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The character of von Massener is based heavily on Christopher Plummer's 1970 portrayal of the Duke of Wellington in the film Waterloo

"Hä, lägan Jan-nu" ["Well, I'm still no Gentleman"] - André von Mâssener's reaction to having been made a Prince

André Hohenzollern Eduard von Mâssener, Marshal of the Empire, 1. Duke Rivan, 1. Prince Ethering, MRC, SV***, EG, KAS**, LP, TGC, CG**, TS*** [* = number of times received for multiple awards] is an Imperial General, Politician, Statesman, Military Theorist and national hero.

Author's Notes:

  • the initialisms for his honors and his other awards and medals are to be found later in the article, under the section "Orders"</p>
  • The name "André von Mâssener" is not a direct transliteration of his name from the Imperial Language. Particles like 'von', 'de', 'van' and 'zu' are used for character names in the text to represent various regionally-varying Imperial language equivalents. </p>





MRC = Markian Cross (the highest award in the Imperial Military or Government service, comparable to the Medal of Honor or Victoria Cross but can be awarded to Civilians, like the defunct award Hero of the Soviet Union). Takes the form of a large platinum-trimmed pure gold cross inset with rubies bearing a large double-headed diamond axe in the middle, to be worn around the neck on a maroon satin ribbon (maroon being the color of the Imperial monarchy) with intricate floral embroidery in rose gold thread. The medal almost always carries with it a number of 'Victory Title(s)' (non-hereditary positions of nobility named after a victory in battle - i.e., von Mâssener was given his MRC and made 'Prince of Ethering' following his pivotal role in the Imperial victory at the Battle of Ethering, which turned the tide of the 4th Helvetan War). As a special distinction, von Mâssener was also given a personal right by the Empress to sign his name with the sobriquet "Hero of Ethering" if he so chose, although he typically just signs his name "A.H.E. von Mâssener, etc."

SV = Sword of Victory. Another prestigious award signifying the bearer as the commander responsible for victory in a pivotal battle. This is a very important and unique honor, as it is only given to the highest commander of the forces that participated in that battle. Often times, a number of awards will be given for a single engagement, often spread among the upper levels of command of the force - but only the actual leader of the Imperial troops may receive this medal. Von Mâssener is the only living holder of more than one of these medals and the first person to have acquired more than two in a thousand years, having done this all while being under the age of 50.

EG = Empress's Gratitude, an award given by special written commendation from the Empress herself. In von Mâssener's case, he was given the award in person by the Empress.

KAS = Knight of the Alabaster Spire, "Alabaster Spire" being a reference to the towering white marble, rose gold and blood-colored glass ediface that is the Imperial Palace. This award is typically handed to a person either by the Arch-Chancellor of State (the head of the Imperial government, like a Prime Minister) or by a direct personal representative when the Chancellor is incapable of doing so him-/herself. The KAS can only be awarded once, and is typically tied to a hereditary awarded title - in von Mâssener's case, the non-existant "Duchy of Rivan" (which was awarded to him in recognition of his defense of the city of Rivan).

LP = Laurel of the Patriarchate, an award of recognition from the Ecuminical Patriarchate (the Imperial Church) given to those who perform a distinctive service to the organization itself, to important officials thereof or to the furtherance of the Imperial religion. In von Mâssener's case, he received the award from the Arch-Castellan of Rivan [Castellan being the Imperial Church equivalent of a Bishop] for his defense of the Rivan Cathedral.

TGC = Thanks of the Grand Council of State, awarded to a person by vote of the Grand Council of State (the Imperial Parliament) without innitiative from the Arch-Chancellor. The award is not regarded as being quite so prestigeous as the Knight of the Alabaster Spire award from the Arch-Chancellor, which does not require confirmation from the Grand Council, but is more rarely given due to the squabbling among the assembled representatives. Votes on awards of the TGC are almost always politically motivated and thus the absolute majority needed for approval is rarely achieved without significant political initiative. Thus, it is an honor that defies its simple position in the official order of precedence.

CG = Cross of Gallantry, awarded to those who are wounded (or killed) while performing an act of conspicuous gallantry. Von Mâssener's first reception of the award came when he was a Major leading a Grenadier Battalion, in his 20s. The Brigadier (along with much of the Grenadier Brigade) had been killed, and von Mâssener led the remaining soldiers of his Brigade across a bridge into the teeth of Helvetan musket- and cannonfire from the front, the Brigade's standard in his hands. He was shot in the thigh, giving him a life-long limp, but the position was taken and the Army's flank secured, allowing the other Imperial forces to go on and win the Battle of Salmarr - an important engagement in the aftermath of the Third Helvetan War. His second reception of the award was at Rivan, where he lost his left ring finger. He was using his personal presence behind the center of his battle line to rally his wavering men and keep them in the fight when the Grenadier Brigade holding the position directly ahead of him came under attack from massed Helvetan heavy cavalry. He and his personal guard were caught in the mélée (he refused to pull back) and von Mâssener lost his finger to an enemy sword.

TS = Tear of the Sun, equivalent of the U.S. Purple Heart. Awarded in conjunction with the two CGs mentioned above, plus a third time for when his horse was struck by a cannonball at the Battle of Camerran and his ankle fractured.

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