Amarr Emperors can expect to live for at least 500 years through the use of extensive cyber implants. The Emperorís position has always had a divine aura surrounding it and this led the Amarrians to belief that the flesh of the Emperor and other members of the royal families was sacred. This fact forbids the sacred flesh to be cloned, as the Amarrians consider this to make it impure.
The Emperorís position is not hereditary and when the old Emperor dies a new one must be selected from among the Five Heirs. The Five Heirs are the heads of the five royal families, the most powerful families in the Amarr Empire. The Five Heirs are descendants of the original members of the Privy Council. The Council was a staunch supporter of the Emperor during the turbulent times 1,500 years ago, known as the Moral Reforms, which was a struggle between the Emperor and the Council of Apostles. Since that time the positions of the five members of the Privy Council have evolved into the current situation of five royal families vying for the throne.
When the Emperor dies, an elaborate ritual for selecting a new Emperor is put into action. These rituals are performed in strict order and take a few weeks to complete. The rituals are always undergoing some small changes to better reflect the current state of society and to fix problems experienced in earlier successor bids. The rituals mainly involve various ways in which the Five Heirs prove their loyalty to the empire and their ability to run it. As should be expected most of the rituals involve the Heirs directly, but some of them have changed through the ages to allow another person, chosen by the Heir, to perform in the Heirís place. In fact, in recent time the intricate process of selecting personal champions has become the focal point of an Heirís ability and prestige, by finding and hiring the right people for the occasion.
One of the more gruesome aspects of the whole inheritance process is that once a new Emperor has been chosen from among the Heirs, the other four Heirs must all commit a formal suicide. This is done to minimize the risk of conflicts between the new Emperor and the old Privy Council, by removing all of the old ones and replacing the Privy Council with the next-in-line of the five royal families, thus starting anew. Only once since this tradition first came into being more than a millennium ago has it been broken. This was when the Emperor before the current one was selected 300 years ago. Then, one of the remaining Heirs named Khanid II, a young man only who had only recently become the head of his family, refused to uphold the old tradition and fled the royal court. He set up a separate state, the Khanid kingdom, in the vast regions of his family estates and later attempts by the Amarr Empire to reconcile the two states either politically or militarily have all failed. A new minor-family took the place of Khanidís family in the royal court and the current Emperor, Heideran VII, is the first emperor from that minor family.