The turn of the year YC110 saw events carry on much as they had the previous year, with little to suggest the tumultuous changes that would begin to take place in only a few months’ time. Looking at the early months of the year, we might discern faint traces of what was to come, but only with the gift of hindsight could they be marshaled into a pattern leading to a day that will forever be remembered in the history of New Eden.
JanuarySecure Commerce Commission (SCC), accompanied by CONCORD police, raided the headquarters of the Caldari State's Chief Executive Panel (CEP) in search of records that might show the involvement of the Angel Cartel in Caldari corporate affairs. The submission of the CEP to this search, subpoena or no, marked perhaps the lowest point yet in the independence of the State, a guiding principle since its foundation, and arguably, given events later in the year, the zenith of CONCORD's power with respect to the four great empires.
The Independent Gaming Commission formally announced the 5th Alliance Tournament and the rules governing the always keenly anticipated clash of independent capsuleer alliances. Interest among planetside broadcast networks was said to be at the highest yet for an event of this type.
The month closed with the Amarr 7th Fleet under the command of Admiral Vanazir Saracen – the fleet styling itself 'The Saracens' in his honor – scoring in the Bleak Lands what may have looked like a crippling blow against the Minmatar rebels known as the 'Defiants,' destroying two capital ships and a dozen support vessels. Admiral Saracen, having fought the Defiants for many months, may perhaps have realized privately that the rebel group was down but not yet out.
February saw the official launch of a new advanced frigate class, the electronic attack ships. Lai Dai Corporation in particular trumpeted the virtues of its Kitsune-class version and seemed to eclipse other manufacturers in promoting its electronic countermeasure platform.University of Caille organizing a conference to discuss it. The Blood Raiders chose to express their views on the object by disrupting an Amarr Holder's 85th anniversary celebrations in order to broadcast claims that it heralded their triumph over the Amarr Empire.
Controversy erupted in full force as the month drew to a close with the leak of a confidential report on CONCORD operation in the so-called 'Drone Regions' (also known as the 'New Regions') in the ‘northeast’ quadrant of the New Eden cluster. The activities of the Code Aria Inquiry into rogue drone infestations, and the implications of the leaked dossier, caused outrage across the major empires, with the Caldari State and Amarr Empire being most vehement in their condemnation of CONCORD's Inner Circle.
Even the start of the 5th Alliance Tournament at the very end of the month was not free of controversy. The Guristas denounced the organizers for excluding them from entering a team, and it was revealed that Caldari mega-corporations had sent recruiters from their corporate security forces to watch the event.
March kicked off with the all the drama and destruction of the 5th Alliance Tournament. With various factions sponsoring teams, the interest among planetside populations was at an all-time high. Maleatu Shakor, Speaker of the Republic Parliament, even went so far as to endorse the Ushra'Khan team, causing much comment outside the Republic. One Amarr Holder incurred much disapproval by betting heavily on the anarchist Star Fraction alliance, avowed enemies of the Amarr Empire. The tournament continued through the first week to crescendo toward the thrilling final between Triumvirate and Ev0ke. A hard-fought battle saw Ev0ke triumph and win the championship and glory for their Serpentis Corporation sponsors, who wasted no time in boasting of the win.
Interest in the so-called 'Bright Star' continued, with Sanyen Grulliver, a Vherokior shaman, mounting an expedition to investigate the anomaly, believing it to be a gateway to a spirit land inhabited by the ancestors of Minmatar. Much mocked, the expedition faltered when the anomaly abruptly disappeared around the middle of the month. Interest in the Bright Star diminished after the incident.
Warfare in the Bleak Lands continued in the meantime, with the Defiants striking back in resounding fashion after their losses in January, with eight key 7th Fleet installations destroyed in one day of co-ordinated assaults. The Amarr reaction to this was largely confined to looking for and finding a traitor in their own ranks, with the Holder Hejaaz Momir executed for treason after being found guilty by a military tribunal appointed by Admiral Saracen. Somewhat controversially, in an act of literal nepotism, this was followed up with the appointment of Jalir Saracen, nephew of the Admiral, as the provisional Holder of House Momia assets.
Amarr troubles continued to the end of month with three prominent Theology Council Justices – Falek Grange, Aulus Gord and Victor Eliade – going missing along with other council members and many associates. Conflicting reports surrounded the mysterious disappearances from the start, with rumours of a massive military build-up in the Sahkt border system and even sightings of Blood Raiders confusing the picture. The status of the missing Justices as capsuleers and members of the 'Reformist' tendency within Amarr politics only fueled conspiracy theories, as did connections to the court of House Sarum.
AprilCourt Chamberlain Dochuta Karsoth – de facto ruler of the imperium in the absence of an emperor – in which he revealed that the missing Theology Council Justices had been members of a conspiracy to assassinate him and take over the Theology Council. Karsoth went on to announce the capture of the missing justices and their execution as traitors to the Empire. The Royal Heirs were notably silent about the entire affair, seeming content to leave matters to the Court Chamberlain. This turn of events was seen to substantially enhance Karsoth's power, together with his secure grasp on the loyalty of Ministry of Internal Order paladins and the denunciation of the justices as Reformists who sought to overthrow the traditions and religion of the Amarr Empire. Kaalakiota, Lai Dai and Wiyrkomi issued profit warnings on only the second of the month. Together with signs of the economy running down, protests over working conditions flared up. On Yoma III, work at the Zumol Chemical plant came to a halt amid violent clashes between workers and corporate security forces. These came to an end with Zumol Chemical laying off the entire workforce and shipping in 'strike breakers.'
Further unrest arose at reports of Kaalakiota's security division, Home Guard, treating prisoners and even innocent civilians badly, an embarrassment for Kaalakiota as it opened a new Home Guard training center. Economic turbulence continued as the CEP debated higher tariffs on imported goods and it was revealed that both the Lai Dai and CBD Corporations were considering investing in foreign markets to hedge against the faltering Caldari economy.
No improvement in the fortunes of the Caldari State was seen as the bad news piled up. A planetary agricultural blight took place on Tennen VI, mass deaths occurred in a Wiyrkomi drugs trial and a massive industrial accident befell a Sukuuvestaa plant, killing 57 and injuring over 1,200. Indications of a booming Gallente economy, even to the point of labor shortages and the need for Minmatar immigrants to fill positions, were surely a bitter twist if not directly related.
MayBrutor officer, Admiral Ferius Ljarl, as Republic Fleet Chief of Naval Operations on the first day of the month was notable enough in indicating increasing power for the charismatic Maleatu Shakor, the May Revolution was to take place in the ailing Caldari State. Although it seemed at first that the trend of problems in the Caldari State was simply continuing where it left off in April, what started as a mere worker's revolt at an industrial plant on Piak III was to become the seed of sweeping change throughout the Caldari State.
Rise of Tibus HethCaldari Constructions Armor Forge on Piak III was not unique in experiencing a worker's protest on the second day of May. Facilities in the Aikantoh and Lituria systems were also the scene of revolts and a general shut-down as workers employed by Caldari Constructions coordinated a protest against working conditions and the general lot of the Caldari wage-worker. The unique aspect of the revolt on Piak III was that it was led by a man the entire cluster would come to know: Tibus Heth.
The revolt on Piak III also paralyzed and threatened one of the most important assets of Caldari Constructions, the Armor Forge being a key facility producing essential components for starship construction. Perhaps this was why Constructions chose to call in Home Guard, the security arm of the Kaalakiota mega-corporation, who promptly deployed dropships full of mechanized infantry to the site. Caldari Constructions themselves claimed that Heth was holding hostages and threatening to kill everyone in the Armor Forge, claims that later were shown to be exaggerated at best. Whatever the rights and wrongs, the dropships fell and the worker's revolt on Piak III became something altogether more complicated.
Events took a grim turn as Home Guard troops opened fire on protesting workers when Caldari Constructions CEO Torkebaira Shutsu began negotiations with revolt leader Tibus Heth. If it was an attempt to cut off the head of the worker's movement by assassinating Heth, it was spectacularly bungled. With at least one sniper apparently targeting Heth, a young man who apparently was leading the way to the negotiations was shot in Heth’s stead, prompting further rioting from the workers and a fierce struggle at the gates. Tibus Heth was recorded by numerous cameras carrying the body of his comrade to safety, images that were flashed around the State and New Eden within moments.
Even as Torkebaira Shutsu retreated from the fiasco on Piak III in his personal dropship, something remarkable was happening on the Caldari stock markets: Caldari Constructions stock was soaring. A mystery buyer had started to buy the depressed stocks in increasingly large tranches even as they had reached rock-bottom and deadly violence erupted at the Armor Forge. While a stand-off developed at the Armor Forge, with Home Guard troops unwilling to press forward and create what would undoubtedly be one of the bloodiest massacres in the history of industrial unrest in the State, Caldari Constructions stocks were snapped up. Even as the Kaalakiota Corporation denied giving Home Guard the authority to open fire, someone acquired a controlling interest in the corporation at the center of the unrest.MTAC operator at the Caldari Constructions Armor Forge on Piak III, became majority owner of the very corporation he worked for shortly after noon on the Second of April YC110. Setting the seal on the new order at Caldari Constructions, the disgraced Torkebaira Shutsu ceded his personal stocks to Heth before taking his own life.
As news of the revolutionary events on Piak III spread through the Caldari State, worker revolts broke out in the territories of all the mega-corporations – with a notable exception being the Ishukone Corporation's holdings, where little civil disorder was experienced. Mindful of the outrage and escalation caused by the manner in which Home Guard handled the Piak III situation, the mega-corporations adopted a less confrontational stance toward such revolts. Even so, arrests reached into the hundreds as disaffected workers and youths targeted corporate assets and symbols of the wealth and authority of the mega-corporations.
The rioting and disruption across the State reached levels that might have caused the mega-corporations to use deadly force had it not been for the final remarkable event of that day in May. Having been formally invested as the CEO of Caldari Constructions, Tibus Heth secured access to the primary news hub of the Caldari State and broadcast an unauthorized address to the entire State. In his remarks, Heth railed against the corruption of the State by the mega-corporations, blamed Gallente influence for distorting the values of the State's leaders and pledged to restore Caldari to dignity and power.
Perhaps stunned by the sight of one of their own leading a major corporation, rioting workers began to return to their homes. The megacorporations, if anything even more stunned, remained silent. The first day of the May Revolution was over.
Ambassador Keitan Yun
As New Eden absorbed the events in the Caldari State, one man's career began an arc that would lead him to be reviled by some and cheered as a hero by many others. It started as a fairly mundane matter of the appointment of Keitan Yun as Minmatar Republic Ambassador to the CONCORD Assembly. An academic and quiet servant of the Republic held in some regard by Prime Minister Karin Midular, Yun seemed a choice entirely in keeping with the thoughtful, technocrat-heavy mode of government Midular had always stood for.
Many were surprised therefore, not least among them Karin Midular, when Yun used his inaugural speech to the Assembly to condemn CONCORD for acquiescence in the slaving practices of the Amarr Empire and its 'hypocrisy' in allowing the Amarr to send representatives to CONCORD at all. Ejected from the Assembly for refusing to recant, Yun seemed a broken man. Shunned by his Prime Minister, he disappeared from public view. His reappearance was to be quite a different matter.
The Malkalen Incident
In the meantime, simmering resentment over the anti-Gallente sentiments expressed by Tibus Heth broke out into ethnic violence on Caldari Prime – the ancestral home planet of the Caldari abandoned when the Caldari seceded from the Gallente Federation – as Gallente gangs vandalized Caldari heritage sites and attacked Caldari living on the planet. The violence escalated over the next few days as Gallentes and Caldari repeatedly clashed over heritage sites and in settlements with high Caldari populations. The cities of Tovil and Arcurio, in particular, saw heavy rioting and multiple deaths.
The situation spread from Caldari Prime to the Caldari State after Federation security forces used deadly force to quell Caldari rioters. Gallente expatriates in the State came under increasing attack in retaliation for the violence and rising death toll on Caldari Prime. By the 12th of May, many Caldari and Gallente were so repulsed by the rioting and killing that they held anti-violence demonstrations. The most poignant of these was the vigil held at the Landfall Shrine on Caldari Prime, one of the most sacred of Caldari sites, but spontaneous demonstrations were held across the Gallente Federation.Otro Gariushi, the popular CEO of Ishukone Corporation, pleaded for calm and denounced the anti-Gallente rhetoric of Tibus Heth in a State-wide broadcast. Caldari stock markets reacted favourably to Gariushi's sentiments and approval was seen in the Gallente Federation and even in the Caldari-allied Khanid Kingdom. The impact of Gariushi's speech, and the grassroots anti-violence movement, was to stymie the violence before it escalated beyond control.
Within two days, a further remarkable development emerged as Otro Gariushi and Souro Foiritan, Gallente Federation President, agreed to hold an Economic Summit at Ishukone Headquarters in Malkalen. Appearing somewhat wrongfooted, Tibus Heth welcomed the news of the Malkalen Summit just as citizens and markets across New Eden breathed a sigh of relief.
Moving quickly, the Federation sent its Economic Minister, Wadis Chene, at the head of a delegation transported aboard the mighty FNS Wandering Saint, a Nyx-class supercarrier piloted by the venerable Admiral Alexander Noir – last living veteran of the Gallente-Caldari War and respected on all sides as a man of peace who knew what it was to fight. As the great vessel, dwarfing its escorts, arrived in Malkalen and approached a parking orbit with the Ishukone Headquarters station, it seemed to carry the hopes of both the Caldari State and the Gallente Federation with it. History will surely view that as the cruellest of ironies.
We now know that as Otro Gariushi welcomed Wadis Chene at the formal opening of the Economic Summit, Admiral Alexander Noir was preparing to initiate a sequence of events that would leave hundreds of thousands dead. The first sign of trouble came as the FNS Wandering Saint seemed to, indeed, wander out of its parking orbit and turn toward the station itself. Alarm grew as the mighty supercarrier began to accelerate toward the station and all attempts to contact Noir were ignored.
As the point of no return was reached, those that watched expected a tragic accident, the destruction of the supercarrier certainly, some damage to the station perhaps. It is doubtful they expected the station's shields to fail – a mystery that remains unsolved but is attributed by many to sabotage by Noir sympathizers – and the ship to plow into the station like a knife thrust into a living body.
The destruction that followed was on a scale like nothing in recent memory. No station of this size and density of population had ever suffered such a catastrophic blow. The situation was so extraordinary and the nature of the event so crippling that there was a considerable delay in assessing what had happened. Communications networks came under severe overload almost as the first brief outlines of events hit the Caldari State. When realization dawned that a Federation Nyx had rammed into and partially destroyed a State mega-corporation's headquarters, it was stunning in its effect. Yet the State rallied and a massive relief effort swung into action as corporations and independent capsuleers alike rushed to offer assistance. Reeling and decapitated, the Ishukone Corporation announced an emergency disaster relief program and the Servant Sisters of EVE responded in their efficient and practiced fashion. By the next day, Ishukone was able to confirm the deaths of Otro Gariushi and the entire Gallente delegation. The estimated death toll stood at 421,000 with as many persons remaining unaccounted. In its scale the disaster was immediately seen as a matter for the whole Caldari State and in its nature an attack on the entire State.
Quick to recognize this, the Amarr Empire's Theology Council declared an official day of mourning for the Malkalen victims. The Minmatar Republic seemed to await the position of its ally the Federation, but this was days in coming. Eventually, four days after the event, President Souro Foiritan of the Gallente Federation confirmed in all particulars the Ishukone Corporation’s account of the Malkalen Disaster, condemning it as the act of a single man, Noir, and denying any complicity on the part of the Federation. Incredible as this may have seemed to some, the Caldari State took this in grief-stricken silence with little if anything in the way of anti-Gallente protests or violence breaking out.
While the citizens of the State mourned the victims of Malkalen, Tibus Heth was not idle. The May Revolution was to enter its next stage with the foundation of the Caldari Providence Directorate. This began with the surprise announcement by Ytiri Warehouse CEO Tantima Iwisoda that he was stepping down and handing full control of his corporation to Heth's Caldari Constructions. In addressing the new partnership, Heth announced the formation of the Caldari Providence Directorate as the controlling organization within the new corporate structure. The members of this unusual corporate entity soon became known as the 'Provists.'
The ability of Tibus Heth and the Provists to acquire another corporation may have startled some, but Ytiri was a relatively minor corporation. More than startling – in fact, simply amazing – was the takeover of Kaalakiota Corporation, the biggest mega-corporation of them all, by Heth and the Caldari Providence Directorate a mere two days after the Ytiri acquisition. Apparently effected by virtue of former KK CEO Haatakan Oiritsuu stepping down in Heth's favor, the Kaalakiota takeover transformed Heth from a demagogue with the power of a corporate CEO into arguably the most powerful man in the State.
Concerted opposition by the other mega-corporations could have stopped Tibus Heth in principle, but it was soon established that the others were of no mind to act. Addressing the population as a member of the leadership of the Caldari State, Tibus Heth mourned the passing of Otro Gariushi and the fallen of Malkalen, now numbering over 600,000 dead, and then declared a quarantine of all Gallente expatriates within State borders. This move was not opposed by any of the other Big Eight mega-corporations.
In other empires, while the Caldari's May Revolution and the Malkalen Disaster was watched carefully, serious events merited the immediate attention of the Amarr Empire and the Minmatar Republic. Increasing attacks on Amarr shipping in Minmatar territory throughout May had caused disquiet enough, but a new upsurge in Defiants activity in the Bleak Lands caused serious diplomatic friction. In particular, the presence of informal 'Minmatar militias' bolstering the forces of the Defiants rebels in fighting against the Amarr 7th Fleet awoke the Amarr Empire's wrath.
While the Minmatar Republic denied any support for the Defiants, the Amarr Empire's representatives at the CONCORD Assembly demanded that the Republic curb the Defiants and any militias. With a sense of timing not lost on the Amarr Empire or the Caldari State, the Republic and the Gallente Federation began large-scale fleet exercises in the Metropolis region using the none-too-subtle name of 'Operation Brotherhood.'
Any confidence Operation Brotherhood may have given the Minmatar Republic, however, was wiped out when the Angel Cartel declared itself the sovereign power of Skarkon, a Republic system on the border of 0.0 space in the Cartel's sphere of influence. Even though CONCORD dismissed the claims as illegitimate, the Republic looked powerless to intervene as the population of Skarkon welcomed the change, having been neglected for years by Republic authorities.
The final act of the May Revolution came as the arc of Keitan Yun's career blazed into a prominence no mere ambassador could hope for. On the twenty-ninth of May, the Kaalakiota-Ytiri conglomerate agreed on strategic partnerships with all the other Big Eight mega-corporations, save for Ishukone. With this agreement, Tibus Heth's Caldari Providence Directorate gained control of the vast majority of the Caldari State’s industrial base. A unity not seen in the State for decades had been achieved, and would soon be improved on yet further.
The penultimate day of May bore witness to two extraordinary events. One of them transfixed the attention of all and eclipsed the other, rather quieter and almost resigned occurence. Both were important in understanding what was to come. At approximately 110.05.30 10:30, an armada of Minmatar ships jumped into the Yulai system without using any of the system's stargates. Within seconds a fleet composed of multiple Naglafar-class dreadnoughts bearing Republic Fleet markings, but broadcasting no identifiers, surrounded the CONCORD Bureau Station, escorted by many Thukker Tribe vessels equally bereft of electronic identifiers. Only a few minutes after their arrival and menacing encirclement of the CONCORD headquarters, the mystery capitals and escorts jumped out of the system without a shot being fired.
As CONCORD grappled with the pressing question of quite how an entire armada had jumped into the most secure system in New Eden, without using gates and bypassing cynosural suppression fields with contemptuous ease, the news of the nature of the ships raised equally urgent questions for the Minmatar Republic and Prime Minister Karin Midular. The revelation later in the day that Keitan Yun, the disgraced Minmatar Ambassador to CONCORD, had spoken to CONCORD authorities just before and during the Yulai Incursion with apparent knowledge of the purposes of the mystery fleet, only intensified pressue on the Midular administration. Disavowing Yun and denying the involvement of any Republic Fleet assets in the incident, Karin Midular appeared to many observers to cut a bewildered figure losing control of the Republic, its institutions and its people.
As the impact of the Yulai Incursion made itelf felt, the second extraordinary event of the day passed with relatively little notice. Still in mourning and administratively crippled, the Ishukone Corporation agreed to grant strategic control of its industrial operations to the Caldari Providence Directorate, completing the May Revolution and bringing all Caldari megacorporations under the effective control of Tibus Heth. For the first time in centuries, the Caldari were controlled by one man, with the question for many being whether he was the saviour of the Caldari nation or its newly-crowned tyrant.
June of the year YC110 was not to be a month of anti-climax when set against the revolutionary events of May, though many might have wished it had been when the dust of events settled. The first few days were full of problems but the pace of events was to accelerate beyond imagining on a day that any history of New Eden will surely count as the most tumultuous for centuries, if not ever.Ammatar border as the government and military tried to stop total disintegration and war from breaking out.
Tibus Heth, waxing in power, declared a national draft, invoking the Malkalen Disaster as evidence of the need for the Caldari State to defend itself. Violence on Caldari Prime flared up once more as the sight of Gallentes fleeing the State caused anti-Caldari riots on the troubled planet. President Souro Foiritan was moved to decree martial law on Caldari Prime and pointed to Tibus Heth as the responsible party for 'inciting' the violence.
With the Republic lurching out of control, and the State and Federation at odds, the Amarr Empire seemed momentarily to be uniquely serene among the great empires of the core. This serenity was rudely shattered by the news that a large population of Starkmanir had been discovered among the slave population of the Ammatar Mandate. Thought all but extinct after a campaign of extermination by the Amarr centuries ago, the discovery of a viable population of surviving Starkmanir within territories essentially controlled by the Amarr came as an astonishing surprise.
Amid violent scenes, the vote was tallied and found to be overwhelmingly in favour of the no-confidence motion. In response, Karin Midular dissolved the Republic Parliament and declared Maleatu Shakor to be 'expelled' from government. As news of the dissolution of the Parliament spread, riots erupted across the Republic with citizens enraged by the lack of action on the Starkmanir issue. Curiously, within a day the Angel Cartel was to abandon its claim to Skarkon, leaving many facilities behind it. Despite this, Shakor commented that the Skarkon issue was one of many that led to the vote of no confidence in the Midular government.
As the Republic found itself convulsed by political turmoil, Chamberlain Karsoth moved to assert his control over the situation within the Amarr Empire, recalling Admiral Vanazir Saracen to the Throne Worlds and putting Saracen's Amarr 7th Fleet on stand-by. Echoes of the Theology Council Justices affair were seen when Karsoth detained Admiral Saracen on charges of high treason as soon as the latter arrived in Amarr. The 7th Fleet was swiftly reassigned from the Bleak Lands to duties in the Aridia region, justified by the lack of any Defiants activity for over a week.
110.06.10 is a date that it is inconceivable could ever be forgotten by the New Eden cluster. It is the date that more than any other defines the year YC110 and perhaps can be considered the beginning of a new era, a new age.
The fulcrum around which the day revolved was the unprecedented neutralization of CONCORD, an unthinkable happening in the political and military order of New Eden and yet one which did indeed take place. Early in the morning, Yulai was invaded once more by a combined Minmatar-Thukker fleet, once more unidentified and once more apparently using jump drives and portals somehow bypassing the cynosural jamming technology used by CONCORD to secure the system. The instant the invading fleet arrived, CONCORD shut down the stargates leading to Yulai and mobilized its entire fleet. Given the size and power of the Minmatar-Thukker fleet that entered Yulai that morning, it is doubtful any measures could have been taken by CONCORD to stop what happened next.Titan, to unleash its Gjallarhorn doomsday weapon just before it departed Yulai, ensuring the absolute destruction of the CONCORD Bureau and any remaining defense vessels.
Despite the destruction, an evacuation of the station had been possible and a majority of the CONCORD Assembly delegates were later found alive. Search and rescue vessels combed the system as the Inner Circle took the precaution of evacuating their own station and relocating to an unknown location on Yulai VIII. Surviving CONCORD vessels were able to report a total absence of Minmatar and Thukker vessels in the system. With CONCORD looking to its own, the effects of a crashed network and the absence of DED enforcement ships began to be felt. Jita, for some the hub of New Eden itself, experienced the consequences in short order, with pirates flooding into the system to take advantage of the opportunity to plunder without interruption from CONCORD battleships. In some respects, the Jita market crashing, along with most others across the cluster, as SCC systems went offline was a minor matter.
The Minmatar Fleet
Analysts would later recognize the strike at CONCORD to be a means to an end, rather than an act with any element of political significance in itself, for the next step in the broader plan was not long in coming as events shifted to encompass the Ammatar Mandate and the fate of the Starkmanir. Taking the Ammatar Fleet by surprise, a Minmatar-Thukker armada jumped into Jarizza system and, after making short work of the scattered Ammatar patrol groups, began deploying across the system. In particular, the invaders massed the bulk of their force over the planet Halturzhan (Jarizza IV), where the surviving Starkmanir had been discovered.
As waves of dropships descended on the planet to recover the Starkmanir, unconfirmed reports carried the news that the Ammatar Consulate Governor, Ana Utulf, was encouraging her citizens to defect to the invaders. This turned out to be true and probably accounts for the notable lack of resistance to the Minmatar incursion into Ammatar space and on the ground. Of course, the presence in the field of a Ragnarok-class Titan may also have factored into the successes of the invaders.
Barely had the Amarr registered the incursion into Ammatar space when they had to deal with a second Minmatar-Thukker armada in the heartlands of the Empire. Also backed by a Ragnarok-class, this fleet struck at Kor-Azor Prime, a core system and home of the Royal House of Kor-Azor. Heavy space-fighting across the region was seen as elements of the invading fleet sought to deal with the dispersed Kor-Azor forces before they could regroup. Landings took place on the heavily-populated planet of Eclipticum, and the Kor-Azor Family Bureau Station was taken by Minmatar shock troops.
Panic seemed to grip the Empire as rumors of a third Minmatar-Thukker armada swept the Domain region, causing Amarr troops to begin mass executions of slaves in Sarum Prime. As the presence of just such a third invasion fleet was confirmed and fierce fighting erupted in Sarum Prime, the Imperial Navy appeared to rally and began to mass forces in Sarum Prime in an effort to make a stand.
In the Minmatar Republic, a state of stupefied confusion among the populace gave way to chaotic rejoicing as the news of the invasions and the rescue of the Starkmanir overtook the disturbing news of defections in the Ammatar Mandate. As it became clear that the Amarr Empire was being beaten on multiple fronts by Minmatar-Thukker invasion forces, and the armadas were reported to be led by the legendary Elders, the celebrations took on a frenzied, almost primal air.
In the background of these celebrations, more sinister events were taking place as literally hundreds of government officials at every level of the Republic apparatus were assassinated in what has become known as 'The Purge.' Every corpse left behind by the assassins had a dossier of evidence with it purporting to show the complicity of the victim with the Amarr Empire's efforts to infiltrate, destabilize and control the Republic. This deeply controversial aspect of events in the Republic is a topic seldom spoken of since that day.
As the Imperial Navy desperately assessed the movements and strength of the invaders – military analysts discovering that decisive engagements had taken place in the Bleak Lands, Derelik and Kador before the invasion fleets arrived at their primary targets – all prospect of successfully counter-attacking in the Kor-Azor region collapsed with an assault in the Andrub system leaving the Ministry of War station, hub of the regional command, offline. Sarum Prime became the entire focus of the Amarr Empire's defense and the Imperial Navy continued to marshal its forces with that in mind.
The Caldari Invasionstargate.
The Gallente Federation had no inkling that a task force numbering in the thousands of ships was approaching their border until the invasion force had crossed over. The total failure of the Federation early-warning system known as 'Tripwire' echoed many technological failures on this day, not least the ease with which CONCORD's defensive strategy was bypassed. Hard lessons were being learned on all sides but the Federation was perhaps to be forced into learning the hardest ones of all.
Within half an hour of the Caldari task force crossing the border it entered Luminaire, the home system of the Gallente Federation and ancestral home system of the Caldari people. No Federation forces of sufficient strength to stop it could be mustered in time. A Leviathan-class Titan and capitals from all of the Big Eight megacorporations spearheaded the invasion. The thousands-strong force proceeded to lock down the system and impose an unbreakable blockade, despite the best desperate efforts of Federation Navy reinforcements.
In a move that some might consider rather cursory, the Gallente Senate in Villore declared war on the Caldari Senate in an emergency session called by Senator Mentas Blaque. Panic erupted elsewhere in the Federation, as the news of full-scale invasion by Caldari forces spread over the news feeds, urgently replacing accounts of the shocking events elsewhere in New Eden. Federation systems in the assumed path of the invasion suffered the greatest chaos and transit systems were effectively paralyzed as citizens made to flee from the invaders. In the Caldari State, the news was equally shocking but provoked a strange solemnity in the citizenry, as if the Caldari people were only now understanding what it meant to be at war again.
The Gallente response to the invasion rested on two main planks: the first resistance within Luminaire itself and the second a counter-thrust by the Federation Navy. In respect of Luminaire, the Caldari Navy concentrated on maintaining the blockade, which it successfully held throughout the invasion, and on gaining control of Caldari Prime. Bloody as the invasion was, the horrors that would have attended an assault on the densely-populated Gallente Prime were not unleashed. Yet an assault on a populated planet was undertaken nonetheless and the Caldari Navy's first move was a bombardment of Caldari Prime’s defenses, a bombardment replete with irony in more ways than one.
As the Caldari Navy carried out its bombardment of the Caldari Prime defenses and established its superiority in Luminaire space beyond all doubt, the Federation Navy began its counterthrust. Recognizing that a relief of Luminaire was unattainable, President Foiritan authorized his forces to converge on Tierijev, a system under Caldari control that stood astride a route leading to the heart of the State. As the Federation Navy hastened to its new objective, Caldari dropships were entering the atmosphere of Caldari Prime and mechanized infantry were soon to be landing in the cities of Tovil and Arcurio.
Then, quite suddenly, President Souro Foiritan called off the counterattack in Tierijev. Within a quarter of an hour of that order, the Gallente Federation ceded control of Caldari Prime to the Caldari State and Tibus Heth personally raised the State flag over the city of Arcurio. All this is believed to have followed negotiations between Souro Foiritan and Tibus Heth. While the precise details of those negotiations remain under diplomatic seal, it is alleged that Heth threatened to bomb Gallente populations centers in Luminaire if Foiritan did not accede to his demands.
Hostilities on Caldari Prime came to an end at 16:00 EST, the agreed truce coming into full effect with all sides under ceasefire orders. The truce stipulating that the Caldari State's claims are for Caldari Prime alone, the bulk of their navy forces began to withdraw almost immediately from Federation space. With the blockade of Luminaire lifted, the Federation Navy was able to shadow the main Caldari force while discovering that the Leviathan-class Titan and its escorts remained in orbit around Caldari Prime.
MekhiosMekhios (Sarum Prime III), engaged the enormous Minmatar-Thukker armada in orbit there with determined fury. By the time the Caldari-Gallente conflict had effectively been settled, the warfare above Mekhios had become a grim stalemate, the Minmatar Ragnarok's doomsday weapon rendered impotent by the continuous stream of dropships laden with rescued slaves returning from Mekhios.
The breaking of this stalemate was perhaps the most astonishing event in a day filled with hitherto unthinkable happenings. Even as the Caldari Navy withdrew back to the State, the Amarr Imperial Navy began to retreat from its positions over Mekhios. The Elder-led fleet disdained pursuit and held its own position as the Amarr warped away. Perhaps assuming the Imperial Navy to be broken, the Minmatar-Thukker taskforce continued its work and redoubled efforts to rescue the many slaves on Mekhios.
Perhaps the commanders of the invasion fleet were puzzled by the appearance of a lone squadron of only thirteen Amarr battleships over Mekhios, but we will never know what they thought when they realized what their overviews were telling them about the identity of the lead Amarr ship’s commander. Jamyl Sarum, returned from the dead, leading a squadron of battleships against an entire Minmatar-Thukker armada. The impact this news had on the New Eden cluster when it spread across the news feeds was powerful enough. How it affected the men of that armada can only be conjectured. For analysis of telescopes, detector arrays and fragments of holodata all point to one thing: a massive explosion above Mekhios destroyed that entire invasion fleet. No ship survived, no-one survived.
With their fleet destroyed, the Minmatar forces on the surface of Mekhios were doomed. Amarr retaliation was swift and merciless, crushing the invaders. The woes of Mekhios were not ended, though, as vast quantities of wreckage from battle and the destroyed armada began to fall into the atmosphere, wreaking havoc across the planet. Jamyl Sarum's victory here had come at a price.
Perceiving that the Amarr had gained the upper hand by virtue of Jamyl Sarum's possession of a weapon of terrible power, even if the nature of that weapon was not fully understood, the remaining Elder fleets elected to retreat from their positions in Kor-Azor and Derelik. The Imperial Navy pursued with Jamyl Sarum at their head. As the invaders became the hunted, an act of heroism by the Defiants rebels allowed the retreating fleets to gain ground. Engaging the pursuing Amarr forces in a desperate holding action, the Minmatar freedom fighters paid with their lives to buy precious time for their Minmatar and Thukker comrades. When the Imperial Navy once more took up the pursuit of the Elder fleets, no trace of the Defiants remained.
CONCORD's network comes back online
Appropriately enough, the final act of the day mirrored the first as CONCORD finally restored its rapid-reaction capability and brought its networks back on line. Issuing a cease and desist order to all combatants, CONCORD designated the Minmatar-Thukker fleets as mercenaries charged with 'crimes against humanity.' They alone could be engaged at will. The CONCORD Assembly was not finished, however, as it invoked the 'Emergency Militia War Powers Act', providing for the four empires to form capsuleer militias. In this way were the State Protectorate, Federal Defence Union, Tribal Liberation Force and 24th Imperial Crusade brought into being.
While the Imperial Navy pursued the fleeing Elder fleets to the border with the Minmatar Republic, Jamyl Sarum chose to heed the call of CONCORD and avoid a confrontation with the Republic itself, pulling up the Amarr forces at the Vard stargate in Ezzara system. The Elder fleet was allowed to pass through Republic space without contest, the Republic Fleet refusing to engage Minmatar-Thukker armada no matter what criminal status CONCORD may have given it.
As the dust of 110.06.10 began to settle, reports indicated that the Elders had rescued the entire Starkmanir population together with tens of millions of other slaves. Amarr Court Chamberlain Dochuta Karsoth was found to be missing with his once-loyal Ministry of Internal Order searching for him. As Jamyl Sarum's fleets began to return home, the Order of St. Tetrimon took it upon itself to speak for the Amarr, with Grand Master Horm declaring that: "God's children rejoice as His light returns home, and the light shall bring death and despair on His enemies."
The aftermath of 110.06.10 in the Amarr Empire included fearful reprisals against those rebellious slaves that were left behind when the Elder fleets retreated. Thousands upon thousands of rebels were killed as the Imperial Navy used orbital bombardment to eliminate any holdouts. Military mobilization in the Khanid Kingdom was suspended as it became clear that no incursions had taken place in its territory, and Khanid II calmed the population with an address to the Kingdom. As Jamyl Sarum's return from the dead was absorbed it met with mixed reactions within the Empire. Her apparent failure to properly observe the ritual of Shathol'Syn – requiring the suicide of all remaining Royal Heirs on the accession of a new Emperor to the throne – constituted a religious crime. Yet counterbalancing this was the critical role Sarum had assumed in halting and repelling the Minmatar invaders.
While the Amarr Empire recovered itself, reports of a new region of space opening up in the volume of space known as 'Black Rise' were confirmed. Convinced of their strength, the Caldari State opened up the new region they had secretly colonized and showed the Gallente Federation that yet another border with the State now existed. Concerned with affairs within the Federation, President Souro Foiritan addressed the nation and revealed the treachery of Grand Admiral Anvent Eturrer, promising to bring him to justice and pledging to restore the dignity of the Federation.
Even though the formal militaries of the empires had ceased belligerent operations, it soon became clear that the newly-formed capsuleer militias would lose no time in fighting across the territories of all four nations. Fleets of capsuleers numbering in the hundreds clashed across Black Rise and the Bleak Lands in particular, with the State Protectorate and 24th Imperial Crusade allying against the Federal Defence Union and Tribal Liberation Force.
Despite the misgivings of some in the Amarr Empire, the Royal Heirs of Ardishapur, Kador, Kor-Azor and Tash-Murkon backed Jamyl Sarum's claim to the Imperial Throne, waiving their own rights to contest the succession by trial. In the absence of a Court Chamberlain, Aritcio Kor-Azor, as son of the last Emperor Doriam II, appointed the interim Chamberlain Hemirin. The Theology Council was soon petitioned by Court Chamberlain Hemirin to approve his declaration of Jamyl Sarum as Empress-elect. Moving swiftly, the Theology Council confirmed the validity of the nomination of Jamyl Sarum and authorized the Chamberlain to hold the Imperial Coronation as soon as possible.
Republic Parliament and the occupation of Caldari Prime
Even as the order of things seemed to be overturned in the Amarr Empire, the Minmatar Republic was re-adjusting itself to the new reality. Having called an emergency session of the Republic Parliament, Sebiestor Chief and former Prime Minister Karin Midular called for elections to be held as soon as possible. Keitan Yun, now a hero to many, asked Maleatu Shakor to return to the Republic. Within a few days, Shakor did just this, at the head of a large fleet, and was escorted by the Republic Fleet to Matar, where he was welcomed by Karin Midular and the other tribal chiefs.
Named as the unity candidate for the premiership of the Minmatar Republic, Maleatu Shakor ran unopposed in an election that took place within a week of his return. The turnout was the lowest on record for 30 years but counting, although a formality, was scheduled to take some days.
As the terrible and fantastic month of June in the year YC110 drew to a close, the occupation of Caldari Prime acquired a settled and routine air, with the remaining Gallente military forced into hiding. The months ahead would see guerrilla warfare, mass imprisonments and all the problems of occupation on Caldari Prime.
July opened with the official declaration of the election of Maleatu Shakor as Prime Minister of the Minmatar Republic. Almost as if the pitch and pace of events from May through June could not be maintained by a fatigued New Eden, the month saw little to astonish. The warring capsuleer militias kept up a steady battle across contested systems, with some seeing occupation while others were relieved by militias supporting their sovereign powers. The Theology Council decided to recall various artifacts from the Bleak Lands, now a region more dangerous than ever it was when the Blood Raiders roamed its spaceways.Mordu's Legion mercenary company experienced a surge in recruitment.
August saw the idolatry of Maleatu Shakor result in tragedy as a pair of foolish youths blinded themselves in imitation of the old white-eyed hero. Elsewhere in the Republic, many Minmatar were so inspired by the appearance of the legendary Elders that they set out as 'pilgrims' to the Great Wildlands, where the Minmatar-Thukker fleets were believed to have gone. At least one such convoy was to go missing in the course of the month.
Huola system became the focus of warfare between the 24th Imperial Crusade and the Tribal Liberation Force, as the Amarr searched for a missing Ammatar scientist, Dresen Karnell, believed shot down in the system at the end of July. Karnell was eventually found and extracted, and the incident demonstrated the usefulness of militias to the empires in achieving delicate objectives.
The occupation of Caldari Prime took a turn for the worse as Gallente resistance fighters turned to bombings and used the tactics of a guerrilla insurgency in the face of the well-equipped and large Caldari military. The death toll rose steadily throughout the month, which ended with the grim revelation of a secret prison set up by the Caldari occupation force in an abandoned underwater arcology.
SeptemberFIO, the 'Special Department of Internal Investigations and Federal Security,' headed by Senator Mentas Blaque, one-time bitter rival of Souro Foiritan but an undoubted patriot. With its rather unwieldy name and a logo consisting of a plain black Federation eagle, the new organization soon became known as the 'Black Eagles.'
The Minmatar Republic saw subtle but definite change with the inauguration of Prime Minister Maleatu Shakor as 'Sanmatar' of the Minmatar people. A title resurrected from the days of the Minmatar Empire, the Sanmatar was de facto head of state in the old empire, with the role of mediating between the tribes and guiding the nation as a whole. The transformation of the office of Prime Minister into something harking back to tribal times met with a mixed reaction within the Republic and beyond.
In the Caldari State, Tibus Heth's program of reforms had been in place long enough for an independent audit to assess them and give a positive report on their effects. A cautious reaction to this outside the State was of little interest to State citizens, who enthusiastically backed the Heth program. The Amarr Empire's Chamberlain Hemirin announced the coronation of Jamyl Sarum for the Twenty-Sixth of September, but despite much preparation it was later postponed until the first week of October.
The Chief Executive Panel of the Caldari State got on with more mundane affairs, as it established a Reform Guidance Board to oversee the Provist reforms of the Caldari State in the absence on sick leave of Caldari Providence Directorate COO Janus Bravour.
NovemberUriam Kador and Yonis Ardishapur in the campaigning of the 24th Imperial Crusade, or the strange corporate scandals that collapsed the Caldari State's Reform Guidance Board, events seemed to pile up with a new urgency. Perhaps after 110.06.10, even at five months’ remove, people believed that almost anything could spark tumultuous change.
Shocking as the Kador Incursion was, perhaps it was not quite so startling as once it would have been. Alert watchers of interstellar events might have felt something was in the wind when a 200-strong Amarr fleet was in the Tash-Murkon region, and the ruling house of that vast demesne declared they had no knowledge of the fleet nor any Imperial Navy exercises in their territory. The astute would have felt something unusual was definitely afoot when a similarly-sized force was detected in the Aridia region.
It was surely a surprise, however, when this fleet of Amarr warships was sighted crossing into Gallente Federation space. Reportedly under the orders of Amarr Royal Heir Uriam Kador, the fleet made for the Ratillose system and, upon arrival there, engaged in heavy fighting with the Gallente defense forces. As the news of the incursion was confirmed, the Imperial Navy declared the fleet 'rogue,' acting without the sanction of the Ministry of War and not representing the Amarr Empire.
Whatever the Kador plan may have been – and the reason for the attack does remain obscure still – it was thwarted by a massive Federation counterattack as an Erebus-class Titan and accompanying Federation Navy forces moved to destroy the invading fleet. Outnumbered at least four to one and sustaining heavy losses, the Kador began to retreat immediately. Commanding the counter-attack, Federation Grand Admiral Anteson Ranchel declared that the Kador fleet would not be allowed to return to Amarr territory. Whether some surviving elements did eventually limp back or not, the Grand Admiral's promise was substantially made good and the Gallente Federation was able to claim a 'decisive victory.'
The penalty for miscalculating so badly was initially a reprimand for Uriam Kador from Empress Jamyl I and the confiscation of what remained of the House Kador fleet. This last caused some comment and it was noted that the Empress appeared to be bringing back into force the old edict of Emperor Heideran VII against military fleets independent of the Imperial Navy. In the Gallente Federation, President Souro Foiritan declared the Navy ready to protect the Federation with 'terrible force' and suggested that further action might be forthcoming.
It was not too much later in November when that further action materialized, as a Federation Navy fleet moved in force across the Aridia border. With Amarr Navy vessels monitoring their movements, but not moving to intercept, the 100-strong fleet headed for Kador Prime. The Federation Navy forces were able to overwhelm what was left of the Kador defense fleet and sent boarding troops into the Kador Family Bureau station in orbit around Kador Prime I. Shortly thereafter the Federation fleet withdrew, its mission apparently successful, and departed Kador Prime, heading for the Gallente Federation with no more interference from the Imperial Navy than before.
Later that day, President Souro Foiritan addressed the Federation to announce the capture of the traitor Grand Admiral Anvent Eturrer. It transpired that the extraction of the renegade Federation officer was the primary goal of the operation in Kador Prime and with this, and the dissolution of the Kador fleet, the Federation considered the matter of the Kador Incursion closed.
For its part, the Amarr Empire maintained an inscrutable silence throughout the affair. Empress Jamyl I's next public declaration concerned the Ammatar Mandate, which she placed under the direct authority of Royal Heir Yonis Ardishapur.
December opened with the Federation citizenry rallying enthusiastically behind their government and military in the wake of recent defensive and offensive operations, not to mention the capture of the reviled Anvent Eturrer. In contrast, the Caldari State was wracked with uncertainty about its economy and the occupation of Caldari Prime continued to be problematic, with the Gallente resistance found to be receiving substantial offworld support.
Unusual news of large-scale operations carried out against the Blood Raider Covenant by the Royal Khanid Navy led to an even more astonishing revelation. After intense fighting and massive losses on both sides, the Khanid Kingdom was able to send the renegade ex-Chamberlain Dochuta Karsoth in chains to its Amarr allies. That the disgraced Chamberlain had chosen to hide among the heretical Blood Raiders confirmed the rumors that had been whispered in the Empire since his disappearance. Empress Jamyl I expressed her deep gratitude to King Khanid II, and the Kingdom and Empire seemed closer than ever before.
The final days of the year saw three remarkable events, but one of these towered above all others. On the 25th day of December YC110, the traitors Anvent Eturrer and Dochuta Karsoth were executed by their respective governments. The heretic and former Chamberlain was extraordinarily permitted the small dignity of an execution held behind closed doors. In this, perhaps Jamyl Sarum thought to send a message. In the Gallente Federation, the renegade Federation Navy officer was put to death in a quite different fashion. Anvent Eturrer was publicly executed in the most grotesque fashion that the Federation could devise, as a sound-sensitive chemical agent disrupted the very cells of his body in response to the roars of the watching crowds. The contrast between these executions was not lost on anyone.
While President Foiritan may have considered his work for the day done, the Empress of Amarr did not. For following the execution of Karsoth, she made a declaration that was so unexpected it could hardly have been a more fitting finale to a year of so many unexpected events. By Imperial decree, Empress Jamyl I ordered the emancipation of all slaves of 9th generation and upwards, with the additional emancipation of all slaves working as academics or theologians. Dominating the remainder of the year, the emancipation edict's most immediate effect was to provoke rejoicing among former slaves. Its longer-term effects remain to be seen but as a sign of the ability of Empress Jamyl I to make radical change it cannot be understated.