Lyran Commonwealth
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I'm not saying that the Steiners are perpetually on the thin line between sanity and loony tune, because that's a myth. The Steiner family has such a reputation that being icy-cool that when they do show a strong emotion like anger, love, or humor, people around them are so startled that they wonder if that Steiner has lost his wits. Of course, holding one's emotions in is another kind of madness.

-- Interview with Thelos Auburn on The News Hour, Donegal Broadcasting Co., September 19, 3024

          The Lyran Commonwealth was formed in 2340 as an amalgamation of three smaller mutual-defense leagues: the Tamar Pact, the Federation of Skye, and the Protectorate of Donegal. The original Lyran capital was Arcturus. Shortly after the outbreak of hostilities between the Commonwealth and the Draconis Combine in 2407, however, the Lyran government moved to its current location on Tharkad. Soon after, leadership of the Commonwealth passed from Alistair Marsden to his only heir, Katherine Marsden Steiner, and remains in Steiner hands to this day.

          The Lyran Commonwealth currently consists of about 400 worlds. During the course of the first three Succession Wars, it had been slowly but steadily losing ground to the Draconis Combine, which had taken almost a fourth of the original Lyran territories (including more than half the old Tamar Pact worlds along the Draconis Combine border). The Fourth Succession War saw the complete reversal of that trend, however, with the Lyrans capturing 53 Kurita worlds, while losing only 2. That House Steiner retained those worlds during the 20 years between the end of the Fourth War and the invasion of the Clans says much about the strengths of the Federated Commonwealth. However, the Inner Sphere has been hard-pressed to stand up to the Clan invasion, and the Lyran Commonwealth has been second only to the Free Rasalhague Republic in number of worlds lost.

          One reason that House Steiner has remained a formidable force in Successor State politics even in the worst of times is that its domain includes some of the most richly endowed planets in the Inner Sphere. These include Alarion, Coventry, Donegal, Summer, Tamar, New Karlsruh, and Hesperus II. The latter is the site of the Star League's greatest surviving supply depots and the largest still-functioning 'Mech manufacturing and repair facility in the Successor States.

          Regardless of its military fortunes, the Lyran Commonwealth has consistently maintained its reputation for making money. Until many of its industrialized worlds fell to the Clan invaders, the Commonwealth's overall industrial output, particularly of non-military goods, outstripped of the other Successor States. Even today, only the Free Worlds League surpasses the Commonwealth's GNP per capita. This economic growth has made the Steiner House currency the most stable in the Inner Sphere. Some of this success is due to human ingenuity, and some to the rich natural resources of the average Lyran member-world and to the relatively small amount of war damage sustained by the industrial plants of a few, key remote worlds. Over the years, the Archons of House Steiner have consistently sponsored innovative economic and trade policies, such as major tax advantages for industrial reconstruction projects, awarding land grants to successful entrepreneurs and victorious MechWarriors, and encouraging the activities of free traders. Many of these policies are still presently in force.

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