When our ancestors departed Earth, they asked themselves: which of our achievements represents the best of humanity, that we may bring it with us to illumine the darkness? The Federation, embroiled in a world of contracts and petty bickering, chose their Constitution. They placed their trust not in man himself, but in an imperfect work of man.
But my ancestor - your first Emperor - was wiser. He knew that the best achievement of humanity was humanity itself. There was more wisdom in a single nucleotide of his noble DNA than in all the Federation's written texts.
That same wisdom still guides us now. We need no dusty documents to assert our right! We are human, born to rule... and the universe awaits the firm hand of our governance.
The Empire, officially the Empire of Achenar, is a galactic superpower and hereditary monarchy. It is the second largest major faction in the galaxy. The reigning Emperor is Arissa Lavigny-Duval of the Imperial Family. The Imperial Palace, seat of the Emperor, is located in the city of Capitol on the planet Capitol in the Achenar system.
Although a peace treaty has existed between the Empire and the Federation since 2382, there have never really been any peaceful relations between these two old enemies. The Empire despises the Federation and everything it stands for, and vice-versa.
The Empire is less technologically dependent than the Federation, choosing to keep and employ slaves for the work which machines would usually perform in other parts of the universe. The Empire is also a proponent of human cloning rather than robotics.
Imperial society is based on a cliens system - much like ancient Rome - and strictly stratified, with people being able to move between strata based on money, patronage and influence. It values both status and honour very highly. Whilst it is acceptable to flaunt wealth, treating people well is a question of honour - and this includes slaves. Having an unpaid debt is seen as utterly dishonourable - an honourable Imperial citizen would sell themselves into slavery to clear a debt they couldn't otherwise afford.
The Imperial Law is seen and enforced by Senators who themselves are above the law. They can order executions, and can even kill people themselves, though sometimes (rarely) they may be held to account for their actions by the Emperor. In the Empire very little is illegal, but many things are frowned upon, like excessive use of narcotics.
Due to the Empire's obsession with wealth projection, Imperial design puts an emphasis on opulence, style and quality with no expense spared. This is apparent in their cities, ships by Gutamaya and clothing of Imperial citizens.
Departing the Federation
The origins of the Empire date back to the colonisation of the Achenar system in the middle of the 23rd century. Marlin Duval was a wealthy woman from Earth, who, disenchanted with their administration and authorities, set off with her own colonising fleet to Achenar 6d because it was so far from Earth. Her leadership ended abruptly when her brother Henson oversaw a flying 'accident' in which she perished. The democratic government changed abruptly to one of strict imperial rule and from then on the family assumed leadership. Female children in the family were prevented with genetic techniques, such was the hatred of Marlin Duval's principles and vision of a world in peace. This restriction was gradually phased out over the years, but the succession of Emperors has remained along the male line until recently."
— Tourist Beacon 0128, Achenar system
What is now known as the Empire began around in the middle of the 23rd century, with the architect of peace and an anti-Federation activist Marlin Duval. She had long spoken out against the oppressive Federal administration of the time. Such was her disenchantment that she gathered her family together, along with many supporters, and left the Federation. Marlin led them to a distant star system called Achenar, many light years from Sol, in order to found a new colony based on peaceful ideals. In 2292, a suitable home was found orbiting Achenar 6, a Class III gas giant, and Achenar 6d was colonised. Now called Capitol, this moon formed the core world of the Republic of Achenar, which would later become the Empire.
The colony started off extremely well, and an administrative council was formed with Marlin at the head, in order to fairly distribute power throughout the colony. As the colony expanded, so did the council, with a determination that any and every situation was dealt with via peaceful methods and dialogue. This arrangement worked very well indeed and the colony continued to prosper.
From Republic to Empire
The original government of Achenar was recorded as a democratic republic, elected senators representing the people and a council of high-ranking politicians acting as an executive body for the republic. Marlin Duval, as the founder and a popular political figure, retained a great deal of political power in this period, but enjoyed only a position of influence within the council rather than the absolute leadership of later Emperors.
In 2296, only four years after the founding of the Republic of Achenar, Marlin Duval was killed in a shuttle accident, in which her partner and children also perished. No evidence ever surfaced linking her brother Henson to the incident, but even the most loyal Imperial historians openly accept that the event was suspicious in light of his subsequent actions.
Assuming control of the senate as Marlin's closest living heir, Henson Duval quickly disbanded the ruling council and installed himself as leader of the Achenar system's colonies, transforming the Republic into the Empire. Citing the continued threats made by the Federation and their defencelessness in the face of a military invasion, Henson began a campaign of propaganda rejecting his sister's pacifistic ideals. Such was his passion and power of persuasion that he succeeded in converting the capricious colonists to his doctrines in a remarkably short period of time. Henson Duval was formally crowned as the first Emperor of the Empire in 2320.
Accusations of Genocide
Imperial historians record that many native species were found on Capitol during colonisation, which the colonists took great care to protect as best they could. Among these species, unbeknownst to the newly-formed republic, were one of the few sapient species to have been encountered by humanity: mudlarks. Imperial scholars have suggested a number of factors led to the extinction of this species, not least of all imported bacteria carried along with the colonists. Within a few short years, this indigenous species had been rendered extinct.
Federal historians, citing Federal decrees of the time, paint a different tale. The official Federal version of events alleges that Capitol was in fact sterilised on the orders of Henson Duval, brother of Marlin Duval, prior to terraforming some years after Marlin's death. Imperial scholars disagree on whether this was due to innocent confusion over misunderstood or misrepresented information, associating plans for the terraforming of nearby world Conversion, a project which would not be completed until 2696, with that of the genocide, or a deliberate political smear campaign based on Marlin Duval's antagonistic relationship with the Federation.
Whether mistakenly or not, the Federation threatened retaliation if this action was repeated, and later used this event as the pretext for an invasion of Achenar in 2324.
The Battle of Achenar
- Main article: Battle of Achenar
The war between the Federation and Achenar was notable as the first large-scale interstellar conflict. Much has been made over the years of the Federation's reasons for invading Achenar, in particular the claim that the annihilation of the native sentient species was little more than a slim pretext. While it was certainly true that the principal reason for the military action was Achenar's refusal to join the Federation, it is also worth noting that the protection of xeno-culture and life forms was a key tenet of the Federation's founding.
Under the command of Admiral Richard Morgan, a fleet was assembled at Beta Hydri and began its transit to Achenar towards the end of 2323. That region of space was relatively unexplored and thinly populated at the time, meaning that the fleet lacked the logistical support needed for a mission of this scale.
Despite a long and fragile supply line, Morgan chose to engage the defenders in a single large battle. Achenar was alerted to the plan and laid an ambush for the invaders, applying the infamous pack-hunting formation against the Federal fleet initially, then against its supply lines.
Throughout 2324 the Federal fleet continued to try and establish a foothold in the system, but with little success. The constant attrition took its toll on the invaders and in 2325 Achenar counterattacked in what is now remembered as the ‘Great Battle of Liberation’. Every local ship, civilian and military, was pressed into service in a coordinated attack against every element of the invasion fleet.
The battle succeeded in pushing the Federal fleet out of Achenar and they retreated to their base in Beta Hydri. Bolstered by improved supply, the Federal fleet held its ground. Skirmishing between the two navies continued for another fifty years. During this time, and seeing the need for a buffer zone around their home system, Henson Duval expanded into the nearby systems. This heralded the change from a single-system colony to a pan-system empire, and so the Empire as we know it today was born.
Emperor Gaylen Trasken Duval's passion for the arts and very high standards of living saw a rapid population increase in Imperial systems. Massive migration from independent, GalCop and Federation worlds saw an accompanying increase in prosperity.
To deal with the rapid rise in population across many worlds, the Empire began terraforming of Cemiess 2 in 3080. This put paid to Federal ambitions in the system. A colonial charter had been established since 3055, but lack of funds had prevented any expansion. The act of approving the Imperial settlement proved to be the last of Gaylen Trasken Duval who died shortly afterwards, he was 109 years of age.
3300 - 3305
In 3300, Emperor Hengist Duval fell gravely ill, throwing the Imperial succession into question as his son and designated heir, Harold Duval, was widely viewed as unsuitable to rule the Empire. On December 19, Hengist appeared before the Imperial Senate to decree Harold was not of sound mind and could not succeed him to the throne. Senator Arissa Lavigny, Hengist's illegitimate daughter with Florence Lavigny, was touted as likely to be named the next heir, and on December 22, Hengist announced he would marry Florence and thus solidify Arissa's claim; Arissa changed her last name to Lavigny-Duval. Hengist's illness subsequently worsened and he entered a coma, causing the wedding to postponed through July 3301.
Hengist awoke from his coma on July 14, 3301, and rapidly recovered. The wedding was initially scheduled for July 29, then finalized for August 5. Dignitaries from across human space attended the ceremony, including Federal Shadow President Felicia Winters. However, the ceremony was interrupted when Brendan Paul Darius, a high-ranking Imperial official and member of the ultra-traditionalist faction Emperor's Dawn, assassinated Hengist Duval. The Imperial succession was again thrown into question, with Hengist's granddaughter Aisling Duval jockeying for the position. On October 6, the matter was finally settled when Arissa Lavigny-Duval was declared Emperor by a vote of the Imperial Senate, and she was formally crowned on October 18, 3301.
That same month, Senator Denton Patreus waged a military campaign to eradicate Emperor's Dawn. Many Emperor's Dawn bases across Imperial and Federal space were destroyed, and on February 5, 3302, Patreus declared the group had been wiped out. In recognition of Patreus's service, Emperor Arissa promoted him to Admiral of the Fleet, giving him command of the Imperial Navy.
By 3303, tensions between the Empire and the Federation have become heightened as both superpowers have significantly increased military spending and capital ship construction. The Empire expanded into the Pleiades star cluster and established a number of outposts in the HR 1185 system. Proxy conflicts have broken out in the vicinity of the Pleiades Nebula as the Empire and Federation sought to monopolize access to Alien Structures and Meta-Alloys.
On June 19, 3303, following an apparent attack by Thargoids on a Federal fleet, Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval urged her citizens to remain calm and assured them that humanity had overcome seemingly insurmountable odds in the past.
By September 3303, speculation was rife that tensions between the Empire and Federation were thawing and the cold war was ending after the three superpowers set aside their differences to sponsor the creation of Aegis. Commentators opined that because neither the Empire nor the Federation had succeeded in establishing a monopoly over Meta-Alloys, both sides wanted to back down and save face. Despite these reports, some Imperial pundits expressed doubt that the Federation could be trusted to uphold their end of any truce.
On September 21, 3303, following a second attack by Thargoid ships that destroyed a Federal fleet in Pleiades Sector IR-W d1-55, the Empire and the other two superpowers widened Aegis' remit to focus on both research and defence. The organization's budget was dramatically increased, and it recruited the Engineers Liz Ryder and Professor Palin to produce a new anti-Thargoid weapon and a scanner for Thargoid ships, respectively.
On October 6, 3303, authorities in the Pleiades Nebula reported that the Federation had completely withdrawn its ships from the region, likely marking the end of the Federal-Imperial cold war over meta-alloys. The Empire was expected to follow suit in the coming days. Political commentators suggested that the attitude of cooperation brought about by the joint formation of Aegis, as well as escalating Thargoid attacks in the Pleiades, had been the catalyst for the withdrawal. The Empire's own withdrawal was confirmed by regional authorities on October 11.
Relations between the Federation and the Empire appeared poised to continue warming on June 22, 3304, when Princess Aisling Duval of the Empire announced her engagement to Federal Ambassador Jordan Rochester. The planned marriage proved controversial not only among Federal citizens, but also in Imperial circles. However, days before the ceremony was scheduled to occur in August 3304, anti-slavery activist Jarl Toredo revealed to the public that he had been in a secret relationship with Aisling, and Jordan's mother, Isolde Rochester, cancelled the wedding.
A rift between Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval's supporters and more traditionalist Imperial citizens began widening in late 3304 with the rise of Nova Imperium, an organization which advocated isolationism and a return to traditional Imperial values as a way to restore the Empire's glory and fend off the encroaching Thargoids. Nova Imperium's ideals steadily gained it support among citizens and senators alike, but the group was unexpectedly catapulted to the forefront of Imperial politics on December 7, 3304 after its leader, Imperator Kaeso Mordanticus, revealed the existence of Hadrian Augustus Duval. Mordanticus claimed that Hadrian had been genetically verified as a grandson of the late Emperor Hengist Duval, and he announced that Nova Imperium sought to remove Arissa Lavigny-Duval from the Imperial throne and install Hadrian in her place.
From there, tensions within the Empire continued to escalate, with some observers speculating a civil war could erupt if Hadrian Duval was not at least officially accepted as an heir to the Imperial throne. On January 5, 3305, Imperator Mordanticus brazenly provoked the Empire by assembling Nova Imperium's fleet in the organization's home system of Paresa. When the fleet refused to heed Fleet Admiral Denton Patreus's order to disperse, the Imperial Navy promptly engaged it and destroyed it in a week-long battle. Nova Imperium lost its fleet and was left in tatters, and Mordanticus himself was captured during the fighting.
On January 25, 3305, Patreus personally executed Mordanticus for treason on the floor of Senate House, before the members of the Imperial Senate and Emperor Arissa. The Imperial Guard then proceeded to gun down any senators who had previously expressed support for Nova Imperium, among them Pal Vespasian and Eloise Winterstone. Political journalist Cassia Carvalho reported that mass arrests and public executions of Nova Imperium members and sympathizers took place across Capitol, and Nova Imperium strongholds throughout the Empire were eliminated from the inside by infiltrators who had been placed by Patreus. The following week, Hadrian Duval broadcast a message stating that he had assumed leadership of the remnant of Nova Imperium in Paresa and would continue seeking to become emperor. In April 3305, Princess Aisling unexpectedly reached out to Hadrian in an apparent bid to boost her image by helping Nova Imperium soften its stances. Imperator Duval subsequently announced a tentative non-aggression pact between Nova Imperium and Aisling's supporters, and promised to review his organisation's policies.
3306 - Present
The Empire was shaken by a series of terrorist attacks on four starports on September 10, 3306 that were carried out by the Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army, an extremist paramilitary faction dedicated to abolishing the monarchy by force and replacing it with a system of representation by elected senators. Four days later, the NMLA also assassinated Prince Harold Duval. In response, the Imperial Navy embarked on a widespread anti-terrorism operation to root out the NMLA. Believing that supporters of the more moderate Marlinist ideology were collaborating with the radical and violent NMLA, the Imperial Navy attempted mass arrests of Marlinists. Millions fled their homes to escape persecution, sparking the Marlinist refugee crisis, and by October 20, 3306, many had arrived in several outlying Federal systems. The Empire formally requested that the refugees be returned, but Federal Ambassador Jordan Rochester refused and asked Federal Congress to grant them asylum. On October 26, Federal Congress granted the Marlinists temporary Federal citizenship at the request of Shadow President Felicia Winters despite President Zachary Hudson's stated intention to return the refugees to the Empire. As a result, tensions between the Empire and the Federation increased, with some fearing that the Empire could declare war to recapture the Marlinists. The situation worsened on November 5, 3306, when the Empire invaded LTT 1935, a Federal system in neutral space that the Imperial Internal Security Service had reason to believe contained multiple hidden NMLA bomb-making facilities. The conflict ended on November 12, with the LTT 1935 Confederacy securing a decisive victory and preventing an Imperial occupation.
As relations between the Empire and the Federation continued to deteriorate, both superpowers took more aggressive stances. Senator Denton Patreus ordered the withdrawal of Imperial funding from Aegis on November 27 as the Empire changed its focus from the subsiding Thargoid threat to countering the Federation and the NMLA. Sirius Corporation finally intervened on December 10, 3306 to try to end the Marlinist refugee crisis and prevent a war between the superpowers. CEO Li Yong-Rui proposed resettling the Marlinists in new colonies in unclaimed systems. Both Federal Congress and the Imperial Senate approved the plan after a period of debate, but added the caveat that any NMLA members identified among the refugees be turned over to the Empire.
Amid the turbulence caused by the Marlinist refugee crisis, a Thargoid resurgence, tensions between the Empire and Federation, and widespread economic instability, Simguru Pranav Antal of Utopia proposed the Galactic Summit on January 1, 3307. It would be the first ever diplomatic conference between the three superpowers, and its purpose was to allow the Alliance, Empire, and Federation to peacefully debate their differences and agree on solutions to the most significant threats facing humanity. Despite the idea originating with Utopia, the superpowers ultimately selected Sirius Corporation to host the Galactic Summit after CEO Li Yong-Rui demonstrated he could better prepare security for the event. The Empire's delegation to the Galactic Summit was led by Chancellor Anders Blaine, and included Princess Aisling Duval, Senator Denton Patreus, and members of the Imperial Diplomatic Corps.
On March 3, 3307, at the Galactic Summit in Sirius, Chancellor Blaine personally ratified the Cornelius-Lasky Convention with his Federal and Allied counterparts. The conference was cancelled on March 11 following a series of coordinated attacks on starports in nine major systems, including Dawes Hub in Achenar, that were carried out by the NMLA. The Empire denied any responsibility for the Nine Martyrs attacks and insisted Serene Harbour, where the NMLA leader Theta Seven claimed to have escaped from and mentioned as a motivation for the attacks, was a Federal disinformation campaign. As a result of the Cornelius-Lasky Convention establishing new communications protocols between the security forces of the superpowers, the Imperial Internal Security Service participated in the creation of the Affiliated Counter-Terrorism unit (ACT) to defeat the NMLA.
Following the NMLA's bombing of Dyson City, Paresa in October 3307 in a second unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Hadrian Duval, the Imperial Senate offered to extend Hadrian and his wife, Lady Astrid Minerva-Duval, its official protection to ensure the survival of the Duval bloodline until the NMLA could be defeated. It was rumoured that Emperor Arissa had been directing the Empire under senatorial protection for months from a secure location. Hadrian accepted, albeit with great reluctance, on November 2, 3307, relinquishing his position as leader of Nova Imperium and discontinuing the title of Imperator as per the Senate's terms. Nova Imperium was renamed Nova Paresa, and continued assisting the Empire against the NMLA.
The NMLA was finally defeated in a decisive confrontation in the Mudhrid system on December 2, 3307. The bulk of the NMLA's remaining cells and supporters gathered there in an attempt to rendezvous with Theta Seven, who had gone into hiding after bombing the Marlinist Colonies in July, but they were defeated by Imperial forces with the assistance of independent pilots. With nowhere left to run, Theta Seven killed himself, his last followers, and thousands of Far God cultists who he had taken hostage by detonating bombs aboard the Sacrosanct megaship on December 13.
Adding to the triumph over the NMLA, Hadrian Duval announced the birth of his son, Hector Mordanticus Duval, on December 2. The birth of a new Duval was celebrated across the Empire, and Hector was immediately discussed as the most likely candidate to inherit the Imperial Throne from Emperor Arissa. Hadrian, Lady Astrid, and Hector left senatorial protection and made their official debut in Imperial high society at Princess Aisling's New Year celebration in Cemiess on January 1, 3308. Emperor Arissa's absence from the festivities was noted.
The superpowers agreed to shut down Aegis on January 18, 3308 per the recommendation of the Baumann Report, which had found that Aegis was no longer able to effectively carry out its anti-Thargoid responsibilities. The Imperial Senate approved Senator Patreus's request for a military budget increase, allowing the Imperial Navy to assume Aegis's role in defending the Empire from Thargoid attacks.
ACT cracked Omega Grid, the NMLA's dark-comms network, in February 3308, and found evidence of a conspiracy called the Lords of Restoration, who had hired the private military contractor Darkwater Inc to kidnap Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval in January 3307. Upon receiving ACT's intel on February 9, 3308, Chancellor Blaine immediately deployed the Imperial Guard to Summerland on a rescue mission. Emperor Arissa was safely recovered and returned to Capitol. In addition, the Imperial Internal Security Service opened an investigation based on ACT's findings, leading to the arrest of multiple senators and several other conspirators in Imperial Intelligence. ACT delivered a detailed report on the Lords' activities on February 14, identifying five senators as the NMLA's secret backers. The Lords of Restoration had sought to eliminate the Imperial Family using the NMLA, then abolish the position of Emperor and transfer executive authority to the Senate. During the year that Arissa was held captive, the Lords used a virtual representation of Her Majesty to fabricate official communications and effectively rule the Empire.
The Empire is based on a cliens system. Society is strictly stratified, with people being able to move between strata (lower strata particularly) based on money, patronage and influence. Royalty, nobility, and wealthy individuals are members of the upper class of Imperial society.
Its high living standards, outlandishly wealthy companies and sophisticated technology and design have made it an attractive place for the wealthy and famous to call home. The Empire has a fascinating political system, rampant nationalism, obsession with wealth projection, and a dark underbelly of legalised slavery.
Honour and Status
The Empire values both status and honour very highly indeed. So whilst it is acceptable to flaunt wealth, treating people well is a question of honour – and this includes Imperial Slaves. Having an unpaid debt is seen as utterly dishonourable – an honourable Imperial Citizen would sell themselves into slavery to clear a debt they could not otherwise clear. The Imperial Slavers Association monitors the treatment and transportation of Imperial Slaves. Unlike conventional slaves, Imperial Slaves hold status within the Empire, albeit as the lowest rung on the ladder, and are entitled to legal protections.
Imperial society is based on honour. The values resemble the ancient Roman Dignitas and Japanese Bushido. Dignitas is the sum of the personal clout and influence that a citizen acquires throughout his or her life. When weighing the dignitas of a particular individual, factors such as personal reputation, moral standing, and ethical worth has to be considered, along with the person's entitlement to respect and proper treatment. Additionally like Bushido, Imperial honour has moral values which stress some combination of sincerity, frugality, loyalty, martial arts mastery, and honour until death.
It was shaming to do something that put people in a bad state. The poorhouses still happened, but sensibly, people were supposed to look after each other.
Imperial Citizens (aka Imperials or Imps) like to project their wealth. They prefer opulence, style and quality with no expense spared. This is visible in their cities, ships by Gutamaya and clothing.
Imperial citizens view Ngadandari Fire Opals as a status symbol. Their mesmerizing fire-like reflections represent the fire of the birth of the Empire. Their high market value has lead to the planet Ngadandari being systematically strip-mined by Imperial slaves.
In many Imperial families there is little direct interaction between the parents and their children other than at ceremonial events where they are required to perform roles. Children are attended by Imperial Slaves from a young age. Children within the privileged upper echelons of the Empire are indoctrinated into Imperial style, intonation, dress and decorum as befitted their parent's socioeconomic status in society.
The Empire relies less on mechanical technology such as robotics and artificial intelligence, and instead uses Imperial Slaves and clones to do the work which machines usually perform in other parts of the universe.
People who do not speak with the quirky accent of Imperial Citizens are shunned in the Achenar system, especially if they are from a Federation world. A person with a Federation accent is met with scorn unless money can be made out of them. The Imperial accent evolved from Achenarians who tried to mock the standard Federation diction. It accentuates certain vowels, and sounds like a whine to foreigners.
At the Imperial Palace, foreigners are welcomed by palace staff who use subtle pro-Empire propaganda in an attempt to undermine the Federation. These greetings are not extended outside palace grounds.
The monarchist Empire has been stridently opposed to republicanism since the time of Emperor Henson Duval. Countless proponents of the republican ideology of Marlinism, which advocates restoring the form of government implemented by the old Republic of Achenar and replacing the Imperial Family with democratic representation by elected senators, have been systematically oppressed within the EmpIre through imprisonment and even execution over the centuries. Marlinism managed to survive in the Empire's fringe systems into the 34th century, but millions of Marlinists were either detained by Imperial authorities or forced to flee their homes for non-Imperial territory to escape persecution in late 3306, after the Empire launched a crackdown on Marlinism in response to a wave of terrorist attacks and assassinations carried out by the Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army.
Citizens of the Empire celebrate Empire Day, a holiday marking the anniversary of Marlin Duval taking the first step on Achenar 6d, every January 2nd. Celebration of New Year's Day within the Empire is deferred until Empire Day due to the two holidays' proximity.
Notable Imperial corporations include:
- Darkwater Inc
- Eye on Achenar
- Imperial Herald
- Mastopolos Mining
- The Imperial Citizen
- Torval Mining Ltd
The Empire is the second most populous of the three superpowers, and has an estimated population of 1,652,046,151,015 as of April 3306.
As of January 3308, the Empire controls 4,239 systems, of which the ten most populous are:
The line of succession to the Imperial throne is generally hereditary except if there is no suitable candidate acceptable to the Imperial Senate. When ascended to the throne, the emperor rules until death.
Traditionally, all Emperors are members of Imperial Family, which stretches back to the Empire's founding. Hengist Duval, the previous Emperor, changed Imperial law to allow female descendants of the Duvals to be crowned Emperor, clearing the way for Arissa Lavigny-Duval to be named his heir. Due to Hengist Duval's decree that Prince Harold Duval was not sound of mind, there was no clear successor. Thus after the assassination of Hengist Duval an election was held by the Senate and Arissa was chosen as the next Emperor by a vote of the Imperial Senate. She is the 16th and current Emperor of the Empire.
All Senators and the Emperor can sit in the Imperial Senate, but it is rare that all participate at the same time. The Chancellor is a Senator with additional powers, and he or she runs any debates in the Senate. They are appointed by the Emperor. It is otherwise structurally flat by law, but in practice has power blocks within it, led by the more important/powerful Senators. Not all Senators are equal. There are regular votes on issues of the day, and the Senator’s voting power is the total number of Citizens (in turn represented by Clients, and blocks of Clients by Patrons) they currently represent. They are influenced by their most powerful Patrons – who in turn are not all equal, and Patrons may move their block to another Senator at a whim, particularly if they feel their current Senator is not representing the views of their Clients. Senators can lose Patrons quickly if their actions are unpopular, but bear in mind a Senator sets tax rates and healthcare for all those that support them, so can effectively bribe Patrons to ally themselves with them. The most powerful Senators can have a hundred or more times the voting power than others, and a Senate majority can be just a few of the major Senators, but honour requires that the views of all Senators are listened to politely before voting against them.
Historically the Imperial Senate used to always physically sit in the Senate House on Capitol (Achenar 6d). It is near to the Imperial Palace. Technically it still does sit there, but in practice most Senators "sit" virtually by remote projection – though by tradition there are a number of events (like the accession of a new Emperor, and on Empire Day (January 2nd) where it is considered proper and polite to attend physically, where a party atmosphere descends on Capitol as the entourages of each Senator arrive in their finery.
There are Senators that have come up from the Military, or by corporate success – but by the very nature of Patronage, and the cost of the petitions, it can be very exclusive, with family inheritance being important too.
There are no elections, and Senators serve for life unless their title is revoked. A Senator represents a group of Patrons, who in turn represent Clients, and each of those represents a group of Citizens. This representation is public. Anyone can see who is currently supporting each Senator (Patron, Client), and their numbers. There are 1,000 Senators by Imperial Decree, dating back to the first Emperor a thousand years ago. A very popular Patron can petition to become a Senator if he or she thinks they could represent more Citizens than one of the least popular Senators. That less popular Senator the petitioner chooses to target has the opportunity to rally support against the challenger for seven days, but as does the popular Patron, and at the end of that period a decision is made based on their support, and that Patron cannot petition again for 1 Earth year if they are unsuccessful. Similarly a deposed Senator cannot petition to become a Senator again for a year. Posting a petition has a cost (1 billion credits, paid to the Emperor) to prevent time wasters, which is returned if the petition succeeds. When a Senator dies or chooses to retire, usually their chosen successor takes their Senatorial seat. Most Senators will have such a chosen successor already working closely in their entourage, and familiar and friendly with their most powerful Patrons so continuity is assured; as a result generally their petitions are unopposed. Sometimes multiple petitions are made for the same Senatorial opening, which can happen when a Senator and their entourage dies in the same event, so this is the nearest the Empire gets to an election, with the most popular succeeding in their petition.
A controversial issue can result in a sudden mass realignment of Patrons, but this can happen at any time; the system is pretty dynamic.
Similarly there are not just senatorial petitions as above, but there are petitions for Patrons, Clients, and Citizens. A citizen petition is where a slave or child of a Citizen, or even a foreigner, petitions to become an Imperial Citizen. For children this is a fairly informal process, which is really a coming-of-age party with a brief ceremony at the start, which happens when they reach 21 years old. Apart from the Emperor, royal standing is separate from political standing. Knights, Princes, Counts, Earls, and other titles exist, and only a few get involved in politics – and then it is mostly by influencing and supporting friendly Senators from behind the scenes, but there is nothing stopping them also becoming Senators.
Effectively all Imperial systems have representation, but indirectly. Every Imperial Citizen has a right to representation by a Client. Every Client has a right to be represented by a Patron, and every Patron a Senator. Senators generally represent power bases – which can be many systems or a specific interest group, and typically many hundred Patrons – though it is up to the Senator how many Patrons they have. There is not a fixed number. So if a system has just one Imperial Citizen living there, they will have representation in the Senate – but most likely only indirectly through their Patrons. It is likely there is a Patron at the head of each of the larger Imperial Minor Factions for example, but not a Senator.
Senators represent their Patrons as they see fit. Senators can also hold other roles, like Admiral of the Fleet, Chancellor, Leader of the House (runs the Senate hearings when the Emperor and Chancellor are not present). Senators can also have private interests, and generally represent one or more Corporations – often with large personal shareholdings in them. They are fully entitled to be biased towards their own interests, and generally do, as long as most of their Patrons hold much the same interests. Senators are above the law, subject only to a decree from the Emperor, and through history it has even been known for Senators to go to battle against each other.
- Regulatory authorities
- Imperial Flight Operations Bureau - The Empire's air traffic control service.
- Foreign relations
- Imperial Diplomatic Corps - Operates the Empire's embassies in foreign systems, and also has broad powers and jurisdiction throughout the Empire itself.
- Security services
- Imperial Intelligence - A highly secretive agency that monitors Imperial interests outside the Empire.
- Imperial Internal Security Service - An agency responsible for domestic security throughout the Empire.
- Imperial Guard - An elite Imperial security force responsible for the defence of the Achenar system and the protection of the Emperor, the Imperial Palace, and certain senators.
- Omega Company - An Advanced Tactical Response unit that operates in Imperial space.
Law is seen and enforced very differently in the Empire. The Emperor is the sovereign ruler of the Empire and above the law. Senators are responsible for enforcing the Emperor's laws, but the Senators themselves are above the law. They can order executions, and can even kill people themselves, though sometimes (rarely) they may be held to account for their actions by the Emperor. Some Senators are warlike and may take over systems in the name of the Empire, to get the spoils, and they may get a good deal of support as a result. Some Senators do not tolerate Imperial Slavery, and regularly speak out against it, but from the basis of honour - not suggesting it should not be legal. In the Empire, very little is illegal, but many things are frowned upon, like excessive use of narcotics. Cloning and genetic engineering are allowed in the Empire.
- Achenar - An early extrasolar colony that became the capital of the Empire. The planet Capitol, seat of the Emperor and the Imperial Senate, was once home to a native sentient species known as the mudlarks before human colonisation drove them to extinction.
- Eotienses - Home system and headquarters of Senator Denton Patreus. The system joined the Empire in 2314 following a public referendum.
- Cubeo - Headquarters of Aisling Duval.
- Cemiess - Home system of Aisling Duval.
- Kamadhenu - Headquarters of Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval.
- Synteini - Home system and headquarters of Senator Zemina Torval.
- Prism - Home system of the late Senator Algreb Loren and his infamous daughter, Kahina Tijani Loren.
- Facece - The Empire's most important military bastion and headquarters of the Imperial Navy. It is administered by Senator Anders Blaine.
- Quince - An early Imperial colony founded outside the Core Systems to demonstrate the fledgling Empire's growing influence.
- Fehu - One of the Empire's most isolated and remote colonies.
- Main article: Imperial Navy
The Imperial Navy is the Empire's primary warfare force. Imperial Navy fleets patrol Imperial systems, confront incursions from other superpowers, factions, and organisations, and support allies and friendly factions across the Core Systems. The current head of the Imperial Navy is Fleet Admiral Denton Patreus, who also serves as a senator.
|Ranks of the Imperial Navy Auxiliary|
|1||Outsider||Hera Tani invitation|
|7||Baron||Imperial Clipper, Summerland|
There are 14 ranks in the Imperial Navy Auxiliary, which can be joined by any independent pilot. As pilots rise through the ranks, they are rewarded with access to exclusive Imperial ships, missions, and restricted system permits.
- Majestic-Class Interdictor
- Imperial Cutter
- Imperial Clipper
- Imperial Courier
- Imperial Eagle
- Imperial Fighter
Permits are required to access certain systems that are otherwise locked out by the computer of your Frame Shift Drive (FSD).
Such permits are rewarded by the controlling faction for that locked system, when you become friendly with that faction, by accomplishing missions such as "Imperial dispatch" and receiving ranks. You can often find that faction on a station outside the main system they control.
Once you have finished several dispatch quests, simply visit the Bulletin Board at any of the faction's stations to accept a job titled "Imperial invitation". Accepting the job automatically adds the permit to your FSD computer.
- Imperial Museum of Culture
- Imperial Key People
- Imperial Palace
- Imperial Senate
- Emperor's Dawn
- Elite Encounters RPG
- Elite Dangerous Knowledge Base > The Empire > Introduction
- Newsletter #22
- The Empire Sourcebook excerpt
- Official The Art of Elite Dangerous art book, August 17 2016
- Tourist Beacon 0128
- GalNet: The Birth of an Empire
- Tourist Beacon 0159, The Line of the Duvals
- A Clash of Titans
- Tourist Beacon 0145 Terraforming
- Newsletter #52
- Heir to the Throne Officially Mad
- Emperor To Marry Sweetheart
- Emperor in Coma
- Long Live the Emperor!
- Emperor’s Killer Not Working Alone?
- Emperor Hengist Duval Attacked During Wedding
- Senate Declares Arissa Lavigny-Duval Emperor
- Galactic News: Denton Patreus Receives Promotion
- Galactic News: Empire Expands into the Pleiades
- Galactic News: Galactic Leaders Address Thargoid Discovery
- Galactic News: Cold War Thawing?
- Galactic News: Voices of Dissent
- Galactic News: Aegis to Widen Remit
- Community Goal: Engineers Appeal for Thargoid Material
- Galactic News: Federation Withdraws from Pleiades
- Galactic News: Empire Pulls Out of Pleiades
- GalNet: Aisling Duval Announces Marriage to Federal Ambassador
- GalNet: Galaxy Reacts to Federal-Imperial Betrothal
- GalNet: Aisling Duval's Secret Relationship Revealed
- GalNet: Aisling Duval Wedding Cancelled
- GalNet: The Rise of Nova Imperium
- GalNet: Nova Imperium Unveils Figurehead
- GalNet: An Heir to the Imperial Throne?
- GalNet: Nova Imperium Musters Military Forces
- GalNet: Empire Engages Nova Imperium
- GalNet: Flashpoint for Nova Imperium
- GalNet: Nova Imperium Defeated in Paresa System
- GalNet: Imperator Mordanticus Captured
- GalNet: Blood on the Senate Floor
- GalNet: The New Imperator
- GalNet: Aisling Duval Contacts Hadrian Duval
- GalNet: The Princess and the Imperator
- GalNet: Hadrian Duval Confirms Pact
- GalNet: Terrorist Attacks on Imperial Starports
- GalNet: Prince Harold Duval Assassinated
- GalNet: Marlinist Refugees Flee to the Federation
- GalNet: Congress Votes to Accept Marlinist Immigrants
- GalNet: Empire and Federation Clash Over Marlinists
- GalNet: Federal and Imperial Forces Engage in Battle
- GalNet: Federal System Resists Imperial Takeover
- GalNet: The Shadow of War
- GalNet: Sirius Corporation Campaign to Establish Marlinist Colonies
- GalNet: Utopia Invites Superpowers to Galactic Summit
- GalNet: Sirius Corporation Secures Hosting of Galactic Summit
- GalNet: Empire and Marlinists Prepare for Galactic Summit
- GalNet: Superpowers Make Progress at the Galactic Summit
- GalNet: Galactic Summit Cancelled – NMLA Attacks Superpowers
- GalNet: Starport Bombing Casualties Include Federal Vice President
- GalNet: Anti-NMLA Intelligence Unit Formed
- GalNet: Terrorist Attack at Hadrian Duval's HQ
- GalNet: NMLA Aims to 'Extinguish the Duval Line'
- GalNet: Alliance and Marlinists Address Refugee Crisis
- GalNet: Hadrian Duval Accepts Senate Protection
- GalNet: The Battle of Mudhrid
- GalNet: Battle of Mudhrid Ends in NMLA Defeat
- GalNet: The Death of Theta Seven
- GalNet: Empire Celebrates Newborn Duval
- GalNet: Tributes Gathered to Honour Duval Heir
- GalNet: Duvals Gather to Celebrate New Year
- GalNet: Superpowers Plan to Replace Aegis
- GalNet: Arissa Rescued from Year-Long Captivity
- GalNet: ACT Exposes the Lords of Restoration
- Historical Sculptures Stolen - 18 SEP 3304
- GalNet: Imperial Slave Association Audited
- Prism Senator Continues to Woo Federation Residents
- In-game description of Ngadandari Fire Opals
- Elite: Reclamation
- Elite Dangerous: Wanted
- In-game Achenar system description
- Tourist Beacon 0160
- GalNet: Marlinists Reject Accusations of Terrorist Links
- GalNet: Terror Attacks Used Thargoid-Derived Explosives
- GalNet: Emperor Issues His Traditional 'Empire Day' Message
- Frontier Forums: Governments and politics in Elite Dangerous
- GalNet: Dignitaries Start Arriving on Capitol
- r/EliteDangerous: Demographic changes in the Galaxy, 2020
- Data gathered from EDDB on January 31, 2022
- Tourist Beacon 0155