Elite Dangerous Wiki
Advertisement

Lady Florence Lavigny is an Imperial noblewoman and a member of the Lavigny family. She is the mother of Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval, and was the wife of the late Prince Aristide de Lavigny. She and the late Emperor Hengist Duval had an affair in their younger years, resulting in the birth of Arissa, who was raised as Florence and Aristide's daughter at their estate on Topaz in Facece; Aristide apparently died without becoming aware of his wife's infidelity. In December 3300, after Arissa revealed her true lineage to the public, Florence and Hengist became engaged in order to legitimize their daughter so that she could be officially designated heir-apparent of the Imperial Throne, but after a months-long delay caused by the frail Hengist falling into a coma, the Emperor was assassinated by Brendan Paul Darius of the Emperor's Dawn movement on the day the wedding was to occur. Although Florence never became Empress Regent, her daughter nonetheless garnered enough support in the Imperial Senate and formally succeeded Hengist in October 3301.

Timeline

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."[1]

03 SEP 3301

  • The funeral of Emperor Hengist Duval, the 15th Emperor in the Duval line, took place today amidst a crowd of millions on Capitol in the Achenar system. Mourners from all over the Empire lined the streets of Capitol. All over the city, the streets were filled to bursting and in a sombre reflection of the wedding a month ago, the white dress uniforms of the Imperial Naval Infantry lined the streets. In a last minute change to tradition, the funeral procession followed a longer route through the city so that as many of the assembled mourners as possible could witness the passing of their Emperor. The procession marched at a sedate pace and was led by selected members of the Imperial Guard carrying the Emperor. In another break from tradition and despite her age, Florence Lavigny walked directly behind the coffin even though the marriage ceremony hadn't been completed. This has raised eyebrows among some of the more conservative members of Imperial society. Behind the lonely widow marched the immediate family and then the members of the Senate. Behind the most powerful senators came certain patrons, the most well-considered of their station with a direct connection to the Emperor. Next were the clients and citizens and, representing the full range of the Imperial population, these were followed by some of the Emperor's favourite slaves – which by tradition were set free after the ceremony. The procession stretched for almost 18 kilometres and took seven hours to complete its tour of the city. Soldiers along the route provided welcome refreshment for both the procession and the crowd. When the procession returned to the Hall of Martyrs, the senators followed inside for the private internment ceremony. Across the Empire, in households and public places, the Feast of Remembering began. A sombre hush settled across the city for most of the day, but now that the Emperor has been laid to rest, the question everyone wants to know the answer to is – who will be the next Emperor?[2]

27 AUG 3301

  • Senator Patreus has seen a resurgence of support since his declaration of war against the group responsible for Emperor Hengist Duval's murder. Reports from the campaign have indicated that Emperor's Dawn is now claiming responsibility for the regicide, although this hasn't been independently confirmed as yet. In a Senate session, Senator Zemina Torval declared her support for the operation and instructed her loyal followers to join the campaign. Analysts have been keenly watching the political landscape shift in the weeks since the Emperor's death. Many had written off Patreus as his influence waned with the dishonour of his association with the Emperor's assassin, Brendan Paul Darius. However, his decisive action against Emperor's Dawn has raised his profile. Some believe that it is a cynical ploy by Patreus, but none can argue that he has gained the support of the Senate heavyweights. Even Florence Lavigny has spoken out for unity and support for Patreus: "When I was much younger, and my first husband dear Aristide was sadly eaten by a Ling Lang in his own menagerie, there were conspiracy theories, none of which were true. The simple truth was he was foolish to keep so many dangerous animals as pets. I've known Denton for years, and I know he wasn't involved in the Emperor's murder. Hengist had many enemies, but Denton Patreus was not one of them."[3]

18 AUG 3301

  • In her first public appearance since the death of her fiancé Emperor Hengist Duval on their wedding day, Florence Lavigny made a short statement in the Imperial Palace press hall and answered a few questions. Her comments come amongst rising tensions on Capitol. "We must remember proper decorum in this sad time. Our beloved Emperor would not want his death to be used as an excuse for some of the unpleasantness seen in our city. We should mark his passing with proper quiet reflection and respect for our fellow citizens." Although clearly devastated by the loss of her long-time friend, she maintained an air of regal dignity, providing a glimpse of what she might have been as Empress Regent. As well as calling for calm, she recalled earlier times with the Emperor in his youth, even some events while her first husband Prince Aristide Lavigny was still alive. These anecdotes forced smiles from even the most sombre reporters gathered there.[4]

10 AUG 3301

  • Some elements of the lower-level Imperial political scene have challenged Senator Denton Patreus to explain his connection to Brendan Paul Darius, the assassin responsible for the murder of the Emperor during the wedding ceremony with Florence Lavigny. Since the revelation of the assassin's identity the senator has steadfastly refused to comment, but responded angrily to accusations from a vocal minority in the crowd outside the senate. "The notion that I might somehow be linked with the murder of our most loved Emperor is offensive. It does bring dishonour and shame upon me that a man in my employ could perform such a heinous act, but it was certainly done without my knowledge. The thought that I allowed such a man near his august presence torments me." He also added that the full resources of his office were being made available to the officers in the investigation and that he would aid them in any way he could. More responsible commentators agree that the accusations are ridiculous. Speculation remains however as to why the man killed the Emperor and whether he was acting alone or for another party.[5]

09 AUG 3301

  • In respect of the assassination of Emperor Hengist Duval the planned article for this week has been moved to next week so that historian Sima Kalhana relates some of the key moments from his life. Emperor Hengist Duval was the 15th in the Imperial Duval bloodline to lead the Empire and he saw a great deal of change in his comparatively short reign. He was born in 3163, only a few days before the death of his grandfather Hender Saik Duval. Some claim that the spirit of Hender had already passed to Hengist such were the similarities in looks and manner noted in Hengist's later years. When his father, Hesketh Duval, died in 3233, Hengist assumed his place on the throne. The live broadcast of the coronation created an impression of a serene transition. However lurking beneath this appearance lay significant tensions. Most significant of which was the growing power of the Senate which had developed during the extended period of his father's illness. A parallel with the situation with Hengist's coma can be seen in recent months. At the start of his reign the cold war between the Empire and the Federation was starting to thaw, a process which continued for decades, although friction has recently resumed with the rise of certain powers like President Hudson and Senator Patreus. Hengist's reign witnessed a major technological advancement with the introduction of the new frame shift drive. This sped up travel between stars systems and even inside systems by an incredible margin. It created a more quickly shifting political, military and commercial landscape as reacting or causing changing became much easier. Hengist fell ill early in 3300, and he managed to continue light duties throughout the first half of the year. His sickness worsened as the year progressed and during this time he remained in seclusion with only rare visits to the Senate. At the turn of 3301 he slipped into a coma. Many expected him to not awaken from the coma and it was a great surprise when he recovered several months later. Near the close of 3300, Hengist decreed that his only legitimate child, Harold (who is Aisling Duval's unmarried father), was not of sound mind and so unfit for rule, and in any case had no legitimate children himself. Following this announcement Arissa Lavigny-Duval declared that she was the illegitimate child of Hengist. The Emperor supported this claim by announcing his forthcoming marriage with Arissa's mother, Florence Lavigny, and was expected to formally adopt Arissa and cement her claim to the throne. With his murder and the marriage not completed the succession to the Imperial throne is again not clear cut and many fear the potential instability this could cause to the Empire if not decided quickly after the Emperor's funeral.[6]

05 AUG 3301

  • It is with a heavy heart that we report that Emperor Hengist Duval died en route to the Imperial Navy Medical Facility near the Imperial Palace. Confirmation of the news came from Chancellor Anders Blaine, who appeared visibly upset. He confirmed that the Emperor died after being stabbed by a member of the congregation. Chancellor Blaine refused to provide any details of the attacker, but stated that a full investigation was underway. A source from the Imperial Intelligence Service told us that the attacker was a member of Senator Denton Patreus's party attending the wedding. The Senator was unavailable for comment. In the streets, the Imperial Naval Infantry has started ushering people home as the official period of mourning begins.[7]

05 AUG 3301

  • The city is in a state of shock following news that the Emperor was attacked by a high-ranking official during the wedding ceremony. Details of the attack are scant at the moment as a total comms blackout was imposed throughout the immediate area following the incident. One of our sources has indicated that the assailant was killed, but that he managed to injure the Emperor before he died. We do not know how serious the Emperor's injuries are, but our hope is that he makes a swift recovery. Along the route of the procession, millions of citizens and slaves who had been celebrating the grand occasion wait in stunned silence for news of their beloved Emperor. We wait with them.[8]

27 JUL 3301

  • 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 Emperor Hengist Duval and her mother, Florence Lavigny, will secure her position as next in line if anything should befall the Emperor.[9]

24 JUL 3301

  • Following the very recent expansion by Emperor's Grace into an Imperial system, a suitable industrial location for the production of advanced technology and weapons has been identified. It is deep within Imperial space and protected by forces loyal to Emperor's Grace. The unnamed system presently has production facilities for both Battle Weapons and Personal Weapons. Grimnir Allvadderung, CEO of Cosmic State's Hammer Arms and Vaarwen Mako Brennus, Leader of Emperor's Grace met in Rishair to inform the media about the exciting developments between Cosmic State and Emperor's Grace. This announcement was immediately overshadowed by the galaxy wide public announcement that the wedding of Emperor Hengist Duval to Florence Lavigny was to proceed as soon as possible. This historic Royal announcement preceded yet another evening of carousing by the two friends, and large quantities of beer were consumed. The brewer responsible for the consignment of Beer delivered to the celebrations sadly died that evening, having fallen into a vat of malt, allegedly not long after a number of guests complained about the consistency of the beer. An agricultural system is therefore being considered as a potential location to produce mead in Emperor's Grace territory and additional beehives are to be located on the planet's surface.[10]

22 JUL 3301

  • The Office for the Emperor has published details of the wedding between Emperor Hengist Duval and Florence Lavigny. The wedding will take place at midday on Wednesday 29th July. Invitations have already been sent out and this reporter is one of the lucky few to provide news updates from the wedding entourage itself. Senators and some prominent patrons together with well known celebrities from all over the Empire have accepted invitations from the Imperial Palace, and have flooded the Emperor's communications team with their responses. The Emperor himself took a few minutes from his busy schedule to give his thanks: "The well wishes both for my recovery and upcoming marriage have warmed my heart. I am strengthened by the love that senators, patrons, clients and citizens of this great empire have shown me." With the news of the wedding date being set, the newsfeeds have erupted with speculation of the outfits for the Emperor and his new Regent. Those boutiques who most closely match the actual attire are likely to see a windfall as everyone celebrates by purchasing the latest trend in fashion.[11]

18 JUL 3301

  • Although the Emperor showed some signs of frailty when he appeared before the Senate earlier today, his voice was firm as he called upon the assembled senators to work together and not against each other for the good of the Empire. "We live in times that hold great promise for our beloved Empire. The uncertainty of the past months has weakened our resolve and this cannot be allowed to continue. For too long some leaders of our society have vied against each other and squandered resources over a matter which will be guided by tradition. As Emperor it is my duty to ensure the success of the Empire and its continuation long into the future. To that end the previously announced marriage with my good friend Florence Lavigny will proceed at the earliest opportunity. As the wedding has already been announced we will not have to wait the customary thirty days to conduct the ceremony, but we will still give time for wellwishers to attend. Preparations are in the process of being finalised and will be announced by the middle of next week." His speech continued for thirty minutes and covered a range of topics including praising his long term friend Chancellor Anders Blaine for his stalwart support. The Emperor left the senate to a standing ovation and cheers from the normally businesslike senators.[12]

22 JAN 3301

  • In a follow up to yesterday's announcement, the marriage of Emperor Hengist to his childhood sweetheart, Florence Lavigny, has now been postponed indefinitely. The news marks the first time in over five hundred years that an Imperial wedding has had to have been delayed for any reason. As well as costing the Imperial Treasury a small fortune, the delay comes as a serious blow to Arissa Lavingly's claim to the throne. Experienced commentators have noted that whilst Arissa currently enjoys the support of Chancellor Blaine, a well respected and staunch supporter of traditional Imperial values, he has previously stated that the next Emperor should follow the Duval line.[13]

17 JAN 3301

  • Rumours are circulating that the Emperor's condition is far worse than is being admitted. One source even claimed that he has died, but that hasn't been confirmed. A senior palace source informed us that Chancellor Blaine would announce his death if it happened. We believe it likely that his sickness has merely worsened. Following the rumours there is also speculation is that his wedding to Florence Lavigny might be delayed. Imperial stock markets have dropped further on this news.[14]

15 JAN 3301

  • Aisling Duval has lodged an objection to the marriage of her grandfather, the Emperor to Florence Lavigny. Coming out of the Office for Marriage with her Lawyer she read a prepared statement from a cue - "I have lodged a formal objection to my grandfather marrying his fancy woman not for love, not for marriage itself, but to change the succession without having to appear in the Senate. That's all I've got to say at this time." This unusual action will trigger a hearing of the Marriage Council in the next few days. They will review and make a decision on the validity of her objection. Experts we have spoken to believe it is unlikely to succeed.[15]

03 JAN 3301

  • In a short interview outside his mansion on the shores of Lake Parisot on Topaz, Facece, Chancellor Anders Blaine was asked about his views on the succession, and he replied: "I appreciated Arissa's kind words just before the New Year. She is of course absolutely right. Stability is what the Empire needs more than anything. She has been around court for much of her life and I know her well. Emperor Hengist has made it clear to me he would wish her to be his successor. His marriage to Florence Lavigny will clear this up and Arissa will be the heir to the throne, and I support her." This has helped quell some of the speculation caused by comments from other senior senators like Patreus and Torval. Markets have responded positively to what seems like a resolution to the succession.[16]

02 JAN 3301

  • The Emperor's denouncement of his son Harold as mad, and announcement of his intention to marry childhood sweetheart Florence Lavigny, have served to confer legitimacy (in more ways than one) to Florence's daughter Arissa. She duly announced her intention to change her surname to Duval and appears to be positioning herself and Chancellor Anders Blaine as the continuity 'ticket'. Aisling Duval, Harold's daughter, is meanwhile using her celebrity to court public sympathy and pick a fight with Senator Torval over the latter's slaving activities. Imperial Senators Zemina Torval and Denton Patreus are both at large in the galaxy, Torval freeing unregulated Federal slaves over the holiday period and Patreus fighting a series of covert and overt wars in different systems (with varying degrees of success). The Federation has had its share of problems too. President Halsey's denial of responsibility for the Onionhead farm bombings in Kappa Fornacis seems to have exposed divisions in the hierarchy that Shadow President Hudson has lost no time in exploiting. Tensions between both Empire and Federation appear to be coming to a head over the Sanna system. Sanna wants to leave the Federation in protest over the recent tax increases, and Senator Patreus is only too willing to offer his particular brand of help.[17]

26 DEC 3300

  • Commanders' assistance helped Imperial Senator Zemina Torval gain a crushing victory and 76% influence in the Sorbago system. Torval used the Mastopolus Mining Corporation as a front to acquire slaves and bolster her power base in the manoeuvring to succeed the ailing Emperor Hengist Duval. Senator Denton Patreus was dealt a bloody nose in the Jera system, with Commanders weighing in to ensure that the incumbent Jera Social Democrats remained in power despite Patreus's best efforts. The Emperor himself has been making quite an impact for such an allegedly frail man. Days after appearing in the Senate to pronounce his son and heir Harold 'not of sound mind', Hengist Duval announced his intention to marry his sweetheart from their younger years, Florence Lavigny. Even in his condition, the Emperor will be fully aware of the focus this throws on his and Florence's illegitimate daughter Arissa. The soon-to-be Princess Arissa immediately announced her intent to change her surname to Duval, seemingly putting her in pole position in the succession race. Undeterred by his defeat in Jera, Senator Patreus has declared all out war on the tiny feudal system of Durius for defaulting on massive loan payments to him. Commanders are taking this fresh opportunity to earn credits whilst influencing the wider battle for Imperial succession. Although support for the Durius government has risen slightly since Patreus's intervention, the outcome is still very much in the balance. The Federation are also active. After blockading Kappa Fornacis and then apparently sending Federal dropships in to bomb its Onionhead farms, President Halsey yesterday surprisingly sought to deny responsibility for the outrage - she suggested Admiral Vincent was acting without her authority.[18]

22 DEC 3300

  • A palace spokesman today announced on behalf of his grace Emperor Hengist Duval, that he is to marry Florence Lavigny, a sweetheart from his younger years. Under Imperial Law a marriage must be announced 30 days beforehand. Commentators have pointed out the Emperor could decree it to happen sooner, though he would have to appear in the Senate to do so. With his son declared unfit the marriage would make Arissa Lavigny, his illegitimate daughter with Florence, next in line for the throne. Under Imperial Law the marriage cannot happen for 30 days to allow people to lodge their objections. Arissa Lavigny will become Princess Arissa as soon as they marry, and of the announcement she has said: "This is one of the happiest days of my life. I will of course change my name to Duval, so the honourable Duval line will continue in both blood and name."[19]

References

Advertisement