It was in the year 2004 of the Imperial Calendar that the Federal Republic of Krugis met its final end. Once spanning the Middle East, the Republic was riven with religious and ethnic strife, coming to a head in the year 2001 with the accession of Dariush Shah to the throne of Iran. To the progressives who leaned towards the European Ultra-Union, Dariush was at best a benevolent autocrat, at worst a tyrant in the making. To religious and social conservatives, he was a closet reformer who sought to change Iran, and perhaps all of Krugis, in ways they neither understood nor desired. In truth the Shah was neither; an unfortunate moderate caught in the middle trying to be the Referee. When Kurdish Separatists in the Provinces of Turkey, Syria, and Iran rose in revolt, wishing to join their lands to the Province of Kurdistan, the Progressives made it a pretext to bring in EU Peacekeepers. Religious radicals took this as a declaration of intent, and launched uprisings all across Krugis, taking control of the Provinces of Afghanistan and Pakistan to form East Krugistan. The armies of Central Krugis remained loyal to their Shah, crushing both revolts within Iran, but soon found themselves trapped between the forces of both East Krugistan and West Krugis. Realizing that there was little hope of victory, the Iranian Majlis persuaded the Shah to seek help abroad. Since the EU was tentatively backing West Krugis, the obvious choice was the Holy Empire of Britannia. Seeing a fine opportunity to test new military concepts and gain some territory into the bargain, Emperor Charles zi Britannia the First, Ninety-Eighth Emperor of Britannia, dispatched an expeditionary force to aid his fellow ruler. The expedition's leader was a man of some renown, and one whose life and death would become of crucial importance to subsequent events. A man who, by a single act of altruism, would help change the course of history.
His name was Bismarck Waldstein, and he was the Knight of One.
The act of altruism was to rescue an orphan boy he found on a Tehran street, impressed by his valour in fighting off a gang of fellow urchins. Bismarck adopted Soran Ibrahim, naming him 'Alexander Bismarck Waldstein', and took him back to Britannia. Alexander quickly adapted to his new life, learning the skills and manners of a Britannian aristocrat, but forever conscious of his origins. Though none questioned that he was Bismarck's son, he was nonetheless haunted by the truth, fearful of the consequences if someone should find out. He also knew that his best chance was to make himself indispensible, to be so useful to the Empire that the truth would not matter.
His greatest skills are the skills of war.
And Britannia values the strong.