Unchallenged Era of the Amarr Empire
The Unchallenged Era of the Amarr Empire is typically considered to encompass the beginnings of its expansion into space in 20536 AD until it first encountered the Gallente Federation in 23180 AD. Though the Empire suffered through several internal schisms during this time, it was able to expand and conquer without serious fear of reprisal.
Expansion into space
The Early Years
The Amarr first developed rockets capable of escaping Amarr Prime's atmosphere in 20536 AD. These were capable only of carrying small payloads, typically warheads for long-range bombardment during the waning years of the Empire's planetary conquest. It wasn't until 20569 AD that the Amarr finally looked to the stars and began to contemplate the possibilities beyond their own sphere. They began building larger rockets and sending instruments and animals into orbit around the planet.
In 20572 AD, the Amarr managed to launch their first human being into orbit. The astronaut, named Iaius Castor, completed one orbit of the planet before returning safely to the ground. Progress followed steadily after, the Empire sending rockets further and further from their world. In 20586 AD, it landed a team on Ugeth, the closest of the planet's tiny moons. This marked the first time an Amarr had ever laid foot on a celestial body outside of Amarr Prime.
Over the next several centuries, the Empire continued to expand outward. Bases were established on several of its moons, which served as important waypoints for further exploration. It sent probes to explore the other planets in its solar system, particularly Tamiroth and Oris. In 20613 AD, a robotic mission to Tamiroth discovered microbial life in the ocean planet's waters, spurring widespread scientific interest in fruther investigation of the planet's surface.
The Empire pushed a manned mission to Tamiroth ahead, sending a team there in 20620 AD. However, their rush proved costly, as a malfunction in the landing equipment caused the total destruction of the spacecraft as it entered the atmosphere. Undaunted, the Empire sent another team in 20625 AD, this one successfully landing and returning.
By 20650 AD, the Empire was building bases on Tamiroth and using them for further exploration of the system. It established more bases on Sek and the moons of Zorast, while continuing to study the other planets closely. By 20775 AD, it had landed manned missions on every planet within the system. It had bases on every planet by 20853 AD and had landed people on every moon by 20867 AD.
When it landed on Oris in 20736 AD, it discovered multicellular life. The life initially appeared alien and strange to the Amarr, until the shocking discovery that some of the species apparently shared a significant amount of DNA with some species on Amarr Prime. Speculation was rife as to the meaning of this, but scientists eventually decided that it was merely a coincidence, as some species on Amarr Prime shared DNA while others did not.
The prospect of fully colonizing other worlds became a reality. The first civilian colony was established on Tamiroth in 20725 AD. Further colonizing followed, first on Tamiroth, then on Oris and several moons. Expansion slowed at this point, as Tamiroth and Oris were very habitable and had potential to comfortably hold over three times the Empire's population.
In 20768 AD, archaeologists discovered ancient ruins on Oris. These appeared to be made by human hands and to have been manufactured with technology beyond Amarr knowledge at the time, even though they were dated to before the earliest moments of Amarr history. Initially, the Amarr determined the ruins to have been created in antiquity by the sefrim, though later discoveries would lead the Amarr to understand they had likely been built by a colony that failed following the EVE Gate's collapse.
In 21134 AD, the Amarr had mapped much of their home system and were looking out beyond it. They had sent long-range probes to study other systems, but even the best engines of the time could not propel a ship more than about 5% the speed of light. While this was sufficient for exploring their home system, it didn't give the Amarr much ability to travel beyond its confines.
Then they stumbled upon the ruins of an old stargate at the outskirts of their solar system. They immediately realized they had discovered something outstanding and far more advanced than anything the Empire was capable of creating. The Amarr scientists fell on the ruins with fervor, carefully studying every bit of it. They eventually reverse engineered their discovery and built a gate of their own.
However, this stargate was unconnected to any other gate and remained inactive. Once the Amarr figured out the problem, they resolved to push beyond their home system. Though the enterprise was risky, the Amarr constructed a massive expeditionary vessel and fitted it with the best engines it could employ. It loaded the ship with the equipment necessary to build a stargate and filled it with the engineers and workers needed to build the gate on the other end.
The Amarr aimed the ship at the closest star, Hedion, which was about a light year away. Considering the mass of the ship, the ship could only travel at about 2% light speed, which meant it would take around 50 years for the ship to reach its destination. The Amarr outfitted the vessel with primitive cryo-caskets, placing most of the passengers into suspended animation and leaving only a skeleton crew awake to tend to the sleepers.
The ship finally arrived in 21288 AD and the sleepers awoke. Many of their caretakers had passed away from old age during the journey, while a number of sleepers had perished from malfunctions or other complications. Even so, those who survived were able to complete the gate in 21289 AD. They sent a return signal and waited; in 21290 AD the Empire celebrated as the first stargate between two systems opened.
Following the construction of the gate to Hedion, the Empire immediately made plans to expand even further. During the time it took the expeditionary ship to reach Hedion, the Amarr had further developed the power of their ship engines, enabling them to travel at much quicker speeds to other systems. They soon opened gates to many neighboring systems and then connected those systems to ones beyond.
Many of the systems they connected possessed temperate worlds, easily habitable by the Amarr. By this point, population pressures were once again taking hold in their home system, prompting many Amarr to relocate to the new systems. At first, each system was considered the direct dominion of the Emperor and Council of Apostles, but as the number of gates grew, it became increasingly apparent that the traditional Imperial bureaucracy would require expansion into space.
The Empire began parceling out its new celestial territories to its many [Holders], granting entire systems to the most powerful families. Three of the current Heir families – the Ardishapur, the Kador, and the Sarum – each claimed their own systems in these early years of exploration and colonization.
Equilibrium of Mankind
Soon after the Amarr began to claim new systems, Ocilan Ardishapur – a relative of both Emperor Armani I and Karon Ardishapur, the head of the Ardishapur Family – founded a new religious movement known as the Equilibrium of Mankind. At first, the movement was merely a part of an officially recognized sect known as the Followers of God.
Under the influence of the priest Paragyn Koreithis, Ocilan's movement grew dark and destructive, believing in a great corruption in mankind and the universe they inhabited. In a publicly broadcast ceremony, Ocilan denounced the Amarr religion, the Followers of God, the Emperor, and Council of Apostles, and called for the Amarr to depart “this universe” to save themselves from God's wrath.
Ocilan was immediately denounced by the Amarr church and his arrest was ordered, but the Equilibrium of Mankind had infiltrated many echelons of Amarr society. They defiantly rose up, creating bloody clashes inside the Followers of God's cathedral. Ocilan calmly departed and returned to his base near Ardishapur Prime to prepare.
Armani I ordered Karon Ardishapur to destroy the Equilibrium and capture or kill Ocilan, an order Karon obeyed by leading his fleet against the Equilibrium outpost and obliterating it. Ocilan was presumed dead and the few scattered followers of the Equilibrium fled to the outskirts of the Empire.
Three years later, Ocilan reappeared, alive and well but mentally imbalanced, and called for his followers to kill anyone who did not believe in the Equilibrium's ways. The Equilibrium once again scattered and began ingraining themselves in the Empire's power structure. A string of terrorist activities followed, all attributed to the Equilibrium, which caused great fear and despair across the Empire. Even the Emperor himself went into hiding.
However, Armani I died suddenly in 21310 AD and his nephew Queron I succeeded him. Queron, made of sterner stuff than his uncle, responded with brutal purges. Innumerable people were killed, including countless innocents, but the terrorist attacks were halted. The Equilibrium was ejected from the Empire and their power base was crushed, rendering them little more than fringe heretics.
Sani Sabik Uprising
The expansion of Imperial justice lagged behind the populace of the Empire. Sparsely populated worlds were often beneath the notice of the church's inquisitors, while the most distant borders of the empire were beyond their reach. The Amarr, eager to Reclaim all of creation, expanded without regard to the consequences it could cause.
This lack of caution allowed the Sani Sabik faith to flourish. Within fifty years of the opening of the gate to Hedion, the Sani Sabik had once again become a major problem for the Empire. They slowly began to infiltrate the Empire's political structures, gaining sway over numerous Holders and church officials.
However, the Empire was still on guard following the Equilibrium of Mankind's uprising. Before the Sabik could fully dig its tendrils deep enough to prevent uprooting, they were exposed. The church launched a massive inquisition, purging many Sabik and sending the survivors scattering to the winds. Many of the survivors stole cryo-ships and spread to the corners of the cluster; one such group is suspected to have arrived in the then-distant Araz constellation and laid the foundations for the Takmahl civilization.
The Mad Emperor
In 21346 AD, Emperor Queron I died and Zaragram Ardishapur was selected by the Council of Apostles to replace him, becoming Zaragram II. At the time, the Ardishapur Family was at the height of its power and influence, ruling over dozens of systems with millions of adulating subjects. It seemed that Zaragram would lead the Empire into a new period of peace after decades of unrest.
At first, it seemed this would be the case. Zaragram issued several decrees that, at the time, seemed innocuous enough. Each one was presented simply as a clarification of his role as Emperor. In isolation, they were relatively harmless. In totality, however, they slowly shifted power into Zaragram's hands away from the Council of Apostles.
Unbeknownst to most, Zaragram had come to see himself as the worldly manifestation of God. He believed that he was a divine avatar, sent to eternally lead the Amarr to the future. The discovery of the Ealur in 21423 AD only reinforced his notions, leading him to more blatantly usurp both the Council and the church for his own glorification.
He ordered religious iconography destroyed and replaced with images venerating him. Scripture was rewritten to place Zaragram as a central figure, prophesied by ancient teachers and saints. Zaragram gradually ground away the very basis of the Empire and its church, twisting them into a massive cult dedicated only to his worship. Opposition was quickly silenced.
Eventually, Zaragram announced the construction of a massive celestial palace, known as Mezagorm (“City of God”) in the system of Shastal. He believed such a place, free of terrestrial influence, would bring him closer to a full merger with divinity.
However, on his first visit to the nearly-finished city, he was assassinated by his own grandson. The grandson was slain by Zaragram's guards, but subsequently beatified as St. Tetrimon. The Council of Apostles immediately began to repair the damage Zaragram had done, though the task was momentous and difficult. They founded the Cult of St. Tetrimon to aid them and struck Zaragram's name from the Book of Records, the only time an emperor had ever suffered such a fate.
Discovery of the Ealur
Over the years, the Amarr had discovered many ancient ruins in the systems they explored. These ruins were mostly greatly decayed and contained no clear records of who built them, for what reason, or why. Numerous theories were put forward for their existence, especially when fossilized human remains were discovered. The Amarr, however, believed these ruins proved they were alone in the universe, that they alone had been spared some ancient catastrophe by God's grace.
In 21423 AD, the Amarr opened a stargate to the Ealur system. There, explorers discovered a human population living on the sixth planet. This discovery sent massive waves through the Empire, challenging their scientific and religious theories. The Ealur had been spared the ancient calamity and their homeworld was a temperate paradise.
By this point, many of the Udorian, Khanid, and other slaves had earned their freedom. Slavery as an institution was on a massive decline in the Empire and was on the verge of becoming extinct. The Ealur, however, proved that there was still Reclaiming to be done. Emperor Zaragram II, after briefly confirming that the Ealur were primitive and unlikely to prove any sort of threat to the Empire, ordered them Reclaimed and enslaved.
The Ealur, who had grown soft from their comfortable planet, provided little resistance. The Amarr, seeing them as sickly and weak, viewed them with a mix of pity and contempt. The Ealur were worked to near-extinction, with millions dying under the harsh whip. Gradually, the Amarr transformed them into a more hearty stock, rejuvenating both the Reclaiming and slavery inside the Empire.
Realizing that if there was one other population of humans in the cluster, there were likely more, the Amarr quickly spurred their exploration of the universe forward. Spearheaded by the naval exploration forces, the Empire encountered dozens of small, feeble populations clinging to life on harsh planets. They conquered these people entirely, forcing the small groups into slavery and essentially eradicating them from the history books.
The speed of the Amarr expansion caused significant internal strain on the Empire. The Empire's borders expanded much quicker than their ability to police the territory did. Interstellar criminals gained a major foothold in the Empire during this time. While many were simply common pirates, preying on trade and straggling navy ships, a large number were heretics aligned with one outlawed cult or another. The Sani Sabik, Equilibrium of Mankind, and other dangerous groups regained a measure of power within the Empire during this time.
Additionally, far from the central power of the Council of Apostles, the more powerful Holder families began to grow independent and resentful of distant control. Several small rebellions broke out during this time, as individual families attempted to break away from the Empire, banking on their remoteness to protect them. Though the Empire eventually put down all rebellions, some managed to survive for several decades before they could be properly broken.
As the Amarr expanded, they stumbled across the planet Syrikos V. The planet was uninhabited, but did posses a thriving ecosystem. Much of it was uninteresting to the Amarr who settled on the planet, but one species in particular caught their eye. The creature was a large, intelligent carnivorous canid which operated in packs. The creature proved amiable to domestication and training.
Initially kept as exotic pets, Holders found that the creatures made exceptional slave guards and deterrents. They could be trained to chase down fleeing slaves and would ambush them from above. The Holders named the creatures slaver hounds and the species quickly spread throughout the Empire.
In 21870 AD, a new Emperor, Heideran V, was selected from the Council of Apostles. Heideran V was a member of the Kador Family, which was one of the most powerful families in the Empire. Heideran alone was the fifth Kador Family member with his name to have held the throne, while numerous other Kador members had previously been emperor as well, more than any other member of the Council of Apostles. Heideran V began to believe that this was a sign that the Kador Family should have undisputed control over the Imperial throne.
At the moment of his election, he began to rewrite the Scriptures to concentrate power in his hands. The Council of Apostles had seen this before, with Zaragram II, and though it had been centuries since, they remembered enough to know where this road led. They moved to check Heideran V's power grab. However, in wiping Zaragram's influence from the records, they had failed to eliminate all of his policy changes. Several bits still existed that placed the Emperor above the other members of the Council.
The Council of Apostles attempted to have Heideran V eliminated. Their gambit failed, however, as Heideran V had been working behind the scenes to gather allies to his cause. The Kador Family backed him fully and he had gained the allegiance of the Khanid and Sarum Families, who both held spots on the Council of Apostles. Not only was the Council split, Heideran had also won the loyalty of the families Ardishapur and Kor-Azor by promising them places of power and influence. The Ardishapur Family was eager to reclaim the standing it had lost since Zaragram's time, while the Kor-Azor were a rising force thanks to their control of the valuable Kor-Azor Prime system.
In response, in 21785 AD Heideran V announced that he would begin numerous Moral Reforms in order to expunge the Empire of the “prideful disobedience” of those members of the Council of Apostles who had opposed his changes. With the five families, now known as the Privy Council, backing him, several members of the Council capitulated to his whims and pledged their allegiance to his new order. Others were unwilling to surrender, however, seeing the Reforms as merely a power grab. They publicly rose against him and selected a new emperor from among those who remained loyal, Severian Astur.
Heideran V declared the Council of Apostles disbanded and refuted their right to select a new emperor. He declared those who stood against him to be heretics and the enemies of God and the Empire. The remaining members of the Council of Apostles remained adamant and refused to back down. The Empire was thrown into turmoil and conflict.
The Amarr military fractured between those still loyal to the Council of Apostles and those who owed allegiance to the Privy Council. The numbers were roughly equivalent on both sides, while the Empire itself was split into numerous pockets of influence. A brief reconciliation was attempted by both sides, but this proved impossible. Neither side would budge from their beliefs, eventually bringing full-blown warfare.
The earliest fighting involved each side consolidating its own holdings. Territories controlled by those loyal to Heideran V and the Council each had insurgents loyal to the other within their borders. Both sides raced to clamp down on these insurgents, with the belief that whoever prevailed in this action would be able to force a two-sided war on the other.
Unfortunately for those hoping for a quick end to the war, both sides completed these internal actions at roughly the same time. When they turned their weapons against against each other, they found both sides well entrenched and difficult to extricate. Casualties were high, especially in the first several years of war, as the Amarr battle doctrine refuting surrender or retreat meant many fleets and armies were completely destroyed.
After these opening years, however, the war ground to a halt on both sides. The Empire had never been fully committed to a war against a technological equal. The Amarr ships were fitted more for orbital bombardment of ground populations and policing actions against less numerous pirates and heretics. Additionally, commanders on both sides were more used to assaulting poorly guarded, undisciplined criminal outposts rather than facing down armed fleets of equivalent or greater power. The strategic and tactical prowess of both sides were lacking.
It is in this respect that the side of Heideran V eventually claimed victory. The allegiance of the Khanid and Sarum Families paid great dividends. The Khanid people, whom had remained under the charge of the Khanid Family for thousands of years, were excellent ground fighters and made up the bulk of the Empire's free infantry. The Sarum Family was able to draw on generations of great military tradition and poured over ancient tomes on the art of war, producing commanders who had no rivals within the Council of Apostles forces.
However, it took roughly a decade for these advantages to provide a tipping point. Emperor Heideran V's forces did not begin making significant permanent territorial gains until 21890 AD. Even with these gains, it was slow going in capturing the rest of Council-held space. As a true threat to the Empire, the Council was destroyed in 21924 AD with the capture and execution of the majority of their members, including Severian Astur. However, scattered forces loyal to the Council continued fighting until 21930 AD.
Even with the civil war ended, the Moral Reforms continued. With his enemies vanquished, Heideran V gathered a new council of religious leaders to formulate new Scriptures and alter older pieces to increase his authority. This body was called the Theology Council and set about scouring the Scriptures, looking for pieces of Scripture they could use to justify placing more power in the hands of the Emperor, while removing those pieces that stood against that purpose.
The Order of St. Tetrimon, which had once been tasked with preserving the Scriptures of the Empire, did their best to counteract the actions of the Theology Council. However, they were unable to act in the open, so their grand master, Tetrimon IV, quietly hid away relics and original copies of the Scriptures relating to both the Council of Apostles and the Amarr faith. Their work was ultimately limited in efficacy, as the Emperor had his way.
At the same time, the civil war had caused great damage to the Empire. Heideran V ordered a reconstruction effort aimed at returning the Empire to the glory it held before the Reforms began. Billions of slaves were put to work repairing damage and rebuilding lost structures. The Amarr Navy, which had suffered heavily in the fighting, was slowly filled with new recruits and fresh ships.
By 21950 AD, Emperor Heideran V, the Theology Council, and the Privy Council had ceased altering the Scriptures. The infrastructure of the Empire had also returned to a level close to its pre-war state, so the Emperor put an end to many of the more costly projects. Though there was no official end announced by the Emperor of his reforms, this is typically given as the last year of the Moral Reforms.
Heideran V himself died a few years afterward, in 21954 AD.
With Heideran V's death, the leaders of the five Privy Council families came together to decide on a new emperor. One of the first acts Heideran V commanded his Theology Council to decide upon was the method of determining his eventual successor. He knew that the ways of the Council of Apostles could be no more, but also that the Five Heirs would be unable to pick one among them to rule; he envisioned another civil war tearing the Empire apart as soon as he had died.
The Theology Council designed a series of ordeals, which they dubbed the Succession Trials, which would pit the Heirs against each other in an effort to determine the most suited to rule. Emperor Heideran approved of this method, but was also worried that the losing Heirs would challenge the authority of the victor, thus only delaying the problem. He realized that allowing the Heirs to remain in power would be disastrous, but also that the Heirs would never give up their positions.
Eventually, the Ardishapur Heir informed the Council of a piece of then-obscure pieces of Scripture which allowed for an honorable, ritual suicide in such cases. This suicide was only available when men of God stood opposed in critical matters. Upon one's receiving of God's favor, the other could commit suicide to avoid the hardships failure would entail. The Council proposed this to Heideran, who agreed that the losing Heirs should commit suicide to preserve the Empire. He called it Shathol'Syn, meaning suicide for the sake of stability, and forced the Heirs to agree with his terms.
When he died, the Heirs discussed doing away with the suicide provision, but the Theology Council refused to acknowledge any succession which did not include it, driving a wedge between the Heirs and preventing their agreement. The Sarum Heir triumphed in the trials and the other four Heirs committed suicide without protest. Their designated heirs immediately took their places on the Privy Council alongside the designated heir of the Sarum emperor.
The Amarr gradually began expanding their space following the Moral Reforms. The slave stocks were strong with Ealur slaves, but the desire for fresh blood was strong among the Holder class. The Empire spread in several directions, utilizing the Navy's exploration corps to venture into the unknown.
Several small colonies of humanity were discovered during this time. However, they were all small populations, living primitive, savage lives, frequently numbering no more than a few thousand. The Amarr swiftly conquered them and threw them into their slave pools. They became little more than footnotes in the Empire's record books.
When the Empire first explored the planet of Palpis VI, it determined the native life to be primitive and of little use. However, further investigation turned up the creature known as the fedo. A small, sponge-like creature, the fedo is capable of eating almost any form of organic, and some inorganic, refuse. Combined with their hearty constitution, the Amarr envisioned them as a cheap cleaning solution, able to devour garbage and pollutants without risk. Unfortunately, the fedos emitted a foul odor as they digested their food, rending many Amarr unwilling to deal with them. By that time, however, they had already begun infesting Amarr ships and were spread as pests.
The 51st Exploration Corps arrived in the Mishi system in 22103 AD, where they discovered a heavily populated planet just beginning to enter its Industrial Revolution. In an effort to take as many slaves as possible, the Corps took a peaceful approach to initial contact. They discreetly landed on the planet and took several nomadic people to serve as translators, then used these translators to approach major leaders.
The nomads proved to be willing and eager converts to the Amarr religion. Mishi IV was an arid world, prompting water to take on a sacred aspect among the inhabitants. The Amarr readily supplied water to the nomads, earning their fast loyalty and promises of service. The more civilized inhabitants were more resistant to the Empire's advances and attempted to put up some resistance. One city-state massacred a landing crew, prompting the Empire to wipe the city and its ethnicity from the planet entirely.
Eventually, the majority of the Ni-Kunni willingly submitted to the technologically superior Amarr. It took little more than a generation for the entirety of Mishi IV to have been conquered by the Amarr, with comparatively little bloodshed. The Ni-Kunni proved to be willing converts to the Amarr religion as well, latching on to it with a surprising amount of faith and piety.
In 22355 AD, the Amarr noticed radio signals coming from a group of systems a fair distance from their borders. These signals were clearly artificial and indicated a large and technologically capable civilization called the Minmatar Empire. Though the Empire had done well with the conquest of the Ni-Kunni, the prospect of even more fresh slaves gave cause for excitement. However, it was evident from the spread of the signals that the civilization was capable of interstellar travel and was thus not to be considered lightly.
The Amarr spied remotely on the Minmatar for quite some time before eventually sending in covert scouts. It found the race spread over three solar systems, utilizing a technology they called acceleration gates to travel instead of stargates and warp drives. The Empire found their technology to be inferior, but still capable of presenting a threat.
Several small strikes proved successful and captured a small handful of slaves. However, these strikes were necessarily widely spaced to prevent suspicion and thus could not fill the Empire's desire. The Empire was unwilling to risk a full frontal assault, so they bode their time for an opening.
Day of Darkness
The opportunity finally came in 22480 AD. A large storm struck the continent of Coricia on Matar, disrupting the main communications center in the Minmatar home system. Emperor Damius III utilized the disruption to order a swift first strike, sending in six slave vessels and an offensive fleet. The fleet destroyed communications hubs, defensive installations, space stations, and ship yards. The Minmatar were crippled defensively and logistically.
The slave vessels were each deployed to a different planet and began capturing survivors. Three planets were completely depopulated, while two others lost half their inhabitants. Only those on Matar itself were able to put up a fierce resistance, though thanks to centuries of peace, they had little capability to withstand the logistical and technologically superior Empire. Hundreds of millions of Minmatar were taken from Matar alone, with hundreds of millions more taken from the other planets.
The Minmatar were left in disarray, while the Amarr had sustained only minimal casualties.
Continued Raids and Resistance
The Amarr carried their new slaves back to the Empire and began putting them to work immediately. However, a large number of Minmatar had escaped the first strike. The Amarr initially had no ability to physically conquer the Minmatar systems and instead simply relied on continued raids to acquire more slaves.
The Minmatar attempted to rebuild and strike back against the strange assailants. However, just when they would seem to regain lost capabilities, the Amarr would return and lay waste to their hard work once again. Over the course of a few years, the Minmatar had been weakened to such a degree that they no longer provided a credible threat to the Amarr Navy. In 22485 AD, the Navy launched a final strike into Pator and conquered the remaining populace.
The Emperor, following the example set by the Ni-Kunni conquest, realized that collaborators would make the transition easier for the Empire. He reached out to tribal leaders, in the Nefantar Tribe particularly, and offered them the chance to remain free if they would assist in rounding up their fellow tribesmen into slavery. While many rebuked his offer, enough agreed to significantly ease the enslavement of the Minmatar.
However, while the Minmatar Empire had been crushed and destroyed as a nation, enough Minmatar had escaped the Amarr to continue resisting. They were relegated to guerrilla warfare, striking the Amarr where they were weak and freeing small groups of slaves. They utilized stolen Amarr ships and salvaged parts to construct makeshift vessels and were considered little more than a nuisance to the Empire at large.
Human Endurance Program
With the Minmatar tribes under the thrall of the Empire, many Holders sought to utilize the varying tribes to their fullest potential. Under the belief that each tribe had certain strengths and weaknesses, several Holders sponsored the Human Endurance Program, designed to test the limitations of each tribe. Utilizing the eventual results of that project, the Holders then turned to eugenics, breeding slaves together to eliminate weaknesses and improve strengths.
Over the course of several decades, the HEP eventually produced the slave soldiers known as the Kameiras.
Era of Peace
Following the subjugation of the Minmatar, the Empire entered a stage of prosperity and rapid growth. The systems around the Minmatar home systems were conquered and settled. Hundreds of new Holders were created and given domains within the new territories. New colonies were founded, planets, moons, and asteroids were exploited for their wealth, and stations were constructed to house people and watch over the Empire's borders.
The Empire had few troubles during this time, with only small internal problems to deal with. Damius III kept the Amarr wealthy, happy, and hopeful during his reign. Toward the end of his life, he began to display some nepotism and appointed the Khanid Heir as the head of the Imperial Navy.
Reign of Velenus IV
In 22620 AD, Damius III died and was succeeded by Velenus IV, the Kador Heir. Velenus owed much of his success to the machinations of his mother, Lady Phanca. He was controlled by her and possessed little drive and ambition of his own. This proved to be of little difficulty in most respects, but did cause several incidents during his rule.
The most notorious incident came during Lady Phanca's visit to the Ardishapur Family, where she discovered her pet furrier had been killed by Uri Ardishapur, the son of the Ardishapur Heir. She forced her son to issue a decree against the Ardishapur Family, ordering the amputation of the hand that had killed her pet for Uri and all newly born Ardishapur males. The Ardishapur complied with the decree, but replaced the hand with a cybernetic prosthesis, beginning a tradition that the Ardishapur Family proudly continues to the present day.
In the background, the members of the Privy Council fought to wrest control of Velenus IV away from his mother. Eventually, the machinations became too much for Velenus IV to bear, and his health began to fail. He died of a brain aneurysm in 22729 AD, leaving behind a legacy of mediocrity and stagnation.
In 23041 AD, Heideran Kador won the Succession Trials and became the new Amarr Emperor. While three of the losing Heirs committed the ritual Shathol'Syn, one refused to do so. This heir, Garkeh Khanid, was young and powerful. He was the supreme commander of the Imperial Navy and held the fealty of the Khanid people and numerous other powerful Holders. The Khanid Family owned an entire region of the Empire, making it perhaps the most powerful of the Heir families at the time.
Garkeh refused to commit suicide, famously declaring, "I will not be ordered by some whimpering fool to destroy myself when my work is unfinished. You will not take anything from me, not my kingdom, not my people and least of all my life." He withdrew his family and forces to the Khanid region, including taking a large portion of the Imperial Navy and one of the Empire's two titans with him. Soon after, he declared himself King Khanid II of the Khanid Kingdom.
The Empire was thrown into chaos by Khanid II's actions. The Theology Council, hoping to avoid a civil war similar to what devastated the Empire in the Moral Reforms, sent a missive demanding an explanation for his actions. Khanid II simply sent back an inversion of the Empire's holy symbol, which was interpreted by the Theology Council as declaring himself superior to religious law. Believing that there was no hope of reconciliation, the Theology Council reluctantly agreed that warfare was the only option.
Emperor Heideran VII, however, was unwilling to immediately commit the Empire's forces to battle. He was busy consolidating his own power within the Empire. He suspected that many remained behind who were loyal to Khanid II and made moves to eliminate them. Similarly, the newly appointed Heirs to the four remaining families were busy getting their own estates in order.
Instead, the Empire sat back and regrouped while Khanid II dealt with internal dissent and a rebellion by his younger brother Dakos. The Empire offered some assistance to Dakos, but were unable to prevent his assassination and the collapse of his forces.
The Empire's refusal to immediately engage the Khanid Kingdom in warfare allowed Khanid II plenty of opportunity to fortify his borders. Additionally, his forces gained valuable experience fighting against Dakos's rebellion. When the Amarr Empire finally gathered its fleets to attack the Kingdom, Khanid was already well-entrenched.
Additionally, Emperor Heideran, fearing possible internal dissent, suppressed the Order of St. Tetrimon and declared their leader, Lozera Riana, a heretic. Lozera was imprisoned in Dam-Torsad, while Tetrimon artifacts were seized and destroyed by Imperial authorities. Khanid II welcomed the Order to the Kingdom and benefited greatly from their presence, especially as the Order began to learn to defend itself from those who wished to destroy it.
Full fledged war between the two sides lasted only a few years. It quickly became evident to the commanders of the Imperial Navy that the Khanid were too-well defended to simply overrun. They realized that the only pathway to victory would be a long, excruciating war of attrition that would end up wiping out the majority of the Khanid people, take a large portion of the Empire along with them, and potentially send the Empire spiraling into a second dark age.
Presented with this information, Emperor Heideran slowly reduced forces on the front over the years. He knew that Khanid was not interested in invading the Empire, but he also knew he could not simply walk away from the fight. Instead, gradually allowed the war to slip into a cold stalemate, with both sides warily watching each other across the borders with only a few incursions to maintain the illusion of a hot war.
The Khanid Rebellion left the Empire with another problem aside from the loss of territory; it had also lost an Heir family. The presence of five Heirs on the Privy Council prevented a stalemate from ever forming on important matters. With four families, there could be a tie vote. With five, there would always be a potential tie-breaker. It was evident that the Khanid Family be replaced.
Numerous powerful families were considered by the Privy Council, but in the end Emperor Heideran VII decided on the wealthy Tash-Murkon Family. The Tash-Murkon were wealthy Holders who were defacto owners of a large swath of territory. They possessed money, resources, and – most importantly to Heideran – a powerful family fleet.
However, their selection was not without controversy. The Tash-Murkon Family were notorious for having some Udorian ancestry. While the social and physical differences between the Udorians and Amarr had vanished centuries prior through intermarriage, the Udorian blood cast them firmly as non-pure Amarr. The Ardishapur Family in particular raised an objection over the idea of a non-pureblood Amarr being a theologically valid Emperor.
In the end, their objections were overruled, and the other Heir families agreed to raise the Tash-Murkon Family to the position of Heirs. The Ardishapur Family seethed over this and has never quite come to accept the Tash-Murkon Family's legitimacy.
In 23052 AD the Ardishapur Family was led by Arkon Ardishapur. Arkon was a pious and kind man who treated his subjects with compassion and humility. Arkon was particularly fond of a Holder named Arzad Hamri, who was beloved by his Starkmanir slaves. However, Arzad was becoming something of a problem for the Theology Council, as he had begun treating his slaves as almost-equals and eroding many of the long-held Holder-slave conventions.
The Theology Council eventually ordered Arkon to deal with the problem. Arkon traveled to Starkman Prime and investigated. He attempted to dissuade Arzad from his path, but found his friend intractable. Arkon presided over the trial and attempted to let Arzad free with his life, but special prosecutors from the Theology Council ensured that Arzad was put to death.
The execution eventually led the Starkmanir to rise up in rebellion three months later. One slave, Drupar Maak, struck Arkon Ardishapur down personally, killing the Heir with a Khumaak. The Starkmanir took control of the planet, killing their Amarr masters whenever they could catch them.
Arkon's heir, Idonis Ardishapur, was forced to put the rebellion down. Knowing that the life of an Heir could only be repaid for with an extreme, Idonis ordered the utter destruction of the planet and the genocide of the Starkmanir people.
In 23058 AD, the Amarr invented the jump drive. This device massively increased the speed at which the Amarr could explore and colonize the cluster. Exploration ships could travel to star systems and set up cynosural fields, which larger construction and colony vessels could immediately jump to. Additionally, ships could carry less supplies and utilize jumped in resupply ships to attend to their needs.
Within the course of a few years, the Amarr Navy had completely refitted their fleet to utilize this new technology. The Amarr employed the technology to launch a new era of rapid expansion, swiftly pushing the edges of their borders to new frontiers.
- Amarr Empire
- Pre-Space Flight Era of the Amarr Empire
- Transitional Era of the Amarr Empire
- Modern Era of the Amarr Empire
- Chronicle: Amarr Succession
- Chronicle: City of God
- Chronicle: The Cult of Tetrimon
- Chronicle: The Day of Darkness
- Chronicle: Fedo
- Chronicle: Kameiras
- Chronicle: The Khanid Kingdom
- Chronicle: Khumaak
- Chronicle: Lady Phanca’s Pet Furrier
- Chronicle: Signs of Faith