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Before humans evolved, there were the Drengin

Hundreds of thousands of years ago, before the species homo sapiens walked the earth, two advanced civilizations flew among the stars. The malevolent Drengin Empire and the honorable Arcean Empire both began to discover other alien races, including each other, as their robotic probes crawled through the galaxy at sublight speeds. Pooling their knowledge, the two great races invented a city-sized device called a stargate. These stargates allowed ships to travel great distances between them far faster than the conventional propulsion their probes used. The Drengin and Arceans each constructed one of these massive devices and were able, for a time, to trade with one another.

The Drengin squandered their opportunity for mutual benefit through trade by attempting to invade Arcea through the stargate. The Arceans, who are not that unlike the Drengin in warrior aptitude, were well-prepared for the Drengin attempt. They allowed the initial invasion fleet through then deactivated their own stargate – trapping the Drengin fleet thousands of light years away from their home world. The Arceans proceeded to crush the Drengin invasion fleet and never again opened their stargate to the Drengin.

The Arceans proceeded to crush the Drengin invasion fleet and never again opened their stargate to the Drengin

Isolated from one another, the two civilizations turned their attentions to finding other races to interact with. The Arceans came into contact with the Altarians, a race of beings quite unlike themselves but still advanced enough to follow the probe’s instructions to construct their own stargate. Once completed, the Arcean and Altarian races commenced peaceful trade.

Meanwhile, Drengin probes had come into contact with a pre-industrial civilization that called themselves the Toria. Having learned from their experience with the Arceans, the Drengin were not about to help the Toria construct a stargate. Instead, the Drengin built a stargate and then sent it on an unmanned 70,000-year sublight voyage to Toria. The Drengin, while cruel beyond human imagination, are also a patient species. Once the stargate had arrived, a Drengin invasion fleet quickly conquered Toria and enslaved its inhabitants.