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Marlin Duval was the leader of the expedition that colonised Achenar in the late 23rd century, the founder of the Republic of Achenar, and the sister of Henson Duval, the man who converted the Republic into the Empire and became its first Emperor.[1]

Originally a wealthy citizen of the Federation, Marlin grew disillusioned with its stifling social conformity and the ever increasing rigidity of the government. She funded and led an expedition into unknown space that eventually discovered and settled a habitable world in Achenar, where she established a new, independent government: the Republic of Achenar. The Republic's citizens peacefully prospered under democratic rule with elected senators serving as representatives of the people. Marlin's vision came to an end in 2296, when she, her partner, and her children all perished in a speeder crash. Her brother Henson assumed control of the Republic in Marlin's stead, and in short order transformed it into the monarchist Empire.[2][1] Marlin's dream of the short-lived Republic survived in the form of Marlinism, an anti-monarchist ideology that persisted into the 34th century and resulted in the establishment of the independent Marlinist Colonies.[3][4]


Founding the Republic[]

The Empire has become such a dominant presence in human culture that it is easy to forget that for almost a century the heart of what was to become the Empire was just a single system. The Achenar system was first colonised in the middle of the 23rd century. It was founded by an expedition led by Marlin Duval, a wealthy woman who had grown disillusioned by the ever increasing rigidity of the Earth governments and stifling social conformity.[2]

Marlin Duval vowed to get as far from Earth as she could, and after a long and treacherous journey across what was then unexplored space, most of the convoy eventually reached the Achenar system.[2]

The system of Achenar was chosen for the outdoor world orbiting one of its gas giants, already capable of supporting human life, now known as Capitol. There was already life on the planet and though Duval didn’t know it at the time, one of the few known sentient species watched their landings.[2]

Back then, life was known to be plentiful throughout the galaxy, though it wasn’t appreciated how rare sentient life was. Before long the species was made extinct by the settlers, mainly through imported bateria. Much later, this extinction would later be used as a pretext for Federal intervention in the system.[2]

Under Marlin Duval the population lived under idealistic democratic rule with elected Senators representing the people. This changed dramatically after she died in a speeder crash. Her brother, Henson Duval, then assumed control and established the now familiar line of imperial succession. Some claim that he killed his sister to claim power, but this was never proved.[2]


Following Marlin's death and her brother's restructuring of the Republic into the Empire, her ideals lived on in the form of Marlinism, an ideology that called for the abolition of the position of Emperor and the return of the Empire to the Republic's government system of representation by elected senators. While Marlinism flourished and endured among citizens living in the fringe systems of Imperial space, it never gained ground in the Empire's heartlands, where countless followers of Marlinism and other republican movements were imprisoned and executed for their beliefs. Marlinism eventually gave rise to a radical offshoot called Neo-Marlinism, which shared the same goals, but advocated the use of terror tactics as the only practical means of achieving those goals. Neo-Marlinist groups such as the Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army were known to carry out terrorist bombings and held a particular hatred for the Imperial Family.[3][5]

A series of terror attacks and assassinations carried out by the NMLA in late 3306 instigated a period of political persecution against Marlinists within the Empire, as the Imperial Internal Security Service and Imperial Navy conducted operations to root out the NMLA and assumed that many Marlinists had been radicalized.[6][7] Hundreds of millions of Marlinists fled Imperial space for the Federation and later the Alliance.[8][9][10] As the Marlinist refugee crisis worsened and tensions between the Empire and the Federation mounted, Sirius Corporation proposed relocating the Marlinists to eight new, independent colonies as a permanent solution.[11][12] Thus, on January 14, 3307, the Marlinist Colonies were established, promising a democratically-governed sanctuary for adherents of Marlinism.[4]

The Marlinist Colonies quickly gave rise to new subcurrents of Marlinism as differences of opinion emerged over what the long-term goals of the new Marlinist nation should be and how best to achieve them. First Minister Jenna Fairfax promoted a survivalist view, urging unity among Marlinists and rejection of Neo-Marlinism in the face of an uncertain future and the international outrage enflamed by the NMLA's Nine Martyrs bombings.[13] Minister Amrita Ross desired reconciliation and reintegration with the Empire.[13] Minister Octavia Volkov considered any attempt to bring about reform in the Empire to be a lost cause, and espoused building independent democracies in emulation of Marlin Duval's original intent in leaving the Federation to establish the Republic of Achenar.[14] Minister Aaron Whyte was the lone voice of sympathy for the Neo-Marlinist fringe, and controversially believed the NMLA and other Neo-Marlinists could be persuaded to give up violence if they were granted political representation.[13][14]