The Emperor of Orion is a hereditary imperial title once held by the sovereign emperors of the Empire of Orion, from that empire's founding in 2612 to its dissolution in 3275. The title continues to exist in the peerage of the Republic and is currently held by the head of the House of Genevra, who held the title as sovereign rulers from 3030 to 3275. The position was created after the Third Orionese Revolution in 2610 toppled the repressive communist regime of the People's Commonwealth of Orion, and rebel leader John Paul Angevre was acclaimed Emperor by the provisional parliament two years later. He rapidly established a feudal system mirroring that of the Terran Empire, with loyal supporters and important persons granted titles of nobility and vast estates in the Orion colonies. This had mixed results, as the violent civil war in the early 3000s has been attributed partly to the tensions among the semi-independent feudal nobility. After the war, the rights and autonomy of the feudal nobles was considerably curtailed as a stronger, more centralised state was built. Advances in military technology enhanced the capability of the Emperor to keep the peace and enabled a strong monarchy. Even into the 3200s, the Emperor held considerable authority alongside the national assembly, and was considered second only to the Terran Emperor as the most powerful human in the galaxy.
List of Emperors of Orion
With a brief interregnum between 3002 and 3005, the imperial office was occupied continuously from 2612 to 3275 by several royal houses.
House of Angevre
The inaugural royal house was established by John Angevre, the leader of the popular revolt that restored civil and human rights to the Orionese people. While initially sharing power with the popularly-elected parliament, the house gained a reputation for political venality by transferring power to the newly-established nobility. After several short and unstable reigns, the young and vigorous Emperor Henry II asserted his authority in the face of the growing nobility by empowering the Army as an army of royal power. During his long reign, the parliament was weakened considerably. His successor, John VIII, however was suspicious of the military's growing power and its share of the budget and enacted cost-cutting measures while depriving his political enemies among the nobility of their titles and estates. His unpopularity led to a coup d'etat and the replacement of the House of Angevre with the House of Cauvan.
- John I (2560-2640), reigned 2612-2640
- son, John II (2591-2655), reigned 2640-2655
- brother, Henry I (2599-2680), reigned 2655-2680
- son, John III (2630-2985), reigned 2680-2685
- son, John IV (2660-2719), reigned 2685-2719
- brother, John V (2662-2730), reigned 2719-2726
- son, John VI (2690-2728), reigned 2726-2728
- son, John VII (2700-2729), reigned 2728-2729
- brother, Henry II (2709-2760), reigned 2729-2760
- son, John VIII (2729-2821), reigned 2760-2769
House of Cauvan
Founded in 2614 by Yves Cauvan, who was granted a ducal title for his services during the rebellion, the noble House of Cauvan became powerful during the 2600s and early 2700s. In 2740, the Duchess married the third son of Emperor John VI, Henry Stephen de Genevre. Their son was Henry Cauvan, cousin and childhood playmate of John VIII. However, as John VIII was childless and increasingly unpopular, Henry had ambitions for the throne. John VIII demanded parliament issue a bill of attainder against Henry. Instead, under Henry's influence, parliament deposed John VIII. With the support of the army, Henry forced John's abdication and indefinite detention without trial. Henry was crowned Emperor, starting the imperial house of Cauvan.
His successors were mostly strong monarchs, but culminated in the weak ruler John XIII. The power struggles within the regency council and his death without issue led to a war for the throne in the early 31st century.
- Henry III (2741-2840), reigned 2769-2840
- son, John IX (2760-2899), reigned 2840-2899
- son, Henry Philip, Duke of Cauvan (2780-2871)
- grandson, John X (2800-2921), reigned 2899-2921
- son, John XI (2821-2929), reigned 2921-2929
- son, John Charles, Duke of Cauvan (2850-2920)
- granddaughter, Maria (2880-2961), reigned 2929-2961
- second son, Febronius, Count of Jeune (2902-2992)
- son, John XII (2900-2980), reigned 2961-2980)
- son, John Francis, Duke of Cauvan (2925-2978)
- second son, Martin Francis, Count of Coleville (2928-3000)
- grandson, John XIII (2978-3002), reigned 2980-3002
House of Gillemetz
A noble house founded in the 2600s by "old money" landholders, the Dukes of Gille-de-Metz were always powerful in the Orionese political scene. In 2999, Margaret Gillemetz married Emperor John XIII. After his death in 3002, she was one of two primary claimants to the throne. She based this on her right as wife of the emperor, from her descent from Emperor John XI, and her descend from Maria's second son, Prince Febronius. She was executed after the Laoist victory in the first part of the war.
- Margaret I (2980-3021), reigned 3005-3021
House of Lao
A noble clan of Mandarin origins, the Princely House of Lao ruled several worlds in Orion space and rose to prominence during the 2800s and 2900s. After the death of John XIII, Prince Henry of Lao claimed the throne. He was the son of Martin Francis, Count of Coleville and great-grandson of Princess Julia, daughter of Prince John Charles. Henry seized the throne and executed Empress Margaret in 3021.
- Henry IV (2961-3026), reigned 3021-3026
- Paul I (2964-3029), reigned 3026-3029
House of Gillemetz (restored)
After the death in battle of Lao emperor Paul I and the rapid collapse of the Laoist cause, Margaret's sister Lenore was crowned Empress. She had claimed the throne since Margaret's death, and married the Duke of Genevra. The Duke was crowned her co-emperor and they reigned together until her death.
- Lenore I (2999-3044), reigned 3030-3044
A ducal house of some renown, the House of Genevra was entangled in other noble houses. It had sided with the Gillemetz loyalists during the war and was forced into exile after the Laoist victory in 3021. The house returned under Martin, 11th Duke of Genevra to aid Lenore in retaking the throne. He married her, was crowned-co-emperor, and began a new dynasty.
- Martin I (3000-3063), reigned 3030-3063
- son, John XIV (3031-3105), reigned 3063-3105
- son, John XV (3060-3140), reigned 3105-3140
- son, John XVI (3084-3159), reigned 3140-3159
- son, John XVII (3107-3189), reigned 3159-3189
- son, Martin II (3124-3199), reigned 3189-3199
- daughter, Lenore II (3250-3211), reigned 3199-3211
- son, John XVIII (3170-3229), reigned 3211-3220
- son, John XIX (3197-3247), reigned 3220-3247
- son, John XX (3220-), reigned 3247-3275