Interesting you use the term gateway Edelgard. I've often wondered about the connection between Thargoids and Raxxla and if there is one (latterly the Guardians as well). Is it possible that Raxxla was indeed a gateway of sorts that allowed the Thargoids into our Galaxy? Either by luck or other means we obtained their technology and used it to gain FTL? Did the Guardians come through first and share their tech, the Thargoids destroying them when they found out? Was the gateway somehow destroyed either by accident or on purpose to prevent more Thargoids coming through? Did the thargoids then start their seeding of our galaxy to either create their war machines or to try and repair the gate?

Apologies just my idle ramblings and I'm afraid not based on any evidence!
On the mention of "gateway". We have a hell of a lot of stations with that term in their name. That may be indicative of systems of importance - see https://www.edsm.net/en/search/stations/index/name/+Gateway/sortBy/distanceSol .
 
Humor me here. Raxxla may be protected by a central character to the Elite Series (which may well go a long ways to explaining the death of Jason Ryder).
Jaques just might be THE Construct. He develops the Coriolis (this is in "... All that Glisters"). Glister is also the archaic form of Glisten. Reminder, Augustus Brenquith's "glistening legacy". So, just with that little information we can get an approximate age of Jaques, Evidence for his age:
  • From "...All that Glisters", "He had been born some three hundred years before, and had been a cyborg for over two hundred and seventy of those years."
  • From first manual, origin story of Coriolis in Vetitice (Vetitice apparently is Facece). The date for the first Coriolis built at Lave is 2752. Peter's Base is the prototype and then the one Lave is built. So,this means pre-2752.
  • First bullet point gets you to 2900s. This first statement is evidently a lie. Next, bullet point is slightly before 2752 (let's say 2750). At minimum, that makes Jaques at least 559 years old.
  • Ackwada has Rockforth Corporation founded in 2673 (tourist beacon "Rockforth Founded" TB#214 in Ackwada). We do not have an exact discovery date but Augustus Brenquith is credited with the discovery (let's just say 2670). This then puts Jaques age at 639.
  • Final piece of puzzle - Battle of Hell's Gate. It is important that Jaques was drafted 3 years after he became eligible (draft is at 18) due to being unemployed. This puts him at 21. So, Hell's Gate. A bit of deduction put the river of Hades as Eridanos/Eridanus ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eridanos_(river_of_Hades) ). That means Battle of Achenar (Fall 2324). Let's say he is drafted in 2322 at age 21 and ships out in 2323 when the fleet departs (Logistical Nightmare beacon in Beta Hydri).
That then puts Jaques at 1,008 years old (very conservatively). He is probably a great deal older.

Further, this might just imply Peter Jameson is THE Construct given the whole faked death in Riedquat (Frontier and FFE manuals) but there is Peter's Wreck planet in Facece and the first Coriolis Peter's Base. Jaques is maybe Raxxla (or at the very least protects it)?

COMMON HISTORY OF VIOLENCE

M.C.S

Both sentient Galactic species share, it seems, a common history of violence. The difference is that whereas humanity confined itself to wiping out members of its own species in the hundreds of thousands in the name of religion and progress, the Thargoids wiped out an entire sentient species. The full details of the past are not clear yet. In fact, it is not entirely obvious whether the ‘third race’ is genuinely extinct or whether they have merely retreated out of range.

The Thargoid’s suggestion is that the third race is aggressive in intent, that it is being held back by fear of our joint technology and that it is likely to attack once more when it believes that its own technology has progressed to the point where it would win an all-out Galactic conflict. Their fear is that if the human/android race explores far beyond the current confines of inhabited space (as is likely once alien technology becomes widely available) then we may be at risk of attack and may even provoke a ‘third race’ attack on our relatively unprotected sector of the Galaxy.

The alien inter-actors have been at pains to point out that they have no wish whatsoever to enter into any further conflict, with ourselves or any other sentient species and they would almost certainly avoid taking part in any such war unless their own home systems was under direct threat. That leaves us in an almost identical position to the one we were in a short time ago: there are sentients out there, we don’t know where they are and we don’t know what they want, but there’s every chance that they will come and get us - sometime. In view of this, we advise that Federal citizens think carefully before travelling outwith the current safe zone.

---
Perhaps this is why Peter Jameson has it in for the "Thargoids", because they are Guardians and he is the civilian AI trying to finish the job?

🤔

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So, basically depending on your take, humanity made a pact with the
👿
and that explains pretty much up to current era. The question: Is he the Devil or the nice old (actually ridiculously ancient) barman we all know and (mostly) love. I guess we'll find out.

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Sadly, I still have no clue whatsoever what heck Raxxla is in end. It could be anything from how certain aliens arrived in our galaxy. It could be Frameshift/modern iteration of Faraway. Or it could be a gateway or series of gateways that connects distant parts of the galaxy or galaxies. Insofar, as what it is exactly - you got me and we're in the same confusing trip to determine that question's ultimate answer is at the end.
 
Just breakfast coffee musings, but thinking again on the Omphalos being placed at the meeting point of two eagles sent by the god from the extremeties of the world to meet in the middle (i.e. the hub, the navel)... WHY pick the name "Omphalos"? That in itself seems like a clue...

Halfway between Earth and Jupiter would be 628,950,000 km, nothing around there from reality (Wikipedia solar system planetary distances). But from EDSM halfway between Persephone and Sol would be 242,177.5 ls, which puts it just inside the orbit of Sedna.

Somebody else can work out midway from Sag A* (centre of Milky Way) to the galactic extremity...
 
On the question of the PF controlling independent pilots and their systems: the effect used when a thargoid shuts down your ship has always struck me as odd.

It's a cool effect, and I assumed artistic license. It really feels alien and makes you go "what!?". But it's not how an emp would affect a ship - it isn't systems shutting down - there are novel animations, sounds etc.

There's the point that if everything just cut off like electronics in real life would then the player would think something was wrong with their game - but I don't know that that would have felt worse - maybe better. Gives you a second of garden path thinking which is always satisfying to be shocked out of.

But ultimately it could just come down to a series of effects being iterated and ruled as looking the best. There are simulated sounds after all in space. Rule of cool for a video game.

But if it is meaningful - well it's guardian tech? Thargoid tech? Given the community I wouldn't be surprised if people have picked apart these animations. Do we think there could be clues between the frames?

Edit: Well I just picked through some videos frame by frame - nothing to see, though that would have been obvious.
 
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Always suspected we were supposed to decide the goid's light signals after hyperdiction, and the Guardian obelisk triangular patterns (looked a bit like braille to me)
 
Just breakfast coffee musings, but thinking again on the Omphalos being placed at the meeting point of two eagles sent by the god from the extremeties of the world to meet in the middle (i.e. the hub, the navel)... WHY pick the name "Omphalos"? That in itself seems like a clue...

Halfway between Earth and Jupiter would be 628,950,000 km, nothing around there from reality (Wikipedia solar system planetary distances). But from EDSM halfway between Persephone and Sol would be 242,177.5 ls, which puts it just inside the orbit of Sedna.

Somebody else can work out midway from Sag A* (centre of Milky Way) to the galactic extremity...
Throwing this out there as it came up in chats lately (here or elsewhere). There are two key items found in Sol. The first is either known as The Relic, Martian Relic, or Non-human Relic. It's true nature is still a deep secret even in 3309. It is found in 2280 potentially at first in space then later on the surface of Mars.

The second object is a Hyperspace-capable message pod from Augustus Brenquith on his discovery of the Ackwada system. The pod is found orbitting Jupiter after apparently losing power upon arrival at Sol. The canister was open and seal broken and contained a message crystal. The tale is told in both the Discovery of Ackwada beacon and in a more complete fashion in Frontier gazetteer. This is but one of a series of pods found in Sol that sets off waves of colonization. Each one a separate entry from the Frontier gazetteer.

It is my firm belief these are all Guardian in nature including the object found in 2280 at Mars. The full gazateer entry is as follows:

Ackwada

The official discovery of this system and its habitable planet is nowadays accredited to Augustus Brenquith, although the Rockforth Corporation claim the land deeds and development rights to the system. Thirty nine years after the Corporation declared the system its own, an ancient message capsule was recovered from outside the orbit of Jupiter in the Sol system, tumbling in an uncontrolled fashion. It is now believed that the capsule suffered a power failure immediately after returning to Sol by hyper space and had been orbiting Jupiter for an untold length of time.

The discovery aroused considerable interest amongst archeologists on Earth at the time and while the capsule was in transit to New Delhi University there was heated debate as to whether the artifact should be opened or not. When the capsule was studied, the seal was seen to be broken, so the matter was resolved. Inside the capsule was a message crystal with the log of the second five years of Augustus Brenquith’s solitary search for new worlds, his `glittering legacy’, included in the list of planetary systems he had stumbled upon was that of Ackwada.

Ackwada is a benign world, with a gravity very closely matched to that of Old Earth and a pleasant climate. Many visitors and industrialists attending Corporation Functions are struck by the similarity to the home world. Locals tend to be bitter about this comparison, pointing out that Earth has seen fit to launch four separate invasions on the planet in the past. In many ways Thompson’s planet is one of the disputed zone, roughly equally spaced between the heart of Federation and Empire. Rockforth Corporation managed to preserve the colony’s independence during the early .years, and this trend has continued, even though the Corporation holding rights to the planet has changed several times since the founding.

Rush’s Camp is a heavily industrialised city, and raw materials are transformed into the machines and tools needed by the developing system. The outspill of pollutants and wastes is unrestricted, because of early Corporation law, and the environment in the region of Rush’s Camp is unhealthy except in protective wear. The local life forms have mostly fallen prey to heavy metal poisoning and carcinomas from effluents of the different plants. The air near Rush’s Camp is not safe to breath for long periods without a respirator or sophisticated filter system.

Most people turn to Yorkville for relaxation. The Corporations owning the World provide regular free shuttles between the two major cities and as the local saying goes `Rush to work, Rush for pay, York you live, York to play’. The entertainment sectors of Yorkville are Corporation sponsored and this has led to allegations amongst some neighbouring star systems that organised crime has set up at Ackwada. This charge is vigorously denied by all senior executives of the Corporations and legal actions are in progress in several colonies in this regard. The Corporations have found the threat of punitive legal damages and costly trials is an effective deterrent for all but the most vociferous of their opponents.
 

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That then puts Jaques at 1,008 years old (very conservatively). He is probably a great deal older.

Further, this might just imply Peter Jameson is THE Construct given the whole faked death in Riedquat (Frontier and FFE manuals) but there is Peter's Wreck planet in Facece and the first Coriolis Peter's Base. Jaques is maybe Raxxla (or at the very least protects it)?

Perhaps this is why Peter Jameson has it in for the "Thargoids", because they are Guardians and he is the civilian AI trying to finish the job?

🤔
That would be one hell (ha!) of a way to bring the Jameson character back into the game :LOL:
 
As much as this all tracks for me, I can't see how Raxxla (as expressed in the idea of the Omphalos Rift) fits in to any of this? I just can't see where Raxxla might appear, I guess I mean I can't see the 'hole' in this particular thought experiment that would be neatly filled by "an alien artefact, the Omphalos Rift, described as a gateway or tunnel through which parallel universes can be accessed."
I have an idea that might help you fit the pieces together, based in simple logic.
  • If Raxxla was a natural phenomenon why there's not plent of it? Unless Raxxla is a supermassive blackhole every natural thing in the galaxy has a multitude of presence, even GGGs and Void Hearts;
  • If Raxxla was human tech how come its development was never leaked at any point in history? It may not sound odd but if you look at technology in our history, even the top-secret and very sensitive ones, got spied out by foes such as the atomic bomb, radar, stealth... and are you noticing a pattern here? Why wasn't it ever weaponized (because if it was we would certainly have a lot more details about it than we do now) since literally every technology developed by humans was first used as weapon before being used to anything else? Technology is not created by coincidence, you're aiming to achieve something, then why nobody else developed a similar tech following the same purpose (what ever it could be) over the course of years?;
Those are some objective and simple questions something big as Raxxla should be filtered in before any investigation, imo. So it's safe to assume it's not a natural thing neither it is of human origin, again imo.

We can't reach the center bubbles of GV and Hen2-333 either by limitations in our current FSD tech or by PF lockout (which i already stated i don't think is the case because of the error messages when trying to jump) but it could've been possible using the Type-2b drive that was common until 3297 and could reach +600ly jump range in big ships, theoretically allowing humans to reach there and learn about its secrets long before other expeditions such as Melville's and Ram Tah's.

How does Raxxla may be related to Guardians? Somehow the Guardian AI outlived its creator and is nowhere to be found. My hypothesis is that this AI managed to create a device or mechanism inside this region for whatever purpose it had and uses it to remain hidden, maybe even created a new civilization with the guardians that supported it (history says otherwise but that history was written by someone and told by some other one - if you want to stay hidden you might want people to believe you're dead). Maybe we are this new civlization, maybe the part of Raxxla we contacted was a gateway used to reach the now human region and we bumped into it at some point while some part of the elitists in the galaxy keep contact with our "creators" to continue leading human kind towards what ever purpose there is to go.. which leads to the second point:

The key is covert; Whoever controls Raxxla has been secretly using its power to dominate humanity secretly, presumably for centuries.

Really what immediately springs to mind for me is the Pilot's Federation (or at least a sub-faction thereof).
If you think about it, being truly covert doesn't mean you're in the most sophisticated, isolated and secure hideout, it may sound effective (and may be) but not on the long term and it would restrict your reach/power significantly.

In order to be really covert you must be in plain sight and stablish control. You have to be part of the daily life nobody pays attention to and everybody relies on. Let me give you some examples:
  • Hey i'm unable to fly a ship, i need to be licensed first and if i step outside the rules i'll become space dust.
  • Hey i have to turn my ship on, let me scroll through the interface.
  • Hey this organization has been gathering stellar data for a while now, what does it do with it?
  • Hey i cannot go to this system, why?
  • Hey i need to access this historic data, who has control over it?
  • Hey i gotta know what's happening in the world, let me tune in the news.

So forth and so on, i think the game may very well lead some of the players into this kind of questioning which also applies to our real world. Powerful organizations, elitists, hidden cults, strange tech and science leaps..

There's a song that makes a reference to this. It has some verses that goes like this "Who really heard the song, who decided it was on tone, who split the world in two, who has chosen what's good and evil, who tried and didn't like it, who decided whats ugly, who defined everything was normal".

We usually don't question the reality we live in, we are too busy trying to live what's been milestoned to us and when we question the theater we watch everyday, when we think outside of the boundaries of the world created to us we are deemed crazy. Maybe the game filters out people who can't think through this, maybe it's necessary to question the box we've been raised into and connect the dots in the big picture.
 
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I have an idea that might help you fit the pieces together, based in simple logic.
  • If Raxxla was a natural phenomenon why there's not plent of it? Unless Raxxla is a supermassive blackhole every natural thing in the galaxy has a multitude of presence, even GGGs and Void Hearts;
  • If Raxxla was human tech how come its development was never leaked at any point in history? It may not sound odd but if you look at technology in our history, even the top-secret and very sensitive ones, got spied out by foes such as the atomic bomb, radar, stealth... and are you noticing a pattern here? Why wasn't it ever weaponized (because if it was we would certainly have a lot more details about it than we do now) since literally every technology developed by humans was first used as weapon before being used to anything else? Technology is not created by coincidence, you're aiming to achieve something, then why nobody else developed a similar tech following the same purpose (what ever it could be) over the course of years?;
Those are some objective and simple questions something big as Raxxla should be filtered in before any investigation, imo. So it's safe to assume it's not a natural thing neither it is of human origin, again imo.
True, we're told in the Raxxla Codex that: "Several versions of the Raxxla story mention an alien artefact, the Omphalos Rift, described as a gateway or tunnel through which parallel universes can be accessed."
We can't reach the center bubbles of GV and Hen2-333 either by limitations in our current FSD tech or by PF lockout (which i already stated i don't think is the case because of the error messages when trying to jump) but it could've been possible using the Type-2b drive that was common until 3297 and could reach +600ly jump range in big ships, theoretically allowing humans to reach there and learn about its secrets long before other expeditions such as Melville's and Ram Tah's.
I agree totally. However, that's all relatively recent (the 2b was used after the collapse of GalCop, about 125 years or so ago). Raxxla was known about almost at the dawn of interstellar travel, about 1000 years ago, so we should look further back for answers because we don't know when Raxxla was actually found and exploited, and when it was actually reached changes the equation quite a lot.

We know that GalCop lost some scout ships near the Pleaides before the first Thargoid war (approx 200 years ago). That's 500 lightyears away, give or take, but using the Quirium drive (same as the Adamastor used in 3113-ish too). So we know that some people from that era were travelling that far and further, but that it was far and mysterious and dangerous, and likely only funded by governments. We also know the Dredgers have travelled outside the bubble, but we have so little info it's hard to say how far they've been - but again, city-sized megaships originally built and funded by corporations/governments.

We know that before 2700 (the birth of Galcop) explorers would have been part of large ship crews funded by corporations, governments, or very wealthy folks:
"Released in 2700, the Python paved the way for a new age of low-cost, accessible space travel for independent pilots, breaking new ground in a field that had long been dominated by slower, massive transport vessels that only large corporations could afford."
Going back further we know that these megaships (sometimes called Cruisers in the lore) were used to explore and to travel any distance:
"Colonial Deep Space Cruisers Herschel and Oberon reached the system then designated L-453 in 2412" - History of Lave.
Before that we know that the Empire was established by a fleet, it took them a long time and they lost ships along the way:
Galnet: "The Achenar system was first colonised in the middle of the 23rd century [2292]. ... Marlin Duval vowed to get as far from Earth as she could, and after a long and treacherous journey across what was then unexplored space, most of the convoy eventually reached the Achenar system."
"as far away from Earth as she could" in the 2290's (concurrent with the first mention of Raxxla) was 140ly. At that time most colonies were within 20ly. As Michael Brookes explained in the lore interview here, travel was hard:
15:27
DJ: When was it humans first left Sol, do we have a date on it?
MB: We do, I'm going to refer to my notes for this, just so I get it right, So the first interstellar colony was on Tau Ceti and that was in the 2150s.
--DJ and MB Discuss the colony and the problems that happened there.--
16:24
DJ: What propulsion were they using when they first left Sol?
MB: So back then it was mostly slower than light drives like ion propulsion, so not too dissimilar to the technologies that NASA is using today, fusion torches but they tended to be for the very big ships like generation ships that could carry enough fuel to make them worthwhile, so something similar in mind to the Daedalus project with its deuterium pellets, and of course there were experiments with hyperspace, but they varied in success, so they weren't considered reliable enough for large transportation which is why the early transports used the colony ships.
DJ: This is something we often wonder about because they were sending probes through hyperspce [MB: Yep] quite soon after discovering it weren't they? but it's a couple of hundred years before hyperspace use seems to become normal for human carrying craft
MB: Yeah think that's simply safety factors. Obvious there were a few crazy people that were happy to jump in and make a jump but they tended to disappear or there would be some unknown accident or some trace of them would be found, so it's like with any technology, when you're at the forefront of it there's a bit of risk involved, especially if you're trying to translate across lightyears of space.
DJ: ... This is one of the ones (holes) we'd discussed, why it is that there's that 200-odd year gap [MB: yep], and we'd assumed it was just trying to figure out how to send a human through safely, essentially.
MB: Well, its large numbers of humans, and the bigger the mass the more energy you need and you need to have efficient methods of actually producing enough energy to actually do the jump.
We know that Raxxla was first mentioned around 100-150 years or so after the first discoveries into Hypersapce travel, but that FTL travel wasn't anything like we're familiar with today. Tau Ceti, Delta Pavonis, Beta Hydri and Altair were all explored and settled between 2190 and 2230, and Achenar was being settled just a few years before the Art Tornqvist mention of Raxxla in 2296. Travel between the colonies seems like it was happening (as per the Tau Ceti history with investigators and military travelling from Sol, 11ly away), but it seems like it took a while and wasn't done lightly. The Federation travelled to Achenar in 2323/24:
Galnet: Under the command of Admiral Richard Morgan, a fleet was assembled at Beta Hydri and began its transit to Achenar towards the end of 2323. That region of space was relatively unexplored and thinly populated at the time, meaning that the fleet lacked the logistical support needed for a mission of this scale.

Despite a long and fragile supply line, Morgan chose to engage the defenders in a single large battle. Achenar was alerted to the plan and laid an ambush for the invaders, applying the infamous pack-hunting formation against the Federal fleet initially, then against its supply lines.

Throughout 2324 the Federal fleet continued to try and establish a foothold in the system, but with little success. The constant attrition took its toll on the invaders and in 2325 Achenar counterattacked in what is now remembered as the ‘Great Battle of Liberation’.
This was 26 years after Art Tornqvist mentioned Raxxla, and this is a full-fledged and well-supplied Federal military battlefleet travelling 117ly.

So... we can see a pretty clear range/time/ease/accessibility curve on the conceptual graph here. The earlier in history you assume the actual 'exploitation of Raxxla' begins, then the closer/more accessible Raxxla must have been - to a point. The Regor sector, 1000ly away, seems like it would have been impossible for the tech of the time, maybe for as much as five hundred or more years.

As you mention: the more people that know something and the more time that passes, the more likely it is that the secret will get out - so that adds more factors to the equation. But, to balance that, the more time that passes the more misinformation spreads too (i.e. like Atlantis, El Dorado and the kingdom of Prester John)...

To add complexity, Art Tornquvist's 2296 mention might have been referring to the discovery of Raxxla, which may have happened in any way; remote detection, FTL probes, Hyperspace misjump, psychic vision, etc. and not necessarily the 'exploitation of Raxxla' - those two events might have been separated by centuries (or not at all). If you take the Dark Wheel novella as a story based on truth (like it's fiction within the world of Elite), then the 'exploitation of Raxxla' seems to have occurred before 3125 (ish) - but how long before? who knows!

If you think about it, being truly covert doesn't mean you're in the most sophisticated, isolated and secure hideout, it may sound effective (and may be) but not on the long term and it would restrict your reach/power significantly.

In order to be really covert you must be in plain sight and stablish control. You have to be part of the daily life nobody pays attention to and everybody relies on. Let me give you some examples:
  • Hey i'm unable to fly a ship, i need to be licensed first and if i step outside the rules i'll become space dust.
  • Hey i have to turn my ship on, let me scroll through the interface.
  • Hey this organization has been gathering stellar data for a while now, what does it do with it?
  • Hey i cannot go to this system, why?
  • Hey i need to access this historic data, who has control over it?
  • Hey i gotta know what's happening in the world, let me tune in the news.

So forth and so on, i think the game may very well lead some of the players into this kind of questioning which also applies to our real world. Powerful organizations, elitists, hidden cults, strange tech and science leaps.
I think I understand, and yes I agree, the game is literally chock-a-block with conspiracies and secrets by design.

The tourist beacons in Shinrartra literally explains that the PF controls a staggeringly large portion of interstellar travel - and therefore one could easily say they covertly dominate humanity, since without interstellar travel humanity as we know it would collapse:
[Tourist Beacons in Shinrarta]
"The Pilots Federation derives the bulk of its wealth from the GalNet data network. Originally a system of ship, bounty and star-chart data, it evolved into an interstellar aggregator of market information and galactic news. By 3300, the Pilots Federation was not only the dominant provider of this information, it was also the main manufacturer of the hardware and software serving this data. Today, Pilots Federation systems are fitted as standard on virtually all independent starships."

"The Pilots Federation has always remained politically neutral, avowing that it exists to support pilots rather than nationalities or political factions. The organisation is based in the Shinrarta Dezhra system, which can be accessed only by invitation. Receiving an invitation is typically dependent on achieving a high rank in the Pilots Federation. This stipulation has contributed to perceptions of the organisation as secretive – a perception compounded by the fact that the Pilots Federation has very little direct interaction with the public."

"Officially, the Pilots' Federation is apolitical: as an organisation it does not interfere with the internal workings of systems or factions. However this official stance is a misnomer. The PF wields considerable power through its web of political contacts as well as the application of the bounty system and control of the ship and station embedded systems. It also uses a lot of soft power by providing pilot safety support throughout human space."
If we're looking for a covert power dominating humanity, then the PF has got to be a top candidate. It was founded in 2805 (though significantly smaller and more limited than it is now), so that falls within our theoretical timeframe for exploiting Raxxla. There's even an Elite group within the PF that's even more secret and covert, which actually ties in with what Rafe says in The Dark Wheel novella:
"Because there are people on Raxxla already. This is only a guess, mind you, but from what happened to Jason I'd say it was close to being right. We've long suspected that a corps of Elites lives there, and are exploiting the gateway. They're powerful, twisted men. Powerful enough to hire an assassin to kill the threat to their dominance"
"A corps of Elites":
[Tourist Beacon 0247 in Shinrarta] "The Elite Federation of Pilots (EFP) continues as a select and extremely secretive group within the larger organisation."

[Tourist Beacon 0251 in Shinrarta] "Much of what the Pilots Federation does revolves around secrecy; and this has many layers. Within the Pilots Federation, the Elite Federation of Pilots is even more mysterious and secretive, and at the centre of that is the elusive 'Founders World'. It is the only system directly controlled by the EFP, and even its location is closely guarded. This secrecy is maintained by the EFP using 'misinformation' - there are a great many rumours of its rough location - and they all contradict each other. Only a select few - the members of the EFP - know the truth. The system is governed by the EFP and it is here that the organisation's headquarters is based. EFP members are allowed to retire here in relative anonymity."
Much as I don't like to think that Founder's World is Raxxla... it does seem to match most of the things we're told about it, and it's not far from Sol (64ly) or Lave (57ly), therefore it could have been found pretty early on. But - I can't think of a better candidate within the current lore for the 'sinister cabal (or sole tyrant), which has leveraged its power to establish covert dominance over humanity' than the EPF...

While I think the Guardian angle is very compelling (and the Thargoid angle too), and I really like exploring them - I really struggle to fit Raxxla into them without inventing a lot of stuff. With what I've outlined above, you don't have to fill in many blanks at all to fit Raxxla in there:


The early PF discovered the "Omphalos Rift" and exploited the "alien construct that's a gateway to other Universes, and all that's in those Universes in the way of bounty, and treasures, and aliens, and life" to grow powerful and have "leveraged its power to establish covert dominance over humanity". "A corps of Elites lives there, and are exploiting the gateway. They're powerful, twisted men". "Within the Pilots Federation, the Elite Federation of Pilots is even more mysterious and secretive, and at the centre of that is the elusive 'Founders World'." "Only a select few - the members of the EFP - know the truth". "Unless you become Elite, you'll never get to Raxxla."



It might well be that Founder's World is a Guardian world, maybe the Exiles(?), that sort of thing, and that's why the PF has locked off access to the Guardian sites, only allowing them to be 'discovered' when the threat of the Thargoids meant that humanity as a while needed a way to rapidly tool up in a short time?
 
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Only a select few - the members of the EFP - know the truth".
I think the coverup angle by the PF, EFP or the Club is the most compelling angle to be honest.

I've been thinking about the Club, and going off the fandom site it looks like the only direct mention is in ED: Premonition. I haven't skimmed galnet for the name yet though.

Either way, frontier have enjoyed sprinkling in plenty of hints to "a secretive group" behind everything.

But to touch on something which has been said frequently - I think we can take the codex at face value. Not necessarily the content, but the fact of a player-facing out of universe information pool. If it was otherwise I don't see why it would have half the hints in there at all - even as misinformation. The idea just seems unfun.
 
I've been thinking about the Club, and going off the fandom site it looks like the only direct mention is in ED: Premonition. I haven't skimmed galnet for the name yet though.
The Club are a bit of a tricky one because different writers have taken them in different directions, possibly in response to seeing how the original "big ideas" for the story were actually received / practical to put across through the medium of a long-running computer game.

Premonition (and its associated in-game content) portrays them as the all-encompassing conspiracy behind absolutely everything (even the things which didn't need explaining as the machinations of a conspiracy in the first place). I believe Premonition-the-book is the only source which refers to them as "the Club" rather than leaving them unnamed. Under that interpretation they're responsible for basically every official event which happens.

Galnet doesn't mention them by name but the only things strongly connected to them (excluding the Premonition content) are the conspiracy around Core Dynamics / Jupiter Division / Federal Military to have Halsey assassinated and replaced by a more military-spending-friendly President. They're not weak under this interpretation - two Federal VPs killed, an unfavourable Presidential election result essentially overturned within nine months, etc. - but neither are they the "CMDR Smith just ate a sandwich, our plan is proceeding perfectly" uber-conspiracy that Premonition markets them as.

2020-onwards storytelling I think has tended to move away from having a single unified conspiracy (which I personally think works better):
- the Club are messing with Federal politics primarily with the aim of making higher profits (and probably the Alliance too, given the Sirius connection). Their most recent visible action might well be the assassination of Fleischer (and attempt to pin it on Torval) perhaps to bring another big Federal company into their grouping.
- Azimuth are (or rather were) working in the shadows to complete their leader's personal vengeance against the Thargoids; having to act openly is clearly not healthy for them.
- the Consortium (Rackham certainly fits the Codex description, but maybe all of Joker's Deck?) have been introduced in the Odyssey codex as another criminal-corporate conspiracy group, with slightly unclear motivations and actions. Other than the attempted coup versus Delaine (who's somewhat close to Sirius, so this may be a Club-Consortium shadow war going on) it's not clear that they've done very much.
- the League of Restoration (NMLA's funders) don't need to be connected to any of that on the Imperial side; Blaine gets to remain a bit more ambiguous a character as a result.
 
As there has been progress made by looking at the representations of mythology in the game, I thought I would take a look at fictional references, especially relating to HP Lovecraft and Robert Holdstock, as these authors so inspired Michael Brookes.

My knowledge of the actual works of HP Lovecraft is very limited, although I have certainly seen his themes reused in other science fiction. Elite Dangerous is not lacking in this regard, with cosmicism, forbidden knowledge and the dangers of self-knowledge present in strength.
As far as direct reference to characters and places, I drew a complete blank - but I only know the names of a few main characters (though Wikipedia does have the family tree of the main character from one of his books and there are some common surnames in there, as well as some not human ... ).

There was more that I found that seemed to reference Robert Holdstock's work and whilst reading about the inspiration for some of these stories I encountered one or two extra names that are in-game.
Since I didn't want to spoil Ragthorn (which I am getting for Christmas) I confined myself to checking against names of people and places in some of the Mythago Wood stories in the Galaxy Map. Whilst it is hard to be sure that any of the following names are references to the characters and not other individuals, e.g. scientists, the fact that I got so many 'hits' I think suggests that it may be intentional.
Huxley, Mythago Wood character(s): 8 stations have this name.
Hayden, Mythago Wood character: 7 stations have this name.
Bradley, The Hollowing character(s): 20 stations have this name.
Jacobi, The Hollowing character: 15 stations have this name.
McCarthy, The Hollowing character: 9 stations have this name.
Sinisalo, The Hollowing character: 5 stations have this name.
Sarin, The Hollowing character: a system on the edge of the Bubble in the rough direction of Colonia (empty system).
Mabon, Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn character: inhabited system near the edge of the Lost Realms region (main feature is an Ammonia World). This character was apparently bound to guard the entrance to the underworld!
Pwyll, Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn character: inhabited system near Sol.
Mahar, the race of reptilians who lived underground in 'At the Earth's Core' by ER Burroughs: a system in the Lost Realms region.
Taliesin, Welsh poet after whom Tallis from Lavondyss was reputedly named: a system in the upper branches of Yggdrasil, above and to one side of Sol.

I'm starting to feel that the 'personal journey' might mirror a character from Robert Holdstock, not only Paradise Lost, though what we find could be more Lovecraftian!
 

Philip Coutts

Volunteer Moderator
On the question of the PF controlling independent pilots and their systems: the effect used when a thargoid shuts down your ship has always struck me as odd.

It's a cool effect, and I assumed artistic license. It really feels alien and makes you go "what!?". But it's not how an emp would affect a ship - it isn't systems shutting down - there are novel animations, sounds etc.

There's the point that if everything just cut off like electronics in real life would then the player would think something was wrong with their game - but I don't know that that would have felt worse - maybe better. Gives you a second of garden path thinking which is always satisfying to be shocked out of.

But ultimately it could just come down to a series of effects being iterated and ruled as looking the best. There are simulated sounds after all in space. Rule of cool for a video game.

But if it is meaningful - well it's guardian tech? Thargoid tech? Given the community I wouldn't be surprised if people have picked apart these animations. Do we think there could be clues between the frames?

Edit: Well I just picked through some videos frame by frame - nothing to see, though that would have been obvious.
So on Thargoids shutting down our ships, how do they do it? Are they able to do it because our systems are in fact partly based on Thargoid or Guardian tech? Maybe but then again maybe not...
 
As there has been progress made by looking at the representations of mythology in the game, I thought I would take a look at fictional references, especially relating to HP Lovecraft and Robert Holdstock, as these authors so inspired Michael Brookes.

My knowledge of the actual works of HP Lovecraft is very limited, although I have certainly seen his themes reused in other science fiction. Elite Dangerous is not lacking in this regard, with cosmicism, forbidden knowledge and the dangers of self-knowledge present in strength.
As far as direct reference to characters and places, I drew a complete blank - but I only know the names of a few main characters (though Wikipedia does have the family tree of the main character from one of his books and there are some common surnames in there, as well as some not human ... ).

There was more that I found that seemed to reference Robert Holdstock's work and whilst reading about the inspiration for some of these stories I encountered one or two extra names that are in-game.
Since I didn't want to spoil Ragthorn (which I am getting for Christmas) I confined myself to checking against names of people and places in some of the Mythago Wood stories in the Galaxy Map. Whilst it is hard to be sure that any of the following names are references to the characters and not other individuals, e.g. scientists, the fact that I got so many 'hits' I think suggests that it may be intentional.
Huxley, Mythago Wood character(s): 8 stations have this name.
Hayden, Mythago Wood character: 7 stations have this name.
Bradley, The Hollowing character(s): 20 stations have this name.
Jacobi, The Hollowing character: 15 stations have this name.
McCarthy, The Hollowing character: 9 stations have this name.
Sinisalo, The Hollowing character: 5 stations have this name.
Sarin, The Hollowing character: a system on the edge of the Bubble in the rough direction of Colonia (empty system).
Mabon, Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn character: inhabited system near the edge of the Lost Realms region (main feature is an Ammonia World). This character was apparently bound to guard the entrance to the underworld!
Pwyll, Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn character: inhabited system near Sol.
Mahar, the race of reptilians who lived underground in 'At the Earth's Core' by ER Burroughs: a system in the Lost Realms region.
Taliesin, Welsh poet after whom Tallis from Lavondyss was reputedly named: a system in the upper branches of Yggdrasil, above and to one side of Sol.

I'm starting to feel that the 'personal journey' might mirror a character from Robert Holdstock, not only Paradise Lost, though what we find could be more Lovecraftian!
Great work.

I suspect there to be a great deal in game which is related to Holdstock. Some of it I suspect is arbitrary but a certain percentage is intentional, if we can utilise these correctly they may help establish cross-overs, and build confidence behind other hypotheses.
 
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