Charles Castiligoni

b. 18 February 392
d. 17 November 430

419 - 430: Emperor of the Terran Empire

Charles Castilgoni was the grandson of Virginia Carroll through Leo Castiligoni and his son Henry. Throughout the reigns of Joseph and Denise Löwenger, opposition forces had supported Henry, a popular Naval officer, as a rival claimant to the Throne. During the Regency (401-406) Edward Tattersall managed to placate the opposition and agitation for Henry weakened. When Mary Tattersall took the Throne in 406, she agreed to an Act of Succession naming the 14-year-old Charles as her Heir. (The same Act, as a major concession to Carroll forces, named Thomas Carroll as Heir's Heir.)

Charles moved into the Palace and began his training as Imperial Heir in 406. He proved an able student, and showed particular talent in the financial arena. (Charles' mother, Lynn Cepeda, was Chief Financial Officer for Rockwell Interstellar, and was a major influence on young Charles.)

The relationship between Mary and Charles was, by all accounts, a friendly one. Mary, childless due to the Act of Succession of 406, positioned herself as Charles' loving aunt; she established apartments in the Palace for the boy's parents, and encouraged them to remain part of his life.

Charles met Betty Jakobbsen, of the politically-neutral Jakobbsen Family, at a Palace function in 408; the two fell in love and began seeing one another frequently. On Year Day 410, at Mary Tattersall's urging, the two were espoused in a ceremony that caught the fancy of the Galaxy. Their son Marc was born on September 4, 410. At once, Mary engineered a new Act of Succession naming Marc as Heir's Heir in lieu of Thomas Carroll. This move, which might have cost Mary considerable political capital under other circumstances, was made easier by the enormous popularity of the Royal Couple Charles and Betty.

Charles' father, Henry, was a Navy officer; he was killed in action in 416, at the age of 41. As the son of an Empress and the father of the Heir, Henry was given full Imperial honors in a spectacular memorial ceremony.

On July 6, 419, Mary Tattersall passed the Crown to Charles, then died peacefully. After a tenday mourning period, Charles began his reign in earnest.

Charles continued Mary's middle-of-the-road politics, but coupled them with astute financial policies that resulted in an economic boom throughout the Empire. The Patalanian War continued, but just like Mary, Charles maintained a "defense only" strategy, and by and large Imperial losses were kept to a minimum during his reign.

Historians generally count Charles' reign as an extension of Mary's -- a period of relative peace and goodwill in the Empire. Both opposing parties in the Imperial Council -- long known as the "Carroll Coalition" and the "Opposition" -- continued to lose power during this period, and by 425 historians refer to the opposing parties as "Hawks" (i.e. those who preferred a more offensive strategy toward Patala) and "Doves" (i.e. those who wanted to make peace with the Union.) Charles continued to balance the two, neither making peace nor going on the offensive, in a de facto recognition of the status quo.

Charles continued to rule strongly, despite failing health, until the autumn of 430 when he began to succumb to old age. (At the time, he was chronologically 38 but physiologically three times that age.)

Charles lingered until the morning of 17 November 430, when after a modest breakfast he went to sleep, and died a few hours later. His mother, Lynn Cepeda, and his spouse, Betty Sanceau were both with him at the end.

Once again, this time for the last time, the Empire mourned for the loss of a beloved ruler.

Charles was succeeded by his twenty-year-old son, Marc Jakobbsen.

The Castiligoni Emperors
The Terran Emperors

copyright © 2003, Don Sakers
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