Terran March

Description[edit]

The Terran March was a military and administrative region within the Federated Suns established in March 2418 as part of First Prince Simon Davion's reformation of the structure of the Federated Suns.[1]

History[edit]

Simon Davion reformed the structure of the Federated Suns, reshaping the nation into five Principalities, each headed by a Prince and led by a single First Prince; the first such First Prince was Simon Davion himself.[1] These five Principalities were named the Capellan March, Crucis March, Draconis March, Outer March and Terran March, and each was subdivided into a system of duchies, margraves, counties and baronies and a new class of titled individuals was created, each of whom was subject to appointment by the Prince of his or her respective March.[2]

In 2515 Prince Charles Leighton, Prince of the Terran March, and his immediate family were killed in a raid on the Terran March capital of Robinson conducted by the Hegemony Armed Forces, one of many military actions fought between the Terran March and the Terran Hegemony. With no immediate successors, rule of the Terran March passed to the Regency ruling over the Federated Suns until Alexander Davion came of age; Regents David Varnay and Cassandra Davion voted to make the very popular and well-respected Federated Peacekeeping Forces officer, General Nikolai Rostov, as the new Prince of the Terran March.[3] The third Regent, Laura Davion, had to support Rostov's nomination or risk alienating the General, but his rise to rule the Terran March also made him a direct competitor to both factions, reducing Laura's ability to trust him[3][4] - although Nikolai would spend the next five years repelling a Terran Hegemony offensive into the Terran March.[3]

With the Prince of the Outer March determinedly steering a neutral course, Laura became increasingly isolated as Rostov began securing his own power base; the Council made one last attempt to restrain the various Regents using the Dowager Princess, but her death in 2518 rendered the effort moot. The Varnays responded to the High Council's efforts by using secret service agents in their employ to produce evidence purportedly demonstrating an active plot to overthrow the Council of Regents originating within the moderate faction within the High Council[3] - and allegedly led by the High Council representative from Andalusia, who was also the late Dowager Princess' cousin.[4] From 2518 to 2520 infamous Treason Trials ran, purging the High Council of both the majority of the moderates and many supporters of Laura Davion, although they were careful to avoid harming anyone with connections to Rostov, as they hoped to secure him as an ally.[3][4]

By the time the Treason Trials had ended the Varnays had rendered the High Council all but powerless, leaving it a shambles staffed with replacement delegates who were unwilling to stand up to the Varnays.[4] The subsequent abduction of the young Alexander Davion by the Varnays precipitated the Davion Civil War between the regents.[5][6]

Davion Civil War[edit]

Rostov's successful five-year campaign against the Terran Hegemony had cemented his power base within the military,[5] and the Varnays waited until Nikolai was distracted by a border clash with the Draconis Combine that Rostov was forced to devote his attention to in 2523. With Rostov distracted the Varnays abducted Alexander and transported him to New Syrtis under the pretense that he was performing a grand tour in the style of his grandfather, Simon Davion.[5][6]

Nikolai moved against the Capellan March, acting in support of Laura Davion and as leader of the combined forces from the Crucis, Draconis and Terran Marches. Units under Rostov's command struck[7][8] at a line of worlds stretching from Kluane to Royalston[8] with Rostov demonstrating his grasp of tactics and using the abilities of his trained regulars to good effect against Varnay's troops, which were often simply militias lacking in training.[7]

Rostov's forces made significant initial gains, easily carving through Varnay's troops, although neither side knew that Alexander and the anti-Varnayists responsible for his rescue were passing through the Barrier Rift at the time - the Barrier Rift being an astrogeographical feature that marked the boundary between the Capellan March and the Crucis March.[7]

Nikolai Rostov's initial attacks went extremely well, but his luck ran out on the world of Quittacas, deep inside the Capellan March. During the assault on the planet Nikolai was killed, and his death had a devastating effect on the morale of the FPF. Nikolai was the grand old warhorse of the Terran March, and loomed large in the minds of his troops; David Varnay quickly seized on the opportunity while Nikolai's forces were still reeling, and began offering bribes to a number of key figures within Nikolai's forces. The net result was a series of mutinies and the desertions within the ranks of his forces, and within weeks Laura Davion's offensive had ground to a halt.[7][8]

The loss of Nikolai Rostov and the wave of defections left his son, Dmitri, and the troops under his command cut off in enemy territory. Dmitri was a brilliant tactician in his own right, and wasn't willing to surrender to the Varnayists; rather than be captured, he disbanded his forces and fled with a handful of personal troops in 'Mechs, avoiding being caught up in the sudden swell of support for the Varnay cause.[7] Dmitri then led his small band of loyalists on a planet-hopping guerrilla campaign.[9]

When Alexander emerged from hiding and began recruiting troops loyal to his claim to the throne, Dmitri moved to support him, somewhat reluctantly. Alexander's relationship with Dmitri Rostov remained fraught throughout the war, and was based on mutual need at best. Dmitri had both considerable intelligence and a keen strategic mind, but he craved the power his father had possessed, and supporting Alexander was simply the best way for him to achieve that end.[9]

The Davion Civil War had had a hugely damaging impact on the Federated Suns by the time of Alexander's victory over Cassandra in 2537. Battles had been fought on more than a hundred worlds, and millions had been killed; the Federated Suns economy had been damaged so badly that it was almost at a standstill, and the High Council was a shadow of what it had been prior to the Council of Regents. Some areas still had pockets of rebel forces holding out against Alexander's regime.[10][11][12]

After Cassandra's defeat, Alexander made it clear that he intended to lead the reconstruction of all five Marches, not just the Crucis March.[11][13] He announced proposals to make sweeping changes across the five Marches and to reform the High Council. This caused resentment amongst many, particularly amongst the political and noble leaders who had profited from the existing system,[14] but first and foremost amongst those disputing Alexander's right to act in Marches outside the Crucis March was Dmitri Rostov.[13]

Rostov's obsession with the power of his March led him to mobilize his troops in opposition to Prince Alexander[13] in April 2540[15]. Dmitri's attempted coup began with a tragedy; as his first act, Dmitri ordered his troops to kidnap Cynthia Davion, who was engaged in a goodwill tour of the Draconis March at the time. His troops not only failed in their attempt, but a stray shot killed Cynthia.[13][15] While he had gained considerable political support as a result of his argument that Alexander had no power to impose changes outside the Crucis March, mobilizing his March forces and attempting to kidnap Cynthia marked Dmitri crossing a point of no return.[15]

Cynthia's death had a profound effect, leaving him grief-stricken; it also led him to act launch a campaign against Dmitri that would be marked by its speed, decisiveness and implacable savagery. While Dmitria was still an influential and popular man and widely acknowledged as being responsible for the triumph on Victoria, he wasn't the First Prince. To a Federated Suns recently ravaged by war Alexander represented order, stability and an end to factionalism and infighting. Dmitri called for action against Alexander, describing him as a would-be despot, but few worlds or units outside his immediate sphere of influence responded; in comparison, Alexander quickly gathered an overwhelming army.[13]

Alexander struck directly towards Robinson with two large forces,[13][15] one launched from New Avalon and the other from the Draconis March,[15] and while he lacked Dmitri's military skills he had sheer numbers on his side, presenting Dmitri with little chance of victory. What finally ended the Civil War wasn't Alexander's command of his men, however; it was a final battle between Alexander and Dmitri, both fighting in 'Mechs.[13][15] Alexander's bravado in taking on Dmitri personally nearly resulted in his own death, but he triumphed over Dmitri, turning what could have been a foolish stunt into an act of legend that further enhanced his reputation - despite allegations from historians after the event that one of Alexander's agents had secretly sabotaged Dmitri's 'Mech before the battle.[13]

With the Davion Civil War finally over, only two of the five Princes of the Federated Suns were still alive: Alexander and Prince Nuno Gutierrez of the Outer March, who from his capital world, Filtvelt, had kept the Outer March out of the Civil War.[16] Alexander Davion restructured the Federated Suns, disbanding the Outer and Terran Marches and instead subdividing the realm into just three Marches: the Capellan March, Crucis March and Draconis March,[17] a system that would remain in place until the establishment of the Periphery March in the aftermath of the Jihad by Princess-Regent Yvonne Steiner-Davion.[18]

Military Forces[edit]

The two primary military formations associated with the Terran March were the Terran Brigade - the March's flagship military formation - and the Vale Rangers, the March's primary offensive formation.[19] The Vale Rangers transferred their loyalty to Nikolai Rostov when Charles Leighton was killed, and fought throughout the Civil War. Many regiments from the Vale Rangers were outraged by Dmitri's actions during his attempted insurrection and swiftly joined Alexander's cause, with some subsequently fighting sister units as a consequence during Alexander's defeat of Dmitri's forces.[19] After Dmitri's defeat on Robinson Prince Alexander referred to the surviving warriors of the Vale Rangers as "soldiers of chivalry and honor"; the Vale Rangers brigade was incorporated into the expanded Draconis March and renamed as the Robinson Chevaliers, with the new name drawn directly from Alexander's words, going on to serve the Federated Suns throughout the Star League era.[19]

The fate of the Vale Rangers after the Davion Civil War was a marked contrast to their former companions in the Terran Brigade; Alexander's disestablishment of the Terran March generated a deep resentment amongst the Terran Brigade, one that still festered thirty years later. The end came for the Terran Brigade in 2571, with the formation of the Star League Defense Force; Alexander seized the opportunity to remove the worst-equipped, worst-trained, and most troublesome units out of the new Armed Forces of the Federated Suns including the entire of the remaining Terran Brigade forces.[20]

March Lords[edit]

2514[edit]

  • Prince Charles Leighton[3]

2515-2525[edit]

  • Prince Nikolai Rostov[3]

2525-2540[edit]


References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Handbook: House Davion, p. 27, "Timeline: Early Years and the Age of War"
  2. Handbook: House Davion, p. 28, "The First Prince"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 41, "The Regency"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Handbook: House Davion, p. 31-32, "Reign of Terror"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 41-42, "Varnay vs Davion"
  6. 6.0 6.1 Handbook: House Davion, p. 32-33, "Hostage Prince"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 44, "Alexander in Exile"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Handbook: House Davion, p. 33-34, "Flames of War"
  9. 9.0 9.1 Handbook: House Davion, p. 34-35, "Rostov's Legacy"
  10. House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 46-47, "Rostov's Plan"
  11. 11.0 11.1 Handbook: House Davion, p. 36, "Prince Alexander"
  12. Inner Sphere (sourcebook), p. 38
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 13.8 House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 48, "Rostov Defiant"
  14. Handbook: House Davion, p. 36, "Rostov Victorious"
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 Handbook: House Davion, p. 36, "Putting Down Rostov"
  16. Handbook: House Davion, p. 37, "Dividends of Peace"
  17. Handbook: House Davion, p. 37, "Timeline: Revolution and Civil War"
  18. Field Manual: 3085, p. 52-53, "Camelot Summit"
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Field Report: Federated Suns 2765, p. 16, "Robinson Chevaliers"
  20. Historical: Reunification War, p. 32, "Integration With The SLDF"

Bibliography[edit]