Introduction: The Galaxy at War!
The history of the Near Galaxy is a long one. A million years ago a race known as the Shining Ones arose. They fought a bitter war to rule the proto-galaxy and eventually emerged victorious. Little more is known about this ancient and powerful race, other than the fact that they disappeared some five hundred thousand years ago. They can no longer be found in the galaxy, though as the New Races are learning their influence can still be felt.
The Emergence of the New Races
Three hundred thousand years ago the New Races began to emerge. This was a new wave of life which found themselves in a galaxy strangely empty, but filled with the artifacts of the past. The plantlike Thrile were the first of the New Races to emerge, following by the warlike Grune, the genius Iyali, the oppressed Sorvu, the uncanny Grays, the feline Tenebrae, and the ubiquitous Hoomanoids.
Twenty thousand years ago the New Races began to develop their first interstellar transports. These slow boats and ram ships were bounded by the speed of light and subject to the laws of relativity. Transition between systems could take years or decades shipboard time and centuries real time.
Each of the New Races colonized many nearby planets, but none of them were able to form an empire because of the restrictions caused by starship technology. But now that is changing.
The Discovery of Abode
For tens of thousands of years the New Races have found caches of Shining One technology. Little of the technology worked, instead providing only hints of those who had come before. Among the items unearthed the most ubiquitous relic was a device known as the Shining Band--a headband covered with impossibly intricate microcircuity. No purpose for these Bands was ever discovered.
Then, approximately ten years ago, all of the Shining Bands unearthed across the galaxy came to life. It was soon discovered that they allowed communication, through holographic projection, to a spacestation located somewhere near the center of the galaxy within the heart of a neutron star.
For the first time ever the New Races met in this neutral ground. They learned that they were not alone in the galaxy. But, Abode offered something more. Complex schematics provided information on many technologies far beyond the New Races. Among them was the Pinpoint Drive which freed starship travel from the limitations of relativity.
The Beginning of the War
Some have suggested that the Shining Ones left behind Abode to create an era of peace and prosperity for those who came after them. If this was their hope, they would be bitterly disappointed.
For ten years now, Overlords among the New Races have been building factories to produce Pinpoint Drive ships. Each has the same goal in mind: the creation of a hegemony which will allow them to rule over their neighbors.
The war begins now.