Catherine Carroll

b. 19 June 428
d. 27 March 467

459 - 467: Empress of the Terran Empire

Catherine Carroll was the only daughter of James Carroll and Karen Wuorio. Throughout her childhood, she was intimately involved with the Throne and its occupants. Marc Jakobbsen was her godfather. From 431, when she was only three, it was established that James would inherit the Throne from Marc -- and, therefore, that Catherine would be his Heir.

As a girl, Catherine doted on her Imperial godfather. To the rest of the Galaxy, Marc Jakobbsen was an ineffective Emperor and a worthless playboy; to Catherine, he was an exotic, beloved uncle. When he died in 444 (she was 16), she was inconsolable.

In the center of the political whirlwind that was the Late Empire, Catherine was unable to make her own way. In 445 she entered a political espousement with David Kuchta, a leading voice in the Imperial Council. They had three children: John (b. 446), Margaret (b. 451), and Conrad (b. 453). Only days after John's birth, he was named Heir's Heir.

In 450, at the age of 22, Catherine accompanied James on a triumphal tour of the Empire, along with her four-year-old son John. This trip proved to be Catherine's introduction to the responsibilities of the Throne; after they returned to Laxus, James began his slow decline and each passing year saw Catherine taking up a larger portion of the say-to-day governance of the Empire.

Politically, Catherine had always been on the side of the Hawks, who supported no-holds-barred war with the Patalanian Union. Her experience as James' surrogate, however, made her aware of the increasingly-fragile state of Imperial politics. The Nobles were growing far too powerful for the Throne to control, and the various factions in the Imperial Council were completely intransigent, unwilling or unable to compromise.

After James died in 459 and Catherine was confirmed as Empress, she attempted one last time to balance the competing factions of the government. In 460 she convened the Council of Euphrates, a gathering which brought together leaders of the major dynasties in an attempt to find common ground. The Council failed spectacularly. Notably, the Lütken, Chen, d'Herelle, and Adelhardt Families all opposed Catherine (and each other).

Several rival claimants to the Throne appeared, notably Philip d'Herelle and the reigning Chen of Chen. Under these two, their Provinces (Credix and Borshall/New Sardinia, respectively) conspicuously went their own ways. Borshall/New Sardinia, for example, ceased to fight with the Patalanian Union and began trading, recognizing the Union in all but law. Credix withdrew many of its ships from Navy operations in the Transgeled, and instead conducted its own independent maneuvers along the border with the Union.

The Hawk party, of course, found Catherine not committed enough to their aims, and began to support her son, John. Catherine, meanwhile, aged terribly under the strain of the Throne. On 27 March 467, she died under the Memory Crown. Suspicion, of course, fell on John -- but later historians favor the theory that young Conrad, under the control of extreme Hawks, was actually responsible for her death.

Catherine was succeeded by her son, John Kuchta.

The Later Kuchta Emperors
The Terran Emperors

copyright © 2003, Don Sakers
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