Manticore flag
Star Kingdom of Manticore
Form of Government Constitutional Monarchy
Official language Standard English
Home Planet Manticore
Capital Landing
Head of State Monarch
Head of Government Monarch (formal)

Prime Minister (customary)

Senior Military Commander First Space Lord
Executive Branch Royal Council
Legislative Branch Parliament
Military Royal Manticoran Navy
Royal Manticoran Army
Royal Manticoran Marine Corps
Talbott Quadrant Guard
Founded 1485 PD
Currency Manticoran dollar

The Star Kingdom of Manticore was a star nation, an interstellar state consisting of the Manticore System and all or part of the seven systems accessible through the Manticore Wormhole Junction.

Star Geography[]

The binary Manticore System was located 512 light-years to the Galactic north of the Sol System and Earth. It contained three habitable planets: the capital planet of Manticore, Sphinx, and Gryphon. (HH1)

For most of its history, the Star Kingdom was a single-system nation. However, from the 19th Century PD onwards it began to incorporate new systems for strategic reasons, mostly to control the termini of the Manticore Wormhole Junction, and eventually at the request of those systems' own populations and governments. (HH9, CS1)


As of 1922 PD the Star Kingdom of Manticore comprised 7 star systems, beside protectorates.

Member Systems[]

The Star Kingdom of Manticore consisted three member systems with five member worlds, three located in its capital system and two located in association with the Trevor's Star and Lynx terminuses of the Manticoran Wormhole Junction respectively.

The systems were:

  • the Manticore Binary System (capital system):
    • Manticore
    • Sphinx
    • Gryphon

Wormhole Termini Systems[]

The Star Kingdom held sovereignty of all or part of four star systems with associated termini of the Manticore Wormhole Junction, including:

Termini without claimed worlds included the Hennesy Terminus and the Beowulf Terminus. In these cases, Manticore held sovereignty over the immediate space around the termini themselves, but made arrangements to share with the host systems in both the transit fees generated by the termini and the costs of operating and defending them.[2]

Naval Stations[]

In addition, several uninhabited systems were claimed by the Star Kingdom for the purpose of establishing naval station for the Royal Manticoran Navy. The systems were:


The Star Kingdom maintained a number of systems and at least one planet as protectorates as well. The systems and planet that held protectorate status were:


Founding of the Colony[]

1416-1453 PD

The existence of planets in the Manticore System was confirmed by astronomer Sir Frederick Clarke in 562 PD, but it wasn't until later that the system was surveyed when Franchot et Fils of Old Terra sent its survey ship, the Suffren, on the first voyage to Manticore around 753 PD.

Franchot et Fils sold the rights to the system at auction to the Manticore Colony, Ltd (MC) for 5.75 billion EuroDollars.

The Manticore colonial expedition departed Earth on October 24, 775 PD aboard the sub-light hibernation ship Jason. The expedition consisted of 125,000 people with 93,000 adults and 32,000 minor children originating from various regions of Earth. Sixty percent of the expedition's colonists came from Western Europe while the remainder coming from the North American Federation, the Caribbean, and a very small minority of ethnic Ukrainians.

The Jason's journey lasted 640 years, though only 384 subjective years passed for the colonists due to time dilation. As was common with hibernation technology, the colonists were awakened seven times to exercise.

In order to ensure that Manticore would remain unoccupied until the Jason arrived, all information about the system was safely deposited in the maximum security databanks of the Solarian International Data Bank. Additionally, MC CEO and elected colony administrator, Roger Winton, established the Manticore Colony Trust (MCT), the purpose of which was to invest the remaining money available to the MC, about one billion EuroDollars, and use the accumulated interest to look after Manticore for the colonists.

The Jason arrived in the Manticore System on March 21, 1416 PD to discover a modest settlement on the planet Manticore staffed by MCT personnel who also manned the four small Earth-built frigates that protected the system from claim-jumpers. The frigates would serve as the core of the nascent Manticore System Navy. The MCT settlement included data banks and carefully selected and trained instructors to update the colonists on technical and scientific developments of the six centuries that passed while they traveled, a feature that not even Roger Winton had anticipated.

Given the sparse nature of colonization in its interstellar neighborhood, the colonial government of Manticore chose to use some of its available bank balance to purchase a squadron of Solarian-built destroyers and hire appropriate crews for the vessels, a decision that would prove fortunate when less than two decades later units of the Manticore System Navy encountered advance units of the Free Brotherhood in the Megan System less than nine light-years from Manticore. (UHH,Companion)

The Plague Period[]

1464-1496 PD

The initial bid for Manticore was so high for two reasons: the system was unusual in that it held three habitable terrestrial planets and that Manticore and Sphinx, the planets in orbit of the G0 Manticore-A component, were extremely Earth like. While each possessed a unique biosphere, survey reports indicated that terrestrial life forms would find it unusually easy to adapt to the new environments. Food crops did well and while local flora and fauna could not provide all essential dietary requirements, much of it was digestible by terrestrial life forms. Therefore only extraordinarily modest terraforming was necessary.

The unusual easy adaptation held a dark side however and Manticore proved to be one of the few star systems where local microorganisms were capable of attacking humans.

The culprit was a small family of pathogens that were similar to human coronaviruses and had been missed by the original survey team, though there were virologists that believed that the pathogens weren't missed, but had evolved in the six hundred years between the initial survey and the arrival of the colonists, while others believed that the colonists had brought the pathogens aboard the Jason. Wherever the pathogens came from, when it combined with human coronaviruses, they proved deadly, producing a condition analogous to severe influenza and pneumonia. Furthermore, it proved resistant to all medical technologies and more than thirty years would pass before the development of a successful vaccine in 1496 PD.

In those three decades, almost sixty percent of the original colonists died. Their Manticore-born children fared better against the disease.

The Plague was initially restricted to Manticore itself and colonization of Sphinx continued but under rigorously applied quarantine procedures as a "fallback" position for the colony as a whole. Sphinx was seen as a "citadel" from which the star system could be resettled, should the worse happen after the Plague was finally defeated. Unfortunately, the quarantine procedures failed and in 1463 PD the Plague "jumped" to Sphinx with equally catastrophic consequences for its colonists. (SK1,Companion)

Founding of the Star Kingdom[]

1471-1542 PD

Under the circumstances, the Manticore colony found itself in urgent need of new homesteaders. These were recruited from Earth, a process made much easier by the MCT, but the original colonists, concerned about retaining control of their colony, adopted a radically new Constitution before opening their doors to immigration.

Roger Winton, reelected continuously as Planetary Administrator, was crowned King Roger I of Manticore on August 1, 1485 PD when a convention of colony shareholders the colony's corporate board into a constitutional monarchy. He would hold the throne for only three years however before his death in one of the secondary outbreaks of the Plague. His daughter Elizabeth succeeded him in a smooth and popular transfer of power, ascending to the throne as Queen Elizabeth I. The House of Winton has reigned on Manticore ever since.

The original colonists, stylized as the "First Shareholders" and their descendants, who held title to vast estates on Manticore acquired patents of nobility and became the hereditary aristocracy of the new Star Kingdom of Manticore. (UHH,Companion)

The new wave of immigrants that arrived after the Plague consisted of three different classes. Every immigrant obtained a credit of value equal to a 2nd class-ship ticket price from the Solarian League to Manticore.

This credit would be converted into an equivalent piece of land on a planet's surface or as a share in some orbital industry. Most of the immigrants decided for estate, but a few smartly invested into industry. During the Manticoran industrial boom, the value of these enterprises grew enormously.

Every passenger capable of paying for the flight to Manticore himself or herself had after arrival had at his or her disposal the full credit. For those who couldn't, they could draw a loan from the MCT. Immigrants who had funds greater than the cost of the ticket also had the opportunity to put their money into estates or industry while paying only half-price of the real value of the shares. Thus, these richest immigrants became the secondary shareholders and their holdings were often as large as those of primary shareholders. The size of their property authorized them to acquire noble patents, but with a lower status then primary colonists.

Modest immigrants, who retained their base land credit but could not afford to purchase much more became yeomen, and after one Manticoran year (1.73 standard Terran years) received right to vote.

Those who required loans from the MCT (the "zero-balancers") obtained citizenship after they were able to pay taxes for five Manticoran years, or 8.7 T-years.

All citizens had equal rights guaranteed by the constitution, whether one had voting rights or not. However, shareholders, yeomen and zero-balancers formed distinct social groups. These differences survived into modern times, as people whose ancestors were yeomen or even shareholders, were respected much more than descendants of poor immigrants.

After making up the losses from the Plague, this system was abolished and Manticore returned to a more traditional immigration policy.

Manticore wormhole map

The Manticore Junction's known termini as of 1921 PD. Note that this is 2D projection of a 3D reality -- some distances are foreshortened

The Manticore Wormhole Junction[]

1585-1723 PD

While the presence of a wormhole had been public knowledge since the Battle of Manticore, locating and charting it took many years. Even after the Manticore Wormhole Junction’s discovery, its sheer size and strength made the task of surveying it a formidable one.

As a result, the first transit did not occur until 1585 PD when the survey ship Pathfinder successful transited it to its terminus near Beowulf. Such a direct link to the very heart of the Solarian League provided an almost overnight boost to Manticore’s economy. Discovery of the Trevor’s Star and Hennesy termini followed shortly thereafter, expanding the reach of the Star Kingdom’s merchant marine far in excess of its own import requirements. Within a few years, Manticore went from relying on Solarian hulls to bring in most necessities to building its own ships and establishing a dominant position in the galaxy’s carrying trade, transporting finished goods and passengers from the Core Worlds to the Verge – especially the rapidly expanding Haven Sector – and raw materials back to the core worlds. The Junction fees, while small per ship, quickly accumulated and being virtually pure profit the Star Kingdom’s economy rapidly improved.

In 1647 PD, the survey ship Artemis made the first transit through the Gregor Terminus, opening yet another trade route with access to both the Andermani Empire and the Silesian Confederacy. Four T-years later in 1651 PD, King Roger II signed the Cherwell Anti-Slavery Convention, pledging the Star Kingdom, along with the Republic of Haven and other signatories, to cooperate in suppressing the genetic slave trade and the RMN added that obligation to its missions. The Navy had been in the process of steady expansion over the last century in response to the need to protect the growing merchant fleet as well as the home system. The opportunities and the threats posed by the existence of the Junction were being analyzed, understood and incorporated into naval thinking and planning.

In 1660 PD, Manticore became involved with the Ranier System near the Hennesy Terminus of the Manticore Junction. A pirate enclave, Ranier had been raiding commerce around the relatively unsettled Phoenix Cluster. No local star system possessed the power to deal with the Ranierians – Phoenix itself had been forced to pay tribute to them – and the pirates saw no reason they shouldn’t extort the same payments from Manticoran merchantmen. Faced with the situation, the RMN deployed heavy escort forces and fought numerous cruiser actions against Ranierian pirates between 1660 and 1662 PD, an effort that culminated in Commodore Edward Saganami’s punitive expedition against Ranier itself with Manticore’s first four modern battlecruisers under his command, an action which ended the Ranier War by terminating the government of the Ranier System later that year. (Companion)

In 1900 PD, the Gross System Product of Manticore was seventy-eight percent of that of the Sol System because of the Manticore Wormhole Junction. (HH1)

The Calm Before the Storm[]

1723-1857 PD

King Roger III's Buildup and the Havenite Cold War[]

1857-1883 PD

Queen Elizabeth III and Rising Storm[]

1883-1905 PD

The First Havenite War[]

1905-1918 PD

Birth of an Empire and the Second Havenite War[]

1918-1922 PD

The War with the Solarian League[]

1921 PD-1923 PD

Gryphon Uprising[]

Occurring in 1721 PD, the Gryphon Uprising was the only armed internal conflict in Manticoran history. Gryphon was the least amicable planet of the system and was colonized last. The Crown, in order of to support immigration declared that after reaching a stated population number, the district would be divided between the colonists.

The required population was reached in 1715 PD and the Crown began to divide the range and assign titles of nobility. However, the yeomen, hopeful about becoming independent, complained about bribery, coercion, threats, and violence, all aimed at expanding a noble's claims. For two years, shooting incidents ran rampant, until the Royal Manticoran Army pacified the planet and a special committee oversaw a strictly regulated privatization.

At least some reluctance between the offspring of the primary shareholders and the immigrants survived to the 20th Century PD.

Annexation of Basilisk[]

The Basilisk System was located approximately 210 light-years to the galactic north of Manticore. In 260 AL, a sixth terminus to the Manticore Wormhole Junction was discovered, located in that system. Basilisk had a single habitable and, it was surprising to learn, inhabited world which was called Medusa.

To secure the terminus, Manticore annexed the system under the Act of Annexation.[5]

There was fierce Manticoran internal debate over the annexation. After a few years of political frictions between the "sticklers" (King Roger III, the Centrists and the Crown Loyalists) and their opponents (the Liberals and the Progressives), the Star Kingdom declared a protectorate over Medusa and guaranteed the rights of the local natives. To achieve this, a political compromise proved necessary, resulting in a muddled military and political landscape that caused trouble immediately and large troubles later.

The decision to annex Basilisk eventually proved correct as it twice became target of the People's Republic of Haven's military expansion. The First Battle of Basilisk occurred in 1900 PD, a few years before the First Havenite-Manticoran War broke out; Second Basilisk was part of a larger Havenite offensive called Operation Icarus in 1913 PD.

In 278 AL, Parliament amended Section 10, Subsection 3 of the Commercial Regulations, requiring any commercial transfer of goods in Manticore space to be inspected.

Alliance with Grayson[]

In 1903 PD, Manticore started to send money and supplies to the planet Grayson in the nearby Yeltsin's Star System in an effort to gain another ally against Haven. Admiral Raoul Courvosier was sent as a diplomatic envoy with a convoy of merchant vessels filled with supplies along with a small naval squadron as escort.

One of the agreements between the two nations was that Manticore would get basing rights at Yeltsin's Star, and build facilities in the system that would be shared with Grayson with a permanent security detachment. (HH2)

Star Empire of Manticore[]

In 1914 PD, the Republic of San Martin requested and received annexation into the Star Kingdom.

In 1920 PD, the opening of the Manticore Wormhole Junction's Lynx Terminus connected the Manticore system to the Talbott Cluster. The Talbott Constitutional Convention led to the formation of a new Star Empire of Manticore in 1921 PD, created by a union of the Star Kingdom and the new Talbott Quadrant. The transition was mostly peaceful, despite an attempt by Mesa and the Office of Frontier Security to derail the political process by sponsoring terrorist movements on Kornati and Montana and even arranging an attack on the Lynx Terminus by the Republic of Monica. (SI1)


Original Constitutional Government[]

Constitutional Monarchy Government[]

For five T-centuries after 1485 PD, the constitutional monarchy system served the Star Kingdom well because of a long line of Monarchs with a high portion of capable leaders, a continuously expanding population, and after the discovery of the Junction a very fortunate commercial position. The Constitution contained a clearly defined Declaration of Human Rights, though the right to vote was applicable to citizens who had been paying taxes for five Manticoran years.

The Crown[]

For its part, the constitution of the Star Kingdom of Manticore granted its monarch very broad authority. For example, the Constitution granted the Monarch the authority to act as both head of state and head of government. Although the written Constitution enshrined a Cabinet form of government, the unwritten portion of the Constitution established during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1489-1521 PD) stated that the Cabinet was the Monarch’s servant and served at their pleasure.

The written Constitution provided the Monarch with several weapons that aided the Crown significantly in its ability to establish that point. Among those weapons was a constitutional provision that when Parliament was hung and no party in the House of Lords could form a majority or coalition government, the Monarch could select a Prime Minister and instruct them to form a minority government. In fact, a strict interpretation of the Constitution stated that a Monarch was not required to accept a Prime Minister even if he or she commanded a majority in the Lords. In practice, the Lords could refuse to accept any candidate, creating an impasse that would paralyze government completely.

In addition, the Constitution recognized a wide range of executive powers that the Monarch could exercise without regard to elected government, collectively referred to as the “Royal Prerogative”. Royal Prerogative was related to several area of concern to the Star Kingdom, including the conduct of foreign affairs, defense, and national security. Most Monarchs maintained the tradition of soliciting the advice of their Prime Ministers and the Cabinet and rarely exercised Royal Prerogative in opposition to the will of government.

The Crown held the power to grant amnesty and commute sentences, appoint judges and designated ministers with the consent of the House of Lords, and the Crown could expound constitutional law by its delegates in the Cabinet if not vetoed by both Houses of Parliament.

The monarchy of Manticore was one of the very few hereditary forms of government with a specific constitutional provision for the removal of the Monarch reasons other than incapacitation or criminal action. The Crown could be impeached for any reason, including but not limited to "high crimes and misdemeanors", by a two-thirds majority vote of the House of Commons. However, the House of Lords could not initiate impeach proceedings and a three-quarters vote of both Houses of Parliament was required to actually remove the Monarch.

Lastly, to ensure that the Crown would not become out of touch with the people, the Constitution contained a provision that stated that the heir to the throne was required to marry a commoner. The other members of the royal family could marry whomever they wish, but the Crown Prince or Crown Princess were required to marry outside the aristocracy. (UHH,Companion)

The Cabinet[]

The role of managing government services in the Star Kingdom was handled by the Royal Council, informally called the Cabinet. The Cabinet comprised of the Prime Minister, individual ministers, the Lord Prince Seal and the Heir of the Throne, with the current monarch presiding. The Crown reigned over the Star Kingdom through the Cabinet, but the monarch mostly listened to the advice of his or her ministers.

The Prime Minister was traditionally a member of the House of Lords, and had to maintain a majority in that house; a majority in the House of Commons was also advisable, though not necessary. (HH9) The Prime Minister and the Cabinet set the economic, financial, and foreign policy. The Crown could also suggest what the national budget should be. The budget had to be agreed on by both Houses.

The Parliament[]

The Star Kingdom had a bicameral Parliament, consisting of the upper House of Lords and the lower House of Commons. Both houses had the power of self-veto (one was able to cancel resolutions of the other). The monarch, whose office was orderly marked as the Crown, also had the power of veto and could introduce legislation.

Before the rise of the Grantville government and the major reforms creating the Star Empire of Manticore, each House enjoyed privileges key to the balance of power. The Lords had the exclusive right to introduce finance bills, and the Commons had the right to confirm patents of nobility issued by the Crown. Conversely, the Commons could block finance bills; the Lords could block a peer from its rolls, though it did this as a rare punishment.

Members of Parliament in the Commons won seats via elections required to be held every four years, with few exceptions. Elections also affected the Lords. New peers could not become members if the Lords' roster had grown by 10 percent since the last election; shifts in the Commons could facilitate blocking bills from the Lords; and a major defeat at the polls could devastate the government's credibility, leading to a new regime.

The Judiciary[]

The Judiciary of the Star Kingdom, commonly referred to as the Queen's Bench, was a common law system, relying on precedents set in past cases unless and until there was a compelling reason to change the law judicially. The courts are courts of general jurisdiction and may hear cases in both law (money damages) and equity (orders of the court) and are an adversarial system for both civil and criminal trails. All search warrants require the signature of a judge and criminal defendants are entitled to a presumption of innocence.

The original structure of the courts was specified in the articles of incorporation of the Manticore Colony, Ltd. The structure specified was local courts, planetary courts, district courts, and the Board of Directors as the de facto supreme court. When the Constitution was altered to change the corporate structure into a constitutional monarchy, the form and rules of the court were retained while the names of the courts were changed. In addition, the highest court, the Queen's Bench Court, was vested with the power of final review of all lower court decisions. (Companion)

The Crown enjoyed the most unchecked power through the Judiciary because unlike ministers, who served at the pleasure of the Prime Minister with Crown consent and parliamentary oversight, judges served the Monarch directly and answered to Parliament only in the confirmation process and rarely afterwards.

The courts of the Star Kingdom were:

Internal Policy[]

The Executive Branch was originally intended to be the Royal Council, but developments caused changes. The authors of the Constitution did not appear to intend to give many executive powers to the Crown, but Elizabeth I proved to be a very cunning politician and realized that the Manticoran Lords were becoming more spokesmen for various interest groups than national statesmen, and essentially hijacked executive power from them.

By deft political maneuvering, she set precedents which gave her unquestioned control over the composition of the Royal Council and even approval of the Prime Minister. For instance, the Crown could not be forced to nominate anyone to the Royal Council against its will. Through such techniques, the Crown was from a figurehead to a strong, though limited, executive leader.

Over time, the nobility lost a significant share of the practical power the founders had intended to secure for their descendants. Monarchs often relied on strong ties with the Commons to keep the Lords in check. Peers opposed to the Crown's primacy formed political parties against what they saw as a usurpation.

Manticoran Political Parties[]

The political parties that emerged were based on old personal factions, but they differed in their ideological visions. They strengthened their structure and power for some time and began to find allies in the House of Commons. The leaders of the parties were almost always from the Lords.

The six major parties in existence around 1910 PD were:

  • Centrist Party — Strongest in the Commons, it backed laissez faire economics, maximum military readiness, fiscal restraint and moderate views on social and individual liberty issues. Grew to become chief advocates of foreign alliances, defense pacts and, eventually, expansionism.
  • Crown Loyalist Party — Dedicated to the leadership of the monarch and whatever policies he or she favored. As monarchs usually favored the Commons, and thus the Centrists, the CLP usually partnered with them.
  • Liberal Party — Pacifist in nature, it opposed foreign adventurism and a strong military, while advocating redistribution of wealth and a stronger welfare state at home. Fractured after 1920 PD, with a new faction broadly abandoning pacifism and backing Centrist foreign policy.
  • Progressive Party — Sometimes in agreement with the Centrists on economic and social issues, but suspicious of a strong military and foreign commitments, tending to disregard interstellar issues.
  • New Men Party — Mercenary and unpredictable, its members tended to ally with the faction which offered it the largest political influence, though they generally favored protecting and expanding the influence of the Lords, where they sought whenever possible to be kingmakers.
  • Conservative Association — Reactionary and elitist, they had virtually no backing in the Commons and upheld the political and social primacy of the aristocracy. Isolationist on foreign policy, though willing to back a strong military to protect their isolation. For this reason, a sometime Centrist coalition partner.


Significant personal or professional feats, particularly in military service, could lead to a Manticoran subject's anointment as a knight in various orders, which also offered simple membership without knighthood for lesser achievements.

Most of these orders' members and knights wore ceremonial decorations and clothing at formal occasions. Except among family and close friends, or for nobles who held higher ranking titles, knights were always addressed as, for example, Sir John or, for women, Dame Honor. Knights, unlike nobles, did not pass their titles on to their heirs.

Among the knightly and other orders of distinction were:

Interstellar Law[]

The Star Kingdom was a signatory of the Cherwell Convention against genetic slavery, which it vigorously and consistently upheld with deadly force. It originated the Equipment Corollary — as slavers frequently ejected human cargo into space to destroy evidence, this authorized slaver crews caught without cargo to be summarily executed.

All major star nations regarded piracy as a crime punishable by death, though Manticoran officers often did not execute captured piracy suspects on the first offense, preferring instead to jail them or deliver them to local authorities for that purpose. However, any pirate captured a second time could expect to be shot and ejected out an airlock.

Some governments, particularly Silesia and the Solarian League, coddled or overlooked pirates and slavers or corrupt officers who enabled them, to the Star Kingdom's chagrin.


RMN sigil transparent 01

Native Nonhuman Sentient Species[]

The Star Kingdom of Manticore counts among its inhabitants two of the twenty-seven nonhuman sentient species discovered by humans in the Diaspora: the treecats of Sphinx and the Medusans of Medusa. (Companion)

Discovered in 1518 PD by Sphinxian colonist Stephanie Harrington, the treecats are one of the few nonhuman sentient species to establish a presence on multiple planets with small colonies on Grayson and Gryphon in addition to their native Sphinx. (HHA1.1: ABF,SK1,Companion)

The discovery of the Basilisk Terminus of the Manticore Wormhole Junction in 1865 PD led to the discovery of the Medusans on the planet Medusa, the sole habitable planet of the system. (HH1,Companion)


  1. Under the military administration of Gregor System Defense Command, RMN. Space station present. (HH6)
  2. Originally the same provisions concerned the Trevor's Star Terminus.
  3. Provisional Governor of the Talbott Cluster for the Star Kingdom of Manticore established. Talbott Cluster's worlds were united later as the Talbott Quadrant, a member of the Star Empire of Manticore.
  4. Pending possible "federalization" as a member state of the Star Empire of Manticore
  5. The Star Kingdom pursued a policy of annexing termini as a security measure. Though it had become policy after the Junction was discovered, there was an extra emphasis on this policy due to the growing Havenite threat.

External links[]