So you want to know about the Formidine Rift? (Part 3)

16/6/2016: Today, a request was put to Frontier to make the 'Formidine Rifters' an official player group. All commanders are welcome to come and go as they see fit. I'll keep this thread updated with developments. I wrote a little on what I think defines this group here. Feel free to sign your name, or remove it as you see fit in the rifters roster.

You can also join the wing set up by Armoredmeat on Inara:

Please note the following contains a lot of spoilers from Drew Wagar’s story “Elite: Reclamation”. I thoroughly recommend getting and reading the book first so as to not spoil the story. (You can
get it here.) However, we have been told that the primary clues have already been shared online, so the book is not necessary to solve this mystery.

This is a continuation of previous threads, and is a collection of information from many many posts from many others. I may have missed something important - if so, please let me know and I’ll ensure it is added! All the information below is intended to be as factual as possible. I’ll leave it up to individuals to make any mental leaps and connections.

Formidine = 'with fear' in Latin
“Congratulations commander. A clue.”
The forum post that kicked this all off

So what is it?

The mystery of the Formidine Rift finds a genesis in Drew Wagar’s Oolite Saga. The third installment of this saga makes a reference to the ‘Formidine Rift’ where we read that, “Thargoid incursions into the Formidine rift appear to be increasing dramatically.” Oolite is an unofficial remake of the original 1984 game Elite and share similarities to the Elite: Dangerous universe. Though there are many similarities there are also plenty of differences. Drew Wagar readily admits that the Oolite Saga is a work of fan fiction.

The Formidine Rift became an official part of the Elite: Dangerous universe when Drew was given the opportunity to write an official novel as a companion to the game. Drew has confirmed that the developers included the Rift and a mysterious something to be found inside it in the game and that this something has been present since it was initially released.

Drew’s book, Reclamation follows the adventures of Lady Kahina Tijani Loren, third daughter to the prior imperial senator to Chione, Senator Algreb Loren.

During the adventure Kahina, while suffering from amnesia and using the name ‘Salomé’, meets an old Elite Commander who tells her of a place known as “The Formidine Rift”. She didn’t disclose too many details… just the description that the Rift is located somewhere near the ‘edge of the galactic arm’ and a simple line in space drawn through the systems of Reorte and Riedquat and beyond points to the location of the Rift. Later in the novel Kahina hacks into a video archive made by the lady when she was younger and discovers that there is something out there that GalCop, the Federation and the Empire were all trying to keep secret from the rest of the galaxy.

CMDR Acaelus Thorn is one of the earliest known explorers to go searching for the mystery of the rift. Since then, many have gone searching for the mystery, yet none have found an answer.

All the characters, and Drew Wagar’s story, can be read about in the Elite: Reclamation guide book

Thanks Jaiotu for the lore-friendly introduction above.

Where is the Formidine Rift?

"Edge of the galactic arm. Take a line from Reorte to Riedquat to the edge of the arm, and ... keep going."

Located in an area of space, somewhere between the Perseus and the New Outer Arm of the galaxy. CMDR Erimus has been leading the galactic mapping project to define the area.

The following galactic overview map was created by Katejina:


Drew Wagar has confirmed the ‘general area’ of the rift is 'broadly correct' as per current maps. This has been further reinforced by two wings from the Children of Raxxla being sent to ‘patrol’ the supposed borders of the rift.

CMDR Qohen Leth has put together a stunningly accurate map of the rift part of the galaxy.

View an interactive map of the Formidine Rift part of the galaxy on EDSM (Elite Dangerous Star Map).''

What is the RR line?

Further clarifications from the author

Drew has been somewhat helpful in moving this mystery forward with some cryptic, and some not so cryptic hints:

7/3/2016: #FormidineRift. 1: Yes, it's in #Elitedangerous to be found. 2. You do not need Horizons. 3. Whether it's found depends on who goes looking.
7/3/2016: @SystemSoundTM Well, the secret of the Formidine Rift is out there to be found, more about it may be revealed this year, if all goes well…

  • Drew’s hints and clarifications (summarised here, here and here) expand upon these accounts
    • It’s also somewhat worthwhile reviewing all of Drew's forum posts
    • View his member profile then click “Find latest posts”
  • We have been told GalNet articles are now the continued source of information regarding this mystery
    • In a recent interview, Drew mentioned that we have missed some things (rift part starts from 1:51, though the whole interview is highly recommended listening.)
    • "these threads are a tapestry as seen from the back. They might look disordered, but... they're not."
  • Drew recently held an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit where he further clarified several outstanding questions. I've weaved some of the answers throughout these posts, however the answers to the set of questions from clavian are particularly of interest, so I'll reproduce here:
    • 1) Are there Formidine Rift clues in Local news items, as opposed to Galnet news items? If so have some of these been lost as the game does not maintain old local Galnet news articles past a certain time limit?
      Yes, on occasion.

      2) are there astronomy-based clues in-game for the Rift that can be recreated (in Stellarium or the like) using the game date and real-world astronomical observations, i.e. Kahina's visit to Sol and the vernal equinox or similar?
      I am an avid astronomer, but it's not reasonable for there to be clues that need to be worked out using tools outside of the game. You might be able to reproduce them with Stellarium etc, but these tools aren't required.

      3) Are there hidden clues to the Rift puzzle in the text of Altera?
      I have aligned Altera with ED canon. I would say it underpins the clues that are already there.

      4) Do any of the above involve ciphers or codes as well?
      You'll have to figure that out yourself.

      5) Are there any in-game requirements (minor faction reputation, certain ship type, pilot quality, carrying a certain rare good as cargo, etc.) for finding what is hidden in or past the Rift, or could anyone do it as long as they have the means to find their way to it?
      No rank requirements of any kind. I kind of hope a single lone-wolf player figures it all out. :)

      6) Is a huge organized search involving dozens of commanders, many days or weeks, and spreadsheets to track search results and uncover hints or clues required to find what is hidden? Or is it findable by a single commander, with no rank or faction reputation without a huge crowd-sourced spreadsheet fest?
      A single commander could find the 'answer', but it is more likely to be achieved en-mass.

      7) Is the Soontill Relics storyline now officially dead as they are simply being used as a requirement for one of the Engineers?
      Can't answer that I'm afraid.

      8) Would finding Hassan's homeworld aid in finding the secret of the Rift?
      It's not necessary, no.

      9) Is Octavia's system (and faction) in the game, and does her base exist? Would finding it help find the secret of the Rift?
      Octavia's operations are very secret indeed.

      10) Is the fact that green, or "Emerald" is missing from the colours of the objects in the Prism system significant?
      No. But that's a shrewd observation.

      11) Is the Greek mythology behind the name of some of the objects in the Prism system significant to the secret of the Rift, and does it contain a clue?
      Nothing in Elite: Reclamation is insignificant, there are many layers there.

      12) Are there clues to the secret of the Rift in any of the other official fiction (beyond the obvious mentions of the Formidine Rift here and there)?
      The Rift is certainly mentioned in some of the other books. These will help. Galnet will be your source on going, and events where Reclamation characters feature in-game.

      13) What is "Core of the problem" relevant to?
      You need to sift and watch Galnet for this.

      14) Is the mythology around the The Seven Veils linked to the Rift mystery, or just another rabbit hole?
      Salomé and the Seven Veils is relevant.

      15) Is there anything to find in-game in Tionisla related to the Rift mystery?
      Tionisla is an odd place. It's worth keeping an eye on it.

      16) Would completing the "Obfuscated in the Outer Rim" and similar special missions involving or mentioning the Dark Wheel provide clues to your Formidine Rift mystery? Or are they separate from it?
      The Dark Wheel have their part to play.

12/7/2016: An update from Drew

"Back from FDev central today and the news is positive. Can't talk about details yet as it's NDA, but when you see a Galnet article about Tionisla... it's starting.
All I can say is it will be worth the wait. Seen some stuff today that made my eyes bleed.
My advice for now is to watch Galnet again. However, if I were you I would use the time between now and v2.2 to get friendly with the engineers...
Engineers aren't required as I mentioned before. But they will make things easier.
Can't say anymore or the black helicopters will come and get me!"

25/08/16: An interview by DJ TruthSayer with Drew Wagar is worth a listen:
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General timeline of events

The following is a revised and expanded version of the timeline initially put together by CMDR Beanseller here.

There is also a wealth of information available in CMDR Erimus' thread on Kahina/Salomé over here, told from the perspective of the Children of Raxxla.


  • Many factions are after Chione in Prism for the Tantalum. To this end, Imperial forces invaded and took over in AD3297. (The mining rights were granted to the Empire, not to the Lorens. They simply took advantage of it.)
    • The planets in the Prism system are all named after Greek mythological characters. They all have a connection with ‘Autolycus’ (who was a thief and trickster, Greek translation: 'the wolf itself' or 'the very wolf'), and also to some extent Ulysses and Odysseus. (Detailed in a forum post here, the system naming is also covered in Drew’s Elite: Reclamation guide book.)
    • Some further analysis showed that the first letter of each of the planets is an anagram of 'Cadmean', as in a ‘Cadmean victory’.
    • In a recent interview, Drew mentioned that the names of the Prism system hold some significance


  • Prism is taken back by a resistance known as 'reclamists'
  • In the ensuing battle, Kahina ‘dies’ and loses her memory.
  • She is ‘found’ by Hassan and named ‘Salomé’ by Hassan after his sister’s cat
  • Subsequently she meets an old woman in a hospital on Ferenchia who tells of her adventures ‘in the frontier’ and about the ‘Formidine rift’:

  • "Don't tell no one, but I got as far as the Formidine Rift, not many folks can say that! No one has gone past it and lived to tell the tale."
  • "Edge of the galactic arm. Take a line from Reorte to Riedquat to the edge of the arm, and ... keep going." The woman grimaced. "Stars thin out, you can see the whole galaxy just hanging there. I took a fancy to going exploring after I lost ...", she paused, a sadness creeping across her face. "... had some time to spare. Quiet for the most part, until ..."
  • "Let's just say there was some serious out there. Stuff you wouldn't believe. No, really - no one believed me, said it was all fabrication. I had no proof, you see, and they edited my memory afterwards. Ah, it'll all come back to bite them one day. It's all in the Imperial databanks somewhere ... and they thought the thargoids were trouble."

  • Salomé regains her memory and after many adventures, such as crash landing on a planet in system LTT8740 and meeting Luko, returns as Kahina to become the senator of Prism
  • After taking back Prism, she decides to secede power to Cuthrick Delaney and leave Prism to become Salomé
  • Names her Imperial Clipper ‘Seven Veils’ (a tie-in with the Salomé name)


  • Visits Sol as documented by GalNet posts. Kahina didn’t want to be late, possibly because she wanted to observe something specific at a particular date and time:
    • “Kahina did indeed have an ulterior motive for her trip to Sol.” (Drew, from a Fleetcom chat transcript)
    • Feb 9th: Prism Senator Courts Controversy Again!
      • Kahina's going to Sol. Gets interdicted by unknown ships. Doesn't like being late.
    • Mar 6th: Prism Senator will not be late, not even slightly
      • Docking at Mars. Causes a commotion at Mars High. Doesn’t like being late.
        • Imperials are always late, she is making a point here. Possibly just separating herself from them but it is unclear.
        • This news item was accidentally posted twice - on 6th & 9th of March. We have been told this was a mistake and to read nothing into it!
    • Mar 15th: Imperial Pageant for Prism Senator
      • Kahina is escorted through Sol by independent commanders in imperial cutters
    • Mar 17th: Prism Senator Continues to Woo Federation Residents
      • Lady Kahina Tijani Loren's unofficial entourage has begun a tour of the outer gas giants in the Sol system
    • Mar 20th: Prism Senator in Illegal Parking Row
      • Kahina is fined leaving Mars High on return to Earth. Arrives at ‘historic Cambridge spaceport’
    • Mar 27th: Alliance Shines Light on Prism Senator
      • Alliance representatives from Alioth have extended an invitation for her to visit their star-systems
    • Apr 2nd: Prism Senator in Illegal Smuggling Sting?
      • Kahina was presented with large vial of illegal Gerasian Liquor by representatives (it is presumed Federation?) at a concert in London. Kahina’s response was “They really needn’t worry, I’ll drink it all before I get home.”
  • Apr 2nd: Prism Senator Returns to Empire
    • She returns to the Empire and states in an interview with the Sol Herald that her trip to Sol had been ‘most enlightening’ and that the officials at Mars High were neither ‘friends or rivals’
  • May 2nd: She then turned up at Avalon (shipyards) (Persephone == Queen of Underworld) to have her ship 'Seven Veils' outfitted
  • May 6th: Kahina is ‘summoned’ back to Achenar. Her ship is seen departing Avalon and then rendezvousing with The Imperial Interdictor Atticus, in command of Admiral Brice
  • May 12th: She is seen at a musical soiree on Capitol and denies any interest in Power Play
    • Whilst on Achenar (Capitol) she hacks into the Imperial databanks to retrieve the holofac recorded by the old woman many years earlier. This trip is documented in GalNet, the details of which are in the epilogue for Elite: Reclamation: (Somewhere between 6 May 3301 and 21 Jul 3301)

  • "If you're listening to this it means you’re smart enough to have bypassed Galcop, Federation, and Imperial security." The woman on the video smiled. "Not bad, but it's nothing compared to what's coming. I'm guessing you'll be pressed for time so I'll be quick. You'll find the coordinates at the end of this message. You'll need a tough ship and a good pilot. It's a long way, so make sure you're prepped, no one will be around to help you out.
  • Once you reach the rift you're going to have to plot a way across. There are no stars for dozens of light years and the dark systems haven't been mapped, so take your time, watch your six." The woman leaned in closer to the recording device. "What's there? Wish I could tell you, but they edited my memory pretty good, took me long enough to stitch this lot back together. Whatever it is, it's something that Galcop, the Imps and the Feds don't want us to see. Good luck, and ... right on, Commander." The holofac faded, leaving them with just the text.

  • It is assumed that the old woman had visited the rift before AD3280. (She was talking to Salomé in AD3300 but from her photo in the Imperial databank on Achenar, she was aged around 50 when she had her memory ‘edited’ because of what she'd seen, so at least 20 years before and probably more.)
  • This hypothesis has been somewhat confirmed by the recent release of Drew Wagar’s ‘final installment’ of his Oolite saga (‘Altera’). Set in AD3270, the ‘old woman’ protagonist sounds eerily familiar: Altera - An Oolite Short Story (We have been told it is aligned with Elite lore but is to be considered as 'fan fiction'.)

  • May 17th: Her ship is “confirmed to have had some significant modifications made to it recently, including a state of the art fuel scoop and a custom built Gutamaya discovery scanner.” There are also further rumours about who she would support in the ongoing political events.
  • Jul 21st: Lady Kahina ‘disappears’ in strange circumstances, abandoning her Imperial Clipper ‘Seven Veils’ (which is found ‘completely stripped’ and the custom modules are revealed to be fakes) leaving her Imperial tiara found in the cockpit (similarity here with Inanna/Ishtar descent into underworld myth, where the ‘crown of the goddess’ was removed before passing through the first gate), along with a medallion with the insignia from “The Dark Wheel” on one side and the name “Salomé” on the other. (It’s unclear what the connection is to the Dark Wheel, as this is the only mention of it in the story.)
    • Additional information from Drew: (17/3/3302) All of the Galnet articles about Lady Kahina were written by me. She has been on a series of exploration trips in the last nine months or so, but they may come to an end before long, so keep an eye out for her return. That may provide further insight.


The story continues …
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What do we know so far?

  • Lady Kahina is significant somehow in all this. (Read her profile here)
    • From Drew's AMA:"Kahina/Salomé is a very intelligent young woman who is aware of the power of personality, influence and choosing your timing. She is easy to underestimate. It's fair to say she can use many guises to achieve her aims."
    • "She has been fundamentally affected by the events at the end of ER. The fact that she caused thousands of deaths by her command to reclaim the Prism systems haunts her and she wants to do something about it."
    • "She considers what she did at Prism to be the 'big mistake' of her life even if it was prompted by the treatment she received during the events of 3300. Leaving Cuthrick Delaney in charge was a conscious decision to begin to deal with that. She has an agenda."
  • Drew remarked in a Fleetcom chat that "The most astute observation to date has been that 'the rift is Kahina's story'."
  • Salomé was a name given to Kahina by Hassan after she lost her memory
  • She returned to 'Kahina' once her memory was regained
  • Later, Kahina decided to adopt the CMDR name 'Salomé' and named her Imperial Clipper 'Seven Veils' (a tie-in with the name, and possibly of greater significance)
  • Salomé is currently being played as a CMDR in-game, as the enigmatic leader of the player faction, 'Children of Raxxla'
    • CMDR Salomé will accept friend requests in-game, and it’s generally accepted that when the player is in open we can interact with her like any other player. Drew mentioned that we should think of Salomé as ‘a kind of advanced NPC’
  • The ‘history’ behind the name Salomé is quite lengthy, but in summary:
    • The story of Salome is originally from the Bible, as a young girl who ‘danced for Herod’ then demanded the head of John the Baptist
    • An Oscar Wilde play expanded on this to create the character of Salomé who performed the dance of the seven veils
    • There are links to Inanna/Ishtar and the 'seven gates' and 'underworld' myths

Matzov has done a great piece of analysis here of all the information compiled to date and joined some of the dots with his own conclusions that have been validated to some extent by Drew. Well worth a read for further insight

Commonly understood views

  • There is a 'mystery' regarding the Formidine Rift
  • We don't know what the actual mystery is, yet
  • It's been in the game for us to find since gamma release, and was discoverable since beta using in-game mechanics
    • Though Drew told us in a recent interview that it's: "Not a case of finding a POI and the mystery is solved - (the mystery is) much more layered and nuanced than that."
    • "It is possible to find the rift and what it contains today (in fact, since Gamma back in 2014). However, at this point it's unlikely you would recognize it for what it is, though it is becoming clearer day by day.
      There may be some brute force searching, but it's not strictly necessary.
      To give a little clue, you are not looking for a specific POI because:
      A: That would be naff and dull (and over almost straightaway) B: This is a story you're taking part in, not a 'Find the red key and open the red door' quest."
  • Formidine means 'through/with fear' in Latin. The rift, or whatever is to be found in it, is to be feared…
  • The Formidine Rift was properly introduced to us in Drew Wagar’s book "Elite: Reclamation", one of the official Elite: Dangerous novels. There have been two prior accounts, once in the Kickstarter comments by John Harper (author of “And Here The Wheel”) and other novels by Drew Wagar that are not considered canon. (It’s since been clarified that the kickstarter reference was not entirely about the Formidine Rift, but an evocative reference nonetheless. It was also accidentally cut from "And Here The Wheel", so should be thought of as canon:)
    • "You don't know what I've seen. I've sailed beyond the Formidine Rift, seen the fleets of Octagonal ships blocking out the stars. I've stood on lost worlds, sterilised clean by the Thargoids and erased from humanity's maps. I've seen the graves from the Thargoid wars, countless headstones stretching beyond the curvature of the horizon, little spots of reflected light dottering the abandoned continent ..."
  • The naming of the planets in the Prism system are significant somehow
  • There are two accounts in Elite: Reclamation that give us hints about the Formidine Rift, both from an 'old woman', several years apart. It’s important to note that the first account in the book is more recent (in the ED timeline) than the second. In the first account, Lady Kahina (as Salomé) has a chance encounter with the old woman whilst waiting in the hospital on Ferenchia for her space meds to kick in. She tells Salomé of her previous life travelling the galaxy as an Elite pilot. Kahina discovers the second account after hacking into the Imperial databanks on Achenar, in a holofac that the old woman appears to have recorded many years earlier. It’s worth noting that the information contained in the holofac appears to be more precise than the one in the hospital.
  • Drew has hinted on his blog that the old woman could be Elyssia Fields from 'The Dark Wheel', or Rebecca Weston (nee Tyley) from his Oolite novels with the comment: "Parallel universes will naturally share a lot in common." Though it’s likely her identity isn’t critical to solving this
  • The old woman flew an “original” Cobra Mk III, but describes it as an 'Apocalypse Engineering' version
    • It has been hinted that her ship name was “Cor meum et animam” - Latin translation: “My heart and soul”
    • This has since been verified with the release of GalNet posts from August 3302 (See timeline post)
  • Whatever the mystery is, it would appear all the major factions want to keep it suppressed, hence the information being hidden in the Imperial databanks
  • Several places Kahina visited in the bubble before disappearing line up with the ‘RR’ line
  • There are many evocative links to Cassiopeia A, Tycho's star and so on. None so far have proved fruitful
  • The discovery won't be planet side as “Horizons is not needed”
  • We are not certain if what we are looking for is in the rift, or past the rift, or past the outer galactic arm
  • Michael Brookes and Drew Wagar have both hinted that some form of sentient life exists somewhere in the game (via separate sources)
  • It's probably not Raxxla

What have we done so far?

  • We have explored all the planets, stations, bulletin boards etc. of the systems Kahina visited before disappearing (both as male and female CMDRs!) and not revealed anything significant as yet, despite many interesting tie-ins with Greek mythological characters and continuing in-game story plots
  • Exploration of systems with names that link to underworld myths - Persephone, Erishkigal etc.
  • Exploration of the Heart and Soul nebulas and other interesting nebula located close by
  • Some of us have explored all the major systems in Cassiopeia and found nothing tangible as yet
  • A few brave CMDRs have been probing every system along the RR line in case something interesting is revealed
  • A couple of commanders have tried flying from Reorte to Reidquat in supercruise in case something appeared to them.
  • Many other ad hoc investigations and searches of interesting systems in the neighbourhood … too many to document here. (Refer Dommaarraa & Cyalope’s spreadsheets below for interesting POIs to date.)
  • There is currently a semi-ad hoc ‘brute force’ expedition underway trying to map the area where we suppose the rift to be sector-by-sector. This is being lead by Dommaarraa with his excellent spreadsheet here
  • Erimus set up a communication channel for us to use whilst out in the black
  • An official expedition into the EAFOTS sector has been launched:

What can you do?

Read the previous forum threads

More input

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Actual clues and false leads

There have been few actual leads in this mystery, and a lot of tinfoil theories. Not that there is anything wrong with tinfoil… sometimes it’s those mental leaps that help us to move forward. Drew has stated multiple times that we need patience to solve this mystery, and the clues will keep unfolding.

Think of it as an intellectual exercise. This is unlikely to be something that will be quickly resolved. You have yet to receive all the clues you require and you need to learn how to read them prior to putting the pieces together. Patience, Commanders.

Primary clues (reliable)

  • Formidine means 'through/with fear' in latin
    • ​It has been noted that 'Formidine' is in the 'ablative case' ('Formido' = 'fear' being the standard nominative form) (Thanks Kleitias for the clarification)
    • 'Formidine' is used many times in latin texts, including Ovids Metamorphoses to describe 'horrifying' or 'fearful' circumstances
  • The Kahina name etymology: Diviner/Fortune teller
    • Derived from Arabic الكاهِنة (al-Kahinah) meaning 'the diviner, the fortuneteller'. This was a title applied to the 7th-century Berber queen Dihya, who resisted the Arab expansion into North Africa.
    • We have been told "Kahina is named after berber princess and there are quite deliberate reasons for doing that."
  • Salomé name: link with the dance of the seven veils, there is the biblical version and the Oscar Wilde play, and another link with Ishtar/Inanna and the seven gates of the underworld
    • The name of the ship, 'Seven Veils' links with Salomé
  • One needs to 'plot a way' through the rift
  • Finding it depends on who goes looking
  • Uncovering the mystery is not rank or permit locked
  • We should consider the 'core' of the problem
  • Future hints will make things less 'nebulous'
    • "Nebulae are extremely good places to hide things. Visibility is reduced and navigation is more tricky. Sensors are flooded by emission and reflection radiation from multiple sources. Nebulae could be considered ideal staging points." (AMA)
  • The RR line 'points towards' the rift
    • We need to 'keep going' (in which direction?)
  • The rift is Kahina/Salomé’s story
    • Jaiotu had an interesting take on this that was backed up by Drew two posts down:
    • The fact that she is parroting messianic quotes tells us something about Salome. Does she really believe that she has become a priestess of sorts and that the Children of Raxxla are her church?
  • The old woman's Cobra in Tionisla graveyard is called "My Heart and Soul" (translation from Latin) and it emitted two signals when it was put into the Tionisla graveyard: The first one was a set of repeating characters containing the name of the sector "EAFOTS", the second contains a semi-cryptic phrase: 'The vain queen rides a giraffe that remembers her daughter's hero.' which contains references to three constellations towards the direction of the rift (looking from Sol): Cassiopeia, Camel and Perseus (who rescued Cassiopeia's daughter, Andromeda.)

Secondary clues (may be clues, or not)

  • Kahina tours the outer gas giants in Sol: potential pointer to Greek myths, in particular Neptune+Triton+Nereids => Cassiopeia
  • She makes the point that she "doesn't want to be late" several times
  • Kahina goes to London and 'historic Cambridge' on the vernal equinox: Cambridge is close to the Greenwich meridian, the Cambridge radio-source catalogue (3C catalogue) is there
  • Sol visit was most enlightening: could refer to a bright light source (radio, visible or X-ray) => Supernova, Cassiopeia A or Tycho’s star perhaps?
  • The Prism system and other links to Greek myths
    • We have been told there is some significance to the naming of the Prism system
    • In Drew's Elite: Reclamation guidebook, he told us he named the planets as a 'small' homage to Ulysses 31
    • System names revolve around the family of 'Autolycus' (the 'wolf itself') and 'Ulysses' (Autolycus' grandson)
    • ​The use of the ablative case of Formido could be a specific reference to ancient literature
    • Virgil also uses 'Formidine' to describe the gateway to hell in 'Georgics IV' (story of Orpheus and Eurydice)
    • Kahina visited 'Persephone' (Greek 'Queen of Underworld') before disappearing in Achenar
  • Upon disappearing, Kahina leaves her tiara along with the Dark Wheel/Salomé medallion, in her 'stripped' ship, 'Seven Veils'
    • Links here to ‘stripping’ of items – Ishtar/Inanna/Salomé – removal of garments and the ship ‘Seven Veils’ being stripped in Achenar
    • In the 'descent of Ishtar' mythology, Ishtar had to get permission to enter from 'Ereshkigal' (Babylonian 'Queen of Underworld'). She then had to remove seven items of clothing to pass each of seven gates to the underworld. The 'crown' was removed at the first gate, 'pendants for her ears' on the second and 'chains around her neck' on the third. Does this mean Kahina has passed the first gates? Or possibly an indicator to tell us she has passed the threshold to 'something'
    • Stripping is used again in reference to Kahina being 'stripped' of her imperial title (October 14th)
  • Drew uses the french spelling of the name ‘Salomé’ reinforcing the link with the Salomé from Oscar Wilde's play, not the biblical version
  • The expression 'shadowy', or ‘dark’, forces has come up several times in recent posts
  • In his AMA, Drew told us that 'Tionilsa is an odd place' and that we should keep an eye on it.

Tinfoil clues

  • At some point, Drew made a puzzle around eb, P => ro, C via Rot13, hinted by a sequence of dots read in unary (1,26,13). It has been confirmed that this was just a test and not directly linked to the mystery (clarification here)
    • "That was a test, players passed! :) Don't discount codes in future though."
  • In Reclamation, coordinates are supposed to be at the end of the message, but there are none. Message ends with "Good luck, and ... right on, Commander." which could be seen as three coordinates separated by commas due to the ,...,. (3,1) structure.
    • Using unary format as in the "eb, P => ro, C" puzzle from Drew (simply counting characters) it gives: 44, 3352, 10
    • There is something interesting about ‘three dots’. This has appeared several times in the text, and various logos of the Dark Wheel and Children of Raxxla. It has been posited that this could be an ‘asterism’ that we need to look out for.
    • It has also been suggested that the ,...,. pattern could refer to a system map layout
    • JT442 posted a summary of a few other breakdowns
    • It has been clarified that there are probably no secret codes contained within this text
  • That John Harper KickStarter quote (in the previous post): As has been clarified by Drew, John Harper, and Dan Grubb, that quote (and its various variants which appear in different versions of John's kickstarter and in And Here The Wheel) refers to a series of completely unrelated things which the Admiral has seen - so the Formidine Rift is not directly connected to the others in the quote
  • In a short story based on the Elite Reclamation and Oolite stories, Drew introduces us to the ‘old woman’ again. In this tale we are told her “Super Cobra: Eclipse Class. Apocalypse Engineering Special Edition” is registered as “Cor meum et animam” (Latin: ‘My heart and soul’)
  • We have been told there is a reason why Salomé named her ship 'Seven Veils'. Considering Salomé named it this after learning about the Formidine Rift, ‘seven’ lines up around a few things we have learned to date:
  • We could be looking for a type of star system that:
    • Is within the seven scoopable stars (OBAFGKM)
    • Has shed its 'seven' layers of nuclear fuel and so is a neutron star (the 'core') or possibly a black hole
      • Unpick all star class filters in the galaxy map except ‘non-sequence’ to display only neutron stars and black holes
    • Has a unique name as it has been hand placed
    • Has a procedural name as it has been hand placed (to disguise the fact)
    • The system name could be derived from one or more of the available clues (GLA, ROC, EBP)
    • There is something about word-play here and ‘reading between the lines’
  • RHO Cassiopeia has been a favourite from the outset but was unreachable until just recently
  • Cassiopeia A or Tycho's star is another favourite but so far either can't be easily located in-game. (We have rough co-ordinates but no practical idea of where it actually is, or even what it actually is considering it’s a supernova remnant in our timeline. Some surmise it could be a neutron star or even a black hole in 3302.)
    • Simulcrae had an interesting theory regarding Tycho's star
    • Along with others, Belthize had a pretty good crack at finding Cassiopeia A here
  • Whatever it is, it should theoretically be reachable by 25ly jump range ship as this is the range of the original Cobra ship the old woman from Elite: Reclamation flew
    • The only clarification we've got on this is that the location has been reachable since the bubble opened after gamma, so no FSD boosts or alterations should be required but it may still require fully stripped Anaconda range. Attempts to find routes into the Rift itself with under 27ly range have not met with success so far.
    • This thought regarding the old womans Cobra has potentially been overturned by the understanding that her ship was an “Apocalypse Engineering” version.
    • Though we don't know for sure if the old woman crossed the rift or not. Or even if she actually found what it is we are looking for
  • Star systems appear to be arranged a little strangely in the rift - for instance if you check the galaxy map in the vicinity of the rift (filter to display unscoopable star types only), you'll find they only exist on a layer below the galactic plane.
    • Further clarification from Aerovoid: The distribution of brown dwarfs become uneven and patchy and then you're left with a gap between an upper and lower layers. It happens everywhere and I assumed it was simply a flaw with the procedural generation of the Galaxy.
  • "That Dark Wheel symbol on Drew's site": darkwheel1.jpg
    • ​Drew has clarified that it's a piece of fan art, and is neither canon or anything to do with the Rift Mystery. He just liked it enough to put on his blog.

Thanks to Muetdhiver for compiling the initial list of clues for the above.
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Fantastic wealth of information.
I've been busy with the 2.1 Beta so curious to know if there has there been any interesting leads of late?
Missing Cas A supernova has me intrigued.
Nice! Here are a couple other textual Rift references:

From Lave Revolution (so supposedly canon):
"Reorte to Riedquat is another used trade lane, but local pilots talk about problems in the Formidine Rift; something to do with an unchartable area of space and ships going missing."

From: Incursio (non canon):
“Then, without warning, they came through the Formidine Rift. First we had incursions at Arusqudi and Orteve, followed by Teorge. Within days there was another at Riiser. A civilian fleet was ripped to shreds at Zarace. They'd completely circumvented the Xexedi Cluster. We've been keeping a lid on casualties but there have been millions. By the time we'd mobilized a sufficient force they were already due at Aesbion. The fifth Armada was assembled to meet them.”
Good work.
I would point out something that may be misleading. AFAIK it has not been confirmed that what we seek is IN the rift. It is in or beyond the rift.

Always worth reminding people about the RR line. It points at the rift, NOT what we seek. That said, it makes the perfect center of any search pattern. If you go much more than 5 or 10 degrees off the line, then the rift ceases to be so much if an obstacle, and you would be better off not going anywhere near it, certainly not be forced to cross it as the old lady proposes.
Good work.
I would point out something that may be misleading. AFAIK it has not been confirmed that what we seek is IN the rift. It is in or beyond the rift.

Always worth reminding people about the RR line. It points at the rift, NOT what we seek. That said, it makes the perfect center of any search pattern. If you go much more than 5 or 10 degrees off the line, then the rift ceases to be so much if an obstacle, and you would be better off not going anywhere near it, certainly not be forced to cross it as the old lady proposes.

Thanks Dommarraa. I had missed off the bullet point about us not knowing if what we seek is in, or beyond the rift. Have also added a small clarification to the RR line text to say it "points towards the rift."
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