Michael Steiner (27th c.)

This article is about the Archon during the Star League era. For other uses, see Michael Steiner.

Michael Steiner II
Michael Steiner II
Also known asLady Steiner,
Clean-hands Michael[1]
AffiliationHouse Steiner
Duke of Tharkad
ProfessionNoble, Academic
ParentsWilliam Steiner (father)
Sylvia Regis (mother)
SiblingsJonathan Steiner[2]
SpouseJoan Lestrade
ChildrenRobert Steiner II[3]
Jennifer Steiner[3]
Paul Steiner

Michael Steiner II was the Duke of Tharkad and the fifteenth Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth.


Early life[edit]

Born as a second son, Michael spent his youth living down to the stereotype of second sons, indulging himself and doing little else. He attended The Nagelring, where he performed well, but nonetheless did little to dissuade others from the belief he would be little more than another unexceptional LCAF officer.[4] In the 2690s, Michael was serving with the Royal Guards as they arrived on Skye. There, he met Joan Lestrade, his future wife, who was on the world visiting her cousins. The two were instantly enamored with each other, and became nearly inseparable. Before Michael's unit left the planet, he asked Joan to marry him, which she accepted.[5] Their first child, Robert Steiner II, was born in 2701.[2]


By 2821, Michael had left the Royal Guard to take a research position at Tharkad University[4] where he met a young Aleksandr Kerensky. The two formed a close friendship, with Michael taking a mentor role to the young Terran student. The two bantered back and forth, often trading historical quotes as playful barbs.[6] In 2825, Michael and Joan had their second child, Jennifer Steiner.[2] Unlike Robert and Jessica, who were separated by decades, the couple had a third child, Paul Steiner, the same year.[7]


Michael's life changed very abruptly in 2829 with the death of his brother. Suddenly, he faced the proposition of Archonship, a post none ever thought he would hold. Furthermore, his ascent to the throne came as the Third Hidden War was rising in intensity. Bandits attacked Lyran garrisons along the Draconis Combine border, trouncing Lyran garrisons that had lost any combat edge they once had. Despite Michael's vow that stomping out these bandit raids would be the priority of his administration, he had little success. In 2841, a raid on The Edge killed 500 Lyran citizens and put the entire Commonwealth on notice. While most bandits fought primarily with conventional forces, these bandits were armed with BattleMechs. The following year, the LIC followed a lead on the bandit force that led them to Butte Hold. The 12th Lyran Regulars dropped onto the bandit base, capturing most and killing the rest. After a brutal interrogation, the bandits gave up the source of their 'Mechs: House Kurita. When Michael presented this evidence to the Star League Council, Takiro Kurita did not even deny it. Michael flew into a rage and attacked the Coordinator before he was separated by the First Lord and the rest of the council.[8]

Michael's relationship with Ewan Marik, his counterpart in the Free Worlds League, was nearly as bad. Ewan took every opportunity to insult his peers in the Star League, but Michael was his favorite target. Michael's fashionable clothes and attempts to conduct himself in a dignified manner reminded Ewan of his despised former commanders in the FWLM, and Ewan gave him derisive names referring to what he saw as Michael's effeminacy ("Lady Steiner") and cowardice ("Clean-Hands Michael").[1] Ewan even took the opportunity to use the name "Lady Steiner" when speaking to Terran news agencies. Ewan's disdain for his Lyran neighbor reached a boiling point in March 2749, when a Lyran customs ship stopped a suspected drug dealer and the encounter turned deadly. Ewan immediately began making outrageous demands for reparations and issuing veiled threats before Michael had the chance to respond, forcing the Star League navy to intercede. Ewan's limited attention span drifted to other matters shortly after this.[9]

During this time, the burden of governing the Commonwealth wore Michael down. Early in his reign, the new Archon took the opportunity to decorate himself, as if he felt motivated to live up to the military career of his late brother. But before long, his medals weighed him down rather than bring him confidence. He was the subject of many jokes, both in the Commonwealth and abroad, and his failure to stem the bandit attacks of the Hidden War eroded his popularity, though his supporters pointed to the strong economic health of the Commonwealth during his reign.[4] He could also count on the support and intelligence of his wife Joan, whose business acumen and made her a powerful ally, though Michael's critics used this as an opportunity to paint Joan as the true power on Tharkad.[5]

Kerensky Regency[edit]

The death of Simon Cameron in 2751 shook the entire Star League, but Kerensky's appointment as Regent was some small solace, especially to the Commonwealth. Archon Michael was a strong proponent for his friend,[10] and the Lyran people welcomed it, given his ties to their nation.[11] With Kerensky so often away from Terra, however, the Council Lords were free to amend the Star League as they saw fit. Following the repeal of the Council Edict of 2650, which limited the size of the Member State armies, Michael raised 13 new regiments of BattleMechs as he saw his neighbors arming up, beginning an arms race that would run until the start of the First Succession War.[12]

He and the other Council Lords quickly took the opportunity to levy new taxes on the Periphery states and redirecting the flow of Star League revenues into their own coffers, allowing them even more opportunity to expand their private armies. The sudden demands on Commonwealth industry upset the economic prosperity that had buffered him against some of his critics, and when the Archon's actions in the Star League Council became public, it triggered further unrest in the Lyran public. The Estates General began to condemn Michael's actions and restate their loyalty to the Star League. In his memoirs, Michael wrote that it was seeing an SLDF fleet on exercise around Terra in 2757 which gave him the most pause, but that he continued his course regardless.[11]


Michael died in 2760, leaving the throne to his eldest son Robert. He is largely viewed negatively by posterity for his lack of action to preserve the failing Star League, though others defend him as attempting to do what needed to be done to strengthen the Commonwealth in the face of an increasingly ineffective Star League.[11] Michael's death also cost General Kerensky a key supporter in the Star League Council. While Michael maintained a close relationship with the officer dating back to the 2720s, Robert cared little for Kerensky, coming into conflict with the SLDF commander immediately. Competing theories allege that Robert was envious of Kerensky's relationship with Michael or that Robert harbored classist views towards Kerensky.[10]


Michael Steiner piloted a Banshee. While he rarely appeared on a battlefield during his reign, his skills were a match for most veteran pilots.[13]


  1. 1.0 1.1 House Marik (The Free Worlds League), p. 26
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Handbook: House Steiner, p. 96: "Lyran Leadership Profile"
  3. 3.0 3.1 First Succession War, p. 12
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Era Report: 2750, pp. 78–79: "Michael Steiner II Profile"
  5. 5.0 5.1 Era Report: 2750, p. 79: "Joan Lestrade profile"
  6. Destiny's Call, Part 1
  7. Era Report: 2750, p. 79: "Paul Steiner profile
  8. House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 36
  9. Era Report: 2750, p. 76
  10. 10.0 10.1 Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume I, pp. 62–63
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), pp. 37–38
  12. Handbook: House Steiner, pp. 31–32
  13. Era Report: 2750, p. 158