As for why I'm posting it here? I admit it's just for fun, but also, I gave Shroom a fun little cameo in one bit. Plus everyone can enjoy some homage character references and stompy robots blowing things up.
Edit: Also, for Shroom's sake, I'm not gonna post the Field Manual: Arcadian Free March pages, I think he'd go crazy from the rank list alone. Will link to the thread if someone really wants it.
https://explorercorps.github.io/The point of divergence: 2780. Terra lies in ruins, the SLDF successful at toppling Amaris, but at a hideously high price. Perhaps most devastating for the morale of the broken army of liberation, its commander, General Alexsandr Kerensky lies dead, victim of a nuclear decapitation strike in the liberation of Moscow.
What happens next is...unfortunate. Kerensky’s second, Aaron DeChavilier, is unfortunately not him, and the SLDF splinters as the House Lords begin to prepare for Armageddon. The formation of Comstar happens, but with the SLDF staying behind and fortifying an “inner ring” around Terra, Jerome Blake’s vision is stillborn and they’re just a phone company, with none of the religious undertones.
The First Succession War is correspondingly both more brutal and more even, with a number of New Dallas and Kentares type incidents. It also exposes the fundamental cracks in the Great Houses. The Second Succession War takes a hammer to the splintered glass, and each of the Great Houses fragments into a number of Successor States. DeChavilier’s successors have, meanwhile, fortified the inner Union and rebuilt those worlds, at the cost of letting dozens of worlds go. They care not for what happens beyond the border providing the Ares Conventions are kept to, an important caveat that probably stops a complete degeneration into barbarity. As the Second Succession War sputtered to a halt, the survivors looked around at an Inner Sphere that had fifty states where five once stood and was home to hundreds of independent worlds.
The Third Succession War was never officially declared, but a new age of warfare was upon the Inner Sphere-with resources exhausted, worlds shattered, technology lost, and most of humanity’s FTL capable ships in ruins. The era saw raids for resources, the occasional atrocity, and endless suffering. It also saw scraps of hope, as without Comstar’s active attempts to suppress recovery, and the Union’s willingness to intervene if war crimes got out of hand, the Successor States managed to slowly recover some of the technology lost to them.
The year is now 3030. Dozens of small states are scattered across the Inner Sphere and are now jockeying for worlds, prestige, and technology. A Second Age of War is upon the Inner Sphere. Welcome to From the Ashes: Shattered Sphere.
The Arcadian Free March
Capital World: Arcadia
Capital City: Roslyn/Laughlin Capital District
Major Worlds: Gienah, McAffe, Dar-es-Salaam, Concord
Minor Worlds: Launam, Ford, Giausar, Megrez, Nestor, Uhuru, Hyde, Seftenberg, Zwenkau, Eilenburg, Hollabrunn, Mariefred, Togwotee, Danais, Bondurant
National Flag: The hoist half of the flag is blue, the opposite red, and a stylized white hawk spreads golden wings in the center.
Head of State: March-Princess Sara-Marie Proctor, Duchess of Arcadia
Head of Government: March-Princess Sara-Marie Proctor, Duchess of Arcadia; some authority divested to the current Lord of the Privy Council, Duke Simon Allen of Togwotee.
Legislature: Bicameral. The Free March Assembly, elected by commoners from each world under a democratic scheme of representation, has certain powers regarding limits of taxation, regulation of commerce and industry, and criminal and civil law (including both feudal and non-feudal contract law). Final authority rests in the March-Princess, who retains the power to accept or deny proposed legislation. The Ducal Council, a body made up of each ruling planetary family in the Free March, functions as an advisory body for the Assembly and the March-Princess, although with a unanimous vote they can reject legislature outright instead of merely returning it for Assembly reconsideration with a majority negative vote.
Speaker of the Assembly: Jessica Maxwell of Concord
Chairman of the Ducal Council: Duke Abdulla Qadim Rayhan of Dar-es-Salaam
Currency: Arcadian Pound Sterling (£). The C-Bill is also widely employed as recognizable currency due to its inherent value.
The collapse of the Great Houses brought chaos to their former borders. While some worlds managed to retain some semblance of law and order under beloved noble families, others were not so fortunate.
In Arcadia's case, the rule of the local dynasts, the Duncans, ended bloodily. The planet fell to a broken collection of LCAF units turned into warlords, each vying for control of the planet's vital Star League factories as well as the farmlands needed to feed their troops. The residents of the world, noble and commoner alike, were reduced to destitution and were often forced into labor under various guises of debt peonage, even outright slavery. A planet known for being a paradise turned into a hell.
On February 17th, 2890, the harbinger of change came, in the northern township of New Salem when a local farming family brought their only daughter into the world. Sara Proctor grew up among a religious community. At the age of 14 she was one of many unfortunates whisked away by the labor conscriptors of one of the warlords, "Prince" Carl Tabot. After four years of degradation and suffering as part of Tabot's household staff, Sara fled, stowing away on the DropShip Melanie before it departed Tabot's capital of Sannazaro. To her good fortune, the crew under Captain Fabian Comeau took her in, and she began fifteen years of travel across the breadth of the broken Inner Sphere. It was during this time that she picked up the skills she would later find useful, be it the diplomacy of trade, maintaining ships, and dealing with mercenaries and regular troops. She learned to pilot a BattleMech, initially as a backup to one of the crew's regular pilots, and would grow in skill as time passed.
By the time she was in her mid-30s, Sara was an accomplished traveler, even something of an adventurer, with stories of battle and romance swirling about her. She inherited the Melanie from Captain Comeau after his death in a pirate skirmish, and the proceeds for their business gave her the resources that could easily have become a business empire. A life of luxury was hers for the taking. But a new, burning desire to do something about her homeworld turned her thoughts back to Arcadia. Her resources went toward the recruitment of mercenaries and other adventurers like herself, and it was at the head of an impromptu band that she led the Melanie back to her home.
In her absence Tabot had consolidated power and was on his way to becoming ruler of the planet. His reaction to her arrival was a growing anger that would become all-consuming rage, such that his own followers avoided using her name and spoke of her only as "Nemesis".
The war between the two raged for two years, with Sara gaining an early advantage in aerospace forces due to a strategic blunder by Tabot and the support of Greek-Arcadian districts on the continents of Constantine and Islay. Bit by bit, she liberated the rest of the planet, although not without loss, and prevented an attempt to wipe out her home region at great cost to her forces and almost at cost to her life.
Starting in March 2928, Sara began a series of offensive moves that drew Tabot's loyal forces out of Sannazaro and Poussin. Tabot was convinced she'd overstretched her forces, and hearing she was personally leading the central force, he went for a decapitation strike with the bulk of his forces by striking her headquarters at the town of Parnon.
In truth, he was masterfully deceived. Sara had used herself as bait, drawing his forces into the fight and then holding against superior numbers long enough to bring her flank forces in. Tabot's forces were encircled and swiftly rolled up. Tabot himself perished at the hands of Sara, his Zeus falling to her Black Knight.
Triumphant in war, Sara turned her energies to revitalizing Arcadia. A convention of the surviving nobility and the representatives of the townships and cities declared Sara the Duchess of Arcadia. The planet's tattered legal system was overhauled to eliminate debt peonage and the other means of forced servitude that made slaves of the populace. Land reform and other means were taken to dismantle the warlords' holdings and provide for a return to a civilian economy with guaranteed rights for commoners and nobles.
Arcadia's surviving industrial works gave the planet the means to rebuild swiftly and to resist encroachments from pirates and grasping neighbors. An old Star League naval yard was refurbished with the growing proceeds of trade receipts, expanding the system's trade networks and bringing neighboring worlds into its economic orbit.
A lostech 'Mech factory, and careful work on recovered machines from the decades of fighting, allowed for the Arcadians to put together a striking force of Star League-era BattleMechs. Old veterans of Sara's campaign of planetary liberation formed two crack units, the Arcadian Guards and the Arcadian Rangers, that loyally serve House Proctor to this day.
Between economic influence and the military power of Arcadia, Sara achieved the lasting legacy of her life in 2956, with the foundation of the Arcadian Free March by the accessions of Gienah, Launam, and Hyde. She took the title of March-Princess as ruler of the new state. The slow process of consolidation began. Six more planets - Nestor, Giausar, Ford, Megrez, Concord, and McAffe - would join over the next thirty years before her death in 2986 at the age of 96.
Her son, William Proctor, inherited the throne as March-Prince. His reign would be marked by the continued expansion of the Free March through peace and war, including a protracted five year conflict with Dar-es-Salaam over Senftenburg and Mariefred and a two-year conflict on Dar-es-Salaam itself that finally ended in their admission to the Free March. When March-Prince William passed in 3008, he was succeeded by his daughter Sara-Marie, at the time only 25 years old.
The current ruling March-Princess has seen her realm's mostly-peaceful expansion to its current count of twenty worlds, with only minor conflicts with pirate bands to mar the peace. But in the wake of recent conflicts among the Successor States, it is clear Arcadia's time of quiet is coming to an end. Whether or not Sara-Marie will have to draw her grandmother's sword, that is for the forces of history to determine…
Coat of Arms: A lowered sword of white fringed with a golden aura splits a pair of dark gray manacles, framed by the family motto in gold, all on a shield of blue and red. Motto: Audemus Jura Nostra Defendere (We Dare Defend Our Rights).
Current Head of the House: HSH (Her Serene Highness) March-Princess Sara-Marie Abigail Proctor, Duchess of Arcadia (2983-)
The ruler of the Free March for the last 24 years, March-Princess Sara-Marie is the granddaughter of the Liberator and third ruler of the realm. Her reign has been marked with primarily internal expansion, broadening the base of the Free March economy, without the military actions that so characterized her father's reign. She has a sense of duty to her family and people that will be sorely tested as the Second Age of War continues to rock the Inner Sphere, and at times, even traditions will not stop her from acting as she believes she must.
Her Husband: HGH (His Gracious Highness) Prince-Consort Thomas Reginald Heresford, Earl of Martleford on Ford (2984-)
A scion of the English nobility that governs the planet Ford, Prince-Consort Thomas never imagined he would attain this rank. It was by chance that, as a young cadet at Ayrshire, he met the Heiress-Apparent and developed a rapport with her, even after her father's illness required her to withdraw from the AFFM and devote herself to her future role as March-Princess. The two remained in contact and, inevitably, married. To say they are passionately in love would be a misstatement. What they do have is a mutual affection, and Thomas - while austere - has a warmth that provides his wife the emotional support she needs while seeing to the fates of twenty planets and over forty billion souls.
HH (His Highness) Captain Prince Thomas George Proctor, Company CO Arcadian Guards (3006-)
A dutiful young heir, Prince Thomas - "Tom" to his parents and siblings, distinguishing him while sharing his father's first name - nevertheless chafes under the social demands of his rank. Observers and commentators note that he often seems impatient at long social functions and much prefers his military duties. It is noted that upon his graduation from the Ayrshire Military Sciences Academy, his mother assigned him the family BattleMech Liberator, Sara Proctor's Royal SLDF-model Black Knight.
HH Lieutenant Prince Mark Henry Proctor, Lance CO Launum Armored Cavalry (1st Free March Cavalry Brigade) (3009-)
Prince Mark has the customary "middle child" issue even as a twin, as his twin sister was the first daughter of their parents and received special attention (or so he felt growing up). This drives his swelling ambition to stand out in the AFFM and prove himself every bit the MechWarrior and officer as his older brother. He pilots a 55-ton Fusilier BattleMech, an original design of the Free March, that has been upgraded with recovered Star League-era technology.
HH Lieutenant Princess Melissa Prudence Proctor, Flight CO AFMS Ranger ASG (3009-)
Princess Melissa grew up with a fascination for space that led to her decision to pursue a career as an Aerospace pilot. In her studies at Ayrshire Military Sciences Academy she proved herself more than capable as a pilot, leading to her assignment to the Audacious-class DropShip Carrier Ranger as the pilot of an SLDF-model Lightning Aerospace Fighter. Melissa's great joy is to fly her craft through the void and enjoy the quiet black of space.
HH Princess Abigail Maria Proctor (3014-)
Now eighteen years of age, Princess Abigail - "Abby" to her family - looks like an Amazon from her size, but in truth is the gentlest of the children. While military service is widely expected by the rest of the family, she personally harbors a desire to go into veterinary studies and tend to animals.
HH Prince William Patrick Proctor (3016-)
The baby of the family, "Willy" is keen to follow his older brothers and sister into service and prove himself an inheritor to March-Princess Sara the Liberator. He gets along with family, but has an unfortunate tendency to long for pretty girls beyond the usual expectations of teenage boys.
Other Prominent Family:
HL (His Lordship) General Lord Alexander Robert Proctor, Landgrave of Lowen on Hyde (2970-) (Son of Sara Proctor's second son Jacob)
Like his father and uncle, Lord Alexander has served in the AFFM for much of his life. He now oversees the Planning Staff, giving him great influence in operating the military, and is an open advocate of expansionism even if it requires the use of military force. In his marriage with the Landgravine of Lowen he has produced five children, all of which have become officers in the AFFM.
HL General Lady Tabitha Raquel Proctor, Countess of Parnon (2974-) (Daughter of Sara Proctor's second son Jacob)
Early in her career, Lady Tabitha signed up for service in the Military Intelligence Department. Now she serves as the Department Head and oversees the Free March's efforts to gain the information to protect their nation as the Second Age of War rages around them.
HL Doctor Lady Rachel Elizabeth Proctor-Smythe (3002-) (Daughter of William's second child Gabrielle, Socialite and Activist)
The niece of March-Princess Sara-Marie and daughter of the current Baron of Staffordshire on Ford, Lady Rachel eschewed the family's traditional military service due to her personal convictions and became a civilian doctor of medicine. As a physician she is conscientious and capable, but outside of her ruling aunt - whom she has called "Auntie Sara" since childhood - and Princess Abigail, who admires her, her relations with the rest of the Proctor family is strained.
HL Captain Angelina Sara Proctor-Grimke, Company CO Arcadian Guards (3006-) (Daughter of Lord Alexander)
The third of Lord Alexander's children, Angelina is an exceptional MechWarrior and military officer, strengths that have led to her assignment to the premier unit of the AFFM, the Arcadian Guards. She pilots an SLDF Black Knight built by the Kong Interstellar Defense Works on Arcadia.