Melissa Steiner (31st c.)
- This article is about the 31st century Archon. For the 32nd century Archon, see Melissa Steiner (32nd c.).
|Melissa Arthur Steiner|
|Died||19 June 3055|
|Parents||Arthur Luvon (father)|
Katrina Steiner (mother)
Melissa Arthur Steiner was the daughter of Katrina Steiner and Arthur Luvon and the wife of Hanse Davion. She was the Landgräfin von Bremen of the Lyran Commonwealth and became thirtieth Archon of the Lyran half of the Federated Commonwealth. She was nearly universally beloved by friends, allies, and even enemies.
Melissa was born in 3010 at the Royal Palace of the Lyran Commonwealth on Tharkad. A voracious reader possessing a strong thirst for knowledge, Melissa became fluent in three languages (English, German, and French) and was learning at university level while still only fifteen. Shy around others, she loved to leave the confines of the Triad (the government complex) and wander in the wilds surrounding Tharkad City, either on foot or horseback. She became skilled at games of chance and an expert at using a bow.
However, she showed little aptitude in piloting a BattleMech or aerospace fighter. Therefore, unlike most previous Archons-Designate, Melissa Steiner instead trained as an infantry commander, where she displayed considerable skill in small weapons tactics. In general though, young Melissa showed an aversion to war and the military.
Growing up in the Triad, Melissa did not have many friends her own age. She had only two close friendships: Misha Auburn, the future court historian, and Egan Telosa, son of the palace chef and future leader of the One Star Faith. Melissa and Egan also attended a Lutheran Sunday school together as children.
Melissa was present at the signing of the FedCom Accords between the Lyran Commonwealth and the Federated Suns at ComStar's Hilton Head complex on Terra in 3022. Intrigued at the time by the idea of marrying Hanse Davion, she consented to the match, which would take place once she came of age. When Ardan Sortek was recuperating on Tharkad after the events surrounding the battle at Stein's Folly, she took the opportunity to question him at length about Hanse.
While exchanging communications over the years and joking that Hanse would "get a wife who could command the household infantry while he ordered 'Mechs about," Melissa knew it was important to meet him in person before making the final decision to get married. Arrangements were made for her to secretly travel to the Federated Suns, both for her own safety and the secrecy of the marriage plans.
In 3027, Melissa surreptitiously boarded the passenger DropShip Silver Eagle under the alias Joana Barker while her double, Jeana Clay, stayed on Tharkad. She was bound for New Avalon to meet her future husband with one of the heroes of the Federated Suns, Leftenant Andrew Redburn. Elements within the Commonwealth which opposed the union of Houses Steiner and Davion arranged to have her kidnapped while en route, thereby precipitating a crisis within both realms. She was actually captured by operatives from Heimdall, a covert organization that often found itself at odds with the Lyran Intelligence Corps but was fiercely loyal to Katrina Steiner. When the Draconis Combine discovered her location and sent forces to capture her, Heimdall swore to protect the Archon-Designate from harm.
Raised on Tharkad and within the confines of the Lyran court, Melissa was concerned about her ability to lead. She did, however, ably coordinate the defense of the Styx mining base against a coordinated assault by both ISF forces and the Genyosha, an elite 'Mech force commanded by Yorinaga Kurita. Thanks to efforts by the Kell Hounds mercenary unit and in particular the sacrifice of Patrick Kell, the Archon-Designate was rescued and arrived on New Avalon safely.
Marriage and Creation of Federated Commonwealth
On 20 August 3028, Hanse Davion married Melissa in the presence of all of the Successor Lords of the Inner Sphere, which like the Accords signing took place at the Hilton Head complex on Terra. At the reception following the ceremony, Hanse gave Melissa an extraordinary wedding present: the Capellan Confederation. A massive invasion of the Confederation, the Fourth Succession War, had been arranged to coincide with the wedding and caught the rest of the Inner Sphere off-guard. The day after the ceremony, Melissa "officially" returned to the Commonwealth with her mother, but in truth stayed on New Avalon while Jeana took her place (and gave her life in saving Katrina Steiner from an assassination plot).
Melissa Steiner-Davion bore many children in the years after the Fourth Succession War. The last, Arthur, was born on 15 March 3039, the same date her mother Katrina Steiner stepped down and Melissa formally assumed the role of Archon. Many feared that the shy, pensive Melissa would be easily overshadowed by Hanse, but she soon proved them wrong with her self-confidence and fierceness, unafraid to take a stand against her own husband much less their enemies. Melissa and Hanse jointly ruled the Federated Commonwealth until his death in 3052 at the end of the Clan Invasion.
Melissa ruled the Federated Commonwealth as both Archon of the Lyran half and her capacity as Regent of the Davion half until her eldest child Victor could come of age. She loved the Federated Commonwealth and put her full effort into overcoming the divisions that threatened to tear it apart. In turn she was beloved by all in both realms, and not even the most hardline conservatives dared to oppose her publicly. Melissa Steiner-Davion almost single-handedly rallied the two realms to rebuild the Federated Commonwealth after the Clan Invasion and was poised to lead it into a new renaissance.
The Lyran people in particular loved her dearly, which is partially why at 7:21PM, on the 19th of June, 3055, during a banquet on Tharkad she was attending, her assassination — broadcast live across the Inner Sphere — shocked all. The broadcast reached into Clan space, where Phelan Ward learned of Melissa's death, along with the death of his own mother and the maiming of his father via the same bombs.
The actual bombs used for the assassination were constructed from four flower pots housing flowering Mycosia pseudoflora plants (genetically engineered versions of the Mycosia blossoms which Hanse Davion had shipped to Terra for his and Melissa's wedding, years before). After their surprise appearance at Melissa's wedding, she adopted them as her favorite, seldom appearing in public without some token reminder of the blossoms. The pots themselves were made of clay explosives, activated remotely and detonated by a water absorption timer: the timer was activated by the plants being watered and set to go off during her speech.
Marriage and Family
Melissa Steiner bore five children with Hanse Davion:
- Victor, as the eldest, inherited both thrones. His political ineptness kept him from keeping those thrones, however, and he later became the Precentor Martial of ComStar, then a Paladin of The Republic of the Sphere following the Jihad.
- Katherine was the chief architect of Victor's downfall, eventually usurping both his thrones, which lead to the FedCom Civil War. Following the war's end, Katherine was allowed exile to Clan Wolf, where she became a member of the Warrior Caste.
- Peter became the Archon of the Lyran Alliance after the end of the FedCom Civil War.
- Yvonne became the ruler of the Federated Suns following the end of the FedCom Civil War.
- Arthur was believed to have been assassinated, the spark that officially began the FedCom Civil War, though no body was ever recovered.
Traits and Personality
Even at the age of 15, Melissa Steiner was regarded as a great beauty by people across the Commonwealth, but while she was aware of the effects it had on men and women the young Archon-Designate was too shy to exploit her looks. In informal, comfortable settings she could be quite animated, in large gatherings or in the presence of people she greatly respected Melissa was more reserved. Her introspective nature meant she could often be found brooding deep thoughts, while her scholarliness prevented her from making many friends her age, with the exceptions of Misha Auburn and Egan Telosa. However she greatly enjoyed games of chance and even at a young age was an expert at judging probabilities. As she reached her age of maturity, Melissa was already of the same height as her mother and could carry her lithesome form with regal bearing. While her steely grey eyes marked her as a Steiner, her blond hair was a shade darker thanks to her father.
Though it was feared she might be overshadowed by her husband, Melissa quickly grew in assurance and assertiveness and developed the skills needed to be a leader; by the time she assumed the Archonship, she was already a better politician and administrator than Hanse. Her greatest strength though was her ability to recognize her weaknesses, and so in terms of military matters had no trouble delegating to those with greater experience, whether it be her husband or her aunt General Nondi Steiner. She also lost none of her beauty as she grew older, but never flaunted it or used it to manipulate others.
As was the Lyran custom, Melissa wore light blue eyeshadow which extended out in a feathery pattern from the corner of her eye and curled down to her cheekbone.
As a young woman, Melissa showed no interest or aptitude in becoming a MechWarrior, training instead to become a Jump Infantry officer. However, Melissa recognized that it was tradition for the Archon to be a 'Mech pilot, and so upon taking the throne (and despite the protests of her husband) she entered the Nagelring Academy. After graduating, she took the blue Warhammer once driven by her mother, but would claim to be only a passable pilot.
Melissa Steiner at age 15 (c. 3025)
Melissa Steiner at age 29 (c. 3039)
Melissa Steiner at age 40 (c. 3050)
- Era Report: 3052, pp. 65–66: Melissa Steiner-Davion Profile
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 151
- Interstellar Players, p. 77
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 153
- Historical: War of 3039, p. 17
- Warrior: En Garde, ch. 25
- 20 Year Update, p. 82
- FedCom Civil War, p. 13