“For centuries, we have bravely struggled against those who seek to destroy us. Today, I am told that with the dawn of this new age as a part the galactic community, the era of resistance is over. This is untrue. Even the aliens who assure us that they are fighting injustice will enslave all those who oppose them. In this time of 'peace', we are instructed how to live our lives by outsiders, and offered the shackles of 'alliance'. Know this: our struggle for survival has barely begun.”
- - High Councilor Balbus Marinus, 2782 AD
Balbus Marinus was born on July the 26th, 2752. Following his parents, he joined the Talven navy in 2768, training as an officer. In 2774, he commanded his first ship - the Reckoning, a Pegusus-class corvette. Marinus steadily rose up the ranks through his ruthless tactics for eliminating pirates, earning the title of Admiral and command of the Kraken-class carrier-ship Iubar's hammer in 2776.
Marinus sometimes chose to lead his marines into combat aboard enemy ships, using a modified energy pistol rather than a conventional rifle. In 2777, he was severely injured as a Talven fighter crashed into a ship he had boarded, losing a section of his head. Part of his brain could not be saved, so a mechanical replacement was installed to repair his mind. Marinus chose not to have the damage undone by synthetic tissue, seeing his scars as a reminder of his own physical and mental weakness.
In 2780, Marinus was offered a seat in the Imperial Council. He was made head of the DoW, and immediately sent ships further into space to investigate the transmissions that had been detected outside of Talven space two years earlier.
In 2782, Marinus and the head of the newly formed DDA, High Councilor Quintus Marcellus, met with dignitaries of the newly discovered alien civilization on Iubar. Marinus made great changes to Talven diplomacy, and when Marcellus resigned in 2783, Marinus was promoted to the position of High Councilor and head of the DDA.
After this promotion, Marinus begun to work closely with the DFI, which he secretly founded to give the empire a diplomatic advantage. He also started to use the threat of alien civilizations to gain more power over the Imperial Council.
A New Frontier
Realizing that the Talven Empire needed more control over its situation, Marinus turned to diplomacy. He began establishing trade with surrounding nations, as well as intergalactic powers, hoping to develop more positive relations with the rest of the Gigaquadrant, while acquiring advanced technology.
Marinus soon made contact with the New Galactic Republic of Cyrannus, deciding that the time was right to start involving the Empire in larger conflicts. After negotiating access to a greater number of magnetic monopoles for the fleet (along with schematics for tractor beam projectors), he visited the Republic's capital of Mou'Cyran in 2805. During this visit, he signed the Talvo-Republica Pact, outlining future collaboration between the New Republic and the Talven Empire, while granting the Empire an observer status in the Mou'Cyran Accords.
As he interacted with the political landscape of the Xonexi cluster, Marinus started to appreciate the strength of alliances. Realizing that these could potentially dominate the Gigaquadrant with enough time, he began to fear that smaller nations would be unable to expand without enslaving themselves to greater powers. Realizing that these alliances needed to be weakened, Balbus focused his attention on shattering the center of Xonexi's new political landscape: the Xonexi Board of Six.
His first move was to ally with nations that could potentially support Talven Empire's efforts. Relations with the New Republic improved when he invited them to aid the Empire in developing its infrastructure. In 2808, he devoted the Talven War machine to Eldarisia in the Marko Colonial War, supporting his forces through a Indépendance-class supply ship purchased from the French Empire.
Secretly meeting with Potentate Tereyn Aeresius and Agent Caranye of the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus, Marinus negotiated joint military operations between Imperial Intelligence and the DFI. Through the consequential boost in relations between the two Empires, he was able to organize a meeting that turned the Talven Empire into a negotiator between the Galactic Empire and the New Republic, much to the disapproval of President Nexarón Valkistair. Marinus softened the blow by proposing an alliance with the New Republic, the first in the history of the Talven Empire.
Marinus then organised a state visit to the Zarbania Powers, permitting them to establish colonies outside of the Talven Empire's borders to train their soldiers, and organizing the collaborative development of engines for each nation's warships. More importantly, Marinus learnt of the Mirusian Triumvirate, and requested to meet with representatives of its founders.
Marinus is distrusting, serious, and cunning. He is a skilled and leader, merciless in combat but preferring to rule by respect rather than fear. He does not enjoy war, but will do anything he can do protect his Empire. Marinus favors using multiple strategies at once, seeking to keep his foes off balance and never sticking with one method long enough for it to be countered. He is almost as skilled at leading soldiers into combat as he is as a strategic orchestrator, and has pioneered both fields.
Earning Marinus' trust has proven impossible, even for his closest friends. He watches over the activities of everyone that he interacts with regularly, sometimes making use of spies. He hates the idea of the Talven Empire being drawn into an alliance, believing that it would lead to serious restraints of the empire's expansion and prosperity.
Marinus is a lover and master of theater, acting and directing in his spare time. He also puts this skill to use when making speeches, and has been known to persuade others to join him merely through the power of words. He has also begun to study seterga, aof Draconid origin.
- Drusa Lucilius - Together, we will lead the Empire into a new golden age.
- ??? - Knowledge is power.
- Alexandre I - The loyal are prepared to stand by their allies. The honourable are prepared to stand by their enemies.
- Athan Apostila - You never gave up on peace, and neither shall I. It is in your name that I will show mercy to the Empire.
- Bisarko - Even my family seems alien next to you.
- Domivere - Let it never be said that the Vanara do not understand morality.
- Gorebor Azesa - Wise and efficient.
- Guolivian - I am not yet prepared to abandon our vision.
- Imperator Caligustus - The Imperium of War is fortunate to have a leader like you.
- Quintus Marcellus - I hope your scheming remains in the interests of our empire.
- Shlan'ak Phur'an - You wear your masks well. Take care that they do not wear you.
- Tereyn Aeresius - An inspiring leader, not blinded by power.
- Nexarón Valkistair - Perhaps, in a sense, you were right. While Tyrómairon holds power, there can be no lasting peace.
- Secundus Septimius - It would be unwise to disappoint us.
- Tyrómairon - I can only begin to imagine how powerful and respected your empire would be, had you chosen your enemies with more care.
“Never put all your faith in a single strategy, a single leader, a single planet. Adaptability is survivability.”
“The only thing you can truly count on is for your enemies to attack.”
“Diplomacy is far more dangerous than a battlefield.”
“Development due to insight has a significant advantage over evolution: while less advanced lifeforms will adapt to suit their environment, we can adapt our environment to suit us.”
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