Kaiser Hasan II (civil name: Jacob Kalir, born c 1560 AN) ruled 1587-1588. He was named by Kaiser Loki IV as successor a few days before his abdication, after just under a week of campaigning and submissions by those vying for the throne (including Conglacio and another competitor from the Kalir bloodline, Elijah, son of Prince Daniel), requested by Loki in this thread. He introduced his reign with an impressive backstory, revealing himself as of joint Hyperborean-Babkhan heritage. His regnal name is a reference to Hasan I and aims to "restore the honor of this name."
Scott's promises were many:
I would like to be Kaiser. Only for a short while - probably a month or less - but there are several things I would like to do:
- I'd like to juggle around some positions to make sure they're all held by the most qualified people.
- I'd like to rearrange our secret forums, especially the Imperial Advisory Council, so that they are places where private discussion can actually occur, as opposed to either free-for-alls with everyone (like SEP), or places to get offended about who did and didn't get in (IAC), or confusing places that only make sense to Erik (SPECTRE).
- I'd like to publish an official policy on dual citizenship (the short version is equal rights for dual citizens, except in sensitive military positions, and unless they blow it) and an official policy on racism/hate speech (the short version is zero tolerance, even for trolling, from here on out).
- I'd like to switch from a free-for-all democracy to more of an aristocracy, with a small group of core citizens similar to Babkha's Emirs having more say in setting direction with everyone then having a say in how that direction is pursued; as opposed to the current system where everyone fights very publicly about what our direction should be.
- In-game political manuevering against Elwynn, combined with out-of-game cooperation and assurances of friendship. Possibly an alliance with Ashkenatza for exactly that reason.
- More effort to distinguish ourselves as a Questionably Benevolent Dictatorship as opposed to Babkha's Obviously Malevolent Dictatorship and Antica's Chaotic Neutral. For example, banning slavery in Shirerithian lands if this hasn't been done already.
- More imperial support for Shirerithian colonies on Meekras, including support of Hesam's plans to expand the role of Meekras in recruitment.
- More style and pizazz. For an example, imperial decrees that look more like this or like this than like this, plus more consistency in the style and numbering.
- Continuing to negotiate an end to the rebellion in Lakhesis along the lines I've discussed with you in private, with the exact policy depending on the Lakhesians' view.
- Other, seeeeeecret things.
I admit I was impressed by Elijah Danielion's speech, and if he becomes Kaiser I look forward to working with him to implement some of these same policies.
It remains to be seen whether he will live up to them, especially given that he also promised a short reign.
Backstory upon his arrival at the Keep
You will ask me about my name.
My story begins with my birth in Eliria to a Hyperborean father and Babkhan mother - for such pairings are not uncommon in that most diverse of cities. My namesake was of similar lineage - but that is not why I chose this name.
My father died in 4579; I say "died", I should say "was murdered". A railway was blown up by the Elwynn Republican Army; sixteen died. My father was not one of them. My father was the one who was killed by a mob of vengeful Elirians the next day, who assumed that any Hyperborean must be a supporter of Shireroth and therefore in league with the terrorists.
Five generations our family had lived in Eliria; a great-grandfather fought for the rebels in the civil war. A grandfather briefly served in their Senate. My father was a doctor who had once saved the life of Prince Daniel's favorite aunt. It didn't matter. The mob was angry; my father looked Hyperborean. The killers were never punished; the authorities found it convenient to let the populace have their scapegoats.
I was walking home from school when it happened: the flames, the shouts, the cries of "pogrom!". They found me hiding in a ditch. I looked Babkhan. That saved me. They thought I was hiding because I was afraid of blood. They dragged me out and made me watch as they beat their next victim to death. It was my father. He didn't look at me or give any hint that he knew who I was. It saved my life.
A second time my Babkhan appearance saved me. My mother bribed a Babkhan official; now I had the coveted Category A Pure Blood status. She sent me away to safety. She sent me to Babkha, I who had never been further away from home than a summer holiday in Islus.
She sent me to her uncle, a wealthy landowner in the south of Babkha. He was a distant man, and I would have grown up alone, save for one stroke of luck. His steward was a refugee from Shirerithian Elwynn, a fluent speaker of Elw, and he had a son of my age. Kaspar Soleimân. Together, we learned Babkhan, were tutored in the arts of diplomacy and war, and became men far from the struggles and violence of Benacia.
But one event educated me more than all of the famous tutors my great-uncle lavished on me. One evening my great-uncle found me crying, Kaspar futilely trying to console me. Reluctantly, I explained what had happened: I had overheard one of the slaves in the kitchen making fun of my foreign accent. My great-uncle told me he would take care of the matter, and I thought no more of it for several days, until Kaspar and I were told to come to the atrium for "a present". There, I saw the body of the slave who had insulted me, bruised and dismembered beyond belief. My great-uncle invited me to further desecrate the body, to complete my revenge. I vomited all over. I think he took it as a deliberate act of desecration. It was not. I vomited when I got back to my room too. Then I vomited some more.
That was when I learned what Babkhan society truly was, beneath the magnificent villas and multicolored silken robes. That was when I learned there were things more evil than the mob which kills indiscriminately in anger. There were those who spoke calmly and in educated tones, who felt no more than passing irritation, and who killed all the same. This was when I knew that I had to leave Babkha.
It was also when I split from Kaspar. He told me that it was regrettable what had happened to the slave, but that we could not inflict our own mores upon Babkhan culture: that they had built the strongest and most successful society on Micras and maintained it over thousands of years, and that although it might offend our foreign sensibilities, it had a justice and a harmony of its own. "When in Tymaria, do as the Tymarians do", he quoted at me, and even though he often spoke with excitement of one day seeing the outside world, I knew that his conscience had been blinded by the dazzling gold splendor of Parestan, and that our friendship was at a close.
I returned to Elwynn to study for University. It had been peaceful for several years, and with my fluent command of the Babkhan tongue and my shining Babkhan clothing there was no chance anyone would recognize me as a Hyperborean. When I had finished university, I sought a job in the civil service - a post I got through the connections of my old friend Kaspar, who had gotten a top job at the side of Prince Daniel himself.
In my third year in the civil service, everything fell apart.
Prince Daniel was found dead under the most suspicious circumstances possible. The old pogroms against the Hyperboreans began again with a redoubled vengeance. Two of my cousins were killed; another I was only able to save by forging her documents that allowed her to cross the border into Shireroth - a desperate measure, since I could not imagine her surviving long in what I had always been told was a feudal nightmare in which the population lived as starving serfs.
I watched the so-called "peaceful society" I had returned to, the one that I was so sure had gotten beyond its former taste for violent pogroms, became a nightmare of bloodshed. I wrote to Kaspar, first a single letter, then a torrent, begging him to figure out who was instigating the pogroms and to call them off. It became my driving purpose to try to use my connections in the civil service to save as many of my countrymen as possible. When I received no reply from Kaspar, I imagined the worst: that he had lost all influence after the death of his Prince, or even that he was being held for the murder.
As has so often happened in my life, the worst I could imagine was not nearly pessimistic enough. One of my connections was finally able to find me the truth: Kaspar himself was responsible for the worst of the anti-Hyperborean pogroms. No, he had not himself taken up a cudgel, nor had he done anything as direct as call for persecution. He'd simply found it convenient to unite the people of Elwynn behind a common enemy, and found the Hyperboreans the most opportune target. And if some of his more zealous followers took matters into their own hands, then of course he regretted that but it was not of such importance in the overall scheme of things, was it?
I could not stay in Elwynn any longer. My family was dead, my friends had turned on me. The Ashkenatzi border had been closed for many years, so I went the only place I could go. I defected to Shireroth to join my cousin in Dragonskeep.
I would have been prepared for anything in Shireroth. If the rivers had run red with blood, and the people had horns and fangs, I would not have, I think, been surprised. This was the land that my great-grandfather's generation had rebelled against, and in school I'd had to learn by heart a long list of their crimes.
What I found was a kindly old man named Tolki Uibderion, who styled himself Count of Dragonskeep and who was in practice the ruler of all mainland Elwynn, since there had been no Duke there since the rebellion. He immediately arranged to meet with me - I was the highest-level defector they had received in some time, and a personal friend of Kaspar Soleyman's to boot. I sat quietly as he personally arranged housing for me, as he arranged for my cousin to be found and contacted, as he shared with me the story of his own family in Eliria, whom he had seen safely over the border. But when he offered me a position in Shireroth's civil service, I blurted out: "Why are you being so nice to me?!"
And so Tolki explained the idea of benevolent feudalism: that not everyone is fit to rule, but that everyone deserves an advocate among the ruling classes; that just as father guides son, and son stands up for father, so nobles and commoners should be like family to each other. And just as not all children grow up to be parents themselves, but many do, so those commoners who were capable of wise rule had a duty to themselves become noble and guide a new generation of people. As my Count, Tolki told me, it was his duty to see me safely settled and happy in Shireroth.
And, he told me, he had heard of my work expatriating Hyperboreans from Elwynn. One day, he said, perhaps I might myself become a noble, with a city or county of my own to watch over.
I admit I was skeptical. I thought he was trying to win me over, to get me to tell Elw secrets I didn't have, after which he would reveal the full brutality of his rule. But it never happened. I joined the Shirerithian civil service. During these days, the Hyperboreans administered Elwynn, but they were few, and trilingual Hyperborean-Babkhan-Elw speakers like myself were worth our weight in gold. I met the Babkhi of al-Ribat Eluinshahr, who had all of the splendor and warmth of the Babkhans I had known in Vey, but lacked the casual brutality that had so alienated me of them. I met the Elw of Elesmari, who were just like those I had grown up with, but lived peacefully side by side with the Hyperboreans. And I even spent an autumn in Kalen, the great metropolis of Hyperborea, where I at last became reconciled with my father's people and his legacy.
After eight years in the civil service, a time of changes began. Tolki Uibderion, my patron, was abdicating in favor of the first native Elw Duke in ten generations, Lord Montague of Absentia. It was a time of celebration, celebration that at last the wounds of the great civil war had healed enough for self-government. It was also a time of celebration for myself. In his first week on the throne, Lord Montague called me into his office and told me he had looked over my work and though the Duchy needed good people like me. He promoted me to Viscount of Vijayanagara, a historically important town a few hundred kilometers from the capital.
In Vijayanagara, I had a chance to see Uibderion's vision of benevolent nobility firsthand. I was educated and knew my way around the corridors of power; my vassals, mostly poor fishermen and farmers, did not. I did everything I could for them, fighting corrupt businessmen to see a new harbor installed, financing a road to Azshara that brought new business into town, and bringing the Viscount of Grenvald to court over his people's constant incursions on our waters. On my thirty-fifth birthday, I woke to find that the city council, egged on by the populace, had voted to rename the city's main street in my honor. That was when I knew that I had finally found my place: a system that was neither the violent mobocracy of Elwynn, nor the cruel absolutism of Babkha. Tolki had been right.
My next promotion was to Count of Agnesia, and in that position I first had the honor of meeting Kaiser Loki IV. Even having been Shirerithian for over a decade, I could not get over my childhood terror of the Shirerithian Kaiser, a figure of awe-tinged hatred across the river. But upon meeting him, I found a passionate but decent man, fiercely loyal to his friends and country, and utterly without malice. I felt like I was meeting a long-lost grandfather or uncle, and when I expressed the sentiment to a scholar at my court, he told me it was no wonder: I myself was descended from Shirerithian Kaisers. Through my father's side flowed the line of Kalir, the blood of gods.
I will not bore you with the details of my time as Elwynn's representative in the Adelsraad, nor of my growing closeness to Kaiser Loki IV, nor of my success in the delicate negotiations with my former homeland surrounding the ownership of the East Elwynn Sluice. Suffice it to say that one evening, flush with diplomatic success, I was called into the Kaiser's palace for an audience alone. Kaiser Loki praised my work in Agnesia, and then, for the first time, asked me what I, as a former Elw and Babkhan, thought of Shireroth.
I told him what I had told you: that benevolent feudalism had been the only system I had ever seen to fall neither into violence nor into cruelty, and that the country was my home.
Then he asked me if I knew I had the blood of the gods in my veins, and I told him what I had learned as a schoolboy in Elwynn, that everyone had a spark of the divine in them.
"No!", he said, and told me that the truth was exactly the opposite of the cliche: that everyone has the fuel in them, but only a tiny minority of people have the spark that can kindle people's higher nature. And I thought back to mt childhood. The men who had killed my father - did they have a spark of the divine in them? My great uncle, who beat his slave to death - did he have it? Kaspar Soleyman, who had seen all that I had seen, and accepted everything I had dedicated my life to fight - did he have it? No, the Kaiser was right. Feudalism was believing that not everyone was a god in and of themselves. But benevolent feudalism was believing that the fuel was there, and that it was our duty to kindle it.
And when I had realized this, Kaiser Loki told me that there were very few descendents of the old bloodlines left, and asked me to become heir to the Golden Mango Throne of Shireroth, the only throne on Micras whose occupant was decided not by blood alone, nor by demagoguery, but by merit, the true nobility of which the other kind is only an approximation.
But you probably just want to know about the name.
The night before Kaiser Loki named me his heir, I read a work that had been taking Shireroth's historical community by storm: Dr. Spraki Krumsson's revolutionary thesis on Kaiser Hasan. The man had obvious flaws, and in the end his power corrupted him. But there was also much to appreciate about him. He took a country that had risen out of near-moribundity only a generation before under Mors the Great, and completed its rise by combining a typically Babkhan skill at government and diplomacy with the Erikist traditions that have always kept this country strong.
I too, inherit the throne from a great man. Kaiser Loki IV brought this country out of darkness and completed the project of Ometeotl the Blessed of healing the scars left by the Elwynnese Civil War. But like in Kaiser Hasan's day, the country's newfound strength is not yet matched by its internal institutions or its weight on the world stage. I, too, have some small skill at government and diplomacy. I, too, have learned from the Babkhans and the Hyperboreans. And I intend to complete Kaiser Loki's Renaissance just as Kaiser Hasan I completed Mors' reconsolidation.
But more than that, I want to restore the honor of this name. When the God of Wisdom had his name dragged through the dirt, he withdrew his favor from the country. We have not always been very wise these past few generations. It is time to learn a proper respect for wisdom once more. Kaiser Hasan was one of the greatest monarchs of Shirerithian history, but he threw his legacy away with a single tragic flaw. I will not make that mistake.
It is time for the redemption of Hasan to begin.
Imperial Decrees made by this Kaiser: Hasan II, from the start of his reign, returned to the traditional reckoning of Imperial Decrees, although it appeared to number Orders together with Decrees.
|Succession of the Shirithian Kaisership