Editor’s note: This article comes to us from Matterall of Talking in Stations. It has been published unedited apart from minor tweaks for spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
The time-honored tradition of making something new out of space wreckage applies to situations small and large. Spaceship debris contains metal scraps, which when reprocessed to minerals, can be reworked into something new. The real prize in wrecks is the loot: fully intact modules that fit into your next ship. The salvaged equipment has no memory; what was once used against you is now yours to use against someone else. On a larger scale, entire regions are abandoned and sold to rivals. In 2017, The Culture Alliance sold Fountain to the Imperium, including a newly anchored Keepstar in the border system J5A-IX. These Keepstar structures have no memory of their former owner; they only know they are Imperium now.
In the same way, the former New Eden Trade Company (NETC) citadels now belong to new owners with a different purpose. When Chribba announced his retirement from the NETC effort, the remaining Keepstars were given to Fafer, the XO of Ghost Legion Alliance, who would act as their custodian. Months earlier, Mercenary Coalition transferred its Keepstar to Max Singularity (a.k.a. the Space Pope) who christened it “The Popestar.” Fafer and Max have vowed to leave them as public ports: Sanctuary Keepstars for those pilots who find themselves in need of a safe harbor in space.
The Keepstars are independent of each, but collectively constitute a league of city-state Keepstars. Whereas NETC was a trade network, the league is a fellowship of philanthropists that govern individual city-states, mostly in low-security space. League members commit to uncomplicated values encased in the Sanctuary Doctrine, in return members benefit from a collective defense against eviction or destruction.
New Eden’s powerful alliances gather to each other. They cluster and weave potent layers of self-protection, including the formidable Keepstar citadel – the most significant structure seen in New Eden. Only the most dominant corporations can possess a Keepstar, the fullest expression of power and fortune. These great space stations fortify societies capsuleers that share culture and a willingness to take up the spear when commanded. These favored individuals drift in space surrounded by nurturing fluid and walk in stations surrounded by nurturing riches. Despite their enviable position, years of exhilarating battle and lavish excesses ultimately wash them up on dark shores. Dull and bored, they aspire to create something of a legacy – to etch on the wall of time “I was here.”
These two actualities; the prestige of the Keepstar and the veteran capsuleer seeking a legacy, are powerful when fused together. Collectively they form a chance for others to live in Empire space as they do in outlaw regions. An endowment given to the masses.
First, we align our beliefs.
Philanthropy, Stability, and Trust
We believe the high-burden of providing sanctuary is the domain of capable few, and the costs and pains associated with the work is the providence of the owners.
Sanctuaries are like gardens, they need deep roots and time to take hold and flower. They move only when essential. A home is not a home if it disappears one day.
We believe the strong should challenge the strong and leave the weak to grow strong. Gates will close on those that trick, trap, or scam the people. We offer no shelter to criminals and violators of public trust.
To this end, we vow to create and maintain a fellowship of Sanctuary Keepstars.
We will defend them, by all means necessary, and work together to identify and make public each other’s Keepstars. We will govern according to our principal beliefs of philanthropy, stability, and trust. New Keepstars are welcome to belong if they adhere to these principals.
These Sanctuary Keepstars allow guests:
- Full use of public services
- Public docking rights
- Long-term living arrangements or storage
The Keepstars are public ports. If you are not a criminal or a danger to the Keepstar you can dock and live without interference.
The Sanctuary Doctrine seeks equity among people, but reserves the right to act independently. Each owner has the primary responsibility to ensure longevity and stability of the Keepstars for the Alphas and Omegas among us.
These Keepstars are sanctuaries for public use at no cost to the players for basic services. Markets and contracts are used to exchange items, including super-capitals. Before Keepstars, the only safe way to transfer supers was through a mutually trusted third-party player. Usually, this role was filled by reputable players like Chribba, Darknesss, Grendell and Lady Scarlet. Darknesss lost his reputation when he conned a client just after Keepstars entered the game. Now, the market serves as the go-between. It is an anti-scamable environment for buyers and sellers. This is one reason the Imperium targets Keepstars they do not control – they have strict codes against selling supers to anyone outside the Imperium.
The nerfs to tethering make Keepstars a vital part of moving for solo super capital pilots. With the new 30-second tethering delay after jumping, a ship is vulnerable unless it can dock. Since Keepstars are the only structures that can berth a supercarrier or a titan, instant docking is a significant advantage. Sanctuary Keepstars are the safe holding place for a titan pilot and his ship should he find himself needing to leave his alliance for a period of time, whether because the alliance is in tumult, or the call of real life is too strong to resist. The pilot will never find himself locked out of the Keepstar, and can rest assured his assets are in safe hands until he can return or a find port in a new alliance’s Keepstar.
There are three city-state Keepstars so far, with plans to add two more by October.
- Basgerin, Sinq Laison – owned by Max Singularity, Sixth Empire
- Aunenen, Lonetrek – owned by Fafer, Ghost Legion
- Maila, The Forge – owned by Fafer, Ghost Legion
Sanctuary Keepstars vs Freeport Fortizars
Pirate corporations and alliances fake NETC Freeport Fortizars by anchoring a Fortizar under a similar sounding corporation with the name of the NETC Fortizar. When a player cynos in their jump freighter or capital to the bait Fortizar, the docking rights are switched from public to private, instantly locking out the pilot. This has resulted in trillions of ISK lost. With a Fortizar costing 10-13 billion ISK, this is relatively easy to do in the systems that NETC Fortizars are placed.
The likelihood pirates can drop a fake Keepstar is very low, and the lure of a 300-billion-ISK killmail is too strong for it to be anchored under minimal protection. No alliance wants a foreign Keepstar – a threat to sovereign space and a tool of power projection – anchored on their doorstep.
Now that the NETC is gone, three of their Keepstars have been repurposed for a philanthropic plan to keep them public. The League will monitor and add to the number of Sanctuary-style Keepstars in the coming months. The structures will be a resting place for supercarrier pilots to keep their assets and clones in safe hands until they move on to their new homes. It will be a true waypoint in space for chains of logistical jump freighters to move without fear of denied access. Finally, it will be the crossroads of open trade where capital builders and pilots meet to exchange ship and ISK. LoCK’s success will depend on strong financing, good planning, and diplomacy. Although there are people who want to see this effort fail, Max Singularity, Fafer, and myself are determined to keep Sanctuary Keepstars open to the universe.
These Sanctuary Keepstars are not true freeports – they may have diplomatic agreements to block hostile organizations but they remain open to individuals who do not contest the ethos of a “sanctuary.” Freeports are always open to everyone without exception, Sanctuaries NRDS* Keepstars are almost the same but may lock out groups that show hostility towards the structures. That is an important distinction.
*NRDS refers to the philosophy of “Not Red Dont Shoot,” meaning do not attack if not explicitly an enemy. In NRDS zones, like Providence Region, player agree to police the area for other players, and allow everyone to go about their business unless they are on a KOS list – kill on site.