Brianna I Vasa-Nassau
Roya y Imeresse, Brianna I
Coronation portrait of Brianna I as Queen of the Sarovians.
Roya eui do Sarovians y Imeresse eui lan Comune Saroviana, Imeresse eui Nassau, Bennenroya eui tel Etaso (disputed), Matriarch eui do Vasas, Nassaus, Oxerias, Makos y Zors, Bennenprînzesse eui Carolusburg y Protegésse eun Fé.
260 - 267 AS
Marie Brianna Augusta Louise (regnal name: Brianna I) was the Queen of the Sarovians from her reign beginning in 260 AS and the disputed Grand Queen of the State for the entirety of her reign, before her death in 267 AS. Brianna, often simply referred to as "the Queen" as being the only queen regnant in modern Sarovian history was also known as the "Warrior-Queen". Brianna oversaw the turbelent times in 2019 and 2020, including the guiding of the "Sacrovian" personal union with the empire of Sacro. She made cunning and swift diplomatic moves through the annexation of the Sacrovians into the Sarovian realm of Nassau, as well as maintaining the War of the First Coalition (2019), War of the Second Coalition (2019) and the War of the Third Coalition (2020).
Biography[edit | edit source]
Early Life[edit | edit source]
Marie Brianna entered the House of Vasa as the eldest child of the three, with her younger brothers Andrey Vasa and Edward I Vasa. she, by virtue of being the daughter of Empress Emily of Oxeria, was styled at birth Princess Marie Brianna Augusta Louise of Nira and of Sorrel, which she carried until the end of the Saro-Oxerian Union. During the Union, Marie Brianna was traditionally seen as a mediator between the Oxerian and Sarovian nationalists, which affectionally called her "the Good Princess". However, Marie Brianna had a mean temper sometimes and would be terribly offensive to the characteristic Oxerian laziness, which would cause the nationalists great fear should she be their sovereign. Due to this, William I Vasa would invest Andrey as the Prince of Kiev, which put her after her younger brother in the line of the succession.
Marie Brianna was, all things considered, a decent soldier but a poor visionary. Critics of her before and during her reign said she was dull, easily manipulated and un-opinionated, which allowed her to be swayed relatively easy. This led to her becoming friends with some unpopular of groups within the Sarovian court. In an attempt to remedy this, William arranged the marriage of his daughter with the upstart, hotheaded Jacob I of Sacro, to bring peace between their two countries. Brianna disliked her husband but worked faithfully for him in Sarovia and in Sacro. Just prior to when her father was declared dead by Parliament, he chose her youngest brother Edward to take the crown due to the fear of Jacob being King-Consort of New Sarovia. Likewise, William on the specific request of his deceased uncle Constantine VI & I Vasa gave the throne of the Grand Kingdom of the State to Andrey Vasa's underage son Frederick Constans Francis Hanke, despite the laws entertwining the State to the Sarovian throne, which left Brianna with no prospect of a title in her own right. However, when Edward I was forced to abdicate, he declared his abdication so that his eldest sister may reign, throwing everything into Marie Brianna's hands.
Sovereign[edit | edit source]
Marie Brianna would take the regnal name of Brianna I, as the first queen-regnant of the New Sarovian Empire in its entire history. Brianna would have her coronation to mark the tradition, but already cracks in New Sarovia were beginning to show. Her nephew Francis would hold his coronation before her as King of the State and would take the regnal name of Constantine II Francis of the State in honour of Constantine VI, which undermined her legitimacy as a woman unable to take such a name. More than that, there were reportedly toasts to the "The King of the State and Emperor of the Empire!" at Francis' coronation, which led to fears of a war for the Sarovian throne. Francis also styled himself as "His Majesty, Constantine II Francis Vasa, Grand King of the State and of the New State Union, Knight Commander of the Realm, Patriarch of the Vasas, Makos and the Zors, Grand Prince of Reuss, Duke of Modena and Defender of the Stefanic Faith." Many of these titles would be in direct conflict with titles held by Empress Brianna or her subordinates, such as Defender of the Stefanic Faith, Duke of Modena and Patriarch of the Vasas, Makos and Zors. The fact that Francis was a member of the Sarovian nobility legally through his princedom in Reuss led to great concerns of his ability to influence and perhaps seize control. If Brianna thought matters could not get worse, her husband would assume the title of King and Emperor Consort of the New Sarovian Empire, and begin to push his wife out of affairs of state to seize absolute control for himself. In a seeming "counter-attack", it was declared that a portion of Sacro and Sarovia would be merged to form a third kingdom, the Kingdom of Nassau, which would be part of Sarovia but led by Jacob. This ensured that upon his passing, a chunk of Sacro would be merged into Sarovia.
Brianna managed to maneuver herself out of most of these situations with remarkable diplomacy and deception. When it came to her husband, Sarovian general officer Hizack Bonhart led a rebellion against the sovereignty of Jacob I, which led to a long and bloody conflict. Brianna managed to drag her heels in aiding the rebellion, knowing that the affairs would concern her husband more than her. During the rebellion, Brianna would appoint key allies with little talent or skill into important positions of office such as Field Marshal Marie Moonee, which irritated and caused so much frustration to her husband being unable to bypass the appointments that he gave up almost entirely on controlling his wife's reign. These appointments, while tactically sound, led to extensive defeats on the battlefield. The War of the First Coalition, where Imperia, Maveria and Arcadia launched extensive attacks on New Sarovia during the reign of her father, was coming to a close with a decisive Sarovian defeat. After multiple defeats, in 261 AS Field Marshal Moonee was sacked in favour of Field Marshal Athena, who resigned quickly thereafter assessing the situation as hopeless. The quick turnovers led to even more panic between the State and Sarovian factions when Francis would declare that the State would need to aid in the enforcement of Sarovian land against the Imperians. A thinly veiled threat, Sarovian nobility and military officers such as Zacline Aelous agreed with Francis' assessment and as such, began to give weekly aid and reports to the State rather than his Queen-Empress. As such, two political factions spawned: the Monarchists and the Zaclites. The Monarchists, led by distant cousin Alexander Vasa, 1st Viscount Lochland, aided the Queen and drafted a new Constitution which led to his appointment as the Prime Minister. This infuriated the Zaclites who declared open and violent secession from New Sarovia, which was swiftly crushed by the Prime Minister.
Brianna and her Prime Minister would meet in November of 2019 with Francis with an attempt to fix the situation. Weeks of negotiations led to even further disagreements when Francis publicly argued that he should have legally inherited the throne of New Sarovia due to his father's investiture as Prince of Kiev. Prime Minister Alexander would recommend to his Queen and cousin to declare herself as Grand Queen of the State as well, which she did with little fanfare. This enraged both sides to the point of blows until a truce could be organised by both parties. Mediated by Jacob II and the Viscount Lochland, both sides were on the verge of an agreement before talks broke apart. Regardless, an unwritten rule was put in place that upon the death of the other, it would be safe to assume the other would seize control.
War and Regency[edit | edit source]
Regardless, by December, Brianna had two sons: Jacobus and Piers George Constantine William, who served as army commanders under her reign. During this period, her niece Lelia of Oxeria would become the Crown Princess of Oxeria, and the two would become great friends, which brought Oxeria and Sarovia into a brief period of reconcilement. The War of the First Coalition ended after the disasterous defeat with Field Marshal Moonee, and Brianna and her husband launched a second offensive to regain lost Sarovian territories. The War of the Second Coalition would be a disasterous defeat for the Sarovians and forced the Oxerian Empire to join the Imperians against Sarovia, isolating Sarovia and Sacro. The personal union here too was fated for collapse not unlike her fathers was it not for her skillful ability to mediate and the Prime Minister's guiding hand, which was seen as a unifying figure.
Against the advice of Brianna, the Viscount Lochland and his own officers, Jacob led the second counter offensive in the War of the Second Coalition to poor results, leading to dissatisfied Sarovians to form their own militias and political parties in an attempt to enact change. The cousins of one of Brianna's earlier friends came to Sarovia to pledge allegiance to the Queen, and formed the Strauss Triumvirate in order to protect Sarovian interests. Much to the frustration of the Prime Minister who constantly threatened to resign if nothing was done about them, the mysterious Strauss brothers waged a war against Sarovian dissenters as the Queen's own secret police, which led to dire consequences, such as the attempted assassination of the heirs of the duchy of Poltava and their subsequent self-exile. In 265 AS, the Strauss brothers would aim for the Sarovian throne by controlling the Queen to remove the Prime Minister and aim for the dissolution of the personal union. The Prime Minister, perhaps illegally, assembled the Sarovian Parliament to declare that the Queen was unfit for the throne and to declare a temporary regency. Sarovian guards would keep Brianna under house arrest in Leda Palace while the Strauss triumvirate squared off with the Prime Minister and the government forces. Brianna would be weary of the brewing factions within her court, but was ultimately content with her forced vacation.
Death and Succession[edit | edit source]
By 267 AS, the Strauss brothers disappeared, presumably on the order of the Viscount Lochland who through the regency, declared the War of the Third Coalition. Sarovian soldiers effectively won decisive victories at Poltava and Kiev, though faced setbacks in Sorrel and Narva. The news of victory did not reach Brianna however as she left Graal for good, and after the morale crash of the disappearance of the Empress, the Sarovians were forced back time and again in defeat. By the end of 267, the Parliament declared Brianna dead and began to approve the ascension of her son, Piers George, as King. However, Francis upon hearing the news, would march to Sarholm and announce himself as the King of the Sarovians, while Brianna's son Piers George prepared a counter-coup.
Honours[edit | edit source]
Throughout her life, Brianna I has received many different honours, decorations and titles.