Vard – Bands of mercenaries contracted by the Bragian Order assaulted a Starkmanir colony on Vard VII and were repelled by mercenaries working on behalf of the Sebiestor Field Sappers between the hours of 04:00 and 08:00 EST, roughly four hours after the Minmatar Tribal delegates arrived in Pator to begin their historic Tribal Council.
Many of the residents were already in bed when the attack first began, as the Bragian Order began assaulting the village in the middle of the night. Soon after, mercenaries aligned with the Bragian Order began attacking the outlying districts on the planet, attempting to take a number of strategic installations.
Fortunately for the residents of the colony, the Sebiestor Field Sappers, who were on site providing logistical support, quickly mobilized to repel the attackers. The surprise attack by the Bragian Order took heavy initial casualties on the Field Sappers, with many initial battles being held by the Order's mercenaries. However, as the night wore on and dawn began to rise over the colony, the superior numbers and entrenched positions of the Sebiestor mercenaries began to turn the tide.
In the end, the Bragian Order mercenaries were driven out of the colony, though the damage had been done. Early tolls confirm forty-three civilian deaths, with over three-hundred injuries of varying severity reported. These numbers are expected to rise as search and rescue teams discover more victims of the attack. The Sebiestor Field Sappers refused to release any casualty reports of their own, though orbital surveillance reveals numerous dropsuit-clad corpses littering the colony's outlying areas.
Representatives for the Bragian Order would not comment on the reason for their attack. “The nature of our contracts is strictly confidential,” said a spokesperson who refused to identify himself or remove his dropsuit helmet during the interview. “We were given a job to do, we outsourced some of the work to independents, and made an attack.” He further refused to clarify if the Order considered its contract fulfilled or failed.
The Sebiestor Field Sappers denounced the attack, claiming, “This is clearly the result of Amarr hatred. Someone hired the Bragian Order to wipe out this Starkmanir colony out of nothing more than racist hatred. These people have little. There are no resources or supplies to be obtained here. It's full of former slaves, trying desperately to carve out a peaceful life. I am only glad we were here to help them. It would have been a slaughter otherwise.”
The tribal delegations on Pator were in closed door meetings all day and were unavailable for comment on the incident.