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This article came about as the result of me researching a different project and stumbling across a player with an interesting Eve Story. I would like to thank Lazuli of Northern Coalition for allowing me into his world and sharing his Eve experience so far. The information contained here was sourced from the subject, other parties, and my direct research. I will acknowledge that individuals involved in the murky back rooms of New Eden politics and spying will elicit strong reactions on both sides of the spectrum.  I ask that each reader make up his or her mind or simply enjoy the story of a New Eden capsuleer and his journey so far. This is the first in a series of articles that will showcase the adventures of Eve Online pilots. 


A little bit of background….

Every one of us starts playing this game for one reason or another.

It usually starts with us hearing a story from a friend about a massive battle that is usually followed with further tales of the intrigue smoke filled rooms, betrayal, and revenge that so often leads to the rise and fall of New Edens powerful alliances. This of course quickly draws us in and we hop into our very own capsule only to quickly discover, despite how much of a ‘bad ass gamer’ we thought we were, we are just a babe with little comprehension or understanding of the complex ‘meta’ or deep social aspect that is New Eden. For many of us it takes a repeated cycle of dieing, failing, dieing, and failing yet again only to repeat said vicious cycle for years on end until we finally begin to grasp the complex mechanics and develop the political, fleet commanding, or ‘meta’ skills to rise to the top of the game. It is true some new players make an impact in one form or fashion that can impact the larger universe here and there or create a ripple that can have long term effect. However, on occasion some new players display a talent or skill that is so well developed or unique that they quickly rise up to a position or place where they are able to purposely influence the game and push events in one direction or another.

I recently became intrigued by the emergence of kugutsumen.org. When I started as a capsuleer the ‘old’ kugutsumen.com was a legendary, slightly scary, and inhabited by veteran players who tended to not be very forgiving. I heard stories of how the site had exposed the infamous ‘T20 BPO’ Scandal in 2009, leaked sensitive PL information (including a mirror and dump of Pandemic Legion’s forums for public consumption), as well as many other operations that exposed a myriad of New Eden’s alliances secrets. Where Reddit was the place every newbro seemed to interact and post, Kugutsumen was inhabited by veteran players who seemed to be planning and executing a lot of the operations that ended up starting or finishing wars. The original site operator’s methods and tactics eventually led to his receiving a permanent ban from CCP, but for several years he continued to operate the site. Eventually though, he closed down the site and it seemed the name “Kugutsumen” would become part of the whispers and legends of New Eden’s history. However in March of this year the “Kugutsumen” flag was raised again using a “.org” address both honoring it’s old mission and incorporating a new one. During researching this story and interviewing the new site’s operator I stumbled onto a even more fascinating story that is exactly the kind of tale that makes up the amazing tapestry and depth that is our game. The more I learned the more I wanted to make sure it was recorded for posterity.

The capsuleer I am talking about is Lazuli Loto and he is a spy.

A Spy is born

Lazuli started his New Eden adventure in 2012 after a friend of his described not only “epic space battles” but also how he (the friend) managed to successfully rob a Band of Brothers corporation.   He did his homework, researched several in game entities, and ultimately decided he would make his home in Goonswarm and, where he quickly realized, one of the hurdles he would have to clear to make this happen would be joining the somethingawful.com (SA) forums. Laz decided that he would do it right and not try and jump the line (j4g), so he joined SA and over the following 9 months started meeting and playing DUST 514 with several ‘goons’ such as Digital “Digi” Ebola, Red Soarer, sammus420, and Samahiel. After the months of being a SA member and getting to know people he had made an impression on Digi and was asked to join GoonWaffe. Laz joined GoonWaffe and reported to “Newbee bootcamp” to soak up and learn as much as he could in his new home. After his bootcamp graduation he was taken by Digi to “TheAdj” and offered a place inside Goonswarm Black Ops Special Interest Group thus beginning his career as a spy and intelligence operative.

Image : Theft of BCA Aeon

His first assignment started shortly thereafter and using an alt, he participated in a series of highly successful operations against Insidious Empire that after two and a half months resulted in the destruction of over 90 ratting carriers (28 using his hunters and cynos) while also swiping a rorqual, obelisk, and other assets that effectively caused the alliance to collapse. That, and contributing to the stress, saw Phreeze out of the game and ‘winning’ EVE. Fresh off the successful op he dove head first into a series of operations which he either directly conducted or contributed to the following:

 

  • Downfall of the following alliances (not in order)
    • Rise of Legion
    • The Obsidian Front
    • Battle Beavers
    • Ex Cinere Scriptor, Evicted.
    • Why So Serious
    • Black Core Alliance
    • Cult of War
    • Skeleton Crew
    • Gentlemen’s.Club.
  • Destruction of
  • Theft of Black Core Alliance Aeon

While this list is not inclusive it certainly showed that Laz not only dived into his work but was a successful and well regarded operative on the rise within the Goonswarm Intelligence Agency.

Gone Native and a new mission

After completing his last assignment, which had led to the collapse of Gentleman’s Club, the GIA’s directors and handlers assigned Lazuli the task of infiltrating Northern Coalition; which he was able to do. However, at the time things between Lazuli and the leadership of the GIA had become tense. He admitted that part of the tension was partly due to him but things had gotten so bad that unless he threatened to quit they would not pay him for his work as an operative. During this time he started seeing a distinct difference between the way he was treated and respected by his CEO and his peers in Northern Coalition vs. his colleagues in the GIA. After being unwilling to tolerate the rising tension between him and GIA leadership, he decided to come clean to LadyScarlet. It was at this moment in December of 2015 that he went ‘native’; becoming a fully-fledged and loyal NCdot line member.

It is significant to note that in most alliances when a spy is discovered they, and anyone associated with them, are generally purged and blacklisted without any hesitation or recourse, but in this case Northern Coalition was willing to take the risk. He flew on fleets, led Northern Army (NCdot’s version of Horde for a while), and eventually went back to his roots in intelligence operations. While in the corporation of BURN EDEN he laid the foundation and began growing a highly successful spy network named “POLARIS” which he continues to run to this day. Since its inception, POLARIS has become a force multiplier for Northern Coalition and its allies while simultaneously a bane for their enemies. POLARIS operations, for example, have allowed both Natuli and Lazuli Loto to work together to destroy countless supercarriers for NCdot or gain information superiority over TEST and Circle of Two during the recent “Tribute War” leading to their defeat and eviction from the North. To this day POLARIS continues to gather actionable intel and leaks while infiltrating most of the alliances in New Eden. After the successful eviction of Circle of Two and their allies TEST from the north, Lazuli Loto found himself “swimming” in leaks and intel that could be shared for various purposes but no real place to put them. His experience with Reddit was not pleasant and as such started looking for another venue.

Kugutsumen is reborn

It was in a conversation with Doomchinchilla where he (Doom) reminisced of Kugutsumen back in the day and how great it was to post something for discussion and not have it downvoted into oblivion by larger alliances who succumb to Reddit groupthink when it does not fit ‘their’ narrative. It was here that Lazuli Loto had the thought that maybe a resurrected Kugutsumen could solve this problem and give him an outlet for the aforementioned leaks. So he went to work, found former Kugu mods that were still in EVE and created a panel of stakeholders who also formed a IT Admin and moderator team. With all this in place he secured kugutsumen.org (kugutsumen.com had been snatched up three weeks prior) and launched in March of 2017.

Lazuli’s new Kugutsumen continues to honor its predecessors heritage by being a place to post about New Eden and discuss it without getting downvoted by the collective who live by all things decided by popular vote. It also has a second purpose to bring back Foreplay, a private pay to access forum, where he can drop Polaris leaks on a monthly basis. It was in this forum that I first ventured into Kugutsumen to see what it was all about. While no one should expect the secret codes to ‘The Mittani’s” personal hangars or names of embedded spies I have been surprised at not only some of the intelligence posted there and it’s impact. Some could speculate, with good reason, that significant portions of the conflict between DRF and Triumvirate that has escalated into a full war found it’s embers in the posts that were leaked inside of foreplay. I won’t debate whether or not foreplay is a must for every person in the game or if it would be worth the one billion ISK per month membership fee to join. For me it is up to each person to decide if it is a place for them and could enhance their Eve adventure. For me it takes on the lobby of the smoke filled rooms that we hear whispers about were all sorts of deeds are planned in secret. Whether you enter that lobby is really up to you but I have found this whole project to be extremely interesting and useful. I learned another piece of New Eden history, learned the story of another capsuleer, and discovered how he decided to use his experiences and skills to not only participate in the game but to rise up and ‘play the game’.