Spotlights on aspects of the Omniverse
For tens of thousands of germinations the Vorgak were a simple, sporganic species percolating happily in the swamps of Vorgak 3. After the British conquest of 1822, the displaced and embittered race began sowing the seeds of a great military force to retake their Spore Cradle: the holy Vorgak Empire.
Driven from their ancestral world by the British Bombardiers, the Vorgak were dispersed into the vast reaches of space like dandelion seeds blown into the wind. The poriferous spores were capable of surviving in the vacuum, and drifted through the Vorgak Hegemony without hope or purpose, simply buoyed by the solar winds and drawing what little sustenance they needed from the system's primary star, Nuclei Vorgus. Photosynthesising their way across the colossal quadrene, the Vorgak nomads ultimately settled upon outlying worlds including Vorgak 9, Vorgak Lower, and the conjoined planet Gamates.
Vorgak Lower in particular saw the Vorgak embrace a new lease of life, partially thanks to the vast Lake of Stars, whose reflective surface allowed the sporelings to soak up concentrated starlight in large quantities. They burrowed beneath the planet's surface, squirrelling away from any prying eyes and giving the appearance that Vorgak Lower was still a desolate shell of a world. In reality, the Vorgak began operating in reefs reaching deep below the crust towards the porous planetary core. Slowly, the vagabond species climbed back to its former strength... and beyond.
It was Jlash the Intractable, self-appointed High Commander of the Vorgak, who first marshalled the species while it languished on the Hegemony's tattered fringe. Jlash and their genetics vorgadi (or expert), Ckalck, bred a strong vein of aggression into successive germinations, producing a line of battle-ready Vorgak. Over the years that followed, this aggression would become a natural part of a sporeling's genetic structure, gifting them with a desire for vengeance from the moment of sprouting.
One of the Vorgak Empire's greatest weapons was its ability to assimilate. The Vorgak, possessing latent telemetric abilities borne from the species' hive mind and conjectured origins in reef colonies, could hone their mental abilities to absorb the neural oscillations of other organisms. A well-trained assimilant could integrate its thought patterns with those of their target, and those with particular skill could ultimately take control of an individual's physical and mental functions. Schlack the Garrulous became famed for assimilating over two hundred separate beings at once, making them supremely qualified to lead the holy fleet of the Fifth Vorgak Horde—itself partially made up of assimilant soldiers.
Nonetheless, the Commanders of the Vorgak Empire were under no illusions that only one thing mattered in the quest for conquest: sheer military might. To that end, High Commander Valk the Unusual did what few Vorgak had done before them; reaching out beyond their people to the organisms who passed through the Hegemony for trade and travel. Although Valk spoke only the Vorgak tongue, they helped develop a transducer thicket that allowed brief communication with a family of traders at the Nidifice Rest Stop, on the Hegemony's border with the popular Sentum Cynosure. Although confused by the concept of the family's binary genders, Valk's world suddenly opened to endless possibilities; chief among them the ability to treat with fellow warmongers.
The Vorgak made themselves known to the mercenary shipwright Bolden Not, formerly of the Dakkensein Build Collective, who offered plans and materiel in exchange for thirty thousand Vorgak sporelings for his own purposes. It was said that Valk's successor, Klomuk the Plegnic, bartered the deal, which caused civil war among the fledgling Empire and produced four distinct Hordes vying for control of their dark corner of the Hegemony. The Hordes fought across the steppes and wet meadows of Vorgak Lower, each attempting to assimilate the other and streaking the landscape with gouts of green goop.
It was the creation of the Fifth Vorgak Horde that put an end to the fighting. Phytak the Lucid wrested control of the Edenloss from the warlord Kank the Oologic of the First Vorgak Horde, and promulgated their genotype across new germinations for years to come. Their descendant, High Commander Schlack, inherited the Edenloss and rose to the position of Warden of Hordes at the Ninth Potlong. Such titles struck fear and awe in the sporelings under their command, and secured Schlack's place in the species' oral histories for germinations to come.
The blueprints obtained from Bolden Not were pored over by Schlack's vorgadi, and the great Booming Reefs were transformed into farms where coral was grown and fashioned into hermetic pods capable of interstellar flight. Schlack dictated the creation of Vor-Thallus seed ships to pollinate the stars; Vor-Rhizoid sleeper pods to spirit the Horde-kin across space; and Vor-Rama host-carriers to transport weapons of war from the outer Hegemony towards their Third Cradle. Schlack was building a fleet of war—but their most subtle weapon was yet to be obtained.
The Mandurai storage facility on V'kanderplon IX reported a troubling variance in its daily stock take; one of its RK Pummeller robots was missing from the robotonists' inventory, and was never recovered. Roughly a standard year later, as the invasion of Vorgak 3 began, soldiers of the 51st Colonial reported the presence of Battle Machines among the Fifth Horde's arsenal.
Schlack's holy fleet hung over Vorgak 3, cloaked by solar panels that turned the starlight of Nuclei Vorgus inwards to the spores hibernating within sleepers and seeders, showing nothing but darkness to watching eyes. In this way, the Horde was able to seed advance scouts into the soil, assimilating British colonists into sleeper agents by latching directly onto their brain stems. These spore-zombies took over positions in the British settlements, camps and embassies, and laid in wait for the invasion to begin.
After thousands of germinations, the Vorgak Empire looked set to enshrine its ancestral Spore Cradle as a throne-world from which to launch an implacable assault upon the Realm and Star Territories of the British Empire—and under Schlack's divine guidance, the red, white and blue of the Albion Reach would be soaked with a fatal shade of Vorgak green.