Zerah Demir IV
|Zerah Demir IV|
|Sultana of Packilvania and Queen of Morstaybishlia|
|Sultana of Packilvania and Queen of Morstaybishlia|
|Reign||20 February 1899 - 18 September 1936|
|Coronation||9 September 1899|
|Born||1 July 1872|
|Died||18 September 1936 (aged 65)|
|Spouse||King Thadeus I|
|Issue||King Thadeus II of Morstaybishlia|
|Father||Sultan Ishak VI|
|Religion||Paxism from 1872 to 1897 |
Thaerism from 1897 to 1951
Zerah Demir IV (1 July 1872 - 18 September 1951) was Sultana of Packilvania from her ascension in 1881 to 1918 and Queen of Morstaybishlia from 1897 to 1918 upon marrying King Thadeus I of Morstaybishlia. Her reign saw the abolition of the Packilvanian monarchy and the end of the human rule over Packilvania and ended with the ascension of the Packilvanian Communist Party.
Early life and education
She was born to Sultan Ishak VI and Sultana Zahira on 1 July 1872 at the Bingol Royal Palace, in Bingol, Packilvania. Her mother died at her birth from injuries sustained during the difficult pregnancy. Her father never remarried and it is unknown whether he had any lovers. Because Sultan Ishak VI was often on military expeditions, she was raised largely by governesses and barely saw him. She was educated by tutors from the University of Bingol. Her favourite tutor was Mr Iman Dubit, a professor in education. They became dear friends and she wrote fondly of him in her diaries. Through their friendship, he encouraged her to strive for power in her own right and to be independent of men. Later reports found that he was secretly an atheist homosexual male who resented the patriarchal order of Packilvania for which he was executed by Sultan Ishak VI after he was found in "an intimate act" with another male staff in the Sultan's household. This act made her hate her father and begin the long preparations to secure the throne.
Early political career
She was an astute politician and often invited powerful people to her house in Megdokar, just outside Bingol, for brunch. She cultivated a good rapport with powerful people in the government, business and military. She traded the secrets they confided with her for political leverage, such that she exerted influence on public policy. Her father grew wary of her endeavors but underestimated her skill and ambition because she was a woman. By the time she was 20, the Sultan's mother, Sultana Madiyaka chose Prince Bismal of Ukanar as her husband. She refused to marry him and instead rallied her cousins to unseat the Sultan from power.
Her cousins agreed to help overthrow her father. She had initially promised her uncle's oldest son, Prince Muchtan, that he would become Sultan upon the removal of Sultan Ishak VI. In a bloodless palace coup, Sultan Ishak VI was forced to abdicate. Shortly after, she shot him in the head. In a twist of fate, Princess Zemir had planned to frame his death on Prince Muchtan and her cousins. The Grand Vizier, Prince Adban Demir and Sultan Ishak III's fourth brother, helped her orchestrate the entire ploy. They were arrested and executed and she was crowned Sultana as all viable candidates to succeed the Sultan had been executed as part of the ploy. She was parodied as the Great Butcher of Bingol as rumors of the coup spread like wildfire. But by then her position was secure and the network of power she had cultivated was already entrenched in the state.
Despite being resentful of the idea of marriage, she recognised the political benefits that marriage could present her. She noticed that King Thadeus I of Morstaybishlia had not yet married. Her family, the Demirs had developed a close relationship with the Louzars as they had many princes and princesses who intermarried. Furthermore, she felt that a marriage with Thadeus I would strengthen per position at home and stretch her power and influence. Moreover, she luridly fantasized about having son sit on the thrones of the two greatest nations in the world.
Following which, she broached the plan to Thadeus I. Thadeus confided in his Ministers and courtiers who greatly fancied the idea of him become the ruler of two nations. Despite some misgivings, Sultana Zemir Demir IV and King Thadeus II married in 1897. Shortly after their wedding, Zemir crowned Thadeus Sultan of Packilvania and Thadeus crowned Zemir Queen of Morstaybishlia. The entire affair was bizarre and unprecedented, but nevertheless sent the statement that the Crowns were united in the two monarchs.
The matter of her religion was a contentious issue. On one hand, as a the Sultana of Packilvania, she was expected to be Paxist. On the other hand patriarchal heteronormative traditions dictated that she adopt her husband's religion. Furthermore, it seemed as though any potential heirs would be Thaerist anyway given that their father was a Thaerist. As a compromise, the Bingol Parliament passed an Act giving supreme religious authority over Paxism to the Supreme Magister of Paxism. The Crown retained the duty to protect Paxism and she bore the lesser title of Protector of the Faith. This was the first major blow to her popularity as Paxists especially Felines felt she sold their religion to heathens and heretics.
The Royal union resulted in massive increase in trade between Packilvania and Morstaybishlia. The ruling human class and some powerful Shirazi Felines grew wealthy from the trade. Unfortunately, economic conditions for urban workers did not improve significantly.
The Great War created the social, economic and political circumstances that doomed her rule. Because of the high cost of supplies, artillery and soldier's salaries brought on by the war, the Packilvanian Treasury was forced to print more money, resulting in inflation. To get some control on inflation, money was borrowed from foreign countries, namely Morstaybishlia.
The massive interest on the debt forced the Packilvanian Treasury to implement austerity measures and ration the supply of goods to meet the demands of the war effort. These rationing were brutal and many of the poorest citizens, who were almost always Felines were heavily affected. Secondly, the rationing was not applied equally or consistently such that the Shirazis and humans were treated better and had access to larger rations. In some cases, government officials used rations to gain favours or to starve dissidents and enemies. This left many of the people at the mercy of petty state officers. The resulting hunger was so great that a famine was declared over many parts of the nation and others were dangerously close it. This also made it harder for people to afford taxes, resulting in lower state revenues increasing the vicious cycle of austerity.
Felines were forced to fight in the army and work for the state and creditors in farms, factories and fields to pay taxes and debt respectively. Their working conditions were described as slave-like. The prevalence of malnutrition, extreme exhaustion, disease and despair was so great that it inspired the ideas of Communism of Nikobar Luden and eventually Gideon Muktan. This led to increasing resentment and many disparate incidents of protests against the state occurred such that over 50,000 people were killed by state forces.
Following the passing of Nikobar Luden, Gideon Muktan was inspired to start the Feline Club as an association of Feline intellectuals, students, farmers and peasants. He ran for a seat in Parliament. Together with his associates, he presented a manifesto to the Queen calling for fair treatment of Felines and the end of forced labour and rations. Upon receiving a copy of the manifesto, it is said that the Queen tore it up and threw it into a fireplace. She ordered the police to crack down on Communist writers, and other groups.
First Packilvanian Civil War
The Feline Club was re-established as the Packilvanian Communist Party. Shortly after, they established the Packilvanian People’s Liberation Army as a paramilitary organization to bring down Sultana Zemir Demir and her government (which in part consisted of members of the Imperial Armed Forces who defected). On 1 August 1918, her husband died unexpectedly in Bingol. She was bitterly distraught by his death even more than she had anticipated. Even though she stated that she did not love him, she admired him and relied on his counsel and support and his death ruined her emotionally. Politically, it fast-forwarded questions about succession. The Articles of Union that Grand Vizier Abdin Demir was writing had not yet been finalized as there was contestation in the Kalmington and Bingol Parliaments.
Seeing that she was failing to rally support for the move, and desperate to stem the tide of Communism, she sent her son, Prince Thadeus away to her sister-in-law in Morstaybishlia. She renounced her claims to the Morstaybishlian throne and ended all talk of unification. She wrote in the her diary that she was heart broken and bitter about the whole affair.
She decided to call for negotiations with the Communists to work out a power-sharing arrangement. To her surprise the Communists agreed and even more so she was surprised that they were willing to negotiate in Bingol. In high spirits, she had penned the terms of surrender and her Grand Vizier had hastily come up with a constitutional arrangement.
To her shock, the Communists arrested her at the negotiating room and all her soldiers mutinied. Communist soldiers marched into Bingol unimpeded. She gazed at Gideon Muktan in what she described in her diary as "horror and hatred".
One of her soldiers pitied her and helped her escape. He put on a refugee boat that was heading to Morstaybishlia. She was dressed in rags and covered in dirt. She slept with animals and sick and dying humans fleeing to Morstaybishlia. She described the ordeal as "the most humbling experience of [her] life". She arrived at Fort Jubrayn and after her identity was confirmed, she was taken to Sani Bursil Royal Palace, where she reunited with her son and lived out the rest of her life. On her death, she was buried at Syllester Abbey.