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“You're not supposed to be in here! You're going to ruin the surprise!”
The following article/section contains spoilers.
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“Orokin secrets cannot remain secret forever! Start talking!”
The following article/section is conjecture. Content is subjected to change/removal as the game progresses. Please do not use this article for critical in-game information.
For the enemy faction labeled "Orokin", see Corrupted and Damage/Orokin.

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 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.

Overview

Lore & History

All that is known is that the Orokin arose around the 22nd century, but one of the Original seven Albrecht Entrati seems to have been originally born during the early 21st Century. What is known about the Orokin is that they where a group of extremely powerful people who wrested control over Earth over a few hundred years, destroying much of the history and trying to reframe it to make it seem that the Orokin are Living Gods. They all have three desires : To live on indefinitely, to conquer the galaxy and beyond, and to understand the cosmos, even the unknowable Void. Before Lua became a city for the Orokin, and the site of the Continuity, a ritual called the Yuvan Ceremony, to pass on their consciousness to a new, younger body was first ever performed, the Original Seven lengthen their life through science, including cybernetics. Of the known Orokin, many have psychopathic tendencies, ranging from megalomania to dark empathy, whether this is because of the involvement of the Void or their original psyche is unknown. Despite their many flaws, the Orokin were masters of many fields of science, mainly genome genetic modifications, to cybernetics and even planet changing machines that are still working to this day. Because of their unyielding curiosity and exploring paths of science with no regard to human rights, the Orokin have forever changed the Origin System since their rise to power.

Culture

OrokinTeaSet

An Orokin teaset as seen during The Sacrifice

Aesthetics and Fashion

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.

Class and Aristocracy

Despite their futuristic splendor, much of Orokin culture was heavily influenced by ancient cultures[6], 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[7]. 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[8]. Punishments for even the smallest transgressions were brutal, often collective, and ranged from mutilation (such as hands being cut off as punishment for theft[9]) to execution via the Jade Light (which incinerated people entirely) to conversion of the condemned into Cephalons as a means of perpetual servitude[10]. 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[11] and only employed in the direst circumstances. Manual labor from slaves and serfs was always preferred.

Hierarchy

Orokin society was highly stratified, with only those at the very top being regarded as actual Orokin. Based on various loose lore descriptions, we know that the empire was led by multiple Emperors[12][13] whose names and details are unknown. The Orokin's judicial body[14] was a council known as the Congress of Executors (mainly referred to as the Seven.)[15][16] Another high-ranking body is presumably the virtually unknown Orokin High Court.[17]

Classes beneath them include Archimedeans (scientists and scholars), Lorists (healers)[18], Sectarus (navigators or ship operators)[19], Enginus (an unknown role)[19], and Temple Guardians (another unknown role)[20] . It is unclear to what extent these were regarded as Orokin rather than servants or underlings of the Orokin. In addition, the Orokin constructed the Grineer, 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[21].

Known Class Members

Virtues and Beliefs

Culturally, the Orokin held seven virtues to be of utmost importance, collectively known as The Seven Principles.[22] These principles were speed, power, cunning, agility, endurance, cooperation, and stealth.[23] There are indications that, in an older era of the Orokin civilization, Dualism[24] was a central concept in their culture as well. In addition, the Orokin practiced many ancient pastimes, such as the playing of Komi, Lunaro, the musical instrument known as a Shawzin, and celebrating Naberus, a holiday that celebrates their achieved immortality.[25]

Technology

SanzangPrimeKubrowArmor

Tang Prime Kubrow - The product of untold generations of selective breeding, coupled with multifold iterations of Orokin bioengineering, created this: the Tang breed of Kubrow. Faithful guardians of the most revered.

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.[26] Of particular note is the ritual known as Continuity, which the Orokin would use to obtain effective immortality.[27] 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
Tennobet1

The Orokin written 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 during game development.

Although there are no live excerpts of the Orokin script to demonstrate how it is spoken, the Lotus, Ordis, Tenno and the Red Veil presumably understand and can speak "Orokin" as their local language.

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 Members of the Orokin Empire

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 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

  • 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 by betraying the Orokin Empire and manipulated the events of Prelude to War and The New War to become the Origin System's new ruler under Narmer, only to be killed by the Lotus and the Tenno.
  • Barroc - a member aboard the same Railjack crew as Vilcor during The Old War.[28]
  • Bekran Zaft - Floor-washer of the Dabaoth-Kra prison. Sole survivor of the prison's demise at the hands of LavosIcon272 Lavos and lived to tell the tale.[29]
  • 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.
  • Corphel and Irilia - Orokin couple who had a secret forbidden affair with their Dax cavalrywoman, implied to be of high status as the affair was never publicly addressed. After the cavalrywoman became a Warframe who would later be named DagathIcon272 Dagath, the couple tired of their lover as their relationship was longer considered taboo, and had her killed via a dissolution beam to the face; the following morning, the Warframe took her revenge and left the couple as faceless as she was.
  • 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.
  • Javi - An Archimedean who specialized in transmutation and thus was imprisoned in the Dabaoth-Kra prison for heresy. Convinced LavosIcon272 Lavos to follow in his footsteps of alchemy and was reborn as one of the serpents on Lavos's arms.[29]
  • Karishh - Orokin Executor and a glutton who survived The Collapse and escaped to the famine-struck city of Riddha. Was later killed by GrendelIcon272 Grendel.
  • Kailen - a member aboard the same Railjack crew as Vilcor during The Old War.[28]
  • Margulis - The Archimedean who decided to become a mother for all Tenno after the Zariman Ten Zero incident and was executed for this reason by Ballas.
  • Mother (Gomaitru/Euleria 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.
  • Mutaru - a member aboard the same Railjack crew as Vilcor during The Old War.[28]
  • Myrmidon - An Orokin hunter who killed Warframes, and by extension erased them from history. He was being controlled by an Orokin Executor as a test for warframes. He was later defeated by IvaraIcon272 Ivara.
  • Nihil - The Orokin judge and executioner responsible for the creation of the Cephalons. He survived the Old War by glassing himself and was later imprisoned in an oubliette in the final episode of Nightwave: Series 3 - Glassmaker.
  • Porvis - Orokin Historian who tells the tale of IvaraIcon272 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.
  • Suda - A famous Archimedean who dedicated herself to preserve Orokin history and knowledge for future generations. Willingly turned herself into a Cephalon after she developed an unspecified neurodegenerative disease that was destroying her memories.
  • Tuvul - Orokin Executor first mentioned in the Detron Crewman Synthesis imprint and a member of the Seven. Some of his recordings can be found on the Zariman Ten Zero. Head of the Yuvan Clerisy, conductors of the Continuity. Was killed by VorunaIcon272 Voruna when attempting to escape The Collapse by performing Continuity into an Operator.

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 by the Misery Acolyte, 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.
  • According to DagathIcon272 Dagath's lore, a Dax engaging in relationships with their Orokin masters was deemed taboo and punishable by execution.
  • So far, the only non-Orokin boss shown to explicitly harness Orokin technology is Captain Vor (namely Void Keys).
  • 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.
  • High-ranking Orokin commanders were gifted the Imperator Syandana.[30]

Gallery

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. Ancient cultures refers to real-life history, not necessarily based on in-game lore. It is unclear how much of the WARFRAME universe draws from real-world cultures/history.
  7. "Those kneeling at the altar of commerce will be returned... to the Void" - Ballas in the Vauban Prime trailer
  8. "A Yuvan theater, long abandoned. In ages past, I would have stood guard as the young and exotic were paraded through the mountain pass and marched by the viewing pane. They'd barter here, the Orokin. Withering and coughing-[sic] as they prepared for their Continuity." - Teshin on a Yuvan Theater during The War Within
  9. "I was brash and bold. I struck at midday. I cried, "I take what I am owed!" as I ripped jewels from their tower gates and ran. I did not get far. For my blasphemy they dragged me to the tower square, throwing me to the ground in front of the sneering crowd of Orokin servants that mingled there. The guards held aloft my satchel, containing the proof of my crime. I grasped at it, determined to reclaim what was mine. He snatched my arm, held me high and... with a dash of his plasma dagger... severed my left hand. The crowd jeered." - Parvos Granum in "The Taking" fragment
  10. "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 in Nightwave Series 3: Episode 1
  11. "The greatest Orokin fear is a machine... aware." - Ordis in the Cephalon Fragments
  12. "The Tenno appeared at the Terminus, gleaming and victorious. Our cold and gold Emperors, breathless, bathed you in saviour's silk." - Stalker Codex entry
  13. This highly decorated armor was once worn by the personal guards of an Orokin Emperor - Targis Prime Armor
  14. Once worn exclusively by Orokin Judiciary, the Yamako Syandana is a symbol of wisdom and authority. - Yamako Syandana
  15. "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
  16. Arid Eviscerator Synthesis Imprint
  17. An ancient and golden syandana, worn only by those chosen to lead the Orokin High Court. - Yamako Prime syandana
  18. Corrupted Ancient Synthesis imprint
  19. 19.0 19.1 Guardsman Synthesis imprint
  20. Discovered in the vaults of a drifting derelict, this Syandana was worn by Temple Guardians before the fall of the Orokin Empire. - Misa Prime Syandana
  21. See The War Within
  22. "'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
  23. See Halls of Ascension
  24. "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
  25. "It's Naberus! You... do know what that is, right? The ancient Orokin festival of death, darkness and deviance? The happiest time of the entire year? I've dug out all the old family decorations!" - Daughter on Naberus
  26. See Story and History
  27. "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
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 "There were four of us. Barroc, Kailen, Mutaru, and me, patching ruptures on the a rust bucket of a Railjack off the Delta Proxima. I remember our first sight of a Sentient Murex... Eh, maybe some other time." - Father during Operation: Orphix Venom
  29. 29.0 29.1 LavosIcon272 Lavos Leverian entry
  30. Before the fall, the Imperator Syandana was bestowed upon only the highest-ranking Orokin commanders. - Imperator Syandana

See Also

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