So What Is Loremageddon?

Loremageddon is an ongoing initiative to reveal some of the deepest, darkest and most forbidden lore in the WildStar universe. How does it work? We take questions from the rabid lorehounds in the WildStar community, and then the Narrative Design team at Carbine puts their pencils to work and answers them. What happens next? A veritable lorenucopia of new and exciting information about everything from our races to our factions to the scientific mysteries of Nexus and beyond. And the best part? We will add all that delicious lore back into the game, so that new players and old can enjoy it.

Expanded Lore

Races:
Enemies and Allies:

Frequently Asked Questions

Science

How common are habitable planets in the WildStar galaxy?

Habitable planets are very rare in the galaxy. As would be expected, the planetary conditions necessary to support life are extremely uncommon, and therefore most planets are devoid of living organisms - sentient or otherwise.

Given their rarity, the distances between habitable planets can be very large. This is made even more evident in the wild, uncharted Fringe region, due to its distance from the galaxy's core. As you get further from the star-rich core, the density of stars declines and the distance between each star increases. If not for the invention of the spindrive, travel between planets would almost be impossible.

What is the nature of hyper-space travel in WildStar?

In the WildStar universe, space travel between star systems is both commonplace and challenging. The majority of known spacefaring races in WildStar use spindrive technology. Spindrives are powerful, rotating engines that create singularities, thus warping the fabric of spacetime and allowing starships to enter hyper-space. hyper-space co-exists with normal space, but starships are able to travel much faster within it. Because of this, traveling in hyper-space is often referred to as "jumping."

While a spindrive can allow a ship to travel exponentially faster than it normally could, hyper-space travel is not instantaneous. A journey between Cassus and Mikros still takes about four months, instead of the centuries it would take with a more conventional light speed propulsion engine. Luckily cryosleep techniques minimize the life support resources needed for such long journeys - as well as the number of passengers going insane out of sheer boredom.

It also takes an incredible amount of energy to shift into hyper-space, so having enough fuel for the spindrive is always a serious concern. That is one of the reasons that space exploration beyond the Fringe can be very dangerous - as the Fringe is mostly unmapped, the chances of being stranded away from any known fuel source are much higher.

Can you elaborate on what a "primal pattern" is? Is it a genetic code or is it something entirely different?

In addition to many of the physical laws that hold true in our universe, the WildStar cosmos is also governed by six primal powers—more specifically, four kinds of matter earth, air, fire and water) and two forces (life and logic). These six basic things make up all of the fantastic compounds, items, and beings in the WildStar universe. So a primal pattern is the ratio, concentration and manner in which these primal powers mix and interact to form an object or creature.

In a way it is similar to a genetic code in that it is distinct and specific to each and every thing, but it is not limited to living beings. A lifeless mineral has a primal pattern just as a jabbit or Draken does.

What is the name of the moon alongside Halon?

That gaseous moon is called Pyra, and it is one persistent mystery of Nexus that has yet to be resolved. Surrounded by a seemingly impenetrable force field of presumably Eldan manufacture, whatever is on the moon's surface beneath a dense canopy of red-orange clouds is a complete enigma to galactic science.

Both the Exile Academy of Science (XAS) and the Dominion's Royal Collegium (as well as related organizations like the Alchemists Guild and DRED) maintain ongoing efforts to break through the shield, but to date all attempts to penetrate the powerful Eldan defenses have met with failure.

Does the Mordesh homeworld, Grismara, have moons? What are they called?

Grismara is a large rocky world with slightly lower gravity than Cassus standard. It has many minor satellites both natural and artificial, with six major terrestrial moons that have long played an important part in Mordesh culture. The name of each moon evolved into the names eventually given to corresponding elemental humours (what the Eldan knew as the primal powers).

The moons were especially important in the long-abandoned methods of Mordesh astrology. Though the practice was largely supplanted by the better-known Kemos religion in ancient times, its influence on the Mordescu language remains widespread. To be born under the light of Pirin, for example, was said to indicate a hot temper and an aggressive spirit - and when more than one moon is ascendant, the combinations of these forces were said to change destinies. Today the moons' names can be seen most often in Mordesh poetry, oaths, and colloquialisms as indicators of particular emotional, historical, or cultural significance.

The moons of Grismara currently remain behind the Dominion's blockade of the system. What little is known about their current state comes from remote observations carried out by the Royal Collegium scientists stationed with the blockade fleet and what fragmented records escaped with scientists like the Lazarins. Unfortunately for the Mordesh, those living on the habitable moons suffered the same fate as those on Grismara, meaning they are now dead or Ravenous.

Pirin
Its name the inspiration for the elemental humour pyros, or primal fire, Pirin is the only Grismaran moon that produces its own light, though Logoz's semi-translucent crystalline structure often shines brighter in the sky. Pirin's glow is due to naturally occurring, moon-wide volcanism rather than refraction and reflection however. Its surface is uninhabitable for most known life forms, but the Mordesh did establish two permanent, heavily shielded orbiting settlements before Contagion outbreaks hit. These settlements are now off-limits and filled with hungry Ravenous.

Pirin is associated with anger, passion, violence, and conflict. Those born under the light of Pirin are said to be the greatest Warriors of ancient Grismara.

Aquazar
Aquazar's cold, crystal-blue surface inspired the name of aquia, the elemental humour also known as primal water. A frozen water world, the many winter-themed resorts and research facilities that once dotted its surface have been lost to the Ravenous for years. But untouched by the Ravenous or the Contagion, massive cephalopods and bizarre monster-fish occupy the lightless depths of its hidden, subglacial seas.

Aquazar is said to grant tranquility and a peaceful nature, but those born under its light (such as Avra Darkos) are also thought to conceal many mysteries.

Terov
Primal earth - the elemental humour called terra - is associated with this dark, rocky orb which reflects little light from the Grismaran sun. It would be nearly invisible but for canyons and valleys exposing raw metallic ores and minerals deeper in the moon's core. Once it was home to many mining operations, including several leased by offworld concerns like Protostar, but that industry has not been operational since the Long Night.

Terov is associated with wealth, stability, and strength. It is also traditionally associated with Mordesh weddings, as the rare minerals once mined there were favorites of brides and grooms alike.

Ethrin
Ethrin's name is related to aether, the elemental humour synonymous with primal air. It is one of two moons with an atmosphere, but not one that can support typical organic life. Its silvery-white cloud cover makes it nearly as reflective as the surface of Aquazar (while still not as bright as Logoz), but it conceals tumultuous winds, massive lightning storms, and atmospheric pressure that would crush even a Granok within minutes. Pre-Contagion, it was a popular vacation destination for daredevil sporting enthusiasts who liked to surf the upper layers of Ethrin's clouds using heavily shielded saucer-pods.

Those born under Ethrin's shining light are said to have mercurial personalities, tempestuous emotions, and a penchant for risk-taking. Poets often claim that when a Mordesh born under Ethrin falls in love with one born under Pirin's radiance, the union creates new stars in the sky.

Vitrova
The tragedy of Vitrova haunts many Mordesh who escaped the Contagion. Tied closely to the elemental humour vitus (or primal life) Vitrova was a lush, green terrestrial world that possessed its own rich ecology largely isolated from Grismara. When the Contagion struck, however, the Mordesh who lived there studying its fascinating ecosystem or harvesting its abundant natural resources fared no better than their kin on the planet below. Today, most large fauna have long since been devoured by the Ravenous, who are rarer here than they are on the surface of Grismara. The sparseness of their population combined with the still-dense jungles and woodlands covering Vitrova makes the hungry undead an even more unpredictable threat.

To be born under the light of Vitara is to be youthful, healthy, and vibrant. Many great healers were born under this moon.

Logoz
The moon Logoz lends its name to the elemental humour logos (i.e., primal logic). It is a unique body in the Grismaran system - and, indeed, in most of known space - as all scans indicate it is entirely crystalline in nature. The massive, fractal mineral structures which make up the moon's surface were once used by ancient Mordesh astrologers to calculate the trajectory of other moons and develop precise horoscopic predictions.

Visiting the moon itself can be quite dangerous to organic life and technology since the dust that lightly covers Logoz is made of the same crystalline elements as the rest of the surface. Even though this dust gives the thin atmosphere a sparkling, magical quality it can and will clog breathing tubes, cause friction tears in the strongest spacesuits, and grind the delicate inner workings of ship engines to a halt.

Logoz is, not surprisingly, associated with mathematics, logical thinking, scientific analysis, and cold reason. It is also thought to grant an inquisitive mind and uncanny intuition to those born under its light. Both Victor and Lucy Lazarin were born under Logoz.

I want more information about the Void.

The Void is the name given to a mysterious nether dimension that Spellslingers long ago learned to access and manipulate during combat. Once thought to have been discovered by ancient Cassians, archaeological discoveries indicate that the Eldan were also aware of its existence, and their teleporter technology appears to access the Void to move matter instantly from place to place.

In order to access the Void, Spellslingers use their mag pistols as focus objects in conjunction with ancient and powerful symbols called sigils. In the distant past, laypersons called these sigils "spells" - hence the moniker "Spellslinger" for this venerable discipline.

It is generally unsafe to stay in the Void for too long - and indeed, many legends tell of Spellslingers who slipped into the Void and were never seen again. That being said, it is a useful tool for combat, allowing Spellslingers to teleport from one location to another, to instantaneously switch locations with an enemy, or to completely disappear for strategic reasons or escape. Using the correct sigils, they are also able to draw energy from the Void, using it to protect and heal themselves and their allies when necessary.

While Spellslingers can access and use the Void in their martial discipline, and the Eldan employed it for technological purposes, little has been definitively learned about the properties of the Void itself. Within the Void, technology functions erratically if at all, so scans taken by bots or handheld datachrons have proven largely unreliable. Given the fact that Spellslingers are able to draw energy from the Void, scientists have theorized that perhaps it represents a kind of primal sub-dimensional plane - but given the difficulties inherent in studying it, such postulations cannot be proven by existing scientific techniques.

Tell me about the Snarfelynx.

Native to the planet Lagos, homeworld of the Lopp, the snarfelynx is a somewhat rotund feline species which evolved an unusual method of flight. They possess inflatable air bladders which allow them to float through the air while they vent other gasses to propel themselves forward with surprising alacrity. Lopp scientists believe the felines developed this ability to help carry their equally tubby young from place to place as they are carried inside the snarfelynx's elastic, inflatable cheeks. With training, this parenting instinct has been adapted to serve a more practical purpose - the transportation of a humanoid passenger.

All snarfelynx on Nexus are descended from a few breeding pairs brought by Lopp far-traders from Lagos, who were forced to place the creatures in hypersleep to get them aboard starships (snarfelynx do not like tightly enclosed spaces). Snarfelynx fur coloring is typical of creatures from Lagos and includes the same general hues as the Lopp themselves.

Snarfelynx could only have evolved on a planet like Lagos, where airborne predators are virtually nonexistent. Their unique method of flight would make them easy pickings for any large flying creatures - indeed, even the Lopp once hunted them as prey long before they attempted to domesticate them. Most predators on Lagos, however, cannot fly, meaning the snarfelynx's slow, long flights are a perfect survival mechanism. While lean, feathered avians typically burn a lot of energy for shorter flights, wild snarfelynx are known to stay in the air for weeks at a time, protecting themselves and their young from ground-based attack while their considerable fat stores provide nutrition and energy along the way.
Factions

[NEW] Does the Dominion keep exile prisoners? More specifically, do they keep Mordesh prisoners, and if they do, how do they avoid them turning ravenous?

The Dominion does keep Exile captives. Due to the empire’s laws regarding conduct towards military prisoners, captives are expected to receive the basic necessities for survival until such time as they are able to face justice in a Dominion court. During wartime these laws are often deemed to be inconvenient, and it is common (and accepted) for individual Dominion officers to choose their prisoners’ fates unilaterally. Risk factors—such as the danger posed by a prisoner due to capabilities, contamination, or disease—are taken into account when deciding a prisoner’s fate.

When Mordesh are taken captive by the Dominion, their fate depends in large part on their importance to the Exiles. Those Mordesh prisoners deemed to be valuable captives are held and interrogated until such time as their continued usefulness is brought into question. Mordesh captives who are considered nonessential to the war effort are typically executed due to concerns over the Contagion. Prior to their executions, the Vitalus reservoirs of all Mordesh are drained by Dominion biotechnicians. The bulk of the collected serum is used to prolong the lives of important Mordesh prisoners during their interrogations, while a lesser amount is sent to both the Royal Collegium and DREDD for analysis.

[NEW] How is military service viewed in the Dominion? Is there a mandatory amount of time citizens must serve in the military?

Military service in the Dominion, at least among Cassians, is considered an honorable pursuit for all citizens to undertake, should they so wish it. While enlistment is not compulsory, conscriptions—especially of lowborn—do take place when there is a shortage of able-bodied soldiers. The Dominion understands that conscripts and draftees don’t make the best fighters, so these methods of recruitment are only used when absolutely necessary.

So strong is the typical Cassian’s commitment to the Dominion that the vast majority of recruits enlist in the legions of their own free will. This, accompanied with careful advertising (propaganda) and an offer of valuable veteran’s benefits, results in a highly motivated fighting force. A typical tour with the legions calls for five years of service in peacetime, though this time period can be extended indefinitely during times of conflict. The average Dominion soldier reenlists at least once and serves in the legions for at least ten years.

All titled highborn are automatically granted an officer’s rank in the Dominion military, depending on their civilian standing. Highborn without titles are eligible to join the officer corps, should they wish to join the military at all, and for many, serving in the legions is a convenient way to gain influence once they return to civilian life. It is exceedingly rare for a highborn of any quality to serve in the rank and file as an enlistee.

Lowborn officers are not unheard of in the Dominion military. Citizens of common birth who are able to qualify for leadership positions may apply for the officer corps prior to their enlistment, but they are required to have a highborn patron representing them during the application process. Additionally, battlefield commissions are bestowed upon enlisted personnel who are particularly adept or deserving of recognition.

Due to unique societal pressures, Draken, regardless of gender or social standing, are expected to serve for some time in a military capacity. Such service is commonly performed within the Dominion military or with one of the Draken “Homeguard” legions on Mikros. It is a rare Draken who chooses not to serve militarily. The majority of those who do not enlist are physically unable to do so for one reason or another. A tiny fraction, however, consist of Draken who have no desire to follow a warrior’s path. Regardless of the reasons, Draken who choose not perform military service are shunned and considered the lowliest of their people.

Mechari, like Cassians, are free to choose whether or not they wish to join the Dominion military. Should they do so, Mechari serve in roles that are aided by their unique physical attributes. They also find it a simple matter to qualify for the officer corps due to their inherent mental acuity and logical thought processes, and Mechari officers are a common sight in the Imperial legions.

Chua, on the other hand, often eschew military service, as they feel it detracts from their mechanical, engineering, and creative pursuits. That said, the Dominion military has a need for tech savvy Chua, and offers of enlistment have been devised to appeal to their unique cultural ambitions. Those Chua that do serve act in technical roles much of the time, though Chua eager to blow things up find themselves welcomed among the Dominion’s combat troops.

It should be noted that imperial conscripts are assigned to legions comprised almost entirely of other draftees. Conscript legions, as they are referred, also draw membership from legitimate soldiers who have underperformed or somehow run afoul of the Dominion’s strict military justice system. Officers who lead such forces are often just as unskilled as the troops under their commands, and disgraced highborn have been known to lead conscript legions as a form of punishment.

We need more information about the Exile Judges.

There are rare cases when an Exile community is unable to solve a difficult internal situation—and in those cases they will call for a Judge. Although not governed by any established law, a Judge is expected to assess the situation in light of how the particular community operates, and to then take action and pass his judgment accordingly. Although most Judges are both fair and wise, their administration of justice is often swift and brutal. Given that, Judges are often feared even by those communities that call for their help. In the lawless territories of the Exiles, these individuals serve as judge, jury, and executioner.

Judges are not part of a larger organized group. Becoming a Judge is, more often than not, an ongoing process that includes gaining the trust of local communities over a number of years. Oftentimes, a Judge will travel with a number of Justices—less experienced individuals who are aspiring to become a Judge. Most Judges are nomadic, staying on the move, maintaining their objectivity through limited contact with any one community. In Exile territories, it is not uncommon to encounter a wandering Judge awaiting the call for his services.

Judges carry with them large volumes that chronicle the various cases over which they have presided, and they can often be found reading though them during investigations and when passing final judgment.

There are a number of judges that, because of their experience and their standing with multiple communities—sometimes even planet-wide—achieve the unofficial title of 'High Judge.' The number of Exile High Judges is relatively small, and all of them are universally respected by Judges and Justices alike. In complex or difficult situations, a Judge might seek the advice of a High Judge, hoping to benefit from the High Judge's deeper experience and wisdom.

Judges usually have relationships with the individuals who are responsible for policing Exile communities—such as Peacekeepers in Exile townships. In most cases, these individuals welcome the help of Judges—but conflicts are not unknown. The best Judges know how to deal with such conflicts—and do so in ways that are the most helpful to the community. That being said, Judges take their responsibilities very seriously, and will not tolerate any interference with their work. This could mean incarcerating troublemakers, or, in the most extreme cases, eliminating them from the equation.

The Judges are chosen and trained in the Hall of Judgment. There is a High Court in the Hall that presides over important cases that local Judges are unable to resolve. The High Judge Kallen Blackwood presides over this court, and—as the most seasoned Exile Judge—serves as the de facto leader for those of his kind.

Tell me more about the Swordmaidens of Cassus.

The Order of Swordmaidens is an elite, all-female fighting force that originated in the days of the Cassian Commonwealth - once led by the famed Tresayne Toria herself. Unlike most of the Dominion military, swordmaidens are trained in advanced sword-fighting techniques, along with the comprehensive military training given to their counterparts in the Dominion Legions.

Swordmaiden candidates are usually chosen in early adulthood from candidates who have trained for the task their entire young lives. If they are judged brave, capable, and truly loyal they can then begin their training in earnest. When their training is complete, each swordmaiden is given a special blade that they will carry for the rest of their lives, and then must swear upon it an eternal oath to serve the order. Once this oath is taken, there is no leaving the order. To do so would mean death, and none have ever done so.

The swordmaidens had a long history of defending the Commonwealth, and the same can be said for the Dominion. Bold and fearless, the swordmaidens have won countless battles, using a deadly combination of sword skill and cunning to dispatch their enemies. Although technically a part of the Legions, the Swordmaiden General takes her orders directly from the reigning emperor. This tradition has been in place since the establishment of the Dominion itself, an ancient acknowledgment of the bravery and sacrifice of Tresayne Toria.

The Order of the Swordmaidens did not make the journey to planet Nexus. Instead, Emperor Myrcalus left them in charge of watching over Meridia - the capital city of planet Cassus - and the government that still operates there. Such a decision was not made lightly. Although the emperor would have much rather taken the swordmaidens with him to Nexus, there was a great fear that forces (some even within his own court) might rise up against the emperor as he established the empire's new capital on the Eldan homeworld. He needed those in which he could place his implicit trust, and the Order of Swordmaidens swore to defend the city, and his reign, to their last blade.

As the Dominion power structure has become more established on Nexus, there has been talk of the swordmaidens making the long journey and rejoining the emperor. Whispers among the rank and file of the Dominion Legions indicate many in power fear what could happen should modern swordmaidens meet the Torine Sisterhood. Could they be convinced to abandon the Dominion and join their feral sisters in Wilderrun and elsewhere? Only time will tell.

Tell me more about the Dominion Legions.

The Dominion military is a vast organization that spans the entirety of the empire. Its organizational structure is based on the legion, a fighting unit which consists of a variable number of troops. On average a legion consists of 50,000 troops, including officers, legionnaires, auxiliary troops, armored cavalry, and airmobile units. Legions can be expanded to include as many as 100,000 troops, but the ranks are rarely inflated to such a degree unless great need demands it.

The number of legions in the Dominion's vast military has never been disclosed, but estimates place the total somewhere in the vicinity of 500, including those legions that are currently inactive. Inactive legions are kept in reserve until such time as they are mobilized, which can be done at a moment's notice. Legions are generally deactivated as a cost-saving measure or, rarely, when their numbers have been reduced below effective levels (10-15%).

Four full-strength legions accompanied the Dominion mission to Nexus, and each one bears a name based on the empire's national colors – Black, Crimson, Gold, and White. These legions were formed specifically with the colonization of Nexus in mind, and the troops that fill their ranks were selected from the very best the Dominion military had to offer. It should be noted that the Radiant Legion, which is solely under the purview of the Vigilant Church, is entirely separate from the Nexus legions.

Other legions receive their names upon formation and retain them until such time as they are dissolved. Only two legions in Dominion history – the Bone Legion* and the Tartarus Legion** – have ever been dissolved. In addition, a handful of existing legions can trace their unit histories back over 1,600 years to the Dominion's formation. Such legions bear the distinction of being referred to as "Heritage Legions," and their troops take great pride in carrying on their units' long tradition of bravery and service in arms.

* The Bone Legion was an all-Draken legion that fought to the last against the Granok on Gnox in 1221 AE. The names of the 30,000 troops that comprised the Bone Legion are worked into a monument on Cassus, and many Draken make a pilgrimage to the site to pay their respects to their ancestors.

**The Tartarus Legion was part of an expedition to locate and pacify potentially habitable systems beyond the Fringe. Though the expedition experienced some initial success, all contact was lost with them in 1492 AE. It is expected that the Tartarus Legion was lost along with the rest of the expedition. Regardless of the uncertainty surrounding their fate, the legionnaires are remembered as pioneers and heroes.
NPCs

[NEW] Who is Kit Brinny? I know her from the videos and the quests but I don't know her actual character. Does she have family? Where are they? Where is she from? Why did she join FCON? What exactly is her rank now?

Kit Brinny is an Exile human soldier serving in FCON on Nexus, born and raised aboard a transport vessel in the Exile fleet. She was orphaned at the age of three when her parents were killed during a Dominion strike. Rambunctious from an early age, Kit always dreamed of being a soldier (and, secretly, of being a Granok). She is impulsive, rarely thinking before allowing her emotions to briefly take control. Despite her petite size, Kit is never intimidated by larger individuals. About the only thing that gives her pause are the Mordesh, who she finds to be exceptionally creepy.

When Kit turned fifteen, she followed her dreams and attempted to enlist in FCON, even though she didn’t meet the age requirements. Despite the Granok officers and NCOs best attempts to dissuade her from involving herself, Kit never gave up. During boot camp, Kit would march behind the main formation of troops and drill with a rifle-shaped piece of wood, while at night she would sleep behind the barracks. Eventually the drill instructors gave up trying to dissuade Kit and allowed her to carry the platoon guidon during formations. The other recruits adopted her as a sort of platoon mascot, and the officers employed her as a runner.

At the young age of twenty-two, Kit has served as an Exile soldier for nearly a third of her short lifespan. Her official FCON rank is Trooper, though she occasionally bucks for a promotion to Corporal. She continues to be a stubborn and hard-working fighter, valued by her comrades both on and off the battlefield. During Kit’s adventures on Nexus, she can be found in Thayd, Galeras, Grimvault, and the Defile.
Player Races

[NEW] Do Mechari actually have the capacity to feel romantic emotions, or is courtship just a method of efficient partnership? Do they have any form of ritual for when two Mechari really like each other? Do they marry/exchange vows?

Mechari emerge from the Foundry with rudimentary emotions in place. Over time and depending upon individual experience, these emotions evolve in a number of unique ways. Given this variation of individual personalities, it isn’t unheard of for Mechari to develop deep attachments and relationships with others of their kind. Such relationships are often based on mutual trust, as well as the increased efficiency that teamwork provides.

As citizens of the Dominion, Mechari are allowed to legally marry. Sexuality is unimportant since Mechari lack the drive to reproduce, so Mechari do not choose partners based on their assumed sexual dimorphism. What this means, in practical terms, is that a Mechari male is just as likely to form a bond with another Mechari male as he would a Mechari female.

Mechari romance, if you can call it such, is much different than traditional biological courtship and love. While two Mechari may love one another, they are rarely affectionate in the way they treat one another. Mechari view marriage as a contract that allows specific legal benefits, as well as an obligation to support, protect, and care for their counterpart.

[NEW] What about cases of Mechari/Cassian marriage?

Cassians rarely marry Mechari. Marriage between highborn Cassians is most often done for political and social reasons, such as to bind two houses together or to produce an heir, and marriage to a Mechari accomplishes neither of these. Likewise, lowborn Cassians rarely associate with Mechari given their reduced station in Dominion society. To the Lowborn, Mechari are often authority figures to be respected and feared, not married.

That being said, there have been instances of Mechari and Cassians being wed, but they are the exception rather than the rule.

[NEW] What is it like for an Aurin to bond with a tree? What's the process? How sentient are "sentient trees" in this game?

The bond an Aurin has with trees is a primal one, possessed from birth. It is based largely on ancient instinct, and amounts to a “sixth sense” which allows Aurin to perceive threats and natural imbalances based on subtle environmental cues (including those provided by the Weave). Though some Aurin might profess that trees “speak” to them, this is (in practice) more a figure of speech than a reference to literal Aurin-to-tree conversations.

The vast majority of trees present on Nexus are not intelligent or self-aware. Even those trees on Arboria possessing a semblance of sentience, such as the Wise Ones (also known as Wisdom Trees), required the expertise of Matrias to communicate fully with the Aurin people. As the Wise Ones were remarkably ancient and filled with boundless levels of primal life, the Aurin sought to follow the example of Ferin Treespeaker and join with them.

Most of the Wise Ones on Arboria have been destroyed, and those that remain are far beyond the reach of the Aurin living on Nexus (with the exception of Queen Myala). Few of Nexus’s trees are ancient enough to possess even rudimentary sentience, much less full-blown self-awareness. Despite this, one or two examples of sentient trees have been found, such as the Godwood Tree in Celestion and Elderoot in Everstar Grove. Given the amount of primal life present in Wilderrun, it’s entirely likely that other such trees exist there.

In the case that such a tree can be found on Nexus, bonding with it requires the Aurin in question possess a strong connection to the Weave. Following a period of physical and spiritual cleansing, the Aurin must then perform the Rite of Bonding with flawless precision, and this can take several weeks. A single mistake during the process can be disastrous, resulting in the death of the Aurin as her mind and primal energy are completely absorbed by the tree, leaving a lifeless husk behind.

Once a bond with a Wise One (or equivalent tree) is achieved, it can only be broken by the death of either the bound Aurin or the tree itself. The new connection allows both individuals (the Aurin and the tree) to access the knowledge of the other. Such access is initially hampered by a “language barrier” of sorts, as both the tree and the Aurin seek to understand one another. This obstacle can be overcome, but it often takes months or even years before both parties are able to interpret the other flawlessly.

In addition to gaining access to a great tree’s knowledge, the bound Aurin is also capable of drawing on its vast store of primal life energy. Being in close proximity to the tree is of particular importance if such an attempt is to be made. The Aurin also finds herself able to communicate with other great trees, assuming they are all joined by a vast network of roots as the Wise Ones were on Arboria. It remains to be seen if such networks exist on Nexus.

[NEW] The Mordesh lore states a few things regarding Reapers. Can you elaborate more about them?

Reapers are charged with hunting down and euthanizing Ravenous Mordesh. In addition to destroying Ravenous, Reapers are also responsible for disposing of their bodies, typically by burning them. Theirs is a grim task that tests the heart and sanity of even the most hardened Mordesh. Few Reapers are left unscathed by the work they perform, and many are taciturn and gloomy (even when compared to other Mordesh).

In addition to combating the Ravenous, Reapers are also responsible for putting individual Mordesh out of their misery before they can become a threat. Such activities are rare so long as there is plenty of Vitalus, but when supplies become scarce the Reapers make preparations for the inevitable culling. As such, Reapers are both respected and feared by the Mordesh people.

After seeing so many Mordesh lives snuffed out due to the Contagion, most Reapers are ready and willing to accept their own demise at a moment’s notice. Stories of Reapers sacrificing themselves for the greater good are all too common. Such Reapers are honored in a thick book known as the Lexicon of the Lost, where the details of their deaths are recorded for all time.

Reapers are organized into squads of various sizes, but which typically consist of between 4 and 10 members. Each squad is commanded by a Grim Reaper – a Mordesh with extensive experience in the field and who has survived multiple outbreaks. Fell Reapers, of which there are typically two or three per squad depending on size, act as non-commissioned officers. The other members of a squad are referred to simply as Reapers.

The most experienced Reapers aspire to the rank of Harrower. Harrowers, who oversee the operations of several squads, are only called in during the most dangerous outbreaks of the Contagion. A collection of two or more squads under the command of a Harrower is referred to collectively as a “Shroud.” In other Reaper parlance, any operation against hostile Ravenous is referred to as a “Harvest,” which is further identified by a code name (for example, “Blue Harvest”). Likewise, an operation where Mordesh who have not yet become Ravenous are euthanized is referred to as a "Culling," no matter the size.
Alien Races

[NEW] Where are Grumpels from and why are they always so happy?

Grumpels are a species of aquatic mammals that evolved on the planet Sirenia, a temperate world covered in placid seas. Their ancestors, who once traveled the oceans in large pods, developed a means of empathic communication to disseminate thoughts and feelings throughout their social group. The empathic abilities of these early Grumpels continue to be displayed in modern members of their species, and play an important role in their day to day activities.

The reason that Grumpels are consistently happy relates directly to their sense of empathy. When they first encountered species from offworld, the Grumpels discovered something unexpected—they were able to vicariously experience the heightened feelings of anticipation, excitement, thrill, and pleasure that one normally feels when relating or receiving gossip. This revelation led to the transformation of Grumpel society.

Grumpel culture has since evolved around the collection of gossip, hearsay, and rumor. The more sensational the story, the more pleasure they take in the telling (and learning) of the tale. Already friendly and generous by nature, Grumpels warmly welcome any race to visit their home world of Sirenia. Additionally, the euphoric pleasure they experience through gossip has led many to leave their home world behind so they can experience gossip on a galactic scale.

[NEW] Are all Ikthians xenophobic imperialists or do they have any kind of dissenting factions?

The Ikthians are descended from a predatory fish-like species that evolved on the planet Ikthia. Early Ikthians gathered and traveled the seas of their planet in large, voracious schools, and this unity has continued to serve them as they’ve grown into one of the most analytical, technologically advanced, and dangerous of the galaxy’s species. Because of this, Ikthians rarely, if ever, dissent from the rule of their majority. The rare Ikthians that do think for themselves are easily rooted out and destroyed as aberrations.

Additionally, Ikthians aren’t xenophobic. Rather, they believe in their racial superiority over every other species they’ve encountered, thereby rendering non-Ikthians to be superfluous in regards to their own goals. This “Ikthian exceptionalism” never waivers, even when it flies in the face of overwhelming defeat or utter failure. Such disasters are blamed on unforeseen variables or flaws in prior calculations, and those responsible for them are purged from the Ikthian collective.

[NEW] Does the Dominion see the Ikthians or the Exiles as a bigger threat?

While the Dominion considers the Ikthians to be a species of dangerous trespassers on Nexus, the empire’s day-to-day efforts are almost completely focused on defeating the Exiles. Until such time as the Ikthians can successfully prove to the Dominion that they are more than an occasional nuisance, the Exiles will continue to be its primary concern.

[NEW] What were some of the Ikthians prior interactions with the Eldan like?

There are no known encounters between the Eldan and the Ikthians. If the Ikthians have encountered the Eldan, they’re certainly not telling anyone about it.

[NEW] Do the Ekose have a home planet? If so, what is it?

Eko is a fringe world that serves as a frequent refueling and provisioning stop for ship captains traveling through the remote regions of the galaxy. Although most of Eko is undeveloped, the capital city of Kolvos is a thriving hub of business and activity. The planet is surrounded by hundreds of orbital spacedocks that service visiting ships.

[NEW] Despite the fact that we don't see them in-game, do young female Ekose stand fully erect?

Young female Ekose stand erect, much like their male counterparts. Young Ekose females have not yet been encountered on Nexus due to the fact that they remain on their home world, where they are charged with maintaining legislation, economics, and other bureaucratic elements of their society. Elderly Ekose females, who often rise to positions of power as bureaucrats or trade representatives, often have the freedom to travel and maintain business abroad.

[NEW] Have Ekose ever been involved in combat scenarios?

As experienced spacers, the Ekose are all too familiar with starship combat. As the Fringe is home to vicious gangs of Marauders and Darkspur thugs, the Ekose have (by necessity) developed and adapted shipboard weapon systems to protect themselves. These weapons are rarely used in an offensive capacity, and it is an exceptionally rare Ekose captain who takes up the mantle of "pirate" or (more likely) "privateer."

[NEW] Do Ekose believe in settling into long-term homes as they spend most of their lives on ships?

To Ekose captains, a ship is a long-term home. Ekose captains live aboard their ships, and if they aren’t working they’re probably catching up on some long overdue sleep. Ekose males who don’t work on ships form small enclaves on space stations or in towns and cities, usually in proximity to a spaceport. The true measure of success for any male Ekose is having a tall ship and a star to steer her by.

[NEW] Where does Ekose morality lie for the most part?

The Ekose tend to be shrewd businessmen who work diligently to make a profit. How they accomplish this – either through fair play or foul – depends in large part on the Ekose in question. Because they are cheerful, easygoing, and hard-working, Ekose are rarely without some modicum of moral fiber. Additionally, due to their superstitious nature and belief that “what goes around, comes around,” Ekose tend to play nicely with others unless there is a substantial profit to be made.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t examples of Ekose criminals and ne’er-do-wells, but such specimens are a rarity in a society that respects business acumen and hard work. Though dirty tricks are sometimes used by the Ekose to get ahead, competition between captains rarely gets violent. Additionally, Ekose don’t always see a difference between transporting materials and smuggling them, and they rarely inquire as to the legality of their cargo, especially in the far-flung reaches of the galaxy.

[NEW] What was the origin of the phrase, "Aww, shipwrecks!"?

As far as Ekose curses go, “Shipwrecks!” is perhaps one that reflects the most despair and hopelessness an Ekose can feel without actually losing his ship. After all, to an Ekose captain, the worst possible outcome he can imagine is a starship accident that leaves him homeless, destitute, and adrift in an unpredictable and often hostile galaxy.

[NEW] The Ekose religion has been hinted at in other threads, what is its focus? What sacrifices are adherents expected to make?

The Ekose believe in a pantheon of saint-like deities or spirits. These deities are often invoked prior to important ventures, with such rituals often involving sacrifices of money, luxury goods (wines, spirits, and fine cigars), and rocket fuel. Though there is no established priesthood among the Ekose, gifted females with latent psionic abilities often take up the roles of religious leaders on Eko.

One of the most prominent Ekose deities, at least among ship captains, is the Great Navigator. It is believed the Great Navigator plots a course for each Ekose at the time of their conception. Regardless of the hardships and boons they face, each Ekose is expected to honor the course set for them by the Great Navigator. It’s believed that those who refuse to do so risk being lost or set adrift, bringing disaster to themselves and their associates.
Arts & Culture

How do clones regard and view Phineas T. Rotostar? Is any of it quasi-religious, familial, or is he just viewed as the top of the business pyramid?

Unknown to most Protostar consumers (which includes most of the known galaxy) Protostar clones are not completely identical to Phineas T. Rotostar. The CEO of the Protostar Corporation ensured that an otherwise insignificant genetic marker in his own primal pattern was not included in the ingredients of the Protostar Difference - the genetic formula that transformed the entire Corporixian species into genetic clones of himself.

Rotostar then included a specially designed protein which caused clones to recognize that marker as their superior - no matter the personality template or title that clone subsequently took on. Even the highest-ranking clone recognized the CEO as the one who calls the shots. And since Rotostar, like all business-minded master geneticists, insists on being present at the creation of every clone (either in person or, more commonly, via a holographic training simulacrum) these new Protostar employees imprint upon the CEO immediately upon attaining self-awareness.

This recognition manifests in absolute adherence to Rotostar's directives, which includes the entire Protostar Employee Handbook as well as pretty much anything he says to any particular clone. It's not dissimilar to a religious adherence to dogma, except in handy and slightly more profitable corporate form. This isn't to say that they pray to P.T. Rotostar or perform rituals or rites - they know they're in a corporation and trying to achieve their goals to the best of their ability - but that they do not question or debate the rules of the Protostar Corporation or the edicts of its CEO.

What does traditional Mordesh music sound like?

Modern Mordesh music is generally emotional, stylistically diverse, and very popular with students of all species. Pre-Contagion music is largely instrumental or operatic, played on acoustic instruments that filled the vast concert halls and amphitheaters of Grismara with epic stories and sweeping chorales. Once their society collapsed, the surviving Mordesh favored sad, mournful ballads for small audiences. Since arriving on Nexus, many Mordesh have begun to experiment with new electronic and primal musical forms inspired by their new homes such as the Alchemical Romantic movement, Classic Lazarock, and the Resurrection Blues.

Lopp love shiny things, but what is considered the SHINIEST?

Individual Lopp are as varied as the members of any species, and opinions on the value of an item or precious material can be deeply personal to them. While any Lopp worth his hookah knows that platinum, gold, silver, and jewels are incredibly shiny and valuable – especially to non-Lopp. – their own perceptions don't always agree with commonly accepted standards of wealth.

For instance, there have been accounts of individual Lopp treasure hunters who prefer to collect shiny console lights from pieces of technological equipment. In fact, an entire Marauder ship left unattended for an hour was once reportedly stripped of every indicator light by the members of a Lopp trade caravan. But within a matter of hours the Lopp lost interest in the lights because they could not get them to glow (obviously not much comfort for the Marauders they'd victimized).

Additionally, just because something is shiny doesn't mean a Lopp will find value or aesthetic appreciation in it. Sometimes, against all logic, Lopp choose items or materials that aren't shiny at all. Wooden sculptures, old bits of spacecraft fuselage, and smooth stones taken from a riverbed have all been favored as the shiniest of shinies at one time or another. "Shiny" isn't just an adjective to the Lopp, after all. It's a state of mind.
History

[NEW] If the Datascape is a digital place, what on earth is the Strain doing in there? Why is Gloomclaw the only Strained thing, without a path of destruction leading to him? If Avatus has managed to keep it contained (for a very long time by now, it would seem), why is it the only example of Eldan forces being able to best Strain forces?

Gloomclaw isn’t a real Strain creature. Rather, it is a simulated Strain creature designed by Avatus and utilized as a sort of security measure in the Datascape.

What was the religious climate within the Dominion prior to the establishment of the Vigilant Church?

Prior to the Vigilant Declaration, the Dominion didn't have an official religion it expected all subjects embrace. Human religious life, particularly in provincial areas, centered on chronicle houses, where citizens would gather to hear chroniclers recite the stories of their ancestors. Chronicle houses were often seen as the central community hub of a Cassian settlement, and chroniclers often became pillars of the community, settling disputes, offering advice or guidance, and officiating communal ceremonies. When Emperor Jarec signed the Vigilant Declaration, the new church was quick to take advantage of existing chronicle houses to facilitate rapid expansion, often refitting or replacing these historical buildings as holy places to dedicated to the Eldan.

Although humans looked upon those of Eldan blood with a sense of reverence and wonderment from the time Dominus first set foot on Cassus, many lowborn communities were not so eager to abandon their traditional beliefs. And while the Vigilant Virtues (each associated with one of the famed children of Dominus) were already a strong influence on Cassian culture before they were canonized, many townships still held to the example set by their own heroes of legend. So although there were strong cultural precedents for Emperor Jarec to establish an official religion founded on these values, many citizens still felt displaced in the wake of its rapid, widespread adoption.

Could we have some further elaboration on the social and political forces that led up to Brightland's Rebellion?

Emperor Jarec first took the throne following the death of one of the Dominion's most infamous rulers, Tyrani the Mad, whose stunning defeat by the Granok of Gnox left him a broken, unfit leader. Although his predecessor left him an empire in crisis, Jarec initially proved equal to the task of repairing a Dominion shattered by his father's insanity. A sensible leader with strong, practical values, Jarec saw the Vigilant Declaration as an opportunity to turn the Eldan's sudden disappearance into a unifying force for his subjects.

Although most Cassians enthusiastically embraced Jarec's new faith, a strong minority of the population, particularly those of lowborn status, were not so eager to abandon their traditional beliefs. Already somewhat disenfranchised by the existing bias toward those with Eldan heritage, these citizens saw the deification of the Eldan as a classist maneuver that further entrenched the discriminatory elements of Cassian culture. Fueled by a latent distrust for the ruling aristocracy, these dissidents joined Serrick Brightland's rebellion, and took the stars in permanent exile from the Dominion.

as a populist who felt his station was a sacred charge to serve the Cassian people, the schism caused by the Vigilant Declaration would haunt Jarec for the rest of his reign.

What's the deal with the Exile city of Thayd?

Thayd is, in fact, the remnants of an ancient Osun city. Though the history of Thayd has not been fully explored by the Exiles, archaeologists from the XAS have pieced together a few tidbits. For one, Thayd was one of the most populous Osun settlements on Nexus. It appears as if the Osun rebelled against the Eldan at some point, and Thayd was laid to ruin in the ensuing conflict. The Osun citizens either fled the wrath of the Eldan or died defending the city.

As to the name, the story goes that Dorian Walker discovered the ruins shortly after arriving on Nexus. During his survey of the city's remains, he discovered a datacube that identified the city as "Kel Thayud." When he reported to the Exiles and named several possible locations for their future capital city, he mispronounced the city's name as "Kel Thayd." Eventually the name was shortened to "Thayd," and the rest is history.