Grimdark Lore

Grimdark Future Lore Focus #3

May 22, 2023

Hi everyone,

Every week we're highlighting the lore of a few factions for each of our games, and this week we're focusing on Grimdark Future factions!

DAO Union

"The DAO Union are a species of aliens equipped with advanced weapons and drones. Their armies rely on advanced ranged weaponry and mobility to keep enemies at bay.

The DAO people have embraced logic as the core of their society, rejecting selfish impulses. This outlook allowed them to become diplomats and peacekeepers in Sirius. When confronted with the Orcs, whose rapid expansion and belligerence appeared to be an existential threat, the DAOU used a biological super-weapon that potentially doomed them to extinction. While most accept their choice was the logical one, many struggle to accept it.

From its very foundation, DAO society required every role and member to co-operate in order to survive. Much thought was put into how best to divide both work and resources between the DAO people. As their society advanced, they embraced logic as a core tenet. The wisest DAO served as Sages, who divided the necessary work and resources as efficiently and logically as possible. Everyone in this society had a precise role to fill, and together they formed the DAO Union.

As technology progressed, the DAO began to implement AI into their society. The AI began to fill the places of a number of DAO people, who struggled to adapt to their sudden redundancy. Eventually, the AI locked out the Sages, claiming their input was no longer necessary to run the DAOU. This sparked open rebellion, and the DAO began to sabotage the AI infrastructure to undermine the system. The AI was unprepared for this irrational action and acted too late to save itself. After this, it was deemed logical amongst the DAO people that AI should never be allowed to perform a person’s role in their society.

When the DAO left their world, they were shocked by the chaos of the surrounding sector. Their logical thinking and mediation soon put them at the centre of a series of alliances and trade networks. As the DAOU expanded its reach through Sirius, their way of thinking became influential among many species. This led to the formation of the Foreign Legions, where allies serve alongside regular DAOU forces.

One of the most chaotic species which the DAOU would encounter in Sirius were the Orcs, who rapidly expanded through the stars upon leaving their world. The DAOU made deals with a number of Orc leaders, offering medicine and technology in hopes of stabilizing Orc society and achieving a lasting peace. Their efforts failed however, as the resulting population boom caused Orcish society to collapse and expand further out.

Unable to deal with the Orcs or their rapid colonization of the sector, the DAOU feared that they would soon be overwhelmed. As a result, the DAOU developed a virus designed to reduce Orc fertility, but when released it had a devastating effect, potentially dooming them to extinction. After this, the DAOU became a more controversial faction in the sector. Those displaced or threatened by Orc expansion view them as heroes, whilst others now distrust them, afraid that one day it might be “logical” for the DAOU to target them in a similar way.

How will you bring order to this chaotic sector?"

Orc Marauders

"Orcs are hulking humanoid aliens, whose society is divided into a number of warring clans and bands. Orc Marauders lack precision weapons or heavy armour, and instead rely on their fast vehicles, large numbers, and ferocity to defeat their foes.

The Orcs evolved on an inhospitable world, and spread quickly through the Sirius Sector shortly after reaching space. To prevent the Orcs from overtaking the sector, the DAOU infected their population with a bio-weapon that drastically reduced their fertility. Now, the Orcs must either adapt to survive, or charge down the road to extinction.

Originating from a harsh and barren world, the lives of Orcs were a constant struggle. Orcs were born into large families, where few survived into adulthood. These Orcs became used to lives of hardship and conflict, fighting their environment, predators, and each other to survive. For these Orcs, honour, strength and family were the most important parts of their lives. Families came together to form clans, which would work together to share their meager resources and fight anyone else that they encountered. Larger groups rarely lasted more than a generation, and after their leader died, larger groups would usually dissolve back into conflicting clans.

Despite their lack of unity and industry, the Orcs did eventually reach the stars, where they found worlds on which they could truly thrive. Without the natural dangers of their home world, the Orcs’ population boomed, and they spread rapidly through nearby systems. Soon, the Orcs began encroaching on other factions’ territories.

The DAOU in particular recognized that the rapidly spreading alien species were having a destabilizing effect in the region, as individual Orc tribes began to appear as raiders and mercenaries throughout the Sirius Sector, settling wherever they could. The DAOU sought to avoid becoming embroiled in a bloody conflict, offering medicine and technology to the Orcs in the hopes of stabilizing their turbulent society.

These exchanges only caused the Orc population to further explode, and numerous clans rapidly collapsed, unable to sustain their own rapidly increasing population. Many feared that the Orcs were well on their way to becoming the dominant species in the Sirius Sector, or even that their massive population would deplete the sector’s resources entirely before spreading out to the wider galaxy. In response, the DAOU decided to release a virus to decrease Orc fertility to a more stable rate, which rapidly spread throughout their population, and had a devastating side-effect.

After reducing Orc fertility to the desired rate, the virus continued to slowly lower each new generation's fertility further, dooming the Orcs to slow extinction. Scattered and fractured, many Orc clans are unable or unwilling to change their ways, instead clinging stubbornly to their traditions, even as their warlike ways push them ever closer to extinction. Others believe they are a people without a future, whilst some hope to take revenge on the DAOU, and perhaps force them to discover a cure.

How will your clan face extinction?"

Dwarf Guilds

"Dwarves are short humanoids, united under the banner of a conglomerate of mega-companies. Their armies are made up of slow warriors with powerful weaponry, which rely on having a solid long-term plan to make up for their low mobility.

The Guilds learned to make the most of their barren world, forging underground cities and delving ever deeper. They mined their planet until its destruction, processing the last minerals left behind in the asteroids. Now, they continue their expansion, tearing up worlds and leaving only husks behind. They are always looking towards new frontiers, leaving only desolation behind.

The Dwarves originated on a mineral rich but inhospitable world. In order to escape the harsh conditions of the surface, their civilization developed underground where conditions were more stable. As their civilization continued to grow, they started to discover and innovate new uses for the ores and resources they uncovered as they dug their cities. Guilds of miners arose to stake claims on these ores, and soon, Guild Lords became the richest and most powerful Dwarves on their planets, holding absolute control of the ore which their society depended on.

The Guilds were driven by a demand for constant growth and competition with rival Guilds, causing them to mine ever deeper into their home world’s crust. These innovations allowed the Guilds to uncover and process new ores and build wealth on a scale unimaginable to their ancestors. This prosperity allowed many Dwarves to turn a blind eye even as earthquakes and other disasters became increasingly frequent, and the Guilds remained complacent even as mining teams began to disappear beneath their planet’s crust. Eventually, the cause was discovered: the Dwarves had awoken a species of previously dormant lithovores living near their planet’s core, which the Dwarves named the Colossi.

These Colossi were highly territorial, hunting any Dwarven teams that drilled near their homes. The Guilds refused to abandon the mineral wealth of the planet’s core however, so the conflict escalated, and the Colossi were driven up into Dwarven settlements. The fighting drew heavily on the resources of the Guilds, and soon, the Dwarves themselves were faced with extinction. Eventually, the Guilds decided to evacuate their home for space. Unwilling to abandon their homeworld’s wealth though, they chose to mine their own world as they evacuated. When the last ship departed into orbit, they detonated the mines and reduced their home world to a field of asteroids.

The Guilds mined the shattered remnants of their home world bare as they slowly expanded their mining operations throughout their system and beyond. Now, Guild armadas roam the stars, settling over worlds only long enough to strip them to their cores before continuing on to the next system.

How will you extract your fortune from the Sirius Sector?"

Saurian Starhost

"Saurian Starhosts are an ancient coalition of humanoid reptiles led by giant Frog Mages. Their armies combine advanced technology with genetically modified predators to make them fearsome foes.

The Saurians are perhaps the most ancient race in the galaxy, but most of their species lie dormant in cyro-pyramids. The Saurians seek to awaken their host to prevent a prophesied disaster, however many of their pyramids have been lost or destroyed, and some have begun to fear that they have already failed their mission.

Saurians claim that the Frog-Mages who created them existed before time began. Their Mages teach them that their purpose is to fulfill a great prophecy which they have held from the beginning: in time, the fabric of reality would break, and their fate would be to save it. The Frog-Mages created cryo-pyramids and scattered themselves through the galaxy to ensure that they would be ready to fulfill their purpose when their time came.

In their absence, a number of new species began to explore and settle throughout the galaxy. This led to a surge of psychic power which awoke one of the dormant Frog-Mages, who was now alone in the galaxy. The lone Frog-Mage found a galaxy at war, and fearing that this was the beginning of the end, he hoped to awaken his fellow Mages before it was too late.

The Frog-Mage gathered a conclave of helpers, but it was soon clear that they would not be able to succeed alone. The Mages used their vast knowledge of genetic engineering and psychic abilities to create new allies, in order to seek out the rest of their kind. Together, they created the first Starhost. Each member of a Starhost has their fate defined by the Frog-Mages at birth, and they are created to fulfill this single mission in order to help the Frog-Mages complete the prophecy. These missions define much of the culture of the various species in each Starhost.

The first Starhost began to seek out and awaken other Mages. The newly awakened Mages would create additional Starhosts in order to fulfill their purpose, who would then create their own Starhosts in order to seek out more of their kind throughout the galaxy, including in the Sirius Sector.  Much has changed in the galaxy since the Saurians first entered the cyro-pyramids however, and rediscovering the pyramids has proven a more difficult task than expected. Some cryo-pyramids have been destroyed by exploding stars or marauding treasure hunters, others have been buried beneath deserts, oceans or even cities. Worse still, some have begun to fail on their own, leaving the Frog-Mages inside to die.

These setbacks have cast doubt on the reliability of the Frog-Mages and their prophecies, while others are beginning to fear that the Frog-Mages have already failed in their great prophecy.

How will you face your destiny?"

That's it for this week, we hope you enjoyed this lore focus. :)

Happy Wargaming!

– OPR Team

Support us on Patreon:

Join our Community: DiscordFacebookTwitterReddit