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First arriving in Patagonia as the leader of Austrian volunteers for the Chilean-Patagonian War, he proved himself a competent strategist and an excellent stateman and was awarded for his efforts by titles and offices. His liberal views would lead to a constant rivarly with the more conservative Vincent Montessier, another important figure of the 19th century Patagonia.
Many concider von Kermann as the founding father of Patagonia as a fonctionnal state.
Heiner was born third son of a small noble family in Vienna. His father, Friedrich von Kermann, occupied a small office in the court of Emperor Francis I. Heiner passed most of his young years living in court among the high nobility.
Following the death of Francis I however, his father rapidly lost the favors of the new Emperor, Ferdinand I, which forced the von Kermann to leave Vienna in 1837. Heiner's family invested into a manor in rural parts of Austria, far away from the court. There, his father would be affected to some administrative tasks for the Empire until his death in 1845, after which the first son and Heiner's older brother, Karl Friedrich von Kermann, inherited the manor.
Heiner travelled to French between 1850 and 1852. During this trip, he met a young noble woman named Marie de Vallier, who he married in 1852. They had four children together.
After his trip in France, he shortly returned to Vienna, now with a new Austrian Emperor, Franz Joseph I, where he worked on administrative duties for the Treasury. He then returned to his familial domain in 1854, where he worked for the Ministry until 1863.
In 1863, Emperor Franz Joseph assembled 12,000 volunteers to fight with Patagonia against Chile. Heiner von Kermann was among those volunteers, the hope of titles and offices in Patagonia convincing him. He arrived shorlty after the Battle of Cordoba. As the leader of the volunteers, he was able to meet King Antoine I, who wlecomed him among them.
Von Kermann rapidly showed his strategic and administrative knowledges, and was tasked to fortify the frontiers while the Marshal, Vincent Montessier, continued the offensive. The Mapuche general Antinanco Saqui was tasked of helping von Kermann. During their times together, they became friends due to their similar political views.
Secretary of State
Following the end of the war with Chile, the Austrian volunteers were were encouraged to settle in Patagonia, which most of them did, including von Kermann. For his services to the crown of Patagonia, he was awarded the title of Duke of Los Lagos and the office of Secretary of State.
Von Kermann became heavily involved in the succession laws and crown laws of the Kingdom, which he wrote with the King himself, to ensure that no civil war would come out of those and that they would be followed by future rulers to ensure the royal autority of the crown.
He later helped the King write the treaty with the Mapuches which garanted their rights on their lands. In 1868, von Kermann began to work on the industrialization of the country, inviting many investers in the country to build factories. The first factories were built in 1870.
In 1870, he organized the tenth anniversary of the country. Due to the absence of the King, who was in Westralia for the crowning and marriage of its king Alexander I, Prince Adrien-Jean took the roles of the King in the ceremonies. During it, however, a soldier made an attempt to assassinate the Secretary of State. Following the failed attempt, many believed it has been organized by Marshal Vincent Montessier.
The following month, while King Antoine I was still in foreign trip, Heiner was charged by the king to sign the Treaty of Austro-Patagonian Friendship, which would help the realtionships between the two countries and formalize and alliance. During the rest of Antoine I's reign ,he worked on the rights of the Mapuche and occupied many times the regency for the King.
Following the death of Antoine I and the ascension of his nephew Jean I, von Kermann entered in conflict with the conservative new king, who decided to replace him in 1876 by Pierre-Pascal Montessier, theson of von Kermann's rival, Vincent Montessier, leaving the state in the control of the conservatives.
Following the decleration of independence from the Republic of Araucania, he was named once again Secretary of State by Jean I in hope of stoping the crisis.