Storyline: The warrior wordsmith puts his larger-than-life sense of himself on the printed page, but finds that is not enough to sate his sense of creative drama, and turns himself into a Noh play, replete with sensational final curtain.

Yukio Mishima (Hiraoka Kimitake) (1925-1970) - Japanese writer. Outer: Enamored of both his mother and strong-willed grandmother. Son of a high civil servant. Had a weak constitution, which bothered him greatly, because of an inner idealization of strength and beauty, 2 themes he would later explore in his writings. Educated at the aristocratic Peers School in Tokyo. Failed to qualify physically for military service in WW II, much to his chagrin, then toiled in a Tokyo factory, before studying law at the Univ. of Tokyo after the war. Worked in the banking division of the Japanese Ministry of Finance and in 1949, published his first novel, Confessions of a Mask, a partly autobiographical work that probed his own homophilia and the need to hide his sexuality behind a facade of accepted normality. Won wide acclaim, and became a fulltime novelist, exploring the themes of physical and psychological inadequacy in obsessed individuals who are incapable of self-realization. An extremely sensuous stylist, he was perceptive and imaginative in his works, with a linear ability at storytelling which made his novels universal and widely read in translation. Also worked in traditional Noh drama form, producing original and reworked versions of that genre’s stories. In the late 1950s, he began a rigorous program of bodybuilding, as well as participation in competitive martial arts to compensate for his earlier perceived external weakness, turning himself into a muscular exemplar of the Japanese union of the physical and the intellectual. Maintained a basic Western lifestyle in his private life and had a vast knowledge of Western culture, although he deplored Japan’s imitation of western ways. Practiced karate and kendo and in the late 1960s, formed a private army of 80 students under the banner of the Shield Society, in an attempt to preserve the old ways, as well as serve as an elite guard to the emperor, if any political threat came his way from left-wing ideologies. After delivering his final manuscript to his editor, he and 4 of his followers seized control of the commanding general’s office at a military headquarters in central Tokyo. Gave a 10 minute speech from a balcony to 1000 servicemen in which he exhorted them to overthrow Japan’s post-war constitution, which forbade the country from rearming itself it. When he received no response to his tirade, he went inside and committed ritual hara-kiri, disemboweling himself with his sword, after which one of his followers decapitated him, much to the world’s shock, after earlier having rehearsed his final ceremony, in the foreknowledge that it was his destiny. Inner: Great yearning for the physically strong and the beautiful, saw Japanese society as degenerate. Had an obsession with death and destruction, making his final act very much in keeping with his own internal workings, and his belief in death as a transcendental ideal. His initial flawed physicality prevented him from pursuing his usual martial artistry upon the world’s canvas, forcing him to go inside to do his battles. Saw life in terms of the unity of thought and action, and lived and died under that assumption. Headless horseman lifetime of delving within after many go-rounds as a sheer action figure, ultimately separating his mind from his body, probably in order to reintegrate himself as a pure artist in his next go-rounds in this series. Aritomo Yamagata (1838-1922) - Japanese general and statesman. Outer: From a family of samurai of the lowest rank, he grew up in a feudal domain that was strongly opposed to the military dictatorship that had long ruled Japan. Worked as an errand boy for the treasury office, and was also a police informer. Educated at a private school, where he joined the xenophobic loyalists to the ideal of the pure Japanese empire. Became a commanding officer of the Kiheitai, an irregular unit of his native province, and after being defeated by Western forces in 1864, he realized the superiority of western martiality. Put down a shogunate revolt after the restoration of the Meiji emperor, seeing the inherent weakness in the Japanese army in the process, and understanding that the country would best be served by universal military service. Studied western military ways, then returned to Japan in 1870. Restructured the army and ultimately became commander of the Imperial Guard, while introducing mandatory military conscription. Became army minister, and after realizing his limited power, worked to separate military policies from civilian control. Successfully put down a revolt, proving that his conscript army was superior to the old samurai forces. Issued his “Admonition to the Military,” advocating the traditional martial virtues of bravery, loyalty and obedience as a counteraction to liberal and democratic sentiments. After more reorganization, he was made chief of the general staff, restructuring the army along the Prussian model before entering politics in 1882, becoming home minister. Showed himself to be a highly effective reformer, both domestically and militarily, with a strong emphasis on executive responsibility. After surveying European systems of local government for a year, he became Japan’s first parliamentary prime minister in 1889, although the task exhausted him and he resigned 2 years later. Made a full general and field marshal in 1898, he held sway over Japan’s military and political establishment as a conservative reformer and integrator of both spheres, while accelerating his expansionist policies in Asia. Made a prince after the successful conclusion of the Russo-Japanese War in 1905, and in essence, became dictator in 1909, continuing Japan’s aggressive intrusion in the affairs of other nations. Eventually retired in disgrace from meddling with the Crown Prince’s marriage and died shortly afterwards. Inner: Integrating figure in bringing Japan into the modern era, drawing military and political realms together, by tapping into his previous lives of rule and martial artistry on the European continent. More conservative the more powerful he became, a giant of his time, who was eventually upended by overstepping his boundaries. Never loved, but always widely respected, a product of his culture who eventually outlived his time. Empire-building lifetime of bringing his extraordinary abilities to bear in Japan, serving as the father of the Japanese army, and probably exhausting his need for political control and dominance, so as to allow him to begin the process the next go-round of exploring his own complex interior, and become a world figure in that domain as well. Gerhard von Scharnhorst (1755-1813) - Prussian general. Outer: From a farming family, and largely self-educated. Joined the Hanoverian army as a common soldier in 1788 and was later commissioned, after writing and publishing an officers’ handbook and military pocketbook for use in the field. Married the sister of the director of Berlin Univ. Fought for the English against the French during their revolutionary wars, wrote a military study covering his activities, and then applied to the Prussian army in 1801. Asked to be ennobled and be permitted to reorganize the army. Granted both wishes and was made a count and raised to the rank of lieutenant colonel. Submitted essays to the detailing how he would do it, and had all his requests granted. Taught at Berlin War College, where one of his pupils was super-strategist Karl von Clausewitz (Heinz Guderian). Continued to rise in rank and returned to the battlefield, where he was wounded in 1806. Formed a close association with Gebhard von Blucher (Erich Ludendorff), when both were taken prisoners and then released after the Battle of Jena. Made a major general in 1807, then was appointed Minister of War and chief of the general staff the following year. Realized that conscripted armies would serve better than mercenary forces. Developed the modern general staff system, as well as a quick training mode that allowed the Prussian army to conform to manpower restrictions imposed upon it by Napoleon, who later forced the king to cancel his reforms. Returned to service when Prussia joined the allies against Napoleon. Died from a battle wound he received at Lutzen, from which he was never able to recover, after being sent to Prague as a negotiator. Inner: Imaginative military adept, excellent staff officer and brilliant administrator. Able to infuse the Prussian army with his own sense of nationalist pride, while turning to the written word as a mode of expression, rather than the swinging sword. Steppingstone lifetime of designing systems for modern warfare, and working on his own considerable powers of communication. Peter I (1672-1725) - Russian tsar. Known as “the Great.” Outer: Only son of tsar Alexis I (Steven Spielberg) by his 2nd wife, a pious woman, from whom he developed a great love of God. On the death of his older brother Fyodor III (Brett Ratner) in 1682, he was proclaimed joint tsar with his half/brother Ivan V (Samuel Goldwyn), but his half-sister, Sofia (Vilma Banky) staged a guard uprising, in which several members of his family were murdered, and she became regent, while he lived outside of Moscow for the first 7 years of his co-reign, forming 2 guard regiments, while evincing a great interest in western Europe. Had tremendous energy and enthusiasm, with a great love for physical activity and labor. Stood 6’6”, with immense physical strength, supposedly could snap a horseshoe with his bare hands. Often moved to sudden acts of violence, through his passionate, largely uncontrolled nature. Had a militaristic youth, with a great love of learning, while throwing himself into everything he did whole-heartedly, from debauchery to new disciplines. At 17, he married Yevdokia Lopukhin, who had been selected by his mother, 2 children from the union, although the duo later divorced in 1698 and he forced her into a convent. Tasted battle at 23, leading 2 expeditions against the Ottoman Turks, then went to western Europe to study navigation and shipbuilding in Holland and England, a country for which he had a great deal of affection. Continually pursuing his insatiable desire for knowledge and information, he returned to Russia determined to bring it up to par with western Europe. Had a hatred for ritual and formality, lived simply, and allowed his gargantuan appetites to dictate his behavior, including monstrous bouts of drinking, from which he would immediately recover, while his companions took days to revive from his alcoholic orgies. When Sofia was deposed in 1696, he became tsar, and immediately decreed on his return from Europe in 1698 that his courtiers shave their beards and wear western clothes, after first having hanged, tortured and beheaded nearly 800 of the palace guard. The following year he disbanded all the Moscow regiments he viewed inimical to him, thereby averting any internal military threat to his rule. Viewed as the antiChrist by some for his apostasies, while others thought he was an impostor who had usurped the throne. Moved the capital to St. Petersburg in 1703, so as to have a window on Europe, and within a decade it had replaced Moscow. Enthusiastic builder, he created a Baltic fleet and also a Naval Academy. His 2nd wife, Yekaterina I (Maggie Cheung), the daughter of a Livonian peasant, had been taken prisoner in his battles with Sweden, and she proved a steadying influence on him, close and loving relationship, 12 children from union. Married her privately in 1707 and publicly 5 years later. Yekaterina sometimes accompanied him on his campaigns, while providing the domestic balance he needed. Although he sometimes had brief affairs, he always remained loyal to her in his way and founded the Order of St. Catherine in her honor. Had a mixed military record, but his lasting legacy was his promotion of progressive ideas which he had picked up in his many travels, always looking for foreign experts in whatever domain interested him, and in doing so, transformed Russia, through the sheer dint of his physical and intellectual energy, despite all his various flaws. Lost all his old drinking companions by the end of his reign, which reminded him of his own mortality, while he suffered from advanced venereal disease, which caused him to lose the use of his left hand on occasion. Worried about his succession with the demise of several of his children, and was forced to sentence one of his sons to death for treason. Died after catching cold from trying to save some drowning sailors. Inner: Lusty, larger-than-life and twice as crude. Pragmatic with boundless enthusiasm. Mediocre general, although he knew enough to take advice from others more skilled in that realm. Excellent administrative and organization skills, tremendous sense of order. Called the first modern Russian, and probably the greatest of all the tsars. Giant of a figure who personified his own grand aims of bringing his backward country more into alignment with Europe. Habitually took 4 bottles of champagne to bed with him every night. Larger-than-life lifetime of bringing his colossus to bear on the Russian bear, transporting his medieval realm into the modern world of his times. Gustavus II Adolphus (1594-1632) - King of Sweden. Outer: Known as ‘the Lion of the North.’ Of the Royal house of Vasa. Father was Carl IX of Sweden (Suge Knight), mother was his 2nd wife and a duke’s daughter. Third, but eldest surviving son. Trained in statecraft and given an excellent education, able to speak 5 languages by the age of 12, and later learned 3 more. Married at 15, to to Maria Eleonora, the daughter of the Elector of Brandenburg, 2 daughters from union, including his successor, Christina (Laurie Anderson). As a teen, he successfully led troops against a Danish invasion, and succeeded his sire at 17. Inherited a chaotic situation, both at home and abroad, thanks to his progenitor’s policies. Immediately forced to take to the field against Denmark, Russia and Poland, winning treaties with the first 2, and continually battling the third, whose king, Sigismund III (Puffy Combs), had designs on his throne. Reorganized the Swedish army while spending the next decade and a half doing battle with Poland, suffering wounds several times in battle. Able to undertake sweeping governmental reforms and put the country’s finances on a secure footing, thanks to his partnership with his chancellor, Axel Oxenstierna (Golda Meir), thereby winning the support of the aristocracy, and their willingness to sacrifice for the country. Introduced a new type of infantry, cavalry and artillery equipment, as well as the tactics to employ all 3 in highly effective manner, including using his cavalry as shock troops, and emphasizing the professionalism of his soldiers. At the conclusion of the Polish Wars, in 1627, he had established Sweden as a Scandinavian power and secured his borders. An avid student of military his/story, superb administrator and hand’s-on commander. Became involved in Germany’s devastating Thirty Years’ War, proving his outstanding abilities as a general once again, although he was killed in his final victory, after being shot 3 times, in the arm, back and head, in a reckless cavalry charge into the enemy’s midsts. His efforts, however, insured the survival of German Protestantism. Greatly loved by both his subjects and his men. Inner: Extremely creative in his handling of affairs of state, both militarily and administratively, as well as economically and educationally. All-around adept at giving foundation to the structures of civil and martial society. A general and king for the ages. Nation-building lifetime of adding to his impressive resume as one of the primary self-celebrators of Western civilization. Muzio Sforza (Giacomo Attendolo) (1369-1424) - Italian condottiere. Outer: From a wealthy warrior family on both sides in Romagna. His mother, upon occasion, would fight side-by-side with her male kin. Several of his brothers achieved renown as condottieri, and 15 of the 21 children in his family became professional soldiers. Like his siblings, he prepared from an early age for the warrior life. At 15, he joined a condottiere, after throwing an axe in a tree to make the decision. If it stuck he would go, it did, and he went. Spent 4 years in his martial apprenticeship, before joining a master martial artist, spending a dozen years with him in perfecting his craft. Renowned for his personal strength and bravery. Able to bend a horseshoe and jump on a horse fully armed. Nicknamed ‘Sforza,’ or force, by his commander, and the name became his cognomen. Fought for a variety of cities, as well as the papacy, gaining the lordship of Cotignola from the latter. Had 7 children by Lucia Torsano, a mistress who was not of noble birth, and two more by Vaterina Alopo. His oldest son Francesco (Sumner Redstone), eventually succeeded him. Also officially married Antonia Salimbeni, although his wife died in childbirth in 1411 Served the Anjou king of Naples, but was thrown into prison when he was thought to be too close to Joanna II (Clare Booth Luce), the king’s successor. Spent the remainder of his career in southern and central Italy, fighting with and against old friends and enemies, and died when he fell off his saddle in a river, wearing full armour, while trying to save one of his pages. Inner: Intelligent, perceptive, and a born warrior. Enjoyed reading the classic his/storians. Excellent leader, extremely generous, but merciless with enemies and traitors. Simple in his tastes and dictates. Strong-armed lifetime of founding a forceful family after growing up in one, and pursuing a martial pathway that would allow him to expand upon his own expertise in that realm. Friedrich II (1194-1250) - Holy Roman Emperor. Outer: Son of HRE Heinrich VI (J. Paul Getty), and grandson of his namesake Friedrich I (J.P. Morgan). Mother was the daughter of Roger II of Sicily (Mohandas Gandhi). Became a ward of the pope when both his parents died within 4 years of his birth, although not before his father had him elected King of Germany in 1196. On his mother’s death, he became king of Sicily in 1198. Ignored by the court and taken care of by the poorer people of Palermo, despite being under the guardianship and regency of the pope. Kidnapped at the age of 7, and saved from being blinded and castrated by the death of his captor. Grew up wild afterwards, and learned the ways of the common people of his kingdom. Studied widely in a full range of subjects, and was married at the age of 14 to Constance, the daughter of the king of Aragon, a woman 10 years older, who bore two sons, Ladislaus III, who became king of Hungary, and Heinrich whom he later made king of Sicily and Italy, while his numerical designation, VII, would be put in parenthesis so as not to confuse him with the later Heinrich VII (Helmut Kohl) of the House of Luxembourg. An enthusiastic ornithologist, he wrote “The Art of Falconry,” considering it a higher calling. Elected Holy Roman Emperor when he was 18, and proceeded to alienate the papacy for life, despite the Vatican’s support for his coronation. Promised to go on crusade, but attended to matters in Germany first, winning support through international alliances, and gaining his crown in 1212. Delayed his crusade for 7 years in order to deal with more urgent matters in Italy, and was excommunicated by Gregory IX (Mario Cuomo). Finally took up the cross and was triumphantly crowned king of Jerusalem, so that his excommunication was lifted, allowing him to be crowned HRE in 1220, despite papal misgivings. Maintained a brilliant Italian court, and wrote in Sicilian. Great builder and patron of science, education and the arts. An expert trader, he engaged in widespread business transactions. Maintained a harem, and acted as a combination of German/Christian and Byzantine/Muslim. In 1225, he married Isabella II (Melanie Griffith), the daughter of the queen of Jerusalem, one son from the union, Conrad IV (Antonio Banderas), who became his successor, while his wife died in childbirth. His third marriage was to Elizabeth, an English princess, 4 children from the union, with the first three short-lived. Excommunicated a 2nd time by Gregory in 1227, and the subsequent struggle between pope and emperor resulted ultimately in a schism in the papacy, with papal troops over/running his kingdom and civil war in Germany. Quickly turned around the middle problem, then had to depose his son Heinrich for incompetence in Germany, confining him in a castle until his death. Returned to Italy to do battle with the Lombard League, which he failed to totally vanquish, and in 1239, he found himself excommunicated once again. Despite his stance as an Orientalist, he extinguished the Islamic presence in Sicily, after numerous revolts against him caused him to deport the majority of its Muslim population. Reorganized his administration in Italy, then was deposed by Innocent IV (Rudy Giuliani) in 1245, after the latter had fled to Lyons. Faced more revolts and court conspiracies, and failed to breach Rome 3 times, when its citizens rallied round the papacy, although he gradually began to regain control of his Italian domains. His final marriage was to his longtime mistress, Bianca Lancia d’Agliano on her deathbed, although it was not considered official, and was performed for the benefit of her immortal soul, rather than clerical recognition. The duo had two sons and a daughter together, and she is considered the one true love of his life. Died suddenly of dysentery while still fighting for temporal freedom from the spiritual control of the papacy. Inner: Larger-than-life figure, both loved and reviled, described as “Stupor Mundi” the wonder of his age, as well as the antiChrist. Megalomaniacal and a combination of Norman, German and Italian medieval civilization. Always felt himself to be Italian, with his German domains of secondary importance to him. Strong interest in the arts and sciences, and an adept martial artist, constantly dealing with convoluted and virtually impossible situations in both his realms. Saw himself as a philosopher-emperor in the mold of Marcus Aurelius (Martin Heidigger). Synthesizing lifetime of trying to integrate the dualities of east and west within, as well as separate the sphere of the temporal and the spiritual without. Heraclius (c575-641) - Byzantine emperor. Outer: Of Armenian extract. Father of the same name was a Cappadocian general, who played a key role in the Persian campaigns during the reign of the Byzantine emperor Maurice (Georgi Zhukov). When his sire was made exarch of Carthage, he joined him in North Africa. Fair-haired and broad-chested. After Phocas (Lavrenti Beria) usurped the throne and showed himself to be a cruel incompetent, he was sent by his progenitor to Constantinople with his fleet in 608, and was able to consolidate sufficient support from a varieity of factions to enter the city without resistance. Captured Phocas and beheaded him, before having him posthumously castrated for a rape he had committed. The same day he gained the purple in 610 as the 21st emperor of Byzantium, he married Fabia Eudokia, daughter of a North African landowner, one daughter and one son, the future Constantine III (Dan Halutz), from the union. In so doing, he began his own dynastic line that would last a little over a century. Following the death of his wife in 612 from an epileptic fit, he courted considerable controversy by wedding his niece, Martina (Magda Goebbels), the daughter of his sister. Nine children from the incestuous union, including two of his ultimate successors, Constantine Heracleonus (Joseph Goebbels) and Constantine III. Four others died in infancy, another was deformed and a sixth was deaf and dumb. Also had an illegitimate son, John Athalarichos, who later conspired against him, only to have his nose and hands cut off and sent into permanent exile. Had to deal with the offshoots of the chaos Phocas had left him, with expansion by the empire’s rival tribes into its territories from the east, north and west, and immediately began reorganizing his outlying provinces on strict military lines, so that the first eight years of his rule were totally taken with preparation rather than action, as the empire seemed to be teetering close to extinction. Briefly considered abandoning Constantinople for Carthage, but was talked out of it by his powerful church patriarch. Sued for peace instead, with annual tributes, including a thousand virgins to the Persian king, while using the time to rebuild his army and slash all nonmilitary expenditures. Changed the official language of the Byzantine empire from Latin to Greek in 620, while supporting a doctrine that saw the Christ in terms of a single will, in order to bridge the divide between the east’s view that the latter had one nature that was both divine and human, called monophytism and the west’s belief the prophet had two natures united in one sacred spirit. Considerably reduced corruption in Constantinople, and slowly began retaking lost territory, while raising the morale of his army considerably, as he presented his undertaking to them as a holy war. Took his wife with him on his campaigns, and continued his attacks on Persian strongholds, ultimately ravaging central Persia and frustrating their efforts to trap him. Ignored an Avar-Persian siege of Constantinople in 626, which was eventually thwarted, to continue his march through Anatolia, before routing the Persians near Nineveh, effectively ending the war. In 629, he restored the True Cross to Jerusalem, and took on the title of “King of Kings,” before calling himself Basileus, a Grecian word for sovereign, and a title that would be used for next 800 years to indicate the Byzantine emperor. The latter part of his reign saw the rise of the Musselmen under the prophet Muhammed and the subsequent loss of Syria and Egypt to the all-conquering Arabs, considerably muting some of his earlier martial accomplishments, while his wife’s competitive dynastic infighting, over making her first-born co-emperor with his first-born from his initial marriage, also fed into his mental and spiritual decline. Made both his eldest sons from his two marriages co-rulers with him in 638. Nearly paralyzed at the end with dropsy, and his body distended, while lying on his litter bemoaning his life, before ultimately dying in misery and shame, feeling himself a failure. Buried near the body of Constantine the Great (Mohandas Gandhi), only to have has sarcophagus opened several months later and his diadem snatched off his head by his first-born, Constantine, in anger over having to share the throne with a lesser brother. Inner: Brilliant and resourceful general, with an excellent sense of tactics and strategy. Had considerable administration gifts as well, while harboring a dualistic character, which was partly pleasure-oriented but once in the field, he was a soldier through-and-through. Arcing lifetime of inheriting a collapsed empire, revivifying it through his supreme martial artistry, and then suffering a long and debilitating decline questioning everything he had done. Aurelian (Lucius Domitius Aurelianus) (214-275) - Roman Emperor. Known as ‘Sword-in-Hand.’ Outer: From a poor family, his early life was largely fabricated by contemporary biographers to conform with his rise to the august position of augustus. Father was a tenant farmer of a wealthy senator named Aurelius, from whom the family took their name. Married Ulpia Severina, who probably quickly learned to fear him, one daughter from union. Killed his sister’s son for no reason. Rose quickly through the ranks and by his mid-50s, held a cavalry command in northern Italy. With his compatriot, Claudius Gothicus (Lin Biao), he suppressed a revolt against the emperor, Gallienus (Maxim Gorki), but then plotted to murder him. When Claudius succeeded to the purple, he appointed his compatriot Master of the Horse. After the new emperor had died of the plague, he assumed the throne in 270, despite Claudius’ brother Quintillus (Bo Hi Pak) having been designated as heir. Modestly designated himself ‘deus et dominus’ or ‘god and lord.’ Set out against a German tribe, intercepted their plunder-filled retreat and laid waste to them, before accepting envoys while cloaked in purple. Went to Rome, where he was unenthusiastically accepted by the Senate, then immediately headed north to face the Vandals, defeating them decisively, although he was ambushed and his troops severely beaten by another wave of Germans. Rioting broke out in Rome, weakening his authority, but he dispatched his enemy, band by separated band, before returning to Rome, where he built a new wall around the city against further invasions. Also had to worry about internal usurpers. Left the city to vanquish the Goths, earning the title Gothicus Maximus for doing so, then recovered several secessionist states in Asia Minor, and reunited much of the eastern empire. Reorganized the national coinage, brought back financial stability, stamped out corruption, and re-established an organized cult of sun worship, Sol Invictus, with a new temple in the capital and a new college of priests. Declared December 25th his birthday, which was later converted to Christmas Day in the Christian cult. Made solar worship the official religion of his army and its symbols were added to military insignia. Set out once again for the east in 275, after suppressing disorders and repelling an invasion in the north, but was assassinated by one of his officers, who feared he was going to execute several of his senior officers at the instigation of his private secretary, ironically named Eros, an element notably missing in his life. Died beloved by his army, who buried him with great ceremony. Inner: Iron disciplinarian, growing more cruel the longer he was in power. 5 year reign saw a colossal recovery from the chaos leading up to it, and an integrity to the empire long missing. Feared by everyone, cold, hard and a warrior through-and-through. Seen as necessary rather than good. Pure military will lifetime of giving his martial adroitness and organizational skills full play, only to ultimately fall victim of the paranoid sword as recompense for his own lack of heart and humanity. Thutmose III (Menkheperre) (c1469-1426BZ) - Egyptian pharaoh. Outer: Of the XVIIIth dynasty. Father was Thutmose II (Napoleon Bonaparte), mother was one of sire’s concubines. Around the age of 10 when his sure died, he had the best claim to the throne, after being betrothed to his half-sister Nefurure. 5’3”, medium build. His mother-in-law Hatshepsut (Clare Booth Luce), who served as regent, declared herself pharaoh a year into his reign, and did not let go of her power until her death c1458. Wisely stayed in the background during her regency, in order to preserve his own continuance, allowing her precedence over domestic issues. Given a martial education, he proved to be an excellent horseman and archer, although the Egyptian empire lost much territory during his first 2 decades of rule, until he finally took power on Hatshepsut’s demise. Probably had a hand in it, since he later obliterated her monumental memory, as well as attacked the tombs of her courtiers. His main queen was Hatshepsut-Merytre, who survived him. Had several minor queens as well, from diplomatic exchanges. Marched at the head of his army of 10,000 against a revolt, and crushed it at the Battle of Megiddo, the first recorded military engagement in his/story. Over the next 3 decades, he launched 17 campaigns, which extended his reach into Palestine, Syria and part of modern Turkey, as well as Nubia, using the latter as gold miners, which became the basis of Egypt’s external economy. Proved himself an adept administrator, using captured slaves and spoils to build temples and cities, while taking children of client kings as hostages, so as to educate them to respect his office, and then become vassals of his empire upon their release. Erected fortresses in key areas, exacted huge tributes, patronized arts and crafts, and during his 5 decade-plus rule, made Egypt into a world colossus of the time. His later reputation was also enhanced by having an adept archivist, Thanuny, who was also an army commander, as his official record-keeper. Succeeded by his son, Amenhotep II (Georgi Zhukov), by his second wife, the sister of his first, after naming him coregent before his death. His tomb in the Valley of the Tombs of the Kings was later stripped of its wealth, although his mummified body was preserved from pilfering. Inner: Probably the greatest of the pharaohs, with martial talents galore, great cunning and nerve, excellent administrative skills and a keen eye towards embellishing his realm on all levels. Superb athlete, and martial and governing adept. Sun god lifetime of bringing all his talents to bear, after being made to watch and wait until given the opportunity to allow his extraordinary gifts to flower.


Storyline: The Catch-22 commander is a master of the battlefield, but finds his most difficult opponents off of it, in the political arena, where illusions count more than realities.

Georgi Zhukov (1896-1974) - Russian general. Outer: From a desperately poor peasant family who lived 60 miles east of Moscow. Became an apprentice fur trader, before being conscripted into the Imperial Russian army in 1915. Served as a noncommissioned officer in several cavalry units, earning two high awards for bravery. In 1918, he joined the Red Army, and commanded a cavalry squadron during the Russian civil war. Graduated from a junior officer’s military school in 1920, and studied military science in an underground German school as part of a secret military collaboration between the two countries. Married the same year, 3 daughters from union. Continued his education throughout the 1920s, and in 1931, he was made a deputy commander of a military district. Managed to escape liquidation during the Stalinist purges later in the decade through an administrative error, as the dictator got rid of many of his military leaders, and became head of the Soviet First Army group, defeating the Japanese Sixth Army the day before WW II officially began. Had an exemplary record during the war, proving to be the top Soviet general of the fray, holding the highest of posts, but also incurring the jealousy of Stalin for his victories, which often depended on high speed deployments. Favored pincer movements and looking for weak spots in defenses, while employing overwhelming barrages of artillery. Planned and directed all the country’s major operations, including the Soviet Union’s final capture of Berlin in 1945, despite being undermined by Stalin. Rode a white horse in the subsequent Red Square victory celebration, which probably sealed his lesser subsequent career under the envious dictator. His postwar popularity made him a threat to Stalin, so that he was assigned and relieved of various posts, while his contributions were publicly minimized. After the dictator’s death, he became deputy minister of defense, and then Minister of Defense in 1955. Tried to improve the calibre of the armed forces, but at the expense of Politburo control, bringing him into conflict with Nikita Khruschev. Helped him in 1957, however, in his struggle for control, by transporting key members of the Presidium from distant regions by plane, and was given a seat on the ruling council for it. His desire to make the army more autonomous, however, once again brought him into conflict with the premier and he was dismissed and forced to retire. Divorced in 1965, when an affair with his nurse produced an illegitimate daughter. Eventually married his inamorata. Allowed to publish his autobiography, “Reminiscences and Reflections” after the fall of Khruschev, but remained in obscurity the rest of his life, with his reputation diminished as well, until it was resurrected following his death. Inner: Earthy, coarse, tough and brutal, but well-liked by his men as one of them. Forceful, with great tactical ability, but also willing to suffer many casualties for his objectives. Had the ability to see battlefield patterns before they transpired. Greatly admired by Adolf Hitler. Did not seek the limelight, and also had a cultural side. A patron of the arts, he played the accordion, and had a taste for both folk and classical music. Also had a library of over 20,000 volumes. Catch-22 lifetime of performing heroically, only to run into the paranoid assessment of his being too good for his own good, and a threat to the authority who ultimately commanded him. Count Alexander Suvarov (1729-1800) - Russian general. Outer: Father was an army officer and a member of the College of War. Enlisted in a Guards regiment in his mid-teens, but suffered for his reform-minded sire’s faltering reputation with his fellow officers, so that his progress up the hierarchical ladder was considerably slowed. Saw his first action in the Seven Years War, beginning in 1756, and proved himself an audacious soldier, so that by war’s nearend, he had risen to the rank of colonel, after entering the fray as an enlisted man. Vastly improved the efficiency of the army, and was made a major general, after his heroic display during the Polish Civil War. Continued piling up impressive victories against the Poles, Turks and a Cossack revolt, so that by 1775, with his reputation assured, he married into the powerful Golitsyn clan, although the union was unhappy. Continued battling the Turks, and by decade’s end, he was made a count for his exploits. After a brutal massacre of a stormed Turkish fort, he was elevated to field marshal in 1791, and over the next several years, left a huge bloody swath in his successful forays against the Poles, winning the surrender of Warsaw. The new Russian Premier Pavel I (Shah Pahlevi), a military fantasist, was threatened by both his deeds and reforms, and he was forced into retirement. In 1799, he was recalled to command the Russo-Austrian army in the Napoleonic wars. Despite his usual vigor, he was slowed by Austrian bureaucracy, but, nevertheless, proved ever victorious against the French, engineering numerous difficult maneuvers under treacherous circumstances, before finally being relieved of command by the Tsar again. Recalled to St. Petersburg in disgrace, he was stripped of his titles, and died soon after, heartbroken. Inner: Extraordinary commander, both colorful and brilliant. Bold, cunning, imaginative and aggressive, with a penchant for long marches and swift surprise attacks. Enjoyed great popularity with his men, since he did everything they did. Undermined lifetime of being erased by inferior forces which control the recording of events, despite his ongoing overt gifts for brilliant battlefield exploits. Charles XII (1682-1718) - King of Sweden. Outer: Eldest and only surviving son of Charles XI, king of Sweden. Close family, happy childhood, he received an excellent education, and at the death of his mother in 1693, became his father’s closest companion, succeeding him to the throne 4 years later, after getting a firsthand of kingship through their continual travels together. Physically adroit and a risk-taker. Never married and may have been a homophile. Quickly declared of age by his regency, his open character became blank to the public, as he acted the distant king. In 1700, he was thrust into the Great Northern War for control of the Baltic, in which Russia, Poland and Denmark challenged Sweden’s supremacy in the region. The alliance thought to take advantage of his youth and inexperience, and invaded, but he quickly proved himself a bold and daring commander, racking up victories left and right, including one over the great Peter the Great (Yukio Mishima). Showed great personal courage, and was always a morale booster to his men, with his sense of Swedish greatness. Within 5 years he had largely pacified Poland, and had placed his own man upon the throne. In 1706, he rejected peace overtures from Peter, which ultimately prove to be his undoing, and in 1708, he began an ill-advised invasion of Russia. Despite initial victories, he had difficulty in keeping his army together, particularly with an enemy that pursued a scorched earth policy in the freezing cold. Ultimately wounded in the foot, and by the summer of 1709, he saw his whole army destroyed. Escaped into Turkish Moldava, and ran the Swedish government from there at a distance, reforming government and finance, and ultimately inducing the Turks to join him as an ally, while running his government from afar for the next 5 years. Became the object of Turkish intrigues, and had to do battle not to be kidnapped by the reinstated Polish king. Finally left Turkey and returned to his native Sweden in 1714, riding incognito for two weeks through hostile lands. Tried to save some of his holdings, by fighting delaying actions on German soil, then rebuilt and revitalized his forces in the hopes of negotiating a favorable peace, since he saw he would have to give up territory for money, at least for the time being. After more maneuvering, he was killed by a musket shot to the head from an exposed position in a fortress. Inner: Strong willed and obstinate, with a powerful sense of tradition. Martial adept, innovative tactician and administrator, with a distinct bent for battle, engaging almost his entire rule in warfare. Also harbored cultural interests, and had a mathematical and scientific bent, as well as a lively mind. Felt responsible to God, as the leader of a Christian nation, and had a strong moral code. Born to the sword lifetime of doing so much continuous battle that he failed to recognize an opportunity not to, thereby precipitating a far lesser career than he might have had, had he been able to look past the roar of the cannons and the smell of the cowed. Jan Ziska (1376-1424) - Bohemian general. Outer: Became connected with the Bohemian court as a young man, serving as chamberlain to the queen. Spent most of his life as a mercenary for the Poles, and lost an eye during the ongoing civil strife, while proving himself a martial adept. Returned to Bohemia and became a follower of religious reformer Jan Hus (James Agee). Came to national prominence when the king, Wenceslaus I (Wilhelm II) died in 1419, assuming a leadership role against his half-brother Sigismund’s (Oscar LaFontaine) attempt to take the throne, since the latter’s avowed goal was to suppress the Hussites. Led the Taborites, which were well-disciplined peasant military communities, helping them formulate their military organizations. Revolutionized warfare through cannons or crossbows mounted on mobile armoured farm wagons, and became one of the first commanders to integrate cavalry, infantry and artillery as a tactical war machine. Chained his wagons together, and had his armed man stationed in the gaps. Because of his cumbersome weapons, his expertise lay in defense tactics, forcing his foes to an offensive disadvantage, and he became virtually unbeatable. Crushed his opposing forces near Prague in 1420, and the following year he was elected a member of the provisional government. In 1421, he lost the sight of his other eye in a siege, rendering him blind, although he continued to lead his ever-victorious forces against rival Hussite elements when civil war broke out in 1423. Mounted an invasion of Hungary, but was unable to break Sigismund’s hold there, then marched on Prague, but was halted by a treaty between the Taborites and the more moderate elements, before leading the united adversaries against the last of the king’s partisans in Moravia, but died of the plague when he reached the frontier. Inner: Brilliant strategist, gifted tactician and highly innovate martial adept. Combined defense with a counterattacking offense to create a unique war machine, which would not be fully adopted for another 2 centuries. Ahead-of-his-time lifetime of combining martial vision with physical blindness to create a formidable fighting machine, while, as always, showing himself to be one of the most remarkable commanders of his age. Alexander Nevsky (Aleksandr Yarolavich) (c1220-1263) - Russian grand prince. Outer: Father was the grand prince of Vladimir, making him the foremost of the various Russian princes and rulers. Elected prince in 1236 of the city of Novgorod, and 3 years later, he married the daughter of the Prince of Polotsk, 5 children from the union, including his successors Yuri (Armand Hammer) and Ivan I (Lee Kuan Yew). Halted a Swedish invasion the following year, winning himself the sobriquet, ‘Nevsky’ or ‘of the Neva’ for his victory over them at the confluence of that river, although when he interfered in Novogorod’s affairs, he was expelled, only to be called back when the Teutonic Knights invaded Russia in order to try to Christianize the region. Decisively defeated them in the famous “massacre on the ice” in 1242 on a narrow channel, then went on to stop the eastward expansion of the Swedes and Germans, as well as proving victorious over the Lithuanians and the Finns. The Mongols, to the east, however, were far more resilient, and after his father died of poisoning in 1246, the Great Khan violated Russian primogeniture by appointing his younger brother, Andrew, as grand prince of Vladimir, and himself with the lesser title of prince of Kiev. When Andrew conspired against the Mongol overlords with other princes, he denounced his brother to the head of the Golden Horde, who sent an army to depose him, thereby ending all challenges to Mongol hegemony over the next century. Installed as grand prince in his brother’s stead, he built fortifications and churches and set up a legal basis for his limited realm. Continued to rule Novgorod through his son Vasily, thereby making the city subject to institutional, rather than personal, sovereignty. When Vasily was expelled, he reinstalled him through military means. In 1257, a census was taken by the Mongols in order to levy taxes, which caused an uprising in Novogorod the following year, which he put down, fearing Mongol retaliation throughout his realm. This act completed the process of Mongol control over Northern Russia. Married a second time late in life to Vasilisa. In 1262, more uprisings occurred against Muslim tax farmers, and once again he averted reprisals by personally journeying to his Mongol overlords, before dying on the return trip. His son Daniel (Louis Botha) founded the house of Moscow, which would ultimately reunite the northern Russian lands under the dukes of Moscow until the advent of the Romanovs in 1598. After his death, Russia disintegrated once more into feuding principalities. Made a local saint in 1381, and was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1547. Inner: Excellent military commander with keen political instincts. Willing to trade off Mongol overlordship for a better life for his subjects, as well as support of the Church, which ultimately led to his sainthood. High wire lifetime of directly employing his martial skills in service of his state, while also showing diplomatic and strategic wile in complementing his position as an overlord/underlord, who dominated his western foes, but was forced to kowtow to his eastern Tartar lords in order to strike a harmonious balance for his burgeoning nation. Maurice (Flavius Mauricius Tiberius Augustus) (539-602) - Byzantine emperor. Outer: From an old Cappadocian family. May have been of Armenian extract. One of four siblings, with a brother and two sisters. Had a distinguished military career, rising to the rank of general while helping to drive the Persians from his native Turkish province. At some point, he is credited with penning an encyclopedic work on the art of war, “Strategikon,” which influenced Byzantine martial strategy for centuries, although it was probably written by someone close to him. Reorganized a dispirited army, breathing new life into it, and for doing so, in 582, he was named as the successor to the emperor Tiberius II (Yul Brynner), who also gave him his second daughter, Constantina in marriage, at the same time. Six sons and several daughters from the union. Elevated his father to head of the Byzantine senate, and proved to be a highly competent ruler very much in control of his empire over most of his twenty year reign. Successfully fought the Persians, expanding the empire’s eastern frontier, while marrying his eldest daughter to the reinstated Persian king, whom he helped to regain the throne. Inherited a largely bankrupt empire, and did nothing to enhance its financial status, since his constant fighting continued to drain the treasury. Campaigned in the Balkans, extending his territory across the Danube, while in the west, he established an exarchate or viceroyship over Ravenna, before creating another in Carthage, so as to extend the empire’s strength in the western Mediterranean. Showed himself to be tolerant in religious matters, supporting orthodoxy, although allowing the heresy of monophysitism to continue. His constant warring, however, put great strains on the the empire’s treasury, causing him to cut military salaries by a quarter, and when he had his troops winter in the field beyond the Danube, in order to save money, a mutiny ensued, as the soldiers rallied round Phocas (Lavrenti Beria), one of their generals, who led a march into Constantinople as he fled to Nicomedia with his family. Captured and brought back to Constantinople, he watched with passive acceptance as four of his younger sons were executed in front of him, before being beheaded. The bodies of all five were tossed into the bay, where huge crowds gathered on the shore to watch the floating corpses, before their heads were later put on display, as the empire plunged into chaos following his relatively orderly rule, under his non-dynastic successor. Inner: Extremely competent warrior and administrator. Courageous, and reform-minded, able to solidify both domestic and martial apparatus, while also promoting and supporting the arts and the sciences. Unable, however, to countenance his own mistakes, feeling his strategies were impeccable, which ultimately led to his undoing. Sword-in-hand lifetime of great success in the field, as always, before ultimately being undone by a lack of ability to see the wider repercussions of his decisions. Marcus Aurelius Equitius Probus (c232-282) - Roman emperor. Outer: Father’s occupation was uncertain, might have been a market-gardener, or he may have been a minor state functionary or centurion who became a tribune. Older of 2 children. His wife and progeny are unrecorded. Had a distinguished military career, and was the most talented of the generals who served under Aurelian (Yukio Mishima), matching skills with him. Defended the German frontier for him. Under the reign of his successor Tacitus (Sanjay Gandhi), he held high posts in Syria and Egypt, and probably the supreme eastern command. On the death of Tacitus in 276, he refused to accept the elevation of Florian (Rajiv Gandhi), declaring instead that he was the heir designate. After being acclaimed emperor by his own troops, he met his rival’s force, but avoided battle, while his adversary’s heat-stricken troops murdered their leader. Marched on Rome, where the senate confirmed him, while he showed utmost respect to it. Carried out reciprocity on all of Aurelian’s murderers. Successfully defended his realm against Frankish incursions and German tribes, separating his enemies before defeating them while acting magnanimously in victory, allowing his conquered foes to return to their homelands under the promise they would no longer be aggressors against Rome. Did physical restoration in the provinces, repairing irrigation channels, while stimulating viticulture. Continually dealt with military matters, making a truce with the new Persian king, and then dealing with unrest in the provinces to the west. Returned to Rome in 281 and celebrated a magnificent Triumph, replete with scores of conquered enemies who adorned the procession. Did not, however, treat his own soldiers to the standards they felt befitted them, and, after remarking that they might soon become superfluous, he was compelled to take refuge from his own troops inside a tower, where they forced themselves in and killed him. Inner: Talented general, who continued the work of his predecessor Aurelian in sewing back together the fractured empire. Simple habits, well regarded by the writers of his age as an exemplary figure. Ardent, energetic and fair. Expanding lifetime of experiencing Roman rule and the importance of well-stroked soldiers in its schema, in his ongoing evolution as a sword-in-hand soldier to be reckoned with. Hannibal Barca (247-183BZ) - Carthaginian general. Outer: Of Tyrian Phoenician descent. Father was Hamilcar Barca (Lucien Bonaparte). Older of 3 brothers, including Mago (Napoleon Bonaparte) and Hasdrupal (Ferdinand Foch). Brought to Spain by his sire around the age of 10, and made to swear eternal enmity to Rome, which gave him his life’s focus. Sent back to Carthage on the latter’s death in battle in 228. Returned to Spain to command the cavalry in his brother-in-law’s army in 224, then assumed the whole army on the latter’s assassination in 221. A stern disciplinarian, he crucified his officers when they failed in battle. Married Imilce, a Spanish princess, and may have had a son with her. Pacified northwest Spain in 2 brief campaigns, before wrecking revenge on Rome for Carthage’s earlier defeat in the 1st Punic War. Used an overland route, spending 8 months in a successful siege, in which he was severely wounded, before leading his army into Gaul in 218, beginning the 2nd Punic War. Outmaneuvered Publius Cornelius Scipio, then entered Italy via the Alps in 218, amidst much difficulties, with a huge polyglot army, while employing elephants as pack animals. Crushed or eluded large armies in his wake over the next 3 years, before his forces weakened and he was ultimately frustrated by lack of support from Carthage, as well as Roman defense and the eroding of his bases of support in southern Italy. Returned to Carthage in 203 to oppose the invasion of Scipio Africanus (Charles de Gaulle), and was defeated by him. Made a peace treaty with Rome, which, in effect, destroyed his life’s work. Elected civil magistrate in 196 and put forth needed reforms and anti-corruption measures, but stepped on too many important sandals, and was denounced to Rome by his enemies, forcing him to flee. Served the Syrian king for the next 5 years, raising a fleet against Rhodes, but once again met defeat and was forced to flee again, first to Crete and then to Bithynia, where he took poison to avoid capture, with his last words, “Let us release the Romans from their long anxiety, since they think it too long to wait for the death of an old man.” Inner: Highly adept strategist and tactician, with the ability to lead men of various nationalities. Brave, temperate, spoke Latin and Greek fluently, although his character is largely hidden. Studied all his enemies carefully, and invented measures to counteract their strengths. Make war, not love lifetime of etching his name into the annals of martial greatness, while retaining the sense of balance he exhibits in most of his lives of the sword. Amenhotep II (c1445-1400BZ) - Egyptian pharaoh. Outer: Of the XVIIIth dynasty. Father was Thutmose III (Yukio Mishima). Given a thorough grounding by his sire in the martial arts, with a particular emphasis on physical prowess, horsemanship and warrior skills. Taller than most of his contemporaries, and quite muscular, while given total preparations for his eventual rule. Noted for shooting arrows through a copper plate while driving a chariot with the reins tied around his waist. A martial adept, like his sire, he served as a co-regent, then inherited a kingdom at the height of its glory c1428BZ, and utilized his predecessor’s administrators, while continuing his policies. His queen consort Tiaa was a half-sister, and daughter of his father, although his ultimate heir came from a second queen. Able to make his presence felt in the countries to the north and east, through vigorous campaigns which put down a revolt in Syria and brought him loyalty oaths from other Asiatic princes, while maintaining his father’s conquests. Hung the princes upside down and personally beheaded them in religious ceremonies. Loved hand-to-hand combat, and went into battle roaring his royal rage, with such ferocity that enemy troops became undone at the mere sound of him on the battlefield. Continued his father’s building programs, as well, building extensively at Thebes, while the latter part of his reign was marked by both peace and prosperity. Probably died of an infection brought on by severe dental decay, while his remains show signs of rheumatism. He was buried in the Valley of the Tombs of the Kings, and was succeeded by his son, Thutmose IV (Charles de Gaulle), after a highly successful near 3-decade reign. Inner: Barbaric and somewhat vainglorious, but able to back up his boasts, and be a true reflection of his father, who was the greatest member of his dynasty. Sun God lifetime of showing himself to be a martial adept on his way to securing his place in the ongoing pantheon of superior planetary generalship.


Storyline: The matriarchal monarch holds more than her own with the patriarchal power structure of her times, without sacrificing her sense of the feminine one iota in the process.

Indira Gandhi (Indira Priyadarshini Nehru) (1917-1984) - Indian prime minister. Outer: Born to power, the only child of Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister. Her mother was the daughter of a mill owner, and always felt resentful she was less educated than her husband and daughter. Raised a Hindu, she had a painfully lonely childhood, but showed an early interest in politics, and loved to boom speeches at servants while standing on a tabletop. Her parents were frequently jailed for their nationalist activities, while all her games as a child were political. Lost a baby brother in 1924, and the family moved to Geneva for her mother’s health. When it did not improve, they returned home. At 12, she organized the Monkey Brigade, a children’s army which ran errands for the independence movement, while her basic connection with her father was through letters. Studied at private schools in India and Switzerland, then Shantiniketan Univ. in Bengal. Her mother, who was deemed inferior by the other women in her family, and served as an anti-model for her of hurt and shame, died in 1935, and in 1937, she went to England and attended Somerville College, Oxford, where she majored in his/story and joined the British Labor Party, although left school sans degree. In 1938, she joined Congress and was imprisoned for 13 months in India during 1942 by the British, after briefly serving as an ambulance driver during the blitz. Against family objections, in the same year, she married a childhood friend, Feroze Gandhi (no relation to Mohandas Gandhi), who became a journalist and politician, as well as an unfaithful spouse. Before he conveniently died of a heart seizure in 1960, he was a fierce critic of the Nehru administation, despite being known as the “nation’s son-in-law.” 2 sons from union, Rajiv and Sanjay, to whom she was extremely close. Earlier, she had been told by a doctor not to have children, because of a variety of physical ills. At different times, she suffered from TB, low blood pressure, and kidney problems. Served as her father’s official hostess when he became prime minister in 1947, but her marriage suffered in the process, and fell apart. Lived quietly and remained in the background during her progenitor’s tenure, revealing little of her iron strength and will, while serving on a number of boards and committees. When her father died in 1964, she took his place in Parliament, and became Minister of Information & Broadcasting. When his successor passed unexpectedly in 1966, she was named prime minister at the age 48, because party leaders thought she’d be submissive. Proved to have a strong, independent dictatorial character, brooking no opposition, as she remade her progenitor’s Congress Party in her own image, while continuing her sire’s practice of drawing great crowds to ensure her electability. Known as Mataji, ‘revered mother,’ to the masses for her call to obliterate poverty, although never had a specific program to do so. Called for an early election in 1971, and won a fresh mandate through a huge electoral triumph, reaping more benefit from India’s decisive victory over Pakistan later that year, which gave birth to Bangladesh. Came to rely heavily on her son Sanjay, who seemed her heir apparent. Led India into the nuclear age in 1974, when scientists exploded an underground nuclear device. Economic woes, as well as her inability to deliver on an election promise to attack poverty, lessened her popularity considerably. In 1975, fraud was discovered in her 1971 election, but instead of stepping down, she called a national emergency, and, in effect, became dictator of India, jailing thousands of dissidents, while seeing imaginary plots against her everywhere, only to be voted out of office 2 years later, when the country tired of her autocratic ways. Thanks to her inept successors, and a brief arrest for corruption, which she turned into a personal triumph, she was returned to office in 3 years, in a newly constituted Congress (I) Party, with the ‘I’ standing for Indira, for which she campaigned ceaselessly, despite her age and seeming frailty. Her 2nd run-through was less successful on the homefront, thanks to her autocratic way, her elicitation of strife to underline her importance to the nation, her distrust of everyone save her family and close associates, and her obsessive need to remove all opposition, revealing a combative, hostile style that was inimical to democracy. Through her preference for the Soviet Union over the U.S., she was able to build a strong army. Crushed by her son Sanjay’s death in 1980, on whom she had become increasingly dependent, she forced her oldest son to discontinue his career as a pilot, and replace him, despite his having neither the inclination nor the talent to do so. Never fully recovered from Sanjay’s death, and became ever more autocratic, sending in government troops to quell Sikh violence in the Punjab, only to have them plunder their Golden Temple, while killing thousands. This act was not forgotten, when she was assassinated later that year in the garden of her own private residence by 2 of her own Sikh bodyguards. One, Beant Singh, was killed by police shortly afterwards, while the second, Satwant Singh, was tried and hanged. In the interim, more than three thousand Sikhs died in the violent wake all across India of her death. Succeeded by her son, Rajiv. Cremated with her ashes scattered over the Himalayas and every provincial capital in india. Inner: Tremendous ambition, tenacity and endurance, with a Brahmin belief in her own infallibility. Brave, imperious, acted like an empress, although abhorred that title, while being somewhat disdainful of the concerns of ordinary people. Vulnerable, lonely, non-introspective, aloof, chilly, insecure in private, an iron lady in public, who said that power did not interest her, while acting in quite opposite manner. Her autocracy bred corruption and chaos, despite a talent for rule. Mataji lifetime of re-channeling her longtime empress energy into a democratically-run state, and doing battle with her own draws towards autocracy and uncontested control. Catherine II (Sophia Augusta Frederika) (1729-1796) - Russian empress. Outer: Daughter of a German prince and princess, part of the inbred group of the central European aristocracy. Adored by her father and ignored by her mother, and cared for by 2 French nurses, who gave her an abiding admiration for that country. Educated by a narrow-minded Lutheran pastor. Invited at 14 to come to St. Petersburg, to became the unhappy bride of the German/born future Russian tsar, Peter III (Vladimir Zhirinovsky) at the age of 15. Converted from Lutheran to Russian Orthodoxy and changed her name. The marriage was unconsummated on her wedding night. Extremely unhappy, she sought refuge in books initially, particularly the work of Voltaire (Michel Foucault), whom she came to view as her mentor, while being watched closely by palace spies. Eventually sought out lovers, finding her first one a decade into her marriage. Suffered 18 years of royal marriage, 2 sons from union, including her successor, Pavel I (Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi), whom she detested, in part because of his unpleasant personality, and also because he represented her mortality, and ultimate loss of power. In 1762, her husband ascended the throne, but with the help of her lover, Grigori Orlov (Sanjay Gandhi), as well as his brother Alexsey (Rajiv Gandhi) and others, she orchestrated a coup, and forced him to abdicate shortly after his enthronement, before he could do away with her, since he was contemplating divorcing her in favor of his mistress. Rather than acting as regent for her eldest son, who would die 2 years later, she directly ascended the throne, determined to be more Russian than her predecessors. Observed Church rituals closely and surrounded herself with Russian advisers. Had an excellent talent for self-promotion, as well as astute political sensibilities, while having a deep concern for Russia’s standing in Europe. Saw the need for her to be an autocrat, as well as an apostle of the Enlightenment, while attempting to re-codify the laws according to French principles, an idea that failed because of the intransigence of her nation and its nobles. Ruled for 34 years, beginning as a liberal reformer. Had many lovers, initially her same age, and as she grew older, they became younger and younger, while she called them her “pupils.” Had a legendary sexual appetite, including once using a horse via pulleys. Several of her amours became key advisers, although she always retained the reins of state as an absolute autocrat. Fascinated with western ways, she maintained contact with the French Encyclopediasts, invited westerners to her court, and instituted reforms in all fields of government and administration, although many remained incomplete, while her nobility increased its power, her serfs continued in their powerlessness, and any and all dissidence was stifled. Aa a territorial expansionist, Russia became a European power during her reign. Took her grandchildren, including the future Alexander I (Mikhail Gorbachev), away from her son, so she could educate them according to her own ideals. Became more conservative after the French Revolution, viewing it as a threat to her own autocracy. Maintained a lively court, and had an abiding intellectual curiosity her entire life, although she suppressed any ideas or ideals that threatened her rule. Served the ambitions of the country rather than its people, and left it considerably expanded on all fronts, the most effective monarch since her predecessor, Peter the Great (Yukio Mishima). Died of a massive stroke. Inner: Intelligent, charming, plain, egotistical, passionate, ambitious and domineering. Family love was denied her, despised her husband and son, but she loved her grandchildren. Knew power and what to do with it. Precise, orderly and diligent, Russian by passion but German by detailed inclination. It’s good to be czarina lifetime of actualizing her continuous ambitions to rule unfettered by opposition, allowing her to put her indelible stamp on his’n’herstory. Catherine de’ Medici (1519-1589) - Italian-born queen of France. Outer: Daughter of the Italian and French nobility, father was Lorenzo di Piero de’ Medici II (John Wayne), mother a French noblewoman. Immediately orphaned, her mother dying in childbirth, her father a few days later from the ravages of syphilis. Well-educated and well-loved by nuns in a convent, she married the future Henri II (Robert Downey, Jr.) of France in 1533, when he was a prince, although he basically ignored her, while she was treated contemptuously at court as a foreigner, discounted by the people, and dubbed, “the Italian woman” or “the Florentine shopkeeper.” Only the reigning monarch, Francois I (David Lloyd George) prized her, for her learning, which she assiduously augmented by studying languages, science and astrology. Fascinated by politics as well, she was a born diplomat, as well as a deadly archer, with a great love of the hunt. Brought the art of perfumery to France, and is credited with introducing highheels, to make herself appear taller. Also banned plump waists at court, which gave rise to the corset. Childless her first 10 years of marriage, while her husband spent all his time with his favorite mistress, Diane de Poitiers (Mary Pickford). Initially loved her husband, but stayed in the background, passive and hated. Eventually bore 10 children, of whom 7 survived infancy, including 3 future kings, Francois II (Roald Dahl), Charles IX (Rajiv Gandhi) and Henri III (Gianni Versace), her favorite. Buxom, portly and plain, with a receding chin and a high forehead. An avid reader, she enjoyed personal luxuries and court ceremonies, but remained in the background when her husband ascended the throne in 1547. Patiently bore her role, even when the king refused to make her regent in his absence. When the opportunity to act came a decade later, she quelled a panic brought about by a military defeat, and was finally awarded the respect due her, both by the French people and her husband, although remained a hated figure by the Paris mob. Given a bleak but true vision of the future of her family by astrologer and seer Michael Nostradamus (Robert Heinlein), who was employed by her court and saw her tragedies to come. Her fascination with the mantic arts, would also lead to accusations of sorcery. Her husband’s accidental death in 1559, made her eldest son, Francois II, king, and she immediately assumed power, although was thwarted by the Guise brothers. When Francois died prematurely, she became regent for her 2nd son Charles IX, whom she totally controlled. Appointed Michel de l’Hopital (Sanjay Gandhi) as her chief adviser, but the country grew increasingly divided over the growing Protestant, or Huguenot influence, which resulted in the Wars of Religious Intolerance. At first an advocate of peace, she is later blamed for instituting the St. Bartholomew Day massacre against the Huguenots in 1572, in which up to 50,000 Protestants may have been killed, soiling her hands with much blood. Whether or not she was directly responsible for it has continued to be a matter of conjecture. The Religious Wars continued, and on the accession of her 3rd and favorite son, Henri III (Gianni Versace) in 1574, she assumed the regency again, but, unlike her other boys, she neither tried to dominate or control him, but rather tried to fill in for his missing attributes. Also served as a strong patron of music, art and the sciences. Eventually, totally worn down by her efforts after three decades as the power behind the throne, she retired to her royal castle, when Henry began questioning her advice. Suffered the death of Henri of Guise (Joschka Fischer), at the hands of her son’s henchmen and died of a high fever, shortly after his murder. Suffering from a diseased lungs, and an abscess on her brain at the time. Viewed by contemporaries, both Catholics and Protestants alike, as a highly divisive, unscrupulous character, but managed to hold the country together for her son’s successor, Henri IV (FDR), and later his/storians have been far kinder to her. Inner: Extroverted, charming and dynamic, serving as a preserving bridge between her 3 weak sons and the strong kings that pre and post-ceded them. Patient, calculating, idealistic, tried to adjudicate an impossible situation and was destined to fail because of the irresolvable passions involved. Always consulted astrologers and readers before any important decision, and used Niccolo Machiavelli’s (George Bernard Shaw) “The Prince” as her guiding handbook. Continually reminded of her non-royal, non-French roots, as a means of keeping her humble. Up-and-down elevator lifetime of being thrust as an alien into an untenable royal situation, and doing her best to hold it together in preparation for her next go-round, with some of the same intimates, and an even more backwards country at her total behest. Lucrezia Borgia (1480-1519) - Italian noblewoman. Outer: Daughter of Rodrigo Borgia (Maxim Gorki), and his long-standing Roman mistress. Sister of Cesare Borgia (Joseph Stalin). Separated from her mother and raised by her cousin. Very close to her father, loved him intensely. At 11, she was betrothed to a man she never met, but the engagement was broken after her father became Pope Alexander VI in 1492. Because he sought the aid of the powerful Sforza family, she was married to the charmless Giovanni Sforza in 1493. Her father made sure the union was consummated, as was the custom of the time. Slender, medium height, golden-haired and blue-eyed. When family alliances were realigned, she was accused of incest with her father by her fleeing husband, and the pope annulled their marriage in 1497. The following year, her progenitor arranged a marriage between her and an illegitimate son of the king of Naples in order to strengthen family ties, and it was a genuine love match, with both entranced with one another. After her brother Cesare allied with the king of France, she and her husband were forced to flee Naples, and on their return, under papal protection, he was stabbed, then strangled by one of Cesare’s servants. Never turned against Cesare, despite his perfidies. Retired to Nepi, and had a mysterious son, who was assumed the product of an incestuous relationship with her father or brother, during an orgy at the Vatican. Quite eager to leave the intrigue of Rome, she married a 3rd time to Alfonso d’Este (Tim Buckley), the son of the duke of Ferrara, which was arranged by her brother in order to consolidate his own position, 5 surviving children from union. At the death of her father in 1503, she retired from politics, and led an enjoyable life afterwards. Held a lively court at Ferrara, where she was extremely well-liked, and developed a close relationship with her husband, after he was initially rejecting, preferring the company of prostitutes. Became interested in religion towards the end of life. Died during childbirth with her husband by her side, and was deeply mourned by the Ferrarese. Inner: Charming, happy disposition, and graceful. Good administrator. Accused of everything from poisoning to incest, through the political intrigues of her family, although was probably guilty more by association than actualities. Legendary lifetime of manipulation by others, ending in reflection, in a world of few restrictions on behavior, where she got a firsthand education on manipulated power, and wound up as the archetype for the poisonous female political instrument, when she was largely a pawn in the machinations of others. Theodora (c500-548) - Byzantine augusta. Outer: Daughter of a Constantinople circus bear keeper. Orphaned at the age of 4, she followed her sister into the theater and became a courtesan, dancer and actress, famous for her beauty and making people laugh. Bore a child out of wedlock to an administrative official, then followed him to Cyrene, before returning home via Egypt. Worked as a woolspinner, and became a convert to Monophysitism, an unorthodox Christian doctrine that saw Jesus Christ as a singularly divine entity, and not a human one. Became the mistress of the future Byzantine emperor Justinian I (Joseph Stalin), who altered the law to allow her to become his wife in 525, then made her Augusta when he assumed the throne 2 years later. Although she was never co-regent, she played a very active role in all phases of her unstable husband’s reign, particularly in the province of women’s rights, buying the freedom of many prostitutes and looking out for their welfare, while altering divorce and inheritance laws in women’s favor. Made pimping a crime and banished brothel keepers from the major cities. Probably saved Justinian’s life in a decisive action in 532 during a contest for his throne by rioters. Had a close relationship with her husband’s eunuch Grand Chamberlain and general, Narses (Leon Trotsky). Received foreign envoys and dealt with foreign rulers, which were activities usually reserved for emperors. Succeeded in ending the persecution of the Monophysites, although she never was able to loosen her husband’s orthodoxy or ties with Rome. Died of cancer, leaving her husband distraught and able to accomplish very little legislatively in her absence during the last 17 years of his reign. Inner: Dedicated to friends, merciless with enemies and jealous of rivals. Highly intelligent and not adverse to exercising her considerable will, in a balancing act life where her and husband’s combined energy more than compensated for her mate’s usual tendency towards massive destruction to accomplish his aims. Powerful partnership lifetime of reinventing herself and exercising considerable authority in tandem with an extremely willful mate, allowing him to explore his more ordered side, while giving her sizable experience in the wielding of her influence, which she would continue to exercise during the next millennium and a half. Cornelia Salonina (?-268) - Roman Augusta. Outer: Thought to be originally from Asia Minor, and of Greek heritage. Probably received a good education, which she would share with her husband. Married the future Roman Emperor Gallienus (Maxim Gorki), 3 sons from union. Eminently cultured, she shared in her husband’s intellectual pursuits, and was known as ‘Chrysogone,’ ‘begotten of gold’ for her high-mindedness. Encouraged her husband’s cultural pursuits, including the possibility of founding a philosopher’s state in Campania via the neoplatonist, Plotinus, a reincarnation of Plato. As the martial threats to the empire increased, she lost one son to natural causes and 2 were serially murdered before, she, too, lost her life when her husband was assassinated. Inner: Erudite and an enthusiast of classical Greek culture. High-minded lifetime of focusing on culture in the power arena, only to ultimately suffer the tragedies of living in an extremely martial age. Fausta (Flavia Maxima Fausta) (c293-326) - Roman empress. Outer: Father was Maximian (Ernst Rohm), and mother was Eutropa, a Syrian. Sister of Maxentius (Hermann Goering). Raised in Rome, and in 307, she married the Emperor Constantine (Mohandas Gandhi), to cement an alliance between the two families, 3 sons and 2 daughters from union, including Constantine II (Mohamed Ali Jinnah), Constantius II (Shah Massoud) and Constans (Ayman al-Zawahiri). In 310, she revealed her father’s plot against Constantine, which hastened her sire’s end. Two years later, her brother Maxentius was defeated, and his head was paraded through on a pike by order of the emperor, although no record exists to her reaction of her husband’s dispatching of two close members of her family. Granted the rank of Augusta in 325. The following year, she was executed along with her stepson, Crispus (Guy Burgess), although the details remain fuzzy. Later sources claim an illicit relationship twixt the two, or perhaps he rejected her, and she accused him of treason in revenge. Put to death on orders of the emperor, by suffocation in an overheated bath on charges of adultery with a palace official. Much later the emperor Julian (Whittaker Chambers), offered high words of praise for her in a panegyric. Inner: True character largely hidden, but was probably a plotter and schemer. Suffocated lifetime of trying to exercise her power and will against a master in those domains, only to suffer swift and final retribution. Parasytis (fl. 4th cent BZ) - Persian empress. Outer: Daughter of king Artaxerses I (David Sarnoff) and a Babylonian concubine. Despite the incestuous connection, she married her half-brother, the future Darius II (Kim Philby), who usurped the throne from the usurper, Sogdianus (Guy Burgess), who, in turn, had killed the legitimate heir, Xerxes II (Ehud Barak). Four sons from union, including the legitimate heir, the future Artaxerses II (David Sarnoff), and her favorite, Cyrus the Younger (Whittaker Chambers). Harbored extreme jealousy towards her eldest son’s wife, Statira, who was as kind and gentle as she was power-mad. Proved to be as cruel and manipulative as her mate, dominating him, as well as her sons. When Darius died in 404BZ, and Artaxerses II inherited the throne, Cyrus plotted against him, but his calumny was revealed by the satrap Tissaphernes (Moshe Dayan). Begged the king to spare Cyrus’s life, although the latter rebelled 3 years later, and was slain. Plotted to kill Statira afterwards, seeing her as threat to her own power, while the latter openly opposed her, although she remained in the king’s good graces, since he both honored and respected her out of royal tradition, despite being periodically irked by her cruelty and manipulations. Eventually had Statira poisoned during a dinner they shared together, although the king refused to have her executed, and instead had her banished to Babylon, despite her pleas to the contrary. Eventually was reconciled with him, and took her place back at the court, since the king respected both her courage and wisdom, and there she lived out her days, once more very much in control. Inner: Scheming, ingenious, vengeful, cruel and avaricious, with a savage temper. Lady Macbeth lifetime of exercising her murderous will at the highest levels, without suffering much recompense for her deeds, in her ongoing evolution from pure will to a ruler of nuance and cunning. Tullia (fl. 6th cent. BZ) - Roman queen. Outer: Daughter of the Roman king, Servius Tullus (Whittaker Chambers). Her mother had been the daughter of his predecessor. Married, although she shed her husband, and wed Tarquin (Kim Philby), who did the same with his wife, in a desire to emulate her predecessor Tanaqil (Gypsy Rose Lee) and be a kingmaker, with her new spouse playing the anointed ruler. 4 children from union. Supported her husband in his successful usurpation of the kingdom from her father, and spent the rest of her days as Roman queen, with her life as such little recorded. Inner: Ambitious and manipulative. Kingmaking lifetime of expressing her will in tandem with a longtime companion, then serving as support for their mutual royal ambitions.


Storyline: The golden brother takes his willful game to another plane to allow his sibling to play catch up in his absence, in their ongoing dual run as genetic complements and opposites across a varied governmental landscape.

Sanjay Gandhi (1946-1980) - Indian pilot. Outer: Younger son of Indian political leader Indira Gandhi. Father was a journalist, older brother was Rajiv Gandhi. Both parents were devoted to their children, despite being estranged from one another. Attended a number of prestigious private schools without distinction, then served as an apprentice at Rolls-Royce for 2 years, showing a proclivity for fast cars and high living. Handsome and charismatic, he was favored by his mother to be her dynastic follower, and served as her close adviser when she became prime minister in 1966. Earlier he had accused her of feeding into his sire’s premature death through neglect, which some said gave him a hold over her. Designed and built a compact auto called Maruti (son of the wind god), and was awarded a government license by his mother to produce the cars, but the venture was a failure. Gained a reputation for willfulness through his commercial plans as well as his introduction of a campaign of compulsory sterilization for men in order to hold down India’s expanding population. Married Maneka Anand in 1974, one son from the volatile union. Fed into his mother’s loss of popularity through his progressive ideas, and was briefly imprisoned. Despite her fall from political power, she came to increasingly rely on his advice and support. Elected to Parliament in 1980, he seemed on his way to a memorable political career on his own. Like his brother, he became an airplane pilot, but was killed in a plane crash after losing control during a daredevil stunt and plummeting into a drainage canal, the same year his mother was re-elected prime minister. Inner: Aggressive, willful and ruthless in trying to push through unpopular, but necessary programs. Highly manipulative, particularly with his family, in order to exert as much power as he could. Crashed lifetime of curtailed potential, when he could have been a dynamic successor to his mother’s legacy. Sometimes death in plane crashes indicate a desire to literally reach a higher plane of actuality, indicating a far more dynamic return at some future point. Mahmud II (1785-1839) - Ottoman emperor. Outer: Father was sultan Abdul Hamid I. Mother may have been Aimee Dubucq de Rivery, a Frenchwoman who was cousin to the future empress Josephine Beauharnais (Estee Lauder). One of 22 children, and the oldest surviving heir of a weak ruler, who was followed by his brother Selim III, who was ultimately forced to resign. The latter was briefly followed by a reactionary cousin, who was deposed. Brought to the throne in 1807, after a coup, by an official who wanted to restore his uncle, Selim III, only to see him killed. Made his coupier his vizier, or chief minister, only to have the reactionary Janissaries, revolt and burn the latter to death soon afterwards, blunting the newly enthroned sultan’s domestic effectiveness for almost 20 years, while he saw his empire erode through the machinations of France and Russia, who wished to push it back from Europe, and make it solely an Asia Minor entity. Also childless at the time, giving other countries ideas for his throne. Married Bezmialem, a Circassian Jew of considerable character, who produced his heir, Abdul Mejid I (Rajiv Gandhi). Had two other marriages as well, although their names were not recorded, and the latter produced a son. His fourth and final marriage, to Pertevniyal, produced a later successor, Abdulaziz I (Vladimir Zhirinovsky). Finally destroyed the Janissary corps in 1826, in a huge bloody massacre, allowing him to pursue his plans for a more liberal and elastic society, beginning with justice, which was based on Islamic Sharia. Added more modern codes to it, although religion remained the unchallenged basis of the empire’s legal system. Established a new army, and, uniting with the governor of Egypt, Muhammad ‘Ali, he fought unsuccessfully against a British, French and Russian naval force, who defeated his fleet in 1827, and he immediately called for jihad, or holy war, afterwards, but the object of all their territorial lust, Greece, was able to declare its independence 3 years later. Following that defeat, he abolished military fiefs that were granted to cavalrymen, and instead, developed a new army, trained by Germans. Because the larger world was encroaching it, he was able to partially westernize his empire, in order to bring it more in accord with the developing times, while consolidating his lessening holdings. Muhammad ‘Ali subsequently went to war with him over a reneged promise in 1831, and the sultan’s army was routed the following year, while his enemy began marching on Constantinople. Asked for help from the French, then the British, and finally received it from the Russians, who signed a treaty of mutual defense with him. Adopted the cabinet system of government, did a census, and created a postal service, while making primary education compulsory, and introducing European dress, as well as sending some of his students abroad to study. In an act of vengeance, he went up against the Egyptians in Syria, but his army was severely defeated, and he died a few days later. Ultimately seen as one of the great sultans, despite little military or diplomatic skills, thanks to his dogged introduction of European ways to a moribund empire. Succeeded by his son, Abdul Mejid (Rajiv Gandhi). Inner: Far-sighted, clever, and dogged. Saw himself as the Peter the Great (Yukio Mishima) of the Ottomans. Effective reformer, despite being given an almost impossible task of doing so with a weakened empire, fighting for its life. Hand-at-the-wheel lifetime of serving as an integrator of east and west in a dying medieval realm, that had little choice but change, if it wished to compete in the modern world. Grigory Orlov (1734-1783) - Russian soldier and royal adviser. Outer: Father was the governor of Great Novgorod. One of 5 brothers, including Alexsey Orlov (Rajiv Gandhi), all of whom pursued military careers as officers in the Russian guards. Educated in the cadet corps at St. Petersburg. Became an artillery officer and fought in the 7 Years’ War, proving himself to be a dashing warrior. After escorting a prisoner of war to St. Petersburg, he was introduced to the future Russian empress, Catherine II (Indira Gandhi), who was unhappily married to the future Peter III (Vladimir Zhirinovsky). Led a playboy life in the capital, and around 1760, became her lover. After Peter and Catherine ascended the throne in 1762, he, along with his brothers, particularly Aleksey, planned a coup that would make her sole empress. Given the title of count and made an adjutant general, as well as director-general of engineers and general in chief, but was not allowed to marry her, despite fathering an illegitimate son with her. A clever politician, he wielded considerable power in the early part of her reign. Sensitive to the needs of people, he studied natural science, instituted agricultural reforms, and tried helping serfs, but was blocked in his efforts. Although he was an exciting lover, he was never faithful to his empress, and she eventually decided she needed someone more in tune with her to balance her sense of loneliness at the top. Failed in a peace mission where he sought the Slavophile ideal of emancipation for Christians in the Ottoman Empire, and his relationship subsequently cooled with Catherine, and she took on other lover/advisers. Left Russia in 1775 and married a cousin 2 years later. When she died in 1782, he became insane and lived out his life on his Russian estates. Inner: Conscientious, quick-witted and a figure of principle, although somewhat boorish and primitive, with little real talent for diplomacy or statecraft. More a doer than a practitioner of the delicacies of politicking. Spiritual and sensual, with a sensitive nature that eventually made him disappear into his own mind. Mind/body duality lifetime of mixing principle with rule, and trying to heal national wounds, a continual theme with him, in his ongoing mixed record as a national leader. Michel de L’Hopital (1507-1573) - French statesman. Outer: Son of an ignoble noble conspirator. Studied law at Toulouse, but was forced into exile through his father’s activities, and continued his studies in Padua and Bologna. Returned to France in the mid-1530s, attached himself to the court and became a councillor and king’s envoy for Henri II (Robert Downey, Jr.), as well as other important posts, rising in the governmental hierarchy. Made chancellor of France in 1560 during the brief reign of Francois II (Roald Dahl), and became a key adviser to Catherine de’ Medici (Indira Gandhi), retaining that position when she became regent for her 3rd son, Charles IX (Rajiv Gandhi). Initially kept her on a tolerant course in the religious struggle between the Roman Catholics and the Protestant Huguenots, exerting a strong influence in his belief that the royal house, which was Catholic, should be a safeguard for the beliefs of all its subjects. Founder of the Politiques, a moderate group that tried to bring peace to France during the later years of the Wars of Religious Intolerance. Disapproved of the rebellious nature of the Huguenots, although was more concerned with the over-all re-integration of the kingdom. Worked for judicial reform, as well as the administration and centralization of the royal domains. Withdrew from court in 1567 when civil war broke out again, then returned, although by then he had lost favor with the queen and retired to his estates, where he spent his last years thinking and writing poetry in Latin. Inner: Important figure of moderation and toleration during a time of violent religious passions. Believer in the monarchy as a divinely inspired institution, although he saw that it had to integrate itself with its kingdom as a responsive voice. His name indicated a symbolic healer, which he tried his best to actualize. Balancing lifetime of moderating his country’s intense spiritual feelings as a political healer, and letting go of power when his time had passed. John VI Cantacuzenus (c1292-1383) - Byzantine basileus. Outer: Father was the governor of Morea, a Peloponnesian province. On his maternal side, he was related to the reigning House of Palaeologus, while his wife Eirene, was a second cousin of the emperor Andronicus III Palaeologus (Gianni Versace) making him doubly connected to the royal court. Three sons and three daughters, who were all noted beauties, from the union, with Matthew, his eldest scion, his co-emperor. Proved a key aide to Andronicus in his struggle with his grandfather, Andronicus II (Sonny Bono), and when the former won the throne in 1328, he became his chief minister and Grand Domestic, running the government, while Andronicus pursued his far greater interest in commanding in the field, and giving chase in the hunt. Proved an extremely skillful administrator, while absolutely refusing to be crowned co-emperor, much preferring to be the power behind the throne. Opposing elements, including the patriarch of Constantinople, however, objected to his power, and when the emperor died in 1341, and he was named regent for his young son John V Palaeologus (Rajiv Gandhi), suspicions arose around his greater desires, brought on by a distrust of the dowager empress, Anna of Savoy (Sophia Loren), that he wished to rule by himself. During a trip to northern Thrace in order to help repel a Serbian invasion, he found himself declared an enemy of the state, and was stripped of both his title and possessions. Despite denying any ambitions for the throne, he felt he had little choice but to declare himself emperor, which he did, having himself crowned in Thrace, contra the usual practice of being given the diadem of power by the patriarch of Constantinople. A civil war ensued, with frontier states taking sides between the dowager empress and John V and himself, while both factions manipulated events for power and control. His wife proved an effective partner, managing his court-in-exile, while he campaigned in the field until an agreement was reached in 1347 where he was made senior emperor and John V his junior co-ruler, as he married his daughter Helena to the latter to seal the accord, wile losing a son to the Black Plague during this period. Returned to Constantinople to continue as he had, now the nominal ruler, to find the empire beleaguered on every side by war, as it continued to be sliced apart by invading neighboring polities. Proved unpopular through his stringent policies and dependency on European aid, while John V continued to chafe under his secondary status. Never totally comfortable with the role thrust upon him, he often thought of retirement, and when John V once more challenged his rule in 1354, after earlier going after his son Matthew, he willingly retired, along with his wife to separate monasteries, taking on the name of Joasaph. Left an empire that was bankrupt on many levels, and would only continue its downward slide under his successor, with little he could do about it. In 1367, he was part of a negotiating team that attempted to reconcile the differences between the eastern and western churches, although the pope refused to respond to an ecumenical council they called. Used his retirement to pen a his/story and apologia covering the years of his playing a central role in Byzantine affairs, rationalizing his actions. Also penned a defense of Hesychasm, a mystical meditative practice meant to bring up the light around the Christ, which was quite controversial at the time. Eventually died at the beginning of his ninth decade, a controversial figure to the very end, with his true motivations and actions still under question by his contemporaries, with some seeing him as selfless and others quite manipulative and willful. Inner: Deeply religious and primarily a scholar and intellectual, despite good soldiering skills. Never a particularly inspiring leader, more a problem-solver who viewed his role in terms of situations, rather than as a galvanizing figure charged with the moral and spiritual upliftment of his domain. Duty-filled lifetime of much preferring standing behind the throne than sitting on it, before being given many a year to ruminate on his successes and failures, when his quarter century of power had finally run its course Tacitus (?-276) - Roman Emperor. Outer: Earlier life obscured, probably came from the Danube area, and pursued a military career, retiring as a general, before becoming a consul in 273. Married, although his wife is unrecorded, with several sons. At home when he was declared emperor in 275, although the circumstances of his elevation are clouded. Rejoined his troops, and then came to Rome to be confirmed by the Senate, which he was, with appropriate modesty. Requested that the Senate deify his predecessor Aurelian (Yukio Mishima), and then began working to create his own family dynasty. Made his brother, or half-brother Florian (Rajiv Gandhi) his praetorian prefect. Set out with him to deal with a military crisis on the eastern frontier, and the latter won a victory on the field against them, which the emperor celebrated in his coinage. Shortly afterwards, he died, either from assassination or from a fever. Like everything else about him, his ending was also clouded. Held the throne for less than a year. Inner: Temperate, bathed infrequently and had an affinity for glass. Clouded lifetime of manipulations around the throne of Rome, when given the opportunity to create a dynasty, before disappearing into the unclear mist of his/story.


Storyline: The second sibling cannot quite match the panache and charisma of his more dashing brother, but continues as his complementary shadow, even to the point of totally rearranging himself via an explosive exit, in order to re-enter the public arena the next time, with his past erased.

Rajiv Gandhi (1944-1991) - Indian prime minister. Outer: Mother was Indian political leader Indira Gandhi, father was a journalist. Not related to Mohandas Gandhi, but rather the grandson of Jawaharlal Nehru, his successor. Older brother of Sanjay Gandhi. Although his parents became estranged, both doted on their 2 sons. Educated at the prestigious Doon School, then attended Imperial College in London, before completing an engineering course at the Univ. of Cambridge. Tall, portly and soft-spoken. Returned to India, got a commercial pilot’s license and began flying for Indian Airlines, with little interest in the family pursuit of politics. In 1968, he married he married Sonia Maino, the daughter of an Italian businessman, who became a naturalized Indian, son and daughter from union. Reluctantly gave up his high-flying career at his mother’s insistence when his brother Sanjay died in a plane crash in 1980, and he became her unhappy heir apparent. The following year, he joined his mother’s Congress (I) Party, the ‘I’ being for Indira, and was elected to Parliament. The opposite of his aggressive brother, he never made waves, acted cautiously and consulted other party members in his decisions. When his mother was assassinated in 1984, he was sworn in as prime minister the same day and elected leader of the Congress (I) Party a few days afterwards, leading it to overwhelming victory later that fall. Earned the sarcastic sobriquet of ‘Mr. Computer,’ for trying to bring India into the 20th century. Despite a bright beginning, and the hopes that he would live up to his powerful family name, he sank into indecision and was voted out of office in 1989. Returned several years later to become prime minister again only to be decapitated in a suicide bomb attack by a Tamil rebel. Inner: Weak son of a powerful mother, thrust into a power position by dint of his name rather than ability. Dry-humored and understated. Explosive death a payback for earlier Charles IX incarnation, and possibly a need to totally rearrange his internal self, if he wishes to continue as a member of this longtime ruling family. Payback lifetime of suffering for the sins of his weak rule of the past. Abdul Mejid I (1823-1861) - Ottoman Turkish sultan. Outer: Oldest son of Mahmud II (Pervez Musharraf). Mother, Valide, a Circassian, had a strong influence, and was a dominating character. Older brother of Abdulaziz (Vladimir Zhirinovsky). Delicately built, thoughtful and serious. Received a liberal education, and was similarly inclined towards reform as his more effective father, although he needed considerable support from others. Assumed the sultanship of the Ottoman Empire on the death of his father in 1839. Became the first sultan to speak French, and later founded the first French theater in Constantinople. Had 2 extremely talented ministers, who were the backbone in continuing the reforms that his father had initiated. Began his reign with a reforming degree that served as a Magna Carta, the first constitutional document in Islamic his/story that limned legal, social and political rights to Muslims and Christians alike, as well as made every male equal under the law. Later, in 1856, he added further edicts which collectively would become known as Tanzimat or ‘Reorganization.’ Attempted to integrate his empire with that of Europe, while preserving the uniqueness of the Ottoman state, attracting an influx of Europeans, and experimenting with provincial government, making it more responsive to its citizenry. His reforms extended into education and the army, while his stances were supported by European liberals, although the European powers blocked many of his moves to consolidate power on the outer edges of his empire. His Muslim subjects, however, were predictably outraged at the rights given the infidel, which struck at their very core of religious superiority, and created much tension in the empire, which the sultan was unable to check. Eventually became tired of reform, and appeared more and more irresolute in public, while disappearing into his extensive harem to relieve his tensions. Entertained in lavish ostentation in the European manner, while the finances of the empire suffered from his extravagance and his lack of commitment to the political side of his rule. Had difficulties with Russia, which his armies successfully defended against in an abortive Danubian invasion. Died at a relatively early age and was succeeded by his brother, Abdulaziz, handing him a debt-ridden empire on the downslide despite his initial good intentions, with his various reforms unfulfilled. Inner: Mild-mannered, kind, refined, but also inactive, self-indulgent and financially irresponsible. High expectation, low return lifetime of beginning his rule with much promise only to slip off into his ongoing failures of character, to repeat his usual pattern of rule, of expectations left thoroughly unfulfilled. Alexsey Orlov (1737-1808) - Russian military officer. Outer: Father was a governor of Great Novgorod. One of 5 brothers, including Grigory Orlov (Sanjay Gandhi), all of whom pursued military careers and became officers in the Russian guards. Noted for both his strength and dexterity. After Grigory became the lover of Catherine (India Gandhi), the wife of the Russian tsar Peter III (Vladimir Zhirinovsky), in 1760, he plotted with him, as well as fellow guards, to overthrow the incompetent, unpopular and childlike emperor and put her on the throne. In the summer of 1762, he alerted her to the coup, then escorted her to the guards’ barracks, allowing a military escort to take her to St. Petersburg, where she was proclaimed empress by Novgorod’s leading churchman. Proceeded to the tsar’s palace with his hussars, and took the deposed leader to his royal country estates, where he was killed under shadowy circumstances in his presence, while in his custody, perhaps by his own hand. Wrote a drunken, semi-coherent note to the new empress, expressing his sorrow over the unexpected turn of events, and was promptly promoted to the rank of major general afterwards, while all 5 brothers were elevated to the rank of count. Played a minor role in the Russo-Turkish War in 1769, although was welcomed as a hero on his return for a decisive naval victory over a superior enemy. In 1775, he was involved in a duplicity against a female pretender to the throne. Seduced and imprisoned her, then guiltily resigned his commission and retired to his estate to breed horses. Later, he was forced as an act of humiliation to bear the crown of Catherine’s deposed and murdered husband in the transference of his body to a place of honor by her son and successor Pavel I (Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlevi). Left an estate with 30,000 serfs that was worth worth five million rubles. Inner: Essentially weak character given a prominent role through his brother’s drive and accomplishments rather than his own. Smeared further blood on his hands in the death of the tsar in his custody. Mixed bag lifetime of doing partial penance for the actions of his previous incarnation, while adding to his imperial guilt. Charles IX (1550-1574) - King of France. Outer: 3rd but 2nd surviving son of Catherine de’ Medici (Indira Gandhi) and Henri II (Robert Downey, Jr.). Handsome, but with a weak constitution. Succeeded to the throne on the death of his brother, Francois II (Roald Dahl) in 1560. Totally dominated by his mother, who acted as co-regent, along with Antoine de Bourbon. Came to the throne during an intense time of religious warfare between the French Protestant Huguenots and Roman Catholics, with only Paris and north-east France as a stronghold of the latter, while between 2/5 and 1/2 of the French nobility supported the former. In 1570, he married Elisabeth of Austria, the daughter of HRE Maximilian II (Darryl Zanuck), one daughter from the union. Also had a son by a mistress. When his sister married Antoine’s Protestant son, the future Henri IV (FDR) 2 years later, he reluctantly ordered the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre at his mother’s behest, where over 15,000 Huguenots were slaughtered. His gentle wife continually upbraided him for the act, and he bore the shame, remorse and guilt for it the rest of his brief, unhappy life. A virtual prisoner of court afterwards, his health deteriorated into blood sweats as he internalized the perfidy of his passive acquiescence to so horrible a deed. Died of tuberculosis and in a delirium of blood-drenched fantasies, imagining he was surrounded by those he had ordered to their deaths. Inner: Weak, pliant and spiritual with no real grasp of rule. Black mark lifetime of accruing heavy karma for being the direct party to the death of so many, because of his inability to stand up to a maternal personality so much stronger than his own. John V Palaeologus (1332-1391) - Byzantine basileus. Outer: Father was Andronicus III Palaeologus (Gianni Versace). Mother was Anna of Savoy (Sophia Loren), the daughter of the count of Savoy. Oldest of two sons, with an older and younger sister. At his father’s death in 1341, he was made emperor, and his father’s longtime Grand Domestic John Cantacuzenus (Sanjay Gandhi) was made regent, which immediately precipitated a civil war between court factions, when a council of regency, headed by his mother, contested the role of the latter. Despite her pawning the Byzantine crown, the Cantacuzenus faction prevailed, while the city had to cope with the fury of the Black Plague during this period. A very reluctant Cantacuzenus, now dubbed John VI, agreed to be co-emperor, and to cement his familial status, he gave his daughter Helena in matrimony to the young heir. Four sons and five daughters from the union, included two future emperors, Andronicus IV (Robert Bly) and Manuel II (Robert Graves). When he attacked John VI’s son Matthew in 1352, a second civil war ensued, which resulted in the deposition and tonsuring of his co-emperor, two years later. The polity he inherited as sole ruler was well on its ways to moral and financial bankruptcy, with its days of glory long past it, and its citizenry no longer viewing themselves as a golden ideal of civilization, after having been beaten down and sliced up by the opposing forces all around them, including the growing Italian city-states and the expanding Ottoman Empire. During this time, the latter began encroaching on Byzantine territory in Europe, forcing the young emperor to pay tribute and ask for help from the west, with a promise to end the schism between the two churches. In an unprecedented move, he became the first emperor to traverse a stronghold outside his realm without the backing of an army, when he visited the king of Hungary. Continued his desperate pleas for help, which saw him detained in Venice, when he did not have the money to sail home, and then captured in the Bulgarian territories. Managed to gain the backing of the Ottoman sultan, Murad I (Mohandas Gandhi) who helped him when his son, Andronicus IV, deposed him in 1376, along with his other son, Manuel. Andronicus, however, miscalculated in his maneuverings, and after his father and brother escaped confinement, they were able to overthrow him with the help of the Venetians in 1379. In 1390, Andronicus’s son John VII (Matteo Garrone) also briefly deposed him, although he was quickly overthrown. By reign’s end, he was a vassal of the Ottoman sultan, and little more than Constantinople to call his own, as the city-states of Italy used him, while what was left of his former empire was divided up among his sons. Used marble from the churches around the city to bolster its Golden Gate, only to run afoul of the Ottoman emperor, Bayezid I who held his son Manuel in captivity and threatened to blind him if he did not take this construction down. Did so, but the humiliating defeat probably fed into his death soon afterwards in his private apartments, feeling completely powerless. Succeeded by his son Manuel II. Wound up as the longest ruler in Byzantine his/story, all told, with nearly a half century on the throne, despite having to be rescued on four separate occasions, including twice being deposed. Inner: Of average intelligence and abilities, with neither the vision nor the energy to decelerate his empire’s continuing decline. A poor strategist, he was largely seen as a figure of ridicule the longer he remained emperor, as his early aggressiveness turned into passivity and defeatism. Heavy lies the crown lifetime of being forced to view his deficiencies as a leader over an interminably long period, although it would not stop him from ascending thrones in the future, with equally disappointing results. Marcus Annius Florianus (Florian) (?-276) - Roman emperor. Outer: Half-brother of Tacitus (Sanjay Gandhi), the 2 having shared the same mother. His wife and children were unrecorded. Little known of his early career. His brother made him prefect of the praetorian guard and then took him to face the invading Goths, in a campaign in which his sibling died in 276. Successful in battle, he had himself declared his sibling’s successor without waiting for the approval of his soldiers or the senate. Recognized throughout the empire, except for Egypt and Syria, who came out openly for the eastern emperor Probus (Georgi Zhukov) instead. Decided to march against his rival, a far more talented general, counting on the superior number of his own troops. The 2 armies confronted each other at Tarsus, although Probus avoided a pitched battle. His own European soldiers withered in the Middle eastern heat, and decided to put him to death instead of going into battle for him, ending his reign at 88 days. Inner: Far greater believer in his own powers than anyone else. Punctured lifetime of overextending his modest talents, a continuing theme of his whenever he enters the political arena in the company of his longtime family.



Storyline: The genuine general sees the larger patterns in peace, war and economics, and successfully reshapes them to the greater forces he always serves, as an exemplar of the problem-solving adept, no matter the situation given him, save for the jealousy of others.

Lin Biao (1907-1971) - Chinese general and political figure. Outer: From a modest landholding family from Central China. Father was factory owner, whose business was ruined by excessive taxes. While in middle school in the provincial capital, he became very interested in communism via some older cousins, and on his graduation in 1925, he joined the Socialist Youth League, and enrolled in the newly formed Whampoa Military Academy, Guangzhou, graduating in its 4th class, with the thought of making the army his career. Small. Came to the attention of Chou En-Lai, the deputy director of its political department, and less than a year later, he proved his prowess in the field, and was soon a battalion commander under the Nationalist troops of Chiang Kai-shek, although he abandoned the latter when he savagely attacked the Communists, and fled to their martial embrace, joining the Party in 1927. Rose steadily in the military, and accompanied Mao Tse-tung on the famous Long March of 1935, a 6000 mile trek on foot, which preserved the party and allowed the Great Helmsman to eliminate all his internal opposition. Married Ye Qun in 1937, daughter and son from the union. Briefly headed the military academy in Yenan, and then became a commander, fighting successfully against the Japanese in North China, and steadily increasing the seize of his force until it was nearly a field army, while fighting and recruiting bases all over northern China. In 1945, he was elected to the party’s central committee. The same year he accepted the surrender of the Japanese troops in Manchuria, then, after a defeat and a retreat, with the aid of the Russians, defeated the Nationalist troops sent there, insuring their downfall. Captured Beijing in 1949, and on the establishment of the People’s Republic later that year, he was made a member of the government council. When the People’s Army crossed the Yalu river into Korea, he was with them at times, as he continued to rise in both the military and party. In 1959, he became minister of defense, while purging the army of Russian influence. As the military grew steadily in influence, so did his power, and by the beginning of the Cultural Revolution in the mid-1960s, he had risen to second in the party, and seemed to be heir apparent to Mao. Helped him restore order after the chaos of the revolution had run its course, but his support of the Red or leftist faction, caused friction with the Great Helmsman’s championship of more moderate elements, and the latter began to feel threatened by him. May have been planning a military coup, but was outmaneuvered by Mao, and forced to flee. In 1971, he died in a mysterious plane crash near the Mongolian frontier, although the fact of his death was not admitted until a year later. Inner: Martial adept. Able, bold and resourceful commander, and a good strategist, although ultimately no match for the political infighting of the Great Helmsman. Self-effacing, spartan and modest. Revolutionary road lifetime of proving himself over and over on the battlefield, only to eventually fall to a far more clever strategist on the one field that truly counted, that of true political power. Tso Zuo-Zongtang (1812-1885) - Chinese general and administrator. Outer: From a well-connected, scholarly family, he was given a classic Confucian education. Passed his civil service exam, and pursued geographic and agricultural studies, although he failed 3 times to get a higher degree, before finally obtaining it in his mid-20s. Took no part in the Opium War of 1842, but when the Taiping rebellion erupted in 1850 in southern China, he organized local defense forces, and was awarded an earldom in reward for his services, as a scholar-administrator. Made a viceroy of two southern provinces, and was given the task of restoring them to imperial rule, which he did, by 1862, after becoming a general. By 1863, he was one of China’s elite power figures. 3 years later, he was ennobled as a marquis, and assumed the same post over two northern provinces that were fomenting with Muslim rebels and bandits and he systematically defeated both in five vigorous years, employing military skill, taxation and western technology, while using models set up by his mentor, Tseng Kuo-feng (Mao Tse-tung). Asked for the task of subduing further Muslim rebels in Chinese Central Asia, and after finally being given it by the throne, he amassed troops and helped fund them by having them grow grain and cotton in their spare time, proving successful once again by 1878, despite suffering from bouts of malaria and dysentery. Forced Russia into a treaty, through his successful tactics, and then asked to retire in 1881, but was only given 3 months sick leave, before being given further tasks. During the Sino-French war, he was appointed a grand secretary of state. Although sick and old, and blind in one eye, he was sent in 1884 to South China, and put in charge of defenses, although he died soon after arranging peace there. Inner: Intelligent and extremely competent with the ability to see patterns, and utilize his remarkable stamina, and organizational abilities to successfully complete any task given him. Particularly gifted as a logistical planner. Problem-solving lifetime of meeting every challenge thrown his way, save for the debilitations of old age. Huang Taiji (T’ai Tsung, Ch’ung Teh) (1592-1643) - Chinese emperor. Outer: 8th son of a Manchu leader, Nurhachi, who organized his tribesman into a Chinese-style bureaucratic state, while extending his domains, and laying the framework for the Manchu or Ch’ing dynasty. Married his principal consort, Xiao Duan Wen in 1614, 3 daughters from the union. His successor would be the product of his concubine and second empress Zhuang Wen.Soon after his sire’s death in 1626, he was named as one of 4 princes to rule jointly, although he alone was given the title of khan. Invaded Korea, but was driven out the next year, and then invaded north China in 1629, taking advantage of the weakened Ming dynasty and sacking Beijing. Reformed the civil administration of the Manchus in 1631, continued his plundering raids into north China, and conquered Inner Mongolia in 1633. By the same year, he had eliminated his brothers, and in 1636, he declared himself emperor and changed the name of his dynasty to that of Ch’ing or ‘Pure,’ while ruling from Muken. Since he never ruled from Beijing, subsequent his/storians have marked his son as the official lead-off figure of the Ch’ing dynasty, despite his and his father’s efforts at founding the line. The previous year, he had designated his people as Manchu, banning all other names for them, in order to conceal the fact that they had earlier been subject to the Mings, and, in essence, create a clean slate of rebirth for them. Led armies into Inner Mongolia and Korea and made them vassal states of the Manchus, while perfecting the military machine known as the Eight Banners, which divided his companies into a set amount of men who fought under different colors. Through successful martial forays, he broke through the Great Wall thrice on raids and brought his Chinese officer captives back to take them into Manchu service, so that he was able to replicate the Ming imperial system into Manchuria. This, in turn, allowed other Chinese to join his government. Continued in his pursuit of a conquest of China, although he fell ill and suddenly died before realizing his goal. A year afterwards, however, his forces conquered Beijing, ending the Ming dynasty’s reign and inaugurating the Ch’ing dynasty on the throne of China. Succeeded by his 9th son, Shunzhi (Sun Myung Moon). Inner: Warrior through-and-through, with excellent organizational abilities. Brilliant and resourceful in all his military undertakings. Dynasty-securing lifetime of almost realizing his ambition, while managing to integrate bureaucratic Manchuria with that of its Chinese counterpart in preparation for his house to rule that vast empire. Vasily II (1415-1462) - Russian ruler. Outer: Son of Vasily I, (Bo Hi Pak), grand prince of Moscow. Named by his father at the age of 10 to succeed him to his title, although civil war broke out and his rule was challenged by his uncle. He was taken prisoner after his mother insulted a supporting boyar, by making her son renege on a marriage to his daughter. In the internecine struggles that followed, he lost and regained his seat to his cousins, as civil strife continued. Lost his throne in 1434 to one cousin and then to a 2nd cousin in 1446, with the latter blinding him. Regained his throne the following year, and was able to rule the rest of his life, despite his impairment. Married Maria Yaroslavna, and had a daughter and two sons, including his successor, Ivan III (Kim Il Sung). Weathered an unsuccessful Tatar invasion of Moscow in 1451, and was able to welcome individual Tatars to his court afterwards, as well as establish a vassal Tatar horde to defend his state’s southeast frontier. The chaos and discord that marked his early reign was finally resolved by 1452, and Muscovy became a large, consolidated state under him, as his realm absorbed most of its neighboring principalities, while the Russian Church asserted its independence from the patriarchy of Constantinople. Able to reduce the domination of the Tatar Khan, who remained his suzerain. Inner: Determined and resolute with the ability to transcend disability. Disabled lifetime of operating from a severe physical disadvantage, evincing the ability to see power dynamics without the aid of external vision, and enhance the domain he inherited, despite his difficulties. John I Tzimisces (925-976) - Byzantine basileus. Outer: From an aristocratic Armenian family. The name Tzimisces meant ‘of short stature.’ Handsome, with dark blonde hair, a red beard, blue eyes, and the possessor of both great agility and formidable strength, Related through his mother to the general turned emperor Nicephoros II (Chiang Kai-shek). Entered the imperial army under the command of the latter and won his reputation fighting in the empire’s eastern campaigns, winning particular distinction at the battle of Samosata in 958. Married Maria Skleraina, from an influential family, and enjoyed the unholy trinity of wine, women and song, when not engaged on the battlefield. No children from the union. Given supreme command of the Byzantine forces in the east, after helping Nicephorus gain the throne in 963, while also harboring ambition for the same royal seat. Made commander in chief of the armies in Anatolia, before becoming lovers with the wife of Nicephoros, Theophano (Soong May-ling), and with the complicity of her and his cohorts, stabbed the emperor to death in his bed in 969, and then put his head up on public display. Forced to do penance for his part in the murder and decapitation of his predecessor by the patriarch of Constantinople in order to receive the imperial crown, and then send Theophano into exile to a convent, before punishing the actual conspirators who wielded the knives. Once having ascended the throne, he proved himself an adept administrator, coupling military triumphs with diplomatic skills, beginning with capturing the tsar of the Bulgars and forcing them to recognize Byzantine sovereignty. Successfully fought the Russians, blockading the Danube, and driving them from Bulgaria, which came under Byzantine control in 971. Renewed war against the Muslims, extending Byzantine influence into Syria, before capturing Damascus in 975, but was finally halted near Jerusalem. Rumored to have been poisoned, although also may have died of typhoid. Left his personal wealth to the poor and sick. Succeeded by his nephew Basil II (Kim il Sung), who had been his co-emperor the last 15 years of his reign. Inner: Devout, ruthless, energetic and determined, as well as kind and generous. Skilled administrator as well as extremely able general, with an equal feel for politics and martial artistry. Dualistic lifetime of allowing nothing to stand in the way of his overweening ambition, bringing out both the darkness and light of his being.Claudius II Gothicus (214-270) - Roman emperor. Outer: From the Danube region. Brother of Quintillus (Bo Hi Pak). His wife and children remain unrecorded. Tall with flashing eyes and a broad, full face. Pursued a military career and served as a military tribune, before being appointed commander-in-chief of the Illyrian region. Probably participated in the death of his predecessor, Gallienus (Maxim Gorki), before being raised to the purple in 268, although it was said that the dying emperor had named him as his successor. A mutiny ensued by the emperor’s soldiers, which was put down by promise of bonuses. The Senate welcomed the death of the old emperor, and immediately began putting his friends and relations to death, although he asked for clemency to appease the soldiers. Spent his entire short reign fighting and consolidating territory in northern Italy and the eastern empire. A rival of Aurelian (Yukio Mishima) for Roman supremacy, but better-liked by both the Senate and his soldiers. Before his death, legend had it, he consulted the Sibylline Books and was told that victory would only come through the death of the head of state. Set out against the Goths with this self-sacrifice in mind. Died of the plague, while on military expedition. Sincerely mourned by both the Senate and his soldiers. The later emperor Constantine I (Mohandas Gandhi) claimed lineage from him. Left no issue himself, however. Inner: Valorous martial adept who was genuinely loved by his men. Known for his purity of character. Dauntless lifetime of accruing to his military experience, while dealing with longtime friends and foes.


Storyline: The charismatic channel sees himself as a spiritual emperor of all eternity, while manifesting the power to attract others to support and moon over his claims, while he tries to link east and west through his own self-view as emissary from the heavens.

Reverend Sun Myung Moon (1920-2012) - Korean evangelical and businessman. Outer: Younger of 2 sons of a family of 8. When he was 10, his parents joined the Presbyterian church in a political act of rejecting Korea’s Japanese occupiers’ Shinto faith. Clairvoyant since childhood. Had a similar sense as the Buddha of wanting to relieve the suffering of the human race. At the age of 16, on Easter Sunday, he claimed to have received a divine revelation that he had been appointed to complete Christ’s unfinished tasks, particularly to save humanity from Satanism, which he felt Communism represented. Went to Japan in 1938 to study electrical engineering at Waseda Univ., while his activities during WW II are ill-recorded. Returned to Korea at war’s end, and began gathering followers and preaching in the north in 1946, only to find himself excommunicated by the Presbyterian Church, and soon afterwards arrested by the North Korean authorities. Tortured, released, rearrested, and sentenced to 5 years, to a work labor camp, where he saved his meager water rations to wash off his skin, after handling toxic chemical fertilizer, that did in most of his fellow slave laborers. Finally liberated by U.N. forces in 1950, he fled to South Korea, where he founded the Unification Church. Married Sun-kil Choi in 1944, and later divorced in 1955, when his wife couldn’t countenance his messianic claims. One son from the union. Created an eclectic mix in his theological theorizing, dividing humanity into Cain and Abel types, and seeing Lucifer and Eve as the original adulterers, spawning a dualistic humanity ruled by divine principal. An able businessman, he built up a financial empire around his church in both South Korea and Japan, producing armaments, paint, machinery and ginseng tea, while taking the role of Father and Mother, along with his second wife, Hak Ja Han, a 17 year old whom he married in 1960, over the extended family of his disciples. 13 surviving children from the union, in what would be known as the “True Family,” and the “True Children,” to his followers. Despite speaking no English, he spread his gospel into the United States in the early 1970s, through aggressive missionary work, and his western followers, mostly young searchers, would come to be known as Moonies. Felt Richard Nixon was chosen by God to be president, as he gobbled up properties and businesses, including some media outlets such as the Washington Times, owning some 150 companies at the height of his powers, while donating to anti-communist causes. Endless controversies would swell around his movement, particularly from parents of his devotees who felt their children had been unfairly programmed by him and his people, and would hire deprogrammers to bring them back down to Earth. His financial practices, particularly fund-raising and tax evasion, also came under close scrutiny, after he moved the base of his operation to Irvington, New York, and from there ran his worldwide empire. Held mass weddings for his followers, most of whom were strangers to one another, in an ironic demonstration of his take on the holy sacrament of marriage. Lost a bid for tax exempt status in 1981, and the following year, he was convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to a year and half in prison and fined. Served his sentence, and ended his direct ministry in the U.S., considerably lowering his world profile, although not his hold on his empire. Intemperately called America “Satan’s Harvest,” afterwards, while vowing to subjugate its peoples under a Korean-style theocracy. Continued to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into American conservative causes, in an attempt to shield his further business ventures from renewed federal investigations, and proved especially useful to the Bush family and other prominent Republicans, who returned his favors with some of their own. Lost his teenage son Heung Jin Moon in a car accident after a night of revelry, and later elevated him to Lord of the Spirit World status, while recognizing for a while a violent Zimbabwean as his channel, and taking great delight when the latter beat up people, including his chief lieutenant, Bo Hi Pak. In 1999, his eldest son’s ex-wife wrote a tell-all book, “In the Shadow of the Moons,” limning her husband’s violence, infidelity, and substance abuse, as well as a far truer look at the True Family than its propaganda ever revealed. The same year, his sixth son leapt from the 17th floor of a Reno, Nevada hotel. After the turn of the century, he began a “take down the cross” campaign in which he evinced a desire to replace the central symbol of Christianity with a crown, so as not to accentuate the suffering pain of Jesus, but rather his majesty. In 2004, he crowned himself and declared himself the Messiah at an awards ceremony in a Senate office building, much to the embarrassment of the congress members who were duped into attending. A bitter succession fight between his sons would mark his declining years, when he could no longer control his empire, as his male heirs split into bitter factions against one another, in a final coda to his odd legacy of the love of power rather than the power of love. Survived a helicopter crash in 2008, which lessened his control over his enterprises, and eventually died of pneumonia and kidney failure in a hospital owned by his church. Inner: Charismatic, extremely messianic and right wing in his political beliefs. Numerous claims of sexual misconduct would be leveled against him, although none would ever be proven. Felt Jesus had failed in his mission because he never married and had no offspring to spread his seed through the many generations who followed him. Had a great desire to sponsor the production of sinless children, seeing them as humanity’s restoration to perfection. Holy smoke lifetime of acting on channeled divine impulses to rid the world of evil, while becoming himself an evil entity in the minds of many, who were unable to accept his desire for empire on Earth through material means and the slavish devotion of his followers, despite his genuine desire for spreading spiritual wholeness and enlightenment to the entire planet, according to his own theocratic tenets. Lu Hao-tung (Lu Chung-gui) (1868-1895) - Chinese revolutionary martyr. Outer. From the same small village as Sun Yat-Sen (Bo Hi Pak), and a close friend and playmate of his, studying at the Lu-shi Ancestral Temple school with him. Probably heard tales of the Taiping Rebellion as a youth, little realizing he was its central figure. Together with Sun, he damaged the statue of a god in the Polaris Temple, which won both of them the enmity of their village, causing him to leave. Came to Shanghai, where he studied at the Shanghai Telegram School, while working in a telegraph office. Returned to his native village in 1890, and became involved in revolutionary activity, before moving to nearby Canton, or Guangzhou, where he eventually came to the attention of the imperial authorities for his ongoing actions. Designed the “Blue Sky with a White Sun” emblem that would serve as the Kuomintang party flag the same year he died. After a failed coup plot he was rounded up and executed, to become the first revolutionary martyr of the Republic of China, some 17 years before its founding. Inner: Zealous and rebellious. Anti-monarchical lifetime of continuing his revolutionary zeal in service of a political rather than theocratic cause, while embracing martyrdom as a reflection of his ongoing crypto-Christian religiosity. Hong Xiuquan (1814-1864) - Chinese divine and religious leader. Outer: From a poor but proud Hakka family. Youngest of 4. Thanks to evincing a precocious intelligence, his village sponsored his studies, in the hope of gaining prestige and wealth in his reflected glory as a Confucian bureaucrat. Became a village schoolteacher. In 1827, however, he totally failed the entry examination, and over the next decade, did so twice more, which caused him a nervous breakdown. In his delirium, he envisioned an old golden-bearded man who gave him a sword and seal to fight the evil demons of the world, while a second man gave him instruction on how to do battle with them. After recovering and returning to teaching, he took the exam one last time in 1843 and failed again, but a cousin noticed a work on his bookshelves written by a Chinese missionary, that he had received when first taking the civil service exam, but had never looked at again. Suddenly realizing that he had been transported to Christian heaven in his delirium, he read his own divine mission into his experience, seeing himself as a second Christ sent to save China, cast out its demons, destroy pagan idols and restore worship of the one true God. Baptized himself, and considered himself a Christian from that time onward, as he began preaching to relatives and friends and winning converts to his fantasy, including Feng Yun-shan (Bo Hi Pak), who would become an important lieutenant. Spent 2 months in 1847 studying with an American missionary, which would be his only formal training, although he extracted only a view of good and evil from it, as well as the concept that the world was filled with many nations, ruled by the singular Christian god, unlike the traditional Chinese view that China was the Middle Kingdom and the central country on the planet. Felt Chinese government and culture were riddled by demons and he joined Feng in plotting what would become known as the Taiping Rebellion in 1850, and the following year, on his birthday, he proclaimed his new dynasty, the T’ai-p’ing T’ien-kuo, or Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace, with himself as heavenly king. Initially the movement attracted many followers from the countryside, quickly growing into an organized army of more than a million of both men and women, who were considered equal, although banned from sexual congress, even those who were married. Many were poor or bandits, with little stake in the ongoing imperial order. The anti-priapic congress ban did not extend to the top leadership, which maintained extensive harems. Following the death of Feng in 1852, he was forced to rely on his generals, who also coveted his power, which Feng had not. After capturing Nanjing in 1853, he made it his capital, and moved into a palace, living like an emperor, with a huge harem, although he soon experienced a power struggle with Yang Hsiu-ch’ing, who had organized the new state as well as served as chief strategist for the armies. The latter also lapsed into channel states, accusing him of perfidies, and in retaliation, he had him murdered by one of his generals, and then had the general assassinated, when, he, too, began flexing his power. Threatened by potential disloyalty, he appointed his incompetent elder brothers as his chiefs of state, while withdrawing into his harem and spiritual contemplation. When appraised of the failing situation in Nanjing, he refused to listen, feeling he would be protected by the Christian God. After a long illness, however, he committed suicide, and his young son succeeded him. His body was subsequently found wrapped in yellow satin in a sewer. The city fell to government troops soon afterwards, with some 100,000 of his followers dying in the battle. The rebellion lasted another 2 years in other parts of the country, before being thoroughly crushed by the Ever Victorious Army under the leadership of Charles ‘Chinese’ Gordon (Shah Massoud). Inner: Messianic, with a view of the world in totally black’n’white terms of demonic and dutiful. Saw himself as an emperor and acted accordingly, only to wind up ultimately in the literal cloacal underworld of a sewer. Messianic lifetime of exploring his Godhead potential, using his native country as his singular base, before extending himself out to the world the next time around, as a similarly constructed spiritual Don Quixote tilting at evil through the wind-milled assumption of enormous personal power on his part. Shunzhi (1638-1661) - Chinese emperor. Outer: Of the Ch’ing dynasty. Although the third of the line of his dynasty, its reckoning begins with him. Ninth son of his predecessor Huang Taiji (Lin Biao), whom he succeeded in 1644, after being selected by a council of state on the death of the latter. Had several empresses as well as at least 9 offspring. Began his reign under the regency of 2 uncles, one of whom, Dorgon, established a solid military base for the dynasty, but in doing so, created many enemies. Following his death in 1650, the young emperor disgraced him posthumously and executed a number of his followers. By this time, the Manchu conquest of North China had been completed, and the Mings, whom they had replaced, were reduced to the island of Formosa. The Jesuit missionary Adam Schall (Bo Hi Pak) had influenced his mother greatly, and he retained him as a close adviser, allowing him to build a Roman Catholic Church in Beijing, which he visited several times. Although he flirted with Christianity, its emphasis on monogamy ultimately made him reject the religion, even though he continued using the Jesuits priests as advisers on morality until 1657, when he returned to his Buddhist beliefs as a basis for his rule. Came under the influence of court eunuchs that he had found in Beijing’s Forbidden City, as well as Buddhist priests, following Dorgon’s death, while suffering from tuberculosis. Gradually became a religious fanatic, spending most of his time in religious exercise, while overseeing a court that was weak and feeble. Died from smallpox, but just beforehand he dictated a will, which was probably replaced by a forgery, in which he admitted to misdeeds, such as giving the eunuchs the same power they held during the Ming dynasty, and favoring Chinese over Manchus, who were the basis of his own dynasty. Succeeded by his third son, K’ang Hsi (Kim il Sung) who would become the savior of the dynasty. Tradition persisted that he did not die, but rather abdicated, and went to live as a Buddhist monk at a temple outside Beijing. Inner: Kindly and deeply spiritual, before becoming fanatic about his beliefs. Imperial lifetime of inaugurating a new dynasty, thanks to the military expertise of his predecessors, before sinking into the same religious potholes that would mark all his succeeding lives in this series. Dmitry Donskoy (1350-1389) - Grand prince of Moscow and Vladimir. Outer: Father was Ivan the Meek (Alan Paton). Succeeded him at the age of 9, and 3 years later, he convinced the great khan of the Golden Horde to transfer the title of grand prince of Vladimir to himself. Tall, thickset with dark hair. An illiterate, he, nevertheless, knew the holy books of Christendom and held them in his heart. Married Eudoxia of Nizhny Novgorod, and spawned as least a dozen offspring, two of whom would lay claim to his principate. Increased his own territory, and then took advantage of internal conflicts among the Golden Horde to rally the Russian princes to resist their raids. In 1378, the Russians defeated an army of the Horde, and later he led an army against the Mongols and also defeated them, winning the surname of ‘Donskoy’ or “of the Don.” His efforts were soon obliterated, when the Mongols sacked Moscow in 1382 and restored their rule over Russian lands. Died in his prime and was succeeded by his eldest son, Vasily I (Bo Hi Pak). Inner: Deeply religious and temperate in all his dealings. Martial lifetime of doing battle to assert his house’s control over Russian lands, as prelude to entering the dynastic house of his enemies and continuing his exploration of messianic fanaticism while trying to integrate the ideal of earthly and heavenly emperor. Michael IV (1010-1041) - Byzantine basileus. Outer: From a family of peasants. Youngest of five brothers, with two becoming eunuchs to serve the empire, including John the Orphanotropus (Bo Hai Pak), who rose from overseer over the women’s quarters of the imperial palace, to become an influential member of the civil bureaucracy, through dint of his intelligence and industry. Worked as a money-changer, but also may have been a forger. Extremely handsome as a youth, he was brought to court by John, and soon was seduced by the empress Zoe (Helena Rubinstein), despite his reluctance and lack of interest in her. At the time, she was married to Romanus III (Woody Allen), who had gained the throne through his union with her, since she was daughter of Constantine VIII (Kim Jong-il), but once having secured it, he proved less than husbandly. The emperor made him his own personal servant, suspecting nothing of his liaison with his wife, until informed otherwise by his own sister, at which point he made him swear on holy relics there was nothing between them, which he did. Shortly afterwards, the emperor, who had been in failing health, was found dead in his bath, under somewhat suspicious circumstances, so that he was thought to have either been poisoned or strangled. The duo wasted no time in marrying, and once again for the royal house, there was no issue from the union. Following a bribe to the city’s patriarch, he was crowned emperor in 1034. An epileptic, which caused him to install red curtains around his throne to be drawn each time he had a seizure, he also distrusted his wife, since she had shown no loyalty to her previous husband, forcing him to keep her confined, while evincing no conjugal interest in her. Felt extremely guilty over the death of his predecessor and dedicated himself to saving his soul. Spent hours every day in church, created monasteries and convents by the score, constantly sought out holy men, and provided for the poor and fallen, as well as showering largesse on monks and priests throughout the empire. Often had sick ascetics lie in his bed, while he slept on a pallet on the floor, in a constant need to cleanse himself Elevated his brother John to his most trusted adviser, and together they put through reforms which strengthened the empire, although their increased taxes made him unpopular, and there were several attempts to overthrow both him and his sibling, as well as revolts throughout Byzantium’s holdings. Further conspiracies and uprisings made his position somewhat tenuous, while the two brothers had a mixed record against the Arabs in the east, while the west, particularly Sicily, saw a loss of earlier gains by the near-end of his reign. Fared even worse to the north against the Bulgarians, before receiving the help of the Norwegian king, Harald III (Joseph Stalin) who helped defeat their army. In frail health at this juncture, with dropsy added to his epilepsy and his body heavily swollen, he felt compelled to go on one last military excursion, and somehow was able to rise from his sickbed and do so, returning afterwards in triumph. John made Zoe adopt his successor, Michael V (Kim Jung-un), and, after taking holy orders, while refusing to see his wife one last time, died peacefully in a monk’s cell. Inner: Intelligent and courageous, with both vision and wisdom to lead. Racked with palpable guilt over his questionable actions, which made him excessively religious, he also had great need to expiate his soul with acts of goodness and grace. Clasped hands lifetime of embracing religiosity as a central form of expression for himself, in preparation for the next millennium, when he would become ever more the evangelical leader, continually trying to unify the inner moon of spirituality, with the outer sun of blazing devotion. Li Ssu (c280-208BZ) - Chinese chancellor. Outer: From a lesser family of the state of Chu, where he became a scholar and minor functionary of the provincial government. Developed a philosophy early on that circumstances, rather than moral codes, dictate behavior. Took up politics as means of realizing that aim, while studying with a well-known Confucian thinker. Also was a noted calligrapher to go with his other talents. Seeing he would not be able to advance in his native region, and feeling his failure would affect all scholars, he moved to the powerful state of Qin, and made an extremely favorable impression on its young king, Zheng (Kim Il Sung), in giving him a blueprint on how to unify all the Warring States of China of the time. Zheng lured other scholars to his kingdom, while also embarking on a program to assassinate those of a similar intellectual ilk who remained where they were, so as to have a dominating brain trust. Worked closely with the king in his desire to conquer and unify all the states under one sovereign, through his cogent analyses and arguments, including having his own non-Qin origin not held against him, when the latter was thinking of expelling all foreigners. Helped manipulate elements during Zheng’s steady conquest of rival states over the next several decades, so that by 221, China had been unified under one ruler, who became its First Emperor, with himself as his chief minister. Always conscious of his status, with no desire to share it with any other scholarly rivals. As soon as Qin Shih became emperor, he showed his organizational skills in helping create a highly effective bureaucracy, while also systematizing and standardizing weights, measures and the written ideographic language so as to help implement the unification of northern China. Also wrote the first Chinese language primer towards that end. Having centralized Chinese thought of the time, he implemented a program of burning all texts that contained conflicting political his/story so that the present could not be compared with the past, including key Confucian material, despite his having been originally educated in that mode of thought. A host of scholars and priests were also buried alive as part of the wholesale destruction of the past. Following the death of the emperor in 210 on a visit away from the capital, he, along with the chief eunuch, Zhao Gao (Kim Jong il), refused to allow the former’s elder son to succeed him, for fear of being replaced by his faction. Using a forged document, they had the son commit suicide in favor of a younger brother ruling. Zhao Gao then insinuated himself with the Second Emperor, so as to be his sole adviser, and in the process, charged the aged chancellor with treason. After being tortured, he admitted to the counterfeit accusation and was executed by his own invented method, called “the Five Pains.” Had his nose cut off, then a hand and foot severed, before being castrated, and finally cut in half. Inner: Cerebral, competitive, conspiratorial, highly manipulative and largely amoral, seeing all ends justifying any means. Bureaucrat extraordinaire lifetime of placing pragmatics over morals and scruples, in order to serve as one of China’s most effective and far-reaching prime ministers, only to fall victim to someone even more unscrupulous than himself, as a prelude to his making ethical Christianity central to his succeeding lives, so as to repair his sense of higher ethics.


Storyline: The continual Christian convert brings a missionary zeal to whatever he undertakes, be it nation-founding or soul-saving, in his desire to integrate the world with the heavens and with itself.

Bo Hi Pak (1930) - Korean evangelist and publisher. Outer: From a modest background, with two sisters and a brother. Attended an agricultural high school, then taught at his former elementary school from 1947 to 1950, before entering the Korean Military Academy as a cadet. Within a month he was fighting in the Korean War, and was soon commissioned as a second lieutenant in the ROK army. Served as a platoon leader and combat company commander and subsequently showed enough mettle for a host of metals, before finally being honorably discharged in 1964 as a lieutenant colonel. During his term of service, he studied in the U.S. in 1952 at the Infantry School in Fort Benning, Georgia, before becoming an infantry instructor in the Korean version of it from 1952 to 1955. In 1953, he married Ki Sook Yoon, three daughters and three sons from the union. Studied English, and also received advanced infantry training at Fort Benning over the next several years, before acting as a liaison between the U.S. Military Advisory Group and the ROK Army, entering government service afterwards in the Defense Department. In 1957, he joined Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church, and quickly rose within its hierarchy as second in command to its controversial pastor. Studied at the School of Foreign Service, at Georgetown Univ. in Washington, DC, while also serving as an assistant military attaché with the Korean Embassy there. Always showed an instinct for power, as well as a special feel for the U.S., seeing its political and cultural figures and its media outlets as perfect foils for making him a global figure, with his strongly felt Christian sensibilities and messianic urge that he would share with the Rev. Moon. In 1962, he created “The Little Angels,” a performing arts troupe that toured worldwide, including a trip to North Korea. Added publisher to his extensive c.v., as the central figure in the Church’s publishing empire, by becoming the inaugural president and publisher of New World, which was later called the NYC Tribune, Noticias Mundo, a NYC-based Spanish-language daily, and the Washington Times, a conservative daily, serving as the president of its corporation as well as its publisher. At the same time, he established the Unification Church of Washington, DC, and by 1971, was the Rev. Moon’s closest associate in his various enterprises, as well as his English interpreter, adding more and more titles to his resumé, via church organizations, including president of the Unification Church International from 1977 to 1991, while serving as a spokesman of world peace. Penned “Truth is My Sword,” in response to appearing before a Congressional investigative committee looking into the Rev. Moon’s various questionable activities. In 1987, he was severely beaten by Cleopas Kundioni, a Zimbabwean church member in Washington, who was acting as a Church-approved channel for the elevated spirit of the Rev. Moon’s dead teenage son, causing him to be hospitalized and then undergo open brain surgery for a broken blood vessel in his skull, while suffering permanent brain damage from the attack. Told doctors he had fallen down a flight of stairs, rather than implicate the Church in any way in his debility. Visited North Korea in 1994 for the funeral of dictator Kim Il Sung, and then later led a trade delegation there. Published a love note to his leader, “Messiah: My Testimony to the Reverend Sun Myung Moon,” in 2002, burnishing the Church’s anti-communist credentials, while attempting to whitewash the reverend’s less-than-stellar reputation among those not directly associated with their Church. Two years later, he was charged with financial fraud, for not paying his debts to a Korean businessman. Served two years of a five year sentence in a Korean prison before being released on probation, while the Church did nothing to ameliorate his embarrassing situation. Returned to his role in the Church afterwards, as its staunch champion of democracy, free enterprise and global peace. Inner: Feels himself to be John the Baptist to Moon’s messiah. Highly competent with good organizational skills, as a natural CEO. Strongly anti-communist and a champion of democratic values, despite the autocratic nature of the Unification Church. Second-in-command lifetime of bringing his deeply felt Christian beliefs to the world stage, through the auspices of his longtime crypto-family member, while serving as an extremely important cog in a highly controversial church’s attempt at exploring and exploiting the dynamic behind a second coming of the premier figure in Western religious mythology. kSun Yat-sen (1866-1925) - Chinese leader. Outer: From a family of poor farmers. Childhood friend of Lu Hao-tung (Sun Myung Moon). Followed his laborer brother to Honolulu, and spent 3 years at a British missionary school, and then another annum at Oahu College, an American institution, before falling out with his sibling over his embracing Christianity and returning home. Completed his education in Hong Kong at the Government Central School in 1885, and, the same year, married Lu Muzhen, who had been chosen for him by his parents, 3 children from the union. Baptised by an American missionary, he then attended medical school, receiving his degree in 1892, although he abandoned his medical practice in Guangzhou soon afterwards, and headed north, determined to modernize China, by adopting Western technological ways. Received perfunctory acceptance of his ideas, and went to Hawaii, where he founded a society comprised of fellow exiled denizens from his native province, as well as low-scale workers, which would become a forerunner of his future revolutionary troops. When a planned uprising in 1895 in Guangzhou failed, he was forced into exile for the next decade and a half. Briefly kidnapped in London, he turned the incident into political gold, giving him considerable more cachet, and he made his way to Japan, where he received necessary support, as he continued to foment small revolts. By 1903, he began gaining the backing of more powerful people in China, as well as student support from abroad, so that 2 years later he formed a revolutionary coalition, the Alliance Society, although it was a disorganized affair, and all its revolts ended in failure, making him persona non grata in several countries. Journeyed to the West for financial support, but another uprising failed in 1910, and he was no closer to his goal of overthrowing the Ch’ing dynasty than when he started. The latter’s slow attempt at reform, however, caused a provincial uprising in 1911, which spread, and by the end of the year, he was back in Shanghai as provisional governmental head. The following February, the emperor abdicated, and he resigned, as Yuan Shih-kai (Kim Jong Il), a general and imperial minister, was elected head of state, while he organized the Kuomintang revolutionary party which declared China a republic. Forced to flee the following year, when Yuan proved manipulative and intransigent, and in 1914, he was censured for marrying his secretary without divorcing his wife. Over the next several years, Yuan died, and he was forced to do battle for power with a reformist, finally appointing himself generalissimo of the new regime in 1923, although he had to accept the Communist presence, and Russian support when the West and Japan refused to help him. Reorganized the Kuomintang and drew up a constitution, which featured centralized government along Soviet lines, and his Three Principles of the People, nationalism, democracy and private capital and land right. Died of cancer, while still in the throes of consolidating his power. Inner: Determined, charismatic and tolerant of the flaws of the others. Nation-building lifetime of bridging the world in order to bring China into the 20th century, while inadvertantly setting up huge future conflicts over the system that would ultimately rule his envisioned state. Feng Yun-shan (1822-1852) - Chinese missionary and reformer. Outer: Schoolmate and neighbor of Hong Xiuquan (Sun Myung Moon), a mystic who thought he was the younger brother of Jesus Christ, and wanted to form a new trinity. Became one of his earliest convert and followed him to Guangxi province to preach their new religion, then stayed behind when Hung returned home to their native Guangdong province, in order to organize the God Worshippers Society, which combined Hung’s principles with social reform. In 1847, Hung returned and took his place at the head of the society. Government troops attacked them in 1850, precipitating the Taiping Rebellion. The following year, Hung proclaimed his new dynasty the Heavenly Kingdom of Peace, with himself as Heavenly King. Given the title of Southern King, he was made general of the advance guard but fell soon afterwards in battle. Inner: Reformer at heart, using religious sensibilities to affect his aims, while willing to play 2nd lieutenant to a far more charismatic figure. Prelude lifetime of gaining practical experience in organizing around revolt and reform before exiting early in a failed rebellion that tried to unite messianic western religious principles with autocratic Chinese government. kAdam Schall von Bell (1591-1666) - German missionary and astronomer. Outer: From a noble German family. Entered the Jesuit order in 1611, then studied astronomy and mathematics in Rome, before becoming a missionary to China, arriving there in 1622, and spending most of the rest of his life in Beijing. Accurately predicted a lunar eclipse in Beijing the following year, and another the year after, which much impressed the court. In 1630, he was appointed to the Imperial Board of Astronomy, which was responsible for the publication of the official calendar. Translated Western astronomical books, and also worked on reforming the calendar. His presence, as a Christian missionary, on the Board, caused much friction among the other astronomers, although his skills were ultimately able to win him favor with the imperial court. When the Ch’ing dynasty was officially inaugurated under the emperor Shunzhi (Sun Myung Moon), in 1644 his fortunes rose considerably, after curing the Dowager Empress of a strange malady. Called ‘grandfather,’ by the emperor, he was allowed to build a Church in Beijing in 1650, which the emperor attended several times, and he was ultimately made a mandarin first class, the highest rank a European could achieve at the court. Tried to convert the young emperor to Christianity, but the sticking point was monogamy, and the latter ultimately rejected the religion, despite a strong interest in it. After the emperor died in 1661, the missionary was accused by an anti-Christian official of selecting an inauspicious day for the burial of the former’s infant son, which may have fed into the emperor’s premature death, a treasonable offense. All Christians were summarily removed from the Board, and several Chinese converts were executed. Unable to defend himself at his subsequent trial because of a stroke, he was imprisoned, along with 3 other Jesuits in 1664. Sentenced to death by dismemberment, along with several Chinese colleagues, although the other three Jesuits were merely deported, but when an earthquake caused a fire in the imperial palace the following day, this was viewed as a bad sign, and he was released in 1665. Remained in Beijing and died there a year later. 2 years after his death, he was officially vindicated of all charges. Inner: Bridge lifetime of entering Chinese culture at the highest levels as an alien, while serving as a master of time, as well as a spiritual presence, in a semi-successful attempt at bringing the east and west into closer concert. In the great circle of things, he would serve the beginning of the Ch’ing dynasty and also bring it to a close, employing the same modes of western thought to eastern problems in his own ongoing evolution of trying to integrate the world within himself. kVasily I (1371-1425) - Russian grand duke. Outer: Eldest son of the Grand Prince of Moscow, Dmitry Donskoy (Sun Myung Moon). At the age of 12, he traveled to the Tatar khan to gain his patent for his father to rule the Russian lands as grand prince of Vladimir, and succeeded via diplomacy, but was kept as a hostage at the latter’s court, before escaping 3 years later to Moscow. In order to redeem himself, he led a Muscovite army in the khan’s campaign in Central Asia, and won the patent anew, allowing him to succeed his father as grand prince of Moscow and Vladimir in 1389. Annexed two neighboring principalities, and married Sophie of Lithuania, the daughter of the grand duke of Lithuania in 1390, although he remained in conflict with Novgorod to the west for most of his reign. 9 children from the union. Managed to escape the brilliant martial arm of Timur, when his territorial hunger extended elsewhere. Kept his hand in with Tatar politics, and was able to make his state independent of their dominance, although, after an invasion, he was forced to continue to pay tribute to them. Able to gain truces with various fighting factions, and by the end of his reign, the frontier remained dangerously close to Moscow, and his duchy was poised for civil war. Succeeded by his son, Vasily II (Lin Biao). Inner: Competent, albeit largely colorless, and blessed by circumstance beyond his control, so as to be able to hold and extend the territories bequeathed to him. Learning lifetime of taking the helm of an unsure domain, and using both diplomacy and chance to maintain it, although he handed over an extremely shakey principality to his far more talented successor. John the Eunuch (?-c1043?) - Byzantine bureaucrat. Also known as the Orphanotropus. Outer: The oldest of five brothers from a peasant family, including the future Byzantine emperor Michael IV (Sun Myung-Moon). Castrated as a boy along with two other siblings, so that he could enter the Byzantine bureaucracy, eventually becoming head of the women’s quarters in the palace. Rose through a combination of industry, intrigue and intelligence to a high level, enjoying the friendship of the emperor Romanus III (Woody Allen), who made him director of Constantinople’s chief orphanage, from where he got his nickname. Brought his younger brother Michael to court, with mischief in mind, and as soon as the empress, Zoe (Helena Rubinstein) saw his handsome face, she felt she had to have him, and quickly seduced him, unbeknownst to her husband. Despite Michael’s reluctance, the two continued their affair, until the emperor was informed of it by his sister. A confrontation ensued, and shortly afterwards the emperor died in his bath, under somewhat mysterious circumstances. The duo were married that day, and as brother to the basileus, he became the preeminent adviser to the throne, showing boundless energy in his devotion to his duties. Liked to wander the streets at night, dressed in a monk’s habit, which he perpetually wore, to hear what the common people had to say. Remained constantly vigilant about retaining his power, while showing himself to be fierce and intimidating, lest anyone think he was less than manly because of his unmanned state. Enjoyed both wealth and power, collecting several country estates. At the same time, he drank heavily, and also indulged in debauchery, but even in an altered state, he remained ever aware of what was going on around him, often calling his confederates before him in the morning to answer for what they had drunkenly said the night before. Continually tried to manipulate his family into positions of power, including placing a brother-in-law in a key admiralty position on an invasion of Sicily that went completely awry, adding to his own failed bid for the patriarchate of Constantinople. When his brother’s health began to fail, he arranged for a nephew, the future Michael V (Kim Jung-un) to replace him, in order to keep the throne in the family. Had the empress adopt the latter, although regretted the move immediately afterwards, when he discovered how feckless the lad was. Deeply affected by his brother’s death, he subsequently underestimated the new emperor’s hostility towards him, and as soon as Michael V established himself on the throne, he had him seized and carried off by boat to a distant monastery in 1042, there to suffer differently under various accounts, including possibly being blinded and/or put to death. Inner: Enjoyed a decade run intriguing on the highest levels, using an innate sense of power to rise from obscurity to virtual emperor-maker. Power behind the throne lifetime of trying to forge a dynasty out of his humble family, only to be undone by its most untrustworthy member. kQuintillus (?-270) - Roman Emperor. Outer: From the Danube region. Younger brother of Claudius Gothicus (Lin Biao). Married Aurelia Pompeiana, 2 sons from the union. Like his sibling, he pursued a military career, and was a commander in Italy against German invasions when he received news of the death of his brother from the plague in 270. Hailed by his own soldiers as the new emperor, as well as by the Senate, who were more afraid of his rival Aurelian (Yukio Mishima) then they were genuinely enthusiastic about him. Accepted in the provinces as well. Ordered that his brother be deified, but Aurelian usurped his title as well as glory, by putting down the Goths and then having the garrison at Sirmium declare him emperor. Failed to act when he heard of this perfidy, and though he attempted to contest it, he was deserted by his soldiers and committed suicide by having a doctor open his veins. Reigned all of 17 days. Inner: Modest, courteous. Unfortunately, neither the equal of his brother or his formidable foe for the purple. Brief rule lifetime of self-destructing in his continuing loose longtime association with his ancient family member, in his ongoing dance twixt east and west.


Storyline: The controversial cleric turns his attention to the degradation of the planet after several spectacular runs as gigantic embodiment of the excesses and tarnished souls of his countries.

mGodfrey Reggio (1940) - American filmmaker. Outer: Grew up in southwest Louisiana. Entered the Christian Brothers, a Roman Catholic order, when he was 14, and embraced the monastic life for the next 14 years, while he shot up to a gigantic 6’11”. Loved the self-sufficiency of the Order, which consisted of around 100 monks who took care of all their own needs, living a quasi-medieval life. Pledged his final vows at 25, spending his time in silence, prayer and fasting, in an unconscious, but mirroring, cleansing of lives past, while learning anew to look at things. Deeply imbued with the ideals of social justice, with a great desire to teach the poor. At 28, he left the order and re-entered society and taught in New Mexico at all grade levels. Deeply involved in community and poverty work, as well as the gangs in some of northern New Mexico’s barrios, he founded La Clinica de la Gente, to address the medical needs of those who had slipped through the system’s cracks. As he returned to the world, from his unusual perspective of having deliberately removed himself from it, he began to see it anew in terms of depraved slavery to its technology, with its inhabitants robotically destroying both themselves and the spirit at their roots. In 1972, he founded the Institute for Regional Education in Santa Fe, a non-profit foundation bringing media and community together. Backed by the ACLU, he organized a multi-media campaign on the invasion of privacy and the use of technology to control behavior afterwards. inspired by Luis Bunuel’s Los Olvidados (The Forgotten Ones), he turned to film as his most persuasive means of getting across his message of a planet out-of-balance and created the Qatsi trilogy, along with composer Philip Glass, using variations of a Hopi word for a world in disorder. Worked over the next seven years on Koyaanisqatsi, or “life out-of-balance,” which introduced, in 1983, his highly visual and imagistic style to get across his point of civilization having run amok all over the environment, via images from 12 countries. The second and third, Powaqqatsi or “life in transformation,” which featured ant-like workers hauling heavy stacks of dirt in a gold-mining operation, and Naqoyqatsi or “life at war,” showing the violent struggles between humans and technology, followed over the next near two decades, made their points in similar dramatic fashion, accompanied by Glass’s music. Has also produced several other montage documentaries, displaying similar concerns for the larger world, as well as its children. In the process he has attracted the backing of large-scale upscale companies, including Bulgari and Benneton, with the latter asking him to develop a school dedicated to the arts, technology and the media, which opened in Italy in 1995. Served as its first director, while continuing to play the role of major scold against the highly destructive ‘isms ‘of modern life, including fundamentalism, industrialism and consumerism.In 2013, he released Visitors, a visual meditation on technology's hypnotic hold on humanity, via striking images. Inner: Great desire to expand human consciousness, from his own strongly male perspective. Compassionate, teacherly and driven. Great believer in action and good example. Sees life as both good’n’evil, with the task of everyone to sort it out for themselves. Man on a mission lifetime of addressing a poisoned world from someone both deeply a part of it and apart from it as well, as a giant on the rebound from his own excesses, on a planet all too eager to bring out the worst in everyone. mGrigori Rasputin (1872-1916) - Russian monk. Sobriquet from rasputnik meaning “debauched one.” Outer: Of Siberian peasant origin, father had a small farm. Lived an illiterate peasant life, until he claimed to have seen a vision of the Virgin in 1891, which turned him into a holy wanderer. Became a member of a flagellant order at 18, believing that redemption through sin and sexual exhaustion would be his pious pathway. Had magnetic eyes, long, unwashed hair and blackened teeth, while employing foul language, even fouler hygiene, and the manners of the barnyard. Left the order, married Proskovia Fyodorovna, had four children, and earned a reputation as a starets or holy man. In 1903, he made his way to St. Petersburg, where he became a plaything of the women of the court, who were fascinated by his unapologetic and brutal sexuality. Introduced to the royal family of Nicholas (Lex Barker) and Alexandra (Lana Turner) he was eventually accepted as healer for their hemophiliac son, the tsarevitch Alexis (Cheryl Crane), using the simple expedient of calming him to stem his bleeding. The boy’s condition was never revealed to the public, making the holy man’s presence highly questionable, although by 1911, he was acknowledged as being totally under the empress’s protection, giving him complete license to continue to explore his licentious excess, whenever he was away from the royal family. Rumors abounded about Alexandra and her daughters engaging in orgies with him, while Nicholas remained at a remove, although he employed him as an adviser, before dismissing him due to pressures. Nevertheless, he was recalled months later by the empress. His presence, however, fed into speculations galore, lending a palpable feeling of doom throughout the country, as to the direction it was heading. When Nicholas took personal command of his forces in 1915, during WW I, the holy man’s power at court reached a pinnacle, as he interfered in governmental decisions, made appointments and occasionally intervened in military matters. After several attempts were made on his life, he was eventually poisoned by a group of conservative nobles, then shot, castrated, and dropped through a hole in a canal near his home, still alive, but ultimately drowned. A few weeks later, the imperial household fell. Inner: Huge, ugly, filthy, hairy and insatiable. Had a compelling manner with superhuman appetites and capacities, as well as an unshakeable belief in his own powers. Gargantuan lifetime of using the sheer will of his overweening personality to dominate Russian affairs, only to ultimately act out the drowned house he served, and its struggles against being overwhelmed by his/story. mHonore Mirabeau (Honore-Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau) (1749-1791) - French statesman. Outer: Son of a noted economist, with whom he continually struggled over his high-spiritedness. Older of 2 sons. Product of an unhappy marriage, little loved by either parent, and facially scarred by smallpox at the age of 3. Despite being put under a strict disciplinarian at school, he was jailed several times for riotous behavior and exiled and imprisoned, although he served with distinction in Corsica, as a sublieutenant, then reconciled with his father. Married Marie-Marquerite-Emilie de Covet, a rich heiress in 1772, but he was soon imprisoned again by his father, in order to put him beyond the reach of his creditors. Huge and barrel-shaped. Escaped to Switzerland, with a May-December bride, then was arrested in Holland in 1777. Given a death sentence for seduction and abduction, he was imprisoned again, where he spent his time writing erotica and essays. Released in 1780, he finally had his death sentence revoked in 1782. The following year his wife sued for separation, and he wound up renouncing his aristocratic past. For the next 5 years, he adventured, working as a pamphleteer, secret agent and controversialist, while traveling England, then Germany, all the while limning his thoughts on paper. After much maneuvering, he was elected to the first Estates-Generals in 1789, where his booming baritone and eloquence made him a crowd favorite. Wished a constitutional monarchy on the British model, with himself as prime minister. After the fall of the Bastille, during which time his father, who was constantly disinheriting, then reconciling with him, died, he secretly dealt with the royal court, but they distrusted him, since his overriding concern was to maintain his own popularity at all costs. Became president of the National Assembly for a brief period, but his moderate stance came under the increasing displeasure of radicals, as his health began to fail, thanks in part to his continued excesses. Accused of treason, despite harboring many grand projects, he finally took to his bed and died of lymphatic pericarditis complicated by inflammations of the liver, kidneys and stomach. His last words were a request for opium to relieve his pain, and he supposedly died with an erection. Greatly mourned at his death, but his body was removed from the Pantheon when his machinations with the crown were discovered. Inner: Lusty, impassioned, stupendously ugly, giant. Fell madly in love with every pretty woman who paid attention to him. Excellent analyst of revolutionary tactics, with a good imagistic grasp of language. Moderate constitutionalist who mercifully left the scene before the full ardor of the radicals took hold. Unable to integrate the monarchy with the constitutional elements of the Revolution, and in a sense, was the embodiment of that royal body’s failure. Gargantuan lifetime of full display of both sensuality and intelligence, while earning a mass love that was privately denied him. Dmitri I (Grigory Otrepyev) (?-1606) - Russian pretender to throne. Outer: Son of a minor official in a rural village, who became a monk, after failing at everything else. Ugly, awkward and red-haired, with a melancholy expression. Believed he was the last link to House of Rurik, recently gone extinct, and began telling the other monks that he expected to be czar. Raised an army and invaded Russia, and though defeated, was recognized by the opposing army when the interim tsar died, as well as the people of Moscow, when he entered in triumph in 1606. Proclaimed tsar himself, he met with his presumed mother, who affirmed his identity, then showed himself to be well-informed, resourceful and in charge. Alienated the court with his dropping of the stiff old forms of etiquette, and he was eventually murdered in a coup d’etat, his body burned and the ashes shot out of a cannon in the general direction from which he had come. Two more false Dmitris followed him to similar ends. Inner: Informal, with great dignity, charming, convincing and brave in battle. Courageous, intelligent, but acting out a life not his own, a great impostor, who may even have fooled himself. Impostor lifetime of assuming a mantle of leadership that was not his, and despite a convincing act, ultimately upended, necessitating, on his part, another try centuries later at proving himself worthy of the ruling house of Russia in monk’s guise. mVladimir I (c956-1015) - Grand prince of Kiev. Outer: Bastard son of the grand prince of the House of Rurik and a lady-in-waiting. Fled the city on his father’s death, and then won the throne from his brother in 980, with the help of an uncle. Savage and quite brutal, he sacrificed a thousand lives to his pagan gods to celebrate his accession, and began his reign with an orgy of paganism, placing imagistic figures of all the old Slavonic gods in front of his palace. Ultimately had seven wives and hundreds and hundreds of concubines in various cities, as well as the reputation of a fornicator immensus et crudelis, which needs no translation, although he eventually became a Christian in 988 through a marriage alliance with the Byzantine emperor’s sister, after seeing his religion as backwards, and investing others. Military victories then enabled him to impose Christianity on his extended duchy, while he began using the higher clergy as his closest council. Trained young Russians to fill their ranks, so that the civil service would have literate record/keepers. Choosing the eastern liturgy, he was instrumental in Christianizing and bringing together what would eventually be Russia in a 37 year rule, with Kiev as his capital. Married into house of Holy Roman Emperor near the end of his life. Left 12 sons at his death, and the dominate one, Yaroslav I succeeded him. Legendary figure who gave a grounding to the state he would later come to embody in his odd Christian form. Inner: Intelligent, thoughtful, lusty, wily, courageous, with a huge carnal appetite for war and sex. Insatiable in both, with personal will to match, in a go-round of being allowed his excesses, with no mediating circumstances. Full-blown lifetime of being the personification of incipient Russia, giving him the sense of state he would use again and again as an outsider desirous of fulfilling a destiny he had begun in the long ago.


Storyline: The great leader learns the ways of the outside world, before making his own domain the insular extension of his own will to power, creating a personal fiefdom in the modern world that would be throwback to medieval militaristic enclaves of yore.

Kim Il Sung (1912-1994) - North Korean dictator. Outer: Born to a peasant couple shortly after Japan began a 35 year occupation of Korea. Spent most of his youth in Manchuria, returning to Korea for only 2 years. Father was a nationalist, who bequeathed him 2 pistols on his deathbed in 1926. Learned to speak Chinese, and joined up with China’s communist guerrillas fighting against the Japanese in Manchuria, Siberia and the North Korea border areas beginning in his early 20s. Unprepossessing physically, 5’9” and bespectacled with a pudgy body and a goiter on his neck. Married Kim Chong-suk, who was more than a foot shorter and died in 1949 in childbirth, two sons and a daughter from the union, the middle one perishing as a child in a swimming accident, while the eldest, Kim Jong Il, was probably born in the Soviet Union, when the family was forced to retreat for the remainder of the war. Much of his life was later distorted and mythologized, including impossibly heroic feats of martial derring-do. Returned home at war’s end in the uniform of a Soviet major. Quickly took control, with Russian dictator Joseph Stalin’s backing, of the Korean Workers Party and called for a reunification of the country under communist control. Despite a 20 year absence, and having only a small cadre behind him, he denounced other nationalist groups as lackeys of the Japanese and Americans and undid many of his enemies, while purging some 60,000 people. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was created in 1948, after the country had been partitioned, with the U.S. backing the first government in the South. Led an invading army into the South in June 1950, and initially met little resistance, before a united counteroffensive spearheaded by American troops drove him nearly all the way to the North Korean Chinese border, much to his surprise. Saw the northern part of his country completely devastated by U.S. aerial attacks, to the point of forcing his people forced to hide in caves. With Chinese and Russian help, he recaptured the southern capital of Seoul in 1951, and the fighting continued for another 2 years, before a truce was signed that set up a demilitarized zone between the 2 separated halves of the Koreas, although a formal peace treaty was never signed. Never gave up on uniting the Koreas, while the war allowed him to rid the North of the remainder of his rivals. In later years, he sent his political enemies to work in the uranium mines, where life expectancy was 2 years. Began a nuclear program, as he tightened his grip on his state, virtually cutting it off from the rest of the world. Implemented heavy industrial plans and Soviet-style agricultural communes, but the cost of maintaining a huge army sucked the economy dry, while he insisted on a philosophy of juche, or self-reliance for his plagued nation. Maintained a cult of personality about himself as the Great Leader, while placing close relatives by his side and continuing to accept aid from both China and the Soviet Union. Beginning in the 1970s, he had his portrait hung in every home, as well as place of business, so as to create an iconic sense of self, which would later be augmented by a picture of his son, as if they were holy relics to be worshiped and adored by the populace. Also created the myth that the Kims were living godheads, the product of the country’s holiest place, Mt. Paektu, giving him and his descendants a pedigree that would allow them unquestioned rule as living deities. Married Kim Song-ae, a typist in the early 1960s, with 2 more sons from the union. His countrymen were expected to spend 2 hours a day studying his sayings, while his birthday was considered the nation’s greatest holiday. Held every important post possible, with his image virtually everywhere, in a theocratic state with himself as its earthly avatar. By the 1970s, South Korea began outstripping the North economically, and in the early 1990s, it lost its subsidies from the Soviet Union, plunging the country into dire straits, with its singular asset, its nuclear arsenal and a general fear of its first strike capabilities. Became weaker and weaker at the end, allowing his son secret run of the country. Died of a heart attack, just at the point where he had invited former Pres. Jimmy Carter to visit North Korea, so as to begin the process of freezing his nuclear program in return for economic aid. His body lies in state at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang. Inner: Spoke softly, avuncular on the surface, but a wily strategist beneath, who played major polities off one another to his advantage. Iron-fisted lifetime of altering his imperial ways to the autocratic designs of communism, while maintaining his complete grip over his state as if he were an emperor of old. Li Hongzhang (1823-1901) - Chinese statesman and diplomat. Outer: Father was an advanced scholar in the Confucian bureaucracy. Began his career in 1844 under the guidance of Tseng Kuo-fan, and earned his terminal degree in 1847, before becoming a compiler in the Hanlin Academy. Gained his reputation for his part in the suppression of the Taiping rebellion, after helping to organize a local militia with his sire, while staying at his post after his father’s death in 1855, contrary to Confucian tradition. After earning a judgeship, he joined Tseng’s staff, and in 1862, was made acting governor of Kiangsu Province, where he enjoyed independent military power, and worked in conjunct with foreigners and their weapons in the anti-Taiping efforts around Shanghai. A pivotal figure in the ultimate victory of the Ever Victorious Army, which was nominally under the command of Charles ‘Chinese’ Gordon (Shah Massoud) in the final suppression of the Taipings, while always making sure his role would be noted. Spent the next 5 years suppressing rebellions throughout China, while maintaining his ongoing interest in western-style arsenals. In 1870, he was appointed governor-general of the capital province of Chihli, while also supervising trade with the West, so that he became China’s most familiar negotiator with foreign powers, allowing him to retain office for a quarter of a century under unique circumstances, with military forces at his disposal and both governmental and provincial power. Evinced an ongoing interest in Western martial and economic technology, although realized in his ongoing negotiations, his state was continually operating from comparative weakness in those realms, as China lost territory and influence to foreign powers. When China went to war with Japan over the Korean peninsula in 1894, and lost, he bore the brunt of the failure, despite his cognizance that his fleet could not stand up to the enemy’s superior naval capabilities. When he negotiated the peace settlement, he was wounded by a Japanese fanatic, which helped ease the settlement. In 1896, on the new tsar’s coronation, he negotiated a treaty with Russia to build a railway across Manchuria, which was modern China’s first equal-nation accord. Afterwards, he made a triumphal tour calling on heads of state of western Europe and the U.S., but his return was so ill-received, that he had to bribe the dowager empress, Tzu Hsi for protection, while being accorded out-of-the-way posts. After the failed Boxer Rebellion, he served as chief negotiator for the final treaty, and died 2 months later. Inner: Continually had an eye out for personal profit, as well as enhancing his own reputation. Extremely adroit at manipulating the Confucian system to his own advantage, although always remained loyal to it. Bridge lifetime of learning western martial ways and how to control revolutionary movements in preparation for combining the two in his own unique role as Great Leader of a long-oppressed state the next time around. Kangxi (1654-1722) - Chinese emperor. Outer: Of the Ch’ing dynasty. Third son of the emperor Shunzhi (Sun Myung Moon), and like his father before him, came to the throne as a small child in 1661 as the second Ch’ing emperor. His recovery from smallpox probably influenced his selection, since his father had undergone the same illness, which ultimately claimed him, but it was assumed the son would live a long life, which he did. His mother was the daughter of a Manchu general. His chosen reign name meant ‘Peaceful Harmony.’ His regents, a quartet of conservative courtiers, abolished the political roles that eunuchs had taken under his predecessors. Took control from his regents in 1667, and consolidated Manchu rule by abolishing the Three Feudatories and ultimately taking control of Taiwan a decade and a half later. Physically vigorous, he made a number of inspection tours of the empire. Faced with Russian expansion, he cleared their presence from border areas by force and a treaty was negotiated between the two countries, the first ever that was signed by China with a Western power. Defeated the Khalkhas when they invaded Inner Mongolia in 1690, and after their loss, they accepted Ch’ing suzerainty over them. When they invaded again 5 years later, he personally led his armies against them, causing their leader to commit suicide in their ultimate defeat. Won the allegiance of Outer Mongolia through this effort, which lasted until the end of his dynasty. Interested in Western affairs, he made use of the Jesuits at his court, particularly their superior knowledge of astronomy in the prediction of eclipses and accurate computation of the official calendar, as well as an atlas of his domains. He also employed them as translators, and used their knowledge to construct cannons and other superior weaponry. Gave permission for them to promulgate Catholicism and built a church for them in Beijing, in appreciation of their curing him of malaria, which attracted missionaries of other orders, although the latter proved far less tolerant of Chinese custom, and were ultimately expelled. In addition to 3 empresses and a multitude of concubines, he had 20 sons and 8 daughters who lived to maturity, and selected his second son as heir, although the latter’s instability dictated he ultimately be confined, which hurt the emperor deeply, leading to considerable maneuvering and intrigue after his sudden death, since he named no other designated heir. Ultimately succeeded by his 4th son, Yongzheng (Kim Jong Il). Considered one of the two greatest of the Ch’ing emperors, leaving a strong united empire in his wake that was not under threat by any outside force. Inner: Avid hunter, physically and mentally vigorous, with a decisive sense of rule. In control lifetime of firmly establishing his dynasty, although without the final fillip of selecting his chosen successor. Ivan III (1440-1505) - Russian ruler. Known as “the Great.” Outer: Son of Prince Vasily II (Bo Hi Pak), the Grand Prince of Muscovy. Born during a period of civil war between his father and his uncles. His sire was arrested and blinded by his cousin in 1446, while he was hidden and then smuggled to safety, before being handed over to his progenitor’s captors. Released along with him the same year, he was crowned as co-ruler in order to insure his succession.In 1452, he married, for political reasons, the daughter of the Grand Prince of Tver, one son from the union. Tall, thin, with a slight stoop and a penetrating gaze that caused women to faint. Gained governmental experience during the latter part of his father’s reign, getting his first experience as a military leader at the age of 12, and being a full-fledged commander by the time he was 18, leading a successful campaign against the Tatars. Succeeded his father in 1462, and was kept busy campaigning militarily and tending to affairs of state. His wife died in 1467, probably the victim of poison, after which he married Sophia, the fat, unattractive niece of the last emperor of Byzantium 3 years later. Eight children from the union, including his successor, Vasily III (Kim Jong Il), succeeded him, and a daughter, Helena, who married the king of Poland, Alexander (Benny Begin). His new mate was a prideful woman and politically astute, with a genius for intrigue, and a love for Byzantine ceremony, which wound up separating him from his boyars and people, although increased his prestige. Stripped the boyars of much of their authority in order to centralize his rule and executed or imprisoned anyone who challenged him. Began the task of reconquering the Ukranian domains of his forefathers, after first subduing Novgorod and its huge northern empire, finally subjugating it completely in 1489, after steadily diminishing its independence. Annexed other territories, and won freedom from subjugation to the Mongol Golden Horde in 1480, so that he was no longer a vassal of its Khan, and could deal with Europe diplomatically as the leader of a totally sovereign state. Overcame the rebellion of 2 of his brothers, and had them acknowledge his primacy over them. In 1490, his eldest son died of gout, after his 2nd wife had brought an inept Jewish doctor to treat him. Although suspecting a conspiracy, he had to decide on a heir between his grandson and his eldest son by his 2nd wife. Spent 7 years vacillating, and finally nominated his grandson, Dmitri. His second son, Vasily and his wife, Sophia, planned a rebellion, but were caught and disgraced, and he had Dmitri crowned Grand Prince in 1498. In 1500, Vasily rebelled again and defected to the Lithuanians, forcing him to compromise, since he was at war with Lithuania. Jailed his son and daughter-in-law, and gave Vasily the title. His last years saw his plans for secularizing church lands blocked, while much of the the Ukraine still lay outside his control. Died unmourned and unloved, despite having given the Russian state its administrative and territorial foundation. Inner: Intense, austere, cautious and highly contained because of his tumultuous upbringing. Enjoyed the standard warrior trinity of feasting, fighting and fornicating and little else. Strong sense of mission about his rule, in his desire to centralize authority and reunite all Russian territory. Supremely suspicious lifetime of enormous accomplishment, albeit in an extremely cramped character who trusted no one but himself, but made his will manifest in virtually every sphere of his realm, save his own family. Basil II Bulgaroctonus (958-1025) - Byzantine basileus. Known as the Bulgar-butcher. Outer: Father was Byzantine emperor Romanus II (Notorious B.I.G.), mother was Theophano. One of four children, with two sisters. Great-great grandson of his namesake, Basil I (Maxim Gorki). When he was 2, he was crowned co-emperor with his younger brother, the future Constantine VIII (Kim Jong il), who subsequently showed no interest in rule. Their father died 3 years later, but the empire was taken over serially by two diminutive senior generals, their stepfather Nicephorus II (Chiang Kai-chek), and John I Tzimisces (Lin Piao). Short and stocky with brilliant light-blue eyes, and bushy whiskers, with which he would angrily or nervously play. Initially pursued his own pleasures, like his sire and sibling, although once in control, his entire being was dedicated to rule, making for a puritanical soul who needed few, if any creature comforts. Never married, or showed the slightest interest in women, either from being a repressed homophile, or because of a lack of libido, leaving dynasty as his only shortcoming. Following John’s death in 976, his great uncle, the eunuch chamberlain, Basil, took firm control. His first foray against the Bulgarians in 981, saw him defeated, and his subsequent early campaigns were similarly unsuccessful, while he was forced to suppress a series of revolts by the empire's great landowners, during which time, he revived the laws of Romanus I (Jay-Z) against them. Engineered his uncle’s fall from power in 985, so that he alone now ruled, since his brother showed no interest in the throne. Soon challenged by a pair of generals, who championed the Anatolian aristocracy, but they were finally defeated in 989, with the help of the Prince of Kiev, after he gave him his sister in marriage, under the condition he convert to Christianity. Afterwards, he maintained a Russian imperial guard. Devoted to the military life, he expanded his outer influence into the Balkans, Georgia and Armenia, through warfare and diplomacy. Wished to place a Greek pope in Rome, and marry his favorite niece Zoe (Helena Rubinstein) to the German emperor, Otto III (Ayman al-Zawahiri) in what would have linked the two greatest empires of the time, and probably would have considerably altered the his/story of both. The latter, however, died quite suddenly while the schism between eastern and western churches widened. Showed little interest in learning for himself, but did sponsor building and religious art. Deflated the power of his own extended aristocracy, confiscating their lands, which kept his coffers full, despite his continual costly wars. Also used the wealth of the church to his own advantage. Relentlessly campaigned against the Bulgars, personally leading his troops, while reclaiming lands lost to them, before ultimately crushing them in 1018, and then blinding their army, leaving one eye to each 100th man, so that they could be led back to their tsar, who died of shock at the sight. Turned his attentions afterwards to the eastern end of the empire, annexing Armenia and setting up lines of defense against the Turks. At the time of his death, he was preparing to retake Sicily from the Arabs. Died in bed with his boots off, and left a far more centralized empire in his wake. Succeeded by his brother Constantine VIII. Inner: Austere, sadistic, ever on the alert, a soldier supreme. Ugly, boorish, and coarse, without a drop of humane feeling, caring only for the impersonal empire, while conducting himself throughout his adult life as if he were constantly on campaign, even when he was at rest. Vigorous and determined general, with administrative skills that matched his martial artistry, which ranged from sweeping vision to the details needed to maintain his armies at continual peak performance. Trusted by his troops, but never loved by them, thanks to a repressed personality that eschewed any eccentric personal expression. Able to direct all aspects of his government, framing laws which revolutionized the relationship between rich and poor, while bringing his empire to its apex, from which it had nowhere to go in succeeding centuries but steadily downwards. Iron-fisted lifetime of relentlessly and effectively pursuing his aims, while tolerating no resistance to his will in a sheer martial display dedicated to expressing that element of his character. Qin Shih Huang (Ying Zheng) (259BZ-210BZ) - Chinese emperor. Outer: Father had been a prince of the state of Ch’in or Qin before becoming its king when his son was ten. Mother, Zhao Ji, was one of his sire’s concubines, and he was the eldest son of their union. Later negative propaganda would make him the illegitimate issue of his mother and Lu Buwei, a rich merchant very much into royal intrigue, although the possibility is remote at best. When his progenitor died in 246, Lu Buwei became regent for him, during a time of ongoing war for supremacy among the seven premier states of what would become northern China. Spent his teens mired in court intrigue when his mother took on a lover, Lao Ai, disguised as a eunuch per the manipulations of Lu Buwei. She had two sons with him, while his regent plotted to have one of his own hidden progeny replace him. Took control after Lao Ai tried to stage a coup, and had his supporters beheaded, while the latter was torn to pieces between horse carriages. The two sons were summarily executed, while his mother spent the rest of her life under house arrest. Lu Buwei committed suicide, and Li Ssu (Sun Myung Moon) was chosen to replace him as chancellor. Had a score of concubines, as well as twenty-eight children, with his eldest, Fusu, as his designated heir Survived several assassination attempts in his subduing of rival states, which heightened his ongoing need for absolute control. By 221, he had unified the various states for the first time, and proclaimed himself Huang, emperor, a title that would be the used by subsequent rulers in all the dynasties that followed. Repeatedly made grand tours of his empire, displaying himself with great pomp to awe his subjects and cement the sense that they were ruled by a grandiose figure. Moved wealthy families to the capital to keep them under close control, and harshly enforced all his edicts. Divided China into administrative units, with his government at their center, turning a previous feudal set of states into a large bureaucracy, while creating a meritocratic, rather than hereditary system to run it. Standardized weights, measures and currency, as well as made the written ideographic language uniform, so as to exercise totalitarian control over all aspects of imperial life. Chose the element of water as his symbolic standard, along with the color black, and the direction of the north, as well as the winter as his totems, all of which would be associated with the mind in the larger wheel of universal symbols. Began an earlier version of the Great Wall of China, at the cost of thousands of lives, while also eliminating many of the records of the past, as if his/story began with his emperorhood. Also buried alive nearly 500 scholars, alchemists and priests, as part of a need to obliterate everything and everyone who did not feed positively and directly into his rule. Only kept books and scrolls from the past, that had nothing to do with political his/story, while all literature was the strict province of the royal library and nowhere else. As he grow older, he began searching out elixirs of immortality, consorting with magicians and mystics and the like who promised him they could help him live forever. Also began building a giant tomb for himself in 215, replete with booby traps to thwart plunderers. His death was presaged by a large meteor falling to Earth, upon which someone inscribed his impending demise. Executed everyone in the vicinity for the presumption of the prediction, and had the meteor burned and turned into power. Died the following year, while touring eastern China in one of the innumerable palaces he had built, allegedly after swallowing mercury pills, which he believed would feed into his immortality. His chancellor Li Ssu hid his death for fear of an uprising, during the two month journey it took to reach the capital with his body. A highly conspiratorial court eunuch, Zhao Gao (Kim Jong-il), along with Li Ssu, had his oldest son killed to insure their own control over the empire, as a younger son was made Second Emperor. Both Zhao Gao and Li Ssu lost their lives in the chaotic aftermath, and his dynasty proved extremely short-lived, lasting only into the second generation. His reputation would subsequently ping-pong with the ages, with constant reassessments given according to the precepts of the times. Buried along with a huge terra cotta army of 8000 soldier-figurines to guard him in the afterworld, which was not discovered until the twentieth century. Inner: Both a builder and destroyer, with an equal facility for launching enormous construction projects and initiating the destruction of anything which threatened his status in comparison. Felt philosophical thinking was detrimental to efficiency, as was criticism, in his need to totally control the mind, body and spirit of his empire. The empire strikes back lifetime of creating many elements of the imperial structure of China through dint of a need for absolute control on every level, including over his own mortality, the singular aspect of his existence that ultimately evaded his excessively domineering reach.


Storyline: The bad hair heir is given hermit kingdoms for his own, and proves like father, like son, he knows his way around absolute control, for a time, depending on the outer circumstances.

Kim Jong Il (1941-2011) -North Korean dictator. Outer: Father was North Korean dictator Kim Il Sung, who was fighting in the resistance to the Japanese invasion of Korea when his oldest son was born either in a hotel in Russia or on an army base there. The year of his birth was changed to 1942 to conform with his father’s 1912, to give a numerical sense of continuity to him, while his birthplace was made to be Mount Paektu, giving him the holy pedigree that would also confer godlike status on him, in the godless theocratic state that his progenitor created. Mother, to whom he would bear strong resemblance, was under 5’ feet, and largely uneducated, while always pictured in military fatigues. Later mythology would have him making his grand entrance on Korea’s sacred mountain, Mt. Paektu, with a double rainbow heralding his birth. Had a Russian name, Yura, throughout high school. One younger brother who drowned while swimming with him, and a younger sister. After his mother died in childbirth, when he was 7, his father treated him like a dog, then remarried, siring 2 more sons. Used make believe to compensate, and finally won his sire’s grudging approval by staging revolutionary musicals. Whisked off to Manchuria during the Korean War, and returned home in 1953, in effect, an orphan during that period. Very insecure and erratic while growing up, with shifty eyes and halting speech. Later affected heels to raise his corpulent 5’3” frame, as he pursued a playboy lifestyle, while his father completely controlled the country, feeding it lie after lie to maintain his position as its one and only Great Leader. Although the heir apparent, he still had to prove himself to his strongman sire. May have studied in a German aviation school in the 1960s. In 1964, he graduated from Kim Il Sung Univ. with a degree in political economy. Joined the central committee of the Korean Workers Party, and worked his way up the apparatus. Did not get along with his stepmother, while his stepbrothers were potential rivals, so that he was always acutely aware of the potholes in his potential succession. Fathered an illegitimate son, Kim Jong-nam, with actress Song Hye-Rim, who would be the love of his life, and then was forced by his own sire in the early 1970s to marry Kim Yong Suk, the daughter of a military official. One daughter from the union, although neither would receive much attention from him. Sired other children by his mistresses, including twin sons, who would be viewed as potential dynastic successors. In the early 1970s, after helping his father purge the Korean Worker’s Party of rival factions, he assumed control of covert operations as head of the Orwellian Propaganda and Agitation Department. Named his father’s official heir in 1974, when a younger brother mysteriously fell from grace. Soon after, he began producing counterfeit U.S. bills to pay for his ‘palace economy,’ where he and the ruling elite were kept supplied with high-priced luxury items. Sponsored kidnappings of both Japanese and South Koreans, some to satisfy his cravings for actresses, and also orchestrated several terrorist attacks including the blowing up of a Korean airliner in 1987. Consolidated his position following the death of his father in 1994, showing himself to be even more controlling, with no limits placed on his rule, and a huge gulag for those who even lightly questioned his authoritarian position. Given the sobriquet of ‘Dear Leader,’ to differentiate him from the ‘Great Leader’ title of his sire. Unlike other Communist leaders, he lived like a capitalist plutocrat, with 100 limousines, hordes of pleasure women, and a gourmand’s taste for fine wine and foods, while, ironically his country was starving, with 15% dying of malnutrition, in a total polarity display. During his early reign, the country slid into floods and famine with its industrial output reduced by 3/4, making him totally dependent on China for economic support, while personally salting away over $4 billion of his own moneys in Swiss acounts, just in case he was overthrown. Also owned a half-dozen villas around Europe, Russia and China. in order to keep his elite well-rewarded, oversaw a vast criminal empire, exporting counterfeit cigarettes, drugs, and forged American money all over the world, from an enclave known as Bureau 39. Tried opening the economy in 2002, timidly experimenting with capitalism in his outskirt cities, but was unable to relinquish his absolute sense of control to give it a foundation for working. Felt he had a huge target on his back, when American president George W. Bush characterized his state as part of his axis of evil. His wife died of breast cancer in 2004, and 2 years later he wed his secretary, Kim Ok. Recognizing America’s overextended position in its war on terrorism, he continued to stand defiant, employing the threat of nuclear missiles, to go along with his biological and chemical arsenal, although, because of his complete dependency on China, he probably did not make a move without their tacit approval. Nevertheless, he tested a nuclear device in 2006, to ratchet up global tensions and allow him to remain a mote in the world’s greater eye, while using his unpredictability as a lever for gaining aid, as well as preventing anyone from toppling his regime militarily. A stroke in the summer of 2008, and subsequent brain surgery, would put his whole nation’s future in question, as his recovery and capacities remained shrouded in secrecy, in keeping with his hermit kingdom’s aversion to any broadcast reality other than it’s own. Supposedly paralyzed from the waist down, with his brother-in-law and wife running the country, although he managed to win a third “re-election” afterwards, as well make public appearances to prove he was still very much in charge, despite further rumors of pancreatic cancer. Continued to rile his neighbors and the West with nuclear shennanigans, while designating his third and youngest son, Kim Jong Un, as his successor, and overseeing more and more internal crackdowns in preparation for the succession. Died of a heart attack aboard his train, en route to a military garrison. His public funeral demanded of his citizens to outdo themselves in their show of grief, or suffer criminal consequences, as the government passed seamlessly to a troika of his sister, her husband, Jang Song-taek, and his number three son. His body lies in state at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang, near his father’s. Inner: Decadent, controlling, paranoid, suspicious and completely insensitive to his country’s suffering. Very aware of his image in the world, keeping tabs on global newscasts to see how he was portrayed. Obsessed with the CIA getting his feces in order to analyze his DNA, necessitating travel only by his own private train. Huge movie fan, and had said he would have been a producer or critic if he hadn’t been a dictator. Innately operatic, loved spectacles both performed for him, and in which he stars, as an applauding centerpiece. Had always wanted to be the force behind the peace treaty that would officially end the Korean War, which has never been signed, and continually employed purges to cement his position, to keep the elite beneath him off-balance. Modernday monster lifetime of being given absolute power and recklessly employing it to be a shadow scourge on not only his own people, but the world-at-large. Yuan Shik’ai (1859-1916) - Chinese general and minister. Outer: From a landed military family. Exhibited excellent physical skills as a youth, as well as an astute consciousness, although was no scholar and failed his examinations and was forced to buy a military title in 1880. 2 years later, he was called to active service in Korea to stop Japanese encroachment there, and he proved his decisiveness to such extent, he was made Chinese commissioner at Seoul in 1885. With the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese a decade later, Chinese military deficiency was highlighted, and he was put in charge of training a new army. When his division was the only one left standing at the end of the Boxer Rebellion in 1900, his political star rose, and he was given the viceroyalty of the metropolitan province, the first Han Chinese to be so honored. Later rose to grand councillor, the first to do so without any academic qualification, as he turned his efforts to modernization programs and defense, with the full backing of the dowager empress Tzu Hsi. On her death in 1908, however, he was stripped of his office and sent packing by his enemies, although he was recalled when the dynasty fell at the outset of the republican revolution in 1911, since he was the one man deemed capable of holding the country together. His response, however, was to grab as much power as he could by any means possible, and when he was complicitous in the assassination of the chairman of the nationalist party and undermined the National Assembly, he stirred up a revolt against him in 1913. His subsequent victory ended any hope for a democratic republic, as he tried to make himself the head of a new imperial dynasty in 1916, in an attempt to unite the country around a central authority. His efforts, coupled with his earlier capitulation to Japanese demands, only united everyone against him, and he was forced several months later to reinstate republican rule. Unable to regain his former pre-eminence, he died several months later of uremia. Inner: Astute political mind and decisive military abilities coupled with a great hunger for power. Self-serving lifetime of doing it the unorthodox way, only to ultimately alienate everyone with his grasping sense of self as the singular savior of a dying governmental system, leading to a literal self-poisoning and fall from power. Yongzheng (1678-1735) - Chinese emperor. Outer: 4th son of emperor K’angxi (Kim Il Sung). Received a classic Confucian education, and evinced an interest in philosophy. When the emperor’s second son, and designated heir proved unstable and had to be confined, the throne was left open, at the former’s sudden death. Seized it in 1723, and became the third emperor of the Ch’ing dynasty. Had two empresses and a host of consorts, who ultimately produced 11 sons and four daughters. Unathletic, and quite unlike his vigorous sire, he, nevertheless quickly cemented his power by imprisoning several of his brothers and reducing the power of the Manchu aristocracy, then named his heir in a secret will that was not to be opened until his death, to insure no one like himself seized the reins of government. Suppressed factionalism in the bureaucracy and instituted a literary inquisition, executing or exiling prominent scholars and their families, in order to show his absolute control over all aspects of his heavenly kingdom. Showed himself to be an able financial administrator via his provident ways, and maintained the hydraulic works that kept the Yellow River in check. Signed a treaty with Russia and sent two embassies with Moscow, although did not deal with any other western nation. In 1724, he outlawed all activities by Christian missionaries in response to a papal ban on certain Chinese rites, and his 12 year reign was deemed largely successful, as he once more proved to be an effective bridge figure between two emperors far more powerful than he. Probably died in most ironic fashion from an overdose of a concoction he had been taking to prolong his life. Succeeded by his 4th son, Ch’ien Lung, the longest ruling emperor in Chinese his/story. Inner: Irascible, frugal and introverted. Bridge figure lifetime of filling the autocratic gap between two figures far greater than himself, and acquitting himself favorably. Vasily III (1479-1533) - Russian Grand Prince. Outer: Father was Ivan III (Kim Il Sung), mother was his 2nd wife, Sophia, daughter of the Byzantine emperor. His father favored the son of his deceased first son as his heir, and after he and his mother threatened a revolt, they were disgraced. Later compromised his sire in a rebellion and went over to the Lithuanians, which forced his progenitor’s hand, and he was declared his official heir several years before his death. Succeeded his sire in 1505, and completed his policy of consolidating the various Russian principalities into a united Muscovite state, creating the foundation for the Russian empire. Initially leaned on his mother’s supporters, and crushed anyone who defied his absolute rule, be it boyar or churchman. Divorced his first wife, Solomonia Saburova, in 1525, because she was barren, and married Elena Glinskaya, a Lithuanian noblewoman, by whom he had his successor, Ivan IV (Joseph Stalin). Overcame any and all objections to his autocratic rule, and was able to hand over a significant state to his successor, after a near 3-decade run. Died of an abscess in his right thigh, and was made a monk just before expiring. Inner: Even more autocratic than his father, creating a bridge between Ivans III and IV that would cement Russia as a formidable world-state. Top-of-the-command-chain lifetime of fighting for his inheritance and then providing the strong-armed leadership that would refashion Russia into a major European player, while, as usual, serving as a bridge between two far more talented autocrats than himself. Constantine VIII (960-1028) - Byzantine basileus. Outer: Father was Byzantine emperor Romanus II (Notorious B.I.G.). Mother was his consort Theophono. Older brother was emperor Basil II (Kim Il Sung), the most powerful member of the family dynasty, whose long rule saw the empire reach its apex. Also had two sisters. Tall and handsomely built, he was a skilled horseman, and a voluptuary like his progenitor. Married a Byzantine aristocrat named Helena, and had three daughters with her, with two, Theodora (Kim Hyong-Hui) and Zoe (Helena Rubinstein) ultimately becoming co-empresses. Crowned as co-emperor with his brother when he was two, although did not take the throne until the last three years of his life. Stayed in the shadows sating his senses during the long run of Basil, using his status for his enjoyment, while showing little interest in affairs of state because of his sibling’s masterful handling of the power realm, while only involving himself on rare occasion with political duties. A good athlete when young, he participated in sporting events, such as running and javelin-throwing, making them popular again. Despite little formal schooling, he harbored a curiosity about things, which engaged foreign diplomats, while he possessed a musical speaking voice and a handsome eloquence, making him socially popular. Passionately loved the chase, and was a huge fan of the circus, while sponsoring obscene performances in his private theater, and constantly carousing with his cronies and concubines. Since his brother never married and died childless, he assumed the throne on his death in 1025 as a sixty-five year old widower. At this juncture, he could barely walk because of gout, and his decision-making was equally clouded by a lifelong lack of interest in the throne. Proved to be excessively cruel every time he felt his power threatened, ordering executions and mutilations by the score, with blinding as his favorite mode of punishment, although afterwards, he would remorsefully throw his arms around his victims and beg their forgiveness. Made poor appointments, and proved a disastrous ruler in the mercifully short three years of his reign, bowing, under threat of a coup, to the demands of the Anatolian aristocracy to repeal his brother’s land laws, to once again dispossess the peasants. Did not think about the succession until he lay on his deathbed, at which point he had his middle daughter Zoe marry the city’s urban prefect, who would succeed him as Romanus III (Woody Allen). Inner: Hearty gourmand, constantly experimenting with sauces, while pleasures of the stomach and loins were his most ardent pursuit. Possessed no moral sense whatsoever, and was afraid of his own power, resulting in his excess reactions whenever it was questioned. Hearty appetite lifetime of being permitted to pursue pure pleasure as a reflection of his exalted social status, before showing himself completely incapable of rule because of it, in a much earlier reflection of his 20th century go-round, where he tried to create more of a balance between the two, under the auspices of the same dominating father/brother. Zhao Gao (?-207BZ) - Chinese court eunuch. Outer: Belonged to a distant branch of the ruling house of the state of Zhao. Both his parents were convicted of criminal activity, and he and his next oldest brother were castrated in recompense, rendering them eunuchs. Had several other younger brothers, all of whom were born in prison, so that his family’s status was extremely reduced, curtailing his own extreme ambition. Nevertheless, he established a reputation for being diligent and harboring an expertise on crime and punishment. His renown was enough to secure him a position at the court of the Qin emperor Qin Shih Huang (Kim Il Sung), as chief of the office of palace carriages. Entered the private service of Huhai, one of his sons, then rose in court circles to become chief eunuch, showing a corrupt disregard for anyone who stood in the way of his steady rise to supreme power in the emperor’s court. Both unprincipled and cruel, he was accused of major malfeasance, but was spared a death sentence when the emperor pardoned him, seeing him as far too valuable to lose. When the latter died on a journey away from the capital in 210, his death was kept secret by the contingent traveling with him, during the two months it took to bring his body back to the capital, for fear of riots. Along with the chancellor, Li Ssu (Sun Myung Moon), he forged a document naming Huhai to the succession as Second Emperor of the dynasty, contra wishes of Qin Shih Huang, who had named his eldest, Fusu, to succeed him. Manipulated Fusu into committing suicide, then after securing his own position as chancellor had Li Ssu charged with treason, then tortured so as to make him confess, before executing him in extremely painful manner. Chaos ensued with the seating of the Second Emperor, and the various Chinese states all fomented rebellion. Fearing he would be blamed, he poisoned the Second Emperor and installed the son of the rightful heir in his stead. For all his manipulations, however, he was summarily executed, and the brief Qin dynasty collapsed, despite having unified the various states of northern China and making them an imperial enclave. Inner: Venal and corrupt, with an all-consuming power lust, and no compunction whatsoever to bend and break whatever rules hemmed in his ambitions. Darkside lifetime of giving full play to his monomaniacal character within the context of his longtime family, and their equal propensity for power at all costs.


Storyline: The impressive empress manages to be her own woman in a variety of highly restrictive circumstances, evincing a sure instinct for making her imperial presence more than known, no matter what the circumstances are for her to gain power.

Kim Kyong-Hui (1946) - North Korean co-head of state. Outer: Youngest of three children, of North Korean dictator Kim Il Sung. Her older brother Kim Jong-il would eventually succeed her father, while her middle sibling drowned in 1947. Lost her mother, Kim Jong-suk, two years later in childbirth, and was raised afterwards by both relatives and her father’s personal aides. Spent the early part of the Korean War in China, before returning home, to find her father had married his secretary, which she refused to acknowledge. Entered the Political Economy Dept.of Kim Il Sung Univ. where she met her future husband Jang Sung-taek, who was leader of a student musical group at the time, although soon found their continuation as a couple was forbidden, and he was expelled. Nevertheless, she persisted in seeing him, and together they attended the Kim Il Sung School for Higher Party Officials, before studying at Moscow State Univ. in 1968. Given a management position in the Korean Democratic Women’s Union in 1971, and the following year the two were married. Continued getting promotions, while producing a daughter and son. Held no more official positions until 1987, and the following year she was appointed a member of the Korean Worker’s Party Central Committee. Continued rising in the bureaucracy, and when her father died in 1994, she was listed as #47 on the funeral committee. After 2003 she disappeared from public view and three years later, she lost her daughter in Paris. Returned to political life in 2009, following her brother’s incapacitation from a stroke, garnering mention as traveling with him, as well as her husband, with both taking a far more active life in the day-to-day government, because of her sibing’s incapacitation, with a dramatic increase in her public appearances from 2009 onward. Despite a largely hidden public life, she long served as one of her brother’s principal managers and operatives, and before he passed on in late 2011, he named her and her husband, along with his youngest son, Kim Jong Un, as the ruling troika who would succeed him. Inner: Able to hold her own in a hermit kingdom, where women have traditionally been relegated to the background. Continually served as a family link to the elite clans of North Korea, while showing an extremely assertive will, amidst the dictatorial disciplines that surrounded her. Unofficial empress lifetime of exercising her own will and power under the most restrictive and secretive circumstances yet in her long run as imperial power-monger extraordinaire. Cixi (1835-1908) - Dowager Empress of China. Outer: Daughter of a bureaucratic official who became a provincial commissioner and his principal wife. Moved to Beijing sometime in her teens, right before her father was dismissed from the civil service for failing to halt the Taiping Rebellion and abandoning his post. Made a preparative concubine in 1851, which gave her access to the emperor’s bed, allowing her to rise to the rank of imperial concubine. Four years later, she gave birth to the emperor’s only son, which once again elevated her position, this time to consort of the fourth rank. Two years afterwards, she found herself Noble Consort, second only to the empress in the female hierarchy of the court. Forced to flee Beijing during the Second Opium War, and just before the emperor died in 1861, he called both the empress consort and her to his deathbed, to aid in her son’s succession to the throne when he came of age, since he was only eight at the time. Made an Empress Dowager, although held a lower standing than the Empress Dowager Consort, which immediately had her plotting to upgrade her position by joining with her fellow dowager to supersede the Eight Regent Ministers, who did not take kindly to her manipulations. Began plotting with underlings who felt themselves shunted aside by the regents, including younger sons of the emperor. Maneuvered with the support of the young princes to oust the Regents who were accused of negotiating with the British during the Opium War and causing the emperor’s death, while altering his will to give themselves power. Had three of them executed, although spared the lives of their families, while becoming the only Qing Dynasty empress to rule “from behind the curtain” as it were. Rewarded her princely confederates, while issuing an edict that she and her sister consort, who showed no interest in rule, would be the sole decision makers for the empire. Effected a bureaucratic overhaul, replete with a couple of executions, and appointed Han officials as governors of all the southern provinces, much to the consternation of the Manchus. Successfully oversaw the suppression of the Taiping Rebellion, while continually being on the alert for any threats to her position of near-absolute power. Had one of the prince’s dismissed, then reinstated him but without his previous influence. Feared those who studied abroad, for bringing liberal ideas into the empire, stopping children of officials being sent out of the country for their education, while resisting modernizing attempts such as railways. in 1872, her son married the granddaughter of one of her old enemies, making for a tense relationship between the two, particularly since her fellow Dowager Empress doted on her. Her unhappy son wound up ill prepared for the throne, largely neglecting his duties to the empire during his mercifully short rule of two years, and demoted anyone with the audacity to criticism him, including a fellow prince and his grand councilors, which elicited an unprecedented reaction from the Dowager Empresses. In 1875, both the emperor and empress serially died from smallpox, without leaving a male heir. The new emperor was the four year old son of her sister and a royal prince, and was chosen after much arguing between the two Dowager Empresses. Taken from his family, he was made to address her as “Biological Father.” When her fellow Dowager Empress died in 1881, it was thought she may have poisoned her. Consolidated her power afterwards, although slowly released her grip when the next emperor was past his majority in 1889, choosing his bride, her niece, for him, against his will. Had his consort flogged for fear of her liberal influence, and continued to resist change, particularly after the brief period of the Hundred Days’ Reform, using it as excuse to depose the emperor in all but name. The Boxer Rebellion of 1900 confirmed all her fears of foreign intervention, when she was forced once again to evacuate Beijing. On her return, she reversed herself and embraced the reformists she had resisted, including Yuan Shikai (Kim Jong-il). Died the day after the emperor, and just prior to installing Pu Yi (Kim Jong Un) on the throne, in what may have been one last power move in poisoning the former because she knew her own death was imminent, so as not to have him finally upstage her. Inner: Iron-willed with a manipulative instinct for power that would keep her at the center of her dynasty’s last gasp resistance to the modern world for nearly half a century. I am legend lifetime of being in charge of a dying, reactionary dynasty for nearly fifty years, resisting to the very end, anyone standing in her way of making her supreme will known. Theodora (981-1056) - Byzantine empress. Outer: Father was Constantine VIII (Kim Jong-il). Mother was Helena, from an aristocratic family, with a noted sire, Alypius. The youngest of three sisters, including Zoe (Helena Rubinstein). Tall and plain, with a disproportionately small head. imperious, she refused to marry her intended, her third cousin, Romanus III (Woody Allen), whom her sibling would wed, despite his having been enspoused at the time. Although she went into retirement in the women’s quarters of the palace, where her life was taken up with religious routine, she remained a figure of competitive jealousy for her sister, who confined her to a monastery, where she spent the greater part of her life. In 1042, Zoe’s third husband, Michael V (Kim Jung-un) was disenthroned, and she was forcibly and reluctantly dragged from her convent, and installed as co-empress with her sister, with the latter being given preference over her, after affecting a chilly reunion between the two. Insisted on the blinding of her predecessor, when her sister merely wanted to keep him in exile. After only 2 months, she allowed herself to be subsumed by her sister’s 4th husband, Constantine IX (Charles Revson). Following Zoe’s demise in 1050 and his death in 1055, she took full control over the government, feeling the empire was hers alone. Given support by the palace bureaucracy, despite longheld prejudices against women rulers, she proved a highly capable administrator, despite her relatively advanced age. Appointed all her own officials, dispensed justice and resisted all attempts by the city’s patriarch to take over the government. Her penchant for revenge over old enemies, coupled with her use of lessers for advisers, however, marred her reputation, during her brief run at the top. Probably died from appendicitis, or some sort of abdominal disorder. Proved to be the last of the long Macedonian line, and was succeeded by an aged bureaucrat, Michael VI (Kim Jong-nam). Inner: Calm and hidden, taking pains to conceal her thoughts, although quite articulate in expressing them. Had an excellent instinct for administration, once she was finally allowed to rule. Lady-long-in-waiting lifetime of having to abide many a decade to strut her stuff, during which time she was probably a mixture of anger, acceptance and religious rationalization, until her brief run at the top, when she proved a no-nonsense executive fully capable of holding her own in a patriarchy. Wu Hao (Wu Zetian) (625-705) - Chinese empress. Outer: Father was a general. Reputedly quite beautiful, she came to the emperor’s palace at the age of 13 to become a junior concubine. By the time of the emperor’s death 11 years later, she was involved with his heir, Gaozong, who brought her back from the Buddhist convent, to which emperor’s concubines were traditionally sent after the death of their master. By the age of 30, she had a son, and had displaced the childless empress and ousted all the senior court officials who had disapproved of her rise in rank. Reputedly went on to have all the other concubines killed, and ruthlessly removed any oppostion to her elevation, including both members of her own and the imperial family. Totally dominated her sickly husband, the emperor, by whom she had 5 children, and he, in turn, allowed her to rule his administration with her own loyal officials and generals, since he was often too ill to act. Inspired great loyalty from her ministers, showing great decisiveness, and considerable administrative skill. Always deeply respected, if never quite loved by her minions. Officially designated empress in 655, and within 5 years had triumphed over all her opponents, despite cries of incest around her relationship with the previous emperor and his son. Her generals conquered Korea over a two decade span, thanks to her abiity to choose and reward extremely competent officers. When her husband died in 683 and her son was declared emperor, she had him deposed and exiled and continued to govern, with her second son as nominal ruler, quickly putting down a revolt, thanks to her loyal armies. Finally usurped the throne in 690, and despite her move being counter to all traditions, there was no revolt. Proved to be an extremely effective ruler on her own for the next 15 years, although she recalled her eldest son in 698 as her heir. During her half century of rule, the T’ang Empire experienced both peace and prosperity, as well as gaining a solid foundation for its earlier unification. Created a bureaucratic meritocracy to replace aristocratic military control, and placed competent people in strategic positions. An enthusiastic builder, her reign was also marked by high cultural achievement. Despite her many accomplishments, she had a weakness for favorites, whose incompetence and extravagance, finally led her leading ministers to revolt when she was aged and ailing, and she was forced to retire to her summer palace in 705, where she died 10 months later. Inner: Extremely strong-willed, ruthless, and indomitable. Until the end of her life, perceptively saw who could serve her well and who could not. Had little sense of family, totally interested in her own singular expression of power. Pure power lifetime of bringing her willful sensibilities to bear on a highly patriarchal throne, and in the process, creating a highlight era in the long overt his/story, and covert herstory, of China.


Storyline: The disempowered emperor is raised to rule only to deliberately sabotage his status as a statement of independence from expectations, after earlier having been denied the full extent of his house’s authority due to its repetitive weak grasp of power.

Kim Jong-nam (1971-2017) - North Korean heir apparent and businessman. Outer: Oldest son of Kim Jong Il, the future Dear Leader of the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea). His mother, South Korean actress Song Hye-rim, was not married to him, and ultimately fled to Moscow, for treatment for mental illness, so there was a strong element of secrecy around his early existence. Grew up with his maternal aunt, who was a dramatist and novelist, as well as a widow with her own two sons. Eventually came to live in his father’s residential complex in East Pyongyang, in a cloistered atmosphere where he was overly-protected and overly-pampered as heir apparent to the Kim North Korean dictatorial line. Educated by tutors as if he were a little emperor, while his attendants catered to his every whim, much as if he were palace-bred. Had a special relationship with his adopted half-sibling, Li Nam-Ok who served as his playmate, before becoming his tutor, and finally settling into the role of sister. Sent to an expensive secondary school in Geneva for two years, along with her, so as to have little real experiential feel for his country. Later studied for two years at a secondary computer and science school in Moscow, before returning to the DPRK to get his baccalaureate at Kim Il Sung Univ. Proved to be quite listless afterwards, as part of the social set of North Korea’s elite, and ultimately became tall and overweight, with a similar penchant for gormandizing as his father. Became more of a public figure following his grandfather Kim Il Sung’s death in 1994, and his own progenitor’s successful grab for and consolidation of power as his successor soon afterwards. Served as a section chief in the Ministry of Public Security, and in 1997 he married and had a son. Showed a gift for computer technology and software, which would lead to his next position, as a member of the Korea Computer Committee. As such, he has been credited with opening up the DPRK’s internet system. As his profile rose, however, he showed a reluctance for the role thrust on him and was arrested in 2001 at the Tokyo airport with a forged Dominican passport under the name of Pang Xiong, which translates in Chinese to “Fat Bear,” while sporting shades and a gold chain. Accompanied at the time by his wife, an aide and his son. Detained and then deported to China, after telling his interlocutors that he was in Japan to visit its Disneyland, having previously and clandestinely entered the country on several occasions without mishap. The deep embarrassment he caused his father ended his status as heir apparent, as his youngest half-brother, Kim Jong Un usurped his place. Stayed in Beijing and then moved to Macao with his family afterwards. Supposedly handled his father’s financial accounts in China and manages some software IT acquisitions. His travels to Europe for medical reasons have been documented, while he has stated unequivocally he has no desire to follow in his family’s heavy footsteps on the Korean peninsula. Instead he serves as a financial manager for his family’s interests. Reputedly has six children with three different women, and has been the target of assassination attempts by his younger half-brother. May still retain his role as a fallback successor should disaster hit the family, while he prefers a low-profile role as a wealthy polygamist with little real interest in his native state. Broke family ranks, however, by publicly declaring in 2010 he didn’t believe in third generation dynastic succession. Admitted the instability of the country in a series of interviews, published in book form after his sire’s death, saying if reforms to the state-controlled economy were not implemented, North Korea could easily become a failed state, while his own status as its head was still a possibility, with the backing of Beijing, since his brother was largely a figurehead. Assassinated in the Kuala Lumpur airport by two women who rubbed a highly toxic nerve agent on his face, thinking they were pulling a harmless prank in a confused action by all concerned. His brother later claimed he died of a heart attack.Inner: A foodie like his father, and also a noted high-roller in Asian casinos, with a love of games of chance. Accessible to the press, and devoid of the usual entourage someone of his status usually commands, in his odd ongoing need to be both powerful and unobtrusive through accidents of birth. Personal revenge lifetime of setting himself up to reject a symbolic throne, while enjoying the perks and privileges of power, without having to publicly assume it. Zaifeng (1883-1951) - Chinese prince. Outer: Fifth son of Yixuan, Prince Chun, but only the second scion to survive past childhood. Mother had been a maid in his sire’s residence, before becoming one of his secondary wives. Younger half-brother of the Qing dynasty’s second to last emperor. After the Dowager empress CiXi (Kim Kyong-hui) chose his older half-brother as the next emperor, in 1875, his family’s status rose, and on the death of his sire in 1891, he inherited his title, Prince Chun of the First Rank. His fiancee committed suicide in 1900 for fear of being raped during the Boxer Rebellion by foreign elements in the occupied capital. Made an army inspector the following year by the transplanted court, and later was appointed as a Special Ambassador to the German government in order to apologize for the murder of one of their diplomats, although refused to follow protocol and kneel in front of the German kaiser, Wilhelm II (Benny Begin). Toured Europe afterwards, as one of the first members of his dynasty ever to venture outside the east. Given several more key appointments, before the empress began to see him as a threat to her position, particularly in light of his favored status among the European states. Ordered him to marry Youlan, the daughter of a reactionary who was the favorite minister of the empress. Did so, out of duty, although the union was unhappy, and made him a secondary figure once again. Their first son, Pu Yi (Kim Jong Un) would become the last Chinese emperor on the death of CiXi. One more son and three daughters would follow. The emperor died in 1908, and Pu Yi was designated his successor, while he, as his progenitor, was designated Prince-Regent. CiXi died immediately afterwards, ending a near five decade rule. Punished the army general Yuan Shikai (Kim Jong il), who had disobeyed the emperor in 1898, and helped put an end to the Hundred Days’ Reform, a brief attempt at sweeping change to bring China more into the modern world. Wanted to have the general assassinated, although he wound up only dismissed from office. Tried to initiate some measure of economic and political reform during his three year regency, but a powerful reactionary faction did their utmost to keep things as they were, out of a profound fear of any kind of change that would threaten their preeminence. His efforts at creating a constitution were stymied by the country’s inability to function in any kind of democratic manner, despite having a vast majority of its first provincial assembly on the same page as constitutional monarchs. A Manchu minority went on to dominate the selected Imperial Cabinet, giving them far more power than their positions warranted. When the government announced it was going to nationalize the country’s railroads, both business and bourgeois elements rose in righteous indignation, leading to active revolutionary attempts to overthrow the dynasty. Unable to act or react to these chaotic circumstances, he let them play out, instead, dooming the dynasty. Ousted the 13th Dalai Lama from Tibet in 1910, which caused him ultimately to declare Tibet independent. In 1911, the Xinhai Revolution started in earnest, and he was forced to recall Yuan Shikai as prime minister, despite his strong dislike of him. Stepped down from his regency in 1911, and was replaced by his sister-in-law, much to his relief, since he longed to return to his mansion. Able to retain respect during the upheaval that followed because of his ready relinquishment of power. After the death of his sister-in-law, he was placed in charge of his son, Pu Yi, who was no longer emperor, and managed the court’s affairs until 1924, when the family was expelled from the Forbidden City. Spent most of his time reading, and lost his first wife in 1921, when she committed suicide by swallowing opium, after a public humiliation by the dowager consort for her son’s behavior. Married a second time to Lady Dengiya, and augmented his family with four more daughters and two more sons. In 1924, he moved to Tianjin, living in the British and Japanese concessions, before returning to his earlier mansion. Forewarned his son when Japan established the puppet state of Manchukuo, but the latter wished to rule and ignored him, only to see he was only a puppet. Weathered the huge upheaval of the Japanese occupation, the civil war and the Communist Chinese takeover in 1949, enjoying their respect and regard. Sold his residence to the government and also donated his library and art collection to Beijing Univ., proving to be a generous benefactor of flooding victims in 1950. Died the following year. Inner: Never enjoyed being in power, although showed decent instincts for implementing the much needed reform the empire needed. Over his head lifetime of being a stopgap ruler, without the experience or strength of will to alter the flood of events that would change his empire forever. Michael VI Stratiotikos (Michael Bringas) (?-1059) - Byzantine basileus. Outer: From a patrician court family, whose collateral ancestor had been chief minister during the reign of Romanus II (Notorious B.I.G.). Held a civil service post concerned with military administration and was quite elderly when he was chosen by the empress Theodora (Kim Kyong-hui) as her successor as she lay dying. The choice was somewhat suspect since only her closest adviser claimed to have heard it. Known as “the Aged,” with no overt experience of rule, other than being a bureaucratic administrator. A comic attempt at an overthrow was launched almost immediately by Theodosius, a nephew of a former emperor, with the perpetrator quickly rebuffed and exiled. Showed a clear preference for the bureaucracy over the military, in his lavishing of bonuses and promotions on the former, while largely ignoring the latter, much to their outrage. Under the leadership of Gen. Nicephorus Bryennius, whom he had restored but then insulted, he was overthrown soon afterwards by the military, after a rebellious force routed the government army near Nicaea. Tried to negotiate afterwards with their leader, Isaac I Comnenus (Sumner Redstone), who turned down his offer of adoption, and, following a riot in his favor, was proclaimed emperor in 1057. Quickly abdicated and was spared blinding and exiled, the usual mode of disposal of deposed emperors, allowing him to become a monk and die in peace at his home two years later. Inner: Accidental emperor lifetime of revealing all his limitations by rising far above his comfort zone of competency to the rarified air of rule, which would continue to reject his efforts in succeeding lives in this series.


Storyline: The oft-crowned heir continually ends dynastic lines whenever a fading royal family produces him as their final genetic statement that they are ready for his/story’s memory bin.

Kim Jong Un (1982?) - North Korean dictator. Outer: Father was North Korean dictator Kim Jong il. Mother was one of his mistresses, Ko Yong-hui, a Japanese-born ethnic Korean dancer who died in Paris in 2004. One of 7 children, and third and youngest son. Shy and relatively uncommunicative as a child, as well as distrusting, while showing a keen competitive nature, with a particular fascination for basketball, dreaming of becoming an NBA star. Went to an English-language international school in Berne, Switzerland until his mid-teens, where he was seen as sullen and uncomfortable around female classmates. May have been in a car accident, which undermined his health, leading to high blood pressure, and excess weight gain due to physical inactivity. 5’7”. and overweight with chipmunk cheeks. Studied computer science in North Korea afterwards, while enjoying a lavish lifestyle, that would show on his round corpus, which reportedly suffers from diabetes and hypertension. After his two older brothers serially disqualified themselves for rule, with the first showing a profligate disregard for propriety, and the second deemed far too effeminate, he emerged as the chosen one during his sire’s last years, following a stroke in 2008 and intimations of his looming immortality. Made a member of North Korea’s National Assembly, without ever participating in the rubber stamp organization, and also given a position in the National Defense Commission, while the international community was appraised that he was the chosen son in 2009. Kept largely hidden until his status as heir was made public in 2010, at which point the North Korean propaganda machine began churning out material in his favor, limning him as a worthy successor to his sire. Made a full four star general of the army, and vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the ruling Workers' Party, while being given credit for North Korea’s aggressive stances in preparation for his assuming the mantle of power, while remaining shrouded in secrecy, despite being given a variety of high party positions. Just before his death, his father stated he would rule in conjunction with his sister, Kim Kyong-hui and her husband, who had been running the government’s day-to-day affairs, ever since his incapacitation in 2008. Following his sire’s death in 2011, he was elevated to head of state, and was shown walking in his father’s funeral cortege, while mourners tried to outdo themselves in expressions of grief, for fear of being labeled unpatriotic. Known as the “Brilliant Comrade,” in what looks like a largely end-of-the-line run for a dynastic family too given to illusions to perpetuate itself. Gave his first public speech after a failed missile launch in 2012, matching the number of speeches his father gave his entire run of office, while doing a decent job of imitating his grandfather’s gestures and style of speaking in order to affirm his position as unchallenged leader, at least to the world-at-large. Launched a deification program for his mother, without mentoning her Japanese birth, while also reconnecting with singer Hyon Song-woi, after a decade apart following his father’s earlier demand they end their relationship. May have wed her under the nom de matrimony of Ri Sol Ju while also dismissing his commander-in-chief, in his desire to put his own far more youthful imprint on his inherited postion. Had a daughter in 2012, and took a far more aggressive stance against the U.S. and South Korea, threatening to break all treaties and launch nuclear attacks in response to sanctions placed on the Hermit Kingdom, in a fit of booming bombast ratcheting up tensions immeasurably on the peninsula. Later moderated his stances, in what may have been pure political theater geared towards impressing his own generals. Felt his position threatened by his uncle, which caused a further round of purging including allegedly feeding his naked uncle and some aides to 120 starving dogs, while he watched. Despite the sensationalistic claim, his uncle was probably killed by gunfire, as signal his enemies were also gunning for him. Disappeared from public view in the late summer of 2014, and his number two man, Hwang Pyongh So, made a highly publicized diplomatic visit to South Korea. Reappeared in the fall with a cane, on his left side, tamping down rumors of his downfall, although it was the first time a Kim had ever been seen with any device suggesting less than perfect mobility. His disappearance was viewed as signal that a new more moderate collective leadership was in place, with himself as chairman, but a powerful board of directors dictating less severe policy, although it did not happen. Subsequently, took great umbrage at the American film The Interview in which he was mocked and assassinated, in fear it would somehow be smuggled into the Hermit Kingdom, and make him an object of ridicule, thereby lessening his stranglehold on the country.In 2015, he instituted another round of executions of high-level bureaucrats, including using an anti-aircraft gun on his second highest ranking defense chief for falling sleep during a military ceremony, as testament to his power, or perhaps lack of it, while claiming to have successfully launched an underwater ballistic missile from a submarine, upping the country’s potential military threat exponentially. Welcomed in 2016 by further claiming he had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, inviting both sanctions and censure, including an extremely negative reaction from his singular ally China. More long-range tests would follow as he has steadily consolidated his power by placing key business interests in the hands of his contemporary party workers, rather than the older coterie of generals who had previously held them, while staging occasional executions to keep them in line, in an overt display of his peculiar brand of the politics of paranoia. in his escalating nuclear threats against the US, he has also served to make China’s military build-up in the South China Seas seemingly less threatening in comparison, per the wishes of the latter, who probably orchestrate all his rhetoric, although they, too, would eventually impose sanctions on his coal imports. Much to the world’s dismay. Much to the world’s dismay, his escalation of nuclear tests continues to ratchet up tension in the area, in keeping with his role as the Middle Kingdom’s loose cannon. In early 2017, he had his estranged half-brother Kim Jong-Nam assassinated in the Kuala Lumpur airport by two women who rubbed a highly toxic nerve agent on his face, thinking they were pulling a harmless prank in a confused action by all concerned. Later claimed he died of a heart attack, while upping his launched missile ante as a protest against US and South Korean joint military maneuvers in the Sea of Japan. Went ballistic over US Senator John McCain calling him a “crazy fat kid,” threatening all-out war with the US, as he struggles to maintain his power hold against perceived threats from his own generals within. Tested a nuclear missile to celebrate his grandfather’s birthday, in defiance of the US warning him not to, refusing to be cowed by American military might, although the launch failed. Following the death of a young American prisoner, he became totally paranoid about being taken out by the US, despite his previous deliberate provocations. In hiding ever since, while constantly changing unmarked cars and only traveling at dawn when moving about. The UN subsequently voted strong sanctions against NoKo exports in response to its nuclear testing only to have them watered down by Russia and China, as he ramped up his rhetoric, before temporarily backing down in the face of US military threats, then continued his launches, including claiming once again he had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb. In between his threats, he has also been developing the seaside town of Wonsan as a tourist mecca, giving indication of his ultimate desire to make North Korea both a military power and a wealthy nation. Has an estimated with of $5 billion. Inner: Obsessed with living up to his grandfather Kim Il Sung’s legacy. Highly competitive, pleasure-oriented, and very much his father’s son in the pursuit of bodily delights. Loves Japanese manga comic books and action films, and, prior to his accession, had virtually no military, political or diplomatic experience. An avid skier and computer game player, whose realities have mostly been fantasies up until his being thrust stage-center of North Korean politics. Paranoid marionette lifetime of once more being called upon to head a state heading nowhere with his family at the helm, until it profoundly changes its ways. Pu Yi (Aisin-Gioro Pu Yi) (1906-1967) - Chinese emperor. Outer: Descended from the House of Qing, through various intertwinings, both royal and not. Mother was the daughter of a reactionary Manchu general, father was a prince of the ruling house, Zaifeng (Kim Jong-am). Chosen by the empress Cixi (Kim Kyong-hui) on her deathbed as the 10th emperor of his dynasty, when he was two, taking on the name the Xuantong Emperor, and succeeding his imprisoned uncle, to inherit an empire in its last throes. As a young child, he was separated from his mother for seven years, and treated as if he were a deity, while enjoying absolute power over everyone within his reach, creating a completely disconnected sense of reality within him. Slavishly attended by eunuchs, whom he often had beaten, while they gladly suffered his childish intemperance, adding to his extremely isolated upbringing in Beijing’s Forbidden City. His father served as regent until 1911, when the Dowager Empress took over in order to counter the Xinhai Revolution, which established the Republic of China the following year. Formally lost his title in 1912, when the Chinese general Yuan Shik’ai (Kim Jong Il) demanded he abdicate, which he did, ending the Manchu dynasty, which had ruled China since 1644, and, despite its longevity, was never popular because of its northern, rather than Han root. Given the protocol of a foreign head of state, while retaining his title, as well his royal apartments and his imperial court. Initially bequeathed a handsome annual subsidy, although it was never paid and soon abolished. Briefly restored to his throne in 1917 by a warlord, although it was bitterly opposed, and lasted only 12 days. In 1922, he married two women. The first was Wen Xiu, who was viewed by court officials as not beautiful enough to be an empress, and therefore was reduced to the status of concubine. She would divorce him in 1931, and die some twenty years later. His second choice was Wan Rong, a certified beauty who eventually became addicted to opium, and wound up dying in a Chinese prison in 1946. In 1924, he was stripped of the last shards of his former position and made an ordinary citizen of the Republic, and he and his small court were permanently expelled from the Forbidden City, ending all formal trappings of his once all-powerful office. Lived in his father’s nearby mansion, before taking refuge in 1925 at the Japanese Legation. They, in turn, helped him flee to Tianjin, where he dwelt in upscale style until 1932. From 1934 to 1945, he was the puppet Kangde emperor of the Japanese controlled state of Manchukuo in Manchuria, although had no power whatsoever, and was in constant private conflict with his true overlords, while appearing properly submissive to them in public. Gushed over the Japanese imperial family on a visit to Tokyo, much to his true country’s embarrassment, while evincing a strong interest in Buddhism, perhaps as a means of quelling his complete sense of helplessness. His overlords, however, forced him to make Shintoism the official religion of Manchukuo in their ongoing Japanization of his realm, while Japanese ministers steadily replaced his own. In 1939, he wed a third time, to Tan Yuling, a teenager, who died mysteriously six years later. His fourth wife was Li Yuquin, another teenager, who divorced him after 15 years, and died of cirrhosis well after him. Led a largely ceremonial life during this period, while continually consulting oracles in a secret desire to be reinstated to his rightful place as ruler of his besieged empire. Captured by the Soviet Army in 1945, while trying to flee by air, he lived in Siberia, then near the Chinese border, in relative comfort. Following WW II, he gave scathing testimony against the Japanese treatment of him at a military tribunal in 1946. Four years later he was turned over to the Chinese Communists, who had established supremacy over mainland China by then, despite his desire to remain in the U.S.S.R. as a reconstituted communist. Spent the next decade in a reeducation camp doing menial labor in Liaoning province, save for a period of three years during the Korean War, and was declared reformed at the end of that period,. His fifth and final wife was Li Shuxian, a nurse and Communist Party member, who outlived him by thirty years, and ultimately died of lung cancer. Had no children by any of his wives, while rumor had it he was bisexual in nature. Took a position as a gardener at the Beijing Botanical Gardens, which he held for the rest of his life, while also serving as a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Had his autobiography, “From Emperor to Citizen,” ghostwritten for him. Became an object of the overenthusiastic Red Guard during the opening stages of the Cultural Revolution, who saw him as a living reminder of the country’s imperial past, which affected his health adversely. Died soon after from kidney cancer, uremia and heart disease, and was cremated. Officially known as Xundi, “The Abdicated Emperor” a posthumous title given him in the his/story books of both mainland China and Taiwan. His life would be the subject of Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1987 film The Last Emperor, with actor John Lone portraying him. Inner: Always on stage, and yet never given a part worth playing by the forces of his/story. Continually frustrated in all his aims, as a powerless emblem of lost power, with no recourse whatsoever to claim his birthright. Last emperor lifetime of going from absolute power as a child to totally ordinary citizen as an adult, while literally embodying the first two/thirds of the 20th century transition of his country from an outdated imperial relic to an unhappily occupied land to a revolutionary realm eager to totally destroy all memory of its past. Michael V (1015-1042) - Byzantine emperor. Outer: Mother was the sister of Byzantine emperor Michael IV (Sun Myung Moon). Prior to being made an admiral, his father had been a caulker, a trade he picked up, earning him the nickname of Calaphates, “the Caulker.” His uncle John Orphanotophos (Bo Hai Pak) wished to perpetuate the Paphlagonian family line on the Byzantine throne, but soon regretted the choice he made of a largely feckless youth of average intelligence with no discernible leadership skills, or even military experience. Despite the subsequent second-guessing, he was made a Caesar, and invited into the bed of the widowed empress Zoe (Helena Rubinstein), who was in her 50s at the time, with the promise he would be titular ruler, while she would wield the true power, as his adoptive mother and lover. Crowned at the end of 1041, he quickly rejected the empress and had his uncle John sent off in exile to a monastery, so that he could rule alone. Humiliated the court aristocracy for questioning his legitimacy and dismissed the imperial guard, surrounding himself with well-paid eunuchs in their stead. Showed himself to be beneficent to the masses, who responded in kind, giving him the false sense of being well-loved, and permitted to do precisely what he wished. Felt the empress represented everything he hated, the past, the aristocracy and the hidebound court. Trumped up accusations that she tried to murder him, and had her arrested and tried, before her hair was shorn and she was banished to a convent. A popular revolt ensued, and he was forced to reinstate her, along with her sister Theodora (Kim Kyong-hui), who had long been living the monastic life. The latter declared the boy emperor deposed, forcing him to flee to a monastery with the last of his uncles, Constantine, where he hastily took vows to protect himself. Nevertheless, he and his uncle were arrested, and both were blinded, with the former accepting his fate, while he struggled mightily and had to be held down. Castrated and sent to a monastery, where he died several months later, unmourned. Inner: Despite humble beginnings, showed little sense of restraint and great need for complete control, once he was suddenly thrust into power. Boy emperor lifetime of quixotically finding himself raised to the purple, before letting an abject instinct for alienating himself from his support, quickly undo him, and leave him as blindly powerless as he had been before his brief bedecking in royal purple.



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