Edward Davion (24th c.)
|Profession||President of the Federated Suns|
|Parents||Etien Davion (father)|
Marion Michaels (mother)
Edward was the youngest 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 Edward and his brother Edmund 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. Edward'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 Edward'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 Edward 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 judgement, 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 Edward. Marion had begun grooming Edmund from an early age, and continued to do so throughout Marie's rule, intent on ensuring that he remained easily controlled by her. Like his mother, Edward was manipulative and cunning, and he fancied himself as a schemer with a flair for intrigues; in practice, he lacked the intelligence that made Marion a political power, and most people saw through his schemes - with the notable exception of his brother.
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 Edmund became President, Edward married a prominent socialite from the Arcadian set, and by 2415 the two had produced a son, Arthur. Edward's wife, Rachel Masters, was actually the daughter of Virgil Masters, the High Council delegate from Numenor, and their marriage in 2409 came as quite a shock on New Avalon, where Edward had a well-deserved reputation as a rake who had slept with the wife and daughters of every prominent figure on the Federated Suns political circuit. The only person not surprised by the wedding was apparently Edward's mother, who commented that Edward "would have married a tree slug if he thought it was secure his inheritance."
Despite being married, Edward continued to conduct any number of affairs, none of which he tried to hide from public view, and he went so far as to refer to Rachel as his "senior wife"; by the time of his death, Rachel's son Arthur was the only legitimate child of Edward's - but one of as many as twenty children he'd reportedly sired during his lifetime.
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, the 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 every intention of seeing his son Arthur one day rule the Federated Suns.
While Edward considered himself to be as politically skilled as his mother, he was neither as intelligent, subtle or 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 2415 Edmund died under mysterious circumstances and Edward swiftly seized power. 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.
Edward also moved against Simon, sending orders to Simon's Commanding Officer, Colonel R. Radwell Chung, to have Simon killed. Fortunately for Simon, Chung was one of hundreds of people to have been humiliated by Edmund and Edward during their capricious rule, and "lost" the order, but not before alerting Simon to what Edward had ordered.
Believing his grasp on power to be secure, Edward continued to try and consolidate absolute power over the Federated Suns within himself. He increased the Presidential bodyguard even further, and took the secret police network he had begun building during Edmund's rule and expanded it significantly, pushing the Federated Suns ever-closer to becoming a police state. Weak as he was, Edmund's style of rule had been both arbitrary and whimsical. Edward's rule was different - ambitious and craving power, Edward's rule was both greedy and ruthless. The various delegates on the High Council swiftly realized that Edward was intent on removing them completely, and ruling as an absolute monarch, leading to an organized conspiracy against him. The government was steadily grinding to a halt, as Edward attempted to secure his presidency by appointing a mixture of sycophants and yes-men to key positions in the government. He also began purging the senior levels of the FPF, convinced that they were greedy individuals out to supplant him, even as the FPF was busy fighting battles that Edmund and Edward had largely ignored.
Although the specifics of the conspiracy - dubbed as the November Conspiracy - were lost to history, it was a widespread movement, lead by the leaders of four prominent Federated Suns systems - Augusta, Arcadia, El Dorado and Friesland. The plan favored by the Conspiracy called for the use of Federated Peacekeeping Forces troops loyal to the conspirators to act at the end of the High Council session in November 2417, blockading the New Avalon system after destroying the stations at the jump points. At that point, the conspirators planned to call for independence from New Avalon. Although the conspirators had considered assassinating Edward, the strength of the secret police and the Presidential Guard made the risk of discovery too high.
The extent to which Simon was involved in, or aware of, the November Conspiracy was a subject of much historical debate; surviving records suggest some knowledge of events and collusion with High Council members on his part, although it was considered unlikely that Simon was responsible for orchestrating the entire Conspiracy, despite his public claims later to have been aware of the Conspiracy and driven to act to preserve the Federated Suns from a civil war. Simon was responsible for the Conspiracy not coming to pass, however. Three days before the end of the High Council session, Simon arrived on New Avalon; ostensibly, he was carrying dispatches notifying the capital that the FPF had successfully annexed the Capellan world of Jaipur, along with recommendations for him to receive a military decoration and promotion. Simon's route from the Capellan border to New Avalon was deliberately circuitous - possibly to gather supporters - and when he arrived, the High Council welcomed him with public displays that made it difficult for Edward to arrest him.
Simon was brought to a full meeting of the High Council, and the moment Edward entered the Council chambers, Simon snatched a handgun from one of the Presidential Guard and proceeded to shoot Edward five times, killing him instantly. With Edward dead, Simon dropped his weapon and placed himself at the mercy of the High Council, requesting a trial for his actions. The move wrong-footed the Presidential Guard, leaving them with little choice other than to accept his surrender. Saved by quick action on the part of his father in law, Richard Caldwell - one of the key members of the November Conspiracy - Simon would ultimately escape punishment and be declared President of the Federated Suns.
Death and Aftermath
Edward's death narrowly averted a civil war in the Federated Suns, although it also nearly resulted in House Davion losing control of the Presidency. Edward's son Arthur would briefly be named Simon's successor, but never came to power; instead, Arthur would join the Combat Marines, and served a distinguished career before dying in action in 2447, having never married or produced children.
Although Simon's arrival on New Avalon was ostensibly to announce the capture of the Capellan planet Jaipur, Jaipur is most likely to have been named in error - already established as a world within the United Hindu Collective on the border with the Taurian Concordat, it was unlikely to have been a Capellan holding at this point.
Titles and Positions
|President of the Federated Suns
|Prime Minister of New Avalon
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 108, "Leaders of the Federated Suns"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 28-29, "Twin Tyrants"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 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. 31, "The Forgotten Davion"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 29, "The Ares Summit"
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 26, "The End of the Tyrants"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 30, "A Failure to Communicate"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 30, "Death of a Tyrant"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 31, "November Conspiracy"