For all the dreams left in the dark, trodden by golden boots, we stand against the tide. Wake the Dreamers!
It is inevitable that everything which is historic and relevant to the current generation will be mostly lost to memory with the passing of time. Even far-reaching, advanced, and conquering empires will be forgotten, just as the Golden Empire has been. Though this galaxy-wide kingdom once controlled countless planets and the Empress lead endless war-forged armies with a golden fist, little evidence is left for modern generations to remember it.
The scars they left behind, however, remain. The Desolation, a vast swath of space cluttered with the remnants of dead worlds and civilizations long destroyed, is a constant, haunted reminder of the power of The Golden Empire even as it, too, was dying. Yet even as the Golden fleets burned their way through entire systems, there were those who had the courage to stand against them.
Free trade was little more than a dream for many who plied the stars during the reign of the Golden Empress. After she lost the War of Endless Suns, however, her grip on the galactic economy weakened and brave souls launched their family ships into the stars to establish trade routes between distant systems. The gulf of void between these systems was nearly impossible to navigate, especially after so many civilizations and their satellites were burned to ash.
At first, it would take more than a generation to reach the next port. Merchanter families would be born, live their entire lives, and die on their ships, never making contact with other people except for the occasional pirate attack or remnant fleet encounter. Until Eveline Norwood discovered the Dreaming Deep.
There are some bright souls who naturally touch upon this other realm. Often, they do so in dreams. We can map it, we can travel through it. While they dream we can reach the most distant stars imaginable.
There are people who naturally touch upon the veil between real space, and the Dreaming Deep, which is much like a web of alternate space beneath all that mortals can see. By tapping into this with the Dreamers, Eveline Norwood was able to travel vast distances in far less time and with fewer risks. The Dreamers, unfortunately, had to be kept in their state of dreaming to navigate the Deep. As more and more Merchanters used the Deep, more Dreamers were needed to plot and chart the routes.
The Dreamer's Wake
The remnants of the Golden Empire were not yet ready to release their grip on the galaxy. As Eveline grew in power, she led the Merchanters to take more territory and trade for themselves. She became the primary target of the remaining Imperial forces.
Her ship, The Dreamer, was a marvel of technology. It plied the Deep at near-impossible speeds and could maneuver in atmosphere despite its size. It also possessed one of the most advanced AI systems known to exist. As the Merchanters, under Captain Eveline's leadership, took territory and freed worlds from the Imperial remnants, a fleet was sent to destroy them once and for all. And the Golden Empress learned of the Dreaming Deep.
As the Imperial forces infiltrated the Dreaming Deep with their own captured Dreamers, they wiped out whole Merchanter families and their ships before the others even knew what was happening. It became clear that the Deep was no longer safe and, in fact, was now a threat to all Free Space. There was only one thing Captain Norwood could think of to save the Merchanters and destroy the Remnants. Wake the Dreamers.
The order went out to wake all the Dreamers, collapsing whole routes within the Dreaming Deep. Most of the Remnant fleet was destroyed but a few escaped, including world-dominating war machines. Captain Norwood changed the name of her ship to what became their battle cry, The Dreamer's Wake. They fought the fleet as Captain Norwood ordered the Dreamer's Wake to ground into a nearby planet. The ship, its crew, and the Remnants all crashed into the surface, most of them destroyed upon impact. And there is where the ship remained for many years. Until a new captain and crew found her.