Harrow: "You didn't have to wound the man."
Mal: "Yeah, I know, it was just funny."
Time for some history. A while back I spoke of Ars ex Discordia [ARSED] and said I would one day explain how it came to be, so sitting here in my hangar I try and recall to the best of my memory the events that led to the fall of Ars Caelestis and the rise of Ars ex Discordia
You have to know where you are from to know where you are going.
Ars Caelestis was formed by pod pilots affiliated to Ars Technica , a Science and Technology website which I have been a member of for a very long time, seven years in fact and its gaming offshoot Arsclan. The majority of the members come from the two forums and so it was with me, I was introduced to Eve by two pilots of Ars Caelestis while chatting on the Ars IRC server one evening and have been playing ever since.
I joined Ars Caelestis when they were part of Huzzah Federation, I said goodbye to my friends in Ex Coelis, another Ars affiliated corp, sold all the assets that wouldn't fit into my Rifter and headed for Agil, where I would be meeting up for a corp op. The op was shrouded in secrecy but once everyone was there the first Ars Caelestis freighter was unveiled, a Charon and I was to be part of the escort down to Catch and my new home in V2-VC2. It was during this op that Ars' reputation for diplomatic incidents started to grow, a pilot blue to Huzzah but due to some misunderstanding not blue to us was bumping our freighter and the FC ordered us to lock but not fire, to which the pilot took exception and threw his toys out the cot to alliance leadership.
A lot of hubris later things calmed down but our CEO, Achilles Thorongmir was not best liked by the rest of Huzzah leadership and his abrasive manner rubbed people the wrong way but the rest of the corp tolerated it as he was ours and we always defend our own. Ars Caelestis had merged with the Organised Combat Consortium, another Huzzah corp and together put forward a candidate to take over leadership of Huzzah to try and fill the vacancy left by the departure of Hans Roaming to MC. Our candidate lost the vote and things were not kosher. A decision was made to leave Huzzah and during this time a rift was formed between us and the OCC pilots as it was revealed that they planned to pull out. Achilles flew off the handle and booted most of them, locking them out of the V2 station. The information passed down to us was one of betrayal and we stood firm behind Achilles. Huzzah were informed of our intentions to leave in a period of two weeks and within a week Catch was invaded by Against All Authorities. Huzzah didn't have the capitals to fight a POS war and our allies were hesitant to throw capitals in against the overwhelming force against us.
Ars pilots flew in combat gangs right up until our notice expired a week later, retreating to Agil to decide our future, Huzzah was kicked from Catch a short time later, not able to fight against the odds. From Agil we would run combat gangs up and down the pipe and camp HED-GP and during this time Achilles approached CYVOK of Ascendent Frontier for standings as we enjoyed flying with their pilots in the pipe and would prefer not to be shot at but shoot with. CYVOK came back with a counter offer of a place in ASCN to which the majority of pilots agreed, it was a good opportunity.
We moved en masse down to Feythabolis and set up our HQ in PMV, we were paired with a Capital corp in Darkstar1 and set about entrenching ourselves. Life was good, plenty of good ratting, the miners and builders got together for ops to supply the corp with ships and mods once more. Things were looking up, we did combat ops on regular occasion and were present for the unveiling of the Universe's first player owned Titan. We would run combat escort for freighters and even locking down systems for outpost deployments. Things were on the up and up for us, we were even in the process of deploying our own outpost when all hell broke loose and ASCN space was invaded by the mighty Band of Brothers. ASCN, as big as it was, was just not capable of fighting the well oiled BoB war machine, the alliance was bloated with carebears and the few combat corps like Ars tried desperately to hold back the tide, even to the point where we ran ops deep in Delve to try and disrupt logistics and ease the pressure on Feyth by opening another front in the war.
I had become very frustrated with the alliance at this time, trying to get ammo for my combat ships was getting very expensive as the T2 producers of the alliance were inflating prices, during a time of fucking war they were ripping their own alliance off. The ASCN empire was crumbling, CYVOK's Titan was destroyed and the carebear corps were fleeing to empire, the alliance leadership in disarray. Slowly the combat corps gave up, Darkstar1 had left overnight leaving just us in PMV, AZN had fallen and things were looking bleak. Eventually the decision was made to leave, pack up shop and evacuate what we could.
A freighter was loaded with what we could and an evacuation op from hostile territory was planned. We were approached by XirtamVOTF of Imperium Alliance, asking if we'd like to join and seeing as we had few options available we agreed. Xirt surprised and impressed us by organising an evacuation escort who flew all the way from their base in Great Wildlands to help us. The evacuation was tense and we were chased by BoB who eventually gave up when they learnt of reinforcements in the shape of Goonswarm coming down the route.
We eventually set up in E02 as part of Imperium Alliance which would soon become the reborn Curse Alliance under Xirt. Ars continued to grow as a corp, rebuilding from the ashes of ASCN which had taken a toll on us. The corp was near depleted financially from the war against BoB, our BPOs still stuck in PMV and the pilots fatigued from near constant war. We would rebuild with myself and others donating BPOs and ISK to the corp, doing what we could to get back on our feet. During this time we would still go out on combat ops, even aiding in the Lotka Voltera Titan abortion in JV1V.
Things took a turn for the worse when our CEO Achilles went totally batshit insane. I went to bed the previous evening drained from a combat op, I awoke the next day and all hell had broken loose. Achilles had taken exception to comments made to him in a leadership meeting to tone down his rhetoric on the Ars forums, he accused everyone of betraying him and kicked every member from the corp, we had 24 hours to get what we could, he had emptied the corp wallet, the hangars and our entire BPO collection along with the Maelstrom and Hurricane BPOs I had donated. He had taken the corp capitals and proceeded to laugh and antagonise us in corp chat. Achilles had made the biggest mistake of his life. He was kill on sight to the rest of the alliance and we were out to get him. One of our pilots popped his Rapier in his Vexor and people were clone jumping everywhere we had an office to try and rescue what we could, one of our enterprising industrial pilots even managing to eject ships from a POS whilst ramming his ship into the shields, wapa is a fucking hero. Curse Alliance helped us where they could but we were in dire straits, no ISK, no BPOs and no corp. A small shred of light shone as we were informed that Achilles was scammed out of a corp dread and a carrier with an auction scam.
Tessa Vaako had taken the reins and posted on eve-o about the betrayal and theft here
Achilles delusions of grandeur went further into the ludicrous with this thread on eve-o
Within 24 hours the exiled pilots of Ars Caelestis had reformed under a new banner, Ars ex Discordia was born from the ashes of Achilles betrayal. Contrary to what Achilles believed, a corp is not the leader, but the pilots who fly under its banner. Ars ex Discordia was better, stronger and with a new vision.
While trying to rebuild from this latest setback, Xirt had RL issues which stopped him from logging in and Curse Alliance started to fracture, Infinitus Odium and Black Omega Security had already left the alliance and soon ARSED would join the exodus. Our pilots financially depleted needed something but weren't prepared to go back to empire so it was off to the Free Trade Alliance, a project set up by Goonswarm for tenants to the recently acquired Lotka Voltera space where corps could join and use the space for ratting and mining along with defence. ARSED pilots started to rebuild even joining in Goonswarm combat ops where we could. Our battle hardened veterans earning a reputation which would eventually lead to an invitation to join Goonswarm.
ARSED has gone from strength to strength under the Goonswarm flag and continue to fight against old enemies like BoB and helping to kill Shrike's Titan. The corp has capital strength and a firm industrial backbone with dedicated pilots and I salute my old corpmates, you guys have done an epic job.
Alliance life was not for me however, so I left a corp I love to do my own thing, become a Pirate.
I left 0.0 after a year of fighting and struggling to become a better pilot. 0.0 doesn't allow for much individuality, you're just a very small cog in a very big machine. You're a number, a statistic, the only time your name is mentioned in a fight is when the opposing FC calls you primary or secondary. I didn't just want to follow the FC and punch some keys, I wanted to actually fly my ship, fight my way, pick my own targets, pick my own fate and solo Piracy in lowsec was the salvation I had been seeking, it has allowed me to become a much better pilot. I wanted recognition for my abilities, not to be "Oh, you're from X corp/alliance"
I would love to fly with my friends in Ars ex Discordia again, but I doubt it will ever happen, the political landscape, lag, blobs, caps and anonymity of 0.0 is just not for me.
Something wicked this way comes
Factional Warfare is upon us and with it I foresee more targets entering lowsec to be preyed upon by Pirates. While I'm not actually participating as I can't enter highsec I eagerly await to see what becomes of it and hopefully it takes off.