The Amarr-Minmatar War: Empire and EmpyreansTarek Raimo
In this final chapter of the conflict between the Amarr and Minmatar, the Matari tribes finally become a power in their own right, while the Amarr Empire also undergoes significant transformations. Most notably, the period covered in this article is influenced by new technologies propagating through all nations in New Eden. A new breed of starship pilot emerges from those developments, and their actions shape the outcomes of political struggles throughout the cluster.
Soon after the Republic’s formation, the Sebiestor chief Karin Midular became Prime Minister. She had shown the auspicious “Ray of Matar” marking during her Voluval tattooing ritual and that made her a symbol of hope for the tribes. Inspired, the Minmatar built up their new society with an industrious fervour of unparalleled scale. In mere decades they replaced all formerly Amarrian infrastructure with their own: stargates, space-stations, shipyards, fluid-router networks—the complete backbone for a civilisation of the spacefaring age. Having had agriculture and industry developed sufficiently by their former masters, the Minmatar installed their own corporate structures like Native Freshfood or the Minmatar Mining Corporation on top of that.
Innovators also emerged from the ranks of the tribal engineers, and while they could not match the advanced technology of the Caldari nor the immense manufacturing infrastructure of the Amarr or Gallente, corporations like Eifyr & Co. and Boundless Creation soon became known for their inventiveness and remarkably faced-paced product development. However, it was not their work which brought the largest change to New Eden since jump-drives became widely used.
During the height of the Caldari-Gallente war, Jove engineers instructed the Caldari in building the hydrostatic capsule which allowed pilots to interface with their ships directly. On the Gallente side the war drove biotechnology to new heights and Chemal Tech were the first to successfully clone organs, and eventually whole human bodies. Under the oversight of CONCORD’s Secure Commerce Commission (SCC), those innovations were disseminated among all nations of New Eden during the years of relative peace which followed the Yoiul Conference.
When Zainou Biotech introduced the first transneural burn scanner in YC20, this development lead to the joining of all three technologies in a groundbreaking way. In YC104, the first successful experiments were conducted to transfer the mind of a capsuleer pilot into a new clone at the moment of death. The result was a new class of effectively immortal spacefarers who could, and would, challenge whole conventional fleets in battle—the Empyreans.
Heideran’s Last Achievements
In the years leading up to that momentous development, the Amarr Empire transformed from a power projecting its force across the cluster to a nation mostly concerned with its own internal politics. Heideran VII surprised everyone in his last years by becoming more vocal. He issued decrees to curtail rampant illegal slave trading and reaffirmed peace treaties with external parties, even the Minmatar. Many criticised him for pandering to enemies of the Empire, but for the most part his opponents were just biding their time expecting him to die. Yet, before Heideran VII succumbed to Turit Disease, he wrote a great treatise which was part autobiography, part theological philosophy, and part political legacy. In it, he proposed a future for the Amarr Empire that transcended the Reclaiming and emphasised the role Amarrian power and religion could play to forge peace.
That final memoir of Heideran VII became published as Pax Amarria in the year YC 105 at the beginning of an era now called the Empyrean Age. Even the otherwise contrarian Gallente awarded him the Aidonis Statue for his positive vision. That distinction, established by Aidonis Elabon, was reserved for those who did great works promoting interstellar peace. Minmatar across New Eden considered this award farcical to say the least, and many Matari terrorist groups committed violent actions in protest. Still, when Heideran VII died later in the same year, the Gallente president Souro Foiritan took the time during a senate address to praise the Emperor’s legacy.
A New Emperor And An Old Chamberlain
Finally, the long anticipated succession trials took place. To reflect the times, the Theology Council ruled that commoners could elect champions from the Empyrean ranks to represent each house. Due to the many new training institutions throughout the cluster, tens of thousands had already become capsuleers and in the Empire Hedion University, the Imperial Academy, and the Royal Amarr Institute contributed pod-pilots which the Imperial heirs considered worthy. Thus immortal ship captains fought on behalf of Imperial houses, and as a result Doriam Kor-Azor became Emperor Doriam II. He continued very much in the spirit of his predecessor and even retained most of Heideran’s court officials, including chamberlain Dochuta Karsoth.
Doriam II traveled extensively throughout the Empire, took steps to improve the lot of slaves and used his authority to deal with his audacious heir Aritcio, who had a tendency for cruelty, deviant behaviour and a taste for Gallente women. Doriam II also endorsed capsuleers, particularly the members of Curatores Veritatis Alliance (CVA) who had pledged their loyalty to the Empire. CVA consequently supported the Imperial Navy after the Emperor declared war against the Blood Raiders who still ravaged the Bleak Lands. In YC 107, Imperial Navy fleets and loyalist capsuleers drove the Blood Raiders out of the area and deep into the unsettled region of Delve. This overwhelming success rekindled the confidence Amarrians seemed to have all but lost ever since the Minmatar Rebellion, but the Empire immediately suffered yet another tragedy when Doriam II was assassinated in his own palace by unknown parties.
Again, Court Chamberlain Dochuta Karsoth took over the affairs of state, and immediately promised to bring Doriam’s killers to justice by all means necessary. Chamberlain Kharsoth even called in the help of CONCORD to find Emperor Doriam’s murderers. Several parties were implicated: Minmatar terrorists, Blood Raider heretics and even the Royal Khanid Navy, but all investigations remained fruitless. At the same time he suggested to the Privy Council that the next succession trials should be postponed until that goal was achieved, and surprisingly they mostly agreed. Heirs like wealthy magnate Catiz Tash-Murkon and hedonistic Aritcio Kor-Azor rather enjoyed their newly gained status and were not prepared to risk their lives at such short notice. The Sarum family had not even had the opportunity to name a new heir since their last candidate Jamyl Sarum had killed herself in the aftermath of the previous trials. Only Yonis Ardishapur condemned such a breach of tradition, but he did not speak out openly against the majority opinion.
The resulting lack of Imperial authority lead to destabilisation within the Empire. Noble families held illegal gladiatorial ship combat tournaments, the Order of Tetrimon openly challenged the Theology Council, and the capricious Aritcio Kor-Azor kept abusing his commoners and vassals to such a degree that an uprising resulted within his domains. The many power struggles and intrigues that had always simmered behind the scenes of courts and councils erupted into open conflict, including brutal murders and even naval battles that came close to escalating into full fledged civil war. The Theology Council openly attacked installations of the Tetrimon Order, and drove them out of the Amarr Empire again. A Speaker of Truth—a religious supreme judge—was appointed to deal with the Kor-Azor heir. The ritual torture Aritcio suffered after his sentencing literally reformed him. Due to all the unrest, Chamberlain Karsoth came under increasing pressure for delaying Imperial succession.
To make matters worse, the Matari fleet admiral Karishal Muritor rallied sympathetic Republic Fleet commanders and many radical Minmatar capsuleers into a renegade force that confronted the Imperial Navy in the Bleak Lands region.
The Minmatar Strike Back
The Amarr accused the Republic of supporting those so-called Defiants, but the Matari government denied this vehemently. It soon became clear that the Minmatar Republic was indeed blameless; Karin Midular’s administration strictly adhered to CONCORD regulations prohibiting open warfare. Support for the Defiants came mostly from the independent Thukker tribe and the Matari capsuleer alliance Ushra’Khan, which had declared war on the Amarr Empire and Curatores Veritatis Alliance. In YC 110 Thukker fleets, Defiants, and Matari capsuleers joined forces to blockade the headquarters of CONCORD in Yulai while destroying the DED rapid response network.
During that first engagement, it became clear that they were lead by tribal Elders who had become disenfranchised and disgruntled by Republic democracy. Immediately, two even larger fleets moved into Ammatar space and the Empire itself. Unable to withstand such forces, the Ammatar soon capitulated, and Governor Ana Utulf appeared on a public broadcast telling her citizens to join the Minmatar Republic. Her whole administration and many Ammatar followed that appeal. What had remained of the Starkmanir joined the migration and the “lost tribe” finally returned to its Matari brethren.
On their second front, the invaders also achieved complete surprise and subsequent success. They advanced through the utterly destabilised Kor-Azor dominion and spread Insorum—an antidote against Vitoc developed by Ishukone—wherever they landed. Victory over the confused Imperial Navy forces was so swift that the Matari could even assign part of their contingent to strike at the very heart of Amarr civilisation—the Throne worlds. The system of Sarum Prime was among their first targets, and attacking Minmatar soon thought themselves victorious when they routed a large Imperial contingent at Mekhios. At that point, unexpected relief came in the form of a small squadron inexplicably lead by the officially dead Jamyl Sarum. In an act that most Amarr still consider guided by divine intervention, the returned Sarum heir completely annihilated the vastly more powerful Minmatar fleet with only thirteen ships. Shocked, the invaders withdrew and were completely beaten back by rallied Amarr forces in the span of weeks. Jamyl Sarum was celebrated as the saviour of the Empire.
These events did not leave the Minmatar Republic untouched. Internal conflict erupted when many tribal representatives criticised the government of Karin Midular for its refusal to stand behind the Defiants and Elders. Tribal traditionalists rallied around Maleatu Shakor, a Defiant fleet commander who had returned from the war after he was thought dead. Shakor used the political climate to call for a vote of no confidence in the government, and despite the Sebiestor largely supporting their tribal chief Karin Midular, Shakor’s faction succeeded. The newly returned Starkmanir tribe were the ones to really tip the balance. For them the Defiants were heroes who liberated them from slavery and exile, so they unconditionally supported Shakor.
Swayed by the strong Starkmanir sentiment, a majority of representatives voted to dissolve parliament and Maleatu Shakor was elevated to the ancient leadership position of Sanmatar—chief of all tribes. Within a short period, the Republic government was turned upside down. The democratically elected parliament was relegated to an advisory position and the traditional tribal council was reinstated as the highest governmental authority. Maleatu Shakor invited the tribal Elders who had lead the invasion of Amarr space to become heads of that institution in accordance with tradition. The Gallente influenced model of parliamentary governance had come to an end.
Jamyl Sarum’s return presented a dilemma for the Amarr authorities. According to the traditions of the succession trial she should be dead. Her survival implicitly meant that her new body was a clone but a religious stricture known as The Doctrine of Sacred Flesh prohibited Imperial heirs from using clones. On the other hand, the young woman had such popular support that even the traditionalist Yonis Ardishapur retracted his accusations of heresy against her and publicly endorsed Jamyl Sarum as the new Empress. After days of deliberation the Theology Council decreed that Jamyl Sarum had neither violated the tradition of Shathol’Syn nor Sacred Flesh, but that God had brought her back from the dead to save the Empire. With that declaration, Jamyl Sarum did not only become the first woman to rule the Amarr, but also the first to ascend to the throne without a succession trial ever since the tradition was established fifteen centuries ago.
Empress Jamyl I wasted no time with petty affairs. She acted quickly when CONCORD re-established their command-and-control systems and issued the Emergency Militia War Powers Act which allowed the formation of capsuleer forces to fight proxy wars on behalf of the major nations. Jamyl I founded the 24th Imperial Crusade to retaliate against the Minmatar Republic for their endorsement of the tribal Elders who lead the attack on Amarr territory. She also instigated a manhunt against the former Court Chamberlain Dochuta Karsoth who vanished mysteriously during the Minmatar invasion. By then, accumulating evidence implicated him as being in league with the Blood Raiders. Jamyl I also reinvigorated the naval campaign against that heretic sect. She made peace with the Khanid Kingdom and gained their fleets as a valuable ally in this fight. Eventually, she even granted the Khanid a full seat on the Privy Council in YC 111.
Domestically, the young Empress put the successful businesswoman and Imperial heir Catiz Tash-Murkon in charge of economic affairs. Catiz brokered a new agreement for economic cooperation with the Caldari which helped to rescue the troubled Carthum Conglomerate from bankruptcy and provided much needed funds for the Caldari State during a period of economic downturn. Jamyl’s strong religious convictions eventually overcame reservations harboured by house Ardishapur. Additionally, she gained their favour by re-establishing the Ardishapur dominion over the Ammatar. Jamyl made Aritcio Kor-Azor her Imperial Chancellor in recognition of the redeeming changes the man had undergone at the hands of Speaker of Truth Brother Joshua. She acted decisively against house Kador when their imperial heir Uriam lead an unsanctioned attack against Federation space and even allowed Gallente forces to enter Amarr territory for a counterstrike against the Kador.
Finally the fugitive Dochuta Karsoth was captured. He had indeed been in hiding among the Blood Raiders and was found guilty of heresy and corrupting the Empire. Rather than granting him the final dignity of public execution, Jamyl I decided that he did not even deserve that. Dochuta Karsoth was executed in quiet without last rites.
Jamyl’s policies first came under doubt when she issued the emancipation decree of YC 111. Declaring that she was acting according to nothing less than God’s will, she freed all Minmatar slaves who were at least ninth-generation or worked in scholarly fields. According to a rough census, that included up to seven billion people. The reactions and results were mixed. Some nobles were vigorously opposed to the decree while others enforced the Empress’ will upon them. On the Minmatar side there was cautious optimism but also suspicion, especially when large groups of the freed slaves began to spread the Amarr faith among the Republic population. In the end, nobody fully understood why Jamyl had issued that decree, and that lead to speculation about her motives. Some even began doubting her sanity.
Jamyl quickly managed to dispel those doubts, however, when she revealed a new momentous development in military technology to the Amarr public in YC 113. Using implant technology gathered from ruins in Anoikis, the Amarr had secretly developed a way to achieve consciousness transfer from a clone linked with an advanced armour suit similar to the way capsuleers are linked to their ships. The Empress’ revelation came shortly after the first deployment of the new immortal super-soldiers on the Minmatar colony Pike’s Landing. Eventually this technology also spread among the other nations, and by YC 114, they had all developed drop-suits and clone soldier implants to avoid falling behind the Amarr. When the second Caldari-Gallente war culminated in the retaking of Caldari Prime during Operation Highlander in YC 115, clone soldiers had become a staple of modern warfare.
With these developments we arrive at the present and the end of this historic series. The Minmatar Republic is now much changed compared to the days of its establishment. Fully emancipated from Amarr subjugation and Gallente influence it finally became a modern version of the tribal society it had been before all those centuries of captivity. The Amarr Empire has regained its strength after a long period of turmoil, but it remains vulnerable to disruptions at the top of its hierarchy. The strange behaviour and unknown problems which have recently prevented Empress Jamyl from appearing in public make many Amarrians wonder whether she might lead them into troubled times again. The Empire faces many new challenges, not the least being capsuleers pretending to have a claim to the throne, and the mysterious Drifters appearing in New Eden. For reasons unknown, they have recently concentrated on Amarr territory. These, and other circumstances might lead to the greatest challenge for Empress Jamyl since her return.