The known universe is a complicated place indeed, filled with exotic locations, strange creatures, ancient lore, and a diverse array of people and cultures. For someone of the distant twenty-first century, this can be overwhelming, so this overview has been organized by Archivist Mnemosyne
to help orient timelost wayfarers to the universe as it is in the modern day.
The galaxy -or at least this small patch of it which is known to our civilization- houses a vast number of independent biospheres, some of which have evolved sapient species. The sophonts of known space have greatly differing biologies, physiologies, psychologies, and sociologies, and even the different species of human
now present among the stars vary considerably. Yes, several thousand years of genetic tailoring and evolution on alien worlds have splintered humanity’s legacy into an array of posthumans, though populations of Homo sapiens
still exist on various worlds -including old Earth.
Fundamental differences between the starfaring species can sometimes make interaction between them challenging. Nonetheless, our civilization
exists peacefully -or at least peaceably
- with the other starfaring powers that neighbor us. Amid these interstellar nations are many smaller factions and a multitude of cultures, making the starlanes vibrant and teeming with trade, tradition… and sometimes treachery.
According to all major astrographic databases, “known space” encompasses a roughly spherical volume 1200 or so light years in radius, approximately centered on the ancient human home system of Sol. The modern frontier lies, broadly, at the edges of three major nebulae: the Barnard Loop complex, the Cygnus Veil, and the Pillars of Creation. Within this expansive bubble of galactic space lie over twelve million stars, the majority of which are charted and a great many of which are inhabited, and a number of smaller nebulae.
Navigation between these far-flung stars is afforded by the utilization of hyperspace
, a higher dimension that enables starships and information signals to cross interstellar space at speeds vastly greater than light. However, every advancement comes with drawbacks, and hyperdrives
are no exception: too much exposure to the mind-bending reality of hyperspace can lead to a form of madness known as voidthrall
There is so much to experience in the galaxy as we know it, and even more beyond the edges of our maps and knowledge. This is why this database has been compiled: to help everyone to understand the vast cosmos, and invite those of adventurous spirit to add even more to our understanding. Take your time to pore over the pages contained within this guide, and ask questions if you feel unclear on a subject. The stars are yours to explore!