|Parents||Kyalla Centrella (mother)|
Newton and two others
Born on Luxen to her mother Kyalla Centrella, Emma became the holder of the title of Duchess of Luxen. Her father, Kyalla's second husband, died by order of her mother for treason. Though her father was in fact guilty of attempting to overthrow his wife, Emma knew her mother's infidelities drove him to such extreme measures. Her mother's actions forced Emma Centrella to keep her animosity hidden behind a facade of loyalty, while at the same time learning from Kyalla the skills needed to play the game of politics and court intrigue. At age 15, she began training to become a MechWarrior and to serve with the Magistracy Royal Guards. By age 17 she had earned the rank of Ensign in the Magistracy Armed Forces.
In 3030, Emma had steadily climbed the ranks of the MAF. She was caught up in her mother's political workings, however, when Kyalla revealed she was to marry Richard Humphreys, Duchess Catherine Humphreys' fifth son, as part of a political alliance with the Duchy of Andurien. Emma protested against both the alliance and the marriage, knowing of Richard's hedonistic ways and rejecting him as a suitor. When the Andurien Crisis began, Kyalla ordered Emma transferred to the 2nd Canopian Cuirassiers, which spearheaded the assault into the Capellan Confederation at the head of Task Force Duo. Despite her continued public opposition, Emma served with distinction during the conflict. When the war turned against the Magistracy and its forces were in retreat from New Roland, Emma fought in the rearguard and helped saved Task Force Duo from being destroyed by Warrior House Dai Da Chi and Kamakura’s Hussars, allowing it to escape in February 3035.
According to the novel, Emma was in fact well impressed with Richard and they developed a mutual friendship (with Emma hoping for more) over their shared feelings that their respective lives were overshadowed by their mothers' machinations. However, Richard was straightforward in that Elala Cisne, the mother of his daughter Dalma Humphreys, was the love of his life. Unwilling to enter into a purely political marriage, Emma and Richard engineered a faux public falling-out, and Richard acted the irresponsible playboy.
Not marrying Richard saw Emma promoted to Major and sent into de-facto exile on Detroit, a strategically important protectorate world for the Magistracy that was also wooed by ohter powers, particularly the Capellan Confederation. Much to Emma's distaste, her battalion of the 2nd Canopian Cuirassiers was to support a brutal ruler on Detroit for political reasons.
In his quest to reunite with Elala, Richard was meanwhile following a lead to Andarmax, a target of the Canopian prong of the joint Andurien/Canopian offensive against the Confederation. Richard sent a letter to Emma, asking her to request him as a liaison so that Richard to go to Andarmax and investigate further. Emma, already in a stormy relationship with Nicolas Ramilie, went out of her way to help Richard and perhaps turn their friendship into a relationship after all, but found that he was too obsessed with Elala.
Ultimately, Elala was found to have become a member of the Worm Cult, a nationalistic Capellan sect; exiled from the Duchy of Andurien and her child for a decade at that point, she had embraced Capellan citizenship, married a Capellan man and rejected Richard and their daughter. Richard was so heartbroken that he submitted himself to the sect, who immediately proceeded to abduct him as a political hostage. Emma Centrella took charge of the rescue operation together with one of Richard's bodyguards, and personally overpowered Elala in a final shootout. Richard was indifferent, and heavily drugged.
On the eve of his return to the Duchy of Andurien following his rescue, Richard requested from Emma that Elala be granted her wish to be released into the Capellan Confederation with her husband. Then he and Emma bid each other farewell.
Emma subsequently kept a token to remind her of Richard, and the overall experience made her resolve to push medical sciences ahead in the Magistracy once she became Magestrix.
While Canopian forces had returned home to recover from their failed campaign against the Capellans, the conflict was not completely resolved. On 17 May 3035, a reprisal raid consisting of two battalions of the 4th McCarron's Armored Cavalry arrived on Canopus IV's doorstep, surprising the defending forces. Only through the efforts of Emma Centrella, who personally organized the counter-assault, were the elite Liao mercenaries forced to withdraw after three days of fighting.
Ascent to the throne and the fall of KyallaEdit
As an early critic of and one of the few heroes to emerge in what increasingly was an unpopular war, Emma's popularity grew among the people of the Magistracy and she became the focus of opposition to her mother Kyalla. With the war ended though, Emma chose to quietly return to her role as Duchess of Luxen, neither lending her support to the opposition nor defending her mother publicly. Resentful of her daughter's fame and her own lack of support, Kyalla increasingly saw Emma as a threat to her throne.
In April 3039, an assassination attempt was made on Emma's life. While she in a side room, the killer snuck into Emma's bedchambers and shot both of her lovers in her bed, thinking one of them to be the Duchess, before in turn being killed by Emma. Though no evidence directly linked them, it was popularly believed that Kyalla was responsible for the attempt on her daughter's life. Given the situation, Emma fled to Hardcore and rallied supporters to her, giving Kyalla the pretext she needed to order the Magistracy Royal Guards to arrest her and bring her back "in chains." Those sent to arrest her however were secretly in league with Emma, giving her a chance to confront her mother. On 8 May 3040 Emma arrived on Canopus IV under guard and restrained and was escorted directly to the throne room. As Kyalla began to harshly criticize and gloat over her daughter, Emma calmly removed the unlocked chains, and when the Magestrix ordered her Royal Guards to execute the "traitor" they instead took her into custody. The next day, Emma made a public announcement that, after examination by several psychiatrists, Kyalla Centrealla was declared clinically paranoid and unfit to rule. The Canopian electorate quickly ratified Emma’s ascension to the throne, becoming the 17th Magestrix.
First efforts as MagestrixEdit
After assuming the throne, Emma Centrella began work on her nation's economy. Expanding on its existing traditional industries - gambling, pleasure circuses, medical science - she opened up the economy to increased foreign trade and investment initially started by expanding their existing traditional trades. Within decades trade between the Magistracy and the Inner Sphere had tripled, with 3048 considered a banner year for the recovering Canopian economy, as firms from as far away as the Lyran Commonwealth were constructing new factories on Canopian worlds. While many local corporations were concerned about the encroachment of Inner Sphere firms, the Magestrix made sure the government clamped down on any unequal contracts and ensure as much as the profit remained in Canopian hands as possible.
While the Clan Invasion was taking place far from their borders, the Magestrix was sufficiently concerned by it that in late 3051 she proposed a defense pact among the Periphery states so that they could pool their resources against this threat. However her proposal failed, as most Periphery nations either didn't feel threatened by the Clan invasion or plead poverty. The Marian Hegemony's Caesar, Sean O’Reilly, went so far as to increase attacks on Canopian trade vessels traveling between his realm and the Lothian League and leaked word of her proposal to the Successor States to try and provoke a reaction. The unexpected destruction of many of the other pirate kingdoms in the Periphery by the Clans had created an opportunity for both the Hegemony and Circinus Federation to increase their piratical raiding.
Frustrated by her diplomatic failings, Emma turned to her intelligence agency, the MIM for help, ordering them to gather information on the new Clan invaders (and making the Magistracy the first Periphery nation to actively do so). The MIM used a loose network of Errant MechWarriors and the traveling pleasure circuses to insert operatives in the path of the Clan invasion. The information gleaned from these intelligence efforts gave Emma insight into basic Clan strategies, however they were unable to salvage much of any technology since the Clan invaders rarely lost. Magistracy intelligence agents were able to acquire some bits of reverse-engineered technology that the Draconis Combine had after their success in the Battle of Wolcott.
The Bull and LiaoEdit
While the anti-Clan alliance had failed, it had impressed some within the Taurian Concordat who, like Emma, were concerned with the increased threat posed by the Hegemony and Federation. Marshal Haji Doru of the Taurian Guards was the driving force behind a series of back-channel communications between the Magestrix and Jeffrey Calderon, Heir-apparent of the Concordat. By 3053, secret negotiations had advanced to the point where Emma and Jeffrey were directly communicating with each other towards forming a loose joint-defense pact. These contacts also gave the two an appreciation for the others' character and political skills. When Jeffrey Calderon's bloodless coup against his father succeeded in 3055, the negotiations were made public and the Treaty of Taurus signed in early 3056, strengthening military and economic ties between the two nations and the creation of the New Colony Region.
The treaty had also caught the attention of Sun-Tzu Liao, Chancellor of the Capellan Confederation, who had desired to make use of both the Magistracy and Concordat in an effort to reconquer territory lost in the Fourth Succession War. Sensing that Emma might be more open to his offers, the Chancellor made a dramatic visit to Canopus IV in May 3058, accompanied by just a dozen of his Death Commandos. In exchange for formal ties between the two nations, the Confederation was prepared to offer military aid to help combat the increased piratical raids on Magistracy shipping and worlds, raids which had already resulted in the assassination of three planetary governors. Emma was naturally suspicious of the offer, but Sun-Tzu was able to allay them by tracking down the source of these raids to a faction of the Word of Blake on Campoleone and leading a joint military force with her daughter Naomi Centrella in destroying it. Fully aware that the proposed alliance would be more valuable to the Confederation than the Magistracy, the Magestrix nevertheless saw that it would also benefit her nation too, and in early 3058 the Trinity Alliance was formed.
The new Alliance did not sit well with the Taurian Concordat, and Protector Jeffery Calderon sent a stinging personal message to Emma accusing her of naïveté and double-dealing. Emma did her best to cool Jeffery's temper and ease his fears about the Treaty between their two nations. She also desired to have the Concordat also join the Trinity Alliance, if only to prevent Sun-Tzu from playing the two nations against each other. Her efforts lead to grudging acceptance for Capellan aid in building up the New Colony Region and a planned summit between Emma, Sun-Tzu and Jeffery to take place in late 3060 on Detroit. While arranged with the hope of changing Jeffery's mind about joining the Alliance, Emma privately knew that he would never change his mind, instead hoping to use the opportunity to extract more concessions from the Confederation.
Before the summit could take place though, Emma would receive terrible news: her daughter Danai Centrella, her unit on loan to the Confederation as part of the Trinity Alliance, had died in the fighting against the Clans during the Great Refusal. Her death caused public opinion to sour somewhat against the Trinity Alliance. As a mother, Danai's death was a bitter loss for Emma, though the politician in her also recognized that Naomi would be just as good (if not better) as Magestrix.
The summit seemed to be a bust before it ever began when Sun-Tzu was forced to cancel his visit on account of events taking place back home. Rather than waste the opportunity though both Emma and Jeffery agreed to meet regardless, and on 21 December 3060 the two leaders and their entourages arrived on Detroit. However, during a Christmas Eve reception, Colony President Serman Maltin arrived with a force of Colonial Marshals, took Emma and Jeffery hostage and proclaimed the independence of the New Colony region. Maltin told Emma he "regretted" having to resort to doing this but felt only way for his people to have their freedom. With Emma and Jeffery hostage, their respective nations were unable to act in fear of killing them.
For Sun-Tzu though the situation merited swift action. In February 3061, Naomi arrived at the head of a joint Capellan-Canopian force to free the two leaders. Using their superior numbers and cutting-edge technology, the rescuers were able to push back the insurgents and by June had surrounded the Government House where Emma and Jeffery were kept. Naomi led the charge to storm the building on 28 June, and while succeeding in saving Emma, the Protector of the Concordat was killed in the attempt. Though lacking in any hard proof, Emma suspected Sun-Tzu had somehow been behind the entire ordeal, though resigned to accepting the more likely explanation that it had been the work of Blakist or FedCom agents. Jeffery's replacement, Lord Grover Shraplen, would later enter the Concordat into the Trinity Alliance in August 3062.
The Trinity AllianceEdit
Though the Concordat was now formally a member of the Alliance, its attention (and resources) were soon taken up by the Pleaides Campaign, leaving Emma to try and manage both the unruly New Colony Region and House Liao's demands for more troops in their war with the St. Ives Compact. Eventually she came to recognize that only by giving the NCR its independence would the matter be solved, though it would come with a price. In February 3063, over the objections of the Concordat, Emma dispatched the 1st Magistracy Highlanders to Detroit, ostensibly to protect its newly refurbished BattleMech factory from piratical raids. Then on 9 April 3066 she formally recognized the NCR, or Fronc Reaches, as independent, but kept the Highlanders garrisoned on Detroit, declaring it a "Canopian protectorate planet" the next day. Relations between the Magistracy and Concordat cooled considerably afterwards, while years of negotiations would follow between the Fronc Reaches and the Magistracy over a suitable "compromise" over the Detroit situation.
Jihad and deathEdit
In November 3067 Emma Centrella did not attend the Fourth Whitting Conference on Tharkad, where her nation was to be made a member of the Star League. Her Trinity Alliance ally, Sun-Tzu Liao, sent a recorded message denouncing the League as a hollow alliance.
In October 3068, the Word of Blake assaulted Canopus and managed to capture Emma and her Senior General, Haji Doru. While in captivity, the Canopian resistance grew against the Blakist forces. In August 3071, her son's mercenary force, Ramilie's Raiders, assaulted Canopus. While Newton Ramilie engaged the 34th Division and elements of the 41st Division, a special detail of lances covered the escape of Doru. Regardless of the effort, Emma's son and a majority of his unit were wiped out. It is unclear what exactly happened to Emma Centrella, but there is speculation of her death by fire bombings by Blakist forces.
Personality and TraitsEdit
Emma was a small woman, with a dusky complexion, grey eyes and long, curly black hair. She kept herself in excellent physical shape through fencing and a special exercise program she designed herself, and her stamina became legendary among friends and acquaintances. Highly intelligent, Emma was known to be aggressive and self-directed but could also be warm and friendly regardless of the person's class or gender. Her assertiveness and honesty won her tremendous domestic support within the Magistracy, while she used her beauty and charm to become one of the most accomplished diplomats in the Periphery.
Marriage and familyEdit
Emma Centrella married Major Nicolas Ramilie, son of Colonel Newton Ramilie of Ramilie's Raiders, in 3041. By 3050 it was reported that they had six children, but their marriage was strained by frequent separations. Shortly before 3059, Nicolas left the royal residence, taking his only son Nicolas Ramilie II with him. The two departed with Ramilie's Raiders when the mercenary unit left the Magistracy's service by 3067.
Rumors suggested that Emma's daughter Danai and Richard Humphreys' daughter Dalma Humphreys were in fact half-siblings, lending credence to the otherwise apocryphal notion that "mutual dislike" does not accurately describe the relationship between Emma and Richard.
The names originally given for Emma's six children were Sandra, Joseph, Mitchell, Newton, Albert, and Carol. However, these were assumed names used to protect the children from political threats. Later it was clarified that Emma had only one son, Newton II, and five daughters. The real names for three of her daughters were Danai, Naomi, and Erde. Given the heavy security measures taken to protect her children, it is ultimately unclear if the other two children ever existed.
Positions and titlesEdit
|Magestrix of the Magistracy of Canopus
3040 - 3071
| Succeeded by|
|Duchess of Luxen
3040 – 3071
| Succeeded by|
- Era Report: 3062, p. 82, "Emma Centrella Profile"
- The Periphery, p. 102
- Shattered Sphere, p. 124
- 20 Year Update, p. 74
- Historical: Brush Wars, p. 57
- Field Manual: Periphery, p. 32
- Historical: Brush Wars, p. 66
- Historical: Brush Wars, p. 67
- Historical: Brush Wars, p. 84
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, pp. 43-46
- Era Report: 3062, p. 82
- 20 Year Update, p. 75
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, pp. 57-58
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 59
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, pp. 59-60
- Shattered Sphere, p. 117
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 60
- Shattered Sphere, p. 112
- Shattered Sphere, p. 118
- Shattered Sphere, p. 112, 115
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 65
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 69-71
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 69-71
- Dawn of the Jihad, p. 25
- Dawn of the Jihad, p. 116
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3072, p. 58
- 20 Year Update, p. 86
- Field Manual: Mercenaries, p. 79
- Field Manual: Mercenaries Revised, p. 96
- Battletech Writers signal what is known about canon children.
- 20 Year Update, p. 74