Modern Era of the Amarr Empire, part 2
On June 10th YC110, a mysterious Minmatar-Thukker Armada appeared in Yulai outside the CONCORD headquarters. Shortly after, the fleet opened fire on the CONCORD station, quickly destroying and eliminating CONCORD's rapid response capability across the cluster.
Soon after, a similar fleet invaded the Ammatar Mandate, running roughshod over unprepared Ammatar Fleet ships. A Ragnarok-class titan soon jumped into Jarizza and led an assault on the sixth planet, where Starkmanir slaves had been discovered weeks prior. The Ammatar Governor, Ana Utulf, then appeared on broadcasts urging the Ammatar to defect to the Republic.
Moments later, a second armada appeared within the Amarr Empire itself, beginning in the Kor-Azor region. The Imperial Navy, already in disarray following the reassignment of the 7th Fleet, was unable to immediately respond, leaving the Kor-Azor Family fleet to attempt a futile defense of the region. The armada crippled a Ministry of War station, taking down critical Imperial Navy communication networks across the region. A third armada appeared in Domain and began to release Insorum over planets, causing the large slave populations to revolt against their masters. The Imperial Navy began to group in Sarum Prime, where fighting had grown heaviest. Soon after, the Minmatar-Thukker armadas were confirmed as being under command of the Minmatar Elders, the legendary ancient leaders of the seven Minmatar tribes.
After hours of fighting over Mekhios in Sarum Prime, the Imperial Navy suddenly withdrew, leading to speculation that the Navy was abandoning Domain to regroup in Kor-Azor. However, minutes later, Jamyl Sarum, the presumed deceased Sarum Family Heir, was spotted over Mekhios, piloting an Abaddon with an escort of twelve battleships. Almost immediately, a massive explosion occurred over Mekhios, knocking out camera drones and disrupting communications from the field. Once communication was restored, it was confirmed that the Elder Fleet over Mekhios had been somehow destroyed, though Jamyl Sarum's ships were nowhere to be seen.
Once news of the destruction of the armada spread, the other two operating in Derelik and Kor-Azor immediately began withdrawing. The Imperial Navy gave pursuit, headed by Jamyl Sarum. The Navy chased the Elder Fleet to the Bleak Lands, destroying countless ships along the way, when they were met by the remnants of the Defiants fleet. The Defiants brought their full force onto the field, including the stolen Hel, but they were shortly overwhelmed by the Amarr Navy. Their action gave the retreating Elders critical time to reach the Republic border, where Jamyl halted her pursuit.
As CONCORD restored its rapid response capability, all space-based fighting came to a sudden halt. With the Elder Fleet routed, those slaves who had been exposed to Insorum but not evacuated in time were recaptured or executed by resurgent Amarr forces.
Empire at War
Soon after the fighting had come to a halt, representatives of all four empires met with CONCORD to sign into being the CONCORD Emergency Militia War Powers Act, authorizing the formation of capsuleer militias to engage in warfare on behalf of the empires. The Amarr Empire officially declared war on the Minmatar Republic for their role in harboring the Elders and created the 24th Imperial Crusade to act as the capsuleer auxilliary on their behalf. The Crusade began its mission by securing the Bleak Lands.
Early results were poor, however, as the Crusade was pushed out of the Bleak Lands, prompting the Theology Council to issue a recall of valuable artifacts. The tide began to turn after Crusade command issued a priority task for the capsuleers; recapturing Huola so they could extricate a downed Ammatar scientist who was fleeing from the Republic. After several days of fighting, the system was reclaimed and the scientist rescued.
When an Ardishapur-sponsored archeological dig uncovered the remains of an Amarr saint in the Tribal Liberation Force-held system of Kourmonen, Yonis Ardishapur requested the Crusade capture and hold the system.
Several months later, Uriam Kador attempted to call on the Crusade in a similar way, requesting they take control of Aset to recover an ancient artifact of strategic value to the Empire. However, the call faltered following Kador's Folly.
Regardless, the Crusade managed to reclaim the entirety of the Bleak Lands by the 13th of November.
The Crusade was then sponsored into the 6th Alliance Tournament by Merimeth Sarum, the nephew of Jamyl and her chosen heir. The team acquitted itself well, but was eliminated in the preliminaries.
Return and Coronation of Jamyl Sarum
Jamyl Sarum's unexpected return sent a shockwave throughout the Empire. Nobles and commoners alike reacted with a confused mix of elation and fear, as Jamyl's presence seemed to indicate she had either violated the Shathol'Syn ritual or the doctrine of Sacred Flesh. Chamberlain Karsoth disappeared in the aftermath of the invasion, as the Ministry of Internal Order called for his capture.
Catiz Tash-Murkon, Yonis Ardishapur, Uriam Kador, and a representative of the convalescing Aritcio Kor-Azor met with Jamyl Sarum in the Imperial Palace at Dam-Torsad. Though Yonis denounced her as a heretic, the other three recognized that she had proven the savior of the Empire. When Jamyl announced her intention to claim the throne, only Yonis spoke against it. The other three did not wish to risk turning the populace against them and were still loathe to engage in Succession Trials, despite their public discussions about it the year before.
Once again standing alone, Yonis had no choice but to capitulate. The other heirs selected him to announce their decision publicly, since, as the most religious of the group, his words carried the most weight in confirming Jamyl's legitimacy. In a public statement, he nominated Jamyl Sarum for the throne ahead of any other heir, bypassing the Succession Trials.
In order to carry forth the Imperial Succession, the heirs and Theology Council laid the choice for selecting an interim Court Chamberlain at the feet of Aritcio Kor-Azor. Aritcio nominated Lord Hemirin, a former member of his father's imperial court, as the Chamberlain. Soon after accepting the posting, Chamberlain Hemirin officially petitioned the Theology Council to approve Jamyl Sarum's unusual nomination and bypass the trials.
After several days of deliberation, the Theology Council confirmed the nomination and named Jamyl Empress-elect. In confirming the nomination, it declared that Jamyl had violated neither Shathol'Syn nor Sacred Flesh, instead insisting that she had returned by “divine intervention” to lead the Empire out of its time of darkness. While some questioned the legitimacy of Jamyl and the Theology Council's claims, the populace at large accepted the words at face value.
The coronation was planned for September 26th, but was forced to be postponed. The reasoning behind it was unknown, but a series of ill omens and the possibility of an assassination attempt were both rumored as the cause.
The coronation was successfully held on October 3rd. Jamyl was escorted to Amarr Prime by a large contingent of the Amarr Navy, including numerous Avatar-class titans. She traveled to the St. Kuria the Prophet Cathedral, where she was crowned Empress Jamyl I by acting Court Chamberlain Hemirin. In a powerful speech, she declared the return of the Reclaiming and called on those of the faith to stand loyally by her side to help the Empire recover from “the excesses of a misguided path.” She finally vowed to return what others gave to the Empire, seemingly a pointed statement toward the Heirs.
Among her first acts as Empress were to name her nephew, Merimeth Sarum, the new Sarum Family Heir and appoint Pomik Haromi, the Sarum House Steward, as the new Court Chamberlain.
Amidst the cluster-wide turmoil, the Tash-Murkon region was alone in seeing its fortunes rise. While Domain and the Kor-Azor region suffered heavy damage in the Elder invasion, the Tash-Murkon region was left alone. Catiz Tash-Murkon, the royal heir, levied the stability in her region to attract investments and businesses, providing an economic upswing despite the instability in other markets.
The Tash-Murkon fleet won praise when it managed to save a Khanid convoy from Minmatar terrorists as they passed through a lightly-defended Ardishapur system. Yonis Ardishapur thanked the patrol for saving the Khanid, though he criticized the Tash-Murkon fleet for not being more forthcoming with their flight plans. The Kingdom, however, honored the members of the rescue fleet by presenting them with medals. The action drew the two regions closer in friendship.
Meanwhile, Catiz met with members of the Theology Council and toured numerous holy sites with ranking justices. Speculation rose that Catiz wished to petition the Theology Council to elevate Artrus Arkkon, a venerated religious advisor of the founders of the Tash-Murkon Family, to sainthood.
Following this meeting, Catiz traveled to meet with the Kador Family personally, the first such meeting since the death of Doriam II. However, following Uriam Kador's disastrous invasion of the Gallente Federation region of Solitude, Catiz cut her visit short and returned to Tash-Murkon Prime under heavy security. Fearing possible retaliation from the Federation, she placed her own family's fleet on high alert.
Soon after, Catiz met with a delegation from another tech company, Khanid Innovations. Following this, the Caldari State sent a trade mission to both the Kingdom and Tash-Murkon, financially tying the three even closer together.
Despite posting gains in the Tash-Murkon region, the Carthum Conglomerate posted an overall dip in profits throughout the Empire. The losses were blamed on the spreading war with the Minmatar Republic. In order to shore up its finances, the Conglomerate sought outside investors in the company. It specifically met with Caldari Funds Unlimited and the Tash-Murkon Family, though it made no official moves.
Eventually, the Tash-Murkon Family purchased a major stake in the company after other apparent opportunities fell through.
Caldari-Amarr Economic Stimulus Agreement
On unusually short notice, Catiz requested and was granted an audience with high ranking officials in the Imperial Chancellery. The meeting was reportedly to discuss a matter of great financial interest to the Empire. The result was the creation of the Caldari-Amarr Economic Stimulus Agreement, a massive investment package sending trillions of ISK to the State. The agreement had been mostly brokered by Catiz herself as a method of strengthening ties with the State and assisting the Caldari in recovering from the previous year's economic downturn.
Soon after the beginning of the war, an archeological team sponsored by the Ardishapur Family managed to escape from the war-torn Bleak Lands with news of a potentially important discovery. They presented their findings to Hedion University, proclaiming the discovery of the resting place of St. Aman, an early saint who had laid the foundation for many Amarr religious principles. However, the site was within the Kourmonen system, which at the time was occupied by the Tribal Liberation Force, preventing their recovery. In response, Yonis called for the Crusade to retake the system so the remains could be excavated and safely transported to safety.
The call was successful, leading the Crusade to fully recapture the Bleak Lands. The bones of St. Aman were then safely transported to Dabka within the Ardishapur realm, where they were to be interred inside a cathedral specially constructed as part of the Ardishapur Public Works Program. To reward the pilots who had fought to recover the bones, Yonis personally issue medals of commendation to those who had been most involved in capturing Kourmonen.
Public Works Program
In response to Jamyl Sarum's coronation speech, Yonis Ardishapur announced that he would begin a massive public works program within his domains. He planned to invest massive amounts of ISK in the construction of hundreds of schools, churches, and monuments. Initial signs were strong, as millions were employed to assist the slave labor in the construction effort.
However, not everything went smoothly with the heir. One of his choices to head up a new school was Derak Tanar, an extremely conservative theologian who had been an outspoken critic of the Tash-Murkon Family and others of not-pure True Amarr blood. Three years prior, he had given a lecture advocating the revocation of all titles and freedoms from non-True Amarr citizens within the Empire. Yonis brushed off the criticism, responding that he had selected Tanar based solely on his administrative skills rather than his social views.
Even with this minor blemish, Ardishapur's public works program had improved conditions in his domains by leaps and bounds.
Showing the first positive application of her promise to return what was given, Empress Jamyl I granted the leaderless Ammatar Mandate to the Ardishapur Family to govern. While the Mandate had long been overseen by an Amarr governor, the most recent had been of Ammatar birth and defected following the Elder Invasion, leaving the Mandate in a state of disarray.
As part of his takeover, Ardishapur began appointing lesser Holders and nobles to positions in the Mandate. As the Holders were unlanded or held lesser station, the moves did not seriously impact the stability of his core domain.
Aritcio Kor-Azor's encounter with Brother Joshua left him a changed man, epitomized when he announced a day of amnesty within his domains. He publicly pardoned numerous criminals who had been convicted of non-violent or minorly blasphemous crimes.
Following that, he began to travel throughout his domain, investigating cases of hardship and injustice among the common people. On occasion, he intervened directly in planetary politics, taking sometimes drastic measures to ensure that his subjects would live in peace and prosperity. His closest advisors came to greatly respect him for his convictions.
Next, the suddenly popular heir announced an incentivized settlement plan for veterans of the Amarr armed forces who wished to settle in the Kor-Azor region. The package, which included low-interest loans and tax breaks, was aimed at bringing competent and respectable individuals to the less-developed areas of the Kor-Azor domain.
Aritcio's transformation was so complete that Empress Jamyl I decided to appoint him to the post of Imperial Chancellor. The heir was extremely pleased to be chosen for the prestigious post.
On November 7th, approximately 200 Amarr warships suddenly began passing through the Tash-Murkon region. The nature of the fleet was unknown, and the Tash-Murkon Family denied knowledge of its purpose, leading many to believe it was on a top-secret training exercise. The next day, the same fleet was spotted moving through Aridia, toward the Gallente Federation border.
Later that day, the fleet shockingly crossed the border into Solitude under the orders of Uriam Kador. The fleet was soon confirmed to be unattached to the Imperial Navy, but rather the Kador Family Fleet, as it began to assault the Ratilose system inside Federation territory. Heavy fighting broke out with casualties on both sides as the Imperial Navy denied knowledge of the Kador Fleet's purpose.
The Kador forces soon became overwhelmed by the superior Federation Navy, which outnumbered and outgunned them. The Federation jumped an Erebus-class titan into the system and unleashed its doomsday device on the unprepared Kador fleet, destroying the majority of the lighter ships and forcing the more well-armored vessels into full retreat. As the few survivors began fleeing to Aridia, the Federation Navy vowed to give chase and capture and destroy them.
The attack, coming from an heir who had previously shown positive feelings toward the Federation, baffled experts on both sides. In response, Jamyl Sarum confiscated the remains of the Kador Family fleet, handing it over to the Ministry of War who integrated it into the 7th Fleet. Additionally, she placed Uriam under observance by the Ministry of Internal Order to ensure the Kador Family acted in accordance with Imperial law.
A week later, Federation Navy ships crossed into the Amarr Empire through Aridia. The Imperial Navy allowed the ships to travel unmolested, though they scrambled and followed the foreign fleet. The Federation ships eventually made their way to Kador Prime, where they began assaulting several Kador stations. The Amarr Navy continued to remain passive, sitting on standby three systems away while private ships aligned with the Kador Family engaged the invaders. The intense fighting ended almost as soon as it began, with the Federation fleet withdrawing suddenly.
It was eventually revealed that a traitorous admiral wanted for crimes against the Federation was being harbored by Uriam Kador. The strike was carried out to retrieve the admiral, a mission that was successful. Considering the lack of retaliation by the Amarr Navy, it was widely assumed that Empress Jamyl I gave permission for the Federation actions.
The failed invasion seriously impacted Uriam and the Kador Family, as his relations with the other heirs became heavily strained as they attempted to distance themselves from him. His Family has yet to fully recover from the fallout.
Karsoth's Capture and Execution
Shortly after Dochuta Karsoth's disappearance, the Empress and investigators for the Theology Council discovered that the former Chamberlain had long been cavorting with the Blood Raiders. The Empress made mention of Karsoth's treachery in her coronation speech and subsequently vowed to have him brought to justice.
In late December YC110, the Khanid Kingdom began assaulting numerous Blood Raider targets within their borders. The scope of the attack was larger even than the Empire's ejection of the Cartel from the Bleak Lands, leading many to wonder at the purpose. Though the Kingdom insisted the attacks were simply an effort to stem the spread of heresy, days after the offensive, the Empire announced that the Kingdom had captured Dochuta Karsoth and turned him over to Imperial authorities.
Karsoth was executed quietly by private order of Empress Jamyl I.
Jamyl's Emancipation Decree
On December 25th, YC110, Empress Jamyl I shocked the cluster when she emancipated a large number of Minmatar slaves. Declaring that she had been instructed by God to release them as the cluster moved into a “new age of light and reason”. The decree extended to all slaves within the Empire who were of Minmatar heritage and were of ninth-generation or greater (counted from the most recently enslaved ancestor) or worked in scholarly fields. While exact numbers were hard to come by, experts anticipated between six and seven hundred million Minmatar were being freed.
Foreign experts disagreed about the impact the emancipation would have on the economic and manufacturing security of the Empire. While some feared the lost workforce and intelligentsia would be difficult to replace, others felt many of those high-generation slaves would be unlikely to leave the Empire.
Slaves across the Empire rejoiced at the news, especially among those areas with high numbers of high-generation slaves such as Torsad-Laur. In some areas, slaves who were not covered by the emancipation decree engaged in minor rioting, but due to the empress's foresight, they were mostly contained.
The reaction around the cluster was mostly one of stunned approval. InterBus immediately offered to provide free transportation to any freed slave, despite the financial cost. The Caldari Provists, fresh on the heels of receiving the CAESA aid, announced plans to provide job training who remained inside the Empire. Within the Federation, opinions were split. While many were overjoyed at the freeing of so many, others worried that the emancipation would lead to an influx in refugees.
Sanmatar Maleatu Shakor, speaking at a ceremony to commemorate the first million slaves returning to the Republic, welcomed them home. At the same time, however, he warned that the emancipation could not be taken at face value, claiming it was simply another act of “the treachery we have come to expect from the Amarr.” He continued to condemn the Empire for the billions of slaves still kept in servitude.
Inside the Empire, reactions were much more sharply divided. While the majority of Holders complied with Jamyl's decree, certain groups did not. The main agitators were Holders from outlying regions, particularly in Aridia and Genesis. These Holders believed Scripture prohibited the empress from making such a decree and appealed to both the Theology Council and Speakers of Truth for intervention. Chancellor Kor-Azor pledged to ensure the decree was carried out, activating the Kor-Azor fleet to enforce the mandate. The Theology Council condemned the Holders, who came to be known as Refusards, while the Speakers declined to get involved. Several of the Aridia Holders continued to be defiant. With no choice but to utilize force, Chancellor Kor-Azor ordered his family fleet to directly engage the Refusards, ultimately freeing roughly fifteen million qualified slaves.
Not all slavers were as overt in their attempts to defy the edict, however. Ardash Korta, an Ardishapur vassal, attempted to alter records to keep nearly one hundred thousand slaves. His fraud was detected by the Ministry of Internal Order and Korta was stripped of all ranks and titles and enslaved for his behavior.
The fates of the emancipated slaves were various. Many simply remained in the Empire, enjoying their new found freedom as citizens. Others abandoned the religious teachings and Amarr ways in favor of immigrating to the Republic and attempting to reintegrate into tribal customs.
Unlike many other freed slaves, a cleric named Abel Jarek made public plans to begin a “Salvation Crusade” to the Republic. Jarek, a former slave who served as a cleric for the Amarr faith, had served under the Sarum Family for decades, and called for righteous Minmatar to join him on his quest. In all, 214 former slaves joined Jarek on his mission. After making a circuit of the Throne Worlds to gather additional followers, Jarek made plans to cross into the Republic through the Bleak Lands despite the danger.
When the transport crossed into the low-security border systems in Heimatar, hostile Minmatar ships interdicted them and attempted to force them to return to the Empire. However, crisis was averted when mercenaries hired by Jarek descended upon the scene and forced the attackers off. The group then safely made it to Pator, where they established a makeshift camp inside a refugee zone. As the crusaders exploited Republic law granting citizenship to any former Minmatar slaves, the group was allowed to settle without official reprisal.
Despite their legal rights, many other refugees were unhappy with the presence of the proselytizing crusaders. Tensions eventually boiled over as their compound was stormed by rioters who burned down the recently completed Amarr chapel. Dozens were injured, though no deaths were reported. Despite the attack, Jarek vowed to continue his work.
Even with the setback, the crusade managed to gain some converts. Rather than rebuild the chapel, Jarek believed the attack was a sign from God, and began preaching in the open air. Eventually, however, mounting pressure caused the crusade to move out of the refugee camps into a sparsely inhabited and remote Tronhadar valley on Matar. Jarek refused to refer to the move as a defeat, stating plans to continue sending missionaries into the camps.
The withdrawal did not prove sufficient, however, as Jarek was murdered by unknown attackers. The Republic promised a swift and thorough investigation, but anonymous law enforcement sources claimed it would be unlikely the perpetrators would ever be identified. The Salvation Crusade began to become less obtrusive as a result.
Following the CAESA investment package from the Empire to the State, the Amarr mining corporation Ducia Foundry was able to secure a large loan from the State and Region Bank to allow it to expand its operations within the State. Despite the benefits of the loan to Ducia, many Amarr were unhappy that the money being given to the State was essentially being loaned back to the Amarr to make a profit. The Foundry's competitors in the State were similarly displeased, believing the funds should have went to Caldari corporations.
At the end of December, YC111, a Deep Core Mining team became trapped in an asteroid after a cave-in. Ducia Foundry, possessing several teams experienced in extracting trapped miners, offered their assistance in the matter. However, because the primary team was composed of slaves, which are illegal in the Caldari State, DCM was forced to turn their offer down. CDB Corporation, the owners of Deep Core Mining, came under intense scrutiny for their seeming inaction, with many outsiders pressuring them to organize some sort of rescue attempt. The situation caused intense debate within the State over the regulations that prevented the slave team from assisting. Eventually, a compromise was offered by Holder Ashzar Freimala, who proposed to purchase and free the slaves after the operation was carried out. However, this was initially refused, as the rescuers would still be slaves at the time of their entry into Caldari space.
With the trapped miners running out of oxygen, the Ducia Foundry team snuck into Caldari space and performed the rescue operation. The survivors were safely extracted in secrecy, with CDB, Deep Core Mining, and Ducia Foundry being tight-lipped on the disposition of the slaves involved in the team.
Transcranial Microcontrollers Controversy
In July YC111, a Holder in the Tash-Murkon region accused his neighbor of heresy for utilizing transcranial microcontrollers to control his slave population. The small chips, which were implanted in the brain stems of slaves, kept them docile by convincing the slaves they were not actually enslaved. The Holder claimed this violated Scriptures by preventing slaves from learning from their enslavement. The charges spread a debate throughout the Empire, with many more conservative Holders objecting to their usage, with more liberal groups proposing the chips were the wave of the future. Eventually, numerous Holders banned their usage. Despite requests, the Theology Council refused to hear any cases regarding the controllers and instead issued a statement neither approving nor condemning them.
Eventually, the Holder who had first brought the issue to light decided to move to the Ammatar Mandate and pledged his loyalty to Yonis Ardishapur.
On May 26th, YC111, the Khanid Royal 1st Fleet, the personal escorts of King Khanid II, crossed into Imperial space. The fleet was immediately met by ships from the Amarr Navy, which took up escort positions. The group traveled to Tash-Murkon Prime, where Khanid II met personally with Catiz Tash-Murkon. They revealed that the meeting was planned and that it was the beginning of a “new era for the Amarr Empire.” The two held closed-door meetings for several days, before the king departed for Amarr Prime where he was met personally by Empress Jamyl I. The meeting was the first between the two heads of state and the first time Khanid II had set foot on Amarr Prime since his rebellion.
After several days of meetings between the empress and king, the five heirs were called to a full Privy Council meeting. This meeting also extended over several days, interrupted only by the sudden departure of Yonis Ardishapur, who left his nephew Arim behind to act in his stead.
On June 7th, Jamyl I made yet another historic announcement, officially granting the Khanid Kingdom a full seat on the Privy Council. Given partially in return for the Kingdom's assistance in capturing Dochuta Karsoth, the Kingdom in turn agreed to acknowledge Jamyl I as the empress of all Amarr. The Kingdom remained independent, but entered into a mutual defense pact with the Empire.
The Amarr Empire was spared from the destruction caused by the simultaneous stellar catastrophes that struck New Eden on March 10, YC111. One of the many Amarr cults believed the disaster which struck Seyllin to be divine judgment. In response to the horror, Imperial Chancellor Aritcio Kor-Azor offered the Empire's assistance and aid in recovery, though by the time the news reached the Federation, it was too late for the Empire to provide immediate assistance.
Once the initial smoke had cleared from the Seyllin disaster, CONCORD announced that hundreds, if not more, of wormholes had begun forming throughout New Eden. The wormholes were structurally sound enough to traverse, though CONCORD was unaware of where the led and could not guarantee the safety of any who entered them.
Early explorers of the wormholes produced some vivid images, including some that caused Sani Sabik adherents within the Empire to emerge in a worshipful stupor. When encountered, the Empire arrested these heretics as per Imperial doctrine.
The Amarr Navy planned to launch exploratory expeditions into the wormholes and reactivated the defunct 51st Exploration Corps to lead the way. However, after encountering the Sleeper drones, the Navy decided to pull out. It decided the Sleepers posed little threat to the Empire, but urged capsuleers to continue exploring wormhole space.
Fear and Calm
On the morning of March 25, YC112, a Ministry of War station in Pashanai was devastated by an explosion that tore through several decks. In response, the Amarr Navy redeployed along the Republic border. While the cause of the explosion was initially unclear, the Empire was shaken when it was revealed that the head of the Theology Council, Mervan Moritok, had been onboard the station during the explosion and was missing. Shortly after slave teams moved in to begin clearing pathways, Moritok's body was recovered and he was confirmed as among the 6000 estimated dead.
Yonis Ardishapur issued a public message of comfort and sent his personal fleet to assist with the relief effort. Soon after, the terrorist organization the Bloody Hands of Matar claimed responsibility for the attack.
In a shocking turn, it was revealed that Empress Jamyl I was meant to be on the station meeting with Mervan Moritok during the explosion, but had canceled the meeting at the last minute. Some believed that the Empress had been the actual target of the attack.
Ardishapur Speaking Tour
Following his successful reinvigoration of the Ammatar Mandate and his strong actions following the Pashanai bombing, Yonis Ardishapur announced that he would begin a speaking tour across the Empire. The tour, originally intended to cover thirty engagements, had no admission fee and offered the chance for many commoners to get their first public glimpse of an heir. The first event was held in Dam-Torsad in front of an audience of roughly 1000. During the hour-long speech, Yonis spoke of his views on religion, the Empire, and the role of all peoples in its future. Subsequent engagements rapidly gained in popularity, with many being turned away for lack of space. The positive reception encouraged Yonis to announce a second round of dates to be held at larger venues.
While touring through his own domains, Ardishapur held public court for his subjects. Normally reserved for the airing of Holder grievances, Yonis allowed all segments of society to bring forth issues for him to offer judgment upon. As his speaking tour grew to new heights, it seemed the heir was heading for trouble when rumors leaked that he also began holding the courts in systems not under his jurisdiction. The Heir downplayed the incident, saying he merely offered suggestions to resolve a feud.
The tour led to a massive surge in popularity for the Heir. Supports began to organize and made calls for him to be granted some additional measure of authority within the Empire, particularly some form of judicial oversight given the success of his open courts. Yonis diplomatically reminded his supporters that only the Empress herself had the power to make any such decision about his place in the Empire.
A renowned Amarr composer, Khitian Maritak, composed a choral for Empress Jamyl I titled “Sarum Symphony” and announced plans to hold it in the Grand Nave of the Basilica of Saint Nhyron on Mekhios. The choice of venue led to mild criticism, as Saint Nhyron was known to have been an opponent of the Sarum Family. The composer downplayed the connection, however, claiming she selected the venue for its acoustic properties.
The Empress attended the performance, which was described as “breathtaking” by attendees. While there were concerns the event would be marred by security concerns, the event went off without a hitch.
Sansha's Nation unexpectedly sprung back to life in May YC112. Ships belonging to the Nation began raiding systems across the cluster, entering through unstable wormholes, abducting citizens from inhabited planets, and then retreating through the wormholes. In the first few days, the Nation hit three Amarr systems; Ashab, Niarja, and Kamela and succeeded in abducting 150,000 people before being driven off by capsuleers. The Amarr Navy commander in Kamela ordered those assisting him to turn on the Republic Fleet ships who had been aiding in defense of the system once the Sansha had been driven off. It also invaded Penirgman, though without utilizing dropships, leading many to believe it was merely a feint intended to draw off defense from other areas.
Following the discovery of a Sansha wormhole leading to Jove space, the Imperial Navy went on high alert, mobilizing its entire Domain fleet as well as coordinating with the four remaining Heir Family fleets. The Empire also sent an emergency delegation to CONCORD to meet about the situation.
As the attacks continued, the Empire began to lose track of the names of those who had been abducted.