127 Son of Adam
Melissa Steiner (32nd c.) 3127 - 3141 Daughter of Andrew
Brewer Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth 3141 - 3143
Vedet Brewer 3141 - 3143
Steiner Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth 3143 - ????
Melissa Steiner (32nd c.) 3143 (second term) Daughter of Andrew
Trillian Steiner 3143 - ???? Great-Granddaughter of Peter


Era Specific Data[edit]

3130[edit]

  • Location (Terra relative): Coreward and Anti-Spinward quadrant[5]
  • Total (Inhabited) Systems: 319
  • Estimated Population (3130): 955,000,000,000
  • Government: Constitutional Monarchy (with German feudal stylings)
  • Dominant Language(s): German (official) , English, Scottish Gaelic, Italian, French
  • Dominant Religion(s): Christian (Protestant), Judaism, Muslim
  • Unit of Currency: Kroner (1 kroner = 2.13 C-Bills / 3.88 C-Bills (3145)[6])

Maps[edit]

Historical Maps[edit]

See Also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Handbook: House Steiner, p. 14, "False Start: Reign of the Nine"
  2. Strategic Operations, p. 14
  3. Tactical Operations, p. 14
  4. House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth)
  5. Touring the Stars, p. 55
  6. Era Report: 3145, p.194, "Currency Conversion Table"

Bibliography[edit]