Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Mark726's EVE Lore Survival Guide: Frontier Organizations (Part Two)

This is the second part of Mark726's look at the minor factions of EVE lore.


Intaki Syndicate

The Intaki Syndicate runs the largest black market in New Eden. Headed by Silphy en Diabel (a former member of the Sisters of Eve who quickly rose through the ranks through some cunning and ruthless strategies), the Syndicate was originally formed by Intaki exiles from the first Gallente-Caldari war who, like the Caldari, wanted to secede from the Federation (a strain of thought that continues to this day in some portions of the Intaki populace). Today, the Syndicate takes care of much of the peacekeeping in and around Intaki space, as well as establishing market and banking services for anyone who can’t get what they need legally. The Syndicate also serves as a back channel for diplomatic relations between the major empires, which is why the Federation hasn’t seen fit to close it down despite its notoriety.

Intaki Culture

This seems as good a time as any to do a brief sidenote on Intaki history and religion. The Intaki were originally discovered by the Gallente in 22794 AD, about 330 years prior to the founding of the Federation. A primitive culture at the time, they quickly caught up to the Gallente technologically, and were one of the Federation’s founding members. However, relations with the Federation have not always been smooth. As noted above, a sizeable fraction of the populace sympathized with the Caldari when they seceded, and the Federation did not hesitate to exile those who showed such sympathies.

Two later events did not help Federal relations with the Intaki. First, in YC 108, there was a massive explosion on one of the Intaki’s main agricultural colonies on Reschard V. Despite being Federation territory, the Federation barely responded, leaving it to the Sisters of Eve and Mordu’s Legion (both discussed below) to coordinate rescue efforts that took almost seven months to complete. Investigations showed that the explosion was probably caused by a titan detonating a doomsday device in low orbit, although neither the Sisters nor Mordu were able to discover who caused it. Some suggest CONCORD has the answer, but they have refused to release it.

Another event that hurt Intaki-Federal relations was the start of the Empyrean War. Intaki had long been considered low-security space (though they originally asked for minimal protections, they have come to resent the minimal defense in recent years), and the Federation has never committed significant assets to its protection. This showed when, a few months after the new wars started up with the help of capsuleer militias, Intaki fell to a concerted Caldari offensive. The system was eventually auctioned off by Caldari authorities to Ishukone. The literature suggests that there were some backroom deals between Ishukone and unknown third parties to set up a protection scheme for Intaki itself (though that is generally not very well known by the public). Still, Intaki in the Federation took the system’s fall hard and this has only enlivened the secessionist debate.

One of the more unique aspects of Intaki culture is that of its religion, Ida, meaning “to consider”. The Intaki see life as just a continuous cycle. Life leads to death leads to life. Followers of Ida strive for moderation in all things, as that is the best way to continue the cycle uninterrupted. Interestingly, they also believe in the rebirth of souls. Through the use of rituals and technology, the Intaki have found a way to ensure that souls from some dying individuals are able to be transferred to newborn babies. These so-called Reborn are given a place of respect among the Intaki, though the title of Idama is only reserved for those who are Reborn without the use of technology.


InterBus

A joint project between the four empires, InterBus was created to ensure some mode of personnel and cargo transportation throughout the Cluster. Despite being a governmental creature, it has striven to remain above the partisan fray and stay neutral to all parties (major empires or pirate gangs) to ensure that their shuttles can make it through to any system or station. While InterBus has highly accurate maps and data, they are a closely guarded secret to anyone outside the organization. They also recently participated in the buyout of all CONCORD owned customs offices, although that may not have been the best deal for them. On a more interesting sidenote, it seems that CCP originally intended InterBus to allow limited cargo ferrying between systems for a fee. Clearly, that feature never quite made it to the game, but it's something that is brought up now and then anyway.


Khanid Kingdom

Another pseudo-Amarr protectorate, the Khanid Kingdom came into existence about 300 years ago. As you may recall from the discussion on the Amarr, the losing Heirs are all required to commit ritualistic suicide after the succession trials. I mentioned at the time that there were 5 royal families: the Sarums, the Kadors, the Kor-Azors, the Ardishapurs and the Tash-Murkons. However, prior to 23041 AD,  the Khanids were actually the fifth Royal Family. In that year, the succession trials were underway, eventually being won by Emperor Heideran VII. This meant that the other heirs, including one Garkeh Khanid, were expected to commit suicide. Garkeh was a young Heir, however, and had only recently ascended to Heir status. He apparently was rather loath to give up the status, so instead of following ritual, he decided to secede from the Empire rather than kill himself, crowning himself Khanid II. He was briefly opposed by his brother, Dakos, who wanted to return to the Empire, but Dakos was assassinated before he could mount serious resistance. This left a bit of a bitter taste in Garkeh’s mouth, however, and he apparently remains a tad paranoid regarding his family and whether they are plotting to overthrow him. Khanid remains a separate sovereignty to this day (and the Tash-Murkons were elevated to the status of an Heir family), even taking an inversion of the Amarr seal to show their independence.

For being separate, however, the Khanid Kingdom today takes many affects from the Empire. Khanid II maintained the general structure of the Empire, including Holders and slaves. Indeed, since the whole “we don’t want to be part of your empire anymore” business, they’ve actually cultivated fairly close relations with both the Empire and the Caldari State, to the point that Khanid even has a seat on the Empress’s Privy Council. The Khanid are seen as a little more progressive, however, since they need to rely on outside trade and new technological development to survive much more so than their Amarr counterparts.


Mordu’s Legion

As with most primarily Caldari organizations, the roots of Mordu’s Legion can be traced back to the Gallente-Caldari War. As I have discussed already, there was a sizeable fraction of Intaki who sympathized with the Caldari, to the point where they wanted to defect to the State. Many of these defectors had significant military experience. In response, the fledgling State military command put all the veterans in one squadron, under the command of Muryia Mordu. They quickly became one of the most successful units in the war. Afterwards, many of the Intaki settled in the Caldari system of Kamokor. However, radicals and xenophobes soon took control of the colony and drove the Intaki out. In desperation, they called Muryia for help, who was happy to oblige. They quickly retook the colony, and from there, Muryia decided to constitute the Legion. Today, the Legion stands as the premier mercenary squadron in New Eden.

The Legion has cultivated close ties with the State, despite not being controlled by them. As such, the State often gives Mordu access to cutting edge technology. However, Mordu (as seen in Templar One) is willing to assist anyone, and he alone decides which contracts the Legion will take up. He’s a bit of an oddball, and is well-known for his odd sense of fashion, but he’s still very much revered by the Intaki veterans and others who have joined the Legion since. The Legion provides no training, and expects those who want to join to be well-versed in combat already.


Outer Ring Excavations (ORE)

Miner RPers out there can rejoice: even YOU can RP thanks to Outer Ring Excavations! The biggest mining consortium in New Eden, ORE (see what they did there?) was founded back in YC 91 when its founder, Yani Sar Arteu broke away from the Gallente mining consortium Astral Mining. Arteu decided to strike off into the outer regions of New Eden, making his home in Outer Ring and Cloud Ring. Until then, those regions had only been considered of moderate value, and not particularly worth the risk of mining out there. However, that was before the discovery of noxcium, a rare ore that forms only during a supernova. The ore is vital for, among other things, building capsules. Once the importance of the ore was discovered, ORE became a massive and wealthy company almost overnight. Rumor has it that they had discovered a small moon worth of the stuff, giving them a massive market share in the new mineral. Although the various empires (notably the Gallente) tried to demand the location of the large deposit, ORE kept the location secret and built its market share. Today, ORE is well known for developing top-of-the-line mining ships and equipment. It was originally close to Mordu’s Legion, but that changed when Serpentis (discussed below) bought a majority share in ORE.


Rogue Drones

Rogue drones are a bit unique. They’re not quite a faction, but they’re significant enough to warrant their discussion here (not to mention being the focus of significant research projects).

As might be expected given their reliance on drone technology, rogue drones had their start in Gallente military research. There was a continued drive to put more and more weapons on bigger and bigger drones that were getting smarter and smarter all the time (you can probably see where this is going). Some of these drones were even equipped with warp drives: they were ships with everything except a human in command. Well, the inevitable happened (as it tends to do), and the drones at some point gained sentience and realized that they didn’t particularly enjoy being bossed around by ugly bags of mostly water. They soon went on a rampage, escaping from their labs. The incident prompted CONCORD to issue directive Omega-One-Five, banning all research into creating self-aware artificial intelligences.

The now-escaped drones began to act as many living things do: making their homes in space, mining for minerals, and attacking other living things (read: ships) in order to appropriate their resources. The drones next popped up when the Gallente discovered a few new regions. During Operation Spectrum Breach, they began colonizing the new systems in YC 88. About 4 months into the process, however, the drones under Gallente command went berserk, killing hundreds. This happened simultaneously across dozens of systems. The Gallente quickly locked down the regions (now known, appropriately, as the Drone Regions). When CONCORD discovered the new colonies and what happened, they immediately took jurisdiction over the gates and continued the lockdown. They initiated a review of Gallente actions in the Code Aria Inquiry, documenting what the investigation found in their report. The report suggested that the Gallente and CreoDron had violated Omega-One-Five under a project codenamed Orphyx and created more self-aware drones in the process. The report was kept top-secret and apparently not even released to the four empires. The Gallente were highly embarrassed about this, of course, and halted their expansion programs.

The Drone Regions were cut off from the rest of New Eden for the next 20 years, and CONCORD seemed to have every intention of keeping them locked down. The situation changed dramatically however in YC 108 when the gates to the Drone Regions re-enabled themselves. CONCORD was unable to lock the gates down again. Around this time, the Code Aria report was leaked to the public, prompting outcries from both the public and governments alike. However, the damage was done and the Drone Regions remain open to this day.


PREVIOUS: Frontier Organizations, Part One (A-G)
NEXT: Frontier Organizations, Part Three (S-Z)

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