Thursday, 24 April 2014

Savage's Fiddle

Or, "Bar-bar-bar."

I recently wrote about the people who were famous to me in New Eden. Mord Fiddle was one of them.

And that's peculiar. He spends most of his time in Non-sovereignty null-security space, and writes almost exclusively about the various events of the sovereign alliances.I spend most of my time in low-sec, and hi-sec trade hubs. We don't share any common ground.

Except for writing. And writing is the reason I count Mord as one of my most important influences. His writing style is unique among most bloggers, and he has a wonderful way of describing the machinations of the null-sec war-lords. Even me describing them as warlords in due, in part, to the colourful and vivid narratives and thought-provoking analogies he creates.

Not to mention the personal benefit I get from his blog. I get a steady stream of page views directed from his site. I'm proud to be included on his blog list.

But it was mostly what he wrote about that kept me coming back. More specifically, it was when he spoke of barbarians.

As he says, 'barbarian' is essentially another way of calling someone savage, or uncivilized. It's an ancient Greek term, since the conversation of their less-urban inclined neighbors sounded to them like "Bar bar bar bar bar." Over the ages, it's come to apply to anyone we see as overly aggressive, with a tendency to use their enemies' skulls for drinking wine.

And it is these stories that fascinate me.

Mord recently announced his departure from New Eden, based on the new industrial taxes that will hit soon, and the inferred Cosmic developers' contempt for those living in Hi-sec. I'm not convinced this is the whole of the reason.

CSM Ripard Teg said in a comment that most of Mord's posts are based on the unfortunately named CFC, and that they mostly contain a certain amount of vitriol for the group. He claims burn-out for Mord's choice to join the Sleepers in immortal slumber. I tend to agree.

I believe the reason for that is because the CFC are the only worthwhile thing to write about in Null-sec. They have been for a long time. And thus far, despite some minor footnotes of other alliances rising to power, but quickly brokering treaties with the swarm, there has been little else for him to talk about. I'd be burnt-out too if my passion had only come to chronicling the rise of a single entity. After commenting and  analyzing the chaos of null-sec before, I'm not surprised.

In other words, it's kind of dull.

I know nothing of null-sec, but things must have become more barren for one who wrote so passionately about it to lose interest.

So I think of barbarians. More specifically, I think about the more successful ones.

The idea of a barbarian without culture or civilization is entirely misleading. They often do have one, it's just distinctly different from those looking out over the horde and trembling. The word barbarian quite literally means foreigner, or something other.

Which is why Mord's ideas of barbarianism never really gained traction. Whilst he advocated looting and pillaging, I always felt it was from the perspective of setting out to raid and pillage from a secure place. Which is logical. You need somewhere to cart back that plunder.

But the next logical extension is that you'd need to defend said place, and things start to look a lot like a traditional null-sec alliance. And we already have one that reached the peak of that particular development cycle. The real answer lies in a fundamentally different way of living in null-sec. A different culture.

The most successful barbarians in ages past were nomadic herdsmen. They lived in tents, and never built anything to last. When things became uncomfortable, they just packed up and left. An entire empire was built this way. All they asked from their subjects was some gold to prevent unpleasantness. Other than that, they lived off the land, and traded with the more settled people.

This kind of nomadic existence doesn't exist in New Eden's null-sec. There is a general feeling of ownership, and that ownership of systems comes with a right to security. The idea that one should 'own' space before one is allowed to exploit it is built into the narrative of the cluster. Even worm-hole residents put up there POS towers as a way of flag-planting.

But, as Mord says, barbarians tend not to care who's hiding in the castle, so long as they get to use the lands whilst he's there. The very idea of paying to operate in someone else's space is a dream. It is certainly more convenient to be able to dock up, but with current technology, it's no longer absolutely necessary.

The Great Wildlands is home to nomadic Thukkers. I am entering this dark place to learn their ways. Once I have the theory and practice of living without station or POS, I will move to sovereignty held null-sec, and hunt all they have. I intend to find out whether a different culture beyond the settled farmers can exist in null-sec.

I am moving to Null-sec. But I am doing it on my terms. I will not bend my knee to any alliance there, and I will not pay for the right to live in space they refuse to patrol.

I do not go for destruction, although I am aware many will try to bring it to me. I go to create, to learn and to teach. I actually envisage collaboration rather than opposition to the locals.

But the biggest reason, inspirations aside, is to see if I can.

It is a challenge, and one I look forward to tackling.

I keep hearing null-sec is essentially safe. I'm not a big risk taker. Safe space sounds great to me. And if the local landlords come after me, well... I'm not all that risk averse. I love a good chase.

Catch me if you can.

Ugh, I have no talent for this philosophical rambling. Next up, some practical advice for living out of a depot.

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