(Title image by Goldfinch)
With the loss of the Imperial Empress Jamyl confirmed, the Amarr Empire is now looking towards a smooth and easy succession. However, much controversy still remains about Max Singularity in all of this. Some players I have encountered are also under the impression that Max Singularity is actually intent on taking the Imperial Throne for himself.
However, during the Late Empress Jamyl’s first appearance in her titan roughly a week before her demise at the hand of the Drifters, she actually specifically addressed Max Singularity personally in the Amarr local channel.
(Below images were taken from this Forum Post)
To help clear up this confusion, I was granted an interview with Samira Kernher, a known Amarr-loyalist roleplayer, and often cited as an authority of Amarr lore. Even so far as being referenced as “Lore Mistress” regarding all things Amarr by the Amarr-loyalist roleplay community. The below OOC interview was done before the Empress’s Titan’s destruction.
- Vulxanis Viceroy > So I’m with EVE 24 and wanted to discuss the Max Singularity situation and how he fits into the lore. Thank you for your willingness to comment 🙂
- Vulxanis Viceroy > First, can you go into a just go over a bit of your experience with the lore and such? Just so my readers know I didn’t pick a source out of thin air 🙂
- Samira Kernher > Hello, Vulxanis! Thank you for giving me the opportunity. 🙂 I’m Samira Kernher, I’ve been playing EVE for a little over 2 and a half years. I’m a member of PIE, the oldest still-active corporation in EVE and the oldest Amarr loyalist group. I’m an Amarr roleplayer and I’m also active on the EVE Fiction forum and Tweetfleet Slack’s #lore channel. My published lore work includes a compilation of Amarr references in chronicles and a primer on Amarrian politics and royal houses.
- Vulxanis Viceroy > Very nice! Well some of Eve 24’s readers are a bit confused on how Max Singularity fits into the Amarr lore. First and foremost, is he eligible for the throne? Possibly give a bit of an overview on how the amarr Heirarchy works?
- Samira Kernher > Sure! The thing about Amarr is that it’s actually closer to a tanistry. While the royal families are of course always the same, the actual Heirs are chosen from among the family to stand for it in the Succession Trials. The actual manner of this decision varies from house to house, though it is often the favored choice of the previous heir. This is why, after Jamyl’s death during Doriam II’s coronation, it took several years for the Sarum Family to choose a new heir. The fact that Jamyl did not name a successor meant that the family itself had to determine it. If it had been a strict hereditary succession, the choice would have been easy as there would have been an order of succession.
- Samira Kernher > So, how does this fit in with Max Singularity? Well, he is of royal blood, this much is true. He’s claimed that he has parentage from both Kador and Tash-Murkon. The thing is, royal families are very, very large, with dozens or hundreds of members and often multiple cadet branches. So, Max is royalty by blood, but he’s only one of many. For him to actually be a legitimate successor he must also be chosen by the family as its heir, which he isn’t.
- Samira Kernher > If he wasn’t a clone, he could theoretically be a legitimate candidate for heir for either the Kador or the Tash-Murkon Families if Uriam Kador or Catiz Tash-Murkon named him as their chosen successor. However, as he is a clone, that makes him illegitimate due to the rules of Sacred Flesh (the natural bodies of Amarrian heirs are sacred, and so cannot be cloned). Of course, the irony here is that, as Jamyl is also a clone, the thing that makes her illegitimate as empress also makes Max illegitimate as a contender.
- Vulxanis Viceroy > True, but the people in EVE don’t actually know that the current empress is a clone, correct? That’s OOC, or “Out of Character” knowledge?
- Samira Kernher > Correct. We, the players, know that she is a clone due to novels like The Empyrean Age. The people living in the EVE universe however do not know that (although many assume she is, even among Amarr, as it is difficult to stomach a ‘divine miracle’ explanation for her returning from death). The people of New Eden do however know that she is a capsuleer. Capsuleers are not necessarily clones (New Eden has had capsuleers for over a century; cloning was only added to the capsule a little over a decade ago), so her being a capsuleer does not mean she was a clone. In fact, all of the heirs of her time were capsuleers, and all of them podded themselves with their burn scanners turned off when they committed Shathol’Syn.
- Samira Kernher > Shathol’Syn is the ritual by which Amarrian heirs suicide if they lose the Succession Trial. This is done to prevent them from contesting the winner’s upcoming reign. The fact that Jamyl was a capsuleer though, and in a pod at the time of her death, certainly increases the amount of suspension of disbelief required among New Eden’s citizens to believe she was not, in fact, cloned.
- Vulxanis Viceroy > So the fact that she was flying a titan, represented by game mechanics like one would a player, doesn’t conflict with the lore? Some people were using that as outright cause to say she was a clone (we know she is oocly, but is that actual proof?) Because as far as I know, the amarr see her as a miracle.
- Samira Kernher > It’s proof that she is a capsuleer, but as I said above, capsuleers are not necessarily clones. Cloneless Caldari capsuleers fought for the State during the Gallente-Caldari war, and the inability to quickly and easily replace pilots was one of the things that prevented capsuleers from really becoming popular until cloning tech was merged with the capsule a decade ago. Of course, the fact that she is a capsuleer, and that capsuleers are well-known for cloning, and that she was in a pod at the time of her death, all of those contribute to making it hard to believe she was divinely returned.
- Samira Kernher > A lot of Amarr do believe she is, because they want to, or are saying it due to lip service. But others don’t. After she returned, there was a lot of outcry about how she had violated the Shathol’syn. The heirs know the truth as well, and the Ardishapur heir is very unhappy about it. Most of the opposition died down after she became empress, because direct opposition of a sitting emperor is grounds for heresy and treason in the Empire.
- Vulxanis Viceroy > Because they are also leader of the church? Emperor and pope in one?
- Samira Kernher > More than that. Amarr emperors are considered the living embodiment of God’s Will, and that they speak with God’s voice. This level of authority came about after the Moral Reforms, when the government was reorganized to support a much more powerful emperor. The position of Amarr emperor is defined as a caesaropapism, which is a combination of emperor and pope in one and superior to all other secular or spiritual authorities. This means that challenging the emperor is considered almost the equivalent of challenging God.
- Samira Kernher > It can be said that Max’s problem isn’t actually with Jamyl, but with the institution of emperor itself. Every emperor since the Moral Reforms has wielded absolute and unchallengeable authority.
- Vulxanis Viceroy > So this has as much to do with the religious nature of the amarr, as well as the political? The succession I mean
- Samira Kernher > Yes. As a theocracy, the two go hand-in-hand with Amarr. As I said above, the Amarr emperor is an emperor and pope in one.
- Vulxanis Viceroy > I see. So the empress was seen to have denounced Max directly. Do you have a comment on that? You might have already covered it.
- Vulxanis Viceroy > [21:45:39] Jamyl Sarum I > Max Singularity – Your twisted view of the Faith, and your quest to take a seat of power to which you have no rightful claim intreagues me.
- Vulxanis Viceroy > http://i.imgur.com/yD6C9rm.png
- Samira Kernher > Well, the first thing I have to say is that Max’s legitimacy isn’t honestly a question as he has stated no intent of replacing Jamyl as the Amarr emperor. Some of his supporters and some of his opposition think that he is seeking to replace Jamyl, but the reality is that he just wants her out of the seat and a new emperor in.
- Samira Kernher > Max’s own claim of Emperor and ‘First of his Name’ is strictly in reference to his Sixth Empire, which is a term he uses to describe the independent capsuleers (the players).
- Vulxanis Viceroy > Which is seperate?
- Samira Kernher > Yes. Max’s stated goal has been to establish a nation of capsuleers. There’s been some confusion due to his opposition to Jamyl and his use of the emperor title, but the fact is that he wants Jamyl removed and capsuleers to operate completely outside of empire authority.
- Samira Kernher > If, theoretically, Jamyl were to be replaced and a new emperor put in power, I don’t know if Max would have an issue with that new emperor (as long as that emperor didn’t impose additional restrictions on capsuleers)
- Vulxanis Viceroy > Ah I see. Also, is he officially considered a heretic? If so, why?
- Samira Kernher > He is officially considered a heretic. Heresy is defined as the support of beliefs that are strongly dissident with orthodox belief. Jamyl’s unquestionable authority as empress is orthodox doctrine. Questioning her is a challenge to the belief that the emperor is the mouthpiece of God, and therefore goes against orthodox thinking in the Amarrian religion. There are other areas where he believes things in opposition to the orthodoxy as well (such as abolition of slavery, and support of some of the alternate Scriptures that the Order of St. Tetrimon hold in the Khanid Kingdom).
- Vulxanis Viceroy > So between that and him being a cloned capsuleer, along with his declared intention of not actually intending on becoming the Amarr emperor, make him unable to become chosen?
- Samira Kernher > He’s unable to be chosen according to the rules as they are right now. Obviously, rules don’t always stop people, and a strong movement could get those rules changed. Officially, the requirements for becoming emperor of Amarr are:
- 1) Royal blood (descended from a royal family)
- 2) Not a clone
- 3) Chosen by the royal family to represent it as its heir
- 4) Beating the other heirs in the Succession Trials
- Samira Kernher > Max meets the first, but none of the others.
- Vulxanis Viceroy > Awesome 🙂 Well hopefully this helped clear up some misconceptions people have been having. Thank you very much for your time! 🙂
- Samira Kernher > You’re welcome! Thank you for the questions. I’m glad I could help out!
- Samira Kernher > I’d also like to take just a moment to also thank Max for the content he’s provided. While my character is strongly opposed to his, out of character I want to say that he’s a pretty awesome guy. 🙂
- Vulxanis Viceroy > Oh yea absolutely. I’ve also talked to him oocly, and he’s great fun to chat with 🙂
- Samira Kernher > I also recommend that anyone who is interested in the lore of EVE to visit the #lore channel on Tweetfleet’s Slack. We’ve got ISD Mercury and CCP contributing to discussions and you can learn a lot there!
- Samira Kernher > Oh yeah, and I mustn’t forget to say, Amarr Victor. 🙂
- Vulxanis Viceroy > xD
- Vulxanis Viceroy > Well again, thanks! 🙂
For those of you who are interested in Max Singularity’s personal stance on all of this, he graciously provided me with this document that he says everyone is welcome to read.
(Disclaimer: Max’s declaration document shares OOC information only and is not eligible to be used for roleplay purposes without Max’s consent. Be sure to message him in game if you want to use this link as a reference for anything besides OOC clarification.)
Now with Jamyl gone, we shall see how CCP will move next. The next Emperor or Empress will undoubtedly significantly impact the coming story-line. We can only hope the next ruler of the Empire will bring positive changes to such an interesting and controversial faction.
If you have anything that you think should be reported on EN24, please contact me at @VulxanisViceroy on Twitter, or Eve Mail me in game.
Link References Recommended by Samira Kernher from the interview