Why Your Empire Sucks

(Bataav) #41

Did I hear my name?

Ida, the Intaki philosphy, has definately allowed for some of the Intaki darker qualities, with its unique approach to life and death… and a little bit more life.

There is the Aenebra death cult, who take a more… proactive approach to the death / rebirth process.

In YC109, the RISE Incident was a series of events that surrounded a dangerous hallucinogenic, peddled by a group linked to Serpentis, that could help Reborn Intaki recover memories of previous lives more vividly.

And then yes, there is Rebirth itself.

When selecting an Intaki character of the Reborn ancestry during character creation, the description says:

The Intaki practice what many foreigners consider a dark art, transferring the personality of a dying person into a newborn baby. Steeped in folklore and perfected with technology, the Rebirth process takes place in perfect accordnace with ancient Intaki tradition. And while not all who have been Reborn adhere to traditional Intaki faith themselves, it is a well-known fact that the Reborn account for a surprisingly high number of capsuleers among the larger Intaki population.

As far as I am aware, the fate of the newborn baby’s own personality/soul has never been established, and probably intentionally so.

IC this has led to targetted abuse by others. During the Placid Summit in YC108, Vremaja Idama said:

Many of the Idamas, and the Reborn have been targetted for threats and insults - we are called child killers, frauds, cult leaders and other things

(Bataav) #42

You’ve encouraged me to repost an Intaki lore thread of mine from the old forums. Consider it… “Reborn” :smirk:

(Sterling Blades) #43

Some interesting points brought up about the Intaki(reborn spcifically, of which my character is, though not a direct practitioner of traditions.)

Now, on the topic of why my faction sucks, the Gallente sucks because of the CIA/KGB bastardchild that is the current Black Eagles. Also the mass exile of Intaki who thought the Gallente/Caldari war was unjust, and then denying them the rights to colonize any planets in what would become the Syndicate region(which eventually lead to the Intaki Syndicate forming, incidentally enough, and The Syndicate has its own baggage to deal with too.)

(vanilla m1lk) #44

Haven’t seen one done for the Caldari State yet so I’ll give it a crack. One of the suckiest things about the Caldari State would be the treatment of unemployed people aka the “Non-entity”.

In the description of the Caldari standard of living, it is often described as “the best and the worst” and this can be taken quite literally. Those that work hard and serve their corporations loyally are compensated generously, however, those that ■■■■ up too many times or just can’t fit into the corporate lifestyle soon find themselves at the bottom of the ladder, or worse, as a “non-entity”.

Making up roughly 5% of the State’s population, Non-entities are those who have lost their corporate citizenship and are unemployed. Because of how deeply integrated the megacorporations are with Caldari society, being unemployed is the same as having your Caldari citizenship revoked and being sent into exile, as it’s pretty much impossible to find employment with a megacorp other than the one you were born with.

The “non- entity” will find themselves homeless, forced out of corporate cities (which are all the cities in the State) as well as not even being able to work or buy anything as all money in the State is corporate script. Imagine being homeless in a country where there is no government welfare and you need electronic ID and a credit card to access anything but you can’t get one without a job. Essentially, you don’t exist, you’re a “Non-entity”.

These people are driven to fringe communities in the slums where the megacorps don’t care about. They live among other non-entities as well as the criminals. If a megacorp suddenly decides that community is sitting ontop of some mineral deposit or they want the land for real estate developement, it’ll get bulldozed as they’re not even considered Caldari. If they’re lucky, they might get hired by a corporation looking for cheap disposable labour in conditions that they don’t want to subject their own workforce to, preying on those that would do anything for a chance to reenter the corporate system.

Source and further reading:


(Veikitamo Gesakaarin) #45

Caldari State:

  • Domestic Corporate Surveillance

Caldari Megacorporations all manage an extensive surveillance program on their citizens/employees. Everything is likely on file about a person on practically all aspects of their lives and dissent in any form is difficult both due to the pervasiveness of surveillance and never knowing if that person you’re saying what you really think that deviates from the Company line might inform on you, whether a colleague or even a member of your family.

  • Reprisals against dissent

Caldari Megacorporations don’t take dissent against authority lightly and protest against the corporation will usually be met with swift violence such as with the Brothers of Freedom:

Formerly an extremist labor movement in the State, the Brothers of Freedom led a widespread revolt against corporate security forces on a number of Caldari planets a number of years ago – some time before Tibus Heth’s vastly more successful revolt of a similar nature – after 65,000 protesters were killed by Caldari paramilitary forces while trying to force their way onto a CEP station in the New Caldari system. After months of dogged pursuit by Caldari authorities, the riots were put down and most of the leaders were killed or arrested. (From the Mission Text “Pirate Radio”)

Even with Heth’s Provist movement, the initial response to the events in Piak wasn’t “Let them express their right to free speech,” It was, “Deploy the Home Guard and kill the protesters.”

  • Militarized Society

According to Eve: Source, the Caldari State has a higher ratio of active military to civilian than North Korea and somewhere in the region of ten times that of the US to put it in perspective. That’s discounting that since military service/conscription is mandatory from the age of sixteen the State also has a significant reservist force ready to mobilize.

In terms of domestic policy this seems to blur the lines between civil thinking and military thinking. As seen with instances of civil disobedience or unrest, it’s not seen being framed as an issue to be resolved via civil institutions like courts or other forms of arbitration instead it’s an attack or act of subversion requiring a military response.

The State has built a big hammer with its national and corporate military so every domestic issue tends to be seen as a potential nail.

  • Economic Servitude

The Megacorporations pay all their employees in a scrip issued by their central owning bank. However this corporate scrip does not appear to be able to be exchanged into another corporate scrip – only to and from ISK. The effect this has on average Caldari salary worker is essentially a disincentive to work for another Megacorporation. If they want to, then they risk wiping out their savings in having to convert their scrip to ISK at a terrible exchange rate in order to have currency in the competing Megacorp they might want to work for instead.

(Jin'taan) #46

Thank you guys so much for your help in looking around the lore here. As I said, I’m going to be doing the Minmatar one first as there seems to be a lot of material for it, and beyond that they’re generally considered a “good” faction, so getting to dig in a little deeper is idea.

For now, here’s the second revision of my script, in case people would like to note things I’ve missed/misunderstood. Hopefully I’ll be able to start recording this weekend and put something out next week.

"Why the Minmatar Republic Sucks

  • Tattoo culture is a massive part of the Minmatar social and cultural hierarchy, however it is something entirely alien to what we’d know, and not something that one has direct control over. The first tattoo one is given is near-compulsory upon reaching adulthood. It realies on a mix of genetics, luck and mysticism on the part of the “Shamans” who peform the Marking Ritual or Voluval, permanently affixing one’s name and tribal afilliation (another part of Minmatar society we’ll get to soon enough), but also determining one’s status in society and the worth of one’s very soul.

The highest social rank is afforded by the “Ray of the Matar”, which is a ‘sign that one is destined for great things’, and typically brings with it a level of guaranteed success. In fact, a great many of the higher ranking politicians happen to have extremely rare and auspicious variations of markings, irrespective of how effective they are at their jobs. Far worse than this seeming random privellege however, is the most negative marking, which goes by many names between different tribes, “The Pale Eye”, “The Broken Shield”, “Face of Helina” being the most common terms.

Those who are - through no fault of their own - given this mark during their marking ceremony are immediately shunned and made outcasts from society, and social traditions in fact force a vow of silence upon these poor souls, with the punishment for breaking this being the complete physical removal of ones tongue.

I’d like you to a moment put yourself in the place of a Minmatar teenager on the cusp of adulthood, 16 to 18, and imagine how utterly terrifying it must be to know that you are going to a ceremony where there’s a chance (no matter how small) you may be exiled from your familly and have the threat of having your tongue removed hanging over you for the rest of your life, based completely on random chance. Even the more ‘minor’ negative marks, such as the “Slaver’s Fang” are likely to lead you to a live of poverty and desperation in a society and culture that is almost entirely dominated by tattoos as their one remaining post-enslavement touchstone.

  • Given this, it’s no wonder a great many with negative marks don’t take their exile, they run to a place where laws simply aren’t used. And this isn’t for any lack of police force, the Minmatar simply decided to have a place where laws as we would understand them don’t exist in the heartland of their empire, Vo’shun.

Part socio-cultural gulag, part warzone and all shithole, Vo’shun only has one overiding principle, “No-one is turned away.” Within it, the only laws are those of ancient legend, attempting to create a fascimilie of what the Minmatar lived in before they reached for the stars, before the Amarr darkened their skies.

Murder is an everyday occurence, suicide is just as rampant, but as the Minmatar Republic slowly repopulates, enough exiles run screaming from their adulthood and their extended famillies into the arms of it, so that they might know freedom from all else. That stream of the dissaffected and desperated and discarded is the only thing keeping it populated. It is so dangerous that despite being within spitting distance of the Amarr empire, they have a law against millitary action and especially enslavement raids on the planet, due to fears of the myriad of untreated or untreatable communicable diseases rife in the colony would damage their existing stocks.

And this is all before we get into the location on the planet itself this supposed shelter is placed. It is the closest thing EVE has to a literal hellscape, being inside a miles deep scar on the landscape of the homeplanet of the now extinct Starkmanir tribe, a grand orbital strike having shattered the tectonic plate. Floating in this gap, between the sulphur volcanoes a tiny fraction of the continent remains. It is hot, barren, and the air is nearly deadly, with supplies only provided by piracy efforts or the Sisters of EVE, life is beyond hard, it is nigh impossible.

Oh, and in the greatest irony, the name translates as “Hidden Hope”, just to lure in more new blood from all over the Repbulic to dry on this burning rock, spilled by equally desperate souls as they fight to live. And all of this is considered to be the Minmatar ideal of freedom, a grand social experiment as utterly abhorrent and unethical as the Amarr Human Endurance Program, just in the name of recreating Minmatar folklore instead of bastardised science.

I can’t help but speculate that perhaps this is an idea that the Amarr implanted within the Minmatar culture during their generations of slavery, to paint a picture of the Minmatar culture as barbaric and backwards so that more would embrace the ‘love’ of God. If so, it’s a terrible irony that the Minmatar, after gaining their freedom decided that they should simply embrace their barbarism as the epitome of their culture, proving that all the Amarr had said was true.

  • This barbarism doesn’t just extend to their own people however, their hatred of the Amarr runs so terrifyingly deep that they are effectively not considered human by the Minmatar in general. To start with, the Republic has concentration camps for Amarr prisoners of war - or people who associated with them, or expressed beliefs they felt were a bit too Amarr to accept. These camps are designed to not simply kill the occupants however, but to completely destroy them spiratualy and mentally, to break down the rules of cause and effect that allow people to stay sane. Pointless tasks, incompletable orders, random punishments, complete forced subservience to the guards will - including everything from forced corophagia to forced rapes, with one guard noted to gather a section of inmates, and force them to have sex with each other as he watched. And the worst part? There is no end to it. The Guards keep people alive for as long as possible, to extend their torment, only executing prisoners if absolutely necessary. You could be captured as a young Amarrian adult, or perhaps a Minmatar citizen who wished to convert to the Amarr religion, and be kept there until your death of neglect at 70 or so, after living 50 years in this hell.

Camps like this were invented and refined during the great Minmatar rebellion, with mentions of the “Daughters of the Revolution” being abound, whom are the Amarr women who were sold into sexual slavery within the Minmatar Republic as spoils of war. The men were primarily worked to death in horrifying forced labour camps, and shot when they outlived their usefulness.

  • And that’s before we get into the state sponsored terrorism that the Minmatar seem to greatly enjoy participating in. You can look at a great many chronicles here, but my personal favourite has to be “Innocent Faces”, which details the horror faced by a children’s show host in the Amarr empire, who’s young daughter is kidnapped by a Minmatar group, with the instructions to denounce his religion on TV if he wanted to see his child again. Fearing both the aparatus of the Amarr state coming down on him, and also the eternal damnation of apostasy, he does not, and it is heavily implied that his daughter is murdered.

  • Still, those are just the people who aren’t quite “real minmatar” enough, being Amarr and all that. Let’s imagine you manage to get out of the marking ceremony with a normal mark, and don’t have any dangerous ideas like trying some of that religion stuff. You’re still far from what our perspective would see as ‘free’.

  • For a start, you are almost completely beholden to your extended family, with that being a core identifier added during the Voluval along with your name and ethnic tribe. You will be culturally expected to help every cousin, no matter how distant as a part of one’s honour. Not a particularly awful system, except in how that cultural system is regularly enforced with exile or violence should one’s duty to help their extended family be shirked. This structure then builds up with other extended famillies, creating the vast ethnic based collectives that form the tribalistic foundation of the fractuous state of the Republic.

This, in and of itself is less inherently terrifying, until one considers that this means that the police force for ones tribe are likely to be - in some way - related to you. And any percieved crime you commit is either against another state (and therefore likely to have your police cover it up when they can), or an unforgivable sin against one’s familly. As such, police brutality in the Minmatar is not just common, it is the default response. One famous tale from the Frigates of EVE is that during the repurposing of the Shamrock into the RFF, the plans were sold to the Amarr by engineers, who were then welded to the wings of the ship and flown into the void. The survivor of this adventure was then beaten to death after landing.

Even if you avoid being simply beaten to death, I wouldn’t exactly expect a thorough investigation. For example, the accused killer of Karin Midular (previous PM of the Minmatar Republic), was taken from the Gallente Federation in a bout of gunboat diplomacy, and despite the intense scrutiny placed on the Republic as a result of this, gave him what could be barely even be called a sham trial, with the judge sentencing him rather quickly to execution despite a complete lack of defense counsel, simply being paraded in front of those he supposedly hurt and brutally executed.

No wonder a huge amount of the Matari immigrate to the Gallente, although that’s a subject we’ll cover in the Gallente episode.

  • Still, let’s imagine you get a nice shiny tattoo that marks you out for great things though, and you end up getting a nice cushy political position. Things are looking up right, plenty of guards to let you avoid the whole getting beaten to death over an accusation thing, enough clout to probably get an actual trial. Even this isn’t enough to protect you, as was seen in the incredibly public political purges the Republic underwent prior to the kicking off of what we now know as Faction Warfare, which would have made Stalin proud - Every Minmatar politician with ties to the Amarr was, without trial, summarily executed within their equivelant to a senate meeting by the Tribal Elders and those loyal to them.

And then, a few years later, they just gave up on democracy as a whole, making the Sanmatar (Tribal Chief) a lifetime position, and abolishing the Prime Minister altogether, regressing to a Chieftan based sytem of government. To be more Minmatar.

  • And, even after all this in the name of the ‘Greater Good’ of a Tribal Republic, the Minmatar still desperately struggle to support those slaves willingly freed by the Amarr Empire, with Empress Jamyl’s (may she rest in peace) proclamation of freedom in particular leading to a huge strain being put on the social safety net of the fledgling empire. Many of these freed slaves ended up in shanty towns, their quality of life barely better than that whilst under the chains of the Amarr, without taking into account the religious violence that took place between pro & anti Amarr factions in these empancipated slaves, which the Republic was almost powerless to intervene in.


Fly Smart, and remember, We Come For Our People."

(Teinyhr) #47

As far as I’ve understood Voluval has nothing to do with these. Voluval supposedly reveals the persons “soul and destiny” for all to see.

Name and tribal markings are entirely different things, and can be and are changed, as while I’m not sure how commonplace it is, people can change obviously their names and on rarer cases, their tribes. A huge part of the tattoo culture is also that you need approval to get or remove or alter tattoos, and in one of the chronicles I think it was said that a heavily tattooed Minmatar is often highly respected because of this. And the Voluval is treated very reverently, as you are not allowed to cover or obscure it with another tattoo, or remove it, if it even can be removed.

Ray of Matar, no need for the “the”. To my understanding it is one in a century or perhaps even millennia kind of thing, extremely rare and auspicius and indeed affords the owner a lot more forgiveness and open doors than would be generally given.

I’ve understood these are all separate markings, all of negative connotations. To my knowledge there is no specific “worst possible” mark explicitly mentioned in lore, but several are bad enough to warrant exile like you said.

I don’t remember Minmatar ever being depicted like this. I mean, sure, Tribe matters and it is very important to the Minmatar, but I’ve understood Minmatar are kind of cutthroat that they don’t help those who don’t help themselves. You can’t just loaf around your cousins cousins’ home banking on the goodwill of “family”, if they perceive you not even trying to better yourself they don’t hesitate to throw you out on the street - maybe with a few pennies to tide you over a couple of days, but not much more.

This is being kind of unfair, and generally a bad example, since the Gallente did all the judicial work and declared him guilty. Minmatar just judged him according to their own laws and killing the Ray of Matar would be nothing short of assasinating the Empress or CEO or President of the other empires, so, a capital offence.

Also, Broteau wasn’t extradited during the Colelie incident, like this paragraph coul lead people to believe. He was given to the Minmatar once the Gallenteans had concluded their investigation and judgement, IIRC.

And while I can believe that due process is often ignored in cases that seem clear cut, I don’t personally hold as dim view of blatant disregard of justice in the Republic as many other people seem to.

This also kind of rings badly in my eyes - a bit too much reverence for our favoured type of government, democracy. There have recently been quite a few threads in IGS where people have laid out IMO very good reasoning how the Tribal system can be very effective, at least for the Minmatar.

(Jin'taan) #48

“After the Voluval ceremony the young Minmatar will receive her permanent naming mark which will reside forever on her face. This mark will identify the name, clan and tribe of that Minmatar, plain for all other Minmatar to see.” - https://community.eveonline.com/backstory/chronicles/tattoos/

I didn’t see any evidence for it being possible to change one’s naming mark in my (admittedly brief) research - though I did conflate the Voluval and the naming mark in the script, which I should definitely adjust.

“The highest social rank is afforded by “Ray of the Matar”” doesn’t sound quite right when I try and say it, but yes, it is certainly a rare thing.

"Karin had only witnessed it once, when she was six years old. A teenage boy got the worst mark there was: the pale eye. " - https://community.eveonline.com/backstory/short-stories/the-ray-of-matar/

It does seem I rolled all these different markings together however, with each having different impacts. The Slaver’s Fang seems to be the only one which carries with it the penalty of silence, whereas the others appear to be simple banishment orders.

From what I’ve discussed with Minmatar players, the Republic does have a very strong Tribal based social safety net, with the expectation being that one looks after their family. This is - for me - most poignantly mentioned in how poorly the Starkmanir/Nefantar emancipated slaves were left off by the Republic, effectively having nothing to fall back on, as their tribe is practically non-existent.

This is just one of the more notable examples - I struggled to find more specific case examples that more accurately represented the justice system of the Minmatar, despite it being rather often mentioned in a bad light.

Also, I was under the assumption that the Coleile incident had led to the Gallente handing him over to the Republic, with it taking place after their investigation, am I getting my timelines mixed up here?

Eh, you’re probably not wrong, but I have to ground this in western values as it’s our only realistic point of view onto the topic - If I presented this from the Minmatar PoV, almost everything here doesn’t seem nearly as screwed up.

Thank you for taking a look over this and pointing out some of the things I got wrong however, it’s greatly appreciated :slight_smile:

(Teinyhr) #49

Granted I’m not certain of this either and have no clue if this has been explored in other sources, but I’ve gotten the impression that these things are not entirely rigid, that one can become a member of another clan or tribe - through marriage if in no other way - and that their marks would be changed to reflect their current status; since the tattoos are revered so much in their culture, altering your tattoo would be final rite to cement their transitioning as a member of a new social group.

I’ve read that chronicle like I don’t know how many times but have somehow managed to always miss that bit. :+1:

Yeah in a basic way I’m not going to dispute that, but I’ve come to see it that Minmatar don’t have a high tolerance for “layabouts”, to receive help you need to do your part, depending on goodwill that might be just help around the house to full on worked to the bone on menial tasks like washing dishes on your hosts establishment. Tying back on the Starkmanir / Nefantar issue, yeah, it certainly is a problem for them and theoretically any Minmatar is family so they should receive help from the other Tribes - but I assume this “grit your teeth and work through it” attitude is expected of them as well, to some extent.

Like I’ve exhanged thoughts earlier in the thread, there are scarce few examples of the judicial system in action that doesn’t concern cases of treason or other similar, grave and highly emotionally charged crimes. And in which cases Republic justice is often swift, brutal and decisive.

After the Colelie incident the Gallente still refused to give Midular’s killer to the Minmatar, and only after sentencing him as guilty decided to extradite him to the Sebiestor to be judged for the murder of their Tribal Chief. According to these dates there was over a month between the Colelie Incident and Broteaus transfer:

Well, yeah, I get that, I just thought calling tribalism as regressing sounded a bit harsly worded.

No problem, and like I said I’m not some ultimate authority, and like for many others my memory likely prefers to retain the stuff I find awesome, not the bad things, so cross checking with a lot of people is always a good idea.

(Jin'taan) #50

At the end of the day, you have sources for almost everything here that I did get wrong, so I absolutely cannot complain! Working with people who know the lore in vastly more detail than I is going to be a key part of making a video that gets more people interested in the nuances of the lore - which is my end goal.

Also, I managed to grab a copy of Source to add an extra little fact that’s rather fun to this whole discussion on the Republic - “Thanks to all of this heavy handed justice, the murder rate in the Republic is only a whopping 5 times higher than that of the United States and around 80% of that of the city of Chicago.” - Which I think puts everything in context for us.

Anyway, I’ll likely finish editing the script and record/produce on Sunday to see what kind of a reception this content gets, I really can’t wait to see what kind of discussion it creates :slight_smile:

(Kalaratiri) #51

Well, there’s a lot more people to murder :grin:

(Jin'taan) #52

Per Capita, my dude!

(Jin'taan) #53

Alright, thank you all so much for your help, here’s the video in question! I’m not overly happy with the video backing for it, but I’m hoping it’ll make a nice listen-whilst for people like me who happen to listen to lore videos as we play games/excersise/etc. Hope you enjoy!

(Bellepao Norn) #54

Just watched your video there and boi, i want more here.O_O

Hope u will move to Amarr part soon as i am huge part of the Empire and if possible, also explain on how the Empire seems to be changing into no slave in the Empire and what the difficulties they are going to face.

(Jin'taan) #55

Amarr is next on my list - will likely throw my skeleton of a script up soon for people to add too. The Minmatar were just the one I managed to get the most material for on my first call for ■■■■■■ up things! :slight_smile:

Glad you liked it though, seems to have had a better response than I was even hoping for! 3k views and climbing :smiley:

(Katherie Hobbes) #57

Watched it this morning. Very informative, good pacing, good op-ed (but only very little). Well done.

(Samira Kernher) #58

Okay. Amarr.

First off, to aid with general research:
Praetorian Temple Library (list of various Amarr lore articles, includes all the links below and others)
Chronicle Reference Compilation (quotes of all references to Amarr made in chronicles up to July 2015. Missing latest chronicles)
Amarr Political Primer (introduction to the various houses and major factions, complete with reference links)
Demographics of the Amarr Empire (one of the most important amarr articles)
Government of the Amarr Empire (as above)
Economy of the Amarr Empire (^)
Holders article
Slavery article
Reclaiming article

Now, to specifics.

Though Amarr slavery is not necessarily as bad as the antebellum south (Amarr slavery is considerably more expansive, with slaves occupying many more roles, even academic or scientific ones, and there is some basic manner of religious compassion expected), it’s still slavery and still a violation of people’s rights. Some specific details:

  • Use of drugs like vitoxin/vitoc, blue paradise, and neurotoxin-filled glaive-collars to reward, coerce, or punish slaves.

  • Use of transcranial microcontrollers, especially in Tash-Murkon and Khanid territories, to literally mind control slaves.

  • Experimentation on slaves. The Human Endurance Program and the sale of slaves to Sansha Kuvakei are both elements of this.

  • Sexual exploitation of slaves, including breeding facilities designed specifically around popping out as many slave babies as possible (see the chronicle “The Lottery” for details on that). Amarr racial politics makes it considered dirty for a True Amarr to sleep with those of lesser races, especially slaves and particularly disreputable groups like Ealur and Minmatar, so this is not a very public occurrence, but it certainly happens.

  • Use of slaves as soldiers and for particularly expendable tasks. Slaves are expensive so there is an economic desire to avoid wasting them, but when a task needs doing and that task is dangerous, slaves can’t exactly say no to the order.

Amarr as a religion has some positive benefits. It encourages self- discipline and improvement, compassion, and unity. However, it is highly stratified and treats many people like dirt. It takes a lot of the worst parts of RL religions (especially Abrahamic ones) and uses them as core doctrines.

The True Amarr as a divine people. The True Amarr are God’s Chosen people, favored above all other groups. While some more egalitarian groups might view the state of being Amarr as something one achieves through converting to and serving the religion, in Amarr it’s most traditionally used as an excuse for racial profiling. The True Amarr are essentially “still in the Garden of Eden”, as they have not committed the Amarr’s version of the Original Sin.

That Original Sin is apostasy. Apostasy is the most major crime in Amarr. All of creation was whole and at one with God (see the Signs of Faith chronicle), but then creation committed apostasy and turned away from God. Only the True Amarr stayed faithful, and so they became God’s Chosen people.

What this all means is thus:

  • True Amarr are considered absent of sin, and must maintain a state of purity. According to EVE Source, the use of the word “True” indicates an unbroken faithfulness to God. The task God sets before the True Amarr is to maintain their purity and Reclaim all of creation. While on the one hand this raises Amarr up to a place of power and authority over all other races, a master race, it is also a tremendous responsibility. Religiously-speaking, if a True Amarr sins gravely, and especially if a True Amarr commits apostasy, they are no longer True. In practice, it just means that True Amarr have their faults more easily forgiven than anyone else.

  • Everyone that is not True Amarr is considered descended from apostates and thus, born sinners. This is the default point of stance for most Abrahamic religions, where mankind are sinners who were cast out of the Garden of Eden for eating the fruit of wisdom. This kind of belief can, at its worst, generate a great sense of shame and self-hatred. This is especially the case in the Amarr religion, where only most of mankind are sinners, but a small segment are not. So on top of the shame of being born a sinner spiritually unworthy save for the grace of God, you are also forever compared with a group of people who are supposedly spiritually pure. And of course, in most traditional Amarr beliefs, it is impossible for the sinners to ascend. So you will be forever inferior to the True Amarr, both in the mundane sense as an oppressed race, and in your spirituality.

Following along the above line is the stratification of Amarr society as a whole, where those believed to be of greater purity rule over those who are believed to be of lesser.

The emperor is treated as a divine figure, who can never be challenged and who is the ultimate arbitrator on what is good and what is evil. There is an Islam command that is very close to one in Amarr Scripture: “Enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil”. This doctrine that essentially calls on people to call out evil and work to do good. Amarr has this same doctrine, but twisted on its head: “The Lord gave our Emperor the power to harness the Good and punish the Evil.” What this means is that, in Amarr, the emperor decides what is good and what is evil. If the emperor does something evil, but calls it good, then by the religion of Amarr it is a good act and any Amarr citizen who tries to call him out on it is wrong.

It is very likely that the above is actually a change in Scripture due to the Moral Reforms, as Scripture was edited during that time to give more power to the emperor (this is something the Order of St. Tetrimon regularly calls out). This adds another element of ‘wtf’ when you consider that the above line was probably changed explicitly by Heideran V (not to be confused with Heideran VII) in order to give himself more power. Many lines referring to the emperor in Scripture feel like this.

Below the emperor are the Heirs and Holders. Once again, this plays into the purity idea. Heirs are royalty, kings and queens, while Holders are nobility, the lords, barons and counts. They are born into their positions, considered more pure than other people by simple merit of their having been the spawn of a powerful family. They wield huge power over their territories, and cannot be challenged easily. Aritcio Kor-Azor was doing things like arbitrarily torturing or cutting people’s tongues out, ordering attractive women to dance naked in the city square, and so on. While he was eventually judged and punished, it was only after a huge amount of violations before there was enough calls for the Seekers of Truth to move against him. When you are a commoner in Amarr, and especially if you are a slave, you are at the whim of your lord, who can order you to virtually do anything he wants and against whom you will have very little legal recourse. Holders answer to superior Holders, the emperor, the Theology Council, and, as a last resort and very rarely, the Speakers of Truth.

Oh, and Holders are also priests. Which brings us to the next point.

Amarr does not really have the idea of secular action. It is a place where religious law and civil law are one and the same. The Scriptures function as a combination bible, census, book of laws, scientific journal, and compilation of ethics, speeches, stories, poetry, and so on. Of major note here are its establishing of laws and the census:

  • The equivalent of federal, nation-wide laws in Amarr are Scriptural laws. When a law is intended to be applied over the entire Empire, it is added to Scripture. Thus, the Theology Council is essentially a legislative body, as well as a court, and the study of law in Amarrian schools is called “Practical Theology”. If you violate a Scripture law, like committing simple theft, you not only violated a law, you are considered to have trespassed against God and sinned. This tends to mean that punishments are quite severe.

  • There is a lesser court called the Civic Court. This court handles things Scripture doesn’t cover: In essence, local ordinances passed by Holders and their subordinates, which apply only in their local territories. This might entail one to believe that these are “secular” crimes, but remember: Holders are priests. Local ordinances, while not as severe as Scriptural laws, are still laws passed by a religious official.

  • Ergo! Punishments in Amarr tend to be very harsh, because breaking the law in Amarr is a sin. It is a betrayal the faith. Expect considerable use of corporeal punishments. These are not reserved just for slaves. Everyone in Amarr, even Holders judged to have broken the law, are frequently treated to severe physical punishment. So, torture.

  • There’s also reeducation camps and mind prisons (where a person is suspended in a cell and treated to mental rehabilitation efforts via virtual reality).

  • Heaven forbid you commit apostasy. Expect enslavement or the death penalty at the least.

  • The Book of Records is Amarr’s census. As in all other parts of Amarr society, it is religious. Being included in the Book of Records establishes you as a member of the Amarr religion, as well as a citizen of the Empire. This leads to such nice things as: In order to properly convert to the Amarr religion, even as someone from a non-Amarrian nation, you must become a citizen of Amarr; being struck from the Book (essentially, excommunicated) both removes you from the religion as well as removes your citizenship; and slaves, who are not counted in the census, are not treated as citizens or members of the religion, essentially existing as non-people with no rights and questionable spiritual prospects.

This is listed separately from slavery because slavery is only a part of it. The Reclaiming is the Amarr’s ‘Destiny of Faith’. It is their holy war. It is the call to expand, conquer, and create one single holy state.

The Reclaiming has two major components: Reclaim all of creation under the Amarr Empire (essentially God’s Kingdom), and to return to spiritual oneness with God, essentially converting and purifying one’s self completely (returning to the first symbol of Amarr: a complete circle). Essentially, the Reclaiming is about the cultivation of the spirit of man, through defeating the enemies of the outside (conquering/assimilating other societies) and controlling of the enemies inside (slavery in the physical sense, self- enlightenment and purification in the spiritual sense).

Due to a long history of always being on top, the traditional way of Amarr carrying out the ‘defeating the enemies of the outside’ part is through war and conquest. This is obviously a bad thing, and ensures that anyone who deals with Amarr, and especially with the Sarum Family who love the conquest thing, can expect always a knife to their throat. Amarr doesn’t always need to conquer by force (the Khanid and Ni-kunni were largely assimilated bloodlessly, and such is likely what the Amarr intend to do with the Caldari), but it uses force an awful lot.

The ‘controlling the enemies of the inside’ has its own problems. The Ardishapur Family are focused primarily on this half, and you can see what that means with their politics: isolationism, strengthening the power of religion over the lives of the people, and resisting/expelling foreign influences. And of course, slavery.

In both cases, this could be done positively. But this is EVE, where darkness and evil tends to be more common than goodness and light.

Apostasy is the Original Sin, but the other big one is Deception. Religiously speaking, Molok, Amarr’s most prominent demon, is called the DECEIVER, and so it stands to reason that deception would be considered a grave sin. But this also arises from Amarr’s nature as a feudal society, where oaths and marriage arrangements are sacrosanct and families rise and fall based on their reputation and honor. It is essential for any good Amarr to be known as honest, reliable, and dependable. Expect things like guest rights, being held to one’s promises, an aversion to divorces, and so on.

This all seems positive, right?

The problem with making a society so concerned with the public appearance of honor and honesty is that they just learn how to hide it. Anyone who watches Game of Thrones knows exactly what I’m talking about. Ultimately the appearance of honesty ends up being more important to most people than actual honesty. You work to avoid being caught in a lie, rather than never lying at all.

Amarr is like King’s Landing. Everyone is lying and manipulating those around them, and they’re incredibly good at it. Those who are truly honest will be eaten alive by those who know how to appear truthful while hatching schemes behind your back.

This desire to honesty also leads to things like Amarr’s intelligence operations making less use of wiretapping and infiltration and instead on encouraging public reporting. Amarr is a society where you can expect your neighbor, friend, or loved one to very likely turn you in if you do something bad (or something that just appears bad).

This one is a bit obvious, the various categories above all give reasons why Amarr tend to be very prideful.

The religio-, cultural-, and national- centrism means that Amarr heavily regulates all aspects of people’s lives. There’s multiple daily prayers (which you are, of course, expected to attend), foreign products, entertainment, and culture are strongly resisted, and the most conservative elements practice anti-free-market tactics like protectionism or even restricting who is allowed to engage in trade (House Kador, for example, only allows certain traditional Holder families to practice trade). Slaves have physical chains, but most everyone in Amarr is ultimately under the yoke (except in particularly “free” territories like Tash-Murkon and Kor-Azor).

This also goes towards emotional needs. Amarr is all about self- discipline and enlightenment, which means it calls for the squashing of many internal temptations. Pornography is banned, baring the flesh in public places is considered extremely indecent, relations between people of different social classes or between True Amarr and non-TA races are looked down upon, and there’s some possible evidence of homophobia. Giving into one’s desires, engaging in hedonism, is failing to ‘control the enemies within’.

This essentially extends to declaring that anything originating from the individual is suspect at best, and gravely sinful at worst. Of course, in natural Amarrian fashion, those purer than others are considered to have better control over their own demons, and so are more sound of mind. Thus Amarr citizens are expected to rely on those above them to guide them as the superiors are wiser and more experienced. Scripture directly calls out free thought as a dangerous thing leading to chaos and disorder, and uniform thought as “the way of life”, and there is a famous bit of Amarrian poetry about a staircase where expanding one’s perspective and striving upwards without the guidance of those above you is shown as a grave mistake.

In short: Amarr is a religion of rejecting the self and embracing service and obedience. It therefore ranks incredibly low on personal freedom; the lowest of the four empires, in my opinion.

Due to the existence of slavery, strong family units, and religious institutions, Amarr has had no real incentive to develop much in the way of a safety net. If you fall on hard times, it is expected that your family supports you. If your family doesn’t have the means, then your only real chance for aid comes from charity. And if that is not enough, then you have the ultimate recourse of selling yourself into slavery, where you can guarantee yourself food and lodging at the expense of giving up your rights and committing all of your descendants to slavery as well.

Of course, slavery makes an additional problem. Slaves make up 50% of the population in Amarr, and therefore occupy a great many occupations. Everything from menial labor right up to academics, research, clergy, and so on, might be filled by a slave. If you are a free commoner, and especially a free commoner of non-True Amarr birth, expect your chances of finding work to be quite hard.

Amarr’s heretics are basically a reaction to the heavy-handed nature of its society. The desire for freedom and egalitarian rights is, at its most extreme, represented by the blood raiders. Blood raiders eschew rules and hierarchies and focus utmost into the elevation of the individual. Sani Sabik scripture is the only scripture that actually says that non-Chosen can rise up to become Chosen. Sani Sabik faiths can be popular among commoners for this reason. Blood raiders literally harvest people’s blood in an effort to consume the strength of others, and as a way of asserting and demonstrating their dominance and authority. They engage in hedonistic practices because Amarr cracks down so heavily on fulfilling one’s own desires.

There are less extreme versions of the Sani Sabik (the overall “religion” that the blood raiders and less extreme variants follow), mind, but the blood raiders are the worst of them.

The Equilibrium of Mankind, on the other hand, represent the extreme religious response to Amarr’s drive to Reclaim creation and purify the spirit. They originate from House Ardishapur for a reason: What happens when you realize that unifying and enlightening the universe is an impossible task? What happens when you realize that the universe is too dark to ever be Reclaimed? Well, you send it all to hell instead. Like the Amarr, the EoM believe that most of mankind has failed in its duties to God. Unlike the Amarr, the EoM have no hope in it ever getting better. The EoM believe that the only way to Reclaim creation is to erase it all and start over.

Both groups represent extreme responses to the pressures described in the rest of this post. They are what happens when an Amarr snaps from the weight of it all.

Yeah, there’s that whole bit with wiping out the Starkmanir because they killed an Heir. The reasons for that happening is basically already given above. A mix of harsh religious laws, the near-divine nature of those at the top of Amarr’s hierarchy, the belief in lesser races as spiritually inferior and slaves as non-people, and a tendency towards extreme responses.

This is not spelled out specifically, but is implied. Female Heirs are described as being very rare, there has only been one female emperor prior to Jamyl and Catiz, and most of the names of saints that we have been given are male. This may be an area where Amarr has improved by modern times, however, as references to this are not common.

Okay. There. That’s, uh, everything that immediately comes to mind. These are the broad areas where Amarr’s society clearly shows fault. This is just written straight without references because I’ve put together a ton of those already and they’re easy enough to read through, but if you need to get a specific link to use for sourcing then ask me and I can drudge up one then.

(Ibrahim Tash-Murkon) #59

What was it like when the doctors stuck the leaf blower in your brain and pushed all the Eve lore in?

(Teinyhr) #60

And this Heir’s gravest sin? Being just a little bit more decent towards their slaves than anyone else.

Crazy awesome post Samira, btw.

EDIT: Actually oops, brainfart, I was thinking of the wrong person when I wrote that. Whom is discussed above is Arzad Hamri, who was NOT the one killed by the Starkmanir but his follower, Arkon Ardishapur. Essentially, though, from our point of view Arzad did nothing wrong and was basically killed to keep up appearances by the Theology Council, for many of the reasons Samira mentioned above.

(Samira Kernher) #61

It hurt.