Marie Davion (24th c.)
|President of the Federated Suns
|Reynard Davion (father)
Jeanne Remoix (mother)
Marie Davion was the oldest daughter 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. Marie'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 three children in total; Etien, born in 2338, and Paul, born in 2340.
Marie was the apple of her father's eye, something that her older brother Etien resented. Marie's mother died when Marie was still relatively young, and like her father and her brother Etien, Marie joined the FPF. Reynard died in 2371, and Etien assumed the posts of President of the Federated Suns and Prime Minister of New Avalon; still jealous of Marie's popularity, Etien arranged for Marie to be posted to an FPF unit on the Federated Suns' frontier, where she would remain throughout the eight turbulent years of his rule.
When Etien committed suicide in 2378, Marie was thirty years old and Etien's twin sons, Edward and Edmund, were just sixteen. Marie's brother Paul had been a sickly youth, prone to bouts of hypochondria and paranoia, and having been unable to join the military, had instead gone into academia while developing a number of eccentricities in terms of dress and mannerisms, including speech. Etien's depraved and disturbed rule had shaken the faith of much of the High Council in the Davion family, although the Council had managed to keep the majority of Etien's acts of madness out of the public eye.
While the High Council was divided, a clique within the Council was convinced that without a Davion heir to the presidency, the Federated Suns would be doomed to fracture and fall apart. That faction moved to support Paul, believing that he would be an easily-manipulated figurehead who would reassure others through the illusion of wisdom and experience, and as a result Paul was declared President and Prime Minister, once he had been convinced of the need to support the security of the Federated Suns.
Adviser to the Throne
Much to the surprise of both his critics and those who had sought to manipulate him, Paul proved that his eccentricities were minor and not an impediment to his work, and that while he lacked the manners and apparent breeding associated with the Presidency, he was able to more than make up for any shortfalls with a mixture of determination, energy and goodwill. He also had ideas of his own, and the personal drive and commitment to see them brought forward and implemented. Paul's competence in the Presidency surprised both the High Council and himself.
Paul's tenure saw a steady restoration of the Federated Suns economy, and Paul was quick to recall Marie from the virtual exile imposed by Etien. Paul's rule was largely peaceful, although he did launch a brief border war with the Capellan Confederation to reduce any aspirations towards adventurousness on the part of the Capellan Confederation Armed Forces. Paul's general's successfully ended attempts by the Capellan Confederation Armed Forces to take advantage of the weaknesses they'd perceived in the Federated Suns during Etien's rule; Paul resolved the clash with the Hegemony by dispatching Marie as his deputy to conduct negotiations, a task she excelled at. Marie was so successful in resolving the conflict that Paul formally established her as his deputy on a permanent basis in 2385, an action that was met with considerable dismay by his sister in law, Marion Michaels-Davion, and her two sons Edward and Edmund.
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-Davion had 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 favor 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.
Marie's tenure as President saw her continue the good work that Paul had begun. She was also responsible for passing a law that made the post of Prime Minister of New Avalon a hereditary position, one where the ruling Prime Minister could appoint his or her successor directly, skipping even the formality of obtaining approval from the First Families of New Avalon. While this law effectively provided a formal framework for what had become established practice, it provided legal support for House Davion on New Avalon, and led to the Davion family regarding the planet as their personal domain.
Marie's tenure was also marked by the beginning of the Age of War, as a dispute between the Capellan Confederation and Free Worlds League sparked more than a century of increasingly destructive warfare. A forewarning of the future to come arrived in 2399, when the CCAF launched an attack on the Novaya Zemlya system. The Confederation and the Federated Suns had existed in a state of smoldering hatred towards each other for some time, but the brutality of the attack fanned that hatred to new levels. In the first instance of large-scale orbital bombardment, Capellan WarShips struck at military, industrial, civilian and even agricultural targets on the planet. Three-quarters of the population were killed, and the infrastructure and industry of Novaya Zemlya took such catastrophic damage that it would take centuries to recover. In response, the FPF began a crash program to build more WarShips and launched conventional attacks along the Capellan border to tie down CCAF units and prevent further deep-penetration attacks like the one launched at Novaya Zemlya.
Death and Afterward
Shortly after the attack on Novaya Zemlya Marie suffered what appeared to be a series of strokes and died at the age of 54. Simon, her preferred successor, was just 24, and his training in governmental affairs was still in the early stages. While there were rumors that Marie had been poisoned and that the publicly declared cause of death was a cover-up, the military and political situation in the Federated Suns made Edmund Davion her inevitable successor, much to the eventual detriment of the Federated Suns.
Despite a number of calls for Marie's remains to be tested in the centuries after her death, the Davion family never authorized a new autopsy. Marie's death provided ample fodder for conspiracy theorists, who pointed out the convenience of Marie, a woman with no significant medical problems or indicators of ill health suddenly succumbing to a stroke and then dying from complications caused by that stroke. Alert but unable to communicate after a brief period on life support, Marie's medical records indicated that her doctors believed she had a good chance to recovery before taking a sudden turn for the worse, falling into a coma and dying without regaining consciousness. Edward was a mediocre politician at best, largely propped up by Marion Michaels-Davion, whilst Simon was rapidly proving himself a highly capable individual. Rumors persist that elements of Marie's journal indicate that at the time of her death, she was close to confirming Simon as her successor, removing Etien's successors permanently from the line of succession.
Titles and Positions
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 108: "Leaders of the Federated Suns"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), pp. 26–27: "The Mad Davion"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 28: "Maiden Aunt"
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 25: "Marie Davion"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 27: "The Scholar"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), pp. 27–28: "A Noble Effort"
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 25: "Paul the Scholar"
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 25: "Death of the Maiden President"