“When vision marries intellect - that is when a man becomes truly dangerous. A pragmatist can be intimidated or bribed, a zealot duped or outwitted. Phaunar is both, which is why he has the weaknesses of neither.”
- - Lord Treasurer Andorrus Anarath, Tansimael's predecessor
It would be fair to call Phaunar Phaeva Tansimael (known widely as Lord Tansimael) one of the most prominent and yet controversial figures in the Divinarium. Having risen from relatively humble beginnings to the highest position of power a layman can have in the entire Holy Empire - that of Autarch Supreme - Tansimael stands in the stark contrast to the humble civil servants that preceded him - a visionary, charismatic speaker driven by hope for a better future. With his homeland absorbed slowly by the Pan-Andromedan Ecumene, he seeks to assert the Divinarium's importance in both galactic and Gigaquadrantic politics and preserve its culture, traditions and way of life. For this purpose, Tansimael seeks to reinforce relationships with other Spodist nations throughout the universe: he is one of the masterminds behind the Uniate League.
Though enjoying great popularity in the Divinarium and its adjacent sectors, Tansimael's reputation is much more muddled and divisive abroad. Amongst patriotic Andromedans, many consider his views separatist, and believe that his emphasis on Spodist brotherhood runs contrary to the Ecumene's ideal of galactic unity, while others see him as a champion of Andromedan civilisation and the League as an extension of the galaxy's cultural sphere. The opposition likewise believes that he is either a hero out to liberate the galaxy, or an authoritarian reactionary afraid of the Ecumene's democratisation. His figure is particularily controversial in human space, especially in the French Empire and the Allied Terran Republic, for many see his push for Spodist unity as a response - and perhaps a challenge - to human expansion in the Gigaquadrant. One thing is certain: the Autarch Supreme won't be denied his dream.
Phaunar Phaeva was born in Sanctuarium's deeper sectors to one of its upper-class families, the Tansimaels. An ancient clan with a lineage that lasted millenia, House Tansimael was (and still is) known for its long-standing tradition of civil service, having produced many esteemed jurists, officials and administrators. Though their trade was considered by many to be lowly, and the family's prestige was not as great as that of, say, the Venoriels with their brilliant military history, young Phaunar was still raised as a noble, and hoped to follow in his family's footsteps. That was not to be. The child seemed to lack the reserved temperament of his family completely and was enamored with poetry and art far more than with law and order. The Divaricators assigned him to the Remembrancer Caste - artists, poets and musicians.
Left without his parents' help, the young Phaunar came to live on his own, with only his two former classmates to keep him company: Aurthona Archaim, musician and composer, and Masaar Aesari visual artist and designer. Phaunar himself was the master of the pen in the trio, devoting himself to writing poems and epics to extol Spode's glory. The industrial landscapes of Sanctuarium provided little inspiration, and the trio set off to explore other worlds. Throughout their journeys, they travelled through the Plazith Rim, visiting its many diverse worlds and species. That being said, though they travelled as far as to the worlds of the Dracogonarious Empire, most of their time was spent in the direct vicinity of their home planet - the Orion Spur.
The caleidoscope of cultures and traditions they saw had changed each Radeon in their own way. All of them found that the universe outside Sanctuarium was nothing like the selenopolis's metal hallways: free, chaotic and menacing. Masaar came to be enamored with the aliens of the Milky Way, especially the humans, whose liberal culture he found much more appealing that the iron totalitarianism of his homeworld. Aurthona, on the other hand, became more and more xenophobic, disgusted by the squalor and barbarity of foreign worlds and their sheer immorality. Phaunar found himself somewhere in the middle. Aliens were neither better nor worse than Radeons - they were simply different. Some of these differences Radeons could learn from, others made them dangerous.
An end to the trio's journeys came on Resplendente, a Roreinian planet in the Orion Spur. On their way to their ship, a gang of thugs mistook the young artists for wealthy tourists and attacked them, killing both of Phaunar's companions and leaving him almost mortally wounded. Traumatised by the experience, Phaunar returned to Sanctuarium, where he would publish his works. After the horrors of the War of Ages, his moody, pessimistic poems and novellas enjoyed great popularity, and the government itself saw potential in the young poet and took him under its wing. However, when Iovera began work on her Andromedan project, Phaunar Tansimael quickly fell out of favour. The new resurgent Radeon society had no need for his depressive art, and when he refused to produce propaganda for the Divinarium, Iovera silenced him.
For a while, Tansimael continued to live in the shadows. Out of personal respect from the Clericarch, who continued to read his sad romance novels in private, he was not executed, imprisoned or corrected, and was simply told to keep a low profile and stop his literary work. For a while, he lived in emigration, publishing under a number of pseudonyms. Perhaps out of spite, he shifted his oeuvre from fiction to political theoritising and satire, often anonymously writing pamphlets and short stories to make fun of the Divinarium's covert imperialism and ossified government. At times, he had to change his identity and take political refuge in foreign states; how exactly he had managed to evade one of the most pervading, widespread and ancient secret services in the Gigaquadrant for years is not clear even to him.
It wasn't them that brought Tansimael back into the Divinarium, but the tumultuous events of the Andromeda War. Regardless of his relationships with the Divine Throne, the Radeon poet was a patriot. He simply could not sit idly while the Coalition and the Andromedan Grox Empire slaughtered his people, and, even though he realised that it would likely mean death or worse regardless, he returned to Andromeda. From his pen, this time, came not moody verses or satirical limericks, but epics calling the Divinarium's people to protect their motherland. He appeared throughout the galaxy wherever he could make a difference - whether aiding the wounded, rallying demoralised soldiers or even battling invaders himself.
Following the war, as an act of mercy and to avoid the criticism of the rest of the Andromedan Galactic Commonwealth, Iovera pardoned Tansimael and allowed him to work freely once again. The poet accepted the pardon, but made clear that he was not tamed. Even though the fierce anti-government remarks were less common in his works now, he continued to poke the Divinarium where it hurted, exposing the ills of society and mocking them. It was around that time that he announced one of his more controversial decisions: he would run for membership in the Synedrion. The public popularity from the war cemented his election.
Autarch Tansimael would once again play a role during the Shattering as one of the many patriot leaders who rallied the Pan-Andromedan Ecumene in time of tyranny and civil war. When Segmentum Crepusculum crumbled, he essentially took control of a large swath of former Divinarium territories, torn apart from the Clericarch's control by spacetime rifts. Needless to say, once the dust settled, the Autarch returned to the Ecumene a hero. From 2800 to 2810, Tansimael served a term in the Andromedan Light as deputy, but in the recent years, decided to step down from his position to return to local Divinarian politics.
Both in the Light and the Synedrion, Tansimael, as always, was not afraid to criticise the powers that be, earning him the votes of the opposition. However, at the same time, he remained a patriot. He fought dearly for retaining the Divinarium's power and relevance in the changing galaxy, which was quickly deterioriating as they were overshadowed by other Highlord states. His popularity surging - for many in the Divinarium shared his views - Iovera now recognised the power the young Autarch possessed. It is perhaps because of this decision that she and the Conclave made an unprecendented change in Divinarian political system: the position of Autarch Supreme was now elected directly, rather than by the Synedrion. In such a situation, and with the previous Autarch Supreme having resigned recently, Tansimael's ascension to power was swift.
Perhaps Iovera saw it as a way to control him while making use of his charisma and oratory skills: with such a lofty post, he was bound by political conventions more than ever, and had to renounce his more radical propositions (such as reformation of the democratic institutions in the Divinarium, for example). At the same time, his stellar-sized ego prevented him from leaving his position. As such, Tansimael moved to somewhat less controversial, but neverthless grand projects. Around the time of Da Reckoning, he became acquainted with a notorious Pazumiri cleric by the name of Kazari Selfar, who championed Spodist unity and the unification of its many denominations. Her ideas clicked well with Tansimael's fight for Divinarium's freedom, and the two grew close both as people and as leaders, eventually becoming the masterminds behind the pan-Spodist Uniate League formed in the aftermath of the Marko Colonial War.
Tansimael is perhaps one of the youngest Divinarian politicians in history. He is still quite old by human standards, being in his 80s, but by Radeon standards, he is hardly more than a teenager. Rather than seeking to act above his age, he uses his youth to his advantage, contrasting himself with the rest of the Divinarium's ossified and antiquated institution. Like most Sanctuarian nobles, his features are sharp yet delicate, and he has a very slender figure, as a result of growing up in low gravity. This used to cause him quite a few problems as it left him almost helpless without external help during his early journeys - and defenseless against assault, which proved to be fatal when he was unable to defend his friends on Resplendente. Ever since that incident, he has had to use a number of biological enhancements and cybernetic implants to stay alive and to function in heavier gravity. However, most of these implants are located inside his body, and Tansimael still maintains a prim appearance on the outside, as expected of his office. Perhaps in a way to look more serious, he has grown sideburns since becoming Autarch Supreme.
Tansimael wears clothing similar to that of his predecessor - the traditional white and grey suit of Autarch Supreme, with its prominent shoulderpads and an embroidered tabard emblazoned with the emblem of the Synedrion. However, either in a show of patriotism or out of his personal fancy, he added one element that Andorrus abandoned as a sign of vanity: the traditional symbol of his office, a white and gold headwear. In quite a few of his speeches, he used his hat as a slightly comedic example of how Divinarian culture needs to be preserved; his famous phrase "they will take our hats from us" (referring to Draconis and human customs pervading Andromedan customs and traditions) has become a meme in Andromedan circles. Indeed, it appears that he cares very dearly for his headwear, and is rarely, if ever, seen without it.
Tansimael's most prominent skill is his great oratory talents. However, he is not a bombastic preacher as it is usually expected of Radeon leaders. Rather, he speaks simply, but eloquently, frequently making jokes and answering to his public directly. In contrast to the traditional Radeon notion that only the elites are worthy of governing and lawmaking, Tansimael seeks to draw the attention of all social classes, not just the clerics and the clerks, to the matters of politics. His natural personability and charisma help to gather supporters from different ways of life, not to mention his good looks, while his straightforward manner of speaking, free from the usual Radessic doubletalk and subtlety, give him a reputation of being honest. In terms of actual political skills, Tansimael is nowhere near as competent - he is not an efficient manager like Andorrus or a ruthless administrator like Ma'fest. However, with his charm, and overall good judge of character, he tends to gather actually competent people around him and make them work for his plans.
Tansimael's personality is often contradictory, and often inscrutable, but it is certainly powerful. He is neither an idealist nor a pragmatist, but rather, a mixture of both, in that he has great dreams and aspirations, but realises they are impossible to acheive overnight. The tumultuous events of his youth and the horrors of the Shattering have jaded him, but also given him a strong belief and sense of right and wrong (albeit somewhat skewed). He is deliberate in his actions, making small, but steady steps towards his goals. For example, his idea of a unified Spodist alliance was slowly introduced through his speeches and acts since the Shattering; he mellowed the public to this idea and prepared them for it, until it was actually realised following the Marko Colonial War. However, though he is often slow, he is focused. Once his plans are set into motion, they will be realised - the rest of the universe be damned!
As for Tansimael's actual beliefs, they are in fact quite hard to pinpoint, and his opponents are quick to notice that. Overall, he seem to be a nationalist, in that he seek to preserve Radeon (and by extension, Divinarian and Spodist) civilisation and culture from foreign encroachements. This, he believes, can only be achieved if the Divinarium remains strong militarily, culturally and technologically and does not dissolve itself in the Pan-Andromedan Ecumene, where the numerically superior Draconid Imperium will dominate and assimilate it.
He opposes foreign imperialism as well, and is especially not keen on the recent expansion of the French Empire. A civilisation so young and unstable, he believes, has overextended itself, and is not fit to reign over the Gigaquadrant without other forces to counterbalance it. At the same time, Tansimael also respects humans for their energy and drive, and often criticises the Divinarium for lacking that drive. He is in general quite critical towards his own country, despite his fierce patriotism, and believes in reforming its government to make it a more inclusive and democratic state, whose elites will not be as ossified. However, he despises fully democratic states, and considers the liberal ideas of mankind to be mere disguises for their expansionism.
- Kazari Selfar - "If there is anything I have ever respected in that woman, it's her drive. Merely a bishop in a galactic empire, and yet she makes the Divine Regent himself nod in respect to her. Who else can do that?" ~2806
- High King Rambert Ramveral - "What a funny world we live in! Men raise their countries out of dynastic crises, do not tolerate war criminals in their home and ensure their people's safety. And what they receive in return? Why, certain parties brand them as tyrants and hatemongers. Let us not be taken away by the deception: we all know what these certain parties actually want, when they speak out against the righteous protectors of the Quadrants." ~2815
- Iovera IX I - "I like when these pontiffs from the Conclave gaff at me and claim I stand against Masaari. Look who is talking! I - with Spode's help - have done more for the true believers than you have done in centuries! And all that in service to Her Holiness. If only she wasn't so obsessed with control. I dread to imagine what things had transpired in the royal bedroom during her honeymoon with the late Grandmaster." ~2800
- Paragon Maxios I - "As much as I respect the Draconid people - they make the best wines, after all! - I have always loathed the way the previous generations of their paragons have seen the universe around them. How great it is that the late Uriel Ultanos ended this age of arrogance! I can confide that the new Paragon shall continue his politics, and in doing so maintain an Imperium we all can work with." ~2814
- Lord Protector Viabel Shantis - "I commend the new Lord Protector's devotion to Andromedan unity. Let us however remember the holiest of our mantras. One is All and All is One. Not One is One or One reigns All, but All - all Andromedan states - become One alliance of equals." ~2811
- Emperor Alexandre I - "Let me tell you a little history lesson. The French Empire we know today is actually the Third French Empire. Before that, there were two empires, seven republics, and a dozen of royal dynasties. All that, within a span of two millenia. To these men we entrust the security of the Gigaquadrant? To those who in the latest conflict changed sides twice! I shall make no mistake, however, Alexandre is a great man. However, no great man rules alone. Others must always remind him that he is merely one of the many." ~2809
“When liberals of any kind - on Capricaerón, Richelieu, Terrae - speak of liberty for all, what they really mean is liberty for all who are strong. It is an unspoken truth that noone speaks of, for it is thought self-evident for liberals - though they expect ignorance from those who listen to their speeches and read their pamphlets, for this ignorance is their means of control. For it is in the nature of a liberal to seek freedom in all things - including the freedom to dominate, exploit and control, as long as they can get away with it. Laws and morality be damned! In their hierarchy of values, they are placed far below their hungry "liberties". We are not fundamentally opposed to the ideas of freedom and democracy, but we must always remain aware that if we do not protect our freedom, some silver-tongued deceiver will exercise his freedom to take it away.”
- - An excerpt from Tansimael's political work, On Law and Liberty
“The Ecumene is our shared dream. We invest into it our men and our wealth, our ships and our toil, as do all races and nations of the galaxy. But we will not sacrifice ourselves before its golden altar, no matter how brilliant it is.”
- - Lord Tansimael upon inauguration as Autarch Supreme
“Our faith is the faith of unity. We do not preach hatred, disunity, ethnic or religious strife, and we shall not throw our people into conflicts just to appease the egoes of Elysian power brokers. We will fight only to protect what is ours and safeguard our way of life.”
- - Deputy Tansimael in the Seat of Light, speaking against Andromedan intervention in the Cyrannian Cold War
“O Spode, the merciless blazing sun has set, and the moon waxes in the dark skies once again.”
- - Autarch Supreme Tansimael upon the formation of the Great Communion
“When the Divinarium was formed, and Tansimael was told to produce propaganda for the country or stop writing altogether... I shall make a confession, I met him in personal. I tried to... persuade him to make his choice. He did not change his mind. He did not even waver in his beliefs. Not. One. Bit.”
“I see a new Jaharan in the making.”
- - Lord Exarch Karsin Lanar
“History might remember him as one of the champions of the Ecumene. Not afraid to speak when others are too intimidated to do so, not blinded by pride when his dream has its problems. He may just be one of the primary enablers of its future.”
“There are few elements to success more significant than the drive to do what others fear to. For that, he has my respect.”
- - Taremanon Valocanus
“I happen to believe that those who deny essential freedoms to others in the name of their supposed liberty to do so, are not true liberals. We, all of us, have inviolable rights and freedoms that we must forever strive to defend, particularly from those who would attempt to subvert them from within. While I disagree with the Autarch Supreme's interpretation of Capricaerónan liberalism, his warning about the delicacy of our most cherished ideals should never be far from our minds.”
“A Readeon who respects traditions and cultures, and is willing to defend it in the battlefield known as politics! A man who respects other cultures as well, a wise and just Radeon. A person I would gladly work more closer with!”
- Phaunar Tansimael is something of a spiritual successor to Laurinn Ma'fest. However, in contrast to him, Tansimael is more sympathetic and less religious.
- In a twist of cosmic irony, one of the inspirations behind Tansimael was Charles de Gaulle.
- Tansimael's theme is Waltz No. 2 by Dmitri Shostakovich.