[Excubitoris Chapter] Duty and Service to Amarr

In recent months it has become clear that some of my fellow Amarr have taken an erroneous position in which coordination against the Triglavian threat in the ongoing war to reclaim the Occupied Systems is treated as dereliction of duty, at best, and treason at worst. These positions are designed to vilify Amarr whose duty calls them to the Triglavian front and suggest that no true Amarr loyalist could possibly work with a coalition including those who are enemies of Amarr in other contexts. This divisive position actively undermines the defense of Amarr and attempts to deceive loyalists into abandoning a vital war to defend Amarr from an external threat. The following discussion responds to these misguided criticisms through an examination of the nature of the duty that binds Amarr capsuleers to the many theaters of operation that exist in defense of the Empire, the difference between tactical coordination and subordination, and the question of whether it is acceptable to work with apostates for the greater good of the Amarr Empire.

I. Duty

All Amarr have their place. When we maintain the faith, we all serve as Slaves of God in the Divine order of things. As the scriptures tell us, God bestowed place and purpose on all of creation, and Amarr is the sole place in this broken universe that attempts to maintain that place and purpose. The Emperor serves God. The Heirs, Emperor Family, military orders, and central bureaucracies serve the Emperor. The Holders serve the Heirs and Emperor Family. The Commoners serve their appointed positions, both as vassals and servants of the bureaucracy. The indentured servants serve the Holders and the criminal slaves are kept under control by the Holders. In Amarr, everyone has their place, their specific duty.

This system is separate to the CONCORD independent capsuleer program, which makes no recognition of prior loyalty. Those of us who have remained loyal to the Empire all remember our place and do our individual duty. Where this duty takes us is dependent on our individual place in the order of things. In the case of those who join the Excubitoris Chapter, for example, our duty is direct service to the office of Emperor, and as such we have ended up called to service in a huge variety of contexts over the last 18 years. Service to the Throne and to Amarr serves as the common thread that connects security work in Amarr highsec, Operation Deliverance in Providence, industrial development in Amarr, the Blood Raider War, the escort of Brother Joshua, the CEWPA War, the Sansha War, the Drifter War, the Thebeka Conflict, First and Second Kahah, and now the Triglavian Wars. Other Amarr might very well have a narrower duty, perhaps a dedication to a single house or to a single theater of operations. There is no shame in this, everyone should serve in their own way. But it is vital that the needs of the whole Empire are considered when interacting with other Capsuleers who might have a different duty than one’s own.

II. Tactical Coordination is not Subordination

In the political environment that has been established for the last 123 years, a reality of duty to Amarr is that it will sometimes call for coordination with entities that in normal circumstances are enemies of the Empire. Recently I have seen the claim that temporary fleet coordination structures represent subordination to whomever is leading the fleet. This understanding is simplistic to the point of absurdity and fails to understand how subordination and coordination work. In a subordinated fleet structure, such as the Amarr Navy, there is a stable chain of command that gives authority to those higher in the chain to give direct orders to their subordinates. Usually in such a structure, the subordinates are not allowed to refuse. So, for example, at the Battle of Vak’Atioth there were clear chains of command. The Emperor and Privy Council authorised the war. Grand Admiral Mekioth Sarum ordered the attack. The individual Captains followed their movement orders. The crew of each ship did as they were told by their specific chains of command. When the situation turned to disaster, those few Captains who refused their orders and retreated in the face of the enemy without orders were executed for their insubordination. Such a system is very traditional and in many cases absolutely correct; it was certainly not a failure of discipline or courage that led to the Jovian’s military success! However, such a system of subordination lacks the flexibility that is needed for working within a coalition made up of cultures that do not maintain the sense of duty and hierarchy that characterises Amarr organisation.

In a coordination model of fleet organization, there is not such a clear chain of authority. The roles taken are temporary and the individuals performing them are making requests rather than giving binding orders. So, for example, at the First Battle of Eruka, LUMEN members were coordinating logistics and providing the fleet anchor while a member of EM took on the job of active target calling for the line ships. The whole campaign was designed and coordinated by people from all of the Lux Invicta members. These roles then effectively lapse until the next operation, where there will be a different coordination structure based on who was able to be present for the operation. Subordination structures do not come into this. The members of the Excubitoris Chapter were still subordinated to the Chapter Masters, the Grandmaster of the Order, and then to the Empress. At no point was any Excubitoris Chapter member given an order saying that they should consider anyone outside of that chain of command to be their superior or even that they were required to be present for a Lux Invicta operation. I do not believe that any of the associates of Lux Invicta believe that the coalition has any authority over their members.

While I would, of course, prefer a more traditional command structure that looks more like the Amarr Navy, such a model is impossible in the context of a coalition drawn from loyalists to all four of the CONCORD aligned empires. If our duty demands that we work with other EDENCOM loyal groups, as it certainly does in the case of the Triglavian invasion, then we by necessity must adopt coordination rather than subordination models.

III. Working with Enemies to Fight Greater Enemies

Perhaps the hardest pill to swallow for traditionalist loyalists who still seem to think we are facing the conditions of the Unchallenged Era is the understanding that working with one enemy against another can often be a requirement of our Duty. Regardless of whether we like it, we are no longer dealing with a situation in which Amarr can sweep all enemies before it. The test God has given us is one in which we have to trust the Emperor’s guidance as we chart our course through a fraught political environment in which a wrong step can lead to mutually assured destruction. In this environment, four different Emperors have chosen a path of limited cooperation with the other entities in New Eden, and it is our lot as loyalists to trust their wisdom.

The precedent for working with apostates and other heretics who would be normally enemies of Amarr for the greater good of the Empire was set decisively in YC 37, under orders coming from the Emperor Heideran, of blessed memory. In that year, the Imperial Navy deployed alongside the Minmatar Tribes, the Gallente Federation, the Caldari State, and even the Jovians to destroy the existential threat that was Sansha’s Nation. Despite our many differences, the CONCORD states came together to crush an entity that was a greater threat than they offered to each other. Like the current situation with EDENCOM, the navies drawn from each nation maintained their internal subordination structures despite actively coordinating with each other to destroy the nascent Sansha’s Nation. Now, at the time, in YC 37, the Minmatar Republic’s naval command structure was still drawn from those who had once been Amarr subjects and rebelled. When we deployed against Sansha, we actively worked with apostates who had turned their back on God. The situation today is similar. The Triglavians, with their ability to outright steal systems from the empires, represent an existential threat against Amarr that must be answered, and the development of EDENCOM reflects the official recognition of this reality. If answering that threat means coordinating with those we would normally shoot at in other contexts, so be it. We should never let our individual pride keep us from doing our duty to God and Amarr, for the good of the whole Empire must always come before the individual lives of its inhabitants.

Until such a time as the Triglavians are driven back to the Abyss from whence they came or the Empress in her infinite wisdom chooses to normalize relations with the invaders, those serving on the Triglavian front have a duty to, in the words of the Heir Arim Ardishapur, “put aside petty differences of ideology in order to defend against the inhuman threat of the Triglavian monsters.” This means that we are duty bound to adopt a nuanced policy in which we work with Minmatar and GalFed loyalists in anti-Triglavian operations and against those same loyalists in other contexts, such as the CEWPA warzone. At the same time, it also forces us to treat those who choose to side with the Triglavians in any context as active threats to Amarr interests.

We remain loyal servants of the Throne and of Amarr and will continue to do our duty to the Throne. We will continue to do our part to make sure that Amarr will prevail in this conflict, and in all others, and that the Empire will prosper under the leadership of the glorious Empress Catiz. It is the mark of the Amarr Faithful that we remember our duty and our place. We should aspire to avoid internal discord and accept that not all Amarr will have the same tasks set before them. And we should always remember that the faithful are strongest when they stand together, for there is no strength like it under the heavens.

-Chapter Master Gaven Lok’ri
Excubitoris Chapter of the Sacred Throne Order
Khimi Harar
December 2, 23,359 AD (YC 123)

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I must applaud this rather lengthy diatride on “why I am right and you are wrong”. It reminds me of…such “walls of text” in the vernacular.

In fact, this bears all the hallmarks of the most infamous wall of text user of all time, Jade Constantine. It checks all the boxes:

Verbose
Grandiose
Pompous
Toothless

And just like the Star Fraction, PIE will die. Not gloriously, but like a dwarf star, the light fading away.

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So many well-crafted and reasonable words, within the context given at any rate, and all I can see when re-reading it is this and my heart aches with pity. I grieve for you, and for everyone else who would speak such horror with joy. An entire Empire, and not a soul that understands the real value of submission or servitude.

Damn you, Lok’ri, for reminding me what a mercy it is to end one of you.

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You know, some time ago you pointed out my Gallentean blood in an effort to help me find my place. I must concede my occasional frustration with the station to which I am relegated by my heritage. While I may have the blood of the Gallente, at least I don’t think and sound like one.

There’s enough hand-wringing and mental gymnastics in here to fill several federation oratory sessions.

Behold, LUMEN in YC 123 - an alliance where:
Up = Down
Left = RIght
Service to the throne = lip service
Apostates = Allies
EM Astrahauses = EDENCOM outposts
Commands = “Requests”
EM / PNS adversaries = Triglavian sympathizers

And last but not least… where LUMEN are still faithful servants of the Throne.

The one thing on which we agree here is that yes, the faithful are strongest when they stand together. Long have we stood beside LUMEN, but this is no longer possible. We cannot stand abreast with those who have prostrated themselves so that they may better lick the boots of Minmatar masters.

You may rationalize frequent collusion with apostates and heretics. CTRLV does not, and so it naturally follows that our coordination with LUMEN has drawn to a close. When actual servants of the throne come for you, for your sake, I hope you armed with more than this tedious gabble. Failing that, please accept the advice I distribute to all under my command, and perish in silence.

Mikal Vektor
CEO, Dirt ‘n’ Glitter
Alliance Executor, Local Is Primary
Supreme Commander of Allied Amarr Militia Forces

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… oh dear, this is going to go well. You might want to edit that ‘Triglavian Sympathizers’ bit before it’s seized upon as proof of your cerebrum turning to soup though, as even for your level of spin that doesn’t even match your own rhetoric, much less that of your intended targets.

I’ll look forwards to seeing you put words into action.

We get it. You have a bug up your ass about LUMEN. Gods, must you be so tedious?

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At one point during one of the fleet actions against the Triglavian invaders, i think it might have been in Egfyge, I was flying a logistics vessel, my logi squad included ships from EM and LUMEN and at one point I was squad commander.

Therefore, LUMEN and EM both surrendered their independence to me, and are now my minions, by the logic of some, it would seem.

Nobody thought to tell me this at the time though.

Anyway, since that makes me Supreme High Plenipotentiary Captain in Total Command of the Universe, I can assure anyone that thinks i have authority that anti Trig joint operations involving both Amarr and Minmatar elements are completely and totally legit and do not reflect upon either the Amarr Empress or the Republic dude,

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Having sometime fought stern to stern with both CTRLV and LUMEN these past few months, both impressed me as worthy allies of iron mettle. I pray to God the Maker that these differences may be resolved by providence but quick.

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Ah yes, apologies - I completely forgot that traitors, apostates, and heretics, having successfully duped LUMEN into serving alternative objectives, would obviously be so forthright in admitting that this collusion runs only skin deep. My mistake! Thanks for helping us resolve this huge misunderstanding!

But seriously, please cease this unnatural noise.

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If the complete destruction of the Holy Amarr Empire and denouncing God are ‘petty differences’, then we have already failed The Test and the Empire deserves to burn.

How we conduct ourselves matters. Who we treat with matters.

Granted, this is just how I see it. If His Grace the Lord Sarum believes otherwise then I am wrong. If Her Most Sublime Majesty believes otherwise then I am wrong. I have neither seen or heard anything to lead me to believe I am, however.

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Publicly criticising the words of an Imperial
Heir now, Lady Newelle?

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Certainly not something your alliance is above.

In official capacity.

Lord Ardishapur’s choice of words is not something I would use, Lord Chapter Master Lok’ri, I am surprised you agree such things are to be considered ‘petty’.

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So, first I would note that Khimi Harar’s most public worries about the Floseswin campaign were not worded as a direct attack on an heir’s statement, and potentially on the Empire itself, the way Lady Newelle’s just were. That document publicly questioned, which is an act of which I still cannot approve, but it was not a condemnation. Khimi Harar’s constant and consistent record of good work for the Empire is worth far more to me than that single event.

Second, my stance on the issue you allude to is entirely consistent with where I am now. I even recall writing similar essays on Duty and Loyalty at the time.

Third, another group making an error of judgement certainly should not make it ok for House Newelle to directly criticise an Heir. Not to mention the implicit, though I pray unintentional, suggestion that the Empire had failed God’s Test all the way back in the Reign of Heideran, which was the first time we put aside these specific differences to work with the Minmatar Tribes against a common foe.

I worry that those now surrounding the Newelle’s sound increasingly like the recent Khanid Equilibrium of Mankind traitor. Lord-Consort Newelle even is in the same alliance as that heretic’s chosen Blood Raider Champion! I pray that this trajectory shifts, and that they right the course and continue to work for the good of Amarr.

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We, and those who sign along with us below, appeal to the Empress and the Privy Council to take action against these plans before they do irreparable harm to the Empire and your Majesty’s legacy and visions for the future.

The straightforward wording of the petition states Lord Sarum was enacting a policy that would do irreperable harm to the Empire and Her Majesty’s legacy and visions for the future. There is nothing indirect about this, and what is more egregious is that it was an attempt to undermine House Sarum’s authority in action while presuming the Empress’s disposition, not just disagreeing with the wording of an Heir’s statement as my lady has.

We made a request in private to retract or adjust the wording of the petition to Khimi Harar not two months ago. They refused. The insinuation they leveled still stands, years after the policy has been allowed to be implemented.

Yet this stance seems to have changed since the Excubitoris Chapter joined with Khimi Harar. I remember an order that once thought it unthinkable, loathsome, and an indication of moral weakness to not ahbor the heretic, as the oath states. Making lengthy documents to worm one’s way into a more comfortable position when taking orders from heretics and worse does not seem fitting. Please clarify how this is in any way consistent with the Chapter’s past positions.

No, it would not, but as my duty dictates, I stand by my lady’s word and shall defend her to the end.

That wretch has not shown his face in years. Rest assured, I am making efforts to have that ridiculous fool expelled from the alliance, his corporation dissolved, and the last vestiges of it buried and forgotten.

Pray tell, are you making efforts to dismantle Electus Matari? I do hope so.

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Funny how ideological and other ‘purities’ are suddenly being argued now when it’s convenient, but when it was more convenient to fly under an Angel Cartel member, or when flying alongside Blooders and embracing a Sani Sabik etc… well, that was just prudent and practical in order to fight the ‘greater threat’.

The funny part is that every single side in this particular bout of it is fully guilty of this hypocrisy.

Except possibly Mitara, can’t say I’ve seen her engage in it yet. Her squeeze, absolutely, but not her.

:popcorn:

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The petition was a document that ceased to serve any purpose as soon as it was not answered, and which has not affected LUMEN policy towards the warzone for some time now. Rewriting a dead document sounds like one of the most useless endeavors I have ever heard. I expect that your attempts to force Khimi Harar to resurrect it so that you could use it as a relevant attack line, as you are trying to do here, rather than a dredged up bit of history were really quite transparent. They increasingly come across as someone nurturing a grudge rather than doing whatever it takes to defend Amarr.

If it were active alliance policy of any sort this summer, then the Excubitoris Chapter would have been much less likely to join Khimi Harar. As is, I have no regrets at all about the decision and am quite pleased to be surrounded by a group of admirably faithful Amarr. It is a pleasant change.

It is exactly the same as our decision to attempt to work with the pirates you surround yourself with now. We can abhor the heretic and still swallow our pride long enough to help the Empress and Empire. This stance has never changed and has consistently been Excubitoris Chapter policy since the beginning of the CEWPA war. The same nuances that I outline in my essay here are the ones that have underlied our cooperative work with the militia for over a decade. At least now we are only having to coordinate with CONCORD signatory loyalists rather than Blood Raiders.

Why in the name of Junip would I answer this? Monologing on plans to destroy a Lux Invicta member sounds like a fantastic way to make absolutely sure that the Empire both loses their help against the Triglavians and to make absolutely sure that any such plans would fail miserably.

That said, I expect almost everyone involved in Lux has active plans at work to try and nullify almost everyone else in Lux as a threat to their respective Empire. I also doubt that any of these plans will work.

Really now?

I also find this one quite interesing.

To be clear, I will not criticise working with pirates, and even heretics, in the militia, such is the nature of the CEWPA arrangement. But I will criticise working with them at the same time as trying to hold LUMEN’s actions to a standard of purity to which the Newelle’s seem to have no interest whatsoever in holding themselves.

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The endless cycle of the Empire, I suppose.

Karsoth pops up, Karsoth is exposed, Karsoth runs off to the Kingdom and we never get real confirmation that he’s dead.

Chakaid pops up, Chakaid is exposed, Chakaid runs off to the Kingdom, flattens a planet, and vanishes.

Seems like the Empire maybe have their successor(s) already. It’s the same right down to the connection to the same blooder that exposed Chakaid in the first place.

There was a blooder, there was an EoM cultist, and now those of us in the rest of the cluster might get to sit back and see what’s behind door number three!

The Empire needs to be wiped from the face of the ■■■■■■■ cluster or else these nutjobs are going to continue to pop up left and right. They will continue to use its twisted and corrupt society as a vehicle to perpetuate their human rights abuses.

It’s a good thing that the worst of them seem dead set on turning their guns inward for the moment, I guess. For all the flack LUMEN seems to get for helping us, the irony is that the loudest capsuleers who expose the true nature of the Empire shouting down the cunning ones that understand the cluster’s political climate is bound to benefit us more in the long run.

So I guess what I’m saying is, fight on, sweet children of God.

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Do enjoy your new allies, Chapter Master.

We will continue to fight them, no matter who stands in our way.

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