Heideran VII hasn’t been dead a week, and already rumors are circulating regarding a schism among the Five Heirs. The Succession Rites, which dictate the family heads not chosen as emperor commit ritual suicide, are believed to be the root cause of this possible split.
“Military and transport craft are being amassed in ruling families’ home systems,” said Elgad Bettild, a political analyst for Republic Fleet. “It could be a protection of assets during a time of crisis; it could be preparation for war. But combined with the rumors we’re receiving, it could signal something like secession, perhaps even civil war.”
Bettild went on to say that Khanid II, by refusing to commit suicide at the selection of the emperor prior to Heideran VII, has set a precedent. “Khanid II is a living bogeyman, proof that an heir can defy the Succession Rite and go on to be a force of no small magnitude. He was an anomaly for his day, but times have changed.”
Esten Legalou, a Gallente expert on Amarr culture for Federation Navy, feels a split would be unlikely. “From birth, the heads of the Five Heir families are groomed for assumption of the mantle of Emperor--the assumption of godhead. They believe they become divine through the Succession Rite; not being chosen to receive that divinity is a devastating experience. I think many of the failed heirs have seen the ritual suicide not only as a sacred duty, but as a welcome relief.”
Bettild disagrees. “Religious belief or no, the feelings that made Khanid II refute the Succession Rites are more common in Amarr life now, especially among those who live in opulence. It would be easy to imagine one or more of the current family heads refusing what they see as an unnecessary death.”