Who Will Be the Next Amarr Emperor? Experts Debate
Opinions vary widely over who among the Five Heirs will be the next Amarr Emperor or Empress. From the liberal and outreaching personality of Doriam Kor-Azor to what some have called the militaristic expansionist views of Jamyl Sarum, whoever assumes the throne of Amarr will doubtless have long-lasting and profound effect reaching far beyond the borders of Amarr space.
Many hold Doriam Kor-Azor to be the favorite, as his ready diplomacy and willingness to negotiate with the other empires is most in line with the life work of the late Heideran VII. "The best hope for continued peace would definitely be Kor-Azor," said Esht Pakern, a high-ranking member of the Minmatar Republic diplomatic corps. "Negotiations between our people have never been easy, but among the Five, Kor-Azor has always been the most ready to listen. The other heirs generally won't even consider discussing reparations. Doriam, while veiled, has indicated at least a willingness to seek understanding."
Conversely, the succession of Jamyl Sarum, the matriarch of the fiercely militaristic Sarum family, would almost certainly lead to renewed hostilities between at least the Minmatar and Amarr empires. "The incident at Roushzar--what the Minmatar are calling the Roushzar Infamy--is widely believed to have been backed, if not implicitly directed, by Jamyl Sarum herself," said Gie Juszam, a Gallentean Federation observer stationed in Sarum-controlled Ekid, in the Zemont constellation. "The Sarum have what many would call a 'natural arrogance,' and even for a trained objective observer like me, it is sometimes challenging to maintain professional neutrality. The Sarum are utterly convinced in the superiority of the Amarr race--intellectually, spiritually, even biologically."
Similar in some ways to Jamyl Sarum is Idonis Ardishapur, by all accounts a zealous adherent to age-old Amarr belief. Comparatively little is known of this family head owing to his apparent love of privacy. The Ardishapur are known for the strict upholding of traditional values and practices, both in the family and in their operating interests, even in an age of increased relaxation and reform. "It is unlikely that Idonis would be chosen as the next Emperor, but if he were, it would not be hard to imagine a definite cooling in Amarr relations toward all of the other empires. Idonis Ardishapur is not nearly as jingoistic as the Sarum, but he does believe in the superiority of the Amarr race. Where Sarum would expand in the manner of the old conquering empire, Ardishapur would isolate in an effort to restore traditional values and eliminate outside influence," said Pakern. "Beyond that, little is known of his goals toward the other empires."
Many feel that another likely candidate would be Temal Kador, female head of perhaps the most famous of the Five Heir families. "More Emperors have come from the Kador line than any other family," said Pakern. "This is not a coincidence. The Kador have always had a genius for the trappings of office—which, in Amarr, mean the trappings of divinity as well." Juszam agrees. "Heideran VII wasn't popular with all of the Five Heir families because of his diplomacy, and a continuation of those efforts under Kor-Azor might be seen as leading to an eventual power struggle. But many feel the Sarum or Ardishapur lines are too conservative a choice for a modern Amarr Emperor. The best compromise solution would be Temal Kador, both as a symbol of moderation to the Amarr and as a reminder of the glory and wealth of days gone by."
Though few consider him an actual contender, Davit Tash-Murkon could well be a dark-horse candidate for next Emperor. The Tash-Murkon family replaced the Khanid line when Khanid II broke with tradition and the Amarr Empire by refusing ritual suicide at the ascension of the Emperor previous to Heideran VII. While comparatively new to the Amarr royal line, Tash-Murkon is among the wealthiest of the Five Heir families, with holdings and operations that are as extensive and profitable as they are far-flung. The Tash-Murkon house could bring much-needed funds to an Amarr Empire increasingly losing economic and military dominance, but both Davit's status as head of a family line only recently (by Amarr standards) granted Heir status, and his genealogy could work against him. Tash-Murkon is alone among the Five Heir families in being descendent from the Udorian Amarr, a once-distinct racial group from the Udorian continent on Amarr Prime. Though now indistinguishable from the so-called "pure" Amarr families in both ethnicity and culture, those of Udorian descent are still viewed as inferior by traditionalists, chief among them the Ardishapur and Sarum families.
"I really think it's down to Kor-Azor or Kador," said Pakern. "Obviously, the Minmatar Republic would most welcome Kor-Azor." With a candor unusual for a member of the diplomatic corps, Pakern went on to say, "Jamyl Sarum would simply be unacceptable. It would be a clear indication that the Amarr Empire intended to pursue an expansionist and warlike path that served them so poorly in the past and led to so many atrocities against the Minmatar people." Gie Juszam seems to agree. "Kador or Kor-Azor would likely lead to continued peace, though it would perhaps be a bit uneasy under Kador. I don't see Tash-Murkon as a real possibility because of his lineage, and I don't think the other four families would put Ardishapur on the throne because, bluntly, he would be bad for business. The Five Heirs are, after all, very big business interests as well as royal families."
Hinting at perhaps darker outcomes, Juszam went on to say, “Of course, there are those rumors of a possible split between the five families. Something like that would be disastrous for the Amarr, especially for the smaller and less wealthy families. They last thing they need is another Khanid.”