The Humans are one of the six races entrusted with an Ancient Artefact.
Humans hail from the planet Earth and greatly resemble the Apex, only with much smaller brow-ridges and much less body hair; it is said that the Apex were likely much more Human-like before the VEP "inoculation" altered their physiology. Humans are generally an inventive, optimistic species with a drive to explore and learn, and are considered mostly harmless.
Not much is known about Human history before their discovery of warp drive, though what is known is that it involved a series of wars and conflict over finite resources. The ability to travel quickly between the stars soon led to a peaceful post-scarcity society, using advanced technology in the goal of exploration and advancement of learning. Despite their voyages across the stars, large-scale colonization was actually uncommon, as many Humans either chose to return to Earth or live a more nomadic existence. Though settlements are rare, Humans are a common sight in scientific outposts and spacelanes throughout the universe, including many installations run by the Hylolt-owned Letheia Corporation.
During this time two major groups came to prominence: the altruistic Terrene Protectorate, which sought to assist and welcome beings of any race for the betterment of all life in the universe, and the profit-seeking and less-morally-upright Universal Space Corporate Military(USCM). The latter eventually collapsed after a long string of bad luck followed by a catastrophic bioweapon failure, with most of its members taking up interstellar banditry.
Humanity would suffer a crippling blow with the destruction of Earth, as it was torn apart by The Ruin. Billions of lives were lost, as well as most of the Protectorate's membership which had gathered at the main headquarters.
Despite this, Humanity continues to survive, and perhaps one day may again thrive.
The Apex are one of the six races entrusted with an Ancient Artifact.
They were originally a much more human-like race until a completely natural mysterious water-borne pathogen of unknown origin threatened their survival. Fortunately the ruling government, known as the Miniknog, had developed a cure that countered the harmful effects of the pathogen... with the unexpected side effect of starting the VEP(Vestigi-Evo Process), which "devolved" their bodies to a more ape-like state. On the other hand, it also greatly increased their mental capabilities, leading to even bigger advances in super-science.
This process took less than ten years to spread to the entire race, and also coincidentally at the same time the Miniknog began a complete societal restructuring(Purge). All records of the Apex society prior to VEP were destroyed, and the Miniknog's leader Big Ape took complete and total control over the Apex society... for their safety and security, of course. Apex leadership dictates jobs, the exonomy, fashion trends, food rations, and who "volunteers" for tests in the advancement of Apex biological science. Big Ape's rule is so all-encompassing that nobody knows exactly how long Apex society has actually been this way. And thus the Apex were happy and complacent, under the watchful eye of Big Ape and his many, many, many surveillance cameras and heavily-armed guards.
For some reason this has bred resentment in some very ungrateful and rude Apex, and rebel cells have begun to pop up here and there but it is such a small thing, really, and totally not a huge undercurrent that has spread through the entire society.
Carry on about your day, citizen. Big Ape is watching you.
Based culture and technology: Advanced Humanity
The Hylotl are one of the six races entrusted with an Ancient Artifact.
The Hylotl are a semi-aquatic race with trinocular vision, highly-adaptable genetics and a relatively short lifespan, which over the generations has led them from being a strictly land-based species to one that can live comfortably in aquatic environments, though they still lack the ability to breathe underwater.
They have a long and rich history of art, science, and philosophy, with reverence for tradition and meditation. Despite their highly-advanced technological level, most of their structures are still made of wood bedecked with ornate carvings. This leads to an interesting clash of Hylotl cultures in their massive underwater cities, with hand-painted calligraphy next to bright neon signs advertising the latest fashions, and quiet paper-walled garden rooms not far from the heavy bass thumping of a "bubbstep" dance club. The Hylotl-owned Letheia Corporation is one of the largest companies in the galaxy, providing everything from entertainment to space stations and starship fuel to people across the stars.
Hylotl pride themselves on seeking peaceful solutions to problems, though they recognize that sometimes their side of a philosophical debate on the merits of not dying carries a little more weight when backed up with a sharp enough blade. Thus, the ability to use weapons with skill and proficiency is similarly a fine-honed art passed down through the generations.
Some find the Hylotl to be stuffy, arrogant, and passive-aggressive, which the Hylotl deny and figure you'll see the error of your ways once you've become a bit more enlightened like they have.
The Hylotl have a long and ugly history with the Floran. Though the "why" and "how" has been lost to history, the two races were effectively at war with each other for a long time. It was a war the Hylotl fared poorly in even with their advanced technology, as a massive Floran invasion of their homeworld forced the Hylotl to settle under the oceans. Though open hostilities have been over for a long time, there is still plenty of animosity between the two races, though the average Hylotl will claim there really isn't and they've totally forgiven the Floran for being a bunch of bloodthirsty murderous brain-dead savages.
Based culture and technology: Japanese
The Floran are one six races entrusted with an Ancient Artifact.
Plant-based humanoids, they are extremely violent carnivores with no central government or power structure, split into numerous tribes spread across the universe, each led by a Greenfinger. Their speech is often simplistic, and they tend to hisss their sibilantsss. Their primary drives are hunting, acquiring trophies, fighting, eating meat, and more hunting. It is speculated that their general casual view towards killing and consuming other intelligent species stems from not viewing "meat" as "alive" in the same sense they are. As the Floran spread throughout the galaxy however, more and more individuals are recognizing a need to integrate, make friends, and maybe not stab anyone that slightly inconveniences them.
Florans, in their young age, have their foliage, or 'skin', colored in green. The color of the foliage get darker the older they get.
Light Green (1 to 15 years) -> Green (15 to 25 years) -> Dark Green (25 to 35 years) -> Yellow (35 to 55 years) -> Yellowish Orange (55 to 75 years) -> Brown (75 years, until death)
A relatively young race, they have primitive technology but are incredibly adept at scavenging and -thanks to the Greenfingers' unique gifts- reverse-engineering other races' tech, much to the universe's chagrin.
They have a long and ugly history with the Hylotl, as the two races were effectively at war with each other for years. This culminated in a massive Floran invasion that drove the Hylotl under the oceans. While open hostilities have ceased and things have been peaceful for generations, both races harbor deep-rooted resentment towards the other. The Hylotl are very passive-aggressively condescending in their disdain for the Floran, where the Floran are just openly and bluntly insulting to the Hylotl.
Based culture and technology: Tribal Human societies, and a mix of all the other races' technology.
The Avian are one of the six races entrusted with an Ancient Artifact.
A birdlike race of humanoids hailing from the planet Avos, their stone structures, simple clothing, deeply-religious nature and rather simplistic battle tactics (primarily consisting of "overwhelm the enemy with thousands of disposable soldiers") make them seem primitive at first glance. But the Avian are very intelligent, and anyone brave or foolish enough to venture into an Avian temple or tomb will find examples of advanced -and deadly- technology, powered by Avolite crystals. These enigmatic power sources are mined solely by the Stargazer priests on their homeworld, and power everything from simple lights to spaceships capable of interstellar travel.
Avian culture is centered around the worship of Kluex, the "Winged God of the Aether". According to their religion, the Avian once existed outside the mortal plane alongside their god, but grew jealous of the mortals' pleasures. The Avians crossed into the material world, an act punished by stripping them of their ethereal wings, dooming them to be forever flightless. An Avian can only be reunited with Kluex by shedding their mortal body while keeping the truest of faith in their hearts. Ceremonies to achieve this state of pure being include ritualistic sacrifices of captured enemies, and an elaborate procession that culminates in the most devout, chosen by the priests, climbing a tall tower and taking a leap of faith, their spirit breaking free of their mortal prison and flying into the Aether, as their now-discarded body plummets to the ground below.
This bloody theology does not sit well with all Avians however, and a growing number have rejected the words of the Stargazers and the divinity of Kluex. Calling themselves "Grounded", they have taken to the stars and formed their own colonies. Some have crafted terrestrial flying ships and make their lives in piracy, and many others have joined multi-racial organizations like the Terrene Protectorate.
Based cuture and technology: Ancient Egypt
The Glitch are one of the six races entrusted with an Ancient Artifact.
Despite being incredibly advanced robots, Glitch society is quite literally medieval. Built by an unknown race eons ago to simulate organic life and society, something went wrong and the Glitch got caught in an unending loop where they would not advance past the "stone castles and agrarian villages" stage. Just how long the Glitch have been locked in this state is unknown; empires have risen and fallen, and the citizenry just keeps trundling on at their assigned tasks year after year, content in their work, and letting the universe pass them by.
The Glitch themselves look like something constructed in the dark ages, their simplistic exteriors belying the stunningly enhanced programming that keeps them running. Glitch knights are not constructed any hardier than a mere automato farmer, so warriors don bulky steel armor and carry old-fashioned melee weapons, and sometimes simple bows. They have to eat to draw power, using the released methane from digestion as fuel rather than the actual foodstuffs themselves. Even their "medicine" is meant to simulate organic cures and healing, despite them not physically needing the processes to work this way. As their "faces" are not built to convey expression, Glitch preface their speech with a single-word statement of emotion or intent to make sure their meaning is clear. "Cordial. Happy to meet you!" "Enraged. I'll chop your head off!"
Glitch do die and do procreate, though the latter is decidedly not the same process as it is with biological life-forms. The "parents" choose parts for their "offspring", then enter a trace-like state where the two assemble the new Glitch silently and with a speed and skill not shown in everyday Glitch activities. This process takes several building sessions over the course of weeks, and is performed in private.
Not all Glitch stay within their programming, however. It is not common, but sometimes a Glitch will break free of their coding "blind spots", and become truly self-aware. These individuals are pitied yet shunned, as this self-determination is considered a flaw, detrimental to the smooth operation of the Glitch way of life. These "Outcasts" still retain many of the same psychological quirks of their race despite this awareness, but their sudden yearning to be more than what they were leads them to travel the stars and find their own purpose.
Though most Glitch stay in their villages and castles, a few Glitch splinter groups have formed and spread across the cosmos. The Rainbow Rogues don brilliantly-colored and sparkly capes and cowls, bringing blinding justice wherever they travel. Less virtuous are the battle-hungry All-Seeing Knights, who at least have a code of honor and will fight for those who offer them shelter... unlike the similarly-themed All-Seeing Crusaders, who patrol ruins in Eyepatches across the galaxy and attack anyone within sight.
Based culture and technology: Medieval Europe.
The Novakid are a race of interstellar gas-bag people who are constantly on the move, mining asteroids and harvesting nebulae in order to distill and imbibe it ("moonshine" if mixed with regolith; "sunshine" if without). They are a scattered and uncoordinated people, having developed the technology for moving through space before developing the technology for long distance communication.
The Novakid have no known history, since none of them were interested in keeping any sort of record. In addition, their being so spread out makes it difficult to even guess what system they may have come from, making independent investigation impossible even for the curious. Thanks for nothing.
Speculation is that they came from either a gas giant or an exploding star.
Though they have a high intuition and aptitude for learning, they are extremely lacking in patience and attention span to the point of making them terrible students and teachers. As a result, only a small fraction of each generation's knowledge is passed on to the next - the rest of it constantly being re-discovered or re-invented. The Novakid as a race have reached a technological equilibrium centered around steel and combustion. Any "space-age" technology introduced to them would be forgotten within 3-4 generations, and a "stone-age" community of Novakid can be expected to catch up to the rest of the population within 10 generations.
The most important part of a Novakid is the brand - the dense metal symbol situated in the middle of their face. The brand is responsible for metabolizing fuels and producing a magnetic field/membrane that defines the shape of the body, keeping the precious plasmas from dispersing. Breaking the "skin" results in plasma venting / bleed-out, which if left untended leads to fuel depletion and inevitably death.
The least important part of a Novakid is the corona - the hair-like emissions that emanate from the head. This serves no function other than to be pretty and impress other Novakid. It can be styled by running a low electric current through the Novakid's brand.
A new Novakid is born when its parents mix their plasma together in a high temperature, high pressure condition and enough elements fuse into denser materials that form a new brand. The new brand then claims the plasma mixture as its own and a protokid (which hardly resembles a mature Novakid) is born.
Based culture and technology: Wild West USA.
They are a very old race of unknown appearance. They've left behind many ruins such as the Ark and challenge rooms.
The ancients have their own language, written in runes. These runes have been found on the Ancient Plaques, Monolith Gates and other ancient structures.
They also seem to have sophisticated technology. Their gateways allow travel to pocket dimensions, and their mysterious light sources do not have a known power source.
The most mysterious of these structures is the Ark, found beside the outpost.
They are generally regarded as troublemakers of dubious moral standing, selling their services as mercenaries, mechanics, and merchants on the black market.