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The Holy Britannian Empire (also known as the Britannian Empire or just Britannia) is one of five superpowers that largely influence Earth in the early 21st century, the others being the United States of America, the European Union, the Chinese Federation, and the Russian Federation.


History[]

Britannia Gratam[]

The story of Britannia is a long and complicated one, affecting not just the Britannian Isles, but the wider Britannian-speaking world. Nevertheless, Britannia’s story begins in a series of kingdoms established in the Britannian Isles.

One of these kingdoms was supposedly led by a Celtic warlord named Azor Ahai or Azorai.

Said warlord used a burning sword called Lightbringer to repel a Roman invasion of his kingdom led by Julius Caesar in the year 55 BC. According to the Britannian Legend, Azor Ahai’s actions are regarded as the official beginning of the Holy Britannian Empire, with Azor Ahai being the first designated Emperor. However, scholars still debate whether he even existed, as the majority view the tale to be as fictitious as the stories of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth mythology. Indeed, many of the so-called facts about Azor Ahai came at the behest of Emperor Aegon I during the early 19th Century. Much like Emperor Arthur, the Azor Ahai of Britannian tradition may have been a single person, the combined exploits of multiple persons, or merely a legend.

As a result, other historians have argued that a more plausible beginning for Britannia occurred in the early 5th to the early 7th century known as Sub-Roman Britannia, or more poetically as the Dark Ages. It is in this period that the legends of Emperor Arthur, with whom many Britannians strongly identify themselves, are generally taken to have occurred. The stories of Arthur and his exploits are numerous and varied, but the Britannian Legend holds that it was Arthur, who claimed to be a descendant of Azor Ahai, who managed to reunite a fragmented and war-torn Roman Britannia. The legend states that rather than name himself Rex Britanniae (King of the Britannians), his bastard brother, a man named Aegonius Targaenius convinced him to name himself Imperator Britanniae (Emperor of the Britannians), as a means of continuing the legacy of Rome.

This so-called “First Britannian Empire” or the “Old Empire” was so strong that it was able to force its will on Scotland and Ireland also. It was short-lived, however, and was ultimately brought down by infighting and Anglo-Saxon invasions, culminating in Arthur’s death at the hands of Mordred shortly before his death at the Battle of Camlann in 537 AD, while Aegonius vanished from history. However, his descendants, a family known as the Targaryens, would play a vital role in Britannian history in the centuries to come.

From Anglo-Saxons to Plantagenets[]

The deaths of Arthur and Mordred marked the beginning of a 343-year period known as the Interregnum, when Britannia was divided into numerous petty kingdoms. As for the Anglo-Saxons, they would grow in numbers over the fifth century, their territories battling, merging, and metastasizing into powerful kingdoms. Those Romano-Britannians they encountered were either killed or absorbed into their societies, the old Celtic tongue being gradually abandoned in favor of Old Britannian. As their power grew, the Anglo-Saxons pushed north and west, driving the remaining Romano-Britannians back into what are now Cornwall, Wales, northern Anglia, and southern Scotland.

The result was a blend of Anglo-Saxon and Romano-Britannian cultures, with Romano-Britannian scholars helping Anglo-Saxon kings to govern their lands, and Romano-Britannian priests gradually converting them to Christianity. Over time, the Anglo-Saxons became the dominant culture in the Britannian Isles, though they remained divided into seven petty kingdoms known as the Heptarchy. Despite this division, the idea of a Britannian Empire survived well after the death of Emperor Arthur, as several Anglo-Saxon Kings would style themselves as Emperors and even try to resurrect the empire, but with little success. The kingdom that nearly succeeded in restoring the empire was Mercia, under its king Offa. In what came to be known as the Mercian Supremacy, Offa would assert control over much of southern and central Britannia, going as far as to declare himself Emperor. The Mercian Supremacy lasted from 625 AD until 825 AD, when King Eghbert of Wessex defeated the Mercians at the Battle of Ellandun, thus dividing Britannia once more.

This division came to an end in 871, with the enthroning of Alfred as King of Wessex. Alfred was an unlikely hero, a sickly intellectual with a reputation for piety. However, with Scandinavian warriors known as Vikings ravaging the coasts of Britannia, and now on the verge of conquering said land, it seemed as if Alfred and his kingdom were doomed to fall like the other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. But despite everything, he managed not only to protect Wessex from Viking conquest but even to expand his domain at their expense. By the time of his death in 899, he controlled most of southern Britannia, while the Viking-controlled portion to the north and east was called the Danelaw. Rather than style himself as Rex Anglorum, or “King of the Anglo-Saxons” as he originally intended, Alfred, for reasons unknown to this day, decided to officially proclaim the re-establishment of the Britannian Empire in 880, with himself as Emperor, thus ending the Interregnum. He had little difficulty in persuading the nobles to support him in this endeavor. In addition, Alfred would create a new naming system a means of separating the Imperial Family’s bloodlines while acknowledging their connection to the main household. As a result, he was now Emperor Alfred wes Britannia. Near the end of his life, Alfred would rename the empire as the Imperium Britanniae Sacrum, or the Holy Britannian Empire, Britannia’s current official name.

His son Edward el Britannia the Elder conquered a part of the Danelaw, and his grandson Aethelstan vi Britannia completed the process by 927, reigning as Emperor of the Britannians. Such was his power, he was even able to invade and subject the young kingdom of Scotland to his overlordship; only for the resentful Scots to ally with the Vikings and invade his empire, leading to the epic battle of Brunanburh. Aethelstan's victory cemented the existence of Britannia as a nation. Though the same can be said of Scotland too, as it was not officially annexed by Britannia, but rather made into a vassal kingdom but with more autonomy as to avoid another conflict.

The House of Wessex would rule Britannia until 1002, when Sweyn Forkbeard, King of Denmark and Norway, invaded the empire supposedly in retaliation against the massacre of Danes living in Britannia by Emperor Aethelred un Britannia the Unready, but his true intent was almost certainly conquest. He would die in 1014, however, resulting in his son, Cnut, completing the conquest by 1016, taking the throne as Emperor Cnut en Britannia. He would rule his two kingdoms and one empire until 1035, is sometimes called Canute the Great.  His dynasty would collapse by 1042 however. with the death of his sons Harthacnut and Harald Harefoot.  His replacement was Edward la Britannia, heir to the House of Wessex, raised in exile in Normandy. Emperor Edward's rule was defined by his attempts to oust Godwin, who had betrayed his brother Alfred to torture and death at the hands of Harald Harefoot.  When these attempts failed, a disempowered Edward turned to religion, becoming known as the Confessor.  When he died without an heir in 1066, Godwin's son Harold took the throne with the approval of the nobles, becoming Emperor Harold go Britannia.  In doing so he enraged William, Duke of Normandy, who regarded the throne as rightfully his. William famously invaded Britannia in that same year, while Harold was occupied fighting off an invasion of northern Britannia led by Harald Hardrada, King of Norway.

It is at that moment when one of Harold's vassals, a Britannian nobleman named Ellyll Targaryen finally made his move. His family, the House of Targaryen, was one of many noble families who claimed some connection to the ancient Romano-Britannian kingdom although their precise origins are unclear. Regardless, Ellyll had seen both the threat and opportunity William presented. Therefore, he secretly sent a letter to William, promising to aid him in his conquest of Britannia in exchange that he keep his lands and titles. William agreed to Ellyll’s terms. After Harold miraculously managed to defeat and kill Harald at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, he headed south to face William. This culminated in the Battle of Hastings. in which Harold was betrayed and killed by Ellyll Targaryen, resulting in the destruction of his army. William, after making Ellyll Targaryen the Duke of Hastings, then took the throne, becoming Emperor William nor Britannia I, and spent the rest of his life bending Britannia and her vassals to his will. He would be remembered as William the Conqueror.

The House of Normandy was a relatively short-lived dynasty; only ruling the empire until 1154. But there can be little doubt that it changed the country forever. The enforcement of Norman-style feudalism led to a more formal class structure, with social mobility becoming even more difficult if not impossible. Anglo-Saxon nobles were, with some exceptions, replaced with Norman knights. These new nobles no longer owned the land, but merely held it from the Emperor in return for military service. The bulk of the population were peasant farmers, either free or Villeins bound to their land, living in small self-sufficient villages; a system that first appeared under the Anglo-Saxons, but became dominant under the Normans.

The Catholic Church also played an important role in Norman-Britannian society. Though already Christian, the Norman Emperors decisively subordinated the Church to the will of Rome, though the requisite changes in liturgy and practices were relatively minor. Many new monasteries were established, and existing ones grew in wealth and standing; indeed, the monasteries and the wider Church were among the few institutions where Normans and Anglo-Saxons could meet on equal terms.  

The Norman dynasty was replaced by the Plantagenet Dynasty in 1154, following a period of civil war known as The Anarchy. The cause of the war was a succession conflict between Matilda, daughter of Emperor Henry I, and her cousin Stephen of Blois, now Stephen lo Britannia I. Matilda fought with the help of her second husband, Geoffrey Count of Anjou; called Plantagenet for the spring of Common Broom he wore in his helmet. Though she was unable to defeat Stephen, Matilda ensured via the Treaty of Winchester that her son Henry would succeed Stephen.  This he did in 1154, becoming Emperor Henry an Britannia II.  His patrimony was impressive indeed, including not only Britannia and her vassals in Ireland, Scotland and Wales, but his father's Angevin Empire, which consisted of half of France.  Henry was a great reformer in his time, forging a coherent legal system out of a confused mixture of Anglo-Saxon tradition and Norman edict.  But he is primarily remembered for the death of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, murdered in Canterbury Cathedral supposedly on Henry's orders. Thomas' martyrdom and subsequent sainthood blocked Henry from making a series of extensive reforms to the Church, which included depriving it of its judicial powers.  Much of the continental empire he inherited from his father was lost by his sons, though later Plantagenets managed to temporarily win it back.  

The Plantagenet dynasty ruled Britannia from 1154 to 1485, being finally brought down by a period of internecine conflict remembered as the Wars of the Roses. This came to an end in 1485, when Emperor Richard glo Britannia III met his end at the Battle of Bosworth Field.  His replacement as Emperor, Henry Tudor, was the first of what would prove a mighty dynasty.   

The Golden Age[]

Emperor Henry tu Britannia VII was succeeded in 1491 by his son Henry zi Britannia VIII, whose long and tumultuous reign would see Britannia remove itself from the Roman Catholic Church.  He, in turn, was succeeded by his son Edward de Britannia VI in 1547, who is remembered primarily for his extreme Protestantism, and his attempt to remove his half-sisters from the succession in favor of the unfortunate Lady Jane Grey.  His death by tuberculosis in 1553 brought his half-sister Mary la Britannia to the throne, who sought to reverse his religious reforms in favor of Roman Catholicism.  It is for her ruthless brutality in this cause that she is remembered, perhaps unfairly.  She was succeeded in 1558 by her half-sister Elizabeth vi Britannia, who in the course of her reign managed to stabilize Britannia and lead it to power and prosperity.

The period that would come to be known as the Golden Age of the Tudor Dynasty began with Elizabeth I, though its roots went back much further.  It owed a great deal to a concentration of power around the throne that began with Henry VII, by which he sought to ensure that the Wars of the Roses could never happen again.  The nobles were gradually stripped of their independent power bases; denied the right to own castles or maintain private retinues and taxed heavily to deny them other options.  To gain enough support and funding to keep the high aristocracy in check, both Henry VII and his son Henry VIII turned increasingly to Parliament, assembling the body repeatedly to seek votes of money.  This would have the unforeseen effect of accustoming its members to meeting and allowing them to establish procedures and customs by which they would function.  Few at the time foresaw the consequences.

Equally important was Elizabeth's marriage to Charles de Bretan. Like many of the northern nobles he was a Catholic, and he professed undying devotion to Mary.  But he was also ambitious, and when Mary commanded in 1558 that he marry her Protestant half-sister Elizabeth - Henry VIII's daughter by his second wife, Anne Boleyn - Charles jumped at the chance. But for all her desire to keep Elizabeth under control, Mary had no intention of allowing Charles to become Emperor of Britannia, as a letter to Elizabeth shows:

...he shall not have from my hand the crown of Britannia and, and I charge you never to grant it.  For he is of that northern race that were Emperors in ancient time, and would fain be Emperors again.

The marriage went ahead, and Charles sought to strengthen his position by getting Elizabeth pregnant.  This he failed to do, leading to rumors both of his own impotence and that Elizabeth was using various underhand means to prevent pregnancy.  He eventually succeeded in impregnating Elizabeth, but too late, for Mary died in November of 1558; Elizabeth was subsequently crowned Empress in her own right, with the pregnancy remaining unconfirmed until several weeks later.

Elizabeth gave birth to a healthy son in August of 1559, naming him Henry de Britannia.  Charles was permitted only once to see the child and would have no part in his upbringing. This was emphasized when Elizabeth’s childhood friend and possible lover Aenar Targaryen (a direct descendant of Ellyll Targaryen), Duke of Hastings, was made Henry’s guardian with the Empress’ permission and blessing and would become a father in all but name and blood to Henry.

Slighted and humiliated, Charles sought to avenge himself and gain the power he felt was his right by other means.  However, he found little support among his fellow Catholic nobles, many of whom felt they could do his job much better themselves. Aenar Targaryen himself is said to have mockingly dubbed him the Duke of Britannia referring both to his boasted descent from ancient Britannia and to the Ducal title he had received upon marrying Elizabeth.  Aenar would become a real contender for Charles’s place, as the Empress favored the Targaryen nobleman with titles and postings in the Imperial household.  When Elizabeth gave Aenar the title of Earl of Leicester in August 1564, as part of Prince Henry's birthday celebrations, Charles could take no more.  He staged an uprising in April of 1565, using forged Commissions of Array to illegally raise troops; only for the rising to fizzle when Thomas Howard, then Lord Lieutenant of Northumbria, ordered the soldiers to stand down. Charles was eventually killed while attempting to flee to Normandy. For his treason, Elizabeth banished his family from the empire, though they were permitted to carry away their assets with them. The de Bretan family would soon move to Spain, an act that would have serious consequences later.

Elizabeth's reign is remembered as a great success. She successfully steered her country through forty-five difficult and vulnerable years, seeing off multiple rebellions and at least one major invasion attempt.  Henry took the throne on his mother's death in 1603, by which point he was already married and the father of three children. His Empress was Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of James Stuart, Earl of Moray and Regent of Scotland, giving him and his descendants a blood tie to the throne of Scotland; a choice that had not gone well with his mother. Henry IX's reign is remembered primarily for colonial expansion. Under his rule, Britannian colonies and trading posts in North America and India were expanded, and a large-scale program of colonization begun in Ireland; this was known as the Plantation of Ulster.  

North America was colonized in a series of individual efforts, led by a mixture of private individuals and companies.  The most famous of these was the Virginia Company, which established Henrytown in 1604 as part of their Virginia colony.  The success rate of these early colonies was mixed, but Henry's determination drove the project on, to the point of personally financing several Caribbean colonies.  Experiments in the cultivation of cash crops such as sugar and tobacco proved highly profitable, providing the Crown with a lucrative source of income.

It is in this context that Henry's reign took a dark turn.  One problem that had consistently dogged colonization of the New World was a shortage of willing manpower.  Europeans had been traveling to North America throughout his and his mother's reigns in a steady trickle; their number included religious minorities such as the Puritans, the latter best remembered for those who arrived in 1620 aboard the Mayflower.  Though some were willing to accept the authority of the Britannian Crown, they were not enough to meet Britannia’s needs. During his mother's reign, Henry had found two methods to be effective, and he expanded both during his own reign.   

One was to offer incentives, such as money or land; a policy Henry limited to would-be colonists with vital skills due to the expense involved.  The other was the enforced transportation of convicted criminals, a practice Henry would come to depend on.  He greatly expanded the number of crimes punishable by transportation, until his laws were popularly known as the Sail Code. The experience of these unfortunates depended on the severity of their crimes. Those convicted of lesser offenses, such as theft or vagrancy, would step off the ships as free men, able to seek their own fortunes.  Those found guilty of more serious crimes were sent as indentured labor, regarded even at the time as slavery by any other name.

Crown and Commonwealth[]

By the time Henry died in 1625, Britannia (and by extension, the Britannian Isles) was a prosperous and powerful state, one of Europe's rising stars.  But success concealed deep-rooted and festering divisions, both political and religious.  As the threat of invasion receded, the unity of Britannian/Scottish Protestantism began to break down as old divisions resurfaced.  Though the Anglican Church encompassed a broad majority, there existed a substantial and growing minority of more extreme Protestants, notably the Puritans. They rejected the religious settlement the Church represented; its bishops, vestments, and ceremonies were a little too Catholic for their liking. Their ill-feeling was given greater vehemence by a regular stream of horror stories from Europe, itself in the grip of a series of conflicts that would come to be known as the Thirty Years War.  Hard-line Protestants were outraged by reports of atrocities against their co-religionists and infuriated by the unwillingness of Crown or Parliament to do anything about it.  To many, the only possible answer was a Catholic conspiracy at the heart of government.

The ascension of Henry's son Edward stu Britannia to the throne in 1625 brought this conflict to the surface.  Emperor Edward VII was different from his father and grandmother in many respects. A childhood spent caught in the middle between his parents and his formidable grandmother had bred in him a tendency to be charming, to tell others what they wanted to hear in order to extricate himself from hard choices. This could be useful at times, but it also gained him a reputation for being two-faced and untrustworthy.  He had a horror of conflict and recoiled from what he saw as the bigotry and intolerance of the hardliners, taking refuge in the color and ritual of high-church Christianity.  Worse, in the eyes of hardliners, was his support for Charles I, then King of Scotland.  The Emperor and King were second cousins via their grandparents - Mary Queen of Scots and her half-brother James - and brothers-in-law via Charles' sister Margaret, who married Edward in 1615. Charles, like his father James VI, sought to rule as an absolute monarch equal to that of Edward and shared Edward's high-church tastes.  This, along with his marriage to the French Princess Henrietta Maria, put him at odds with hardline Protestants in Scotland.

The other center of resistance to the Crown was Parliament, an institution whose power had grown over the past century. By this point, it was bicameral, with the nobility being represented in the House of Lords and everyone else being represented in the House of Commons. In practice, the Commons were represented by a relative minority of rural gentry, elected via a limited franchise system developed in the 13th century.  It could only be summoned by the Emperor, and its primary purpose was to levy new taxes, granting the Crown revenue far in excess of what it would normally collect. The Commons had come to realize their importance over the years; the gentry, in particular, were the only ones with the authority and ability to collect new taxes at the local level.  When combined with new religious and political ideals rising from the Reformation and the Renaissance respectively, the Parliamentarians began to get ideas. These included the notion, radical at the time, that Parliament should meet continuously whether the Emperor summoned it or not. Even more radical was the idea that the Emperor should be able to pass no new laws of any kind without Parliament's consent.

The stage was set for a clash of personalities and ideas, with tragic consequences for all concerned.  Edward found himself faced with a Parliament that protested loyalty while barraging him with demands he found both unreasonable and insulting.  These included the dismissal of many of his closest servants and allies, an end to his high church policies, and that he give up his Caribbean monopolies.  The latter was particularly important, for it was the one thing allowing Edward to govern without Parliamentary taxes, as well as maintaining the guard regiments left to him by his father.  Edward responded by dismissing Parliament in 1629 and ruling alone for eleven years.  The crisis came in 1638 when Scottish Presbyterians formed a 'National Covenant' and rose in arms against Charles.  Forced to flee to Britannia proper with his family and closest supporters, Charles turned to Edward for help,  

But Edward did not have the funds to raise a large enough army to oppose the Covenanters and was forced to summon Parliament in 1640.  Parliament proved less than sympathetic, with many MPs siding openly with the Covenanters.  Far from voting money and troops to support Charles, they raised a case against Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, Edward's Lord Lieutenant in Ireland, who commanded the only real army at Edward's disposal.  When an attempted impeachment failed for lack of evidence, Pym resorted to an Act of Attainder, which needed less evidence but required the Emperor's seal.  Edward initially refused, unwilling to destroy a loyal and capable servant on the basis of hearsay.  His resistance confirmed all of Parliament's suspicions, while Parliament's determination to destroy Strafford confirmed all of Edward's prejudices in turn.  In the end, Strafford wrote to Edward asking him to sign the attainder and condemn him to death for the unity of the nation.  Edward would neither forgive nor forget.  

Strafford's execution in 1641 sparked off of a full-scale uprising in Ireland.  The revolt began as a coup attempt by Catholic Irish gentry, such as Phelim O'Neill and Rory O'Moore; their goal was to gain control of Ireland and negotiate for religious toleration and legal equality between the native Irish, the Catholic Old Britannians and the Protestant New Britannians. The authorities in Dublin over-reacted convinced that it heralded a general uprising by Catholic Irish against Protestant settlers. The brutality of their response merely widened the confrontation, and the prophecy became self-fulfilling as Catholic peasants attacked Protestant settlers; generally robbing and expelling them, in some cases killing them. The death toll is thought to have reached around twelve thousand, but Britannian and Scottish pamphleteers put the number at anything up to two hundred thousand.   

The killings provoked a wave of hysteria throughout the empire, and whatever calming effect had arisen from Strafford's execution was undone. Amid the hysteria arose old stories of indestructible men, and witches with mind-controlling powers.  In January 1641 Edward attempted to arrest five Parliamentary leaders, only to discover that they had fled. Fearing for his and his family's lives, Edward fled the city and met up with his guard regiments, which Parliament had forbidden him to bring into London. Seeing no alternative, Edward raised the Imperial standard at Nottingham.  

The First Britannian Civil War begun.

The First Britannian Civil War[]

The civil war began at a slow pace, as large, pitched battles were comparatively rare in the early years, with much of the violence consisting of small-scale local clashes; in many cases little more than gang-fights. With their armies numbering only around 15,000 men each, neither side was willing to risk all on a decisive engagement. The first pitched battle, at Edgehill in October of 1642, was an indecisive affair. During 1643, Yorkshire and the West Country emerged as the major theatres of war; located as they were between the Royalist heartland of the North, Wales, and Cornwall, and the Parliamentarian heartland of London and much of the south. Edward rather cautiously kept his main army at Oxford, at the center of an Imperialist salient. Overall, the major cities tended to favor Parliament, while rural areas favored the emperor.

1643 saw a gradual shift in the territory as both sides sought to consolidate their heartlands and isolate enemy territories. The Imperialists consolidated their position in Wales and secured the West Country through to Cornwall, creating an Imperialist crescent from northern Wales down to the south coast. Meanwhile, the Parliamentarians managed to push north and take Lancashire, cutting the Imperialists off from their territory in the north and north-east. All the while, the war remained a curiously genteel affair as both sides sought to end the war by negotiation. Even relatively hardline Parliamentarians sought to keep the Emperor on his throne, while Edward knew that his best hope of re-establishing acceptable civil government after the war was with the cooperation of Parliament. This only added to the general indecisiveness of the conflict and stoked frustration in certain quarters.

The tribulations of the Parliamentarian cause saw the rise of one of the great names in Britannian history, Oliver Cromwell. A Puritan MP who had fought in the war from the beginning, Cromwell had no time for the endless squabbling of the Parliamentarian leadership.  Unlike most of them, he understood that the Imperialists believed in the monarchy and were willing to fight and die for it, giving them an advantage over the disunited Parliamentarian forces.  His answer was to create an organized, professional army, with hardline Puritanism as its ideological glue. Cromwell first tested these ideas with his own regiment of cavalry, dubbed the Ironsides. Combining the dash and valor of the Imperialist cavalry with iron discipline and religious fervor, they swept all before them.

This approach was expanded to the entire army in 1645, when Parliament established the New Model Army, with Cromwell as second-in-command. The New Model saw its first major victory at Naseby, forcing Edward to retreat north while the New Model conquered Imperialist territory in the south-west. A subsequent victory at Langport destroyed the last Imperialist field army. Edward was forced to flee north and spent the next year vainly attempting to replenish his forces. In May of 1646, he surrendered himself to a Scottish Covenanter army in Nottinghamshire.

To the Parliamentarians, it must have seemed like a victory. But it was not to be. Edward's cousin Charles remained free and was even then in secret negotiation with the Covenanters. Fearful of being sidelined by the hardline Puritan faction growing amid the Parliamentarians, the Covenanters signed a treaty with Charles in December of 1647, agreeing to restore him to his throne in return for religious freedom. Despite this, Charles had difficulty in convincing his people to rebel against Britannia proper on behalf of his cousin. His desire to do so was driven as much by dynastic ambitions as a sense of loyalty to Edward, as his son Charles was betrothed to Edward's youngest sister Elizabeth. But the Scots were war-weary and reluctant to rebel for the sake of an Emperor who did not share their faith; even if that Emperor's enemies were little better. It would take a drastic turn of events in Britannia to change their minds.

For Parliament, the growing influence of Puritan hardliners was bad enough. But a new force was rising in the shadow of the New Model Army and gaining an ever greater hold over the Puritan movement. It was a group of officers, theologians, and political thinkers, who sought to reconcile the reformist zeal of the Puritans with the practical necessities of government. Coming to be known as the Conclave of Saints, or simply the Conclave, their plan was to take total control of the country and reorganize it into a perfect society in which a purified church and a godly state were ones and the same, and every man was equal under God. Their ideas won them support in the New Model Army, and they took advantage of the suffering wrought by the war to build a popular militia of sorts, known simply as the Poor Men. Edward's capture in 1646 was a turning point for the Conclave, who called the loudest of all for the death of the Emperor. Their numbers alone made them difficult to ignore, but the willingness of the Poor Men to riot on their behalf made them downright dangerous. Suspicious, but realizing that he could not afford to fight the Conclave, Cromwell went along with their policy.

Edward was put on trial, charged with personal responsibility for all the death and destruction inflicted by the war. The death toll is thought to have been around three hundred thousand, or six percent of the population. Perhaps knowing that he was doomed, with a mob of Poor Men surrounding the High Court of Justice, Edward did not even offer a plea. Needless to say, he was found guilty, in a trial that was by both contemporary and modern standards a farce and executed by beheading on August 10, 1647. His death sent shockwaves across a Europe nigh-inured to bloodshed by the horrors of the Thirty Years War. None was more horrified than his cousin Charles, who is said to have turned deathly pale and collapsed in his seat upon hearing the news. This, combined with word of the excesses of the Conclave and the Poor Men, was finally enough to win the support of the Scottish Parliament, and the people, to rebel against Britannia.

The revolt soon proved a disaster for the Scots. Despite the horror at Edward's execution and widespread fears of possible Britannian aggression, neither the Scottish Parliament nor Charles' advisors could agree on the best course of action. As a result, the Scottish uprising of April 1648 was a confused, overly cautious affair; despite the best efforts of its leader, the Crown Prince Charles. The Scottish army was large and comparatively well-armed, but political divisions between its commanders, especially between Covenanters and former Imperialists such as the Marquis of Montrose, weakened its cohesion. Contradictory orders from Edinburgh led to slow progress; though Charles was able to persuade the traditionally Imperialist city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne to open its gates to him. This was ironic, for the city had twice endured capture by the Scots since the beginning of the crisis; first in 1640, and again in 1644 after a seven-month siege. Cromwell responded by marching north at the head of the New Model Army, defeating the Scots near Durham and forcing them to retreat north. In no mood to besiege Newcastle, Cromwell bypassed the city and pursued the Scots, destroying their army at Dunbar and taking Edinburgh shortly afterward. King Charles and his family were forced to flee abroad.

As Cromwell mopped up in Scotland and turned his attention to Ireland, the Conclave continued to grow in power. Taking advantage of its ability to intimidate Parliament and raise popular agitation, the Conclave took effective control of the Church of Britannia, executing or imprisoning any clergy who refused to cooperate. Church and state were reorganized, with all civic and religious authority being centralized in the traditional Bishoprics (and new Bishoprics established where necessary). The Conclave's members took the title of Bishop for themselves; justifying it on the basis that it was a title used by the early pre-Roman Church. Though Parliament was technically the highest authority in the land, by 1651 the Conclave had taken effective control of the administrative structure of Britannia; and would soon do the same for Scotland and Ireland. The Britannian Isles would be, by the middle of the 1650s, under the control of an organized theocracy.

Cromwell's campaign in Ireland is by far his most notorious and is remembered primarily for the siege (and subsequent massacre) of the town of Drogheda, from 3rd to 11th September 1649. Despite fierce resistance, and considerable losses to hunger and disease - made worse by his army's primitive logistical system - Cromwell brought Ireland under effective control by 1652. Even then, this was facilitated by allowing Irish soldiers to seek employment abroad, in any army not currently at war with the Commonwealth of Britannia. It was at that point that Cromwell began to truly realize the depth of the Conclave's ambitions. Though he approved of its efficient organization and many of its goals, he was unsettled by some of its more extreme activities; including the banning of Christmas and various public entertainments.

Rumors that the Conclave was reorganizing the Poor Men into a formal army under its own control finally drew Cromwell back to London. He spent the next year attempting to rally Parliament and moderate the Conclave's activities, all to no avail. On 20 April 1653, the Conclave finally made its move, ordering soldiers to arrest Cromwell and shut down Parliament. As he was arrested Cromwell made his last great speech:

“You say you are saints and righteous men, keepers of the peace of Britannia. You who have made God a tyrant, Christ the jailor of mankind, and his holy word a lash upon the backs of honest men. You are no saints. I say you are no saints, nor righteous men. God have mercy on us. God save the Holy Britannian Empire from you.”

Oliver Cromwell, one of the most unlikely and arguably among the greatest generals and statesmen in Britannian history, was unceremoniously executed two days later.

The rule of the Conclave would continue for seven more years; a period regarded as one of the darkest in Britannian history. Without the political instincts of Cromwell, or someone like him, no one remained to stand between the Conclave and its ideals of a perfect, godly society. This, as much as anything else, would prove its downfall. Though later comparisons to totalitarianism are exaggerated, the Conclave's interest could reach almost every aspect of daily life, with local Bishops having almost complete discretion to act as they saw fit. Imperialist plots, both real and imagined, were a constant concern, and some Bishops were known to have burned whole villages in order to stamp them out. Even without this, ordinary people were annoyed by the endless interference of the Conclave in their daily lives, backed as it was by the power of life and death. Traditional celebrations and feast days were forbidden, as were activities such as gambling, drinking alcohol, attending theatres, wrestling, and horse-racing. Death penalty offenses included atheism, blasphemy, holding obscene opinions, and even adultery.

A backlash was all but inevitable, however, and the signs were clear by 1658. The Conclave's army, on which it depended to maintain control, was overgrown, ideologically contaminated, and growing mutinous. The remaining nobility found themselves under increasing suspicion, as the most likely leaders of a revolt. But the real symbol of resistance and the Conclave's eventual downfall was a knightly order known as the Night’s Watch. Though the Night’s Watch claims to be the successor to the mythical Knights of the Round Table, historians generally agree that it originally began as a cadet branch of the Order of the Garter at the height of the Hundred Years’ War. It quickly grew into its own independent knightly order and was soon led by none other than the House of Targaryen alongside other six noble houses they forged alliances with via marriages and treaties with throughout Britannia’s history. These houses who, in turn, claimed to trace their respective lineages back to the "Old Empire" were the House of Stark, House of Lannister, House of Arryn, House of Tyrell, House of Martell, and the House of Tully. The order’s leader, Maelys Targaryen, Duke of Hastings, is said to be linked to a rash of attacks on the Conclave, which included the assassination of Bishops, and the burning of Churches, tithe barns, and Bishop's Palace. However, it is still debated whether it actually happened or is just another piece of post-Napoleonic propaganda the Targaryens would use to legitimize their dynasty in the early 19th century. Nevertheless, the Conclave reacted in the only way it knew how by lashing out in a paranoid rage. Even Conclave members, those moderates regarded as dangerous backsliders by the hardliners, were not safe.

The eventual leader of the resistance and the object of all its hopes was Charles Stuart, son of King Charles I of Scotland, and husband of Elizabeth de Britannia, the rightful Empress of Britannia. By this point, the couple was holed up in the Netherlands, the center of a small but growing Imperialist exile movement and plotting his eventual return. Charles I had died, some say of a broken heart, shortly after his arrival in exile. But their resources were limited, and the Conclave's assassins relentless. The man who truly made their return possible was Major General George Monck, commander of the Conclave's Army of Scotland. Originally a Royalist, and later a friend of Cromwell, Monck had survived the Conclave's suspicious attentions by carefully cultivating the image of a blunt, ale-swilling soldier's soldier; a man too stupid and simple-minded to pose a threat. But this image concealed a shrewd political mind and a deep-rooted sense of honor. Like many of his fellow generals, he was growing weary of the Conclave's tyranny and incompetence, and fearful of the civil disorder that its seemingly inevitable collapse would unleash.

By the time the final collapse began, in October of 1659, Monck was in effective control of Scotland. This was, as much as anything else, due to the weakness of the Scottish Bishops, who had become dependent upon him to maintain order, and the collaboration of the Night’s Watch. Precisely what started the final crisis is unclear, but the most accepted narrative is a series of riots in London, sparked off when a soldier shot dead a child whom, he claimed, had been singing The Night’s Watch will have their due. The riots spread throughout the city, to the point where the garrison could not contain them. Several members of the Conclave were killed, and the rest forced to flee, only to be captured by soldiers under the command of Major General John Lambert. Lambert was part of a clique of hard-line anti-Imperialists known as the Wallingford House Party; named for the home of another member, Major General Charles Fleetwood, in which they met. Seeing that the Conclave was running Britannia into the ground, yet fearing for their lives if the Monarchy were restored, they launched a coup-d'etat; establishing a Committee of Safety on 26 October.

It was obvious to Monck and the Night’s Watch that the Committee was exchanging one tyranny for another; a tyranny no more acceptable to the public than that of the Conclave. Their response was to lead an army south, crossing the River Tweed at Coldstream on 2 January 1660. The early part of their march took them through Berwick, Newcastle, and York; whose garrisons they added to their army. Lambert tried to gather his garrisons and mobile units into a usable field army but had insufficient funds with which to pay them. Monck apparently aware of this, continued their advance while carefully avoiding Lambert's forces; denying him the pitched battle he desperately needed. On 3 February, Monck's army alongside the Night’s Watch entered London; Lambert's forces melting away ahead of him. Once in control of the city, they began communicating with Charles and Elizabeth in Brussels; who hoped to use his takeover as a vehicle for their own return.

Matters immediately became complicated, as the different personalities of the two co-sovereigns-in-exile asserted themselves forcefully. Charles proved the more forgiving of the couple, expressing a willingness both to forgive those who had fought against his father and father-in-law (though not anyone directly involved in Edward's regicide) and to reign in cooperation with Parliament; at least up to a point. But Elizabeth was having none of it; her kill-list was considerably longer than her husband's, and she was determined to reclaim absolute power without condition. It took two months of tense negotiations before Charles was able to issue the Declaration of Breda in April, promising amnesty to all who would swear allegiance to the co-sovereigns and freedom of religion. Charles and Elizabeth returned to the Holy Britannian Empire in May, arriving in London on the 29th; their quarrels kept firmly in private. The couple was formally crowned as Emperor Charles de Britannia II and Empress Elizabeth de Britannia II of the Holy Britannian Empire. They were also crowned as King and Queen of Scotland, their reigns backdated to the deaths of their respective fathers.

Saeculo Gloriae[]

Ruling over the entire Holy Britannian Empire, from Britannia proper to the vassal kingdoms of Scotland and Ireland, Charles, and Elizabeth would preside over a long and much-needed period of peace and stability. With Britannia’s governing institutions ruined by the political chaos of the past two decades, the co-rulers took the opportunity to rebuild them from the ground up. The Church was stripped of its legal and administrative authority, though certain taxes would still be collected on its behalf. The administration was reorganized around the traditional Counties, led by the restored Lord Lieutenants with the assistance of County Councils. Their responsibilities included the administration of justice, the collection of taxes, the organization of the militia, and the maintenance of vital infrastructure, such as roads and bridges.

The counties, in turn, were formally subdivided into districts, replacing a variety of other subdivisions such as ridings, wapentakes, and tithings, though these lived on to some extent in the local culture. Districts were governed by Justices of the Peace, assisted by District Councils. In practice, the local gentry and nobility tended to dominate District and County Councils respectively; a state of affairs Charles and Elizabeth seem to have entirely intended. The exceptions to this rule were the chartered towns and cities, which were granted County status in their own right.

Society reacted quickly to the return of the two monarchs, throwing off Puritan restrictions in favor of a new age of pleasure, artistic expression, and scientific inquiry. The Restoration spawned whole new genres of art, music, theatre, literature, and even fashion. It would even provide Britannia with a reborn capital, as the Great Fire of London in 1666 largely destroyed the old city; leading Charles and Elizabeth to appoint Sir Christopher Wren to rebuild it on a new, European-style street plan. The Restoration laid the foundations for the aristocratic culture of modern Britannia, along with many aspects of its political and military systems. Charles initially disbanded the New Model Army, regarding it as politically unreliable and constitutionally dangerous. But subsequent circumstances would force him to reform it, in effect founding the modern Britannian army and navy.

Though internal revolt and plots by anti-monarchist elements were constant threats, the greatest threat of all was the Sun King Louis XIV of France, whose professional army and navy were the terror of Europe. Charles and Elizabeth were personally on good terms with Louis, and many aspects of their military organization were based on those of France, including the practice of putting regiments under the command of proprietary colonels. But the anti-French feeling was widespread, and the co-rulers' difficult relations with the Dutch Republic, which spilled over into a series of small wars, were deeply unpopular. The friendship between the Britannian Isles and France was, for all the Royal goodwill, politically impossible.

Charles finally died in 1685, possibly of uremia; though in practice he was all but tortured to death by his physicians, whose medical knowledge was woefully lacking by modern standards. Elizabeth ruled alone for five more years, finally dying in 1690. In accordance with his mother's last wishes, Parliament passed the 1690 Act of Union, in which Britannia officially annexed Scotland, ending its centuries-long status as a vassal kingdom. It was passed in time for her son Richard de Britannia's coronation, allowing him to take the throne as Emperor Richard IV of Britannia. His first challenge was what history would call the Nine Years War with France, which had been ongoing since 1688. The primary cause of the war was France's attempts to acquire neighboring territory, with a view to creating an impregnable fortress network designed by Sébastien de Vauban. Aside from the more united Britannia, five other powers would take the field against France; eventually leading to a compromise peace in 1697. It would not be the last of the so-called Cabinet Wars to end so indecisively.

Richard's death in 1735 revealed the only great failure of his reign, his lack of an heir. Despite two marriages, none of his many children survived to adulthood. His heir presumptive, therefore, was his cousin James mo Britannia, son of James Stuart and his second wife Mary of Modena. The only problem was that James had been baptized and raised a Catholic, at the ardent wish of his father, who had converted to the Roman church in 1669. But since his father's death in 1701, James had fallen under the influence of his various Protestant relations; notably his aunts Mary and Anne, and Mary's husband William, Prince of Orange; not to mention the King himself. With Richard's death, the pressure to convert to Anglicanism and thereby silence a rising tide of popular discontent grew all the stronger. Eventually, declaring that he found his late cousin's High Church Anglicanism "quite tolerable", he gave in.

Emperor James II's reign was, for the most part, a great success. It was under his rule that Britannian power was first established in India, as Britannia and France struggled for control of lucrative trade with the various Indian Princes; nominally presided over by a decaying Mughal Empire. Britannian policy decisively changed in 1757, when Mir Jafar, commander of the armies of the Nawab of Bengal, plotted with the British to overthrow his French-leaning master, with whom he had quarreled. The result was the Battle of Palashi, in which a small Britannian army under Robert Clive and Obara Martell trounced the Nawab's much larger army; a feat greatly assisted the Nawab's premature retreat from the battlefield, and Mir Jafar keeping his division out of the fighting. This was only the beginning of a series of wars and conquests that would, by the end of the century, bring most of the Indian subcontinent briefly under Britannian rule. Britannian power was also expanded in North America, during the Seven Years War of 1756 to 1763; a war remembered mostly for the acquisition of Quebec, and the victory and martyrdoms of both General James Wolfe and General Rickard Stark at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.

When James II died in 1766, he was succeeded by his son Henry zi Britannia, who ruled as Emperor Henry X. In sharp contrast to his father, who had grown dour in his later years, Henry was handsome and charismatic, with a reputation for instinctive charm and at times a fine turn of phrase. But like those who went before him he was a devout believer in the Divine Right of Kings (or Emperors in his case); that as Emperor it was his right, and sacred responsibility, to wield absolute power for the good of all. On the face of it, this was no great problem, for Britannia had enjoyed decades of prosperity and military glory under the rule of absolute monarchs; and bad memories of the alternative still lingered. Few if any wanted a return to the chaos of civil war or the tyranny of the Conclave. Beyond a deep-rooted but gradually fading fear of Catholicism, religious fervor had few attractions for the Britannian people.

The American Revolution []

However, in the Britannian colonies in North America, the situation was very different. Though Puritanism had once exerted a powerful hold over the American mindset, it was gradually being replaced by a new set of ideas. Educated colonists, men of the Enlightenment such as Samuel Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin - to name but a few - had come to dream of a new kind of government and society. Being largely Deists, they rejected the idea of a Godly society, preferring instead a secular society in which Church and State would be separate.  They also tended to regard Parliament's defeat in the civil war to be a disaster, though opinions varied as the to the ultimate cause, and constructed many of their ideas for a new government on the basis of correcting Parliament's mistakes. They were also adherents of classical republicanism, holding selfless service to the state to be a citizen's highest duty and honor, in return for which he enjoyed a citizen's rights and privileges.  In this they set themselves against the Versailles-influenced court culture developing in Britannia; a culture of extravagance, flattery, backbiting, and influence-peddling, with the all-powerful Emperor at the center of everything.

For decades, fear of outside enemies - notably the French, Spanish, and Indians - had kept the colonists loyal. But the final defeat of France by 1763 removed this outside threat and left many colonists wondering why they paid such high taxes for an army and navy they neither wanted nor needed, controlled by a government that paid them little attention. Matters came to a head when Henry sought to bring colonial taxation in line with that of Britannia, with the 1765 Stamp Act. In practice, this meant imposing a series of completely new taxes while enforcing others that had been quietly neglected by the more considerate Imperial governors. This caused great anger among the colonists, who were reminded of the distinctly Parliamentarian notion that they could not, and should not, be taxed without their own consent.

The situation was made worse by Henry’s obstinacy; he was determined that the colonists should pay what he saw as their fair share towards the upkeep and security of the empire that protected and nurtured them.  Matters reached a head in December of 1773, when citizens of the port of Boston, Massachusetts, boarded a merchant ship and threw its cargo of tea into the harbor in a protest against government taxation policies. Imperial authorities reacted by closing the harbor until the tea was paid for, and by expanding the powers of Imperial governors. Henceforth they could appoint or dismiss officials, appoint jurors, and restrict public assembly at will. Outraged colonists responded by forming a Continental Congress in September 1774, to form a united front against Imperial tyranny. Henry responded in turn by dispatching troops to the colonies.

What would come to be known as the American Revolution, or Washington’s Rebellion, or simply the Rebellion as the Britannians call it today, began when government troops attempted to disarm the colonists. Of these, the Battles of Lexington and Concord in April 1775 are arguably the most significant. The Britannians discovered that while American militia could not stand against them in open field, they were not so easily defeated when able to take advantage of buildings or difficult terrain. As a result, they quickly found that while they could maintain control of the towns, the countryside belonged to the rebels.  By the same token, rebel forces were unable to oust loyalist troops from fortified positions, as they lacked heavy artillery. It took Benedict Arnold's capture of Fort Ticonderoga, and the transfer of its heavy guns, before newly-appointed General George Washington was able to capture Boston for the rebels. When Britannian troops evacuated on March 17, 1776, the Thirteen Colonies fell under effective rebel control.  

Henry's response to these outrages was to order a full-scale deployment of warships and troops to North America.  After landing near New York in August 1776, Howe managed to defeat Washington at Long Island and then capture New York itself. This might have been the end of the rebellion, if not for the failure of the Saratoga Campaign in October 1777. It was the rebel victory at Saratoga that finally convinced France to give more than the covert assistance they had thus far provided. This defeat also caused the Britannians to abandon the central colonies and focus on the south. Primarily commanded by the Lord Charles Cornwallis, Britannian forces inflicted numerous defeats on the rebels, but all of them came at a terrible cost in casualties; a cost that could not be sustained. With French and possibly Spanish support, and with the Britannian army suffering an unsustainable manpower drain, the rebels might have been able to wear the loyalists down and achieve victory. Indeed, this possibility was predicted in some quarters at the time. But then two young men would come around with one remembered as the man who came so close to achieving Britannian victory, and the other who denied it at the last moment.

These men were Aegon Targaryen and Ricardo de Bretaña.

Ricardo was born in Gibraltar in 1755, to Aerion Targaryen, Duke of Hastings, and Sofia de Bretaña, who was the last surviving descendant of Charles le Bretan, Henry IX’s father. Aerion was stationed at Gibraltar in 1752 and was wounded while apprehending a wanted criminal. At the hospital, a nurse named Sofia de Bretaña, treated his wound, and though he was set to marry another woman early on as per Britannian noble tradition, Aerion fell in love with Sofia not long after he recovered and began a relationship with her, much to his family's ire. Ricardo was a natural product of that relationship. Despite the love that existed between them, however, Aerion, at both his family's and Sofia's great behest, would be forced to send her and their son away to keep the Targaryen name from falling into scandal back in the Britannian homeland, as well as follow-on his arranged marriage to the wealthy Valaena Velaryon. Despite this, Aerion tried his hardest to be in Ricardo’s life by writing letters to him, sending gifts, and spending time with him in Gibraltar every few years under the public pretense of inspecting new recruits in the army. Tragedy struck when Sofia fell ill with pneumonia in 1763 and died a few weeks later. At her deathbed, Aerion promised to take care of Ricardo, who was only nine years old. The two then travelled to the American colonies to live in the Targaryen estates in New York City, where Ricardo would meet his half-brother, Aegon Targaryen.

The son of Aerion Targaryen and Valaena Targaryen, Aegon was born in 1754, traveling with his parents to the colonies in 1760. Joining a light infantry regiment as a gentleman cadet at the age of thirteen - the youngest age permissible - he is believed to have served during Pontiac's War and possibly the War of the Regulation at various points, as well as engaging in a series of police actions against restive natives. He was accounted for a good soldier, and rose to the rank of captain, only to leave in early 1773 after the unexpected death of his father; ostensibly to settle his family's affairs and to enjoy his inheritance, which included the title of Duke of Hastings. Aegon would even legitimize Ricardo, dubbing him Ricardo Targaryen.

Prior to the American Revolution, the bond between Aegon and Ricardo appeared to be unbreakable. In one instance, the two travelled to London in 1769. The pair had a bad experience at court, where Ricardo’s provincial accent and manners in addition to his status as a bastard child made him a target for cruel courtly humor and scorn. After defending his half-brother from said scorn, a disgusted Aegon and Ricardo returned to North America. There, Aegon focused on improving and expanding his New York estates, while at the same time, he alongside Ricardo began to fall in with progressive circles, even befriending the noted gentleman-scientist Benjamin Franklin.  

In another life, Aegon might have become an American revolutionary. But while Franklin's circle applauded Ricardo’s ideas, they scorned Aegon’s, and their growing anti-Britannian and anti-monarchy feeling eventually drove Aegon away. The cracks started to show in April 1775, at the outbreak of the American Revolution, as Ricardo had reinvented himself as an American patriot by participating in the Battles of Lexington and Concord and later enlisting in the Continental Army, while Aegon had reinvented himself as a hardline Britannian loyalist. The final straw came two weeks after Lexington and Concord. The exact conversation has been lost to time, but it is known that Aegon and Ricardo disowned each other two weeks after the American Revolution began. According to a biography about Emperor Aegon I written by the future Sir Orys Baratheon, Knight of One, Aegon pleaded with Ricardo to join him, stating that if he continued down his current path, he risked being hanged for treason. He also stated that their father trained them to live with honor, and that Ricardo was shedding his own by siding with the rebels. Ricardo responded that honor died in the Boston Massacre of 1770, when his best friend, Richard Hector, was killed in the massacre, whilst he was wounded; therefore, Britannia deserved to suffer. The argument continued until Aegon finally disowned Ricardo for disgracing the Targaryen name via his anti-Britannian and anti-monarchy sentiment. Ricardo retaliated by disowning Aegon for being a tyrant loving Britannian loyalist. Thus, the bond between brothers had broken.

With revolution underway, by late 1775, Aegon had begun raising a network of spies and assassins across the colonies. The center of this network was a circle of twelve loyal followers, led by Aegon's old army friend Orys Baratheon (rumored to be another bastard son of the late Aerion Targaryen); known as the Knights of the Round Table. They made it their business to seek out and thwart those who would stir up revolution against the crown; as well as those officials and nobles whose corruption and incompetence was fueling revolutionary fervor.

As the war intensified, Aegon raised a regiment of cavalry for the loyalists, with several of his knights as its officers. He is also thought to have inserted some of his agents into the rebel forces and high command, tasked with rooting out their spy networks, passing false information, and generally causing trouble. They would even visit the home of Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as they attempted to persuade Franklin into betraying the rebellion. It is unknown if Franklin considered joining the Britannians, either on his own freewill or via blackmail, but these attempts would ultimately fail. As a result, Franklin soon departed for France, where he successfully convinced King Louis XVI to aid the Continental Army.  

Meanwhile, Ricardo would play a crucial role in the Continental Army, as his actions would not only secure America’s independence from Britannia but possibly save most Native American tribes in the continental U.S. from certain doom in the future.

The latter effect had its roots in 1762, when Ricardo and his father traveled to the lands of the Iroquois, mainly to request aid from them during the French and Indian War, but also to request from a certain Thayendanegea (Joseph Brant) that Ricardo be fostered in his care. Save for his wife Valena, and his children Aegon, Rhaenys, and Visenya, Aerion knew that Ricardo would not be accepted by the Targaryen family and would likely be a target of scorn and potential abuse. To assure Ricardo that this would not equal abandonment by his father, he would be allowed to visit the Targaryen estate every summer to spend time and bond with his half-siblings.

Ricardo initially protested, but eventually accepted this, as the rest of his childhood during his time in the Iroquois Confederacy proved to be some of the best years of his life. It was there that he met not only the love of his life, a Mohawk girl named Tala but also befriend the sons of the chieftains, which would prove crucial in the years to come.

When the American Revolution erupted, the Iroquois were initially split, with some wanting to ally with the Britannians or the Americans. In June of 1775, Ricardo, now a soldier in the Continental Army, was sent alongside Benjamin Franklin by George Washington to meet with the Great Council at Onondaga. While Ricardo acted as the translator, Franklin negotiated to bring the Iroquois into the war on the side of the Americans. Having been authorized to negotiate on behalf of the Congress, the duo spent several weeks meeting with the leaders of the Council. They assured the more hesitant tribes that if they joined with the Continental Army, they would be recognized as an equal territory in New York with said territory guaranteed.

What happened at the final meeting on July 4th remains a subject of much debate as neither Franklin, Ricardo, nor the Iroquois would write about what about exactly happened that day, and what is known mainly comes from word of mouth from those who claimed to have witnessed the event. For instance, one witness claimed that Ricardo added a 14th arrow to a bundle of 13 the envoys had brought with them and asked Brant if he would try to break the bundle. Another witness claims that Ricardo convinced Brant that if the revolution was crushed, it was only a matter of time before Britannia would backstab the Iroquois just as they had done to many other tribes. Another more unlikely account comes from a witness who claimed that Brant felt more loyal to Britannia and decided to remain with them, resulting in Ricardo casting some kind of hypnosis spell via his left eye on Brant, making him ally with the Americans as a result. The other chieftains, understanding why Ricardo did what he did, did not protest.

Whatever happened that day, Brant, the last holdout on the Council gave Franklin and Ricardo his support, and the Iroquois agreed to side with the Colonies against Britannia, fielding around 1500 more men to the Americans that would have gone to the Britannians.

In December of that year, the Continental Army would engage the Britannians at the Battle of Quebec; despite the former having the advantage of 1050 fierce Iroquois warriors, the battle resulted in a draw. Nevertheless, it gave the Britannians a hard time using Canada as a base to send reinforcements to New Britannia and New York. In addition, the involvement of the Iroquois throughout the American Revolution would change the attitudes of many whites towards Native Americans, an act that would save many tribes from decimation and near-extinction in the decades to come.

Returning to Aegon, his regiment performed well, but he became disillusioned after the failure of the Saratoga Campaign. Concluding that the generals did not understand the situation they were in, he took his regiment and a growing band of followers off on a private war west of the Appalachian Mountains; putting down rebels and assisting loyalists and pro-Britannian natives, and even finding time to assist Major Patrick Ferguson in the battle at Emperor’s Mountain despite the battle resulting in defeat for the Britannians. His ruthless violence along the frontier earned him the nickname Aegon the Dragon, in sharp contrast to the good-natured Ferguson.  

Aegon began a new campaign in the spring of 1781. With the Britannian forces suffering heavy casualties, French support resulting in victory after victory for the Continental Army, and loyalists unwilling to serve in sufficient numbers, Aegon's attention had lighted on a new source of manpower, the south's considerable slave population. Many slaves had already been recruited - by Britannians and rebel forces alike - but Aegon put his own spin on this process. His cavalry raided deep into rebel-held areas, burning plantations, and setting slaves loose, taking back as many willing recruits as possible and leaving the rest to their own devices. Aegon paid particular attention to the estates of prominent rebels, but loyalists who had not taken up arms were targeted also; with the small courtesy of taking his pick of their slaves in return for not burning their estates.  

These raids spread panic across the south; for whom slave uprisings were a constant dread. They also earned him powerful enemies even among loyalists - notably the notorious Banastre Tarleton. But his protection lay in the simple fact that he was getting results, as he was providing a regular stream of fresh recruits. When local militias failed to halt the raids, Washington came under increasing pressure to act against Aegon at the expense of splitting his army and making it even more vulnerable. Washington was reluctant for obvious reasons, but a certain Colonel Ricardo de Bretaña (having already discarded the Targaryen name and adopting his late mother’s surname) convinced him to act, citing that failing to do so would cause disunity within his men. As such, Washington gave the order to deploy some of his troops under Ricardo’s command to deal with Aegon.  

Seeing an opportunity, Cornwallis led his army north into Virginia; hoping to deprive the southern rebel forces of their supplies and catch Washington while he was vulnerable. After forcing back the smaller army of Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, Cornwallis received orders from General Sir Henry Clinton to link with Aegon’s forces, and establish a coastal strongpoint at which large warships could safely land. This left them vulnerable, and Washington launched a desperate plan of his own; to catch the Britannian army at Yorktown, between his own Franco-American army and a French fleet under Admiral de Grasse.  

Against all odds, the plan worked. In what came to be known as the Siege of Yorktown, General George Washington and the Continental Army dealt a crippling blow to the Britannian army thanks to the timely arrival of Ricardo and his southern rebel troops who successfully captured Aegon and drove his forces away from their lands. General Charles Cornwallis, as well several officers from the Britannian army such as Tyrus Lannister, Garth Tyrell, and Arthur Arryn were killed in the fighting. As a result, Aegon was now the highest-ranking officer among the Britannian prisoners of war, and as such, he was forced to surrender to Washington. In the aftermath of such a catastrophic Britannian defeat, Henry X was left with no other choice but to negotiate with the Americans.

As for Aegon Targaryen, he would become known as The Man who Lost the Thirteen Colonies due to his surrender to Washington and was blamed for the success of the American Revolution by the nobility as a result. Nevertheless, despite not being able to successfully crush the rebellion, the rewards would come thick and fast upon Aegon’s return to Britannia. Despite his tarnished reputation, news of his exploits prior to Yorktown had made him something of a war hero in the eyes of the average Britannian, and his contributions earned him the attention not only of the Emperor but of his eldest daughter Elizabeth ro Britannia.  It was she, more than anyone else, who convinced her father to make Aegon Viceroy of Britannian North America (now Area 1) in 1785. It was the beginning of a partnership that would forever alter the course of history. In addition, Henry pardoned Aegon for the loss of the colonies, taking full responsibility for the latter's failures. The reason why he did so remains a mystery to this day.

As for the American Revolution itself, all conflict ceased on September 3, 1783, with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. The result was the birth of a new nation, a nation of liberty, equality, and democracy, a nation that would forever change the course of history, and a nation that would in time become one of the great superpowers on earth. It was called The United States of America.  

A Time of Troubles[]

The American Revolution may have ended in victory, but it would cast a long shadow. The victory of the American rebels and the birth of the United States divided the Britannian people more deeply than was immediately apparent. To most of the aristocracy, the defeat showed the vulnerability of Britannia’s social structure and way of life, as well as their ultimate fitness to enjoy preeminence in that system. This left them embittered as a result, refusing to see any reason to change any part of it; an attitude that would have serious consequences later. By contrast, many in the educated middle classes - notably the merchant and artisan classes - were surprised and delighted by the rebellion's success. For those hoping for reform - and for a system in which the mercantile classes would enjoy political power commensurate with their wealth and economic importance - the success of the rebellion and the social and political complacency it induced was the first step toward realizing such reform.

As in France, the rebellion and the wider war it provoked represented an enormous financial liability for the Holy Britannian Empire. Though the Tudor-Stuart emperors had brought Britannia great prosperity, it had done so through a combination of profitable conquest and economic policies that favored the mercantile classes. Also, good relations with the Dutch Republic allowed for easy access to low-interest loans from the Dutch banking system. Under Richard IV, this was reinforced by a strict policy of fiscal conservatism and making interest payments on time. This made Britannia a more trustworthy debtor than many of its neighbors, notably France, and as such kept interest rates on loans comfortably low. The result was an easy supply of credit to fuel Britannia’s war machine and burgeoning economy.

But these policies began to fray under James and Henry, in part due to the enormous expense of their various wars. But both were absolute monarchs de facto if not de jure - a matter that had never been decisively resolved - and both chafed under the restrictions imposed by Richard's policies. Faced with unwanted expenses, the father and later the son turned increasingly to deficit spending, maintaining an ever-growing national debt with ever more loans and increased taxes on the mercantile and artisan classes. Though sustainable at first, the ever-growing cost of debt maintenance required ever greater loans and ever-higher taxes, or else ever more profitable conquests. Britannia was trapped in a spiral from which it seemingly could not escape.

Britannia’s failure to crush the American Revolution came at an enormous expense, thus bringing the matter to a head. Ageing, unwell, and possibly senile, Henry failed to react effectively to the situation. Real power increasingly lay with his eldest daughter, Princess Elizabeth ro Britannia, who was widely known to be opposed to her father and grandfather's profligacy. By the late 1780s, as her father grew increasingly ill, Elizabeth had matured from a turbulent young princess with a reputation for sexual voracity to a shrewd political operator, ably assisted by her proteges and friend - some said, lover - Aegon Targaryen. When her father finally died on January 31st, 1788, it was widely expected that she would take the throne in his place.

But this did not happen. Instead, the Council, the court, and much of the higher nobility united to keep her off the throne, raising instead her uncle, Henry's younger brother George zi Britannia, who took the throne as Emperor George I. No official reason was given, though it was widely rumored that a desire to keep Aegon as far from the throne as possible was among the main concerns. Elizabeth seems to have taken her thwarting with equanimity, perhaps willing to let her uncle discredit himself before making her move. If that were her intent, she would not have to wait long.

At the age of fifty-eight, George I was considered somewhat old, but he was inoffensive, respectable, and by all accounts reasonably sane; all-in-all a safe pair of hands. His celibate lifestyle nevertheless left him dogged with - entirely unfounded - rumors of homosexuality. After his coronation late in 1788, George was persuaded - after much cajoling - to marry Amelia de Lacy, a woman half his age, who in 1790 bore him a son, Prince Arthur. George I soon proved a well-intentioned, but rather tragic figure. Faced with ever-increasing maintenance payments on the national debt, and an overstrained economy, George resorted to the dynasty's nuclear option; to repudiate debts at his whim, daring his or the country's creditors to seek redress against a sovereign Emperor of one of the mightiest empires on Earth.

His decision was not as cataclysmic as it might have been, as repudiations took place on specific debts to specific creditors individually over the first years of his reign. But the inevitable effect was to destroy what remained of Britannia's reputation as a reliable debtor, and as a safe and profitable investment. The repudiations were initially popular, with a public uninterested in the rights of foreign bankers and provided brief financial relief for an overtaxed government. But reduced investment took its toll, and by 1790 the economy was in a serious crisis. With unemployment rising, and food shortages occurring in some areas, George's government was left with only one serious option: a short, victorious war.

And in February 1793, Revolutionary France conveniently provided one by declaring war on Britannia.

Britannia's involvement in the War of the First Coalition was a distinctly mixed affair. The Imperial Army was no longer the superlative weapon it had once been, having been weakened by a decade of neglect and complacency. In the Flanders Campaign of 1792 to 1795, the Britannian contingent was poorly organized and supplied, its commanders' small-minded martinets. Regiments were still owned by their colonels, who bitterly resisted any attempts by higher authority to intervene in any matter of their administration; be it training, supply, discipline, or any other. Britannian troops were able to perform well in small-scale conventional actions - where their training gave them the greatest advantage - but suffered in larger engagements and when dealing with large numbers of French light troops. The Imperial Navy, by contrast, performed much better; due to a culture of compulsory technical training and promotion on merit.

Repeated military failures, combined with the economic strain inflicted by the wider war and Henry's pre-war policies served to radicalize an already restive populace. As in France, rumors of official incompetence or treachery angered the public, especially in London. The embarrassments of 1795 proved the last straw, and Parliament was deluged with petitions demanding anything from changes in policy to the removal of certain officers to immediate peace with France. When such deputations were rejected out of hand, Londoners sought to make their point with angry demonstrations, many of which spilled over into an outright riot. As word of the disorder spread, large numbers of people from surrounding counties began moving into the city, making the situation much worse.

Matters came to a head on July 14th, 1796, when a group of pro-French intellectuals and journalists openly celebrated Bastille Day, sparking off a series of pro and anti-French demonstrations and riots. Some of the pro-French and revolutionary groups are known to have been influenced and assisted by French agents. Holed up in Windsor Castle with the seemingly incapacitated Emperor, George's councilors unleashed the Imperial Guard onto the streets to restore order, to little effect. When ordered to open fire, some units obeyed while others refused, causing even more confusion. For a few brief hours, it looked as if the Britannian monarchy would fall in much the same way as its French counterpart had.

The monarchy's savior was none other than Elizabeth, whose hand was finally forced. With the help of supporters on the inside, Elizabeth, and a group of followers - Aegon and Sir Orys Baratheon among them - managed to storm Windsor Castle and capture most of the government and senior courtiers, including the Emperor. Finding the Emperor bedridden and seemingly unresponsive, Elizabeth declared herself Regent and ordered the Imperial Guards to withdraw. The next morning, she issued a formal proclamation, blaming several of her uncle's closest supporters for the violence and promising reform. Elizabeth's seizure of power came to be known as the Windsor Coup, and for the moment, at least, the crisis was averted.

It was at this point that Elizabeth arguably made her worst mistake, and said mistake would nearly cost her the throne as well as the empire. With her position seemingly secure, she went on to declare that her uncle's taking the throne had been illegal and took advantage of his incapacity (and probable senility) to have him formally deposed by Parliament, who then granted her the crown as Empress Elizabeth III of Britannia. Though her own supporters, the London mob, and the merchant classes reacted well to this development, the high aristocracy and many others regarded the move as illegal and treasonous. Tensions would simmer for many years, finally erupting in 1805, when the Imperial Navy had one of its greatest victories and, at the same time, suffered arguably its worst tragedy. On October 21st, a Britannian fleet under the legendary Admiral Horatio Nelson faced a combined French and Spanish fleet off Cape Trafalgar. In the battle that followed, the Britannian fleet was nearly destroyed, but would ultimately win the battle, though at the cost of Admiral Nelson’s life. In addition, the French fleet was severely crippled, ensuring that it would never again threaten the Britannian Isles.

News of Britannia’s victory gave way to celebration though this prematurely ended when news of Admiral Nelson’s death soon arrived, plunging the empire into mourning. However, grief soon turned to anger when rumors spread that Nelson had been betrayed. The rumors were only strengthened when a Britannian warship, HMS Cadmus, returned to Portsmouth with most of its officers missing. The surviving officers and crew claimed that the Captain and senior officers had withdrawn Cadmus from the battle line contrary to Nelson's orders and that several other ships had done likewise though some would change this and re-obey Nelson’s orders. The Admiralty denounced their accusations and arraigned the surviving officers and several members of the crew on charges of mutiny and murder, finding all guilty. The resulting public outcry led Elizabeth to intervene, overturning the judgment and accusing the Admiralty of covering up a treasonous conspiracy. Arrests followed, and hundreds of officers resigned their commissions in protest, throwing both the navy and later the army into chaos.

But worse was to come. When Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of France, heard of the French defeat at Trafalgar, he was furious, but not deterred. If he could not defeat the Holy Britannian Empire directly via invasion, then he would do it through indirect methods.

Fire and Blood[]

What came to be known as Hoare’s Rebellion began on August 13th, 1807, when Elizabeth III was inspecting the fortification of Edinburgh as part of her main plan to seal the Britannian Isles from another French invasion. It was there that disaster would soon strike. As Elizabeth had left her Foot Guards behind in Newcastle, to form the core of a new Army of the North as well as to convince the citizens that she meant to fight, she was largely left vulnerable. With food supplies to the city running low via a French-led European embargo, and revolutionary sentiment still widespread, it was a simple matter for French agents and revolutionary clubs to stir up the city. One of these, the so-called Britannian Revolutionary Council, led by Sir Harren Hoare, demanded Elizabeth's abdication and an alliance with both France and the United States. When Elizabeth naturally refused and ordered the council’s arrest, Edinburgh exploded into violence, as Hoare declared the establishment of a Britannian republic, taking over the city within hours, thus trapping Elizabeth in Edinburgh Castle. To make matters worse, the Council was apparently in league with other revolutionary clubs, as similar, but small-scale uprisings had erupted throughout the Britannian Isles. Within days, Britannia was in flames.

Hoare and his Britannian Revolutionaries quickly sent word around the country, hoping to establish a revolutionary government as quickly as possible, and calling for the death of nobles and remaining members of the Imperial Family. Unfortunately for them, this would be met with mixed success; driven by bloodlust and insatiable hatred toward the Tudors, the Revolutionaries would focus the bulk of their efforts in exterminating the Imperial Family first and foremost. As Elizabeth's siblings and relatives including Prince Arthur were hunted down and slaughtered, one after the other, it again seemed as if the Britannian monarchy would fall in much the same way as its French counterpart had.

Trapped in the castle, physically and psychologically exhausted, with food running low, and without even Aegon's support, Elizabeth nearly hit her breaking point when news of the other revolts as well as the murders of her siblings and relatives reached her via her spies. There was hope, however, as Aegon and his Round Table Knights were still at large, and they were quick to respond. In what came to be known as the Miracle of Edinburgh or the Edinburgh Miracle, Aegon personally led a mission to Edinburgh two weeks after the rebellion began; sneaking into the castle and snatching Elizabeth and several of her fellow prisoners. By the time anyone realized what had happened, Elizabeth and her rescuers were safely out of the city, and on their way to Dunbar. As she had yet to recover from her captivity, Elizabeth gave full control of the Imperial Army to Aegon, tasking him to put down the rebellion in her name.

From there, Aegon would remind the rebels why he was known as Aegon the Dragon during the American Revolution, as he ruthlessly retook Britannia from the revolutionary forces. This culminated in the Battle of Glasgow in December 1807, as Aegon’s forces met Hoare’s rebel army head on in the freezing cold. The battle was vicious, with both sides taking huge losses, though the tide soon turned in Aegon’s favor, as the rebels’ right flank was exposed at the last moment and then attacked by a cavalry unit led by Sir Orys Baratheon, devastating the rebels. Their fate was sealed when Aegon eventually came face to face with Hoare, resulting in a vicious duel. In the end, Aegon personally slew Hoare, proceeding to display his severed head alongside his disemboweled corpse for all to see. Harren Hoare’s gruesome death marked the beginning of the end of Hoare’s Rebellion, as the rebel army largely collapsed, with many either being killed or choosing to surrender. Aegon spent the next year mopping up any remaining rebel forces throughout the empire, thus officially ending Hoare’s Rebellion by late 1808.

Britannia had been weakened, but her story was far from over. Elizabeth III returned to the ruined city of London in April 1808 as soon as her health allowed and oversaw reconstruction efforts. She recovered sufficiently to perform her duties as Empress, but rather like the battered city, she never quite regained her former glory. Regardless, she immediately worked to bring the Holy Britannian Empire back into line, though many problems were rapidly becoming apparent. Though the Imperial Army had emerged battle-hardened from both the Napoleonic Wars and Hoare’s Rebellion, its manpower had been sufficiently reduced from both conflicts, with only around 60,000 soldiers on active duty, 22,000 of which tended to be poorly trained raw recruits. She could also raise around 20,000 militia from Britannian North America, but these varied considerably in their capabilities; ranging from the excellent colonial dragoons - kept in practice by hunting down troublemakers and keeping order on the frontier - to the generally poor infantry battalions. Aegon swiftly established himself as Elizabeth's Regent and right-hand man, drawing on local connections and his own resources to establish a functioning government. The new government was, needless to say, packed with Aegon's own partisans; a mixture of nobles and local dignitaries he had established relationships with over the years.

On October 18th, 1809, Empress Elizabeth III, 87th Empress of the Holy Britannian Empire, breathed her last, surrounded by her most senior courtiers.  To the shock of her blood relatives present, she named Aegon as her successor though opinion differs as to his reaction upon Elizabeth’s declaration. As it was, the declaration sent shockwaves through the court, and through the empire as a whole. Aegon was widely respected, having proven himself as an effective administrator and Regent when Elizabeth III began to fall gravely ill, but his stern personality and somewhat harsh rule prevented him from being truly loved by the people. On top of that, he was being granted the crown over Elizabeth's surviving blood relatives. Though only a few distant relatives remained, this act became a serious breach of both tradition and practice. Despite all of this, it became clear that Aegon would have the crown no matter what.

Backed by his own court faction, Aegon was soon in effective control in a matter of days, though the violence unleashed by his ascension would drag on for many months. The first backlash came from other court factions, generally centered around Elizabeth's surviving relatives. Though there was no Imperial Guard at this stage, Aegon had several knightly orders and loyal noble houses at his disposal; chief among them the Round Table and the Night’s Watch and its member houses (who were the first to swear fealty to Aegon). Led by Sir Orys Baratheon, these knights moved swiftly against Aegon's enemies, killing dozens in a single night. Those of Elizabeth's relations not killed were forced to flee, some of them all the way back to mainland Europe or even the United States. In addition, riots broke out in many towns and cities. All such resistance was bloodily suppressed, as Aegon again reminded people why he was called Aegon the Dragon during the American Revolution.

By the time of Emperor Aegon val Britannia I's magnificent coronation in June 1810, Britannia appeared to be completely pacified. With Aegon now crowned as the 88th Emperor, he, in an extraordinary move that was perhaps inspired by the practices of both the Ottoman Sultans and the Egyptian Pharaohs, broke with centuries of custom and law and decreed that only he himself the right to marry multiple wives while his descendants were given the right to marry within the family to keep the bloodline pure as he claimed. Known as the Imperial Bloodline Preservation Decree (IBPD), any child of his by any wife would be considered legitimate and Imperial, with the right to inherit the throne.  This move was deeply controversial, but Aegon was riding high on the prestige of Hoare’s Rebellion, and it passed with little or no overt resistance. As a result, he renewed his vow with his wife Rhaenys, who became Empress Rhaenys u Britannia, as well as taking his cousin Visenya, who became Empress Visenya cru Britannia, to wife. Thus, the Targaryen Dynasty was born. However, the inevitable and tragic side-effect of this is that half of all Targaryens would either be stillborn or be born with birth defects or be born healthy but eventually go insane later in life. This would have serious consequences for the Targaryens centuries later.

Through a series of pamphlets titled Canticum Igne et Glacies (Latin for "A Song of Ice and Fire"), Aegon I outlined his plan for a new and improved Holy Britannian Empire that would last for a thousand generations. He won over nobles and commoners alike with the promise of untold riches, of an empire in which everyone would live in unity. However, to accomplish such feats, Britannia would have to be as cold and harsh as ice, and as hot and passionate as fire. Aegon then laid out his intentions for the empire; a program of imperial expansion that would bring all of North America under Britannian rule. Dazzled by the prospect of land and wealth beyond imagining, the nobles fell over themselves to pledge their wealth to Aegon's cause. With the nobles now in line, Aegon had a new constitution written up to keep any would-be revolutionaries in line. The Dragon’s Charter, as it was known, stated that the armed forces were loyal and answerable only to the Emperor and that Parliament would be permanently reorganized into a new legislature known as the Imperial Senate that, in turn, would be headed by a Chancellor. In addition, feeling that London had lost its right to be the capital following its sacking during Hoare's Rebellion, Aegon relocated both the capital and the new Imperial Senate to the town of Douglas at the Isle of Man (now the Dominion of Caerleon), which he renamed to Pendragon due to his obsession with Arthurian tales.

The First American War []

Aegon I’s ascension to the Britannian throne had sent shockwaves throughout North America and Europe. But while many Europeans (especially Napoleon Bonaparte and the French) dismissed Aegon as a threat and even mocked him as a false emperor, the United States saw the threat Aegon would pose in the near future. President Ricardo de Bretaña believed so, thus he began to prepare the U.S. Armed Forces should America be invaded by Britannia. The Americans finished in the nick of time.

By 1812, Emperor Aegon's dynasty was already secure via his two adult sons, Prince Aenys u Britannia and Prince Maegor cru Britannia (rumored to be the bastard son of Aegon and Visenya), while Aenys himself was married and had three children of his own, Prince Jaehaerys el Britannia, Princess Alysanne el Britannia, and Prince Viserys el Britannia. With the Imperial Army having already been tested via the Napoleonic Wars and Hoare’s Rebellion, Aegon quickly commenced his expansion plan, his first target being the United States. Many nobles were still bitter over the loss of the Thirteen Colonies and had sought to break the back of American freedom by reconquering the country out of pure spite. With Ricardo now the 4th President of the United States, it is possible, though not confirmed, that Aegon sought vengeance on Ricardo for his betrayal of the Targaryen family and Britannia as a whole; in addition to giving him the title of The Man who Lost the Thirteen Colonies.hus, in that same year, Britannia sent an ultimatum to the United States: surrender and swear fealty to Emperor Aegon or be utterly destroyed. Naturally, the Americans chose to fight. The First American War (or alternately the War of 1812) had begun.

In order to strike at Britannia, U.S. forces almost immediately attacked Britannian North America. American officials were overly optimistic about the invasion’s success, especially given how well prepared U.S. troops were at the time. On the other side, they faced a well-managed defense coordinated by Sir Orys Baratheon, the Knights of the Round Table, and Emperor Aegon himself. On August 16, the United States suffered a humiliating defeat after Aegon’s forces chased those led by Michigan William Hull across the Britannian border, scaring Hull into surrendering Detroit without any shots fired.

Things looked better for the United States in the West, as Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s brilliant success in the Battle of Lake Erie in September 1813 placed the Northwest Territory firmly under American control. William Henry Harrison was subsequently able to retake Detroit with a victory in the Battle of Thames, in which Sir Orys Baratheon lost his sword hand while his Native American ally Tecumseh were killed. Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy had been able to score several victories over the Britannian Imperial Navy in the early months of the war. In retaliation, Britannian forces led by Empress Visenya cru Britannia stealthily raided the Chesapeake Bay and moved in to the U.S. capital, capturing Washington, D.C., on August 24, 1814, and burning government buildings including the Capitol and the White House to the ground, an act that would cement the rivalry between the two nations in the centuries to come.

On September 13 Baltimore’s Fort McHenry withstood 25 hours of bombardment by the Britannian Imperial Navy. The following morning, the fort’s soldiers hoisted an enormous American flag, a sight that inspired Francis Scott Key to write a poem he titled The Star-Spangled Banner (set to the tune of an old Britannian drinking song). Britannian forces subsequently left the Chesapeake Bay and began gathering their efforts for a campaign against New Orleans.

However, by that time, peace talks had already begun at Ghent (now the State of Belgium), as Emperor Aegon began to realize that the war was proving too costly for Britannia. Therefore, he moved for an armistice after the failure of the assault on Baltimore. In the negotiations that followed, Britannia promised to leave its borders unchanged and abandon efforts to create an Imperial state in the U.S. On December 24, 1814, commissioners signed the Treaty of Ghent, which would be ratified the following February.

On January 8, 1815, unaware that peace had been concluded, Britannian forces led by Empress Rhaenys u Britannia mounted a major attack on New Orleans while U.S. forces led by Andrew Jackson and Ricardo’s son, Alexander “Alec” de Bretaña, put up a fierce defense in response. Surprisingly, Alec engaged Rhaenys in single combat. In the end, he was able to land a fatal wound to Empress Rhaenys. Alec, however, took pity on the dying woman and allowed her to take her own life with dignity. The death of Empress Rhaenys u Britannia led the rest of the Britannian forces to surrender, resulting in a decisive victory for Alec, Jackson and the American forces. News of the battle boosted sagging U.S. morale and left Americans with the taste of victory while Alec de Bretaña, and Andrew Jackson themselves were hailed as national heroes after the war, as the country started celebrating the end of the war against Britannia.

As for Aegon I, he was embarrassed by the failure to conquer the United States, and devastated by the death of Rhaenys. With the war over, he sought to restore Imperial honor and prestige, starting with the annexation and resulting conquest of Greenland and Iceland in 1820, as well as beginning a series of much smaller campaigns against EU possessions in the Caribbean Islands. He did this knowing that, despite Napoleon Bonaparte having formed the European Union (EU) earlier that year, Europe was simply too war-weary to retaliate against Britannia. The Imperial Navy, having learned from its mistakes during the First American War, excelled itself in this theater, winning a major victory over a French fleet at the Battle of Guadeloupe. The Imperial Marine Corps also won fame, especially in the conquest of Jamaica although this would be quickly overshadowed via the failed invasion of Cuba. In the end, the so-called Caribbean War was a mixed bag for Britannia, as despite half of the Caribbean firmly remaining under the banner of the EU, Britannia now had full control over the Bahamas, Jamaica, and the Lesser Antilles, as well as establishing the colony of Britannian Honduras in Central America.

With her glory now somewhat restored, Britannia spent the next eleven years in relative peace; as Aegon spent much of his time consolidating his power by traveling throughout Britannia and building his capital at Pendragon. Aegon devoted half of every year to make these imperial tours. After he celebrated his 74th birthday in 1830, the imperial tours continued but were now made by his Aenys and his family while the aging emperor remained at home. By this point late in his reign, Aegon decided that the old government bureau was not a suitable seat for an emperor, so the structure was torn to the ground in 1832. Aegon moved his family and court back to London, while he commanded the construction of what would later be called the Imperial Palace.

By 1833, peace and stability had been secured for Britannia, with the empire taking a page out of America's playbook (i.e. Manifest Destiny) by expanding Britannian North America west to the Pacific Ocean, as well as expanding her other colonies in Australia, New Zealand, India, and others. But Aegon knew that his days were numbered, as his health was slowly failing him each passing day. He, therefore, needed to name a successor fast if the empire was to remain stable. As much as he loved Prince Aenys, Aegon knew that his son was too sickly, weak, and incompetent to be a strong emperor. This issue soon became moot upon Aenys' death after a long battle with tuberculosis on April 1st, 1833. As for his grandson Prince Jaehaerys, despite showing the qualities of a true emperor and having already demonstrated to be capable of ruling, he was still young and not yet ready to take on the responsibility of ruling the empire. This left Prince Maegor as the only possible candidate for the throne (which was now being called the Iron Throne at that point, due to the swords of fallen rebels during Hoare's Rebellion being used the build the throne). Maegor was already known throughout Britannia as a great soldier, as well as an effective military commander due to his experiences in the Napoleonic Wars, Hoare's Rebellion and the First American War. But he was also notorious for his cruelty on the battlefield and vices at home, as seen through the expulsion and sometimes unnecessary extermination of several native tribes during Britannia's expansion west as well as taking any highborn woman that was pretty enough to him to satisfy his lusts. It was perhaps a miracle that he did not sire any bastard children. Seeing that there was no other alternative, Aegon, in his will, declared Maegor as his successor to the crown. But on May 4, 1833, just as he was about to sign the will, Emperor Aegon I suddenly had a stroke and succumbed just hours later. He was 77 years old.

News of Aegon's death quickly spread throughout North America. In the United States, many Americans, especially in the South, rejoiced, knowing that the man responsible for many atrocities committed during the American Revolution was gone from this world. As for Britannia, the empire was plunged into mourning, with nobles and commoners alike grieving over the loss of Britannia's savior. But for Prince Maegor and his mother, Dowager Empress Visenya cru Britannia, an unlikely opportunity presented itself.

A Tyrant and a Conciliator[]

Upon hearing of Aegon's death on May 5, Maegor and Visenya immediately left London for Pendragon before anyone would notice. There, on May 6, Visenya crowned Maegor as Emperor Maegor cru Britannia I, 89th Emperor of the Holy Britannian Empire. Chancellor Gawen Yohnson protested Maegor's coronation, stating that by all the laws of inheritance, the crown should pass to Jaehaerys. In response, Maegor personally shot and killed Yohnson before using the Targaryen sword Blackfyre to behead him. Not long after, his mother, Dowager Empress Visenya challenged those who questioned her son's right to rule to prove themselves. Only Sir Damon Morrigen, Knight of Three and a friend of Jaehaerys, came forth. Maegor quickly decided to settle the matter with a duel, to which Morrigen agreed to. In the end, only Maegor came out alive.

The next six years of Maegor's reign were one of turmoil for Britannia. With the support of his mother, he brutally silenced any who questioned his legitimacy, as well as continuing his extermination campaigns against the native tribes that opposed Britannian expansion throughout her colonies, especially in Britannian North America. During that period, specifically in 1836, the Imperial Palace in Pendragon was finally completed. Afterward, Emperor Maegor hosted a magnificent feast with the builders, only to have them all killed when the feast ended in order to keep the palace's secrets safe. Due to the blood that was spilled that fateful day, the Imperial Palace would come to be known as the Red Keep. But his reign would forever be remembered for the incident that sparked another war between the United States and Britannia, as well as giving him the nickname Maegor the Cruel.

As Maegor was crowned emperor, the Imperial Family, which consisted of Lady Alyssa el Britannia and her children, Jaehaerys, Alysanne, and Viserys, feared for their lives and soon fled to the U.S., specifically the capital city of Washington D.C. Maegor was furious, as he planned on holding Alyssa's children hostage in order to secure her allegiance and her body. At first, he tried using diplomacy to retrieve them, sending envoys to Washington demanding the extradition of the Imperial Family, but the U.S. Congress, America's central government body, would not budge. The powder keg was ignited on August 13, 1839, when assassins stormed the U.S. Capitol with guns blazing. Prince Viserys and almost a quarter of Congress were brutally slaughtered in what came to be known as the Capitol Massacre. The assassins were themselves gunned down by newly-arrived guards within minutes. The killings shocked and enraged the American public, even more so when it was discovered via a note from one of the dead assassins. The note stated that the massacre was to be carried out to intimidate the U.S. nto accepting Emperor Maegor's demands. To make matters worse, the note was in Maegor's own handwriting. In retaliation, the United States declared war on Britannia, thus beginning the Second American War.

Fortunately, the Americans would not have to fight Britannia for long. By the end of October of 1839, most, if not all of the empire had practically turned against Maegor for his cruelty, as well as his mother, Visenya for condoning it. On November 5th, 1839, with the support of the U.S. Army as well as thousands of rogue Britannian soldiers, the Imperial Family led by Prince Jaehaerys captured Pendragon, while Emperor Maegor I committed suicide by opening his wrists on the blades of the Iron Throne, but not before strangling his mother, Dowager Empress Visenya cru Britannia to death in a final act of madness. With Maegor dead, Jaehaerys was quickly crowned as Emperor Jaehaerys el Britannia I, 90th Emperor of the Holy Britannian Empire. He quickly got to work in making peace with the United States by visiting Washington D.C. to negotiate with one of the survivors of the Capitol Massacre, President Alexander de Bretaña. This culminated in the Treaty of Washington, in which Britannia would pay an affordable war reparation of €486,000 in exchange for the withdrawal of American troops from the Britannian mainland while America recognized Britannian control of its North American colonies. In addition, the border between Britannian North America and the U.S. would be finalized along the 49th parallel until the Strait of Georgia.. With peace secured, he began the task of healing the empire from Maegor's tyranny.

His first order of business was to heal relations between Britannia and the native tribes. On February 3rd, 1840, Jaehaerys, with the support of the Imperial Family, invited several chieftains who were affected by Maegor's actions to Pendragon, in what came to be known as the Dragon's Council. During that meeting, the emperor promised to respect the lands the tribes owned on the condition that so long as Britannia protected said tribes, then they would swear fealty to the empire as well as peacefully cooperate with Britannian settlers that may choose to settle near their lands. The chieftains were initially skeptical for obvious reasons, but what Jaehaerys next would win them over in a heartbeat:

"Gentlemen, I will not insult you by asking for your forgiveness or your understanding. I know the crimes that my predecessors committed will never be forgotten, and that nothing I do will make up for what has happened to your peoples. If you wish to turn down my proposal, I will not hold it against you, and you may return to your loved ones in peace. But I ask each of you: should you turn your back on my offer, then how long will it last? How long will you be able to hold firm before you meet the same fate as your brethren in Washington’s domain? Do you really want to condemn your families, your loved ones, your children, and your children's children, to such a fate?"

The chieftains realized that Jaehaerys was speaking the truth, to refuse his offer would the equivalent of biting the hand that feeds someone, and eventually, seal the fate of their peoples. And so, having swallowed their pride, they unanimously agreed to his proposal. With the tribes now behind Jaehaerys, he was now in a position to enforce said proposal via the Native Preservation Decree of 1840, which reaffirmed the agreement he made with the tribes. Needless to say, this move proved to be controversial, with a majority of settlers and a few nobles reacting negatively to the decree, going as far as to form mobs to attack the Indian communities. Jaehaerys responded to these events by dispatching Imperial troops to suppress the violence, as well as assist the tribes in protecting their lands. In time, the settlers would come to peacefully coexist with the tribes, as Britannia today has one of the largest populations of Native American descent second to that of the United States.

Perhaps the most controversial part of Jaehaerys' reign was his marriage to his own sister Alysanne el Britannia on July 7th, 1844. Aware that the Imperial bloodline was now in danger of dying out and not wanting any potential usurpers to get any ideas, Jaehaerys married Alysanne citing the IBPD as justification. While the marriage was somewhat inevitable as the two were secretly in a romantic relationship prior, it nevertheless proved to be even more controversial than the Native Preservation Decree, as many Britannians, rich and poor alike, considered incest to be a severe moral offense. To assure his subjects that this would not happen frequently in the Imperial Family, Jaehaerys modified the IBPD on July 13th. The modified decree stated that in the event that a noble family's bloodline was in danger of dying out, then and only then, could a noble family make a formal request to the emperor to have the IBPD activated on them, and preserve their bloodline by any means necessary. As for the Imperial Family, only the emperor could activate the IBPD should the family need it.

Despite these issues, Jaehaerys went on to become one of Britannia's greatest emperors. Through his efforts, the common Britannian, the nobles, and the native tribes enjoyed decades of peace, prosperity, and justice. He would focus on the latter by reforming the Imperial Senate’s voting system in 1849, allowing all male citizens 21 years or older to vote for their Senators as well as the Chancellor. He also cracked down on corruption within his court, the military, and the government, as those were caught faced either imprisonment and the stripping of their ranks, offices, lands, and titles, or banishment.

More to come...

Geography[]

Home Territory[]

Britannia's modern home territory, formally known as the Imperial Homeland or just the Homeland, consists entirely of the Britannian Isles, The territories in the Homeland are in turn divided along feudal lines, providing Britannia with a truly vast peerage. Despite that, Britannia does practice some elements of "modern" democracy, as local legislatures are elected in addition to their ruling nobility. This was instituted after the Dance of the Dragons (or alternately the Second Britannian Civil War), to limit the power of the said nobility. The largest of these territories are the Dominions, of which there are four divided among historical lines: Caerleon (Isle of Man), Anglia (England), Wales, Scotland, and Ireland.

The Dominions consist of territories known as Duchies, which are in turn divided downward into Marquessates, Margravates, Earldoms, Viscounties, and Baronies. The size, population, and economic importance can vary on each Duchy. For instance, the Dominion of Caerleon (Isle of Man) includes the Grand Duchy of Uther (Middle) which, in turn, includes the Earldom of Pendragon (Douglas), while Dominion of Anglia (England) includes the Grand Duchy of Manchester (Greater Manchester, Lancanshire, and Merseyside) which, in turn, includes the Earldom of Manchester City and the Earldom of Liverpool. In another instance, the Dominion of Scotland includes the Grand Duchy of Stirling) which, in turn, includes the Earldom of Stirling City.

Interesting to note, certain Duchies, ones that have gained significant importance to the Empire or whose Duke or Duchess have gained recognition from the Crown, hold the title of Grand Duchy. These Duchies enjoy a great deal of influence within the imperial government while their Grand Dukes/Duchesses hold the highest-ranking amongst the nobility, being second only to members of the Imperial Family. As such, the title is the most difficult to obtain within Britannia's nobility system; similar to ascension to the Knights of the Round, only the Emperor or Empress can grant the title, and he/she only does so to the most worthy of subjects.

Areas[]

The Areas, formerly known as Colonies, consist of Canada, Greenland, Iceland, the Caribbean (save for Cuba and Puerto Rico), Central America (save for Panama), the Guianas, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Britannian Pacific Islands, and the Falkland Islands. Each Area is designated with a number, and its people are referred to by that number. They consist of either lands colonized or nations conquered by Britannia, for the most part corresponding to their pre-conquest borders, though in some cases small states and other non-state entities are leashed together for bureaucratic convenience.

Areas are divided into three categories; Correctional, Developing, and Satellite. An Area gains greater autonomy as it proceeds through these categories, though it may be demoted to Correctional in the case of a serious setback. In Correctional and Developing Areas, the Viceroy acts as the Emperor's proxy, controlling the Area as all but an Absolute Monarch in his or her own right. In a Satellite Area, the Viceroy is still in charge, though his or her power is limited and is subject to democratic election every 6 years. The Areas also attract ill-feeling from other countries, especially the EU, India, the South American nations, Mexico, and the United States, which regard the Numbers as oppressed peoples and give refuge to escapees.

Any land of interest to Britannia is declared a Concession and placed under direct Imperial control, usually for the purposes of Settlement construction. Concessions made directly to the person of the Emperor, or the Imperial Family, are called Providences. Territory not ceded in either fashion is administered by collaborationist governing bodies, though they are answerable to the Imperial Viceroy or Vicereine.

Major Cities and Settlements[]

The Imperial Capital is the city of Pendragon (originally founded as Douglas), which is located in the Grand Duchy of Uther (Middle) which, in turn, is in the Dominion of Caerleon (originally founded as the Isle of Man). The Red Keep (formerly known as the Imperial Palace) is located near the coast of Pendragon, from which extends Saint Baelor's Street, to which the Palaces and Villas of the Imperial Consorts are connected. Pendragon is Britannia's political and administrative hub, as well as being the Capital in the symbolic sense, making control of it vital to the control of Britannia as a whole.

Imperial Armed Forces[]

The Imperial Armed Forces, otherwise known as His/Her (Imperial) Majesty's Armed Forces or the Armed Forces of the Crown, are one of the most powerful and technologically advanced in the world as of 2009. On top of this is the Colonial Security Forces, consisting of lesser-quality army personnel tasked with holding down the Areas.

Organization[]

The Britannian Armed Forces are organized into four primary branches: Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force. Though theoretically a part of the army, the Imperial Guard functions independently in practice.

Uniforms[]

Modern Britannia has all of its branches utilize a single, unified design of service attire. The main uniform color is traditional Britannian (Prussian) blue, while variations are based on position and role. For example, members of the Night's Watch wear a black version of the standard uniform.

The standard officer's uniform primarily consists of a traditional military tunic or jacket, the latter oft accompanied with white collared shirt and necktie. Male personnel wear trousers as standard, while female personnel are permitted either trousers or knee-length skirts. A complimenting greatcoat, cape or cloak may also be issued, either to defend the wearer from colder climates or simply to display prestige. Headgear is generally optional, with commissar caps, flight caps and kepis being available to all ranks and berets being reserved for special forces or certain high profile commanders. Jackboots are standard footwear.

Rank insignia is displayed on shoulder boards (officers) and shoulder sleeves (enlisted). Said insignia varies between officer level. Enlisted grades utilize the Chevron with supplementing insignia to designate assigned specializations. Subaltern officers (2nd Lieutenant to Captain / Ensign to Lieutenant) are adorned with the Bath Star (one to three total), while senior officers (Major to Brigadier / Lieutenant Commander to Commodore) are adorned with an Imperial Crown and supplementing Bath Stars (again one to three total). Upper echelon officers are adorned with Crossed Sword and Baton with supplementing Bath Star (Major General), Imperial Crown (Lieutenant General) or both (full General).

Similar to certain European practices, service branch is indicated by designated color on the uniform collar. The Imperial Army is green, the Imperial Navy is dark blue, the Imperial Air Force is light blue and the Imperial Marine Corps is red. Additional insignia, such as sub-branch, unit or service, may be applied to other areas as well.

Stagsguard[]

The Stagsguard, originally founded as the Dragonsguard (named so due to House Targaryen's sigil being that of a three-headed red dragon), is an elite formation within the Imperial forces, answering directly to the Emperor. It was first embodied in 1814 as Horse and Foot Guards to Emperor Aegon I. The Dragonsguard would grow in number and scope over the years, as the need of the Crown for a politically reliable military force became apparent. By the Tragedy at Buckinghan incident in 1968, the Dragonsguard had become a bloated, corrupt institution, its usefulness nonexistent beyond providing employment for unemployed (or unemployable) aristocrats. Following that incident, descending Emperors would take care to continually reorganize the Dragonsguard with their most loyal followers. In 1992, following the success of Robert's Rebellion and the resulting collpase of the Targaryen Dynasty, Emperor Robert I renamed the Dragonsguard to the Stagsguard due to House Baratheon's sigil being that of a Stag.

As opposed to the Standard Uniform, the Stagsguard possesses its own unique stylings. Its uniform is colored grey, with a red sash running across the tunic (from the right shoulder to the left of the waist) and elbow-length brown capes. Guards stationed around Imperial Palace traditionally wear plumed helmets and are armed with long rifles equipped with elaborate bayonets. Guardsmen on combat duties are equipped in the same manner as regular infantry, and have access to the full range of equipment.

Imperial Army[]

The Imperial Army is one of the two oldest branches of the Imperial forces, and the largest. Since the time of Emperor Aegon I it has served two essential roles; to maintain control over Britannian territories and to engage in offensive operations. The first-line forces, considered the elite of the army, are tasked with the latter role. The former role goes to the Colonial Security Forces, consisting of any recruits who did not meet the standard for the mobile forces. Both are organized in the same fashion.  

Imperial Navy[]

The Imperial Navy is, alongside the Army, the oldest branch of the Imperial forces, harkening back to the original Homeland. The Navy's roles are to ensure the security of Britannia's coastlines, territorial waters, and sea trade, as well as to take offensive action in the event of war. The Imperial Navy is supported by the Imperial Navy Auxiliary, which acts in a logistical and transport role.

Imperial Marine Corps[]

The Imperial Marines are, as their name implies, marine infantry, linked to both the Army and the Navy (though officially a subset of the Navy). They specialize in amphibious, arctic, and littoral warfare, also providing armed complements for warships and security for Naval bases.

Imperial Air Force[]

The Imperial Air Force had its origins in World War I. Founded as the Imperial Flying Corps, it consisted of a few squadrons of biplanes. The IAF got its name in a large-scale reorganization under Emperor Aegon IV, being divided into separate Fighter, Bomber, and Transport Commands. The modern IAF serves in much the same capacity as it did then, adding SIGINT Commands.

Much like the ground forces, the Air Force favors aggression and taking the fight to the enemy. The Air Force retains its original doctrine, which was built primarily around multirole aircraft as well as dedicated fighters and bombers. This doctrine focuses on three primary missions; air dominance, close air support, and strategic air strike. Of these, the air force considers air dominance to be the most important, and tends to resent being called on to perform other operations before this has been achieved.

The other major change in recent years has been the appearance of airships. After a relatively slow start, the IAF has embraced the airship as its premiere weapon of choice, if only to "even the ship score" with the Army and Navy. Though the fallout of float technology has greatly limited their potential - such that these so-called "air dreadnoughts" are less like traditional warships and more like greatly expanded bomber/transport craft - airships remain a valued force to be reckoned with, their superior mobility and range easily granting them a fair measure of prestige over their land and sea based counterparts.

Directorate of Military Intelligence[]

The Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI, or simply "the Directorate"), was established as Britannia's main secret service after the Dance of the Dragons (or alternately, the Second Britannian Civil War). Like the Stagsguard, to which it is indirectly linked, it answers only to the Emperor or Empress. Its original purpose was to provide the Crown with complete and accurate information on any particular subject, allowing the Emperor or Empress to make informed decisions. Over time, it evolved into a modern espionage agency, its roles including Intelligence, Counter-Intelligence, Internal Security and Special Operations.

The Directorate is divided into multiple sections, each designated Military Intelligence (MI), Section and numbered accordingly. Each section retains its own unique duties to the Empire and corresponding mode of operation, and include both armed forces and civilian personnel. They are laid out as so:

Section I (MI1)[]

Codes and Cyphers.

Section II (MI2)[]

Geographical section.

Section III (MI3)[]

Public relations.

Section IV (MI4)[]

SIGINT and COMSEC.

Section V (MI5)[]

Counterintelligence.

Section VI (MI6)[]

Foreign intelligence and espionage.

Section VII (MI7)[]

Interrogations.

Section VIII (MI8)[]

Global technical intelligence.

Section IX (MI9)[]

Military Security.

Section X (MI10)[]

Military censorship.

Section XI (MI11)[]

Air defense intelligence.

Section XII (MI12)[]

Aerial reconnaissance.

Section XIII (MI13)[]

Undocumented Intelligence and Special Operations (Black Ops).

Section XIV (MI14)[]

Scientific intelligence.

Section XV (MI15)[]

Secretariat for DMI Director.

Imperial Anthem[]

The former Anthem of the Empire (now patriotic song) is called "God Save the Emperor".

God save our Emperor!

Long live our great Emperor!

God save the Emperor!

Send him victorious,

Happy and glorious,

Long to reign over us:

God save the Emperor!

O Lord our God arise,

Scatter his enemies,

And make them fall:

Confound their politics,

Frustrate their knavish tricks,

On Thee our hopes we fix:

God save us all.

Thy choicest gifts in store,

On him be pleased to pour;

Long may he reign:

May he defend our laws,

And ever give us cause,

To sing with heart and voice,

God save the Emperor!

It remained Britannia's official anthem until 1811, when Emperor Aegon I wrote a new anthem titled "All Hail Britannia", after the Britannic Salute. From 1811 onwards, this would be the official Anthem of the Empire.

Truth and hope in our Fatherland!
And death to every foe!
Our soldiers shall not pause to rest
We vow our loyalty
Old traditions they will abide
Arise young heroes!
Our past inspires noble deeds
All Hail Britannia!
Immortal beacon shows the way
Step forth and seek glory!
Hoist your swords high into the clouds
Hail Britannia!
Our Emperor stands astride this world
He’ll vanquish every foe!
His truth and justice shine so bright
All hail his brilliant light!
Never will he be overthrown
Like mountains and sea
His bloodline immortal and pure
All Hail Britannia!
So let his wisdom guide our way
Go forth and seek glory
Hoist your swords high into the clouds
Hail Britannia!

List of Britannian Emperors[]

More to come...

Flags[]

The flag of the Holy Britannian Empire has changed throughout its history. The St. George's Cross became Britannia's official flag in 1190 though this changed in 1690, when Parliament passed the Acts of Union 1690, allowing Britannia to officially annex Scotland, ending its centuries-long status as a vassal kingdom. This was emphasized when the flag of Scotland, the St. Andrew's Cross, was merged with the St. George's Cross as to symbolize Scotland as a true territory of the Empire. In the aftermath of a failed Irish revolt in 1798, Parliament passed the Acts of Union 1800 in 1800, allowing Britannia to officially annex Ireland. As a result, Ireland's St. Patrick's Cross was incorporated into the Britannian flag which from that point onward, would come to be known as the Union Jack, the current flag of the Holy Britannian Empire.

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