The highly revered Orokin civilization built sovereignty on a culture of art, technology and architecture. To prove oneself worthy of elevated social status, one must face Orokin trials in the golden and majestic Halls of Ascension. At one time a utopian society of omniscient leadership, the great Orokin Era ended in a divine realization of their own ignorance.

—Orokin Fragment

The Orokin, also known as the Golden Lords or Makers by the Sentient and Golden Skymen by a now extinct colony on Mars, was an ancient civilization that ruled over the Origin System in the distant past. During what was known as the Orokin Era, they built technological masterpieces that surpass even present day technology while exercising complete dominion over the known world. Although details about the Orokin are scarce, they are almost entirely responsible for the current state of the Origin System.



Culture

An Orokin teaset as seen during The Sacrifice

Details about Orokin culture are scarce, but it is evident from their architecture and relics that they were obsessed with splendor, luxury, beauty, and excess.[1][2][3] The Orokin favored white, gold, black, and blue in their aesthetics, and tended to construct massive structures adorned with innumerable golden ornaments complemented by long hallways and extremely high ceilings.[4][5] Orokin-made items all share this luxurious design, from tea sets and clothing to even their most basic infantry rifles, and their distinctive relics have continued to influence cultures all the way up to the present day. Some high-ranking Orokin even modified their own bodies to obtain a more aesthetically wild and beautiful appearance than would ever be naturally possible, with blue skin and an elongated right arm.

Despite their futuristic splendor, much of Orokin culture was heavily influenced by ancient cultures, with much emphasis placed on honor, propriety, loyalty to one's superiors, and acceptance of the status quo. Being dominated by an immortal aristocracy with access to highly advanced technology, Orokin culture was also extremely conservative and repressive. Class mobility and ascending beyond one's station were exclusive privileges offered to very few, while most people were expected to offer unquestioned servitude to their quasi-divine masters. Economic practices under doctrines such as capitalism were viewed with suspicion for their potential to raise individuals beyond the class of their birth[6]. Social repression took many forms, from restricting access to technology and resources (to the point where serfdom and back-breaking manual labor were common in agriculture despite the option of industrialization), forcible genetic manipulation (as was done to create the Grineer slaves) to the outright seizure of children from their homes to be sold off in Yuvan markets. Punishments for even the smallest transgressions were brutal, often collective, and ranged from mutilation (such as hands being cut off as punishment for theft) to execution via the Jade Light (which incinerated people entirely) to conversion of the condemned into Cephalons as a means of perpetual servitude. Notably, Orokin society rejected automation via robotics despite being evidently capable of it: while advanced robotics were commonplace for minor, menial tasks such as environmental surveillance, the creation of true machine intelligence was generally forbidden [7] and only employed in the direst circumstances. Manual labor from slaves and serfs was always preferred.

Culturally, the Orokin held seven virtues to be of utmost importance, collectively known as The Seven Principles.[8] These principles were speed, power, cunning, agility, endurance, cooperation, and stealth.[9] There are indications that, in an older era of the Orokin civilization, Dualism[10] was a central concept in their culture as well. In addition, the Orokin practiced many ancient pastimes, such as the playing of Komi, Lunaro, and the use of a musical instrument known as a Shawzin.

Orokin society was highly stratified, with only those at the very top being regarded as actual Orokin. From what we know, the empire was led by multiple Emperors[11] whose names and details are unknown.[12] The Orokin's judicial body was a council known as The Seven.[13] It is implied that these seven were of Executor rank and included Ballas,[14][15] though there was a Congress of Executors beyond that.[16] Classes beneath them include Archmedians, Orokin scientists and scholars; Lorists, Orokin healers[17]; Sectarus, Orokin navigators or ship operators[18]; and Enginus, an unknown role.[18] In addition, the Orokin constructed a caste of genetically engineered slaves to serve their most basic industrial and military needs, while the rest of the empire was made up of less wealthy and advanced populations performing technological and economic services which would eventually congeal into the Corpus, following the teachings of Parvos Granum. A small conclave of warriors known as the Dax served as the Orokin's most elite soldiers. The Dax were enhanced with technology to be more lethal and agile in combat, while also made mentally unable to disobey their masters.

Technology

The Orokin represented and continue to represent the height of technological achievement in the Origin System. Of particular note is their mastery of biological engineering, allowing them to modify their own bodies, construct armies of cloned slave labor, invent a living weapon that proved to be nigh-uncontrollable, produce terraforming drones that could adapt to any obstacle they encountered, convert invaders into unwavering allies, and create almost indestructible humanoid warriors for the Tenno to command. On a larger scale, the Orokin constructed massive Solar Rails enabling fast interplanetary and even interstellar travel, terraformed some of the most inhospitable planets in the system, and learned how to navigate the alien dimension known as the Void.

Orokin obsession with luxury and domination often combined with their unparalleled technology to form highly disturbing results. The Orokin ruined much of the Origin System in their search for resources to feed their addiction to excess, which was ultimately the cause for the Sentients' war against them.[19] Of particular note is the ritual known as Continuity, which the Orokin would use to obtain effective immortality.[20] The ritual allows an individual to transfer their consciousness to another's body by filling them with torment and despair until the host is nothing more than an empty husk. This is likely the process through which the Grineer Queens survived as long as they did, although they were eventually forced to practice the ritual upon defective Grineer bodies.

Known Technology and Creations

Orokin Language

Main article: Orokin Language
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The Orokin Language is largely based upon English but with a coarser, often more phonetic spelling. The characters are diagonally slanted and are usually written left to right when on flat surfaces. Vowels take the form of polarity symbols written above the regular characters. The direction of writing frequently varies when it is found on both the left and right of an object, presumably because it was copied and flipped from one side to the other.

Although there are no live excerpts of the Orokin Language to demonstrate how it is spoken, the Lotus, Ordis, Tenno and the Red Veil presumably understand and can speak Orokin as their local language. However, given that the Stalker was also once part of the Orokin Empire and presumably spoke their language, it can safely be assumed that it is spoken in a hissing, sibilant fashion.

A particular system of words was used and possibly created by Albrecht Entrati: the Requiem words, each of them has its own meaning and seems to have mysterious ties to the Void itself.

Notable Orokin

Families

  • DeNas - Whose children were stolen by The Scoria political assassination school and became their "students", with their memories suppressed. The children were rescued by AshIcon272.png Ash.
  • Entrati - A partially-infested dysfunctional family residing inside the enclave of Necralisk, on Deimos. After the Tenno reaches Rank 5: Family, they are fully welcomed into the family under the name of Ayatan.

Characters

  • Alad V - Addressed as Orokin by Hunhow but has yet to be confirmed. Possibly a reference to Alad's supposed Orokin heritage [21]
  • Alarez - Orokin assumed to be lower than Enginus class, as Bilsa noticed his symmetry was off and his eyes were dull. He was killed by Veytok after making contact with Bilsa in the Guardsman Synthesis imprint.
  • Albrecht Entrati - Orokin scientist known for being the first one to access the Void. He is also an ancestor of the Entrati family.
  • Avantus - Orokin Executor who was killed by Grineer Veytok in the Arid Eviscerator Synthesis imprint.
  • Ballas - The Orokin Executor responsible for the creation of the Warframes. He survived the Old War and was later made into a Amalgam by Natah, after being fatally stabbed by Excalibur UmbraIcon272.png Excalibur Umbra.
  • Bilsa - Sectarus class Orokin who joined the Grineer Veytok in building an army after he killed Avantus and took her prisoner in the Arid Eviscerator and Guardsman Synthesis imprints.
  • Daughter (Kaelli Entrati) - The daughter of the Entrati family. She is a partially-infested Orokin researcher and biologist, who resides inside the enclave of the Necralisk, on Deimos.
  • Father (Vilcor Entrati) - The father of the Entrati family. He is a partially-infested Orokin weapons expert who resides inside the enclave of Necralisk, on Deimos.
  • Grandmother - A member of the Entrati family. She is a partially-infested Orokin who resides inside the enclave of Necralisk, on Deimos. Described as "never a soldier or a scientist".
  • Grineer Queens - Former Orokin twins living in Grineer bodies after the Old War.
  • Karishh - Orokin Executor who survived the Old War and was later killed by GrendelIcon272.png Grendel.
  • Margulis - The Archmedian who decided to become a mother for all Tennos after the Zariman Ten 0 incident and was executed for this reason by her lover Ballas.
  • Mother (Gomaitru Entrati) - The leader of the Entrati family. She is a partially-infested Orokin scientist, mathematician, and philosopher, who resides inside the enclave of Necralisk, on Deimos.
  • Myrmidon - Orokin hunter who killed Warframes, and by extension erased them from history. He was later defeated by IvaraIcon272.png Ivara and executed by an Orokin Executor at the Chamber of the Seven.
  • Nihil - The Orokin responsible for the creation of the Cephalons. He was later imprisoned in an oubliette after his defeat by the Tenno with the help of Nora Night and the glassed victims in the final episode of Nightwave: Series 3 - Glassmaker
  • Porvis - Orokin Historian who tells the tale of IvaraIcon272.png Ivara (which Drusus narrates in the Leverian) from The Secret History of the Orokin Court.
  • Son (Kermerros Entrati) - A member of the Entrati family. He is a partially-infested Orokin researcher and biologist, who resides inside the enclave of Necralisk, on Deimos.
  • Tuvul - Orokin Executor mentioned in the Detron Crewman Synthesis imprint.

Trivia

  • The Corpus are hellbent on gathering Orokin technology and relevant findings in order to harness their power and sell them on the market. Their goals were the primary cause of certain events, namely The Gradivus Dilemma and Operation Oxium Espionage.
  • Several characters in the game are suggested to either be Orokin or have direct descendants from their bloodlines. Members of the Corpus leadership claim to be of pure Orokin lineage, Alad V is addressed as an Orokin by the Sentient Hunhow during The Second Dream, and the Grineer Elder Queen is able to command the unwilling obedience of Teshin by virtue of "her Orokin blood".
    • According to the The Tenets fragments, the Founder of Corpus, Parvos Granum, was once a farmer who worked under his Orokin masters. The wealth disparity between his family of agrarian serfs and the upper classes of Orokin society drove him to create a new doctrine centered around the right to pursue one's Desire.
  • So far, the only non-Orokin boss shown to explicitly harness Orokin technology is Captain Vor (namely Void Keys).
  • The Glassmaker, introduced in Nightwave/Series 3, is a mysterious entity who found a way to deliver the old Orokin judgment of "glassing", a process involved in the creation of Cephalons.
    • The Glassmaker is later revealed to be Nihil: the Orokin responsible for the creation of Cephalons.
  • The Corpus Fusion MOA and Oxium Osprey are the direct result of the Corpus utilizing advanced Orokin technology, as a rare (due to cost and rarity of Orokin materials) upgrade to normal MOA and Ospreys respectively.
  • The word "Orokin" may be a portmanteau of the Spanish/Italian word "Oro", and the Japanese word "Kin" (金), both words meaning "Gold" which fits the Orokin's aesthetic, who predominantly use gold in their architecture and design, although the literal "gold gold" meaning makes this possibly less plausible. An alternative to "kin" is the English word referring to family or close relations, indicating a "golden family".
    • With the existence of Oro as an in-universe force the "Oro" in Orokin may be in reference to that, rather than any real-world counterpart.
  • Corrupted enemies are identified by the Orokin faction in-game, rather than their own separate faction.

Media

References

  1. "...so shame on you! You Orokin, so perfect on the outside but you're rotted... through and through!" - Margulis during The Second Dream
  2. "No... No... My beauty, my grace, my humanity-- [...] But... She gave me the gift of life! [...] Fool! This... This is no gift! She stole my death! My perfect death." - Ballas during Chimera Prologue
  3. "The Orokin had a visage imbued with variation, beauty and symmetry [...] Their skin was silken..." - Corrupted Ancient Synthesis imprint
  4. See Orokin Tower and Orokin Moon tilesets
  5. "I looked out the viewscreen, the massive Executorial Frigate begin to pivot toward our tiny Runner. Its marblesque exterior was aglow in the light of the sun. How I missed those white hallways with their perfect golden trim, all busy with Orokin of high station discussing the business of Empire. I belonged on that ship, it was my birthright." - Guardsman Synthesis imprint
  6. "Those kneeling at the altar of commerce will be returned... to the Void" - Ballas in the Vauban Prime trailer
  7. "The greatest Orokin fear is a machine... aware." Ordis in the Cephalon Fragments
  8. "'Did our ancestors, burned by fire, reject its power? No. They conquered their fear and learned to control it. The Seven Principles are a joke.'" - Detron Crewman Synthesis imprint
  9. See Halls of Ascension
  10. "Before the vain faith - our people held Dualism as truth. That all things were of two parts. Mind and body. Consciousness and matter. Of our world... and the Void. It was from there that our answer finally came." - Ballas during The Sacrifice
  11. "The Tenno appeared at the Terminus, gleaming and victorious. Our cold and gold Emperors, breathless, bathed you in saviour's silk." - Stalker Codex entry
  12. "This highly decorated armor was once worn by the personal guards of an Orokin Emperor." - Targis Prime Armor description
  13. "See, in the old days, crime and punishment was all in the hands of those Orokin judges, the Seven. Mercy was a quick flash of the Jade light... But - if they wanted to make an example, they'd suck up your soul and make you a prisoner of the glass, forever." - Nora Night during Nightwave Series 3
  14. Detron Crewman Synthesis Imprint
  15. Ivara's Leverian entry
  16. Arid Eviscerator Synthesis Imprint
  17. Corrupted Ancient Synthesis imprint
  18. 18.0 18.1 Guardsman Synthesis imprint
  19. See Story and History
  20. "The applause peaks and fades. I feel a sense of shame but the end upon me. Ballas is above me, Executor of the Seven, smiling. He says, 'How simple and pure you are, you idiot beast. We have died countless times! Yet remain eternal!' I close my eyes to die just once." - Ordan Karris in Cephalon fragments
  21. "Lead by innovatory and elusive industrialists, and claiming to be descendants of Orokin lineage, the Corpus are dedicated to the accumulation of wealth" - Cephalon Fragments entry "Corpus"

See Also

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