Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Minor NPC Powers Of High Sec

I'm developing some standards for looking at empire (high sec and lowsec space) when looking at economic statistics like the Monthly Economic Report. I thought looking at the four main empires (Amarr, Caldari, Gallente, Minmatar) was an interesting idea, but then I came to looking at the Amarr and the realization that seven entities, not four, hold sovereignty over empire space. Here's a brief description of each.

The Ammatar Mandate

The Ammatar Mandate is a semi-autonomous region of the Amarr Empire. The Ammatar domain, San Matar, means "true home" in the tongue of the ruling tribe, the Nefantars. The Nefantar claim to being the true rulets of the Matari people is mainly based around the fact that a fair proportion of the old Minmatar aristocracy, or tribal leaders, were among them. In the wake of the destruction of a major Amarr fleet in the Battle of Vak'Atioth in 23216 AD, the Matari slave population conducted a successful revolt in several regions of the Empire. The EVE University wiki records the creation of the Ammatar Mandate in the resulting turmoil.
"As the Amarr fled their poorly defended border territories, the many Minmatar collaborators they had left with them. This left the Amarr with a significant problem. The many conservative Holders in the Empire's core worlds were reluctant to share territory with free Minmatar. Additionally, Amarr of all strata of society held a deep resentment against all Minmatar, not just those who were rebelling. Many of the early collaborator arrivals wound up being killed by angry mobs who had lost property, family, and friends in the rebellion.

"While some among the Empire's leadership would have been content to allow the collaborators to fend for themselves, more ingenious thinkers devised a way to utilize them. Several systems near the border of the Minmatar-held territories had been abandoned by the Amarr, though the Rebellion had not quite reached them. The Amarr decided to settle their collaborators in these border systems and task them with defending the space.

"The collaborators called the space San Matar, which means (among other things) “true home” in the Minmatar language. They settled the space, taking over the abandoned holdings and slaves on behalf of Amarr Holders, and began to build up a defense fleet. By the time the Rebellion finally reached them, the momentum of the Minmatar had slowed, allowing the entrenched collaborators to successfully resist.

"Over time, the collaborators expanded their territory beyond the core constellation of San Matar. The Gallente came to call the collaborators the Ammatar, a portmanteau of Amarr and Matar, which the collaborators eventually adopted as their official name. Since then, San Matar has officially been named the Ammatar Mandate."
Today, the Ammatar Mandate is in full control of its domestic affairs but foreign affairs are governed by the Amarr Empire. Within the ruling structure of the Empire, House Ardishapur is responsible for overseeing the Ammatar. In November YC110 (2008), Empress Jamyl I placed the Ammatar under Ardishapur vassalage."
"The empress's decree states that Lord Ardishapur, 'pursuant to Imperial directive, shall henceforth carry ultimate responsibility for the fates and fortunes of the Ammatar Mandate, its bordered districts and outlying holdings, its economic and military resources and the souls of its faithful servants.'"

The Khanid Kingdom

The Khanid Kingdom was founded over 300 years ago in the wake of the succession trials which installed Keideran Kador on the Amarrian throne as Emperor Heideran VII. The leaders of the other four royal houses were supposed to commit ritual suicide. One, Garkeh Khanid, decided to flee to his estates and seceded from the Empire. As the military commander of the Amarr Navy, he had access to both the Emperor's personal titans and appropriated one to make his escape with a sizable escort.

A passage from the Chronicles describes the kingdom that Khanid built.
"The Khanid Kingdom in many ways resembles the Amarr Empire. The caste system is intact - the Holders still reign as the social elite. The governmental structure and administration are all but identical, the only difference being the lack of checks-and-balances that many entrenched institutions and local barons exercise within the empire. Just as for the Amarr Emperor Khanid II is in name undisputed ruler of his realm, but in practice a number of powerful magnates share or dilute the power. In the empire’s case it’s the Heirs that compete with the Emperor for power, in the kingdom’s case it’s the members of the minor families that supported Khanid during his rift with the empire. Other features, such as the importance of religion and slavery, are also very much alike in the two states. In fact, the kingdom takes slavery even further than the empire. The Amarr Empire uses almost exclusively Minmatar and Ealur slaves, but the kingdom, denied many of their traditional slave sources, take slaves wherever they can find them. Khanid himself has a Gallentean - a former pop-star - as his personal slave, something he finds highly amusing but makes the Gallenteans frothing at their mouths.

"But even if Khanid has tried to build his kingdom to mirror the empire he once belonged to, there are many discreet differences. The biggest of these are the way the Dark Amarrians - so called for the color schemes on their ships - conduct their trade and business. The Khanid Kingdom is not nearly as rigid and stale in their governing of inter-stellar trade, for the very simple reason that the kingdom absolutely needs outside trade to survive, which is not the case for the empire. Since the Amarr Empire seized their attempts to reconcile with the separatists decades ago trade has started to flourish between the two. The result is that today the kingdom acts in many ways like a window to the outside world for the reclusive empire. Trade goods that can’t be directly transported into or out of the empire are carried through kingdom because of the much more lenient trade policies the empire has for them. Many Dark Amarrians have grown fat acting as intermediaries for Amarr traders and outsiders.

"Many other notable differences can be seen between the kingdom and the empire - the Dark Amarrians embrace technology, including cloning, much more willingly than the Amarr brethrens and even if most Amarrian traditions and customs still exist within the kingdom, they’ve been modified so that Dark Amarrian society is much more dynamic and robust than that of the Amarr Empire."
The Kingdom and the Empire have grown closer in recent years, partly due to the Khanid Navy's capture of Dochuta Karsoth, the former Chamberlain of the Amarr Empire who usurped power to rule the Empire after the death of Doriam II. In June YC111 (2009), Khanid II was granted a seat on the Privy Council. But that did not integrate the Kingdom back into the Empire.
"While acknowledging the rightful reign of Jamyl I as Empress of Amarr, the Khanid Kingdom will remain an independent nation. It will continue to field its own navy, but will enjoy a pact of mutual protection with the Amarr Empire. Khanid II will officially hold the Privy Council seat but will be allowed to name a proxy when he is unable to attend."
After the Amarrian Succession Trials following the death of Jamyl I, Khanid II did commit ritual suicide and was succeeded by his cousin, Farokh Khanid. Or did he? Given Khanid II's love of life and the Khanid embrace of cloning technology, I'm not so sure.
"Despite his advanced age, Farokh appears to share with his sovereign cousin the Khanid family trait of responding well to gerontological implants and has aged very handsomely indeed. The family resemblance to Garkeh has been remarked upon by many, although this has often been in the context of ironic comments as to how the even older Garkeh appears to almost be the same age as Farokh."

CONCORD

In the region of Genesis, the Amarr Empire holds sovereignty over all constellations except one: Ourapheh. Strategically located, an Amarr fleet could threaten 4 of the Gellente Federations 6 regions from the constellation. I strongly suspect that is one of the major reasons CONCORD set up its headquarters in Yulai.

CONCORD (Consolidated Cooperation and Relations Command) is a relatively new entity (over 100 years old) set up to handle the tensions between the 4 empires. At one time, the Jovian Empire was also a member, but they withdrew from New Eden and installed the Society of Conscious Thought as its successor in the Inner Circle and CONCORD Assembly. CONCORD is described in the Chronicles:
"The inner workings of CONCORD are democratic in nature, with each of the five empires technically possessing equal say in all matters (though a nation’s actual pull more often than not will come down to the persuasiveness of its representatives on the debating floor). Early on, the Amarrians were adamant that the Minmatar Republic would not gain admission to the assembly, but they later reluctantly agreed.

"For the first few years of its existence, CONCORD wielded limited power. The fledgling organization had little diplomatic sway, and regulation enforcement would time and time again prove difficult for its agents. It was not until 18 years after its founding that CONCORD gained the respect of the international community. After the battle of Iyen-Oursta – the bloodiest and most costly engagement the Gallente-Caldari War had seen in decades – both sides were tired of fighting, though long-entrenched hatred and pride prevented either side from asking for a ceasefire. CONCORD took the initiative, and in just under six months managed to negotiate a peace accord between these two bitter enemies, one that would endure for almost a century.

"In the last two decades the organization’s authority increased further, particularly as interstellar trade grew into the cornerstone of New Eden’s economy that it is today. The growing power of CONCORD often raised concern within the empires that the organization could begin to exercise leverage in areas up until then regarded as the nations’ internal affairs. No longer simply a neutral ground for the empires to hammer out diplomatic agreements, CONCORD had become an independent institution that set its own rules and regulations, ones which it was both willing and able to uphold. The organization’s ever-expanding bureaucracy had subtly severed its cords over time, so that it swore fealty to no nation. The only hold the empires had historically possessed over the organization – that of financial support – had in addition been almost completely erased, as revenues garnered through customs, confiscation of illegal goods, license sales and the like were (and still are) more than enough to keep the organization in the black."
Calling CONCORD a minor power is a bit of an understatement on the impact of the organization on the game. CONCORD's Directive Enforcement Department is well-known for keeping the peace between capsuleers in high security space, although allegations of corruption persist as some organizations seem able to inflict chaos with impunity. CONCORD also runs the Secure Commerce Commission, which is responsible for regulating and monitoring all trade transactions that take place on stations and citadels. Combined with an unmatched fleet designed and built by CONCORD Aerospace, the organization punches far above its weight. Still, the organization is not all-powerful. During the Elder War of YC110, a surgical strike took down the CONCORD network in a matter of 15 minutes, allowing for an invasion of Amarr and Ammatar space by the Elder Fleet and the Thukker tribe.

Conclusion

I realize that diving down a rabbit hole full of lore is a bit of detour when setting up economic reporting. The data produced by CCP involves player activity, not that of NPCs. I'd wager most players don't care about the universe they fly through beyond the thought of what they can shoot next. But I'm curious about how close the game world and player behavior winds up conforming to the lore.

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