Dam-Torsad, Amarr Prime – In the course of a wide-ranging "Address to the Faithful" on the occasion of the third anniversary of her coronation, Empress Catiz I has declared an end to the so-called "Heideran Decree" and ordered a rearrangement of the "territorial and military fiefs overseen by the Royal Houses of the Privy Council".
The Heideran Decree was a ruling in YC105 by Emperor Heideran VII that limited military forces in space to the Imperial Navy. The effect of the Heideran Decree has varied considerably since its inception but was considerably diluted during the reign of Empress Jamyl I. The revocation of the decree restores the right of all Amarr Holders to raise and maintain military forces and permits their deployment in space. Though a major benefit for all houses, the revocation also eliminates the remaining limits on House Kador's fleet numbers due to the "Kador Incursion" incident of YC110.
However, the most sweeping announcements concerned the territorial and military organization of the Amarr Empire under the Imperial Throne and Royal Houses. Empress Catiz I has promulgated her full doctrine in a work entitled Pax e Kilizhi Do, or "Peace of the Two Swords", but her address picked out key elements of her vision for the future of the Amarr Empire.
The Amarr Empire has been divided into "Imperial Military Circuits" that are to be overseen by the Royal Houses of the Privy Council:
- Throne Military Circuit: Throne Worlds and Norgoh Imperial Zone
- Ardishapur Military Circuit: Lower Domain, Derelik and Lower Rebel Provinces
- Kador Military Circuit: Kador and Upper Genesis
- Khanid Military Circuit: Khanid and Aridia
- Kor-Azor Military Circuit: Kor-Azor and Lower Genesis
- Sarum Military Circuit: Upper Domain, Bleak Lands, Devoid and Upper Rebel Provinces
- Tash-Murkon Military Circuit: Tash-Murkon, Jakemhih-Kashag Development Zone and Providence Marches
The six Royal Heirs are designated "Sword Marshals of the Imperial Military Circuits" and have been given "supreme command authority within their military circuits subject only to commands of the Imperial Throne". While the Empress is technically "Sword Marshal of the Throne Military Circuit", the command authority is likely to reside with the Court Chamberlain for practical purposes.
As further outlined in the address by Empress Catiz, the Sword Marshals, that is the Royal Heirs, are expected to provide for the "defense of their territorial and military fiefs personally, and through their own vassals and subjects." The Holders of the territories falling under each of the new Imperial Military Circuits are instructed to "take all such steps as are necessary to secure adequate defense of their own holdings and comply with the lawful commands of their Sword Marshals and liege lords."
The overall import of the Pax e Kilizhi Do is a significant reorganization of territorial holdings across the Amarr Empire. A large number of systems with unclear lines of command and feudal responsibilities have been allocated so that all lines of feudal and military authority flow towards a single Royal House and through them to the Imperial Throne. As a result of reorganization and reallocation of the previously confused territories in Aridia, Bleak Lands, Devoid and Genesis, it would appear that Houses Kador, Khanid, Kor-Azor and Sarum are major beneficiaries of the shake-up.
However, House Ardishapur appears to have successfully resisted growing calls by some to break up its rule over the Ammatar Mandate and held onto its key Domain region holdings. It has been suggested that House Ardishapur's repeated successful defense of the Ammatar Mandate from Triglavian and Blood Raider assaults strengthened their position. The more mercantile oriented House Tash-Murkon has also acquired control over a small development zone in the prestigious Domain region. The main losers are a large number of minor houses who have been placed unambigiously under vassalage to one of the six Royal Houses where previously the position was unclear due to a webbing of pre-existing fiefs and feudal charters.
Imperial state and civil authority as manifested by the powerful ministries of the Amarr Empire appears to have been left relatively untouched by these developments, with the Empire-wide authority of such bodies as the Imperial Chancellory and the Ministry of Internal Order reaffirmed. The Ministry of War has been given direct authority to "inspect the adequacy of the defenses of Holy Amarr and report insufficiencies of provision to the Imperial Throne." The Imperial Navy is currently in the process of reorganizing its forces into Imperial Military Circuit fleets within the new territorial and military structure. The Order of St. Tetrimon has reportedly had its Empire-wide mandate to seek out heresy and rebellion among slave populations renewed at the recommendation of Lords Ardishapur and Sarum.
Observers of the Amarr Empire have been quick to speculate that the reorganization is in large part a response to the pressures and costs of the Triglavian Invasion, which has hit the sprawling Empire particularly hard. The Caldari State's Chief Executive Panel has issued a communique welcoming the reorganization as "sensible and measured given the ongoing requirements of the war against the Triglavian menace by all CONCORD member states."
The Minmatar Republic's Tribal Council has responded to the news by describing it as "a total victory for ultra-militant forces in the Amarr Empire" and has sent task forces to reinforce systems bordering the Amarr Empire and Ammatar Mandate. The Gallente Federation has not formally responded, and the Federal Navy is currently co-ordinating with Imperial authorities over a major Triglavian invasion group straddling the Amarr-Gallente border.