|Event Name||Anahera Dictatorship|
|Dates and Times||November 20th 303 AC - January 1st 304 AC|
|Location||Daendroc, Regalian Archipelago|
|People Involved||The Regalian Empire, Daenshore, Alexander I, Alejandro Anahera, Andrieu Anahera|
The Anahera Dictatorship was a political crisis sparked by Andrieu Anahera’s hostile takeover of the Regalian Government in the late months of 303 AC. The feat was made possible by the sudden coma of Emperor Alexander I and escalated into military confrontations in multiple theaters across the Regalian Empire. In the end, the crisis was resolved by the realm nobility and resulted in the fall of House Anahera as well as the reconsideration of the Emperor's relation and approach to nobility. This led to the Imperial Throne's secession from the state.
The summer of the year 303 AC saw the emergence of the fog creatures and the Statue of Estel. Regalian forces amassed and defeated these unknown forces in the Battle of Curag Fields. This led to a short inter-war period of peace during which the Arch-Chancellor, Ulric Typhonus, resigned and his office was secured by Andrieu Anahera through a majority vote of the peerage. The advent of the Humanum Legislation the following month triggered an unprecedented crisis in Daenshore: the sudden influx of millions of Nelfin slaves now proclaimed citizens placed a heavy burden on the local economy, and a state of chaos emerged where Daendroque armies marched north to invade Ithania. Amidst the civil strife in Daenshore, the freshly-appointed Arch-Chancellor Andrieu Anahera shifted his attention to Alejandro Anahera’s titles. Alejandro was Andrieu’s older brother, whom the younger had enviously resented his entire life.
Months prior, Alejandro had occupied the seat of Arch-Chancellor, bet fell out of favor with the nobility when they diplomatically ousted him using a Cordon Sanitaire; an act of denying his office. As compensation, Emperor Alexander I granted Alejandro the Governate of Daenshore to occupy as a Viceroyal until death. Andrieu raised his armies and marched on his older brother, accusing him of supporting the Daendroquin rebels in the colonial rebels. In a single night, Alejandro fell within his estate, and Andrieu claimed sovereignty over all Anahera wealth and titles. The news was welcomed in the Empire since Alejandro was made a straw-man singlehandedly responsible for the Daendroquean incursion and war in Ithania.
The period of Anahera Dictatorship started with the poisoning of Alexander I on the 20th of November. The Emperor fell comatose, and the state council assumed full executive powers in his absence. From then on, the period can be broken into four phases as it escalated from political conflict to an Empire-wide breakdown of government functions and was eventually solved through the death of Andrieu Anahera. Two weeks passed into the protectorate without any major public events. Most eyes were fixed on trying to figure out the culprit behind the Emperor's poisoning, or on the ongoing war in Ithania. On the 6th of December, a coup attempt from within House Anahera left the Arch-Chancellor cast into a fireplace and horribly disfigured. Following this event, he imprisoned all members of the State Council and claimed the title of Lord Protector, assuming full control over the Regalian Empire.
This triggered a series of events where both the Viridian Castle and the Imperial Palace instituted a full-scale lockdown. Andrieu replaced most officials within the city overnight with Anahera-loyal subordinates, including a temporary minister appointed to lead the Dogmatic Unionism during the Primae-Celate's imprisonment. As part of his reforms, Andrieu extended acceptance to the Vultar and Diviner heretics. They flocked to form banners and armies for the Lord Protector in the southern half of the Regalian Archipelago. Surprising was the content attitude of the common folk during both the early and the later days of the Anahera Dictatorship. As the events escalated, Andrieu implemented more and more radical social policies, and took power from the nobility and bestowed it on the commoners. This led to both a strong civilian power-base supporting his reign and a lasting legacy where a man single-handedly revitalized the ideals of Jacobinism.
The dictator’s opposition to House Kade was not out of pure greed. Throughout its extensive history, House Kade experienced a dramatic increase in power, culminating into the Kade Settlement Act, where the Imperial Throne passed from House Ivrae to House Kade. Andrieu was both distrustful and disenfranchised toward the new Imperial Family due to the shift to a more jingoistic and centralized governance. He was not alone: Vultar and Diviner heretics, Dragenthal barons, and the colonial realms all craved a voice against the reduction in local rights and freedoms, which is why Andrieu’s radical actions were tolerated for as long as they had been.
Escalation into a Military Conflict
Following the coup and the changes in leadership, Andrieu had most members of House Kade arrested and defenestrated from his estate. This lead to the execution of the former chancellor Moriarty Kade. Outrage followed in Anglia. The realm declared a complete embargo on the Crown Isle and ceased shipping grain and food. A Kade army, raised and led by Reginald V Kade-Schwarz, marched southward in open rebellion, joined by forces from numerous duchies and baronies in both Brissaud and Drachenwald. Loiree and Vixhall declared secession from the Empire under the pretense that the Lord Protector imprisoned the lady Adelheid Ivrae. The answers were similarly swift from the Anahera side of the conflict. Girobaldan forces crossed the narrow straight and moved to occupy the Ithanian duchies that remained completely defenseless. In the east, a host of Montanian troops and Vultar heretics moved northward to capture their long-term rival lands in Calemberg. Colonial forces declared themselves in support of Andrieu and sent both troops and ships to the Archipelago in preparations for a full-scale conflict. In Regalia, families of high nobility were all stripped of their titles and rights, with those joining the rebellion against the Lord Protector outright declared enemies of the state. Anahera troops marched up and down the streets of the Crown City, killing any who would oppose the protectorate. They symbolically torched the Golden Willow tavern, a property of House Kade. The split in government was finalized when Basta declared its secession from the Empire and its resistance to the rule of the Anahera-supported replacement of the Primae-Celate. Though not an official one, this event is often referred to as the "4th Schism" in the history of the Regalian Empire and Unionism.
Temporary Dissolution of the Empire
In the subsequent month, the unified South-Anglian army under Reginald V Kade-Schwarz clashed with the Girobaldan forces in Vixhall. Unbeknownst to them, a large host of Anahera troops arrived from the west, where the Daendroquin incursion into Ithania came to a sudden and surprising halt. The Kade-loyal forces were decimated and retreated to the swamplands of Southern Anglia, and Andrieu's hegemony over the western Archipelago was secured. In the east, the unified forces of Calemberg were caught in a two-front war as a Songaskian invasion force arrived, arranged for in secrecy by the Lord Protector. The Vultar heretics swarmed into the lands and pillaged through the Wirtem homeland. A lasting symbol of their incursion was the capture of the City of Calemberg and the arson of the Great Dom within.
Stability within Anahera-controlled lands vaned throughout the months of the conflict and gave birth to the Pileran restoration rebellion in Pays Sud. Similarly, a schism occurred within the Vultar heresy, and a three-sided conflict ensued in Vultaro between the heretics, the nonconformist-heretics and invading forces from Basta. On the 23rd of December, Drixagh informally seceded from the Empire and declared itself a lordship under the protection of the Old Gods. Similarly, the Kingdoms of Lusits and Nordskag announced their secession from the Empire and formed a three-party-entente with Ithania to take up arms against the Daendroquean forces still present there. From one day to another, the Empire's government collapsed completely, and Regalia was reduced to a multitude of states forming various alliances in support or against the protectorate.
End of the Protectorate
On the 25th of December, the Grand Ekhein of the Imperial Court announced from the walls of the Imperial Palace that Alexander I had been awakened and declared Andrieu Anahera a traitor to the Regalian Empire. Various resistance movements aided by the Admiralty and the surviving Kade forces from Anglia formed a last-ditch effort to liberate the Crown City and cut the head of the snake. The city imploded in a conflict lasting several days, during which loyalist forces assaulted and re-captured the Anahera-occupied state buildings one-by-one.
The highlight of these days was the lifting of the siege on the Viridian castle. As it was the first organization to officially declare rebellion against the Protectorate, the castle had been badly damaged by siege cannons by the time the loyalist forces arrived to cull the attackers. Andrieu Anahera and the protectorate's leadership retreated into the Tyrian Castle previously seized by Anahera forces, the last protectorate-controlled fortress on the Crown Isle. A lengthy siege followed during which the Lord Protector himself fell into a blaze of fire from his balcony.
Even though Andrieu fell, the Empire was still in a state of perpetual chaos. The Emperor's return to his throne marked a joint effort by the nobility to defeat the remnants of the Anahera-loyalists and return the realm to stability. The establishment of the Dictatorship proved the Empire's functions both inefficient and easily abusable. As expected by many, the Emperor soon called for a series of grand diets in the Anglian capital city of Axford to reorganize the Empire in the wake of the conflict. During the diet, the Anahera lands in the Regalian Archipelago were parted and broken into individual duchies. Furthermore, the Emperor announced the Imperial Seat's secession from the state and established the relations between the state, nobility, and the Emperor as a decentralized system resembling more a federation than the previous absolute monarchy.
Around the Empire, lasting effects of the Anahera Dictatorship and its fall are still tangible. The replacement of the Anahera viceroy in Daenshore bred dissent and local unrest lasting several months before Regalia firmly quashed it. Ithania's weakened position during the crisis led to the austerity movement and symbolic end to a long period of peace. In the Dressolini lands, the involvement of Vultar heretics in the crisis led to the eventual slaughter and extermination of them afterward. These events influenced a Crown Prince the most, however, who remained imprisoned and tortured during most of the protectorate. The attack of house Anahera on the integrity of the Empire was witnessed first-hand by the then-prince Cedromar I. It is not a surprise that after his coronation, the Emperor took numerous precautions to prevent the rise of another dictator. The armies of the Imperial Seat and House Kade were increased to better match the forces of nobility and the re-organization of realm nobility under his rule meant a permanent end of the decentralization that bred the protectorate.
- The Lord Protector, after assaulted by his own family, remained in a perpetual state of paranoia during his reign. Rumours claim that he had a secret cabinet behind his bed where he kept a detachment of house guards.
- For a long time after the Lord Protector's fall, rumors spread in the sewers about the "burned man" who would return and topple the Empire. All possible claimants have been declared imposters.