Cult of Cthulhu

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Icon10 16 feat.JPG Cult of Cthulhu was a featured article on the main page.
The Cult of Cthulhu corporate logo. It remained unchanged throughout the corporation's history.

Cult of Cthulhu is one of the oldest, most well known [1] and most well respected PVP corporations [2] of EVE. It existed from the very beginning of retail, for approximately three years, until it disbanded - operating in that time as pirates, pirate hunters and mercenaries. The corporation was involved in numerous high profile mercenary operations as well as several significant political events during the early stages of the game.

The corporation is currently in hibernation. It is not known at this time whether it will ever return.

Contents

Prominent Members

Acuna Traos – Co-founder, CEO 2003.
Merdekka Radaen – Co-founder, CEO 2004-onwards.
Falhofnir
ioctl
Mitchman

Background and Formation

During EVE's beta, Merdekka Radaen and Acuna Traos attempted to get to grips with the game in much the same way as many others – firstly by mining to raise money and then spending that money on larger and more powerful ships. This, it turned out, was not to their tastes. They quickly switched tack to a far more PVP focused system of playing and became small time pirates operating out of the Genesis region as it was then. As the beta neared completion, Merdekka decided it would be interesting to pursue a particularly infamous pirate of the time – Stavros. Last sighted in the Oishami system of the Lonetrek region, Merdekka headed out.

As it turned out, Stavros had recently left the area and with the trail gone cold Merdekka decided to pirate the Oishami locals until it was clear what his next destination was. Over the next few days Merdekka attacked and destroyed numerous people in Oishami, many from local corporations Cornexant Inc. and the Chocolate Llamas. With the near destruction of a Cornexant Inc. Omen class cruiser and numerous other losses, things eventually came to a head. A challenge was laid down – should local pilot Rowan defeat Merdekka in a one on one battle, Merdekka would agree to leave Oishami and never come back.

Ultimately the battle proved to be a stalemate. Merdekka's Merlin class frigate was massively outmatched by Rowan's Maller class cruiser, but with judicious use of anti-Amarr target jamming equipment, the Maller's superior weaponry was rendered impotent. Impressed, Cornexant Inc. and the Chocolate Llamas came to the realisation that it would be a much better idea to have Merdekka fighting for them than against them, in the capacity of a mercenary and corporate saboteur working against the actions of their competitors in Lonetrek.

A deal was proposed – Cornexant Inc. and the Chocolate Llamas would supply Merdekka with ships and equipment that a lone pilot would otherwise not have access to so early in the game and in return Merdekka would use that equipment to disrupt the activities of their competitors and deal with pirate threats – all while not making his connection to said benefactors known to the outside world. Merdekka had one stipulation, that his friend Acuna Traos be brought in on the deal. Cornexant Inc and the Chocolate Llamas accepted. EVE went retail only days later and Cult of Cthulhu was born. This document is the first time that the nature of this deal has been made public.

Pirates, Piracy and Taggart Transdimensional

Merdekka Radaen and Acuna Traos on patrol in the belts of EC-P8R, 27th June 2003.
Having merged into one corporation at the start of the game, Cornexant Inc. kept their word. Merdekka and Acuna began to reap the rewards almost immediately, being given Merlin class frigates and then Blackbird class cruisers within only the first couple of weeks. In turn, they held up their end of the bargain - firstly by disrupting the work of their competitors, too numerous to name here and secondly by regularly engaging local pirates such as lone wolves like Tinkerbell and corporations Federation of Assassins (a very early corporation of well known players Vegeta and Tank CEO,) Spectral Armada and the Jokers. All these operations were met with surprising success and the profile of the corporation began to steadily rise. Even the infamous m0o blockade of Mara was dislodged a couple of times by the diligent work of Cult of Cthulhu pilots, although they never possessed the manpower to make a lasting impression and a direct attack was always out of the question.

One notable episode concerned the Y-4CFK system of the Venal region. At this time none of the major alliances of the game had formed and even a mineral rich system like Y-4CFK featured only a collection of unaligned corporations who were quite content to mine alongside each other. Cornexant Inc. realised that the local ore would not last forever and brought Cult of Cthulhu in to make it difficult for anybody else to get at it. Piracy escalated into a major battle outside Y-4CFK's only station, with the locals soundly defeated despite their massively superior numbers. Cornexant Inc. acted in local all the while, complaining about all the ships they had lost, while secretly mining what remained of the ore and congratulating Merdekka and Acuna.

Merdekka Radaen and Acuna Traos on patrol in the "Fire Cloud" of EC-P8R X, 27th June 2003.
Of great importance to the early history of the corporation was a running dispute with one of the powerhouses of the early game, Taggart Transdimensional. It arose when, during the first week of retail, Acuna was responsible for the destruction of an Ibis class frigate flying under the flag of one of the rookie corporations in the Semiki system of Lonetrek. It belonged to a director of Taggart Transdimensional who could not yet join the corporation due to the still low skill levels of CEO Ragnar. Rather than accept this as a misunderstanding, Taggart Transdimensional immediately declared war on the fledgling Cult of Cthulhu.

However, the threat of being at war with arguably the largest and most powerful corporate entity of EVE did not daunt Cult of Cthulhu. Instead of backing down, they launched numerous raids against the operations of Taggart Transdimensional, resulting in a significant number of kills, while themselves incurring no losses. Standing opposed to Taggart Transdimensional was to be a major feature of the Cult of Cthulhu's operations throughout this early period of EVE. During the clashes that were to follow, Cult of Cthulhu slowly expanded, adding members Falhofnir, ioctl and Mitchman and solidifying what would be become recognised as the corporation's classic line up of pilots.

Fountain (end of July 2003)

Having outstripped the meagre resources of Lonetrek, Cornexant Inc. made the decision to take the long journey to the Fountain region in order to gain access to the vast wealth present there. As it was rife with piracy and chaos, Cult of Cthulhu also made the journey in order to protect the assets of Cornexant Inc.

Fighting breaks out between Fountain forces and the invaders in MN5N-X, 26th July 2003.
During this period of the game most of the first major alliances were forming, such as the Venal Alliance, Stain Alliance and Curse Alliance. It did not take long before powerful entities with an eye on the Fountain region decided it was time to bring order to this free corner of EVE. The threat came mainly in the form of the corporations Evolution and Xanadu. At first the inhabitants of Fountain joined forces to fight these invaders, resulting in some of the largest fleet battles EVE had seen at that time. One by one however, the locals were convinced of the benefits of forming an alliance and resistance dwindled until only a handful corporations remained trying to convince the others of their mistake. One of these corporations was Cult of Cthulhu, but without the support of Cornexant Inc. the corporation was fighting for a lost cause and relented.

This led to the strange result that the corporation became one of the official founding members of the Fountain Alliance. However, with Cornexant Inc. now part of a much larger defensive organisation (and ultimately to become part of the Xanadu corporation) it was time for the Cult of Cthulhu to move on.

Venal and the Magic Hat (mid-August to mid-September 2003)

Upon returning to Lonetrek, Cult of Cthulhu found a new menace infesting several key chokepoints in the region – the Space Invaders pirate corporation. Most notable was their work around the EWOK-K gate in the traditional pirate hotspot of the EC-P8R system. While some attacks on them were successful, at other times ships from the Venal Alliance would rally to their aid, an entity which had formed in Cult of Cthulhu's absence from the area. The largest and wealthiest corporation in this group was none other than Taggart Transdimensional.

It is important to note that at this point in EVE's history, many people considered pirates to be purely griefers and the lowest of the low. Any association with or open sponsoring of piracy by otherwise law abiding corporations was usually met with derision from the majority of the populace. It is for this reason that the deal between Cornexant Inc. and Cult of Cthulhu was kept so secret, with both sides going out of their way to embellish the lie when it was needed. Had the deal been known, Cornexant Inc. would have quickly found itself at war with many of its neighbours. This level of commitment to anti-piracy would not last much longer than the end of 2003.

Taggart Transdimensional quickly began to draw flack for their apparent associations with pirates, not just the Space Invaders. In many ways, Taggart Transdimensional made something of an easy target, being the largest corporate entity in the game at the time. It was therefore in their best interest to conduct themselves with as much consistency and integrity as possible, but in reality they were known for the opposite. The piracy issue was not the only public relations problem the corporation suffered during this time [3][4]. Ragnar especially had a poor reputation for dealing with outsiders and this was still prior to his – and the corporation's – greatest public relations disaster.

As the public profile of Taggart Transdimensional slid further downhill it was becoming clear that the stage was set for a showdown. The corporations of Lonetrek were getting tired of the piracy and especially the fact that it appeared to be emanating from Taggart Transdimensional's Venal nest. Cult of Cthulhu had been getting into increasingly open battles with the Venal Alliance in an attempt to keep the main traffic conduit through the Pure Blind region open and it was no surprise that the first major battle of the now public conflict took place in EC-P8R.

Faced with a massively superior fleet blockading the EWOK-K gate, Cult of Cthulhu called for help from new friends the Bladerunners who had been one of the more outspoken and willing opponents of Taggart Transdimensional. Responding with every available ship they arrived in EC-P8R with a timing that would make modern planners jealous. Believing they were ambushing a pair of Cult of Cthulhu ships, the pilots of Taggart Transdimensional were caught completely unaware which made the apparent equality of the sides a non-issue. Unprepared, they attempted to withdraw, but not before losing two battleships.

The invasion of Venal was on, with Cult of Cthulhu and the Bladerunners gratefully accepting the help of Fountain Alliance members Evolution and Xanadu. In reality, resistance was light and the campaign consisted mostly of a blockade of the station in Y-4CFK and several unremarkable battles that almost always went badly for the Venal Alliance. With morale low and Taggart Transdimensional apparently not pulling their weight despite causing the conflict, the other members of the Venal Alliance made the brave decision to hold a vote as to whether Taggart Transdimensional and their attendant pirate corporations should be expelled from the alliance. What followed would go down as one of the most unexpected and bizarre episodes in the whole of EVE, let alone in Taggart Transdimensional's own storied past.

The result of the vote itself was a triumph for Taggart Transdimensional. Despite their numerous transgressions and lack of action, the vote went in favour of the corporation. The other members of the Venal Alliance had decided to remain loyal and go down fighting alongside their brothers come what may. It was at this point that a disaster occurred of a magnitude that only Ragnar could manufacture. It was his conjecture that Taggart Transdimensional could never remain a member of an alliance that would vote to kick him out and with that said, formally withdrew the corporation from the Venal Alliance. It is arguably EVE's greatest example of clutching defeat from the jaws of victory and would become forever immortalised as the "Ragnar's Magic Hat" episode [5].

No longer under the yoke of Taggart Transdimensional and angered by Ragnar's actions, the remaining Venal Alliance corporations re-aligned themselves with the invaders in an attempt to rid the area of the pirates once and for all. It was an even greater surprise when Taggart Transdimensional began hiring yet more pirates in an attempt to win the war, including such entities as M3G4 Corp. What little was left of their public profile after the vote debacle was completely obliterated in this new wave of madness and in the end, it did not help them at all. In one particularly revealing battle, a force of pirate ships along with Ragnar himself and one of Taggart Transdimensional's directors met a force of Cult of Cthulhu and Evolution ships on the 6NJ8-V gate in Y-4CFK. As both sides began firing at one another, Ragnar and his director both elected to jump out of the system, leaving his hired pirates to die, now outnumbered by the opposing forces.

The war was over - Taggart Transdimensional's image and power had been wiped out and Ragnar vanished from EVE shortly afterwards. The corporation would never recover and now exists only in EVE's history as an example of just how easily the mighty can fall. Evolution and Xanadu returned home to Fountain, leaving Cult of Cthulhu, Bladerunners and the remaining corporations of the Venal Alliance to start again as the New Venal Alliance. Again the Cult of Cthulhu had inadvertently become an official founding member of one EVE's oldest political entities. [6]

The Phoenix Alliance and the Great Northern War (May to December 2004)

It had long been stipulated that Venal was in fact a cursed region that was incapable of supporting a stable political entity for any length of time - 2004 would confirm that for anybody who doubted it. Early in the year the New Venal Alliance collapsed, although it was replaced by an almost identical entity known as the Phoenix Alliance, of which Cult of Cthulhu was automatically a member. By May a messy conflict that became known as the Great Northern War had begun in earnest and the Cult of Cthulhu was dragged into it against former friends Evolution. In the opening days Merdekka attempted to avert the trouble using contacts on both sides but neither was interested in compromise.

The reasons for Evolution's invasion of the region remain clouded in suspicion and soured their relationships with many corporations including Cult of Cthulhu. However, the political complexities and chronological details of the Great Northern War massively exceed the scope of this document and may indeed never be fully understood. The Cult of Cthulhu did prepare to act in defence of the Phoenix alliance but in the end no battles were actually fought and the decision was made to withdraw the corporation from becoming further involved in alliance politics. The corporation remained for some time an unofficial member of the Phoenix Alliance, but ultimately left while the conflict was still raging.

Pirate Hunters and Mercenaries (early 2004 onwards)

Now a wealthy independent corporation capable of standing on its own two feet, it was decided that Cult of Cthulhu should set itself up as pirate hunters and mercenaries. Having essentially been private mercenaries since day one, the corporation drew on that experience to attract clients and found that targets they had been hired against were often impressed enough to hire the corporation to settle their own scores when the current contract was over. This led to such high-profile early contracts as against Techell Corp (early 2004) and Grumpy Old Farts (mid 2004) [7] which both ended very successfully for Cult of Cthulhu.

Throughout this time the corporation remained vigilant of the pirate threat and engaged in successful wars against corporations such as Killer Clowns from Outer Space (early 2004,) Shadow Squadron (October 2004) and repeatedly broke up the Armoured Assassins' well documented blockade of notorious pirate hotspot Aunenen (October/November 2004.) The year culminated with a very high profile contract against corporation Evolution which was also very successful (December 2004/January 2005.) By this time Cult of Cthulhu had cemented its reputation as one of the premier PVP outfits in the game, a fact about which the members of the corporation remain immensely proud.

The corporation's most audacious contract came next, a war against the XETIC alliance, a 5000-member behemoth which, at the time of writing, is still the largest single alliance EVE has ever seen. While some members of the corporation - including CEO Merdekka Radaen – expressed trepidation over taking on such a colossal target, all fears remained ultimately unfounded with the contract being Cult of Cthulhu's greatest triumph yet. Sadly the party was not to last as XETIC crumbled under its own weight and from external pressure all over the EVE universe, but the Cult of Cthulhu had succeeded in proving that no target was beyond its scope. Contracts against a number of Southern alliances followed such as the Huzzah Federation, FREGE Alliance and Firmus Ixion (early to mid 2005.)

Merger and Growth (early 2005 onwards)

Familiar faces during the contracts from XETIC onwards had been members of the Captain Morgan Society, led by CEO H Zub. The Cult of Cthulhu found itself repeatedly fighting alongside these pilots and after several months of close cooperation the decision was made to merge the two corporations into one under the banner of Cult of Cthulhu. The corporation more than doubled in size over night and the addition of so many more talented pilots meant the corporation was now capable of launching major attacks on its targets and returning to 0.0 in large numbers. Terrorizing the Pure Blind region during the downtime between contracts, Cult of Cthulhu returned in many ways its 2003 roots, plying the same space lanes it had done years before.

The contracts continued however with a number of the corporation's most successful outings to date against the Xelas alliance (July/August 2005) and the Curatores Veritatis Alliance August/September 2005.) By the end of the year the corporation had launched a 0.0 operation in order to generate money for its first capital class vessels and by 2006 had achieved its goal and reached an entirely new tier of capability.

Decline and Dissolution (late 2005/early 2006)

It is said that all good things must come to an end and as such the Cult of Cthulhu would at some point cease to be. As time had worn on the corporation had lost activity from some of its most long term members and had strayed some way from its original mission statement. In its own way changes to EVE itself had made it hard for some of the members to continue and the discontent was beginning to show. Rather than let it fade away, CEO Merdekka Radaen made the decision to close the corporation down while it was still strong and well respected. Cult of Cthulhu had come to the end of its current journey and officially closed its doors on 13th April 2006 [8].

Cult of Cthulhu was succeeded spiritually by the corporation Omniscient Order, founded by Mitchman and the late ioctl.

Movies

The Cult of Cthulhu was well known for the numerous movies it released during its lifetime, these being mostly the work of members Falhofnir and Mitchman. The following list of movies appears in chronological order.

"Be" Series

Later Movies

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