It’s surprising to think just how much we know about WildStar’s backstory. Through a series of lore dumps and articles, Carbine’s narrative team has shared over two thousand years of galactic history.
But where is that tale going to take us? From June 3 we’ll start to find out, with regular patches providing us with frequent content updates that continue that episodic story. It’s that feeling of exploring a freshly formed lore, complete with its own mythos, which originally pulled me into WildStar some years ago. Narratively, it’s an undiscovered country.
But to know where you’re heading, you’ve got to know where you’ve come from. That’s why, in this week’s column, I’ve been digging through the Galactic Archives to dig out some key moments from WildStar’s in-game history, before looking forward at what might be coming post-launch. Yes, it’s time to climb into the DeLorean.
Our story starts thousands of years ago, when humans first arrived on Planet Cassus. No physical records survive of the event that nearly wiped out those early pioneers, yet the effects became firmly embedded in Cassian culture. The tale also gives pointers on just how technologically advanced humans actually were – spaceflight, phlebotomy and microbiology are all hinted at. These were no space cowboys.
So what happened? It’s highly possible that the widespread loss of life caused a societal collapse, with precious knowledge being lost or forgotten. There’s every indication that it took a thousand years or more before humanity reached for the stars again. And when they did, the Eldan were watching. Using their Mechari agents, they gathered the planetary leaders together to make them a deal – give up the legendary hero Tresayne Toria, and gain incredible gifts. Refuse, and be ground into the dirt.
For the sake of her people, Toira agreed to the deal, and the people of Cassus were rewarded. Using her genetic material infused with their own, the Eldan created Dominus the Half-Blood, a being blessed with knowledge of hyper-advanced technology. He arrived with a further offer for the Cassians: swear loyalty to him, and he would create the greatest galactic empire ever known. With power in their eyes, they readily accepted.
The line of Dominus became known as the Luminai, with his offspring enjoying unrivalled power within the Dominion. Some 300 years later, his children (later known as Scions) formed the Great Houses that made up the top tier of society in the early Empire. By this time, the Mechari were firmly rooted into Cassian society as well, with the origins of what would be known as the Imperial Corps of Intelligence or ICI.
Roughly 350 years after the foundation of the Dominion, the Mechari decided to try and invigorate the Dominion military with new blood, and found ideal candidates in the Draken of Mikros. Sensing that a war would generate large casualties on both sides, the Emperor Azrion, appealed to the Draken sense of honor challenging the High Clanlord Zhur to meet in single combat, with the victor left to rule Mikros in totality. Azrion won out, and the Draken have served the Empire ever since.
It would be a thousand years later when the Vigilant Declaration was made throughout the Empire, uniting it under a single faith, elevating the mysterious Eldan to the status of gods and deifying the Luminari. The rigid protocols also forced stratification of Cassian society, between the highborn that could trace themselves back to one of the Great Houses, and the lowborn that could not.
It’s possible that this move sowed the seeds of dissent that eventually caused a group to break away, in a move known as Brightland’s Rebellion. After expanding so rapidly, the Empire was beginning to lose control, cracking down on dissent by turning troops on its own citizens. For some this was a step too far, with decorated Admiral Serrick Brightland striking back against his own command, taking control of a fleet led by the former Dominion flagship. After their escape to the fringes of the galaxy, that ship was later refitted to become the Exile Arkship Gambler’s Ruin.
At roughly this time, the Dominion became involved in another planetary conflict, this time on the Granok homeworld Gnox. The Mechari believed that their power and strength would be a valuable addition to the Empire, while the Granok believed that the Mechari were only good as scrap. A bitter war of attrition ensued for many months, before the Dominion started to gain the upper hand. It was only through raiding and looting Dominion weapons that a Granok named Durek managed to turn the tide, pushing Empire off the planet. For betraying his culture’s simple beliefs, Durek and his company were banished from Gnox, becoming spacefaring mercenaries for hire.