War Erupts in the South
PARAGON SOUL - Last week saw a breakdown in the relationship between the two alliances Tribal Souls and Ascendant Frontier. Breaches of confidence, combined with resource and outpost placement disputes, reportedly led to a slowly building crescendo of diplomatic ill-will. The end result: a capital fleet supported by hundreds of smaller vessels was deployed by ASCN for precision strikes in key systems of the Paragon Soul region. Facing little resistance, they quickly conquered and destroyed all of Tribal Souls's infrastructure, leaving the latter stranded in a deep-space region without any friendly ports of call.
“The current situation is that Tribal Souls has lost all of its stations and all of its space,” commented Bjoern Bitter, Chief Diplomat of the Tribal Souls Alliance.
Cyvok, leader of ASCN, stated: “The timing of this war was 100% wrong... it has set ASCN back weeks in our bid to upgrade our core systems. Our goal was simple: once fighting started, we needed to end the war as quickly as possible.”
Any single reason for the recent hostilities is difficult to ascertain. Statements from both sides quickly revealed that the lead-up to war was a mix of issues, although the greatest damage seems to have been done by a refusal on Tribal Souls’s part to merge with ASCN.
“We didn't want to give everything we had built to ASCN rule,” said Bitter. “That left only one option, war.”
When asked if the current desperate situation was preferable to a merger he became animated, stating strongly that “No, this is not preferable to a merger, but we see no option.” Bitter argued that “the merger was not an option, as many corps could not merge.” He cited the prerequisites for corporate access to Ascendant Frontier as the reason. “100 member minimum, 22 Billion ISK, no... There was no choice.”
Speaking on the same issue, Cyvok stated that “our [ASCN's] long term plans have always been to move towards the unification of Tribal Souls, a merger where they would disband and their member Corps would join ASCN.” These long-term plans initially posed no threat to the relationship between the two alliances, as for many months ASCN had, despite repeated invitations, respected the continued wish of Tribal Souls to remain a sovereign entity. It was not until the leaking of a high-level discussion between key ASCN individuals about the possibility of forcing a merger that a large hurdle to the two entities' peaceful coexistence was created.
“The discussion was no more than 12 hours old when, due to an administrative error in our communications security systems, the information was leaked to Tribal Souls,” Cyvok stated. “Obviously it totally inflamed their alliance, as it rightly should have, to be fair.” From that point on, a relationship already strained by recent arguments over a multitude of issues started to deteriorate.
“Their reaction to the news, and the way in which they received it, lead both our alliances down a rather irreversible path. Some bailed out of their alliance just at hearing the news, others left Paragon Soul without even attempting to find out what happened,” said Cyvok. “By the time the diplomats stepped in, both the ASCN and Tribal member bases were so furious that war was more or less the only option left.” When asked why the situation was as volatile as it was, he stated, “ASCN had lost all respect and trust in the members of Tribal... and I am sure the feeling was mutual on their side.”
What the future holds still remains to be seen. Cyvok was reluctant to declare the war won, despite widespread public opinion, even admissions from Tribal Souls members, that in fact it had been. “I can assure you that it’s definitely not 100% over. Once ASCN gains official sovereignty the battle for the region will be effectively over, but behind the scenes, communications from Tribal Souls are laced with all sorts of plans to regroup and counter attack at a later date.”
Bitter gave no such impression when he spoke of Tribal’s future. “Many of us want to start afresh and learn from our errors,” he stated. “One corporation is moving out to form its own alliance... and several others have accepted offers to move to new alliances.”
When asked about the future of some Tribal Souls members still remaining in the region, Cyvok said that discussions with the remaining pilots were still ongoing, and that at this time no details could be provided. He did however, spell out plans for the region itself. “We have no other powerful allies we trust to secure the region long term. ASCN core space is a bit overcrowded, so we have decided to hold the region as our own.”