The Amarr-Minmatar War: Rebellion and DeclineTarek Raimo
In the previous installment of this history series, the three major civilisations of New Eden had all made contact with each other, and for some time the Amarr appeared to be superior. Despite being plagued by internal intrigue and religious heresy, they had subjugated and enslaved many peoples, including the Minmatar tribes. Still, after the secession of the Khanid Kingdom, imperial power appeared to be waning. To reassert their position as the chosen people of God, the Amarr moved against the seemingly weak Jove to gain more slaves and prove their might to the Gallente and Caldari, whom they viewed with distrust.
The Great Revolt
Convinced that the Jove would not be a serious threat, the Amarr mobilised their fleets in 23216 and swiftly sent a strike force of 200 ships to overrun enemy defenses. They did sweep away the first obstacles in their path, but when the Jove actually responded in the system of Vak’Atioth, the Amarr Navy contingent was annihilated completely by technologically more advanced ships and weaponry, including a massive Jove mothership. Enraged by such total failure, Emperor Heideran VII sentenced all responsible commanders who had survived to execution, and had their families enslaved. Unaccustomed to defeat, the Imperial military command was thrown into a confused panic. The Amarr were right about one thing though, the Jove were not a militaristic people and had no desire to further engage in armed conflict. However, they did retaliate in their own way. Working in concert with the Gallente Federation Intelligence Service, the Jove spread word of the disruption to Amarr military command through the ranks of Minmatar in bondage and free partisans alike. With some outside support, resistance cells, guerilla units, and groups of rebellious slaves all activated in a coordinated way and rose against the Empire at its moment of weakness.
For centuries, the Amarr had been so convinced of their own superiority that they became complacent, and simply could not react in a comprehensive way to the uprising of their slaves. On the first day alone, more Amarr died than during the entire Khanid secession conflict. The slave revolt spread throughout the Empire for weeks before the Emperor and his military command finally developed a coordinated response. As a first step, Heideran VII quickly offered peace to the Jove who readily accepted it. As far as they were concerned, the Amarr threat was averted. Internally, Heideran VII again decided to ensure stability inside the core regions of the Empire, like he did during the Khanid secession. He ordered the withdrawal of all troops and citizens from systems with the highest Minmatar concentrations, particularly Pator and the surrounding constellations. When he realised that the exiled Order of Tetrimon were eager to defend imperial rule over the rebellious slaves, Heideran VII cleared them of the heresy charges he had previously brought against them. In his most risky political decision at the time, he granted the Ammatar greater independence and leave to occupy any former Amarr systems they could pacify. Many opposed this move to grant such freedom to people who were technically still ethnic Minmatar, but Heideran VII prevailed. What used to be a province under Ardishapur control became the autonomous Ammatar Mandate but remained loyal to the Empire and supported their fighting withdrawal.
With its defenses shored up, the Amarr Empire finally managed to suppress the rebellion. When the dust settled, though, dozens of systems had been wrested from Imperial rule before the year came to an end. Liberated slaves and rebel fighters of four tribes, the Brutor, Krusual, Sebiestor and Vherokior occupied the freed worlds. The surviving Starkmanir remained in hiding among the Ammatar, while the Thukker fully reverted to their nomadic roots and formed great interstellar caravans that ventured into unsettled space.
Birth Of The Republic
By the end of 23216, the Gallente dropped every political pretense and started openly supporting the free Minmatar. The Federation government recognised their sovereignty and immediately sent supplies, construction crews, and weapons to the free tribes. After centuries of slavery, the Minmatar had no idea how to form an interstellar society from the remnants of tribal traditions long suppressed by their Amarr rulers, so the Gallente also sent a cadre of sociopolitical advisors to help with that process. The Federation had much to gain from a thankful ally with a cause. Strengthening the Minmatar and ensuring that they developed a government which was friendly would certainly keep the Amarr in check, with whom the Gallente only had an uneasy truce. Furthermore, that would protect the Federation’s exposed “northeastern” systems from Caldari incursions. Over the centuries, the Gallente had gained experience on integrating deeply traditional societies like the Intaki or the Jin Mei into a democratic structure, and they applied that knowledge to the formation of a new Minmatar Republic: A nation which retained a lot of traditional tribal culture, but was regulated by a system modeled after the Federation government. Following Gallente guidance, the Minmatar created a parliament comprised of tribal representatives instead of political parties, and headed by a prime minister rather than a more traditional council of elders. To say that the Gallente created a puppet regime would be an exaggeration, but the Federation certainly did its best to groom a new ally, especially after their relations with the Jove had cooled down.
The Empire did not stand by idly while its enemies multiplied, however. In an effort to tip the balance of power, they re-opened negotiations with the Caldari. Although the Amarr were still wary of that corporate nation and did not really consider them as equals, they had to admit that the Caldari remained successful at fighting the Gallente for more than a century. The Caldari mega-corporations, on the other hand, were sympathetic since they saw the Amarr as yet another victim of Gallente meddling. As a result, the two nations signed a non-aggression pact in 23222, followed by strong economic cooperation and exchange of military intelligence, mainly on the Gallente. With their northern border secured, the Amarr reorganised the Imperial Navy and began preparations for a major campaign against the fledgeling Minmatar Republic. Before that strategic plan could come to fruition though, an unexpected Gallente initiative halted the effort.
The Formation Of CONCORD
The idealistic Gallente senator and diplomat Aidonis Elabon, had become popular within the Federation, and his great ambition was peace between all nations of New Eden. The Minmatar were already on his side, despite popular sentiments supporting further retaliation against the Amarr and the liberation of all remaining slaves. Regardless of how the people felt, the Minmatar government realised that they did not have the military strength to openly engage the Amarr. Elabon had also done his best to quench the Matari thirst for revenge because the Amarr were instrumental to his plan. To achieve universal peace, he needed the Caldari to join the negotiations as well, and naturally the Corporate Council would refuse to participate in any process that appeared to be under Gallente control. Most certainly, the Empire was not under Federation influence, and so Aidonis Elabon hoped that their participation would dispel any suspicions the Cadari might have.
As a former Gallente ambassador to the Empire, Elabon was familiar enough with the Amarr mindset to conduct successful negotiations and he knew that the Emperor had become weary of war. During his reign, Heideran VII had dealt with the Khanid rebellion, and the failed campaign against the Jove and the Minmatar uprising. Each time he had concentrated on stabilising the Empire rather than responding with aggressive force, and it soon became clear that a majority of the Privy Council also preferred internal consolidation over military expansion. The Kador heir followed the line of his venerable predecessor, the Tash-Murkon family were more interested in business than warfare, and house Kor-Azor had already been in favour of a less aggressive foreign policy. Heideran VII partially appeased the Sarum and Ardishapur heirs by refusing to negotiate with the Minmatar as an equal party and Aidonis Elabon gave in, certain that he could bring the Minmatar to the table at a later stage. Once Amarr, Caldari, Gallente and Jove were close to formulating an agreement, Aidonis Elabon made his gamble by announcing that the Minmatar Republic had already agreed to sign the founding document for a multilateral peacekeeping force. Initially, the Amarr protested, but by that time the negotiations had progressed too far to allow failure, and the creation of CONCORD was ratified in 23230. Heideran VII did his best to keep the more belligerent houses satisfied, by appointing the Sarum vassal Litor Thress as Amarr’s first representative on the CONCORD inner council.
Eventually, the Amarr managed to salvage some of their pride during the first summit involving all founding parties of the CONCORD agreement in 23236. The purpose of this conference was to establish a unified system of time reckoning, the introduction of a universal currency and the drafting of transnational regulations for conflict resolution. Despite significant Minmatar protests, Amarr timekeeping became the basis for the New Eden Universal Time. Taking its name from the Jove cruiser where the negotiations took place, the new count declared 23236 year zero of the Yoiul Conference (YC 0)
Signing the Yoiul Conference agreements became one of the last political acts ailing Emperor Heideran VII performed. He had been diagnosed with Turit Disease, a progressively worsening condition of the nervous system which began with paralysis of the extremities and would eventually lead to death by organ failure. While Heideran’s chamberlain Dochuta Karsoth took over most affairs of the Empire, the Minmatar grew ever bolder during their incursions to liberate slaves. CONCORD treaties limited open warfare between the signatories, but the Republic openly sponsored privateers who made use of newly constructed Minmatar warships designed to outmaneuver the traditionally cumbersome Amarr Navy vessels.
As a result, the Amarr developed new and insidious ways to keep their slaves bound to them. The first step was a viral agent called Vitoxin sold under the brand name Vitoc. Tailored to affect only Minmatar, this virus would lead to an excruciating death unless a vaccine was administered regularly. In a further effort to ensure that their slaves remain docile, the Amarr then made deals with a visionary Caldari businessman who had started his own “nation”—Sansha Kuvakei. While promising a utopia, Kuvakei secretly developed implant technology that would allow him to turn his followers into unconditionally loyal subjects. The Amarr supplied him with large amounts of Minmatar test subjects for this research, in the hope that they would reap the benefits as well. Before that could happen, Kuvakei’s plot became exposed, and the Gallente pushed for a CONCORD mandate to put an end to “Sansha’s Nation”. They gained immediate support from the other treaty members, and CONCORD demanded that Kuvakei disband his organisation, which he refused. Unwilling to risk a unified front forming against them, the Amarr grudgingly gave in and joined the resulting military campaign against Kuvakei’s nation in YC 37.
Unable to assert itself on the political stage and formally lead by a half-dead Emperor, the Amarr Empire declined further. Not only was it beset by constant Minmatar attacks and suffering from humiliating political defeat during a territorial dispute with the Gallente Federation, it also faced the threat of a spectre from the past. Millennia ago, a sinister cult of human sacrifice and blood rituals had been purged as heretics. Now it turned out that this sect—the Sani Sabik—was far from dead. Under the leadership of Omir Sarikusa, the remnants of that cult had reunited as the Blood Raiders, and began to attack colonies from hidden bases in the Bleak Lands region. Ever since the Khanid rebellion, noble families were forbidden from forming their own fleets, stretching the Imperial Navy thin defending Amarr space against both Minmatar and Blood Raiders.
The Amarr Empire appeared to have entered a slow decline while the Minmatar Republic was ascendent. Soon, however, a new age would dawn, and with its arrival everything was about to change.