Prelude to Civil War
Oliver Marik was the son of Captain-General Gerald Marik and brother of Elise Marik. Unlike Elise, Oliver didn't love his father, who was a stern and demanding individual, and while Elise was designated by Gerald as his heir, Oliver went on to serve as the the representative from New Delos to the Free Worlds League Parliament. When Elise Marik assumed the Captain-Generalcy she launched an increasingly paranoid and dictatorial investigation into her father's death, convinced that Gerald had been poisoned as part of a conspiracy or plot. Elise's campaign to find those guilty of treason increasingly infringed on civil liberties and due process and faced a degree of opposition within Parliament. Oliver was perhaps the most vocal and determined of those Parliamentarians who opposed Elise, but after Elise received Parliamentary assent to confiscate the holdings of Kazana Thermotronics in 2704 following accusations of their involvement in a scheme to steal Free Worlds technological secrets made by a single paid informant Oliver resigned his seat in Parliament and fled with his son Boris to the world of Procyon in the Terran Hegemony.
Elise's purge of the Free Worlds League became increasingly extreme and wide-ranging, as Oliver had feared. With the number of purported traitors being found increasing from hundreds, to thousands, to tens of thousands, high-ranking government officials and Parliamentary support staff under constant surveillance and businesses and news outlets being shut down on the flimsiest of evidence Oliver found himself being courted as an alternative Captain-General to his sister. In 2724, at the height of Elise's purge a number of influential Free Worlds opposition leaders fled to Procyon and attempted to persuade Oliver to declare himself Council Lord, although Oliver was unwilling to do so due to his firm belief in both civil liberties and due process.
By 2728 Elise had convinced the majority of Parliament that she was insane, and Parliament responded by declaring the crisis to be over and ending Elise's tenure as Captain-General. Elise responded by declaring that Parliament itself had become a threat to state security, and in February 2729 she personally led a crack military force to Parliament, dissolving the assembly and arresting a third of the Parliamentarians on charges of subversion. Following Elise's attack on Parliament Atreus dissolved into open chaos and rebellion in the streets.
Elise's actions in dissolving Parliament proved too much for Oliver; appalled at Elise's abuse of power, he left Procyon six weeks later on the 23rd of March along with Boris and the other Parliamentarians who had gone into exile, traveling to the Winter palace of the Duke of the Duchy of Oriente on Calloway VI. Once in place, Oliver summoned the remaining members of Parliament; Parliament then confirmed Oliver as the new Free Worlds League Council Lord, having used proxy votes for those members of Parliament currently imprisoned by Elise. Parliament also confirmed Boris as the new Captain-General.
Parliament's decision sparked civil war within the Free Worlds League; Elise had ten of the twelve regiments of the Marik Militia available to call on, along with the resources available to SAFE. She also had the support of House Stewart, one of whom - Aldrich Stewart - was Director of Safe, and the support of the Principality of Regulus through House Schenk, the family appointed to rule the Principality by Gerald Marik. Despite the support for Elise, the two factions were surprisingly closely matched; the two Marik Militia regiments located on New Delos and McKenna both declared their support for Oliver and the parliament, and joining the Duke of Oriente in supporting Oliver and Boris were the Duchy of Andurien and the Dukes of Carbonis and Kalidasa. Bloody fighting soon erupted on a number of worlds as the local forces divided against themselves.
Elise's first military gambit was to dispatch an expeditionary force to attack Oriente, hoping to crush the rebellion at its source; having underestimated the resources available to Oliver and Boris her force was easily repulsed, and Boris promptly launched a two-pronged attack on the Regulan front, led by himself and Duke Martin Humphreys, the Duke of Andurien.
When a large portion of Elise's forces were lured to Helios Minor to suppress a native uprising forces led by Oliver captured the spaceport on Atreus and after thirty-six hours of combat managed to capture Elise and her personal guard. The Parliamentarians were unable to turn Elise's capture into a decisive victory, however; her son, Bertram, was an experienced military commander in his own right and swiftly rallied the loyalist forces and launched a desert battle on Ariel that repulsed a rebel invasion force.
For the next five years the civil war would remain a bogged-down and bloody stalemate; both the Capellan Confederation and the Lyran Commonwealth called on the Star League to intervene to end the crisis, but their calls were motivated by a desire to annex Free Worlds border systems during any intervention, a motivation that First Lord Jonathan Cameron saw clearly. Cameron refused to intervene, declaring that the civil war was an internal matter, and the Star League Council attempted to continue business as usual while keeping the Free Worlds League seat vacant.
Boris was a superb commander and was responsible for many of the victories earned by the Parliamentarian forces, but he was unable to hold back the forces commanded by the equally-determined Bertram. The balance of the war shifted in favor of the loyalists in 2733, and by February 2734 Bertram had managed to reach Atreus and free Elise from captivity, although it soon became clear that her mind was broken and that she was incapable of resuming a leadership role. Aware of the cost of the civil war and the likely cost of resolving the conflict through battle, Bertram sent envoys to Oriente to treat with Oliver and attempt to negotiate an end to the war.
Oliver was sick of war himself and in failing health; seventy years old, he was unwilling to consign himself to history as the man who destroyed the Free Worlds League, a nation that he loved dearly, and he responded swiftly to Bertram's envoys. Bertram and Oliver traveled to the planet Tiber in May and began negotiations. The two factions faced a number of difficult decisions; Parliament was adamant that the traditional political structure had to be restored and that the right of individuals to dissent had to be reaffirmed, but the Loyalists were equally determined that their leader be recognized as the rightful holder of the Council seat and that the instigators of the rebellion be punished.
Each made painful concessions in the name of peace; the final agreement saw Betram agree to reinstate Parliament, to grant a general amnesty to those who had joined the rebel cause, and to make a public admission that Elise had made mistakes and over-stepped her authority. In exchange, Oliver agreed that Parliament would confirm Bertram as Captain-General and the Star League Council Lord, and that he would surrender himself for trial. Bertram promised limited sentences to Boris and the other leaders of the rebellion, and on the 20th of May the Treaty of Verona was signed, formally ending the rebellion.
Oliver was tried and executed in July of 2734 with his head held high; as the perceived "junior partner" in the rebellion Boris was sentenced to imprisonment. Parliament was reconvened on Atreus that October.
- The period in which Oliver and Boris Marik served as Council Lord and Captain-General respectively marks the only occasion where the two posts were both held by different individuals who operated separately.
- House Marik (The Free Worlds League), p. 24, "Oliver the Usurper"
- Handbook: House Marik, p. 31, "Timeline: Serpent in Eden"
- House Marik (The Free Worlds League), p. 23, "Like Father, Like Daughter"
- Handbook: House Marik, p. 27-28, "Descent"
- Handbook: House Marik, p. 88, "Boris Marik"
- Handbook: House Marik, p. 78, "The Captain-General"