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|Position||President of the Federated Suns|
|Parents|| Reynard Davion (father)|
Jeanne Remoix (mother)
|Siblings|| Paul Davion|
|Children|| Edmund Davion|
Etien Davion was the oldest son of Reynard Davion, scion of House Davion, President of the Federated Suns and Prime Minister of New Avalon, and Jeanne Remoix, the daughter of a landholder on the planet Lee. Etien's parents had met while Reynard was on Lee as part of Federated Peacekeeping Forces maneuvers in response to military actions being launched by the Tikonov Grand Union and Chesterton Trade League. Initially unpopular with Reynard's father, Charles Davion, Reynard and Jeanne's marriage proved a political boon for House Davion. Reynard and Jeanne had two other children after Etien, another son, Paul, born in 2340, and a daughter, Marie, born in 2348.
Prone to melancholy in his youth, Etien followed the path established by Reynard and Lucien Davion and joined the FPF, serving in a line unit and seeing action against forces from the various Capellan Zone states. During battles in the Lee system Etien took serious wounds that saw him hospitalized for more than a year, but also saw him awarded with a Presidential Citation for Valor. It would also be discovered later that the injuries he suffered on Lee had also altered his personality in a profound and unfortunate fashion
Marriage and Children
Etien married Marion Michaels, in 2361; Marie was an ambitious woman and a good decision-maker - although also an uncompromising woman. The two had twin sons together, Edmund and Edward, in 2362.
In 2371, Reynard suffered another bout of Black Marsh Fever, an illness he'd contracted during his time in the FPF while serving on Gallitzin. This time, the Fever proved stronger than the man, and Reynard died. Jeanne had died a number of years before, and Etien was the first Davion to be considered to have an unquestioned right to the titles of President of the Federated Suns and Prime Minister of New Avalon, as a result of the empire-building efforts of the previous few generations of House Davion. Etien inherited a strong nation and a military as loyal to the Davion name as it was to the nation. A week after Reynard's death, Etien was sworn in as Prime Minister of New Avalon; a month later, he was declared President of the Federated Suns.
Having come to power at the age of thirty-three, Etien's initial months in office were considered auspicious by many. He was considered more deferential to the Council than either Reynard or Charles had been, and more interested in the judicial work of the Presidency than both as well. During the initial three-month period a truce was declared within the Capellan March, emissaries were exchanged officially with the growing Draconis Combine, and three new worlds were admitted to the Federated Suns. Etien's popularity was such that songs comparing him to Lucien Davion became common on the major worlds in the Federated Suns, and the twin causes of peace and prosperity seemed to be advancing.
Unfortunately, after those first three months the personality changes caused by his earlier injuries began to crack his benevolent image, as his mood became erratic, swinging back and forth between extremes and leaving him excitable and prone to irritability and wild rages. Etien killed one of his closest friends during a casual bout of fencing because of a fit of temper; on another occasion, he beat a courtier almost to death during a procession because the courtier failed to step out of Etien's way. Etien's work initially appeared to be unaffected by his instability, but his judgement in the judicial cases that came to him began to become erratic, a trait that increased as time passed.
Close advisers urged Etien to send representatives to handle his judicial responsibilities rather than performing the work himself, advice that he accepted; in 2372, an amendment to the Crucis Pact was embodied allowing official sanction for the appointment of a Board of Magistrates to settle legal disputes that had previous been the sole purview of the President. This allowed a period of stability, but Etien's behavior continued to have repercussions.
As Etien gradually turned his attention more and more to the pursuit of pleasure, the administration of the Federated Suns fell more and more to the nation's bureaucracy. While this was a blessing in some ways because it stopped Etien making erratic decisions on important matters, it also left the High Council impotent, as the Articles of the Crucis Pact the Council couldn't conduct new business without either the sanction of the President or a representative appointed by the President, and Etien rarely bothered to appoint any representatives - and those he did appoint invariably had short tenures before running afoul of Etien and being executed on one or more spurious charges.
The sixty years of subservience towards the Davion of family that had become a way of life among the leaders of New Avalon worked against the Federated Suns, who were looking to those same leaders to curb Etien's excesses, and left them lacking initiative. Etien's brother, Paul, wasn't considered a viable alternative to Etien, being a sickly recluse; Etien had his sister shipped off to a military unit on the frontier because he was jealous of her popularity. Marion was able to exert some influence over him, but in 2376, during his fifth year as President, Etien divorced Marion without cause.
Etien's divorce marked the point where his behavior began to deteriorate at an accelerating pace. He indulged in the most decadent of extravagances, completely neglected the responsibilities that went with governing, and ordered arbitrary executions. Having reached the point where he simply couldn't handle the mental strain of making decisions, Etien rejected his responsibilities and instead used his absolute power to indulge every whim and fancy that came to him.
With his behavior making him increasingly unpopular in political circles, Etien's remaining time in office was marked by numerous plots against him, including two assassination attempts and an effort for numerous worlds to secede from the Federated Suns; those schemes all ultimately failed because even though Etien was mad, sycophants and those eager to profit personally by protecting him betrayed the conspirators. Certifiably insane and suffering from frequent bouts of depression, Etien's discovery of the various plots against him built on his lingering feelings of inadequacy and guilt.
Death and Afterward
The final straw for Etien came in 2378, in the form of the second of the two assassination attempts against him. The perpetrator, Jeremiah Monroe, was a childhood friend of Etien's, and someone who had fought alongside him in the campaign for Lee. Etien's guards killed Jeremiah just as he was about to plunge a knife into Etien's back, but as the guards watched, Etien looked at his friend's body for several minutes before taking up his former friend's weapon. With the declaration "If Jeremiah Monroe hates me that much, then no-one will hate me anymore", Etien turned the knife on himself. Stabbing himself in the heart before the guards could react, Etien died within seconds.
Following Etien's death, both his brother and sister would rule the Federated Suns for a time, but Etien's sons would eventually come to power for a brief and dark period of Federated Suns history. Edmund and Edward's fratricidal reigns would ultimately remove Etien's direct descendants from the succession to the throne, although the last legitimate member of Etien's direct bloodline, Arthur Davion, would die in battle as a hero - and largely be forgotten in Federated Suns history.
|Prime Minister of New Avalon
| Succeeded by|
|President of the Federated Suns
| Succeeded by|
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 107-108, "Leaders of the Federated Suns"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 2829, "The Mad Davion"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 30-31, "Twin Tyrants"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 27, "The War Leader"
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 23, "Etien The Mad"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 33, "The Forgotten Davion"
- House Davion: The Federated Suns, p. 27 (pdf), "The War Leader"