The Starkmanir are a Minmatar tribe. They were thought lost in the Minmatar Rebellion, until just prior to the Elder War when the Sisters of EVE announced they had discovered remnants of the tribe within the Ammatar Mandate.
The Starkmanir are one of the oldest of the Minmatar tribes, and their access to abundant, readily-accessible resources meant that they were traditionally the largest as well. Despite this, due to the combined factors of the Starkmanir resettling on a planet subsequently destroyed, and the Amarr tendency to eradicate the culture of the people it conquers, less is known about Starkmanir society than any other tribe.
The Starkmanir's origin in the vast Eyniletti plains of Matar's equatorial region is plainly visible even today in their almond-shaped eyes. Beyond that they appear very much like slightly smaller, darker, Brutor, and it is probably this trait that allowed the Nefantar to successfully hide the remnants of the tribe for so long.
Currently in the Republic, they are viewed by some as simply a symbol of hope, while others just view them as backward or deluded by the Amarr faith. They struggle to come to terms with a foreign identity that they feel has suddenly been thrust upon them, while they try to make the transition from slaves to free citizens. The fact that many of the Starkmanir hold on to their Amarr faith isn't making their integration to the Republic any
The Starkmanir have perhaps the most tragic history of all the Minmatar tribes, though it is a tragedy tempered by their survival and return to the Minmatar worlds despite having been thought extinct until quite recently. The Starkmanir tribe are known to have been one of the largest tribes in the early history of the Minmatar and apparently tended toward peace and neutrality, even during the warring tribes phase of Minmatar history. The dominant yet stable and peaceful position of the Starkmanir in the fertile Eyniletti Plains region of Matar made them a particularly important cultural influence on the other tribes that traded with them. The Starkmanir tribe is also notable for being the mother tribe of two splinter clans that went on to become major tribes in their own right: the Brutor and the Vherokior.
Origins and Splinter Tribes
The Starkmanir are one of the oldest tribes from Matar, and while their origins are lost in the mists of time, the earliest records of the Starkmanir tribe lie in the oral histories of two of their splinter tribes.
Thousands of years ago, a Starkmanir clan crossed the Mioar Strait and started settling the islands in the Mioar archipelago. Their reason for doing so is now lost, but moving ever southwards into the island-strewn southern hemisphere of Matar, this clan eventually lost contact with the rest of the Starkmanir Tribe. These people came to form a separate tribe in their own right, and they named themselves Brutor.
It was also around this time that a chief of one of the remaining clans began causing trouble. Questioning many of the traditions and decisions of the tribe's elders, he was eventually sent into exile. Many of his clan followed him on an exodus into the Greater Sobaki Desert. The conditions on Matar ensured that the all of the tribes continued to grow at an increasing rate, and in a matter of centuries the push for habitable land meant contact was reestablished with these people.
They returned to the fold of the Minmatar tribes after six hundred years in the desert, much changed in manners and appearance, though their Starkmanir ancestry was still clear in their distinctive, almond-shaped eyes. Calling themselves Vherokior, they began roaming between the other tribes in large caravans much like the Thukker, living as merchants, healers, scholars, and fortune tellers.
It was during this period of substantial growth that the tribes began to come into conflict with each other. The Krusual and Nefantar in particular were at each others throats, and the other tribes tended to fall on one side or the other. Most of the Brutor tribe supported the Nefantar, but enough supported the Krusual to cause severe internal strife. The Starkmanir were the exception as they remained neutral throughout the conflict. When the tribal wars ended the Minmatar knew nothing but peace until the arrival of the Amarr. During this period, the Starkmanir Tribe's size, age, and neutrality in the wars, ensured they were a strong voice on Matar.
The Starkmanir played a leading role in the establishment of a global peace and subsequently the foundation of the Minmatar Empire. Despite the Sebiestor's critical role in the development of space technology, the Starkmanir maintained the strongest influence among the Minmatar as they entered their Space Age. When the Matari made their way into space, the Starkmanir were keenly involved in the exploration and colonization efforts that followed.
Indeed, the Starkmanir were inspired by the prospect of founding a new world to such an extent that the entire tribe migrated from Matar to the second planet of the Arzad system, naming it Starkman Prime. It seems clear that the Starkmanir had begun to find the pressures of increased population in the hospitable and increasingly developed plains region unpleasant. Not ones to cause conflict, the Starkmanir simply gifted their lands to the other tribes and relocated to a new world they could make their own.
Amarr Raids and Occupation
The Amarr slave raids against the Minmatar largely bypassed Starkman Prime until the Amarr invasion and occupation of Matar had been completed. During the intervening century or so that the Amarr raided Matar, many of the relatively few Starkmanir that had stayed behind on Matar took what transport they could find to Starkman Prime. Isolated groups of Starkmanir remained on Matar, but almost all the tribe were on their new home world when the Amarr decided to invade the Arzad system and enslave its inhabitants. The Imperial Navy invasion forces were met with little resistance by the ill-prepared Starkmanir: aside from their peaceful nature, the Starkman economy had been destabilized by refugees from other Matari worlds and was incapable of effectively supporting a defense of the planet.
The relative ease with which Starkman Prime had been taken and the clearly pacific nature of the Starkmanir led many Amarr to believe that the tribe would be more receptive to assimilation into the Amarr faith than the more unruly tribes of Matar. Indeed, the Amarr came to believe that the Starkman resistance, such as it was, had been stirred up by refugees and rebels from the other tribes. This was not entirely true, but the idea led some Amarr to consider that a gentler approach could work with the Starkmanir. The Amarr also appear to have considered the Starkmanir a very handsome people, and it is quite likely, given Amarr cultural concepts, that this influenced them to look favorably on the tribe.
Faith and Rebellion
For a time, the Starkmanir did adjust themselves peacefully to Amarr rule and took up the Amarr faith in great numbers. This initially pleased the Amarr, but their religious authorities became concerned over time that the Starkmanir were practicing a heretical version of the religion. A suppression of the Starkmanir interpretation of the faith was ordered, and their liberal Amarr holder, Arzad Hamri, was executed and replaced with the orthodox Arkon Ardishapur, a royal heir of the Amarr Empire.
The Starkmanir reaction to these events was as surprising as it was passionate: rising up in rebellion, the Starkmanir killed Arkon Ardishapur and caused chaos across the planet. The Amarr were shocked that the Starkmanir — seemingly their most promising and devoted converts among the Minmatar — could carry out such acts, and Arkon’s son Idonis responded by ordering a sustained orbital bombardment of Starkman Prime. The devastating rain of tachyon siege laser fire reduced the temperate colony world to a barren wasteland. The Starkmanir living on the planet were annihilated, the entire tribe paying the ultimate price for rebellion.
The annihilation of the Starkmanir arguably lit the long fuse leading to the Great Rebellion 250 years later. The Amarr were at pains to point to Starkman Prime as a demonstration of the fate of rebels. The Minmatar were no longer in any doubt that they would have to fight if ever they hoped to gain their freedom. The Starkmanir were considered lost for centuries until the discovery of a viable surviving population hidden on Halturzhan, a planet in the Ammatar Mandate.
The Sisters of EVE announcement of the discovery surviving members of the Starkmanir may have been the prime motivating factor that saw the Elder Fleet spring into action. Rescued from Halturzhan along with other slaves, the surviving Starkmanir were returned to the Minmatar Republic. A large group of the Nefantar tribe also returned to the Republic after their ancestors' true motives for defecting became
known. The return of these people to the Republic along with the normal war zone refugees, at a time that also saw the Thukkers returning to the fold, put significant strain on the Republic. Refugee camps sprouted up all over The Great Wildlands and 'intake' systems such as Rens as members of the three tribes awaited entry.
For generations the Starkmanir had known only a life of slavery in the Ammatar Mandate, living a relatively backward existence on vast agricultural colonies and for the greatest part unaware of their heritage. Though the Starkmanir survive genetically, in every other way the tribe was truly lost on Starkman Prime. With no prior experience in the modern age, nor with tribal structure, nor even with their own heritage, the Starkmanir do not figure to regain their former influence among the Minmatar Tribes for some time to come.
The discovery of the long lost Starkmanir tribe spurred the Minmatar Elder Fleet into an early invasion of Amarr territories with a view to recovering the Starkmanir and as many other slaves as possible. This attack, necessitating the neutralization of CONCORD, began the conflict known as the Empyrean War.