Sera was a habitable planet that was the homeworld of humanity. The planet had a 26-hour day. The topography consisted of a few very large, contiguous continents surrounded by the Serano Ocean, as well as several small island chains. Beneath the surface of Sera existed The Hollow, a honeycomb of tunnels and caverns permeating the planet's crust that was the home of the Locust Horde and the Lambent. Sera also possessed two moons.
Sera had a history of conflict that took it and its inhabitants to the brink of destruction. This shocked the people into a rejection of their destructive ways, leading to a golden age. Although most conflict was solved peacefully, troublesome social issues such as civil liberties and crime remained. A golden age of peace, culture, science, and the arts ensued, yet one problem still stood prominent: energy. Sera's sources of fossil and nuclear fuels were not sufficient to meet the rising global demand.
Imulsion, with its promise of near limitless energy, was thought to be the solution to mankind's increasing need for energy and quickly became a key power source. However, the discovery of Imulsion caused a shift of political and economic power as well, instigating war between those countries fortunate enough to have large Imulsion reserves and those which were not. The conflict that ensued, known as the Pendulum Wars, raged on for 79 years.
Pre-Emergence Day, Sera was host to many cultures and nations, including the world's two competing superpowers: the Coalition of Ordered Governments (COG), and the Union of Independent Republics (UIR), each a powerful alliance of multiple Imulsion-rich states and their allies. With the COG's victory in the Pendulum Wars, it claimed control of almost every country on Sera, minus a handful of stubborn holdouts such as Gorasnaya. Emergence Day introduced humanity to the genocidal Locust Horde, and the ensuing Locust War obliterated most countries and almost brought humans to the edge of extinction.
The fate of the planet was put into further peril when the Lambent reach the surface of Sera and begin infecting all living organisms with the imulsion parasite, starting the Lambent Pandemic. Both wars are finally ended after the activation of the Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon, effectively wiping all of the Lambent and Imulsion and seemingly putting an end to the Locust Horde as well.
Over the next twenty-five years, what remains of humanity sets out to rebuild civilization from the ruins of the old war.
History of Sera
Age of Armageddon
Sera had a history of conflict that took the planet to the brink of destruction. The "Age of Armageddon" was a millennia-long global conflict which nearly destroyed the human race. At some point, the people of Sera rejected their destructive ways and the very concept of war, ushering in an era of peace and prosperity.
- " Five centuries ago, we won and lost an empire of four hundred million citizens."
- — Miran Trescu.
The Silver Era was an era of sword and chariot-based warfare. Kashkur and Gorasnaya both founded empires during this era and conquered the territories surrounding their native homelands. For both empires it was their golden age: Kashkur used their silver mines to fuel their empire and built Anvil Gate to protect their southern borders from enemy invaders; the Gorasnanya Empire controlled a population of four hundred million, before losing control and receding to its original borders. In comparison, the city of Ephyra during this time was only a village with homes made out of manure.
Era of Silence
The Era of Silence was a period of uninterrupted peace that lasted until the Pendulum Wars. Although most conflict was solved peacefully, civil liberties and crime remained troublesome social issues even in a Golden Age of culture, science, and the arts. Yet one problem stood prominent above the rest: energy. Sera's sources of petroleum and nuclear fuel were not sufficient to meet the global demand. Imulsion, with its promise of near limitless energy, was thought to be the solution to mankind's greatest need. The era ended with the onset of the Gold Rush.
Following the perfection of the Lightmass Process, the hope that cheap energy would perpetuate the Golden Age was shattered. The global economy crumbled, leaving only the few nations with access to Imulsion unscathed. Those nations without Imulsion, faced with an economic collapse and utter ruin, launched an invasion against their neighbors to obtain that key resource; once again, Sera was going to war. The battle lines were drawn between the Union of Independent Republics and the Coalition of Ordered Governments. The seventy-nine year war, which would be referred to as the Pendulum Wars by the whole of Sera, almost destroyed both factions and Sera itself, with the reemergence of weapons of mass destruction. The environment was significantly damaged and several cities were completely leveled, as seen with the city of Berephus during the prelude to Operation: Leveler when a COG Navy unit bombarded the city. Many places were completely devastated by the war, torn apart and scorched from gunfire, cannons, missiles, bombs, other conventional weapons, as well as the aforementioned reemergence of the use of weapons of mass destruction. The Battle of Aspho Fields ushered in the end of the Pendulum Wars two years later thanks to the development of the Hammer of Dawn, but the decades of conflict had exacted a heavy price from the people of Sera. It seemed that unified under the victorious Coalition of Ordered Governments, Sera could finally enter a second Golden Age.
Nearly 79 years after the Pendulum Wars began, almost all human cities came under surprise attack by the Locust Horde, who killed over a quarter of all human life on Sera within the first 26 hours: an attack now known as Emergence Day. Out of options and withering under the constant assault from below, the COG set in motion the Fortification Act and sent several million humans to Jacinto Plateau, one of the few safe refuges on the planet. They then proceeded to scorch and destroy the planet with chemicals and satellite fire in order to prevent the Locust from inhabiting Sera's surface, killing billions more humans and stranding the survivors.
Sera's surface was littered with the ruins of destroyed cities and war-scorched battlefields. Some humans, known as "Stranded", still inhabited Sera's fallen cities. Despite small patrols of Locust forces, the planet was relatively safe by day. Night was another case: the skies were filled by swarms of deadly bat-like creatures known as the Kryll. They attacked and devoured any living creature that wandered into the darkness, even Locust. Thankfully, since the Lightmass Offensive at Timgad Valley, the majority of the Kryll were destroyed along with the Outer Hollow.
Six months later, towards the end of Operation: Hollow Storm, the last human sanctuary, the city of Jacinto, was sunk by the COG in order to flood the Inner Hollow with seawater. It was the COG's hope that this act, while a serious blow to the humans, would completely eradicate the Locust.
By the 15th year of the Locust War, it was believed that up to 99% of the human race had perished since E-Day. The remnants of the COG evacuated to Port Farrall, an old port city on the northern coast of Tyrus. The Coalition planned to make it the new capital of the COG, but sub-zero weather, desertion to the Stranded, and raids from Locust survivors forced the COG to relocate to the Lesser Islands chain, which held the abandoned yet intact Vectes Naval Base and a small COG community of civilians. Vectes was also safe from Locust attack due to an abyssal trench separating the islands from the mainland. After reclaiming the forgotten island and destroying the local Stranded group, the COG discovered the remnants of the UIR, hailing from the Gorasnaya. The UIR negotiated with Chairman Richard Prescott to join what was left of the COG in exchange for Imulsion.
Despite the Stranded Insurgency, Vectes proved relatively peaceful until a new enemy emerged that proved even more dangerous than the Locust: the Lambent, mutated creatures mostly of Locust origin who had become infected with Imulsion and had been winning a civil war with the Locust. This was what had forced the Locust to the surface and launched the Locust War. The Lambent proved to be a hard foe to deal with as there were many different types, and unlike the Locust, they were able to invade the island of Vectes. The threat of the Lambent Pandemic led the Stranded Insurgency to end, with the Stranded working together with the COG to defend Vectes for a time. Ultimately, the Lambent invasion forced the COG and Stranded to abandon Vectes. The COG was disbanded, while the Gorasni went their own way to try to survive in what was left of their homeland.
Eighteen months later, Chairman Richard Prescott returned from his disappearance and brought a message for Marcus Fenix from his father Adam Fenix, who had been thought killed years earlier. The message revealed that Adam had developed a weapon to kill Imulsion, which turned out to be a living, parasitic organism that pervaded all Lambent and the Locust.
At the Second Battle of Azura, the combined forces of Delta Squad and Gorasni reinforcements battled the remainder of the Locust army and the Lambent. Adam successfully deployed his weapon, killing all of the Locust and Lambent across Sera. A new age of peace dawned for the humans of Sera.
With the Locust Horde and the Lambent apparently extinct, humanity quickly reclaimed control over Sera, and the Coalition of Ordered Governments was eventually reformed as the dominating government over the surviving population. However, the war had left less than a million humans alive, and virtually everything of their civilization had been lost in the war. Reestablishing themselves in the former nation of Tyrus, the COG began an aggressive reconstruction process made possible by technological innovations introduced by DB Industries, constructing the new capital city of New Ephyra and a number of smaller Settlements for the recovering population. After 25 years, humanity's numbers were again in the millions, but most of their former cities remained abandoned and in ruins. Those who did not recognize the COG's authority became known as the Outsiders, and staked out a living in Sera's recovering wilderness, beyond the COG's Settlements. Meanwhile, a new environmental threat appeared in the form of Windflares, a violent weather phenomenon many believed to be created by the countermeasure's effects, forcing the COG to develop protective barriers called Windwalls to ensure the survival of its new Settlements.
In the months after the use of the countermeasure, those Locust that had been killed by it were enveloped by impenetrable crystal shells. Unable to burn the Locust corpses, the COG decided to bury them in hundreds of ad-hoc mass graves, usually old COG facilities or mines, thousands of feet below the surface.
Twenty-five years after the end of the Locust War, entire Settlements began vanishing and the COG suspected the Outsiders of killing and enslaving their people. It was soon discovered, however, that the Locust had revived in their graves, reemerging as the much deadlier Swarm and capturing humans to violently convert into soldiers. The COG found itself at war once more with its former enemy. Things became more complicated when Reyna Diaz became the new Swarm Queen. As a result of the new threat, an effort was made to reactivate the long-dormant Hammer of Dawn network to fight the Swarm with.
The Seran environment was vast and diverse. A massive mountain range was in Eastern Central Massif, which included Kashkur, Republic of Lauczi, and Vasgar. Pesang and the Shaoshi people were hill people that depended on the land and water. In the 62nd year of the Pendulum War, Pesang experienced a drought that had a negative effect on Pesanga people and their farmlands, but the lack of water did not give the Shaoshi a cause for another tribal war. In the South Islands and Lesser Islands chain existed vast tropical islands. In Tyrus, Jacinto Plateau, was a vast mountain range, full of life. A desert existed too on Sera. The Outer Hollow was dark and had an abundance of Imulsion and was mined by the humans. The Inner Hollow had greater life and more Hollow creatures including the Rockworm and Riftworm. The Inner Hollow included more biological life and included lakes where fish and Leviathans lived. Weather on Sera could reach extremes at times, such as Razorhail. Tyrus forests was made up of a tree called Tyre Oak.
After the Locust invasion of the surface and the Hammer of Dawn counterattack, 90% of the Seran surface was destroyed by the Hammer of Dawn satellites and chemical weapons by the COG nation of Tyrus. The attack created the Deadlands and turned a human city into an area called Char. Areas outside of the mainland were spared including minor South Islands and some Lesser Islands Chain (Vectes and Branascu) due to being on the other side of an abyssal trench too deep for the Locust to dig under.
Almost all of Sera except some regions Jacinto Plateau and several isolated islands was dead, Bernadette Mataki did not see any human settlement left from the attack when she reached the main continents from the South Islands, where some were spared from the HoD attacks. Inside Jacinto Plateau, the natural environment still survived somewhat with the Kryll killing anything at night from human to Locust and including animals, until their extinction in the Lightmass Offensive which destroyed a mountain range in the Timgad Valley and the Outer Hollows. During Operation: Hollow Storm and the endgame of the Siege of Jacinto, the Inner Hollow was flooded, presumably drowning most hollow creatures along with any Locust inside, although many creatures used by the Locust survived the flooding. Around Port Farrall, winter was still hard-hitting.
When the Lambent Pandemic spread to the surface, stalks would emerge from the surface and attack anything non-Lambent, invading the natural environment and killing sea creatures and taking over the center of Vectes. The pandemic became global and the entire settlements and abandoned cities would be overrun by the Lambent at an alarming rate while the Locust continue to stake out a living on the surface even without the leadership of their Queen. Eventually, the Lambent Pandemic came to affect humans as well, approaching a critical stage where all life on Sera would follow in their wake.
Eventually the survivors of the now-defunct Coalition of Ordered Governments would learn of Adam Fenix's survival and plan to eliminate the Lambent problem by eradicating all traces of Imulsion worldwide, which was discovered to be parasitic in nature. Queen Myrrah and her Queen's Guard took him hostage with the intent of forcing him to adapt his Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon to spare the lives of the Locust while destroying only the Lambent. The Second Battle of Azura soon culminated with the fate of Sera hanging in the balance with COG forces successfully overpowering the Locust and allowing Fenix to activate the weapon. The result was the complete extinction of the Lambent and the Locust Horde with them, with all traces of Imulsion effectively erased from the face of Sera, ending the war.
The aftermath of the countermeasure's activation secured the survival of all remaining life on Sera, while leaving the world irreversibly scarred in its wake. The loss of Imulsion left Sera with no plentiful supply of fossil fuels, creating a new energy crisis as humanity sought new sources under the reorganized Coalition of Ordered Governments. Sera was also affected by Windflares, a weather phenomenon that generated massive wind storms all across the planet. Though there were many theories on what caused the start of the Windflares, no one could come up with a definitive answer to its origin. With the Locust Horde no more, humanity has moved to reclaim and rebuild their shattered civilization.
The Locust War left other serious environmental issues for Sera. Due to the flooding of the Hollow, global sea levels gradually lowered over a course of decades. Former port cities such as Halvo Bay and the Vasgari Port found themselves miles away from the ocean, leaving useless salt flats and deserts. This required the COG to build a new modern port for commerce ships some distance from New Ephyra. The Jacinto Plateu had largely shattered, creating interesting new, jagged mountain formations across the region and making new infrastructure development difficult. Large regions scorched by the Hammer of Dawn unfortunately remain uninhabitable deserts.
Fortunately, Sera's environment has begun to recover in the 25 years since the end of the War. Forests have reclaimed many Tyran cities. Many animal species close to extinction have begun to thrive again without the overwhelming presence of humans. A few species affected by Imulsion have developed gigantism as seen by massive fish caught by Outsider groups.
The planet contained many different natural resources and fossil fuels, but most have been depleted or destroyed. Prior to the Pendulum Wars, Sera contained many fossil fuels like coal and oil, but due to mass exploitation those fuels dried up. Humanity searched for another mass energy source and soon discovered Imulsion. This energy source was highly efficient and sparked the Pendulum Wars. Unknown at the time, Imulsion could infect a given lifeform or transmit diseases like rustlung. At the end of the Locust War, all Imulsion on Sera was destroyed as a result of Adam Fenix's Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon, which had been activated to end the Lambent Pandemic before it could destroy all life on Sera.
Other energy sources included hydroelectric dams and wind turbines. Before the advent of Imulsion, the nation of Tyrus preferred dams over using wind power when fossil fuels became scarce. During the Locust War, the Tollen Dam was the main power source for the nation's manufacturing and industrial centers, such as Speyer. One dam could power several cities and was relatively cheap.
- Dushin - A member state of the COG
- Emgazi - A nation that bordered Kashkur
- Erevall Island - On the far side of the abyssal trench.
- Independent Republic of Furlin - A UIR nation that occupied Vasgar and invaded Kashkur
- Ingarez - A nation that bordered Tyrus
- Kashkur - A COG nation that held one-fifth of Sera's Imulsion supply
- Republic of Lauczi - A UIR nation that bordered Sarfuth and Maranday
- Lesser Islands chain - An group of islands in the seas to the north of Jacinto Plateau
- Maranday - A neutral nation that Indie saboteurs used as a safe haven to attack Sarfuth
- Ostri Republic - A former member of the UIR; abandoned to the Locust Horde
- Pelles - A former member of the UIR; destroyed by COG Hammer of Dawn offensive
- Pesang - A nation affiliated with but not part of the COG
- Gorasnaya - A member of the UIR; refused to surrender and mainland overrun by the Locust Horde. At least four thousands of its citizens relocated to the Lesser Islands chains.
- Sarfuth - COG country that housed Imulsion supplies
- Shaoshi - A nation that bordered and was somewhat hostile to Pesang
- South Islands - All of its major islands were scorched by the Hammer of Dawn, and the minor islands lost communications with the rest of the world
- Tyrus - The founding nation and homeland of the COG; its capital city was known as Ephyra, which was also the capital of the COG
- Vasgar - A neutral nation during the Pendulum Wars, invaded by Indie "peacekeepers." Later became the location of the UIR's space program and own Hammer of Dawn program
- Jacinto - A COG stronghold during the Locust War and its de facto capital after the fall of Ephyra; sunk by COG forces to flood The Hollow
- Landown - Occupied by the Locust, reclaimed by the COG in Operation: Hollow Storm
- Ephyra - The original capital city of Tyrus and the COG. Fell to the Locust in 10 A.E., partially occupied by Stranded. Known as Old Ephyra by 42 A.E.
- New Ephyra - The capital of the restored COG, located adjacent to Old Ephyra in the reformed nation of Tyrus
- Tollen - Sunk by the Riftworm. Its ruins were later occupied by the Swarm of the Hive at Tollen Dam in 42 A.E.
- Montevado - Sunk by the Riftworm
- Ilima - Sunk by the Riftworm
- Char - A former COG city situated in the Deadlands that housed a sizable Stranded settlement
- Mercy - A former COG town near Char, and the first place where Lambent Humans were encountered
- Concord - A former COG city near the coast, known for Concord Air Base
- New Sherrith - Most likely destroyed in the Hammer of Dawn strikes
- Jannermont - A southern COG city, sacked by the Locust Horde
- Andius - A city in southern Tyrus, sacked by the Locust Horde
- Soteroa - A city in the South Islands; most likely destroyed
- Berephus - A city in the Ostri Republic, presumably destroyed or heavily damaged by CNV Merit naval assault
- Peraspha - A city in the Ostri Republic, flattened by COG Petrel missiles.
- Anvegad - A Kashkuri city on the border between Kashkur and Vasgar, home to the famed Anvil Gate fortress. Later re-occupied by the COG in the final years of the Locust War.
- Hanover - A city in southern Tyrus, home to the Cougars and Cougars Stadium. Sacked by the Locust Horde, and later home to numerous Stranded settlements.
- Port Farrall - A ruined city on the northern coast of Tyrus. The COG took refuge here after the sinking of Jacinto.
- Pelruan - A city on the island of Vectes in the Lesser Islands. It was the fourth and final capital of the COG before its disbandment.
- Nexus - The Locust Horde's capital and the only Locust city known to the COG. The Locust Queen's Palace was located here. It was attacked by both the COG and the Lambent and subsequently destroyed when the Inner Hollow was flooded.
- Halvo Bay - The wealthiest city of the COG, burned to the ground
- Speyer - A major industrial COG city that was abandoned after the Locust captured Tollen Dam
- Deadlands - The wasteland left behind after the Hammer of Dawn Strikes. It's a massive dustbowl littered with ruined cities and cremated corpses. It became the home of the Savage Locust after the sinking of Jacinto.
- Dorado Hills - A group of hills outside Jacinto City. Occupied by Seeders.
- Eastern Central Massif - The region containing the countries of Kashkur, Vasgar, Emgazi and Furlin.
- Jacinto Plateau - A plateau of granite on which the cities of Ephyra, Jacinto, and New Ephyra were built.
- Lesser Islands chain - An archipelago that was cut off from the mainland after the Hammer of Dawn Strikes
- Mount Kadar - A mountain directly above the Locust capital of Nexus
- Pirnah Badlands - A region near Timgad, raided by the Locust after the Lightmass Offensive
- Timgad Valley - A valley near Ephyra, destroyed in Lightmass Offensive
- The Hollow - The underground lair of the Locust Horde, divided into the Inner Hollow and the Outer Hollow
- Tyra River - A major river in southern Tyrus
List of Ethnic Groups
Behind the scenes
- Sera is Ares spelled backwards, the Greek god of war and son of Zeus and Hera. Though often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, Ares is more accurately the god of bloodlust, or slaughter personified: "Ares is apparently an ancient abstract noun meaning throng of battle, war."
- Chris Bartlett, the Sr. Artist at Epic Games and Prop Maker, Actor (Contractor) for Lucasfilm, created a non-canon map of Sera using geography and borders from the Middle East and other parts of Earth with Star Wars-themed names, which can be seen briefly in a cutscene late in Gears of War 2.
- On the Gears of War 4 multiplayer map Speyer, near the Planetarium, there is a stylized globe of Sera with its moons.
- For the foreseeable future, The Coalition has no plans to release a canonical map of Sera as they do not want to lock themselves geologically for potential games and possibly retcon their established map.