The Minmatar Rebellion, also known as the Great Rebellion, was a successful slave revolt that occurred in BYC20 (23216 AD), in the midst of the Amarr-Jove War. The key result of the rebellion was that the Minmatar successfully rebelled against their Amarr Holders and ejected them from the space that would become the Minmatar Republic.
For a little over a century after their first incursion, the Amarr continued to make slave raids on the Minmatar Empire. In this period, for all practical purposes, the Minmatar Empire ceased to exist, as the Minmatar colonies were cut off from Matar and eventually left empty and ruined. Matar itself entered a period of chaos, as the global infrastructure that had been created was wrecked by successive slave raids. Finally, in AD 22480, Emperor Damius III ordered the conquest and occupation of Matar. The entire Minmatar race was to be subjugated and enslaved. As with each time they had been raided, the Minmatar attempted to resist, but no power left to them could stop the Amarr from conquering their world. With the exception of a few mountain strongholds and secret resistance cells, the Amarr quite easily achieved global domination of Matar. Every remaining Minmatar colony world was likewise invaded and placed under the rule of Amarr holders. For the next seven hundred years or so, the Minmatar lived under Amarr occupation and enslavement. Many hundreds of millions of Minmatar were shipped across the Amarr Empire as slaves.
The Amarr always crushed what rebellions occurred with utter ruthlessness and brutality. The uprising of the Starkmanir tribe some 450 years after their conquest was deemed so serious — and indeed a royal heir of House Ardishapur was killed in this rebellion — that the tribe was ordered annihilated by orbital bombardment. Later events showed that the genocide, while it killed the vast majority of the once-largest tribe of the Minmatar, was not complete. However, so far as anyone at the time was concerned, the Starkmanir had been destroyed, and inevitably the story and its symbols, notably that of the khumaak, spread among the Minmatar. From that time on, if they had not known it before, the Minmatar knew that one day they must all fight to be free of their overlords.
A little over 250 years after the annihilation of the Starkmanir, the four great star empires of the Amarr, Caldari, Gallente, and Jove had come into contact with one another. The Jove had limited their contact with the others and, while it was clear they were technologically advanced, their true capabilities and motives were a mystery to the other nations. The Gallente Federation and the Caldari State, for their part, were still at war, but their conflict had bogged down into a stalemate. The Gallente, libertarians by instinct and prone to intervention, had become aware of the plight of the Minmatar and were appalled by it. Over the preceding centuries, the Minmatar resistance had organized itself and even achieved the capability to mount raids on Amarrian installations. The Gallente Federation secretly aided this resistance in every way it could.
Against this background, the Amarr Empire was feeling increasingly uneasy at the presence of several rival powers along its borders. As so often before, the Amarr decided that they must act according to their doctrine of “Reclaiming” and chose the Jove Empire for a demonstration of Amarrian might. The Amarr had concluded that the Jovians were hiding weakness behind a cloak of mystery and a few minor technological advances. Consequently, in BYC20 (AD 23216), the Amarr sent a fleet of two hundred warships to a system they called Vak’Atioth, a fringe holding of the Jove Empire, where the Amarr intended to crush the Jovian presence and begin a new campaign of conquest. The Amarr had not been shy about the matter of their intentions and all their propaganda for weeks past had made it clear they intended to act against the Jove. For their part, the Jovians had made sure to infiltrate the highest levels of the Amarr government and military. When the Amarr fleet entered Vak’Atioth, the Jovians were waiting.
The ensuing Battle of Vak’Atioth was notable in several ways: it was the first defeat, and a crushing one at that, of an Amarr war fleet by another race; it was the first and last time that the Jovians engaged in battle with another race, at least so far as the other races knew; and it was the first and last time that a Jovian mother ship was seen in battle. The Amarr reaction to their defeat was to prepare a second, larger fleet to attack the Jovians. At this time, as news of the first Amarr fleet’s defeat spread throughout the empire, the Minmatar resistance sent the signal to their people to rise up against the Amarr. Faced by a large, well-equipped rebellion on multiple worlds, the Amarr had no choice but to sue for peace with the Jovians and see to the flames spreading across their empire.
The Great Rebellion
The Great Rebellion made fantastic gains in its first days, the Amarr occupation of Matar was lifted, and those Amarr unable to flee the planet found as little mercy at the hands of the Matari as they had shown their erstwhile slaves. The Amarr occupation fleet was driven out of Pator in some disarray, the shock of the defeat at Vak’Atioth seemingly deeply demoralizing the Amarr military. This pattern was repeated in most of the systems previously controlled by the old Minmatar Empire and many others besides in the coming months and years.
The Amarr only stabilized the situation in the end by establishing and massively bolstering the Ammatar Mandate—a puppet state nominally ruled by the Nefantar, a Minmatar tribe that had always collaborated with the Amarr and fled with them from the wrath of the free tribes during the rebellion. By this time the free Matari had consolidated their hold over a considerable number of systems, giving them a firm base on which to establish a new nation: the Minmatar Republic.
Battle of Pator
With the signal to rise against the Amarr given in BYC20, the leaders of the Great Rebellion knew that the urgent priority was to liberate Pator and the home world of Matar. All rebel forces concentrated for an assault on Pator, while the resistance active on the inhabited worlds of Pator prepared their people for a mass uprising.
As the uprising began, the Amarr occupation forces were taken by surprise both on the ground and in space. Complacent after long years without any mass rebellions, a deliberate policy of the Minmatar resistance aimed at preparing for the right moment, the Amarr had become overconfident and assumed the Minmatar had become compliant.
Many fleets of Minmatar ships were committed to the Battle of Pator, with hundreds of frigate-style vessels, dozens of cruisers, and as many precious battleships as the rebels had managed to construct at their secret bases thrown into the fight. Other fleets struck simultaneously at key systems all across the Heimatar region, seeking to cause as much widespread havoc for the Amarr as possible so as to prevent the formidable Imperial Navy from concentrating in response. Uprisings were also launched by the resistance on as many worlds as possible, with light detachments of rebel ships dropping arms and equipment wherever needed.
The Amarr forces in Pator were in complete disarray owing to the sudden and complete nature of the uprising and the unprecedented rebel assault in space. When word of the attacks and uprisings across Heimatar was received, the situation approached near panic. The shock of the defeat at Vak'Atioth was fresh in the minds of all fleet commanders and generals of the Imperial forces, and it was known that reinforcements would not be forthcoming due to the preparations for a second attempt on the Jove Empire.
The key engagement took place in orbit of Matar, where the Imperial Navy guard fleet was the primary target. In a desperate, pitched battle the Amarr vessels were destroyed as they sought to hold while overwhelmed with battle reports and news from across the region. Outnumbered on the ground and in space, the remaining Amarr forces in Pator were either destroyed or forced into a flight to more secure strongholds scattered across the Derelik and Metropolis regions. The Battle of Pator was a stunning first success for the rebels, with their victories far exceeding their losses.
Battle of the Golgothan Fields
A few weeks after the start of the rebellion in BYC20, the Minmatar met with the Amarr in a fierce battle. The seriousness of the rebellion had led Emperor Heideran VII to cancel the plans to attack the Jove again. The main Amarr battle fleet assembling for this attack had returned, moving down from Geminate through Metropolis, and intending to head to Heimatar via Molden Heath. There the Amarr planned to break the power of the rebels once and for all by sweeping through their core systems. The Minmatar had been anticipating that this fleet would return and had set scouts to watch the likely approaches. Seeing the fleet returning through the pipe to Molden Heath, the rebels drew their fleets to Ennur to head off the Amarr forces.
The Minmatar rebel forces met the Amarr with everything they had in Ennur system, starting a fierce battle that lasted for hours. In the end the Minmatar were compelled to withdraw but not before dealing heavy casualties to the Amarr forces. The Amarr Empire claimed this as a victory and continued to wage a campaign to crush the rebellion and recover the lost territories. However, in truth the Amarr had lost many capital ships in the battle. The Imperial Navy force allocated to the campaign was thus left with considerably reduced offensive power in the frontlines of their attempt to defeat the Great Rebellion.
Until the appalling destruction of the Battle of Iyen-Oursta during the Caldari-Gallente War, what became known as the Battle of the Golgothan Fields was the second-largest battle in known history after the Amarr disaster at Vak'Atioth.
Siege of Lord Bastion
A formidable space fortress was built by Lord Basad, the governer of the Ani constellation in early BYC19, to hold off the rebel forces. This fortress stood for two months in orbit of Hjoramold XII, in the then home system of the Nefantar Tribe collaborators. The ruins of "Lord Bastion" act as a reminder of both the cruelty of the Amarr and the spirit of the Minmatar.
The Amarr had always been spread too thin, and with their defeat at the hands of the Jove, they were completely unprepared for the passion of the Minmatar people. However, despite the extreme success of the Rebellion in the vast majority of places, the Amarr still maintained a heavy superiority in space. Even when the Minmatar forces had taken Hek, it was still relatively easy for the Amarr to move their fleet around, and they answered the Nefantar plea for help by sending significant forces, including a capital ship, the TES Reclamation.
Initially the Amarr force swept aside whole squadrons of rebel ships, and the governor of Ani at the time, Lord Basad, used the brief respite granted by the Reclamation's arrival to construct his formidable fortress in orbit around Hjoramold XII. However, a rebel double agent lured the Nefantar tribal leader to a remote location in the Uriok system and assassinated him. This act caused a massive up-swing in disruptive acts among those slaves still held in bondage, and mere days later a saboteur succeeded in destroying the TES Reclamation in the Traun system.
With the threat of the capital ship gone, the rebel fleet turned back towards Hjoramold. The bulk of the Amarr Fleet had been forced to pull back to quell riots closer to home, and the Ani constellation was now completely cut off now from the rest of the Empire. The Nefantar prepared to evacuate. Dismantling monuments and relics, the Nefantar packed them up and, avoiding the jump gates, snuck them out of the system along with the remnants of the Starkmanir tribe. The fort constructed by Lord Basad came to be known as "Lord Bastion" during its valiant two month stand against the invading rebel forces. When it finally fell, the last of the Nefantar that were able to left Ani for good.
Escape from Auner
The Battle of Auner took place in BYC19, after a hidden Minmatar base was discovered and attacked by Imperial forces. The heroic defenders succeeded in holding off the Imperial Navy long enough for the rebels to wipe the base computers and evacuate, preventing the discovery of important upcoming raid targets and the capture of several high-ranking rebel leaders.
When a detachment of frigates from the legendary "Vherakh's Raiders" responded to a coded distress signal near Auner VIII in early BYC19, they arrived to find a hidden rebel base besieged by an overwhelming force of frigates and cruisers from the elite Amarr 7th Fleet. Their goal became immediately clear: hold off the Imperial reinforcements long enough for the staff inside the base to remove any valuable intelligence and evacuate towards the relative safety of the Barvigrard constellation.
Vherakh's Raiders fought their way to the base and prepared to escort an evacuation flight. As the evacuation transports signaled that they were almost ready to undock, the hulking form of an Imperial Navy Prophecy-class battlecruiser exited warp within weapons range of the outpost. The only way to clear a safe window for the evacuation ships would be for the raiders to somehow destroy this powerful warship. After a pitched battle, in which many of the Raiders sold their lives dearly, the rebels managed to destroy the battlecruiser.
As the enemy warship began to explode, the evacuation transports took the opportunity to undock and warp to safety before the Imperial Forces regrouped. Had the raiders not been successful in holding off the Imperial Navy, the capture of this Auner base might have provided the Amarr 7th fleet with advance intelligence about several planned raids. The successful evacuation also enabled several important leaders of the Rebellion to escape capture, including Clan Chiefs Idrald Rutuver and Jongar Evingod. This battle cemented the reputation of Vherakh's Raiders as one of the truly elite units of the Great Rebellion and is considered by many historians to be a key inflection point in the conflict.
The Mahti Jailbreak of BYC18 was a daring raid that freed many rebels who would go on to be key figures in the fight for freedom.
The Mahti Jailbreak was one of the most daring operations of the Great Rebellion. In BYC18, the maximum security Imperial detention facility in Mahti held numerous Minmatar prisoners who had been arrested for leading local slave rebellions on worlds across the Derelik region. In order to free these rebel leaders, a plan was hatched that involved a small group of elite Valklear warriors intentionally allowing themselves to be captured and brought to Mahti. These warriors then began a coordinated prison riot at a pre-arranged time just as a detachment of stealthy Thukker Tribe attack ships slipped across Imperial battle lines from Great Wildlands and started fighting their way into the prison complex.
As the Thukker forces entered the maximum security pocket of the prison complex, the Valklears inside the prison stations took advantage of the distraction to seize control of several levels and begin freeing many of their compatriots. Although the chaos inside the prison slowed the scrambling of defensive ships, the Imperial forces were able to undock a deadly Prophecy-class battlecruiser to face the attacking Thukker vessels.
Despite the presence of a Prophecy, a proven warhorse of the Imperial Navy that approached battleship levels of potency, the Thukker strike team cleared the field of Imperial forces. The escaping prisoners undocked with hijacked Amarr transport ships and took the opportunity to warp to safety before Imperial reinforcements could arrive.
The Mahti jailbreak is widely cited as one of the most notable operations of the Great Rebellion, as numerous freed prisoners went on to serve with distinction in the late rebellion and the early Republic era. The list of rebels freed in this raid includes early parliamentary leaders Okell Waturger and Anniber Darine, as well as future Admiral Stelrakur Allsvert (grandfather of the modern head of the Republic Security Services).
Battle of Fort Kavad
Named after an ancient lord of the Ardishapur Family, Fort Kavad sat at the center of the Ortner Redoubt, the last major toehold of the Amarr Empire in Minmatar space at the end of the Great Rebellion. The position guarded the core of the Ammatar Mandate the Amarr had set up as a defensive buffer but more critically was within striking distance of the Minmatar heartlands.
Despite the chaos that the Great Rebellion had sowed across the Empire for several years, many Amarr lords were unwilling to settle for defeat at the hands of their erstwhile slaves. In BYC17, a militant faction at the Imperial Court promoted a plan to use Fort Kavad as a springboard for a counter-offensive that would regain the lost territories. A demoralized and confused Emperor Heideran VII, possibly afflicted by an attack of the Turit Disease he suffered with, allowed the militants to proceed with their plan.
As Amarr forces built up at Fort Kavad, the Minmatar became aware of the plan and knew that an opportunity to strike a decisive blow was at hand. The Battle of the Golgothan Fields had robbed the Amarr of much of their capital ship strength, forcing them to concentrate battleship squadrons at Fort Kavad. Minmatar rebel forces from across their hard-won territories assembled and launched a pre-emptive strike in numbers that would overwhelm the defenses of Fort Kavad and catch the assembling Amarr fleets by surprise.
With Fort Kavad's defenses crippled and entire battleship squadrons destroyed or disabled, the Amarr were in disarray but refused to retreat knowing well the penalty they would face at the hands of their fanatical lords. Many commanders launched suicidal counter-attacks and some broke past the Minmatar assault in an apparent attempt to mount the counter-offensive they had planned. At high cost in ships, including precious battleships, the Minmatar prevailed and wiped out the scattered Amarr taskforce.
The news of the defeat at Fort Kavad roused Emperor Heideran's erratic anger and the militant faction at court suffered accordingly for their fatal underestimation of the Minmatar. Once the Emperor had seen to the security of the Ammatar Mandate, he once again lapsed into seclusion, having ordered no further military adventures on pain of death and the enslavement of all relatives of any lord foolish enough to defy the orders.
For the Minmatar, the Battle of Fort Kavad was a famous victory that eliminated the danger of a counter-offensive by the Amarr Empire. In the relative peace the Minmatar fighters had bought with their blood, the Minmatar Republic was established and its defenses secured. Amarr warlords knew better than to openly defy the Emperor's peace but inevitably the means for militant Amarr and Minmatar to strike at one another was found in the bitter Vindication Wars that would be fought through and against the puppet state of the Ammatar Mandate.
The sudden uprising also led the Amarr to hastily make peace with the Jove, and to allow the Order of St. Tetrimon to return to the Empire in order to help battle the Minmatar rebels. The Order's uniquely colored ships were feared by the Republic commanders.