Dam-Torsad, Amarr Prime - The Amarr Empire held its second jubilee celebrating the reign of Empress Catiz I today, with a display of Amarrian military might. The five-hour display saw all road, air, and pedestrian traffic shut down in the areas surrounding the Grand Square to clear the way for the Imperial procession, which passed beneath Ittayim Palace under the eye of Empress Catiz I.
Empress Catiz was joined on the Step of Shahs by Court Chamberlain Pomik Haromi, Lady Hamideh Kador, General Momed Sarshor of the Imperial Guard, and Queen Zidarez, consort of King Khanid III and Grand Admiral of the Royal Khanid Navy. Emperor Family High Chaplain Kalefa Sufrin en-Kador and Grand Master Khemon Dulsur en-Tetrimon of the Order of St. Tetrimon were also present, along with delegates for the other Royal Houses and senior dignitaries, generals, and Holders.
Personnel from all branches of the Imperial Armed Forces participated in the parade, as well as members of the Amarr Civil Service, regiments from each of the six Royal Houses, the Company of Marcher Lords, the Royal Uhlans, and household retinues from several powerful Holders that oversee territory on Amarr Prime, Oris, and Oris EFA Station.
The procession was dominated by the 1st Ves-Udor Armored Division, which was composed primarily of Imperial Armaments MP-595 Cataphract heavy attack vehicles. The Royal Khanid Army's 1st Uhlan Guards Cavalry received particularly loud cheers as they rode past astride their famous cloned horses, closely followed by several military orders including the Order of St. Tetrimon and Order of the Sacred Throne.
An air show included a fly-past by the 107th Kameira Airborne Brigade's Viziam AS9-GT Wrathbearer assault shuttles and a display from the 7th Dam-Torsad Territorial Squadron, flying Carthum AC-6L Simurgh atmospheric fightercraft, followed by a laser light show at the end of the event.
Of special note was the presence of Lai Dai Corporation's new LDC-ISU-8-118 Orochi self-propelled multiple rocket launcher, a system previously limited to the Lai Dai Protection Services since its debut in YC118, but here integrated into the 9th Oris Tactical Rocket Troops Regiment. Caldari military hardware is normally slow to reach the Empire's isolationist markets, with units being sold to the Khanid Kingdom and Tash-Murkon Family prior to being picked up by mainstream Imperial forces.
Though prominent since Empress Catiz I's ascension, the annual jubilee has been uncommon for past emperors. Traditionally, major ceremonies for Amarr emperors are held only every 10 years, a reference to the arrival of the sefrim in the 10th year of Amash-Akura's reign in Amarrian scripture. The yearly celebration of Empress Catiz's reign is seen as a move to assure the Amarr people of a return to stability after a chaotic two decades that saw several major upheavals, including the deaths of three emperors and nine royal heirs.
Not everyone is impressed with the events. Lord Arrach Sarum, the Royal Heir of the Sarum Family, has publicly derided the festivities, calling them, "self-indulgent." The nature of the display has also been condemned by several Federation senators, who consider the military posturing provocative. The administration of President Jacus Roden has made no comment as to the parade or the reported presence of a representative of Roden Shipyards at the event.
No official response to the event has been issued by the Republic, which only several days ago was involved in a tense standoff with elements of the Amarr Navy after an unstable wormhole opened between Pator and Hilaban, at a time when both systems were hosting their respective heads-of-state.
Few Minmatar tribal leaders have expressed alarm at the parade, with most considering it just "a normal day" for Amarr-Minmatar relations. "We're always on alert where the Amarr are concerned, but these displays aren't for us," said Nanui Topaora, a Brutor Tribe elder. "Their mirror is cracked, and they're trying to throw a sheet over it."