Name: Katrina Elizabeth Steiner
Title: Duchess of Tharkad
Birthplace: New Stockholm, Gallery
Distinguishing Physical Characteristics:
Every 20 Kroner bill and every Kroner coin in the Lyran Commonwealth bears Katrina Steiner's regally beautiful likeness. Her portrait hangs in the lobby of every LCCS embassy. She has also been the subject of countless video hours. Even in the vastness of her realm, most Lyrans would probably recognize their Archon's sharp features, steel grey eyes, long blond hair, and tall mascular frame.
Brief Personal History:
After a long and difficult delivery, Katrina Steiner was born in her family's mansion on Gallery on October 20th, 2976. The doctors predicted that the sickly infant might not live out her first year, but they were wrong. Her father, General Alexandr Weldon, later said he knew Katrina would survive becuase of "that Steiner fire glinting in her eyes".
As she grew older and strongerthe family physicians prescribed daily exercises and long walks through the counrtyside, which she still practices regularly if she can. With her will growing as strong as her body, the twelve-year old Katrina coaxed her parents into permitting her to learn to pilot a 'Mech at that tender age. To Katrina, BattleMechs were giant toys, not death machines of war. She thought they were there for the fun of stomping up and down Gallery's hills and valleys or to give the herd and flock animals a scare. She was soon pitting her small mech against that of her younger sister, Nondi, who had learned to pilot one at the even younger age of 11.
A mere 18 when she graduated from the Nagelring Military Academy, Katrina apllied for
and recieved a posting to the 3rd Arcturan Lancers as a combat infantry officer(despite
the objections of her instructors who said she had the talent to immediately become a
battalion comamnder in a 'Mech regiment). After a year with the Lancers, she requested a
transfer to the 28th Tharkad Armored Cavalry regiment. From there, she moved to the 2nd
Skye Artillery regiment after another year.
Katrina had good reason for this rather vagabond approach to the military. By moving from service to service, she would learn exactly how soldiers from each fighting branch experienced a battle. She realized that this knowledge would be crucial when the day came for her to plan her own major battles. The tiny symbols on the computer screen would always represent flesh and blood men and women to her, and never merely expendable digits.
When she was assigned to the 10th Lyran Guards, a 'Mech regiment stationed on the Free
Worlds League Border, Katrian continued her personal training by deliberately starting out
as a lance commander. Again, those around her protested that she was carrying her
education a bit to far. She kept rising up the chain of command, and by the end of her
second year, Katrina Steiner was commander of the 10th Lyran Guards. While under her
command, the regiment carried out many daring manuevers, including a defense of Hesperus
II that thwarted an attack by House Marik. After serving with the unit for three years,
Katrina Steiner was transferred to command the 2nd royal guards, where she spent three
From there, Katrina Steiner was promoted to the Strategy and Tactic Division of the LCAF. Though saddened by leaving her comrades and the dusty panic of the battlefield, she accepted the promotion. Much to the costernation of the older officers, she was able to hone her skills as a military strategist and showed the ability to create daring battle plans.
This success at the think tank was soon completely overshadowed by Katrina Steiner's mysterious, year-long disapearance in 3005. Comstar investigators have been able to trace her movements and whereabouts up to the time of her arrival on the planet Plousbo in February of that year. Her official reason for being there was to inspect Bangor, the planet's sole military base. Yet, according to records from Bangor and the nearby city of Hammerfest, her face was not seen again after diembarking the DropShip that brought her down. Every week, the Commonwealth Enquirer published a new theory about where she was, but the royal family would make no comment.
When Katrina reappeared at Archon Alessandro's birthday celebration on Tharkad in March of the next year, the Archon greeted her cordially but gave no acknowledgement of her long absence. We can only speculate on what happened to Katrina that year. Some think the young woman disappeared to give birth to a young child, but it is unlikely that any Steiner woman wold end up in such a predicament of having a child born out of wedlock. Some believe she was on a secret mission. Other rumors say that Katrina Steiner was kidnapped, a theory that bears exploring. After that year of absence, there were marked changes in the young woman's character.
One of her more notable changes was in her attitude towards the Archon. Before the disappearance, she and Alessandro had been on civil, if not warm, terms, with the Archon often referring to Katrina as his "loyal lioness". After the missing year, Katrina grew cold, even hostile to her cousin. In a very unusual move, she requested and was granted the use of her old regiment to search out a bandit force along the periphary. This was irregular becuase such a mission was so costly, and even more so when the Archon granted her request. Other changes showed up in the way Katrina masterfully marshalled anough support to win the Archonship several years later. Whatever happened to Katrina, it clearly taught her something that would sweep her to rulership of the entire Lyran Commonwealth in 3007.
After consolidating her hold on the realm, Katrina married Arthur Luval, Duke of Donegal and her longtime friend and lover, in 3009. Their nupital contract included the now standard Steiner stipulation that ensured the continuing rulership of the Steiner blood and name. Melissa Arthur Steiner was born in 3010, the same year that her father Duke Luvon died of cancer. Thought there have been several temporary liasons and a few close friendships with men since then, Katrina Steiner never showed the slightest inclination of remarrying. She must have taken the loss of her first husband very hard.
Whatever her personal grief, the death of her husband coincided with a new age within the Commonwealth. Apparently dissatisfied with the status quo, Katrina began, slowly at first, to slowly introduce innovations into the Commonwealth government and society. The culmination of these changes was House Steiner's recent alliance with Hanse Davion and his Federated Suns.