Star Kingdom of Manticore

Star Kingdom of Manticore
Star Kingdom of Manticore
Form of government Constitutional Monarchy
Official language Standard English
Home Planet Manticore
Capital Landing City
Head of state King or Queen
of the House of Winton
Head of government Prime Minister
Senior military commander First Space Lord
Executive branch Cabinet
Legislative branch Parliament:
House of Lords
and House of Commons
Military Royal Manticoran Navy,
Royal Manticoran Marine Corps,
Royal Manticoran Army
Currency Manticoran dollar
v · d · e

The Star Kingdom of Manticore (SKM), frequently referred to as Manticore or the Star Kingdom, is a fictional star-nation in the Honorverse series of military science fiction novels and short stories by David Weber and others, published by Baen Books.



The Star Kingdom was founded in the Manticorian system, which consisted of a binary star, three settled planets, and the Manticorian Wormhole Junction. This unique combination of large amounts of habitable planetary real estate and instantaneous travel via the Junction had made the Star Kingdom an economic and diplomatic power house. Indeed, Manticore compared very favorably to most Solarian League systems which have generally been settled longer, and contained higher populations and larger infrastructures, than the Star Kingdom. These factors, and those required to properly exploit them, had resulted in an extensive Manticorian merchant marine and well funded research programs. Manticore had also birthed a very effective navy with a strong tradition of excellence and institutional history. A popular nickname for a native of the Star Kingdom was "Manty" (plural "Manties").

Its foreign affairs priorities are security of Manticore Wormhole Junction termini, security of Manticoran merchantry, and exercising interstellar antislavery law.


Manticore had begun as a slow boat (sublight ship, also known as an interstellar ark) colony sent from Earth. It was particularly well planned, however, e.g. Manticore Colony Trust was established as well as protection of the colony from claim jumpers. During the 640 years that it took the colony ship Jason to travel to Manticore, developments in gravity technology had made hyper travel safe. Therefore, the arriving colonists found themselves greeted by employees already building infrastructure on Manticore, the most temperate of the three habitable planets orbiting the two stars in the system. Not long thereafter, there was a plague which killed more than half of the population, setting the colony back substantially.

It was in reaction to that circumstance that the aristocratically dominated monarchical polity was begun (the Star Kingdom of Manticore). New colonists invited to make up for the losses of the plague were not intended to be part of the power structure. These colonists were divided into two sets, those who could pay for some or all of their passage (Yeomen) and those who could not (Zero-Balancers). This aristocratic dominance scheme went awry when Elizabeth I, the second monarch, proved to be better at political maneuvering than the nobility. After her, the SKM had an effective monarchy, not merely a constitutional figurehead.

State organization

A convention of colony shareholders (the Framers) converted the Corporation's elective board into a constitutional monarchy and crowned Roger Winton King Roger of Manticore on August 1, 1471 P.D. (a primary constitution chartered then).

The Manticoran constitutional law consisted of written constitution and some unwritten tradition, e.g. concerning the Crown powers strengthened by Queen Elizabeth I (1474–1507 P.D.) or some Prime Minister issues. The constitution contained a strong "Declaration of Fundamental Rights" according to which all Manticoran subjects were equal in the eyes of the law, but the franchise to vote was limited to citizens who had paid taxes for at least five consecutive years. The Manticoran monarchy was hereditary, but the heir to the throne (Crown Prince or Crown Princess) was required by law to marry a commoner (Roger I and Elizabeth I Amendment).


Home system

Its home system was a unique binary star system Manticore with three habitable planets: Manticore, Sphinx, and Gryphon. The Manticore system has 3.422 billion inhabitants.

Manticore Wormhole Junction termini

Manticore Wormhole Junction marked with green lines

The Star Kingdom of Manticore held sovereignty to the Manticore Wormhole Junction termini. The only exception was Sigma Draconis Terminus, where Manticore shared sovereignty over the terminus with planetary state of Beowulf in the Sigma Draconis System. Joined areas connected with Manticore Wormhole Junction termini included, Gregor A, the Basilisk System, the Trevor Star System, the Lynx Terminus System, and the Lynx system. Other out of the Home System termini facilities at the Sigma Draconis and the Hennessy Systems and at Matapan Cluster include the Beowulf Terminus area, the Hennessy Terminus area, and the Matapan Terminus area.

Other joined territories

  • Hancock System: in c1904 P.D. RMN Hancock Station with naval yard was established for protection of allied Zanzibaran Caliphate, Duchy of Alizon and Yorick; due to fact, that its star was a red dwarf the Hancock System was unfit for colonisation (HH3),
  • Elric System: RMN Elric Station was established there for protection of the approaches to the Grendelsbane System; lost in 1915 P.D.; one almost inhabitable planet was present there (HH9),
  • Silesian Confederacy: in 1920 P.D. due to international security issues it was partitioned by the Andermani Empire and the SKM with consent of the Silesian government; territorial details of partition are not certain; RMN Silesia Station was established there and its CO was in charge with remaining Confederacy Navy staff and units (before 1909 P.D. Andermani Empire had acquired from Silesian government a hundred-year lease on the Sachsen System planet's third moon as the HQ of Imperial Andermani Navy Sachsen Station; it seems in 1919 P.D. IAN military controlled the Sachsen System; after partition Sachsen Station CO probably technically became in charge at least with detachment of the former Silesian Confederacy Navy home-ported in the Sachsen System) (HH11).


  • His/Her Majesty's Medusan Protectorate: planet of Medusa in the Basilisk System—protectorate over the only habitable planet in the system, inhabited by native sentient Stilties; establishing of protectorate was connected with annexation of the Basilisk Terminus area; protectorate without Manticoran sovereignty was established on the basis of Act of Annexation of 1856 as well as Resident Commissioner for Planetary Affairs on the planet Medusa in the name of Manticoran monarch, in charge with Native Protection Agency; Act of Annexation significantly amended in 1901 P.D. by Manticoran sovereignty establishing after failed natives uprising in 1900 P.D. (HH1);
  • Endicott System: protectorate over state of the Faithful of the Church of Humanity Unchained located on the planet of Masada; protectorate and military occupation established after Faithful's failed invasion against Protectorate of Grayson in 1903 P.D.; Masada was inhabited by c.a. 6.75 bln people in 1903 P.D., the Endicott System contained asteroid belt belonged to state of the Faithful also (HH2, HH5, HH9).

Temporary governed territories

  • During first six months of the war (March – October 1905 P.D.) SKM conquered 19 Havenite systems including two naval bases (Seaford Nine). During first year of war SKM conquered 24 Havenite systems. Between July and September 1907 P.D. SKM conquered 2 Havenite systems. Together it was no less than 26 systems (HH5).
  • In 1908 P.D. Manticoran Army was responsible for garrisoning no less than 18 Havenite worlds; some other worlds could be garrisoned by Royal Manticoran Marine Corps also (HH6).
  • In 1915 P.D. the Manticoran Alliance controlled a total of 27 star systems (HH10), which were according to the letter of the law claimed by the Republic of Haven (the Trevor Star System not claimed):
  • 6 of them were effectively uninhabited and most of them had boasted naval bases, but possessed no habitable planets (Samson and Owens probably),
  • 3 of them had been sufficiently recent acquisitions of the People's Republic and had expressed their firm intention to seek annexation on the pattern of Trevor's Star,
  • most of remaining 18 systems had been member systems of the PRH long enough to think of themselves as Havenite territory, however Tahlman, Runciman and Franconia had no desire to return to Havenite control.

In 1919 P.D. during Havenite operation "Thunderbolt" SKM lost every single system taken away from the People's Republic of Haven—with the exception of Trevor's Star—since the war started.

Annexation requests

  • Until 1919 P.D. three Havenite star systems controlled by the Manticoran Alliance expressed their firm intention to seek annexation on the pattern of Trevor's Star; in 1919 P.D. those star systems were reconquered by Republic of Haven (HH10).
  • In 1919 P.D. seventeen planetary states located in Talbott Cluster area petitioned to join SKM also (Celebrant, Dresden, Mainwaring, Marian, Montana, New Tuscany, Nuncio, Pequod, Prairie, Redoubt, Rembrandt, San Miguel, Scarlet, Spindle, Split, Talbott, Tilderman—total estimated population c.a. 26 bln inhabitants). Provisional Governor of the Talbott Cluster for the Star Kingdom of Manticore was appointed and RMN Talbott Station established (covering Lynx Terminus also) (HH10, SI1). However, New Tuscany later withdrew its petition and became hostile to Manticore (SI2).

Manticoran Alliance

During the war against People's Republic of Haven (and Republic of Haven) the SKM was allied with:

  • Protectorate of Grayson: from 1903 P.D. (treaty signed by Captain Honor Harrington on Manticoran side) (HH2),
  • Caliphate of Zanzibar: from 1904 P.D. (HH3),
  • Duchy of Alizon: from 1904 P.D. (the man who talked Alizon into signing up with the Alliance was Commodore Mark Sarnow) (HH3),
  • Yorick: from 1904 P.D. (HH3),
  • Republic of Erewhon: between 1905 P.D. and 1919 P.D. (HH10),
  • Andermani Empire: from 1920 P.D. (HH10),
  • other minor planetary states present between SKM and People's Republic of Haven borders: like Candor, Grendelsbane, Minette and Poicters (as well as Clearaway, Dorcas, Klein Station, Minorca, Quentin, Reevesport, Talbot, Talisman and Zuckerman—according to HH2 map)

The Sidemore Republic, allied with SKM on the basis of bilateral defensive treaty of 1911 P.D., probably was a member of the Manticoran Alliance also.

Because of the policies of Baron High Ridge's government, Erewhon has left the Alliance and signed a mutual defence treaty with the Republic of Haven. With the end of the resumption of active warfare between the Alliance, Erewhon no longer participated in the war, as it was not obliged to join with RoH if it resumes hostilities. However, it made available a good portion of the technological advances achieved by the Alliance during the War.

Star Empire of Manticore

It is revealed in Storm from the Shadows that following the ratification of the Talbott Cluster Annexation Constitution, the Star Kingdom is now officially known as the Star Empire of Manticore. This new political entity's territory includes the Manticore, Trevor's Star, and the Medusa systems, in addition to roughly one half of the former Silesian Confederacy which was split with the Andermani Empire, and Manticore. Accordingly, all governmental institutions transition to an Imperial status, and Elizabeth III of Manticore is crowned Empress Elizabeth I.

A system of federalism is put into place between Manticore and Talbott, with the Cluster electing a separate local Parliament and various planetary Governors in addition to having representation in the Parliament of Manticore. Exactly how Manticore will administer Silesia has yet to be revealed.

The Star Kingdom of Manticore was a force to be reckoned with in galactic politics, and considering the exponential increase in resources available to Manticore following the founding of the Empire, it can be presumed that the nation of Manticore as a whole will only become more powerful over time. Manticore currently possesses the most technologically advanced and battle hardened Naval fleet in space. While the Solarian League still operates the largest force known to man by far, the League is very far behind in ship and weapons technology, to the point where the vast majority of its ships would be completely worthless in a hypothetical battle. The League Navy has also not fought a major war in over 200 years. The Solarians themselves, as portrayed thus far, seem to be nearly completely ignorant of this disparity, believing that no "neo-barbarian" nation like Manticore could ever hope to challenge them.

Thus, as Manticore has changed, so have the challenges facing it. Despite the super massive confrontation with the Republic of Haven in the Battle of Manticore (HH11), relations with Haven following the revelation that renewed confrontations between itself and Manticore were in fact engineered by Mesa have prompted renewed interest in negotiation on both sides. The Solarian League and Mesa have become Manticore's (and Haven's) new nemesis, and a war the likes of which has never been seen before lies on the horizon.


Though originally settled as a single system star-nation, the Star Kingdom enjoyed several advantages most star-nations do not enjoy. Specifically, the Manticore system contained three habitable planets (Manticore, Sphinx, Gryphon). Most star-nations limited to a single star system had considerably less habitable real estate. This granted obvious advantages in terms of what the Star Kingdom was able accomplish even before orbital infrastructure and its impacts on system GNP and population capacity were considered.

Additionally, the Manticore system also contained the Manticore Wormhole Junction. Discovered approximately 100 years after the Star Kingdom was founded, it was the largest wormhole junction ever discovered. Initially, there were only five destinations reachable via the Junction, within the last 40 years before 1919 P.D. two more were located.

In large part due to tolls and usage fees charged to ships making transit via the Junction, the Star Kingdom enjoyed the largest single-system GNP outside the Solarian League itself. It was only this enormous economic advantage which had enabled Manticore to maintain its highly productive research and development programs, and to fuel the budget of the Royal Manticorian Navy. This same economic advantage also lent itself to diplomatic and foreign relations leverage, as threat of closure of the Junction to a star-nation's shipping would often resulted in that barred nation falling significantly behind its competitors for the bottom-line business of moving interstellar cargo. Finally, there were obvious military advantages in moving fleets strategically via the Junction as well as vulnerabilities from hostile forces using the Junction to move attacking forces into the Manticore system.

The third pillar of Manticoran economic power was a large merchant fleet, fourth in the known universe (only three Solarian League planets had larger merchant fleets).


The primary branch of the Star Kingdom's military was the Royal Manticoran Navy. The RMN was the senior service in terms of sheer budget and necessity; control of systems and planetary orbitals all but precludes other military action in many circumstances. With a five hundred year tradition of service, the RMN had amassed considerable institutional experience and knowledge, and had evolved from its beginnings as a system defense force, passed its lengthy formative years focusing primarily on commerce protection for the Manticoran merchant marine, and was regarded as one of the premier navies in the galaxy, due in part to the reinforcing experience from the naval academy at Saganami Island.

Backed by the significant resources Manticore commands, the RMN was further powered by strongly pursued and implemented research and development programs. Particularly since the start of the war with Haven, the RMN had seen its capabilities grow explosively compared to what had been the technological cutting edge prior to the onset of hostilities.

In terms of combat capability, there was literally no contest between the pre-war RMN and the in-war RMN. A RMN pre-war superdreadnought was able to engage with a missile broadside of a few dozen tubes at a from-rest range of six million kilometers. A in-war RMN superdreadnought was able to engage with a missile pod attack containing as many missiles as it had fire control channels for (upwards of several hundreds) from a range of one hundred and fifty million km.

Other branches of the Manticoran military were the Royal Manticoran Marine Corps and the Royal Manticoran Army. These were professional ground forces which acted in concert with the RMN in actions to secure enemy worlds, space stations, and ships. The Marines were charged with maintaining security, providing reaction forces onboard RMN ships and with spearheading planetary assaults, whereas the Army was tasked with defending the surface of the Star Kingdom's worlds, reinforcing initial attacks by the Navy and Marines and providing garrison troops for occupied planets.

The RMMC's primary duty is to serve as ground troops, security elements and boarding parties for the Royal Manticoran Navy. Marine contingents are stationed on board every Royal Navy ship, the size of these contingents depending on the type of ship. When on board a Navy ship, Marines are in charge of the ship's security, protection of VIPs and conduct ground combat actions when ordered by the ship's captain. Common tasks for shipboard Marines include boarding actions against pirate vessels or suspicious merchantmen. During combat they fulfill some of the duties of naval ratings, primarily as weapon crews and damage control teams. Since the Marines conduct some of the tasks normally done by naval ratings the RMN is able to carry more Marines than other navies. In addition to shipboard duties, the Marines also act as the spearheading forces during a planetary assault, clearing the path for follow-up Army troops.

Political parties and its policies

Manticore's six major political parties were:

  • The Centrist Party, which favored a tough anti-Havenite foreign policy, a conservative domestic policy of fiscal restraint, and a policy of moderation on most other issues. The Centrists had been behind Manticore's naval expansion and had been the driving force behind the foundation of the Manticorian Alliance. As of the latest book in the Harrington series, Mission of Honor, the Centrist Party controls the current government.
  • The Crown Loyalists, whose main concern, and litmus test for any measure, was the preservation of the Crown's power. They were strongest on Gryphon due to the historical conflict between landowners and the majority population there. The Crown Loyalists usually formed coalitions with the Centrists, because the royal family of Manticore, House Winton, typically produced Centrist-aligned Monarchs.
  • The Liberal Party, which sought to implement some welfare state measures and fundamentally distrusted reliance on military action. Their paramount tenet in foreign policy was that ¨violence never solves anything¨. Following the events of War of Honor, the Liberal Party effectively split between two factions, one maintaining old party politics and platform, with the "New Liberal Party", which took control of most party assets, adopting a much more pragmatic and somewhat hawkish attitude on foreign policy, under the leadership of the former Countess of the Tor, Catherine Montaigne. In this way the Liberals remained a political force to be reckoned with despite their association with the corrupt Baron High Ridge government, although the Old Liberal diehards became largely irrelevant.
  • The Conservative Association, a reactionary political faction which actively resisted any measure that might threaten the privileges of the aristocracy generally and the House of Lords in particular. Their foreign policy was isolationist (as expansion threatens to dilute their influence). The Conservative Association was unique among the major parties in that it commanded virtually no public support, and was notable solely because of its member Lords. Following the fall of the Baron High Ridge government, the Conservative Association descended into virtual political obscurity, with the very name of the organization becoming associated in Manticoran politics with corruption and ignorance. It also lost most of its political influence in the House of Lords with the destruction of the "North Hollow files", which had been used to blackmail several independent Lords into political support. All of these happenings produced a situation in which the Association is extremely unlikely to enjoy significant political power for the foreseeable future.
  • The Progressive Party, which opposed deficit spending like the Centrists, but wished to reduce military spending and had little interest in foreign policy. The Progressives also believed that there was little hope of surviving a war against Haven, and Haven should therefore be placated. After the fall of the Baron High Ridge government, the Progressives also suffered massive political fallout, suffering a complete removal from the Centrist government amidst the sudden disappearance of party leader Lady Elaine Descroix (who was implied to have been assassinated by her covert, Mesan benefactors).
  • The "New Men" Party, a faction which opposed the concentration of power in the hands of the aristocracy and "the powers that be". They were a wild card in Manticoran politics, siding with whichever faction they believed will favor their interests in Parliament. They were widely regarded (covertly) with much hatred and frustration, because they retained enough member Lords to be critical to any ruling government yet provably unreliable on any long term basis, as they would switch their support to the Opposition the second those parties convinced them that the New Men would gain more power by turning coat.


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