Grand Duke Florian was not supposed to ascend to the Orlesian throne. His elder brother, Emperor Judicael II, had two twin sons and thus a very secure line. Florian was free to pursue other interests, none of which revolved around the Game. Indeed, the Imperial Court largely ignored him, and that was how he liked it. All that was recorded of that era is that he married, produced a single daughter, and afterwards showed little interest in her.
An outbreak of the Hundred Days Cough in 8:77 Blessed changed his plans. Both of Judicael's sons perished, as did Florian's daughter. Wracked by grief, Judicael lost interest in ruling, turning over all matters pertaining to the rebellion in Ferelden to his advisors and instead spending his time hunting in the country. When Judicael was thrown from his horse during a fox hunt in 8:84 Blessed, Florian was suddenly vaulted into the throne. Famously, his response to the chevaliers delivering the news at his estate is said to be, “This will not do at all.”
A private and somewhat eccentric man, Florian limited his appearances at court and dealt almost exclusively with members of his own family. He was extremely particular about his habits of dress and grooming, eschewing current fashion for the sake of comfort and refusing to wear cosmetics or powders of any kind due to an intense dislike of being "dirty." Powerful and connected nobles who had served in the cabinet since his father's time were turned away in favor of his younger brother, Reynaud; his sister, Melisande; and his cousins. Children were banned from the palace, even the children of servants, with the exceptions of his nephew and nieces, who were tolerated only on the condition that they remain out of the emperor's sight.
Regarding suggestions that Florian and his youngest cousin, Meghren, were lovers, the truth is uncertain. If such a relationship existed, it was no doubt kept private due to Florian's aversion to public life and not from any fear of rumors. Such rumors, after all, were likely spread due to the emperor's refusal to sire another child and thus secure his line—many believed this failing would eventually lead to civil war. The only real evidence of a relationship with Meghren is a loud and very public argument the two had prior to Meghren's appointment (or exile, as he saw it) to the throne of Ferelden. Meghren is said to have called Florian "my darling," and neither man chose to explain the argument later.
The predictions of civil war almost came to pass upon Florian's death in 9:19 Dragon. With no clear heir, the throne eventually passed to the only daughter of Grand Duke Reynaud, Celene, after a vicious struggle that threatened to consume the empire.
- From The Emperors of Orlais, by Brother Harlon Ascari