von Goldenbaum Erwin Josef II
Erwin Josef was born in early 791 UC, the son of Crown Prince Ludwig — and therefore a direct successor to the Imperial throne. Ludwig died some time between his son's conception and mid-796 UC, leaving him with no influential parentage.
Rise to throne and reign as kaiser
Friedrich IV, the reigning kaiser, died of a heart attack in 796 UC, having left no stated heir. This produced the possibility of a bloody power struggle amongst the various factions vying for power at the time. Specifically, Duke Braunschweig, husband of Princess Amarie, supported his child, the 16-year-old Elisabeth; and Marquis Littenheim, husband of Princess Christine, supported his own child, the 14-year-old Sabine.
Erwin Josef's much younger age might otherwise have made him an unsuitable successor given the more mature alternatives. However, his lack of strong parental support made him far more easily controllable, which appealed to both Reinhard von Lohengramm and Secretary of State Lichtenlade. The political alliance formed between these two ultimately led to the ascension of Erwin Josef II to the throne.
This was an unwelcome turn of events for Braunschweig and Littenheim, and the two vowed secretly to eliminate the Kaiser. News of this new alliance spread quickly throughout the nobility, with most of the high nobles ultimately siding with the Braunschweig/Littenheim faction. The resulting coalition became known as the Lippstadt Alliance. Although Marquis Lohengramm and his subordinates were able to detain many of the Lippstadt nobles before full-scale combat broke out, most of them — including Braunschweig and Littenheim — escaped to Geiersburg Fortress, which became their primary base of operations during the ensuing civil war.
In response to these events, Erwin Josef conferred to Marquis Lohengramm the title of Imperial Fleet High Commander and ordered him to subjugate the Lippstadt forces. Civil War officially broke out on 6 April 797 UC.
The war proceeded largely without the Kaiser's direct participation. Approximately 7 months after the war began, Marquis Littenheim, who had sacrificed some of his men to secure his own escape from the forces of Siegfried Kircheis, was killed in a suicide-bombing by a resentful subordinate. Duke Braunschweig died shortly thereafter, having been force-fed poison by Commodore Ansbach. Geiersburg was quickly taken by Lohengramm's forces, and the war officially ended in September 797 UC.
Upon the end of the war, Marquis Lichtenlade began making plans to eliminate Lohengramm and his supporters and seize the Imperial government for himself. These plans became known to Lohengramm, and a contingent was sent back to Odin, where Lichtenlade and his family were arrested. Following this, Erwin Josef declared Lohengramm Imperial Prime Minister — nearly eliminating the Kaiser's own influence over the government.
Abduction and the 'legitimate' Imperial government
When Kaiser Erwin Joseph II was seven years old, the Dominion of Fezzan hatched a plot to kidnap Erwin Joseph II. They financed ex-members of the Lippenstadt Rebellion, and sent them to the Imperial capital, Odin, on a mission to free Erwin Joseph II from his captors. At the same time, Fezzan secretly alerted Reinhard von Lohengramm to the kidnapping plot, who decided to allow the abduction to take place. With Erwin Joseph II spirited to the Alliance, the high nobles soon set up a government-in-exile, with the Kaiser as their head. As a result, on 20 September 489 IC, the abdication of Kaiser Erwin Joseph II was announced in the Empire, he was succeeded in absentia by the eight-month old Catherine von Goldenbaum.
Voice actor: Hiroko Emori