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What exactly does "Orokin" refer to?


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Does it refer to the blue, long-armed beings with dreadlocks (i.e. Ballas and the Entrati) 

or does it refer to the more human population (Tenno, Dax etc.)? 

Or is it just the name of empire that encompasses them all? 

Edited by Hierarch777
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From what I can tell the Orokin were an elite ruling class in the Orokin Empire.

The Orokin people are defined by using Continuity to transfer their consciousness into new bodies as a form of immortality. Also apparently by their blue skin and long arm, but mainly the immortality.

There were still more normal humans around under the Orokin Empire; the Corpus still existed, Dax were apparently normal, and IIRC Cetus existed around the time of the Old War as well. We haven't seen much of a normal civilian's life in the Origin System, but it seems like the fall of the Orokin after the Old War was basically the Tenno killing most of the ruling Orokin, and then massive power vacuums causing varied chaos across the system with the Grineer and Corpus both expanding massively.

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32 minutes ago, Hierarch777 said:

Does it refer to the blue, long-armed beings with dreadlocks (i.e. Ballas and the Entrati) 

or does it refer to the more human population (Tenno, Dax etc.)? 

Or is it just the name of empire that encompasses them all? 

Exactly. 

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Oro is the macguffin that allows people to survive death in Warframe.

Kin is family.

Logically then, family of those who survive death. An overly literal interpretation, certainly. Within the game they would simply be the ruling class, those granted the privilege of body swapping to avoid death and continuing the empire. Whilst humans, Dax etc serve the Orokin empire, they are not themselves Orokin.

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7 minutes ago, BahamutKaiser said:

Is there confirmation that the long blue armed ppl were Orokin? I was under the impression that they were also servants, with no Orokin actually being seen. 

Well why of course they are Orokin.

Ballas is identified by name and is a super-famous Orokin of which you'll surely know a lot if you read the Codex and follow the quests, where he is confirmed as an Orokin.

The Deimos family is also clearly identified as Orokin. For instance, they are able to use Continuity and the Yuvaan ritual (and we know that because Albrecht Entrati refuses to do so, breaking Orokin costumes).

 

Funnily enough, there's Orokin in the game that are not long blue-armed people. The Queens is a good example: they had to use Continuity on cloned Grineer bodies (which disgusts them, but it's better than dying) and exhibit therefore none of the typical Orokin traits.

So, interestingly enough, all in-game blue long-armed people are Orokin, but not all in-game Orokin are blue long-armed people.

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I'll have to go back to it, I was pretty sure Ballas was a subject, like Margulis, but I've done a poor job confirming details. On a side note, why would the Entrati remain in infested bodies... pretty sure that's a deal breaker. 

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1 hour ago, Hierarch777 said:

Does it refer to the blue, long-armed beings with dreadlocks (i.e. Ballas and the Entrati) 

or does it refer to the more human population (Tenno, Dax etc.)? 

Or is it just the name of empire that encompasses them all? 

All tenno, dax, corpus etc were part of the orokin empire.

The "long-armed beings with dreadlocks" (I like that definition lol) are the orokin. But the orokin do not have to be such beings as they can use some form of transference.

The Orokin were the rulers of the Orokin Empire.

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I think it's more or less the name of the empire first and foremost, though if Ballas and the Entrati are in fact a non-human race (Well... I mean they both kinda got messed up genetically since their glory days, but you get what I mean.), then it's plausible that the Orokin are simply named after their race. Though I doubt that they're not humans for a number of reasons.

As people pointed out, there are Orokin in the bodies of other races, so who even knows if the long arm thing is their original body? Hell, it could even just be a weird body modification thing among the elite, since both Ballas and the Entrati were significantly wealthy/famous, and are our only real examples of these features (Worth noting that they're also the only surviving barely and visibly Orokin characters, which could also contribute to their odd looks.). We also see in flashbacks and by the fact that Dax are human that there definitely were "Orokin" that at least looked human - though you could arguably make a statement that the Dax were more or less slaves and maybe labelled "Orokin" in more of a property sense, similarly to the Tenno and their frames. One last thing to note though, is that Orokin creations regularly depict normally proportioned human looking bodies, which would be weird if as people they all had one long arm from the beginning. One notable last thing is that--

Spoiler

--the records left by the Entrati grandfather display him with very regular proportions, so it's completely likely that Ballas and the rest of the Entrati underwent a change after the events of his records, since they occurred very early in the lore and we see Ballas in a flashback clearly with the whole long arm thing going on.

Anyway, the gist of it is: The term Orokin likely refers to all living people within the old empire, as well as all they owned - basically the entire civilisation - and that the Orokin probably weren't their own race despite most examples of Orokin we have now (that aren't in new bodies) looking not quite human. Yes, Orokin as a term also includes the Dax, and even the Tenno - at least it did before the Orokin began to disown them as "betrayers".

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A good way to think about it is that Orokin is more of a social class then a race. It's like being a noble in the middle ages. Like nobles have the previlige of reading while the common folk doesn't, the Orokin have the previlige of immortality while the rest doesn't.

If you scan all of the cephalon fragments and listen to the lore coming with it (spoiler alert): Ordis confirms he was given the oppotinuty of becoming an orokin and refused. The refusal is what lead him to become a cephalon as punishment. If one can become an orokin, then it means it's not a race.

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35 minutes ago, BahamutKaiser said:

I'll have to go back to it, I was pretty sure Ballas was a subject, like Margulis, but I've done a poor job confirming details. On a side note, why would the Entrati remain in infested bodies... pretty sure that's a deal breaker. 

You don't have to go back to it, it's a matter of fact. Ballas was one of the Seven Executors, which was basically among the top of the Orokin hierarchy. Margulis was just a normal human, an architect of some kind whose research paved the way for Transference, which is by how the Tenno control the Warframes, and how what'sherface transferred herself into the perpetual forests of Earth.

The Entrati remain in Infested bodies because they were stuck in that after the collapse of the Orokin civilization, probably both dedicated to their task on Deimos at combating the Infested and investigating what they could of the Void, and probably having mostly given up on ever restoring themselves. Plus, you need a new physical body to perform Continuity onto, who's going to do that now that the Orokin are gone and can't exactly enforce the ritual to gather the people who they'd be sacrificing?

The Grineer Queens haven't been able to perform Continuity on a non-Grineer body in a long, long time. That's why when they learn that "the dreamers" have awaken, they set out to lure you in to steal your body.

Edited by so_many_watermelons
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16 minutes ago, BahamutKaiser said:

I'm reading more of the details in the wiki now, but I've never seen most of this in game. It's hard to picture Ballas doing work and failing to have his way when he's at the top of the oligarchy.

Not top of the oligarchy, among the oligarchy. Read: Seven Executors. That's why Margulis was voted to be put to death for her "apostasy" in showing the Tenno mercy. As much as Ballas didn't want that, it had to happen, and thus his plot for long term revenge began. 

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1 hour ago, BahamutKaiser said:

He was one of the seven executors? How is that not the top?

He could be outvoted by the other six. Sure, he is on top - he is a ridiculously powerful oligarch with the power to dispose millions of beings. However, there were people with the same level of power as him, and it is conceivable that he didn't get things his way.

Also, the Emperors were presumably invested in an authority higher than the Executors (your mileage might vary - the lore never describes them as doing anything, and they might have been mere puppets).

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3 hours ago, Hierarch777 said:

Does it refer to the blue, long-armed beings with dreadlocks (i.e. Ballas and the Entrati) 

or does it refer to the more human population (Tenno, Dax etc.)? 

Or is it just the name of empire that encompasses them all? 

Blue-long armed beings.

it's called the Orokin Empire because they were the ones who lead it. the hierarchy was sort of like this:

Orokin proper > elites (Archimedeans, Dax etc.) > regular human soldiers/workers > Grineer slaves and Corpus (Corpus being an illegal Merchant cult, they'd be more frowned upon than regular humans)

the Orokin themselves are immortal thanks to Kuva and certain rituals which allows them to claim another persons body for themselves and become young again, always swapping bodies and remain healthy. They were ruled by an Emperor, who we've never really seen, as much or all of their power was imparted upon the Seven Executors - Ballas is one of them - who carried out the Emperor's will. 

underneath them would be the regular nobility and the great scientific minds of the empire, the Archimedeans,  as well as the most elite warriors (such as the Dax in the Sacrifice)

below that, everybody else that was human, at this point you start seeing some oppression towards them, but a human could become an elite, or even an Orokin if they passed a trial in the Halls of Ascension.

and on the bottom, the sub-human Grineer slaves, used as expendable manual labour who build Orokin structures; they were basically treated like dirt. Corpus would probably be thought of in the same way, despite being human. 

there may have been different "Levels" of Orokin elite, with the Executors on top, but since they all use Kuva, they are all classed as being the same. as for the Tenno, we basically went from human to being sub-human (hated by the Orokin for our powers), to becoming Elites (the ones who saved them form the Sentients). and then we killed the Orokin (most of them anyway) and here we are!

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On 2020-09-22 at 8:09 AM, Hierarch777 said:

Does it refer to the blue, long-armed beings with dreadlocks (i.e. Ballas and the Entrati) 

or does it refer to the more human population (Tenno, Dax etc.)? 

Or is it just the name of empire that encompasses them all? 

It's unclear. But given that in the Arid Eviscerator Synthesis the Orokin Secrarus Bilsa considered only two of them worth saving and the rest were not expected to survive, that suggests that the people who took Kuva and engaged in continuity were very rare in the Empire.

Certainly, everything we know suggests Dax were not Orokin, nor were the Tenno though they were part of the Empire

We know that Ballas was definatly Orokin (He was an Executor, the highest rank we know of). The Entradi are a noble family and consider Balas a peer and the Grandfather (Albrecht) specifically states that their lives were "Endless" so they are likely Orokin. Though Mother does say "The Orokin had no respect for my Father's work" so, maybe it's more complex

  • Executor, Sectarus, Enginus all appear to the known Orokin Classes.
  • Dax appear to be normally mortal/human warriors for the Empire (We don't know how Teshin survived so long)
  • Archimedian might be the highest caste of the servitors that became the Corpus
  • Lorist seems to be an engineered "slave" caste
  • Grineer was a engineered worker caste, aggressive abbarants were later used as a template for combat troops during the Old War.

It would not surprise me at all if the total number of Orokin was only in the thousands of immortals with millions of ranking servitors and billions of human subjects. Baro is a decendent of the planely human Mars Colonists, who would have their children taked by the Orokin (AKA "Golden Skymen").

Also, to clarify on the name, Steve stated that Orokin was: "Oro=Gold, Kin=kin/people" and the thing that Teshin mentions as "Oro" may or may not apply to anything other than the sentients that he was speaking of.

Edited by SilentMobius
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On 2020-09-22 at 4:27 AM, (NSW)Conn1496 said:

I think it's more or less the name of the empire first and foremost, though if Ballas and the Entrati are in fact a non-human race (Well... I mean they both kinda got messed up genetically since their glory days, but you get what I mean.), then it's plausible that the Orokin are simply named after their race. Though I doubt that they're not humans for a number of reasons.

Sacrifice quest showed that they had the features during their glory days too.

TWW showed that they would transfer themselves into subclass hosts as their current bodies degraded granting eternal youth as well as functional immortality. 

The arm thing, and skin may just be affectations that they considered aesthetically pleasing for whatever reason, and had added to the bodies after the fact. The Queens may have chosen to forego such aftermarket add-ons or just not had access to it after all this time. 

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I'll try to be brief as to not cause spoilers, but there is lore where a certain someone was going to recieve Continuity as a gift of favor by the Orokin, this favor was to gain the Orokin's trust and let their guard down. That someone attempted to cut the Orokin down and succeeded, however the survivors got back up and laughed, because his means of killing them were ineffective. They offered him the ability to become Orokin, like them through Continuity, but instead were able to transfer him into an inferior body, turning what could have been his gift into his punishment.

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1 hour ago, SilentMobius said:

and the thing that Teshin mentions as "Oro" may or may not apply to anything other than the sentients that he was speaking of

And us, of course.

Us being the thing that actually brought up the subject. Do Sentients even have Oro? They seem to die just fine.

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On 2020-09-22 at 2:09 AM, Hierarch777 said:

Does it refer to the blue, long-armed beings with dreadlocks (i.e. Ballas and the Entrati) 

or does it refer to the more human population (Tenno, Dax etc.)? 

Or is it just the name of empire that encompasses them all? 

Oro is the Soul.  So literally Soul Kin

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On 2020-09-22 at 12:09 AM, Hierarch777 said:

Does it refer to the blue, long-armed beings with dreadlocks (i.e. Ballas and the Entrati) 

or does it refer to the more human population (Tenno, Dax etc.)? 

Or is it just the name of empire that encompasses them all? 

You might notice that it's confusing, and might refer to any or all of them depending on context

That's on purpose

The Orokin aristocracy were massively sadistic d-bags who created and perpetuated a humiliating and demoralizing haves/have-nots economy just because they could. They would defend their slave populations against Sentient attacks by calling said slaves "Orokin territory", then immediately whip the slaves back into line and berate them for not being "true Orokin". The word "Orokin" meant whatever the aristocracy wanted it to mean, so long as it made themselves look better

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