Rose Axson, Empress of America
Rose Axson, Empress of America
Rose Axson, Empress of America, is believed to have lived from c.2458 to 2504. Her reign as Empress lasted for 24 years, from 2480 to 2504, which was an exceptionally long reign for the time. She is recorded by historians as being a particularly militant empress, expanding the territory and influence of the American Empire, then in its nascence, to its greatest extent during the 25th century.
Little is known about Rose Axson’s early life. She is generally assumed to have been of common birth, given the absence of the Axson family name in any of the traditional lists of the American nobility either before or after her reign. The year of her birth is tentatively established based on her age at her death as recorded by Ambrose Morris in his Chronicles of the Emperors and Empresses of Imperial America; however this has been subject to much debate. The first reference to Axson is found in the same historical text, listing her as one of the commanders at the Battle of Palm Desert (2475) against the army of the Kingdom of Tijuana. According to the chronicler, Axson received special favour from Emperor C. Tyson Osgood (2427-2478) (reigned 2471-2478) for her ferocity in battle, which according to Morris included taking the head of the Tijuanan general.
Rise to Power
Over the next three years Axson continued to distinguish herself during Emperor Osgood’s campaigns against the Kingdom of Tijuana, eventually rising to command the entire left wing of the Imperial Army. In 2478, however, Emperor Osgood was assassinated by Bradish Cooke, his chancellor, who then assumed the imperial throne. This led to the fragmentation of the Imperial Army, with one faction under George M. Johnson supporting Cooke’s insurrection, while the other, under Axson, refused to do so. Retreating to the Chocolate Mountains, Axson created a base of operations and chose to bide her time, occupying her men with raiding the western territories of the Kingdom of Tijuana for supplies.
Cooke’s reign proved disastrous for the American Empire, with a series of losses to the Kingdom of Tijuana, as well a significant civil unrest within the territories of the Empire. When George M. Johnson, Cooke’s most powerful supporter, was killed in the Battle of Jamul by the Tijuanan army in 2480, riots broke out in the Imperial capital. When Cooke attempted to recall the army to deal with the rebellion, they mutinied and invited Axson to take command. This she did, marching on the Imperial capital where she was enthroned as Empress with the overwhelming support of the populace. Cooke was delivered to the crowds, and met a grisly end.
Reign as Empress
Axson’s term as Empress was by and large concerned with military affairs, with civil administration left to a series of chancellors who remained in the capital. Her first campaigns were against the Kingdom of Tijuana. In 2481, after first defeating their armies at the Battle of Encanto, Axson proceeded to besiege and take Chula Vista, a major Tijuanan stronghold. In 2483 she destroyed a Tijuanan expeditionary force at the Battle of Dulzura, and then sacked the fortress town of Tecate. In 2484, Axson besieged and captured Fort San Ysidro, close to the Tijuanan capital, and spent the next two years expanding and strengthening its defences.
With the western frontier secured, Axson began to focusing her attention on the eastern campaign. In 2487 she launched a major offensive in the Coachella Valley. After defeating a Tijuanan border defence garrison at the Battle of Whitewater, Axson retook the towns of Palm Springs and Cathedral City. In 2488 she crushed the main Tijuanan army under the command of King Luis Antonio de Echeandía at the Battle of the Salton Sea. Setting up her headquarters in the town of El Centro, Axson began a two year siege of the city of Mexicali, the second city of the Kingdom of Tijuana.
With the fall of Mexicali in late 2500, the Kingdom of Tijuana began to fragment. Regional warlords began to rebel against the authority of King Luis Antonio de Echeandía, thereby crippling his ability to raise further troops from the provinces of his kingdom. By early 2501, the Kingdom’s territories had been reduced to the capital city of Tijuana itself. Later in that year, Axson began the Siege of Tijuana, her largest military campaign. The siege took nearly two years, and was one of the bloodiest sieges of the 26th century. It ended when the city’s nobility delivered the head of King Luis Antonio de Echeandía to Axson as a gesture of their surrender.
Although the Kingdom of Tijuana was destroyed, and its capital firmly under Imperial control, the regional warlords that remained were still a threat to Imperial sovereignty in the region. Over the next few months Axson would continue her campaign along the coast of the Baja California Peninsula. Fearing that Imperial aggression would soon lead the invasion of her territories, Queen Juana Vizcaíno of the Kingdom of La Paz lent her support to a coalition of the regional warlords in opposition to Axson. The two sides met at the Battle of San Quintín. During the battle, Axson was mortally wounded leading a battle charge against the enemy forces entrenched in the village. Despite this, she still managed to command her forces from the rear, leading the Imperial Army to a decisive victory. She died shortly after the battle.
Axson’s body was cremated on the battlefield, and her bones returned to the Imperial capital for interment. Despite her victory at San Quintín, her death ended any further conquest of Baja California. Her successor, Mary Hoes (2479-2514) (reigned 2504-2514), her last chancellor, focused her ten year reign on consolidating the gains that her predecessor had made.
Rose Axson brought the American Empire to the peak of its power in the 25th century, and her achievements would be unmatched until well into the 26th century. Her reign and the reign of her successor Hoes are considered by many Imperial historians to be a transitional period, wherein the American Empire emerged from its birth as a regional power to becoming the major power on the northwest coast of the American continent.
Although all the historical information about Rose Axson is garnered from Ambrose Morris’ Chronicles of the Emperors and Empresses of Imperial America, an account written hundreds of years after the events and one of dubious accuracy, most modern historians of the American Empire accept her existence and the broad outline of events relating to her.