I am a daughter not just of the Emperor, but of the Empire, and I look upon our traditions and achievements with pride. I hold, as my forefathers did, that to be born Imperial is to receive the blessing of the Universe. That is the true meaning of the ceremonial wine tipped upon our new-born heads. Does this pride in our heritage make me old fashioned? Some would say so. I know that there are those among my family who cannot bear the burden of rank and privilege without a chronic sting of guilt, but I ask that you look charitably upon those so ailing, as I do. After all, rebellion is the prerogative of adolescence. I ask that you reserve your anger for a worthier target - for those who acknowledge our traditions in public, but privately serve only their own corrupt interests; for those who exploit their ancestors' sacrifices while holding our military in contempt; for all the petty, venal, spineless parasites in our very midst. I have sat with many such parasites, and for form's sake I have masked my contempt. But that mask has served its purpose, and now I cast it aside. To the worms nesting so complacently in the heart of my beloved Empire, I say this: we see you, and we are coming for you.
— Arissa Lavigny-Duval, private speech given at her post-coronation dinner
Arissa Lavigny-Duval is the 16th Emperor of the Empire. The daughter of the late Emperor Hengist Duval of the Imperial Family and Florence Lavigny of the Lavigny family, she was crowned on October 18, 3301 after a succession process made unusually uncertain by the disqualification of original heir-apparent Prince Harold Duval, the assassination of Hengist before he could marry Florence and legitimize Arissa, and the possibility of viable competing claims to the Imperial Throne from Princess Aisling Duval and SenatorDenton Patreus. Arissa has a reputation for tackling hard issues head on. Her political platform is built on honour, and she has a focus on tackling corruption. Many of her policies are in line with those of her late father, as her views were shaped during her time as a senator and member of the Imperial Court. Being the first woman to hold the Imperial Throne, Arissa has had a contentious relationship with Imperial hardliners and traditionalists, some of whom seek her removal. Nonetheless, she enjoys broad support among the Imperial people.
Continuing this GalNet exclusive series, political commentator Marcus Macmillan writes his opinion of some of the movers and shakers in 3301. In this second article he looks at one of the most respected women in Imperial politics: Senator Arissa Lavigny-Duval.
Arissa Lavigny-Duval’s success as a senator often eclipses the fact that as the daughter of the late Prince Aristide de Lavigny, she is also a princess by birth. It says much of her character that she prefers to represent herself with her achievements rather than just her bloodline. In Imperial politics, of course, having the right bloodline is also an asset and she is astute enough to make use of it when she needs to.
In popularity she rivals Princess Aisling Duval, partly because she is happy to tackle hard issues head on. Her primary platform is one of honour and she devotes much of her attention to tackling corruption. She is a familiar face in the Imperial Court and her views often reflect those of the Emperor. The planned wedding between EmperorHengist Duval and her mother, Florence Lavigny, will secure her position as next in line if anything should befall the Emperor.
11 MAY 3307
There are widespread fears that current hostilities in the Paresa system may force the Empire and Federation to declare full-scale war. The situation has been covered by mainstream media. The Imperial Herald: "Hadrian might be the black sheep of the Duval family, but should he die by Federation hands, honour would demand retribution. Already the Imperial Navy is mobilising in anticipation of the Emperor's reaction." The Federal Times: "The evidence that Nova Imperium orchestrated the starport bombings is credible, but the possibility of subterfuge remains. Could the NMLA really fake so many orders from Hadrian Duval to such a believable standard?" Eye on Achenar: "An attack against a Duval is an attack against us all, even if he does turn out to be a terrorist. How dare those Fednecks try to judge our criminals for us!" Sol Today: "Hundreds of thousands dead, half a million wounded… our people deserve retribution. But as usual, all the Imposers care about is pandering to their monarchy." Paresa News Network: "The death toll is soaring as full-blown battles rage through our system. Paresans are terrified at facing conquest by the Federation. Can we rely on the Empire to save us?"
03 MAY 3307
The isolationist group faces attack by both Federal and Imperial factions, after accusations that Imperator Hadrian Duval is the NMLA mastermind. The League of Mandu arrived in the Paresa system last week and quickly established a foothold. Admiral Natalia Lee, commanding the Harmony's Shield megaship, announced: "Our purpose is to eliminate the terrorists who slaughtered so many Federal citizens. We advise the Empire to stand aside and allow us to deliver justice." Magister Julius Halstrom of the Peraesii Empire Consulate declared: "In the name of the Emperor, we stand ready to purge the NMLA from the Paresa system – and the Federation too, unless they withdraw." Hadrian Duval has broadcast a message via Paresa News Network: "The NMLA faked my identity when dealing with the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid, knowing the superpowers would do their work for them by killing another Duval. Nova Imperium will defend itself if necessary, but we are not responsible for any terrorist attacks." ACT is still attempting to corroborate evidence provided by the Landgrave of Mudhrid. Praetor Leo Magnus, Nova Imperium's security chief, is reportedly aiding their enquiries. The Senate has urgently requested direction from the Emperor, but Chancellor Blaine declared "Her Majesty cannot pass judgement upon a live investigation."
20 APR 3307
The Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid has been granted sanctuary in the Marlinist Colonies in return for revealing the identities of the NMLA's leaders. The faction's survivors arrived in the Hyades Sector RO-P b6-2 system after being defeated by Imperial forces. The Marlinism Reformation Party agreed to offer political asylum, despite all three superpowers demanding the refugees' arrest. Imperial Senator Lorcan Scordato, who was visiting the Colonies on a fact-finding mission, announced: "After meeting the Neo-Marlinists and the Marlinist Parliament, I have secured an agreement. The Landgrave of Mudhrid and his inner circle will cooperate fully with ACT to provide details on the senior leadership of the NMLA. In return, they will receive life imprisonment at a local detention facility. The Steel Majesty's population will undergo security vetting by the Marlinist Constabulary to identify extremists. The remainder will be permitted to remain in the system and apply for citizenship." Chancellor Blaine has approved the proposal, commenting that it was "precisely the sort of creative solution the Emperor requires". Responses from the Alliance and Federation were mixed, but there was broad agreement that targeting the NMLA was the priority. Minister Aaron Whyte, elected leader of the Marlinism Reformation Party, publicly thanked Senator Scordato for negotiating a peaceful resolution.
05 APR 3307
Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval, leader of the isolationist group Nova Imperium, has married his consort Astrid Minerva in a closed ceremony. Commander Minerva was a young Imperial pilot who aided Nova Imperium at the Battle of Paresa in 3305 and became a loyal supporter. Her official title is now Lady Astrid Minerva-Duval. Princess Aisling Duval personally attended her cousin's wedding at a secure location. She referred to it as "a precious moment of joy in these bleak times". The Imperial Palace and the Senate have sent congratulatory messages, and the event was covered by mainstream media. Paresa News Network: "Astrid's well-deserved rise to nobility has made her fellow Paresans very proud. Everyone at PNN is overjoyed for the happy couple!" Eye on Achenar: "It's an insult to the noble Duval bloodline when some trigger-jockey from a gutter system can sink her claws into the Emperor's own nephew." The Imperial Herald: "Hadrian taking a bride at the age of 20 has surprised many. If he becomes the only Duval to produce heirs, it will place pressure on Emperor Arissa and Princess Aisling, neither of whom have consorts." In related news, Nova Imperium vessels are participating in the current conflict against the Neo-Marlinists of Mudhrid. Praetor Leo Magnus, head of security, is liaising with the IISS on anti-terrorism intelligence.
29 MAR 3307
The fear of further starport bombings has placed internal and external pressure on the Empire to address the threat posed by the NMLA. Despite sharing intelligence via ACT, the Alliance and Federation have demanded that the Empire must do more to eradicate the NMLA, since it is 'Imperial in origin and ambition'. The latest developments were covered by mainstream media channels. The Imperial Herald: "In the Senate, ChancellorAnders Blaine reported that the Emperor has instructed him to present a range of options. SenatorLorcan Scordato has volunteered to visit the Marlinist Colonies on a fact-finding mission, to better understand the political character of the Neo-Marlinist fringe." Eye on Achenar: "The entire system is still shellshocked by the slaughter at Dawes Hub, a vicious stab at the heart of our glorious Empire. In our opinion poll, 93% of right-thinking citizens would send a fleet of Majestics to the murdering Marlinists instead of some soft-hearted senator." Vox Galactica: "In most Imperial cities and settlements, anxiety levels remain high. The NMLA's ability to strike seemingly anywhere has rocked public confidence in the Empire's strength. Opinions on Marlinism itself are more polarised than ever, with accusations of 'warmonger' and 'collaborator' dividing many families and relationships."
Delegations have been formed by the Empire and the Marlinist Colonies to take part in the forthcoming diplomatic conference. Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval will not attend in person, but will be directly represented by ChancellorAnders Blaine. During the conference, SenatorZemina Torval will temporarily assume chancellor duties and act as head of the Senate. In addition, Princess Aisling Duval and Senator Denton Patreus will be in attendance. They will be accompanied by experienced ambassadors from the Imperial Diplomatic Corps. The Marlinist Colonies have also finalised their delegation, which includes First Minister Jenna Fairfax and Minister Aaron Whyte. A spokesperson for the Marlinist Parliament said: "The Galactic Summit offers us an opportunity to engage with the Empire diplomatically, and we sincerely hope our voices will be heard. We also aim to establish mutually beneficial relations with other governments." There is widespread speculation on how the Empire will respond to political overtures from its own ex-citizens, who were persecuted for following the democratic ideology of Marlinism. However, most societies within the Marlinist Colonies still remain culturally Imperial in nature, despite their republican governance. The Galactic Summit is being hosted by Sirius Corporation and will officially commence on Thursday the 25th of February 3307.
16 NOV 3306
Princess Aisling Duval's request for her cousin, Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval, to be accepted into the Imperial Family has been denied. Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval's decision was delivered to the Senate by ChancellorAnders Blaine: "Her Majesty acknowledges that Hadrian is a Duval by blood, and offers royal pardons to him and his followers for previous crimes against the Empire. However, she does not bestow upon him the title of prince, nor offer any formal position within the Imperial Family." Aisling Duval and Hadrian Duval both expressed disappointment, but agreed to accept the decree. The Senate has now ratified the Treaty of Paresa, which removes Nova Imperium's outlaw status in return for accepting Emperor Arissa's rule and contributing to operations against the NMLA. The Imperial Herald's political journalist Cassia Carvalho commented: "This surprisingly even-handed judgement is widely seen as bowing to pressure from the Senate, where there is much loyalty to Aisling Duval. Some interpret it as atonement – or regaining political goodwill – for the purge of Nova Imperium in 3305, which included the execution of several senators. The image this projects is of an Empire coming together against the greater threat posed by Neo-Marlinists. But there is speculation that an alliance between the two youngest Duvals may one day challenge the Emperor for the throne."
10 NOV 3306
Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval has recovered from an assassination attempt and signalled a new direction for Nova Imperium. Princess Aisling Duval provided advanced medical care for Imperator Duval after a near-fatal attack by NMLA assassins. Following a period of discussion, she told the media: "At this time of crisis we need allies more than ever, and my cousin's royal heritage should not be denied. I have therefore formally requested sovereign consent for him to be accepted into the Imperial Family as Prince Hadrian." Hadrian Duval broadcast this message from Dyson City: "I owe my life to Aisling, but life without purpose means nothing, and the Duvals' purpose has always been to protect the Empire. I seek to adopt my birthright and help defend our traditional ways of life. However, many of us see disturbing parallels between the brutal purge of Nova Imperium's followers in 3305 and the current crusade against the Marlinists. I call upon those in power not to repeat this mistake – the NMLA is the common enemy we must unite against." Many senators publicly agreed that the Empire must heal past divisions to focus on the Neo-Marlinist threat. Others have voiced concerns at the repercussions of Emperor Hengist's illegitimate grandson becoming an heir to the throne. As yet, Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval has not responded.
06 NOV 3306
Neo-Marlinist extremists are continuing their campaign of terror, while the Empire and Federation clash over issues caused by Marlinist refugees. The Imperial Herald has featured updates on terrorist activity across the Empire: "The NMLA has claimed responsibility for over fifty bomb attacks during the last three weeks. These mostly targeted local authority buildings and security forces, killing hundreds. Hit squads have also assassinated several high-profile individuals connected to the Duvals, including the Emperor's relative Baron Cesare Lavigny. Senior IISS leaders have admitted to being unprepared for how organised and well-equipped the paramilitary group is. Critics suggest that the mass arrest of Marlinists may have radicalised many people who were already sympathetic to the republican ideology." The Federal Times has focused on the tensions between superpowers: "With diplomatic channels closing down, the possibility that the confrontation in LTT 1935 might escalate into all-out war cannot be ignored. There is added pressure from the exodus of millions of Marlinists, whose beliefs align with the Federation's democratic principles. President Hudson is still suffering from reduced congressional support, and many have said that it feels like Felicia Winters is running the show. But although her humanitarian efforts undoubtedly saved many refugees' lives, the acceptance of Imperial outcasts into Federal society remains in question."
24 SEP 3306
*Pilots Federation ALERT: For the attention of all Commanders* Rare commodities required by the Empire in the Baal system. The state funeral of Prince Harold Duval has begun on Capitol. An official week of mourning has been declared throughout the Empire. Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval opened the ceremony, delivering a eulogy for her half-brother. Princess Aisling Duval, Harold's daughter, was also in attendance but was too emotional to address the huge crowds. Messages of condolence from across the galaxy were on holographic display, including from Alliance Prime MinisterEdmund Mahon and Federal PresidentZachary Hudson. Even Hadrian Duval, the exiled leader of Nova Imperium, paid respects to his late uncle. The body of the Prince, contained within a jewelled transparent casket, was paraded through the city by a company of Imperial Guard. It will remain in state for two weeks prior to internment in the Hall of Martyrs. The Imperial Palace will host a memorial ceremony to honour Harold Duval, for which rare commodities have been requested before Thursday 1st October. Ngadandari Fire Opals, Esuseku Caviar, Lavian Brandy and Kamitra Cigars should be delivered to Oterma Station in the Baal system, where the White Templars will transport them to Capitol after security vetting. Commanders of the Pilots Federation will be assigned an Achenar system permit alongside financial rewards. To further encourage participation, Gutamaya Corporation will apply a discount of up to 25% for all ship purchases according to the amount of rare items provided.
21 SEP 3306
The Imperial Herald has published an obituary of Prince Harold Duval, who was assassinated by NMLA terrorists. "Born in 3230 to EmperorHengist, Harold Duval reacted against his father's puritan lifestyle by filling his days with partying and debauchery, becoming the black sheep of the Duval family. It was probably accidental that Harold had a child with entertainer Imogen Gabrielini, but they married shortly before her narcotics-related death. His daughter, Princess Aisling Duval, has always spoken warmly of her loving father. Emperor Hengist eventually decreed that his son was not fit for the throne, despite being his only heir. Harold never contested this, perhaps relieved to allow half-sister Arissa Lavigny-Duval to take his place. In recent years Harold became a recluse on Capitol, suffering ill-health from a lifetime of excesses. But a father's protective instinct motivated him to travel to Aisling's home system after it was attacked. Tragically, despite always renouncing power, merely being a Duval made him a target to those same republican terrorists. As the Empire mourns Prince Harold, suspicions arise that the NMLA were aided by inside knowledge of his ship's itinerary and security, throwing an uneasy shadow over the legacy of this eccentric, endearing man."
17 SEP 3306
Imperial news sources have confirmed that Prince Harold Duval was assassinated by NMLA terrorists while travelling incognito to the Cemiess system. Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval broadcast this address: "It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Prince Harold. A state funeral at the Hall of Martyrs is being arranged and there will be a period of mourning, as is customary for esteemed members of the Imperial Family. There will be opportunities for all citizens to honour Harold's memory in an appropriate manner." Princess Aisling Duval, Harold's daughter, appeared uncharacteristically distressed when she gave a brief statement to the media: "It's a huge loss to us all that… I'm sorry… I can't believe this has happened. He can't be gone! I used to have some sympathy for the Marlinists, but now they… they took him from us. They took my daddy." The NMLA also attacked starports in the Cemiess, Gabjaujis, LHS 4031 and Rabh systems. The Empire is now on heightened alert, and the Senate has approved new counter-terrorism initiatives proposed by SenatorDenton Patreus.
31 JAN 3305
Hadrian Augustus Duval has broadcast a message following the purge of isolationist group Nova Imperium: "Arissa Lavigny-Duval has revealed the true face of her regime – one based on brutality and terror. The callous execution of Imperator Mordanticus, in conjunction with thousands of Imperial citizens, shows her desperation to cling onto power at any cost. Nova Imperium survives in the Paresa system, a single light in the darkness. We stand for an Empire that respects everyone, from slaves to senators. I truly hope that any who value honour and tradition will help keep our spark alive. Our martyred leader will never be forgotten. In his honour, I have taken the title of Imperator Duval, until such time as the people choose me as their rightful emperor. Memento Mordanticus!"
26 JAN 3305
Security forces across the Empire have carried out a coordinated purge of the isolationist group Nova Imperium. Political journalist Cassia Carvalho reported: "Yesterday's executions in the Senate were apparently only the beginning of a coordinated massacre. Nova Imperium members are being put to death, and citizens who supported them are being arrested for treason. In a single day, the isolationist cause has been crushed. It seems that Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval – while being accused of weakness – has simply been playing for time, allowing Senator Patreus to position his agents for a simultaneous strike. With this show of strength, the Emperor has done much to silence her detractors. Despite reactions of horror from some newsfeeds, Alliance and Federal leaders have made no official comment, perhaps relieved that inter-superpower cooperation against the Thargoids will continue. Nova Imperium remains in control of the Paresa system, but with the organisation's power base destroyed, it no longer poses a threat to the Imperial throne."
25 JAN 3305
Kaeso Mordanticus, the captured leader of isolationist group Nova Imperium, has been brought before the Imperial Senate, with unexpected results. Political journalist Cassia Carvalho was at the scene: "Imperator Mordanticus was led into Senate House in shackles but still defiant. All rose as Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval entered, attended by Senator Denton Patreus. The Emperor and Patreus approached Mordanticus silently, whereupon Patreus executed the Imperator with his personal sidearm. Suddenly, the Imperial Guard opened fire, gunning down senators Pal Vespasian and Eloise Winterstone, and others who had supported the isolationist cause. Once the initial shock had subsided, the Emperor stood over the Imperator's body. In a clear voice she announced: 'There is no Nova Imperium. There is only the Empire.' I have since heard reports of mass arrests and further public executions across Capitol. The rumour is that Patreus placed agents among Nova Imperium strongholds, which are now being eliminated from within. This may be the start of an Empire-wide purge."
18 JAN 3305
Imperator Mordanticus, the leader of isolationist group Nova Imperium, has been captured by the Empire. His arrest was made during the conflict between Nova Imperium and the Empire in the Paresa system. Chancellor Anders Blaine made a pronouncement on behalf of Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval: "With its fleet destroyed, Nova Imperium's seditious agenda has been halted. The so-called Imperator, Duke Kaeso Mordanticus, will be brought before the Senate on Friday the 25th of January to answer charges of treason against the Empire." Political journalist Cassia Carvalho commented in The Imperial Herald: "For the emperor to assemble the entire Senate is a rare occurrence. It seems likely that she will make an example of Mordanticus, perhaps with a public trial. Although Nova Imperium survives in the Paresa system, the loss of both its fleet and military commander may have delivered a mortal blow to the isolationist cause."
27 DEC 3304
Imperialsenators supporting the isolationist group Nova Imperium have demanded that Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval acknowledge its figurehead, Hadrian Augustus Duval. Senator Eloise Winterstone proclaimed to the Senate: "The Imperial family must officially recognise Hadrian Duval as one of its own. Given that the Emperor has no children, such an act would secure the future of the Duval bloodline." ChancellorAnders Blaine replied: "Our official position is that Nova Imperium is a fringe organisation with no right to determine policy. We have no more to say on the matter." Political journalist Cassia Carvalho wrote in The Imperial Herald: "With the possibility of civil war increasing, the suggestion that Arissa accept Hengist Duval's grandson as an heir feels like a reasonable compromise. Her lack of response so far has led to accusations of weakness, with many calling on her to step down and for Hadrian Duval to be instated as sovereign ruler."
21 DEC 3304
Princess Aisling Duval has publicly rejected the isolationist group Nova Imperium and its figurehead, Hadrian Duval: "These extremists cause only division. Hadrian may well be the grandson of Hengist Duval, but that hardly makes him suited to the throne. Arissa has been silent for too long – she must act quickly to resolve this volatile situation." SenatorZemina Torval responded: "Much to my surprise, I find myself in agreement with Princess Duval. The notion of an independent pilot becoming ruler of the Empire is preposterous. I am confident that the Emperor will respond accordingly." Despite this united front, Senator Pal Vespasian stated: "Many senators are willing to recognise Hadrian Duval as Emperor-in-waiting. Nova Imperium is now a legitimate political movement with several million supporters. The only way the Empire will survive is by accepting the Imperator's proposals."
07 DEC 3304
Isolationist group Nova Imperium has revealed its choice for Emperor – an eighteen year old man named Hadrian Augustus Duval. The group's leader, Imperator Mordanticus, broadcast this message: "It is incumbent upon me to reveal that Hengist Duval fathered not one but two illegitimate children in his younger days. A few years before meeting Florence Lavigny, he had a brief affair with a slave in the Imperial household. When Hengist's father discovered this, the matter was hushed up and the slave dismissed. The slave's son went on to sire a child of his own: Hadrian Duval, grandson of Emperor Hengist Duval. Hadrian was unaware of this until we located him and genetically confirmed his lineage. Arissa Lavigny-Duval is a weak Emperor who must be removed. We call for Hadrian Duval to be recognised as the true heir to the throne!" The Imperial Herald's political journalist Cassia Carvalho observed: "This announcement has shaken the Empire to its very foundations. Having Hadrian as a figurehead has rallied those hardliners more comfortable with the idea of a male Emperor. With a single stroke, Nova Imperium has gained considerable credibility and massively increased its support."
01 DEC 3304
Several Imperial senators have spoken in support of isolationist group Nova Imperium. Senator Pal Vespasian made the following statement: "Many of us see Nova Imperium not as extremists, but as realists. The citizenry is afraid of both Thargoid invasion and of being weakened by collaboration with foreign systems. They look to the Emperor for salvation…and she offers them none. We intend to invite Imperator Mordanticus to address the Senate and detail his policies. This is a historic opportunity to restore the Empire's honour and integrity. Furthermore, Nova Imperium's proposal to install a new Emperor has my full backing."
24 NOV 3304
Isolationist group Nova Imperium has declared its intention to install a new Emperor. The group's leader, recently identified as ex-navy admiral Duke Kaeso Mordanticus and known as the Imperator, said: "The Empire has been weakened by collaborating with its enemies. Aegis drains our resources to protect foreign systems from the Thargoids, our security forces are stretched thin defending non-Imperial systems, and Princess Duval sullies her honourable name by dallying with a Federal libertine. Our people demand stronger leadership. We will achieve this by installing a new Emperor – one who will restore the glory of the Empire!" Political journalist Cassia Carvalho commented in The Imperial Herald: "Naturally there has been no response from Arissa Lavigny-Duval. But for many citizens, Mordanticus has articulated their unease about inter-superpower cooperation. With support for Nova Imperium increasing rapidly, a silent minority may now have found a voice."
27 JUN 3304
While the Imperial Palace offered cordial congratulations for the impending marriage of Princess Aisling Duval and Federal Ambassador Jordan Rochester, Emperor Arissa had yet to issue a personal statement. News agencies on Capitol reported that Princess Aisling had not discussed the engagement with the Imperial Family beforehand, and Emperor Arissa had not given her consent to the marriage.
08 FEB 3304
Galactic Leaders Renew Appeals for Aid. Federal President Zachary Hudson and Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval have issued fresh appeals for aid for the 17 stations damaged by Thargoid attacks, imploring independent pilots to support relief efforts.
22 OCT 3301
In a statement, the Emperor expressed her gratitude to those who had delivered gifts of slaves to Dawes Hub for her.
I am delighted with the reaction to my appeal. The fact that pilots affiliated with the Federation and Alliance responded to my request fills me with hope for a future of peaceful exchange and cooperation.
Arissa Lavigny-Duval was crowned Emperor in a ceremony at the Imperial Palace, on Capitol in the Achenar system.
This is a day I cannot compare to any other. The trust my fellow senators have shown in me makes me all the more determined to overcome the challenges we will surely face in the coming weeks and months. For too long we have suffered from uncertainty in the wake of the Emperor's death. I had the great fortune to talk with the late Emperor in his final days, and to learn how he planned to strengthen the Empire in these times of change. In the coming weeks, I will announce the formation of my government and my plans to tackle the threats facing the Empire. But for now I will enjoy this moment and express my gratitude to the Empire and everyone, from slave to senator, for this opportunity to serve.
— Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval, after her coronation
15 OCT 3301
In a more "inclusive" version of the tradition of Imperial citizens bestowing gifts upon their new Emperor, Arissa Lavigny-Duval announced that she would accept gifts of slaves from any citizen of the galaxy. Those not already Imperial slaves would be reclassified as such, almost certainly improving their quality of life. The permit restriction for access to Achenar would be lifted for the duration of the appeal, and its success would result in a temporary discount and loosening of sales restrictions on Imperial ships.
06 OCT 3301
After a Senate vote, Arissa Lavigny-Duval was declared Emperor.
15 SEP 3301
After a day at the Senate, Senator Arissa Lavigny-Duval answered some questions from reporters. She said that what the Empire needed was stability and continuity, and that Hengist Duval had shared with her his plans for the Empire to build on its strengths of justice and tradition. "I consider it my duty to make sure that his vision becomes a reality." When asked if she considered herself his heir, she replied:
The decision of who will become Emperor is in the hands of the Senate. There are many suitable candidates, and I am honoured to be among them. Whether or not I am crowned, I will continue to work toward the future that Hengist Duval shared with me.
Just before the wedding that would have legitimised Arissa, Hengist Duval was stabbed by a member of the congregation. He died en route to a medical facility.
02 APR 3301
Following an attempted assassination of the Emperor by unknown parties, Princess Arissa Lavigny-Duval made a public address on the steps of the Imperial Palace.
Honoured citizens of the Empire, my Imperial brothers and sisters, I come before you today not as a Princess or as a Senator, but as a concerned daughter of this nation. In our father’s long absence, certain undesirable elements have sought to usurp the right and just laws which govern our civilisation. Through their dishonourable actions they seek to unravel the delicate threads that bind us together as a great and unified society. The house of Duval will not allow the madness of the few to undo everything that we have struggled so long to achieve. I swear to you, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, the Emperor’s protection will stand. You will not live in fear of hunger, of sickness, of weakness or shame. Enemies of the Imperial court beware. This is your one warning. You will not get another
Her biological father, Hengist Duval, and her mother, Florence Lavigny, announced their plan to get married. This would make her next in line to the throne once the ceremony had taken place. Arissa Lavigny declared that she would change her last name to "Duval".