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Reth Tawmerik I

Early Years

Reth Tawmerik was born into great privilege, the scion of an ancient and wealthy house. Raised from the earliest age to lead his family and their chief holding and homeworld; Goetel’s World in the Fasantauri System and as much as could be accumulated in the Core Worlds as humanity again took to the stars after the key discoveries by the Cel-Tainu Astrophysical Research Corporation.

Reth, however, did not follow the path laid out for him. Upon graduaton, young Reth, just nineteen standard years old, scandalized his family by joining the Goetel’s World armed forces. It was a heavy blow for the Tawmerik family, which had put much faith in Reth leading them to even more power and influence.

Military Years

Reth proved an able, if not brilliant military commander. As humanity slowly crawled out of the ravages and isolation of the Decline, there was much need by various systems of trained militaries to defend against other systems, or to battle to annex valuable worlds. He rose through the ranks, and became a general by the time he was forty standard years, perhaps as much by trading on his name as on his military skills.

Reth’s experiences in the military seemed to have a considerable effect upon him. He began to fear that the uncontrolled expansion by powerful systems would lead a violent conflict that might plunge humanity into a new Decline. He sought the aid of his family to try to reach out to other systems to build a unified and stable interstellar government. Still, as a military man, even one from an influential family, his political opinions were frowned upon.

The Republican

Despite the misgivings of his family and the outcries from his critics, the General aligned himself with a group of scholars, journalists, industrialists and philosophers seeking to forge a republican government. The General was a dashing figure; charismatic, handsome and articulate. In a few short years General Reth Tawmerik came to embody this new Republican movement.

It is told elsewhere of the rise of the Terran Republic, the new hope of a humanity that had rediscovered the stars. The General worked tirelessly to achieve this goal, which had become his chief obsession. With the death of his father, the General now held the reigns of power of the Goetel’s World political and military systems, and was skillful enough to make it seem as if no conflict of interest existed.

With the foundation of the Terran Republic, the General’s fame grew. He was offered and accepted the position of Prime Minister, though he kept it for only a few years before resigning his post and taking up the position of Minister of Defense. It seemed that the General had been true to his ideals, and in achieving his goal, was willing to let others continue on.

The Imperial Ambition

The precise circumstances of the General’s conversion from Republican to Imperialist are unknown. Some scholars have theorized that it was Messen Fremezulejo, who the General had captured as an agitator, who filled the General’s head with prophecies of ultimate power. I do not agree, and believe that the General was neither a fool or a fanatic, but rather had known all along that humanity would not buy into the notion of the Imperium under the rule of one man, but needed a Republic that would fall apart and deliver him power.

One need only consider that it was his close association with the likes of Alistair Cormwite to see that however many speeches he might give, and how much his public actions might speak of an honest and noble champion of democracy, that in private he worked to significantly different ends. Through Cormwite and the Bafiktuy Intelligence Directive, I am certain that the General was able to undermine the Republic even as he was admired and adored by billions as its founder. Even more telling was the General’s obstinant rejection of constitutional reforms that might have made the Republic more structurally cohesive and effective, particularly as the Frontier Rebellion exploded into a conflict capable of rubbing the Republic out.

The Emperor

The collapse of the Republic gave Reth, and his now constant (if rarely seen) advisor Alistair Cormwite all they needed to seize the reigns of power. His stunning (and illegal) march with a hundred armed officers into the Terran Congress, to arrest the Prime Minister, the Speaker and the Cabinet could have backfired, but instead the citizens of the Republic saw it as a necessary move to reform the ailing Republic and bring an end to the rebellions.

The General feigned reluctance when his agents in the Terran Congress offered him the crown, and then in a brief speech read by his representatives on all the worlds of the Republic spoke of “graciously and with great humility accepting the title and powers of Emperor, until peace and order can be restored and the Republic again flourish.”

Despite the fact that the various governmental organs of the Republic were left largely intact, Emperor Reth I would suffer no one save himself to hold any meaningful amount of power. He was an autocratic monarch, but not one removed from reality. He was very careful to allow individual systems to retain their own governments and traditions, providing their loyalty lie with the new regime. The Emperor trusted few people, and the only advisor that survived for any length of time was his slippery companion, Alistair Cormwite.

What was not generally known, and came to light only later, was that the Emperor’s later years were marred by bouts of insanity and eventually irreversible senility. The Emperor’s fragile position was a secret so well kept that only a Cormwite, a few close family members and a team of the most skilled Anthorph doctors knew of it. It seems fairly clear now that in the last decade of Reth I’s, Cormwite was the effective ruler, and that any public appearances were either carefully staged with either a heavily sedated Emperor, or look-alikes.


The legends and mythology surrounding Reth Tawmerik I make understanding the real man difficult. He was never as he seemed; aristocrat, patriot, democrat and authoritarian. What does come through is an image of a man intent upon self-aggrandization. If he was a hero, then he was a deeply-flawed one, and if he was a villain then he was one who did seem, on occasion, to be working towards the betterment of his fellow man.

Whatever he may have been as a man, one thing is clear, he founded an empire that would last centuries, and weathered many storms before faltering at the hands of people far less capable than he was.


  1. Alistair Cormwite
  2. Anthorphs
  3. Bafiktuy Intelligence Directive
  4. Cel-Tainu Astrophysical Research Corporation
  5. Fasantauri System
  6. First Decline
  7. Frontier Rebellion
  8. Messen Fremezulejo
  9. Terran Republic
  1. Imperium Edition Index
  2. Bafiktuy Intelligence Directive
  3. Alistair Cormwite
  4. First Decline
  5. Messen Fremezulejo
  6. Terran Republic
  7. Frontier Rebellion
  8. Fasantauri System
  9. Cel-Tainu Astrophysical Research Corporation
  10. Anthorph
  11. Decline