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A mysterious mineral. As technologies develop, more and more countries start to use it as an energy source.
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Originium (Chinese: 源石; Pinyin: Yuán shí; lit. "Source/Origin Stone") is a substance in the world of Arknights which forms after Catastrophes and widely used as an energy source, but causes the development of Oripathy in living organisms.

A common mineral in Terra, this semi-transparent black crystal contains enormous energy, and is the primary factor of causing Catastrophes. Widely used in the field of Arts, it works as the basic material and catalyst of all kinds of Arts and Arts items. Without Originium, the efficiency of Arts would, without a doubt, drop dramatically. As technologies develop, more and more countries start to use it as an energy source.[1]



Appearing as a black, semi-transparent crystalline mineral (although it has been occasionally seen in other colors like blue or gold), Originium can be found at sites of Catastrophes in large quantities, and is believed to play a role in causing them. Unlike other crystalline minerals, Originium grows and metastasizes naturally in the wild, and can even assimilate with organic matter if given the opportunity. Originium is also quite unstable, as it vaporizes into gaseous particles over time, is highly flammable when in a liquid state, and exhibits highly explosive properties under the right conditions. However, contrary to what one might believe, Originium is not actually radioactive.

The structure of Originium is similar to an onion; it is composed of a core and layers. The core is the pure crystal that yields yellow glow, while the layers are a result of the core exposing itself to the environment as it grows by itself. The durability of the condensed Originium crystals becomes higher the longer it spends exposed to the environment. However such crystals are often found deep underground, therefore it require advanced mining equipment.[2]

Originium has a high energy yield, and as such, has remained a valuable resource since it was discovered in ancient times. By the time of modern era where the events of Arknights occur, the proliferation of Originium had brought a technological revolution to Terra, with virtually all technology being powered by the substance. Notably, Originium allows the use of various forms of "magic" known as Originium Arts, which has applications in both daily life and war. Processing Originium ore and similar natural substances into useful products have become an essential part of modern industry. Rather than its instable core, Originium layers become the most valuable part of the crystals as they can be refined into condensed crystals.[2] Most valuable of all Originium products is the Originite Prime – highly refined, pure Originium which serves as the main energy source throughout the world.

However, Originium is not without its dangers, since as mentioned above, it can gradually assimilate into a living organism's blood and cells – this is regarded as a "disease" called Oripathy. Many Terrans have been infected by Oripathy since the advent of Originium, and these people, often called Infected, are widely discriminated against in Terra. Furthermore, Originium assimilation may cause varying degrees of genetic mutation depending on the organism.

An ancient mural found in Southern Sami. Some believe that it depicts the worshiping of Originium by prehistoric Terrans

In ancient times, the use of Originium was mainly focused on Arts. The invention of Originium engines and artificial Arts Units ushered in an industrial revolution across Terra. Despite Originium's hazardous traits, it is immensely useful, with applications ranging from fueling nomadic city engines to batteries, plastic covers, and light bulb. As such, no alternative source of energy (such as petroleum, hydraulic, geothermal, or nuclear energy) could replace the magical traits Originium possesses.[3]

While Originium is indeed hazardous, it has been stated that the mineral is the "source" of all Terran lives, which shaped them into their present forms.[4][5] It could either be a metaphorical sense with civilizations revolving around Originium technologies such as nomadic cities or a literal sense in which all Terran lives were "molded" by the said mineral biologically.


A map pinpointing the location of the three Originium Prime Veins distributed across Terra

Before the advancement of technologies and science, geologists have been debating over the origin of Originium, including a theory in which it arrived on Terra from outer space via meteorite showers carried by the Catastrophes. However, geological data show that the mineral distribution is rather sparse and uneven. Furthermore, the discovery of mainstream mineral veins known as Originium Prime Veins further debunked the Originium-asteroid theory.[6] Currently, there are three known Prime Veins which have become major mining spots for many nations:[2]

  • Kolossal Prime Vein: A vein that starts from northwestern Sargon, passing through the hinterlands of Bolivar, the Great Lakes region of Columbia, southern Sami until it ends at the northwestern border of Ursus. Its is the longest and largest vein in Terra, hence its name.
  • Targangils Prime Vein: Size-wise, it is a bit shorter than the Kolossal. It starts from the mountain ranges in eastern Victoria, passes through Laterano, and covers the entire territory of Rim Billiton. This vein has the richest storage out of the three, and it accounts for the 60% the entire Terran Originium storage. The vein part in Rim Billiton alone accounts for 30%.
  • Jingyu Prime Vein: A crescent-shaped vein starting from the two-river regions of the Yanese hinterlands that extends northwest towards southeastern Ursus. It plays major part in the history of eastern nations.

True origin

The following is a MAJOR SPOILER, read at your own risk!

As revealed by Friston the "Preserver," Originium could actually be an artificial creation by the hands of Terra's predecessors. It is strongly implied to be a product of their experiment to create a utopianistic collective consciousness similar with Dorothy's Transmitters, and it is described as an "alternative answer" that is as vast as the Ocean of Solaris. However, the current form of Originium has gone beyond what it truly was in the beginning, hence leading to its corruptive nature. Most of all, Priestess is said to be responsible for Originium's appearance through her "mad experiment."[7]

Ocean of Solaris

The "Ocean of Solaris", or the "Empire of Consciousness"[8] is a concept first brought up in Ceobe's Fungimist and later mentioned in Lone Trail by Friston the Preserver. Though what really is the Ocean of Solaris remains a questions, it is said to be some sort of void "where everything exists within disorder." The presence of Solaris is also reason for the existence of Originium that was likely originally meant to create a utopianistic collective consciousness similar with Dorothy's Transmitters.[7]

The name is obviously paying homage to the eponymous sci-fi novel by Polish writer Stanisław Lem. The novel is about a group of scientists attempting to make communication with extraterrestrial lives on the planet of Solaris which led to numerous unimaginable phenomena.


  • Originium has many similarities with (and is possibly inspired by) Tiberium in the Command & Conquer series. Both are crystalline minerals that can spread through the environment, are used as a source of energy, and are fatal to organic matters that are exposed to them.
  • Originium can be regarded as an analogue of real-world coal, notably in the way its mining is portrayed.
    • Repeated ingestion of coal causes a respiratory disease called "coal workers' pneumoconiosis," or more commonly known as "black lung." Likewise, extremely minor quantities of Originium can cause Oripathy through ingestion.
    • Furthermore, coal and Originium both serve as a major power source. Similarly, coal had been widely used in our world since the Industrial Revolution and throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries.
    • It is also possible that Originium is similar to nuclear power in which its hazardous nature could bring diseases caused by overexposure of radiation.
  • The etymologies of the Prime Veins are given as followed:
    • Kolossal is basically the German rendering for "colossal" due to its size.
    • Targangils is named after Mount Kosciuszko in Australia, specifically its Aboriginal Australian name given by the Ngarigo people as Tar-gan-gil, meaning "bogong moths" in their language which aestivate on the mountain.
    • Jingyu is a Chinese name (Hanzi: 璟屿), with 璟 (Pinyin: jǐng) being an archaic character for the glamour of jade and 屿 (Pinyin: ) meaning "islands."