|Lord Yornis Halton|
Admiral Lord Yornis Halton was born the heir to the Lord of Talsi and was widely expected to follow his father into politics and eventually to the Imperial Senate. However, young Yornis was fascinated by the sea. He courted his father's ire by enrolling in the Imperial Naval Academy in New Boston and accepting a commission as an Ensign.
Halton quickly worked his way up the chain of command. In 1985, he assumed command of the Command Ship INV Joshua, at the time the flagship of the Imperial Navy. It was during this tour that Captain Halton realized how underfunded and underdeveloped the Excalbian navy was compared with neighboring states, particularly Upper Virginia. Moving to the Admiralty in 1989, Halton became the loudest voice for reform of the navy and an expansion of its capabilities.
When Emperor David IV ascended the throne in 1998, Vice Admiral Halton, then the Chief of Sea Systems Command, found an attentive ear in the new emperor, himself a the former naval commander. When Lady Christina Freedman was named Imperial Chancellor in 1999, Lord Halton found another key ally.
In 2000, Lord Admiral Peter Skele retired and the Emperor immediately named Lord Halton as the new Chief of Imperial Naval Operations and Chief of the Imperial General Staff. With the Emperor's and the Chancellor's support, Halton embarked on a crash modernization program. The Mark V Shipbuilding Programme utilized a number of new technologies - foamed alloy construction, modular electric propulsion, catamaran and trimaran hulls and stealth features - to catapult the Imperial Navy ahead of its rivals. The navy's current fleet consists of massive stealth trimaran aircraft carriers, trimaran command cruisers, stealth missile cruisers - capable of carrying several hundred vertical launch missiles, and catamaran stealth assault ships - popularly known among rival navies as 'ghost ships.'
Even as his career flourished, Lord Halton's personal life floundered. His wife of 33 years, Lady Diana Halton, seperated from him in 2001. Although Lord and Lady Halton remain married, they maintain seperate residences.
After the death of the Minister of Defence, Lord John Thorne, in late 2004, Lord Halton was asked to resign his commission and take Lord John's portfolio in Lady Freedman's government. Lord Halton agreed.
While his initial appointment as Minister was provisional, he was elected to a constituency in the Imperial Senate in the 2005 elections. Unfortunately for Lord Halton, those elections also saw his party lose its position in the government, forcing him to give up the Defence portfolio. Lord Halton was then named Deputy Chairman of the Senate's Defence Committee and served as an unofficial advisor to the Emperor.
In late 2005, the Emperor suffered a severe heart attack leading to conflict between the Imperial Senate, the Imperial Household and barons over the regency and succession to the Sword. When that conflict led to a failed attempt by members of the Imperial Household to close the Senate and an equally disastrous attempt by the barons to replace the Emperor with his cousin, the government of Lady Jessica Tagaarth collapsed.
In the aftermath of the chaos, a national unity government was formed by the Progressive Conservatives, Liberals, Freedom Party and Christian Union. Halton was chosen, against his will, to serve as Imperial Chancellor and leader of the new government.
Despite his new position, Halton still regards his service in the Navy as the highpoint of his career and the "new Imperial Navy" as his greatest and most lasting legacy.