The Jovian Motherships are three ancient space vessels, among the largest in all of New Eden. Once used to transport the entirety of the Jove Empire from one end of the cluster to another, they have since been repurposed for other needs. The ships rarely venture outside of Jove space and have not been seen since the Battle of Vak'Atioth.
The motherships were first constructed shortly after the rise of the Third Empire. The Empire, seeing the devastation wrought by the Jovian Disease, concluded that the only way to escape it would be to relocate their entire civilization to another area of space. The motherships were to be the ferries that would deliver them to salvation.
Each mothership was constructed individually, one at a time. Because nothing like them had been constructed before, each took years to build. They had several distinct abilities. Firstly, each was equipped with jump drives, allowing them to move to space where no stargates had been constructed. Secondly, they held cryo-chambers that would place the majority of the Jove into cryogenic sleep. Finally, an automated system would carry the Jove from system to system, surveying planets and carrying the ship along until it found one that met the Jove's specifications.
The journey took decades, but finally the motherships came across the system now known as Jove Prime. The Jove were awakened by the ship and the motherships were left without a purpose.
The Jove were not a people to waste their creations. Though the motherships had fulfilled their primary function, they were still massive technological wonders. The Jove had no immediate plans for them, but they knew they would not simply leave them as relics.
Over the following centuries, they began to upgrade the motherships bit by bit. As a new piece of technology was discovered, it was incorporated into one of the motherships. After a while, each mothership gained a new identity.
Of two of the motherships, little is widely known. There has never been a confirmed sighting of them by outsiders, though plenty of people have claimed an encounter. Rumors abound as to what has become of them. Some claim they were refitted for exploration and have traveled beyond the bounds of the known cluster, encountering either great wonder or bleak desolation. Still others insist the motherships have become massive factories, each capable of matching the output of entire empires. Others theorize one ship has become each, or perhaps they have all been refitted as with the single known mothership.
It is this final mothership that is the most well known through the cluster, The Jove knew that one day some other enterprising race would rise up and attempt to strike them down. The Jove began to arm this mothership, turning it into a precursor for the modern day Titan. It saw its first, and only, action at the Battle of Vak'Atioth.
Battle of Vak'Atioth
The Battle of Vak'Atioth was the last time the motherships have been seen by outsiders. The Amarr Empire intended to conquer the Jove and brought what was thought to be an overwhelming force of battleships and other heavy vessels. The Jove countered with their smaller, faster frigates and cruisers.
It was not these small ships that won the day, however. The mothership was brought to the front and turned its powerful weaponry on the invaders. The mighty lasers, likened to the mythical light of doomsday by the few Amarr who escaped its destruction, tore swaths through the Empire's lines. Pinned down by the frigates, the Amarr could not avoid it, and even the most heavily armored battleship melted beneath its power.
After the battle, the motherships were recalled to deep within Jove space. Ever since, the Jove have secreted them away. Though the Jove have cut off contact with the rest of the cluster, the motherships continue to be upgraded and kept at the ready.
No one except the Jove know the current status of the motherships, or even if there are still only three of them. Military analysts say it is unthinkable that the Jove would be content with only three motherships, while the other empires busily created the Titans and other massive ships of war. In opposition are those who say that the Jove, with their population dwindling thanks to the Jovian Disease, lack the resources to man the three motherships they still have.
Regardless, all empires remain wary of the Jove motherships and sightings are followed up on, even from unlikely sources. The Jove, naturally, make no comment on the matter. It may be that the true fate of the ships is never known.
Because they were constructed at different times and have since been extensively upgraded toward separate designs, the motherships are not identical. They share the same basic design, however, each being over four kilometers in length with massive frames. They remain among the largest ships in the cluster.
All three supposedly retain their original functions, able to store billions of individuals in cryogenic sleep. The automated systems are also theoretically still functional, though with much more of the cluster explored and colonized, these systems serve less of a purpose.
Each ship apparently continues to be upgraded as new discoveries are made by the Jove and the other empires. There are claims that as the centuries creep by, the ships become less and less alike. As they haven't been seen in centuries, it may be that they no longer resemble each other in the slightest.