Over the development of Planetary Annihilation, we’ve revealed several pieces of lore detailing the known factions Planetary Annihilation’s grim, sprawling universe. But as eye-opening as these have been, they’ve only shed a sliver of light on some of your biggest questions. Like, who were the Progenitors? What is Time Designation Zero? What ignited the faction war?
Today, we’ll start talking about these topics, courtesy our writer Matthew Kehm:
The galaxy as it is known today is in a state of war. Planet after planet, system after system, the conflict rages unabated. Worlds that were once vibrant and teeming with organic life have been reduced to barren wastelands. It is a war fought for many reasons. There are those who fight it to simply conquer and dominate. Many choose to sow the seeds of chaos, all in the name of their god. There are even those who wage war, ironically, in an effort to achieve the perfect peace.
One constant remains: The biologic is being driven to extinction by the machine.
For thousands of years the galaxy was devoid of the sounds of machinery. No grinding of gears or the slow hum of a computer could be heard. Biologics were the dominant force. This all changed with the arrival of the Progenitors.
It is not known when or from where they came. One thing however is certain; as the Progenitors began to spread across the galaxy the dominance of biologics began to wane, machines replacing them at a rapid rate. Technology advanced like a tidal wave across the ocean of stars. The Progenitors, it seemed, could not be stopped.
What exactly the Progenitors were is not known. Many hold to the belief that they were biologics created by a mechanical god to act as slaves in a machine universe, ultimately rebelling against it. Still others believe that the Progenitors were themselves machines, building a vast empire spanning the stars. Ruins scattered across the galaxy speak of a vast Progenitor society but have yielded few clues as to their true identity.
As great and powerful as the Progenitors had been, something happened that brought their abrupt end. All that they had built, the technology that had fueled their expansion across the stars had suddenly ceased. The Progenitors themselves, the architects of this grand society, seemed to simply vanish.
Thousands of years later the event would be given a name: Time Designation Zero.
Time Designation Zero
How long the galaxy lay silent after the disappearance of the Progenitors is not known. Judging by the ruins and artifacts that have been discovered, many have concluded that several thousands of years have passed since the event.
That event, and the years of silence that followed would come to be known as Time Designation Zero, the point from which all history would be recorded; divided into before (BTDZ or BZ) and after (ATDZ or AZ).
Sentient machines, the greatest of the Progenitor era, had gone silent along with all other technology during TDZ. Known as Commanders, these machines were the greatest of their kind. It was only fitting that they be the ones to usher in a new age.
The first Commander to reactivate or “awaken” was Invictus. Finding his memory corrupted, not knowing where he was or where he had come from, Invictus was tasked with rebuilding what he could with his limited knowledge. The new age is considered to have begun with his activation.
Invictus was able to find other Commanders, some of which he was able to reactivate. They immediately looked upon him as their leader and the first of the factions, Legionis Machina, was created.
Birth of the Factions
Legionis Machina was just the first of many factions that would form after the silence of TDZ. Other Commanders across the galaxy began to reactivate, like Invictus, after thousands of years of dormancy.
Each of these Commanders was similar in the fact that their memories were also incomplete, full of missing or corrupted data. Using the data that they did possess, the Commanders built their own societies based on what they believed as fact. As a result, factions such as The Foundation, led by Inquisitor Nemicus, and Synchronous, led by Metrarch the Machinist, had their own vision on what the galaxy should look like. Though each faction had mostly opposing views, there was one thing in which they all agreed: the Progenitors yet existed and would return one day. This became the singular sacred belief that all share to this day. The manner of their return is still open to debate.
It is unknown exactly what the ultimate fate of the galaxy will be. What is certain is more factions will form, each with its own beliefs. War will continue to rage, Commanders continuing their struggle to dominate each other and eliminate any and all biologics.
Most of all, each and every Commander, whether pledged to a faction or no, prepares for the day that the Progenitors will return.
Make sure to check out each of our faction write-ups (linked below) for more lore: