1B-31U – After weeks of anxious speculation about her true intentions since the outcome of the Succession Trials which ultimately decided her fate, Jamyl Sarum shocked the galaxy by committing ritual suicide (“Shathol’Syn”) without naming an heir to her own family during the Amarr Inaugural Ceremony, thus leaving her colossal military power and territories unclaimed. The consensus among political analysts is that the transition from Heideran VII to the rule of Emperor Doriam Kor-Azor is having a significant destabilizing effect on the Amarr Empire. Sarum’s popularity and influence with Amarrians in military service is enormous, as evident by the assassination attempt on Kor-Azor’s life by Sarum loyalists during the Inauguration Ceremony.
One by one, Emperor Doriam Kor-Azor asked each of the candidate heirs—Temal Kador, Davit Tash-Murkon, and Idonis Ardishapur—if they accepted him as their emperor. Each did so in turn, first acknowledging their place in this gruesome affair as the “design of God”, and then naming an heir within each of their respective families to be their own successor. Only then did they self-destruct their ships and ultimately their own pods. Their lifeless corpses hung suspended in space for all 50-plus Amarr citizens in attendance to witness firsthand before being collected by Imperial Overseers for return to their families for burial.
And then all eyes focused on Jamyl Sarum’s Apocalypse, floating alongside the great Amarr Cathedral, the site of an epic battle that took place there between Amarr and Jovian forces decades before.
“My fourth decree is to call on Jamyl Sarum. Are you here, Jamyl Sarum?” asked Kor-Azor. There was no response. Her ship remained motionless. After a minute or two, the Emperor broke the ominous silence:
“Your answer, Lady Sarum.”
No sooner had he said those words, warnings were shouted on the local channel that at least one Imperial-class battleship with escort ships had breached the perimeter defenses in place for the ceremony. Seconds later they appeared, coming out of warp right in the middle of the ceremony grounds and launching a savage attack on Kor-Azor’s ship.
Sarum’s voice broke through the radio chatter: “My Loyal Followers, cease your fire.” But it was too late, as the exhaust plumes from a dozen heavy missiles began converging on the Emperor's ship. “True Empress, we salute thee! Let the infidels burn!” cried Amarr Fleet Admiral Sulei Manatir, the lead warship in the attack, as missile after missile detonated against Kor-Azor’s shields and hull. Several other ships in attendance also opened fire, some in defense of Kor-Azor, others in defense of Sarum’s loyalists.
Sarum spoke again: “Cease fire.” The explosions of several vessels lit up the ceremony grounds as Manatir, relentless in his attack, cried out “Now behold the sinners engulfed in the vengeful flames of justice!”
But Kor-Azor’s ship was somehow able to withstand the wicked barrage of missiles, multispectral tachyon fire, and potent weaponry never before witnessed by the citizens in attendance, and managed to escape into warp during the frenzy. Sarum spoke again, this time in a very stern, authoritative tone: “Move away from this area, Sulei.” But Sulei was adamant in his attack, clearly unwilling or unable to accept Sarum’s fate. “Let the glory of the Lady shine from its rightful place!”
Sarum’s voice now sounded angry. “I demand that you leave this area at once. Commander, who has ordered you to do this?” There was no answer from Sulei, but his attack force ceased fire and warped out of the ceremonial grounds.
And then suddenly, inexplicably, without any warning or indication, Sarum’s ship exploded. When the shockwave dissipated, the lone, shining beacon lights of her pod blinked a few times—the final moments of her life. A second explosion followed as the pod self-destructed, and there floated the corpse of one of the most powerful figures in Amarr history. She did not leave an heir to her fortune, she did not mention who would take command of the thousands of warships under her direct command, and she did not have any last words for Amarr or to those most loyal to her.
Sarum’s abrupt departure leaves a power vacuum within the Amarr Empire that has serious implications on the internal stability of Amarr. Political analyst Kedrick Liamsen explains. “No one saw this coming. The other states—except the Minmatar Republic, who certainly see all this in a much different light—are undoubtedly thinking to themselves that this was the worst thing that could have possibly happened. Everyone's worst-case scenario envisioned a struggle between two or more distinct forces within Amarr vying for power and challenging Kor-Azor's right to the throne. What’s happened in reality is, in fact, much worse. Now the most popular and influential of the Amarr royal families is beginning to unravel. Who can bring Sarum’s House to order before the other Houses see opportunity in this situation?”
Fleet Admiral Sulei Manatir had presided over the Amarr Championship Award Ceremony last week, and there was no indication then that he would try to intervene on behalf of Sarum’s life during the Inauguration. “Manatir was Sarum’s highest-ranking fleet commander, not to mention one of her most trusted advisors. Her faith in him was well placed, as he is a brilliant commander and an extremely lethal adversary when it comes to naval warfare. And there are none more loyal to Jamyl Sarum than he is. It’s possible that he may try to pick up the pieces and establish control over the military elements of Sarum’s family, but I can’t imagine that will be easy for him. Where will the loyalties be directed towards now that Jamyl is gone? Will the Majors and Commanders follow military ranks or the orders coming from Jamyl Sarum’s kin? Will Kor-Azor intervene, and if so, through whom does he delegate with in the Sarum family? It’s a completely unpredictable situation.”