An emblem associated with Raxxla

Cora comes home soused and raving with wild stories, a new one every night. She claims she's found a map to some pirate stash, and all I have to do is loan her my ship so we can go dig it up. Maybe we should go find Raxxla while we're at it!

— From the journal of Art Tornqvist, circa 2296

Raxxla is a legend that has been circulating among spacers in one form or another for centuries. While there is little consistency among the various tales about Raxxla, the earliest stories about it agree that Raxxla is a definite place that holds a mysterious secret. Every explorer sets out to find Raxxla at some point in their career, convinced that they have picked the thread of truth out of the sea of rumors, but if any have succeeded in their quest, they have held their silence. The equally legendary organization known as The Dark Wheel is said to be dedicated to finding Raxxla.[1]

Legend

The earliest documented reference to Raxxla dates to 2296 and originates from an entry in the personal journal of Art Tornqvist, a shipboard mechanic based out of Tau Ceti. The entry does not describe Raxxla or its possible whereabouts, but its existence is evidence that the Raxxla legend was already in the public consciousness by that time.[1]

In some versions of the Raxxla story, which were later shown to have a striking resemblance to the children's story "Princess Astrophel and the Spiralling Stars" and consequently became discredited, Raxxla is said to hold an alien artefact called the Omphalos Rift, which acts as a gateway to parallel universes. Even after it was discredited, staunch supporters of the Omphalos Rift theory insist that the author of the children's story had knowledge of Raxxla's exact location and deliberately wove clues into his book. Other Raxxla seekers claim that Raxxla is something else entirely, with theories running the gamut from an unremarkable moon to a state of cosmic enlightenment.[1]

A number of conspiracy theories assert that Raxxla has already been discovered by either a sinister cabal or a lone individual who has harnessed Raxxla's power to become the shadow ruler of all of humanity.[1]

Students and commentators of Raxxla lore have noted that the legend of Raxxla is unusually influential, often leading Raxxla seekers to become singularly obsessed with it. This has been compared to the concept of "fernweh", which is experienced as an inexplicable longing for a place that an individual has never seen.[1]

Notes

  • Raxxla was first featured in the 1980 book The Alien World: A Complete Illustrated Guide written by Steven Eisler, under the pen name of Robert Holdstock.[2] Holdstock published a novella called Elite: The Dark Wheel, which came packaged with the original Elite game, in 1984.[3] In that novella, which is outside the canon of Elite Dangerous, Raxxla was described as a mythical planet which held an alien construct that served as a gateway to other universes. A corps of Elite-ranked pilots was suspected to have found Raxxla and exploited the gateway for their own selfish purposes, and hired assassins to eliminate any independent pilots and members of the Dark Wheel who tried to uncover Raxxla.[4]
  • Frontier Developments have historically refused to explicitly confirm or deny the existence of Raxxla, a possible location, or anything else about it.[5]
    • In September 2015, Drew Wagar - one of the official writers for Elite Dangerous - stated "I spoke to David Braben directly in 2014 and he confirmed to me that 'It’s out there and we (FD) know where it is.' – So it does exist."[6] Michael Brookes said “There will be no clues.”[7]
    • In March 2019, Drew Wagar reaffirmed that he had been told by Michael Brooks in no uncertain terms that Raxxla is indeed in the game, and that the developers know exactly where it is.[8]
    • Raxxla is in the Milky Way. This was confirmed during DJTruthsayer's lore interview with Michael Brookes.[9] Question: "Where is Raxxla?" Brookes: "Well it's in the Milky Way, but I can't tell you where it is. It's a journey that everyone has to travel for themselves." Question: "You have said that there will be no clues though?" Brookes: "That's true, but I think you have to make some of it a tiny bit obvious just so people know what they're doing. There's nothing to be revealed at this stage."[9]

Trivia

  • In November 2018, author Drew Wagar said "My own personal theory is that it can't be too far from Sol as it was reachable long ago by more primitive ships. Whether this proves true... I guess we'll find out."[10]
  • The alleged name of the artefact on Raxxla, the Omphalos Rift, is taken from Ancient Greek culture. In Ancient Greek, "omphalos" means "navel", or the center of a thing, and the Ancient Greeks believed that the sanctuary of Delphi was the center of the world. Intriguingly, when the Knowledge Base that contained the first mention of the Omphalos Rift was added to Elite Dangerous with update 3.3, the system Pleiades Sector IR-W d1-55, which was the headquarters of the anti-Thargoid organization Aegis, was also renamed Delphi.

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