Travel the vast space: witness the wonders of the Five Skies in The Five Skies | World Anvil

Travel the vast space: witness the wonders of the Five Skies

Never once in my long, long life have I seen someone make such a spectacular entrance! Uur wouldn't approve, but she -wait no, it's he these days- he's out on an errand for now, so would you like to come inside and tell me what did you just do?
— Aur, captain of the 26

Where am I?

"When" would be an equally adequate question. You're in the First Domain, in the system of Sel. That probably doesn't ring any bell, but don't be ashamed, it might as well be the most run down system of the Domain. Here, the year's 11794 by the way. Earth calendar, I don't use the others that much. What do you mean, none of that makes sense to you? You're not from there? I guess I'll have to start from the beginning then.
— Aur

The Five Skies is a space opera spanning a whole galaxy divided in five regions, called Domains. Long ago, humanity discovered the F energy while trying to colonize other planets, and camed with the amazing Stellar slingshots. Not only did they make space travel cheaper, they broke the infamous light speed barrier. The creation of these formidable stations was followed by an era of rapid expansion, until the declaration of the Imperium of man.


In the process, we encountered many alien species. Most were still bound to their planets, with a medieval or industrial technological level, unable to even notice the gigantic spaceship cruising in their atmosphere. Still, some of them already discovered space travel and even started to expand beyond the limit of their homeworld. A nascent stellar community was slowly rising between the warring and more diplomat species. None had the advancement of humanity, so naturally we were part of the former.


The Imperium was... not very friendly toward other communities. Dare I say xenophobic. Through its superior might, it erased from existence all extraterrestrial civilisation save for one, strong enough to withstand the repeated assaults despite the difference in technological level.


The empire became large, unfathomably so. Too big for its logistics to hold up. Local powers rose and took over whole regions of space from the hands of the central direction. Ultimately, the once great Imperium shattered into four human Domains. Three are still standing nowadays, including the one we're in, the remnants of the empire's rule. The last one we... don't talk about. And then, there's the aliens.

So here is the situation we're in. Every Domain fights against all others in a cold war with shifting borders. Skirmishes happen from time to time, but the eventuality of an all-out war is very unlikely. The second one Domain shows signs of weakness, the other four will rip it apart gruesomely. This statu quo might seems unstable, but it is great, actually. Even when you're a wanted criminal in all of them, it's easier to move in the vast galaxy in time of peace.
— Aur

The First Domain

Hello there! I didn't expect to see anyone anytime soon, that's for sure! A chance we found each others in this thick woods! Are you here to save me?
— Orian, the adventurer

Even though the Imperium collapsed, its roots remained strong. What remains of its administration created the First Domain as a successor of its might. Claiming a third of the galaxy, its real territory is far less than that, as it learnt the lessons of the past. It still has dreams of expansion, but the logistics are already on the brink of failing as many systems find themselves left out. The self-proclaimed world-capital of the universe, a planet-wide megalopolis named Galaxya, is where all the great decisions are taken.


The upper spheres are riddled with conspiracies, corruption and assassination attempts between the great ruling families. This, added to the hyper-centralisation of the First Domain, make it so every new policy has an incredibly long inertia before taking effect. So much so that a lifetime can pass after the redaction of a new law to see its application. Officially, the local administrations have very few power, but in reality, they rule their planet as they desire and the Department of regulation avert its gaze if they don't go against its authority.

The Supreme Domain

Lorem ipsum sit dolor amet
— someone, probably

This is the Domain with the strongest culture. Many of its denizens possess a strong patriotism and sense of superiority. Through cybernetics and organic modification illegal elsewhere, they enhance their abilities to surpass that of regular humans. Human slavery is not outlawed on some planets, and the absence of a unified government make it impossible to regulate it. The Domain is ruled by a galactical senate where a representant of each system is mandated for 20 years. The system is far from ideal, especially regarding stellar systems with more than one inhabited planet, but the politics are too proud to consider a rework.


This Domain feels wealthier than the others, and has greatly developed its heavy industry and art. Despite all human Domains being considered equals, many experts agree that the Supreme Domain soldiers are the most dreaded. Its army relies much more on human soldiers than others, and they are guided by an almost religious patriotic fanatism. They deem themselves so superior that they are more afraid of the shame of not killing enough enemies than death.

The Last Domain

Where the hell do you come from? Did we miss a safety pod? Well no matter, come get something warm inside! The storm ain't calming anytime soon.
— Theodore Andrius

Located at the outer reach of the galaxy, this Domain has the highest population and spearheads science and technological progress. Every planet is hyper specialised, relying its thick exchange network to import all the commodities it doesn't produce. Farmworlds, factory planet, research world and administrative megastructure communicate with each others in a mesh of planets. There is no central government, only local communities counting between a dozen and a hundred planets. Since every world is part of several community, every political decision ripples and spread through the Domain even faster than it does in the First Domain.


People here have a strong urge to push the boundaries and explore the unknown. The military is divided between two main branches: the Defense Force keeps the other Domains in check while the Trailblazing Force scout uninhabited systems and fringe area of the galaxy, always looking for more untouched land to get their hands on.


The Artificial Domain

— Kera9, Artificial Domain defector

The four human Domains always seeked supermacy over the others, in an endless power struggle. One of them, whose name now resides only in the most secure data vaults, pursued the way of automation and artificial genius. Each machine it built was better than the previous one, more intelligent too, until it went too far. Most of the silicon was linked to the Mastermind, a quantum supercomputer harnessing the energy of a star to perform insanely advanced calculations. Blinded by their hubris, they actively disabled all safeguards, believing that it would only hinder the abilities of their creation.


Sure enough, the robot uprising happened. It was no long-lasting warfare that would allow one of the other Domains to launch an invasion. The Domain already had more machines than men, taking care of everything. Simultaneously, they turned on their former masters, disposing of them with the cold efficacy of a robot. In less than a minute, there wasn't a single breath in the hundreds of systems belonging to the Domain.


The sudden rise of the Artificial Domain sparked great fear in artificial intelligence and most research were halted in the rest of the galaxy, the systems closed off and a virtual wall was built around this region. No one was to get in or out, and no communication was to ever be accepted. From then, the Domain has been eerily quiet, with the occasionnal defector. No one knows what the Mastermind is planning, and no one is daring enough to investigate.

The Alien Domain

Undecipherable alien speech
— An alien

The name of their species is impossible to pronounce with human vocal chords, and no substitute was given to them, so they are simply known as "aliens". Their Domain is the smallest of the five, organised like a defensive fortress. No system is left unhabitated, and space stations as large as moons form a defensive sphere all around the region. Enclosed in a tight space, their demographic growth forced them to inhabit hostile planets and space habitats as suitable worlds became too cramped.


The aliens are lagging behind technologically, especially regarding weapons and spacecrafts. Yet, even though all three human Domains could wipe them out without many casualties, they would need to mobilise an important force that would leave them vulnerable to a backstab from any of the other two. Thanks to this perpetual fear of treason, the alien domain managed to remain as the last sign of non-human civilisation in the galaxy.


What kind of universe is it?

It's nice, I like it. Believe it or not, today's the best time to be living, ever! And I'm talking from experience.
— Nur, of the 26.
A freaking shithole of a universe, that's what it is! Not that I'll be seeing it for long.
— Theodore Andrius, colonel aboard the Star Marshal
It's pretty cool, all things considered. I mean, I'm still alive and kicking, right?
— Orian the adventurer

The Five Skies are a place of stories. There is no overarching plot and no prophetized doomsday. The main factions are in a statu quo that won't change anytime soon. Even the main genre of this world, the space opera, doesn't fit some stories. Some places are grimdarks while others are noblebright. In a space so grand, the actions of individuals are insignificant. Not even the schemes of the First Domain's great families, nor the politic alliances of the galactic senate, nor the groundbreaking discoveries happening daily in the research facilities of the Last Domain.


What's more, individual stories rarely intertwine. Even when traveling faster than light, omving through a whole galaxy takes some centuries. Most protagonists won't ever meet each others or have an idea of who they might be. Some will change whole planets. Others will disturb whole systems. And some may not achieve anything worth noting down in the cluttered history books. Here's a sample of the stories that will unfold under the numerous stars:


The 26


26 elite soldiers from the old Earth, forming a special task force destined to strike anywhere. Immortals, they able to alter their whole genome in a matter of minutes through a technology that was outlawed right after its creation. The 26 executed all manners of missions on behalf of the Imperium, and built a reputation for themselves, until they were deemed too dangerous. As a unit, no force was able to take them out. After a failed attempt at eliminating the squad, they severed their ties with the regular army and went rogue.


Thousands of years later, the existence of the 26 is forgotten by all save for a small department in each Domain which actively tracks them. The former soldiers have lived numerous lives, witnessed wonders and terrors beyond common understanding and are memories of a time past. With Earth gone from the maps and history constantly rewritten to fit the current narrative, they are living relics that people in power would prefer dead. After the betrayal of his second in command, Aur reunites the scattered 26 and embarks on one last journey to find the long lost route to their homeworld.

  Read the tale of the 26! (french only)

Orian the Adventurer


After the fall of the Arpeggo on an unknown planet, Orian finds himself to be the sole survivor of the crash. Youn son of a wealthy household of the First Domain, he was always curious and keen on exploring new things. Despite the tragic turn of event that his cruse took, he remains optimistic that someone will eventually rescue him. In the meantime, there's a whole new world awaiting to be explored, and who better than Orian the great adventurer to map this untouched land?

  Read the tale of Orian! (french only)

In the eye of the storm


The Star Marshal led an exploration fleet of several dozens of warships. On behalf of the Last Domain, it was to survey the frozen planet Magella III and investigate the geological anomalies at its surface. As soon as it entered orbit, the flagship and most of the greater spacecrafts were destroyed by an unknown attack from the planet's snowy haze.


Stranded on a hostile planet where an extraordinary entity is hunting them down and death is not what it seems, the remnants of the survey fleet struggles to survive. While the military put a plan together to leave the planet, the their own ranks dwindle as the tempest closes in.

  Read the tale of the expedition of the last chance! (french only)

Take off


The colonisation of Ceteles was another exploration project from the Last Domain. People from every horizons gathered around and dreamed of a new life on an untouched land. The hostile ground and early disagreements from the settlers led to a catastrophe and too many deaths for a successful project. Zarranck, from the third generation of settlers, is upset about his situation and its life on makeshift tree huts.


With several companions, he sets on a journey to find and take back the colony ships with the idea of leaving this backwater world. Many dangers awaits, but the youth's passion knows no bound. They all heard the tales of the vast skies above, the place where they really belongs.

  Read the tale of Zarranck! (french only)

More to come...


Many more stories awaits among the FIve Skies! The tribulations of an Artificial Domain's defector trying to understand what is its purpose; The hardships of an alien's admiral guarding a disputed frontier; And a lot more in the making.




The universe is a vast sandbox, after all. This world, its characters and most stories (unless stated otherwise) are licensed under the CC-BY license, meaning that you are free to copy, modify, create your own stories and reuse pre-existing material with the only constraint that you must give credit to this world as the base material. You are even free to do so in commercial works and apply your own license. If you do add your brick to this universe, I would love to see it and give a shoutout!


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  Surely there will be something here soon.

Cover image: Default cover by Rumengol via MidJourney


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