Planet & system
The planet & the Keepers
"Then it is decided" the Supreme Keeper said, with a voice was both soothing and warning. "We shall break the Cardinal Law, and use these primitives to construct a way home. Those among you that disagree with this plan may depart. Do what you wish, but if you stand in our way..."
A pause, to make sure the other Keepers understood the gravity of this command.
"You will be dealt with. Severely."
Welcome to Menidi'ath , "the glowing world", a beautiful, vibrant planet deep inside the galaxy which we call the Milky Way. It is a laboratory world which had been fully operational for some time when the Galactic Rupture struck the galaxy. In this world, the same template for sentient life was used as on Earth, meaning that what we know as humans inhabit a large part of the world - albeit with some differences. The rest of the natural world, however, has evolved somewhat differently. You can read more about these things in the Inhabitants, Beasts & Creatures and Nature sections.
Our story starts the moment the Galactic Rupture struck, displacing most of what we know as the Milky Way in both time and space. On Menidi'ath, a laboratory world under the control of the Starlight Union, it's Keepers quickly realized that whatever disaster had struck had cut them off from the universal transportation network, meaning they were effectively stranded. Faced with the thought that they might all be stuck on this remote planet, far away from all that they loved and valued, fear began to take hold of the Keepers. Had it not been for the stern leadership of the Supreme Keeper, second in command of the whole planetary facility, things would likely have collapsed fast. But they held together, keeping to their work routines, doing their duties while patiently waiting for help to arrive.
But help never came. Hundreds of solar cycles passed, and the Keepers' patience, as well as courage, were wearing thin. It became increasingly clear that the situation was untenable. So a plan was proposed - to construct a waygate large enough to transport anyone beyond the reached of the galaxy. But such a project had a large amount of risks, and would require that the Keepers used and organised the primitive population on the planet to be able to construct such a large facility. This required them to break the most important rule established by the Starlight Union: The Cardinal Law. This rule forbade any and all Keepers from establishing themselves as Divine, or otherwise powerful beings in the eyes of the primitive peoples. To break it was a great crime, but these were dire circumstances. Many of the Keepers objected, while others saw it as their final and only chance of getting home. In the end, the plan was accepted and Operation Starlight Trail was begun under the leadership of the Supreme Keeper. Many of the Keepers left, however, wanting no part in the subjugation of the primitives that followed.
For a while things were going according to plan. The Keepers chose a suitable area of land and approached the human cultures that flourished on the continent. They appeared as gods both tyrannical and benevolent, granting the humans gifts to help them in the grand labor of building the waygate. For several hundred years the work progressed, until a new culture of humans who called themselves the Ordori landed upon the shores of that chosen land. They quickly became somewhat of a problem due to some hostile tensions with the native population, so the Supreme Keeper decided to deal with them in person. As before, they appeared as a God, cowing them into submission and forcing a peace. This lasted a good while, and the project was well under way. Then, a fatal mistake ruined everything.
One day during field operations among the Ordori, the Supreme Keeper let their guard down, leaving some of their tools unsupervised. It was then that an Ordori man, known to his own as Rakkath, came upon these tools. He took them in his hands, looked upon the tyrannical god that the Supreme Keeper had appeared and ruled as, and struck them down. Surging with near-divine power Rakkath took the Supreme Keepers tools and set out to slay the other gods. It didn't take long before the other Keepers realized that something was terribly amiss, and many of them gathered to stop the renegade human. Too late did they realize that Rakkath was protected by the Supreme Keeper's tools, and all their efforts to stop him proved ineffective. He slew several of them before they fled for their lives, and he was not late to give chase.
The remaining Keepers quickly joined up with the others, and together they decided that they would pass over to the other side of the world - the place where all things are born. So they opened a rift into the other side and went through, leaving the physical reality behind. But though they closed the rift behind themselves, Rakkath was not late to find it and reopen it using the Supreme Keeper's tools. So began the great hunt, and the Keepers could no longer walk safely in the world. This event marks year 0 in the official timekeeping. (To read more about this particular event from the humans' perspective, go here).
After this, the Ordori renamed themselves the Rakkhari, in honor of the man who had freed them all. They took up arms and swore to continue his crusade to rid the world of the tyrannical gods. But with the Keepers scattered and hunted, and Project Starlight Trail in shatters, Menidi'ath was set adrift with no one to watch over it...
Menidi'ath, unlike most laboratory worlds in this galaxy, still has systems active which allows privileged humans (and other beings) to use the same reality-altering methods as the Keepers, which were in charge of the planet, although to a much smaller extent. This, coupled with other factors, have given rise to anomalies after the Galactic Rupture. These anomalies, or shifts in how reality works, range from the merely odd to the absolutely lethal. The remaining Keepers who still dare walk the physical world try to combat the problem as best they can, but whenever one problem is dealt with, it seems like another two have already arisen... You will be able to read more about these anomalies under the Odd places and occurrences section.
But no only had the Keepers become hunted, preventing them from doing their job. The world was slowly becoming more and more unstable, and even larger parts of the systems which kept Menidi'ath functioning would, in time, fail.
On the fourth day of the eighth month of the year 386 (by official time counting, see more below) the planetary shields failed, becoming visible to the whole world. While still operational otherwise, the projector system which hid them from the world shut down, and now they add an otherworldly feeling to the sky. To read more about relating to the shields, visit this page.