Alien Dawn Reference 10 - Out Picture

Beyond Takisi Garden

a. The Core
Luckily for Takisi Garden, the galactic core lies between it and the majority of the tanu territories. A virtually unnavigable maze of unstable stars and white holes, the core has defied Takisi Garden exploration, as anything that gets near enough for sensor readings is soon pulled into the enormous gravity of one of the stars and destroyed. Unknown to the Garden races, the core is rife with hidden anaji installations, most of them obscured and existing only in the psyscoric plane of existence where the tanu have much more trouble finding them. Even several anaji motherships, such as Arden Eryla’s Azhas, have managed to evade tanu detection over the 50,000 years since the fall of the anaji. Since nothing created by any race can survive the stresses of the core without being immersed in the psyscoria, anything found in the core will be across the ethereal gap. This includes not only the anaji bases and ships, but the psysnakes native to the region, which can be a severe hazard for any ship that finds them, and the occasional tanu scout scouring the core for any anaji activity. Only the tanu, anaji, tokin, and ha’nai have the ability to cross into the psyscoria and survive travel in the core region. Any Takisi Garden or Dephezthe ship that spends the time reaching the core’s border will slowly but surely find the path ahead more and more inhospitable and dangerous, until the gravitational forces rip the ship apart. Even the Seechari never mastered the technology used by the anaji and tanu to cross into the psyscoric plane – their long-jumping Gateways operated on entirely different principles than either tanu or anaji technology. For now, the psyscoric-side core remains a devastated region, littered with the debris of the ancient anaji-tanu war and the casualties (mostly on the tanu side) since then.

The ancient homeworld of the anaji, Ryi was long ago attacked by the tanu and utterly decimated. It is unique, however, in that it is the only planet in the entire inner core, and this is because it exists only in the psyscoria. The anaji pushed the planet into the astral space to avoid the tanu invasion, and since then it has drifted into the white hole region of the inner core. What little survived the devastation caused by the tanu has degraded severely in the thousands of years since Ryi’s abandonment, and hardly a building is left standing. The tanu leave Ryi alone due to ramant psysnake activity in the area, the difficulty of using it in any useful way, and the fact that, every once in a while, an anaji will return and kill any tanu he or she finds on the ancient homeworld.

b. Dephezthe Space
Still laying beyond the boundaries of territory explored by the Takisi Garden races is Dephezthe space. Laying spinward of Takisi Garden, this unknown area has had some minor contact with only one planet in Takisi Garden – Earth. The tanu are not the only inter-galactic race to have passed through our galaxy in the past. Another was called the Seechari, and, vastly unlike the tanu, they were explorers and merchants. With technology far surpassing anything seen in Takisi Garden, they set up Gateways across the galaxies, Gateways able to traverse the gaping void between them so that they could explore well beyond the limits of their near neighbors. The Seechari circulated goods across the galaxies and explored far further than any native of our galaxy, but they were far from invincible. Their civilization in decline due to the collapse of part of their gate network and savage diseases rocking their homeworlds, the Seechari created a race of heralds to continue their commerce while they dealt with the problems their race faced. Called the Dephezthe, these artificial beings eventually took the place of the Seechari, who never recovered from their losses. The Dephezthe, however, were much colder than the Seechari, and began dealing in the slave trade, spreading lifeforms all across the galaxies. Sometimes, the slaves that were transplanted died off. Sometimes, they served for millennia. And sometimes, they established nations of their own. The Dephezthe have visited Earth twice in their history. Once was over 60 million years ago, and they took the planet’s most promising slave laborers, saurians, to sell elsewhere. In fact, the entire Dephezthe shipment of saurians was bought not two stops down the trade route, but only a few centuries passed before the saurians, augmented by their buyers to be more intelligent and capable slaves, revolted against them and created their own society in their stead. The second Dephezthe trip to Earth brought primitive humans into the depths of space, many bought by the power-hungry and generally sadistic saurians, now calling themselves the Augori. This would also explain how so many humans can be found in Yggdrasil, far many more than most other races on the great tree. It seems that humans have prospered somewhere else in the galaxy, or even in another galaxy, but whether these humans will ever rediscover their homeworld is questionable, given the massive expanses between and the Dephezthe’s banning of non-slave, non-Dephezthe aboard their vessels.

Garais Meotis
The nation closest to Takisi Garden in Dephezthe space is Garais Meotis, a collection of augori powers that surround the Seechari Market trade route stop of Augoros. Most of the smaller parts of Garais Meotis are at perpetual war with one another, but every augori warlord will gladly call of their wars with their neighbors to face common threats to Garais Meotis, such as the tokin, tanu, or any one of a dozen other aggressive Dephezthe space races. The only race the augori never attack are the Dephezthe, for they find the traders’ business too lucrative to jeopardize, especially the slave market. Throughout Garais Meotis, human slaves abound, garnered from the Dephezthe’s last stop on Earth many centuries ago. No one who isn’t augori or dephezthe is welcome in Garais Meotis, unless they are a slave, and branded as such. However, due to the aggressive nature of the augori and their size and the destruction they could cause, the dephezthe have purposefully left them unable to manufacture or import high tech weaponry or armor. They have access to Gateway technology, advanced comms, and most other luxuries of both Takisi Garden and the rest of Dephezthe Space, save for any weapon. The claws of the augori gladiator breed are formidable weapons enough, as anyone who has fought them can attest.

Shalator is an oddity, a single planet whose highly advanced race never bothered to leave their solar system. Not even the other satelites and planets in the system are colonized, but luckily for the shalai their world was directly on the Seechari Market Trade Route. While shalai are still extremely rare off their homeworld, they occasionally accompany traveling merchant convoys into other Dephezthe space territories, such as Otekyan in Garais Meotis. What little has been seen of them is good clue as to why – they are extremely small, physically fragile, and unable to live in any environment save that of Shalator. Not only that, but the gravity on most other planets (and ships) is enough to kill them. So the shalai stay home, where they are masters of sciences and technologies of cultural value and little else, all fragile but beautiful and much prized for their delicate natures.

c. Ha’Nai Territories
The ha’nai are one of our galaxy’s three powerful native races. Of the three, they are the largest, most physically powerful, and most aggressive. If not for the tanu invasion millennia ago that forced all three native races to ally against the invaders from beyond, the ha’nai would have likely claimed Takisi Garden as well as a fair amount of tokin and dephezthe space. Large crustaceans, the ha’nai cannot survive in the atmospheric conditions used by the anaji, Takisi Garden races, and augori, and do not possess the tanu technology for bio-molecular implants that allow breathing in such environments. Like their interstellar neighbors the tokin, the ha’nai must resort to environmental suits when not in their home environment, and visa versa when anaji-based races visit a ha’nai habitat. Apart from the tanu, the ha’nai also possess the largest, most powerful ships in our galaxy, and the most devastating weapons, ones that can punch through any shield with ease, save those of the tokin, a fact which has saved their primary adversaries from annihilation on a frequent basis since the two races came into contact with one another. No one from Takisi Garden has ever seen a ha’nai, or visited ha’nai space, as these ferocious powerhouses are fiercely territorial and destroy any alien ship that enters their domain, including those of Dephezthe merchants. As a result, the ha’nai are one of the few major powers along the Dephezthe trade routes that the slavers do not deal with, but the ha’nai policy of supreme border security has not diminished their power in the least. They import nothing, export nothing, and have little contact with the outside galaxy save for the regular skirmish with tokin fleets along the war-torn border zone between the two enormous empires.

Senhanara is the Gateway to the Ha’Nai Territories, or would be if the ha’nai weren’t combative xenophobes. Instead, it is the planet that keeps an eye on Takisi Garden, making sure the Ravager Gap and the Path of Devastation remain free of tokin activity and monitoring Chylia, Nur’Tan, and the DXE for aggressive activity.

d. Tanu Territories

e. Tokin Territories
Rimward and spinward of Takisi Garden lies the tokin territories, just as large as the ha’nai territories and just as unexplored. While the tokin do not share the ha’nai’s aggressive nature, they are nevertheless extremely cautious, having been under near-continuous assault by the ha’nai, tanu, and some of the more violent races in Dephezthe space for millennia. None have managed to attain more than a temporary foothold in tokin space, but the possibility of tokin enemies breaching their borders and reaching their home system of Ki’Rah’Jina is too terrible a concept for the tokin to imagine to take any chances. Thusly, they capture any Takisi Garden or non-Dephezthe alien ship unfamiliar to them and make certain their territory is not discovered by any potential enemies. Unfortunately, this policy alienates them from potential friends as well, as the races of Takisi Garden would no doubt be if the opportunity presented itself. Currently, the tokin/ha’nai war is in a state of low-scale skirmishes, with only a few major battles occurring a year. The tokin border with Dephezthe space has been nearly deserted, as internal conflicts have provided the augori and the _ with new targets for their aggression.

Prior to the Tanu/Takisi Garden War, no outsider ever set foot on the tokin homeworld. No ha’nai or tanu or augori attack ever pierced this far, no seechari or dephezthe ever ventured to their trading partner’s planet of origin, and no anaji or Gardeners were allowed to visit the great city-sphere. Only after the tanu ran rampant through the ha’nai worlds and Takisi Garden and the millions of desperate refugees cried out to their loyal tokin allies did the elders of Ki’Rah’Jina finally give in and allow aliens to set foot upon their world. More or less, anyways, as the entire planet as it once was is now effectively gone, replaced by an enormous tokin city. From what used to be the upper atmosphere all the way through the core to the other side of the planet, Ki’Rah’Jina is structured and colonized by the tokin. An astounding seventy billion tokin live on the planet, making it by far the most populated planet in the galaxy. After all, Xarsil only has twelve billion and Earth thirteen billion sentients upon it, and the populations of the ha’nai homeworld (wherever it is) and Augorios are estimated to be much lower. Even with the recent revolutionary lifting of the tokin-only policy, most of Ki’Rah’Jina is off-limits to Gardeners, as there are only so many environmental suits for them and only so much space the tokin are willing to grant the refugees. Several dozen large ‘habitats’ have been constructed for the Takisi Garden exiles, with cramped but acceptable conditions. Otherwise, the planet remains as it has for millennia, a metropolis beyond the limits of the human imagination, one whose existence defies any attempt at mapping or planning, as complex as a living creature and one of the greatest wonders of our galaxy.

f. Yggdrasil
Though undiscovered by modern Takisi Garden, Yggdrasil has made itself known to the mythology of at least three of the Garden races – as Yggdrasil in human Norse mythology, as the great mother tree from which Khursinhi was born in ancient renjiri folklore, and as Ke'Kexec, the xarsian tree leading to the three moons of the afterlife. Given what Yggdrasil really is, it is unknown how these beliefs have surfaced around it, unless as a holdover from deeply hidden anaji memories of the great tree. This enormous plant, thought to be one of a race, is the size of a medium-sized star, but exists in the third layer of the psyscoria, where its roots slither through space to emerge into real space and ensnare planets that the tree absorbs water and carbon dioxide from. Yggdrasil is only reachable from psyscoric nexus points and from planets it has ensnared, so any Gardeners who happen upon it have a limited number of ways off.
Yggdrasil has many forms of life living upon it, many of them completely unknown in Takisi Garden. Foremost are the fourth-dimensional beings called malevores, unintelligent presences that feed on the mental energies harvested from animal species nearby. Many of the malevores of Yggdrasil have earned designations by many of the Dephezthe races and the anaji living on Yggdrasil, including Hecate, Set, and Tiamat, among many others. Also thriving throughout Yggdrasil are shia, voracious arachnids that breed in large numbers all over the tree. Many humans and augori populate the malevore realms as well, as one of the largely populated Garais Meotis worlds was entrapped about a century ago, and the resilient (and useful to the malevores) two races have spread and multiplied in the meantime. Tanu and dephezthe are never present on Yggdrasil, for reasons unknown. A few small colonies of anaji also live on the great tree, though deep in hiding, from the exodus from Ryi long ago. These anaji have advanced enough technologically to put them back at the level they were when Ryi fell, but all the information they have on their ancestors who fought the tanu has vanished, as has any knowledge of Takisi Garden, Arden, or the da’si’s defeat at the hands of Azhin Eryla.

The Chlorophylus
Yggdrasil obtains its carbon dioxide, water, and soil-based minerals through planets that it ensnares, but its source of light for photosynthesis comes not from stars but another dimension beyond the psyscoria, called brightspace. The Chlorophylus is the branch of the giant tree that reaches into brightspace and it is covered in photosynthesizing branches long enough to wrap around most planets. Unlike most of Yggdrasil, the Chlorophylus is devoid of shia, malevores, and most other lifeforms, the only beings able to survive immersion in brightspace being plant life and the anaji. Unknown to anyone, not all of Ryi’s refugees were killed by the tanu. A few managed to reach Yggdrasil, and they are the first ones to have discovered the Chlorophylus. Taking refuge there from the tanu who pursued them, they remained safe but unable to strike back or assist their lost children in Takisi Garden. They have spent the last fifty thousand years rebuilding their civilization on the Chlorophylus, but they have only recently rediscovered their cloning technology, and thusly many secrets of old have been lost, including the location of Takisi Garden and the now obsolete power of psyscoric traveling. They are not safe outside brightspace, and so there they remain.

Erebus is one of Yggdrasil’s most known roots. The realm is actually just a section of one of Yggdrasil’s major roots, but it is large enough and takes up enough of the root to just give it the designation of a full root. The place is the sole territory of the malevore Hecate, and is peopled by shia, humans, augori, and a few other races, all slaves to her will and kept in line by her three Erinyes, brainwashed and empowered enforcers of the malevore’s making. Though not sentient, malevores are creative through trial and error, and so they fashion their realms and their slaves to generate the synaptic energy to feed them. Erebus, for example, is covered in dark, hot jungle, with the slaves held in black-stoned cities reminiscent of those of ancient Aztec on Earth. As most humans on Erebus are descended from that area (acquired via the dephezthe through an ensnared Augori planet), they fear and loathe the temple sacrifices with enough passion to keep Hecate’s belly full. Routine forced mating and sacrifice of the frail and elderly keep the population stable, and the only food available to them is made from the carcasses of the dead. Erebus is a terrifying place, and Hecate has it that way for a reason. To be afraid here is to feed her and strengthen her. And those who don’t cooperate become prey for the Erinyes.

Hecate’s Lair
Deep within Erebus, buried nearly five miles beneath the surface of the giant root, lies Hecate’s lair, where the enormous physical manifestation of the malevore’s presence is seated. It is most likely buried so deep not for security, but merely due to age, and Yggdrasil’s growth just covered it over the millennia. As destroying Hecate’s physical form in Erebus would do little but prevent her from feeding on the root until she sprouted a new growth on Erebus, and to get to it would require battling legions of brainwashed shia, humans, augori, and the three Erinyes, followed by the five-mile dig, it is doubtful any who become aware of Hecate’s presence and location would even attempt to destroy it.
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