AOW:PF Lore speculation

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions AOW:PF Lore speculation

This topic contains 22 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Gloweye 4 years ago.

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    Because it’s never too early for this kind of stuff!

    What if something that happened on Athla was what caused the end of the Star Union, and now with the events that Eternal Lords ended with, travel is possible again?



    I’ll just copy my post from a steam thread

    In Age of Wonders 1, the story heavily hinted at Elves, Giants, Dragons and Highmen being interplanetar travelers.
    So, there shouldn’t be any particular reason why AoW Planetfall could not be in the AoW universe.

    The thing is, so far all AoW titles were played out on either the planet/world called Athla or the Shadow Realm, which has unclear origins i.e. if it is a specific place or not, but seing how spells like Shadow Warp worked (transported target stack of units into the according map-tile in the shadow layer) you COULD argue that the shadow realm is another plane of existence layered onto the regular one. But I disgress.

    Anyway, just because the Starunion seemingly spanend hundreds of worlds/stars/planets, does not mean that the world of Athla has to be excluded from the Starunion’s origins or surroundings.

    AoW:Planetfall could very well work with the Shadow Realm story line in mind, i.e. several Shadow Gates/Holes (if we take a nod at Blackholes) opened up around/in the Starunion’s hegemony thereby unleashing hordes of hivemind shadow demons unto the unsuspecting citizen of the Starunion, dooming it to fall, resulting in the opening narrative of the game.
    The Shadow Demons insectlike features could even result in many Starunionerns (or whatef you’d call the people of the Starunion) to dislike the revelead Insectoidrace because of their similiar body-structure/society.

    Given this is just a quick speculation, but it could be that easy to loosely tie this new game into the existing lore of AoW whilst providing a plothook to work with.



    I was thinking overnight that it could be interesting to collate which races are aliens and which are not.

    So: Syrons and Shadow Demons (demons of any description, really) are the ones everyone knows. Those familiar with the AoW1 story will know that that Humans/Archons and Elves are both aliens. The AoW3 backstory indicates that if dragons and giants aren’t natives, they’ve certainly been around since early on in Athla’s terraforming. Additional data points are the connections between the titans – once the leaders among the giants – and the archons, and dragons having innate Shadow Walking, suggesting that they also have a habit of travelling between the planes.

    Also apparently around since early on are the original Wizard’s Circle – which means that conclusions can potentially be drawn from which races have representation within the Circle (particularly since we know from Shadow Magic that most of the other races are at least capable of being Wizards, as the only races that don’t have a Wizard in Shadow Magic are, I believe, goblins, frostlings, and extinct races). So, working through the various wizards, we have:

    Two Archons (Gabriel and Anon)
    Two Elves (Serena and Arachne)
    One Lich, humanoid skeleton appearance (Nekron)
    One dwarf (Fangir)
    One earth-related fey entity who appears as a short brown-skinned humanoid (Mab)
    One halfling (Marinus)
    One water spirit who appears human-like (Nimue)
    One so-called fire god who presents as human-like (Yaka)
    Spirits of fire and ice, occasionally described as sisters, who appear human-like (Karissa and Artica, the latter of which may be a superpowered Frost Witch)
    One self-described Master of Dragons who presents as human-like (Tempest)

    Notably, in addition to the races which we know were created between AoW1 and AoW2 (the tigrans and draconians), the goblinoid races (orcs, goblins, and frostlings) are lacking in representation among the original Circle. Goblins, in particular, are said to be the children of Mab that were born from the earth before they were ready. This could imply that these races were not present when the Circle was formed, and were perhaps created by the Wizards who would later claim them (Karissa, Mab, and Artica respectively). A similar observation applies to the lizardmen.

    Azracs are an interesting case. One could argue that Yaka is, himself, an Azrac. However, with Azracs being genetically the same species as humans (as shown by their ability to interbreed, resulting in the Nomads) could be viewed as the Azracs being an offshoot of humans that was engineered by Yaka. On the other hand, we’ve seen plenty of cases in AoW lore of things that we might not intuitively think of being the same species interbreeding anyway, so it’s possible that the Azracs were an old race and Yaka was originally one of them. On the gripping hand, though, Yaka’s callous replacement of the Azracs in his favours suggests that he does not regard himself as one of them.

    This leaves the two remaining races that have wizardly representation: Halflings and Dwarves.

    Halflings have been generally said to be relatives of the Elves and other faerie folk. I’m inclined to think that this means that they’re also foreigners to Athla.

    Dwarves are an interesting case. The presence of Firstborn on Athla suggests that, well, dwarves were first born upon Athla. It is possible, however, that the Firstborn are simply a form which dwarves use to travel between worlds and then revert to flesh and blood when they settle, and the similarities and overall relationship between giants and dwarves should be considered. I’d have to look deeper in order to see if there’s anything in the AoW1 unit descriptions (unfortunately, my copy doesn’t seem to want to run today) or in the lore journals for AoW3 that might provide an indication either way.


    I was thinking overnight that it could be interesting to collate which races are aliens and which are not.

    Awesome idea and there are three possibilities to consider:

    • The race was brought to Athla alongside Iniochs elves.
    • The race was “created” by one of the wizards of Evermore.
    • The race was a native of Athla and either in hiding, fighting back against the Shadow Demons or one of their thralls freed by the Highmen.

    I would like to believe that, as a general summary, those allied to the elves in AoW1 either arrived to Athla with, or were created by, Inioch himself.

    The rest of the races all seem to serve a very specific purpose of some kind, even Goblins seem to be perfect at doing the tasks that noone else wants to do. So those new races created by Nimmue, Yaka, Mab or any other wizard are all then natives to Athla.

    Its also worth noting that perhaps the wizards didn’t “create” the races and instead they simply stole them away from another realm or planet.

    However, its also worth noting that the Shadow Demons would have had lesser interests in Athla if there wasn’t any magic and magic users there and what happened to those people is totally unknown. Perhaps they were captured by them or perhaps they were destroyed by the Highmen when they reclaimed the world.

    I want to doubt the most likely race to survive a Shadow Demon occupation would be the dwarves. I don’t like it simply because they would have had some form of knowledge or even ancient stories about the SDs then the game prob would have played out a little different. Thinking Game of Thrones and ancient stories of white walkers.

    But i think they are the most likely to secret themselves away in ancient holds and survive long enough for the Highmen to push back against the darkness.

    At the same time, that could be their purpose for the Highmen. Creating strongholds should the SDs ever come back.



    Well, we know that the draconians and tigrans were created by Tempest and Yaka respectively. So creation of new races is definitely something that the wizards can do, although they probably do require some starting material to begin with (in the case of the draconians, for instance, it’s a warping of dragons into an individually less powerful but faster reproducing (sub)species).

    Other races could have been brought to Athla from other places, certainly.

    I have the impression that dwarves, particularly in their initial Firstborn state, were essentially for a third and more detailed stage of physical terraforming after the dragons and giants were done. This might mean that they actually predate the elves, since the Firstborn are able to survive in environments that are hostile to most life, and the role that the elves have of bringing life can probably only really start once most of the physical reshaping is done.

    I could see the dwarves having something of a ‘last holdout’ role. One possibility is that under certain conditions, some of the dwarves return to Firstborn status and take refuge in volcanoes and other places where the invaders aren’t likely to think to chase them – on the basis that when the Archons return to the world in force, those Firstborn can rise up to support the attack from beneath. Similarly, this might be what dwarves are expected to do once a world gets turned over to humanity – they hide in the molten regions of the planet where they won’t influence human development, but if anything happens when they’re needed, they’re there.

    This could, in a twisted fashion, explain why we didn’t see the Firstborn in AoW2 or Shadow Magic – things got so bad that the Firstborn thought that the world was going to be lost and sank into the molten depths, preparing for the call to rise up again to reclaim the world.



    I hope that the previous AoW Titles and AoW:PF are set in turly different, not related or connected universes, since I´m not fond of anient races dissapearing, and magic dissapearing or being rendered obsolete by modern weaponry. In general I´m not a fan of modern weaponry, because its too powerful and to easy to learn/use: the power(ok, 90% of it, not 100%) comes from the tool, not from the physical and other qualities of the person wielding it.


    This is an amazing discussion.



    So, we’ve got a little bit of information on the Insectoid race – apparently they were enslaved by the Star Union.

    One interesting thing is that the unit that was mentioned regarding egg-laying (Ravager, I think it was called?) sounds an awful lot like the Shadow Demon Harvester from Shadow Magic. Makes me wonder if there could be some sort of connection between the two. Which way that connection might go, though… that is the question. Did some of the insectoids escape and become Shadow Demons? Or were some Shadow Demon hives pacified and enslaved (something which Meandor experimented with), and the Planetfall insectoids are their descendants?


    I agree Drax and share your theory.

    • Either the Shadow Demons units we have seen so far, are actually from the Kierco race.
    • Or the Kierco are Shadow Demons that have been cleansed of the darkness.

    I would personally enjoy the first theory a little more, however, they indeed mentioned hive mind twice during the Q&A; once related to Secret Technology and again related to the Kierco.

    Perhaps now that the Kierco are free to leave their home world, they wish to return to the hive mind – aka the All Devourer.



    Just my own speculation : all-devourer was a wizard among the kierco who went the hive mind path. His hive became the shadow demons. But of course, this was a small fraction of the actual kierco. This would make him someone who freed himself for slavery, and just became evil from power over time.



    Just my own speculation : all-devourer was a wizard among the kierco who went the hive mind path. His hive became the shadow demons. But of course, this was a small fraction of the actual kierco. This would make him someone who freed himself for slavery, and just became evil from power over time

    If we follow that train of thought, how come the Shadow Demons were harvesting Souls and draining a worlds life force like they did during Shadow Magic?


    Because power begets power 😉



    • This reply was modified 4 years ago by  iHunterKiller. Reason: doh


    Just my own speculation : all-devourer was a wizard among the kierco who went the hive mind path. His hive became the shadow demons. But of course, this was a small fraction of the actual kierco. This would make him someone who freed himself for slavery, and just became evil from power over time

    If we follow that train of thought, how come the Shadow Demons were harvesting Souls and draining a worlds life force like they did during Shadow Magic?

    Perhaps they found a way to convert life force to magic, and wanted to hoard enough to obliterate the star pact? Would also give a reason why they picked a world with so much magic.

    Could combine nicely with the sealing of the shadowworld basically being the closimg of the hyperspace lanes. Every planet being opened corresponds to a seal opened by a greedy leader…



    One issue I do see is that the kierco do appear to be more technologically advanced than the Shadow Demons still – we don’t see the Tyranid-style bio-rifles among the Shadow Demons that we do in one of the pieces of kierco concept art. Now, that could be explained by the All-Devourer splitting off fairly early on, but its one thing that makes me think it’s more fitting for Planetfall to be in the future rather than the present.


    Honestly I don’t want it to be the same timeline at all. I mean, super magic v super technology is cool and all, but it’s just not my jam ^^

    I prefer it to be far in the future, or another realm where technology works and magic doesn’t.



    I wouldn’t mind a connection, or even the sealing of the shadowrealm causing the cataclysm that broke the star union.

    As long as the story lines never mix, that is.



    I’d like Planetfall to take place in the AOW fantasy universe if it really made a lot of sense and if it would make both the settings better because of the link. I don’t think that will happen, I don’t think Planetfall was designed with the fantasy story in mind and I also think it’s better to start a new scifi setting with a fresh story without any artificial link to something very different. Let the writer(s) create in as much freedom as is available, the fact that it’s a game brings enough restraints to the story/lore/writing as it is (“We don’t have the budget to include race X after all… hey writer, remove them from the story for now, k?”).

    They undoubtedbly knew the questions about this would come, hence the vague answer on the topic last weekend during one of the sessions. I want a good story in a setting that makes sense, and yes, I’d like the AOW fantasy story to continue at some point. What the 2 settings have to offer each other is what I do not see (yet).

    Nothing wrong with fantasizing about the link between settings ofc if that’s your cup of tea.

    • This reply was modified 4 years ago by  Rhaeg.


    Along the same lines with the Kierco – Shadow Demons connection. Depending on what we know about the experimentation of the Terrata at the black sites, I’d like to think that they inadvertently created the All-Devourer at one after experimenting with the Kierco and possibly a Shadow Gate. And then after obliterating the Star Union, at least beyond recovery, and then left that world for “greener pastures” like the Shadow Realm and Athla.



    My guess is that one reason for the vague answer to that question is that almost nothing is set in stone yet. Depending on the communities responses, they still might remove a connection if there is in the current draft, or add one if there isn´t.



    i like the idea presented here. I could get behind that.



    If there is a connection between Kir`ko and Shadow Demons, it makes more sense for me like this: Shadow Demons come from the shadow realm to do what they always do, but find themselves in a world or universe with too little magic or no magic at all, leaving them unable to return, report back to the hive, or use their inherent death magic abilities.



    I’d consider the Shadow Demons the offshoot, then. Somehow got on a more magical world, and figured out they can use it.

    IIRC, Athla was rare in how magical the world was, and that was the reason they targetted it.

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