The Lamprosea galaxy is a field dwarf spiral galaxy in the Local cluster. The name Lamprosea comes from Greek and is best translated as meaning place of brilliance, referring to the bright, multi-colored appearance of the galaxy as viewed from Earth.
Approximately 30,000 light-years in diameter, Lamprosea contains an estimated 35 billion stars and 5 billion planets. Earth, the homeworld of the Human species, is located approximately 9,740 light-years from the Galactic Inner Core, a region composed of the dust and stars in the innermost 6,500 light-years of the galaxy. A supermassive black hole forms the center of the Galactic Core, with an extreme concentration of dust and stellar material making direct surveys of this region imposible.
Lamprosea is the only galaxy with a confirmed presence of sentient life. Complex sapience is found in both carbon and silicate-based lifeforms, and the number of worlds considered suitable for the existence of life in the galaxy is estimated to number in the tens of thousands. Several sentient species have achieved interstellar travel through the use of negative mass engines. Such interstellar-capable species are believed to have existed in Lamprosea at least ten million years before the present, though extant space-faring species are date back only six hundred thousand years before present. Among the most notable known extant species are Magnoculans, Cornuutians, Nattettors, Candentians, Agarians and Humans. More sapient, space-faring species are believed to exist in reaches of the galaxy more distant from the Sol system.
It is widely believed that sapient lifeforms have existed in Lamprosea for at least the last ten million years. Ruins strewn across the galaxy from a myriad of source species can be dated as far back as such, and several of these early species are believed to have achieved interstellar travel. It is widely assumed that sapient life has existed in Lamprosea for even longer than this, although evidence of this speculation is difficult to come by. In the region of space inhabited by members of the Interstellar Peace Organization, ruins have been discovered from two discretely identified ancient spacefaring civilizations.
Ruins of the older Adustian civilization have been encountered throughout Agarian, Nattetor, and Cornuutian space and dated to at least 10 million YBP. Adustian ruins have only been found on planets with little to no atmospheric coverage, with evidence of intense combustion and radiation prevalent across all discoveries. No Adustian space stations or ships have been discovered to date. The most widely believed theory about their demise was that it was brought about by some form of atmospheric destruction weapon used against all of their colony worlds. Remains of the Adustians have also been discovered on these worlds, as a lack of atmosphere on their planets has left many of them preserved in their death state. Burns covering the entirety of their epidermis and even inside their respiratory system further validates the hypothesis that an atmospheric combustion weapon was used to completely eradicate their civilization, although no evidence as to the perpetrators or their motives have been found to date. The wide area of their colonization and their seemingly high population numbers have led many to speculate that their civilization was perceived as too expansive by rival galactic powers, although no evidence of such rival civilizations has ever been found.
The younger Illianteans are believed to have reached their zenith at approximately 2 million YBP, spreading from the world now known as Curio into the region of space known contemporaneously as the Relic Sector. Highly advanced, the Illianteans were believed to have traversed through and studied a large portion of the galaxy, although their planetary colonies were restricted to a handful of star systems within the Relic Sector. The Illianteans are believed to also have constructed the Sanctuary Ring which now lies at the edge of Solar Union space. This partially destroyed ring station is inhabited by a large population of Illipostians, a sapient species believed to be descended from the Illiantean themselves. Active and technologically advanced weaponry prevents any modern star ship from venturing too close to the Sanctuary Ring, and studies of the station and its inhabitants have thus been limited to long-range scans.
Early pre-contact period
The first species of the recent period to achieve interstellar spaceflight were the Magnoculans of Gresek, who first left their home system approximately 8,000 YBP. The earliest Magnoculan explorers achieved legendary status within Magnoculan society for the sheer breadth of scientific knowledge that was acquired in their early spacefaring period. The Magnoculans wandered through a significant portion of the space which was to eventually become the IPO, studying many of the species which were to develop into their future contemporaries, including the early-modern Homo sapiens of Earth. The Magnoculans revered the natural history of the universe as a sacred process of development, especially so those localized systems which produced life. For this reason, a contentious debate arose within their society as to the moral implications of guiding fellow sapient lifeforms from destructive to pacifistic ways of living. Such would irrevocably alter the natural course of development found within these societies, considered an act akin to heresy among more orthodox Magnoculans. At the same time, preventing the future destruction of such species and influencing these societies towards peaceful aspirations gained traction among many as the morally correct action. The debate over the correct protocol for sapient alien life paralyzed Magnoculan society and has come to be regarded as one of the most significant periods in their recent history.
Around 500 BCE, the monitoring station in orbit of the Cornuutian homeworld of Ky'lyth reported that the native species achieved its first spaceflight. Believing that this was an opportunity to show the power of Magnoculan guidance to his society, the director of the monitoring station initiated first contact with the Cornuutians. Dismayed by the revelation that their holy moon was in fact an artificial station, the Cornuutians responded violently to the Magnoculans, capturing their station and killing off all of its inhabitants. After a prolonged period without contact, the Magnoculan government sent an investigation team to learn what happened to their monitoring station. The investigative team reported to the government that the scientists at the station had been killed and its technology possessed by the Cornuutians, whose fractious native governments had begun using it to engage in violent act against rival nation-states. This revelation caused massive shock on Gresek and only further galvanized the two sides of the passive-active involvement debate. Within an Earth decade, a single government emerged as the victor of the Cornuutian Unification War, and it had begun to rapidly expand into its solar system with the technology gained from the Magnoculan station. A second attempt at first contact was made by the Magnoculans, and after the envoy sent was nearly killed by Cornuutian warrior ships, it was determined that their rapid expansion and hostile nature presented the greatest threat to the Magnoculans in their history.
After the discovery was made that the Cornuutians were assembling a battle fleet in their home system, it became a pressing matter for the Magnoculans to develop their own means of interstellar self-defense. The first Magnoculan Peacemaker fleet was rapidly planned and assembled by the leading scientists in their society, and fears came to a head when the Cornuutian battle fleet was determined to be on its way to the Magnoculan home system with clearly malevolent intentions. The First Cornuutian War began in earnest when the Magnoculans engaged the Cornuutians approximately half-way between their two home systems in the Battle of Kepler 1451, with a clear and decisive victory on the part of the Magnoculans. After the battle, the Magnoculans sent another envoy in pursuit of the retreating Cornuutian fleet to attempt to diplomatically resolve the situation, but the Cornuutians responded by destroying the Magnoculan envoy ship and beheading the already-dead Magnoculan diplomat in a live transmission to the Magnoculan Peacemakers. The Peacemakers continued on to the Cornuutian homeworld, where they decisively destroyed the remaining Cornuutian fleet and their former monitoring station in orbit of Ky'lyth. As the Cornuutians responded to every diplomatic measure with more violence, it became clear to the Peacemakers that there would be no surrender on the part of the Cornuutians.
Unwilling to completely eradicate the Cornuutians, the Magnoculans devised a scheme to seed the Cornuutians in a distant part of the galaxy. The covert Project Envara would aim to find a world compatible with Cornuutian physiology, transport a self-sustaining number of Cornuutian and relative species' embryos there, and use a single Magnoculan monitor to ensure the development of these embryos into a stable society. The monitor would spend the remainder of their lifetime remotely overseeing the development of this society, ensuring that the colony survived and that their monitoring station was destroyed upon their death. After the necessary amount of genetic material had been acquired by the Magnoculans to seed the new world, Ky'lyth was completely and totally glassed. The Peacemakers then returned to their home system, where the discovery of Project Envara sent shockwaves throughout their society.
Later pre-contact period
The fallout from the First Cornuutian War precipitated the collapse of the ruling Magnoculan Directorate government and its replacement by the Sacred Consensus. The proponents of this movement fused aspects of the previous division in Magnoculan society. The Consensus promoted the idea that sapient life in harmony with other life was worthy of protecting from destruction, even at the cost of the possibly sapient lives which would cause that destruction. In this regard, the Consensus sought to expand its influence to all worlds harboring indigenous life, so as to protect it not only from alien threats but even possibly from itself. Project Envara was maintained by the Consensus government, but a new directive was given to ensure the development of the new Cornuutian society in a pacifistic form. The Consensus then established permanent monitoring stations in proximate star systems containing native sapient life, including the Nattetor home system of Delta Arae, the Human home system of Sol, and the Agarian home system of Kepler 2206.
The first observed species to independently achieve spaceflight were the Nattetors, whose society had been unified under a theocratic central government. Believing the Nattetors to be a sufficiently peaceful society, the Consensus initiated first contact around the Earth year 240 CE. With both governments adhering to an outlook which saw sanctity in the development of the natural universe, the two societies flourished in an age of advanced cultural and scientific exchange. Unlike the Magnoculans, the Nattetors sought to colonize worlds beyond their own and expand their way of life only on worlds which they believed would accept them. In the first centuries of the Nattetors' expansion, only a handful of candidate worlds were selected for colonization. These worlds would become venerated in the Nattetors' cosmological system as places of natural harmony with their unique physiology. The natural religion of the Nattetors impressed the Consensus, which came to value a great deal of the cultural achievements of the Nattetors. Many Magnoculans even began to personally adopt the unique spiritual practices of the Nattetors, with its adherents only increasing in numbers over time.
Sentient, space-faring lifeforms
Humans are bipedal mammals originating from the planet Earth. Humans are a species known for their unique interspecies diversity, a result of their highly adaptive behavior in relation to the geographical diversity of their homeworld. The average adult Human ranges from 1.5 to 2 meters in height and 0.4 to a little over 0.6 meters in arm-to-arm width. Humans have a wide array of skin tones, hair colors, hair types, eye colors, and facial features, with these phenotypic features typically signalling the "race" of the individual. Although largely sidelined in communiques with alien species, the racial characteristics of Humans have a high degree of perception and recognition among their own kind. With an average natural lifespan of about 85 years, Humans are some of the most short-lived sapient beings in the galaxy. Their relatively short lifespans have been a significant factor in their fast technological progression and rapid colonization program. As the average Human will spend nearly a quarter of its lifespan in a state of social immaturity, many Humans consider the time they have as true adults to be highly valuable and often apply themselves to the fullest extent of their abilities in their preferred professions. Human families are tightly bound throughout the course of family members' lifespans, with familial bonds between individuals being some of the strongest in Human society. Human families are most commonly established through the coupling of a male with a female, and the resultant descendant generations of offspring consider each other to be closely related. Humans also prefer to mate for life, although it is not uncommon for previously mated individuals to separate, even when offspring have been produced between the two of them.
The Solar Union represents the majority of Humans in the Lamprosea galaxy as of 2420, with its capital on the Human homeworld of Earth. With an estimated population of 393 billion people spread across 16 planets and 27 habitat stations, the Solar Union is the third most populous and second most expansive sovereignty in the known galaxy. The Solar Union was established after the Treaty of Nausica in 2207, which unified the Human colonies of Sol, Epsilon Eridani, and Alpha Centauri in the common interest of mankind. The Solar Union co-founded the Interstellar Peace Coalition with the Magnoculans and Nattetors in 2256, playing a leading role in the Pact of Menjet.
The Magnoculans are a species of bipedal Amphibians from the planet Gresek in the 3 Ceti system. Magnoculans possess a variety of phenotypic traits which results in a range of different skin, eye, and supercrania tones, as well as a pronounced but smaller distinction in terms of height. Magnoculans typically range from 2.3 to 3 meters in height, the tallest average of any known sapient spacefaring species in the galaxy. Unlike the high intradiversity of the outwardly similar human species, the Magnoculans possess little significant variations other than the aforementioned tones of small parts of their physiology. Magnoculans are a naturally hermaphroditic species, with Sexual reproduction involving exchange of sperm between two individuals and the production of a single fertilized egg by both. The natural lifespan of Magnoculans is rivaled in longevity only by the Obscurans at a contemporary life expectancy of nearly two millennia in Earth years. Although the aging process of the Magnoculan is slow, the natural metabolic functions of the species are comparable to Humans in their physiology. The Magnoculans possess a capability for cognition which on average exceeds all other known sapient species in the galaxy. Coupled with their longevity, this makes the Magnoculans preeminent artists, philosophers, and scientists, with the average Magnoculan taking up a wide variety of professions over their lifespan. The idyllic environment provided by their homeworld nurtured a common social system which values the cultivation of a deep inner life focused on creativity, peace, and understanding. In their long and varied stages of life, Magnoculans will create a large number of social connections which result in many different friendships and partnerships. Unlike Humans, Magnoculans do not intend to mate for life, and typically a coupling will last for as long as is needed to bring any children into maturity, a process which takes only a few decades of their centuries long lifespans. Magnoculans consider the relationships of children to parent important, but the most prized among their species are those friendships which manage to exist for the majority of a pair's lifetime.
The Magnoculans are represented in the contemporary galaxy by the Sacred Consensus, based on their homeworld of Gresek. An estimated 39 billion Magnoculans inhabit 4 planets and one natural satellite, making the Magnoculans one of the least populous spacefaring species. A highly pacifistic and spiritual people, the Magnoculans have a special reverence for life and the material composition of the universe. Historical conflicts within their society have never resulted in physical violence, something the Magnoculans have only ever resorted to after first contact with the Cornuutians. The Magnocualans precipitated the foundation of the Interstellar Peace Organization by protecting the Nattetors from Cornuutian domination in the Second Cornuutian War in 2251, after which the alliance was deemed an unfortunate necessity.
Gargantua (previously termed XS 11) is a black hole in Solar Union space with an apparent sentience and capability of communication. The exact nature of Gargantua's intelligence is unknown, but interfacing with Solar Union Navy communications equipment has allowed the black hole to analyze and utilize Human language. Gargantua is a particularly massive black hole, with a diameter of approximately five million kilometers and a mass of about 880 thousand times that of Sol. Gargantua possesses the ability to perceive space time at levels considered incomprehensible to Human understanding, and the black hole has described witnessing the collision of the Lamprosea galaxy with another, more massive galaxy, approximately two billion years ago. Gargantua has further described that several historic space-faring species has visited it over the course of it's lifetime, with Humans being among the first three to acknowledge interaction with it and engage in extended communications. Gargantua has provided Humanity and the whole of the IPO with a significant amount of information on the mechanics of black holes and greatly extended the availability of historical astrophysical information. The reason for the benevolence of Gargantua is unknown, as it is unclear how an extremely isolated, incorporeal, and seemingly immortal entity could develop moral considerations. Nonetheless, Gargantua has been attributed citizenship within the Solar Union and voluntarily contributes to scientific research as of 2420.
Below is a map of galactic sovereignties and their colonized star systems as discovered by the Solar Union 2420.