A year ago today a star was born


(Mizhara Del'thul) #1

It didn’t last very long, but it shone brightly.

I mention this because I feel it’s worth reflecting upon. An outer region group attacked another, and diplomatic matters became rather complicated as there were ‘blues’ and ‘light blues’ on both sides of the conflict, and some decided to try and stay neutral while others stepped to one side of the fence or another. I’ll have to admit, it was a war worthy of tales. Not so much due to any staggering numbers or amazing battles, although the last week of it certainly took its toll. It was because everyone involved fought tooth and nail, against equal or even stronger enemies and fleets. Underdog fleets sometimes came out victorious, sometimes numbers won out. Most of the time… it was just war.

There was no cowardice or craven worry about kill statistics or ISK values. The sides had drawn lines in the sand and stood their ground. It’s a horrifying thing to say but this was a wonderful war. Every target was a capsuleer worth killing and there wasn’t an innocent soul in sight. Every structure was a hive of outer region riff-raff and those risking life and limb for their lucrative paychecks.

The destruction was beyond measure.

It paled before what was to come.

After having teetered on a knife’s edge, the final push came. The final bastion was going under siege.

Over seven thousand different capsuleers showed up for the siege. Over two hundred and fifty billion ISK worth of ships were destroyed in a single battle. Another hundred and fifty billion ISK worth of ships died to the Keepstar in its final hours. Six grueling hours of destruction, culminating in what news reports claim was the death of “countless millions”.

As we birthed a brief, yet beautiful star. It’s one of the most powerful memories I have, entering warp and the explosion overtaking us, with blinding light and heat surrounding us. So many dead. So much destruction. So much outright horror, unfathomable courage, strength of will and enemies I will never forget for their sheer tenacity.

For what exactly, though? What did all those people die for? What did we kill all these people for? Don’t get me wrong, I have no regrets about that war or that day. I find no moral outrage over the deaths of those who willingly went to war in servitude of mad eggers with grand designs. Everyone who was there, chose their path and knew the risks.

Yet… what was it for? “Empire Building” some will say, disregarding that no capsuleer “empire” has lasted more than a blink of an eye compared to the nations of New Eden, and almost always begins and ends with death tolls beyond measure. “For Honor” some will say. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out if the outer regions has any of that, given their willingness to waste so many lives on such fruitless endeavors. “For wealth and power” some will say, and I can’t really argue against that. Except… does it really pay off? 300b Keepstar. 250b in ships. Another 150b in another battle. Trillions and trillions when it’s all tallied up over the course of a war. For a spit of land, where you can harvest some bounties or some rocks.

It’s been a year and I don’t really have an answer. I never had any stakes in the outer regions, rather I’ve spent my time here learning and keeping that knife’s edge sharp against enemies like Co2 that traced their name in fire across New Eden’s skies, or The Initiative pioneering brand new strategies and doctrines with impressive skill, and Providence neglecting to warn their own about an impending Keepstar erection… or perhaps just Goons dying horribly in droves under incompetent FCs. Is that worth so much death perhaps?

I have no answer for these questions.

Perhaps someone should. If nothing else, it’s something worth recognizing and thinking about.

That is… once I’m done remembering the birth and death of a star, seared into my inner eye.


(Arrendis) #2

Why?

As you say, no staggering numbers or amazing battles. No noble casus belli, no stalwart defense of the innocent victims. Every target was someone with nothing to lose but money, risking nothing but money, for… money.

What makes an orgy of meaningless destruction where there’s no real bravery, because there’s no real risk, worthy of tales? What makes it anything more than a crass display of masturbatory bloodshed for the sake of ego? Why should it be remembered, except as a monument to nihilistic self-indulgence?

It’s not the only thing that falls into that category, of course. I’m not really meaning to single you out, or the Tribute War, but other recent conversations have my thoughts trending this way. And pursuant to certain conversations we’ve had… maybe that’s not a bad thing, you know?


(Mizhara Del'thul) #3

Because even knowing all of that… they fought. Tooth and nail. Sure, nothing out in the outer regions matter much to anyone but capsuleers, but to those of us who revel in war - the morality, ethics and philosophies surrounding that penchant is another topic entirely - this was almost unique in that regard.

Engagements were taken without them being ‘sure things’. Fights were taken and reveled in, by both sides. The outcome was until the very last phases of the war never a certainty. Unlike almost all other conflicts you find out there, not only was the outcome in question, neither side backed down until the end. It was a war fought to the end. A conclusion, rather than one side taking the coward’s path and running off with their tails between their legs.

In just that single war, I saw new strategies and doctrines birthed, engaged, adapted to, iterated upon, and improved and in some cases abandoned. It drove men and women to new heights, or new lows.

… and it ended in fire, as such things should. When it was over, it was over. Scores had been settled, the outcome carved in stone and it was done. The dead, whether they felt they died for a cause or if they simply died for money or sheer bloodlust… they could rest, if nothing else, because it finished.

Worthy of tales, I’d say. Whether they were good ones, or cautionary ones, or tales of horror to serve as examples of what never must happen again… well, I leave that up to everyone else to figure out for themselves. I don’t have an answer to that.

I’d say the biggest - in terms of participants - battles in recorded capsuleer history disagrees there.


(Arrendis) #4

Sorry, I was taking your description there.


(Mizhara Del'thul) #5

Not so much due to…


(Arrendis) #6

Yeah, I clearly misunderstood what you meant.

Still, not seeing what’s there that’s worthy of tales. ‘Look at how awesome it all was, groups vied to see who was the most wasteful for the least value’. Cautionary tales? Not even that, really: in the end, nobody even cared if they won or lost. The losers happily made common cause with the winners in subsequent months. It was nothing but blood for the sake of boredom.

It just seems… empty.


(Mizhara Del'thul) #7

That’s the question then, isn’t it? Is war simply for the sake of war something worth recognizing?

I’m not going to try and answer that question, but I know what the fires within wants me to say.


(Arrendis) #8

But isn’t that inevitable? We all want to feel like we’re relevant. We all want to think our lives mattered in some way, that we’re worth remembering. Sure, sometimes you people… who think they’re not worth it, who think they shouldn’t be remembered… but that doesn’t mean they don’t want it, deep down. They just don’t necessarily like what they think they might be remembered for.


(Veikitamo Gesakaarin) #9

I don’t know, I’ve never felt much reason or cause required beyond someone saying, “Hey Veik, we need to go in and blow up some bad guys.”

Then I go, “Hey guy, no worries, hold my beer.”


(Teinyhr) #10

So, if I understood you correctly you’re saying these wars are wasteful and stupid, but regardless of that, you just like to watch things burn?


(Mizhara Del'thul) #11

That’s one way to interpret it, I’m sure. I wouldn’t even remotely agree, but hey. I did make a point about not saying much of anything and rather raise questions instead.


(Jev North) #12

It’s closer to “I’m excited by numbers with lots of zeroes at the end,” near as I can reckon.


(Veikitamo Gesakaarin) #13

I’m saying combat is damn lot of fun; but the consequences are horrible.

If you have difficulties with dealing in the consequences of combat then maybe don’t participate in them instead of trying to remark in public, “Oh, it’s so terrible, the tragedy of all these wars I have complete personal agency not to participate in but still do anyway, oh the humanity, it’s terrible I have no control over my own actions.”


(Teinyhr) #14

Well to get this kind of catty response, I guess I struck somekind of nerve.


(Arrendis) #15

Well, but you did.

That doesn’t sound to you like you just like to watch things burn? Maybe it’s not how you meant it… but it is how it reads.


(Veikitamo Gesakaarin) #16

Not really, you seem to be reading whatever suppositions you want to read into.


(Mizhara Del'thul) #17

There’s a significant difference between reveling in the craft of war and combat, and “just wanting to watch things burn”. There seems to be quite an interesting lens through which these things are read, if anyone’s getting ‘want to watch things burn’ our of this. It’s quite the distortion.


(Mizhara Del'thul) #18

What’s catty about it? I simply stated that I’m pretty sure you’re wrong. I have no interest in watching something burn, unless I have some kind of resentment towards the combustible object. There’s very little in the outer regions I care enough about to do so.

Honing my craft however, is another thing entirely.


(Teinyhr) #19

I was referring to Gesakaarins’ response.


(Mizhara Del'thul) #20

Ah, my mistake.