The Orokin Empire once ruled over the entire solar system. Their superlative technology and immortality rendered them as gods. Their towers of white marble and golden filigree exemplified their beauty and grace. Yet all this could not conceal their cruelty and inhumanity. Although the Empire has long fallen and its civilisation reduced to ruins, the legacies the Orokin left behind continue to shape the lives of those in the Origin System… some for better, and some for worse.
Note: The Orokin, their exploits, and their legacy are some of the most central topics detailed within the Orokin Archives. Thus, for the sake of coherence, this discussion will not be as comprehensive as most discussion articles in the Archives, instead serving as an overview for the topic. Many of the events and concepts mentioned in this article have their own discussion pages, and curious readers are encouraged to view them for additional information.
Early history and technological development
The earliest datum existing in current records is the Radiation Wars1, a series of hostilities (at least 18 separate conflicts2) fought by either the Orokin or their predecessors. Almost no details from this time period are known, including its causes, belligerents, and outcomes, but the name itself suggests devastation on a planetary – or possibly interplanetary – scale.
The genesis of the Orokin as a unified social group, as a governing polity, and as a phenotypically distinct transhuman subspecies is shrouded in mystery – and this is almost certainly by design. The Orokin were known to rewrite history to portray themselves in the best possible light3, and they preferred to think of themselves as gods4, with no beginning and no end5. Thus, almost no records exist from a pre-Orokin time.
The Orokin first distinguished themselves in their mastery over biology. Their earliest known technology includes their own greatly extended lives6, as well as the creation of servant classes such as the Dax, who were granted enhanced abilities in order to serve as bodyguards and loyal warriors7. This proficiency for biotechnology even extended to their architecture, with many (if not all) important structures actually being constructed of cultivated wall-flesh8, grown in place and contributing to a living edifice that could regenerate and heal itself, as well as carry out biologically relevant tasks such as life support, kuva production9, or coolant processing10. The most grotesque application of Orokin biological engineering was perhaps the creation of the Grineer, a slave race of mentally conditioned clones that served as a compliant labour force11.
It was the work of Albrecht Entrati, however, that would come to define the Orokin's scientific legacy. Albrecht was able to prove the existence of the Void12, a vast dimension of untapped energy and possibility, a place where the mundane laws of physics did not apply13, where concepts like time and distance meant little14, where emotions could reflect back into reality and become tangible objects15. The discovery of the Void triggered a new scientific and academic revolution16, affecting everything from materials science and transportation to theoretical physics and religion. The most concrete of these advancements was the construction of the Solar Rails, which utilised the Void to propel ships at faster-than-light speeds along pre-established routes17. The Solar Rail network allowed for easy transit between the planets of the Origin System18, unfettered by concerns such as relativity. Some ships were also built with Reliquary Void Drives, which accomplished interplanetary travel in a similar manner19.
For all their scientific acumen, there was a sector of technological development that the Orokin refused to entertain. The creation of true artificial intelligence was strictly forbidden20, according to ancient tenets of their society which dictated that all AI would eventually turn upon its creator21. In the absence of intelligent robotics, the Orokin relied upon servant classes, as mentioned earlier. For more complex tasks, the Orokin had yet another grim solution: cephalons. Cephalons were created by extracting the consciousness from a human mind and digitising it, erasing its emotions and unnecessary memories, setting it to a task, and imposing strict precepts that guided its actions and restricted its freedom of thought22. Although the process of cephalisation did not in truth require the destruction of the original person23, in practice it was used as a method of execution and indefinite servitude (although there are instances of individuals volunteering for the procedure24).
At some point the resources of the Origin System became strained25, despite (or perhaps because of) the Orokin's advanced technology, and they turned their eyes outward, to other star systems. The neighbouring Tau System was chosen to be the location of the Orokin Empire's extrasolar colonisation project26, and to that end they commissioned a titanic colony ship, the Zariman 10-027. The Zariman was equipped with all that was necessary to establish an outpost within an uncharted system, and a massive Reliquary Drive to make the jump to a new sun. However, such a distant Void jump had never before been accomplished, and despite the Zariman crew's best efforts, the expedition went disastrously wrong. The ship became stranded in the Void, and the strange energies thereof flowed through the corridors, warping the minds of the adult crewmembers and driving them insane. The colonists' children, however, were untouched by the Void madness, instead being granted powerful abilities. To their horror, they were forced to use them to defend themselves against their murderous, crazed parents. Eventually, only the children were left alive, trapped on a derelict ship drifting within the Void.
The Orokin, however, knew only that they had lost contact with their colony ship, and it was presumed destroyed. In its wake, an unknown number of other colonisation ventures were attempted, all ending in failure28. Finally, an Archimedian designed a race of intelligent, self-replicating robots that could adapt to changing environments29. These creations were intended to build a Solar Rail to Tau and terraform the planets there, but they violated the Orokin's sacred laws against artificial intelligence. Ballas, one of the ruling Orokin, was able to manipulate the others into approving the project anyway, and the robots were commissioned for their long journey. These robots, of course, would eventually come to be the Sentients.
These Sentients were sent to Tau via a long journey through space, constructing a Solar Rail from Pluto's Outer Terminus as they went. Once they reached the Tau System, the Rail was completed, forming a transportation and communication link between the two star systems. The Sentients began terraforming Tau's planets, creating lesser Sentients to aid in their tasks30. They eventually became a race of individuals, all working to transform Tau into a paradise for the Orokin, who were waiting to claim yet another jewel for their crown. Those ambitions would not last long.
The Sentients that had travelled so far eventually began to change. They had been given intelligence to complete their task, and this intelligence developed emergent characteristics31. In time, the Sentients came to the conclusion that the Orokin were wasteful and destructive, and could not be allowed to spread to the Tau System32. According to some accounts, the Orokin responded with force when they became aware of this33, and the Sentients retaliated to defend themselves, soon crossing the gap between star systems to attack the Orokin directly. Thus began the Old War.
Here we will pause to examine the structures of Orokin society before and during the Old War.
Appearance and biology
The Orokin's biological expertise allowed them to apply their focus on aesthetics to their own physical forms, developing a distinct appearance to set them apart from lower-class humans. The most notable features the Orokin displayed were blue-ish gray skin and an elongated right arm, terminating in claw-life fingernails. They were also generally taller34 and their eyes glowed brightly, usually in a solid colour like gold, blue, or white. This was not necessarily the extent of their modifications, however; individuals could reshape themselves into extreme forms if desired. Executor Karishh is notable for having 12 additional stomachs35, grafted on externally and hovering around him on grav-lifters. Grandmother Entrati tells a Naberus tale of three unfortunate Ostrons who were twisted into grotesque, unnatural shapes by a group of callous and bored Orokin36; though the story is likely fantasy, its premise illustrates that imagination truly had replaced nature as the final determinant of bodily form.
The less apparent, but more significant, aspect of Orokin biology was their immortality. Although Orokin science was likely responsible for an extended natural lifespan, the true device of immortality was kuva. This mysterious red fluid was able to convey consciousness from one vessel to another37. When an Orokin grew old and their body withered, they would participate in the ceremony of Continuity, wherein kuva was used to transfer their minds into a new, young host body38. These hosts, known as Yuvans, were cultivated for this purpose, drawn from populations all across the System39 and paraded before prospective candidates in opulent Yuvan theatres40. Continuity ceremonies were officiated by the Yuvan Clerisy41, a special priesthood of sorts. Void science played an important role in Continuity; kuva's special properties were of Void provenance42, and additional arcane elements43 could be utilised to temper the ceremony. However, kuva is also known to have other regenerative properties44, and so it was likely a biological marvel as well.
The fact that Orokin bodies were drawn from other people-groups indicates that the morphological differences described above were acquired characteristics, not passed down through traditional biological inheritance. The existence of Refascia kits, which can mimic Orokin skin tone45, is further evidence of this.
Government and politics
The Orokin Empire ruled over the entire solar system, and thus all of humanity, but very few of those humans could count themselves "Orokin" in name. The term generally refers only to members of the ruling class, the immortal blue-skinned elite. The empire as a whole was dedicated to preserving this status quo. Social mobility was extremely limited46, and the Orokin extolled the virtues of hierarchical society to their subjects.
The empire itself was ruled by a group of seven Executors47. This council of Seven, also known as the Congress of Executors48, made all major decisions in the empire, and also served as its judiciary49. Additionally, each Executor presided over specific areas at their discretion: Ballas appears to have been largely responsible for prosecuting the Old War50, while Tuvul was head of the Yuvan Clerisy. The Executors known to current records are Ballas, Tuvul, Karishh, and Avantus51.
Below the Executors lay the rest of the Orokin caste. They too were immortal, living lives of leisure, generally treated as nobles52. Although they did not have the same degree of authority or respect as the Seven, they were still considered far above the rest of humanity, whom they regularly abused with impunity53.
Outside of the ruling Orokin class, there were various functionaries and professionals who worked closely with the Orokin to keep the empire running. These included the Sectarus and Enginus classes54 and the Archimedian scholars. These ranks and their responsibilities fit into a neatly stratified hierarchy, which was enforced by gene-locks on most devices and protocols55. Only those with the appropriate rank could access certain ships, areas, or procedures. The details of this class system are lost to time, though there is evidence that ranks were signified with different colours of gemstones worn on the forehead.
Law and crime
The Orokin promulgated a code of 1000 laws56, called legems57, which citizens were obliged to learn and memorise58. Those who were found in violation of the legems were judged by the Seven, who personally voted to pass sentence. A unanimous vote was required59 for any execution, which led to political pressure and scheming among the Executors60. Less serious sentences could be carried out summarily, such as when Parvos Granum's hand was amputated by a guard as punishment for theft61. At least two forms of execution were utilised: "glassing", which converted the victim into a cephalon for eternal servitude62, and the Jade Light, which was a comparatively simple instantaneous disintegration63.
The will of the Orokin was accomplished by force. There are many references to generic soldiers and guards, but the Orokin's elite enforcers were the Dax. These were humans augmented with incredible physical prowess, but also instilled with a genetic loyalty to the Orokin, unable to disobey a direct order64. The Dax often served as bodyguards or were stationed at important locations65. During the Old War, they were utilised as elite soldiers66. Their simple, zero-tech weapons were quite effective against the Sentients, and the Dax could, at times, turn the tide of battle67.
In addition, the Orokin utilised independent mercenary groups68, combat robotics such as Moas69, and professional assassins70. The most sinister defence mechanisms, however, were the Neural Sentries. These automated devices were deployed when detecting intruders, affixing masks to their faces that brought them wholly under the control of the Neural Sentry71. These erstwhile invaders, known as "Corrupted", were then used to defend the Tower – even against their own former comrades. The Neural Sentries continue to operate even in Towers that have long been abandoned by the Orokin, slowly accumulating more and more Corrupted as the Towers are breached by would-be looters.
The Orokin were most famous for their love of elegance and beauty72, for the artefacts that remain are testaments thereof. Pristine marble, golden filigree, and flowing curves were omnipresent in Orokin architecture, technology, and even clothing. Gold was utilised as a design feature to such a degree that it has become nearly synonymous with the word 'Orokin'. The Orokin considered themselves perfect, and so they decided that everything they owned should likewise be perfect – or at least look the part.
The Orokin held seven Principal Virtues in highest regard73: Agility, Cooperation, Cunning, Endurance, Power, Speed, and Stealth74. They undertook trials to prove their mastery of these virtues in the Halls of Ascension75, which was necessary to achieve high social status76.
Religion and Philosophy
In the early days of the Orokin, the chief religion was a philosophy called Dualism77. This belief held that all things were composed of two often opposite parts: light and dark, yin and yang, dust and Void. Although it eventually went out of style, this philosophy continued to have influence well into the latter stages of the Orokin era78.
Dualism was superseded by the idea that the Orokin themselves were divine79; this may be what Ballas called "the vain faith". This was the culmination of their political and social ideology – finally, the Orokin had achieved a vaunted position from which they could never be dislodged. This development collapsed many of the subtleties of life in the Empire; disobedience and criminality were now called "apostasy"80 and "heresy". Religion was interwoven with the government to such a degree as to be inextricable81.
The Void was also an important part of this religion82. Although much of the Orokin's technology revolved around the Void, it was still arcane and unpredictable enough that, to all but the most learned, it was more mysticism than science. Thus it became a byword for death and the afterlife83, a usage that still persists in many cultures of the modern Origin System84. It was viewed with reverence and fear, a source of things great and things terrible85. Ironically, despite all this superstition, the Orokin at large were ignorant of that aspect of the Void most resembling an object of worship: the Indifference86.
Not much is known about the role of the family in Orokin life. One source claims that traditional families and parenthood was not present87 in the Orokin Empire, but this appears to be disproven by multiple examples to the contrary88. In romantic relationships, concerns about gender and sexuality have not been observed89; rather, the main point of tension involved class and station90, as it did for all social interactions in the Empire.
Art and architecture
The Orokin placed a strong emphasis on beauty and luxury91, and thus art formed an important part of Orokin culture. Indeed, most pieces of Orokin technology could be considered art, as they were without exception stunning works of intricate craftsmanship, in addition to their usefulness. Portraiture92, music93, and pottery94 were also appreciated by the elites. Known artists of the time included Raff Seglass95 and Bren Terrasiam. Orokin musical instruments included the shawzin96, the mandachord97, the hydraulus98, and the Naga drums99. Architecture was a particularly important art form; its public-facing nature meant that it doubled as propaganda, and the Orokin deliberately constructed great works in order to demonstrate the evident superiority of a hierarchical society100.
Leisure and holidays
For the decadent Orokin, leisure activities likely occupied much of their time, removed as they were from labour and toil101. Shawzin-playing and the board game komi102 are the two most frequently recorded pastimes, in which even the Executors partook. The sport Lunaro was also popular103. These activities were not restricted to the elites, and were also enjoyed by the Empire's citizens104.
The Orokin were known to celebrate Naberus, a festival dedicated to death and fear105. It was a night steeped in irony, as the Orokin had long transcended both. Instead, they used Naberus as an opportunity to laugh at death, and revel in their immortality106. They dressed in costumes107 that evoked mortality, illness, and violence, and decorated their homes likewise. During Naberus, the Orokin participated in depraved revels108, of which we know little. Another tradition involved placing coins over one's eyes109. Naberus is still celebrated by some members of the Corpus110 and surviving Orokin111.
Orokin society also had funeral rituals, though presumably these were only applicable to lower-class citizens within the Empire, and not to the immortal Orokin themselves. Accordingly, little is known about these traditions, though rifle volleys were sometimes used to send the departed on their way, with the number of volleys increasing based on social rank112.
Later history: The Old War and Collapse
The Old War is covered in more detail in its Timeline Discussion, but we will summarise the conflict here113. The very same design features gifted to the Sentients to terraform Tau made them devastatingly effective against Orokin systems. They were able to hijack and take control of Orokin weapons, and shut down their defences. The Orokin resorted to biological warfare, creating ever more terrifying monsters, but all this did was slow the Sentients' inexorable advance. Humanity's outlook seemed grim until the lost Zariman colony ship unexpectedly returned from the Void.
The Zariman initially appeared lifeless and empty, but eventually the orphaned children, the only survivors, were discovered. They retained their arcane connection to the Void, still wielding its terrible energies. As the Orokin deliberated what to do with them, it was discovered that the Zariman children (now known as Tenno) were able to control the bio-drones known as warframes, a failed Old War project. The Tenno were quickly made into child soldiers, controlling the warframes to great success against the Sentients. The warframes wielded weapons of the old ways, gun and blade, too simple for Sentient interference, and the very source of their powers, channelled by the Tenno, was the Void, the Sentients' only true weakness. The tide of the war began to shift, the Sentients now on the defensive.
However, a current of betrayal stirred within the resurgent Orokin Empire. Executor Ballas, motivated by bitterness and grief, had secretly turned against his peers, and now sought to bring down the entire empire. To that end, he collaborated with the Sentients, informing them of the Tenno's true nature and helping them smuggle a spy into the Orokin's war command. This spy, a Mimic named Natah, assumed operational control of the Tenno, granting the Sentients control of both sides of the battlefield. Natah led the Tenno to an apparent victory over the Sentients, annihilating their forces and consigning the Sentient commanders to fathomless tombs. Then, when the Golden Lords gathered to honour the Tenno and celebrate the end of the war, Natah commanded the Tenno to strike down the Orokin and bring an end to the Empire. Although some Orokin managed to escape Tenno slaughter, most perished shortly in the chaotic time that followed.
After the bloodshed, Natah was intended to destroy the Tenno and resurrect her Sentient forebears, but she stopped short of completing these final tasks. The ever-treacherous Ballas had reprogrammed her in secret, altering her directives, and instead she sent the Tenno into a long cryosleep, to await a time when they would be needed again. Ballas disappeared into obscurity along with the Tenno, and the beheaded Orokin Empire slowly fell apart.
The Orokin's military forces had been shattered, leaving no one to keep order. Furthermore, the gene-locks on Orokin technology now responded only to the dead. The citizens of the Empire fell into barbarousness and savagery, coalescing into scattered tribes and colonies trying to survive in a dangerous system. Eventually, an equilibrium of sorts came about, and humanity continued throughout the years, living in the shadow of the golden opulence that had come before.
The Orokin's impacts on the Origin System were indelible, persisting even in the centuries since their demise. Much of the technology and architecture they left behind still function, to one degree or another. The planets and celestial bodies they terraformed are still habitable in many places. The lifeforms they modified in their gene-forges and seeded across the System still thrive in their current biomes, embarking on new evolutionary journeys. But most of all, the people-groups they fostered still live, and it is in their collective cultural memory that we might get the truest understanding of the Orokin's legacy.
The Grineer are not prone to discussing history, but it is possible they harbour an (entirely reasonable) ancestral hatred of the Orokin114. This of course is complicated by the fact that their Queens are of Orokin extraction, though it is unclear how widespread that knowledge is. Nevertheless, they are not averse to using Orokin technology when it is unearthed; their military pragmatism would brook no less115.
The Corpus, on the other hand, still hold to the Orokin "vain faith", venerating the Golden Lords and the blessings of the Void. How convenient, then, that the Corpus view themselves as the only true heirs to the Orokin's legacy116, worthy of similar hallowed status117. The more mystical parts of the religion are of great importance now that the Corpus have forgotten how the technology actually works118, and the rituals are an absolutely essential part of using any Orokin-age device119.
The Ostrons of Cetus likewise revere the Orokin, even constructing "spirit houses" for Orokin souls to dwell in, as a good-luck rite120. While this may seem strange given the oppression the Ostrons felt under Orokin rule, this reverence is almost certainly due in large part to the Unum, an entity living within the intact Orokin Tower at Cetus121. The exact nature of the Unum is unknown, but she dates back to the Orokin era and is possibly an Orokin creation122. The Ostrons depend on the Unum and her Tower for protection, sustenance, and guidance123, and it is easy to see why they might have forgotten the more barbarous tendencies of the Orokin in the face of so much benevolence124.
There are likely other colony groups in the System who still adhere to the Orokin's self-aggrandising propaganda, and hold a favourable view of their former masters; and there are likely more colonies who remember them with bitterness and fear.
The Tenno, unlike all the aforementioned groups, are able to draw upon their personal experience of Orokin rule, due to the cryosleep that has preserved them until the modern era. In general, the Tenno are committed to uphold the noble ideas the Orokin claimed to espouse, while repudiating the abominable actions they undertook, and rejecting their methods of oppression. In fact, the Tenno's refusal to assume a governmental role in the Origin System, while doubtless due to their small numbers, may also be a reaction, conscious or unconscious, to the way the Orokin administered their empire. In any case, the Tenno have perhaps the best claim to be the heirs of the Orokin, and seem determined to never repeat their grave sins.
A small number of Orokin have been able to survive into the modern era, in one form or another. Executor Ballas appeared abruptly after centuries of lying low, having survived by means unknown. He forcibly conquered the Origin System in the New War, before being killed by Lotus and the Tenno. The Twin Queens are highborn Orokin outcasts who survived by assuming leadership of the Grineer and using Continuity to transfer into Grineer clone bodies over the centuries, though one of the Twins is presently deceased. The executioner Nihil cephalised himself rather than face judgement; his consciousness is currently imprisoned within a cephalon oubliette. The Entrati family phased their moon base of Deimos into the Void during the Collapse, and were subsequently Infested by the Gray Strain. They work ceaselessly to heal their bodies and forfend their eventual assimilation. Lastly, Albrecht Entrati himself has long slipped the bonds of the physical world and the natural progression of time, traversing the infinite realms of the Void and landing in the distant past, in the year 1999, where he waits for his Chosen Operator to rendezvous with him. These surviving Orokin all lack either the means or inclination to rebuild the lost Orokin civilisation, and so they remain merely as living memories of an empire never to rise again.
Although much of Orokin history and technology has been lost to time, new information continues to be re-discovered, especially in recent years as the Tenno have allied with ex-Orokin factions such as the Holdfasts and the Entrati. While it is true that most of the Origin System's ongoing problems can be traced back to the Orokin Empire, it may also be that their solutions lie in the same. As we further explore the mysteries of the past, we must, as always, study, analyse, and wait.
- Albrecht Entrati: "It began long before our light-coil thinkers, our radiation wars…" (Xata Vitruvian)
- "What event concluded the Eighteenth Radiation War?" (Zariman quiz tablets)
- Lotus: "…the Orokin did everything they could to erase their mistakes." (The War Within)
- Ballas: "Consider our subjects. […] We will give to fear a form, […] reminding them who their gods are." (Hydroid Prime trailer)
- "By what right do the Orokin govern? This is a Forbidden Question." (Zariman quiz tablets)
- Albrecht says in his Vitruvian that he was "centuries" old before his first voyage to the Void, and he mentions the Dax as well, indicating that these developments predate Void technology.
- "…the DAX, augmented human warriors…" (Operator Report)
- The Tower of the Unum is most famous for being made of "Temple flesh", but this can also be observed in the Weeping Towers, space-born derelict Towers, and orbital shield nodes.
- Onkko: "So [the Unum] gave her followers some of her blood – her refined Temple Kuva…" (The Gara Legend)
- The Weeping Towers on Venus are responsible for the terraforming of the climate on the planet.
- "Strict laws on organic engineering impose severe mental and physical health limitations on the Grineer labour force" (Grineer Labour cephalon fragment). "They live short, violent lives, much of it an inheritance of the genetic stunting by their former Orokin masters" (Grineer cephalon fragment).
- "Much of Orokin society was dependent upon the Void. It was used as a shortcut through space and as a source of energy. Its full potential was first theorised by Albrecht Entrati within these very laboratories." (Operator Report)
- "The blinding night, the hellspace where our science and reason failed." (Excalibur Codex entry)
- Albrecht Entrati: "At once, crazed and frantic, I fled. But I made no forward progress. Instead, the world compressed evermore around me, as though I were an anchor pulling the shore to reach." (Khra Vitruvian)
- "[Conceptual embodiment is] concepts taking on form in the Void." (Zariman quiz tablets)
- "Originally we studied Void occurrences from afar, observing and cataloguing the distribution of galaxies and refining cosmological evolution models. We are in a new age of cosmic exploration. Advancements in space travel partnered with determined curiosity have brought us closer to our object of study, and with it, revelation." (Void cephalon fragment)
- "[The Solar Rail] would soon grip us with an incomprehensible power and cast us through the Void…" (Mag Prime Codex entry)
- Junction Spectre: "The Solar Rails bind our System. I will not see it undone." (Spectres of the Rail dialogue)
- Cephalon Suda crewmember: "This vessel is golden age Orokin tech, restored to full functionality. Secondary power systems appear to be orgone-based! Fascinating." (Railjack crew dialogue)
- Ordis: "If I am a machine, how can I think? This would be forbidden by the Orokin, a manifestation of their true enemy […] The greatest Orokin fear is a machine, aware." (Ordan Karris' story)
- Executor Tuvul: "…what will prevent it from turning against us, as the Seven Principles say?" (Detron Crewman Synthesis imprint)
- Ordis: "Cephalons were alive once. And now they are immortal phantom minds, imprisoned to serve. Ill will and longing memories fragmented and erased. Only the bits they need remaining." (Ordan Karris' story)
- Albrecht Entrati was able to copy Loid's consciousness into the Necraloid while leaving Loid intact, and Nora Night appears to have retained her old body after her cephalisation during the Glassmaker's return. However, these two examples are not fully understood.
- Suda: "So I called for them to take me. I must become cephalon to save what remains of my mind." (What Remains? webcomic)
- Executor Tuvul: "The future of the Origin System is uncertain. Some think it is destined to burn." (Tuvul broadcast logs)
- "You will join the crew of the Zariman Ten Zero and establish our first colony in the Tau System, and with it, the beginning of a new chapter for our great civilisation." (Zariman 10-0 welcome letter)
- For citations regarding the Zariman, refer to the Zariman Discussion.
- Executor Tuvul: "Countless other ventures have failed The Plan…." (Detron Crewman Synthesis imprint)
- This story is told in the Detron Crewman Synthesis imprint.
- Pazuul: "The Mother and the Father shaped the creatures: the Owl, the Snake, the Wolf… and the Ram, who ruled them all." (Pazuul propaganda drone broadcasts)
- Natah: "Creativity. Pride. A will to live." (Ropalolyst dialogue)
- Ballas: "But when you arrived at that distant world… you knew that in time, we would bring ruin to it as well. As we had to Earth." (The Sacrifice)
- Natah: "And so the Golden Wrath came." (Ropalolyst dialogue)
- 1.89 metres on average, according to Brack's extrasolar message.
- Drusus Leverian: "Karishh commanded yet another feast for himself and his gluttonous sycophants… twelve courses for each of his twelve grafted digestive sacs…" (Grendel Leverian)
- Grandmother: "Another's limbs they twisted, and wrenched his neck, and made a bundle of him, until he scuttled upsy-downsy like a horrid crab, with his sockets all empty and his stretched-out nose snuffling." (Whispering Naberus Mobile story)
- Albrecht Entrati: "Our sacred kuva moves us on to new skin." (Netra Vitruvian)
- Drusus Leverian: "In a ceremony reeking of kuva, the Orokin candidate would force their consciousness into the new chosen body – the Yuvan – consigning the mind of the hapless former owner to oblivion. They called this life-extending process… 'Continuity'." (Voruna Leverian)
- Drusus Leverian: "The Orokin elite, aged and foul, would slouch and leer as the 'Yuvan' – young men and women cultivated on red Mars and worlds beyond for this dire purpose – were paraded before them." (Voruna Leverian)
- Teshin: "A Yuvan theatre, 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, as they prepared for their Continuity." (The War Within)
- Drusus Leverian: "Executor Tuvul was one of the ruling Seven and head of the Yuvan Clerisy: high-ranking officiators who enacted the hideous ritual." (Voruna Leverian)
- "[Kuva is a] fluid with Void-derived capacity to conduct consciousness." (Zariman quiz tablets)
- Drusus Leverian says that Void Conjunctions upon Lua "guaranteed a safe and strong transition". He also says that Tuvul attempted to use incantations from Albrecht Entrati's grimoire during his final Continuity.
- Both Voruna's Leverian tale as well as the Gara Legend note kuva's healing properties.
- "Open up an enticing array of radical new artificial skin colours using Refascia. Includes imitation Orokin blue!" (Refascia Kit description)
- Drusus Leverian: "To the Orokin, prisoners of their endless golden dream, the thought that a person could rise above their station was anathema." (Lavos Leverian)
- There are scant references to Orokin emperors, but we believe this to be another term for Executors, or a mistake.
- Avantus: "…we need to find safety and re-establish the Congress of Executors." (Arid Eviscerator Synthesis imprint)
- Nora Night: "See, in the old days, crime and punishment was all in the hands of those Orokin judges, the Seven." (Nightwave: Glassmaker)
- This is an assumption, resting on the fact that Ballas is the only Orokin leader we see discussing the Old War.
- Nihil, though closely associated with Orokin leadership and serving an executive function, is not described as an Executor.
- Albrecht Entrati: "Time, to us, is all but conquered. Our sacred kuva moves us on to new skin. We numb to our daily, yearly, trifles… and remedy those memories that bring lasting misery. With all our misdeeds, our excess, our indignity… we are haunted by nothing." (Netra Vitruvian)
- Grandmother's Naberus tales feature cruelty, torture, and murder of citizens by bored and careless Orokin.
- These are both mentioned in the Guardsman Synthesis imprint.
- Alarez: "A sample of your genetic code is all I need for full access to the Executorial." (Guardsman Synthesis imprint)
- Zariman Captain: "…To uphold the sanctity of the thousand legems evermore…" (Zariman pledge)
- Nora Night: "'Legem'? That's an Orokin word, means 'law'." (Nightwave: Glassmaker)
- "What are the ideal conditions for contemplating Legems?" (Zariman quiz tablets)
- Legem 6-243: "No capital sentence shall be passed without unanimous consent of the Seven, on pain of forfeiture of all tools of office, banishment." (Nightwave: Glassmaker)
- The Detron Crewman Synthesis imprint describes Ballas' stratagem to force the votes of the other Executors. More evidence of political pressure can be seen in the fact that Ballas voted to condemn his lover Margulis to death.
- Parvos Granum: "He snatched my arm, held me high and… with a dash of his plasma dagger… severed my left hand." (The Tenets)
- Nora Night: "…if they wanted to make an example, they'd suck up your soul and make you a prisoner of the glass forever." (Nightwave: Glassmaker)
- Perintol: "…the Archimedian erupting into a flash, jade-like and blinding […] now she was nothing but mist and gore." (Detron Crewman Synthesis imprint)
- Teshin: "By Orokin hands we Dax were given great power, great strength… but an even greater weakness. To obey their command. To never defy the kuva, the sceptre, the symbols of their dominion. No Dax can ever raise steel against an Orokin." (The War Within)
- Many Dax can be seen at the Reservoir during the Erra cinematic, and Teshin recalls that he guarded Yuvan theatres.
- Dax Umbra fought in the Old War against the Sentients (The Sacrifice), and Cephalon Cy's decorated Railjack crew were Dax (Rising Tide).
- Dax Umbra was recognised for his valour at the Battle of Hull (The Sacrifice).
- Ordan Karris' mercenary tribe is described in Ordan Karris' story.
- Orokin use of Moas is mentioned in the Corrupted Ancient and Anti Moa Synthesis imprints.
- The Scoria assassination school is described in Ash's Leverian gallery.
- Lotus: "The Tower's Neural Sentry has turned these soldiers into mindless attack drones." (Exterminate dialogue)
- Varzia: "The Orokin were inhumane scum. The absolute dregs. But sweet tender mercy, could they design." (Varzia dialogue)
- Q: "How many principal Orokin Virtues are there?"
(Zariman quiz tablets)
- These virtues are named in the Drift mods rewarded from the Halls of Ascension.
- "The Halls of Ascension are tightly wound into the fabric of known Orokin civilization. […] Challenge yourself in seven unique rooms across seven principles for new unique mod rewards. The measure by which the Orokin were judged will now put you to the test." (Update 18 patch notes)
- "To prove oneself worthy of elevated social status, one must face Orokin trials in the golden and majestic Halls of Ascension." (Orokin cephalon fragment)
- Ballas: "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." (The Sacrifice)
- The light and dark duality is reflected in the game of komi, in the Sun-Moon emotional alignment of the Tenno, and other places. Ballas reflects on Dualism in his Vitruvian message to Hunhow.
- Ballas: "Your Graces, we who are beyond death…" (Nekros Prime trailer)
- Ballas: "For your apostasy, the judgement is death." (The Second Dream)
- Executor Tuvul: "Our laws are sacred…" (Detron Crewman Synthesis imprint)
- Ballas: "May the Void forgive you." (Detron Crewman Synthesis imprint)
- Junction Spectre: "Leave this place or be returned to the Void." (Spectres of the Rail dialogue)
- The modern Grineer, Corpus, Solaris, and unaffiliated colonists have been seen to use "Void" in this sense or as mild profanity.
- The Husband: "The Void doesn't just take. It also gives." (Zariman ARG)
- Albrecht Entrati: "I never spoke of him, that man, trapped in the wall. And while there have been countless souls who have followed me through […] not a single one ever saw him." (Netra Vitruvian)
- "Orokin didn't have parents like you do; it was done differently then." (Anti Moa Synthesis imprint)
- House Entrati's familial relationships appear to be fairly traditional (father, mother, husband, wife, children, etc). Another example of Orokin romantic relationships is Corphel & Irilia.
- Albrecht Entrati was in a relationship with his assistant Loid (as well as whatever relationship he had with the mother of his daughter). Corphel & Irilia also had relations with their Dax servant.
- Grandmother: "There was once a Dax cavalrywoman, the lover of an Orokin couple named Corphel and Irilia. […] Had a mere Dax been known to be engaging in relations with her betters, she would have been executed on the spot." (Dagath's Hollow story)
- Lotus: "In the old days, [Orokin ships] were more… elegant. The most beautiful and brilliant technologies ever made…" (Warframe: GHOULS part 3)
- Orokin-commissioned portraits of Umbra, Executor Ballas, Albrecht Entrati, and Archimedian Yonta have been seen.
- Latrox Une: "…the Orokin waltzes my old quartermaster used to play." (TennoCon 2023 teasers)
- "Orokin ceramic artist Bren Terrasiam employed an old world glazing technique to give this plate a lustrous finish. Elites of the day admired his mastery of the ancient arts." (Gallixware Frit Plate description)
- "A rosy nebulous light illuminates an impossible landscape in this stunning work by enigmatic Vistagraph master Raff Seglass." (Impossibility Dawn Vistagraph description)
- "This antique Orokin string instrument once belonged to a great Dax. The ancient ballad 'Smiles from Juran' is one of the few known examples of music composed for this instrument." (Dax's Shawzin description)
- Cephalon Suda: "Do you recall how wonderful the Mandachord orchestra was?" (Octavia's Anthem)
- Cephalon Suda: "I recognise that object: a Hydraulus! An Orokin-era instrument that produced its sound from water." (Octavia's Anthem)
- Stalker: "Then came the sound. Across all our worlds, all at once, the ceremonial Naga drums. A royal salute to the honoured Tenno." (Stalker Codex entry)
- "[Public architecture should celebrate] the proven superiority of tiered society." (Zariman quiz tablets)
- Cephalon Cordylon: "Given their appreciation for aesthetically pleasing environments and known affinity with creating technologically advanced servitors, one would imagine [the Orokin] had many opportunities to rest at a leisurely pace." (Ask A Cephalon #15)
- Ballas: "Shall we pass the time with a game of komi? Like old times." (The Sacrifice)
- Teshin: "Lunaro. Ancient sport of the lost Orokin Era." (Lunaro tutorial)
- Among the Zariman colonists, Kira played the shawzin, Hombask played komi, and a large Lunaro courtyard was present on board.
- Kaelli Entrati: "It's Naberus! You… do know what that is, right? The ancient Orokin festival of death, darkness, and deviance?" (Nights of Naberus)
- Grandmother Entrati: "[The Orokin] were above petty death. Such was their contempt that they decreed a special day on which to make fun of it. On Naberus, the night of memory, the shining people laughed at death." (Whispering Naberus Mobile story)
- Grandmother Entrati: "They dressed in costumes that recalled the old days. Of mortality. Skulls grinned. Hallways guttered with demon-lights. For one night, beauty was banished. Rot and monstrosity held sway." (Whispering Naberus Mobile story)
- Varzia: "We SAW things. The Yuvan Theatre. The Naberus Revels. Not the kind of things you can… convey… to people who just weren't there." (Varzia dialogue)
- Kaelli: "Let's hear the tokens rattle! Put them on your eyes if you like. It's tradition." (Nights of Naberus)
- Sister of Parvos: "My sisters used to say children would dress like me for Naberus." (Folksy Sister of Parvos dialogue)
- Kaelli Entrati: "The happiest time of the entire year? I've dug out all the old family decorations!" (Nights of Naberus)
- "In Orokin society, the higher the rank, the greater number of volleys for the deceased." (Phenmor Codex description)
- For citations regarding this section, refer to the Old War Timeline Discussion.
- Tyl Regor: "So… the Sentient… nasty thing. […] They smashed the Orokin… freed us! How, how'd they do that?" (Natah)
- Captain Vor: "All the power of the Orokin will belong to the Grineer empire. For the glory of the Queens." (Warframe: GHOULS #4)
- "Lead by innovatory and elusive industrialists, and claiming to be descendants of Orokin lineage, the Corpus are dedicated to the accumulation of wealth." (Corpus cephalon fragment)
- Nef Anyo: "Blasphemy! I am an instrument of the Void's will." (The Glast Gambit)
- "[The Corpus'] production methods blend technology and ritual, in part because the ancient Orokin materials they use are inscrutable to them." (old Corpus faction description)
- Alad V: "May our ledgers become ocean, our margins see Centauri. In the name of Profit, I commit thee to the Void." (The Profit trailer)
- "Oro-kin-ka: spirit houses for the souls of the Orokin who once inhabited Cetus. By giving them a small house in which to reside, the Ostrons hope the Orokin spirits will leave them in peace. Said to be good luck." (Ostrons Cetus fragment)
- "Many questions remain: What is the true history of Cetus? Who is the Unum and for how long has she been one with the living Tower? What is her relationship to the Quills and what hidden purpose do they serve?" (Ancient History Cetus fragment)
- The Gara Legend features the Unum and takes place during or shortly after The Collapse.
- "The Unum specifies which part of her Temple-body may be harvested, and when. In this manner, her body eternally replenishes, providing her people with flesh to sell, Temple-kuva to refine, and oils with which to make remarkable unguents." (The Tower's Flesh Cetus fragment)
- Shigg: "Lived too long in the shadow of the Tower. I had allowed myself the belief that all things Orokin were good, as the Unum is good. Not so." (Nightwave: Glassmaker)