|Title(s)||Duke of Fatima|
The Reynolds family rose to prominence alongside House Steiner itself. Deven Reynolds, the Duke of Fatima, was the second-in-command to Archon Alistair Marsden prior to his death. Shortly after Katherine Steiner formally claimed the Archonship in April 2408, she vested control of the military in Duke Reynolds, rather than her late husband's uncle Timothy Marsden, who was her main political rival. The Archon then directed Deven to drive DCMS forces off the planet Meachem, which turned into a full rout of the Combine forces. Following Katherine's formal assumption of the throne, she reorganized the military to give Duke Reynolds command of the Combine front.
Eight years after her husband's death, Archon Katherine accepted Deven's proposal of marriage, and the two wed in Fatima's opulent Notre Dame Cathedral in 2414. Shortly after, the couple produced a son, Michael Reynolds. Though Michael was just as much the son of the Archon as his half-brother Alistair Marsden-Steiner, Duke Reynolds signed a document swearing off any claim on the throne. But their union would be short-lived, as the following year, Devon was killed in the LCAF's second attempt to recapture the key world of St. John from the Combine. 
Though Michael was not in line for the throne, he still shared a close bond with his half-brother, with Alistair even naming his eldest son after the Duke of Fatima. The bond would be tested when Archon Katherine stepped down in 2445. As Alistair assumed the throne, rioting broke out among students on Fatima, as the new Archon had named Michael Steiner as the next Archon-Designate instead of Michael Reynolds. But Alistair both loved and trusted his half-brother and chalked the incident up to a fringe political group or even the actions of Combine agents seeking to disrupt a peaceful transfer of power. He knew Duke Reynolds was happy governing Fatima and had no desire to claim the throne. Both parties swept the brief unrest under the rug and sought to move on.
Reynolds on Trial
In June 2467, the LCAF was nearing the end of its highly successful Long March campaigns when five youths somehow gained access to Archon Alistair's bedchamber and stabbed him in the chest repeatedly with daggers made of Fatima obsidian. They then fled into the woods surrounding The Triad and unsuccessfully attempted to evade police. After a grueling interrogation, they admitted that Duke Michael had orchestrated the entire plot. Michael and Steven Steiner, Alistair's sons, were recalled to the capital, where Michael was sworn in as the new Archon. His first task was an unenviable one: he had to preside over the trial of a man he loved and respected, the uncle for whom he was named.
The trial of Duke Reynolds polarized the entire nation, as many believed the evidence that was piling up while others, including Archon Michael himself, refused to believe that the Duke would murder his half-brother. As the trial wore on, it became harder to refute the claims, and eventually the Archon was forced to declare that Duke Michael was guilty of assassinating Alistair Steiner. But he could not bring himself to pass the sentence, knowing the only punishment for assassinating the Archon would be death. He held off for nine weeks, buying time for an LIC investigation team to reach Fatima and find another possible answer. The investigation uncovered the true culprit: Graf DeSimon, a minor noble on Fatima whom Michael had stripped of his title and property for mistreating his workers. Duke Michael was vindicated, while DeSimon and his coconspirators were executed.
Far from putting an end to unrest, House Reynolds' trial was just the beginning of an era of Commonwealth history known as "the dark times," marked by unstable leadership and many crises. This came to a head when Archon Steven Steiner, brother to Archon Michael, died in 2501 and his wife Margaret Olsen took the throne. The realm broke into civil war two years later as, exhausted by her ineffectual leadership, Robert Steiner declared himself the new Archon. Olsen, though, had the backing of the powerful Dukes of Tamar and Skye, and Steiner's forces looked to be facing their end on Tamar. The arrival of a Terran Hegemony mediator, though, bought enough time for Nels Reynolds, the new Duke of Fatima, to lead an army to rescue Robert from defeat. Duke Nels told the astonished Robert that he and his family had been waiting for their chance to repay the faith that House Steiner had in Michael Reynolds.
The fortuitous timing of the Hegemony diplomats and the Reynolds forces has led many to suspect some secret planning involved. Some speculate that House Cameron was aware of the Reynolds' arrival but knew it would arrive too late without their intervention. Another theory is that the Hegemony was more instrumental, reminding Duke Nels of the debt his family owed House Steiner. While others take a more Machiavellian view of the Hegemony, seeing the diplomat's arrival as political theater to demonstrate a desire for peace that would work regardless of which party won. The true extent of the Hegemony's involvement, though, is unlikely to ever be fully known.
Reynolds Family Tree
|House Marsden||House Steiner||House Reynolds|
|Alistair Marsden||Katherine Steiner||Deven Reynolds||House Tamar|
|House Steiner||Michael Reynolds||Zephina Tamar|
Family Heirlooms and Holdings
The family held the Duchy of Fatima.
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), foldout: "The Lyran Commonwealth's Line of Succession and Partial Steiner Family Tree"
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth) p. 15
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth) p. 17
- Handbook: House Steiner p. 19
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth) p. 18
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth) p. 22
- Handbook: House Steiner p. 22