Robert Steiner (25th c.)
|Robert Aubrey Steiner|
|Parents||Tatyana Steiner (mother)|
During his period of military service in the LCAF, Robert was known for being a moody and lonely individual with a famously disquieting gaze. He wore his hair long, had blue eyes and was noted as being tall. Due to a muscular disorder, he had thin weak legs; this required him to wear leg braces in order to stand. Robert was content to live the life of a soldier, paying little mind to politics on Tharkad. After the civil war, Robert's new family eased his seemingly perpetual loneliness.
Early Life and The Dark Years
Robert was born the only child of Duchess Tatyana Steiner, younger sister to Michael and Steven Steiner. Tatyana was a troubled woman who fell madly in love with a married man in 2469. A year later, she gave birth to her son, Robert. Though she loved her son, Tatyana had a severe case of Dobrowski Depression-A Syndrome, which caused her to take her own life just before the double wedding of Robert's uncles. Both Archon Michael and his brother Steven, the General of the Armies, pledged to look after the baby, though they stopped short of declaring him Archon-Designate.
Robert was living in the royal palace when, in 2471, a powerful earthquake devastated Tharkad City, the Triad, and severely damaged the Royal Palace. An infant Robert narrowly escaped death when a set of support beams formed a protective pocket that allowed him to breathe for three days before he could be rescued from the palace's rubble.
The series of events stemming from the earthquake would shape Robert's future. The Draconis Combine used the devastation of the Lyran's capital as an opportunity to invade the Commonwealth world of Nox. Robert's uncle Michael, grief stricken by the loss of his bride, renounced the Archonship and led the attack that repulsed the invasion. Michael was killed in the battle. Entrusted with the Archonship, Steven assumed the throne, but his rule was hamstrung by his mental struggles, made worse by his delusional wife Margaret.
The poor leadership of the Archon and his wife harmed the Commonwealth as a whole, and some nobles, such as the Dukes of Tamar and Skye, took advantage of the Archon's weak leadership. Others saw Robert as a potential remedy. Members of the Estates General helped guide Robert's education and career as much as possible, insulating him from the influence of his aunt and uncle in the hopes he would grow up to be a better leader than March Steven. They also petitioned the Archon that Robert be allowed to join the LCAF. Due to his health, he became an aerospace pilot and graduated from the LCAF flight academy.
While in service, Robert became an ace pilot, regarded as a war hero of the Free Worlds League border. His fellow pilots, wanting to honor him, painted his Typhoon-A heavy aerospace fighter in lurid colors and stenciled "Eagles cry at his approach" on it due his successes in destroying Marik Fighters and Combat Vehicles. Though the reserved Robert found the garish paint job grating, he was too touched by the gesture to ever paint over it. During this time, he also contracted the degenerative muscle disease that would eventually force him to use leg braces to walk in normal gravity.
The Dukes of the Tamar Pact (Duke Samuel Natesh) and Federation of Skye (Duke Connor Gilderoy) took advantage of the Archon and his wife, influencing them into revoking laws which prevented any noble from maintaining a personal army which outnumbered Commonwealth troops on any given world. This allowed powerful nobles to go on a spending spree, greatly expanding their forces and threatening the already weak government on Tharkad.
After Steven Steiner's death in 2501, Robert's aunt declared herself Archon and began her mad governance of the Commonwealth with these Dukes among her advisers. Though many members of the Estate General fled Tharkad to beg Robert to press his claim to the throne, Robert was content with his life as a soldier. However, as months passed, discontent with Archon Olsen grew. The following year, the commanders of all the nearby LCAF units trekked to Poulsbo, where Robert was stationed. There, they pledged Robert their unconditional support in the hope that he would unseat his aunt.
In 2503, Robert Steiner led a task force of several loyal regiments of troops to Tharkad. Archon Olsen and the Dukes fled the planet at his approach, sparing the capital of damage. As he entered the throne room, Robert was infuriated in a way he had never felt before in his life, disgusted by seeing the throne room filled by the assortment of mystics and courtiers who enabled his aunt's lunacy. This feeling would change him from a reluctance ruler to one angered at seeing his beloved nation brought to such a sorry state.
In May 22nd, Robert presented himself to Estates General and outlined his claim to the Archonship.
|“||Ladies and gentlemen of the Estates General, patriots of the Lyran Commonwealth, I, Robert Aubrey Steiner, hereby declare my claim to the title and responsibility of the office of Archon, in the name of the Commonwealth and all her peoples...I may be a bastard son, but am I not more fit to rule than a madwoman who believes in ghosts and reads state policy in tea leaves? I intend to govern with reason and with the help of good men’s counsel, not because of the constellations, or by gazing into Arcturan memory crystals.||”|
The representatives ultimately chose to strip Margaret Olsen of the Archonship and confirmed Robert's claim as Archon; however, the true test of his rule was to defeat Duchess Olsen and the rebel forces led by the Dukes of Skye and Tamar.
Olsen's forces were concentrated on two worlds: Tamar and Skye. Robert determined a quick end to the conflict could be achieved if he was able to capture his aunt and mustered a significant number of loyal forces to his cause. His force was not as large as it could be, as a number of LCAF units opted to remain neutral in the conflict.
In pursuit of the rebel forces, Robert arrived on Skye in late 2504. Rebels forces staged skirmishes to wear Robert's force down relentlessly before the coming engagement in the capital. Robert's forces finally overcame the troops of Duke Natesh to take Skye after two months of pitched battle, however the Duke's delaying action allowed Duchess Olsen and Tamar Duke Gilderoy to escape.
Robert and his forces spent the next four months travelling to Tamar. By this time, Robert's forces were exhausted from months of fighting and were quickly repulsed by Duke Gilderoy's house troops. The expedition was pushed out to a rocky and barren peninsula on Tamar's Sahara continent.
Robert's now-outnumbered troops were in dire straits, with the distinct possibility of being destroyed by his mad aunt's forces. Robert raged at himself, realizing he had "led his troops to certain death at the hands of a woman who conversed with plants." Preparing for the final attack which he believed would occur at sundown, an unexpected arrival changed the entire dynamic of the situation. Between the two warring armies, a planetary cutter from the Terran Hegemony landed and announcing it was carrying a peace mediator to end the fighting between the factions. This unexpected arrival would prove to be a godsend, delaying Duke Gilderoy's armies from closing in and achieving victory.
The overnight negotiations would ultimately fail, with the Hegemony shuttle leaving the battlefield as the enemies turned back to the battlefield. However, as the rebellious Dukes of Tamar and Skye led their men on the offensive, Robert noticed that there were new inbound units arriving on top of the rebel's positions. Deciding this was his chance, Robert orders his units forward from their defensive positions into the enemy. The rebel position collapsed and the loyalist found themselves leaving the inhospitable terrain behind. After six hours of fighting, loyalist forces had driven thirty kilometers inland to see signs of battle between the rebels forces and the new arrivals. The newcomers' leader would march forward alone to meet with Robert at his mobile headquarters. Piloting a Griffin BattleMech, Duke Nels Reynolds of Fatima pledged the aid of him and his forces to Steiner's cause as a means to pay back a debt his family owed to House Steiner. Their combined forces tore into the rebel's army, finally ending the conflict by capturing Margaret Olsen and the Dukes.
The Archonship and Later Life
With the war at an end, Robert could be finally officially sworn in as Archon in 2506. In his first course of action, he prosecuted the three ring leaders of the Civil War. Gilderoy and Natesh were charged with treason against the state. They were convicted and executed, while their families were stripped of their nobility and exiled to the farthest corners of the Commonwealth. To reward people who had been loyal to him, Robert designated that the Kelswa and Lestrade families would be awarded the Duchies of Tamar and Skye.
His aunt, on other hand was ruled clinically insane. Margaret Olsen was sentenced to exile on Gallery, where she would spend rest of her life in isolation. Robert chose not to prosecute those who were following orders. Robert felt guilt for his part in the civil war, which left many dead and damage on numerous worlds. As an effort to make amends for this and stimulate the Commonwealth's economy, Robert funded recovery efforts out of his family's fortune.
In 2511, Robert married his longtime lover, Lucindra Andruson. The couple had a single son, Craig. Settling down and starting a family gave the Lyran people a symbol to rally behind as Robert appealed for healing from the Dark Years. This image of family man and mender help shielded him from some political problems and enabled him to make subtle changes to the Commonwealth. Between his just handling of the war's aftermath and his idyllic family life, Robert enjoyed immense popularity among the Lyran people.
Robert also took several steps to reform failings he saw in the Commonwealth government. To prevent another civil war, he ordered the nobility to place their house troops under the command of LCAF or they would be considered enemies of the state, not only undoing the way Natesh and Gilderoy had built their forces up, but strengthening the LCAF in the process. Later, he would seek to reclaim the political powers his uncle had lost, while still maintaining good relationships with the other branches of government. Robert maintained an open door with the Estates General, rather than making them wait until called upon to submit their opinions, and hosted luncheons with the Estates General Steering Committee and other leaders as a way to strengthen unofficial communication in the realm.
For the rest of his reign, he would move the LCAF slowly to a more defensive stance, only having them embark on a single military campaign in which Commonwealth took Megrez from House Marik. In most disputes, he was content to have the Terran Hegemony flex their diplomatic muscles to aid the Commonwealth.
Aside from having a single son, Craig Steiner, who would become the next Archon, Robert also granted the Kelswa and Lestrade families control of their respective districts in the Commonwealth, which would last until the 31st Century. He is credited with restoring the position of Archon to rule over the nobility of House Steiner. Robert's legacy was still celebrated by the Commonwealth 500 years later, as his face appeared on the 50 kroner bill as late as 3067.
Robert Steiner as depicted on the 50-kroner bill from Handbook: House Steiner
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth): "The Lyran Commonwealth's Line of Succession and Partial Steiner Family Tree"
- Technical Readout: 3075, p. 284
- Handbook: House Steiner, p. 94: "Lyran Leadership Profile"
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 26
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), pp. 28–29: Eagle Crys/Prelude - Robert's personality changes as trusted into Archonship and then settles down to have a family.
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 23
- Handbook: House Steiner, p. 21: "Bad Omens"
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 24
- Handbook: House Steiner, p. 21
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth, p. 25
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), pp. 25–28 (PDF edition): Order of Magnitude/Steve Steiner/Eagles Cry - "Early Years of Robert's life from infancy to his career in the LCAF as Aerospace pilot..
- Technical Readout: 3075, p. 284: TFN-2A Typhoon - "Robert Steiner noted as notable pilot, mentioning briefly his military service related to Typhoon and his military education not mentioned in other sourcebooks.
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth, p. 25
- Handbook: House Steiner, p. 21
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth, p. 26
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 28 (PDF edition): Eagles Cry - "Robert Steiner's early career and him convinced to pursue removal of his aunt from Tharkad. This goes into detail of throne room and changing of his attitude toward leading the Commonwealth.
- Handbook: House Steiner, pp 21–22: Civil War - Robert Steiner's early actions and his motivations that led him to move to take Tharkad from his Aunt with details not covered by older FASA House Steiner sourcebook.
- Handbook: House Steiner, p. 22: Final Notice - "Extended speech to the Estate General by Robert Steiner.
- Handbook: House Steiner, p. 22: Robert's right to rule is confirmed.
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 28 (PDF edition): Eagles Cry - "Detailed accounts of Robert Steiner's early campaign to conquer the rebels, up to Olsen escape from Skye.
- Handbook: House Steiner, p. 22: Civil War - "Robert Steiner's actions on Skye campaign and duration of the campaign which were not covered in older FASA House Steiner sourcebook.
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 26
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), pp. 28–29 (PDF edition): Repaying Old Debts - "Tamar military campaign which Robert is nearly defeated, but saved by Duke Reynolds paying back an old family debt.
- Handbook: House Steiner, pp. 21–23: Civil War - Robert Steiner's actions on Tamar, with his rescue by Duke of Fatima.
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 27
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 29 (PDF edition): Repaying Old Debts/Prelude - "Aftermath of the Civil War and Robert Steiner's career as Archon until he pass leadership to his son.
- Handbook: House Steiner, pp. 21–23: Civil War/Aftermath - Details of Robert Steiner's actions aftermath of the Civil War and his reign as Archon with some details added/not mentioned in the old texts.
- Handbook: House Steiner, p. 94: Archon Robert Steiner - Brief profile notes Robert Steiner's achievements in his reign.
- Handbook: House Steiner, p. 131 - Lyran Units of Currency and Exchange Rates