Sunday, 4 November 2012

History of the Lion

By the time the Fading Suns 3 project was dumped by RedBrick LLC I was fairly well advanced on the writing for the House of the Lion faction book. Below is the text for the history chapter. It is in no way final or even edited, it was a work in progress while I was still writing the other chapters. Although the text is based on Hawkwood information in the Lords of the Known Worlds book and the Hawkwood Fiefs book, much of the material is new and casts more light on the Hawkwood House. Published as it is here it cannot be considered canonical.

History of the Lion

The scions of House Hawkwood bear upon their shoulders the weighty burdens of leadership, respectability and moral rectitude. Though their rise to prominence among the Royal Houses has not been smooth. They have never doubled their fitness to assume their rightful place as champions of order and stability.
Now this proud house stands at the apex of its long history, for one of its own, Alexius Hawkwood now rules the Phoenix Empire as Emperor Alexius I. But with this accomplishment has come bitter disappointment, for the Emperor has not been as forthcoming with his largesse as many of his supporters within the house had expected.
Instead, House Hawkwood finds itself the victim of Imperial impartiality, forced to stand alongside, rather than above the other Royal Houses. For many members of the house, this does not present a problem. That the Emperor is a Hawkwood is enough. For others, however, the fruits of victory have turned sour.
Beneath the sober facade of a house known for its unshakable honor, discontentment feeds upon resentment and the values that once defined House Hawkwood will now face their greatest challenge.
Claiming to trace its descent from old Urths ancient nobility, Hapsburg, Hawkwood, Windsor and Mountbatten. House Hawkwood rose to its position as First House among the Ten through a unique combination of military persistence, diplomatic finesse and personal honor. Coupled with an unshakable belief in its own destiny. These qualities have seen House Hawkwood through periods of ascendancy and decline, propelling it to the heights of temporal power and preserving it in the face of near disaster.
The House of the Lion has a proud and turbulent heritage, one that has seen both highs and lows as the fortunes of the house have risen and fallen. Some political commentators suggest that the house’s fortunes peaked with victory during the Emperor Wars, as one of their own was crowned Emperor of the Known Worlds, but has since begun to slide back. Certainly Emperor Alexius I decision to abdicate his house in favor of Imperial impartiality has disappointed many and angered some.
The traditional Hawkwood stoic resolve has ensured that the House closed ranks quickly and little dissent his voiced publically where it might bring embarrassment to the Emperor, or his immediate family. Behind closed doors the Emperor’s decisions are closely securitized and debated. The Emperor’s younger brother, Duke Alverax, inherited his brother’s lands and titles, all save that house’s leadership, which instead passed to their cousin, Princess Victoria. 

The Foundations of House Hawkwood

Robert Hawkwood formally founded House Hawkwood in 2525; but its historical roots can be traced back to John Hawkwood, a mercenary and adventurer who lived during the 14th century on Holy Terra. Robert did not found the House on his own undertakings alone but built upon the legacy of his grandfather and First Republican Zaibatsu Gervaise Windsor-Hapsburg, who’s corporation (Cynostar) purchased the rights to Delphi in c.2450. With Gervaise and much of his corporate interests relocating to the world in the decade that followed.
Delphi was at the time in the grip of a popular uprising against the First Republic, and the sale of the planet to a corporation did nothing to quell the unrest. Upon his arrival Gervaise discovered a world in the grip of armed revolution and undertook the herculean task of restoring order to Delphi. Drawing on his considerable financial resources as well as his own personal military, he placed Delphi under martial law and arrested the leaders of the rebellion.
Instead of bringing the rebels to trial, Gervaise took stock of the grievances and qualifications of these would be revolutionaries. Never one to let good talent go to waste, he struck a deal and laid the foundations of a new coalition government with his former enemies. Establishing a corporate backed democratic assembly elected by the people. With the Sathra Insurrection gaining momentum on the core worlds of the First Republic, Delphi built upon its new foundation and finally declared itself independent of the First Republic in 2500.
Gervaise’s only daughter, Analise Windsor-Hapsburg married one of the populist leaders of Delphi, Aaron Hawkwood and from this meeting of old money and new ideals, Robert Hawkwood (2503-2610) was born. The birth of Robert Hawkwood is seen as the foundation stone of House Hawkwood and both the fledgling noble lineage and Delphi prospered and grew. By the time of Robert's death, in 2610, the members of the Hawkwood clan were looked upon not just as landowners and wealthy magnates of industry, but also as a form of celebrity nobility. Many members of the Hawkwood bloodline held political office in addition to their standing as hereditary landowners, but this was backed by open, free and fair elections by the people of Delphi.

Looking Beyond Delphi

Zenobiah Hawkwood (2563-2646), Robert’s daughter had already achieve the highest political office on Delphi, being elected as planetary governor in the planetary assembly in 2600, and inherited the mantel of the head of House Hawkwood upon the death of her father. During her rule, she reasserted ownership over Cynostar properties on Ravenna that had come to be dominated by a rival family lineage, the Mountbattens. Through a combination of legal claims, and military force secured the ownership of large parts of Ravenna, this new arrangement was then secured with the arranged marrage of her son Trevor Hawkwood (2592-2646) to Marianne Mountbatten (2599-2691), the daughter and heir of Ravenna’s most influential magnate, bringing the powerful Mountbatten family under the Hawkwood banner. Intermarriage between Delphi and Ravenna sides of the Hawkwood House became commonplace over the next century inextricably merging the Mountbatten and Hawkwood bloodlines.
As the last vestiges of the First Republic finally crumbled (c.2650), many now independent worlds erupted in civil war as various families sought to establish their own power bases. For a time, House Hawkwood attempted to remain aloof from these conflicts, content to consolidate its holdings on Delphi and Ravenna. Leadership of House Hawkwood continued to pass from generation to generation through the descendants of Robert Hawkwood. Trade with other planets, many of which had come under the control of other self-styled noble Houses, became vital to the economic prosperity of both the Hawkwood worlds. The House embarked on a series of carefully orchestrated alliances with a number of these families, notable among was the Gwynneth-based House Juandaastas (2743), and the Ravenna-based House Trusnikron (2782). The political and dynastic marriages laid the foundations for the claims that House Hawkwood would later exert to bring these worlds into the dynastic fold.
House Gloucester had long been a trading partner of the Hawkwood’s (c.2800), purchasing arms and equipment to assist them in taming the worlds of Severus and Cadiz. The partnership was formalized into an alliance in 2817, with the engagement of the Florence Mountbatten Hawkwood (2790 - 2878) to the then heir of the House, James Gloucester  (2787-2818).
The Hawkwood vessel carrying the wedding party arrived in the Severus system in early 2818 only to discover that House Gloucester had already been beheaded by the birth of the Mantis. Despite claims, and accusations of foul play, there is evidence to suggest that James died in some form of suicide pact with the woman he claimed was his true love, the grieving head of the House, Davies Gloucester (2748 - 2818), adulated his title, position and all worldly possessions and claims to Antonin Decados (2752 - 2838).
The Hawkwood refusal to acknowledge House Decados as the legitimate heirs of the Gloucester legacy gave rise to the abiding dislike between the two houses and a state of covert hostilities would endure for the next 30 years and beyond. During this time Hawkwood agents performed sabotage, sponsored insurgent uprisings and attempted to disgrace the Decados by revealing the existence of a previously unknown sentient race on Cadiz (2821). This cold war between the houses periodically erupted into hot conflicts between rival fleets.
The conflict culminated in a number of assassinations on both sides that settled affairs back into a cold war state. The highest profiles deaths were Prince Jakob Decados (2761 - 2848) in 2848, supposedly murdered by Hawkwood agents while under the auspice of peace talks aboard his flagship the Alexander. Within months Analise Hawkwood (2804-2849) the heiress apparent to the Hawkwood House, was viciously murdered during her diplomatic mission to Gwynneth. Had she been successful, her marriage to Fergal ap Llwyn, would have brought much of Gwynneth peacefully under Hawkwood rule. As it was Mantis involvement in her death could never be proved.

The Lion Rampant

Prince Cyprian Hawkwood (2781-2886) launched an invasion fleet to bring Gwynneth to heel and avenge his daughter’s death. The Hawkwood Fleet arrived in the Gwynneth system before dividing into two forces. The first under the command of Admiral Llewellyn Mountbatten Hawkwood (2801 - 2899) drove straight towards Gwynneth quickly destroying the planetary defense satellites to land ground forces, while the second fleet under the watchful eye of Commander Henrick Blake Hawkwood (2811 - 2868) destroyed outlying system defenses that might be called to defend the besieged world, before doubling back to the jumpgate to mount an effective blockade.
The planets resistance crumbled quickly and world became a formal Hawkwood territory in 2850. During this conflict, Hawkwood knights cemented their reputation as skilled warriors and excellent battlefield commanders. Many of the Knights of the Gwynneth campaign were awarded fiefs on the world or intermarried with the existing nobility to integrate and formalize the rule of the House over its newly concurred territories. The blockade of the Gwynneth jumpgate remained in place until 2853.
During the Ur-Ukar War (2855-2892), House Hawkwood ingratiated itself with the Universal Church through its direct military support of the campaign. Hawkwood knights answered the call of the Patriarch Palamedes I (2753-3020), crusading along side Orthodox troops and lending tactical and strategic experience against the hateful Ukari. In many ways House Hawkwood had been exceptionally lucky, in that the bulk of the House Fleet still patrolled the Gwynneth system when the Ur-Ukari mounted their invasion, and Hawkwood ground forces were still above “normal” strength as the planet was slowly transitioned from an occupied territory to an integrated part of the Hawkwood homeworlds. Although House Hawkwood was not the only Royal House to provide support to Patriarchal forces they brought the weight of significant numbers and proved pivotal in a number of key engagements.
During the Ukari War the leadership of the House transferred to Princess Augusta Hawkwood (2851-3002), she extended the house’s protection to the Ur-Obun homeworld (Velisamil), bringing that planet under her aegis as a protectorate in 2905. Much like her father Cyprian, Augusta was prepared to use the sword where diplomacy failed. In 2952 she committed Hawkwood forces to assault rival corporate interests on Leminkainen, shattering Agricorp’s hold on the planet and reducing Dextrite Medical Interplanetary to a single holding on the isolated island of Kriel. What followed was a whirlwind of diplomatic marriages of lesser family members to existing landowners to secure legitimate authority over the bulk of the planet.
With the acquisition of Leminkainen, Hawkwood secured control over one of the Known Worlds grain baskets and one of its few sources of the rare mineral Pygmallium, which was highly prized by tech-consortiums and used in the manufacturing of delicate golem matrices that hosed artificial intellects. This lead to a number of trade agreements that secured the Hawkwood house as a mercantile concern through the productive management of its holdings.

The Eternal Matriarch

Succession skipped a generation when Augusta endorsed her grand-daughter as her heir apparent in 3000, and Livia Hawkwood (2981-3267) took formal control over the House the following year with Augusta stepping down to become her advisor for the last year of her life, she had been in failing health for many years.  Livia was a leader for new generation of Hawkwoods. Conflicts were few and isolated and the House continued to cement its control of its four worlds encouraging otherwise distant branches of the family to intermarry to build ties and loyalties between the worlds.  A number of long-term advantageous pairings were also made between the House and many of the growing high-tech concerns with which they did business. Livia was one of the longest serving Hawkwood monarchs. The use of longevity serums was commonplace amongst those who could afford such treatments, but the long-term generational affects could not be easily calculated.
Livia abdicated as house leader in 3198, stepping down in favor of her son Robert Hawkwood (3151-3199) and again in 3223 in favor of her grand son Andrew Hawkwood (3189-3225), on both occasions her successor did not survive for longer than two years in office and she voluntarily made a return to the Delphi throne to provide guidance to her house during a time of uncertainty.
There were a great many conspiracy theories about both deaths. Investigations conducted at the time found no evidence of foul play, but some suspect that this is a cover up to save face. While the hated Decados usually get the blame for such happenings, the truth is far worse. On both occasions the subjects died after receiving their first dose of longevity serum a medication long used by the elite of the house to live unnaturally long life spans, both seem to have suffered an allergic reaction and died. These early longevity treatments were poorly understood and some side effects were not unknown.
Livia Hawkwood remains a much-loved figure in the annals of Hawkwood history, often referred to as the Grand Mother of House Hawkwood, she ruled through a soft touch, preferring to convince others around to do as honor or necessity dictated rather than force compliance.

The Slow Decline

Augustine Hawkwood (3146-3291) and his successor Drew Hawkwood (3265-3512), presided over the house during a time of general decline for the nobility throughout the Known Worlds. A general shift in corporate governance began to centralize control of politics, and commerce while mercantile houses and corporate interests grew in both wealth and power. The role of the nobility and power of dynastic rule gradually faded as nobles became glorified landowners with ceremonial titles and little actual power to rule their own domains, guided instead by centralized government and lawmaking. House Hawkwood weathered this decline better than many; the democratic assembly on Delphi established by Gervaise Winsor-Hapsburg still held power and the popular support of its people, nobles seeking temporal power were free to pursue careers within the political arena and remained prominent if not supreme in the planetary government. With strong links with many high tech industries the house continued to prosper.

The Second Republic

With the rise of the Second Republic (c.3500), House Hawkwood again embarked on a period of intense diplomatic maneuvering designed to secure its place in the new order by founding strong links with the Universal Church. Many nobles gifted land to the Universal Church and patronizing the construction of cathedrals and places of worship, House Hawkwood was foremost of all the noble houses in their support for the Urth Orthodoxy.
 Prince Geoffrey Hawkwood (3512-3714) continued the Hawkwood tradition of engineering astute political marriages amongst the other Royal Houses, specifically with his al-Malik, Li Halan, Alecto and Windsor allies. Under Prince Geoffrey ever-greater numbers of Hawkwood scions entered seminary training for the orthodox priesthood, strengthen further the houses links with that increasingly powerful organization.
In addition to forging links with the Universal Church, the house sought to bring the most important and influential crafters under the Lion banner. Seeking to increase the House’s influence on Tethys, House Hawkwood acquired a number of key fiefs, taking control of a several high tech manufacturing plants, thus acquiring the allegiance of the Ambrim family of Tethys, the manufacturers of starships and the finest starship energy shields in the Second Republic.
While many of the other Royal Houses found themselves scrambling to keep up with the booming mercantile and technological conglomerates that formed the Second Republic’s power base, House Hawkwood managed to remain near, if not actually in, the thick of things.
The leadership of the house passed through several sets of hands in rapid succession; Hector Hawkwood (3676-3756), was killed in a hunting accident and succeeded by this brother, William (3679-3768). Prince William Hawkwood had long refused longevity treatments, and continued to do so for the short period of his reign over the house, he was known as the “old hawk”, though he was in physical decline by the time of his brothers death, his mind remained sharp till the end and he presided over a number of lucrative dealings that brought many high tech industries to Delphi he also increased spending on military resources, building a new generation of starships to secure the homeworlds and commercial shipping. Though outside commentators saw this as aggressive posturing, many within the house agreed that it was a prudent strategy, and the new fleet became known as the “Old Hawk’s Fleet”.
Garret Hawkwood (3739-3801) succeeded his uncle, he was a pious man who did little to further the mercantile interests of the house, and under his rule he gave away a significant portion of the house’s coffers to the Universal Church. His death in 3801 is shrouded in secrecy and conspiracy theorists have suggested that disgruntled elements within the house may have taken action to curb the influence the Universal Church was exerting over their leader.
Rupert Hawkwood (3780-3907) was plucked from an obscure branch of the Hawkwood family and was widely seen as a reaction against the influence of the Universal Church. Although unable to reverse the concessions that had been made by his predecessor he did take a stand against the authority of the Church and widely advocated the separation of Church and State, declaring during a senatorial debate, “The Universal Church might speak for the Pancreator, but it doesn’t speak for me. Let the Orthodoxy attend to the needs of spirit, but let the Republic see to the needs of its people.”
Prince Elan Hawkwood (3872-3989) took over where his father had left off, though less vocal, he preferred action to words, and earned the wrath of the Universal Church when he reclaimed lands from the Orthodoxy on Delphi that had been awarded by Prince Garret, claiming that those lands had been awarded to the Universal Church on the premise that they be used for faithful purposes, the fact that they being used by the church simply to levy taxes, he claimed was contrary to the understanding between House Hawkwood and the Orthodoxy.

The Resurgence

Prince Roderick Hawkwood (3966-4015) inherited a house that had seen decline despite his father’s efforts to reassert the rights of the family over lands gifted to the Orthodoxy. In trouble with the Universal Church it is all the more surprising that he choose to speak out against what the history books remember as the alliance of Rogue Worlds. The Houses Kossuth, Powell, Romanov, and Von Ferdinand renounced the governance of the Second Republic and launched a preemptive assault to seize Byzantium Secundus and, with it, the Republican Senate (4000).
Prince Roderick saw his chance to halt the decline of his house, giving command of the “Old Hawks Fleet” to his sister, the Duchess General Alexandra Hawkwood (3970-4057), considered the finest military mind of the age, she is credited in the annals of history with leading the counter-offensive that reclaimed Byzantium Secundus from rebel hands the following year (c.4001).
House Hawkwood did not liberate Byzantium Secundus alone, it did share its victory with its allies, the Houses al-Malik, Windsor, Alecto, and Li Halan, though were less than pleased with having to include the Decados in to the coalition, they joined the assault with a token force at the last moment. The liberation of Byzantium Secundus was only the beginning of the war that would bring down the Second Republic and raise up the Royal Houses in its place. During the next few years several battles were fought against the forces of the Rogue Worlds and a pro-Republican civil war would reignite Byzantium Secundus until it was finally crushed in 4009.
With the formal demise of the Second Republic, House Hawkwood was in good position to solidify its leadership of the Ten. Prince Roderick seemed an ideal candidate around which to build a new empire. Unfortunately, his confederates in war did not prove as loyal in peace. Most distressing was the apparent defection of House Windsor from the pro-Hawkwood camp, Count Jasper Windsor’s denunciation of General Alexandra Hawkwood's stolen march on Byzantium Secundus did not seriously damage her reputation, but it did open a rift between the two distantly related houses, Houses Li Halan and Alecto, likewise, withdrew their favor from the House. The impending marriage between Alexandra Hawkwood's son Victor and Leonora Alecto failed to materialize when the Universal Church voiced its disapproval of the match, citing Victor Hawkwood's cybernetic enhancements as grounds of suspected heresy. Although no actual proof could be established, many Hawkwoods suspect Decados manipulations to be behind their sudden reversal in popularity.
Prince Roderick's unexpected suicide (4015) was the final blow to Hawkwood ambitions. An inquiry conducted by agents of the Universal Church concluded that the Hawkwood leader died from self-induced poison. Rather than pursue the matter further, House Hawkwood swallowed the bitter verdict and cut its losses with as much dignity as possible.
Roderick’s only son Gordon Hawkwood (3986-?) took over the reigns of the house. Its plans for building an empire with one of their own on the Imperial throne was thwarted temporarily, House Hawkwood staged a strategic retreat from the political arena, concentrating instead on consolidating its planetary holdings, rebuilding its military strength, gaining the trust and support of the people under its rule and biding its time. A major restructuring of the houses internal affairs resulted in the abdication of Gordon Hawkwood from his position of leadership (4020) in favor of his sister Justine (3987-4091), a methodical administrator who applied herself to the task of quietly increasing Hawkwood influence behind the scenes. Gordon disappeared from family life, supposedly becoming a hermit or retiring to a mendicant monastery, but he is believed to have taken over the running of the families internal security forces and as a psychic himself had links to the Phavian Institute, which he exploited to recruit and train house agents.
There is anecdotal evidence that Gordon and his recruits fought a private war against House Decados, blaming them for the death of his father. His campaign of murder and assassination was answered by the Decados’ own internal security forces, the Jokovian Agency. No one knows Gordon’s eventual fate and the ‘assassin war’ between the houses seems to have ended c.4160.
This is not to say that the period known as "The New Dark Ages" held no instances of Hawkwood glory. Setting its sights on ending the rivalry between the Universal Church and the nobility, Hawkwood ambassadors began a campaign to bring the two powers together; Baron Michael Hawkwood (4015-4053) became a Church knight, swearing to protect the Orthodox faithful (4046), he was killed in 4053 fulfilling his pledge to protect the Archbishop of Delphi. Princess Justine's third son Gregory (4027-4097) married an Orthodox bishop. In those early years following the Fall of the Second Republic, House Hawkwood again enjoyed a brief resurgence in their reputation as faithful adherents to the Orthodoxy.

The Divided House

Rulership of the house passed from Justine to her eldest son Paul Hawkwood (4019-4155), his rule saw a religious schism open within the house. Patriarch Ustir II passed his Doctrine of the Cleansing Flame (4079), granting the Universal Church the right to use violence to force compliance with church doctrine. Though the worlds of Delphi and Ravenna had long been bastions of the orthodoxy, this doctrine was a direct challenge to the religious freedoms enjoyed upon Leminkainen and Gwynneth. As Universal Church forces tried to enforce the Doctrine of Universal Inheritance through force, wars erupted all across the Known Worlds, most were local affairs, but on Leminkainen and Gwynneth these wars were legendary and hard fought, causing centuries of strife and hardship.
Prince Paul, initially tried to mediate with the Patriarch, but Ustir II was a hardball priest with no room for compromise and Paul was threatened with excommunication if he interfered with the rightful affairs of the Universal Church. In the end his inability to take a decisive position effectively split the house in two, with Delphi and Ravenna supporting the church sanctioned action against Leminkainen and Gwynneth both of which resisted vigorously if independently with their jumpgates eventually blockaded by a coalition of noble fleets answering the will of the Patriarch.
Hawkwood knights fought on both sides of the conflict that ground on for generations with much blood shed and little advance by either side. After decades of bickering, and in fighting between planetary leaders, the nobility and the Universal Church, the Patriarch eventually brought the war to a conclusive end by excommunicating Leminkainen’s leadership on mass and ordering the blockading noble fleet to bomb the planet into submission (4208).
Gwynneth faired better than Leminkainen, with its larger better equipped fleet, it was able to force a stand off that lead the Universal Church to declare an ideological quarantine of the system of 300 years. Eventually Gwynneth would be brought to the negotiating table to end the stand off in 4382.
Prince Paul did not live to see the conclusion of either of these wars; instead he was the victim of an assassin’s bullet specifically engineered to bypass his protective shield. The assassin was never identified or captured. Though the Decados are often blamed for his murder it is far more likely that the deed was conducted by one of the disgruntled elements within House Hawkwood who blamed the hesitant Prince for not taking a stand against the abuses of church authority.
Paul’s murder led to one of the few succession wars to have ever occurred within the ranks of House Hawkwood. This internal conflict erupted between his offspring each of whom claimed that Paul and indicated that they should succeed him. Of the four rivals for the title of Prince were Fredrick (4103-4156), William (4105-4156), Anastasia (4117-4238) and Gertrude (4120-4233). Each had their own supporters, though Fredrick was the favorite to succeed, he briefly held the title of Prince before a fitter accident claimed his life. William died within weeks of his brother, an apparent suicide; some say that he was consumed with remorse for arranging his brother’s death. Gertrude was later exposed by members of the Hawkwood Rooks intelligence agency as having been behind the plot to murder Fredrick and frame William. To hide the families embarrassment she was forced to accept life in a monastic isolation and spent the rest of her life without ever crossing the threshold of the convent.
Princess Anastasia Hawkwood came to power in a house that was still divided with two of its world besieged by the Universal Church, on the surface she did little to be remembered but behind the scenes she achieved much including healing many of the breaches between the Leminkainen Hawkwoods and the rest of the House in the aftermath of their capitulation to the Universal Church in 4208. However, most of her rule was spent rooting out internal divisions that had allowed the succession war that had brought about her rise to power.
Some say that she became paranoid fearing conspiracies at the heart of the family. It is believed that she had a secret room built in the palace on Delphi where she accumulated evidence concerning the “family ghost”. After her death this room has never been found, if it ever existed at all.
Prince Gervaise Hawkwood (4200-4391) had been a close confidant of Anastasia during the last, some say mad, years of her life, and although from a lesser branch of the family, he became her nominated heir apparent, sidestepping her own children. Prince Gervaise’s unusually long life is assumed to be the result of longevity treatments, but even the a portrait painted of him at about the time of his ascension to the Delphi throne depicts him as a man many more years advanced than the dates would suggest. He produced no offspring instead nurturing the direct descendants of Robert Hawkwood to whom he bequeathed power when he passed away. Prince Gervaise is seen as something of a regent figure in the annals of Hawkwood family history, navigating the stormy period of the post-Fall era with masterful guidance.
During his rule, Gervaise did much to promote the stability of the house. Often seeking peace and accord with traditional enemies that he could turn to his purpose, much as his namesake had done almost 2000 years earlier. At his urging, Duke Lawrence Hawkwood (4287-4368), the house’s premier diplomat, was instrumental in bringing about some concessions to both the nobility and the Merchant League in the face of the Doctrine of the Privilege of Martyrs (4357). He instigated diplomacy with all other factions in the Known Worlds; he brought the standoff on Gwynneth to an end in 4382, through that world’s capitulation to church demands, though this was tempered by newly adopted Privilege of Martyrs.
Though the Hawkwood homeworlds were again reunited under the rule of Prince Grevaise, the breaches within the extended Hawkwood family would take centuries to fully heal. Prince Martin Hawkwood (4372 - 4457) succeeded Grevaise following his abdication 4390.
Many young Hawkwood nobles found new proving grounds to test their mettle, setting out to put down pockets of rebellion on planets ruled by allied houses. In time the House demonstrated its usefulness to the other Royal Houses and the Universal Church in countless ways.

Barbarians at the Gate

In c.4400 a new threat emerged on the borders of Hawkwood space, initially small in number, the arrival of these barbarian raiders went almost unnoticed. Each year the raiders would return in greater numbers, what began as an only a few raiding vessels in 4398, had become a number of small raiding fleets by 4420. Prince Martin initially left this mater in the capable hands of Duke Roman Blake Hawkwood (4358 - 4427) the planetary lord of Leminkainen. Unable to stem the flow of raiders, the Duke sent a request for aid to his Prince but was rebuffed in 4426, informed that he had the resources of a whole planet to draw upon he had better be able to handle a few pirate raiders. The Duke was killed the following year when his system defense forces became scattered during a running space battle and his vessel was boarded. The Duke reportedly ordered his own ship be scuttled rather than lose it to the enemy.
In the aftermath of Duke Roman’s death, the house seemed to be jolted into full action, with an almost missionary fervor, Hawkwood political aspirations were dropped and Prince Martin himself took up the sword to fight the barbarian blight that had descended upon his lands. Many young Hawkwoods heard the call of their Prince and rallied to his banner purging every barbarian that could be rooted out, for Hawkwood militias, this was their finest hour. The exploits of Generals Malcolm and Vanessa Hawkwood approached legendary status as these cousins and rivals racked up victories along the frontiers of the Known Worlds.
Prince Martin was killed in 4457 leading an army against raiders that had established a settlement on Leminkainen. In the aftermath of the Prince’s death the raider activity subsided for several years, during this time Prince Roderick II (4419 - 4482) took up the leadership of the House, he advocated a policy of steady rearmament and preparation should the raiders invade Hawkwood space again. Large orders for military vessels were paced with both the Tethys and Delphi shipyards, though this provoked a political storm, and claims that House Hawkwood had adopted a warmongering position. Political objections and sabotage played a large part in ensuring that much of House had considered necessary was never actually delivered before the raids began in earnest again, though this time the raiders struck at both Leminkainen and late Ravenna (c.4488 onwards).
Roderick III (4453 - 4520) succeeded his father in 4482 and immediately ordered retaliatory action against barbarian raiders, who were increasingly known as the Vuldrok. He established a fleet bulwark in the Leminkainen system and his military commanders were ordered to locate the enemy homeworld and strike back, these retaliatory commenced with the discovery of the lost world of Hargard (then named Vuldrok by the Hawkwoods), the first counter offensive was conducted in 4515 and again in 4518, after both these strikes raider activity subsided. In 4520, everything changed, a massive invasion fleet, much larger than any seen to date, broke through the Hawkwood defenses at Leminkainen, scattering the assembled Hawkwood Fleet, before pushing on to strike at Ravenna and then at Delphi itself. The assault on Delphi was unexpected and unprepared for, a sustained assault intended not simply to carry away booty but an attempt to seize that world and others of Hawkwood space.
With the House in disarray, leaderless and three of its homeworlds under a barbarian yoke Duke Sebastian Gervaise Hawkwood (4497 - 4572) rallies forces from his territories’ on Gwynneth, sets out to repel the barbarian incursion from the Hawkwood worlds, In so doing he declares himself Prince of House Hawkwood and takes the name Gervaise II.
The Vuldrok push further into the Known worlds striking at Paradise and Byzantium Secundus in 4537. Prince Gervaise II’s open call for aid finds him at the side of Prince Vladimir Alecto in 4540 and at the heart of the coalition of noble houses that assemble under the Phoenix banner of House Alecto.

The Rise of Empire

When Vladimir Alecto, in 4540, announced his intention as leader of the Ten to bring peace and unity to the Known Worlds, stamping out once and for all the barbarian threat. Prince Gervaise II threw Hawkwood support behind Vladimir’s enterprise. Despite his realization of the implications should Alecto's campaign succeed, Prince Gervaise II sent his daughter Zelia (4518 - 4612) and his two oldest sons, Winston (4519 - 4598) and Fitzhugh (4521 - 4542), to serve under Vladimir's command. Excellence recognizes its own, and countless centuries of military expertise forced House Hawkwood to accept that Vladimir Alecto offered the best hope for ending the chaos brought about by the barbarian invasions.
Swallowing their disappointment that the spotlight belonged to another house, they joined wholeheartedly in the crusade. That it offered more opportunities for personal glory to younger members of the house was an extra inducement.
The annals of Hawkwood history contain numerous accounts of the courage and daring of countless heroes from this period. Both Zelia and Winston Hawkwood covered themselves in glory with their bold forays into barbarian space and the reclamation of their worlds from the clutches of the invaders. Fitzhugh's career might have equaled that of his siblings had it not ended tragically in a suicidal charge against a numerically superior barbarian fleet in order to delay them long enough for the Alecto fleet to regroup.
The war effort against the barbarians was not the only arena in which House Hawkwood engaged. On the authority of Prince Gervaise II, a delegation of nobles lead by Count Hector Blake Hawkwood (4501 - 4578) petitioned Patriarch Nadrim to suspend restrictions on the use of technology of use to the war effort. In 4545 they were rewarded with the issuing of the Doctrine of the Privilege of Martyrs – Exemptio Nobilis in 4545. This raised the esteem for House Hawkwood amongst Vladimir’s coalition to place them as second only to House Alecto.
In 4548 the invading warlord, Thane Froijir of the Vuldrok is killed at the battle of Firefrost on Gwynneth, the alliance of Vuldrok warlords splinters without his leadership, and the forces of Vladimir’s coalition liberates many worlds as the Vuldrok retreat became a rout, though pockets of Vuldrok settlers are left behind.
Prince Vladimir Alecto had promised to reinstate all liberated territories to their original owners, but he reneged on his word, claiming that some had not fully committed themselves to the liberation war seeking to profit of the spoils of his actions. Prince Gervaise II was angered when House Alecto claimed large territories on Delphi, Ravenna and Leminkainen and did not return to House Hawkwood as promised, this was particularly galling of the Hawkwoods who felt that they had more than done their part. As many of the Royal Houses began their rebellion against House Alecto’s land grab the presence of House Decados among the rebels finally clinched Hawkwoods stand, and they joined with Alecto's supporters to assist in the formation of the Empire, with Vladimir as the first, though shockingly short-lived, Emperor (4550).
Although the assassination of Emperor Vladimir I during his coronation ceremony horrified House Hawkwood, it nevertheless threw open the door of opportunity. During the turbulent struggles that followed, House Hawkwood sought to maintain its strength while other Royal Houses fought for what ever they could take. Instead Prince Gervaise II employed guile and negotiation to offer protection to the failing House Alecto in return for advantageous marriages that reasserted this Houses claims upon the territories taken from it by Vladimir I. He conserved the House’s military strength for the defense and chose his alliances with care.
In 4560, the Prince again sent a delegation to Patriarch Nadrim, again lead by Count Hector Blake Hawkwood. This time it was to support the increased technological rights to the Merchant League, and was again rewarded by the issue of the Doctrine of the Privilege of Martyrs – Exemptio Phalangis, which secured many lasting relationships between the Merchant League and House Hawkwood.
The political turmoil in the aftermath of Vladimir I’s assassination saw the rise of many conspiracy theories though little more than speculation, such unguarded talk brought House Hawklwood to the brink of all out war with their long standing rival, House Decados in 4561, when both Houses accused the other of being behind the Emperor’s assassination.
Of course Hawkwood suspicion about who might have encouraged the barbarians to invade in the first place and who might have been behind the assassination of Vladimir I fell squarely on the distrusted House Decados, who in turn have made counter claims pointing out that General Zelia Hawkwood had received a private audience with Vladimir I just prior to his coronation.
The intercession of House Li Halan at the behest of the Patriarch Nadrim of the Universal Church, brought both houses to heel with the threat that Princes of both Houses would be excommunicated. The Phoenix Throne had been empty for 10 years and it took a further two of negotiations between the electors with no faction prepared to raise another to the heights of an Imperial House. Instead it was agreed that a regent would be elected to serve a 10 year term, after which the electors would reconvene to choose a new Emperor. Famously this stand off was repeated again and again. The first Regent elected in 4560, due to Patriarchal support came from House Li Halan.

The Regency Era

Due to the ravages of Vladimir’s campaign against the barbarians, many Royal Houses had become extinct, among them House Windsor, thou leaving House Hawkwood as the primary inheritor (through its founder Gervaise Windsor-Hapsburg) of many Windsor properties (none of them planets), and all of their debts. Not only had the Hawkwood worlds born the brunt of the barbarian aggression that had brought the Known Worlds to its knees it was now saddled with the debts of an extinct bloodline and the exorbitant costs of rebuilding its homeworlds.
Prince Gervasie II, passed in 4572, and his daughter Zelia became Princess of the House until her own death in 4612. During her time as head of the house she not once put herself forward as Regent, but instead used her influence to obtain favorable conditions for her house in return for her votes on the council of electors. Having never married or had children of her own Princess Zelia is succeeded by her nephew, Prince Eustus Hawkwood (4551 - 4692).
A man of simple tastes, Prince Eustus did not seek out the limelight though he was elected as Regent (4660 – 4670), likely as a second choice candidate for all the other factions. To his later disgust he did approve the marriage of Lady Avyryl Hawkwood (4662 - 4712), his grand-daughter (and then heir to the Ravenna Duchy), to the Archbishop of Kish Halvor Li Halan in 4684, only for the man to succeed his brother to become both Prince of House Li Halan and Archbishop in 4686. In 4690 Prince Halvor was elected as Regent and in the same year also became Patriarch of the Universal Church, he immediately issued the Doctrine of Theocratic Succession, proclaiming himself Theocrat, both Emperor and Patriarch.
Prince Eustus was alarmed by what he saw unraveling before his eyes and ordered the blockade of Ravenna and dethroned Duchess Avyryl lest the planet fall in to the hands of the Universal Church or House Li Halan. In the wake of Halvor’s death the following year (4691), the victim of a horrific wasting disease. House Hawkwood realized it must move quickly to prevent his son Constantine Li Halan from succeeding him. Backed by House Hazat, House Hawkwood brought about the end of the short-lived theocratic experiment by forcing Halvor’s young son to annul the Doctrine of Theocratic Succession. This one act did much to improve the image of House Hawkwood in the eyes of the other Royal Houses by returning the balance of power to the royal lineages. Lady Avyryl lived out her days in a convent on Velisamil, after she had ruled House Li Halan in her son’s name until he came of age to rule for himself.
His eldest son, Eustus II, should have succeeded Prince Eustus, but for a childhood injury that robbed the boy of his mental capacity, handing succession to his younger brother, Henry Hawkwood (4598 - 4723) an elderly man by the time of his succession, he had an eye to the stability of the house and took after the tradition of many previous Hawkwood rules promoting the links between the disparate branches of the House across the homeworlds. He had a reputation as a fair and even handed ruler who did not tolerate petty tyrants and was responsible for removing no fewer three lesser nobles from their estates for what he considered to be abuses of power over the serf under class. He is often quoted as having said, “It is the right of the noble to rule; it is the duty of a noble to care for those he rules, to guide with discipline and by example.”
By the time of Prince Henry’s death the Regency had settled into a state of cold war, with each faction watching all others. The ever-shifting tides of alliances would raise one House above the others to the position of Regent only to bring them low again when ambition grew. Limited military actions and saber rattling became commonplace, and no one can guess at the true extent of covert wars through sponsored proxies (usually the lesser noble houses) actually occurred.
Princess Anastasia II (4648 - 4793) succeeded her father; as did her son, Robert II (4679 - 4798) succeeds her. Both these rulers continued where Prince Henry had left off, steady hands during the turbulence of the Regency. During this time Hawkwood Knights saw action asserting the territorial claims of various allied minor houses specifically on Daishan and Regatta (now a lost world). In many cases these allied wars where proxies for the on going tension between the Lion and the Mantis.
Prince Martin II (4765 - 4843) was an unlikely candidate for the mantle of House leader. Robert II’s seventh son, he was a scholarly man with an interest in history, which may have been why his father chose to abdicate to him in the last years of his life. The decision was less than popular with his siblings but early decisive action ended a plot against his life with the execution of his eldest brother on charges of treason. Less dramatic was the actual period of his rule during which the House quietly gathered military strength and he did much to improve the defenses of the Leminkainen system against any future barbarian incursion. In 4810 the al-Malik invaded Gwynneth with a sizable invasion force and Prince Martin delegated military authority to Admiral Angusta Hawkwood (4779 - 4865) who over the course of 2 years relentlessly attacked the invading al-Malik before finally bring the remainder of their fleet to battle and decisively eliminating the threat and making a counter attack against Criticorum in 4813.
Prince Martin III (4801 - 4852) succeeded his father, but ruled only for 9 years when a hunting accident claimed his life on the eve of his son’s majority. Some claim that the real Martin III actually died several years earlier and was replaced by a body double to cover the remaining years till Prince Roderick IV (4836 - 4900) came of age.  Certainly man had become reclusive and rarely seen in public in the previous 3 years, but no compelling evidence has ever surfaces to support such wild theories.
Prince Roderick IV reversed many of the trends in Hawkwood Monarchs; he was neither contemplative nor bookish and expounded the need for practical direct action. Under his rule the steadfast Hawkwood resolve to hold steady, was replaced with the desire to advance its own interests and agenda. He actively asserted the rights to territories of several minor allied houses in what some say was a blunt attempt to seek direct confrontation with House Decados instead he succeeded only cooling relations with the al-Malik and the Hazat through heavy handed politics.
His efforts might have eventually precipitated the war he so obviously desired, had it not been for unrest at home that diverted his gaze from the Regency politics. The last years of his reign were noted for his own madness and much of his power seemed to be impotent, his end came suddenly in his sleep.

The Symbiot Wars

Princess Anna (4867 - 4944) took up the throne her father vacated; she was in frail health after a childhood illness had almost claimed her life, but her personal trials paled in comparison the threat that bust upon the Regency that same year. The Symbiot Menace, a seemingly unbeatable race of alien shapeshifters burst upon the Known Worlds. In a matter of a few short weeks Absolution had fallen to the invaders and Daishan had been bombed into a smoldering ruin. The unstoppable swarm had fallen on Stigmata and all the worlds beyond had been effectively cut off, assumed devoured by the alien swarm.
House al-Malik cried out for aid, unable to hold the back the tide of metamorphic horrors alone they seeded control of the world to the Regent and all available aid was mustered.
House Hawkwood was quick to answer the call to arms, and many Hawkwood Knights distinguished themselves in battle after battle. A new generation of Hawkwood heroes arose, notable among them General Grania Hawkwood (4872 - 4937), whose psychic abilities, considered an aberration within the house, made her an ideal combatant in the war against the parasitic enemy. The exploits of the Penitent General, as she came to be called, combined with those of her close companion (and some contend lover), the heretic Eskatonic priestess Mariah Juandaastas, elevated the house's reputation for bravery and daring to a new standard. Without the early and decisive action of such heroes Stigmata may have fallen long before the Regency could muster its forces and establish the bulwark.
By order of the Regent the Stigmata Garrison was created to answer the threat of symbiosis and hold the line against the parasitic spawn, General Grania Hawkwood was appointed the first Commander of the Stigmata Garrison, an office she held for an unprecedented 3 terms (30 years), such was her reputation that no Regent was prepared to expend the political capitol to unseat her. A Symbiot Infiltrator eventually killed General Grania in action in 4937.
Princess Anna had only two children by the time her lingering illnesses caught up with her. Darius Erik Hawkwood (4923 - 4977) who assumed control of House Hawkwood when she passed away and a younger daughter Octavia Hawkwood (4924 - present), who married Utar Vincius Hawkwood (4925 - 4977), the Emperor’s father, in 4947.
Prince Darius was keen to utilize House Hawkwood’s newfound political status and aided by his sister, immediately embarked upon a campaign that would culminate with his election as Regent in 4960. The early years of his regency was marked by another intensive spate of political marriages and trade alliances, all with the purpose of strengthening Hawkwood's position in the struggle for the Imperial throne. In 4963 a the ever present threat of the Vuldrok reared its ugly head again when Leminkainen’s jumpgate again opened to disgorge countless raiders upon that world. A reenactment in miniature of the barbarian invasion of five centuries previous saw that world fall and Regent Darius lead a combined army of Hawkwood and al-Malik to retake the world. This event alone may have bolstered Darius’s desires to make his bid for the Imperial Throne. Though Hawkwood rule was restored, the Vuldrok again proved difficult to route out. Though the signing of the Teldor Treaty in 4965, was meant to bring about a lasting peace on the barbarian border.
Regent Darius had plans to acquire greater power among the council of Electors by sending secret envoys to the Universal Church and the Merchant League to offer terms in return for support his claim to the Pheonix Throne untimely back fired when they were revealed. The situation quickly deteriorated as the rules of the other Royal House quickly sent counter offers and sparked a series of military engagements that quickly degenerated in to full warfare now know of as the Emperor Wars.
Prince Darius was himself killed in 4977 when a fleet of Li Halan ships, lead by Darius old nemesis, the Countess Samitra Li Halan (4917 - 4983), struck at Delphi and caught much of the Hawkwood Fleet at anchorage in the orbital repair yards. Her crippling victory would pave the way to her election as Regent in 4980.
House Hawkwood suffered a massive blow that day, not only did they lose their Prince; they lost fully 40% of their naval strength in a single protracted engagement. Both Prince Darius and Duke Utar were aboard the Hawkwood flagship, the Basilisk, a Dreadnought class vessel and were both killed when the ship broke apart under fire. The remains of the ancient vessel could be seen in the upper atmosphere of Delphi as a cluster of shooting stars visible even in daylight. The invading ships were eventually driven back as Alverax Hawkwood rallied the scatted fleet for a counter offensive.
In those dark days, it looked again as though Hawkwood ambition had been crushed. Prince Darius’s own daughter and only child, Victoria (4970 - present) was to young to assume the title of Princess. So it was to everyone’s surprise when the brothers Alexius (4951 - present) and Alverax (4953 - present) stepped up to fill the void. In those first days the brothers moved as one, Alverax rallying the military forces of the House, while Alexius bent to the task of bolstering the moral of the besieged house. It was through these efforts to hold the centre of House Hawkwood together that Alexius claimed the title of Prince. Many within the house had predicted that Alverax might take the up the leadership of the House, as his keen military genius brought the House back from the brink, but he deferred to his elder brother.
Following in the footsteps of his uncle Darius, Prince Alexius utilized his own diplomatic acumen and tactical skill coupled with his brothers savant military genius to hold and defend the Hawkwood homeworlds from increased raids by the Houses al-Malik and Li Halan, and to hold back the rising number of raids coming again from the Vuldrok barbarians.
 Despite the desperate losses that the House had suffered it was back on the offensive again by 4981. Realizing the potential threat of a new wave of Vuldrok invasions, Prince Alexius left his brother to defend against the predations of the other Royal Houses and drove his fleet hard into the Vuldrok, though his victories on Hargard (then called Vuldrok) he was able to stem the flow of the barbarians and secure the Hawkwood flank.
In 4983 the then Regent Samitra Li Halan installed Countess Carmetha Decados (4952 - 4991) as Stigmata Garrison Commander, in return for Decados support in extending the Li Halan claim to the Phoenix Throne. Her obvious ambition made her a target for all who opposed a second Li Halan Theocracy and within months the Regent had been assassinated. The interim election of new Regent saw the council of Electors nominated Prince Alexius, with House Hawkwood still isolated and on the back foot, Alexius was seen as a figurehead Regent with little actual power, certainly his election included a number of caveats including confirming the positions of the current Imperial Office bearers for the duration of his term. This included Countess Carmetha Decados as Stigmata Garrison Commander, Duchess Oelestre Xanthippes (4922 - present) as Director of the Imperial Eye, and Lord Admiral Peter Lambeth (4961 - 4994) of the Regency Star Fleet.
The Emperor Wars raged on, while House Hawkwood again consolidated its position, using Regent Alexius’ apparently weak position to gather strength. In 4990 Countess Carmetha Decados ordered the Stigmata Garrison to abandon its post on the Stigmata bulwark and took them to battle House al-Malik now allied to House Li Halan and fighting against House Decados. The raids struck Aylon before mounting a full ground offensive on Criticorum, she was eventually defeated 4991. In the meantime the Symbiots sensed the weakness and surged against the remaining defenders, over running Brother Battle positions until in 4991 only a single fortress temple remained, thus began the legendary Siege of Sylan. As the final battle was about to begin, the beleaguered warrior monks prayed for a miracle. The sky was sundered open and the Assault Lander after Assault Lander bearing Hawkwood and Regency livery descended to bring Regent Alexius Hawkwood to battle the Symbiot hordes.
With a stunning victory at Sylan, Alexius’ reputation soared, the now defeated and headless Stigmata Garrison was allowed to retreat from Criticorum to take up their appointed duties again on Stigmata. While Alexius was embattled on Stigmata, Alverax engineered a brilliant series of naval victories against House Li Halan, effectively crippling Prince Flavius Li Halan’s ambition to be elected Emperor, so upon Alexius’ triumphant return to Byzantium Secundus he recalled the Council of Electors to confirm him as Regent and to grant him the power to reappoint new Imperial Office bearers. Most surprising was his appointment of the Hazat, Baroness Lucinda Dulcinea (4955 - present) to take command of the Stigmata Garrison, both Duchess Oelestre Xanthippes, and Lord Admiral Peter Lambeth retained their positions.
Alverax pressed his advantage against House Li Halan, his own space forces now bolstered with al-Malik and Regency allies he brought the rival house to its knees. Alexius’ diplomacy offered concession to the Universal Church, to have it formally recognized as the official state religion after his coronation. In return the Patriarch interceded with House Li Halan bring it in to Alexius’ growing alliance in 4993. That was enough to have Alexius recall the Council of Electors yet again to confirm him as Emperor.
Despite having taken the Phoenix Throne, the Hazat and Decados refused to accept him has their liege. Emperor Alexius I anticipated that neither of these Houses would capitulate to him and a devastating series of battles took place throughout the Byzantium Secundus space, including the horrific Battle of Jericho in 4994, in which the entire population that moon was condemned to a horrific death when their atmosphere generators were bombed from orbit.
Through his military prowess as well as the clandestine maneuverings of his close friend, Sir Chamon Mazarin (4935 - present), Alexius managed to defeat both the most militant and the sneakiest of the Royal Houses. Finally, in 4995, the Decados and Hazat admitted defeat, accepting Alexius I as Emperor and bringing a fragile peace to the stars.

The Price of Victory

With Emperor Alexius I now sat atop the Phoenix Throne, House Hawkwood looked forward to its just reward, expecting to fill the most prominent positions in the Empire and to share the governance of the Known Worlds along with its greatest son. Alexius I knew that if he was to have any chance to rule the Phoenix Empire in peace than he could not afford to have favorites.
In 4996 he abdicated his title of Prince of Hose Hawkwood and passed the honor to Victoria Hawkwood, his cousin and only heir to Darius Hawkwood. He went a step further formally separating himself from the house of his birth; his lands and title (as Duke of Ravenna) were passed to his brother Alverax as just reward for his service. Both Victoria and Alverax pledged their fealty to their Emperor.
Despite the rude awakening that many Hawkwoods got when Alexius I turned his back upon them Princess Victoria as steadfastly backed the Phoenix Throne, providing both political and military support whenever needed.
Some members of the house felt that they have been abandoned by their Emperor and now taste the bitterness of finding themselves sidelined as Alexius I courts the the Universal Church, the Merchant League and the other Royal Houses. Others point to the fact that the Emperor has salted his council of advisors with its fair share of Hawkwoods, citing his appointment of Sir Chamon Mazarin (knighted in 4993) as chief of Imperial Security as proof that the Emperor has not forgotten the house of his birth.
Hawkwood's current head, Princess Victoria, maintains an aloof silence regarding the Emperor's self-appointed separation. Her quiet administration of house affairs seems to proclaim that whatever the circumstances, House Hawkwood will conduct itself with its customary sense of propriety. Many younger Hawkwood's, particularly those with no great estates to hold them to one spot, have actively sought service in the Emperors fleets or as Questing Knights and ambassadorial staff. They welcome Alexius indifference to their position as kin, feeling that their own merits will attain for them the rank and recognition they deserve.
In the years since Alexius I coronation the divisions within House Hawkwood have only widened the gap between the pro and anti Alexius I camps.