James I of Iansisle
His Royal Majesty King James I (James Toto Alexander Ian Callahan) (7/20/1920 - 6/14/1957) of Iansisle was born to HIM High King Toto IV and his wife, Jessica of Mansford. He ascended to the throne upon his father’s death on 16 December 1937, just as Iansisle’s participation in the Developing Nations Summit in Golden Agate was exposing the Grand Empire of the Shield to the world around it. James was also the last High King to sit before the Gull Flag Revolution and the end of the Grand Empire. James killed in a regicide organized by the National Assembly following his leadership of the Foothills Uprising against the Jameston Place government.
James was the third of five children and the first male to be born to Toto and Jessica. He was very close to his sisters Elizabeth (born February 1919) and Alice (b. April 1933) but estranged from his oldest sister Jessica (b. July 1915) and his brother Brian (b. August 1922).
James, unlike Brian, never showed much concern for his studies. He never mastered Latin, Greek, or Ancient Shieldian and was an extremely poor mathematics student. James did, however, enjoy reading the history and genealogy texts stored in King Alexander’s library (The Honeycomb) in Dûn Ádien.
From an early age, James showed himself to be adept at horsemanship and soon grew bored with the limited space on Ian’s Island. He constantly pestered his father to allow him to leave the island and ride or play polo on the mainland. Toto, however, hardly thought that the proper occupation for a young king and more often than not refused and bade James to go study his noun declensions or times tables.
Ascension to the Throne
HIM High King Toto IV died late in 1937 of pneumonia; he had been touring the ramparts of Dûn Ádien on a cold winter evening some days before without a proper coat. James, as the oldest son, was proclaimed HIM High King James III (VI) of the Grand Empire of the Shield and a coronation was scheduled. Several countries, such as Hell Bovines, with which Iansisle had made contact through the Golden Agate conference attended.
Notable among the attendees were Jeff Williams of Larkinia, Icarus of Daezeman, the president of Imitora, and the ambassador from Jarlsberg. Williams and Icarus managed to foil the Jarlsbergian’s espionage plot and an alliance was formed between Iansisle, Larkinia, Imitora, and Daezeman.
At this time, Brian gave up his claims to the throne and went to Daezeman with Icarus. The brothers never reconciled.
The Sentrian Plot
The Archduke of Sentry Island, Princess Jessica’s husband, schemed to assassinate James on the one year celebration of his coronation in December 1938. Luckily, Jeff Williams was on hand to foil Sentry Island, though the incident did lead to a major rebellion in Dianatran. The Archduke, his son, and Princess Jessica were exiled to Healdsburg.
A Treacherous Staircase
In 1939, James was summoned to a conference in Effit to discuss pan-Tilsitian relations. However, while meeting with Ibrahaim XVIII, Effit’s monarch, James fell down a flight of stairs and almost died. Jeff Williams was again on hand to investigate (the entire ordeal smacked of assassination) and, although the incident was proved to be a simple accident, Imitora occupied Effit for several years.
When James had first ascended, he wanted to be a king of the people, perhaps in reaction to his father’s refusal to let him leave Dûn Ádien. However, as time went on James became more estranged from his subjects, his friends, and his wife, Christin of Imitora. He started spending more and more time in the Honeycomb, interacting with others only when needed.
Foreign relations also suffered. When Daezeman was destroyed by Imitora, public opinion - and James’ opinion - was turned against the Queen Consort. In some ways, James may have subconsciously blamed her for the incident and the death of his brother Brian, with whom he had never reconciled. Some also claim that James started taking mistresses at this time, which Christin may or may not have known.
At a conference in Golden Agate, Christin confronted James with her love for a native Imitoran (Robert Fortier) and James became severely depressed. They were soon divorced and James was said to become something of a misogynist. To date, James has not remarried; his older sister Jessica (who was brought back from exile in Healdsburg and added back into the succession) is still the heir apparent.
The Revolution and James
See main article: The Gull Flag Revolution
On the night of 21 December 1952, James was waylaid while asleep by corporate forces and taken from Dûn Ádien to #5 Jameston Place, where he was forced to support the new policies ‘parliament’ was enacting. He developed a strong hatred for the corporates and William Ashtonbury in particular; he especially hated the way they used his beloved baby sister Alice as bait to get him to say what they wanted.
On the day of 3 August, as corporate defenses were crumbling throughout Ianapalis, Sir Richard Tri conspired to rescue James and spirit him away from both the corporates and the revolutionaries. However, the plan was foiled when Ashtonbury appeared and killed Tri in a duel. Weathers and Lawrence, Tri’s coconspirators, still managed to rescue James, but they were captured by Charles Bradsworth before they could escape.
After a series of negotiations, Bradsworth and James reached an agreement: James would give up the High Kingship and declare the Grand Empire dissolved, but he would simultaneously become the King of the new United Kingdom of the Shield.
The Foothills Uprising
Increasingly, James began to feel restless and as though he were imprisoned once again within Dûn Ádien. In winter 1956, he sent his new wife Anna away to Valinon on a disguised East Gallagaman. Then, along with the few King's Own Grenadiers still loyal to him, James put ashore in southern Shadoran and rode north to the last remaining independent royalist state on the Shield, the Javian Kingdom of the Foothills. Once in Topton, James claimed the authority of the High King of the Shield and ordered Michael, the Javian King, to raise an army to destroy the revolutionary government.
Meanwhile, the Assembly in Jameston took immediate action, writing James out of the Constitution and declaring itself the first Iansislean Republic. Among other changes was an oath, which had to be taken before an Assembly seat could be claimed, which required the Assemblyman to swear 'absolute loyalty' to the Republic and denounce James as a traitor and a tyrant. Effectively, some 90 royalist Assemblymen were barred from their seats. Five regiments -- just over 10,000 men-at-arms -- which had been slated to go to the Effitian front were reformed into a new Army of the Daldon under the command of Major General Nicodemo Ranalte.
Facing a critical lack of supplies after unusually heavy snows in the Great Northern Range closed the Noropian Gap early, James' army was forced to march South before it was ready. Although there are no official records, most historians estimate the Foothills Army at between 25,000 and 35,000. However, they were poorly (or not at all) trained, ill-disciplined, and barely equipped. The two armies met at Wonwhich Gap, just south of the town of Ducksbury in northern Shadoran, and the royalists were slaughtered. The only check was when republican Hussars, chasing retreating Foothillsmen, were countercharged by James and the royalist cavalry. A fierce melée ensued, but the royalists were beaten back. James' horse was shot out from under him, leaving him pinned to the ground. Three enlisted men in Ranalte's army found him and took him prisoner.
James was taken back to Ianapalis to stand trial before the National Assembly. James refused to defend himself, on the grounds that no mortal court could convict a King, and was swiftly found guilty of treason, tyranny, kidnapping, and murder. Although three out of the four counts mandated the death sentence, international pressure led the Assembly to leave sentencing up to the general public in a referendum. The options included capital punishment, exile of the pain of death, and life imprisonment.
After two months, the sentence came back: death, by a 77% majority. The decision led to Charles Bradsworth’s resignation, as he had supported exile for James and took the referendum as a vote of no confidence in his premiership. James was executed in June 1957 in Gull Flag Square
Toto IV (VI)
|High King of the Shield|| Succeeded by:|
Ian, the Prince of Shadoran
|King of Iansisle||Succeeded by:|