Aridia is an economically poor and undeveloped region in the Amarr Empire. It was first explored by the 51st Exploration Corps in the early 22200s. It is the home region of the Ni-Kunni people, who originate from the Mishi system deep within the region. Today, it serves as a somewhat important pipeline to capsuleers, as it links Fountain and Delve with empire space.
Tens of thousands of years ago, the ancestors of the modern Ni-Kunni colonized the planet Mishi IV in the Mishi system. It appears even then, the region was isolated and poorly developed, as few ancient relics or other signs of pre-collapse societies have been uncovered.
The first modern exploration of the region was conducted by the Amarr Empire, who sent the 51st Exploration Corps into the area. The Exploration Corps was tasked with assaying the planetary, satellite, and asteroid wealth in the area. However, the region proved to be relatively poor in resources the Empire made use of at the time. The commander of the expedition, Soruma Aquiun, reported that the region was devoid of anything of worth, and recorded a bleak outlook in his personal journals.
However, in time, the expedition uncovered the Ni-Kunni and set about Reclaiming them. This marked the first time in centuries the Amarr had encountered a major inhabited world, especially one with a race of people they deemed worthy of eventually bringing into the Empire's fold. The Empire spread the Ni-Kunni throughout the Empire, but kept a large number of them on Mishi IV itself, with an Amarr overseer.
The Amarr decided the presence of one inhabited world made the region worthy of colonization. Few among the upper echelons of Empire society were willing to move to the worlds, however. Thus poor Holder houses and those willing to take high risks for little reward were the ones who began to officiate the region. Despite this, there was a brief burst of interest in the region, as many sought out theorized riches in the area.
However, soon after, the Empire discovered the Minmatar and conquered them. Interest in the Empire switched to those more lucrative regions where the Minmatar had settled. Wealthy Holders withdrew investments and supplies from Aridia and the small settlements that had begun to form in the region were left to their own devices.
Aridia remains underdeveloped and depopulated compared to the other regions in the Empire. It is notable perhaps only in its unnotability. It is a poor region, of little military or economic interest to the Empire or its enemies. The Blood Raiders patrol the vacant space lanes, picking off those stragglers they can catch.
It is primarily of importance because of the Ni-Kunni presence in Mishi. Mishi IV remains the largest concentration of Ni-Kunni in the cluster and many wealthy Ni-Kunni have made it a personal crusade to bring the region up to the standards of the rest of the Empire. Few others have met their enthusiasm, as the region remains mostly devoid of important resources for the Empires to exploit.
The Amarr Navy traditionally assigns one fleet to patrol the region. Typically, this fleet rotates out regularly, as the assignment is considered dangerous with little chance for glory. Recently, however, the region has been patrolled by the 7th Fleet for several years. The Navy has not made any official announcement as to its reasoning, though many consider it continued punishment from its failures in the Bleak Lands.
Aridia has received more traffic from capsuleers, who use the region as a gateway to Delve and Fountain. It also connects the Gallente, Amarr Empire, and Khanid Kingdom, though there remain more popular routes to travel between them.