One of my favorite things about Gal Civ is the amazing lore. I remember when I bought the first Gal Civ back in 2003 the thing that really drew me in was the fascinating back story, full of intriguing mysteries that draw you in to the game, hoping to find some obscure clue
Here are five mysteries I hope we will see further explored in future expansions/games
1. Will the "dead" civilizations make a come back?
Currently there are a few civilizations that were "wiped out" as part of the back story, the Xendar, the Korx, the Drath and the Korath. All of these had been playable in earlier titles other than the Xendar. Do these civs still have some remnants out there that could restore their once great civilizations? I hope so! I especially loved the Drath and would love to play as them again.
2. Who were the Vegans?
I am not talking about those soy milk drinking hipsters at your local Starbucks. In Brad Wardell's "History of Galactic Civilizations, he refers to a civ called the Vegans among the other originals. Are they a civ we will see in the future? According to Wardell, "The "Terran Alliance" has 3 planets. Earth, Paridias, and Haven. The Drengin "Empire" only has 9 planets. The Arceans 6, and Altarians, Torians, and Vegans only their home worlds.
3. Who was Martôk?
Most of you know that the Torians were slaves of the Drengin twice, once in the recent past, and and once further back in the Torians history. But do you know how they managed to break free of the Drengin yoke? And did you know they were also slaves of the Dread Lords prior to their Drengin enslavement? Here is a passage from Wardell:
"The mortal races were largely too weak to be of much use to the Dread Lords but they did make good soldiers. The Dread Lords were not technologically minded as we understand it. Their power was allegedly innate, that is, they were able to create the things they needed instinctively as an extension of themselves. As a result, the Dread Lords had no need of industry or manufacturing. The Torians were hence used as force labor and soldiers to keep other slave races in line.
This occupation kept the Torians from advancing further. At some point, probably around 200,000 years ago, technological advancement came to an end for them. Their level of technological sophistication was roughly equivalent to classic greek (Athens/Sparta) early bronze age.
And then came the event known as the cataclysm. The time of the final war between the Arnor and Dread Lords. The outcome of that war is unknown. All that is known is that the Precursors disappeared and the planet of Arnor is not known to exist anywhere.
The Torians, now free of enslavement, once again began moving forward. And for another 100,000 to 150,000 years they gradually progressed. That is, until emissaries came who claimed to be Precursor soldiers coming to reclaim the world.
There were not enough of these mysterious soldiers to enforce their will. Which was in itself a contradiction. For even a handful of Precursors could control and command an entire world. These beings, while possessing powers (in the form of weapons) were much more limited. Toria was quickly divided in how to handle this. On the one hand, there were those who believed these beings were the Precursors returned. And those who were skeptical who believed them to be outsiders posing as gods.
A horrific battle ensued and the believers, after a time, gained the upper hand. But enough time had passed and enough Torians had been killed through generations of warfare to make the planet ripe for the taking. Only then were the mysterious soldiers seen for what they were – Drengin.
The Drengin had discovered Toria long ago through one of their robotic probes. Seeing a planet ripe for the taking, they sent a crew suspended in hibernation to build a star gate in orbit of Toria. It was a long process and hence Drengin emissaries had to take residence on Toria for supplies (food, water, resources, etc.). Eventually the star gate was complete and the invasion force arrived just as the civil war was ending. The Torians were enslaved for thousands of years by the Drengin.
The Torians, a peaceful, docile people slowly learned cunning through years of cruelty at the hands of the Drengin. Eventually, a great leader known as Martôk emerged who was cunning and stealthy and came to recognize that the Drengin had a weak spot – the star gate. Over the centuries, Torian slaves were the ones assigned to maintain the more hazardous parts of the star gate.
A star gate is immense in size. Larger in area than the largest city on earth. Thousands of Torians worked on the star gate as slaves to keep it running. In time, Martôk and his followers managed to infiltrate enough men onto the star gate to arrange its destruction.
Once the star gate was destroyed, the 65,000 or so Drengin on the planet were on their own to fight the billions of Torians. The Drengin are fierce warriors. They are also cunning, fearless, and cruel. And unfortunately for the Torians, they were also well armed and well supplied -- at least for the time being.
Martôk had managed to escape the destruction of the star gate (which is itself quite an adventure that is not discussed here). The Drengin killed Torians by the millions. A single Drengin shock trooper could easily kill a thousand Torians with his weapons and training. And the Drengin were well led as well. Their leader, Kornath, was a powerful warrior and great leader of men. And despite the overwhelming numbers, Koranth exterminated a large percentage of the Torian population.
It was inevitable that Koranth the terrible and Martôk would meet and the battle that ensued was terrible beyond imagination. Koranth and his troops were armed with super heated projectiles (imagine bullets that were super heated). The Torians armed only with bronze age level weapons. Martôk had over half a million Torians in his army. Koranth led 3 legions of Drengin troops that numbered around 15,000.
The legend of Martôk is impossible to verify today because, like all legends, it has passed into mythical proportions. Given that Martôk is considered the savior of the Torian people, the events of this day should be taken with a grain of salt. What we do know is that the Torians, despite losing all but 5,000 soldiers, won the day killing every Drengin, including Koranth. The legend, however, says that eventually Martôk’s army was destroyed other than a small group of 5,000 soldiers and that nearly an even number of Drengin soldiers still remained at that point. But Martôk was possessed of a power, a strength beyond mortal understanding. Some say that he found a piece of some sort of crystal that is said to have been left over from the Precursors. And that this crystal gave him the strength and ability of many mortal men and made him practically invulnerable. And hence, the legend goes on to say that he personally slew thousands of Drengin soldiers with just his sword and that the Drengin’s weapons had no effect on him.
And on that battlefield, Martôk and Koranth fought each other and despite Koranth’s legendary strength and cunning, Martôk slew him. And the remaining Drengin were dismayed and panicked and so came to their end.
Without Koranth, the Drengin were less effective. And their supplies, especially in terms of ammunition, not having a way to replace their losses, eventually ensured their downfall. The death of Koranth was the turning point. The Torian losses were unsustainable while Koranth led the Drengin. But with Koran’s passing, the Drengin were never again as effective and overcome by the sheer numbers of Torians."
So, who exactly was this Martôk? Was he a normal Torian or was he something else? And what was the artifact that gave him such amazing strength? Is there any chance that Martôk might still live, hidden somewhere in the universe?
4. Where is Arnor?
The previous passage also highlights another key mystery. We see in Gal Civ III that even prison planets or research outposts of the Arnor are full of resources or technologies that are unbelievably advanced. We can only imagine that the actual Arnor homeworld must be advanced beyond all comprehension. But where is it? How has it eluded discovery for so long? Will it one day be found?
5. Who are the Mithrilar?
Here is the grand daddy of them all, the most intriguing mystery in all of Gal Civ. Who are the Mithrilar? They are the most powerful beings in all of Gal Civ lore, creators even of the all-powerful Arnor. Much of the info we have on them comes from Altarian Prophecy.
"First there were the five Mithrilar. These were immortal beings that long ago existed and have long since disappeared. There were two in particular -- Mascrinthus and Draginol. Originally there were only four, but then Draginol appeared. According to him, his universe had just imploded in on itself. The others thought he was different in some way, but they did not know how. Because of this, he was called the Dark Mithrilar.
The reason for this was simple: Draginol was the only Mithrilar aware of the passage of time. This had driven him insane a long time ago, but still sane enough to be aware of the source of his pain.
By abusing a device called the Telenath ,Draginol created a race called the Arnor who are known to most civilizations as "The Precursors". The Arnor eventually split off into civil war with the side in favor of exterminating new sentients as they evolved as "Dread Lords". According to the manual, the Dread Lords are closest to Draginol in character, but have smaller numbers, as well as a sense of time perception. The Arnor, on the other hand, are more numerous and have no time perception.(Draginol didn't spend as much effort on them.)
The question that naturally arrises is how the Arnor were able to run amok in the galaxy if the Mithrilar, who were infinitely more powerful, were at hand. The answer is, they weren't. The Mithrilar disappeared in a cataclysm. The only two that survived were Draginol and Mascrinthus.
According to Altarian legend, the dark Mithrilar, Draginol, had fallen to a then dead world called Altaria and for millions of years been buried. His presence, even unconscious, altered the evolution of the Altarians such that there were two sentient races competing for the world.
One became known as the Drath. These reptilian like creatures were strong but reproduced at a much slower pace than the human-like species that we now know as Altarians. The Drath somehow managed to escape Altaria long before it had space travel. We do not know how they managed to do this, although the Mithrilar Mascrinthus might have something to do with this.
The Altarian Prophecy hence implies that Altarians look like humans due to the influence of dark Mithrilar, Draginol. The question is, why would that be the case given that Draginol's arrival on Altaria was millions of years before humans had even begun evolving on Earth. That question remains to be seen." (Source: https://www.galciv.wikia.com/wiki/Altarian_Prophecy)
As far as their appearance goes, Brad has said that the the Mithrilar look human. (Source: https://www.galciv1.com/encyclopedia.asp?action=showpage&page=https://www.galciv1.com/encyclopedia/history.html)
It is likely that we will learn more about these mysterious entities in the next expansion because the Thalans say "that their time will come after the “Precursor War” is complete and the “Dark Mithrilar” returns from the pocketverse. No one understands what they mean.".
VI: Gal Civ: The Novel?
Finally, as a bonus aside. Brad Wardell has thought about writing a series of books based on Gal Civ's lore. All i can say Mr. Wardell is, PLEASE DO SO! And also release the DLCs for Gal Civ III that you have cancelled plz.
"'m probably not the only person with the desire to write a series of books. In my case, I have, in my head, a series of 12 books that take place in a universe that I've been shaping for as long as I can remember. The stories revolve around, unsurprisingly, people. Or more to the point, humans. The story begins near the dawn of the 23rd century. Earth is united. Humans come into contact with an alien civilization called the Arcean Empire. The Arceans are humanoid but look nothing like humans. They are tough warrior like beings whose skin has the texture of an elephant. From this, they are introduced to other alien civilizations and invited to join a league of worlds called the United Planets which overseas interstellar trade and acts as a forum for different civilizations to peacefully coexist. More importantly, being part of the United Planets allows use of the interstellar stargate network.
In the story (unlike the game), humans become part of the Stargate network. Stargates are huge city sized things that have their own orbit around a star. Ships pass through them and are transported at very high speeds to other parts of the galaxy. Earth joins an organization called the United Planets which consists of the Altarians, Arceans, Drengin, Vegans and Torians. Our story begins with a human probe observing the long expected Drengin attack on the Arcean Empire. Both are immensely powerful but the Drengin have the advantage (and in fact as later stories show, they have some unfair advantages).
In these stories, Earth has incredibly intelligent leaders. But Earth also is at a disadvantage -- it has basically no military. The Drengin and Arceans in particular have immense fleets of well armored ships that took thousands of years to build and amass. Humans, by contrast, have only had space travel for a relatively short amount of time. But this also works to Earth's advantage -- humans are constantly underestimated.
The clever humans though devise two new technologies to offset the advantages of the Drengin and Arceans. Shields and hyper drive. You see, the leaders of Earth recognize that once the Drengin conquer the Arceans, they will inevitable seek to enslave the others who are much weaker. There is no trace of naiveté on Earth when it comes to dealing with the alien civilizations. And shield technology, which creates an energy field around a ship can deflect immense amount of energy and combined with hyperdrive, and is faster than star gates for traveling distances provide a real equalizer. The net result is that humans can project force where they want, when they want and each ship can take on several Drengin or Arcean capital ships.
Which brings us to the plot of the first story - the prototype ship that has these new technologies is stolen and our main character is an Lieutenant on the ship assigned to get the ship back. Luckily, the team who stole the ship are not aware of the capabilities of the ship they've stolen (their master knows, of course, but didn't entrust this information to his minions). Through a series of adventures that includes the first meeting with a mysterious race known as "The Arnor", the protype is recovered.
Ultimately, the humans enter the war on the side of the Arceans to try to defeat the evil Drengin Empire. The war takes time and the Arceans are eventually crushed by the Drengin. The Drengin are later discovered to be led by an Arnor (beings of immense power) but the humans are able to counter this by the lucky finding of an artifact called the Orb of power, an ancient weapon used by one of the Mithrilar, the guardians of the universe, who disappeared eons ago.
The GalCiv universe involves a great deal of complexity in dealing with the destiny of the main character who is the hero of the stories and yet has been prophesized by the Arnor to be the ruin of all life. The complex interactions between humans and the alien civilizations combined with the presence of beings that are seemingly magical (such as the Arnor along with the Altarians who are somehow related to humans as they seem have nearly identical DNA) provides a rich universe to play in.
The titles were/are:
Book 1: The Defender
Book 2: Defender's Destiny
Book 3: Revenge of the Defender
Book 4: Twilight of the Morningstar
Book 5: Plague of Yor
Book 6: Corruption of the Shard
Alternative Universe: Legacy of the Orb
Prelude: Guardians of the Telenanth
Prelude: The Precursors
Prelude: Remnants of the Cataclysm
Prelude: The Last Mithrilar
If I ever find time, I hope to write these. I have hundreds of pages of manuscripts scattered around that outline these stories. The first 6 all take place in the 23rd century. The other six mostly take place before humans even walk the earth and deal with the Mithrilar, Precursors (Dreadlords and Arnor), and Altaria and explains why the natural state of all but the Mithrilar look human. Alternative Universe: Legacy of the Orb, explains how the dark Mithrilar, Draginol, came to be."