Perhaps the most important event in the years after 3056 was the death in that year of Joshua
Marik, heir to the Free Worlds League's Captain-General Thomas Marik. For years the young
heir had remained at the Federated Commonwealth's New Avalon Institute of Science for
treatment of his leukemia, an arrangement that had prevented Thomas Marik from launching any
type of military action against the Federated Commonwealth. When the heir died, Prince Victor
Steiner-Davion inserted a double in the boy's place. Capellan Chancellor Sun-Tzu Liao learned of
this deception the following year, and proposed to Thomas Marik a joint Marik-Liao invasion of
the Sarna March that would simultaneously punish Steiner-Davion for his treachery and recapture
former Marik and Liao worlds.
In 3057, Marik and Liao forces invaded the Sarna March. The Liao invaders quickly captured many former Liao worlds,
aided by Marik-backed mercenaries. Marik forces enjoyed wide success as well, taking several former Free Worlds League
planets. Almost immediately, Katrina Steiner-Davion announced the formation of the new Lyran Alliance, declared Lyran
neutrality in the invasion, and called for all Lyran military units to withdraw from Federated Commonwealth possessions in the
March. Marik took advantage of this development to settle for a separate peace with Katrina.
By this act, Katrina split the Federated Commonwealth physically as well as politically; the abrupt departure of Lyran troops
speeded the Sarna March's slide into anarchy, and the loss of control over that region has left the rump of the Federated
Commonwealth with no access to free passage into Lyran Alliance space. Many observers initially believed Katrina was allying
her newborn state with the Free Worlds League, but so far she has remained neutral.
Victor Steiner-Davion has not relinquished his claim to the worlds of the Alliance and still considers them part of the Federated
Commonwealth. Archon Katrina appears uninterested in the Davion half of the Commonwealth, claiming instead the disputed
regions of the Chaos March. The Archon has moved decisively to consolidate her holdings in the Lyran Alliance, but the
loyalties of several regions within it remain in question. The heavily industrialized region of Skye, true to its secessionist history,
has given Katrina complete support. She also has strong backing from parts of the Donegal March. Along the Lyran-Free
Worlds border, however, many worlds keenly miss the benefit of Prince Victor's military experience in dealing with the newly
aggressive Free Worlds League. They do not trust Thomas Marik's promise not to expand his realm beyond its Fourth
Succession War borders, and they could easily go over to the Archon Prince's side at the first sign of Marik aggression.
Mercenaries consider the Alliance to be an unknown quantity. Archon Katrina Steiner-Davion remains largely untested as a
leader, and many people see her as power hungry, two reasons that make many commanders leery of entering the Archon's
employ. Many mercs, however, are delighted that Archon Katrina seems to offer so many fat contracts with relatively low risk.
Most of these units have conveniently forgotten that the Steiners are businessmen at heart, and thus often become a mercenary
unit's toughest opponent.
Most assignments offered by the Alliance involve garrison or security duty, because Archon Katrina's public position as a
peacemaker allows her to do little else.