The greatest Emperor of the entire history of the United Empire of Humanity, and the longest lived human ever recorded. Through intrigue and discovery he established his bloody control over almost all of humanity, and began a long and drawn out crusade carrying out his xenophobic ideals.
Zelevas grew up as one of several dozen heirs to the throne, his father being the then Emperor Archinan Zelevas. What little can be gleaned from records not tainted by Empire propaganda is that he was a large but quiet youth, not troublesome to his siblings and friends but capable of going on somewhat terrifying rages if provoked.
Maximilion was sixth in line for the throne, the prince regent being his brother Camian Zelevas. As an heir not considered for succession, he was put through the military academy in the hopes that one day he would be a proud Admiral.
After graduating from a prestigious inner world military academy with flying colours, Zelevas was given command of a notable frontier fleet in charge of fending off alien invasion and pirate attacks. Zelevas excelled even further as a tactician during this time, defeating various pirate fleets and Craver invaders with excellent prowess. Two events occurred during this time that would dramatically affect the course of the galaxy, and continue affecting it for over a thousand years.
The first was a military victory against a pirate fleet that had strayed too far from uncharted territory and was intercepted by Maximilian's fleet. In the ensuing battle, one of the ships was disabled and later boarded and taken as a prize. Onboard were many treasures plundered from raids across the galaxy, but nothing that would put a dent in the pocket of a Zelevas. However, hidden in the treasure room was an Ancient Endless artifact, a beacon that the pirate's had been following before being intercepted. Curious as to what the beacon could possibly reveal, Maximilian followed it to its source deep in uncolonized territory, where he discovered a lone moon temple orbiting a barren world, the only one in the system.
It took three days to bore through the Temple's doors, but inside was a shrine holding a large cup-like artifact, a goblet almost three feet tall. The beacon glowed hotly when held before it, and ancient Endless writing on the facade behind it seemed to spell out the goblet's purpose. Maximilian retrieved the artifact and claimed it as his own, and loaded the goblet and ripped the facade out of the wall for transport home.
The second coincidental event was carried out by the heir third in line to the throne, Versimminon Zelevas. After a falling out with the first heir, Versimminon worried that once the Emperor had passed away, Versimminon would be exiled from court and his lands revoked. After the Emperor's health took a turn for the worse, Versimminon took action and attempted to assassinate Camian and the second heir, in an attempt to take the throne for himself. The attempt failed when after Camian's assassination, the fourth heir was mistakenly killed instead of the second. Fighting against time, Versimminon took his own personal fleet and engaged the second heir's. Both were killed in the ensuing battle, and many lives were lost before peace was once again restored.
The first four heirs to the throne had died in a single day, and the Emperor was declared to be on his death bed. The fifth heir took power, but he was widely considered a useless royal bum, spending most of his time partying and hatching pranks that made life in the Palace difficult. Once the news reached Maximilian, who was returning from his Temple exploration, he immediately raced home to the Capital. It was too late for the Emperor, who had died in his sleep not three hours from his arrival. There the fifth heir had crowned himself Emperor Dromilix Zelevas II, and had barricaded himself in the royal palace.
How Maximilian managed to convince the Sherydan to relinquish Dromilix to him, a betrayal of their strongest oath to protect the Emperor at all costs, is a complete mystery wreathed in legend and myth. Many of them no doubt told by Empire information spreaders. Nevertheless, Dromilix was forced to relinquish the throne, and he was banished from the Inner Worlds for the rest of his life. Emperor Maximilian Zelevas I became leader of the entire United Empire of Humanity, and not a single life was taken by him.
No reliable source can confirm how it worked, as Maximilian made sure to silence all those that worked on the project afterward, and it is probably impossible as the Artifact itself was thrown into a sun to prevent anyone else from ever obtaining Maximilian's Reward. With the Artifact Maximilian recovered from the Endless Temple, Maximilian managed to unlock the secret to immortality by translating the facade and using the goblet stolen from the Temple.
No one can say just what he did to complete the process, some claiming that he created a witches brew from rare species taken from around the galaxy and drank the mixture from the cup, others that he chanted a powerfull spell and sacrificed a hundred civilians to make it work. Whatever the case, Maximilian became the first Emperor to outlive his heir's great great grandchildren, and so he spawned a new age for Humanity.