The Defiants are a terrorist military organisation formed by former members of the Republic Fleet after a mutiny. Under the leadership of former Captain, Karishal Muritor, the Defiants conducted a guerrilla campaign against Amarr assets in The Bleak Lands before the Empyrean War of YC 110.
This group took the name Defiants from a group of former slaves of Brutor origin who were subjected to experiments by Amarr scientists working on their Human Endurance Program.
The name Defiants originally refers to a group of Minmatar slaves, all of them of the Brutor tribe, who were survivors of the Amarr's Human Endurance Program. The name Defiant is also applied to the descendants of these surviving slaves.
These survivors have been left with a legacy of blindness brought on by a resultant genetic defect caused by the harsh conditions they were subjected to by the Amarr researchers. This condition is passed down to their descendants resulting in blindness in their children by an early age, commonly before five years old. Most Defiants choose to undertake treatments to compensate for their blindness, such as implants which restore sight to various degrees. Some, however, choose to live with their blindness, which has become synonymous with their identity and, as such, is treated as a mark of honour among the Brutor tribe.
The most famous of these Defiants is Maleatu Shakor, Sanmatar of the Minmatar Republic and son of an original surviving Defiant. Like all Defiants and their descendants, Shakor suffers from this characteristic blindness. Shakor is emblematic of the respect the Defiants are afforded in Minmatar society. Defiants, and their descendants, generally want for nothing in Minmatar society and their presence is taken as a sign of strength over the adversity of the Minmatar's previous and current enslavement.
New Defiants Founded
In June YC 108 the Defiants were founded by Captain Karishal Muritor after he led a mutiny against the Republic Fleet, stealing several capital ships and their support fleet from their moorings. Having grown tired and disillusioned with the leadership within the Republic Fleet, Muritor decided to take matters into his own hands in an attempt to curb the perceived threat of the Amarr military in The Bleak Lands following their previous war with the Blood Raiders.
Initially, CONCORD reported the unscheduled jump drive activation for the Republic Fleet Hel-class supercarrier, Alfhild. Two other Nidhoggur-class carriers, the Magni and Modi, were also reported to have jumped away from the same dock facility over Kulheim, Pator, where they were stationed with the Alfhild as part of their regular deployment. Many other ships forming the support fleet for the Alfhild carrier group had also departed moorings without authorisation.
In response to the unscheduled jump drive activation, and a lack of prior notification from the Republic Fleet, CONCORD issued a low level warning under the Capital Ships Control Protocol in the Yulai Convention; a protocol which forbids capital class ships from jumping into high security space and requires empire registered ships to inform CONCORD of such movements. The Republic Fleet quickly responded to CONCORD's alert and began locking down their capital ship fleet under CONCORD instruction.
The Alfhild supercarrier was under the temporary command of Captain 1st Class Karishal Muritor, recently decorated with the Drupar's Sun award. Earlier in the week this same fleet, along with Captain Muritor, had failed to attend the inauguration ceremony of Amarr holder Gavit Torash, acting as the Republic Parliament representative's honour escort.
Captain Muritor's mutiny, and intentions, were still unknown to anyone at this time. They would later reveal themselves, flying under the name Defiants as an homage to the original Defiants.
Republic and Amarr Reactions
Following the theft of the Alfhild, along with the two other carriers and support fleet, the Republic Fleet issued a denial of any prior knowledge of Captain Muritor's intentions, confirming these actions were not authorised. They later admitted they had no knowledge of the current whereabouts of the missing elements of the carrier fleet and launched an investigation. Republic Fleet command eventually determined Captain Muritor, along with the crew of both his supercarrier and support fleet, to be absent without leave and declared them rogue.
Reactions among the citizenry of the Minmatar Republic reflected people's disturbance over Captain Muritor's mutiny. Following his high-profile award of the Drupar's Sun honour, Captain Muritor was quickly becoming the embodiment of duty to the Minmatar people and an emerging role-model among many young Minmatar, especially those within the military.
Immediately after the Alfhild's disappearance the Amarr delegation to the CONCORD Assembly demanded that the full status of the supercarrier be disclosed, along with all prior information the Republic Fleet had sent them regarding the ship's future waypoints. The Amarr added a threat to their communication to withhold similar information from CONCORD about their own capital ship movements in the future should these details not be immediately disclosed to them.
Despite there having been no statement of intent from Captain Muritor at the time, or even confirmation that he had led a mutiny with hostile intentions, reaction among Amarr holders and common citizenry was one of quiet concern. Having recently concluded a major conflict with the Blood Raiders, resulting in their expulsion from The Bleak Lands region, a potential new threat against them became a cause of great concern.
The Bleak Lands Under Attack
In November YC 108 the Defiants, led by Muritor, launched a number of attacks in The Bleak Lands targeting independent holder assets as well as low-orbital infrastructure. Initially, these attacks were too swift to determine the identities of the assailants, who focused first on crippling communication systems before moving on to other infrastructure. What little information eyewitnesses could provide indicated the ships were mostly cruiser and frigate classes of Minmatar design. One week after the attacks began Captain Muritor made a public announcement, naming his group Defiants, and called on other Minmatar to rise up against the Amarr.
Hostilities escalated when an Amarr battlestation, scheduled for redeployment to the Throne Worlds region, was attacked and destroyed in Sosala in December. The overwhelming assault was conducted by the Defiants, under Captain Muritor, supported by capsuleer alliances Ushra'Khan and Fimbulwinter, along with other supporting capsuleers. The battlestation was destroyed and the Minmatar forces withdrew from the system.
Amarr-Minmatar Tensions Increase
Before Muritor declared responsibility for the attacks in The Bleak Lands, tensions between the Amarr Empire and the Minmatar Republic increased on a daily basis. The Court Chamberlain's office attempted communication with the Minmatar Republic to request any information they had about these attacks, and the origin of these ships. Despite requests for talks between the two empires, none transpired.
These tensions spilled out into the already volatile capsuleer conflicts following the destruction of the Amarr battlestation in Sosala. The Bleak Lands saw a large influx of Amarr loyalist capsuleer organisations such as the CVA, PIE Inc. and Vigilia Valeria willing to combat the emerging Defiant threat. These groups already had long-standing conflicts with the Defiants' capsuleer allies, who'd participated in the battlestation siege.
Following the destruction of the battlestation, the Imperial Chancellor's office began openly criticising the Minmatar Republic and the Republic Fleet, suggesting they were covertly rendering support to the Defiants in their attacks against Amarr assets in The Bleak Lands. These accusations were eventually answered by Republic parliament head Maleatu Shakor, who stated that the Amarr "overreaction" was "no surprise", and the notion that the Minmatar Republic was assisting the renegade Captain was baseless speculation not supported by any factual evidence.
Karishal Muritor's Death
In February YC 109 Captain Muritor reported to his fleet and capsuleer allies that he had received an offer of truce from Admiral Kanth Filmir, who desired to talk to the renegade captain in an effort to bring him in. Captain Muritor requested that no one interfere in his discussion. Towards the end of this meeting, when Muritor refused to turn himself in, the Republic Fleet forces entered the system and destroyed Muritor's ship and capsule.
The pair met in the Auga system, Heimatar, in orbit over the tenth planet. Admiral Filmir sought to negotiate the captain's surrender to Republic Fleet custody. When it became clear to the admiral that Muritor was not going to give himself up, he ordered his support fleet to enter orbit and engage Muritor's ship.
This attack prompted capsuleer and Defiant ships to enter the Auga system and warp to Muritor's position to defend him. As ships from the Defiants and Ushra'Khan opened fire in defence of Muritor, the captain and Republic Fleet pilots both demanded that they cease fire. Captain Muritor stated he would not have Minmatar fighting each other. Moments later his ship and capsule were destroyed. The Republic Fleet elements withdrew from the system and Muritor's body was recovered from the scene by the Ushra'Khan forces.
It is understood that Captain Muritor's clone, provided by the Republic Fleet, had been deactivated shortly after his mutiny, almost a year earlier. Captain Muritor was not known to have another clone in standby after this and is listed as deceased on Republic Fleet and Republic Security Service records.
Following his death, the Prime Minister's office issued a statement on the incident, claiming that orders were issued directly from Prime Minister Karin Midular to apprehend or terminate Captain Karishal Muritor. News of this resulted in protests across the Minmatar Republic as well as harsh words from the Defiants' capsuleer allies against the Prime Minister and Admiral Kanth Filmir.
This culminated in a demand for their resignations from the Ushra'Khan, who also issued a 1 isk bounty on Prime Minister Karin Midular, stating this was "her worth to the Minmatar people, rounded up." This act was condemned by many loyalist capsuleer forces such as Electus Matari. The Ushra'Khan held a protest in orbit over Matar, Pator, renewing demands for the resignations of Admiral Filmir and Prime Minister Midular. Eventually, Admiral Filmir attended the scene with an escort to plead for calm and understanding among the capsuleers. He eventually announced his resignation from the Republic Fleet at the protest.
Resurgent Bleak Lands Campaign
Reports of attacks on slave colonies and holdings in The Bleak Lands began to surface in November YC 109. In the first reported instance alone, over 30,000 slaves had been taken from a single facility. Notably, all of the slaves taken were of Minmatar ethnicity while slaves of Ealur and Ni-Kunni origin were all left behind. When questioned by authorities, these remaining slaves claimed that the attackers' identities were unknown to them, having been concealed in full combat gear. When each slave was determined as not being Minmatar, they were immediately left behind.
After several such attacks holders within The Bleak Lands expressed their dissatisfaction with the Court Chamberlain, Dochuta Karsoth, who remained silent on the subject throughout the month. It was announced at the end of the month that the Amarr 7th Fleet, under the command of Admiral Vanazir Saracen, had been fully mobilised and already heading towards The Bleak Lands, stating their intention to fortify the area until the attacks can be stopped.
By the following week the 'Saracens', as the 7th were known, had deployed a sizable presence in the region and were in the process of installing their main command infrastructure. The stated aim was to have an Amarr Navy fortified position no more than three jumps from any system in The Bleak Lands. To facilitate this, Admiral Saracen took the unusual measure of imposing an imperial tithe on the Holders in the region.
During a scheduled downtime of the communication system a message was broadcast over multiple frequencies in the region by Ode Goriad, the late Captain Muritor's second in command. "You thought we were gone. You were wrong."
Scattered reports followed in various systems that multiple attacks were underway. As the communication array came back on line the Saracens co-ordinated their counter-assault. The initial wave of Minmatar ships, now identified as the Defiants, was turned back and Admiral Saracen made a statement at 1400 hours confirming the situation had been brought under control by the Amarr Navy.
Escalation of Conflict
The conflict in The Bleak Lands between the Defiants and Saracens escalated as another major co-ordinated attack took place across several systems. The Defiants, with capsuleer support, centred their attack on the system of Haras, where a major communication hub for the Amarr Navy was based. Their attack was focused entirely on bringing down the communication array, ignoring all other targets at first. At the same time, a second major assault was launched in Sosala where the central defence cortex for the entire region was located. The attack was a success and the 7th Fleet were blinded for a while.
A protracted campaign against the Amarr installations followed as capsuleer support was courted by the Defiants who offered bounties on 7th fleet assets, such as data cores recovered from their ships and installations. The 7th Fleet instituted similar incentives for loyalist capsuleer forces willing to assist them against the resurgent Defiants.
The 7th Fleet recovered ground against the Defiants in January YC 110 as a well co-ordinated ambush in the Kuriniainen system crippled a Defiants offensive. Among the ships reportedly destroyed were a Nidhoggur carrier, a Nomad jump freighter, a battleship, eight cruisers and four frigates. This marked the most significant combat loss for the rebel group to date. Shortly after, a Defiants counter attack across several systems in The Bleak Lands crippled multiple 7th Fleet facilities. Similar engagements took place for several more months before the Defiants began to suffer from attrition and the renegade attacks became less frequent.
As the situation seemed to be calming, the 7th Fleet operations were suspended by Chamberlain Karsoth, and Admiral Saracen was recalled as his fleet was placed on standby. He later faced charges in Amarr for conducting an unauthorised redeployment.
The Elder Invasion and the Defiants
The Defiants' last sighting was during the Elder Invasion of the Amarr systems in YC 110. Following Jamyl Sarum's return to the Empire, where she repelled the Elder fleet at Mehkios with an unknown superweapon, the remaining Elder forces retreated through conventional stargate travel having lost their titan. These forces were pursued across The Bleak Lands systems by Sarum's forces, who were closing in with each jump.
As the Elder fleet attempted to transit through the Otelen system to the Huola gate, the Amarr Navy had closed enough ground to engage their rear guard. In the Huola system, Defiants ships had taken position at the Otelen gate and engaged the pursuing Amarr Navy as they jumped through. Moments later, the Defiants activated a cynosural beacon, jumping their Hel supercarrier into the fight along with two other carriers.
Communications broadcast over local frequencies from the Defiants stated their intentions to hold the Amarr back and give the retreating fleet time to escape. Their entire remaining support fleet also joined the fight in an all-out assault against the Amarr Navy fleet. The Amarr forces jumped several capital ships of their own into the fight, including two Aeon supercarriers.
The last ships from the Elder fleet to leave the system reported that multiple Defiant ships had already been destroyed, including one of their remaining carriers. The Alfhild also seemed to be crippled in space and burning while Amarr navy ships focused most of their firepower on the supercarrier, whose trajectory carried it into the heart of the Amarr capital ship fleet.
Since the Elder Invasion, and the subsequent Empyrean War, the Defiants are presumed to have been wiped out. Later reports emerged stating that little remained at the scene of their last stand, except wreckage.