In the year 2436, humanity left the cradle of the Sol system for the vastness of space. After centuries of failed attempts to claim the stars, an incredible discovery was made that Titan, once thought to be a moon of Saturn, was in fact an artificial satellite, planted there by beings that became known as the Stellarians. And within this satellite rested the blueprints and collected knowledge of these ancient aliens regarding the means to bend the rules of reality to one’s own will. The source of true magic, performing feats once thought impossible by science, were a series of runes created by the Stellarians to harness power from the very galaxy itself. With the runes one could throw balls of fire from their fingers, or fly without the need of expensive equipment. And what was more, the Stellarians left behind the designs for massive ship engines, which could slip into a small gap in reality to slide effortlessly across vast distances.
The first of these “Arcane Engines” was constructed immediately, finishing their creation in the early months of 2435, and with proper crews and equipment at last to travel the vast distances of the galaxy, mankind slipped into the intricate web left behind for us. And upon exiting this gap, we found we were far, far from alone in the galaxy.
First contact wars raged, vast empires were forged and fell to outsiders or internal strife. Megacorporations rose up to overthrow their governments and place themselves at the helm of state. Humanity and the many species of the galaxy fought each other, joined with each other, and throughout the centuries forged a new Milky Way day by day.
To live in the year 3648 was to live in a galaxy dominated by vast interstellar empires, Megacorporations, and back and forth bickering between all of the above. Ships on the stars had to worry about mechanical failure, magical mishap, and assault from roving fleets of rival empires. But in this year, an ancient evil emerged, one which had not been heard of in almost two millenia.
They came from the darkness of space, in ships that seemed not at all unlike other merchant vessels. They displayed bright holographics marking themselves as friendly ships, fellow countrymen. And they simply requested that the sailors allow them to approach, that their ships may trade information and cargo, as any reasonable ship would do spying a friend in the void. It would only be when it was far too late that the truth would be revealed.
Firstly, the ship’s power output would skyrocket. Its hull would open up with hidden gunports and launch bays. And the holographic sigils of a friendly empire or company would quickly change to a simple, archaic symbol, borrowed from humanity’s eighteenth century; A white skull, overlaying a crossed pair of bones. Before the ship could hail for assistance its communications would be jammed, and the first warning shots fired.
They were hostes humani generis, enemies of all that lived in the galaxy. They were the Scandal of civilized life. They were the blackest-hearted monsters to have ever lived. And now they had returned.