At the death of Emperor Henoor III in 1604 AG without immediate heirs, Duke Abulurd VI bribed the Sardaukar commander, Col. Bashar Nadab Nadar, to institute a popular "draft" of Harkonnen over the other possible and potential successors among the Corrino Cousines.
Abulurd purchased much support from the poorer Great Houses, but he was not the only one. Civil war seemed certain, until Count Philippos Atreides persuaded a special session of the Landsraad that they should control a Regency while they sorted out the various contentions of the heirs and to settle the opposing claims.
Abulurd carried his objections from the assembly to his awaiting fleet, and planned to attack the Landsraad meeting site. Then the Atreides challenged him to kanly. Abulurd accepted the challenge, with the Imperium at stake.
Harkonnen was defeated after a match lasting more than an hour; the Landsraad then brought a bill of attainder forward while Abulurd's body lay bleeding on the dais.
As a result, the Harkonnens were stripped of their titles and possessions, and exiled once again. Many of the family were killed by kanly challenges from the other Great Houses; all of Abulurd's children were killed in this way before they could flee, as well as many of his cousins, brothers, and cousines
One grandson, Iraklii Harkonnen, managed to escape in disguise.
- HARKONNEN, HOUSE OF