Milky Way

The Milky Way is the youngest of the three major Galaxies, though it is the second largest.

The importance of this Galaxy is, relatively, recent as it was not at first realised it housed two intergalactic wormholes, and in close proximity to one another at that.

The Galaxy is home to Earth, Kivan, Mugdar, Tylassia, Magvin, Ilzwik, and many, many more major worlds, though an important note is that exceedingly few of its known native peoples have achieved anywhere near the technological advancements of Glafarra or Vorton.

Little is ultimately known about the peoples and worlds of this Galaxy, in the wider scope of things. This is due to no large scale galactic government or galaxy wide recognised power. The Terran Confederation, and Mugdarran Empire probably span the most distance but only a few hundred parsecs between their furthest flung outposts, the Mugdarrans and Kivanians by most measure control the most systems numbering some five hundred stars or so, and those three combined with the Sweytzian Alliance make up some of the strongest economic powers, but only just.  All of these even combined are not nearly as large and influential in the broader Milky Way as Alluria in Vorton; their power, control and influence mattering very little beyond, at most, their side of the galactic core.

Historically the Milky Way has been a harvesting zone for the traders of the more advanced races of the Vorton and Galfarran galaxies out looking for cheap or free goods, though some did deal directly with the Milky Way worlds and at honest rates.

The only scientific survey of species, races, and worlds was done by the old Federation in Galfarra approximately fifty thousand Earth years ago and was cancelled after only about one century. At that time it would seem that easily half the known inhabited worlds had sentient or proto-sentient life, and most of them were still working out things like fire and bronze. An exceedingly small number had reached any form of industry or space flight, and perhaps a dozen with faster than light capacity were met.  Various unofficial ones have been done by the worlds that would later become the Sweytzian Alliance in the past hundred to two hundred Earth years, and due to the greater speed and range of their ships they represent the most complete modern survey compared to any other races’ attempts in the Milky Way, notably the Terrans and Gargorna.  In recent decades professors at various universities have been striving to compile astrographical, botanical, biological, sociological, etc. knowledge from all the starfaring races and attempt to cross reference, reconcile and collate it all.  The several dozen powerful computers and gifted members of two rather extraodinary races, the Haderwo and Bv’ktra, expect that they should finish the data they started with in about an hundred-fifty Sweytzian years (three Sweytzian universities house the heart of the project due to proximity to the Galfarran wormhole as the Haderwo and Bv’ktra feel that to set foot on an alien world would endanger their spirits’ purity and deny them a place at their gods’ side in the Great Beyond).  Given the rate new data is coming in, but thanks to a second half dozen groupings of bots, computers, and dedicated individuals that data should only add fifty more years to the project and then afterwards be near instantly incorporated as all systems related to the project could work together on only that new information.

Merchants continued to travel into the system routinely after the original survey ended, but they did not engage in much research or record keeping beyond what goods were most easily got where, and what races were liable to kill strangers.  An interesting note from several chocolate traders is that Earth (known by several different names at the time) contrary to the norm was quite friendly to traders of all sorts in various regions but became progressively more hostile as they reached greater technological growth, it is also worth mentioning that approximately ⅓ of the human races found within that part of that spiral arm of the galaxy followed a similar trend.  This has puzzled xenopsychologists and xenosociologists alike for millennia and will likely earn the first one to present a viable theory an immediate professorship.

The Milky Way, namely its planet Earth, is know to be the original source of coffee and chocolate; early Aslith traders frequented more than a few planets for their fish; and Ilzwik was then, as today, prized for its cazax, that amazing plant ivory which is so heavily used in industry for being twice as hard as diatanium alloy and a tenth the weight of diamond, which is proof against most dangerous radiations.

Today only a quarter of the known sentient races (known sentient races is up to nearly three times that ancient survey’s count, by the way, and new ones are periodically discovered) do not have space flight of some kind and most of those who do, also have some form of interstellar capability of their own devising.  If one factors in races that have gained space flight and interstellar travel through trade the number who do not possess these abilities dwindles to between ten and fifteen percent.

Some of those remaining races vary in advancement from early stone to some form of industrial stage. Some of these are openly traded with and others are only visited to harvest trade goods depending on their disposition toward strangers and aliens.

Also of note would be that some races of pre-stellar advancement or pre-space advancement also gained these technologies by becoming incorporated into a larger society. The biggest examples being the Mugdarran Empire’s nearly two dozen worlds containing primitive Honorable Protectorates, which is a translation of their term for a race that faced them with honour but proved too weak by their standards to properly defend themselves and were granted inclusion into the Emperor’s domain (for further information see entry on Mugdarran Empire). The other notable example would be the Terran Confederation, but theirs is a unique case as theirs is exclusively comprised of annexing Terran colonies that left Earth in their pre-warp era, many of them had lost communication with Earth and so are referred to as lost colonies. To date there are still forty five generational colony craft’s fates unknown and twenty three early warp (denoted by both Terran and non-Terran historians not as the end of warp being a markedly bigger gamble than it still is, but rather as the invention of interstellar communications technology by Terrans so as to know the fates of those ships) colony vessels. An interesting curiosity is the adamant belief among most Confederates not living on worlds on the immediate border of the Sweytzian Alliance that Sweytz is one of these lost colonies.

Of the interstellar races known at the time of the long ago survey none still exist. Two’s fates, the Unlzwano and Goldasti were witnessed going extinct by a merchant scout who saw their star (it was a system where two habitable worlds evolved sentient life) go nova and there have never been signs that they utilised their interstellar capacities to colonise other worlds and apparently no ships equipped to found a colony remained, and the race is in no discovered record having sought asylum among any other peoples.

Six show signs of having died out in various wars. One of these, the Ottops, were wiped out by a wholly unknown foe. Depictions of their destroyers in the archaeological finds indicate a race never seen in the Milky Way except in exceedingly scattered legends. A superficial resemblance has lead some fringe groups to be convinced that they were Dichidians, but this is deemed exceedingly unlikely given what is known and understood of Dichidian behaviour – they neither kept the world, nor show any signs of touching any of the million worlds they would have passed along the way.  A likelier theory, until outraged members of that race point out they had barely reached beyond their own twelfth moon at that time, is that it was the Chardosi of Galfarra whose home is the third closest to the Galfarran side of the ‘hole.  As it is known that their world had been openly traded with off and on at various points in their history it is deemed plausible that some ancient warlord had traded for some ships that might have been used in the campaign, though the Chardosi insist that, even were this true, there were at least five hundred more interesting targets they would have hit too, or instead and this is presented as proof of the invalidity of that theory.

Among the rest there are many that seem to have simply died out.  One, the Jah’ari whose world was dying and their star growing cold who claim to have found a way of leaving their galaxy. Though it is uncertain if they did so through one of the wormholes, recent examinations of the worlds of the Dead Zone (the several hundred parsec region around the Vortonian end of that ‘hole where lies thousands of dead systems and stars) give inconclusive evidence of this.   A few quite simply vanished. Of these only two, the Pollithri and Marstre, left the slightest clue to what happened to them and those hints are even more mysterious than the rest who vanished without trace. The Pollithri’s nearest neighbours, the Yitresti traded with them though, apparently only for goods and never for technology as they still do not even have space flight and refuse offers to trade it for their highly prized Illutrex fruits which refuse to cultivate properly off of that world for reasons suspected to do with peculiarities in the radiation emissions of their stars.  According to Yiresti legend the Pollithri brought a strange device to the Yiresti’s third moon and in a magical ritual that reached climax during The Loozad (a sacred alignment of all three moons, the binary planet pair, and both stars in a perfectly straight line) which opened a door to a new universe they had built for themselves which the race entire all walked through and vanished and the machine with them. The fate of the Marstre is even odder, as the only clues to their fate are in what they left behind which seems to involve a detailed plan for the race entire to descend into an unknown hole in their world. Careful study has found no subterranean civilisation past or present and no cave, borehole, or sinkhole in that world’s crust match the description of the one in the plan. And the record was clearly left behind due to no longer being needed, and not as a final record as it is very vague about things and refers only to “our new paradise” in what is admitted to be a translation that is nearly half guesswork but still proves it was meant for people who already understood its meaning and purpose.

Of other notes, it appears that, save for the very rare pirate or smuggler, Vorton lost track of the Milky Way around the time of whatever disaster befell the Dead Zone, which is quite believable as astrographical evidence suggests that event was a centuries long death of an entire star cluster … the Dead Zone being littered with black holes, various late stage stars, and as many shattered remains of worlds and systems as it has corpses of such. During that period it would have, likely, been impossible to reach the wormhole in any safety. This loss of contact and falling of all things related to The Milky Way and Galfarra to distant legend is gauged to have been within the era when the Earth was first developing river valley civilisations, and the Kivanians were beginning to make forays into space.

It is also worth noting that several worlds on the opposite side of the galaxy from Sweytz, and Earth seem to bear legends of striking similarity that there was a great race of strange beings or gods depicted varingly as purple skinned, purple furred, or purple scaled, but always purple, standing (depending on legend) between one and four metres tall, and which were vengeful, dangerous and ‘came from beyond the stars’ via some kind of celestial vortex. Oddly the legends vary on one detail most shockingly, while all do indicate that another race of gods, these pink, benevolent and helpful stopped the purple from destroying, apparently, everything, here the similarity immediately stops.  Some say the pink race destroyed the purple and vowed that the universe was now safe; others that the purple were driven out and banished, supposedly forever, though they often seem to doubt this and suspect the purple ones of plotting a return; and finally those who believe the purple ones were only foiled in that single attempt and are destined to return one day. Many xenoanthropologists suspect that this is a legend born from cultural contamination from one of the earlier interstellar races, or is a strange twisting of the historical meeting of some of the older lost ones who are known to have mutually destroyed each other and could have fit the description.  There are also a few races that yet live who are younger but also could serve the legend, and as ever there abound theories that this was a transuniversal or extragalactic race and their vortexes were the means by which they travelled those boundaries and periodically makes a short lived fad among holocinemetographers, holoserialists, comic book authors, science fiction writers, and their analogues on the nearly seven thousand million worlds that have ever heard of that legend to any degree.