|Also known as||"Stefan Amaris VII"|
|Died||14 July 3057|
Richard Thurston-Moray (d. 14 July 3057), better known as Stefan Amaris VII, was supposedly a descendant of the real Stefan Amaris through his mistress Shera Moray. (Amaris had tried to have her and her offspring hunted down and killed, but a case of mistaken identity saw another woman with child killed on Slocum in 2774 while Moray and her child escaped.) It was noted, however, that there was a generation-long gap in the lineage; see also Notes below on the credibility of his lineage. It has also been speculated that the series of events surrounding his ascent is so unlikely that it must have been engineered by either ComStar or Word of Blake.
Born on Terra, Richard Thurston-Moray was recruited into ComStar, where he became an archivist and discovered not only his lineage but also a substantial amount of money on a secret, centuries-old bank account belonging to the original Stefan Amaris.
He subsequently set up in the "Cavern of the Skull", an ancient Star League era base on New St. Andrews, which was a low-tech periphery world recently (re-)discovered by ComStar. There, he recruited an army of lowlife mercenaries and bandits. Now calling himself Stefan Amaris VII, he ordered his troops on undercover terror raids against various Great Houses bearing false colors, most notably those of the Knights of the Inner Sphere, in an attempt to sow chaos, destabilize the existing order, and eventually step up to claim leadership over the entire Inner Sphere.
It remains debatable if those plans ever had any chance of success; in any case, the terror attacks proved enough of a nuisance for Thomas Marik and his Knights of the Inner Sphere to initiate an undercover mission of their own that became known as Duncan's Demons. They eventually found Amaris VII's base on New St. Andrews, and eradicated his fledgling empire there. Stefan Amaris VII himself was killed by Clan Steel Viper expatriate Dawn in a Circle of Equals aboard the DropShip Good Richard as he fled New St. Andrews, and she brought his frozen head back to her Clan.
As self-styled Emperor Stefan Amaris VII, Moray acted out the archetypical villain, to the point of shooting an insubordinate mercenary leader on the spot as an object lesson to his other assembled minions. He nevertheless had at least one competent military leader at his side, the mercenary-minded Kemper Varas.
- Unlikely as his claims to be a descendant of the original Stefan Amaris seem to be, there is at least one significant piece of corroborating evidence suggesting it may be true:
Star Captain Dawn had been cashiered and expelled from Clan Steel Viper on grounds of a botched attack against Cumbres in 3057, because she could not prove her barely believable story that an unknown third party (Stefan Amaris VII's forces) had unexpectedly attacked her raiding party. Threatened with execution should she enter Clan space again, Dawn became a member of Duncan's Demons. It was she who caught and personally killed him aboard his escape DropShip. Dawn then returned to Clan space with the head, presenting it as proof that she had indeed killed the last Amaris. She was reinstated as a Clan warrior and even went on to achieve a bloodname, which implies that the frozen head did indeed prove her claims to be true. Given the circumstances, the proof must have been considered incontrovertible by the hostile Clan Steel Viper (genetic testing being the most likely venue). This implicitly means Thurston-Moray/Stefan Amaris VII was indeed a direct descendant of Stefan Amaris.
- Some have pointed out than Richard Thurston-Moray's presence in ComStar, his work as archivist and his access to his ancestor's account is too convenient, and suggest he may have been an agent of, or manipulated by, a bigger faction, possibly the Word of Blake. This is supported by the fact that his forces attempted to discredit the Knights of the Inner Sphere in particular. Two years before, Sir Paul Masters had personally thwarted the Word of Blake's plan to factually annex Gibson (as described in the novel Ideal War) and, having been instated as its new noble ruler, was the only person standing between them and the total control of the planet that they had made their new home.
- It is unknown why, as his ancestor Stefan Amaris was the first of that name, Richard choose to add the number VII to his name, and not the II.
- Star Lord prologue, pp. 11-16
- Jihad Conspiracies, p. 16
- Star Lord
- Jihad Conspiracies p. 16