Mikhail I Shakhovskoy
|Grand Duke Mikhail I Shakhovskoy|
Mikhail I, Grand Duke of all Taraskovya, led the Grand Duchy during one of the most important periods of its history – its entry on the international scene. Mikhail I was the eldest child in the family and as all of his siblings was mostly educated by his mother, Grand Duchess Anastasya Orlova-Shakhovskaya, a woman of strong will (the mere fact that she decided to keep her maiden name and combine it with her husband’s one proves great influence and skill) that de facto ruled the Grand Duchy while Alexey spent his time enjoying various entertainment.
It is obvious that due to his rather lax attitude, the Grand Duke was soon challenged by a strong Taraskath noble, Leib-Duke Namel’lar Tal-Nash, the latter backed by a great number of other Taraskath noble families. The standoff, in which quite a number of supporters of both sides perished (it is said the Grand Duchess was the one defending the Dynasty while her husband was ‘unavailable’), finally culminated in the assassination of the Grand Duke Alexey in 1037 A.S. Mikhail, at the time an officer in the Blackhand Cavalry Regiment, was called back from service to be hastily crowned at the age of 26.
In 1038 already the situation quickly escalated into an open conflict between the Shakhovskoy and the Tal-Nash clans, which led to a number of local skirmishes between forces loyal to the two houses. Gaining assurances of neutrality from the Order of the Seven Deities, Mikhail I crushed the rebellion and asserted his position on the ‘throne’. During his 104 years of rule, the Grand Duchy knew no interior conflicts and attained great heights. During this period, Tarasovka became known on the international scene and began the march into space.
The Grand Duke had three children: Anastasya, Mikhail and Vethara, with Anastasya being, by tradition, the rightful heir to the Sword of Rulers. The Grand Duke, however, judging his daughter too ‘eccentric’ to lead a nation, named his son as heir. This sparked the Aphyr War in which Mikhail I was killed.