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Bertram Marik had a quiet reign, though the same cannot be said of his successors. His son Ewan was a boor and a lush who repeatedly insulted his fellow Council Lords, resulting in poor diplomatic relations. Ewan's son Kenyon was a better ruler, but he had a personal vendetta against Aleksandr Kerensky, the Commanding General of the Star League Defense Force and Regent for Richard Cameron. When the Territorial States rebelled, the Free Worlds did nothing. When Stefan Amaris launched a coup, the Free Worlds did not recognize Amaris as the rightful First Lord, but Marik refused to let Kerensky use Free Worlds systems as staging grounds for the Terran Hegemony's civil war.
The Council Lords stripped Kerensky of his commission and appointed Jerome Blake to rebuild the shattered communications network. Blake subsequently founded ComStar. Each Council Lord returned to his or her capital and declared themselves First Lord. Kerensky took most of the SLDF and went into exile beyond the Inner Sphere. The groundwork had been laid for a new era of warfare.
Kenyon used the looming crisis to convince Parliament to pass laws that gave him more power. The most famous and far-reaching was Resolution 288. Passed on 19 December 2784, Resolution 288 gave the Captain-General incredible power, including the right to convene and dismiss Parliament at will, the ability to appoint his or her successor, and sole direction of the FWLM.
- House Marik (The Free Worlds League), pp. 26-27
- Handbook: House Marik, pp. 29-30
- House Marik (The Free Worlds League), p. 28
- Handbook: House Marik, p. 30, "Endgame"
- Handbook: House Marik, p. 81, "Resolution 288: Key Points"