11.23.2011

Call to Arms: Varas Solabius

One of the central characters in Call to Arms, and the only one mentioned in the first post concerning, I is the Magistrate Varas Solabius. The novel opens with Varas fleeing from the Imperial capital, Remula, with a warrant for his arrest and execution on his head. His crime is aligning himself with the "Old Loyalists" (see introduction).

We find him at what should have been the autumn years of his career, shortly before he would most likely have retired to a life of ease after decades spent in the service of the New Order which he had helped to advance. It is therefore with surprise and rage that his old comrades reacted to this "betrayal" and they hotly pursue him.

He is closing-in on eighty years of age, having been a quæstor for almost fifty years. He attended the Magisterial Academy on his homeworld Actabion in the Imperial year 20,040, being the 37th year of the Estates General (they were declared to be in permanent session in 20,003 although this is also deemed the year that they ended since that is when the "Old Loyalist" faction abandoned the meeting and declared open war on the New Order adherents). As such, all his schooling came well after the New Order had been implemented and its philosophies infused into the academies. He was completely ignorant of the ways of the ancien régime, until he met Quæstor Jaakon, who introduced him to the Old ways.

Before joining the "Old Loyalists", Varas Solabius was one of the leading diplomats within the Colsulate for Galactic Harmony. This "department" of the Imperial government was created shortly after the Estates General as a sort of "foreign affairs office". Prior to the Estates General, the Empire had had no such office, as all of humanity was united under its ægis and all aliens were regarded as irreconcilable enemies (foremost because of the unanimous rejection of the Magistrates outside the Empire).

One of the New Order's prime directives was to attain peace with the other races of the galaxy, no matter how fleeting, no matter what the cost. The Consulate of Galactic Harmony saw to the implementation of this ideological goal and, being one of the matters of prime concern to the New Order, over time took on vast powers with the ability to commandeer navies and armies as needed, and to hand over the population of entire planets as deemed expedient at the bargaining table.

In Varas' capacity as a diplomat, he negotiated the infamous "Treaty of Balkurov" which resulted in terrible atrocities. He carries the guilt for the part he played in this event as a heavy burden, and it is the thing that pushes him on despite his advanced age, frail health, and seemingly insurmountable odds against him.  It was shortly after Varas had accidentally learned of the disastrous consequences due to the peace at Balkurov that he met Quæstor Jaakon in a chance encounter inwhich they quickly became friends, then teacher and pupil.

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