One Universe, One War
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Starmap View: Sovereignty changes
Capsuleers and the Grand Strategy
In the inky depths of the outer regions, new powers rise and fall as alliances and coalitions of capsuleers struggle for dominion over star systems, constellations and entire regions. Politics is key to the forging of alliances and the grand coalitions that make possible the control of large swathes of the cluster by capsule pilots. Their enemies? Other capsuleer alliances waging war to control resources, invade whole regions or simply to eliminate a hated foe. Brinkmanship, espionage and statecraft all have their place in the politics of the grand strategy. Yet, in the end, war is so often the means by which the political aims of corporations and alliances are realised in the outer regions of New Eden.
Industry, War, Comradeship
When independent capsuleers began to appear in New Eden they rapidly joined together with like-minded pilots and formed the first capsuleer corporations. These corporations were as diverse in purpose as the capsuleers making up their membership. Corporations mine, manufacture, research and trade. Corporations explore, setup starbases, manage colonies and build outposts. Corporations wage war, engage in piracy, fight for freedom, build empires and serve them with their loyalty. When a pilot joins a corporation they become part of a small society or band of comrades. The corporation is the essential building block of capsuleer activity throughout New Eden. Operating independently or in alliances, the capsuleer corporations have made space their domain, and their pilots' ships travel and fight across all the stars of New Eden in pursuit of their various goals.
The New Powers
In the early years of the capsuleer era, many corporations realized that even though they could call on many pilots it would be necessary to ally with other capsuleer groups in order to control the outer regions. As swiftly as the idea arose, the capsuleer alliances were born. At first, the alliances organized on regional lines according to pacts between their member corporations. Some organized councils to govern their affairs, others were unashamedly military dictatorships. Some were little more than pirate coalitions, others were dedicated to political ideals such as democracy and free trade. These early alliances rapidly grew to control their various regions, and as rapidly fell to fighting with their neighboring alliances or dissolving in vicious civil wars.
The various faction and conquerable stations of the outer regions constituted the power base of the alliances until the technology of starbases became available to capsuleer corporations. These were swiftly spread across space and CONCORD was forced to acknowledge that the alliances were sovereign powers in their own right. As technology advanced more infrastructure became available to the alliances and the first true capsuleer stations, the outposts, were constructed in deep space. With the increasing hold of the alliances over the outer regions came intense warfare, as capsuleers struggled for control over territory, resources and the hearts and minds of their fellows across New Eden. While the core of the New Eden cluster remains the relatively calm domain of the old empires, the outer regions are a swirling maelstrom of capsuleer empires rising and falling in titanic struggles for power.
Swords for Hire
Many capsuleers operate as mercenaries across New Eden, in conflicts ranging from small corporate wars to the cluster-spanning campaigns of outer region alliances. Mercenaries operate as individuals for hire, corporations on contract and even as alliances fighting in the grand conflicts for payment in coin, resources and territory. Every aspect of the mercenary life is present in some form in New Eden.
Mercenaries can be found as often in CONCORD monitored space, as in lawless systems. The system of sanctioned corporate warfare allows corporations and alliances to wage war on one another even in "high-security" space. If war declaration fees are paid and no bystanders are attacked, the deadly retribution of CONCORD peacekeeper fleets can be avoided. Skilled mercenaries command high fees and the most powerful mercenary organizations are capable of deploying capital fleets and laying siege to entire constellations. The capsuleers have lent even the ancient business of the mercenary their own special urgency and intensity.
Outlaws and Vigilantes
One of the undoubted scourges of New Eden is piracy, a rapacious criminality that has been present in some form since humanity reached out to the stars. At first, bad enough, the pirates were mere mortals who preyed on other mortals. Now there are immortal pirates who devastate and loot mortals and other immortals alike. Many capsuleer pilots take to piracy, either as a means to gaining wealth or, more darkly, out of sheer enjoyment of the act of preying on those weaker than they. Most capsuleer pirates focus on the most lucrative targets: other capsuleers plying their way across the trade routes of low-security space and the outer regions.
Pirates are in particular an ever-present danger in low-security space, those half-abandoned and practically lawless systems that lie between the core empires and the outer regions. Nominally subject to law, low-security systems are guarded only by static sentry guns around stargates and stations, with CONCORD peacekeeper fleets concentrating on maintaining order in the more populated or important systems of the high-security zones. As these systems cannot be directly controlled by the capsuleer alliances, it is rare that even the brutal frontier justice of the outer regions is visited on low-security space with any consistency. Therefore the pirates flourish.
However, the pirates are sometimes opposed by bounty hunters and so-called "anti-pirate" corporations or coalitions. Some capsuleers actively hunt pirates for possible profit, while others band together to try and bring order to sections of low-security space. Even so, the pirates are many and the most powerful outlaws can command capital ships capable of destroying starbases and other infrastructure. Only the most determined can hope to fight against these pirate lords but some rise to the challenge.