|Time period:|| 2340 – present|
Part of Federated Commonwealth from 3055 to 18th September 3057
Named Lyran Alliance from 18th September 3057 to 3084
|Controlled systems:||over 300|
|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 part of 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.
The Lyran Commonwealth
Main Article: History of the Lyran Commonwealth
|Time period:||3057 – 3084|
|Military:||Lyran Alliance Armed Forces|
|Secret Service:||Lyran Intelligence Corps|
The Lyran Alliance
The Lyran Alliance was created when Katherine Steiner-Davion invoked Emergency Powers and seceded the Lyran half from the Federated Commonwealth. She used her brother's apparent duplicity and the war that followed as her rationale. To prevent the Free Worlds League from discontinuing supplies for the war against the Clans to the rest of the Inner Sphere, Victor Ian Steiner-Davion had substituted a double in place of Thomas' son, Joshua Marik, since the boy had died of leukemia despite his treatment in the New Avalon Institute of Science. When Thomas was informed of the deception, he launched a war, allied with Sun-Tzu Liao and his Capellan Confederation, to retake worlds he lost to Victor's father, Hanse Davion, in the Fourth Succession War. Victor directly controlled the half of the Federated Commonwealth formerly known as the Federated Suns, while Kathrine was his regent in the half formerly known as the Lyran Commonwealth. Thomas sent a message to Kathrine reassuring her that he had no quarrel with her, and accordingly would not attack any of her worlds, though he would understand if she sided with her brother and would bear no ill-will. Instead, Kathrine decided to give Victor no support and to effectively sever her half of the realm and christen it the Lyran Alliance (not reverting completely to the original name of Lyran Commonwealth because she claimed Victor's actions had tainted the word 'commonwealth.') Almost immediately, however, there was opposition. Victor still had supporters in Lyran half of his realm, the most powerful of whom was Morgan Kell. Kell used his title as Duke of Arc-Royal and his position on the Clan Jade Falcon border to create what was effectively an independent state known as the Arc-Royal Defense Cordon. Grand Duke Morgan Kell paid lip service to Archon Katherine, but ran his affairs to his own liking. The ARDC became a haven for military units, House and mercenary alike, that did not approve of Katherine's secession and maintained loyalty to Archon-Prince Victor.
Jade Falcon Incursion
The creation of the ARDC seemed fortuitous, because in 3058 Clan Jade Falcon launched an invasion. This invasion, however, was initially confused for a pirate raid as it came from a vector that originated in the Periphery, not the Clan Occupation Zones. This was compounded by the fact that Archon Katherine (or "Katrina," as she preferred to be called) was on a secret diplomatic mission to the Clans, so her chief advisers, General of the Armies Nondi Steiner and Tormano Liao had to deal with the problem in her name while maintaining the secrecy of her absence.
The invasion was led by Khan Marthe Pryde herself and, while the Lyran leaders did not know it at the time, her goal was simply to blood her warriors. Because life in the Inner Sphere was more peaceful than that of the Clan homeworlds, her warriors did not have the same battle-hardened edge of other Clan warriors. In addition, the tremendous losses of the Refusal War forced her to give warrior status to some sibko members before there were ready, as well as allowing more freebirth warriors in the Clan's touman than normal. Marthe also needed to make her Clan look powerful in the eyes of the other Clans so that they would not fall upon the Falcons or call for Absorption. Because of this, she decided to execute a series of raids that penetrated deeper and deeper into Lyran space, rather than initiating a more traditional offensive across a broad front.
By the time the Falcon assault force landed on Coventry, most Inner Sphere observers were of the belief that the Falcons intended to cross the Tukayyid Truce line and reignite the Clan Invasion, with themselves already in possession of a hefty head start. With this in mind, the Lyrans decided to make a stand at the important industrial world of Coventry, a mere two jumps from Tharkad and barely above the truce line. In the meantime, Archon Katherine returned with news that she had signed a secret pact with Khan Vlad Ward of Clan Wolf. She had been captured by Vlad during a naval battle that her Lyran flotilla had happened upon, and the two leaders negotiated a mutual defense agreement aimed at Clan Jade Falcon, with whom they both shared a border. In order to improve the defense of Coventry, the Lyrans hired elements of Wolf's Dragoons as well as the Waco Rangers. The intense enmity between the two mercenary commands led to a lack of command cohesion that threatened the defenders.
Also around the same time, a large war-game was scheduled with participants from around the Inner Sphere at Tukayyid. When Prince Victor got wind of the Battle of Coventry, he decided to divert the massive force there in order to stop the Falcons. Katherine allowed the erstwhile Archon-Prince to come at the head of the expeditionary force because she hoped that he would be killed in the fighting and she could take over the Federated Commonwealth. In addition, while Khan Phelan Kell could not spare a detachment of his Wolves for the fight, he did lend Victor Star Captain Ragnar, the captured son of Rasalhague Prince Haakon Magnusson. Victor landed with his force amid reports that Clan Wolf had launched an invasion of the Falcon Occupation Zone. However, Clan honor dictated that the Falcons stay until On the advice of Ragnar, Victor and Caradoc Trevana (one of the few officers who had led a successful campaign against the Falcons) offered Khan Pryde hegira, the privilege of a defeated enemy to leave unmolested. Khan Pryde, eager to extricate her forces from the battle, accepted the offer. Archon Katherine was furious, however, as it denied her the opportunity to see Victor dead in battle.
New Star League
The cooperation fostered from this venture led the Inner Sphere leaders to desire further cooperation against the Clans. Archon Katherine, in the spirit of the Battle of Coventry, offered for Tharkad to be site of the summit that came to be known as the Whitting Conference. The leaders of all the Inner Sphere powers were present at the Whitting Conference, and they decided to fight the Clans by giving them their objective: the resurrection of the Star League. The new Star League Council also decided to take the fight to the Clans by annihilating one of them. While Archon Katherine argued for that Clan to be the Jade Falcons, the decision was made to attack Clan Smoke Jaguar instead as they were more powerful and a defector had provided ComStar with a route to the Smoke Jaguar capital of Huntress.
FedCom Civil War
Katherine took advantage of Victor's absence to usurp her sister's regency of the Federated Commonwealth, which necessitated her presence on New Avalon. She left Nondi Steiner as her regent on Tharkad in the meantime. When Arthur Steiner-Davion was presumed dead after the stadium he was giving a speech in was bombed in 3062, Victor decided that he could not stand idly by and placed the blame for Arthur's death on Katherine. He also called anybody who resisted Katherine's rule to arms and began a bloody civil war. This conflict lasted until 3067.
Damage to the LAAF was not as great as what occurred to the Armed Forces of the Federated Suns. This was mostly due to the fact that most Lyran units were united in their support of Katherine, and most of the units that did not support her moved to the ARDC. Despite this, major conflicts did break on some worlds like Dalkeith. It would be three other events that caused damage to the Alliance.
First, Victor was on Mogyorod at the time of his declaration. From the first, he planned to cut a swath through the Alliance, into Federated Commonwealth space, and ultimately to New Avalon. He quickly ran afoul of Adam Steiner on Newtown Square, then was harassed by General Maria Esteban. Victor did eventually break through to the FedSuns, but not before securing important worlds like Coventry and York for his cause. After he received news of the death of his lover, Omi Kurita, Victor retreated to Muphrid and mourned for her for a year before finally pushing on to Tikonov.
Secondly, Clan Jade Falcon launched an invasion in 3064. Khan Pryde sought to take advantage of Lyran distraction by actually making real gains for her Clan this time. The invasion unified elements of the Lyran people, and they came together to fight the Falcons. Loyalist General Adam Steiner and hero of the Allied cause General Archer Christifori jointly led the defense and counter-assault. While the Lyrans retook Blackjack (though its infamous private military academy had been dismantled), the Falcons were able to capture the theater headquarters of Pandora. History repeated itself as Clan Wolf launched an invasion of Falcon territory, and both Lyran and Falcons sought and end to the conflict. In a unique arrangement, the borders were left as they occupied and the world of Blair Atholl became a jointly-held world intended to be a sort of live-fire training ground for the Falcons. The Blair Atholl Agreement ended the invasion in 3065.
Third, Skye Province attempted to secede from the Alliance. Skye Province (and the Isle of Skye before it) had been a hotbed of discontent, but, with Duke Robert Kelswa-Steiner imprisoned, his chief military adviser John Dundee attempted to formally break away. Maria Esteban went over to Free Skye and led a new unit known as the Skye Guard. Skye forces were able to secure the provincial capital of Skye and the theater headquarters of Freedom, but Esteban did not have sufficient forces to wrest the all-important industrial world of Hesperus II from the Lyrans. With that defeat, the rebellion collapsed and the Skye forces were vanquished.
Even though the Alliance was relatively quiet, and the Loyalists were on the run in the Federated Commonwealth, Nondi Steiner still held power on Tharkad. Morgan Kell convinced Peter Steiner-Davion to come out of his self-imposed exile on Zaniah III and fight for the throne. Peter led a pan-Lyran coalition to Tharkad that was composed of national regiments, a Skye Ranger unit, mercenaries from the ARDC, and Phelan Kell with some of his Wolves. The Battle for Tharkad was hard-fought, but, after Peter secured his alma mater the Nagelring, he was able to take the fight to the capital itself and defeated his great-aunt Nondi in single combat amid the bitter street-to-street fighting. With her death, resistance collapsed and Peter was acclaimed Archon by the Estates General in 3067 after Victor officially abdicated in his favor.
Word of Blake Jihad
3067 saw the return of the Whitting Conference to Tharkad. Despite that, Peter announced his intention to pull out of the League, citing financial constraints. His sentiment was echoed by Prince-Regent Yvonne of the Federated Suns. Chancellor Sun-Tzu Liao was more scathing in his absentee remarks, but he also announced his intention to pull the Capellan Confederation out of the Star League. First Lord Christian Mansdotter admitted the provisional members, including the Taurian Concordat and Word of Blake, and called for a vote of no-confidence in the hope that such a vote would succeed and the other members could force them back in. The measure did have the required majority, however, and the Star League disbanded once more. The Word of Blake, however, was not content. A radical element placed a great deal of hope of their interpretation of a prophecy that included the Star League. They attempted to force the Lyrans and FedSuns back into the League with a show of force around their capital worlds. This failed, however, and they lashed out in a brutal war that lasted for 14 years and engulfed all of humankind.
The Blakists attacked the Lyrans savagely and repeatedly as they desired control of the Lyrans' massive industrial base. Worlds like Tharkad, Coventry, Hesperus II, Donegal, and Alarion suffered tremendously. In the meantime, the Blakists sought to expand their Blake Protectorate at the expense of Lyran worlds like Thorin and New Earth.
At some point, the Brotherhood of Cincinnatus gained enough power and influence to depose Peter Steiner-Davion as Archon and put in his place his cousin, General of the Armies Adam Steiner as part of a plan to put a "pure" Steiner onto the throne. The plan was discovered by Adam and he had the order purged and their headquarters on the planet Gacrux destroyed as a result of their betrayal.
Lyran Commonwealth once again
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).
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.
A detailed list of some Lyran manufacturer and companie centers.
Heavy Aerospace Industry
Major Defense Industries
- Arc-Royal MechWorks
- Blackstone BattleMechs Limited
- Blue Shot Weapons
- Bowie Industries
- Brigadier Corporation
- Coventry Metal Works
- Cyclops Incorporated
- Defiance Industries
- Gienah Combat Vehicles
- Lockheed/CBM Corporation
- New Earth Trading Company
- Norse-Storm Technologies Incorporated
- Quickscell Company
- Semier Data Tron
- Shipil Company
- StarCorps Industries
- TharHes Industries
- Tharkad Aerospace Group
- Yankee Weapons Systems
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.
The Archon is the head-of-state of the Lyran Commonwealth. He 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.
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.
The Estates General is perhaps the oldest institution of the Lyran Commonwealth, and 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 orignally 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.
Era Specific Data
- Location (Terra relative): Coreward and Anti-Spinward quadrant
- Total (Inhabited) Systems: 319
- Estimated Population (3130): 955,000,000,000
- Government: Constitutional Monarchy (with German feudal stylings)
- Dominant Language(s): English and German (official), Scottish Gaelic, Italian, French
- Dominant Religion(s): Christian (Protestant), Judaism, Muslim
- Unit of Currency: Kroner (1 kroner = 2.13 C-Bills)
The Lyran Commonwealth in 2571.
- ↑ Malicious Intent
- ↑ Grave Covenant
- ↑ Prince of Havoc
- ↑ The FedCom Civil War
- ↑ Dawn of the Jihad
- ↑ Jihad Hot Spots: 3070
- ↑ Ghost War
- ↑ Mechwarrior: Technology of Destruction
- ↑ Technical Readout: 3085, p. 60
- ↑ Strategic Operations, p. 14
- ↑ Tactical Operations, p. 14
- ↑ House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth)
- ↑ Touring the Stars, p. 55
- Dawn of the Jihad
- Ghost War
- Grave Covenant
- Handbook: House Steiner
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth)
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3070
- Malicious Intent
- MechWarrior: Technology of Destruction
- Prince of Havoc
- Strategic Operations
- Tactical Operations
- Technical Readout: 3085
- The FedCom Civil War
- Touring the Stars