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.
— Emperor Hengist Duval, speech to the Imperial Senate regarding the royal succession and his engagement, July 18, 3301
Hengist Duval was the 15th Emperor of the Empire from 3233 to 3301. The early phase of Hengist's reign was marked by his struggle to reclaim the power and influence that had been ceded to the Imperial Senate by his father, Emperor Hesketh Duval. Hengist enacted a number of reforms, such as a law that permitted female members of the Imperial Family to ascend to the throne, but his preference was to maintain a careful neutrality in the face of the economic and cultural changes ushered in by the advent of the Frame Shift Drive, a stance that earned him the disdain of Imperial hardliners. He became reclusive in his later years and suffered from declining health, forcing his Chancellor, Senator Anders Blaine of Facece, to take up his duties.
Over the course of his life, Hengist fathered three children by three separate women. Hengist's legitimate son, Prince Harold Duval, was born in 3230 by his wife Anthea Viola Lampeter. Sometime during the reign of Emperor Hesketh and before meeting Florence Lavigny, Hengist had a brief affair with an unidentified slave of the Imperial household and fathered his illegitimate son, Hector Jansen. Lastly, in 3243, Hengist's illegitimate daughter, Arissa Lavigny-Duval, was born during an affair with his mistress Florence Lavigny.
On August 5, 3301, after recovering from a months-long coma and becoming engaged to Florence Lavigny, Hengist was assassinated on the day of his wedding ceremony by Brendan Paul Darius of Emperor's Dawn. His state funeral was held on September 3, 3301, after a four-week period of mourning. Since Prince Harold had been disqualified as heir to the Imperial Throne on December 19, 3300 by royal decree, Emperor Hengist was instead succeeded by his daughter, Arissa Lavigny-Duval.
Hengist was born in 3163, a week before the death of his grandfather Hender Saik Duval.[sic] Some say Hender's spirit already transferred to Hengist at that time. Hengist was crowned Emperor in 3233 following the death of his father Hesketh Duval. His coronation, broadcast throughout the Empire, gave the impression of a serene transition, but behind the veneer lay significant tensions. The Imperial Senate had gained significant power in the final years of Hesketh's reign, and the first decade of Hengist's rule was tense as he struggled to assert himself and repopulate his court with individuals he considered personally loyal. In 3238, Emperor Hengist wed Anthea Viola Lampeter, the mother of his legitimate son, Prince Harold Duval, in a marriage that had been arranged by his late father and decided based on Hengist and Anthea's genetic compatibility. Although widely celebrated, the match was loveless, and Hengist instead spent his time with his close friends Prince Aristide de Lavigny and Florence Lavigny of the Lavigny family.
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 resumed in the 34th century with the rise of certain powers like President Zachary Hudson and Senator Denton Patreus.
Hengist's reign witnessed a major technological advancement with the introduction of the new Frame Shift Drive. This sped up travel between star 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, but 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. Hengist had not been involved in politics for a long time due to his illness. He relied on his Chancellor, and long-term friend Senator Blaine, and took a laissez faire attitude towards a handful of increasingly powerful and ambitious Senators while his son, Prince Harold Duval quickly made a name for himself as a feckless playboy.
On December 19, 3300, Hengist Duval appeared in the Senate and decreed that his son Harold was not of sound mind and thus unsuitable to succeed Hengist to the Imperial Throne. A scurrilous news feed from the previous year had claimed that Hengist had said of his son in private: "The little idiot is utterly bonkers. He couldn't find his own bottom with both hands."
When SenatorArissa Lavigny declared that she was the illegitimate daughter of Hengist Duval with Florence Lavigny, the emperor supported this claim. Thereafter Arissa was touted as likely to be named the next heir. On December 22, Hengist announced he would marry Florence and thus solidify Arissa's claim; Arissa changed her last name to Lavigny-Duval. Hengist was expected to formally adopt Arissa and cement her claim to the throne.
Hengist's illness subsequently worsened and he entered a coma, causing the wedding to postponed through July 3301. Many expected him to not awaken from the coma and it was a great surprise when he recovered several months later. 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.
Hengist Duval was assassinated on his wedding day by Brendan Paul Darius, an aide to Senator Denton Patreus, on August 5, 3301. Hengist was 138 years old. Arissa Lavigny-Duval succeeded Hengist as he had intended despite his marriage to Florence never taking place; Arissa was elected as the next Emperor by a vote of the Imperial Senate on October 6, 3301.
On December 7, 3304, the Imperial hardliner group Nova Imperium revealed the existence of Hadrian Augustus Duval, a pretender to the Imperial throne who had Nova Imperium's backing to replace Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval. Imperator Kaeso Mordanticus claimed that Hadrian had been genetically verified to be a lost grandson of the late Hengist Duval through Hector Jansen, a heretofore undocumented illegitimate son whom Hengist had sired in an affair with an Imperial slave late in the reign of Hesketh Duval. After Nova Imperium was defeated by the Imperial Navy and outlawed in January 3305, Hadrian was disowned by the Imperial Family, but he continued to assert his claim to the throne in exile. On April 5, 3305, Hadrian's descent from Emperor Hengist was reconfirmed after he agreed to meet with his cousin, Princess Aisling Duval, and permitted a second round of genetic tests.
25 OCT 3307
The recent NMLA attack in the Paresa system has encouraged the Imperial Senate to reach out to Imperator Hadrian Duval. An official pronouncement was made by SenatorCaspian Leopold: "A majority of us believe that preserving the Duval bloodline is paramount for the future of the Empire. Hadrian Duval is not officially a member of the Imperial Family but he is the grandson of Emperor Hengist, meaning his as-yet unborn child is also of royal lineage. The NMLA has already murdered many Duvals, including Prince Harold. Indeed, Hadrian himself barely survived an assassination attempt last year. It's clear that the Empire can provide greater security than he currently has, and it is our duty to do so. Therefore, we propose making both Hadrian and Lady Astrid wards of the Senate. They will be placed under the highest level of protection, at least until this grave threat has abated." Imperator Hadrian Duval is currently holding discussions with a delegation from the Senate. Political observers believe that their proposal may be conditional on him severing ties with Nova Imperium, an isolationist organisation that was once outlawed in the Empire. Independent newsfeeds have speculated that since the NMLA's terror campaign began, Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval has been under similar senatorial protection and performing her duties from a secure location.
21 SEP 3307
Lady Astrid Minerva-Duval, wife of Hadrian Augustus Duval, has confirmed that she is expecting a child in December. The story was broken by the Paresa News Network: "Lady Astrid was visibly overjoyed as she told us of her pregnancy, and of Hadrian's excitement at being a father. Her only complaint was that she's no longer allowed to fly support missions for Nova Imperium. Once a Commander, always a Commander!" Mainstream media channels also commented on the news. The Imperial Herald: "This has caused tangible ripples of unease in the Senate. Since neither EmperorArissa Lavigny-Duval nor Princess Aisling Duval have heirs, Hadrian's claim to the throne will be strengthened if he alone ensures that the Duval bloodline continues." Eye on Achenar: "Who cares about the spawn of Emperor Hengist's illegitimate grandson? The NMLA may have assassinated much of the Imperial Family, but this outcast boy is still a footnote in their noble history." Vox Galactica: "Despite his unofficial status, Hadrian Duval has many silent supporters within the Empire. His isolationist stance appeals to nostalgic citizens, as does returning to the tradition of male Emperors. Should Hadrian have a son, he may feel empowered to seek his birthright more forcefully."
06 MAY 3307
*Pilots Federation ALERT* Open warfare has begun in the Paresa system between Nova Imperium and the League of Mandu, a Federal faction. Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval has been accused of masterminding the NMLA starport bombings, according to evidence provided to ACT. Admiral Natalia Lee, commanding the Harmony's Shield megaship, declared: "The Empire refuses to arrest a Duval, even when he and his organisation are brutal terrorists. In the name of the hundreds of thousands of Federal citizens they murdered, we will enact justice." Hadrian Duval made an announcement from Dyson City, the home station of Nova Imperium: "This invasion of Imperial space is based on false information. The Federation does not have the right to act as our judge, jury and executioner. I call upon the Empire to come to our defence, as stipulated in the Treaty of Paresa." Nova Imperium is an isolationist group that believes in retaining Imperial traditions and severing all ties with other superpowers. Hadrian Duval is the illegitimate grandson of Emperor Hengist, whose heritage was officially acknowledged last November. ACT is currently working to verify claims that the Neo-Marlinist Order of Mudhrid aided the NMLA on Imperator Duval's instructions.
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.
27 OCT 3306
Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval has been severely wounded in an assassination attempt by Neo-Marlinist extremists. The attack took place at Dyson City in the Paresa system, headquarters of the isolationist organisation Nova Imperium. A small team of armed intruders broke into the command deck and opened fire. Three people were killed and four injured, including Hadrian Duval, before his Praetorian Guard eliminated the assassins. The NMLA has claimed responsibility. On propaganda channels, the paramilitary group vows to "sever every head of the Duval hydra", and calls for all citizens to rise up and demand democracy. Praetor Leo Magnus, Nova Imperium's head of security, gave this statement to Vox Galactica: "The Imperator is in a critical condition but receiving our finest medical care. I am personally overseeing an investigation into how the NMLA infiltrated our starport and bypassed security checks. Such attacks are as sickening as they are cowardly, and Nova Imperium stands firmly against these terrorists." Hadrian Duval is the illegitimate grandson of Emperor Hengist. His father, the late Commander Hector Jansen, was the result of a secret liaison with a household slave. Although disowned by the Imperial Family, Hadrian claims to be a rightful heir to the throne.
21 SEP 3306
The Imperial Herald has published an obituary of Prince Harold Duval, who was assassinated by NMLA terrorists. "Born in 3230 to Emperor Hengist, 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."
14 SEP 3306
Prince Harold Duval is dead after a targeted assassination attempt by the Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army. The Empire has imposed a media blackout on these events, and no official statement has been made. However, independent journalist Gwendolyn Nash published this on-the-scene report for Vox Galactica: "From interviewing multiple sources, we gather that a single assassin managed to infiltrate Harold Duval's personal transport. He was killed by shipboard guards but not before shooting the Prince at close range. The NMLA claimed responsibility for this attack in its latest propaganda broadcast, which referred to the Duval family as 'imperialist parasites'. The extremist group also demanded that 'Marlinists everywhere must rise up and demand a democratic Republic'. Harold Duval was famously declared unfit for the throne by Emperor Hengist, and has been out of the public eye ever since. He rarely left Capitol but was making an unpublicised journey to visit his daughter Aisling Duval, presumably in response to the recent terrorist attack in the Cemiess system. It remains unknown how the NMLA knew of the Prince's itinerary, or managed to breach security on his ship."
05 APR 3305
Princess Aisling Duval has revealed that she recently visited Imperator Hadrian Augustus Duval, leader of the isolationist group Nova Imperium. The Imperial Herald published her statement: "For some time, I have regretted my initial dismissal of Hadrian. Had I known that Arissa intended to carry out such a brutal purge of his followers, my approach would have been different. Although he has been labelled an enemy of the Empire, I found myself unable to ignore this new member of the Duval family, and so requested a meeting in the Paresa system. Another reason to make contact was to verify his claim to be Emperor Hengist's grandson. All the genetic tests were conclusive – Hadrian is indeed my cousin by blood. We have now opened a dialogue to see if there can ever be common ground between us. Perhaps together we can heal divisions within the Empire."
11 JAN 3305
Political journalist Cassia Carvalho has reported on the current conflict with isolationist group Nova Imperium: "In recent weeks, Nova Imperium has become a genuine political force. Tensions have now erupted into open conflict in the Paresa system, with Imperial Navy auxiliaries attempting to destroy Nova Imperium's fleet. In return, Imperator Mordanticus has called on the galactic community to fight for Emperor Hengist’s long-lost grandson Hadrian Duval to be recognised as an heir to the throne. Whether this is a one-off battle or the beginning of an Imperial civil war, the outcome of the Battle of Paresa will influence the future of the Empire."
27 DEC 3304
Imperialsenators supporting the isolationist group Nova Imperium have demanded that EmperorArissa 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."
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."
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?
02 SEP 3301
Today was the last day for the millions of mourners to pay their respects to the Emperor in the Hall of Martyrs. In the past month an estimated seven million mourners arrived on Capitol and have waited in line to enter the vestibule where the Emperor's body has lain. Of those millions fewer than half were able to actually see the Emperor despite the dedicated efforts of the Imperial Palace curators. Holographic shrines were placed along the queue of the people waiting, although some of the crowd complained that this broke tradition. The queue reached such a size that the military had to be called in to maintain order from flashes of violence flaring up. Although apart from a few cases the offences were quite minor as befitting the sombre mood. Food, shelter and medical care also needed to be provided and many of the waiting people praised the efforts of the naval infantry. For the rest of the day the troops will be busy again, this time clearing the route already filled with the waiting citizens in preparation for tomorrow's funeral.
23 AUG 3301
ChancellorAnders Blaine announced that Brendan Paul Darius, the man who killed the Emperor, was not working alone. An investigation into the retaliatory murders of Darius's family had discovered encrypted data files, which revealed the existence of an "ultra-traditionalist movement" named Emperor's Dawn.
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.
08 AUG 3301
Millions of senators, patrons, clients, citizens and slaves from across the Empire are making the journey to the Hall of Martyrs on Capitol in the Achenar system to pay their respects to the late Emperor. The queue to view the Emperor's body already stretches several miles from the Imperial Palace, with the waiting time now measured in days. Naturally, senators, patrons and clients each have their own entrances. Palace officials have announced that the viewings will continue, at all hours, until the final funeral preparations begin on the eve of the funeral. Volunteers from the palace staff will aid the mourners and keep the line moving. The Imperial Naval Infantry will also be stationed along the ever-lengthening line – not because of security concerns, but to ensure the welfare of the waiting people. The population of the city swelled beyond normal capacity during the wedding celebrations, and the influx of mourners has pushed the city to bursting point. Along with the military deployment, local residents are providing those in the queue with food and drink. Those unable to make the journey to Capitol have created memorials in their own cities, starports and colonies, and are assembling to give their respects.
06 AUG 3301
Chancellor Anders Blaine held a press conference in front of the entrance to the Hall of Martyrs and declared the beginning of the official period of mourning for Emperor Hengist Duval: "It is my solemn duty to officially mark the first day of the four-week period of mourning for our beloved Emperor. As is customary, the body of the Emperor will be placed in the vestibule of the Hall of Martyrs for public viewing and the paying of respect." The Chancellor refused to answer questions from the assembled reporters concerning the investigation into the assassination. When asked about the succession, he replied that the matter will be handled in the Senate once the funeral has taken place. Following tradition, the Chancellor and invited dignitaries wore the black sash of mourning. These will be worn throughout the mourning period and then burned during the internment ceremony. The Hall of Martyrs was constructed over 600 years ago following the victory against the Federation in the first conflict between the two superpowers. It is open to the public only during the mourning period of those who are to be entombed there. The vast and exquisitely crafted hall beneath the Imperial Palace contains 16,032 obsidian pillars, and only the most honoured members of Imperial society are laid to rest there.
05 AUG 3301
News spread that Emperor Hengist Duval was attacked by a high ranking official during the wedding ceremony. The assailant was killed.
Chancellor Blaine confirmed that the Emperor died en route to a medical facility after being stabbed by a member of the congregation. The Chancellor wouldn't provide details about the attacker.
04 AUG 3301
Street parties throughout the Empire and grand events in Capitol marked the eve of the wedding. From the Federation, Shadow President Felicia Winters was attending, but PresidentZachary Hudson had declined, sending only the Secretary of External Affairs to represent the Federation, in what some saw as a slight that may have an effect on future Empire/Federation relations.
29 JUL 3301
In an alleged secret recording of a conversation with one of her aides, Princess Aisling Duval questioned the convenience of the Emperor's recovery and the motives of Senator Blaine and others close to the Emperor. An aide of Senator Blaine said an investigation would be carried out. Aisling Duval said the recording was clearly a fabrication and that she would never say "the despicable things portrayed in this horrid fantasy."
How is this possible? Am I not the most beloved person in the Empire? This is clear manoeuvring to make sure that Arissa becomes the heir. I can see her annoyingly haughty expression now. That Blaine thinks she will let him carry on doing what he wants.
The date for the wedding had been postponed to the 5th August. When asked by the Imperial Herald whether she were now next in line to the throne, Arissa Lavigny-Duval replied "We are only days from the Emperor returning to the public stage. Trying to debate about what might occur if he were to die in these intervening days is both rude and disrespectful of our Emperor. I look forward to many years in service of Emperor Hengist Duval in whatever capacity he deems appropriate." The live online audience booed the commentator and applauded her response.
24 JUL 3301
Dignitaries and guests from the farthest reaches of the Empire have started arriving on Capitol. While there is a festival atmosphere to the city, many are taking advantage of the influx of influential people to work deals and to make plans for the future.
22 JUL 3301
The Office for the Emperor announced that Hengist Duval's wedding to Florence Lavigny would take place midday on Wednesday 29th July.
18 JUL 3301
Hengist Duval appeared before the Senate, seeming frail but his voice firm as he made a speech that covered a variety of topics.
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.
Chancellor Blaine declared, in a surprise statement on the steps of the Imperial Palace, that Emperor Hengist Duval had awoken from his coma early that morning. His physicians had declared him on his way to becoming fit and healthy, and had advised a few days rest and monitoring. Hengist intended to lead the Senate in a few days time.
20 JUN 3301
Chancellor Blaine announced that the Emperor "has begun to show signs of returning to good health".
01 APR 3301
An attempt to end the Emperor's life by tampering with his medication was foiled. Who had carried out the attack was unknown.
14 MAR 3301
Chancellor Blaine refused to release the Emperor's medical records, saying "As has always been the case, for reasons of national security his Majesty’s medical records are only accessible by the Emperor’s personal physicians." He would continue to act in the Emperor's stead, and would tell the Senate if the situation changed.
12 MAR 3301
Senator Denton Patreus called on Chancellor Blaine to release the Emperor's medical records, calling the situation "untenable".
How long are we expected to simply accept that Emperor Hengist is on the road to recovery? It’s been months now and there’s been no sign of the Emperor making a recovery of any kind. For the sake of the entire Empire, we need to know whether or not Emperor Hengist is ever going to be able to reclaim the throne. If Emperor Hengist really is getting better, then Chancellor Blaine should release the Emperor’s medical records to show the Senate that there is nothing to worry about. If not, we need to establish what needs to be done to secure our citizens’ future.
— Senator Denton Patreus, in an address to the Imperial Senate
23 JAN 3301
There was public outcry over the delay of the marriage, with one Patron saying Chancellor Blaine and the other members of the Imperial Palace had been pretending everything was okay in order to grab scraps of power.
22 JAN 3301
The wedding delay was changed to an indefinite postponement. This was seen as a significant blow to Arissa Lavigny's claim the throne.
21 JAN 3301
Chancellor Anders Blaine announced that there would be a delay to the start of the wedding festivities, as Emperor Hengist Duval remained too unwell to participate, but that hopefully the delay would just be a few days.
20 JAN 3301
The Marriage Council found that Aisling Duval's objection had no merit. Aisling was not pleased with this.
19 JAN 3301
In the first Senate session of the new year, Senator Denton Patreus asked how long the Emperor would be in a coma before they addressed the issue of succession. The Senate agreed to review the situation at their next session.
18 JAN 3301
Chancellor Blaine announced that Hengist Duval's sickness had worsened, and that he had fallen into a coma. As the Emperor's Chancellor, Blaine would take over the day to day running of the Empire.
17 JAN 3301
Rumours circulated that the Emperor's condition was far worse than had been admitted, and that he had perhaps even died.
16 JAN 3301
Preparations for the wedding continued on Capitol in Achenar. Imperial Senators and leaders of Empire-friendly independent systems started arriving.
15 JAN 3301
Aisling Duval lodged an objection to the Emperor's marriage plans with the Office for Marriage. This would trigger a hearing of the Marriage Council within the next few days.
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.
Arissa Lavigny showed the plans for Hengist Duval and Florence Lavigny's wedding, which was planned for the 22nd of January. The President and Shadow President of the Federation were invited, but many expected them to politely decline. The news that the wedding was going ahead had a positive effect on Imperial markets, as it gave the impression that the Emperor's illness was not at bad as some had thought.
22 DEC 3300
Announced that he was to be married to Florence Lavigny. This would make their daughter, Arissa Lavigny, next in line to the throne.
19 DEC 3300
Made an appearance in the Senate to issue a decree that his son, Prince Harold Duval was not sound of mind. This decree meant that there was no longer a clear successor to the throne.
Hengist fell ill with a sickness that would worsen as the year progressed. He remained in seclusion, with only occasional visits to the Senate.
Following the death of Hesketh Duval, Hengist Duval assumed the throne. The Senate had been growing in power during his father's long illness, which meant there were significant tensions around the succession.
Hengist Duval was born a few days before the death of his grandfather, Hender Saik Duval. Their similarity in looks and manner in Hengist's later years were such that some claim Hender's spirit had already passed to him.