The Star Kingdom of Manticore

Within the Honorverse there is arguably no more important empire than the Star Kingdom. Much of the story takes place within the Kingdom or concerns the Kingdom’s activities. The Kingdom was not unique in being a single-system government (at first), however it had an unusually large navy and economic and political clout, which was due to a couple of very important factors.

The system was settled by colonists from the colony ship Jason in 1416 PD, though the sleeper vessel had been beaten by newer, more advanced ships that had established a modest colony, in preparation for the sleeper ship’s arrival. The founder of the Manticore Colony Ltd enterprise, Roger Winton, travelled on Jason and his investments ensured the colony on Manticore A-III had significant early funds to help develop their new home. Of the three inhabitable worlds in the Manticore system, A-III (later referred to as Manticore) had the best conditions for a colony, but shortly after arriving the colonists were struck down by a plague that the original survey mission (some hundreds of years earlier) had missed. 60% of the colonists perished before a vaccine could be developed, and the colony was in desperate need of attracting new blood. However, the remaining colonists did not want to lose control over their new world, so they wrote a constitution and developed the colony into a constitutional monarchy.

Roger Winton and his only surviving child, Elizabeth Winton, were written in as the monarchs of the newly-formed Star Kingdom, in no small part due to their leadership during the early, difficult years the colony faced. Roger Winton was crowned on the 1st of August, 1485 PD, but died A few years later, leaving Elizabeth to become Queen.

The offer of land across three worlds (Manticore and Sphinx, both orbiting Manticore A, and Gryphon, orbiting Manticore B) drew in a number of eager new colonists, some of whom were given titles, and the system received yet more investment. This allowed the early Kingdom to thrive and grow, though other revelations would cement its place as an economic power.

In 1585 PD, following a failed invasion attempt by the Axelrod Corporation, the Kingdom learned of a wormhole junction within their very star system. The junction provided easy access to six far-flung systems and led to a major re-routing of commercial traffic through Manticoran space. In the end the Star Kingdom would handle 78% of the Sol system’s gross system product, providing the Kingdom would a huge source of revenue and allowing the Manticorans to invest heavily in their economy and navy. As a result, despite being a single-system government, the Star Kingdom would develop a very large navy, as well as a technically advanced one and a well-trained one. The Royal Navy took great pride in live training exercises over simulations, and its officers and crews gained a lot of experience from carrying out various patrols in protection of their merchant fleet.

In 1651 King Roger II signed the Star Kingdom up to the Cherwell Convention, an anti-slavery arrangement that several star nations agreed to, though it was met with differing levels of enforcement. This was one of the few areas in which the Star Kingdom and the Republic of Haven, even during times of hostility and war, would remain in agreement upon; both star nations would vigorously enforce the Cherwell Convention, something that would have serious consequences for both governments later down the line.

Though the Star Kingdom has been largely internally peaceful, there has been an exception. The Gryphon Uprising in 1721 PD represented the only internal conflict of the Kingdom, owing to complaints about a corrupt aristocracy on the world. Plans to divide up territory saw violence erupt and required the deployment of the Army to end the conflict.

When the sixth wormhole terminus was discovered in the Basilisk system (as well as native, if primitive, intelligent alien life), a fierce debate ensued between different factions of the Manticoran political system. The Centrists and Crown Loyalists wished to annex the terminus to protect Manticoran interests; the Liberals and Progressives objected, however in the end Basilisk and the planet Medusa were declared protectorates, and Manticore secured the terminus. This action would prove of huge importance later down the line.

In 1903 PD Manticoran representatives made formal contact with the Protectorate of Grayson, a strategically important system in their cold war with Haven. The Kingdom did not leave Grayson under any illusions that an alliance was in Manticore’s benefit, but also helped defend Grayson – at some cost – against Haven-backed aggression from the star nation of Masada. Like Grayson, Masada was a deeply religious society but they had become far more fanatical, and believed they had a God-given right to reclaim the world they had been exiled from. Manticoran intervention and sacrifice cemented an alliance of huge importance going forward. Following these events, tensions rapidly escalated with Haven, leaving war inevitable…

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