Kalmar Senate

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Foundation: 1759-1760
Capital: Cerkes in Abasigia
Religion: Roman Catholic

By Martin Helsdon


The Kalmar Senate is the Parliament of the Swedish Empire of Russia, with the Speaker of the Senate known as the Altkansler.

The Senate has existed within the Swedish-Russian state for many centuries. In 1757 in revenge for the destruction of their citadel of Kurn in the Urst-Urt desert the Khirgizites attacked Rome and Riga. The plague set off in the capital of the Swedish Empire of Russia unleashed a brief civil war between the 'militarists' and the moderates of the Kalmar Senate.

Editor's Note: This created the Kalmar Senate as a distinct player position in the game, albeit of a temporary nature.

The Tsar was assassinated and another plague attack nearly destroyed the forces of the Senate. The Tsar's son, with the backing of the 'militarists' was then free to unleash an attack on Poland. The remaining Senate returned back under Tsarist control or reformed the Exarchy of Trebizond in Asia Minor.

The History:

The Senate has been the arena of political struggles within the Empire for centuries. The principle political groupings are the:

  • Imperialists
  • Royalists
  • Militarists
  • Papists
  • Flat Earthers

The Senate has at times been at odds with the authority of the Tsar.

NewsFax Entries

1757-1758 T214
Swedish Russia: Some kind of exceptionally virulent disease had broken out in the countryside south-east of the city and had swept the suburbs bare of life, leaving only rotting, distended corpses wherever it went. Riga itself had sorely hit by the outbreak of what the survivors termed the corruption. The loss of life was both dreadfully heavy and unexpectedly light. So fierce was the plague that it tended to erupt, slaughter everyone within its invisible touch and then gutter out as all hosts perished. Burning infected corpses, buildings, haywains and other possessions seemed to prevent recurrence of the blight.

A number of Swedish generals in the city were also stricken down by the corruption, including Marsk Zeldovich, who had recently marched a huge column of clerks and their families up from the provisional capital at Grodno.

The various expeditionary forces in the far east were recalled. This pleased Dame Maksutov and Marsk Teukolsky greatly – they had long felt they were wasting their time in the east, playing mercenary for the Persians.

Oddly, however, neither Maksutov or Teukolsky returned to the airbases in southern Russia where their most recent orders from the Altkansler had bade them – instead they flew (and marched) directly to Riga and there found the city in great uproar and confusion. The outbreak of the plague had slaughtered thousands and among them the ‘kansler herself. With Mironoff dead, Prince Kjell was the ranking member of the government in the city. Once Maksutov had arrived, the prince imposed martial law on the city, quarantined all of the senior ministers, disbanded the Senate for the duration of the crisis and announced the formation of a military government in place of the ‘cowardly and discredited’ Senate.

The Danish, Baklovakian and Polish embassies were placed under guard and a strict and immediate purge launched to ensure all those officers and regiments in the city and environs were loyal to Kjell’s government.[2] Prince Kjell entertained delegations from the Roman Church (soon to be in its own disarray) and the Shawnee Empire (many libations were drunk and the ambassador and the prince seemed to see eye to eye on many matters.

Amid all the upheaval, however, no one had noticed the disappearance of Bishop Issac Greycrow who had fled into the countryside as soon as he grasped the intent of the prince and his cronies. With the aid of the parish churches, he sped east and managed to intercept Emperor Solomon as that worthy rushed back from Rhzev to deal with the plague outbreak in Riga.

Solomon was stunned – his own son raising the army in revolt against their Emperor and Senate? But Greycrow had worse news… the generals had grown bitterly tired of Solomon’s careful diplomacy and conciliation towards the Hussites. Denmark was still reeling from the Blow, and that meant Poland lay friendless and alone before the might of Sweden. War would be in the offing as soon as the coup-plotters secured their control of the organs of government.

Still rattled by this turn of events, Solomon dispatched letters to all of his generals and governors, to his wife Tristan (now a prisoner in her own palace in Riga) and to his other son, the heir-apparent Dagmar, who commanded a fleet in southern Russia. Without waiting for a response (at Greycrow’s urging) the Emperor took his small flotilla of river boats and sped south.

Woods-runners under the command of Baron Borisov of Kur (now one of the ‘militarists’) came ranging after them only a day later. Teukolsky’s airships quartered the sky, searching for the wayward Emperor. By great good luck, however, Solomon escaped the net and at the end of ’58 had reached Kherson in Polovosty, where he found a very confused Prince Dagmar. He had received a letter from Kjell, demanding his loyalty to the ‘new government’. Other news was waiting – Makari Glinskaya, the governor of Afrika, had declared his support for Kjell’s ‘restoration’, as had Nikolaevna and Faddeev. This left the Emperor’s faction with only himself, his son Dagmar, Greycrow and General Dottski who had recently returned from the Amerikas, making landfall at St. Sigurd in Halland at the end of ’58.

The militarists, meanwhile, had secured control of all three centers of government, the vast majority of the army and air corps, as well as part of the fleet. All was in confusion as the winter of ’58 closed down upon the land – but everyone was certain war would erupt come spring…[3]

[2] While Prince Kjell made a handsome and decisive public face for the coup, it was clear to anyone with the wit to keep their head low that Maksutov and Teukolsky were the true driving force behind events.
[3] And the factional control of regions and cities will be determined at the beginning of T215.

1759 – 1760 T215
Kalmar Senate: Under gray skies, the remaining members of the Kalmar Senate gathered in Kherson, seeking consensus over the dire and irredeemable question of civil war. A haggard-looking King Solomon addressed the assembled Senators and declared “the nation must not be divided in these cruel times – the people and the land cannot stand another war and our enemies are everywhere. Therefore, I will abdicate in favor of my son Kjell—“ Bang!

The Tsar staggered on the podium and the entire room fell hushed as five hundred Senators, guards, clerks and newspaper reporters stared in horror at Solomon’s bodyguards. One of them lowered his pistol, a curl of gray smoke drifting away to the ceiling.

“You will all die,” the man proclaimed, grinning insanely. “My master will consume th—“

A blaze of gunfire from the other guards drowned out his words and threw the assassin’s body against the podium, riddled with bullets. Prince Dagmar shook himself awake from a terrible dream and felt himself rushed away by frightened guardsmen.

Bishop Issak Greycow, the sole remaining authority (save the prince) in the city, rushed to secure the gates and prevent any more assailants from entering or escaping. The arrival of an Albanian Airways aeroliner within two hours was unremarkable, save for the two Royal Swedish Air Corps Baldur-class zeppelins who turned to intercept the merchantman.

Signals were exchanged and the Albanian ship was warned away and directed to seek landing at the airfield of Stevastopol. The Albanians signaled their acquiescence, turned upwind of the city and labored to gain height. Just as the airship disappeared into the clouds, a hatch opened on the bottom of the cargo bay and a black dot spun downwards, plunging into the northern district of the city.

The plague bomb smashed through the roof of a warehouse and burst, sending a dusty black cloud gouting out the fragile windows and open doors. The warehousemen, stunned by the impact, began to putresce with bulboes within minutes.

Dust, carried on the cold Russian wind, drifted south across the city. Within sixteen hours, nearly three-quarters of the population was dead. The Swedish fleet, in harbor, fled in panic, warned by the crewmen aboard the Baldur-class zeppelins, who could see the wave of death sweeping across the city.

Greycow escaped, though his orders to close the gates doomed thousands, while prince Dagmar, attempting to command an orderly evacuation, did not.

Two months later, a stunned Kalmarite fleet regrouped at Stevastopol. Eventually, in the fall of 1759, Dottski’s northern fleet from Halland would reach the city and find Greycow and his officers completely demoralized and the few surviving Senators waiting for Kjell’s hangman to arrive.

Swedish-Russia: To clear the way for military action, however, the situation with the Kalmar and the Emperor had to be dealt with. Kjell, in a long letter to his father, suggested:

That Solomon abdicates in favor of his son so that the Empire may go on undivided. The Emperor would be offered an important role managing research into the so-called Orange Catholics and their possible integration with our churches. Furthermore the royal succession will not pass to Kjell but to the offspring of prince Dagmar, if any. Local Jarls, elected or appointed, of the various provinces, cities, and other entities, would be confirmed in their current posts until 19 April 1763, when the next set of elections would be held. Terms of office will be reduced from 12 years to 6 years in order increase the power of the Senate.

As a partial counter to this set of reforms, and to guarantee the nobles (i.e. the military) a direct voice in the new reunified government, the Regency Council would take on an expanded role as the “upper house” of the Kalmar. Their sole role would be to advise the Emperor, and also veto legislation on a 2/3 majority. To some extent, the Altkansler would be to the Senate as the Tsar is to the newly-constituted Regency Council. Membership on the Regency Council would be a complex mix of nobles, royal family, guild presidents, and other grandees.

After receiving encouraging letters in return from the south, Kjell’s foreign ministry released this statement:

Inasmuch as the recent history of Poland is a litany of conspiracies against Swedish-Russia, the Church, and the civilized world, the Empire finds action to change the morally repugnant regime in Warsaw unavoidable. Abuses of the Catholic population are egregious given the long history of Swedish-Russian friendship towards Hussites, if not the Hussite Church. It is our hope that other nations will recognize this is not a war against Hussitism as such, but against the junta in Warsaw, and annexation is not necessary.

In concert with this, S-R military commands in the north were ordered to leave local churches of all denomination alone, but that Taborite and Evil cultic (not Red Cross) sites were valid targets.

Only weeks after this missive was dispatched to the crowned heads of Europe, the attacks on Kherson essentially annihilated the Kalmar and Solomon’s faction, leaving the south in chaos and Kjell with a free hand – and the only possible line of succession to the throne. Kjell immediately declared himself Emperor of Swedish-Russia, ordered General Teukolsky to ready his troops and the whole lot of them, Emperor included, dashed off for the south.

Meantime, two Swedish armies (under Prince Borisov of Kur and Yellowhawk) opened operations with a coordinated attack on Poland itself, while the fleet was busy at sea. Allies were coming from overseas, and while they would take some time to arrive, the port of Stralsund in Pomern was their target...

Kjell and Teukolsky had raced south with an all-cavalry army, making good time on the old Imperial roads, until they reached Chernigov where the good, hard-surfaced roads suddenly became muddy tracks through ice-shrouded forest. Still, with the Kalmar leadership in flight or shot in the head or withered from the corruption, the Emperor advanced south without meeting undue resistance. His authority was restored over Chernigov, Pereyaslavl, Levedia and Polovotsy.

Reaching Kherson, Kjell found the city mostly abandoned and filled with the dead. Local milita had fired most of the buildings and the surviving citizens (less than a third of the pre-attack population) were living in a squalid tent-city far from the walls. A little to Kjell’s surprise, the arrival of his army was met by weeping, vastly relieved crowds. He detached several cavalry troops to maintain proper sanitation and order, then pressed on south into the Crimea.

At Stevastopol, the Emperor found the remains of the Kalmar cowering in the city and the military forces there under the newly-arrived command of the Count of Effernovich, Pyotr Dottski. Kjell dispatched an embassy, offering terms of amnesty to the fleet. Dottski dithered for six days, plaguing himself with doubts and eyeing the small cavalry force escorting the Emperor... would a swift airship raid seize Kjell and deliver the Empire into Dottski’s hands? In the end, however, the counsel of Bishop Greycrow convinced the admiral to surrender and accept the Emperor’s terms.

Dottski and the fleet ‘surrendered’ on June12th, 1760, and the centralized resistance to Kjell’s ascension ended. There was still great confusion in the provinces, however, and due to the difficulty of movement in central Russia, Teukolsky was only able to restore Imperial authority over Patzinak by the end of ’60. Kjell remained in Stevastopol, seeing to the loyalty of the fleet officers.

This left the Kalmar faction lands in Sweden itself and Anatolia in local hands – they had not been secured by the Militarists, yet they had no leadership or central authority. For the moment, inertia held them together...

1761 – 1762 T216
Exarchate of Trebizond: Peace, it seemed, was breaking out all over… while the middle east had sadly failed to burst into flames, things in Russia were also quieting down. The Vilhunas, finding themselves with little to hand but the old Exarchate in Anatolia, agreed to a reasonable peace with the Swedish Militarist government. Various treaties, of course, followed.

WHEREFORE the Empire of Swedish Russia has stood as a shining monument to the best natures of Man since time immemorial and,
WHEREFORE a division of opinion has arisen amongst the opinions of the Peoples of the Empire of Swedish Russia and,
WHEREFORE those Peoples desire greatly that this division shall not shed the blood of their brothers of ancient and noble alliance,
1. The Empire of Swedish-Russia and the Kalmar Parliamentarian Faction of the Empire agree to an immediate cessation of hostilities and the continuation of the Empire as before, but with certain southern territories to be given regional autonomy under the name of "The Exarchate of Trebizond."
2. In keeping with the ancient and beloved traditions of the Empire, the Kalmar Parliament shall be reconstituted as a bicameral legislature, the upper house (the Regency Council) of which shall have the power to elect the Exarch and to vote upon the election of the Swedish-Russian Emperor, and the lower house of which shall have the power to elect the Altkansler, or Prime Minister of the Exarchate.
3. Both the Empire and the Exarchate agree to cooperate on all matters of mutual concern, and to regard each other as two halves of one unalterable whole. This shall include the mutual sharing of information and giving the other the right of first refusal when selling agriculture.
4. Both the Empire and the Exarchate agree to a Mutual Defense Treaty, whereby the troops and peoples of the two shall travel freely across the lands of either and an attack on one shall be considered an attack upon the whole.
5. The Exarchate agrees to the peaceful and immediate turnover to the Empire of all territories now in its control which lie north of the Black Sea and/or the Baltic Sea. This includes all the cities in those territories except St. Sigurd.
6. The Exarchate will retain the city of St. Sigurd in Halland.
7. The Empire shall build a level 1 port city in a place of the Exarchate's choosing and then transfer control of that city to the Exarchate no later than turn 219. This is explicitly intended to be a distant location useful for trading, such as on the African or American coast.

TO THIS THEIR MOST CATHOLIC MAJESTIES attest and pledge their sacred honor:
Kjell Torsson, King of Sweden, Tsar of all the Russias
Lars Vilhuna, Exarch of Trebizond, Prince of Cerkes

More to the point, the Vilhunas raised a new army in the south, almost entirely composed of Anatolians and settlers. Mindful of the woeful lack of bureaucracy in his new domain, Exarch Lars bent his full attention to establishing ministries, seeing a census was conducted and the organs of the state were set in motion. The five principal cities of the state were also fortified.

Vilhuna’s efforts to restore civil order in the south were immeasurably aided by the provision of a veritable corps of administrators, clerks, messengers and copyists provided by the Roman Church. Indeed, pope Benedict himself visited Cerkes in ’62, holding mass for thousands of the faithful, blessing the newly established state and assuring the Exarch of his full and enduring support.

Swedish-Russia: With peace forced upon the weakling Senate by circumstance and the might of Swedish arms, Kjell turned his attention to ‘mopping up the blood’, as he liked to say, and to securing the reclaimed provinces. A suitably humiliating peace treaty was imposed on the Duchy of Warsaw as well, which brought a pleased smile to the Tsar’s face. “Do you see the success of my foreign policy? The Danes out, Sweden in. Capital!”

Prime Ministers

  • Lars Vilhuna

The Players

  • Scott Nolan
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