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The reign of Antius “the Half-Wit” Trevus I is remembered by society as one of the most terrifying and despotic of the Dabrian Dynasty. This scholar will not seek to glorify him, only to remind the reader that in spite of his cruelty he was one of those emperors known for creating in series of grand reforms that nearly saved the Imperium (because of his cruelty).
As one of Emil Dabrian’s children, Antius was forced to secure his position as Emperor. Emil believed that only a ruthless man should occupy the throne. Antius more than satisfied this requirement. As the legend goes, he had his sister’s family enrolled in terrible cosmic radiation experiements; and he had his brother die while quiting a potently addictive drug “cold turkey.”
It is difficult to discuss Imperial foreign policy as the official position of the Imperium was there were no foreign systems. However, Antius’ reign was mired in a few foreign issues that never resolved themself fully during his reign.
Early in his reign, the Nomon pirates began to infiltrate the Imperium. They struck without warning, dominated a system for months, then disappeared before the first Imperial ships arrived. These pirates were a scourge throughout Antius’ reign. Some scholars conjectured that their uncanny ability to disappear before the arrival of the fleet was due to a mole they planted within the fleet. Still others saw the pirates as Antius’ extraordinary tax collectors. The truth may lie in their having acquired some exotic technology that allows them to detect Soup wake.
While not exactly a member of the grand reforms, Antius’ actions helped to begin them. As we discuss in the section on internal affairs, Antius allowed himself to be easily swayed by those who could play off his cruelty. He also chose to ignore the Oligarchs’ activities, which helped to erode the Emperor’s power. However, the Oligarchs were likewise not concerned with the daily lives of the mundane citizenry. The rights of Citizens thus suffered.
During his reign many sought to join the King Traih League, which led to violent repression of those systems when Antius finally acted. This frequently involved capture and torture of League diplomats, and only because of the threat of his cruelty if the Imperium won was peace bartered with the League.
The Lemardians lost favor with Antius. This was due in large part to their siding with his brother. Attempts they made were not unseen by the Emperor, and he reminded those involved that it was unwise to cross a man so willing to sacrifice his own family. However, they were not destroyed for their role in Imperial politics made it easier for the Emperor to soften his image. Some are still convinced that the Lemardians were involved in the death of his brother–rather than the frustrated rescuers.
Antius installed his on “rationalists” within the Lemardian leadership. These rationalists helped to destroy critical records and learning held by the Lemardian libraries. Their more popular tactic, however, was to revise copies of key documents and ensure the new revisions replaced the originals. What was more sinister was that the revisions typically had older documentation dates than the originals, leading some to believe the revisions were the “true” copies adulterated by “impressionist” Lemardians. This led to the two factions within the order, and a constant power struggle that lasted until the Lemardians lost all favor in the Imperium. It was his dulling of the knowledge of the Lemardian that he earned the moniker “Half-Wit.”
Many admit that when an Emperor makes an offer, it can be hard to refuse. With Antius, it was incredibly risky to refuse, as the Lemardian Order learned. The Gahanian Seers managed to refuse him with relatively ill effects. Speculation that his wife helped dull his temper are unfounded, but it makes for interesting vidramas (visual dramas). In the end, they extracted from Antius the only tax exemption his reign bestowed. Strong evidence suggests that the Seers helped undermine the Lemaridan Order as some former Seers have been discovered in key positions within the Order.
The Zophian Sisterhood also felt Antius’ sting. Kuberian sect of the Gahanians successfully lobbied Antius to weaken the Sisterhood. In classic Antius cruelty, those the Kubarians implicated from the Sisterhood were forced to service the Imperial Navy’s recreation stations. Antius also ensured laws permanently hamstrung the Sisterhood. Entire convents were disbanded and indentured as a result.
Behind much of the intrigue was Xervius Lundrel, who was deeply religious and quite cruel. Although, it is more accurate that his liasons with the Empress led to Xervius becoming such a powerful figure within the Imperial Court.
Antius’ death was sudden and likely the result of an assassination. His oldest son Jubal II ascended to the throne at 33 years of age. I shall not discuss him futher.
- Dabrian Dynasty
- Emil Dabrian
- Gahanian Seers
- Grand Reforms
- Jubal II
- King Traih League
- Kuberian Movement
- Nomon Pirates
- Xervius Lundrel
- Zophian Sisterhood