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Robert Steiner (28th c.)

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Robert Steiner II
Character Profile
Born 17 March 2701
Died 29 June 2781
Affiliation House Steiner
Title(s) Archon
Profession Noble
Parents Michael Steiner II (father)[1]
Joan Lestrade (mother)
Siblings Jennifer Steiner[1]
Paul Steiner

Robert Steiner II (b. 17 March 2701 - d. 29 June 2781) was the sixteenth Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth and reigned during the fall of the Star League.[2][3]

History[edit]

Early Life[edit]

Robert was the eldest of three children born to Archon Michael II and Duchess Joan Lestrade of Skye. Groomed to rule the Commonwealth from an early age, Robert developed a dislike for his father's close friend Aleksandr Kerensky. His privileged upbringing led Robert to surround himself with fellow aristocrats, which some believe was the root of his disdain for the SLDF General. Others say that Robert was envious of Kerensky's friendship with Robert's father.[3]

Archonship[edit]

Robert took the throne in 2760 following his father's sudden death, facing rising tensions from the "bandit" attacks that made up the Third Hidden War on his borders and a Star League council where all its members had grown deeply distrustful of each other.[4] When Stefan Amaris launched his fateful coup in 2766, Robert (like all his peers) chose to stay out of the fighting, believing that he needed to limit possible Lyran casualties[5] and a need to preserve the LCAF.[6]

Robert's decision was wildly unpopular among the Lyran people, many of whom (including Robert's nephew Kailen)[7] left to fight with the SLDF as volunteers. The Speaker of the Estates General publicly denounced Robert, saying he was "the worst kind of coward -- a calculating coward." Despite the stance of public neutrality, either Robert or those within his government secretly worked to aid the SLDF. The Eridani Light Horse, who were fighting a hit-and-run campaign into the occupied Terran Hegemony, were given refuge on SLDF bases within Lyran space, where they found intelligence reports, ammunition and other supplies waiting for them. Commonwealth factories also secretly sold equipment to the SLDF that supplied the ad hoc volunteer units which were training at an ad hoc SLDF academy set up on Circinus.[6]

The Lyran people continued to demand public action in support of General Kerensky's campaign. In 2772, Robert declared a campaign against the Rim Worlds, saying the LCAF was moving to support Kerensky. He mobilized roughly 100 regiments of troops, units which had been on alert since the 2760 death of Michael II. Though Robert was quick to assert he was claiming these worlds in the name of the Star League and classified the move as a police action, most saw it as an opportunistic land grab. By the time Kerensky chose to leave the Rim Worlds behind and launch his offensive towards Terra, Robert II was the least popular Archon since The Nine Archons.[8]

Robert was among the Council Lords who dismissed Kerensky from his post in October 2780. When asked why he stripped Kerensky of his post, Robert claimed he did so to relieve Kerensky of his burdens after so many years of fighting, framing the deed as a kindness. Few believed him, though, and massive civil unrest erupted across the Commonwealth. For the next nine months, Robert remained on Terra, attempting to convince other House Lords to recognize him as First Lord and vice versa. This did Robert no favors, with many claiming that Robert was offering large chunks of the Commonwealth to his neighbors for their backing as First Lord. But these discussions would prove fruitless the following year, when the five Council Lords admitted the Star League was truly gone, and departed Terra. Despite widespread unrest and some even investigating the possibility of impeachment, Robert would not have to face the consequences of his decisions.[9]

Death[edit]

Robert died in June 2781 of pneumonia, almost immediately after his return home.[9] His younger sister Jennifer was named Archon.[10]

Legacy[edit]

During the fall of the Star League, Robert took the opportunity to embezzle a great deal of money to pad out his personal fortune. The Steiner family discovered this secret after the death of Archon Richard Steiner, and as an attempt to make good on Robert's failing, paid for the mass relocation of industry to the Commonwealth's interior during the brief peace between the First and Second Succession War. Though the family never publicly admitted that the massive amount of funding required came from Robert's embezzlements,[11] some privately suspected the truth. None, however, were willing to pass up such a massive windfall.[12]

Quotes[edit]

I sometimes marvel at those who behave as though good times will last forever. Why should the universe hold still? Why should bad times, be any different from the good or the indifferent ones, for don't they all have beginnings, middles, and ends? Good or bad, it's just another cycle, within a cycle, within a cycle, and it never ends.
  — Robert Steiner II, quoted in The Authorized Biography of Robert Steiner, by Frela Gibbon, Bently & Hunt, 2782[13]

Notes[edit]

House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth) includes a quote from Robert said "long after the First Succession War had begun," where he discussed the severe damage the LCAF had taken in the fighting to that point in the war and defends his choice not to aid Kerensky. As Robert II died five years before the start of the war, he could not have said this.[6]

Title and Position[edit]

Preceded by
Michael Steiner II
Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth
2760[2]-2781[2]



Succeeded by
Jennifer Steiner

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 First Succession War (sourcebook), p. 12
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Handbook: House Steiner, p. 96, "Lyran Leadership Profile"
  3. 3.0 3.1 Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1, p. 62, "Robert Steiner II Profile"
  4. House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 38
  5. Handbook: House Steiner, p. 32
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 40
  7. Handbook: House Steiner, p. 34 - The Taking of the Rim Worlds Republic
  8. Handbook: House Steiner, p. 32-34
  9. 9.0 9.1 House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 41
  10. First Succession War (sourcebook), p. 132, "Jennifer Steiner profile"
  11. House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 52
  12. Handbook: House Steiner, p. 39
  13. House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 37, "Decline And Fall Of The Star League"

Bibliography[edit]