This article is about the revealed story in Aground, for the quests given by NPCs please refer to Quests.
Note: This article contains spoilers.
Pre-Game Story Edit
World War III
It starts off in the future where Earth has more advanced technology. Earth starts a colonization program due to resources running out on Earth (as said by CaptAln, the leader of a surviving colony). Due to disagreements on the colonization, as well as the small amount of Exotic Matter available, all the countries of Earth fought against each other in World War III. While it was a hard war, making people think the world was ending (as Farmer says) Earth managed to recover.
The Old Ones
Then, soon after the war, and alien species referred to as "them" or "the Old Ones" attack Earth. While Earth was able to fend them off at first, they kept on sending waves of ships that have never been seen before, "It took a whole fleet to bring down a single bomber" a log says in the abandoned subway of Earth. The ships were a result of "them" befriending the wyrms and turned them into dragons, but betrayed them to make their dragon ships they use to attack Earth. As we learned from the Exiled, they had no intent at first to betray the dragons, but as they saw them grow stronger, they considered them a threat and decided to force them into submission to solve this problem. Eventually, all people on Earth either fled or died (with the exception of Scavenger and Professor).
Crash of the Colony Ship
The Colony Ship (the ship you and everyone on the starting planet was on), along with the Fighter Escorts guarding it were shot down and crashed onto Unoiks 428c (the homeworld of "them"). Few people survived the crash as the ship was left totaled. The Mirrows (in fear of "them" coming back) started human experimentation to try and prepare for "their" return. However, due to lack of test subjects and other survivors not agreeing with their methods, they experimented on themselves, and harass the townsfolk for test subjects and research funding.
You, and others, have crashed in escape pods on a planet known as Unoiks 428c. One of the more helpful characters, the Hunter, was originally a coworker with the Mirrows, but quit after they started doing human experimentation. (And, experimented on themselves, in hopes of defeating "Them")
Unoiks 428c was likely inhabited by "Them" at some point, as explained by the Mirrows, the ruins match their tech and date back thousands of years. "They have likely long since left, but are also likely to return."
The Alchemist, and 3 others, were sent as scouts to the planet. The others died, and then "They" came, either "jealous or scared, I can't tell" of the Alchemist's magic.
The Alchemist also reveals a spike in magical energy - one of "Them", the Old One, who decided to stay behind on the planet. Before being killed, destruction the Old One sends out a signal alerting "Them".
The Mirrows ask you to help them find pieces of the colony ship, so that they can repair it. While exploring for these pieces, the you find the ruins of a Fighter Escort ship. After you tell the Mirrows about it, they say "You found the remains of a fighter escort? That would be much smaller and easier to repair than the colony ship."
After fixing the escort, you are able to go to Earth. There you meet the Scavenger, who has been living underground since "They" came and bombed it. After completing a quest for him, he gives you a keycard to unlock the door to the Professor's lab, in the desert. You meet the Professor and she asks you to help her make a Mobile Laboratory. After making it, you invite other NPCs on board.
In the tunnels of earth, you come across logs revealing the story.
After defeating the Old One, the Alchemist, if he is alive, gives you a quest to go east and find more magic. You find an Ancient Dragon who wants his revenge upon "them" after they betrayed the dragons and enslaved their kind. He helps you learn magic, and activate the Dragonship Factory. He also tells you abut a colony of fish off the coast of Cultivator Island that are studying magic. You meet the fish, and they teach you about spellbooks and other kinds of magic.