Damius Khanid, styled Damius III, was the Emperor of the Amarr Empire who ruled during the conquest of the Minmatar and reigned from 22462 AD until his death in 22626 AD.
Damius was born into the Khanid Family in 22375 AD and was the young cousin of the Khanid Heir. As Damius grew, he proved to be ambitious and savvy showing intense interest in military matters. Damius studied with several top admirals and Khanid Holders who were noted for their strategic and tactical ability. He joined the Imperial Academy, where he became the top of the class thanks to both to his family connections and personal ability.
He was given a command directly graduating the Academy, as part of the Third Fleet. He proved quite capable, though he commanded during a time of peace in the Empire. He saw no major engagements, though he did participate in the pacification of several small pirate organizations and put down a slave revolt in Aridia with a minimal loss of life.
During this period, Damius cultivated relationships with powerful people across the Empire. Imperial officers in the Navy were impressed by the willingness of a royal to brave the naval life, while theologians approved of the strong religious rhetoric he spread. Most notably, he bent the ears of his family's elders and advisers, quickly becoming a favored son of the Khanid Family.
When his elder cousin died tragically young from an undiagnosed genetic disorder in 22423, Damius found himself suddenly named the new Khanid Heir. He relinquished his post in the Imperial Navy and returned to his family. He immediately began a behind-doors campaign to secure his own power within his family. He severely punished his cousin's physicians for which he was angered by their failure to catch and stop the disease in time. He additionally heaped rewards on those Holders who had expressed loyalty and admiration toward him prior to his ascension and guaranteed a strong support base.
The youngest of the Heirs by far, Damius was at first not taken seriously by the other royal families. He often found his suggestions ignored in Privy Council meetings and developed a reputation among the Council members as an aggressive hothead who did not show proper respect to the Emperor or his officials. He particularly clashed with the Kador and Ardishapur Families, both of whom viewed him as an upstart and viewed his Family's connection with the Khanid people worrying.
Ascending to the ThroneEdit
In 22462 AD, the reigning Emperor fell ill and passed. The Amarr Championships were quickly arranged. It was here that Damius's youth, ambition, and passion proved himself. Damius's champions were hand-selected from the upper echelons of the Imperial Navy, several of whom had formerly served with Damius. His close familiarity with these naval officers gave his champions an advantage in the trials.
As a relatively young Heir, he also had the support of the Theology Council, who desired an Emperor who would reign for several centuries as many of the Heirs were aged. Therefore, Damius became a natural choice for the throne.
Damius swept the Championships, passing every trial with ease. He was crowned Damius III later in the year, and the other heirs committed the ritual Shathol'Syn. Because he had managed his connections within the Empire well, there was little turmoil in his assumption of the throne.
Damius's reign as emperor began relatively quietly. The Empire had not encountered any civilizations since the Ni-Kunni for almost two hundred years. The Amarr Empire face slowly expand with little difficulty, slave rebellions became rare, and the economy was strong and stable.
The Minmatar Empire had first been noticed in 22355 AD. Highly technological and spanning three systems, the Minmatar provided the first real test of Imperial might since the early days of the Reclaiming. The Empire had proceeded rationally, having scouts and spies investigate the strength of this new culture.
Though the caution was wise, Damius was impatient with the slow infrequent slave raids and wished to fully conquer them. The Minmatar were completely unprepared for the highly coordinated and planned invasion in 22480 AD. The first strike into Pator rounded up millions of Minmatars as slaves, and at the same time the Imperial Navy crippled space ports, shipyards, and all other defenses.
Even though the Empire could have crushed the Minmatar without any assistance, Damius knew that collaborators within the subdued population made the process much easier. When the Nefantar Tribe offered to sell out their own people, which Damius quickly accepted. He used the Nefantar to round up the other tribes peacefully and in exchange he allowed them to remain relatively.
Following the pacification and enslavement of the Minmatar, the Amarr Empire underwent a period of rapid growth. Hundreds of new Holders were appointed for the conquered territories, thousands of new planets needed to be surveyed and exploited. Colony charters were bestowed to the most noble and loyal members of society.
Damius managed the expansion expertly, rewarding ability and service. There were few failed endeavors during the years following the conquest, but the Empire and Damius reaped the benefits. He kept the conflicts of interests of the Heirs, the Theology Council, and the Imperial Navy relatively happy.
The years following the Minmatar conquest were peaceful and faced little problems. As Damius advanced in age, he gave more responsibility to his underlings which allowed the Heirs to grow in power. He showed increase favor to his relatives and placed the Khanid Heir in command of the Imperial Navy. While such actions drew the objections from the other Heirs but the stability and prosperity of the Amarr Empire prevented them from raising too much objection.
Death and LegacyEdit
Damius III died in late 22626 AD from old age. His legacy is remembered in the Empire which enjoyed a long stretch of prosperity, stability, and growth. Numerous works of great merit were created during Damius's reign and artistic expression reached new heights. There are some scholarly views that the Empire was never stronger than during the nearly-two centuries of Damius's reign.
Damius's conquest of the Minmatar remains well-praised within the Empire, though it has soured relations with the other empires even to this day. Historically, it remains a turning point in New Eden and was a crowning military achievement of the Empire. The Minmatar memorialize the beginning of the Invasion as the Day of Darkness; while the Amarr acknowledge it, they place no particular importance on the day.
Amarr historians consider Damius III one of the greatest Emperors to have ever ruled. However, some criticize his nepotism in his later years as it led to the conditions that eventually brought about the Khanid Secession. Memorials, statues, and icons of Damius III remain popular across the Empire and are second only to those praising Amash-Akura.
Foreign scholars do not hold him in such high regard for moral reasons, but they do acknowledge that the Empire was strengthened and made many great achievements under his reign. They usually cite the continued stability of the Empire both prior to and following Damius's reign, though they claimed he merely was lucky to gain the position of authority during a period where any competent Emperor would have succeeded.