BNC's involvement in the Great Northern War all stemmed from our relationship with Reikoku corporation. During the RSA war we'd formed a very close friendship with RKK having fought alongside them for so long and found them to be, if less drunk/hammered/wasted/high, a corporation very similar to BNC and with similar values.
To recap a little BNC and RKK (along with Huff Technologies, Celestial Apocolypse and Deah Star International and a few other NORAD corps) had been instrumental in the defeat of the Rising Storm Alliance and removal of FE from the Fade region. The terms of the end of the RSA war were that BNC and RKK would have unlimited access to Fade, mining, NPC hunting and travel rights through Fade in addition to military and logistical support should either BNC or RKK be involved in any major conflict in exchange BNC and RKK promised to be there for the newly fomed FU if they ever needed military support (I still have the sound recording of the negotiations somewhere).
Also worth noting is that BNC's love hate relationship with KIA began towards the end of the RSA war with KIA hitting RSA and CoD in a few engagements (these encounters between KIA and CoD/FU also helped lay the building blocks for later resentment between CoD/FU and PA). This brief period of cooperation (although we never saw much of each other in space) was the first time BNC and KIA crossed paths.
The political situation up north was fairly stable after the RSA war with Coalition of Deklein (CoD) in the Deklein region, Fade Union (FU) in Fade, Phoenix Alliance (PA) in Venal, Tenal and Branch, the usual random unaffilliated corps (including Jericho Fraction) occupying Pure Blind and the remnants of Forsaken Empire (FE) in Tribute, Vale of the Silent and Geminate. BNC were still in NORAD occupying the Outer Ring and Arcadia were based in Cloud Ring but were in the process of collapse as their corps moved on one at a time to other areas. Around this time the remaining corps in Arcadia joined NORAD and NORAD laid claim to Outer Ring, Cloud Ring and considered Syndicate a protectorate. The period following the RSA war was probably the height of NORAD's power and success.
The major player up north at the time was the PA with probably 20+ corporations including the likes of GODS, CDI, RONA-KIA, 20th Legion etc. I have no idea what motivations were behind the move but at this time Halseth Durn (of Oberon Incorporated, a PA corp) representing the PA began building the NAST (Northern Alliances Security Treaty.. or some such name, can't remember exactly). The idea behind the NAST was to align the three alliances in the north together in a mutual defence and cooperation pact and secure the area. CoD and FU signed up as NAST members alongside the PA. Halseth and I also talked briefly in the one conversation I ever had with him prior to the war about NORAD joining NAST, which would have effectively locked down the regions of Outer Ring, Cloud Ring, Fade, Deklein, Venal, Tenal, Branch and Pure Blind under the control of four cooperative alliances. If the events leading to the Great Northern War (GNW) had not occured then I believe NORAD would have joined the NAST alongside CoD, FU and PA.. the north would then have been a far different place, just as the political history of Eve would have been far different.
Whilst all this political manouvering was going on after the RSA war RKK, FU and BNC (to a lesser degree) continued to fight FE in Tribute. Many FE members at this time were leaving Eve to try other online games with a major exodus to Lineage so FE were weakened.
The much dreamed of united and peaceful north of Eve seemed a realistic possibilty with FE being pushed back and allied pilots all over the north. You couldn't fly anywhere up north at this time without bumping into friendly forces.
In more or less total control of Tribute RKK and allies held the Tribute player conquorable stations, FE was more or less a spent force and things were looking good. Three things then happened in short succession which lit the fuse that eventually caused the erruption of the Great Northern War. Firstly Halseth Durn representing the PA in forming the NAST did not include independant corporations operating in the north such as RKK, which caused a lot of resentment as RKK, DI and Celes had been so important in securing the north. Secondly, CDI and other PA corps began harrassing RKK in Tribute and a couple of messy incidents over the Tribute stations started to fuel people's ire towards PA. Finally, a couple of Evolution pilots were shot by PA when entering PA space allegedly under the protection of a previously agreed safe passage agreement. The validity of that safe passage agreement has been the subject of an enormous amount of debate ever since.
Very quickly the situation between RKK and the PA deteriorated, culminating with RKK declaring war on the PA in the face of continued aggression and to be honest downright underhand tactics by the PA. Relationships between all the corps in the north are complicated at the time with RKK, BNC and allies feeling (in retrospect) pretty arrogant due to our success, PA having a generally shite attitude and superiority complex towards their neighbours and CoD/FU regrouping after their defeat in the RSA war.
Due to PA's attitude towards CoD and FU, which was at best condescending, both CoD and FU threw their lot in with RKK. There's lots of history of individual incidents that led upto this decision that I am probably not best to comment on.
At this time BNC was several hundred pilots strong, the most dominant and influential corp in NORAD and felt very strongly that RKK was being wronged, that PA were out of order and that we should be militarily supporting RKK. So DG and I commenced a war of influence against the rest of the NORAD corps with a view to joining the war against PA. What's worth bearing in mind regarding NORAD at this time and it's council (Sunday afternoon council meetings for the yawn) is that BNC had so much influence that we never proposed anything that went to a vote and did not succeed, we were very good friends with most of NORAD's CEOs and along with Nemesis were 90% of NORADs military might (such as it was).
NORAD's view of the PA was coloured by the joining of The Merchant Marines (TheMM) to NORAD and the acts of GODS (a PA corp) towards TheMM. TheMM were formed by a group of exiles from Earth and Beyond and some Merchant Marines players from E&B had also ended up in GODS. There was bad blood and an incident over account ownership that is best not discussed in public. GODS actually visited Outer Ring with a fleet to hunt TheMM and were driven off by a NORAD fleet that I led after a brief and bloody battle.
Given all this background, BNC's involvement in the north combined with DG and I's inflence over the NORAD council (there were desenters of course) we forced a vote to join in the war against PA which was successfully passed. Talks with our contacts in CoD/FU led to NORAD being announced as a NAST member at the same time that CoD/FU/NORAD ejected PA from the NAST.
Arrayed against the PA were CoD, FU, NORAD, RKK, Jericho Fraction, Evolution and several other unafilliated corps.
So began the Great Northern War which led to close on 9-10 months of fighting, the strengthening of a friendship between BNC and Reikoku, the death of Fade Union, the formation and death of the Northern Star Alliance, the formation of BoB and BNC's friendship with ATUK, RN, m0o and Evolution.
Much, much more to follow!