Campaign of the Month: May 2014
Ladies in Hades and the Dyval Wears Prada
Lay of Treenen
The Lay of Treenen
The Lay of Treenen is a book written by Elven historian Sarhon Witstaff. It was discovered by a Splicer in the Shrine Cave of Ishtar in Ancient Babylon. The book was found beneath a pool/oasis full of genetically modified sandtrout, in an impossible air pocket. It chronicles the history of the Second Galactic Era of the Three Galaxies dimension, spanning a length of time from about 5 million years ago to 50,000 years before present day.
A summary of the Second Galactic Era is provided and a rough timeline of the era is described.
The War against the Dominators is the defining event of the Second Galactic Era, if only because modern researchers know little else about it. Everyone agrees that the Second Era ended 50,000 years ago with the destruction of the Dominator homeworld, but there is debate as to when it actually began. Most historians use the arbitrary starting date of five million years ago, coinciding with the assumed construction of Center, on Phase World. A smaller group uses the creation of the Monro-Tet Obelisks, carbon dated back a million years. Regardless of when it began, the beings that lived during the Second Era were light-years more advanced than any species alive today, with cultures that had endured for millions of years. It was a time when godlike beings ruled the universe. There was no distinction between technology and magic, because both were so advanced as to be indistinguishable. What little machinery the Elder Races have left behind gives only tantalizing hints as to how they lived, and of what they were capable. Perhaps the greatest testament to their deific abilities lies in the fact that, in going to war, they unleashed weapons whose might was great enough to erase all traces of both their makers and their victims.
- 5 million years ago. Center, on Phase World, is thought to have been constructed. As to whom the builders were, not even the native Prometheans seem to know. If they do, they keep this data a secret.
- 1 million years ago. Ruins are left on Monro-Tet by an unknown race.
- 100,000 years ago. The oldest surviving galactic records are written. Any event prior to this point is lost to conjecture and antiquity. The Three Galaxies are populated, at this time, by innumerable, god-like beings collectively called “the Elder Races.”
- 50,000 years ago. The War Against the Dominators. The Dominators attempt to circumvent their destiny by killing or subduing all the races that would bring about their downfall. In the fighting, most of the Elder Races are wiped out. At the end of the war, a Black Hole Projector destroys the Dominator homeworld. This is end of the Second Galactic Era.
The second part is a transcription of the epic poem titled “The Lay of Treeean,” written about 100,000 years ago. This epic is the oldest surviving galactic record. It is known that the Three Galaxies at this time were populated by innumerable god-like beings collectively known as “the Elder Races,” but the epic only describes and names eight of them. The sections of this epic which are included are the ones which specifically mention those eight Elder Races:
- The Nebulous Boiaw
- The Moochay
- The Winged Rothamril
- The Promethai (The Promethians)
- The Ferothold Gardeners
- The Irdra-Orm
- The Astralfein (who later became known as the Star Elves)
- The Bar-aldack Kelger-est (Literally translates as “Those Who Would Dominate”)
The third part is dedicated to describing and discussing the Galaxies-Wide “War Against the Dominators.”
At some distant point in the past, the Dominators became obsessed by a prophesy. The oldest Promethean Second Stagers are certain that this dark prediction came from an alien species, since the Dominators have no oracular powers, and they suspect the culprits to be the mysterious Lords of Entropy. It may be that, as gods, they were always obsessed with it, as the Norse pantheon has always believed that it would come to an end during Ragnarok. Regardless of how it came to them, this prophecy became the single motivation for all of the Dominators’ actions.
It was foretold that the Dominators would be wiped out completely by the other species in the Three Galaxies. To deific beings that were immortal, the concept of death was so frightening as to be almost inconceivable, and the extermination of their entire race even more so. It caused the Dominators to panic, and they dedicated their lives to ensuring that this tum of events would never come to pass. For, much like the Norse gods, the Dominators believed in Fate. They were certain that time flowed in only one direction; that the past ceased to exist as soon as it became the past, and that future events were set in stone. So, they came to the conclusion that the only way to outwit the prophecy was to destroy every other species in the universe. After all, how could the Dominators be destroyed if they killed off all of their enemies first?
Contrary to what the younger races of the Third Era believe, the time of the Elder Races was one of unprecedented peace. The Three Galaxies had not known war for a hundred million years. Thus it came as a total surprise when the Dominators began what they called “the great work.” The other Elder Races were completely unprepared for what was to transpire next.
The first to suffer were the Boiaw, who had existed for eons as clouds of nebular gasses, light-years in size. They spent centuries at a time developing complex mathematics, and formulating theories. Having little in common with the more solid Elder Races, the Boiaw had never fought with anyone. The Dominators fell upon them, and enslaved them, for the Boiaw were greatly needed. Compacting them into tight containment fields, the Boiaw were to become the power cores and central computer minds that would drive the Dominators’ Star Fortresses – the chariots that would carry them triumphantly across the Three Galaxies. The Dominators cared little for the agonies of the Boiaw, who, used to the vastness of interstellar space, were now as close to being in Hell as they could have ever thought possible. The Dominators knew that had they not subjugated the Boiaw, they would have paid dearly for it sometime in the future. Better that some other species should suffer, rather than be given the chance to make the prophecy come true.
The Dominators then began their drive in earnest. Spreading out from their homeworld in the Thundercloud Galaxy, they eliminated hundreds of species before they encountered any resistance. Thousands more were turned into dust before the remaining Elder Races finally joined together to stop the carnage. The Dominators saw the powers aligning against them as proof that the prophecy was indeed true, the other species in the universe were out to destroy them. They couldn’t see that they were victims of a pre-destinational paradox, that in trying to avoid their fate, they had in fact set events in motion that would ensure their downfall.
Not all of the Elder Races joined the fight to stop the Dominators. A few of them decided that this war marked the end of everything they had ever known, and either fled or hid themselves away. The Astralfein, for example, used powerful magic/technology to make their planet invisible. Other races collectively traveled through time to the distant future, bypassing not only the end of the Second Era, but the Third as well. Several races, such as the vampiric Sadut, dug bunkers miles beneath the surface of their worlds and went into a state of suspended animation that continues to this day. In the Corkscrew Galaxy, the Architects built a giant defensive sensor net, and then tried to hide behind it (they were ultimately exterminated anyway).
Those who chose to unite and make a stand unleashed such weapons and magic/technologies as should never be seen again. The Elder Races fought back with a terrifying ferocity, but this only seemed to drive the Dominators on still stronger. It was then that the .first of the Cosmo-Knights began to appear. In retrospect, many Star Elf scholars believe that the war against the Dominators was causing such a loss of life that the nature of the Cosmic Forge itself was in danger. The Promethean Second Stagers fear that this was the intent all along, for the Lords of Entropy to instigate such strife that the Cosmic Forge would have no choice but to step in and reveal itself. The Cosmo-Knights eventually helped turn the tide, and after thousands of years of fighting, the Dominators had been forced to retreat back to the core of the Thundercloud from whence they had come.
It should also be noted that around this time many “younger races” were beginning to develop throughout the Three Galaxies as well. The Elder Races, who were now very few in number, knew that they would not be around long enough to protect these newer species should the Dominators regroup and begin their campaign of genocide all over again. If they were going to pass into oblivion, then they were determined to take the Dominators with them. However, their home solar system was so heavily defended that everyone feared to attack it.
So it was that the Elders most powerful creation, the Black Hole Projector, was built. The weapon was only fired once, but it was enough. In an instant, the Dominators’ solar system, and everything around it for one hundred light-years, imploded. A hundred thousand stars collapsed in on each other in the time it takes a heart to beat. A shock wave that was part Ley Line Storm, part gamma ray burst roared outwards from the center of the Thundercloud Galaxy at the speed of light. Everywhere the blast front passed, it scoured planets of life, killing hundreds of emergent younger races and millions of animal species. Those who survived its passing had their evolution set back by millennia.
Only a few hundred Dominators survived, and many of those sank into an indescribable despair. The prophecy had come true, and their people were all but extinct. As for the few remaining Elder Races, many of them, seeing the destruction that the war had wrought, willed themselves to exist no more, and vanished. The Second Galactic Era was over. It would be forty thousand years before another one would begin.
This final part of the book appears initially to be out of place, as it discusses the history of a world (the world is not named, nor is its location provided) besieged by sentient machines. The beings of this world, at war with this artificial intelligence, develop bio-technology so fantastic it is difficult to believe. The basis for this biotech is attributed to have come from a fish-like creature (sandtrout) which, as part of its lifecycle, metamorphoses into a giant sand-worm. The entire life cycle of this mysterious creature is completely laid out.
A prophesy is mentioned of these “Splicers” (so-called because of their prowess in splicing and combining all forms of DNA into living war machines) that coincides with the very same Megaverse-ending prophecy by the Lords of Entropy which spurred the Dominators to engage in the war of the Second Era.