Erwin Josef II

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Kaiser Erwin Josef II
Gender: Male
Affiliation: Galactic Empire
Occupation: Kaiser of the Galactic Empire (former)
Status: Unknown
Born: Early 791 UC (482 IC / 3591 CE)
Father: Ludwig
Played by: Emori Hiroko

Erwin Josef von Goldenbaum II (Japanese: エルウィン・ヨーゼフ・フォン・ゴールデンバウム2世) was the 37th and penultimate kaiser of the Goldenbaum Dynasty. He ruled over the Galactic Empire in name only for about two years, with Prime Minister Reinhard von Lohengramm holding most of the power, and was a key member of a "legitimate" Imperial government-in-exile on Heinessen for nearly a year.

Contents

Early life

Erwin Josef was born in early 791 UC (482 IC / 3591 CE), the son of Crown Prince Ludwig — and therefore a direct successor to the Imperial throne. Ludwig died some time between his son's conception and mid-796 UC (487 IC / 3596 CE), leaving him with no influential parentage. (LOGH: 'New Trends')

Rise to throne and reign as kaiser

Friedrich IV, the reigning kaiser, died of a heart attack in 796 UC (487 IC / 3596 CE), having left no stated heir. This produced the possibility of a bloody power struggle amongst the various factions vying for power at the time. Specifically, Duke Otho von Braunschweig, husband of Princess Amarie, supported his child, the 16-year-old Elisabeth; and Marquis Wilhelm von Littenheim, husband of Princess Christine, supported his own child, the 14-year-old Sabine.

The crowning of Erwin Josef II (796 UC (487 IC / 3596 CE))

Erwin Josef's much younger age might otherwise have made him an unsuitable successor given the more mature alternatives. However, his lack of strong parental support made him far more easily controllable, which appealed to both Fleet Admiral Reinhard von Lohengramm and acting Imperial Premier Klaus von Lichtenlade. Both of them did not want to see the high nobles — their rivals for power — take control of the Empire by placing one of their children on the throne, and created a political alliance. Lichtenlade had political authority while Lohengramm had the military strength. This ultimately led to the ascension of Erwin Josef II to the crown. (LOGH: 'New Trends')

Civil war

This was an unwelcome turn of events for Braunschweig and Littenheim, and the two vowed secretly to eliminate the Kaiser. News of this new alliance spread quickly throughout the nobility, with most of the high nobles ultimately siding with the Braunschweig—Littenheim faction. The resulting coalition became known as the Lippstadt League. Although Marquis Lohengramm and his subordinates were able to detain many of the Lippstadt nobles before full-scale combat broke out, most of them — including Braunschweig and Littenheim — escaped to Geiersburg Fortress, which became their primary base of operations during the ensuing civil war.

In response to these events, Erwin Josef (through Lichtenlade) conferred to Marquis Lohengramm the title of Imperial Fleet Chief Commander and ordered him to subjugate the Lippstadt forces. Civil war officially broke out on 6 April 797 UC (488 IC / 3597 CE). (LOGH: 'The Lippstadt Conspiracy')

The war proceeded largely without the Kaiser's direct participation. Approximately 7 months after the war began, Marquis Littenheim, who had sacrificed some of his men to secure his own escape from the forces of Siegfried Kircheis, was killed in a suicide-bombing by a resentful subordinate. Duke Braunschweig died shortly thereafter, having been force-fed poison by Commodore Ansbach. Geiersburg was quickly taken by Lohengramm's forces, and the war officially ended in September 797 UC (488 IC / 3597 CE). (LOGH: 'Courage and Loyalty', 'The Fall of Goldenbaum')

Upon the end of the war, Duke Lichtenlade began making plans to eliminate Lohengramm and his supporters and seize the Imperial government for himself. These plans became known to Reinhard, and a contingent was sent back to Odin, where Lichtenlade and his family were arrested. Following this, Erwin Josef and his officials had little choice but to declare Reinhard as Imperial Prime Minister, effectively eliminating the child Kaiser's own influence over the government. (LOGH: 'The Day Before Destiny', 'Farewell, Distant Memories')

Abduction and the 'legitimate' government

In 798 UC (489 IC / 3598 CE), the Dominion of Fezzan conceived a plot that would allow Duke Lohengramm to invade the Free Planets Alliance, so that they could monopolize the galactic economy and control the Empire. They smuggled two former Lippstadt officers, Count Alfred von Landsberg and Captain Leopold Schumacher, from their home in exile on Fezzan back to the Empire with fake documents issued by the Fezzani government. Once there, they kidnapped Kaiser Erwin Josef II and smuggled him to the Alliance, where Count Jochen von Remscheid and other Goldenbaum loyalists former a "legitimate" government-in-exile. It sought to overthrow Lohengramm and restore the Goldenbaum Dynasty's power, using Erwin Josef to give itself legitimacy. (LOGH: 'Thunder', 'The Abduction of the Young Emperor', 'The Arrow Is Released')

As a result, on 20 September 798 UC (489 IC / 3598 CE), the abdication of Kaiser Erwin Josef II was announced in the Empire, he was succeeded in absentia by the eight-month old Katharin Kätchen. (LOGH: 'Operation: Ragnarök')

Being a small child, Erwin Josef did not play a major role in the government-in-exile, other than being their source of legitimacy. Count Landsberg and Schumacher took up the role of his caretakers during that time. After the success of Operation Ragnarok and the fall of the Alliance to Lohengramm's forces, Landsberg took the exiled Kaiser with him and disappeared. (LOGH: 'The Cold Spell Arrives', 'The Darkness Before Dawn', 'Long Live the Emperor!')

Ultimate fate

What exactly happened to Erwin Josef, Landsberg, Schumacher after Operation Ragnarok is unclear, but former Imperial High Admiral Willibald Joachim von Merkatz, who had served as the exiled government's war minister, believed that it was his duty to locate the former Kaiser. The Count was later discovered on Heinessen by the Imperial Military Police in 800 UC (2 NIC / 491 IC / 3600 CE). He had become deranged by that point, and was carrying around a corpse that was believed to be the exiled Kaiser's. According to a journal he had been keeping, the Kaiser had died of starvation. (LOGH: 'Holiday's End', 'Running Start Towards the Future')

However, it would be revealed in July 801 UC (3 NIC / 492 IC / 3601 CE), upon the capture of Schumacher, that the corpse was fake and that Erwin Josef had gotten away from Landsberg's custody, with his whereabouts being unknown. (LOGH: 'Dream: To See It to the End')

Appendices

Appearances

Background information

Erwin Josef was the name of a German neuroscientist.

Kaiser Erwin Josef is similar to Puyi, the last Emperor of China, who briefly ruled his country in name as a child until his regent was eventually forced to abdicate on his behalf. Both also tried to become monarchs with the assistance of a foreign power.

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