(Note: A universe map can be found [here] to help unfamiliar readers with locations and general movement in the story)
Goonswarm Federation and Test Alliance Please Ignore have a history together. It's a somewhat unique history in the context of EVE Online, and one that has had a big hand in shaping the game's narrative for the past three years.
In the early months of 2010, Goonswarm was recovering from a massive setback that had left their alliance shattered, without any sovereignty and most of their assets trapped or destroyed. They had retreated to their ancestral home region of Syndicate in NPC-owned nullsec as a shell of their former strength, regrouping and trying to decide what to do or where to go when a corporation called Dreddit was founded.
Dreddit was founded by players who were members of Reddit, the popular news and humor website, as a place to play together with other people from the community. Dreddit's leaders knew about the negative stigma attatched to Goonswarm. They were an alliace of scamming backstabbers and rouges who loved ruining the game for other players. While choosing a system to base out of dreddit tried to locate as far away from them as possible, but their CEO had the universe map turned upside-down while viewing it, and accidentally picked a system only 9 jumps from Goonswarm's current home.
Goonswarm saw this new group of players trying blindly to find their way in the game.It raised intense feelings and old memories in the veteran players of their own days as a small corporation trying to make it on their own. Determined to help them weather the harsh realities of New Eden, Goonswarm promptly hotdropped a Dreddit mining operation, killing every ship in the asteroid belt, before setting them as allies and giving them access to Goonswarm's ship cache and private wiki.
Goonswarm made good on their intentions to help the new corp get itself up and running. When they got an offer to 'crash on their couch' by Tau Ceti Federation, one of Goonswarm's oldest and most trusted allies, they brought Dreddit along with them. When TCF decided to peacefully retire their alliance and transfer the entire region of Deklein to Goonswarm sovereignty, they gave Dreddit's newly formed Test alliance the constellation they had been staying in previously. They helped set Test up with ship caches, sovereignty structures, fleet composition and ship fitting tips, logistical infrastructure, and raw liquid cash. Test were like their little brothers, and Goonswarm was more than happy to give them anything they needed or wanted.
Eventually Test outgrew the small constellation they were currnetly living in, and so in late 2010, Goonswarm and their allies (at the time referred to as the Deklein Coalition, or 'DekCo'), flew south and purged a region named Fountain of it's current residents, and gave the entire region to Test to use as their new home.
For a little over a year, Test enjoys an unrivaled level of prosperity for an alliance of their age. Fast tracked to success with the help of Goonswarm, Test is the owner of a wealthy region, a series of valuable money moons, and one of the top two largest alliances in the game (Goonswarm Federation being the other), with a list of campaigns under their belt. All of this comes at the cost of the rest of the playerbase despising and mocking them for their success. Called 'Goon pets' and accused of being born with a silver spoon in their mouth, the general opinion is that Test is a large alliance full of bumbling, unskilled players backed by one of the most militarily, politically, and economically powerful entities in the history of the game.
Longing to step out from Goonswarm's shadow and make it on their own, they strike out on a campaign south into the region of Delve and the surrounding regions of Querious and Period Basis with their newfound friends in Pandemic Legion.
The alliances living in the southern regions to the east of Delve worried that this marked the beginning of a large-scale conquest of the south, and that without swift retaliation large swaths of the south would be taken. A patchwork collection calling itself The Southern Coalition (or 'SoCo' for short), made up of nearly every southern-dwelling alliance and lead by Against All Authorities, one of the oldest standing alliances in the game, dogpiled into Delve to aid it's defense.
After seeing what they had triggered and fearing the potential geopolitical ramifications of a fully-realized southern coalition, Test decided to ask Goonswarm and the Clusterfuck Coalition for assistence, since if Test failed and SoCo resecured Delve/Querious/Period Basis and decided to keep pushing up through Test owned-space, they would find themselves on Goonswarm's southern doorstep.
Read Part Two: [x]view gallery