The Free Worlds League was formed in 2271 by the Treaty of Marik, which united the Marik Commonwealth, the Grand Duchy of Oriente, and the Principality of Regulus. This was a loose organization of states, and they began to expand into the surrounding systems. In 2293, Juliano Marik annexed the Stewart Commonality, and was designated Captain-General. Since then, House Marik has held the post of Captain-General until the present day. Beginning in 2398, the Capellan Confederation declared war on the League in an attempt to annex Andurien and it's surrounding systems. This began the 150-year period known as the Age of War. During the Age of War, the Terran Hegemony developed the first BattleMechs. In 2556, Ian Cameron, leader of the Terran Hegemony, negotiated the Andurien Peace Treaty, ending the Age of War, and setting the foundations for the creation of the Star League. The Star League lasted for roughly 200 years, of which 150 were a time of unprecedented growth and discovery for all of mankind. After the Civil War against Stefan Amaris, the Usurper, Aleksandr Kerensky left the Inner Sphere with approximately 80 percent of the Star League Armed Forces.
Minoru Kurita and John Davion both seized the opportunity and declared themselves First Lord of the Star League shortly after, and Kenyon Marik followed suit in 2786, and the First Succession War began. The First, Second, and Third Succession Wars saw little change in the Inner Sphere, except for the tremendous loss of life and technology. Soon, the Ares Conventions were established, governing the conduct of warfare, and war became a way of life in the Inner Sphere. Each successive Captain-General since Kenyon Marik has invoked Resolution 288 upon taking office, which allows the Captain-General certain powers in time of war or crisis. The Fourth Succession War began with the wedding of Hanse Davion to Melissa Steiner. The Capellan Confederation lost a large portion of their territory, and the Free Rasalhague Republic was created, along with the St. Ives Compact. The Free Worlds League remained out of most of the conflict, losing several worlds near Terra to a Tikonov offensive towards the end of the war. While the other Inner Sphere Houses were exhausted from the war, the Free Worlds League remained completely intact, ready to exploit the economic boom after the peace was signed. League Traders began to do business with all the major Houses, and the Free Worlds League soon had one of the strongest economies in history. In 3030, the Duchy of Andurien seceded from the League, and allied itself to the Magistracy of Canopus, precipitating the War of Andurien Secession. The war dragged on for years, and Captain-General Janos Marik was killed in a bomb blast in 3035 that also severely injured his son Thomas. Thomas was taken to Terra and rehabilitated by ComStar in secret, until his return in 3036. He assumed the post of Captain-General and League forces quickly forced Andurien into submission. Thomas has since been instituting reforms in the League to break some of the diplomatic gridlock that paralyzed it for so long, keeping it from being an effective and unified force.
The poor performance of the Free Worlds League military during the Fourth Succession War left Captain-General Janos Marik in a precarious political position. His many opponents in the League Parliament began to draft legislation aimed at either removing him or reducing his powers. Derick Cameron-Jones, spokesman for the Principality of Regulus and opposition leader, was confident that his movement could raise enough support to overthrow Marik rule.
The secession of the Duchy of Andurien in September 3030 and its subsequent alliance with the Magistracy of Canopus dashed the opposition's hopes. Janos, aided by his son Duggan and his nephew Duncan, quickly seized the initiative and severely weakened the opposition by comparing their "unpatriotic" behavior to the Andurien defection. Marik pressed his advantage further by forcing passage of the Internal Emergency Act of 3030 stripping the League's member states of most of their sovereignty for the duration of the emergency. The Duchy of Oriente and the Principality of Regulus were exempted from the act, the former for its long-time support of Janos Marik and the latter because Janos feared that the Regulans would go over to the Andurien-Canopian alliance if he tried to interfere with their sovereignty. Theoretically, the Internal Emergency Act was supposed to be invoked in times of danger to the League, but like Resolution 288, the Act empowered the Captain-General to decide what constituted a crisis and when it had passed.
Janos Marik suffered a life-threatening stroke less than a month after passage of the Emergency Act. Duggan Marik, the Captain-General's eldest son, tried to assume control, as did Duggan's first cousin Duncan Marik even though Janos had appointed Thomas Marik as his heir to the Captain-Generalcy. Duke Halas of Oriente contacted Thomas, who was serving in the Lyran Commonwealth as Precentor of ComStar's station on Son Hoa.
When Thomas came before Parliament in January 3031 producing documents written by Janos that named him as Heir-Designate, the struggle between Duggan and Duncan died down. For the next four years, Thomas ruled in his father's name with a measured hand, despite continued rivalry from Duncan and Duggan. He took several steps to mollify the MPs, who no longer represented semi-sovereign provinces, but mere cultural regions.
Thomas Marik's success in filling his father's shoes sorely troubled Duncan, Duggan, Duke Halas, and ComStar. The Duke and ComStar had supported Thomas because they believed he would be easy to manipulate. Now Thomas was proving to be his own man, and ComStar was especially dismayed to see its influence over Thomas waning.
Then came the news that Janos Marik had recovered enough to resume control of the League.
On June 1, 3035 Janos Marik called a meeting to discuss ways to bring the Duchy of Andurien back into the League. Present were Thomas, Duggan, and Duncan Marik, as well as several representatives from the diplomatic corps. Not long after the meeting began, a bomb hidden in a portable holotable exploded, killing the Captain-General and apparently everyone else in the room. Only Duncan Marik narrowly escaped death after being called from the room on an urgent matter just minutes before the blast.
Duncan Marik assumed the Captain-Generalcy by right of rank and experience. By order of succession, Paul Marik, Duncan's shy older brother in the Ministry of Intelligence, should, technically, have taken the reins of power--and there were many who hoped he would--but Paul supported his younger brother.
After the quickest of investigations, the new Captain-General announced that Andurien agents were responsible for the assassination, and he declared war on the Duchy of Andurien. Despite his experience as commander of the Marik Militia, Duncan's hope for a quick and glorious conquest soon became mired in a series of costly battles with no clear winner.
On December 5, 3036, Thomas Marik made an appearance before a stunned Parliament. Though his body was not found after the explosion, everyone assumed that Thomas had died along with his father and brother. Thomas had been seriously wounded, but he survived the blast. With the room in flames and Thomas lying bleeding and unconscious near the door, two rescuers arrived. They were Li Mann, a close friend of Thomas's since childhood, and a member of the palace guard who was really a ROM agent. Realizing that Thomas was critically injured and also still in danger from whoever planted the bomb, the two rushed Thomas to the ComStar station and let the room burn. ComStar Kappa personnel tended to Thomas's extensive burns until they stabilized his condition. Thomas was later transferred to the ComStar medical center on Terra, where he recuperated for a year.
During that time, Thomas Marik received reports on the political situation in the League from ComStar, which hoped to regain its influence over Thomas so that he would be their pawn after returning to power on Atreus.
The League government and the Parliament greeted Thomas's miraculous appearance with joy. Duncan had been a harsh leader, with little tact or diplomacy. With Duncan at the helm, government officials had been fearing an outbreak of civil unrest. Duncan had earned Parliament's hatred, too, when he refused to give even the pretext of consulting them on major issues.
When Duncan Marik received the news of Thomas's return and the massive show of support for him, he was in the field with his troops in the Duchy of Andurien. Now that he was no longer the Captain-General, he knew that he could be arrested at any moment for killing Janos and Duggan. Duncan felt that his one slim hope of survival was to win a major military victory against the Anduriens. He threw himself into an ambitious, but ill-planned, offensive.
Meanwhile, Thomas used the shock of his reappearance to pass the Addendum to the Incorporation, further centralizing political power in the Marik family. The Addendum also eliminated the Home Defense Acts, which had paralyzed the League military for so long.
Duncan Marik died on February 4, 3037, while leading an attack against Andurien 'Mechs on Xanthe III. His death and the poor planning for his final offensive left the League's invasion of Andurien in danger of collapse. Realizing that this would be his chance to show his mettle as a leader, Thomas announced that he was leaving Atreus to lead the League forces.
In a series of well-planned attacks, Thomas Marik conquered the Duchy of Andurien and captured the aging Dame Catherine Humphreys in 3040. The Duchess of Andurien was stricken with a fatal heart attack while awaiting trial on charges of treason. As a gesture of reconciliation, the Captain-General pardoned Andurien political and military leaders for their roles in the civil war.
In the past few years, Thomas has passed more laws stripping both the Duchy of Oriente and the Principality of Regulus of their sovereignty.
Thomas created the League General Accounting Office in 3043. This department had little inherent power, but Thomas assigned loyal family members and friends to key positions. The LGAO quickly assumed control over the League bureaucracy and began to flex its muscle by manipulating the flow of money to ensure that pro-Marik companies with no provincial affiliation got all the important contracts, redrawing the bureaucratic boundaries to dilute the power of provincial governments, and creating the Marik Scholarship Fund for loyal young men and women who want to enter the fast track into government or the military.
Addendum to the Incorporation:
Perhaps the strongest basis for Thomas Marik's rule comes from the Addendum to the Incorporation, which he wrote and had passed in 3037. The Addendum gives him the power to bypass the formality of seeking approval from the League's provincial governments except in matters deemed "culturally significant" to a particular region. However, Clause 9 of the Addendum states that "the Captain-General can veto any law that interferes with the will of the Captain-General while Resolution 288 is in effect." This gives him absolute veto power over any law the provincial governments try to enact and allows him to exercise this power without Parliament's approval, reducing that body to little more than a public forum. Clause 9 also did away with the Home Defense Act.
When the Clans invaded the Inner Sphere in 3049, the Free Worlds League was well removed from the threat. The invasion corridor was on the other side of the Inner Sphere, so the League stayed neutral in the conflict. When it became clear that the only way to defeat the Clans was by inter-House cooperation, Thomas Marik reluctantly agreed to help supply the other Houses with parts and even new BattleMechs to help fight the Clans. In exchange, Prince Hanse Davion offered to treat Thomas's son Joshua for leukemia at the New Avalon Institute of Science. Since Joshua's illness, Thomas has recognized his illegitimate daughter Isis as his heir should Joshua not recover. Isis is now engaged to be married to Sun-Tzu Liao, Chancellor of the Capellan Confederation. After the Battle of Tukayyid and the truce, the Free Worlds League has begun increasing factory production to prepare for the resumption of the war. The 33rd Marik Militia traveled to what is left of the Free Rasalhague Republic to engage in operations against the Clans. On their first and only operation, they fought against Khan Natasha Kerensky's Wolf Spiders, and the unit was destroyed. Since then, The Free Worlds League Military has increased training operations in an effort to train themselves to fight the Clans more effectively. Thomas has promised to send direct military aid to the Free Rasalhague Republic and the Draconis Combine to enable them to better withstand Clan assaults when the offensive resumes.
The Free Worlds League also got a boost after the ComStar Schism, when a portion of ComStar broke away, forming the Word of Blake. Thomas Marik, having been a ComStar Precentor before assuming the Captain-Generalship, gave the Word of Blake dissidents safe haven inside the Free Worlds League, and allowed them to set up their headquarters on the planet of Gibson. Word of Blake now controls all hyperpulse communications within the FWL, and they have nominated Thomas for the position of Primus-in-Exile. Thomas has not yet accepted or declined the nomination. Word of Blake brought with it several regiments of former Com-Guard BattleMechs, and approximately 3/4 of ROM, the ComStar Intelligence Agency. WoB 'Mechs now are a large portion of the defensive garrison on Gibson.
Supporters of Thomas Marik:
Despite the recent erosion of his powers, Duke Halas of the Duchy of Oriente remains a supporter of Thomas. As he is not likely to harbor further hopes of dominating the Captain-General, it is possible that he supports Thomas Marik out of simple admiration for his policies.
The Ducal President of the Regulan Free States is another strong supporter. In appreciation of the Addendum which freed the Regulan Free States from the bullying of the Principality of Regulus, the Stimson family, hereditary Ducal Presidents counsel their six MPs to back the Captain-General in policy discussions.
Opponents of Thomas Marik:
The Principality of Regulus remains a staunch opponent of the Marik government. Though Princes in name only, the Cameron-Jones family still has considerable political and economic power with which to fight the Captain-General. The current Prince of Regulus is Lynn Cameron-Jones. He has a terminal case of Regulan blood poisoning and is not expected to live much longer.
His son, Kirc Cameron-Jones, might prove to be cut from a different cloth, however. Kirc was a fighter pilot with the First Regulan Hussars during the war with Andurien. As an MP, his good looks and fiery rhetoric have already won him the position of Opposition Leader. Recognizing the young man's potential, Thomas Marik offered him a high post in government, but Kirc refused the offer.
There has been a growing, but apparently undirected flurry of negative rumors concerning Thomas Marik. Most say no one could have survived the blast that killed his father and six others. The rumors accuse ComStar medics of making bionic repairs on the Captain-General, which many League citizens would find abhorrent.
Despite the political changes that have reshaped the realm, the Free Worlds League economy did not suffer greatly. The typical League business remains as aggressive and active as any Lyran company, with most League businessmen seeing the shakeup in laws as an opportunity rather than an obstacle. A good example is the dissolution of the provincial borders which is a boon to League industries.
Though most firms had no real loyalty to a particular province, those of the interior worlds of the former Principality of Regulus did suffer because of the economic sanctions the Marik government took against them. Some of those companies survived, while others were gobbled up by competitors.
Interstate trade has changed since the war. Competition with the Lyran Commonwealth is still quite strong, reducing trade between the two realms. The union of the Lyran Commonwealth with the Federated Suns also has cut into the League's profitable trading with New Avalon, the St. Ives Compact, and the Sarna March. Trade with the Draconis Combine has grown during the last five years, in keeping with the warm-up of relations between those two powers.
The Free Worlds League has taken a stronger interest in the affairs of the Inner Sphere in recent years. Sir Timothy Halas, the new Minister of Foreign Affairs and son of the Duke of Oriente, is increasingly willing to send and receive ambassadors and diplomats from all the other states, including those of the Periphery.
Relations with the Federated Commonwealth are cool. The loss of traditional markets in the Federated Suns and Sarna March has left Marik bitter.
Relations with the Capellan Confederation are virtually nonexistent, mainly because of Chancellor Romano Liao's reputation for political opportunism through unsavory means. Captain-General Marik apparently senses that the new stability he has given the Free Worlds League would be jeopardized by a close relationship with Romano Liao.
Relations with the Periphery have improved. The new leadership in the Magistracy of Canopus has attempted to reestablish relations with the League after the failed alliance with the Duchy of Andurien. Among other initiatives, an exchange program of medical personnel is underway between the two realms. As yet there has been no exchange of ambassadors.
To the Captain-General, the Draconis Combine represents the most promising prospect for an alliance. Cultural differences between the two realms, once a point of serious contention, have lessened because of recent social and political changes in both realms. The only major drawback to any serious negotiations is that the Captain-General cannot be sure whether it is Coordinator Takashi or Kanrei Theodore who runs the Combine.
Captain-General Marik's most important ally is certainly ComStar. With his former membership and his ComStar training, the Captain-General and the Primus must find themselves in agreement on most issues, though the Marik consistently refuses to become her tool.
The Addendum, which swept away most provincial powers, has allowed Thomas Marik to achieve what the Mariks have dreamed of for hundreds of years: to build a single, unified fighting force. Taking a lesson from the Federated Commonwealth regiments being raised in our realm, Thomas has begun to develop Free Worlds League Legions, a collection of regiments loosely based on the RCT principle used so successfully by the Federated Suns.
The first League Legions were anchored by the elite 'Mech regiments from the existing military, but only after their loyalty was assured. Since the end of the civil war, five new 'Mech regiments, the Legionnaires, have been raised, with the best equipment and services. Some of the 'Mechs for the Legionnaires came from the Defenders of Andurien regiments, which were disbanded after their conquest by Thomas Marik.
Armed with new powers and controlling a more unified realm, Captain-General Marik has used some of the proceeds from the economic gains to bolster his defense against the Federated Commonwealth. In the past ten years, the Free Worlds League has doubled the number of mercenary units in its employ.
The new League military has been successful on the field, but certain internal troubles must be cause for the Captain-General's concern. Most pressing are the regional and social prejudices that some older members of the military have evidenced, even leading to a number of incidents and deaths.
In 3048, the Draconis Combine and the Free Worlds League opened negotiations. The Combine apparently offered the League military information about their common enemy, the Federated Commonwealth, as well as an exchange of military technology. This offer interests most of the generals of the League military, but as of this writing, there has been no word of acceptance by the Captain-General.
The Ranks for Free Worlds League Military Personnel are as follows:
Please note that ALL new recruits will begin at the rank of Recruit, from where they will be promoted based on performance. New recruits will attend the Academy where they will be trained in personal, vehicle, and BattleMech combat. There will be several stages in Academy training, and an advance in rank and/or class will follow each successfully completed stage. Also note that this rank chart is only meant for military personnel. Ambassadors and other civilian personnel will be given 'ranks' appropriate to their job, and will also be classed accordingly. An ambassador to a major House will be ranked about 27, and the rest will follow down from there.
The changes that have peppered the last two decades of Free Worlds League history have reshaped a perpetually quarreling and fragmented realm into a potent and efficient state.
While Janos Marik gets credit for most of the changes, his son is a man apparently able to slice through the personal interests and regional prejudices of the older politicians and get to the heart of the problem, which he then solves. This has won him strong support from his people.
He has stimulated the economy with his programs and reawakened the desire of many to become actively involved in the politics of the Inner Sphere. If relations between the League and the Draconis Combine continue to improve, it is entirely possible that one day our Federated Commonwealth will face an enemy alliance equal to our own political, economic, and military power.
At the moment, all that stands in Thomas' way is the network of older leaders who still secretly yearn for the power they and their provinces lost. In time, these people will simply pass from the scene, leaving Thomas's way clear.
This data file was originally obtained from the BattleTech 3056 MUSE. It was originally converted to HTML by Michael J. Flynn of The Company Store and Team SPAM! who believe "Information is in the noise!"
Some graphics obtained from Leigh "Mad Dog" Brunk's page, Giant Robots Blew Up My Website! Many thanks to him for the generous permission to use them on this site.