Equilibrium of Mankind
The Equilibrium of Mankind are a doomsday cult of Amarr origin that was founded roughly 1500 years ago by Ocilan Ardishapur, a relative of both the Amarr Emperor of the time and the head of the Ardishapur Family. The cult is centered around the corrupted teachings of Aramon Khalid, believing that those who do not follow the Equilibrium's way should be exterminated in order to bring about paradise. Under this belief, they have committed several atrocities throughout their history.
The Equilibrium of Mankind has its origins with the Followers of God, an approved cult within the Amarr Empire that still retains some popularity to this day. The Followers of God venerated the teachings of a scholar named Aramon Khalid, who had been active roughly around 17000 AD. The teachings were relatively benign, speaking of pathways toward salvation and reaching paradise in the afterlife.
Paragyn Koreithis was a monk with the Followers, who was quiet and unassuming in most respects. However, he uncovered fragments of Aramon's writings that had been expunged from the approved teachings. These fragments spoke of fiery hells and the destruction of mankind, promising that all who did not follow his teachings would perish and have their souls rent asunder. Paragyn became obsessed with these fragments, but his interest in them was rebuked by the cult's leadership. Paragyn knew he could not challenge his superiors, but sought out someone else who could.
His answer came in the form of Ocilan Ardishapur, a relation of the head of the Ardishapur Family whose mother was the niece of Emperor Armani I. Ocilan found himself drawn to the Followers and studied with them heavily. Paragyn introduced Ocilan to the apocryphal fragments, drawing Ocilan into his obsession. Within a few months, Ocilan had grown as consumed with the writings as Paragyn ever had.
Quietly, the two began recruiting followers to their own sect, which they called the Equilibrium of Mankind. Thanks to Ocilan's wealth and charisma, millions flocked to their sect. The leaders of the Followers of God were concerned with the tenor of the Equilibrium's beliefs, but because the Equilibrium were still a part of the Followers, the cult benefited with great prestige and influence. They turned a blind eye to the more troubling aspects of the sect, such as Paragyn's involvement, and allowed it to grow unchecked.
Ocilan eventually grew tired of hiding his true beliefs. Though Paragyn counseled caution, Ocilan believed that the Equilibrium had grown powerful enough to reveal itself to the world. He arranged to deliver a sermon during a Followers of God religious observance, one that would be broadcast across the Empire. The sermon quickly unraveled into a rambling denouncement of the Followers of God and the mainstream Amarr religion. Ocilan declared that the Amarr were doomed to be destroyed by God's wrath and that only his own followers would be spared by departing “this universe.”
The High Priest of the Followers of God eventually wrested control of the platform away from Ocilan, declared him a heretic, and ordered his immediate arrest. Ocilan, however, had foreseen this occurrence and had placed his followers among the attendees. They rose up to defend him, sparking a bloody clash in the Followers' most sacred church, as Ocilan defiantly exited.
Ocilan and Paragyn, along with the majority of the Equilibrium followers, departed to an outpost near Ardishapur Prime. Emperor Armani I ordered Karon Ardishapur, the family head, to lead an expedition to annihilate the Equilibrium. Karon led the family fleet against the outpost, utterly destroying it. Ocilan was assumed dead in the fighting, while Paragyn managed to escape but was fatally injured and succumbed a few weeks later.
The few survivors fled to the distant outskirts of the Empire, outside of the reach of the Imperial Paladins. They founded a settlement there, licking their wounds and slowly losing members to hardships. It seemed the cult would simply dissipate, a mere footnote in the Empire's history, when Ocilan suddenly reappeared after three years.
It was obvious that Ocilan had become even more deranged than before, as he called for his followers to kill anyone who was not a member of the Equilibrium of Mankind. He believed that through the utter destruction of all other life in the cluster, the Equilibrium would appease God's wrath and be rewarded with everlasting paradise. The Equilibrium returned to the Empire and scattered, beginning a slow infiltration of every institution.
Soon after, they launched a spree of terrorist acts across the Empire that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. A number of high-profile individuals were killed, including Karon Ardishapur. Emperor Armani I went into hiding in the Imperial Palace, fearing for his own life. The populace was so shaken that they began to openly speak out against the Emperor and the [[Council of Apostles]].
Armani I died suddenly in 21310 AD. His nephew, Queron I, succeeded him and proved to be of much sterner stuff. Queron I ordered a bloody purge of all heretical influences in the Empire, targeting the Equilibrium specifically. Thousands of innocents died in the purge along with the Equilibrium, but the terrorist acts ended and the Equilibrium seemed broken.
Ocilan himself vanished. Many assumed he was killed by Imperial Paladins, with his corpse discreetly disposed of to avoid turning him into a martyr. Others believe he managed to escape and eventually died of old age. Some whispered that he managed to survive even to the modern day, though as it would mean he outlived even the longest-lived emperors, scholars believe it impossible.
What became of the Equilibrium over the intervening centuries is not well known. The Empire itself had few records of them, with reports of their resurgence mainly being rumor and misinformation. Somehow they managed to survive in deep space, far from civilized space, and slowly amass power and resources.
They revealed their survival to the cluster at wide in YC100, when they began attacking Caldari corporations and kidnapping and executing relatives of top executives. The acts were so gruesome that the Caldari Navy eventually got involved and managed to stop a kidnapping as it occurred. A fierce battle followed, with the Caldari Navy triumphing over the Equilibrium of Mankind ships. Analysis of the ships revealed they were of Amarr design, though their power grid and weapons systems seemed to be heavily modified to favor shields and rail guns.
After a few weeks of confusion and finger pointing between the Caldari, the Khanid Kingdom, and the Amarr Empire, the Equilibrium removed all doubt by openly releasing a message to the cluster revealing their survival and mission. They had come to believe that mankind had made a grave error by journeying to New Eden. They promised to annihilate all nonbelievers and, through the mass extinction of the human race, reopen the pathway to mankind's ancestral home.
The Amarr Empire quickly shared all information it had on the Equilibrium of Mankind, allowing the other nations of New Eden and CONCORD to bolster their defenses and prepare. The Equilibrium's activities fell off slightly, but they continue to attack every faction within the cluster and cause mass death and destruction.
Their most notorious attack came on the planet of Reschard V, which was suddenly hit with an electromagnetic attack in YC108. A massive explosion killed nearly 90% of surface life, with human survival estimated at one in fifty-thousand. An investigation headed by CONCORD eventually uncovered evidence that the Equilibrium of Mankind had been behind the attack, utilizing an Avatar-class Titan fitted with an old-style doomsday device. CONCORD did not widely release this information, hoping to prevent a mass panic, and the Equilibrium have not since utilized their titan in any confirmed manner.
Beliefs and Followers
The Equilibrium of Mankind beliefs have mutated over the centuries. Today, they believe that humanity acted against God's wished by entering and settling New Eden. They point to the collapse of the EVE Gate as proof of His wrath, with those who survived being given a chance to repent and work to return to where they had come. They believe that only by exterminating most of the life in the cluster will the EVE Gate eventually reopen, allowing those who remain (assumed by the Equilibrium to be themselves) access to a paradise that awaits on the other side.
Naturally, most others consider their followers insane at best. Even the Blood Raiders and Sansha's Nation, two entities who have few moral qualms against death, oppose the Equilibrium and have been struck by their operatives. The Equilibrium are nearly unique within New Eden in having no outside allies.
The deranged beliefs of the Equilibrium have kept them a small cult, as few can accept their completely genocidal nature. Their recruits come from a variety of backgrounds, mostly those with sociopathic tendencies or other mental disorders of that nature. It is assumed that a large number of recruits are the children of practicing members; some rumors have the Equilibrium participating in forced breeding in order to bolster their numbers.
Recently, a number of short-lived capsuleer groups have pledged loyalty to the Equilibrium. The Equilibrium has not publicly acknowledged them in any manner, leading some to posit that the Equilibrium view the immortality of capsuleers to be anathema to their beliefs.
The Equilibrium claims no sovereignty, owns no public stations or outposts, and do not interact with the outside world except through violence. How the Equilibrium maintains its fleet is not fully known; they appear to have a number of hidden starbases that they utilize to built and maintain ships for short periods before moving on. CONCORD estimates that the Equilibrium cannot possibly possess more than a thousand ships at most, but reports of frequent clashes with capsuleers put those numbers at question.
The Equilibrium ships are based off Amarr hull designs, but they have been extensively modified. They have been stripped of most armor plating in favor of advanced shield systems, while their weapons have been retrofitted to utilize rail gun technology. They primarily utilize dark black and blue color schemes, with some traditional Amarr gold accents.
It is believed the Equilibrium owns at least one Avatar-class titan, though it has never been seen directly and is known only through circumstantial evidence collected by a CONCORD investigation following the destruction of Reschard V. It has apparently not been utilized since the attack, leading to many questions about its fate. Some contend it was somehow responsible for the devastation that befell Seyllin, others say it was destroyed by Sansha's Nation or the Jove (the only two groups who would seemingly not trumpet their victory over it).
Structure and Leadership
The Equilibrium appears to function as a number of semi-autonomous cells that all report to a central leadership. The cells act independently of each other, though they receive some sort of direction from and are partially supplied by command. Each cell is given a goal to accomplish, usually the destruction of some target, and is left to carry it out as they see fit. In cases where they succeed, they are assigned a new task to carry out. If they fail, they are left to their own destruction.
Individual members of the cult are difficult to capture. Most will fight to the death and attempt to commit suicide should they be captured. The few who have been successfully caught and interrogated have proven little help in identifying the leaders of the Equilibrium. When asked who leads the Equilibrium, most will respond with Ocilan Ardishapur. Truth serums and other devices reveal that the subjects believe they are speaking the truth, leading investigators to conclude that they have either been brainwashed or misled.
The true name or names of the leaders of the Equilibrium of Mankind are unknown.