The Khanid Kingdom
The Khanid Kingdom stretches over some dozen constellations near the fringe of the Amarr Empire. The kingdom was founded some 300 years ago and is in every respect a sovereign state, even if the connections with the Amarr Empire itself are strong. It is still ruled by the man who founded the kingdom and whose name it bears - Khanid II, often called the Sixth Heir. Once one of the Five Heirs he defied the Amarrian succession rituals and split himself and his estates from the empire. The reasons were his fierce ambition and love of life, traits that later helped keep his kingdom intact through numerous upheavals. At the time of the succession Khanid was commander-in-chief of the military forces of the empire. After having refused to commit suicide he promptly confiscated one of the two Titans the Amarrians owned at the time, both of them personal property of the Emperor himself. Khanid escaped to his estates on the Titan, escorted by a portion of the Amarr fleet, claimed by Khanid by the power of his position.
For the first few years following the split the newly-founded kingdom faced grave dangers time and again. The greatest threat did not come directly from the Amarr Empire itself - the new emperor and heirs were still getting themselves acquainted to their new positions - but from the brother of Khanid II. This brother, named Dakos, was in the forefront of those relatives of Khanid that opposed his actions and wished to remain as one of the Heir families. Soon after Khanid was crowned as king Dakos rebelled against him and the infant kingdom witnessed its first civil war. The struggle raged for a few months, in that time the Amarr Empire had joined the fray, naturally casting their support for Dakos. For some weeks the survival of the Khanid kingdom hung in the balance, but when Khanid managed through trickery to have his brother assassinated, the opposition fizzled to nothing. Khanid lost some of the isolated regions of the kingdom, but the core of it remained intact.
This was not the first time that Khanid’s own family acted against him. Khanid has always managed to smother all rebellion attempts, each time tightening the leash on his family. Today all women and children belonging to the family spend their time in the royal palace on Khanid Prime. Although they live in luxury and comfort they’re still hostages, kept to keep their husbands and fathers in line. As for the men they must spend at least quarter of each year in the royal palace on Khanid Prime and there are strict restrictions as to what arms they can own or bear.
The Khanid Kingdom in many ways resembles the Amarr Empire. The caste system is intact - the Holders still reign as the social elite. The governmental structure and administration are all but identical, the only difference being the lack of checks-and-balances that many entrenched institutions and local barons exercise within the empire. Just as for the Amarr Emperor Khanid II is in name undisputed ruler of his realm, but in practice a number of powerful magnates share or dilute the power. In the empire’s case it’s the Heirs that compete with the Emperor for power, in the kingdom’s case it’s the members of the minor families that supported Khanid during his rift with the empire. Other features, such as the importance of religion and slavery, are also very much alike in the two states. In fact, the kingdom takes slavery even further than the empire. The Amarr Empire uses almost exclusively Minmatar and Ealur slaves, but the kingdom, denied many of their traditional slave sources, take slaves wherever they can find them. Khanid himself has a Gallentean - a former pop-star - as his personal slave, something he finds highly amusing but makes the Gallenteans frothing at their mouths.
But even if Khanid has tried to build his kingdom to mirror the empire he once belonged to, there are many discreet differences. The biggest of these are the way the Dark Amarrians - so called for the color schemes on their ships - conduct their trade and business. The Khanid Kingdom is not nearly as rigid and stale in their governing of inter-stellar trade, for the very simple reason that the kingdom absolutely needs outside trade to survive, which is not the case for the empire. Since the Amarr Empire seized their attempts to reconcile with the separatists decades ago trade has started to flourish between the two. The result is that today the kingdom acts in many ways like a window to the outside world for the reclusive empire. Trade goods that can’t be directly transported into or out of the empire are carried through kingdom because of the much more lenient trade policies the empire has for them. Many Dark Amarrians have grown fat acting as intermediaries for Amarr traders and outsiders.
Many other notable differences can be seen between the kingdom and the empire - the Dark Amarrians embrace technology, including cloning, much more willingly than the Amarr brethrens and even if most Amarrian traditions and customs still exist within the kingdom, they’ve been modified so that Dark Amarrian society is much more dynamic and robust than that of the Amarr Empire.