Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Day Of Darkness And Icelandic History

Ever wonder where some of the lore for EVE Online comes from.  I was surfing the net earlier this week and came across an event in Icelandic history that may correlate to what the Minmatar call "The Day of Darkness," the first contact between the Minmatar and the Amarr.  Being a kind, peace-loving folk, the Amarr scouted out the Minmatar and then struck during the course of a severe storm on the main continent of Matar.  What followed fuels the animosity of the Minmatar towards the Amarr to this day:
"With the storm and military attacks over, the Amarr deployed six massive slave vessels  to different planets in Pator, and scooped up the survivors. The colonies on Belogor, Varkal, and Kulheim were completely depopulated during this raid. On Huggar and Syld, the colonies lost over half their populations, while on Matar, the Minmatar put up a fierce resistance on the surface. However, having known no large-scale warfare for centuries, and with their infrastructure in shambles as a result of both the storm and the precision of the Amarr military strikes, they were unable to prevent the Amarr from enslaving hundreds of millions on Matar alone. This was the largest of the slave raids that would continue for the next millennium that would see the enslavement of hundreds of millions more." 

While not as severe, Iceland suffered raids launched from a far away empire.  In 1627, pirates based on the Barbary Coast led by the Dutchman Murat Reis launched a month-long series of raids now known as the Turkish Abductions.  The first group attacked the fishing village of Grindavík, managing to capture some salted fish, a few hides, 12 fishermen and 3 Danes who were in the area.  While departing the scene, the leader of this group managed to capture a Danish merchant ship through means of a false flag operation.  The group then attacked the seat of the Danish governor in Bessastaðir, but were repulsed before setting foot on dry land by the local fortifications and a hastily assembled group of lancers.  They then returned to their home port of Salé where they sold their captives into slavery.

The second group had more success in finding loot.  Raiding the fjords in Southeastern Iceland, the pirates spent a week capturing livestock, silver and other goods, and 110 Icelanders.  In the course of the raids a Danish merchant ship was also sunk.  Facing strong headwinds north of Fáskrúðsfjörðu, they turned around and sailed along the south coast of the island.  On 16 July the pirates found Vestmannaeyjar, a group of islands and home of a village with the same name.  For three days the raids continued with 34 villagers killed and 234 taken captive and eventually sold into slavery in the Ottomon Empire.

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