Arnen IV of Risevne
Arnen IV, born Arnen Nesari Pragan Nimya (11 May 1889 - 28 December 1957), was the King of Risevne from 16 January 1938, when he succeeded Nesari II, to his abdication in favour of his son Itaran IV in 1956.
Arnen IV's rule was by far one of the most eventful of any Risevani monarch since the Restoration. During his reign Risevne entered the Fourth Global War, during which it would lose nearly 3 million dead out of a population of 58 million; throughout the course of this war the King was famous as a symbol of national resistance, especially by his refusal to move out of Rasami Palace even after he was wounded by shrapnel when the palace was bombed. After the war he became an outspoken advocate of international cooperation to enforce peace, and helped turn public opinion in favour of Risevne's participation in the International League. In 1954 he set up the Risevne Royal Peace Award, and in 1956 the League awarded him the International Achievement Prize for Peace.
Childhood and Youth
Marriage and Family
War broke out just two years into the King's rule, in June 1940, and though he had spoken out in concern over the peace of the country since even before his reign he would prove to be a moving force behind the nation's entry into the war. Immediately after the war broke out he ordered a conference of generals and politicians to discuss joining the war; during this, the Conference of Melimaye, he made clear his pro-war stance:
"It cannot be the desire of any ruler who loves his country to lead a people into war. But the duty of any human is not to stand by as the world suffers the aggression of its nations who dream of worldwide hegemony. Do we fight as the allies of the downtrodden, or wait until our potential allies have all been put down and fight alone?"
The conference eventually concluded that while Risevne should join the war it would not be immediately and directly involved; it would only be the Golkate Island Incident of September 1940 that prompted the Afengar and Cabinet to approve the declaration of war.
Throughout the War, and even as the bombing of Risevan cities began from mid-1941, Arnen refused to leave the city of Isana which, owing to its prime economic importance to the country, was a central target of enemy bombers. He did, however, order the movement of the entire royal family and most of the employees of the palace, leaving himself with just a handful of workers within the palace. In his later memoirs he would famously describe the wartime palace as "A huge empty room of echos, reverberating all day with the sounds of the struggle above us". In October 1941 several bombers attacked the palace for the first time in the war, and the Afengar immediately requested that the King move out to join his family for safety; the King however refused in a letter which was later read to the public; some quotes from the letter, including the phrase "Here we must remain" (actually "Here I must remain"), would become wartime slogans.
On 17 March 1943, a group of bombers attacked the palace, and a bomb scored a direct hit on the residential halls where Arnen was having dinner; in the explosion several people were injured, including the King who would require five stitches for a gash on his left arm caused by falling debris. According to witnesses his first words upon leaving the hall and seeing his injury was, "So that's what it's like!" again the Afengar requested his departure, and again he refused; instead, the day after he received treatment, he went on a tour of the city to assure his people that he was only slightly injured. He continued to conduct these tours, as well as write open letters exhorting the people which were broadcast on radio.
Besides the personal danger that the King placed himself in, the war also affected him in more serious ways. A distant but well-loved nephew of his, Miras Kagorsi, was the captain of the light cruiser Graunac, and died when it was torpedoed and sunk in 1946, while another, Esinar Nimya, was an army commander who was killed in 1945.
On October 27 delegates from 146 belligerent nations - 97 victorious, and 49 defeated - gathered on board the Fusalne, sailing in the Mirosair Sea, to sign the treaty ending the Fourth Global War; two days later the King delivered one of his most famous addresses to the parliament, putting across his view of peace via collective mediation and enforcement.
A believer in the ideal of a community of nations, Arnen would prove a powerful tool in the subsequent debate on whether to join the International League; placing all the political weight he had behind the proponents of such a theory he helped ensure, after a fierce debate between these proponents and politicians wary of new wars, a surprisingly clear victory in the subsequent referendum on the issue.