Header art by Redline XIII.
KAHAH—November 4, 2018: Between 16:42 and 16:54 UTC, Fweddit members and alts in Fwehman Brothers Holdings, Viziam, and Flight of the Kiwis self-destructed nine freighters worth 22 billion ISK. This move is the latest activity in an ongoing storyline connected with the regular Crimson Harvest PvE event.
The storyline centers around the ‘Deathglow’ chemical agent used by the Blood Raiders in the event. Deathglow is a derivative of the same mine-able ores and Chromodynamic Tricarboxyl as the current player-manufactured skill accelerators. Four weeks ago on October 8, a chemical attack struck the Rens 8-6 station. The attack followed a public dispute involving a capsuleer and an NPC Khanid noble, and may have targeted assets related to the capsuleer in question. The NPC, sa-Baron Alar Chakaid, fell under immediate suspicion, and the next few days saw another series of attacks, one targeting capsuleer-owned assets.
The other was a direct reprisal strike against cloning facilities used by sa-Baron Chakaid as well as the mercenary infantry unit he commands. Shortly thereafter, the capsuleer involved claimed responsibility for the strike on the Khanid cloning facilities.
Eleven days after the reprisal strike, another chemical weapons attack struck slave populations in the Khanid system of Kahah, sparking widespread rebellion. Khanid forces responded with indiscriminate and excessive force, triggering a possible diplomatic crisis. In response, a number of capsuleers have attempted to intervene as a humanitarian mission, setting the stage for today’s events.
In some ways, this event echoes the ‘mob justice’ bot-killings carried out by CONCORD-led players earlier this year. It marks an increased level of engagement with the players on the part of the Live Events team. Members of ISD have taken the lead on live events, along with members of the Lore Team like CCP Delegate Zero, to bring a renewed level of interaction to the landscape in low- and high-security space. In this sequence of events, DZ and the volunteers of ISD worked with players to incorporate player actions into the larger narrative of the NPC factions in EVE. Other signs indicate that this level of interaction and shared story may increase as time goes on.
CCP has been using the Lore and Live Events groups, to generate buzz ahead of announcements. The announcement and demo of Project Nova at EVE Vegas, for example, was presaged with Search & Rescue operations across Molden Heath, and reports of ships going missing or encountering unidentified boarding parties. That culminated in the announcement of a new CONCORD division, AEGIS:
In response to emergent threat, Case Green Magic, the Inner Circle has authorized the formation of a new operation division AEGIS, the Authority for Emergency Interdiction and Security. I have been appointed to the post of Provost Marshal of AEGIS.
— Provost Marshal Kasiha Valkanir (@concordvalkanir) October 10, 2018
AEGIS, presumably, will be handling the use of warclone infantry in Project Nova’s fighting against Sansha’s Nation.
All of this points to new possibilities in the future. CCP announced a revamp to the wardec system in highsec. Additionally, both the CSM and devs have spoken about how Faction Warfare needs a significant overhaul. In that vein, this return to an engaged, player-responsive approach to events may be a sign of things to come. Conflict at the edges of the empires may help revitalize empire space. That, in turn, could draw new players into the game who can find their way into null.
For now, though, the events in Kahah continue to unfold. Another player action has been planned for 1900 UTC on Nov 5. This time, Minmtar FW partisans in a freighter full of troops will attempt to breach the blockade around Kahah III. They hope that Amarr Militia pilots will show up to contest the planned ‘deployment’, resulting in a fight.