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Empereur de Castaire
Reign 18th Venteux 1742 - today
Coronation 21st Rosix 1742
Predecessor Nathanaël II
Affiliation Castaire Shield.svg
Dynasty and Family
Spouse Belle
Issue Lukrezia
Florian
Emilia
House House Sacrecouronne
Father Nathanaël II
Mother Louise
Born 22nd Germois 1720
Religion Cadrielism

Stéphane IV (full name: Stéphane "Steve" Sacrecouronne, born 22 Germois 1720 in Lucrécy) of the House of Sacrecouronne is since 18 Venteux 1742 the current Empereur de Castaire and thus head of state of Castaire. He married Princess Belle (‡1754) of the neighbouring Kingdom of Cantoras and has three children with her, Lukrezia, Florian and Emilia.

While his political ambitions are based on conservative ideas, he is also open to more liberal ideas, especially regarding the representation of the people. Nonetheless, a majority of his work serves the securing and increase of the Crown's power. Combining these two strains of ideals, under his reign the first castairien parliament was formed, to express and discuss His will promoting welfare of the Empire.

Appearance

Steve is a 1,85 m/6'1" tall man with golden ear-length slightly welled hair and blue eyes. His formal dress consists of a single breasted dark red military tunic and black trousers. The tunic has golden epaulettes and embroidered cuffs showing the rank of an emperor. Over his tunic he wears a light blue sash bound together above his right waist, held by a black belt with golden inlays and a centerpiece featuring the coat of arms of the Sacrecouronne family. Furthermore there are 3 ropes of golden thread at the right side of the tunic. He also carries a gold-caged rapier named Rosentod at his left hip. The collar marries up with the cuffs, showing the same golden embroideries. Also, he dons the highest military badges and medals, sticked at the sash. These are namely five medals, the star badge of the Imperial Castorian Order and the chain of the imperial cross around his neck.

Early Life

Born on Germois 22nd 1720 in the imperial palace as the child of Nathanaël II and Louise, the young Steve was a very curious and vivacious child.


Compared to his father, a overly militaristic emperor, Steve was much more interested in books, history and the humanities. He read much and became an educated and enlightened crown prince capable of leading the whole nation.

Education

His education was mostly maintained by the imperial advisor and personal consultant, Alberich who has since remained a close friend to Steve. Alberich taught Steve the basics of politics, his rights and obligations and, most importantly, empathy for his subjects' fears and hardships. He was also taught to write political statements, orders etc., just everything needed to become emperor one day. When he was not busy with Alberich's tasks, the young prince trained swordsplay and shooting together with his brother Michel.
His father always enforced a military education for Steve, but often he simply refused to attain the lessons. Nonetheless and being highly appreciated by Nathanaël, Steve became a fencing prodigy and is even today regarded as the best swordsman in Castaire.
Because of being utterly rich, he never got to know the actual worth of money and had no clue how to properly spend it. Thus, he often bought things without need to exorbitant prices as the merchants simply betrayed him.

Princess Belle

→ Main article: Steve and Belle

The most important person in Steve's life was Belle, the Cantorian princess. Both met in rather young years, as their mothers Empress Louise and Guinevere were childhood friends. The royal children were often together, playing in the residence, running through the gardens, always trying their parents' patience.
Though it might seem rather odd that Steve had more contact to a foreign princess than to the Castairian noble children, it is to be said that during his childhood, the nobility wasn't that fine with the imperialty. Nathanaëls militarism and thus, ever-increasing conscription made them very unpleased, though Steve wouldn't recognize that in his young age. Nonetheless, Belle became a constant in his life, he could always rely on her. When they spent time together, any observer could see that they really like each other and once, it was to become even more.
At his 16th birthday, Nathanaël organized a grand ball for him and invited all the important princes and aristocrats from the surrounding duchies and kingdoms and thus also his childhood friend Belle.
She came to stay at the imperial palace for a week and spent her whole time there with Steve. When the ball took place, she was the most beautiful girl at the ball, wearing a white-golden dress, even impressing the high nobility of Castaires states. As it was his birthday, he was obliged to hold the first dance and immediately made his choice. Both seemingly floated over the parquet, visibly being united in the whole situation. They danced together the whole night and had a lot of fun together.
At the end of the day, both went out of the palace and walked in a moonlighted night through the magnificent gardens, sat down in the pavilion at the palace pond and watched the stars in the sky. After a long talk, they ended their meeting with a seemingly endless kiss and both felt that this will be the one and only love for them.

Military Career

At the age of 10 years, Steve got the title of a Lieutenant which started his military career. He was educated to once become a great tactician. He got a first experience in leading his own command with 17 years, when there was an uprising in the border city Lacrosse. Steve got the imperative of the First Imperial Corps "Archon," which was sent out to bring down the insurgents. He successfully infiltrated the city and captured many of the leaders. It is important to mention that Steve resisted his fathers wish to execute all of the leaders and sent them back to their families. It is commonly known that this act of grace granted Steve an enormous boost of his popularity amongst the people.

Grand War Against Cantoras

Nathanaël gained knowledge about the love of his eldest son and the princess of Cantoras. As he was always looking for a casus belli against Cantoras, which had rich gold deposits he wanted to annex, he was glad to be finally able to declare war against the invidious foe. He proclaimed that the princess had dishonourably seduced his son, provoking him to declare war on Cantoras on Poussatre 14th 1738. Furthermore, Nathanaël forbade Steve to meet Belle anymore and she got banned from all Castairian territories. Nonetheless, both lovers found a way to meet several times throughout the war.
In the curse of war, Steve was forced by his father to command the First Army Command attacking the Capital of Cantoras, Camelot, aware that if the soldiers are successful, Steve would have to captivate his own love as she was in the Cantorian Castle. In the ongoing siege, as the soldiers broke through the walls and charged the castle, there was no track of the Princess and the soldiers approached the castle to arrest her father, King Arthur VI. Arthur was already very ill at the moment and died from a stroke after receiving the message of his capital taken, leaving his son, Fabius III, in power. He managed to escape into the Cantorian mountains and led the war for several months from changing command posts. In the meanwhile, Belle had escaped into a secret hideout, where she waited for the war to end and met Steve several more times, getting new information about the course of the war. Around Neigouze 1741, Steve was brought message of his fathers declining health situation, and that the Privy Council proclaimed Steve as Prince Regent, leaving him in command of the whole Empire. After many Phyrric battles already fought in this war, the Armée Impériale was able to defeat the Cantorian legions in a final assault on retaking Camelot in Glacun 1742, which was followed by the surrender of Cantoras and the Treaty of Liramond on 5th Venteux 1742, made possible by the young rulers Steve and Fabius.

Marriage and Children

As the war had ended, Steve told his father his will to marry Belle. Nathanaël had no other choice than to allow his son to do so, as a severe illness had begun to bother him and he eventually died on Venteux 17th 1742. So, Steve, as the new Empereur, was able to marry his love on Germois 29th 1742. The marriage was a magnificent ceremony in the Eglise de Fleuvielle and was concluded by a beautiful garden festivity at Palais Castaire, which's construction ended just some days before. The newly married couple were the first ones to live in the recently completed palace.

The marriage of the two royal children was a particularly happy one. Both had a mutual understanding of each and spent countless hours cuddling and talking. It was because of these circumstances that their first child was born roughly a year later. Princess Lukrezia came into world on Recoluit 25th 1743 and was blessed with strikingly rose coloured hair, being a sign of her magical potency. Steve and Belle took advantage of the relatively relaxed situation in politics and left the court for half a year in summer 1744. While living at Lac Miroir, they spent a wonderful time with the young princess. It was noted in Steves diaries that "[...] the time here was such a special gift for [the young family]". It's hardly surprising that the birth of Florian coincided half a year after their return to Lucrécy. He was born on Poussatre 22nd 1745. The last child, Emilia, came into world on Neigouze 6th 1748.

Empereur

Coronation

As his father died on 17th Venteux 1742, the coronation of the young couple was situated 3 months later on 21st Rosix 1742. Even as everything regarding the preparations of the ceremony was completed even before the Empereur died, the 3 month break is a usual time to embrace public mourning. The ceremony was held in the Angelic Cathedral in Lucrécy, the coronation cathedral since the beginning of the Empire. It was a wonderful ceremony with many high dignities from surrounding nations, followed by a banquet in Palais Castaire.

Domestic Policies

Why all the stairspam? - It is Castaire, the name says it all.

– Steve I

Steves reign started with several alterations: he abolished torture as a mean of investigation and also the death sentence for most crimes. Then, he reformed the monarchy into a constitutional system, so he gave his younger brother Michel the order to hold general elections for a new parliament. This happened on 1st Fleurcin 1745, were the first Imperial Parliament was elected from all the people of Castaire. Michel then formed a government and got the title of a Chancelier.

Steve also made up several laws against poverty and decreed the Habeas Corpus Act (which disallows the imprisonment of people for more than 24 hours without judicial decision) which made him extraordinarily popular. Many of his decisions were strongly influenced by Belle, as she was educated (similarly to Steve) to understand the peoples problems. They understood their imperial office merely as "servants of the state" than to be absolute rulers. This lead to an immense popularity of the imperial couple, especially amongst the poor people of the Empire.

The Legislation Crisis Following those alterations, Steve declared his will to reduce the nobility's power to support the rule of Crown and Government. The governing system of Castaire until then was heavily based on feudal rights: the nobility owns and the peasantry serves. Those remnants of an obsolete system were rigorously fought by Steve, as His main intent was to centralize the power in Monarchs hands, to be only used by the Government. For sure, that opposed the nobility, who feared a substantial loss of their rights and powers. Nonetheless, especially the bourgeoisie and the educated society strongly supported those ideas. Within the new parliament, whose Lower House consisted mainly of commoners, a vote for the new law was conceivable. The nobles now realized that they will loose much of their power to the Corps Législatif and insisted to keep their privileges. Furthermore, they demanded to retain the legislative power, which was given to the Corps by the empereur just some months ago. Steve ordered a parliamentary decision to solve this issue, probably aware that the lords would vote against the law. But somehow it happened, that the lords didn't attend the highly important session and couldn't vote, so the legislative power remained in the hands of the Corps. The lords were extremely upset, thus starting to revolt against their rightful Empereur.

Nobles Revolt

The Crown's power is absolute, calling it into question is high treason. Whoever does so will get to know the real extent of Imperial power.

– Steve I Stéphane, Manifest against the Duke of Verelon

Following the legislation crisis and the abolition of serfdom in Ordix 1749, several lords schemed a revolt against the Crown, and in late Germois 1750, some days after the glorious ceremony of the Anniversaire de l'Empereur (Empereurs Birthday), they sieged Mallais. Steve himself took command of the Ist corps "Archon" (the same as in the Battle of Lacrosse) and led it towards the sieging army. Contrary to most other monarchs, Steve didn't watch the course of the battle from his command post, but directly engaged in battle together with his infamous cavalry of the Garde de l'Empereur. They broke through the lines of the enemies gunners and made it to their command post, where His Majesty captivated most of the figureheads of the revolt.

Foreign Policies

While Our great nation's past was signed by military efforts and expansion, a new era will start with this law, an age of science, trade and welfare.

– Steve I Stéphane, Speech before the ballot of the Foreign Relations Act

Completely contrary to the policy of his father of violent annexations, he created a dense web of international alliances to ensure security and economical boosts through the repeal of tariffs. Especially with its former "hereditary enemy" Cantoras, Castaire drastically improved their relations, on the one hand via the marriage of Princess Belle, but also with economical support for the giant agricultural state. Thus, Cantoras improved its whole infrastructure to a standard near the Castairian one, especially in urban areas.

Death of Belle

In the second half of the year 1754, an unknown disease started to bother the Impératrice. None of the countless doctors called by Steve was able to examine what disease it was as the symptoms were never seen before. In the early morning of Neigouze 17th 1754, her struggle had an end and she died in the arms of her husband Steve. Her state funeral was held 3 days later, on Neigouze 20th 1754, where the most of Lucrécys inhabitants and many foreign dignities attended.
Upon her death, Steves grievance was so enormous that he simply stopped working for around two weeks. He was completely unable to rule the country as he couldn't process the loss of his one true love. His struggle lasted for 10 days in which he never allowed any of the many courtiers to enter his private rooms. The one person who kept his contact to the world was his butler Jomes, an old friend and most loyal servant to the Empereur. He was the one to convince Steve that his grieve wouldn't bring Belle back and that his children need him as much as Steve needs them, to stay unitary as a family, even after that horrible incident. As they all were rather young, they were not less shocked than Steve and needed his attention and encouragement to deal with their mothers death. To commemorate her death in a personal way, he ordered his architects to conceive a small garden area called Solitude for him and the children to retreat to for relaxation. Nowadays, Steve is often found wandering through the gardens there and taking a seat at the statue of his beloved wife. Some months later, he also decided to give the public an option to pray for Belle. As there already were some plannings for a new splendid cathedral for Lucrécy around, he ordered it to be built in commemoration of Belle and personally paid the construction costs from his enormous fortune. The Kingdom of Cantoras also sent a substantial contribution and bore the expenses of the complete gilding. This new cathedral was constructed since the beginning of the year 1755 and finished in 1765.

New Ambitions

The time without Belle brought Steve to many new decisions, especially regarding the health system. It was quite fine before, and one of the most advanced in the whole world, but he and his brother Michel then created the so called health insurance to further improve the medical advancement of the Empire. Furthermore, every big city got a stately payment to be able to erect a hospital. Following that and by Supreme Order, every city with more than 30,000 inhabitants now has a hospital able to cure many of the common diseases. The Université de Lucrécy got a medical faculty with a teaching hospital attached to tackle more rare diseases.
He also passed several laws to boost economy and overseas trade, which enabled Castaire to reach a new peaks of wealth and welfare.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

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Titles and styles

22 Germois 1720 – 17 Venteux 1742: Son Altesse Impériale Prince Steve de Castaire
since 18 Venteux 1742: Sa Majesté Impériale l'Empereur de Castaire

Full Title as Empereur de Castaire

Sa Majesté Impériale Steve Ier Stéphane, par la Grâce de Cadriel
Empereur de Castaire et Roi de Chastain,
Chevalier de l'Archon, Duc de Lucrécy,
Prince of Cantoras et
Defénseur de la Vraie Foi

Honours

  • Empire Castairien
    • Ordre du Saint Cadriel: Knight Grand Cross (1736), Sovereign (1742)
    • Ordre de l'Empire Castairien: Knight Grand Cross (1736), Sovereign (1742)
    • Ordre des Roses: Sovereign (1742)
    • Ordre du Faucon Or: Sovereign (1742)
    • Privy Council: Prince Consultant (1736-1742)
  • Royaume de Chastain/Family Orders
    • Imperial Family Order of Nathanaël I: Princely Member (1736), Sovereign (1742)
Ordre du Saint Cadriel.svg
Ordre de l'Empire Castairien.svg
Ordre du Rose.svg
Ordre du Faucon Or.svg
Ordre de l'Empereur Nathanaël I.svg
Ordre du Saint Cadriel
Ordre de l'Empire Castairien
Ordre des Roses
Ordre du Faucon Or
Ordre de l'Empereur Nathanaël I

Military Ranks

Arms

Steve Monogram.svg
Sacrecouronne Coat of Arms Grand.svg
Imperial Monogram of Steve Stéphane I
Coat of Arms of the Sacrecouronne Dynasty

Equipment & Mounts

Equipment
Mounts
Rapier "Rosentod"
  • finest gold-caged rapier with a dark blue grip made of ivory, perfectly weighed, has engraved the initials of Steve and Belle as well as intricate floral patterns
War Horse "Maximus"
  • a white horse with black stockings; Steves loyal fellow since its birth, as Steve got it as a foal, currently resident in the Imperial Stables at Palais Castaire
Sceptre "Glaciem"
  • imperial sceptre, wrought of gold and embroidered with floral patterns, coronated by the Glaciem gem, a Liramond of wintry beauty, resembling an ice crystal
 

Gallery

Trivia

  • His favorite flowers are sterling silver roses. They are mainly cultivated in Cantoras.

See also


Predecessor Title Successor

Nathanaël II

Prince Impériale
22nd Germois 1720 - 17th Venteux 1742
Lukrezia
as Princesse Impériale

Nathanaël II

Empereur de Castaire
since 18th Venteux 1742
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Nathanaël II

Roi de Chastain
since 18th Venteux 1742
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