What's with blood raiders, like, seriously

I mean, they’re called “Blood Raiders” and they do literally “raid blood”. Like, did they ever stop to think that maybe, just maybe, they’re the bad guys? I mean, just the name alone should be a hint, right?

I’ve spoken to a few pilots now who are like “yeah I’m a blood raider”, like, I mean hellooooo… is anybody in there? I mean if I joined some organisation and it was literally called “super not nice people who did bad stuff like steal people’s bodily fluids” I’d be like “gosh maybe I should reconsider my life choices”, you know? Am I missing something here? And yeah I get that they’re a wacky cult or something, but like, why even sign up? “Oh yeah stealing people’s blood sounds cool and normal, I’ll fly with you guys”, yeah I don’t think so.

Just a thought.

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It’s quite simple.

A brief guide to the Blood Raider Covenant

The Blood Raider Covenant - an organisation whose name and reputation strikes fear into the hearts of many space travellers. Pirates that board ships and drain the blood from the crew and passengers, leaving bloodless husks, using the stolen blood in terrifying rituals glorifying their God.

Such is the popular idea of what the Covenant are, but as ever, the Truth behind this organisation is quite different. Why are they obsessed with blood ? What is the meaning of the horned skull ? What actually is the Covenant ?

To clarify this mystery, I shall start by explaining the history of the Covenant.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, before Humanity left the Old World and made the journey through the Gate to New Eden, there was a planet, called Assyria, the capital city of which was Babylon, and in Babylon, there lived a queen. Named Lamashtu.

Now Lamashtu was not a human queen. Oh no, you see, Lamashtu was a demoness, usually appearing in the form of a winged horned woman, capable of terrifying magic acts, such as levitation, shape shifting, raining hellfire upon her enemies, and so on. These powers required Lamashtu to consume large amounts of human blood, consecrated through particularly arcane rituals.

Time passed, and Lamashtu made her way into New Eden, landing in what is now Sahtogas, although some mishap occurred and Lamashtu fell into a state of hibernation, for thousands of years.

Eventually, some human people, fleeing religious persecution by the Amarr Empire, settled on Sahtogas, and, thousands of years after it had crashed there, Lamashtu’s sarcophagus was found, and she was awakened, though severely reduced in power.

Seeking to regain her status as a demon queen, Lamashtu made a bargain with the humans that found her.

And this, was The Covenant. It is not a covenant with the Red God, it is a covenant made with the demon queen Lamashtu.

This bargain that Lamashtu made with the first of the Covenant, is the ultimate source of the strange blood magic powers possessed by Covenant members or “Kindred” as they call themselves.

So, I shall now explain a little of Blood Magic, or, to give it its proper name, Haemothaumaturgy, which is an ancient word meaning, umm, blood magic. I shall also explain a little about the abilities of the Kindred.

Blood magic is the source of a Kindred’s power, and why they must drink blood to sustain themselves. The primal essence and energies of blood is called Vitae, and is important in the process in which new Kindred, and their minions, are recruited.

The powers granted by blood magic vary, but several are common to all Kindred, such as increased strength, speed, resistance to wounds, ability to regenerate injuries, and a few other minor abilities such as being able to post so edgily on the IGS that even hardened posters may scream as they cut their eyeball looking at the post.

There are other powers, that not all Kindred possess, such as the ability to assume a “War Form” by haemothaumaturgic shape-shifting, that are dependent on that Kindred’s bloodline, which is an artefact of how Kindred are recruited.

Recruiting a new Kindred is a process that is known as Embracing. With a capital E.

In the Embracing process, the candidate is drained dry of all of their blood. The Kindred then gives the candidate a small amount of their own blood, transferring some of their Vitae and the associated blood magic powers to the candidate, who then is instantly transformed into a new, hungry, Kindred. The older Kindred is called the Sire of the younger one, who is called the Childe of the older one. The Childe inherits the specific abilities of their Sire, which is why the different bloodlines exist - they all go back to the first Childes who were Embraced by Lamashtu, and given different abilities, depending on the role Lamashtu had for them.

There is another process, used by Kindred to create and control minions, called Blood Bonding, in which a living human drinks some of the blood of a Kindred without having been drained of their own. This causes a magic bond between the Kindred and the minion, who gains weaker abilities of strength and speed and so on, dependent on their Kindred’s bloodline.

This is how the Covenant gains and controls its members. Through the process of Embracing and Blood Bonding, using the haemothaumaturgic powers given to them in the bargain made with Lamashtu the demon queen.

It is also why they drain blood from unwary travellers, and why they believe cloned blood to be superior.

Despite their blood magic powers, a Kindred, or their minion, can still be beaten in hand-to-hand combat by a normal human, if that human knows the special Kindred-hunting techniques.

First, it should be noted, that a Kindred that seems dead, may still be re-animated if given fresh blood, which is why Kindred and their minions retain the true Sani Sabik custom of wearing a blood vial on a necklace.

A Kindred or minion, may be stunned momentarily, by crushing their neck with your thighs. To successfully do this however, generally requires luring the Kindred into a suitable position, which may not be easy to achieve.

Once stunned, the Kindred should be immobilised by stabbing them through the heart with a silver stake, with the Wards of Banishing inscribed upon it. While immobilised, they may be interrogated, though their willpower is such that they can resist all but the most determined inquisition.

Finally, ultraviolet lasers, or fire, or decapitation, may be used to inflict a permanent Final Death on the immobilised Kindred.

It should also be noted, that few of the Kindred or their minions are conscious of the fact that the Covenant is with Lamashtu and not the Red God.

So, weirdos, then.

My point stands.


Blood and sacrifice are a legitimate part of the Amarr religion. Sinners are drowned in their own blood, according to the Scriptures. Molok the Deceiver was sacrificed upon the Altar of God.

Some people take these valid parts of the Amarr religion, and instead of acknowledging them in their proper place and context and employing them in a balanced way chose instead to run with them all the way to some very unusual places.


Um. Dr. Valate’s … thoughts … aside, the publicly-understood version is that the Sani Sabik cults (of which the Blood Raider Covenant is just one example) were basically a fringe of the mainline Amarr faith prior to what is really pretty justly named the “Moral Reforms.” They’ve been considered heretical (and more than slightly evil) ever since.

While the trappings vary, basic Sabik belief can be condensed down to the principle that power matters, power is ALL that matters, and power should be wielded and expressed freely by those who have it. The strong rule, the weak kneel or die (or both), and accepting limitations on one’s own power or its use (such as, like, laws or morals) is proof of weakness.

Sabik cults have popped up throughout Amarr history, usually among bored, disenchanted young nobles chafing under the understanding that they’d come into their birthrights either much later (True Amarr tend to live a very long time, so even a direct, first-in-line heir to a Holder title can sometimes wait for centuries) or probably-never (being, like, third, or fourth in line to a title within their own generation). Typical pattern is for the practitioners to declare themselves “Savants” and start working together to subvert Amarr society’s strictures and seize the power they see as their due.

Omir Sarikusa’s innovation in creating the Blood Raiders was to democratize the cult’s power structure, making it possible for anyone who proves themselves unrestrained by little things like morals to become a Savant and advance within the cult. This has allowed the cult to recruit aggressively, and grow to unusual size and power.

As I understand it, it’s induction by atrocity, including from among the cult’s victims. “So you see, your brother here failed to sacrifice your aunt, so we sacrificed her ourselves and as you can see he’s now in her place. Such a pity; we had high hopes. … And, for you, we still do. Here, take this dagger. Now, what will you do?”

The occult trappings and focus on blood are pretty consistent, both among the Raiders and Sabik cults generally. The Raiders though have taken it a little further than some, perfecting technologies such as somehow figuring out how to manufacture high-quality field rations from human blood. Weird and more than a little alarming, and also just a little impressive.

What’s less impressive is what seems to happen to Sabik enclaves if they don’t have a larger and more stable society, such as the Empire, to parasitize. The Takmahl were a Sabik Amarr offshoot that left at the time of the Moral Reforms to set up their own isolated society. They seem to have done quite well for a little while, enjoying a short golden age of technological wonders (some of which still aren’t fully understood) before collapsing catastrophically right down to the stone-age level.

Turns out a society where treachery and the ruthless pursuit of personal power are the norm tends not to have much of a social fabric. Who knew.

While she likes to pull people’s legs (as above), Dr. Valate is I believe actually something of an expert. She’s Sabik herself, mind (not a Raider-- she’s from the Kaztropol enclave, which seems to be one of the less-horrible), so, caution advised.


If you want to know my opinions on the Takmahl:

Current Opinion on the History of the Takmahl

History of the Takmahl Empire

What is commonly known about the Takmahl, is that they excelled in cybernetics and bioengineering, and lived in Araz for a few centuries following their exile from Amarr space, some two thousand years ago. Some believe their theology influenced the Blood Raiders, and their relic technologies are still sought after by the Covenant.

The commonly known Takmahl sites are the Temple at the centre of the Aphi Labyrinth, and the Museum Arcana in Zimse.

The Takmahl first arrived in Araz, in cryo-sleep ships, that had departed from Amarr space after the construction of the Amarr-Hedion star gate in 21289 AD (YC -1947), during a period of unrest in the Amarr Empire. It is not known how long the voyage was, but given the relatively slow speed of cryo-ships, and the distance involved, it was likely to be several decades.

The Beginning

The first system settled by the Takmahl was Aphi, which is why it became the religious capital of the Takmahl Empire, and why the Temple Labyrinth was constructed there. Aphi had a temperate planet, an ocean world and some barren worlds, making it a good choice to settle.

Other settled temperate worlds were located in Chanoun and Koona.

With the arrival on Aphi, the Takmahl faced some difficulty. The cryo-ships were relatively small, and so, there were commodities that the Takmahl lacked, compared to the Amarr Empire that they had just left.

Livestock. Both animal and human. There simply was not space on the cryo-ships to carry a sufficient stock of slaves and farm animals, that would be needed for the Takmahl elite to live the lifestyle to which they had become accustomed.

And so the Takmahl turned to science.


To solve the slave problem, the Takmahl turned to the arts of genetic manipulation. A slave population was established, using forced breeding, and later, mass-cloning technologies to generate a vast supply of slaves, for both labour and religious purposes. As Sani Sabik, the Takmahl still retained a great religious inclination to use human sacrifice in their religious rituals.

The mass-cloning devices of the Takmahl used large amounts of biomass, to create the clone population. To supply this biomass, the oceanic worlds were farmed, with vast aquaculture projects, to cultivate plankton into the materials needed for the cloning process.

But the supply from the ocean worlds was limited, and to expand, the Takmahl required more, and so, using genetic manipulation to create tailored life-forms, terraforming projects were begun.


To manage their slave populations with conventional methods, requiring guards and overseers, would have been quite expensive for the Takmahl population, whose numbers were limited.

A cybernetic solution presented itself. The biodroid controller, allowed a Takmahl landowner to control their slaves directly, and to use cyborg agents as guards and overseers.

Genetically engineered cyborgs, to perform special tasks, were a not uncommon sight in the more affluent areas of Takmahl cities. The pinnacle was the remote-controlled humanoid.

These biodroids found employment in large scale projects as well, such as the terraforming projects that were begun on several barren worlds, such as in Zimse.

Ships of War

The Takmahl Fleet, consisted of ships that used heavy laser weapons, energy neutralisers and vampires, and thick, heavy armour. The largest Takmahl warship mounted weapons equivalent to modern battleships, accompanied by armour to match. They would have had substantial firepower and defences, compared to modern ships, but without the benefit of warp drive, they would be substantially less strategically mobile than modern warships, taking several hours to cross a solar system.

Disaster Strikes

The ocean worlds of Nidupad V and Munory VI were hit by a series of small asteroids within a few years of each other. The effect on the planktonic biomass extraction industry was catastrophic, as the ecosystems of both worlds collapsed.

The effect on the slave market and religious practices was equally disastrous.

With the supply of biomass for mass-cloning suddenly cut short, slaves for labour and sacrifice became a scarce commodity. Disputes between Takmahl lords quickly got out of hand, escalating into limited warfare, as few lords were willing to compromise their standard of living.

Decline and Fall of the Takmahl Empire

With the Empire in a state of near-civil war, the Takmahl Emperor made the fateful decision to order the Takmahl Navy and Army to attempt to restore order. Unfortunately, the individual commanders were drawn from the local noble families, and did not have much loyalty to the Takmahl Emperor. Discipline in the Fleet and Army broke down, as commanders rejected the authority of the Emperor, in favour of their own family loyalties.

Without a unified Navy, interstellar trade between the Takmahl worlds ceased, as merchant ships were pirated by the former Navy ships.

The civil warfare raged for several decades, and by the time hostilities petered out, there was not much of civilisation left. Certainly not an interstellar capable civilisation.

The few planetary settlements that survived, were then mopped up by the Amarr Empire forces, when they arrived in the constellation a few hundred years later.


All that is left now, are the ruins of past glories. The Zimse Museum Arcana, built on the ruins of the abandoned Takmahl terraforming project, and the Labyrinth in Aphi, that shields the Temple from casual looters.

Occasionally, in the relics, there are fragmentary documents that hint at the glories of the Takmahl empire, but most of what the Takmahl were, is now but dust on the solar wind. Dust on the wind.

Do Equilibrium of Mankind think of themselve as evil? I doubt it.
Do the CODE fanatics? I doubt it.

The human mind is so capable of argumenting moral high ground delusion in situations where ethnic will at best shudder and scream vainfully in the face of ultimate inhumanity.

Blood Raiders are a religious sect backed up by an interpretation of a scripture a whole empire rests on.

They’re like space vampires… or a blood drive for the Red Cross.

Yes but “Equilibrium of Mankind” could mean anything. “CODE” could mean anything. Obviously we know what it means and that these groups are bad, but my point is that’s not obvious from just like, the name of it. Someone first encountering these groups wouldn’t know they were bad just from the name alone. Someone being recruited into these groups wouldn’t get alarm bells ringing in their head just from the sound of the name alone, you know?

Whereas “Blood Raider” screams “these people aren’t good” because “raiding blood” isn’t like, a good thing, unless you’re seriously mentally deficient. It’s a lot harder to look past. You wouldn’t just join the Blood Raiders if you didn’t know anything about them because the name would scare you off, even if you were a total moron it would still be a red flag (pun unintentional). Whereas “Equilibrium of Mankind”, well, to someone who doesn’t know who they are, that could mean just about anything.

Yeah, Sabik cults tend to be pretty cheerfully “Bwahahahahaha.” Some of the quieter ones are pretty much self-improvement clubs but even there the “will to power” at its heart (and the lack of other principles) is visible if you look closely.

If you want to learn a lot without risking getting exsanguinated I’d suggest talking to Dr. Valate about visiting Kaztropol. It’s an absolute monarchy ruled by an anthropomorphic AI designed as I understand it to be the “perfect Sabik cultist” but it’s still safer than maybe any other cult enclave worthy of the name.

You would be suprised by what the mind and training it is capable of, and most likely they are lured into this group by some convenience that is eventually not available to them at that point.

Next step is a phase in which they are prepared for their blood raiding and applauded and cheered by the group, last step is a test if they can function as member within the group. If not I think they are used as blood donor themselve.

When a capsuleer betrays their own people by permanently or temporarily pledging their allegiance to an external force, it is usually due to greed. Specifically, obtaining proprietary equipment on the cheap.

The thing is that there are more differences than there are similarities. Probably for the better.

What a cute fairy tale.

Evident by your reasoning insult of one needing to justify to theirselves what is cool and normal to be what is right and good in the universe goes to show that you are just a like all the other sheep you follow. I am sure you fancy yourself a wise lamb which knows the direction that all the vile and wicked sheep have chose is indeed what is righteous.

What is cool and normal is what you see around you and you are so deep with that tightly packed flock that you can not see out of it. No doubt it feels nice and cozy.

But as it stands with the Covenant, you will make a fine sacrifice if that is where you wish to stay. But not all are as devoted to what is cool and normal such as you.

That reminds me of another phenomenon.

In the few years that I have been a capsuleer, I have noticed a trend where other capsuleers will look at these fringe groups, decide that the ways of the culture that produced them is what is holding back their true potential, and then cast their lot in with the naer-do-wells.

What you rarely hear of is this working out well for them, either by virtue of getting beaten back so many times that they give up, or by virtue of them realizing that they made a mistake, only to discover that their peers at home have closed the door behind them when they left.

Rather than waxing philosophically about herds and sheep, perhaps consider that rather than being a weakness, the core pillar of every major power in this cluster is their way of life, which has been handed down from generation to generation, and if it was not viable, it would not be able to generate the military required to survive, let alone the economy and infrastructure to feed it. Even if you were to pick just a single one of the big four as your preferred target, you could chip away at it for a lifetime and it would achieve nothing, as such losses are simply replaced at a rate which is difficult for most minds, both capsuleers and baseliners, to grasp.

Every Empire has small beginnings, and many have failed. Reading what you just wrote would make one think that is not longer the case?

Rest easy Empires! There is nothing to fear.

The only thing every single ‘empire’ of history has in common is that they fell. Eventually, all of ours will too. This is inevitable.

The question is which will pass on its values, people and history, and to where.

If nothing else, that’s quite the reason to cull potential ‘heirs’ in their crib.


Okay, so, edgelords. I guess that makes sense. Sure is enough of them about.

Not really. I just wanted to know why someone would be dumb enough to even sign up to something literally called “we are bad people” but I guess you’ve answered that.

You did not want to know anything. You came here to insult in the form of a ditsy clown asking a question, which is probably your true form with your 1 ounce nugget of a brain.

Sorry next time I’ll insert a couple sentence where I prattle on about farm animals to make myself seem intelligent.