While the Star League is often referred to as an era of peace and prosperity, there are several conflicts that help shape this period. We’re going to briefly cover these topics and the effect that they had on the Star League at the time, and how they shaped future policy decisions. There are four pivotal events that had lasting effects on the Star League and its member states.
The First Hidden War
The First Lord of the Star League issued the Edict of 2650, which was originally intended to put a cap on the expanding armies of the Periphery nations (specifically the RIm Worlds Republic), but the First Lord managed to slide in clauses that included all member states in the drawdown of forces. The Draconis Combine and it’s Coordinator were suddenly inundated with ronin who had formerly been house troops. These masterless samurai were constantly testing each other to prove who the superior fighter was. Eventually these warriors turned their attentions to the foreigners who had bases scattered throughout the Combine, the SLDF.
Thus began a series of duels between Combine Samurai and SLDF soldiers. The initial battles were disastrous for the SLDF, (the Combine Samurai were extremely well trained, and took this very seriously). And the SLDF instituted a training program for their absolute best to compete with the samurai. This program, the Advanced Combat Maneuver program would eventually be renamed the Gunslinger program. It produced some of the most skilled combatants for the SLDF during its time.
The end result of this conflict were mostly mixed, with neither side being able to claim a decisive win. (the percentages are 49% Kurita, 47% SLDF, with the remainders being dual fatalities or other improbable outcomes).
The War of Davion Succession
People fall in love, that’s a fact of life. When the people falling in love are immediate family members of two of the member states of the Star League, especially neighbors that have a long history of wanting to murder each other, things get tricky. Mary Davion (the daughter of the First Prince) fell in love with Soto Kurita, the brother of the Coordinator of the Draconis Combine. Roger set the lines of succession around Mary (who abdicated her claim to the throne for Soto). Time rolls forward, Mary and Soto have children, Roger dies, and Mary’s brother Joseph claims the throne of New Avalon, everything should be good, right?
Well, Takiro (Soto’s brother and the Coordinator of the Draconis Combine) sent his son Vincent to New Avalon to press the claim to the Davion throne on behalf of his cousin, (Soto and Mary’s son). Joseph blows him off and sets about naming his own son as his Heir. Takiro brings the matter to the Star League.
The matter sat in Star League chambers and courts until 2725 when Takiro had finally had enough. He ordered the DCMS to prepare a battle plan to put his nephew on the throne by force. In the fighting that ensued, Joseph Davion was killed in the fighting on Royal. The SLDF finally intervened and separated both sides by overwhelming force and the First Lord set the lines of succession as they had originally been (Mary’s out) and reset the original borders. Neither leader was happy with this outcome, and everyone involved simmered.
The Marik Conflict
For a variety of ugly reasons, the Free Worlds League was heading into an ugly economic downturn that provoked a civil war. Elise Marik (taking office in 2703) unleashed her security services on perceived enemies inside the Free Worlds League. The situation continued to escalate towards disaster until 2728 when the Free Worlds Parliament attempted to strip Elise of her powers. This escalated the situation to a full blown military conflict that threatened to shatter the League.
Half of the League followed Elise, the other half supported her nephew Boris (Oliver’s son). For six long, crazy, bloody years violence swept across the league and finally the Star League was able to intervene economically. (As it was a completely internal matter, the SLDF could not be deployed to stop the fighting. Only the abject failure of the Free Worlds Economy enabled the Star League to intervene and use money as a bargaining tool to bring all sides back to the table).
The SLDF high command began to seriously question the capabilities of Johnathan Cameron in the aftermath of the War of Davion Succession. A “cabal” of high ranking officers moved to replace Johnathan with his sister Jocasta (a devout nun) in the hopes of righting the ship. The rebellion both failed and succeeded. The conspirators were all executed when their treason came to light, but it served as a wake up call to Johnathan, who began to lean on his sister more and more until she took up the First Lordship.
The final major conflict of this era isn’t so much a conflict as a state of affairs. Highly trained, well equipped bandits started attacking a lot of different places throughout the Inner Sphere. When information indicated that one of the Great Houses had sponsored the attack, the recriminations and accusations flew across the council chambers. The response was simple “Business is business”
Tensions escalated to the point that the SLDF was deployed everywhere with an operational order to shoot bandits on sight. The SLN got involved, bringing warships into the fight. Suspiciously, “bandit” forces also started travelling with naval escorts, and the entire situation seemed like a powder keg ready to go off.