Author note: With all the game's references to spies, refugees, sympathizers, and bureaucrats, I believe the Grineer seriously need to be fleshed out as a society with internal factions, tensions, and people in it who aren't just soldiers. This is my first foray into this kind of universe-writing.
I plan some additional posts with entries for: The Corpus, operating principles and political effects of the solar rails, large-scale politics involving the Council, and then--entering much more dangerous plot-related ground--a little bit about the Tenno, Infestation, and the limited information anyone has about what caused The Collapse.
Grineer Empire, The
The Grineer (orig. "Genetically Re-engineered") are a subspecies of genetically-altered soldiers, probably created soon after the Collapse to serve some faction on Earth. They are individually sterile, but their long-gone designers included both sexes with significant dimorphism, using females in roles such as snipers, medics, and other forms of support on the battlefield.
At some point they rebelled against their creators, and began a campaign of global conquest and consolidation, eventually controlling all the zones around Earth before becoming bogged down with the transportation issues of sending ground-troops across interplanetary distances.
The biotechnology used in their original creation has been lost, and so they maintain their numbers through cruder methods of cloning.
As a general rule, Grineer are compelled seek the thrill of a fight, the glory of victory, and clear hierarchies. They revere great warriors and leaders, creating an intensely warlike society. Considering themselves innately superior to traditional humans, their narrow interests cause them to rely on labor from the serf underclass for tasks they do not consider worthy.
Fear of inferiority is perhaps the biggest threat to their racial psyche, as their cloning techniques slowly introduce errors and infirmities. This contributes to hatred of warframe-users, who are not merely enemies but also an unspoken threat to their world-view.
Somewhat paradoxically, Grineer are fiercely loyal to the concept of the chain of command, even as they plot ways to win-against and humiliate their peers. Schemes for self-advancement are common, but misconduct or betrayal in a combat situation are nearly unheard-of.
The Court is the primary Grineer decision-making body, in which the heads of various gene-lines and clans scheme against their external enemies... and against one-another. Located on Earth, it is the center of power for the Matriarchs and Grineer reproduction.
Leadership: The Matriarchs
Considered the closest to direct leadership of the Empire, the Matriarchs are a relatively small cadre of exclusively-female Grineer (typically with significant military experience) who oversee all cloning activities and medical research. No Grineer reproduction is possible without their approval, as they maintaining the master Grineer database of genetic samples, and control all legitimate cloning technology.
While other groupings of Grineer may request male clones from a variety of templates and origins, only the Matriarchs may commission female clones. On their mandatory tours of duty, many may pass under the command of male Grineer, but when (or if) they survive, those who have distinguished themselves may be offered a chance to join.
The Matriarchs claim that they originate from teams of Grineer medics who—long ago—overrode the conditioning of their creators and secured cloning facilities to preserve their race. (The current locations of Grineer cloning crèches are a well-kept secret.)
Faction – Cybernetic Enhancement
Most Grineer adopt cyborg parts reluctantly and only when there are significant benefits. Using them is often seen as a sign the soldier (and by extension, their gene-line) is weak or flawed. Those who want (or require) cybernetics are discriminated against as lower-caste Grineer, although they are still comfortably above the non-Grineer serfs.
Recently, some of these Grineer have taken to outspoken promotion of cybernetic replacements, both to strike back at their detractors and also to erase the stigma. They are a rising minority in the political landscape, with notable leaders such as General Sargas Ruk.
Their faction is a slight threat to the Matriarchs, however, because by emphasizing deformities that need replacement, they subtly threaten the Matriarchs legitimacy: The widespread belief that the Matriarchs are safeguarding and preserving the superiority of the Grineer genome.
Faction – Independent Cloning
Certain Grineer seek ancient artifacts that will allow them to repair the Grineer genome or to at least create “perfect” clones. These groups are a far more direct threat to the power of the Matriarchs and their monopoly.
The most notable of these groups is headed by Tyl Regor in the Uranus system. While far from the Matriarchs' center of influence, in return for noninterference, he has promised to turn over any discoveries to the Matriarchs, an agreement it seems that neither side fully trusts...
Overseers and Serfs
Despite its name, the Grineer Empire largely consists of baseline humans whose ancestors were conquered long ago. While many of this politically-powerless underclass do menial labor, significant portions are also involved in the bureaucracy, scientific research, and skilled construction... but always under the supervision and authority of a Grineer Overseer.
Often those unable to function in the military due to age, weakness, or temperament, low-ranked overseers are perhaps the closest group the Empire has to a “middle class”. Overseer behavior is as varied as their reasons for being there. Some are ambitious, and see their posting as a chance to show results and regain their military status, while others are surprisingly hands-off, content to ensure serfs obey orders productively.
In rare cases, particularly nostalgic overseers have been known to organize their workers in quasi-military structures with themselves at the top, but this is strongly discouraged due to fears it may have unintended consequences.
Partly due to their psychological makeup, Grineer technology is seldom very advanced except in the area of infantry combat. They see aesthetics as unimportant compared to performance and the logistical issues of equipping a large force of soldiers.
Grineer expansion is currently in check due to their lack of ships, which harms them both in ship-to-ship combat, and also in terms of transporting and provisioning their primary military asset, ground-troops. For now, the Corpus use their advantage in ships to maintain a state of cold-war.
Edited by HvcTerr, 15 May 2013 - 12:52 PM.