Archduke Armand Ecaz was the head of House Ecaz and sovereign of planet Ecaz, during the late Corrino Empire. He was a high-ranking nobleman whose reputation at the Landsraad, was recognized even by the Padishah Emperor himself. He was an avowed enemy of House Moritani of Grumman.
Early Dealings with House MoritaniEdit
Archduke had his brother and his two daughters assassinated, during the conflicts between him and his arch-enemy Viscount Hundro Moritani, and aside from his daughter, Ilesa Ecaz, was left as the last member of his House.
Execution of Sanya EcazEdit
The situation turned worse when the treacherous Viscount, surprisingly attacked Ecaz, and bombarded the Archduke's Palace, burning completely the site of the ancestral Mahagony Throne in the Capital City, and Armand and his three daughters barely escaped alive to the jungle. Later, during the events of Dune: House Corrino, it was revealed that a daughter of Armand (the one named Mesa), died during the bombardment of the Archducal Palace. Even worse was the assassination of the Ecazi ambassador Bindikk Narvi by his Grumman pair Lupino Ord at Arrakeen, during a dinner organized by Count and Lady Fenring. Concurrently, Moritani agents kidnapped the eldest daughter and heiress of the Archduke, Sanya, and Armand's brother, both of whom were publicly executed on Grumman. The assassination of his daughter and brother embittered the Old Archduke, who had deeply loved his daughter. Armand had intended to marry her to the honorable Duke Leto Atreides, sovereign of Caladan, and head of the powerful House Atreides.
Swordmasters of GinazEdit
The brutal attack and treacherous attitude of Viscount Moritani were condemned by the Swordmasters of Ginaz, whose headmasters Mord Cour and Rivvy Dinari, as well as many members of the Swordmasters' Council, forced the Moritani students to discard their ties to House Moritani, or to leave the School. Rivvy Dinari claimed that Viscount Moritani had violated the laws of kanly, and that the forms must be obeyed. Because of the measures employed by the Swordmasters, Viscount Moritani ordered an attack and raid against planet Ginaz, where many sanctuaries and temples were discredited, but, above all, the Swordmasters' honor, was damaged for ever. After the restoration of the Swordmasters' School at Ginaz, many of the old members of the Swordmasters' Council decided to become rhonin, such as Rivvy Dinari and Whitmore Bludd, both of whom became personal bodyguards of Archduke Armand's Household.
Shaddam's Peace AttemptsEdit
Emperor Shaddam IV condemned the criminal behavior of House Moritani, and ordered his Pacification Sardaukar Troops to block Grumman, homeworld of House Moritani, in order to force Viscount Moritani to be at peace with House Ecaz. Shaddam's measures, however, proved unable to control the barbarian attitude of the Grumman sovereign.
Great Spice WarEdit
During the period known as the Great Spice War, House Ecaz and House Moritani continued their conflict. According to Thufir Hawat's opinion on the matter, House Moritani was responsible for sending Grumman saboteurs to Ecaz, in order to damage the honorable image of the Archduke. However, the plans of Viscount Moritani failed, as the Ecazi spies captured the saboteurs and publicly executed them. The Archduke also presented proof of the incident of Viscount Moritani's treachery to the Emperor on Kaitain.
When suddenly a mysterious plague almost destroyed completely planet Beakkal's ecosystem, Archduke Armand protested in front of the Landsraad, asking Emperor Shaddam why had he provoked such an ecological catastrophe in Beakkal, violating the rules of the Great Convention. Shaddam considered the Archduke's question acceptable, and, typical of him, denied his responsibility on the matter of Beakkal, arguing that the Beakkali had provoked their own destruction.
The War of Assasins of 10, 187 AG.Edit
Marriage Alliance with House AtreidesEdit
In the year 10,187 AG, Archduke Armand offered the hand of his last heiress and younger daughter, Ilesa Ecaz, to his friend and ally, Duke Leto Atreides, who years ago had been the fiancé of Armand's eldest daughter, Sanya. Duke Leto traveled to Ecaz along with many members of his household, including his bound-concubine Lady Jessica, his son Paul, the trobadour warrior Gurney Halleck, and the Swordmaster Duncan Idaho. While they arrived at Ecaz, the Atreides convoy was escorted by Swordmasters Whitmore Bludd and Rivvy Dinari, both of whom had become rhonin after the outrageous Moritani raid of planet Ginaz.
Trade Embargo with EcazEdit
At the Archduke's Palace on Ecaz, Leto and Armand discussed the up-coming marriage arrangement, and the Archduke convinced Leto to not conduct any kind of treaty or trade with Grumman. On Grumman, the House Moritani heir Wolfram, son of Viscount Hundro; suffered from a severe illness, and needed certain Ecazi drug, Esoit-poay, to survive. Because of the trade embrago between House Moritani and House Ecaz, and Ecaz being the only place where the remedy grew; Wolfram died. Viscount Hundro, childless, decided to make his final revenge, against his avowed enemy, House Ecaz, once and for all.
The Atreides-Ecaz Wedding, and the Moritani Assassination AttemptsEdit
That same year, the wedding between Ilesa Ecaz and Leto Atreides began to take place at Castle Caladan, the Ancestral Home of House Atreides. Many noblemen were invited, among them Earl Rhombur Vernius of Ix, along with his wife Tessia Vernius, and his son Bronso. When the wedding started, Archduke Armand took his daughter to the Altar, where both she and Leto would be married, however, sadness came upon House Ecaz in that precise moment.
First Assassination AttemptEdit
Duke Prad Vidal of Elacca, a vassal of the Archduke and secret ally of House Moritani, cleverly disguised hexagonal blades on the sides of potted plants at the ceremony. As the Wedding March began to play, the sharply bladed discs began circling through the air, trying to strike their intended Ecazian targets, and Rivvy Dinari and Whitmore Bludd defended the Archduke and his daughter, respectively. Swordmaster Dinari sacrificed his life to save his master, however, that couldn't avoid that Armand lose an arm due to one circling disk that reached him.
However, one circling disc sliced Ilesa's carotid artery, due to Bludd's failure, and she bled to death; while her father lost an arm, and barely survived due to the sacrifice of Dinari, who protected his master with his own body. Moments after the tragedy, a holographic message of Viscount Hundro Moritani rang throughout the hall, and started the War of Assassins of 10,187 AG.
Second Assassination AttemptEdit
Immediately after the assassination attempt, which caused the death of the last Ecazi heiress, another attempt to kill the Archduke took place on a tower of Castle Caladan, where the old Ecazi ruler rested after having lost an arm. The assassins were defeated by Duncan Idaho, while other assassins sent to kill Paul Atreides and Bronso Vernius were defeated by Rhombur. Two Assassination attempts had been made against the Archduke, one of those ended his heiress' life. Armand Ecaz finally decided that the time had come, to destroy House Moritani once for all. But first, he had to manage the political chaos that menaced his own homeworld.
The Death of Prad VidalEdit
It was then that Archduke Armand decided to leave Caladan for Ecaz, in order to assemble his forces to attack Grumman, and destroy House Moritani once and for all. Duke Leto assembled his navy and army, and marched to Ecaz escorting the man that would have been his father-in-law, so that they could join their forces and defeat the Viscount. As soon as the Atreides army arrived on the Ecaz' capital city, the people started to flee in panic, thinking that the Atreides' forces were invading the planet. The greatest confusion, however, took place at the Archduke's Palace, whereupon seeing the Atreides forces, many ships started fleeing towards the direction of the continent of Elacca.
When Swordmaster Bludd asked why the Ecazi gave such a negative-welcome to their sovereign, a guard answered through the communications channel that Duke Prad Vidal had made an announcement. The announcement said that the Archduke and his daughter had been killed on Caladan, as well as many members of the Atreides household, and that he was the successor due to the circumstances.
Armand, full of rage and anger, decided to advance with all his military forces to Elacca, and kill Vidal himself. However, Duke Leto adviced his friend that such a military attack would provoke a civil war on Ecaz, as well as give time to Viscount Moritani to assemble his forces on Grumman, and even increase them. Leto offered to disguise himself as an assassin to kill Duke Vidal, starting what Leto considered a "proper" War of Assassins. Secretly disguised as Elaccan guards, and together with Gurney Halleck, Duke Leto advanced to Elacca, and found the Wooden fortress-palace of Vidal. There, after reaching Vidal's room, and after saying the ritual words of kanly, Duke Leto beheaded Duke Vidal, and started the War of Assassins.
The Siege of Ritka and the Moritani's ResistanceEdit
After the assassination of Prad Vidal and the submission of the Elaccan rebels, Archduke Armand assembled all his forces, and, together with the Atreides forces, both armies advanced against Ritka, capital of the planet Grumman and where the most part of Viscount Moritani's forces had assembled. Hundro Moritani had prepared his forces and, after he blackmailed Baron Vladimir Harkonnen with certain information that implicated House Harkonnen in the assassination attempts at Castle Caladan; he obtained a Harkonnen armed force headed by Count Glossu Rabban Harkonnen, also known as the "Beast Rabban".
Moritani's armed forces consisted primarily in troops mounted on Grumman wild stallions, renowned for their strength and brutality, as well as their size. During the battle outside Ritka, Moritani ordered a charge of his mounted troops, which caused casualties among the Atreides-Ecazi besiegers, and where the Atreides commander Burbage obtained his scar. However, the Atreides troops and the Ecazi reinforcements prevailed, and the Grumman soldiers were forced to retreat to their fortifications at Ritka. Despite the fact that his forces were few and his enemies too many for him to resist, Viscount Moritani had prepared an unexpected plan, which would, according to him, obliterate the most important noblemen in the Known Universe, including the Emperor, as well as leaving the Empire of Ten Thousand Worlds in political chaos and disorder.
The Final Stage of the Siege and House Moritani's endEdit
Meanwhile, from Ix, Earl Rhombur Vernius appeared with reinforcements in order to help the Atreides-Ecazi besiegers to defeat House Moritani. The Harkonnen division under the command of Rabban fought against the Atreides soldiers of Gurney Halleck, who killed almost all of them with the exception of Rabban, who fell from a raging river and was lost sight of in the rapids. Finally, Shaddam IV, Emperor of the Known Universe, arrived in order to force the four Houses involved in the War (House Atreides, House Ecaz, House Vernius, and House Moritani) to stop their conflict, and make peace with each other.
However, Shaddam, who thought that would be an easy task, found a frightening situation on his hands. Viscount Hundro had placed all his atomics around Ritka, which placed all of the assembled armies and their noble leaders in mortal danger. Hundro then revealed that he was the last descendant of the renegade House Tantor, the noble family who attacked House Corrino to near-destruction on Salusa Secundus with atomics, thousands of years earlier, forever damaging for ever the planet's ecosystem), and forcing the Corrinos to move to Kaitain. Heir-less, child-less, and mad, Hundro ordered all his atomics to be detonated, as he believed he had nothing to lose.
Moritani's plans failed, due to the treason of his personal Swordmaster Hiih Resser, a former friend of Duncan Idaho. Resser, despite his Lord's orders, had placed the atomics in the caverns beneath Ritka, but at the same time, had deactivated the controls to turn them on. Resser argued that such an atomic catastrophe would damage Grumman for ever, and that he could not permit that. At the end, Shaddam ordered that Hundro Moritani be arrested and condemned to the Imperial Prison in Corrinth City, on planet Kaitain. Mysteriously, a depressurization "accident" in Space sealed Viscount Moritani's lips for ever, as it was revealed by the Baron to his nephews Rabban and Feyd.
After the "accidental" death of Viscount Moritani, the Atreides forces returned to Caladan victorious, where Leto swore to Jessica his devotion, and promised to reject any future marriage proposal, in front of Paul and all the Spaceport workers. Five thousand years later, the final ghola of Duncan Idaho remembered in that the War of Assassins of 10,187 AG almost emptied the resources of both House Atreides and House Ecaz.
Archduke Armand finally retired to his homeworld, morally destroyed by the fact that he was the last member of his House.
The Ascension of House Atreides and the End of House EcazEdit
It is unknown how Armand Ecaz received the news of the fall of House Atreides on Arrakis, just a few years later, at the hands of the treacherous Harkonnens. He was the last surviving ally of Duke Leto since the death of Count Rhombur Vernius on Balut in 10,188 AG. It is possible that Archduke Ecaz felt impotent at the injustice committed against his friend Leto and the Atreides household, but, knowing that nothing could be done, especially because of the Emperor's support on House Harkonnen, he decided to avoid any conflict and remain peacefully in his estates, which, after the War of 10,187 AG, also included planet Grumman.
Paul's Speech on KaitainEdit
By the time of the Ascension of House Atreides to the Golden Lion Throne, Archduke Ecaz was present at the Imperial Hall of Oratory, where he heard the speech of the new Emperor Paul Atreides, who demanded the submission of the Landsraad Noble families to his authority. Paul recognized the armless Archduke in the hall, as well as many other members of the Landsraad, and it was Earl Memnon Thorvald of Ipyr who rejected Paul's pretensions, claiming that he "had had enough of emperors".
Finally, Armand Ecaz, tired of politics and intrigues, decided that "his time had come". He sent his surviving Swordmaster Withmore Bludd to Arrakis, to tell Paul that he (Armand) had been a friend of Duke Leto, Paul's father; and that he was now an old man who had no heir, so he submitted his homeworld to the Jihadi forces, and peacefully retired to his estates at Ecaz. This notice was received by Paul and his Fremen as a blessing, and the new Emperor took Whitmore Bludd under his service, as the Imperial Architect of the Arrakeen Palace.