Paul Davion (24th c.)
- See also: Paul Davion (29th c.), a First Prince of the Federated Suns during the twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth centuries.
|Parents||Reynard Davion (father)|
Jeanne Remoix (mother)
|“||Perhaps you believe that a sick man cannot rule effectively? My brother was never ill a day in his life, but did make him an effective ruler? Do not make the mistake of assuming that physical strength is a prerequisite of mental ability, my friends. I assure you that is it not.||”|
|— Paul Davion, from a speech before the High Council, 2378|
Paul Davion was the youngest 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. Paul'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; Etien, born in 2338, and a daughter, Marie, born in 2348.
As a child, Paul was sickly, suffering from a combination of hypochondria and intermittent bouts of paranoia. Unlike most of the Davion bloodline, he was unable to join the military and instead went on to study a range of subjects including history, sociology and a number of technical sciences. He also grew to be eccentric, in terms of behavior, speech and dress, affectations that made him lack the inspirational qualities associated with other prominent members of the Davion family.
During his brother Etien's reign as First Prince following the death of Reynard Davion in 2371, Paul kept himself out of the public eye. That had to change after Etien committed suicide in 2378; while Etien had done much to besmirch the Davion name and reduce confidence in the ability of the Davion family to rule, there were enough supporters within the High Council to form a clique determined to keep a Davion in the Presidency in an effort to prevent factionalism from destroying the Federated Suns. That clique settled on the bookish Paul as their candidate of choice, with the expectation that he would be able to present the illusion of wisdom and experience, while being susceptible to manipulation by themselves.
Paul initially rebuffed the efforts to persuade him to take up the Presidency, but was persuaded to accept when it was argued that shirking the duty could threaten the security of the Federated Suns. 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 forth and implemented. Paul's competence in the Presidency surprised both the High Council and himself.
Under Paul's leadership the Federated Suns recovered swiftly from the damage inflicted by Etien, and Paul promoted economic reforms that bolstered the economy, boosting or restoring the prestige of House Davion. He also kept the Capellan Confederation in check with a successful border campaign, intended to dissuade them from adventurism towards the Federated Suns. Paul was skilled at delegating authority, a characteristic that saw the Federated Suns bureaucracy gain strength; he also diminished the power of the High Council by establishing a number of extraordinary commissions. These commissions had a very narrow remit, but sweeping powers to call upon within that remit; the extraordinary commissions proved so effective that future Presidents would follow his model and establish similar commissions.
Following the border campaign against the Confederation Paul's tenure as President was relatively peaceful, other than a few minor skirmishes with the Confederation and a brief conflict in 2383 with the Terran Hegemony over trading rights. 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 his sister 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, and her two sons, Edmund and Edward.
Despite having to sometimes rule from a sickbed, Paul's reign continued until 2394, when he succumbed to illness - a real illness, unlike the many psychosomatic illnesses that had blighted his life, ending a general decline in health that had begun in 2390 and seen Marie ruling in his place in all but title. Paul's rise to the Presidency had been in part due to arguments that Marie lacked age and experience; now 46 years old and a skilled diplomat, administrator and soldier, as well as Paul's permanent deputy, there were no reasonable arguments that could be brought to block Marie's claim to the Presidency, where she would continue Paul's good work.
Marriage and Children
In 2378 Paul married Marge Svensdottar. Marge was a member of the ruling House on Arcadia, one of the core Federated Suns worlds, and the marriage united both ruling Houses. Later that same year the couple had a son, Simon.
Title and Position
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 107, "Leaders of the Federated Suns"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 27, "The Scholar"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 26-27, "The Mad Davion"
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 24, "Paul the Scholar"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 27-28, "A Noble Effort"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 28, "Maiden Aunt"