Ancient HistoryFor thousands of millennia the Milky way galaxy was ruled by a super powerful race of Titans who called themselves the Elder. The Elder did not appear to be a single race. Their form and powers varied widely between individuals but they were always colossal in size. The Elder were not all powerful, omniscient or omnipresent but they might as well have been to the other races of the galaxy.
Suns would go dark or super nova at an Elders whim. Entire planets would convulse destroying everything if it pleased them. The Elder set themselves up as gods, demanding worship and sacrifice of the indigenous races of the galaxy while feeding upon those race's life force. Woe to those who were unlucky enough to have an Elder take up residence on their planet. Chaos and pain followed the Elders everywhere as as planetary populations paid an ever increasing tribute to the resident Elder until it grew tired of the planet and left.
If the populations were lucky, the Elder would simply fly into space leaving the planet in tact. Some planets were not so lucky and became a living hell for the remaining residents. At other times an Elder would go to sleep for decades or centuries only to awaken refreshed and powerful and ready to cause even greater harm.
Some races, such as the Chigchugs and Shifters loved the Elder. Others, such as the Sisserins, were given dark gifts and dominance over worlds. The Dark Ones, as the minion races were called, served as Elder as enforcers, ensuring worship and tribute was paid by all sentient races under their command. The Dark Ones kept some tribute for themselves, of course. All in all, the galaxy was a miserable place.
The Elders used no technology. They simply bent the laws of the universe to their will. Their followers shunned technology as well preferring the channel the strength of the Elder through dark and arcane rituals that involved sacrifice and torment.
Luckily, the galaxy is a big place and some races rose to power ignored by the Elder and Dark Ones. One of these races developed technology and devices to communicate and travel vast distances in an instant. It found other races on other planets. A system of portals was developed and around that system an underground resistance formed to battle the Elder and their minions, the Dark Ones. The Elder largely ignored it and left the fight to their servants.
And then, the galaxy changed forever.
Resistance scientist discovered a device they named the Harmonic Stabilizer. This device fed from the power of the Elder causing them to go into a coma-like state. As the device drew more power, the effect became more widely spread. Eventually an entire planet would succumb causing all the Elder present to go into a deep slumber. At least that was the theory.
The first test succeeded beyond any one's wildest imagination. The resistance successfully put an Elder to sleep. The next step was to try to kill it. That, however, was less successful. The creature awoke in a rage destroying the stars in the seven surrounding star sectors, including the one containing the race who created the stabilizer.
But knowledge of the device's creation survived even if its exact control did not.
The underground created hundreds of the devices in secret and ferried them to planets which were known locations of Elder. The resistance waited centuries until all the Elder were accounted for with a Stabilizer nearby. On command, they activated the stabilizers and the Elder slept.
The stabilizers could do more than just put the Elder to sleep however. By channeling the power of an Elder the stabilizer would unhook an entire planet from this dimension, collapsing it into a pocket universe they called Z-Space. (need new name) The gravity of the banished planet remained forming a black hole with the same gravimetric pull as the unfortunate planet.
After the Elder were gone, the galaxy rose up and defeated the Dark Ones. They cast the Elders minions into the black holes created by the defeat of their masters. The scientist of the resistance were confident there was no escape.
Sadly, they were wrong.
The Librarians, ancestors of those on Mars, kept Earth and Sol's 10th planet, Guygoth, in this dimension along with the sleeping Elder for research purposes hiding this fact from the rest of the galactic civilization. The galaxy still reeled under the Great Uprising and so the Librarians were able to keep the two planet's secret from the rest of the galaxy.
The Great Galactic HegemonyThe races responsible for the Elder banishment banded together in a Confederation of Worlds. There was no want or need a machine could not fulfill. Millennia passed and the galaxy knew both war and peace, prosperity and despair, but they were free from the chaos of the Elder and Dark Ones. As technology grew, civilization relied more and more on their wondrous machines. Eventually the machines controlled of all aspects of everyday life. Distance was not a factor in any one's life thanks to small portals or gateways that could teleport you to another gateway to another anywhere in the galaxy in the blink of an eye.
The Confederation of Worlds gave over control to their thinking machines and an age of prosperity began guided by minds free of emotion who were programed to treat all justly and always looked out for the needs of society as a whole. A Hegemony of Machines arose and replaced the Confederation of Worlds. Newly discovered races were guided on a path of enlightenment. The machines served all. The machines ruled all.
But not all were happy under the rule of machines. There were places you could not go, things you could not do, and topics you could not discuss. Anything Elder related was strickly off limits as well as any weapons research. Exploration was permitted as long as the Machine Council sent robotic scouts in first to ensure the safety of an expedition containing living beings.
Dissent began to foment. Protests began but most of the populace liked the control the machines offered. Others, who wished control of their own destiny, chafed under the Hegemony's rule. The machines allowed some protest, as they were programmed to accept the free will of living beings, but if the protesters every caused harm the perpetrators were captured and imprisoned.
Then a champion of the dissenters arose, Kantor the Great. He cobbled together an alliance of worlds who separated themselves from the Hegemony. The machines took the only logical course of action they saw. They started a war and assassinated Kantor.
The Great Galactic WarIt was during this time a new power arose. Her name was Queen Galaxia (she would later assume the title of Empress) and she desired nothing less than complete galactic domination. She saw the galaxy's civilization as weak and stagnant. It was only through her rule that the races would begin to advance once more, releasing their dependence on machines. Slowly at first and then with greater speed, star sectors began to fall under her control. She discovered the secret of immortality and had hundreds of clones created which were all psychically linked to her will. She and her thrall races brought terror to the galaxy. As powerful as she was, she was no match for the combined strength of the Machine Hegemony.
On the verge of defeat, she turned to an ancient power to ensure her survival, that of the Elder. Galaxia discovered the Librarian's secret. She tricked, bribed or coerced a group of Librarians to help her uncover the secret of tapping into the power of the Elder through the Harmonic Stabilizer. As her forces steadily retreated towards Sol, Galaxia completed her research on how to tap into the immense energy of the Elder.
Galaxia knew the Dark Ones wielded the power of the Elder so she and the rogue Librarians sought to duplicate this ability. They knew if they awakened the Elder on Earth or Guygoth a new age of chaos would ensue. So they attempted to revive the Elder on the Guygoth just enough to draw power without fully waking the being. They succeeded.
But one of the Librarians saw the horror of what was about to unfold. He sabotaged the Stabilizer triggering the dimensional port and sucked Guygoth into the Z-Space along with himself, Galaxia and her hoard of minions and clones.
But Galaxia had a fail safe in place in case she were ever defeated. The galaxies gateways permeated all sections civilization. Galaxia spread a techno-virus which destroyed or disabled every machine throughout the galaxy.
All the machines that made machines were gone. All the learning and memory devices ceased to function. No one knew how to make them work again and no one had the ability to survive on their own without machines. The galaxy plunged into a new stone age. Billions of billions died due to lack of food and environmental control.
That was five thousand years ago. The galaxy slowly crawled back up the technological ladder. Some Librarians manage to survive on Mars and continued to shepherd the planets cat men. But it was man that gave the Librarians space travel again.
The Rise of Man
In the mid 1930s, while the people or Earth struggled through the Great Depression, an unknown German scientist invented an atomic rocket engine. This device allowed for the first manned flights to space. Fearful of what the Nazis would do with such power, the scientist fled to England with his engine design but not before the first unmanned Nazi Rocket ship launch. Other nations quickly developed rockets of their own and soon the nations of Earth traveled to the far reaches of the solar system finding inhabited yet savage planets throughout.
Earth's governments undertook a massive colonization project sending hundreds of thousands to humans to every habitable planet and moon in the solar system. Huge asteroid bases were created in order to provide raw materials for Earth's rocket fleets.
The Solar War broke out between the Axis of Germany, Italy, and Japan and the rest of the world. The battle was fought on Earth and in space as atomic bombs fell on most of Earth's major cities. A truce was signed in 1945 which ended hostilities on Earth but not the war in space. The Axis held Venus and Mars while the Allies counted Saturn, Mercury, and the moons of Jupiter as friends. Luckily for the other planets, the use of nuclear weapons was confined to Earth.
Earth Enters Z-Space
It was during this time the Nazis discovered the Harmonic Stabilizer in Antarctica. As they began their experiments the Stabilizer on Guygoth began activating sympathetically. Queen Galaxia realized she had a chance to communicate outside Z-Space for the first time in thousands of years.
The communication was sparse but she did manage to get the message through. With luck she and the Nazis would be able to open a gateway allowing her to escape. Unfortunately, the Nazis got the instructions wrong and wound up sucking Earth into Z-Space. The process, however took days, with an encroaching darkness slowly taking over the Earth.
The rocket fleets of Earth began a massive evacuation. Hundreds of thousands escaped to Luna, Mars, Venus, and Mercury. Thousands watched from space as the darkness consumed Earth and everything most humans had ever known. Then, unexpectedly , a burst of light exploded from the darkness. The Earth was gone, replaced by a black hole of the same gravitational strength. It was as if the entire planet contracted into a tiny pin point of gravity.
The Transit into Z-Space rock Earth causing tidal waves, earthquakes and volcano eruptions the world over. The survivors on Earth looked up to see the sky of Z-Space as Wanderers, the Jupiter-sized light sources of Z-Space, traveled across the sky followed by the moon-like Seekers. The long forgotten Guygoth dominated the sky appearing much larger than Earth's moon.
Galaxia wasted no time traveling to Earth to punish the incompetent fools who ruined her plan. She knew the site of Earth's stabilizer and landed a fleet of ships in Antarctica. Her wrath was great and none of the Nazi scientist or archaeologist survived. As she flew to Berlin to kill Hitler, the Dark Ones attacked Earth. She had to make a quick decision of whether to continue her retribution or gather the forces of Earth to drive back the Dark Ones. She decided wrath could wait a few more days.
As the meteor ships of the Dark Ones fell into Earth's oceans, Galaxia made a quick pact with the Nazis and any other nation that would support her to drive back the Dark Ones. She partially succeeded. Hitler became her thrall and thus, so did the rest of the Reich. Other nations such as the USSR and China joined her as well but most of the Alliance decided they could do without the heavy hand of her rule. The Dark Ones took over many of Earth's coastal regions.
Earth is between the Hammer and Anvil. On one side is Galaxia who seeks to return Guygoth and/or Earth to normal space. On the other side are the Dark Ones who wish to awaken the old ones but in the process are enslaving and eating humans. The Dark Once realize the Nazis know the secret to activating the Harmonic Stabilizer and seek a way to turn it off on all the worlds of Z-Space.
Galaxia's Latest PlanAs the Solar System's harmonic convergence approaches, Galaxia has a window of opportunity to bring one or both planets back to normal space. During the convergence, all 10 of Sol's planets will line up with the Sun creating a gravimetric anchor. If she can coordinate the proper Dark One rituals in normal space and Z-Space she will be able to open a gateway allowing for her return. She's not opposed to destroying Earth in the process.
Life On EarthMost of Earth's large cities are gone. Those that weren't destroyed in the nuclear war of '45 were destroyed during the destruction as Earth transitioned to Z-Space. What few coastal cities remain contain the walking dead shamble through the streets along with Chichugs, Sisserins and other horrors.
Still, there are those that live in those cities. Scavengers skitter here and there looking for something, anything to allow another day of survival. Cultist survive in the cities as well mastering foul magics using power from the old gods that slumber fitfully on Earth and other places within the pocket universe.
The areas under Galaxia's control bear her symbol. They produce materials for her war on the Dark Ones. Men and women alike are conscripted into her service as soldiers and slaves.
The Allies, as they are still called, walk a delicate line between helping Galaxia against the Dark Ones and keeping her from complete control of the planet.
Z-SpaceZ-space is the pocket universe on the other side of all black holes in our galaxy. From any planet within the Zone you can see other planets in the distance with the naked eye. Both Earth and Guygoth spin slowly near each other. Guygoth is dark with red lines etching is surface. Earth is a scarred version of its former self with burning cities visible from space.
Z-Space is surprisingly well lit. Living, Jupiter sized gas giants, called light givers, fly through the areas between planets pursued by thousands Moon-sized planetoids or complete shadow. About once a decade a set of moons will catch a light giver. As more and more moons pile into the gas giant, it slows allowing more moon the chance to dive into the light. Eventually the light giver explodes into a mini-nova. Parts of the light giver coalesce into a new, smaller, faster light giver and the chase begins again.c
Like the space in the Milky way, the void between planets is breathable. Winged races and fly through it between planets given enough time. Huge creatures, like the giant space squid, inhabit the ether between planets.