The Free Worlds League is one of the five Successor States within the fictional BattleTech universe. The Free Worlds League has been traditionally ruled by House Marik, which has held the title of Captain-General for centuries, and a central Parliament, located on Atreus, the capital of the Free Worlds League.
The Free Worlds League is considered by most canonical sources as one of the oldest of the Inner Sphere's five major Successor States. Unlike the other Successor States, it is surprisingly multicultural, with strong European, American, and Indian overtones. In the BattleTech series as a whole, the Free Worlds League is the least depicted of the major Successor States, receiving only passing references in most of the books and only a few direct source material to its credit.
In comparison to the other Successor States, the Free Worlds League experiences a wider level of autonomy among its component regions, most notably the Duchy of Oriente, the Principality of Regulus, and the Duchy of Andurien. Because of this laissez-faire approach, however, the League's history is rife with vicious civil wars and power plays. During the Clan invasion, the League, along with the Capellan Confederation, remained intact and used the widespread war facing the Federated Commonwealth and the Draconis Combine to emerge as an economic powerhouse, supplying desperately needed resources and equipment to the besieged nations. This elevated the League to a position of great economic strength and the realm soon contributed a host of new military hardware and BattleMech designs to the Inner Sphere. The Free World's League newly gained clout inadvertently contributed to the death of Hanse Davion, former prince of the Federated Suns, who suffered a fatal heart attack upon learning of the marriage arrangement between Captain-General Thomas Marik's illegitimate daughter, Isis Marik, and Chancellor Sun-Tzu Liao, which would align the strengthened Free Worlds League with what remained of the Capellan Confederation in what was surely a bid to reclaim territory either nation lost in the Fourth Succession War. The alliance would be used for just that in a joint Capellan-FWL offensive into Federated Suns territory known as Operation Guererro, though as of the Whitting Conference on Tharkad in 3058, the two had yet to be wed.
Prior to the launch of Task Force Serpent and Operations Bird Dog and Bulldog, League forces had yet to see combat against Clan forces. The League's Knights of the Inner Sphere, a noble military organization led by Sir Paul Masters and dedicated to conducting war in an honorable manner, was that nation's primary commitment to the task forces. Following the Word of Blake's breakaway from ComStar proper after the Battle of Tukayyid, Captain-General Thomas Marik, a former Comstar acolyte, welcomed the Blakist zealots into League territory, providing the Word of Blake with a haven until their conquest of Terra.
Within the fictional universe of BattleTech the formation of the League first began with Marshik Marik (heir to the marik bloodline) Lead scientist of the science team that led development of the practical use the Kearny-Fuchida drive. Two decades following the building of the first Jumship, Marshik left Terra to colonize a planet with dreams of grandeur to bring back the glory of the Marik name.
Marik named after his family was first settled as a mining operation but soon began to include large exports of agriculture products, a succession of Mariks within administrative positions ensured that the future of House Marik was guaranteed. By the first Grand Survey by Terran Alliance Marik had become self-sufficient, with almost no discontent towards the alliance.
During the schism of The Outer Reaches Rebellion Marik merely suffered at the alliance heavy-handed tactics of treating all colonies even those loyal to the alliance with suspicion and abusing of such loyalty caused some discontent among the populace. As the alliance military became ever so unable to stomp out the spark of rebellion, Charles Marik senator for Marik to the Alliance declared Marik independent. With the Demarcation Declaration of 2242 MArik and all colonies that were pro-alliance and not were given independence outside fo the thirty light year range from Terra.
Using this to his advantage Charles Marik created treaties with nearby colonies creating the Republic of Marik. Charles with much wheeling and dealing to ensure his preferred constitution became adopted showed much charisma and skill as a politician. Through following treaties with other independent planets and military conquest the republic increased five-times its' original size. Once Atrues was taken into the fold the republic officially changed to The Marik Commonwealth
Duchy of AndurienEdit
One of the most restive provinces of the Free Worlds League is the Duchy of Andurien. Historically, the Andurien worlds have been disputed between the Free Worlds League and House Liao's Capellan Confederation. Its people resent being treated as a prize by these larger powers, and would prefer independence.
From 2366 to 2369, the Free Worlds League captured several worlds from the fledgling Capellan Confederation, including Andurien. A decade of fierce fighting failed to reverse the losses.
In 2398, Kurnath Liao began the First Andurien War to reclaim the Andurien systems.
In 2528, the depraved Chancellor Kalvin Liao, obsessed with the daughter of Andurien's duke, launched the Second Andurien War. Following his assassination in 2530, his successor ended the war the next year.
Terrence Liao invaded Andurien again in 2551. Although militarily unsuccessful, Albert Marik conceded the Andurien worlds in exchange for Terrence's agreement to join the Star League.
In the First Succession War, the Free Worlds League recaptured the Andurien systems in a 2789 campaign. However, Andurien fared well in the Succession Wars: Capellan reverses, forcing them on the defensive and giving them fresher irredentist grievances, prevented another massive invasion.
Andurien's ruler, Dame Catherine Humphreys, forged a covert alliance with Magestrix Kyalla Centrella of the Magistracy of Canopus. The conclusion of the Fourth Succession War in 3030, which saw the routed Capellans lose half their territory to the Federated Suns, emboldened them. Andurien declared independence in September, and began a joint invasion with Canopus of the Capellan Confederation, hoping to seize enough planets to make their alliance a significant power. But the Capellans rallied, and drove out the invaders. Meanwhile, Andurien's secession had created a backlash in the rest of the League in favor of the Marik rulers, who now moved against Andurien. Centrella cut Humphreys loose to fend for herself, and the Duchy was overrun by 3040.
Free Worlds League MilitaryEdit
The Free Worlds League Military (FWLM) has a strong emphasis on combined arms tactics, with almost all of the regiments of the FWLM featuring a large number of infantry, armor and aerospace assets. In addition, as of the end of the FedCom Civil War in 3067, the League boasted the largest space navy among the Successor States. The elite regiments comprising the Knights of the Inner Sphere maintain the more traditional emphasis on BattleMechs, in an effort to retain the Star League tradition of minimizing loss of life by reducing war to just a handful of combatants. After the Word of Blake Jihad, the Free Worlds League dissolved into several bodies. Three powers continue to struggle for supremacy over the League as a whole, but many smaller realms and even non-aligned planets carry out wars and vendettas against each other.
1. "SourceBook: 35019 House Marik"
2. "SourceBook: 35105 Brush Wars" Page's 40-84es:Liga de Mundos Libres