Reign: 103 YE - 120 YE
Called: The Builder
Early Life and Election
Born and raised in Highguard, the girl who would become Empress Aenea was a student of architecture, who helped build and design everything from mausoleums to castles.
Aenea's attention was heavily focussed on the systems and apparatus of the Empire, with modifications to the roads, the infrastructure of the Civil Service, the organisation of the Bourse, and the Imperial Senate and Imperial Law in search of refinement. She largely ignored the Imperial Synod, which continued to exercise its political powers in pursuit of the spiritual well-being of the Empire - only when the priests interfered with Aenea's projects for expanding and consolidating the infrastructure did she pay much attention to them.
She was also responsible for building the Lyceum in the Bay of Catazar east of Siroc, and establishing the position of the Dean of the Lyceum to help the Imperial Conclave perform magical research in the service of the Empire, free of political control. When asked why she did not have the Lyceum built in Urizen, she is reported to have simply shrugged and said "The Urizen sometimes need to be reminded that while they may consider themselves foremost among the magicians of the Empire, their peers elsewhere do not think that considering something is the same as proving it." She refused to answer other questions, but was very careful to underline that while the Lyceum had been built in the sea near Freeborn territories it was to be overseen by the Imperial Conclave and not the Senator of Madruga.
Historians point to this (among other incidents) as a foremost example of her abrasive personality; according to her contemporaries she lacked many social graces. Her brilliance lay in her ability to identify problems and find practical resolutions to them. She saw it as her role to build, reinforce and strengthen the Empire with the same direct and pragmatic approach she might take to building, reinforcing and strengthening a castle wall.
One of Aenea's failings was that she left foreign affairs, including military matters, entirely to the Senate and the Military Council without oversight; she was interested only in the Empire itself.
The Senators and the Generals took this as an opportunity to expand the borders of the Empire, and their perceived aggression disquieted nearby foreign nations. Several border wars occurred during Aenea's tenure on the Throne, and at various points the Empire was at war with Faraden, the Iron Confederacy, Axos and Skoura.
In 118 YE, the Sumaah Republic officially broke with the Imperial Synod and technically excommunicated not only the Empress but all the priests of the Empire. Historians to this day disagree as to whether the Empress might have been able to head-off this international incident had she been more interested in foreign policy; several scholars point to key points at which the intervention of the Empress might have defused the increasingly tense situation.
The Empire was technically at war with the Sumaah Republic for the next two hundred years, but the vast distances involved meant that military conflict was all but impossible, All trade between the Republic and the Empire ceased, however, and it was not until 326 YE that the trade-routes were re-opened.
Death and Legacy
Aenea died. She was interred in a beautiful white granite mausoleum near the centre of the modern Necropolis. Built to her own specifications, it stands at the centre of a large marble plaza. As befits a woman whose primary interests were in stone and construction, the plaza is scattered with statues relating to the virtues, and various memorials. Its central location means that it commonly serves today as a popular meeting place for visitors to the Necropolis.
Parallels are occasionally drawn with the later Emperor Nicovar, but as the historian Senator Luca de Tassato said "A ruthless attention to detail is not the same as being obsessed with details."
After her death the Throne remained empty until the ascension of Empress Varkula in 125YE. During this time, the Senate became increasingly fractious and factionalised, creating the environment that allowed the ruthless Varushkan to seize power.