- This article is about the character. For the WarShip in his name, see Edmund Davion (Individual Davion II-class WarShip).
|Etien Davion (father)
Marion Michaels (mother)
Edmund was the oldest of twin boys born to Etien Davion and his wife, Marion Michaels, in 2362. Marion was an ambitious woman and a good decision-maker - although also an uncompromising woman. Although Edmund and his brother Edward were in the line of succession for the position of President of the Federated Suns, when Etien committed suicide in 2378 Edmund was only 16, and too young to be considered for the throne. Edmund's uncle Paul was declared President; where Etien had been an intemperate ruler governed by clinical insanity, Paul was a responsible and dedicated President, despite his eccentricities, hypochondria and bouts of paranoia. Although Marion was keen to advance her position and that of her children, Paul came to rely on Edmund's aunt, Marie Davion, who built on her military skills by becoming a skilled and influential diplomat and administrator. Paul formally established Marie as his deputy on a permanent basis in 2385, an action that was met with considerable dismay by Marion, Edmund and Edward.
Paul's health began to decline significantly in 2390 - this time, from a real illness, rather than one of his many psychosomatic ailments that had blighted his younger life. As Paul became increasingly ill, Marie came to rule the Federated Suns in all but name. When Paul died in 2394, there were no reasonable arguments that could be brought to bar Marie from the throne; 46 years old and a skilled diplomat, administrator and soldier, Marie became the sixth President of the Federated Suns. Marion Michaels attempted to block Marie from taking the Presidency, arguing that her sons were the legitimate heirs to House Davion, but Marie was by far the more qualified candidate and the High Council was unwilling to depose her in place of the twin sons of a madman and tyrant. However, Marion wasn't without power and influence, and was able to force Marie to name Edward and Edmund as the principal heirs to the throne, until Paul's son Simon reached his majority.
While Marie hoped that she would be able to remain in power long enough to ensure that the Simon would become President, skipping the twins completely, she agreed to have Edmund placed in an intensive training program aimed at preparing him to serve in government, as the older of the two twins. Marie's intent to have Simon succeed her directly would prove a topic of some debate within future generations of the Davion family and the Federated suns in general. Although Edmund was a weak-willed man, he kept his vices private; like his father Etien, he suffered from bouts of severe depression that interfered with both his abilities and judgment, but whereas Etien was prone to anger and impulsive behavior, Edmund's tendency was to withdraw and sulk. Despite these flaws, he was a more admirable person than his brother, however. Marion had begun grooming him from an early age, and continued to do so throughout Marie's rule, intent on ensuring that he remained easily controlled by her.
Marion arranged to keep both Edmund and Edward unmarried and childless, intent on ensuring that both could be used to form political alliances in the future. In addition to being easily manipulated by his mother, Edmund was also easily influenced by his brother, and effectively had few opportunities to try and make his own decisions. In 2402, Marie suffered a series of strokes and died suddenly. With the Age of War escalating rapidly and the resulting battles draining the economy steadily, Edmund was the obvious choice to become President.
Marriage and Children
After becoming President, a show marriage was arranged between Edmund and the daughter of the Councillor for Palmyra, despite the rumors of Edmund's homosexuality. Despite pressure from Marion, Edmund never established a family; while Edmund's marriage produced a daughter, Judith, in 2405, Judith was actually illegitimate—it was determined (possibly posthumously) that Judith's father was actually the Commander of the Presidential Guard.
Although Edmund was the titular President of the Federated Suns and Prime Minister of New Avalon, the de facto authority within the Federated Suns was actually his mother. Marion influenced Edmund to implement a number of reforms, some of which were popular; she arranged to have the influence of the First Families on New Avalon completely removed, something that made Edmund popular with the general population, who were increasingly aware that the First Families were on their way to becoming a new interstellar aristocracy (Something that would eventually happen anyway). Marion also influenced Edmund to further reduce the power of the High Council, and reinstituted the executive commissions model established by Paul, although without anyone realizing that the committees lacked the powers Paul had assigned them, reducing them to advisory bodies only. In effect, Marion restructured the governance of the Federated Suns into something that was effectively a monarchy in all but name.
When Marion died in 2410, her work was incomplete; as she was dying, she acted on her knowledge of Edmund's nature—and that of her nephew Simon Davion, only son of Paul Davion—and implored Edward to ensure that their blood remained on the throne of the Federated Suns after Edmund. Marion's ambitions suited Edward, who had married and sired a son, Arthur, shortly before Marion's death, and had every intention of seeing Arthur one day rule the Federated Suns.
Edward was every bit as manipulative as Marion, and had as much influence over Edmund as Marion ever had, but while he considered himself to be as politically skilled as his mother, he was neither as intelligent, subtle nor practical as Marion. The result was a series of increasingly notorious declarations from Edmund, prompted by Edward, including measures that placed House Davion entirely outside the laws of New Avalon and the Federated Suns. Edmund and Edward grew increasingly close, as well as increasingly enraptured by the pleasures and trappings of power, leading to clashes with the High Council. Outraged by what they considered an insulting lack of respect from the High Council towards its collective masters, Edmund twice disbanded the High Council between 2410 and 2415, reconstituting it later with new delegates on both occasions to rubber-stamp new laws the twins had created. The Federated Suns government declined sharply, with planets in the farthest reaches of the Federated Suns feeling the effects of the pointless construction projects initiated by the brothers, and by the taxes they created at a whim.
The influence of Edmund and Edward on the Federated Suns, unconstrained by their mother's influence, was disastrous. As they descended further into depravity, they crippled the economy and destroyed the respect of the people for House Davion, leading to movements and conspiracies to remove them both from power.
In 2412, Edmund responded to the call by Chancellor Aleisha Liao of the Capellan Confederation to form what would become the Ares Summit by dispatching Simon Davion as his representative. This would later prove to be the first step in a climb to power for Simon, who proved himself an able negotiator. Simon worked to help draft the Ares Conventions and endorsed them on behalf of the Federated Suns; an outraged Edmund refused to sign the Conventions when he received word, but in a rare show of defiance the High Council ratified the Conventions anyway.
Death and Aftermath
Immediately following Edmund's death, Edward moved to consolidate power in himself; he arranged to have Edmund's wife and her lover arrested for high treason, and after a swift trial had them both declared guilty and executed. He then had his niece Judith quietly removed from the public eye and strangled by one of his bodyguards, clearing his way to the throne.
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 108: "Leaders of the Federated Suns"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), pp. 28–29: "Twin Tyrants"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), pp. 27–28: "A Noble Effort"
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 25: "Marie Davion"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 28: "Maiden Aunt"
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 25: "Paul the Scholar"
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 26: "The Twin Tyrants"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 29: "The Ares Summit"
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 26: "The End of the Tyrants"