Firefall Backstory Summary
Firefall Backstory Summary by JBWill
NOTE: Due to some Retconning that has been going on since OSC joined the project, some of this info is likely not true anymore. For example we learned that the Crystite Wars didn’t happen anymore. I’ll work on updating the thread when more of the changes become apparent.
So, I know that a lot of people are not super familiar with the full back story behind Firefall, as the only way we know of it is through the 12 Days of Firefall (which many people haven’t read) and tidbits of information from random other sources (which people often can’t find or don’t hear about). So, since I’m a story fanatic, and have spent entirely too much time obsessing over the story of Firefall, I though I’d write up the major parts of what we know about the events that created the world Firefall takes place in, so that what we know is all in one place for people who want to know the back story, but don’t want to have to sift through the 12 days and go hunting for other sources. So, here it is:
DAY 1, taking place 2 months before the Firefall, gives us our only view of the world just before the catastrophic event, which is labeled as “The Golden Age.” The year is 2177, and we learn about a sport called “Holmgang” which consists of simulated war using battleframes. We learn of something called the “Canis Code” which is called “the most famous encrypted sign of something ‘out there,’” (possible foreshadowing of the arrival of the Chosen).
In DAY 2 we get an account of the Firefall itself. A slow-moving asteroid was scheduled to make what had been calculated to make a “near miss” pass by Earth. Inexplicably, the asteroid broke apart as it passed through the Moon’s gravitational field, and fell towards the Earth in thousands of pieces. The debris of the asteroid was pulled into a decaying orbit around Earth, so instead of one massive impact event, the Earth was subjected to a constant barrage of impacts for almost 3 months. The numerous and hellishly destructive impacts violently changed the face of the Earth, wiping out whole countries and re-shaping continents. There were survivors, but they were struggling to hold on to their fractured civilizations after the cataclysmic event.
The United States fractures into several factions, detailed in DAY 3. With the East Coast wiped off the map by the Firefall, the existing government, now centralized in Chicago, formed the Constitutional United States. The South broke free and labelled themselves the New Confederacy, while Texas became independent, forming the Republic of Texas. Meanwhile, most of the western states comprised the Guardians of America, based in Colorado. The Guardians called for a second Civil War to reunite America and wrest control from the “Connies.” There are also rumors that the surviving Northeastern states have broken free from the Constitutional United States and formed the New England Union. Soon after this splintering, the “United Mexican States” launched an offensive against the southwest, resulting in California, Oregon, Washington, and British Colombia forming the North Pacific Alliance.
Europe, also, is suffering similar problems, which we get an insight into in DAY 4. The European Union is falling apart, with some countries in dire need of aid, and others refusing to offer it, instead deciding to focus on internal problems. The Swiss government, hearing of the full out war in the United States, and seeing Europe falling down the same path, decides to launch a preemptive assault to unify Europe. The campaign was extremely successful in Western Europe, but unfortunately their delay in addressing Eastern Europe to unite in the Union of Free and Sovreign Republics and stand against the EU. Russia had been in a cold war with Sibera, and as a result had more than enough weapons to supply the Union. The two sides, recognizing their need to survive rather than conquer, agreed to a tense ceasefire.
DAY 5 tells us the story of a doctor in New Zealand, containing a letter written in 2184, 7 years after the Firefall. We learn they are in the midst of what is later dubbed the “Nine Year Winter.” They have not seen the sun in 4 years, due to an ash cloud covering the sky, and have been without any form of power for over 2. There are unconfirmed rumors of the New Zealand government being at war with Australia.
The world of Firefall has a huge turning point in DAY 6. A Japanese businessman, Shigeru Ichizoku, CEO of Enermax Industries, funds the rebuilding of Tokyo, which has been completely destroyed by the Firefall, suffering a direct hit from a sizable chunk of the asteroid. It was here that they discovered the strange properties of the asteroid. They found that the rocks seemed to break the preexisting laws of physics, and were not affected by gravity as they should be (explaining humanity’s inability to predict the Firefall). The rocks were named “crystite,” and it was discovered they held an enormous amount of energy. it was Ichizoku who discovered the process for extracting that power from the crystite and harnessing it. New Tokyo quickly became a boom town, building power plants that ran off of crystite, and selling the process to other companies around the world. Ichizoku believed he had found an end to Humanity’s problems.
DAY 9 tells us that a man named Hadrian Ashworth, creator of the Omnidyne Corporation, proved to be Humanity’s savior. Cleverly monopolizing Crystite energy [we don’t really know how, but my guess is simply by making much better advances in the technology than anyone else could], Ashworth used it as leverage to unite the planet. They propagated Crystite technology around the globe. With an extremely powerful and extremely abundant power source, Humanity was able to pick itself back up and begin to move forward again.
Ashworth recognized that there was only a limited amount of crystite on the planet, that deposited by the asteroid that caused the Firefall. In DAY 10, now that they understood the properties of crystite, Omnidyne’s scientists were able to track the asteroid back to its source, which turned out to be a planet orbiting Alpha Centauri. Debris, rich in crystite, floated around the planet, named “Alpha Prime”, forming a ring which was the source of the asteroid that caused the Firefall. Ashworth formed a subsidiary of Omnidyne, named the Centauri Company, with the purpose of colonizing Alpha Prime. 3 colony ships carried 3500 people to Alpha Prime and formed the planet’s first colony. Two massive starships were constructed, the CMS Aegis and the CMS Wei-Ling, to ferry crystite mined from the rings around Alpha Prime back to Earth. The journey took 7 years, and the ships were staggered, so that one would be loading up on crystite at Alpha Prime while the other was unloading its cargo at Earth. It soon became apparent that a faster method of transportation would be needed to not only transport Crystite, but also to ensure that Alpha Prime did not try to break away and form its own nation.
DAY 11 is all about Dr. Mitra Batsheba, a major factor in the development of arcfolding technology. Arcfolding is a process that bends space/time back on itself, allowing for the transportation of matter long distances in a couple seconds. Arcfolding was viewed as a promising method of transportation, but had several key problems. The first of those problems was accuracy, which was solved through Batsheba’s research, in which she discovered processes that allowed for arcfolding with milimeter-specific precision. The second problem was the “jaunt”, which was the term for the actual travel through arcfolded space, which exposed the subject to an absolute void, making it impossible to transport anything organic. It was again Batsheba who devised a shield that protected the subject from the effects of the jaunt, thus leaving arcfolding as a viable method of faster-than-light travel. It was these discoveries that prompted the construction of the Arclight. (Oops almost forgot) Batsheba also did some research on the exhaust created by the crystite reaction, which was believed to be harmless. She discovered that under certain circumstances, the exhaust could absorb and mutate small amounts of carbon, a process that she named “melding.” The term “melding” eventually became used as a name for the exhaust itself.
DAY 12 describes the Arclight. The Arclight was a gargantuan warship, outfitted with arcfolding technology. It was built in a matter of years through a massive coordinated effort from the entire planet. Its purpose was to not only transport crystite back from Alpha Prime much more frequently than the existing system could achieve, but also to keep the citizens of Alpha Prime in line, and discourage them from any attempts to form their own country that controlled the world’s supply of Crystite. Upon completion, the ship was stationed above Brazil, docked at an orbital tether for loading. It was from there that its maiden voyage to Alpha Prime was to begin in 2233.
From here, the information we have becomes very fractured and sparse, but there are a few important facts we have learned from various sources.
From this interview, we learn that when the Arclight attempted to make its journey to Alpha Prime, something went horribly wrong. The ship crashed on Earth, and in doing so opened a rift into another universe, out of which poured a dark energy storm now called “The Melding.” [We don’t know yet what the relationship between “The Melding” and “melding” is, but I’m positive there is one.] The Melding consumed everything it touched, and quickly covered most of the globe.
We learn in this audio file that some property of crystite repels the Melding, although we don’t know yet how that led to the discovery of the repulsor technology that keeps New Eden clear of The Melding in Firefall.
The story behind Orbital Comm Tower, courtesy of Hoder: Basically it’s one of the very few orbital communication towers left since the melding. Since the FasterThenLight didn’t work they’re still relying on the ships going to Alpha Prime, but that takes 6-7years to go to. So they want to maintain contact with the crew at all costs to prevent any rebellions over there. It’s those rebels attacking orbital comm tower to get a hold of the ship and its precious cargo
Info about crystite from Grummz:
Crystite crashed into the Earth some 55 years ago (from the Arclight incident) when a giant asteroid broke up into thousands of shards and pounded the planet in a near extinction event. This event was called the Firefall, and has changed humanity forever.
Most of the population was wiped out, but thanks to the advanced technology of the time, humanity was able to rebuild. When it was discovered the Crystite could be a potent new form of energy, even the most advanced technologies grew by leaps and bounds in the face of plentiful energy.
As far as we can determine, Crystite is a unique composition not found on Earth, and most likely formed in the bowels of supernovas. We’ve known of the existence of supernova condensates, called Carbonado (“black diamonds”), for some time. However, Crystite is completely foreign to anything we’ve seen before.
Crystite has the peculiar property of naturally bonding with some elements or compounds found on earth, creating growing crystal structures of hybrid composition. The growth rate is quite fast, and large crystals can be formed in a matter of months, and entire fields of hybrid Crystite have been found that extend for acres. At the heart of these structures is always the seed of pure crystite. Finding it can be a daunting task, but valuable, as seed crystite produces the greatest amount of energy in pure electrical form.
Hybrids have different effects. When Crystite is energized with a laser of sufficient energy and wavelength, the lattice structure resonates. The hybrid crystite compounds, the type of laser used, and the energy involved determine the actual effect. Compounds can give off heat when energized, bolts of lighting, or even heavy gravitational effects and even anti-gravitational effects. It is these different hybrids and their energized states which enable Battleframes to have so many unique abilities.
Seed Crystite is finite, and finding it is extremely valuable. It can be used to create energy in the form of Powercells, or bred with other compounds to create modules and circuits to achieve never before dreamed of technology.
Not all compounds are useful, and as such, many Crystite Hybrids can be found growing out of the Earth with little incentive to harvest them other than their aesthetic value.
The only abundant source of Seed Crystite comes from Alpha Prime. Abundance is a relative term, as seed Crystite is often measured in grams, such is its preciousness.
Let me know if I missed anything major, I am pretty much on my way out of town for the weekend but I wanted to throw this up before I left (so this was finished and posted very hastily). I hope this helps people understand the depth of the world that has already been created to hold Firefall, as I’m extremely excited about it (even moreso since the OSC announcement ).
As soon as I get a chance I’ll add what we know about the Chosen and the state of the world actually in Firefall, but I wanted to at least get the back story done ^^
When I’ve got some free time I also hope to format and expand this into a sort of encyclopedia of the story that I’ll try to keep updated as we learn more.