Sightseeing in the Cluster

Posts tagged “Heimatar

Karishal Muritor Memorial

Happy new year!
The Karishal Muritol Memorial in Auga.

We tend to think of history as a study in black and white. Things, events, historical figures… they are either Good or they are Bad. This tendency of ours to classify history in this manner is a bit surprising given that we all generally recognize that the present cluster is a sea of grey. Bad events can have positive side effects. Generally good people can have an off day and do something mean or evil-spirited. Bad ideas might have seemed necessary at the time. Insights change as social norms evolve as to what is considered acceptable. But the moment current events pass from our short-term memories and into the history books, we tend to forget the nuances of that moment in favor of a broad categorization one way or another. It’s up to the historians to maintain that nuance, to make sure that we don’t lose the full context to the people and the events of an era.

I'm back after the holidays, as you can see. Still have a bit of backlog to work through from last summer's new monuments.
A closer view of the expression captured to represent Karishal Muritor.

Take, for example, Karishal Muritor, the leader of the Defiants. The Defiants, though largely idolized now as harbingers of the resurrected Tribal Republic and a standard for freedom fighters everywhere, at the time were seen as traitors to the Minmatar Parliament for their refusal to back down against the Amarr when the Republic, led by Karin Midular, sought détente with the Empire. The refusal of the Defiants and others to accept peace with the Ammatar Mandate and the Amarr Empire at large was, in part, what led to the downfall of the Midular government and, ultimately, the parliamentary republic under which the Minmatar were originally organized. And at the head of the Defiants was Karishal Muritor.

I, uhh, didn't have a lot to add. These ones where CCP already gives a ton of context make my job easy!
Muritor’s memorial can be found just off of the Brutor Tribe Bureau in Auga X, Moon 3

Muritor was, unsurprisingly given his threat to stability in the Republic, demonized by Parliament and the Midular government and declared an outlaw. Indeed, an entire Republic Fleet task force was eventually organized to hunt him down, and it was this task force that ultimately killed Muritor in early YC109 in the system of Auga.

Today, Muritor’s image has been rehabilitated, largely due to the efforts of Sanmatar Maleatu Shakor (who, it must be said, benefitted greatly from Muritor’s intransigence). In this spirit, a memorial has been constructed in Auga in Muritor’s honor. In a pleasant surprise, however, the memorial gives a fairly even-handed accounting of Muritor’s actions over the years:

I can still get cool perspectives tho

Although officially considered a hero by today’s Tribal Republic, Captain Karishal Muritor was condemned as a mutineer and rebel by the Parliamentary Republic that constituted the old government of the Minmatar. Muritor’s rebellion and formation of the Defiants was to set him on a path to his death at the hands of a Minmatar Republic fleet, followed by his elevation as a symbol for Minmatar freedom fighters everywhere. Since the establishment of a Tribal Republic by Sanmatar Maleatu Shakor, the memory of Muritor has been completely rehabilitated. His acts of mutiny and rebellion are considered totally justified in light of the infiltration of the Parliamentary Republic by Amarr agents, and the events of the Starkmanir rediscovery and Minmatar Invasion of the Amarr Empire.

I actually really like this silhouette shot tbh

In mid YC108, the Defiants were founded by Captain Karishal Muritor following a mutiny he led against the Republic Fleet, stealing several capital ships and their support fleet from their moorings. Having grown tired and disillusioned with the leadership of the Republic Fleet, its admiralty subordinate to a government he considered passive and too ready to appease the Amarr, Muritor had decided to take matters into his own hands. He gathered a cadre of like-minded officers and enlisted personnel around him and carried out a stunning coup, stealing a Hel-class supercarrier and a pair of Nidhoggur-class carriers.

I loooooove these inside shots but honestly the resolution is never that great. I do them anyway tho vOv

Muritor had been finally spurred to action by the threat he saw from a resurgent Amarr military in the Bleak Lands region, following their comprehensive victory over the Blood Raiders and stationing of large naval forces in a border region now fully under Amarr control. His Defiants group used their stolen ships and considerable skills to launch a campaign against the Amarr in the Bleaks that would be condemned by both Empire and Republic as “terrorism”. By the end of YC108, the Defiants had sown chaos across Amarr holdings throughout the region, destroying infrastructure and liberating slaves. The climax came with an all out attack on an Amarr battlestation in which the Defiants were joined by capsuleer freedom fighters.

Also, listen, there's really only variations of like, 3 shots that work here.

The Amarr Empire chose to blame the Minmatar Republic for the activities of the Defiants, suggesting dire consequences if the rebels were not stopped. While the Republic dismissed the Amarr accusations, the wish to maintain the peace won out over all other considerations. A Republic Fleet taskforce was assembled on the orders of Prime Minister Karin Midular, while Admiral Kanth Filmir extended an offer of truce to Muritor in early YC109. Accepting the offer, Captain Muritor met with Admiral Filmir in Auga system, in orbit of the tenth planet on the first day of February. Despite the urgings of Filmir, Muritor refused to give himself up, prompting the Republic Fleet Admiral to order in his taskforce.

but WHATEVER I WILL TAKE IT

As the Defiants and capsuleer allies fought against Republic Fleet ships, Muritor declared he would not have Minmatar fight one another. Moments later his ship and capsule were destroyed amidst a hail of fire. The Republic Fleet withdrew while the Defiants scattered and Muritor’s body was retrieved by capsuleers of the Ushra’Khan freedom fighter alliance. It was later confirmed that the order to stop Muritor by any means had been issued by Prime Minister Midular, causing a storm of protest that culminated in the resignation of Admiral Filmir and a considerable loss of authority for the Midular government.

Ultimately, Captain Karishal Muritor has come to be seen within the Minmatar Republic as farsighted in his recognition of the reality that compromise with the Amarr Empire’s expansionist ambitions is a trap the Minmatar cannot afford to fall into. His actions may be seen as precipitate and rash by some but his cause is one the majority of Minmatar recognise as just.

This memorial to the life of Captain Karishal Muritor is established by order of the Chief and Elders of the Brutor Tribe, YC123

Total Eclipse (by) the (head).
Muritor’s head eclipses the local sun.

Muritor’s life and death is a textbook example of needing to see history in shades of gray. While I hesitate to opine on whether the transition from the old parliamentary republic to the new tribal republic under Shakor is ultimately a “good” thing or not (there are plenty of other places to seek such opinions that are not the GalNet site of someone who likes to take some pretty pictures), it can’t be denied that Muritor clearly thought he was acting in the best interests of all Minmatar. As was Midular in her opposition to him. Both thought they were bringing about Good events. Both can be right and wrong at the same time. After all, much as we like to forget, the human experience can’t be easily categorized.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Karishal Muritor Memorial
  • System: Auga
  • Security Rating: 0.4
  • Region: Heimatar
  • Potential Hazards: Auga is located in low security space.  Particularly given that it is one jump out from Amamake, a notorious low-sec haven for pirates, pirates and gate camps should be expected, and caution is advised.  A cov ops or other cloaking ship is recommended.

Battle of Fort Kavad Monument

ATXVII woooooooo
The wrecked station, wrecked ships, and memorial plinth of the Battle of Fort Kavad Monument.

Alliance Tournament XVII is got started in earnest this weekend.  Although I’ve found myself enjoying almost all of the matches I watch, my favorite matches are probably those where an established or well-known alliance tournament team gets thrashed by an unexpected underdog (I suspect I’m not alone in that particular preference). There’s just something particularly satisfying in watching a match that every commentator (professional or amateur) had assumed would be a walloping by the preferred team, only to see those expectations overturned either in one magnificent mistake (such as the ever-beloved boundary violation) or by a slow battle of attrition going absolutely the wrong way. If its satisfying for me as a viewer, I can only imagine the ecstasy the underdog team feels to see the strategy that everyone questioned pay off (or, even better, when an unexpected mistake gives the underdog a win even they weren’t expecting).

Also boundary violations woooooooo
A better view of the wrecked Fort Kavad.

Of course, there’s an entire nation in New Eden that have the experience of being the successful underdogs: the Minmatar. When the Minmatar began to rebel after the brief (but disastrous) Amarr-Jove war, no one really expected them to be successful. Over the course of the thousands of years of Amarrian history, they had never failed to subdue a targeted race: from the Udorians on Amarr Prime to the star-spanning Minmatar Empire, the Amarr had Reclaimed every civilization it had encountered so far. The sole exception? The Gallente Federation, and the Empire never formally targeted the Federation for a Reclaiming (though many an armchair military historian has salivated at the thought of watching such a fight play out).

The Minmatar really do love their surprise strikes.
The wreckage of an Apocalypse-class battleship still glints in the starlight.

But, spoiler alert, the Minmatar managed to pull it off, against all expectations. Through a combination of tenacity, duct tape, and (covert) support from the Federation, the Minmatar managed to not only free their home system, but establish themselves as one of the 4 major powers in New Eden. Minmatar independence was guaranteed when they managed to strike a surprise blow (a standard play by the Minmatar, who are exceptionally good at pulling off such moves) against amassed Amarr fleets at Fort Kavad in Odatrik, a half dozen jumps out from Pator. Today, a monument stands at the ruins of Fort Kavad to commemorate the victory that assured Minmatar independence.

Aura has the following to say about the Battle of Fort Kavad:

Seriously though, am I the only one who thinks this looks like the mothership from Homeworld?

The preserved ruins of Fort Kavad loom over the battlefield where the Minmatar struck the final blow that would secure their territories and allow their fledgling Republic to rise to its full height in relative peace.

Named after an ancient lord of the Ardishapur Family, Fort Kavad sat at the center of the Ortner Redoubt, the last major toehold of the Amarr Empire in Minmatar space at the end of the Great Rebellion. The position guarded the core of the Ammatar Mandate the Amarr had set up as a defensive buffer but more critically was within striking distance of the Minmatar heartlands.

I do like the composition in this shot tbh

Despite the chaos that the Great Rebellion had sowed across the Empire for several years, many Amarr lords were unwilling to settle for defeat at the hands of their erstwhile slaves. In BYC17, a militant faction at the Imperial Court promoted a plan to use Fort Kavad as a springboard for a counter-offensive that would regain the lost territories. A demoralized and confused Emperor Heideran VII, possibly afflicted by an attack of the Turit Disease he suffered with, allowed the militants to proceed with their plan.

As Amarr forces built up at Fort Kavad, the Minmatar became aware of the plan and knew that an opportunity to strike a decisive blow was at hand. The Battle of the Golgothan Fields had robbed the Amarr of much of their capital ship strength, forcing them to concentrate battleship squadrons at Fort Kavad. Minmatar rebel forces from across their hard-won territories assembled and launched a pre-emptive strike in numbers that would overwhelm the defenses of Fort Kavad and catch the assembling Amarr fleets by surprise.

The only reason I ever remember the name of the Tempest is because of Clear Skies, lol

With Fort Kavad’s defenses crippled and entire battleship squadrons destroyed or disabled, the Amarr were in disarray but refused to retreat knowing well the penalty they would face at the hands of their fanatical lords. Many commanders launched suicidal counter-attacks and some broke past the Minmatar assault in an apparent attempt to mount the counter-offensive they had planned. At high cost in ships, including precious battleships, the Minmatar prevailed and wiped out the scattered Amarr taskforce.

The news of the defeat at Fort Kavad roused Emperor Heideran’s erratic anger and the militant faction at court suffered accordingly for their fatal underestimation of the Minmatar. Once the Emperor had seen to the security of the Ammatar Mandate, he once again lapsed into seclusion, having ordered no further military adventures on pain of death and the enslavement of all relatives of any lord foolish enough to defy the orders.

A dream of mine is to have some sort of explanation for these "spaceshuttle wrecks" but I know they're used everywhere so it will probably never be

For the Minmatar, the Battle of Fort Kavad was a famous victory that eliminated the danger of a counter-offensive by the Amarr Empire. In the relative peace the Minmatar fighters had bought with their blood, the Minmatar Republic was established and its defenses secured. Amarr warlords knew better than to openly defy the Emperor’s peace but inevitably the means for militant Amarr and Minmatar to strike at one another was found in the bitter Vindication Wars that would be fought through and against the puppet state of the Ammatar Mandate.

The memorial plinth with a Minmatar standard.

Anyone who has flown through the Amarr system will immediately recognize Fort Kavad’s profile. A tall and narrow station structure, this particular type of Amarr station has always reminded me of a mothership from a hologame I used to play as a kid, though gilded in traditional Amarr gold rather than the soft blues and reds that I was used to. I’ve always wondered if the resemblance was intentional. In any case, today, the gold trimming of Fort Kavad is burnished from centuries of lying in ruin. Unsurprisingly, the only thing to survive is the superstructure of the station itself; it’s long been stripped for parts otherwise, though I imagine that the Republic carried out some minimal restoration for purposes of the monument.

I accidentally posted this early WHOOPS.
A closer view of some particularly unidentifiable wreckage.

Nearby, the remnants of a few Amarr ships can still be seen. I didn’t recognize some of the classes of ship that can be seen, but those hulls of the ships had been warped and tattered almost beyond recognition, so perhaps that would those particular designs. The remnant ships appear to be draped over nearby asteroids. Perhaps the impetus imparted on the ships as their power cores exploded pushed them into the nearby rocks to drape as they do. In addition to the mysterious ships, the twisted wrecks of more standard Amarr designs (such as the Apocalypse), along with Minmatar ships (such as the Tempest) can be seen. Also nearby is the standard memorial plinth that has gained fashion recently around the cluster. The Minmatar Republic seal glows above the holographic base, a final flag of victory flying over the defeated Amarr station.

Oh, look, a backlit shot of the monument as an ending photo, how original, mark
The wreckage of Fort Kavad

Just like the Minmatar over a century again, a number of underdogs managed to upset the presumed status quo over this past tournament weekend, and undoubtedly more such upsets are to come as the tournament continues. There’s a reason why ‘the underdogs are victorious’ are such a well-worn trope in most kinds of fiction: there’s something far more compelling about watching a juggernaut snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Sure, a larger, better funded, better armed team can win. But that’s expected. That’s boring. But when a juggernaut is felled, that’s something. When a supposedly unstoppable force is brought to a screeching halt, that’s a story. That’s something that will be talked about, analyzed, pored over for future generations. So it is with Alliance Tournament underdogs, and so it is with those scrappy rebels that managed to stop the juggernaut of the Amarr Empire.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Battle of Fort Kavad Monument
  • System: Odatrik
  • Security Rating: 0.8
  • Region: Heimatar
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -3 in security status, or -5 standing with the Minmatar, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.

Karin Midular: Ray of Matar

I, uhh, actually don't have a ton of photos!
Karin Midular stands in repose above the Minmatar homeworld of Matar.

As a kid, one of my creche teachers liked to tell me that I was destined for great things. I think he just appreciated the fact that I always turned my assignments in on time and that I did relatively well on them, but the fact remains that his words stuck with me, even to this day. But what is “destiny”, really? Am I living that destiny now, as a relatively well-off capsuleer best known for taking pictures and writing about said pictures? Is this really what my creche teacher had in mind? Consider me skeptical. As far as I’m concerned, the universe doesn’t give a whit about me or what I end up doing with my life. I could have been President of the Federation. I could have ended up as a mindflood addict living in the back alleyways of Jita 4-4. My life is my own, and the universe’s plan for me is, frankly, nonexistent.

And there is so. much. text. in the. description.
The Orbital Caravanserai orbits nearby.

I know others disagree with me on this take. Depending on exactly who you talk to, either everyone has a destiny of some kind, or certain, special people are destined to have a vast effect on their surroundings. Minmatar society as a whole leans towards the latter interpretation, and this is helped by the process of the Voluval. The exact process is a well-kept secret even to this day, but the general idea is that certain chemicals are injected into both a person’s heart and the base of the spinal nerve. With proper mental preparation, this results in a permanent tattoo appearing somewhere on that person’s body. The various tattoo shapes have different meanings to the Minmatar people, but one in particular is particularly portentous: the Ray of Matar. It’s believed that a person who receives the Ray of Matar after the Voluval ceremony is destined for great things.

So, uhh, let's just see how everything goes, I guess?
The Ray of Matar marking is clearly visible in this closeup view of Midular’s face.

One of the people who ended up receiving the Ray of Matar was Karin Midular. A familiar name to interstellar politics, she began her career in politics as a member of the Republic Parliament. Without getting too much into detail here (skip down a few paragraphs if interested!), Midular managed to use her political acumen to become the Chief of the Sebiestor Tribe, one of the largest Tribes in the Republic, and from there springboard her way to Prime Minister. Unfortunately, “destiny”, such as it is, is not always a good thing, and she has the somewhat dubious distinction of being the last Prime Minister of the Minmatar Republic before it was reformed into its current shape under Maleatu Shakor. She died a somewhat ignoble death after a terrorist attack in YC115. She was the only living person with the Ray of Matar tattoo, and she has yet to be replaced.

Today, she serves as the everlasting guardian of the Tribal Council Orbital Caravanserai over Pator, given a spot of honor near the space-based hub of the rulers of Minmatar space, in full view of each of the Tribal embassies that surround the main station. Querying the statue gives you the highlights of a long career dedicated to the service of the Seven Tribes:

Born into slavery yet marked for greatness, Karin Midular, the Ray of Matar, lived and died as a symbol for all Minmatar of their culture, history and place in the universe as a people.

Karin Midular was born to parents living in slavery under the Amarr but was smuggled as a baby out of the Amarr Empire, to be raised by the Sebiestor Tribe she was identified as belonging to. Unable to escape themselves, Karin’s parents had not known their clans and no records provided a clue on Matar. Nevertheless, Karin was raised on the steppes of the Mikramurka, heartland of the Sebiestor, in the city of Mithuris. It was when Karin came of age that her destiny became clear as more than merely a liberated orphan.

But, at least this writeup came to me a LOT more easily than the Caravanserai's!

As with most youth of the Mikramurka clans, Karin took part in a Voluval Ritual close by the Crystal Steppe. It was at this rite that she received the rare, venerated “Ray of Matar” mark, made doubly auspicious by its location under her left eye. Following this event, Karin joined the Midular Clan out of respect for Vormar Midular, her essence instructor.

Eventually, a career in politics beckoned, with Karin Midular convinced that lasting interstellar peace was essential to the future of the Minmatar. She began by campaigning for an end to the Vindication Wars with the Ammatar Mandate but found herself stymied by entrenched political positions in the Republic Parliament. Midular then set out to assemble a political bloc around her and by YC97 had become Chief of the Sebiestor Tribe, having gained the near unanimous support of the federated clans of the huge tribe.

Her status as a Tribal Chief provided a large platform from which to run for office as Prime Minister of the Republic. Though she did not win office immediately, the growing appetite for peace after the long years of the Vindication Wars peaked during the brutal Battle of Tears in YC102. In the election that year Karin Midular was elected Prime Minister by a landslide, with even many of the militant Brutor and Krusual sickened by the bloodshed.

I managed to get a nice swoop to the Professor's engine trail here.

Her first act as Prime Minister was to announce an end to hostilities with the Ammatar Mandate, and her first years saw her as a wildly popular and successful leader of a Republic focused on trade, diplomacy and rebuilding after long years of conflict. For all her political acumen and technical insight, however, even Karin Midular did not foresee the extent to which the licensing of independent capsuleers in YC105 would shake New Eden.

By YC106, Midular felt secure enough to confront the still powerful militarist elements in Minmatar society and moved to ban the wearing or display of the Khumaak ceremonial weapon, or symbols depicting it, by government officials or members of the armed forces. The proposals elicited a harsh counter-reaction from the Krusual Tribe’s leadership and considerable protest among the people. The Republic Security Services were moved to intervene in the security of tribal gathering halls, an ambiguous move by a powerful force often at odds with Midular.

An even more powerful political player moved into the spotlight at this time as Maleatu Shakor took the opportunity to establish his trademark belligerance in the popular mind. While a compromise was eventually brokered, the Khumaak episode was a political disaster that began a slow decline in the fortunes of Prime Minister Midular. The economy of the Republic began to falter in YC107, with many Minmatar increasingly emigrating to the Gallente Federation. Worse yet was the mutiny and rebellion of the Defiants, led by Captain Karishal Muritor in YC108.

I really like that I got the angling of Professor Science the same as her face here.

Backed by increasingly powerful Minmatar capsuleers, Muritor was a hero to many when he was killed in YC109 during an abortive truce meeting with Republic Fleet forces. The revelation that Midular had given the order to stop him by any means was another political catastrophe and militant Minmatar capsuleers were in the forefront of campaigning for her downfall from that time on. The news that Midular was in secret negotiations with the Ammatar Mandate was leaked at the worst possible time, and a wave of terrorist attacks threatened to destabilize the Republic.

The final days of the Midular government in YC110 were marked by the shocking secession of Skarkon system under the apparently popular rule of the Angel Cartel. In the midst of attempts to resolve this crisis, the news that survivors of the Starkmanir Tribe had been found in the Ammatar Mandate broke. Worse yet was a motion of no confidence proposed by Maleatu Shakor. The final blow was news of a Minmatar-Thukker fleet headed by Keitan Yun threatening CONCORD.

Parliament descended into chaos as Midular attempted to call for new elections. In an apparent coup attempt, Midular herself was almost assassinated by Amarr agents, saved only by the actions of a clandestine force that had begun eliminating Amarr infiltrators and Minmatar collaborators. The government of Karin Midular collapsed as a counter-coup launched by Keitan Yun and Maleatu Shakor ushered in emergency rule by a temporary military junta.

Did I mention that this description goes on and ON.

Despite events, Karin Midular was still Sebiestor Chief and the Ray of Matar, and in her post-government years regained a significant degree of political influence as a counter-balance to the militarist factions and security forces. The new Tribal Republic created by Prime Minister and then Sanmatar Maleatu Shakor was not to her taste but the Ray worked tirelessly to bring out the constructive and creative virtues of Minmatar culture. Ever a believer in diplomacy, Chief Midular often visited other nations of New Eden in her neverending search for lasting peace.

It was on one such trip in YC115 that Karin Midular was to meet her fate. A lone gunman detonated explosives and opened fire at a Federal Tribes cultural event attended by Midular in Caille on Gallente Prime. Among the 58 dead and 304 wounded was Karin Midular. Gravely wounded, Midular was transferred to the Republic for treatment but could not be saved. Apparently eschewing a clone backup for personal reasons, Karin Midular, the last living Ray of Matar, died on YC115.03.07. In accordance with Sebiestor tradition, Chief Karin Midular’s body was returned to the Mikramurka in a sky burial at the Place of Silence outside Mithuris.

The life of Karin Midular leaves a lasting legacy of principle and courage on behalf of the Minmatar people. She faced fate and the future as a Ray of Matar should and we all may learn from her example. This memorial is established by order of the Tribal Council of Matar, YC123.

That being said, CCPlz keep up this kind of detail in these sites it is SO NICE and makes things a lot more accessible.
Midular stands in a dignified pose.

As I noted, Midular stands just a few kilometers from the Orbital Caravanserai that serves as the primary space-based location for the Minmatar government. Midular, sculpted out of a black metal with bronze highlights. She keeps a watchful eye on the Caravanserai complex, one hand holding the other as she stands forever in a dignified but cautious pose that captures her mark on Minmatar history well. Her Ray of Matar marking is clearly visible under her left eye, the bronze coloring drawing attention to it without making it the center of attention, if that makes any sense. She stands forever watching the sun that she tried so hard to ensure remained in Matari hands.

Even, uhh, if it does mean my blog isn't QUITE as necessary for a lot of the newer sites OH WELL.
Midular keeping watch on Pator.

I’m tempted to wax philosophic on the concept of destiny. But regardless of whether the impact that Midular had on the Republic resulted from her destiny in the universe, the self-confidence that resulted from receiving the Ray of Matar from the Voluval, or just the fact that she was a talented person in the right place at the right time, no one can deny that Karin Midular had a vision that she did her utmost best to see fulfilled. It was a shame that she was taken from the Cluster too soon, but perhaps that, too, was part of her destiny. Remind me to follow up with my creche teacher that that was not what he had in mind for me.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Karin Midular: Ray of Matar
  • System: Pator
  • Security Rating: 1.0
  • Region: Heimatar
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -2 in security status, or -5 standing with the Minmatar, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.


Tribal Council Orbital Caravanserai

I'm alive!
The Orbital Caravanserai complex.

A younger sibling inevitably ends up having a complicated relationship with the older one. I don’t mean that in a bad way, of course (or, at least, it doesn’t necessarily have to be in a bad way), but the relationship is almost never a simple one. The older sibling is the trailblazer (like it or not): he or she figures out what works and, perhaps more importantly, what doesn’t. The younger sibling, in turn, is left to figure out how to follow in the older sibling’s footsteps (or not). As a result, the younger sibling almost inevitably goes through phases of idolizing, hating, copying, and pushing away the older sibling over the course of years (or, perhaps, over the course of seconds). Eventually, however, the younger sibling realizes that they are their own person. What worked for the older sibling may not work for the younger, and vice versa. Realizing that separation and becoming one’s own person can be a difficult, but vital, realization for any sibling (and for the parents of those siblings, for that matter).

And moved!
A closer view of the main station.

As usual, this is a rather tortured metaphor for New Eden on a broader scale: in this particular instance, the Minmatar and the Gallente. The metaphor is obviously not perfect, but in many ways, the Federation did act as an older sibling to the Republic as the Minmatar re-learned how to be a self-governing nation after winning its independence from Amarr slavery. In classic self-important Gallente fashion, when it was time to set up how the Minmatar would govern themselves, the Gallente “strongly recommended” that the Republic follow the model that had proved (mostly) so successful for the Gallente. And the Republic followed suit, setting a tripartite republic that would look familiar to any Gallente schoolchild, but ignored the unique cultural and political history of the Minmatar.

I had a LOT of problems writing this entry for some reason.
The arc of Tribal embassies can be seen here.

I speak, of course, of the Seven Tribes. The Gallente, in our usual way, ignored the importance of the Tribes in the every day life of the Minmatar, unwilling to believe that something that meant little the Gallente (familial relations on such a large scale) could have deep and significant meanings to another. And for two centuries, the Republic tried to follow the Gallente example. But the cultural inertia eventually became too much to ignore. As the disastrous premiership of Karin Midular came to its ignoble end (a story I will turn to in the next entry), Maleatu Shakor, another leader in Minmatar society, decided that the time was ripe for the Republic to put its own stamp on the concept of self-governance.

There was just SO MUCH to talk about this with this, sigh.
A closer view of some of the Tribal embassies.

Shakor had a new vision for the Minmatar Republic that restored the supremacy of the Tribes, flinging off the ideals of its older sibling, the Gallente. Rather than being led by an elected Parliament, the Tribal Council, with representatives from each of the Seven Tribes, would meet weekly to decide matters of state in the Great Caravanserai on Matar. Shakor also revived the concept of the Sanmatar to lead the Tribal Council, and soon found himself installed in that position. In the way that all younger siblings eventually must, the Minmatar had finally decided how they themselves wanted to live. They kept the self-governing ways that the Gallente tried to instill, but in a unique way that more fully represented the rich cultural history of the Minmatar.

Kind of overwhelming in some ways, but hopefully I managed
The entire complex orbits the Matari homeworld.

Although the Great Caravanserai on Matar served as the formal meeting place of the Tribal Council, it eventually became apparent that a Council that governed an interstellar republic needed better access to interstellar space, leading the Council to eventually establish the Tribal Council Orbital Caravanserai in orbit of Matar. Here, the Council could more quickly gather in times of emergency, while also providing both additional space for the offices and embassies necessary for the burgeoning Republic and the more modern settings necessary for interstellar governance that might seem out of place in the storied and ancient halls of the Great Caravanserai itself.

Needless to say, I was eager to check out the Orbital Caravanserai once construction was complete. As I arrived in the vicinity, I queried Aura to get her take on the station complex:

Also I... think the introductory metaphor works? I couldn't figure out a good hook for today.

The Tribal Council is the collective head of state of the Minmatar Republic. The council is made up of the chiefs of the Seven Tribes of Minmatar and is chaired by the Sanmatar. While each tribe is substantially sovereign unto itself, the Tribal Council in practice wields enormous executive power by the common consent of the tribes. The traditional leadership role of Sanmatar functions as a mediator with no formal vote in the Council, but the holder of this office can be given emergency powers and is typically delegated command of the Republic’s armed forces by the tribes.

PROBLEMS ALL AROUND IS WHAT I AM TRYING TO SAY.

The formal meeting place of the Tribal Council is the Great Caravanserai in the Eyniletti Plains of Matar. However, the Tribal Council often meets remotely or at other convenient locations. The “Orbital Caravanserai” was established to provide a meeting place and transit station for chiefs, appointed deputies, and others attending Tribal Council meetings. The Tribal Council’s secure FTL communications are now routed through this fortified location and it readily facilitates remote participation by holopresence. The facility is also used by delegations from Minmatar clans and circles, ambassadors from other empires and states, and corporate executives seeking the ear of the Council.

But either way, with the move completed I am hoping to move back to more regular updating. The backlog is getting a bit long again!
A Thukker Hurricane-class battleship stands guard near the Thukker embassy.

The most striking aspect of the Orbital Caravanserai complex is the main station itself. A classic example of Minmatar architecture, the station that hosts the legislature of the Minmatar Republic still feels as if it is held together by rust, duct tape, and dreams. Of course, like all Minmatar engineering these days, the structures are bound together quite more soundly than that, but despite the relative richness of the Republic these days, they seem to pride themselves on that aesthetic. Between the various docking pathways into the station, the arcology domes connected to the main structure host a dense urban landscape within them, presumably home to the many support staff and bureaucracy necessary for the functioning of the Tribal Council. Somewhat surprisingly, the station also appears to host some heavy industry, with flares and vents very visible on the station superstructure. Unsurprisingly, when I requested docking clearance at the station, I was turned down rather unceremoniously.

v e r t i c a l  s u p r e m a c y
Another view of an embassy.

In an arc around the station, each Tribe has also been granted an embassy. Although structurally the same (and demonstrating the classic Minmatar love of vertical supremacy), each embassy is burnished in the colors of that Tribe, and is guarded by a small task force of that Tribe’s ships. Near the embassy proper also stands a small structure flying the standard of that Tribe. The embassies allow each Tribe to have its own administrative center, where it can be sure of secured channels for deliberations and consultations. In querying each embassy, Aura provides a brief summary of each Tribe (reproduced in the appendix at the end of the entry), but has this to say about each of the embassies itself:

I am pretty sure those stars are going to get subbed in with actual Tribal icons at some point (if they haven't yet! I verified that nothing had been filled in somewhat recently).

This [Tribal] Embassy serves as a facility that is unarguably the territory of the [Tribe] within the Orbital Caravanserai complex. Here the Chief [of that Tribe] takes counsel with elders, advisors, industrialists, and delegations from member clans of the tribe, secure in the knowledge that opportunities for eavesdropping and subtle interference by other parties are severely curtailed.

I feel like I've been mocking the Gallente a LOT lately but honestly we just make it so easy.
A Tribal standard.

I remain vaguely uncomfortable with the cultural imperialism so endemic to the Federation. We have a bad habit of assuming that, despite the vast diversity in human history and experience, ultimately everything is one size fits all, and that the Gallente way of doing things is the best for everyone. But that viewpoint has caused the Federation any number of problems in the past, most notably in the Caldari secession, but also with respect to the Minmatar. We assumed our system would work, without giving any consideration to the history and values of the people we helped to free. Sure, the Republic declared independence from the Amarr and those that enslaved its people in the past (and continue to do so). But it took another 2 centuries for it to declare independence from those that helped the Republic achieve that independence. In its own way, that takes just as much courage.

But it’s a courage that little siblings across the cluster are more than familiar with.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Tribal Council Orbital Caravanserai
  • System: Pator
  • Security Rating: 1.0
  • Region: Heimatar
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -2 in security status, or -5 standing with the Minmatar, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.

Appendix (Tribal descriptions):

Sebiestor

With a culture emphasizing the virtues of patience, contemplation, and practical skill, the Sebiestor are known far and wide as engineers and inventors. The Sebiestor reputation for tinkering with any kind of technology is well deserved, and this excellence in engineering naturally propelled the Sebiestor to the fore during the period when the old Minmatar Empire pushed into space. During the Amarr occupation, the Sebiestor did much to hold what remained of Minmatar society together with their skill at maintaining or adapting technology. The Sebiestor Tribe was one of the four founding tribes of the Minmatar Republic following the success of the Great Rebellion.

Krusual

Pride is a common Minmatar trait, but the Krusual are wont to take it to extraordinary lengths. They rarely lose an opportunity to remind the other tribes that they alone managed to maintain strongholds in the mountainous Tronhadar region of Matar during the Amarr occupation. It is certainly remarkable that in all the long years of the occupation, the Amarr were unable to once and for all crush Krusual resistance. Their ability to hold onto a certain amount of independence during the occupation resulted in the Krusual retaining more of their pre-conquest culture than any other tribe, and their underground bases played an important role in sheltering some Vherokior mystics. The Krusual Tribe was one of the four founding tribes of the Minmatar Republic following the success of the Great Rebellion.

Brutor

The Brutor are marked by a disciplined stoicism and deeply spiritual cast of mind that combine to project a sense of nobility around the people of this tribe. While the Brutor have a traditional mindset, they suffered great loss of cultural heritage and knowledge of their history during the Amarr occupation. To the occasional annoyance of the other tribes, the Brutor consider themselves responsible for the freedom of the entire Minmatar people and make no bones about standing on this claim for political purposes when it suits them. In particular, the Brutor are great supporters and protectors of the Starkmanir Tribe, on account of the former originating as an offshoot of the latter. The Brutor Tribe was one of the four founding tribes of the Minmatar Republic following the success of the Great Rebellion.

Vherokior

Vherokior are disinclined to engage in great collective efforts, and their various clans are rather loosely grouped under the tribal chief’s authority. Indeed, the clans themselves hold nominal authority in many cases, with the family being by far the most important social unit to the individual Vherokior. These families are traditionally matriarchal in structure, though the aftermath of the Amarrian occupation has disrupted this pattern somewhat, as with so many other aspects of Minmatar tribal culture. Most Vherokior have long-abandoned the ancient nomadism of their tribe but the Vherokior mystics are the guardians of the Voluval Ritual and travel immense distances in this role. The Vherokior Tribe was one of the four founding tribes of Minmatar Republic following the success of the Great Rebellion.

Nefantar

The Nefantar Tribe played a notorious role during the Amarr Empire’s occupation of the Minmatar home worlds as collaborators who actively assisted in the enslavement of other tribes by the Amarr. When the Great Rebellion succeeded in driving the Amarr from the Minmatar Regions, the Amarr subsequently set up the Nefantar in a puppet state called the Ammatar Mandate. Unbeknownst to anyone else, certain Ammatar elites had hidden a large number of Starkmanir survivors from the Amarr within the Mandate. After the discovery of the Starkmanir led to a Minmatar invasion in YC110, the Nefantar conspirators and their families led a mass defection back to the Minmatar Republic, assisting in the recovery of the Starkmanir. Today, the Nefantar tribe has been restored as one of the Seven Tribes of Matar.

Thukker

According to what remains of the historical records of the Minmatar, the Thukker tribe had always been a nomadic people, journeying back and forth across Matar in large caravans. The development of the old Minmatar Empire appears to have done little to inhibit the wandering of the Thukker. Indeed, the Great Caravanserai itself was constructed by the Thukker long ago to serve as a major junction in their network of routes and caravanserais. The Amarr found the Thukker intractable and many escaped to remote areas of space, forming the nucleus of the later culture of Great Caravans. The Thukker were notable fighters in the Great Rebellion but declined to join in the founding of the Republic. The wanderering Thukker Tribe officially joined the Republic in YC111, maintaining full autonomy of their Great Wildlands region but once more uniting the Minmatar as seven tribes.

Starkmanir

Subjected to an Amarr campaign of annihilation, the Starkmanir Tribe was considered lost for centuries until the discovery in YC110 of a viable surviving population hidden by Nefantar elites on Halturzhan, the sixth planet of Jarizza in the Ammatar Mandate. The discovery spurred a Minmatar fleet into an invasion of Amarr territories with a view to recovering the Starkmanir and as many other enslaved Minmatar as possible. The vast majority of surviving Starkmanir were successfully recovered, evacuated to the Minmatar Republic, and settled on lands set aside for them by the larger tribes. The Starkmanir tribe is also notable for being the mother tribe of two splinter clans that went on to become major tribes in their own right: the Brutor and the Vherokior. This Starkmanir Tribal Embassy serves as a facility that is unarguably the territory of the Starkmanir within the Orbital Caravanserai complex. Here the Chief takes counsel with elders, advisors, scholars, and delegations from clans of the tribe, secure in the knowledge that opportunities for eavesdropping and subtle interference by other parties are severely curtailed


Brutor Tribe Community Area

I’ll be the first to admit it: the concept of the Minmatar tribes confuses me.

Frarn 1

The Community Area stands in the shadow of an old Amarr station

Coming from the pluralistic Federation, the idea of such extensive family units is baffling to me, especially since the tribes seem to play such a large role in determining who you are. And with the new changes to the Republic, it seems like the Tribes will be taking even more of a center stage for the average Matari. In some ways mimicking the Caldari (of all people), the Tribal Assembly has radically decentralized the Republic, in favor of allowing the Tribes to handle most, if not all, internal matters. The Tribal Council, composed of the seven tribal chiefs and the Sanmatar, will be the true powerbase of the Republic, with the Parliament being reduced to a subservient, almost advisory council. From what I’ve read in GalNet, the Tribes will be acting in a very similar capacity to Caldari megacorporations, with tribes handling almost all internal matters. Considering the fact that some have declared Sanmatar Shakor’s centralization of power in recent years almost dictatorial, the fact that he agreed to this radical restructuring of the Republic is surprising indeed.

Frarn 2

The station is surrounded by 8 “Rememberance” stones.

Thus, it seems almost fitting that I find myself sitting today in Frarn, closely examining the Brutor Tribe Community Area. Before running across this site, I hadn’t even realized that the Brutor (or any of the tribes, really) had such large space-based colonies, but here we are. I have, of course, run across a few Brutors in my day, but I rarely run across the average Brutor citizen. Then again, that’s hardly surprising given the fact that these days, I only rarely see non-capsuleers of any sort. But given the newly-forged primacy that the Tribes were taking in Republic life, I happily dove into my examination of the Brutor tribe. It seems that the Brutor ought to be pretty happy these days. They have long advocated for a tribal-based Republic, and with the recent reforms advocated by the new Sebiestor Chief, Acassa Midular, they are getting their wish. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they tend to congregate together, as it seems it is their tribal bonds that helped them survive the Amarr enslavement.

Given the trauma of Amarr enslavement, it is perhaps unsurprising that the tribes have remained relatively close-knit. In many circumstances, it was the tribal bonds that helped the culture survive through the Dark Days. Those bonds remain as strong as ever today, as can be seen with these Community Areas found throughout the Republic. As Aura explains:

Frarn 3Hundreds of these small community areas have been erected in recent years to accommodate those returning from travels abroad and seeking temporary accommodation. Ironically, they were originally designed to facilitate a great exodus to Federation space, but with the rise of fresh new ideas inside Minmatar borders causing many to return to their homelands, these spacebound communities have come to play an entirely different role. Typically, a single community will be dedicated to one tribe or another, but it is not unheard of for two or more tribes to share the one area.

A close view of the cargo pads at the community area, with a cargo ship in the background.

A close view of the cargo pads at the community area, with a cargo ship in the background.

Like many Matari sites, this one is based around Amarr ruins left over from the occupation. Many of these old Amarr structures don’t appear to be utilized in anyway; rather, the ruins are left intact solely as a reminder of how far the Republic has come from the Occupation (and, possibly, as a giant middle finger to the Empire, though I suspect most Matari architects would deny that… or maybe not. In fact, it’s a bit odd that the primary feature of the site is completely abandoned and unused. An old Amarr station, broken, decayed, and stripped of any useful materials, is the first thing that draws the eye upon coming out of warp. The next thing a person notices is that the abandoned station is curiously surrounded by eight large rocks, all named Rememberance. The stones were clearly placed by the Minmatar around the station, perhaps as a reminder that metaphorical sticks and (in this case, at least) rather literal stones were able to bring down the might of the Amarr Empire. The entire memorial helps reinforce the Matari self-image as a plucky, technologically backward species that nonetheless manage to throw off their oppressors, never mind the fact that these days the Minmatar are just as technologically advanced as any in the Cluster.

Frarn 5

The Community Area is a hive of local activity

It’s only after the eye thoroughly examines the Amarr station and its immediate environs that you really notice the actual location of the community area. It’s tucked off to one side, well outside the influence of the Amarr station, preferring to remain the shadows of the Amarr leviathan, perhaps hoping it won’t be seen. The community area is, in typical Matari fashion, a rather hodgepodge assortment of cargo bays, living quarters, bars, and ships. Perhaps surprisingly given the pains the locals took to arrange the Amarr station just so, little thought is given to the appearance of the community area. A number of large, bulbous storage vats anchor the bottom of the site, while the top is dominated by the cargo platforms that help transfer needed goods to and from the community center. The area also appears to act as a banker for many of the local residents, since I can’t understand why else the area would need a Bursar. The Republic has stationed two Tempest-class battleships to watch over the area: one remains docked at the facility while one stays stationed nearby.

Frarn 6

The abandoned station looms behind a nebular mist.

As I’ve implied above, I was rather taken aback by the powerful symbolism found throughout this site. When it comes to architectural symbolism, I tend to think of the Amarr much more than the other empires, yet here is a stunning demonstration of Minmatar tenacity found within a decrepit Amarr station and a few well-placed asteroids. Perhaps it is yet another way that the Minmatar are casting off their Amarr history, by using the Amarr’s own heavy-handed symbolism against them. I was also surprised by the relative insularity of the community: only Brutors were really to be found here. Perhaps given that insularity, I should be less surprised than I am at the radical shift currently taking place within the Republic. The tribe has been likened to an extended family, and families tend to stay together whenever possible. So its natural that if there’s seven extended families in the Republic, power is concentrated into those seven.

…Nah, it’s still weird to me.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Brutor Tribe Community Area
  • System: Frarn
  • Security Rating: 0.8
  • Region: Heimatar
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -3 in security status, or -5 standing with the Minmatar you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.

Abandoned Mining Colony

Editor’s note: The following is a guest travel blog by Ren Takahashi. All pictures and text are thanks to him. I’d like to thank him for putting the effort into this!

As Jaroud Dertier sings in Miner’s Blues, the black is a lonely place, full of woe and wonder in equal measure. Amidst the most lawless parts of The Great Wilderness are places of breathtaking beauty, and in the safest lanes of the Republic there are reminders aplenty of the unforgiving dangers of New Eden…

Kronsur1First time I heard about the Abandoned Mining Colony in Kronsur was from one of my uncles. I was twelve or thirteen and working in the bowels of our family’s battered Wreathe, “Killian’s Vale”, on the Pator-Teonusude munitions run – before capsuleers like me made it unprofitable for regular haulers. We were deep in the electrical subsystems that handled scan, trying to patch one of the frequently snarling emitters. Rather, I was patching it, half-buried in wires and optics, and he was telling stories and taking swigs from a bottle of fortified brandy acquired in dubious circumstances from the back corridors of a station in Aeddin. He was a rogue, a gnarled tree of a man, so wrinkled and leathery that his tattoos looked more like brands on wood and with a gravelly voice perfect for scaring youngsters. I still missed him.

Kronsur2Anyway, he was telling stories of this place in Kronsur and they stuck in my memory. Not the stories themselves, for I can’t remember if this was meant to be a place full of monsters or ghosts or corporate betrayal or pollutants that turned men into raging lurching beasts. No, not the story, but the fact that this was a place of stories and so I had to come here, now that business was settled and starting to turn a profit in nearby Sist – it helped that the crew for my second-hand battlecruiser needed a bit of a shakedown too.

Fleet officers attached to the Tribunal stations in-system maintain a beacon for the site, though the broadcast message is innocuous enough, and that is where “Night’s Rapture”, my Hurricane, had emerged:

Kronsur3Throughout the history of space flight, countless mining corporations have tried and failed to strike it rich among the stars, fuelled by dreams of lucrative profits and grand adventures. All too often, however, these naïve dreams are met with the cold reality of ambivalent police forces and roving pirates that are all too eager to exploit the lax policing.

Kronsur4Off the port bow was the main body of the colony – the lights still lit but all entry-points and data access locked down. It was a typical field-mining setup, with mineral-poor stony rocks pulled into close proximity and anchored. You can see some detoriation and stress-fractures on the linkages and supporting stuts, but the colony retains its cohesion and it is difficult to determine an exact age of the structures.

Kronsur5Off the stern was the wreckage of a ancient cutting drill-head. Although time has eroded most of the markings and components, it looked to be a early ship-mounted Class IV ‘Reaver”, similar to ones I’ve seen on educational reels at Pator Tech School from the early days of the Minmater Mining Corporation [2.jpg]. If it is, it’s drifted some distance from the other nearby wreckage – a large hull that’s been twisted and split, with the nose in particular showing signs of significant shear and torsion forces, that is still being circled by sections of hull plating and what was probably a thuster unit. I had reconfigured one of our drones before travelling out here and the close-ups of the spiral shears taken with the nose-mounted camera can be seen below.

Further steer-wards from my initial egress point seems to be the main command tower, a second colony and the main target of the site – a mammoth hollowed out rock that shows many signs of being worked.

We eased the “Night’s Rapture” closer to the planetoid, using the spots to highlight where the rock has been chewed and gnawed by a series of drills. Two shafts in particular cut through the interior sufficiently for us to drift the battlecruiser through, literally threading the needle. Good close-quarters practise, especially when one of the Jigs nearly paints the interior with the comms array atip the portside solar fin.

Kronsur7Emerging from the other side, the second colony comes into view. It is a more significant construction, more modules and connecting struts and less rock. Probably the ore processing factories, constructed from pre-fabricated units once the results from exploratory surveys were completed. Again the facility ignores repeated attempts to hail or even respond to a data connection.

We circle round, scanning for further clues to what went on here, who these people were. How they lived. Died. Nothing. Around me, outside the pod housing on the bridge, the crew quietens to a murmur, out of respect or nerves it is difficult to tell. There’s certainly an eerie feel to the place.

Kronsur8Finally we turn the ship and approach the command complex: three squat towers sulking atop a stony fragment that could have come from the main asteroid. Given the age it’s difficult to tell, but these towers are more Amarrian in external form and features than the rest of the colony. Each of them extend through the rock and below to connect a second fragment, space enough to hold significant data banks and processing units with which to co-ordinate the colony. Despite our efforts we fail to find an access point here either. Even scans of the towers returns only murky hints of the internal structure.

Kronsur9We recall the drone after an hour or two, aligning to the Sist gate, preferring home to the tales of wreckers and ghosts that I remember from previous visits to the Tribunal stations. As we enter warp I fire off some enquiries to GalNET and ISD, not expecting a response but hoping we’ve not left the nameless crew floating in the dark corridors of their tomb.

Whatever happened here, it’s long in the past and all that remains is a stillness that I hope endures.

Basic information:

  • Attraction: Abandoned Mining Colony
  • System: Kronsur
  • Security Rating: 0.9
  • Region: Heimatar
  • Potential Hazards: Debris is in well-contained orbits, hence poses little to no threat to a careful pilot. Visitors below a -4.5 in security status, of -5 in standing with the Minmatar, will likely attract the attention of local law enforcement. Low probability of encountering members of the Angel Cartel – whilst we encountered none on this or several subsequent visits, small bands can be found in the Osta constellaion with relative frequency.
  • Additional Notes: Whilst this and surrounding systems are full of hard-working mission-focused capsuleers, primarily in Magnate and Bestower class ships, none of them come near this site. This site can be found throughout the cluster, though most notably here in Kronsur.

Eternal Torch

Pator1

Legacy approaches the Minmatar monument

I’m not really surprised by much these days. Wars, atrocities, massive natural disasters, all seem to occur on a daily basis in New Eden, and one has to numb themselves to it if they’re determined to keep any semblance of sanity. Still, even I was taken aback when I found pirates sitting at a memorial site in the Minmatar home system. Even more so when I realized that a CONCORD patrol was mere kilometers away from them, sitting there as if that was normal. But let me start from the beginning.

Pator2

The Eternal Torch flares up

Shortly after the Minmatar declared their independence from the Amarr, they constructed the Torch to act as a symbol for their eternal freedom. As the beacon that broadcasts to anyone who cares to hear it says: “Shortly after the formation of the Minmatar Republic, the government erected this sculpture above their homeworld, Matar. Named “Eternal Torch,” the sculpture represents the everlasting passion and resilient spirit of the Minmatar people.”  Ironically enough, the Torch was apparently soon lost, the fault of a poor beacon battery and lack of maintenance funding. And so, the Torch disappeared into the depths of the Pator system. It was only uncovered recently during CONCORD’s recanvassing of notable sites throughout the Cluster.

Pator3

The entirety of the Torch complex

I had happened to be passing through Pator running some errands when I noticed the re-discovered site. I quickly vectored Legacy, my workhorse Drake, towards the site. As I came out of warp, I was immediately struck by how similar it appeared to many of the mining colonies spread throughout New Eden. I figured that the Republic was simply using the items they had available to them. The Torch itself, being Eternal afterall, had never deactivated, even while lost in the depths of the system, and glowed against the background stars. It appeared to be a simple plasma flame, but it certainly did its job.

Pator4

A pirate vessel orbits near the Torch

What surprised me, however, was the nearby Angel Cartel ships orbiting the torch quite calmly. I could only guess that they had discovered the location of the Torch a while ago, and “forgot” to tell anyone about it. I sighed, and quickly blew them out of the sky with my own array of weaponry. I knew it wouldn’t hold them back for long; they would be back the moment I left. But that wasn’t my problem I suppose.

Pator5

CONCORD orbits the Torch nearby, rather uselessly I might add

Of course, CONCORD ships were also orbiting the area. Why they didn’t go after the Cartel was a total mystery to me, though I had a sneaking suspicion that it was because there wasn’t a pod aboard them. I sighed, and sent them a perfunctory hello to make sure they knew I was on their side before resuming my original course out of Pator. The warp tunnel quickly formed around me and the Torch receded into the distance. I wasn’t sure the next time I would be back this way, but I could only hope that this time around, the Republic (and CONCORD) won’t lose it again.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Eternal Torch
  • System: Pator
  • Security Rating: 1.0
  • Region: Heimatar
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -2 in security status, or -5 standing with the Minmatar, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.

Ceremonial Site

Onga1

The Professor banks as it comes out of warp near the site

EDIT: This site no longer appears to be present in Onga. Please see additional notes.

The Onga star glowed in the distance as the Professor came out of warp. I hadn’t meant to spend any time in-system beyond moving to the next gate, but something caught my eye on the scanners. Aura identified the site as simply a “Ceremonial Site”, with little other identifying information. We were only one jump out from Pator, the Minmatar home system, and I was intrigued as to what kind of ceremonial site the Minmatar could have. I knew little of Minmatar culture myself – the whole tribal system frankly confused me – but I quickly manuevered the Professor onto a new vector to check this out.

Onga2

The ring was much larger than I would have initially guessed.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I dropped out of warp, but what I saw was actually a surprisingly simplistic site. We were in orbit around one of the planets in system: with the way Onga was positioned, the planet was only lit by a small sliver. Nearby, a simple metallic ring spun slowly in space. Cautiously, I approached it. I had expected something a little… grander in scale. Some form of representation of the whole of the Matari people. Some form of ceremonial site that captured the anguish and determined spirit of the people. Instead, there was, well, just a ring.

Onga3

On closer examination, I noticed a few nearby beacons.

It wasn’t until after I had examined the ring for a few minutes that I noticed there was, in fact, more to the site. As a capsuleer well familiar with flying through space, I had learned to ignore the many floating beacons in space. They often only signified a warp in point for something much more interesting nearby. This time, however, the beacons themselves had some telling information. The beacons weren’t simply broadcasting their position, they were broadcasting simple phrases. “Bride,” “Groom,” and “Dais” all flashed out into space at the speed of light. I frowned for a few moments. Surely, this couldn’t be-

Onga4

The Dais stood just in front of the ring.

But there it was, plain as day. A wedding site. Facing the ring, the bride’s ship stood to the right, with the groom’s ship to the left.  In front of the center of the ring, the dais of the officiator stood. Overall, the site was simple, yet elegant. I almost wished that I had accidentally warped into the middle of a ceremony, just to see the various spectators, and the happy bride and groom. Of course, I imagined that getting married in two different ships presented some logistical difficulties, but I could see a certain romance in truly getting married among the stars. It was so easy as a capsuleer to lose yourself to your own ship and forget that you are really something that wasn’t just made of metal and plastic, and I could see why some people would want to get married that way.

I looked again at the ring, re-evaluating the ceremonial site from my initial disappointment. Maybe this site DID capture the anguish of the Matari people. Because even after all of the heartbreak, the years and years of slavery, and the oppression, somehow, the family survives. Worlds continue to turn. Babies are born, and people die. And here, in this simple site among the stars, people can affirm their vows to each other to stay true.

I shook myself out of my reverie, and set course out of the system. Behind me, the ring continued to turn.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Ceremonial Site
  • System: Onga
  • Security Rating: 1.0
  • Region: Heimatar
  • Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -2 in security status, or -5 standing with the Minmatar, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen.
  • Additional Notes: It doesn’t appear as if this site is present in Onga anymore, possibly removed in the Tyrannis expansion. If anyone knows another location of a Ceremonial Site, please contact me.

Pandemic Legion Monument

Amamake 1

A monument from the Alliance Tournament

If there was any pirate haven more well known than Rancer, it was Amamake.  Cruel and harsh even to the most veteran capsuleers, it was a place that I tried to avoid as much as possible.  So, of course, one of the sites that came up in my searches of the GalNet put Amamake on my list of systems to check out.  Needless to say, I was more than a little wary of taking the Professor into the proverbial lion’s den, but I was not one to be deterred on my mission.

Amamake 2

The monument sits a few kilometers away from the Osoggur gate

I cautiously probed out the system as the Professor stabilized after jump.  Surprisingly, I appeared to have caught a slow night, there was a lonely BS sitting on my entrance gate, but I quickly engaged the Professor’s cloaking systems and was on my way.  Surprisingly, I found that my lead hadn’t been lying at all: sitting on the Osoggur gate stood a small temple.  Similar in design to the one I had found in Amarr, the temple stood as a testament to the tenaciousness of a relative newcomer on the Alliance scene: Pandemic Legion.

Amamake 3

Due to my concerns about the system, I kept the Professor cloaked while examining the monument

After digging into the GalNet files a bit more, I learned that it was constructed in celebration of Legion’s win in the recently organized Alliance Tournaments.  The alliance had apparently managed a bit of an upset, and this monument was built in their honor.  I was a little surprised to see the obvious Amarr influences on the design, especially considering the fact that we were pretty significantly into Minmatar space, but all things considered it still somehow seemed a fitting tribute to them.  Figuring by this point that I had pressed my luck as much as possible, I quickly banked the Professor towards the gate and out of Amamake without incident.

Basic Information:

  • Attraction: Pandemic Legion Monument (Osoggur gate)
  • System: Amamake
  • Security Rating: 0.4
  • Region: Heimatar
  • Potential Hazards: Amamake is a well-known pirate haven.  Be prepared for gate camps.  Low sec travel is needed to get to the landmark.  Caution is advised.