Kaiser Mors IV
Nearly all chroniles from the reign of Mors IV were lost in the EZPlague. The lack of direct evidence makes reconstruction of events difficult, but some documentation is provided in the form of the View from Benacia, a semiregular newsblog in production at the time; Issues 47 through approximately 76 cover the events of his time on the throne.
Duke of Brookshire at the time of his accession, Mors IV abdicated the Ducal throne upon becoming Kaiser and left it to his outgoing predecessor. He reportedly began his reign with an elaborate roleplay-style coronation post, the details of which are lost to time but which, beginning with him slamming open the doors of the throne room and striding in, firmly proclaimed the unbending, grim, death-obsessed persona that the Kaiser would strive to keep up throughout his time on the throne.
Early in the Kaiser's reign, he introduced the notion of an Imperial Ombudsman, a popularly-elected advisor to the Kaiser to serve as a safe conduit for public concerns. The idea was inspired as a means of healing the damage to trust in the Kaisership that had been done in the wake of the Alexandretta Rebellion. Eventually instituted in Imperial Decree 150, the process of identifying eligible voters, nominating candidates, and voting consumed the first third of Mors' time on the throne.
It was during the reign of Mors IV that the Arminian Ricch joined Shireroth. The Treaty of Arminsbur3, negotiated in secret between MiniEx Sir Iain de Vembria and his assistant Scott Alexander, was duly ratified by the Landsraad, and the nation was brought into the Imperial Republic as the Duchy of Arminy on January 26th, an act further formalized shortly thereafter in Imperial Decree 151. Elections to the post of the Ombudsman began at the same time as the annexation, eventually resulting in the close election of Harvey Steffke, and the national mood was jubilant, only slightly tempered by the nation's message board intermittently being rendered unavailable around the beginning of February.
The Lorelei Dispute
Between early- and mid-1501, several interesting local wars, including a civil war over Kildare's promotion of Shireroth's Apollonian heritage (it was at that time illegal to call Shireroth an Apollonian nation), were overshadowed by a more serious territorial dispute. The Emperor of Attera, Mik'el Tzion aka Ras Diga, had been a citizen of Arminy and had been granted the title of Baron of the Arminian territory of Lorelei (roughly corresponding to the later Gularike region of Stormark). As he, as Lorelei's sole inhabitant, had not voted in favor of the annexation of Arminy by Shireroth, he argued that Lorelei was therefore not subject to the treaty and remained rightfully under his rule, and sought to attach it to the Solomonic Kingdom of Transattera, a nation of which Diga was King and which was bound to Attera by the institution of the Atteran Commonwealth. Popular opinion in Shireroth was firmly against surrendering Lorelei to the Emperor, and several Arminians questioned both Diga's position as Baron of Lorelei and the legality of his attempt to sever it from the rest of Arminy; nonetheless, in an attempt to avoid issuing a blunt denial to the well-known monarch, Mors sought to enter into negotiations to hear the evidence for Diga's position and explore possible options.
The fact that Shireroth did not recognize Transattera, as King of which Diga made his claim, presented a temporary stumbling block to the start of the negotiations, but while the MiniEx, and eventually the Landsraad, debated whether to extend full recognition, the Kaiser issued Imperial Decree 155 to "provisionally" recognize the nation so that matters could proceed; he felt it impolitic. The negotiations commenced early in late 1501, and began cordially, with the Emperor noting that he did not dispute any other part of Arminy's annexation, and the Kaiser noting in turn that, despite Diga's lack of activity in either Transattera (which had no online presence of its own) or Lorelei (in which he failed to show up for his own acceptance speech as Baron), allowances should perhaps be made in light of his real-life military commitments.
In the second round of talks several days later, with Diga ultimately unwilling to give up his claim and the Kaiser ultimately unwilling to follow the path of Mog by giving away land against the will of his people, discussion turned toward a temporary condominium, with Shireroth and Transattera ruling Lorelei jointly for one year, to allow time for a deal to be reached. While Diga considered the proposal, however, several events turned against him. The first was the realization, from research on Arminy's old website, that the very decree that had created Diga Baron of Lorelei had been repealed, along with all other Arminian laws, by the nation's legislature for the duration of Arminy's annexation by Shireroth, and that any legal claim the Emperor might have had to Lorelei was therefore null and void.
The second (and perhaps more damaging), occurring in the last few days of 1501, was a near-revolt in the Atteran Empire itself, which resulted in a halt to the Lorelei talks. Prominent citizens there, concerned that Attera proper was suffering in its relations with Shireroth because of a territorial dispute that did not directly concern them, began calling for the dissolution of the Atteran Commonwealth that bound them to Transattera and other undeveloped micronations. Despite Diga's attempt to persuade them otherwise, the intention was stated to bring the dissolution of the Commonwealth before the Yezawd Derg, the Atteran legislature; in response, he invoked articles of the Empire's constitution that permitted him to rule by decree and to deny ratification to acts of the Derg. When the possibility of amending the constitution was raised (which did not require the Emperor's approval), Diga indicated his willingness to dissolve the Derg to prevent this from happening. Several Atterans resigned their positions and citizenships, resulting in a drop in activity.
The Kaiser took advantage of the interruption to spark some domestic debate in the Landsraad with a bill to codify the primacy of Duchies in population over their Baronies, and to consider his position with regards to Lorelei. By the time Diga returned to the Lorelei talks in early 1502, broadly willing to accept the condominium deal, Mors had determined to take a harder line on the dispute, spurred on by the Emperor's weakened domestic situation and by criticism of the softness of his stance by the Shirerithian public. Citing the latter as "concerns" expressed by his subjects, Mors proposed to scale back the length of the condominium period - which Diga rejected, due to his military commitments - and Diga's requests to be proclaimed Guardian of Lorelei and to be granted a "nifty imperial order" were likewise rejected, along with a following suggestion by Diga that Lorelei be divided in two. Finally, a strongly worded statement by Ryan Caruso, the original founder of Lorelei, disputing the latecoming Diga's moral right to the territory, was seized on by Mors as a reason to suspend the talks on March 8th, with the Kaiser refusing to continue until the claim to the territory had been sorted out between Caruso and Diga.
Two days later, the Kaiser gave a lengthy speech, summarizing the progress of his reign up to that time, with harsh overtones of self-rebuke over his leniency during the Lorelei talks, and announcing his intention to abdicate the throne near the end of March. He also noted the attempts by Johann, Duke of Arminy and Prime Minister of Attera, to restart talks on his own initiative, and gave them two weeks to achieve results beneficial to Shireroth, after which "the matter will be closed permanently, and Lorelei will be officially proclaimed Shirerithian, and specifically Arminian, and outside claims shall have no bearing upon it ever again." Stating that, in this spirit, he wished to be remembered for definitively solving problems, he gave himself the epithet Nerrolar, meaning judge or arbiter in the Benacian language.
The attempts by Duke Johann to secure negotiations over Lorelei proved fruitless. Diga was not heard from for some time after Mors suspended his own negotiations, and did not respond to communications even within Attera, where more citizens left and the nation of Interland, previously incorporated into the Atteran Empire, declared independence. By the time the two-week deadline had expired, around late 1502, no further negotiations had occurred, and Mors duly claimed Lorelei irrevocably for Arminy and Shireroth in Imperial Decree 159.
The remainder of Mors' reign was relatively peaceful, seeing only assorted mild disputes: over the status of the moribund Duchy of Goldshire, which Duchy Shirekeep lay in, and over a provision in the Lawbook for the land situation during the secession of previously annexed territory. The first known period of Shirerithian citizenship for Hypatia's Mom, though brief, occurred during this period as well. In month XIII, the throne having been offered to Erik again and been refused, Imperial Decree 160 was issued, naming Ari Rahikkala, Baron of Straylight, as heir. The last known legal act of Mors IV was the appointment of Ryan Caruso to the Order of the Griffin "for his work in creating the Hurmu banner, for his support of our Imperial Republic during the Lorelei dispute, and other generally nifty acts."
Mors closed his reign with a storyline in which he returned to his homeland of Benacia to put down a rebellion, deactivated an ancient and dangerous Khaz Modanian artifact, and died at the hands of his chief aide, a secret servant of the forces of Balgurd. According to later lore, the mausoleum was rediscovered centuries later, vandalized and desecrated, with the Kaiser's sarcophagus missing.
The famous declaration "Death spare you all!" was a catchphrase of Mors IV, appearing frequently in his decrees and proclamations. It had remained in occasional use as of the early 1600s, often in the shortened salutation "Death spare!"
Mors IV was also the first Kaiser to take an epithet, an act which he hoped would become a tradition for future Kaisers. Though several Kaisers since have taken or been given epithets, the tradition was not consistently maintained.
The post of Imperial Ombudsman appears (mercifully) to have been allowed to slip away after Ari i took the throne, with Harvey, the only documented holder, having resigned from it. Harvey himself noted that he had had little to do in his role, and the new Kaiser noted that "I would support an elected position with power or responsibility, but this 'wait for a complaint and then relay it to the Kaiser' message makes him basically a glorified version of EZBoard's Private Message service." Aside from this, the seeming overall approval of Mors' reign by the Shirerithian citizens, and the fact that the most vocal proponents of suspicion toward the Imperial Government had already emigrated or gone quiet prior to Mors' reign, may have caused trust in the Kaisership to be repaired more quickly than Mors had anticipated, rendering the possible need for an Ombudsman obsolete almost before it began.
In 1599 Mors IV unexpectedly woke from his sarcophagus, which had been dumped in a cavern beneath Lichkeep (the old southern district of Shirekeep). Being dead for so long had suppressed all memory of who he was, but after spending some considerable time navigating the pitch-black caverns and finding a link to the Lichkeep sewer system, he made his way to the surface where he was taken in by bewildered officials of the Kingdom of Lichbrook.
Under the Liches' care, Mors gradually recovered his memory with the help of public records and tours of his old haunts. As the memory of his past Kaisership returned to him and the reign of Kaiser Mo'll I drew to a close, he snuck into Raynor's Keep to reclaim the Mango Throne. This he did in 1613 by surprising Mo'll's Steward and heir apparent with the revelation of his identity along with a few things Mors had discovered about the Steward himself, which resulted in the latter's panicked deferral of the Mango Throne to Mors once again.
Mors' second reign was quiet, although it did see a final settlement with Elwynn regarding the post-Cabbage Crisis boundary of Shirekeep, and the drafting of the Lex Provinciarum concerning the governance of the Shirerithian territories not under Imperial State control.
Mors abdicated from this second reign in 1615, with instructions for the Landsraad to choose his successor.
|Succession of the Shirithian Kaisership
|Succession of the Shirithian Kaisership