To celebrate the beginning of another solar year, the Orokin Histroy Society: Hebes Idea Tempus has released a new publication detailing the rise and fall of the Orokin Empire. The new publication includes new sources of information thought long lost after the fall of Orokin society, but have been uncovered partially due to the resurgence of the Sentients in the past year. Risking life and limb to recover these long lost texts and artifacts, these scholars have found undeniable proof of what Orokin society was truly like.
Thomas G. D. Matthews, Senior Orokin History Correspondent here at TCN, is one of the founding members of the Orokin History Society and it is our privilege to be the first to share some of these new discoveries with the system. TCN is proud to have the honor to publish the findings for the public and we hope that all Tenno in the system take this opportunity to learn more about the Orokin.
Without further ado, TCN proudly presents…
The Rise and Fall of the Orokin Empire: Third Edition
Foreword: We here at the Orokin History Society wish to send our heartfelt thanks to those who have contributed to the continued discovery of our solar system. To build a road to our future, we must learn from the travels of those who came before us. The pursuit of knowledge and the advancement of all life; the lessons of our collective history.
The Fall of Earth
Earth, our home within the Origin system, had been lost. Thousands of years ago, Earth was all that mankind had conquered. A pale blue dot in a sea of stars and wonders beyond their imagination. We have yet to discover the true nature of what prompted man to leave Earth, but our geological surveys of Earth suggest that resources had become scarce and a plague had threatened the global population. Planetary expansion was borne of necessity.
Historians have debated for centuries over the authenticity of recordings recovered from the wastelands of Earth. Archaeologists had uncovered technological artifacts which documented global events, but various regions had irreconcilable differences. Within the span of a century, humankind had developed the means to instantly communicate on a global scale and then had fled the planet in a blur. Records found in what was once Russia support claims that a virus, sharing similarities to what we now understand to be technocyte, originated from “Lasria” somewhere within the Eastern Bloc. However, there are conflicting records originating from North America which claim the virus was first discovered there. In both records, an individual referred to as “Mezner” appears to have been involved with the discovery and research of the virus. It is unclear where the virus originated from, but scholars have determined that Russia was the first to fall.
The virus was not necessarily the driving force in what rendered the planet uninhabitable. The human population and consumption of natural resources greatly outpaced what the planet could sustain. With their primitive technology and the threat of a virus which seemed to corrupt every man and machine, mankind desperately leaped for the stars. Attempts were made to quarantine the virus as the nations of the world came together to find a way to relocate the people of Earth. Several seed ships were constructed and sent with experimental technology built upon a theoretical understanding of terraforming.
We are approximately 42 hours away from orbit. Mars, as we understand it, is an arid wasteland which could never sustain human life. Though we have not had contact with ground control in over three months, our mission remains unchanged: We will establish a satellite base of operations for Mars to survey the planet and eventually deploy shuttles to the surface to begin terraforming. Though our training was short, the crew has come to understand one another and the language barrier with the Russians no longer impedes our ability to work together. Dr. Ewing has adapted to space travel surprisingly well and is eagerly inspecting our geological survey tools as we approach the red planet.
In truth, I have made contact with ground control in recent weeks, but I did not hear a familiar voice on the other end. It sounded inhuman, almost as if an animal was trying to speak. Gurgling and moaning punctuated by the occasional noise which almost resembled a word, but never in a comprehensible sequence. The CIA agents had mentioned that the virus was spreading, but I never imagined America could be lost. I have not told the other members of the crew as I fear it will only stir doubt in their hearts.
The Genesis 2 and Provenance 2 are still within range of communication, but there will be approximately 10 hours of radio silence as we make the final pass to Mars. I can only hope that they did not hear the transmissions that now haunt my thoughts. We all knew that there would no longer be a home to return to, but the thought of losing it to something else somehow feels worse than draining it dry of resources.
-Captain Richards, Falcon 2, Log entry 42.
The Falcon 2‘s mission proved to be a failure. Though they had reached Mars, they were not able to terraform within the necessary time frame and the crew expired within the first year or so of orbit. The records were recovered nearly eighty years later after the successful colonization of Mars by the Aliena Fatum Voyager crew led by Captain Vasquez. At the time, the technology used by Captain Richards to log his journey had become obsolete and treated as a low priority to recover the recordings.
The entirety of Captain Richard’s logs, as well as journal entries by Dr. Ewing, have given historians a chance to better understand the conditions of the Earth and the limitations of their technology within the first years of the virus outbreak. These records are publicly available for viewing within the Larunda Relay’s Museum of History and Science.
A Golden Origin System
Above all else, the Orokin valued secrecy. Scholars continue to speculate on when the Orokin Era truly began, and what led to the massive advancement in technology within just a few short years of the Earth becoming uninhabitable. The popular theory is that at some point the Void was discovered by the surveying ships and lead to the necessary technological advancements necessary to expand across the system.
Thanks in part to Tyl Regor’s uncovering of Sentient artifacts on Uranus, scholars were able to piece together records of the first encounter with the Void. Passengers aboard the Ultimus Alea Voyager had discovered the Void seemingly by accident shortly after beginning orbit around Pluto. Distressed from years of travel in an enclosed environment of strangers, the civilians had staged a mutiny and took over the ship.
“If we disengage orbit, we’ll never make it back! You’re damning us all!”
“Bruh, you gotta like, chill, aiight? Like, dude. You’re not in charge any more.”
“We just have to wait until the engineering ships arrive. Just two more days. I’m begging you, just wait two more days before you deprive humanity of its last hope.”
“Yolo, dude! Pluto’s like not even a planet anyways.”
“Haha yeah brah, he’s just a chicken. Where’s your sense of adventure ‘captain’?”
-Unnamed Passengers, Ultimus Alea Voyager, Audio Logs: Mission Date 1454
The crew manifest was not recovered, but it is believed that these were the first of the Orokin; the first to discover the Void and bring back its technology. The last audio recording was of a voice saying “Yo! That looks sick!” on Mission Date 1455.
According to records from the Falcon 19, the Ultimus Alea Voyager was found functionally intact approximately one month later, but there was no one on board. Approximately two weeks after that, the Falcon 19 was met with a surprise: the crew of the Ultimus Alea Voyager had returned aboard a new ship.
Mission Date 1322. We’ve discovered what became of the crew aboard the Ultimus Alea Voyager. The Falcon 19 was equipped to travel faster and catch up to the seed ship, but we were never within radio contact range as we tried to bridge the gap between the two vessels. When we finally docked with the Voyager, we were mystified by the absence of a crew. Though I now know what happened to the crew, I still cannot grasp what has become of them. Instead, I offer it to those who find this message to make sense of the chaos.
Audio recording begins.
“Yoooo! About time you guys showed up! Whatup?”
“This is Captain Noriath of the Falcon 19… Who are you?”
“Bruh, we just got back from, like, man I don’t even know where. You gotta check this shit out!”
“Identify yourselves. Do you know what happened to the crew of the Ultimus Alea Voyager?”
“El oh el, bruh, like, who even cares anymore? We’re ballas now, bro! Dude, you gotta check this shit out. spoken away from the microphone Bro, can you, like, beam them in here?”
Audio recording ends.
I was transported on to their ship, an alien ship, with technology I could not begin to fathom. It seemed as if they had conjured it from their imagination, as if it had been handed to them by a divine being… But having spoken to the crew I could not believe there was anything divine about them. They claimed to have been to “The Void” and learned of the “secrets of the universe” in their travels. Shortly after they beamed up the rest of the engineering crew and began to teach them how the technology worked. I cannot describe it, but it was as if they passed on complete knowledge by speaking to us. Within minutes, the engineers were able to understand and even replicate functionality of the ship.
We were returned to the Falcon 19 and given the means to improve upon our technology. We were able begin terraforming on Pluto. I cannot explain it, but it has happened.
I fear that I may have upset these so-called Void Travellers and that they’ll remove me from the crew, as they had done with the captain of their ship. They do not respond well to figures of authority. I do not know what God has in mind for us, but I pray these idiots are not the future of mankind.
-Captain Noriath, Falcon 19, Captain’s Log Entry 1267
It is unclear when the Orokin Empire was truly born, or when or why they began construction of the Void Towers, but the logs recovered from the Falcon 19‘s engineering crew and captain indicate that after terraforming Pluto they established a new fleet of Voyager ships (such as the Aliena Fatum Voyager) to expand through the system. Almost all of the original Voyager, Falcon, Genesis, and Provenance crews had expired by this time.
With such few seed ships remaining, experimentation with cloning began. It is presumed that somewhere between terraforming and colonizing Saturn the Grineer were created through cloning technology as laborers. The Corpus were likely a splinter faction that formed during the colonization of Jupiter.
Nearly two thousand years later, the entire Origin system had been colonized and was flourishing with interplanetary governments, trading, and societies. Alongside the Orokin were the Corpus and Grineer factions which controlled a sizable portion of the system under the Orokin. With interplanetary Junctions established to link together the system, the Orokin now had their eyes set on interstellar expansion.
The Neural Sentry
First, the Orokin began development of stationary towers within the Void, designed to protect the secrets they had uncovered so long ago which saved the human race from extinction. They would be designed as self-sufficient constructs isolated within the Void, regulated by an artificial intelligence system which would identify the will of its master and sustain the towers at any cost. Secrets above all else seemed to be the key to the Orokin’s power over the system.
After recent attacks by the Shadow Stalker and his Acolytes last year, the Tenno were able to recover records detailing the construction of the Neural Sentry:
Translated Text: So, like, to keep the Corpbutts away from the Void we totes put together a master plan. It’s, like, the smartest thing we’ve ever done. And we’re the dudes that rule the system, so, like, that’s super smart. Aiight, so here’s the plan: We make bomb-ass towers in the Void to protect the secrets. “But brah, what if they go to the towers?” you might be thinking, right? Well stop, because you’re dumb. We thought of that too. We gonna hook up the towers with some AI. It’ll keep intruders out and keep our stash gucci. Oh, and it’ll totally mind control dudes steppin’ on our turf. And traps! Lots of traps. Gonna be tight!
-Journal of Executor Rumis, date unknown.
Now, without Orokin masters to control it, the Neural Sentry has grown far more powerful than ever intended. The need to maintain the towers seems to be the driving force behind the recent surges of Void Fissures within the Origin system. The Orokin had not considered their own extinction as a possibility and thus did not program the Neural Sentry in mind of their absence. Perhaps the Neural Sentry itself had become corrupted by the Void as well.
However, while the Orokin still ruled, the Neural Sentry had proven to be a great success. Without risking their own lives to go to the Void, they were able to survey and research the extra-dimensional space.
In their considerations of methods to expand to the Tau system, the Orokin Executors held council to listen to the Corpus Archimedians for possible solutions to the problems they faced with interstellar travel. It was then that the first prototype of what would become the Sentients was shown: A mechanical creature capable self-replicating and adapting to its environment. At first, the Orokin had found the creations to be abominations and were preparing to execute their creator to purge the creature from existence. However, thanks to records recovered by Cephalon Simaris, we learned that Ballas had manipulated the tribunal into accepting the Archimedian’s project.
The Orokin improved upon the technology and soon after began to expand their production and set them on the path to terraform the path to the Tau system. It remains unclear when the Sentients became more than mechanical creatures and achieved sentience, but they were effectively Orokin slaves bound to one singular task. Scholars theorize that the creation of the Cephalons ran tangentially to that of the Sentients, but not necessarily related.
The Sentients were designed with one weakness which the Orokin presumed would be a fail safe in case of emergency: the Void was effectively a poison against them. However, the Orokin had severely underestimated their creations.
Surviving the Old War
Though the Orokin Empire was always under political strain across the different planetary systems with the lesser factions, they had never truly been challenged by military force. The Grineer and Corpus simply paled in comparison to what the Orokin were capable of. It was not until the return of the Sentients that the Orokin would truly be threatened.
The Orokin did not understand how the Sentients had managed to return to the Origin system and their weaponry was quickly rendered obsolete in the face of these seemingly infinite forces. As they faced eradication, the Orokin scrambled for a plan.
Experiments with technocyte began immediately. Grineer, Corpus, Civillian, and even Orokin subjects were forcefully infected with a strain of the technocyte virus. Soon enough, the Orokin began to sabotage locations where the Sentients were reported to strike by infecting the population and then collecting data on how the Sentients combated the mutated beings. The experiment had proven to be a failure, but the Orokin gained invaluable data on the nature of the technocyte virus. Unfortunately for us all, the virus spread quickly and seemingly had a life of its own across the individually infected beings. The Infested were born.
Transcript: Combating Sentients: Project LEPHANTIS
Executor Lior: “How are we gonna beat these guys, brah?”
Executor Tuvul: “Bro, I have no idea, bro.”
Executor Lior: “Wasn’t, like, the Void supposed to wreck them or something?”
Executor Tuvul: “Bro I thought so.”
Executor Ballas: “Yoooo! Alright, I’ve got an idea. Hear me out.”
Executor Lior: “Brah! I thought you were on vacation!”
Executor Ballas: “Haha, yeah, brah. Alright so you know that technocyte stuff on Earth?”
Executor Lior: “Symbiotic parasite that merges biological life with technology? Yeah, what about it bruh?”
Executor Ballas: “Aiight, so, like, what if we made a big ass monster with that stuff?”
Executor Tuvul: “To fight the Sentients?”
Executor Ballas: “Prolly, brah!”
Executor Lior: “Can we control it?”
Executor Ballas: “Hahaha! Hell nah, man!”
Executor Tuvul: “Can it even hurt the Sentients?”
Executor Ballas: “Bruh, iunno. Worth a shot right?”
Executor Lior: “Hell yeah, bro!”
–Executor Tribunal Meeting, date unknown
Some of the Orokin, after having retreating to the Void to escape the grasp of the Sentients, began to work on the Executor’s plans. By combining life forms together with technological frames, the Orokin gave birth to a monstrous creature: the Lephantis. Unfortunately, by the time the Lephantis had matured for combat, the Infestation had run rampant on the Void Tower it was constructed upon. The creature never learned of its purpose, nor did it ever encounter the Sentients.
After the Old War, the Infestation would spread unchecked throughout the Origin system.
Still threatened by the ever-growing Sentient threat and now confronted by yet another enemy of their own creation, the Orokin turned to the Void which had given them so much before. Retreating to the Orokin Towers, they thought they could elude the Sentients indefinitely. However, the Void could not sustain biological life for long and even the Orokin’s methods of immortality were beginning to show strain. Long periods of exposure to the Void would eventually manifest in mutations.
Some of the Executors saw this as an opportunity. Experiments were conducted, but ultimately the project was considered a failure. The soldiers submitted to concentrated exposure often did not survive or at best had wildly unstable powers which proved unreliable in combat. However, always opportunistic in their failures, the Orokin discovered that the younger subjects had a higher survival rate.
Ballas: “Alright, so, I got a great idea. Like, top notch. Like, bust out the champagne we in this.”
Bilsa: “Can’t be worse than what Stultus thought of. Alright, shoot?”
Ballas: “Alright, so the Void, right? How it’s killin’ older dudes? Alright, so, we’re gonna get a ship full of kids…”
Margulis: “Please don’t say it…”
Ballas: “And put them in the Void.”
Ballas: “I donno man maybe they’ll get super powers or something.”
Bilsa: “You’re an idiot. Even if it worked, what’s our track record with creating new powerful beings?”
Ballas: “Third time’s the charm, dude!”
–Executor Tribunal Meeting in Tower III, date unknown
The Executors did not approve Ballas’ suggestion to use Orokin children as test subjects within the Void. It remains unclear if this was an ethical or a political choice, but the tribunal rejected Ballas’ proposition.
Experimental treatments were being developed to treat the exposed soldiers and progress was being made. The first soldier to survive the treatment had gained superhuman strength, speed, and the ability to channel Void energy to his will. The Orokin studied the changes to his physiology and created a prototype suit for him. The Excalibur. The first weapon which could permanently strike down a Sentient.
Even with slightly improved survival rates from exposure to the Void, the Orokin could not hope to outpace the ability of the Sentients to replicate. They needed a way to deploy an army, not just a small force of elite soldiers. After years of research, they had made breakthroughs with the warframe technology and began mass production. However, they lacked a way to fuse them to the Void – the poison on the blade which could strike down the Sentients.
Transference was the development of technology combining the extra-dimensional properties of the Void which seemingly ignored concepts of space and time with the physical manifestations of the mutated soldiers. By inducing a dream-like state, the Void-infused soldier could channel their being into a surrogate body, such as the warframes.
The experiments with technocyte proved to be a failure, as did the experiments with Void energy. We cannot control the Infestation and we cannot reliably create soldiers with the Void. But thanks to a breakthrough, the Tenno can now control a surrogate and fight through them. We could deploy warframes across the system and have the Tenno fight the Sentients on multiple fronts at once!
And so, I had an idea… Why not not both? We’ll use the technocyte to build the warframes and have the Tenno operate them when we need them to. We can power them off as we need to. We can have complete control.
-Journal of Executor Avarus, date unknown
The executor began production immediately. These mass-produced warframes had proven to be the ultimate solution against the Sentients. They were even able to cull down the spread of the Infestation.
The Fall of the Golden Gods
With the Sentients defeated and the Infestation effectively quarantined, the Orokin no longer had a need for the Tenno. Like they had done with the Sentients, the Orokin were hoping to discard the Tenno now that the job was done. First, they would celebrate their victory.
The Orokin gathered together in the safety of their Void Towers to hold what was described in Orokin text as an “Epic Rager” now that the threats of the system had been quelled. Scholars estimate that over 80% of the remaining Orokin population had gathered on the same tower for the festival.
It remains unclear why or how, but the Tenno learned of their impending fate: to be forcefully removed from the Orokin’s arsenal. In the midst of celebrating the defeat of the Sentients, the Orokin were attacked by the Tenno. One by one, the Orokin were slain as the Tenno claimed their freedom. As a group of Tenno approached the last known remaining Orokin, he managed to send out one final transmission:
-Executor Avarus, open frequency broadcast. Found transcribed upon a hallway in an Orokin Derelict Tower.
With that, the Orokin were no more. The Orokin Towers remained in the Void as the Neural Sentry continued its duties oblivious to the eradication of its masters, the Infestation was left unchecked in the fringes of the system, and the Tenno disappeared.
It is rumored that the Sentients may have played a part in the Tenno’s sudden, yet inevitable, betrayal of the Orokin, but scholars have been unable to confirm these theories. What is certain is that the Tenno had learned of these plans to be discarded by the Orokin and many rebelled against them.
This concludes the presentation of OHSHIT’s newest findings in regards to the Orokin Empire. To learn more, please visit the Museum of History and Science located on the Larunda Relay.
Special thanks to /u/nearlydedicated for the Orokin translations used in this article. If you would like to learn more about reading and writing in the Orokin language, check out NearlyDedicated’s free course on memrise.com! There’s also a study group where you can congregate with other Tenno learning the language.