I’ve been having a recurring dream lately. In it, I’m trapped inside an endless maze. Every few meters, I’m presented with an option of going left or right, with no indication of which option will let me out of the maze, which direction will get me to the center of the maze, and what I will find at the maze’s end. I spend the entire dream running through, knowing that I have to find an exit to the maze, without knowing at all why. Half of the time, I’m being chased by an unknowable Something Evil, but the other half I’m merely wandering aimlessly, feeling more and more desperate. Inevitably, I wake up safely ensconced in my ship or captain’s quarters, with no mazes in sight (station interiors notwithstanding), but inevitably, I wake up drenched in sweat. Capsuleers aren’t supposed to be afraid of anything, but clearly something has me uneasy. I guess demigods still fear their own dreams.
And so it was with some trepidation that I approached the site found in Aphi known as the Labyrinth. Obviously, the name alone brought my dreams to mind. But with everyone’s sudden interest in exploration and sightseeing, I knew I had to confront my fears sooner rather than later. But that didn’t mean I had to go in unprepared. I started trawling GalNet with gusto, trying to find any information on the Labyrinth that I could. While my research wasn’t quite as productive as I might have hoped, I did at least manage to find a map that would safely guide me through the site, making sure I not be stuck wandering aimlessly. A warp drive also helped with that, admittedly. I also discovered that to access the site, I would need the Key to the Labyrinth, which is obtainable either through the Museum Arcana or other capsuleers.
Upon entering the site, the courageous pilot is presented with a ring of spatial rifts. Although the rifts bear some similarity to their more well-known cousin, the wormhole (most notably, the ability to move ships a certain distance through non-linear space), a number of differences remain. Most notably, the rifts only work over relatively short distances, astronomically speaking. The rifts will only move you tens of thousands of kilometers, instead of the thousands of lightyears that wormholes can throw you. Additionally, while spatial rifts can be found throughout the Cluster, the Labyrinth’s rifts are one of the few known stable examples of the phenomenon. However, they are not completely stable; each segment of the Labyrinth has 8 rifts associated with it; despite this, only certain rifts still connect with something on the other side, suggesting that portions of the Labyrinth may be lost to the ages.
Whether the Labyrinth is a natural or manmade phenomenon is subject to quite a bit of debate. On the one hand, as discussed below, the center of the maze was clearly settled by the Takmahl, with the rest of the site perhaps acting as a proving ground or security system. On the other hand, the Takmahl, clear descendants of an off-branch of Amarr theology (and thus, the fact that Blood Raiders can often be found here should not surprise anyone), were not known for their prowess in spatial manipulation. Such an honor usually falls to the Talocan. So how the Takmahl could have put such a site together is unknown, given that the Takmahl tend to date significantly later than the other lost races of New Eden. Of course, it is just as possible that the Labyrinth was a natural phenomenon merely co-opted by the Takmahl, but that still raises the question of the nature of the Labyrinth. Such a densely packed area of spatial rifts is unknown anywhere else in the Cluster, and nowhere else do we such rifts surviving for as long as the ones here do; at least 2000 years.
As mentioned, when one navigates the, dare I say, labyrinthine connection of spatial rifts to the center of the site, a large Takmahl site can be seen. The site is dominated by an absolutely massive rock, portions of which had been hollowed out by the Takmahl to serve as a base of some kind. Aura marks it as a “temple” (perhaps an understandable assumption given the Takmahl’s religious origins) but I’m not entirely sure where she got her information from. However, it was difficult to see many details from the surface, or even with sensors. More apparent, however, was the cloud of objects surrounding the central structure. Takmahl data terminals and caches could be found strewn around the base, many of them still functioning millennia after they were constructed. Like the Museum Arcana, the Labyrinth is a testament to the Takmahl’s engineering prowess. A number of Blood Raiders based from here, and a number of other collectors can be seen zealously digging through (and defending) the various artifacts to see what hasn’t been snatched up yet.
Given the activity at the site, I didn’t have quite as much time as I would have liked at the central site. I was unfortunately quickly decloaked and forced to defend myself, giving me only minimal time to take sensor readings and collect data before retreating. My ships are built for speed and stealth, not combat. As I warped out of the site, however, I had an eerie moment of déjà vu. Although I was safely ensconced in my ship and warping out, I couldn’t help but feel like I had been here before. On the run, tail tucked between my legs as I sought to exit from a massive maze. Hmmm….
- Attraction: The Labyrinth
- System: Aphi
- Security Rating: 0.5
- Region: Kador
- Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Amarr, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen. Additionally, a number of rats, ranging from frigates to battleships, are present throughout the site. They will fire on you if you remain uncloaked. Please note that the frigates, at least, may warp scramble you.
- Additional Notes: You MUST obtain the Key to the Labyrinth, which I purchased on contracts, in order to get past the first acceleration gate. The key is not consumed upon use.