Three Witches

Boundless Creation Maelstrom (Freyja?) Courtesy Caldari Prime Pony Club

Boundless Creation Maelstrom (Freyja?)
Courtesy Caldari Prime Pony Club

I had another interesting conversation on Twitter today with Jayne Fillon, Noizy and Mark726. It led me here. If you want to skip the story, scroll down to the section titled The Bottom Line. Or take the more fun route in the Choose Your Own Chronicle below.

UPDATE APRIL 23: I had a flash of insight today while spending stupid amounts of time in an airport. Lore aside, how else do you end up with one faction getting ships that no one else does? This gap has been bugging me since I wrote the post. There is one time-tested, proven way. Alliance Tournaments. Whatever their abilities, these are almost certainly the AT prizes. UPDATE: Of course then Jayne told me that the same dump that found these names found Caldari ships that were skinned with AT logos, and it was also pointed out that most AT ships come in pairs, not trios. I still think AT is a possibility, but this does put a damper on that theory too. Back to the drawing board.


Hagilur, Metropolis

Dr. Bogekur Alpur stood on the engineering deck of the Freyja, a battleship that would become the first of its line, giving name to an entire new class of ship. To a casual observer she was just another Maelstrom – while the black-and-brown mottled paint job was already in place, the orange viewports that were Boundless Creation’s hallmark would not be put in until after the successful test.

It was a moment that would have made its designer proud.

But Alpur was not a ship designer, he was a physicist. Many would have been very nervous to be standing between Adrand Allsvert, Admiral of Republic Security Services, and Mentas Blaque, Head of the Gallente Federal Intelligence Office. Alpur could have cared less; his attention was on the quietly thrumming machine that dominated the center of the bay floor, sucking almost all of the power the ship could provide.


Scenario 1: Outbound

It was to be the defining moment of Alpur’s career. “This, gentlemen, is the gravity well generator. I’m sure the marketing people will come up with a great name for it when we go public. Right now they’ve tentatively named it “Bifrost” – I guess it’s some sort of historical reference.”

“The real breakthrough we needed was the Vitrauze Agreement override order you were kind enough to provide to allow us access to the Sleeper data library, coordinates database, neural network analyzers and AI nexus. When combined with what we already had been able to incorporate in the Loki and Proteus class strategic cruisers, along with our Thukker friends’ knowledge of the Elder Fleet ships, all the pieces finally fit together.” He gestured toward the starboard viewport. “I think the Talocan themselves would be pleased.”

Alpur connected the cables to the capsuleer control leads, and up in the capsule the captain activated the machine. The ship shuddered briefly, and outside the viewport a tunnel-like hole opened in space. It was far smaller than a wormhole, but much larger than a cynosural field.

“What’s on the other side?” asked Blaque.

“We don’t know yet. But we’re about to find out.” Alpur again pointed outside. They watched as a Helios-class frigate approached the hole. The captain activated the audio in the Engineering deck.

“Ready to enter, sir.”

“Proceed, captain.”

The Helios was pulled into the hole as if descending a rapid drain – disappearing almost immediately. When they heard the voice again a few moments later, it was clearly strained, and crackled with poor reception. “Adjusting sensors… the nebula we’re in here seems to match the Jovian one as we expected. The ship took quite a beating coming through. Sensors now online … oh shit.”

There was a burst of static, and then all hell broke loose.


Scenario 2: Inexorable

It was to be the defining moment of Alpur’s career. “This, gentlemen, is the gravity well generator. I’m sure the marketing people will come up with a great name for it when we go public.”

Alpur connected the cables to the capsuleer control leads, and up in the capsule the captain activated the machine. The ship shuddered briefly, and outside the viewport space began to show a visible wavelike wobble. It was huge, extending outward in a sphere more than 100Km. The rest of the ships in the fleet, nearly 20 of them, began to drift toward them. He watched as they lit their engines and began to bank away from the Freyja.

“Will they hit us?” asked Blaque.

Admiral Allsvert nodded. “They might. In order to make this ship safe to withstand the generator itself, however, we built a ridiculous level of structural integrity in, similar to what you’d find on a Heavy Interdictor, but at battleship scale. They can hit us all they want.” He smiled briefly. “And we’ll see who has the best reaction times out there – none of them knew this was coming.”

As Blaque watched, fascinated, he began to realize the full force of this device. From over 100 Km away, ships were being pulled to the center on waves. The small handful of battlecruisers seemed to be doing best, their mass able to keep them stable while their microwarp drives held them at a distance. But their net forward velocity was a crawl. The battleships drifted slowly backward, their speed unable to outmatch the device. But most appalling were the frigates. Their speed actually worked against them – as they tried to fight the vortex they could in fact outpower the wave, but they could not maintain lateral control. They spun sideways, trying to stay aligned but unable to prevent riding the sudden invisible curvature of space.

The Freyja jolted only slightly as the first Atron-class frigate smashed to pieces against her massive hull.


Scenario 3: Vanished

It was to be the defining moment of Alpur’s career. “This, gentlemen, is the gravity well generator. I’m sure the marketing people will come up with a great name for it when we go public.”

Alpur connected the cables to the capsuleer control leads, and up in the capsule the captain activated the machine. The ship shuddered briefly, and outside the viewport, space went suddenly, impossibly dark.

People often think of space as dark, but when you are actually in space, it is filled with light. From stars. Planets. Distant nebulae. Now, all they could see out the viewports were the other ships in their fleet. No stars. No planets. No nebula.

“Yes, yes. I’m still here, I don’t think we’ve moved,” said the security guard behind Blaque suddenly. Blaque himself looked quietly out the windows. “How does this look from outside?”

“We’re entirely invisible outside this bubble. So long as the fleet stays within 100 Km of the Freyja, they won’t see anything. The generator bends all the light around the entire fleet. In effect, it’s a fleet-cloak. It even works during coordinated warps.”

“But we can’t see out. How can that even work?”

Alpur pointed to a nearby screen. “We have a scout over there by the sun, cloaked. We can’t see out – but we don’t need to. All you’d have to do is warp.”

Blaque smiled at Admiral Allsvert. “I don’t think the enemy will see this coming.”


The Bottom Line

If you read the Twitter thread I linked up above, you’ll see that there is a long list of ideas and thoughts and guesses. It’s still entirely possible that these ships, the Freyja (battleship?), Helga (cruiser?) and Katla (frigate?) won’t actually come to exist. Jayne’s source could be cracked, but this seems awful specific.

It’s possible that my best guess this afternoon is the most likely – since the three names are women of norse myth, well versed in magic (the “three witches” of the title) with ties to shape-shifting, that these might be a line of Tech 3 frigates. It’s also conceivable that they are another trio of new “pirate” faction ships to follow up the SOE line from 2013.

It’s also possible these aren’t even ships (I could see them being deployables).

But I think they are ships, and I’m 98% sure they’re Boundless Creations ships. Here’s why. The Minmatar have ship names of many themes – violence, blades, Norse names, etc. But every one of the Norse names is built by Boundless Creations.

But why would the Minmatar be the only ones to get this? I’m not sure, but the lore supports it. CCP Falcon told you it was coming only a couple weeks ago, if you were watching.

So the real question isn’t what these ships are, but what CCP intends to do with a miniaturized gravity well generator, dedicated to a new type of ship hull or deployable. CCP’s own page on the matter is remarkably cryptic and clearly labeled as non-canon.

My bet is on the method by which we try to get to the “new systems” that we will build “new stargates” to (Scenario 1). A slightly different version of this scenario is a wormhole generator.

However, two other common things to see around gravity wells are outlined in the other two scenarios. It could be a superpowered, area-based stasis web (Scenario 2). Combine with HIC for a crapton of small-gang destruction. Or it could be a powerful area-based visual (and potentially d-scan proof) cloak (Scenario 3) – I personally am not a fan of this one but it is a potential application of the physics.

Feel free to join the speculation in comments, on Twitter #tweetfleet, or on the below threads.

  • EVE Forums – there is not an OOC thread, and the IC thread is a complete waste
  • Reddit
  • Backstage

I guess we’ll all find out soon enough.

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2 Responses to Three Witches

  1. anoymous says:

    You seem to be forgetting the sansa incursions. How about a deployable that introduces wormhole effects in a system?
    Lets say it creates a violent wormhole to jove space, but only combined with a violent wormhole stabiliser(only use able on a violent wormhole). And as side effect it gives wormhole effects in a system.
    Or maybe you can only stabilise it if you ancor a second one in jove space.

    • Rhavas says:

      Nah, I just didn’t call them out directly. Scenario 1 could just as easily have been aimed at a Wormhole generator rather than anything else. I’m actually one of the original agitators for a Sansha wormhole generator (See my work here: https://wiki.eveonline.com/en/wiki/Project_Catapult note the “Drafted by”).

      I do NOT expect to see a stabilzer, since that would be a Terrible Idea if we’re really talking a classic wormhole. I am hopeful that they will do something net new that just connects to the new space, or if not, that they stick to a pure wormhole generator that spawns a random connection with existing mass / time rules.

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