Like most Vargr, Archduke Koktso has a twin, Uevino Se. Currently, Uevino Se acts to handle internal disputes within the ruling family pack (consisting of 27 male and 25 female Vargr, ignoring Vargr under the age of 17), while Koktso focuses on Imperial duties. Koktso mate, Lady Ghuesaedzozosaee (she permits her impatient Solomani subjects to shorten her name to ‘Ghueside’), handles financial and security matters for the ruling pack: Lady Ghueside has also carved out a place for herself as ‘Alpha Female’ for all Vargr within Antares sector.
Koktso and Ghueside have chosen to follow the Gvegh custom of serial monogamy: so far, both remain satisfied with their five-year relationship as it is. Neither expects a lifelong commitment.
Archduke Koktso was born in the archducal station of Cerise (in the Antares system) in 39-963. He spent most of his formative years bouncing around Antares Sector, as a tag-along of his rather neglectful father Archduke Gvueneghz. Koktso was the youngest in his family, but his superior interpersonal ability – compared to his more studious and reclusive brothers – marked him as the right kind of pup to succeed the Archduke. After interviewing his friends, foes, and family, advisors to the Emperor agreed, and backed Gvueneghz’s decision.
While on a goodwill tour of the Julian Protectorate (and to feel out Julian reactions to a possible Imperial-Solomani war), Archduke Gvueneghz was killed in a truly daring and meticulously planned-out pirate attack in 49-979. Later investigation would reveal that the strike was carried out by the Black Death Band not for political or financial reasons, but simply to reap the huge boost in charisma and respect that any Vargr (or human, for that matter) would receive on killing an important and highly-protected individual. But at the time, the strike was thought to single strong Julian support for the Solomani, and the possibility of the Imperium facing a two-front was raised.
Koktso was promptly elevated to the head of the Archduchy. The Protectorate avoided war and eased tensions by providing a prompt shipment of Vargr and human heads, formerly belonging to the pirates. The captured dependents of the pirates were also deported to the Archduke, to do with them as he will. In this instance, the Archduke chose to show clemency, and simply let them go, providing free transport back to the Protectorate to any who desired it. Profuse Julian apologies, delivered in person by the Regent of the Protectorate, were graciously accepted, and the unfortunate incident was dropped.
The Domains that Archdukes preside over were useful during the Pacification Campaign era of the early Imperium: however, their sheer scope makes them a threat to the Iridium Throne, as they are large enough to generate enough resources to contest the Emperor’s authority across a large percentage of high-tech/highpop systems. As such, their authority is now largely ceremonial, without the right of military command or taxation – but with the right to create Imperial Barons – before the Strephonian Reforms of the early 1100s granted them their old authority back. [Referee: While this policy was intended to shake the Imperium from stagnation and disrupt the formation of sector-sized cultures separate from the Imperial mainstream, it actually acted to accelerate the fragmentation and destruction of the Third Imperium.]
For most of the 980’s, the Archduke resided on Capital (Core 2118), lobbying for the nonhumans suffering under Solomani rule, and building public support for a major military push to reintegrate the Solomani Sphere into the Imperium. During this time, the Archduke visited Antares Sector three times, but the Empty Quarter only once, in a whirlwind tour of Nulinad Subsector in 989. While there, Archduke Koktso worked to ease tensions between the impoverished Empty Quarter and the wealthy Antares Sector, with little to show for it. Despite this letdown, Koktso was pleased to see that ‘his’ Domain – not only the formal territory of the Domain of Antares, but also the Imperial Empty Quarter, the Julian Protectorate, and the Hegemony of Lorean (an Associate State of the Protectorate) support Imperial actions against the distant Solomani Sphere. He was also happy to see that his trust in his family and his household retainers was well-rewarded with a peaceful and well-managed Domain.
From 990 onward, the Archduke – as a response to Vargr charges of hypocrisy and neglect – has been on a major tour of the coreward Imperium, drumming up support for the war, listening to complaints from the citizenry, and gathering information on ‘the Home Front’ from Antares to the Spinward Marches (where his family originated, and some ancestral holdings are still maintained.) Afterwards, he plans to present himself to Emperor Gavin at Capital, to relay his on-the-spot findings on the human/nonhuman (and especially Vargr/human) relations, support for the Solomani Cause (or the lack thereof), and his recommendations to strengthen the Imperial bond between them.
As of Holiday-993, having finished his tour of the Domain of Deneb, Archduke Koktso is enjoying the holiday with the Archduchess of Vland on her capital world. While the Archduke enjoys playing the tourist, Archduchess Masiinguu is encouraging Koktso to consider Solomani-Vilani relations as well, when he makes his presentation before the Imperial Court on Capital. When not attending to her esteemed guest, her attention is focused on insuring the financing of the war and regularizing the flow of men and material at a high level. When she has time, she attends to the complaints of Vilani representatives from the Old Expanses, relaying the cries of loyal Imperials cursing the oppression and discrimination of Solomani invaders against them.
- Koktso, Archduke of Antares: 963 to 1003.
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