Auguste the Stalwart
Lord Commander Auguste Boudet
God is man, but not every man is god. Few can ever hope to ascend to the high heavens, yet fewer can claim the duty of godhood. Auguste the Stalwart, protector of Regerdam and the common man has ascended. In peace, he showed diligence and compassion, in war, he showed bravery and mercy. In life he was kind and honorable, in death humble and noble. So come before him to pray for guidance, come before the patron of all the downtrodden, of all those whose potential yet lies uncovered!Markus Leuber, Priest of the Stalwart
Youth and early AdulthoodUnlike many of his contemporary politicians of Regerdam, Auguste is not a native to the former city state. Rather he was born in the small village of Neton, then part of the Order of the Old Empire. By all limited accounts he was an unassuming and ordinary peasant, the only remarkable aspect of his youth were his good performances in school, whose visit was mandatory for all denizens of the Orders lands. It was assumed that he would join the Order itself when reaching adulthood, perhaps becoming a librarian or alchemist. All these hopes were cut woefully short on a fateful day in the year 576. After a heated argument and fight, his enemy laid dead and he was gone. Most likely motivated by fear, as capital punishment was the norm at the time and the Order was far to beleaguered on all sides to spend time on proper trials. Thus, the fifteen year old he raided his families treasury, and fled to the closest harbor town, Oudenvik, where he boarded a ship headed for Regerdam. There, he spent his next six years as part of the city's working poor, doing any work he was fit for, always trying to evade the ever watchful harbor authorities, who had taken a rather dim view of those taking shelter there illegally. There, he made a reputation for himself as a self-made scholar, reading anything he could get his hands on and spending a considerable part of his meager earnings to buy ever new scrolls. During his little free time, he also made it a habit to lecture anyone in close proximity, as he did not have the money to buy parchment and ink, but still wanted to develop his ideas how to fix the somewhat miserable situation most harbor workers found themselves in. Over time, people came to him explicitly for his lectures and he began to amass a group of followers who believed he was destined to spread his thoughts and make them reality. However, this remained a dream for these six years, as he and most of his followers were nothing more than dirt to most citizens of Regerdam, who tried to avoid them whenever possible.
An unlikely CandidateHis chance to rise above his station came in 592, when his exploits became known to Marjoleine van Brand, an ambitious senator, gunning for the office of harbor master. While she was well connected within the official political world of Regerdam, she lacked direct support from the harbor workers, who had a veto power when determining the harbor master. In an attempt to sway them for her cause, she offered Auguste naturalization and the possibility to join the city council, giving him the ability to further his political goals. Auguste accepted wholeheartedly, using his considerable support to boost her popularity. The race ended with a slim victory for van Brand, who kept her end of the bargain and made sure Auguste was naturalized and earned a spot on next elections ticket to safely join the council. While part of her following, he quickly distinguished himself as an advocate for the miserable and depressed of the city. While perhaps a noble purpose, it did little to endear him with his fellow council members. It also distanced him with his former companions in the harbor, who viewed his lack of tangible progress as a betrayal. However, it was likely that they still would want to rely upon him in times of crisis.
Rise to GreatnessAs such, only two years after taking office as council member he was on the brink of resigning when a crisis plunged the entire city state into chaos. After the death of the last Stadtholder, the factions kept quiet by his iron grip openly attempted to grab his position for themselves. This lead to a confusing civil war, which did little other than to destroy the livelihood of many. Disgusted by the open violence and unwillingness to peacefully find a solution, Auguste left the council, albeit keeping his formal position as member and went back to the harbor. There, the fighting had taken a heavy toll, destroying much of the once great harbor and killing a good fourth of the workers. The workers themselves, panicked and shaken, had been unable to muster a proper defense, rejoiced when he reached them. Relying on his old companions and reputation he quickly assumed leadership of the remaining workers and formed them into a militia. His success was aided by two factors. For one, the warring factions had little knowledge about the harbors storages, overlooking several armor and weapon depots the militia could use. It was also to his benefit that the city state was a traditionally naval power. While most of its leaders had an at least rudimentary understanding of naval warfare, their knowledge about land warfare was severely limited. Opposed to this, the Order of the Old Empire was a primarily land based force which put great emphasis on land warfare. This went so far as to teach everyone tactics and fighting, as to ensure that any group of villagers could muster a rudimentary defense when attacked. These two advantages allowed the militia, most of whom were more or less experienced fighters from dealing with the thugs plaguing the harbor, to secure the harbor and one of the districts. Throughout these battles Auguste both proved himself a capable leader, able to coordinate his men and soothe the inhabitants of the district who trusted him to keep the peace. A story from these fights deserved particular recognition. When learning that some of his men had raped and pillaged, he ordered a fair trial and judged them guilty, sentencing them to death. Actions like these cemented him as a man more concerned with justice and prosperity, rather than personal gain. Following a short time spent recuperating the militia attempted to seize another district successfully beating the faction lead by van Brand, who yielded to the militia, as she saw no way to emerge victorious. This victory proved instrumental to Auguste, as he could use the cloud garnered by the victory to promote himself as a neutral party who could host peace talks between the remaining factions. Weary of the conflict which had claimed more than a third of the cities production facilities and lead to the destruction of more property than anyone was willing to count, the leaders met under the watch of Auguste, quickly finding a solution. As each original candidate was deemed unacceptable by one faction or another, they chose one man they could rely upon. To his surprise, the negotiators presented Auguste with the offer to assume leadership of the town until prosperity and justice was reestablished again. Trusting to be able to control him through incentives and presents, they offered strong executive powers, to enable him to reshape the state as needed. Needless to say, Auguste accepted, becoming the first regent.
Regent of the peopleDuring his six year tenure as regent, Auguste defied expectations and reshaped Regerdam to fit his image of a better society. Sweeping changes were implemented, as each individual, no matter species or nationality, would be granted a fair trial and representation when charged with a crime. A system to give everyone free housing and food if they could not afford it was also implemented, to only give two examples. To ensure his independence, he formalized his militia, equipping them like a proper army and making sure they were only loyal to him. This immunized him from most intrigues, as any opposition could be squashed by his loyal followers. Despite his new position of power, he attempted to behave the same as before, still living in a small apartment close to the poorer parts of town, wearing the same simple clothes he wore as a representative and always insisting on searching the contact with the common man. He was willing to engage anyone on the street, to debate his ideas and ask them about their life and worries. He never demanded a rise in pay, but accepted the many gifts given to him by his many admirers.
Lord CommanderFollowing the reconstruction of Regerdam, he resigned willingly and prepared to take up his duties as a simple representative again. However, due to his service and his record of being an incorruptible public servant, the city's senate and council offered him to instead become the primary commander of the states army. He gratefully accepted and assumed the position of Lord Commander. For his remaining life he dutifully commanded the forces of Regerdam, leading multiple expeditions and fighting two wars for the state. His routine operations against pirates became so effective that the travel around Regerdam became almost entirely unmolested, a great feat in a time of ruin and chaos. However, he did not only work to protect and further the interests of Regerdam, he also played an active role in politics, being the patron of a new generation of politicians more focussed on the common man. Alas, during the expedition against the Order of the Old Empire in the year 613, he was captured during a daring raid targeting his headquarters. During his time in prison, the Order realized that he was the man that fled so many years ago. As a guilty murderer the Order sentenced him to death and killed him a mere two days after realizing who he once was. This execution was met with outrage in Regerdam and a solemn vow to crush the Order in response. While the Order survived, as it often did, the Regerdamer efforts brought it to the brink of ruin and ensured that it was eliminated as an important force for several decades.
LegacyDespite being a foreigner of low brith, few are remembered so fondly by the Regerdamers and now the Richardian Republic. His tireless work for the common man and his devotion to the public good ensured that he is remembered as a prime example of a good politician and ruler. The politicians who followed in his footsteps shaped Regerdamer politics for decades to come, his policies survived almost intact until the annexation of Regerdam by the Richardian Republic in 922. So great were his deeds perceived that he was elevated to godhood by the church of the Ascended, where he is the patron deity of the common man and public welfare. While lacking the grandeur of the temples of the Great Three, his temples are still visited often and priests devoted to him are among the most respected. And lastly, even those who ended his life yet honor him. Recognizing his extraordinary work as Lord Commander, the Order of the Old Empire made the strategies, his style of leadership and his general behavior part of their curriculum for knights and scholars alike. Indeed, they praise him as an example to be followed.
571 AF 613 AF 42 years old
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