The Drifters and Triglavians share an intricately intertwined story - but who are they, and why are they “ancient enemies”? This post is compiles a series of deductions, theories, and predictions (some of which you might have seen in my other threads) in order to give interested people a condensed look at my best theories about both factions~
DEDUCTIONS & THEORIES:
The Sleeper civilization and Enheduanni (their administrators) escaped to Anoikis using the W477-P Talocan gates - but the Enheduanni alone later utilized the Nexus Gates to escape further, into the Abyss, where they developed over time into the Triglavian Collective.
In the sunset of the Second Jove Empire, conflict seemingly arose between the myriad Enclaves comprising the nation - the beginning of the collapse, but not the worst of it. Then came the dreaded Jove Disease, a genetic malady affecting every member of the Jove race. The Architects, known to us as the Sleepers, were accused by members of the Jove enclaves outside of their elite virtuality-based society of being capable of stopping the disease but refusing to do so, or in some cases of having caused it in the first place in an effort to coerce the rest of the Jove into their virtual way of life.
The Enheduanni, who were the administrators of the Sleeper virtual construct and who had indeed actively attempted to push Jove society toward their own ideal civilizational form over the course of the Second Empire, were forced to flee alongside the Sleepers when outside Jove - likely including members of the Tyrant faction, the governing body of the Second Empire - gave chase. The chase never ended, leading the Sleepers and Enheduanni to leave the cluster entirely, migrating to Anoikis and closing the doors behind them.
The massive lattice of structures that surrounded the W477-P star before the Caroline’s Star eruption included a huge number of gate modules connected to individual other ends, located in systems in Anoikis. When Caroline’s Star underwent supernova, the massive energy of the event was funneled through the many gates (visible in the “Epicenter” sites in every Shattered System) and into each system’s star, causing them to erupt in a similar manner to those affected by the Seyllin incident. This created the “Shattered Systems” we know now.
However, 5 of these shattered systems do not have Epicenter sites: the Drifter Hive systems. Instead, each of them contain a named installation - Redoubt, Barbican, Sentinel, Vidette, and Conflux. In the deepest area of each of these sites, you’ll find a “Nexus” - a giant, anomalous zone bracketed by two massive vortexes of unstable space, above and below. In the center, many separated pylons float free from each other: these compose massive gates when properly aligned. The logical conclusion is that the Nexus Gates were connected to the Talocan Lattice, just as the other epicenters were.
Though the Enheduanni left for Anoikis with the Sleepers, there have never been signs of their presence among the decaying infrastructure. At some later point, the Enheduanni found a need to escape further from both New Eden and Anoikis, utilizing the vast Nexus gates to hide themselves in the Abyss and closing the doors behind them.
Caroline’s Star was the catalyst for the movement of vast quantities of energy through the Nexus gates, wrenching them open on both ends and causing them to break apart and scatter. The Drifters, who had gathered in huge numbers in the Hive sites in anticipation of this (remember the Tukoss broadcast), would have then used the Nexus gates at the proper moment to finally give chase to their “ancient enemy”.
Additional evidence comes from certain Triglavian datastreams, which describe Second-Empire Jove archival data in significant detail, alongside the use of Sleeper Encryption Methods in the production of tech II Radiation Sinks and the mysterious triplicate-based cloning infrastructure discovered aboard a Second-Empire era facility in the chronicle “Mithra’s Gate”.
The Triglavians originally entered the Abyss aboard massive World Arks classified as "Kitzeh", the designs for which were utilized as a base for the modern Xordazh-class Arks.
A triplicate semiosis intercept received in late April YC121 showed the Xordazh-class World Ark in full for the first time. Included in the intercept additional text detailing not only the approval of the vessel’s functions, but also that this class of World Ark is in fact a new design based on a far older vessel class: Kitzeh. This antique World Ark class carries a meaningful name, Kitzeh being a legendary city that - when threatened by invaders - was submerged beneath the sea in order to preserve its inhabitants. This lines up perfectly with the necessity of the Triglavian race’s ancestors to escape an antique thread by diving into the Abyss aboard their own Kitzeh - their World Arks.
One group of the Triglavians continued to operate in the shadows of k-space, attempting to subtly push newly developing factions towards their own ideal civilizational form. These operations were carried out under Zorya Triglav (the Detached Executive Troika), but those in New Eden who knew of them only understood them as the "Enheduanni".
In both Theodicy and Templar One, a Jove by the name of Grious tells of the “Enheduanni”; he is the only character to ever make mention of the faction in any EVE media thus far. The details of the actions of this group, however, align perfectly with specific past events of great importance to the modern Empires.
Today we know of “Zorya Triglav”, the Detached Executive Troika, a detachment of the Collective with allegiance to no single Clade - rather, this Troika is an emanation of all three of them. Zorya has, in recent times, been granted mandate to invoke countervailing measures without prior proving - and is the entity seen speaking in the Triglavian billboard broadcast.
The interesting stuff starts becoming more of a question with an imperative imposed upon Zorya by the Clades assembled, mandating them to maintain continuous cooperative communication moving forward - almost as if to suggest that they had failed to maintain such contact at some time in the past. Zorya, as the only Triglavian entity known to have operated in New Eden in modern times (under whom the captured Vedmak brought to Yulai also likely operated), is the most likely candidate for having carried out covert influencing operations among the fledgling Empires of New Eden.
The Triglavian influence that remained present in New Eden may have played a core role in the foundational periods of both the Amarr (as the Sefrim) and the Minmatar (as the "spirits" which granted knowledge of the Tulraug), and later demonstrated a very personal stake in the Minmatar race during the events leading up to the Battle of Vak'Atioth.
In 16480 AD, during the tenth year of the reign of Emperor Amash-Akura, the sun went black. Birds fell dead from the sky, plants withered, and people fell sick in droves. Then, a group of angelic beings descended from the sky to stand outside of Dam-Torsad’s walls. Amash-Akura descended from his throne to meet them; clad in glowing white and amber robes, and wearing masks of gold and silver, the beings called themselves Sefrim - and claimed to be agents of God, sent to assist the Emperor and bring him a gift.
The Sefrim granted the Emperor two artifacts - a scepter and a crown - known as Ametat and Avetat. Ametat prevented the Emperor from aging, and Avetat granted him wisdom, allowing him to rule wisely. The Sefrim remained in Dam-Torsad, living in a marble temple constructed for them and staying by the Emperor’s side. A following century of blissful peace was then followed by terrible strife; a once-member of the Council of Apostles, known as Molok the Deceiver, began his conquest of the Amarr Empire. With Molok having conquered half the Empire, Amash-Akura appealed the Sefrim for help - but when they refused, he cast them out. As they left, the skies turned black once more; that night, Amash-Akura was visited by a vision of God, who chastised the Emperor and revoked the powers of the Ametat and Avetat. The Emperor aged many years in just a day, but lead his armies against Molok - using the artifacts as his sword and armor. Succeeding without the Sefrim, he passed the following day.
THE ELDERS AND THE TULRAUG:
Later, many light-years away in the latter years of the 18,000s AD, the first Minmatar Elders made contact with mysterious entities of their own. In the early days of the Minmatar, an “Artifact” sourced from the Crystal Steppe (a landmark, formed by the engines of massive colony ships in the precollapse era) was divided among the Minmatar people during a period of great suffering, as they were began to migrate and venture in different directions for the sake of seeking survival. As time passed, these Artifact pieces came into the hands of those now known as the first Elders.
Whether the artifacts themselves led to the significant differences that have evolved in each tribe has not been established, though it is agreed that it’s the authority imbued within those in possession of these items led to their significant influence over the formation of each respective tribe. What seems clear as the chronicles of each tribe are assembled and studied is that these artifacts were imbued with knowledge and were consulted or meditated on. Each tribe has their own language for what was drawn from the artifacts though this seems to be colored by the persuasion of each particular First Elder that came to possess them. Sebiestor chronicles, for instance, refer to them providing knowledge, Brutor strength and Krusual secrets. - from the Elders page on EVE Fiction
At one point in Minmatar history, the First Elders simultaneously began to receive a calling from the Artifacts, instructing them to travel to the island of Mioar. Each Elder heeded the call; the Elders traveled to the island, some meeting each other en route and traveling together.
At Mioar, the Elders were approached by “powerful spirits offering great knowledge, in particular the ability to literally walk as a spirit.” The Elders quarreled over whether or not the offer should be accepted. In the end, Vheroka was chosen to be among the spirits and learn from them.
“In her absence the other Elders squabbled when they weren’t talking to visiting spirits. Eventually they agreed that these entities and the knowledge they were providing was a negative influence, leading to covetousness, materialism and competition. These were dark spirits, evil in intent, that tested and tempted them. The decision was eventually made to leave the archipelago as soon as Vheroka returned. When she did, she was pale and weak, near death, and did not speak. Brute was as enraged as the others were afraid, and he was the one who confronted and refused the spirits, who grew very angry. The island shook with volcanic activity, said to be due to the anger of these terrible dark spirits.”
Following this, the Elders fled Mioar - but their Artifacts continued to channel communications from the “evil spirits”. The Brutor Elder forced the others to give up their own artifacts, and threw them into the ocean.
The Great Tribal Wars followed. At their end, Vheroka, now very old, ascended a mountain to meditate for seven days. She then called the other Elders to her, making the decision to share the knowledge she had been given by the “spirits”: the Tulraug form.
“Vherokior chronicles report that on her death it is said that her flesh was rent by beams of light and she emerged as a pure manifestation of spirit – the first Tulraug - though this is understood to be allegorical. What is clear is that the original Vheroka never again appeared as an old woman but the GLOWING WHITE, MASKED VERSION. Regardless, this form then appeared before leaders in all seven tribes over seven days, especially those who had left for the Greater Sobaki Desert, before eventually being united with a new Elder, once a handmaiden of Vheroka, who then assumed her role.”
The Tulraug remains a capability of the Elders in the modern era; the form itself is not mythological, and the vast majority of the Elders’ modern appearances are in the Tulraug form - and a strange, final note only serves to deepen the question of its true nature:
"There have been accounts of Tulraug crossing vast distances of space in seconds, though it is understood that there may only be one such manifestation in the universe at any one time. As of YC116, there has never been an encounter with an Elder’s Tulraug form in wormhole space."
In Theodicy, set in the year 23216 AD, we first learn of the “Enheduanni” from a Third Empire Jove named Grious, identifying a presence that previously identified itself as “The Order” to another character. These Enheduanni facilitated the events that led to the Battle of Vak-Atioth, attempting to free the Elders of the Minmatar Tribes from their unknowing Amarr slaver captors. Grious, a Directorate Jove, calls the Order the Enheduanni; they display a strong preference for the Minmatar civilization, a fact that blends highly relevantly into the Triglavians:
“The Minmatar Elders controlled their fear of the unknown by nurturing patience in their quest for understanding. That quest united an entire people! Their tribes were acting as one, even without the awareness of a single nation to define them. No other race was on a surer path towards achieving what we have than they.” - the Enheduanni, in Theodicy
The Minmatar exist as a collection of seven independent Tribes, each fiercely individual but all of which will work together when necessary for the good of their race as a whole. The Triglavian Collective is composed of three highly independent Clades, which often disagree and come into conflict with each other. However, they too will put aside any differences and work together as a whole when the need arises. The “Enheduani” in Theodicy consider the Minmatar as being on the surest path toward what they themselves had achieved, and worked to free their Elders. They act as one, despite being more than one.
Combining all of the above leads me to heavily consider the theory it works as evidence for. Solely from a writing standpoint, it’d be hard for me to be happy with yet another Jove splinter appearing out of thin air - but working the Triglavians into the complex past of New Eden could really cement them as a seriously great part of EVE’s world.
Having taught the Minmatar Elder Vheroka to generate the white-robed & masked Tulraug, the leadership-oriented "Koschei" “bloodline” of the Triglavian race may appear in the same form.
Triglavian "Troikas" will be discovered to be triplicate entities occupying a single body. Both "Zorya Triglav" (Detached Executive Troika) and "Kresnik Svarog" (Special Operational Troika) will appear as characters ingame - Zorya in Invasions, and Kresnik in all-out aggression against Sansha’s Nation.
The Triglavian invasions in Invasion: Chapter One may be a final proving for us Capsuleers, in addition to serving as proving for their Xordazh-class World Ark design.
Proving ourselves to the Collective, the Triglavians will begin friendly communication with Capsuleers. Later chapters in Invasion will introduce cooperation with the Triglavian Collective.
DEDUCTIONS & THEORIES:
The Drifters are comprised of Others and Sleepers emerging from the crumbling ruins of the Sleeper civilization. The Others are themselves a sort of "ghost in the machine", echoing some sentiments and memories of long-dead Jove - influencing their desire to take human form, and their choice to organize into the "Vigilant Tyrannos" we now know.
“Others” as a name refers to spontaneous instances of conscious intelligences that appeared within the now-crumbling Sleeper virtual world over its millenia of runtime. These beings were intrinsically aware of their world’s virtual nature and rebelled against it, and worked to spread this truth to the made-unaware Sleepers whose infomorphs resided in the same world. The Enheduanni, administrators of the VR world, attempted to suppress them - but given the lack of these administrators in any capacity among the derelict enclaves scattered across Anoikis, it seems to be the case that they may have failed to do so.
Under the Enheduanni, the Sleeper VR had many rules - the most important of which dictated that, for any infomorph present in the virtuality, there must be a body on the other side to return to. Over the millenia of runtime their slumbering civilization accrued, it can be guessed that - when bodies inevitably expired - homeless infomorphs may have been purposefully and permanently put to true rest.
The theorizing starts here; while the minds themselves would at this point be in every way deceased, data, memories, fragmentary bits and pieces of what once occupied storage space in the VR could conceivably (in a vast work of science-fiction) have been left behind. It seems more plausible to suggest that vast numbers of spontaneously self-generated sapient intelligences would arise as consequences of these fragments than as purely coincidental individual instances.
As for the Drifters’ physical incarnation: the Others wanted to live in a real world. Wanting to be real - and wanting to spread their claim as a reestablished Jove Empire - funnels neatly and symbolically into a decision to take human form.
The new Tyrannos may be seeking to reunite the Jove as the First Tyrant once did - by force - and coalesce the Jove race once again in an effort to grasp for the once-glorious heights of their ancestral civilization.
The chaotic fall of the First Jove Empire - a consequence one group’s efforts to halt further developments among the Jove, both technological and otherwise - scattered and separated the race across a decaying territory. Occupied space shrunk significantly, and the Jove civilization descended toward a seemingly inevitable collapse.
Then came Miko Bour, the First Tyrant. Midway through the 21st millennium, this dynamic, ruthless, and uncharacteristically forceful individual seized power in the Utopia system, and quickly moved to bring the whole of the Heaven constellation under his control. He proclaimed the Second Jove Empire, and invited all remaining Jove enclaves and colonies to join the new state under his faction’s rule. The vast majority of the Jove enthusiastically followed the call, weary of the chaos of the collapse. However, refusal was not an option; those who rejected the invitation were forcibly coerced into participation by Bour’s faction.
Once his Empire had coalesced, Bour - who had no intention of being a warlord - established a federal system of government, headed by an assembly known as the Ruling Chamber. Each of the enclaves comprising the Empire could appoint a member of their own to this Chamber. The Ruling Chamber would then elect one among them to be appointed to the role of Tyrant.
The Tyrants faded in the collapse of the Second Empire - one that would be far more total than that of the first, broken down to nothing in the wake of the terrible “Jove Disease”. The scattered survivors eventually coalesced into the Third Empire, which was known as the Jove Directorate - but the knowledge and heights attained by its precursor were lost to history.
The Drifters identify themselves as the “Vigilant Tyrannos”, or “Watchful Tyrants”, and have organized their apparent military structure with titles and ranks of Tyrant. Apollo, Artemis, Arithmos, Karybdis - all are identified as Tyrannos.
Given the violent expansion of the Drifters, their plundering of previously concealed Sleeper Enclaves in known space, and their current trespass into the domain of the Triglavian Collective, the notion that these new Tyrannos seek to gather the Jove by force as Miko Bour’s Tyrants once did in Heaven - and establish a once-again great Jove Empire - is worthy of consideration.
The Other's original plan after entering Jamyl was to stockpile Isogen-V at ancient caches for the purpose of reactivating the wormhole network in a controlled manner. Reactivation would include the Nexus gates, allowing the Vigilant Tyrannos to emerge into New Eden at the proper time and finally give chase to the Triglavians by entering the Abyss once they were ready. The Seyllin event massively derailed these plans, but Caroline's Star allowed them to succeed at long last.
The Seyllin Event - the incident that reopened Anoikis to the inhabitants of New Eden - was an accident. The End of the World chronicle series describes the events leading up to the entangled detonation of caches of Isogen-5 - a highly unstable and energetic isotope of Isogen - and the resulting chaos as spacetime became unstable and fleeting, uncontrolled passageways between New Eden and Anoikis began to open.
The cache of Isogen-5 described in the chronicles was maintained and was continuously being filled by rogue drones following an unknown directive. In addition to gathering IS5, however, there was another presence: The Abaddon of Jamyl Sarum, which used an IS5-powered superweapon to destroy the Elder Fleet when she returned to Amarr space.
The Drones were in the process of refueling the ship, indicating that they served the Other’s purpose. The parties who discovered it each took an extreme interest in the vessel, and it was the Thukker who elected to destroy it - triggering the Seyllin Event.
The collection of IS5 at the caches was intended to be controlled. The best guess as to “why” suggests that the Other, having left the Sleeper VR and entered Jamyl Sarum in order to enact this plan, intended to reactivate the Anoikis wormhole network (originally designed by the Talocan, then closed by the fleeing Enheduanni and Sleepers) in a controlled manner, at the proper time. Seyllin was not controlled, nor was it the proper time.
When Seyllin occurred early, the Drifters had not yet emerged. Years later, they did so in the months prior to another catastrophic stellar event: Caroline’s Star.
This event centered on a star deep in the inaccessible regions adjacent to Directorate Jove space, W477-P, surrounded by a Talocan dyson swarm composed of countless power collectors and gates - which led to Anoikis. When Seyllin occurred, the swarm was damaged and vast energies poured into the star, leading it to undergo supernova at the end of YC116. The nova poured into the gates surrounding the star, which channeled the output into the stars their other ends (Epicenter sites) sat near in Anoikis, causing the creation of the “Shattered Systems” we know today.
Five shattered systems, however, lack an Epicenter: those in which the Redoubt, Vidette, Sentinel, Barbican, and Conflux complexes lie. In place of an Epicenter, at the deepest end of the sites, lie their five respective “Nexus” areas - fields of scattered, massive pylons sitting between two gargantuan polar spatial vortexes.
The pylons found here assemble into massive “stargates”, leading to an unknown destination. The vortexes above and below are, in all likelihood, the entrance and exit points of the vast output of the W477-P star’s supernova - channeled through its gates into the Drifter-controlled systems, forced into the Nexus gates and out of their other end, into their intended destination. The input of such massive quantities of energy unaligned and scattered the pylons composing the gates, rendering them inoperable for the time being.
The Seyllin Event disrupted the intended controlled activation of the Anoikis network - which may have included the Nexus Gates. The Drifters instead waited for the proper time before emerging, but would have had sole control over the use of wormholes in and out of Anoikis had their plans gone as originally intended.
The massive Drifter fleet discovered in the Redoubt complex by Hilen Tukoss was never encountered by following explorers. Caroline’s Star may have wrenched open the Nexus Gates in a second chance the Drifters fully grasped, finally gaining access to their intended destination and putting their plans into motion: The Drifters entered the Abyss.
The Other that resided in Jamyl Sarum is the true commander of the Vigilant Tyrannos. When the Drifters killed Jamyl, it was for the purpose of retrieving the Other - just as they had killed Hilen Tukoss and kidnapped his infomorph.
On August 21 YC 117, Jamyl Sarum was attacked in Safizon in a headshot strike carried out by a fleet of 100 Drifter Battleships. Her Avatar-class titan was destroyed by the simultaneous firing of 100 superweapons, with her ejected capsule quickly and surgically dispatched by Lux Kontos turret fire immediately afterwards. Jamyl Sarum perished; but this does not mean her story - or the story of the Other - is necessarily over. Rather, certain clues point tenuously towards a different outcome.
Sometime in the middle of YC116, Doctor Hilen Tukoss discovered the Redoubt Hive, deep in Anoikis. Hundreds of Drifters continued to amass at the site, preparing and waiting. Tukoss was discovered, and his ship and capsule were destroyed - leaving a frozen corpse that was later discovered by the first Capsuleer group to penetrate the Hive sites. His clone never awakened - but he wasn’t gone.
The Drifters had, through some method, intercepted and captured his infomorph form mid-transfer. Trapped in what was likely a virtuality, Tukoss managed to alert Capsuleers of his situation and reveal that the Drifters were using his identity to call for the donation of Jove biomass to a structure under their control in Eram. He eventually escaped “aboard” a stolen vessel, successfully making his way back to Eram before disappearing once again to an unknown fate.
“The Other” originally entered the head of Jamyl Sarum following her ritual suicide at the conclusion of the YC105 Succession Trials - which was in fact not a true death. Having self-destructed her Capsule, Jamyl was secretly cloned - that is, her pod performed a burn scan and sent her in infomorph form to a secret facility in deep null space.
The Other then, through some method, intercepted and amended itself to her infomorph form mid-transfer. Taking control of the clone bay at her destination, the Other modified Jamyl’s new body to accommodate it - fabricating specialized implants and modifications while those attending could only watch, for fear of damaging Jamyl. The Other was, at the same time, trapped in this new vessel - unable to leave, residing in the head of the woman who became Empress in order to enact its plan.
In Templar One, the Other describes itself as being thousands of years old, having lived through the rise and fall of civilizations - and as a Survivor.
In Inheritance, Matshi Raish and Veniel discuss the fact that it is incapable of accepting religious modes of thought and faith as anything more than a means to an end - a fact shown clearly in dialogues between it and Jamyl.
In game, a hidden description for Tyrannos Strategos - the “CEO” of the Vigilant Tyrannos - reads:
The Vigilant Tyrannos command structure is apparently headed by an individual holding the rank of Strategos. Aside from decrypting and identifying the personal command signature of this entity, nothing is known as to the origins of this Drifter or even if the Tyrannos Strategos is truly the ultimate authority of this mysterious force.
The Other’s absolute dismissal of faith and religion is a stark contrast to the Triglavians, with their ritual-molded society, who consider the Drifters “Ancient Enemy”; The Drifters are known to be capable of capturing an infomorph mid-transfer, just as the Other intercepted Jamyl Sarum midway through her first death; and the inclusion of such a line as seen in the description for Tyrannos Strategos is too much for me to ignore alongside these details.
It seems very likely that the Drifters killed Jamyl Sarum with the intention of recovering the Other - who is in fact their true commander - from a forcefully activated infomorph scan.
Invasion: Chapter Two will feature the Drifters as a second type of Invasion, and may come with a breaking-down of the utter silence with which the Drifters regard all outsiders - along with access to some new tech. (still holding out hope that their ships will function like these ones~)
The Other will emerge in control of its own body during Invasion’s second chapter, returning to its place as the commander of the Vigilant Tyrannos.
Jamyl Sarum will become a meddling presence in the Other’s head, in a stark role-reversal from the pair’s original dynamic; this brings a flaw to the Other, and gives the opportunity for a recognizable character in EVE’s story to continue to play a part in its world.
Invasion: Chapter 3 will introduce dual Invasions in which the Triglavians and Drifters will both be present, with Capsuleers being invited to fight for both sides - along with the opportunity to fight both, of course.
COMPILED SPECULATION, IN SHORT:
The Triglavians are an evolution of the Jove Enheduanni splinter, and were responsible for the Amarr Sefrim and the Minmatar Tulraug. They hid themselves from their ancient enemy by diving into the Abyss using the Nexus gates, through which the Drifters at long last followed them after Caroline’s Star wrenched them open. The Drifters themselves are a faction comprised of Sleepers and “Others”, strong AI spontaneously springing from digital fragments and memories of other long-passed Jove, who crave reality and reject the virtual world they see as false. They have constructed their Tyrannos faction in the mold of the ruling party of the Second Jove Empire, with the intent of uniting all Jove under their banner - forcibly, if necessary.
The Triglavians are now preparing to prove their newly iterated-upon World Arks in anticipation of coming conflict in Invasion Ch.1. The Drifters will begin their own invasions in Invasion Ch.2, with the Other that was once present in Jamyl Sarum’s head taking its place as the Tyrannos commander - and the once-Empress will herself become a voice in the Other’s head. Invasion Ch.3 will see simultaneous Drifter and Triglavian invasions taking place, during which we will gain the opportunity to take a side.
These are my best theories on the histories and what’s to come for the Drifters and Triglavians; as the story progresses, I’ll write new posts discussing what was correct and what wasn’t, along with whatever new questions come along with it.
Invasion’s first chapter begins in 6 days - let’s see what happens next~