Greetings, roleplayer! The following is a collection of lore gathered from the community via in-game references, and Twitter, Tumblr, and other sources. If you find any portent information missing or broken links, please message me. For official Mordesh lore (which most of this thread thrives off of), check out the Mordesh Loremageddon page.
★ [everlife elixir, contagion, & vitalus serum]
★ [religion & homeworld]
★ [frequently asked questions]
★ [edit log]
The Mordesh were once an elegant, blossoming civilization that had been on the verge of joining the Dominion because of their great achievements in alchemy. However, when Victor Lazarin's Everlife Elixir turned into the raving infection known as the Contagion, the Dominion turned on the Mordesh and trapped them on their planet with a quarantine blockade. The survivors sought the aid of the rebel humans and, with their help, successfully smuggled many operatives and civilians out from Grismara. On Nexus they continue to serve as the eyes and ears of the Exiles, unleashing their dark and deadly arts upon the Dominion even as they scour Nexus for a cure to save their remaining brethren on Grismara.
Available Classes: Warrior, Spellslinger, Engineer, Medic, Stalker
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Until a century ago, the Mordesh flourished on their home planet of Grismara, developing a sophisticated civilization devoted to the pursuit of knowledge and beauty. By 1578 AE, the imminent announcement of an immortality elixir garnered the Mordesh a prestigious invitation to join the Dominion, but these grand dreams crumbled to ash when the Everlife Elixir instead unleashed a deadly plague known as the Contagion, which turned its victims into mindless savages. If not for the Vitalus Serum created by Victor Lazarin, which enabled many victims to stave off the effects of the disease, the Mordesh would no longer exist as a civilization.
Instead of helping the Mordesh combat the plague, the Dominion set up a planet-wide blockade, hoping the Contagion would consume the Mordesh and burn itself out. Desperate, the Mordesh sought the aid of the rebel humans. Avra Darkos, a prominent member of the Mordesh nobility, spearheaded the efforts to broker an agreement with the Exiles. Soon, Mordesh operatives and civilians were smuggled out one by one and hidden within the fleet, where they formed enclaves and dedicated themselves to gathering intelligence for their new allies and developing medicines for the fleet—all while ceaselessly searching for a cure.
When news of Nexus was announced, the Mordesh joined the Exile faction formed by the humans hoping a solution could be found on the Eldan planet. On Nexus, the Mordesh continue to lead their covert intelligence group, known as the Black Hoods, gladly taking up the fight against the Dominion through a campaign of misinformation, sabotage, poison, and assassination—eager to avenge themselves on the empire that turned on them in their hour of need.
The Fall of Grismara:
The Mordesh of Grismara were masters of alchemy that made them eagerly sought by the Dominion. When Victor Lazarin, their greatest scholar, announced that he had unraveled the secrets of immortality with his Everlife Elixir, the planet rejoiced. Within weeks, billions had taken its injection and enjoyed its extraordinary rejuvenating effects. But over time, the Elixir caused horrifying physical degeneration and psychotic cannibalistic rage. As his world plunged into chaos, Lazarin desperately set about trying to develop a serum before he himself succumbed...
1579 AE: Victor Lazarin releases the Everlife Elixir. The Contagion spreads shortly after. “It is said that in the Contagion’s first outbreaks, the casualties mounted too swiftly to be measured. The only certainty was that a civilization of billions lay within a hairsbreadth of extinction after just a few weeks.”
1596: The Exiles begin smuggling Mordesh treated with the Vitalus Serum out of Grismara. “The survivors sought the aid of the rebel humans and with their help, successfully smuggled many operatives and civilians out from Grismara.”
[everlife elixir, contagion, vitalus serum]
What is the Everlife Elixir?
The Everlife Elixir is a powerful and potent alchemical concoction created by Victor Lazarin. It is said that the Everlife Elixir was able to instantaneously reverse aging (to a degree) as well as regrow hair and teeth, and rejuvenate skin. The success and effects of the Everlife Elixir amassed a huge following and the denizens of Grismara were eager to accept it.
What is the Contagion?
The Contagion is the unstable after-effects of the Everlife Elixir. Not only did the Everlife Elixir grant immortality to the Mordesh, but also to every known disease and infection that plagued them. The Contagion causes the victim's body and mind to rot thus turning Mordesh into mindless cannibals dubbed the Ravenous.
What is Vitalus Serum?
A blue-green substance which can be seen in the translucent artificial portions of a Mordesh body, the Vitalus Serum is a temporary defense that supresses the Contagion's degenerative effects. It was created by Victor Lazarin. It is not a cure, however it merely treats the symptoms. If a Mordesh loses their Vitalus and does not have it replaced within a short period of time, the Contagion may take over, causing them to succumb to the disease. Most Mordesh maintain and replace their Vitalus supplies as part of their daily routine.
Vitalus is incredibly rare and very limited. If a Mordesh is slain, their Vitalus will be recycled and reused for the benefits of other Mordesh. When a Mordesh needs to refill their vitalus reservoirs, it is usually done by another Mordesh in the Alchemist guild. Each portion is drained and later refilled. Old vitalus is then disposed of by burning. Vitalus is also an extra additive to their blood which is slowly released over time.
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[religion & homeworld]
Even before the spread of the Contagion, Mordesh society was secular, embracing scientific rather than spiritual truths. Their recent condition has only made them more skeptical of the belief of a higher power.
This is not to say the Mordesh have never been a species to cling to faith—far from it. Many original Mordesh beliefs, rituals, and superstitions have continued to be observed in their society, albeit in different forms. Though largely secular, the Mordesh have been indelibly shaped by the faith of their ancestors.
The Mordesh hail from Grismara, a small world not far from the Dominion homeworld Cassus. In the aftermath of the Contagion, much of the planet is overrun with the mindless, infected hordes, and blockaded by Dominion warships that destroy any and all vessels that attempt to leave Grismara's gravity well.
Moons of Grismara
Grismara is a large rocky world with slightly lower gravity than Cassus standard. It has many minor satellites both natural and artificial, with six major terrestrial moons that have long played an important part in Mordesh culture. The name of each moon evolved into the names eventually given to corresponding elemental humours (what the Eldan knew as the primal powers).
The moons were especially important in the long-abandoned methods of Mordesh astrology. Though the practice was largely supplanted by the better-known Kemos religion in ancient times, its influence on the Mordescu language remains widespread. To be born under the light of Pirin, for example, was said to indicate a hot temper and an aggressive spirit - and when more than one moon is ascendant, the combinations of these forces were said to change destinies. Today the moons' names can be seen most often in Mordesh poetry, oaths, and colloquialisms as indicators of particular emotional, historical, or cultural significance.
The moons of Grismara currently remain behind the Dominion's blockade of the system. What little is known about their current state comes from remote observations carried out by the Royal Collegium scientists stationed with the blockade fleet and what fragmented records escaped with scientists like the Lazarins. Unfortunately for the Mordesh, those living on the habitable moons suffered the same fate as those on Grismara, meaning they are now dead or Ravenous.