Sightseeing in the Cluster

Diamond Ace Den

Diamond 1

An overview of the Den, with Otitoh VII looming in the background.

The Caldari have always struck me as very straitlaced. Very prim, very proper, and not likely to do much in the way of entertainment when there is work to be done. To an extent, I’m sure, that is just some leftover government propaganda that was ingrained in me when I was younger. But when we come to the heart of it, I still can’t get over my internal image of the Caldari as the ultimate utilitarians. After a moment, of course, I realize that they’re as human as any of us, but for the first instant that I think of a Caldari, “fun” just doesn’t seem to enter into the equation at all. It’s not useful. It won’t help corporate profits. Of course, then my conscious brain engages and I remember that, you know, stereotypes don’t completely describe any one person or culture.

Diamond 2

The storage silo can be seen in the background here.

I bring this up because I have to admit that I was vaguely surprised to find a casino pop up on my scanner as I was passing through Otitoh. I shouldn’t have been. For as long as there’s been currency there have been people willing to gamble it away. But it just doesn’t fit with my cultural expectations of the Caldari. They’re MUCH too restrained and reserved to do something like gamble away precious money. Now, us Gallente on the other hand, we love our gambling. Just like we love our drugs, sex, and basically any other vice that the Amarr proclaim as a sin. We like to live life to the fullest. But I guess I just never expected to see that kind of thought from the Caldari. Even beyond that, a bit of research proves that the Caldari are actually prolific gamblers, at times giving even the (fully legal) Gallente casinos a run for their money. Most of the time, Caldari casinos are forced underground, but Caldari officials seem to have given the one in Otitoh a pass. Perhaps that is because the workers in Okkelen already have enough on their plates. But for whatever reason, the Diamond Ace Den is one of the most happening places in the constellation. As Aura notes:

Diamond 3The Caldari love nothing better than to gamble. Whether the bet is on the upcoming Splinterz tournament or the survival rate of the latest green newbie miner that passed through; there is always someone willing to take you on here at the Diamond Ace Den.

Diamond 4

One of the ships that are stationed at the Den.

I shook the thought of just how bored you had to be to bet on miners and focused on looking around. The site was dominated by a familiar site: another storage silo. Possibly to hold the Den’s immense winnings, or just to hold the items they must confiscate to pay off customer debts. I didn’t know, nor was I particularly tempted to ask. The other thing that you first notice upon warping in are the massive hunks of rock floating near the periphery. I noticed after a brief glance that some of those rocks had veldspar glimmering on the surface… maybe the rocks were dragged here for some of the gamblers to have something to watch. Or maybe it was here to make it easier for the casino to call rats in when necessary.

Diamond 5

Otitoh shines weakly onto the Den.

Other than that, there is little of note at the Den. If the Den were planetside, it would almost certainly be found in some dimly lit backstreet alley, with a blinking neon sign found above it. Somehow, the space-based casino manages to recreate that feeling. Set off from the rest of the compound, with Otitoh barely peaking over the limb of the third moon of Otitoh VII, the casino looks small, dark, and dirty. A dim yellow sign balefully blinks the casino’s existence to the universe, even though it stands far removed from the rest of the buildings at the site. Still, it presumably provided the main income for the owners of the Den.

Diamond 6

The casino is oddly set off from the rest of the site.

Beyond the casino, however, the Den’s owner has clearly expanded its business a bit. Playing up the vice angle, a brothel has been built nearby, providing a second way for patrons to waste their money in an hour or two. The brothel, in many ways, seems more prominent than the casino that the Den is named for. Beyond being placed much closer to the warp-in point for the Den, it is bathed in spotlights from two wings sprouting from the top. Whereas the casino almost seems trying to remain hidden in the gloom, the brothel is happy to shout its existence. Nearby, the owners apparently try to maintain a veneer of respectability by also providing a repair bay for patrons.

Despite my Gallente heritage, I had little desire to try my luck at the gambling tables. I had better things to spend my money on, that left far less to chance (my particular skills at flying spaceships is another matter entirely). Still, for those who are looking for a new way to spend their money, there are plenty of opportunities to be found at the Diamond Ace Den.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Diamond Ace Den
  • System: Otitoh
  • Security Rating: 0.5
  • Region: The Forge
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Caldari, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: This also serves as a Caldari COSMOS site. Furthermore, some asteroids here are capable of being mined.
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