The Witch Head Nebula, also known as IC 2118, is a nebula in the Inner Orion Spur approximately 890 ly away from Sol. A frontier enclave was established at the nebula under the direction of Aegis in 3305 in order to exploit the local Thargoid Barnacles for Meta-Alloys.
Defending an enclave
For years, the Witch Head Nebula was a popular tourist destination for its dramatic vistas. On April 11, 3303, Witch Head Science Centre, a science outpost Asteroid Base, began operations in the HIP 23759 system in the nebula. While it lacked the full suite of station services, it was a convenient traveler's stop for fuel and repairs between the Core Systems and Barnard's Loop.
The region remained quiet until July 11, 3305, when Professor Alba Tesreau of Aegis Research announced that an initiative to locate additional Thargoid Barnacles had uncovered new sites there. The Alliance, Empire, and Federation each launched concurrent campaigns to gather resources to be used in the construction of new Starports and Megaships in the Witch Head Nebula to quickly exploit the local Meta-Alloy supply.
On July 25, as six Ocellus Starports and an Outpost arrived in the Witch Head Nebula to begin the colonization phase of The Enclave initiative, Thargoid forces immediately attacked them, ostensibly taking action to defend their territory. Professor Tesreau called on independent pilots to defend the stations, or else the pioneer factions in charge of the colonization effort, Federal Acquisition Corp, The Imperial Exemplars, and Alliance Expeditionary Pact, would be forced into retreat and access to the new Meta-Alloy sources in the region would consequently be cut off.
The response to the request was so impressive that the Pilots Federation opened a new Surface Port with a shipyard, Jackrock Outpost, in the Witch Head Sector LC-V c2-10 system less than a day later as a reward for pilots fighting in the region. All six systems were pronounced clear of Thargoid Incursions by the end of July 27. On July 31, Admiral Aden Tanner confirmed the victory, noting that humanity's colonial assets had been firmly established in the region. Professor Tesreau added that the Alliance, Empire, and Federation had officially declared the Witch Head Nebula to be a human enclave that they would share equally. She also requested the galactic community's assistance in repairing the nebula's starports so that they could begin harvesting the local barnacles.
By August 6, the Witch Head Nebula enclave had begun attracting thousands of migrants looking for a fresh start. Among these was Chloe Sedesi, a former apprentice of Professor Palin who sought to establish an Engineering base at Cinder Dock in Witch Head Sector DL-Y d17. A Technology Broker and Material Trader also planned to move to the area and set up at Bray Landing and Ratchet Hub. The second colonization wave arrived on August 8, resulting in the settlement of six more systems: Witch Head Sector DL-Y d7, Witch Head Sector DL-Y d26, Witch Head Sector EB-X c1-7, Witch Head Sector GW-W c1-10, Witch Head Sector KC-U b3-0, and Witch Head Sector LC-V c2-9. The Technology Broker and Material Trader also arrived ahead of schedule after last minute discussions aboard the megaship Spirit of Minue. With repairs to the starports progressing swiftly, Professor Tesreau confirmed that more facilities were planned for the Witch Head Nebula in the coming weeks.
The third wave on August 15, 3305 opened four Outposts. Three were placed in the previously unoccupied systems Witch Head Sector FB-X c1-5, Witch Head Sector FB-X c1-7, and Witch Head Sector OI-S b4-0, and the fourth was built in Witch Head Sector DL-Y d26. Repairs were also completed for Karian Vision and Sherrill Orbital.
The fourth wave on August 22, 3305 opened two Outposts, one in Witch Head Sector FB-X c1-5 and one in Witch Head Sector GW-W c1-10. A number of Bulk Cruiser Megaships also arrived in the region, such as Lady Karina, Spirit of Minue, El Primer Deseo, The Tenacity, and Falcon's Watch. Repairs were completed for Cann Relay and Tsao Prospect.
List of inhabited systems
As of August 22, 3305, the Witch Head Nebula contains 16 inhabited systems with 22 ports, and has a total population of 3,284,733.
|System||Allegiance||Stations and Surface Ports|
|HIP 23759||Independent|| Columbi's Haven|
Witch Head Science Centre
|Witch Head Sector DL-Y d7||Federation||Jade's Pride|
|Witch Head Sector DL-Y d17||Federation|| Cinder Dock|
|Witch Head Sector DL-Y d26||Federation|| Lattu Bay|
|Witch Head Sector EB-X c1-7||Alliance||Ratchet Hub|
|Witch Head Sector FB-X c1-5||Federation|| Starling Post|
|Witch Head Sector FB-X c1-7||Alliance||Yasuko Hope|
|Witch Head Sector FB-X c1-11||Empire||Karian Vision|
|Witch Head Sector GW-W c1-4||Federation||Cann Relay|
|Witch Head Sector GW-W c1-10||Empire|| Port Wheeler|
|Witch Head Sector HW-W c1-7||Empire||Tsao Prospect|
|Witch Head Sector HW-W c1-9||Alliance||Sherrill Orbital|
|Witch Head Sector KC-U b3-0||Alliance||Horak Depot|
|Witch Head Sector LC-V c2-9||Empire||Bray Landing|
|Witch Head Sector LC-V c2-10||Alliance|| Ezra Point|
|Witch Head Sector OI-S b4-0||Empire||Akyuz Base|
- ↑ GalNet: Alternative Source of Meta-Alloys Identified
- ↑ GalNet: Thargoids Defend Meta-Alloy Sources
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Frontier Forums: The Enclave - Overview of Phases
- ↑ r/EliteDangerous: In three days, the Anti-Xeno Initiative wiped off every single Thargoid in the Witch Head nebulae
- ↑ GalNet: Enclave Established in Witch Head Nebula
- ↑ GalNet: Further Migration to Witch Head Nebula
- ↑ GalNet: Witch Head Planetary Ports Established