The Gallente – Caldari War: Peace and Resurgence

 

In the first part of this historical overview, we learned how the Caldari and Gallente turned from cooperative neighbours into bitter rivals. Cultural differences, hubris and political extremism were the root causes that lead to a war which went on for more than a century, and an enmity that endures to this day. In this continuation of the series I will describe how the war finally ended but also how hostilities flared up again in the aftermath of entirely unexpected events.

The Long Road To Peace

After the fall of the Gallente ultra-nationalists, universal suffrage was reinstated and president Jen Yiona was voted into office. She initiated a political reform which would grant the other Federation members – now also including the recently discovered Jin Mei – a more egalitarian role. To facilitate that, she relocated the seat of government from Gallente Prime to the more centrally located and culturally neutral system of Villore. President Yiona’ s efforts helped to stabilise and evolve the Federation internally, but she did not manage to diffuse external tensions. The new location of the Federation capital was seen as a provocation by the Caldari who disputed many nearby systems in Sinq Laison. The Gallente were rapidly expanding into the region and thus the struggle continued.

The first real hope for peace was kindled by Gallente senator Aidonis Elabon. This young politician personified the Federation’s idealistic principles like no other since the founding days. He recognized that New Eden would spiral ever further into interstellar war if no effort was taken to stop the escalating conflicts all around the cluster.

By the time Elabon took office, a slave revolt had resulted in open warfare between liberated Minmatar and their former Amarrian masters. While still engaged in their own war, the Gallente had done their best to maintain a cautious peace with the Amarr theocracy but covertly supported the Minmatar in the formation of their own nation as well as openly welcoming Matari refugees into the Federation. The Amarrians themselves tried to assert their supremacy by attacking the Jovians but were beaten back, suffering heavy losses. While all those conflicts claimed millions of lives over the years, the new breed of interstellar warriors developed within the ranks of the Caldari navy – the capsuleers – began to slowly spread all over New Eden and threatened to become another as of yet unpredictable factor.

To stem the tide of war, Aidonis Elabon engaged in brisk diplomacy to bring the four major powers of New Eden together and formulate an agreement. To assuage Caldari mistrust, he publicly approached the Amarr first since their ancient nation could hardly be considered a Gallente proxy. Behind the scenes, however, Elabon made sure that the Jovians and Minmatar supported his effort to achieve interstellar peace.

Initially the Amarr would only agree to negotiations if the Minmatar were barred from participating, but together with Jovian representatives Aidonis Elabon convinced the Empire to accept the newly formed Minmatar Republic as a sovereign nation. As a concession, the Amarr retained dominance over all Matari slaves still in bondage and the Minmatar would cease all efforts to free them. Finally convinced that this was not merely a Gallente plot to weaken them, the Caldari also joined in the negotiations and in 23236, after six years of debate, the Consolidated Cooperation and Relations Command, or CONCORD, was founded

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Three years later that multilateral organisation came together for its first official conference aboard the Jovian cruiser Yoiul. As a result of that meeting, the five empires agreed on a common time reckoning for all of New Eden, and the year of the Yoiul Conference became YC 0. CONCORD was also charged with safeguarding all treaties signed by the ratifying parties, most notably the national borders agreed upon during the summit. With that, aggressive expansion was halted.

Aidonis Elabon himself was rewarded for his effort by being elected as president one year later and he proceeded to recall all Gallente forces from Caldari space. From that point on, the Federation would only engage State warships they encountered in their own space and attack Caldari troops only on worlds which were Gallente territory according to the Yoiul Conference agreements. What had been open war became a series of small border skirmishes mostly propagated by increasingly isolated militants on both sides.

Domestically, president Elabon’s administration developed the many worlds of the Gallente Federation in great strides, but he was not granted the opportunity to see peace being settled officially between Caldari and Gallente. In YC 8, only a year after his term ended, he tragically died from a rare autoimmune disease contracted during a planetary visit.

The peace president Elabon had dreamt of was finally agreed upon after CONCORD intervention brought both parties to the negotiating table in YC 12. The Gallente were already set on a course for peaceful resolution by their former president, and the Caldari were weary of the war themselves. Grudgingly the latter even signed away their claim on old Caldari Prime and with that the biggest obstacle for a settlement was overcome.

Finally the war had ended … for a time.

The Empyrean Age

During the years of peace between Caldari and Gallente, New Eden still saw its share of violent conflict. Newly redundant navy forces and mercenaries banded together into organised pirate syndicates like the Angel Cartel, the Serpentis Corporation and the Guristas who all preyed on the weak. Even more sinister than those groups was the “utopian” nation of Sansha Kuvakei. When its true nature was revealed, all four empires united under a CONCORD mandate to destroy it. In another development, Gallente experiments with ever more advanced drone AI resulted in willful and hostile “rogue drones” which became a threat all over New Eden, and the Caldari State experienced a series of labour uprisings when hopes for better working-conditions during peacetime were left unfulfilled.

That period in recent history was also a time of great achievements though. The legacy of Jen Yiona’s reform finally came to fruition when the first Intaki, Souro Foiritan, was elected president and once more the Caldari and Gallente worked together in starting the Crielere Project. That cooperation yielded a series of significant technological breakthroughs in less than two years, but unfortunately it ended in conflict when a major theft of research data by Ishukone personnel made the Gallente withdraw their support.

The most groundbreaking development of the time, however, came when the Jovian capsule was supplemented with a method to transfer a consciousness from one clone body into another. Not only could capsuleers steer their ships more effectively than any crew, they also became infomorphs;  minds that would survive the death of their bodies. Effectively capsuleers became immortal.

The reaction to that development differed from one empire to the other.

The Amarr were wary of the concept because it contradicted their religious beliefs about the sacred nature of body and soul. The Caldari had long known capsuleers as part of their fleets, and their positive attitude towards individual achievement made them embrace the new technology. The Gallente were sceptical of so much power in the hands of a chosen few and only tolerated capsuleers lest they would fall behind the Caldari. Finally, the Minmatar saw great potential for heroes of legendary proportions to champion the cause of their people.

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Eventually all four nations turned to CONCORD that again stepped up and decreed that capsuleers had to obtain licenses to make use of cloning services. That way CONCORD created a registry of all capsuleer pilots. They also issued a new criminal code tailored for capsuleers and formulated the Direct Enforcement Directive which established a response force that could punish capsuleers for transgressions by means of superior warships designed in cooperation with Jovian engineers.

In an effort to avoid such meddling with their affairs, capsuleer corporations began colonising unclaimed systems beyond empire borders faster than any other explorers could. Thus prevented to expand outward, the nations of New Eden then began to turn against each-other again.

Old Wounds Reopened

In the year YC 105 one soldier of the Kaalakiota Home Guard was discharged from office. The official reason was racist tendencies, but as an ardent patriot he had also refused to turn against fellow Caldari during uprisings and had developed a fascination with the cause of the common workers. He joined the rank-and-file of Caldari Constructions and heroically rescued a co-worker under fire during yet another riot. Known as Adar, he became a popular figure in the labour movement, and under his leadership the strikes became so disruptive that Caldari Constructions was driven close to ruin. At that point, a previously unknown individual only recorded as Xavier Black [1] purchased the plummeting shares of the corporation and with that controlling interest made strike leader Adar the CEO of Caldari Constructions, before vanishing back into obscurity.

That newly minted executive was in fact called Tibus Heth, and out of the worker’s movement he formed his own cadre of political militants, the Providence Directorate or Provists. Using his office as a pulpit, he spread a patriotic and anti-Gallente message throughout the State. In particular he advocated the reclaiming of the original Caldari homeworld from the Federation, but while popular with the people, he was mostly viewed as a mere curiosity by the leaders of other corporations who were more interested in profit than politics.

In YC 110, while Tibus Heth still preached militant patriotism at home, the Ishukone corporation invited Gallente representatives to heal the rift which had developed after the theft that ended the Crielere Project. The Gallente delegation was escorted to the Malkalen V Ishukone headquarters by admiral Alexander Noir, the oldest still serving navy officer and last living veteran of the Caldari-Gallente war. That highly respected man, who had been known as an advocate of peace during most of his life, shocked everyone that day when he rammed his Nyx supercarrier into the Ishukone station where the summit was supposed to take place. Six hundred thousand people, including Noir’s crew, the Gallente delegation and the CEO of Ishukone, Otro Gariushi, died in the unexpected attack. In his last broadcast, Alexander Noir claimed that his final act was for the victims of Hueromont and Nouvelle Rouvenor [2]

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Immediately Tibus Heth and his Provist movement seized upon the incident and stoked the flames of patriotic anti-Gallente sentiment. Within the shortest time, all major corporations pledged themselves to the Providence Directorate and the hitherto fiercely partisan Caldari united under a dictatorship with Tibus Heth as leader. The opportunity for the Provist-ruled State to act soon came when the Minmatar Elder Fleet and Thukker Tribe blockaded the CONCORD headquarters in Yulai and proceeded to strike at the heart of the Amarr Empire.

With CONCORD occupied elsewhere, Tibus Heth mobilized almost the whole Caldari navy to move into Luminaire and immediately attack Caldari Prime. He was aided in this surprise attack by the traitorous Gallente admiral Anvent Eturrer who disabled the Federation’s early warning and defense networks. Unprepared, Federation defense fleets were swept aside and the twenty million soldiers committed to the ground attack overwhelmed Gallente forces completely. To guard the planet, the Caldari stationed the Leviathan Shiigeru and a massive support fleet in orbit.

Panic spread through the Federation as waves of refugees poured out of Luminaire and the surrounding systems. The Senate swiftly declared war on the Caldari and granted president Souro Foiritan emergency powers to command the nation, but after a few attempts to liberate Luminaire, it became clear that the Caldari fleet was too entrenched in its position. Eventually the Gallente realised, that the State had actually committed most of its navy to the siege, and so the president instead opted for an attack against Caldari territory itself with Tierijev as the first target.

6YSCkJlImage Credit: Elsa Heartly

While the first Caldari-Gallente war went on for more than hundred years, the second one lasted only a few days. Surprisingly president Foiritan called for a cease-fire less than an hour after the Federation counterattack had been mobilized. History does not record an official reason, but the assumption is that Tibus Heth threatened to turn the weapons of his whole fleet against Gallente Prime. He had not only reclaimed the ancestral home of the Caldari, but also held that of the Gallente hostage. President Foiritan conceded defeat and in a hastily drafted peace settlement he granted the Caldari dominion over the birthplace of their civilisation. Free to leave, the State navy withdrew the bulk of its forces, but the Titan and its support fleet remained.

That sounds like it could be the end of the story, but it is not. With the capsuleers now being a major player in New Eden politics, CONCORD would issue a decree that created an entirely new form of warfare between the two rival factions and eventually yet another sort of combatant would decide the ultimate fate of Caldari Prime.

More on that in the final part of this series.

 

[1] Source material from the novel Empyrean Age shows that this was just an alias used by The Broker, an independent operative with his own twisted agenda. He would soon play yet another role in this conflict without anybody knowing his real identity.

[2] It was in fact not Noir himself who perpetrated this attack, but none other than The Broker who had killed the real Alexander Noir and usurped his clone.

 

Tags: Caldari, Gallente, history, lore, tarek

About the author

Tarek Raimo

Former nullsec spy (no not under that name of course) and current failure at lowsec solo PVP, Tarek spends his time not logging in to the game as much as he keeps thinking about its social and metagame nature and sharing some of those thoughts with the CZ readers.