“Our galaxy is... not what it seems to be. Unified like Cyrannus, but, on the inside, full of strife and conflict like Borealis. Filled to the brim with history, and yet, ever-changing... Andromeda cannot be understood. It's just way too complex for that.”
- - Unknown Draconid Imperium citizen
The Andromeda Galaxy (also known as Dranvamus and Ardenta) is a large spiral/ring galaxy near the Milky Way Galaxy, known for its cultural advancement and major (even in comparison to Cyrannus and Borealis) precursor activity. One of the most diverse and advanced galaxies in the First Gigaquadrant, Andromeda has a long history of unified galactic government, having been ruled by the Venhokwe Oligarchy, the Four Empires and, more recently, the Confederation of Andromeda; its current sovereign is the Pan-Andromedan Ecumene, a supranational organisation founded by three major galactic superpowers: the Draconid Imperium, the Divinarium and the Brood of War. But while the Ecumene acts as the face of civilised ANdromeda, the galaxy is also home to many other non-aligned factions, chief among them being the Dominion of the Xhodocto and the Kicath Empire.
Although torn by two great wars in recent decades, and most recently fractured spiritually and physically by the hyperspatial event known as The Shattering, Andromeda and its great civilisations persist as a shining beacon of sophistication and prosperity. But while outwardly the galaxy may be experiencing a new golden age, Andromeda is far from a peaceful utopia it is often perceived as in other regions of the Gigaquadrant. Political relationships between the various civilisations that compose the Ecumene are tenuous, terrorist organisations such as the Khaxvis Resurgence or the Brotherhood still menace Andromeda and its inhabitants. More discreetly, the sinister brotherhoods of the Ambrosan Society and the Mali'Nar play an incomprehensible game of power and subterfuge in the higher echelons of galactic society.
The first civilisation to arise in Andromeda was the pacifist Venhokwe Oligarchy, a powerful high Tier I civilization which at their peak of power controlled most, if not all, of the galaxy. One of the first species to become sapient in the entire Gigaquadrant, the Oligarchy had reigned for countless years, virtually unrivalled. With noone to topple its galactic throne, the Oligachy's culture, science and art flourished freely, and to this day no civilisation in Andromeda can dare to claim that it, in one way or another, has surpassed it. However, for that very reason, the Venhokwe were utterly unprepared for outside threats, having no concept of - much less the capacity for - actual warfare. As such, when an extragalactic cybernetic civilisation known as The Sequence invaded Andromeda, the Venhokwe's great empire crumbled like a house of cards.
However, the Venhokwe had ultimately proven themselves to be quite adaptable, and after the initial Sequence attack, the Oligarchy's forces managed to regroup, adapt to the new situation, and then retaliate by using re-purposed civilian technology. However, this wasn't enough to stop the robotic tide, and although in the end the robotic armies of the Sequence were defeated, the remaining Oligarchy population was far too small to sustain a galactic empire they once ruled. As such, most of the surviving Venhokwe left Andromeda, fading into myths and legends.
Not everyone agreed to abandon their home galaxy, however. When the majority of the Oligarchy vanished from Andromeda, a small group of Venhokwe, most of them scholars from the ruling castes, stayed. Led by one of the councillors of the Light of Version, their goal was to reclaim their lost place at the throne of the galaxy - but not through force of arms. Denounced by the other Venhokwe as raving madmen, they sought knowledge of things occult and arcane, those things that could not be explained even by the Oligarchy's brightest minds - things that could help the Eola'Nar (the name they are referred to today) restore their civilisation. What happened then is unclear: Some say that the Eola'Nar (which, at that point, became a multi-species organisation) encountered an object of immense power that made them ascend, while others say that powers that be themselves took note of their dark curiosity. One thing is known for certain; these scholars abandoned their mortal shells and goals and joined gods themselves in their ascension, and with them gone, Andromeda became empty again.
However, it is indeed true that nature abhors a vacuum, and in time, scars of the Sequence war healed and new life appeared in Andromeda. Among this life, one species became supreme: the ones known now as the Grox. Harsh, remorseless, these small but strong-willed inhabitants of the core regions of the galaxy expanded through Ardenta (as the galaxy became known in that period), ruthlessly exterminating or enslaving all species that stood in their way. Quite unlike the peaceful hegemony of the Venhokwe, the Grox became the heartless sovereigns of Andromeda that ruled other species of the galaxy - the Tertamians, the Asanatl the most prominent among them - with an iron fist. However, as the history of Andromeda has proven once, even the mightiest can fall.
It is not sure when did the Mechanovirus appear, and who created it; the majority of Andromedan scholars believe that it was a mutated strain of Sequence nanodrones that somehow survived the destruction of its masters and became feral. Whatever created it, it was clear to the Grox and all their slaves; it was a menace unlike any other. Turning all sentient organisms into mindless cybernetic husks, it corrupted world after world, species after species: for once, the Grox met their equals. The conflict against these two relentless, merciless forces had continued for centuries. As the Mechanovirus became more and more advanced, more and more intelligent, the Grox in turn created more powerful weapons, more destructive machines of war. Over time, the Grox started using their constantly advancing technology to improve themselves, thus becoming heartless cyborgs we know today: not so different from their enemies, in fact. These were the sacrifices made in the name of victory.
And victory was attained indeed, at the cost of the soul of the Grox species. Eventually, after years of meticulous studies, the Grox had finally managed to uncover the nature of the species - and find a way to destroy it for once. By harnessing the power of planet Nocturnia in massive superweapons which are now known as the Sclepions, the Mechanovirus was destroyed, its very nanodrones rendered lifeless. However, the galaxy freed from the Mechovirus was also freed from the Grox, greatly weakened by the war, and new powers arose in the post-war Andromeda...
Times of the FourEdit
In the aftermath of the war, most of the Galaxy remained unclaimed. The Grox retreated to the core recovering from the conflict, becoming paranoid and xenophobic and mercilessly destroying anyone who dared to enter the Core. Soon, several empires arose on the ruins of the war. Of them, three would be called the Great Ones, all of them different in culture, philosophy and beliefs - and all of them hating each other vehemently.
The Tertamian Alliance, founded by the centauri Tertamians, was a beacon of democracy and peace in the Andromeda Galaxy - as well as a breeding ground of crime, corruption and internal strife. From their shining capital of Il'larion, the Alliance ruled over the region which is now called Segmentum Umbra. Its polar opposite and the greatest enemy was the Metropoly, an autocratic state which aimed to estabilish its authoritarian rule over the entirety of Andromeda. Against both were the mysterious Rades, psychic savants obsessed with their inscrutable scholastic goal of achieving the Universal Truth.
The exact history of the times of the Four is unclear at best, but one thing is certain: these three civilisations, along with the Grox, were the rulers of Andromeda during these times, which is why this part of the Andromedan history is called "the Times of the Four". Although the relationships between the Four were strained, large wars were exceedingly rare; the superpowers were simply too powerful for large-scale warfare to be safe. Minor conflicts were common, however, and the hatred between the Alliance and the Metropoly became legendary. Even now, the phrase "as Tertame and Hydrargyrum (the homeworld of the Metropoly)" is a common idiom in Dran'va used to describe a fierce, destructive hatred.
However, after millions of years, the four empires vanished from Andromeda in what is commonly referred to as the Andromedan Apocalypse. From all of them, only the Grox survived (and the Rades legacy lives in Radeons), and they don't tell what happened even to their closest allies. The data gathered by the New Dawn, however, shed some light on that apocalyptic event; it was apparently a conclusion of a large war between the Alliance and the Metropoly that involved superweapons powered by the Artifacts. Still, most of the story remains unclear, and it is up to modern Andromedan archaeologists to find out the truth...
The New FourEdit
As the Four vanished from the face of Andromeda, new empires appeared after a long period of silence, once again claiming regions of a now-empty galaxy. One of the oldest of these is the Vartekian Empire, who emerged from the Vartek system in Segmentum Ignotum circa 2,000,000 BC. Another ancient power that emerged some time later was the Draconid Imperium of Segmentum Draco circa 247,000 BC . The Imperium slowly seeded countless dead worlds over a period of millennia in order to build their empire. Slowly and gradually growing until they were eventually outpaced by outsiders. Not just from beyond the galactic rim, but beyond the universe itself.
The First beings who arrived from outside the Andromeda Galaxy to colonize were the mysterious Nasayda. Coming from another universe, the Nasayda had decided to revive Andromeda, colonizing it, healing the worlds and taking over the old colonies of the Four that had no been completel annihilated by their fall.
The two powers, the Vartekains and the Draconis, existed for many thousands of years in uneasy peace with the imerpium seeing the Nasayda as outsiders. What set the Imperium back was that it was content to remain in its own regions, building on the worlds it had colonised long ago and uplifting the societies who accepted them as leaders and who they pledged to protect. Circa 167,000 BC a new power arrived; the Kicath Empire who grew to encompass Segmentum Adniliho. Being in close galactic proximity to the Draconid Imperium, the two powers held an uneasy peace. Unlike with the Vartekian Empire, the Imperium and the Kicath Empire eventually founded mutual bonds of respect for one another despite lingering xenophobia from both powers and militant caution.
Within Segmentum Draco the Imperium's influence waxed and waned, swelling in power and sophistication before some turmoil set them back. One of these fluctuations gave birth to the Segmentum Draco Federal Union, a democratic organisation that broke off from the Imperium some two hundred thousand years before the present. The two powers existed uneasily and waged a millennia-long series of proxy wars followed by intermittent cold wars, competing over dominance of Segmentum Draco. One such proxy war was the War Of the Dragons, a devastating proxy war in southern Draco that led to the split of the Ammosians between the Draconid Imperium and the Segmentum Draco Federal Union.
Tired of the stranglehold the Vartekain Empire had around them, the Imperium invested in wormhole technology to cover new ground. Developing on the ancient black hole energy harvesting systems, the Imperium developed the technology necessary to open a Kerr-metric wormhole. This event, circa 43,000 BC, was the catalyst to turning the Draconid Imperium into the interfalactic power it is today. First colonising the nearby Milky Way Galaxy not long after the technology's conception. The connection between the Draconid Imperium and the Kicath Empire was severed in 19,000 BC when a peculiar cataclysm isolated Segmentum Adniliho and led the citizens of the Imperium to assume that everyone within had been massacred. It was not until a few decades later that the galaxy found itself contending with The Congregation, who had usurped the Kicathian territories in Adniliho in the name of the Xhodocto.
Other small civilizations who somehow survived whatever destroyed the Four eventually became spacefaring. The Nasayda and Vartekians allied, and soon, thanks to absorbing many other species like Boulderix and Samot, conquered much of Andromeda in their restless crusade. Ruthlessly destroying the Grox who tried to recolonize their ancient home. Nearly a century before the modern Gigaquadrant, the Delpha Coalition of Planets sent several exploratory fleets to the galaxy as they began to explore intergalactic space for the new Seven Starr Alliance, their main exploration was of the a hole in the rim of galaxy, believed to have formed from a galactic collision. After visiting the core, the DCP never returned again. The DCP was not public with every discovery they had made, rumours persist of what they had discovered, a while later new then-freshly formed Milky Way cooperative also ventured into Andromeda's deep core, but strangely the mystery of what enigmas lay in the very heart of the galaxy remained unanswered.
All that stood in the way of the goal of complete dominance for the growing Confederation of Andromeda was the Imperium, who refused to bow to the younger Confederation and were content to rule the clusters they had developed. Outraged, the Confederation invaded and war eventually came to the Imperium. Because they had focused on building and fortifying what they had their defenses held strong against the Confederation's assaults. The conflict ground on the two sides for centuries, a truce being declared between the two powers in order to put a final end to the engagements which allowed the Draconis to maintain their colonies while the Confederation pursued other goals. Relieved at achieving a hard-won victory, the Draconis faded into obscurity behind their borders, watching the galaxy and waiting for a better time to return.
As the time after the truce became centuries, the Confederation began to engage into the intergalactic affairs. It allied with the Cyrandia ALliance and the DCP against the common enemy, gaining an influential seat on the Seven Starr Alliance. HWen a massive Cognatus invasion force invaded the First Gigaquadrant. However, it was nothing but a deception.
As the common enemy was defeated, Confederation set conspiratorial plans in motion against the Seven Starr Alliance. Finally, the Vartekians struck a final blow against the allies, starting the Vartekian War. Despite the surprise attack on multiple fronts, with devastating losses on all sides, the Seven Starr Alliance managed to repel the attack and in the vicious counterattack conducted by by allied forces the Confederation was weakened. Leaving the war the Vartekians secluded themselves in Segmentum Voltaria and stopped the war, where they prosper to this day. In their vunerability, they were absorbed to CAS, later becoming a fonuding territory of the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus at the conclusion of the war that formed the latter.
As one power fell, another rose in its place. As the crippled Confederaiton retreated to their throneworlds in the outer reaches of the galaxy, the Draconid Imperium stirred. Colonies abandoned by the Vartekains and their allies were claimed by the awakened Imperium who established a near-unchallenged position over Segmentum Draco while pacts were made with outlying civilisations who had at one time been under either the piercing gaze or the strong boot of the Confederation. Waking up from its slumber, the Imperium - in a reverse attitude to the galaxy's former masters - established a cooperative network, first in Segmentum Draco and then in other regions. While at one time their dominance of Segmentum Draco was a mutual agreement between two great powers, there became little question it was the segmentum's warden.
The Andromeda Galaxy held a minor role in the War of Ages. During the Tigris War, Andromeda's uncharted regions were taken over by the Xhodocto and were used as a lodgement for their attacks. Later, during the March of the Apocalypse, Andromeda and the Vartekians were attacked by the deadly god of the Xhodocto. Mhaz'Veryk.
Several years later, Andromeda was a key front of the Second War of Black Fog. Aware of the resurgent strength of the Draconid Imperium, the forces of The Corruptus dispatched Eleielord of the Dark Five to destroy the Imperium before moving on to other targets. Calling on what forces it could the Imperium sought to end the invasion before any sevree damage could be caused. While part of the Imperium faced invasion, the rest of the galaxy fell under the grip of a necrotising plague that turned those it touched into zombies. Andromeda was devastated by both of these conflicts with some wondering if the galaxy could ever recover.
The Annihilation brought about massive political changes to Andromeda. The Confederation migrated to the rims of the galaxy where it plotted in secret, eventually becoming members of the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus while new civilizations appeared. The fanatical Divinarium led by the descendants of the Memfian Imperium launched a massive crusade to take over the Twilight Sector. The Starmaster Alliance entered the galaxy at this time. Mourning the loss of their old galaxy and wanting revenge, the mechanical Wentals appeared in the galaxy as well and at the same time, the new civilizations like The Coalition and the Aeropagus, the latter of whom had arrived from another universe and claimed the outer rim of the galaxy, rose up. The Draconid Imperium, once rivals of the Confederation used this opportunity to expand further, claiming systems abandoned by the Vartekians and burning with a desire to become the new Andromedan superpower.
With the new civilizations arriving to the galaxy, political instability has started. This instability resulted in the Andromeda War, which was caused due to the discovery of the ancient Tier 1 artifacts in the galaxy and the resulting conflict over them. Within three years the war changed the political makeup of the galaxy, rising up fro mtheir seclusion the Draconid Imperium quickly became the new dominant superpower. Several other powers settled Andromeda including the Brood of War. Within a year the Imperium, the Divinarium and the Brood became strong allies and the Andromedan Galactic Commonwealth was formed in the wake of a failed invasion by the Tybusen Intergalactic Allied Federation and a more major invasion by the Andromedan Grox Empire. Within the final year the Commonwealth quickly united the galaxy's inner-rim, pushing into Grox territory as a mechanising plague swept the galaxy.
The commonwealth called on all allies it could including the Unified Nation of Ottzello and the Delpha Coalition of Planets. In the end even the Grox faced defeat, once again driven out of Andromeda by lifeforms they had deemed 'inferior'. With the Grox beaten the Commonwealth set about restoring the damage.
With the dust of the war settling the now-settled Commonwealth began new projects, taking up the mantle of the galaxy's guardians. Despite uneasiness of the rapid extent of this new power, there was confidence that the Highlords of Andromeda could steer the galaxy on a new course. Over a seven-year period the Commonwealth became a de-facto authority within Andromeda's Inner Rim and to a latter extend Segmentum Umbra in the form of their client superstate, the New Tertamian Alliance. By the late 2790s, Andromeda became a key nexus of commerce with the establishment of the Gigaquadrantic Intergalactic Trade Organization and establishing the Central Draco ecumenopolis of Araveene as its central headquarters. It was during this seven-year period the Commonwealth set out to chart Segmentum Exterioris, which was largely the domain of pirates and the unknown.
In the outer rim of the galaxy the civilizing light of the Commonwealth was not as bright; Initially dimmed by the breaking away of the Kicath Empire from the Commonwealth, who sought to overthrow the commonwealth with their Vartekian allies. Further away from civilized space, the resurgence of activity in Segmentum Adniliho was followed by the complete destruction of the Aeropagus by the newly-branded Dominion of the Xhodocto. It was discovered by operatives of anti-Dominion forces that the Dominion had built three superstructures within the segmentum including a toroidal superweapon in the first ad smallest, a demonically-infused mutagenic virus in the second, and a Xhococto-built artificial intelligence in the third. All three structures were presumed destroyed after a two-year period of infiltration and sabotage spearheaded by the Kicathian Republic.
This seven-year period, dubbed by historians and media as "the New Dawn", ended abruptly and with a bang; Out in Segmentum Adniliho, the Commonwealth vessel The New Dawn engaged in a tense battle with a super-dreadnought owned by The Brotherhood. The destruction of the vessel, enhanced by the destruction of The Artifacts inside, created a hypernova that threatened FTL travel galaxy-wide as the shockwave began to spread out and sweep the galaxy, creating fissures in hyperspace that prohibited the warping of spacetime and severing any FTL travel and communication wherever these fissures erupted. It was in this time of cataclysm that the political scene of Andromeda underwent a paradigm shift. After the collapse of the Brood of War, the highlords of the Commonwealth used emergency powers to reform the organisation into the Pan-Andromedan Ecumene. The upheaval that the reformation caused left Andromeda divided for several years as the government on Elysion tried its hardest to retain authority in the outer territories. To add to the compounding difficulties, by 2803 the Great Xonexian Schism - which until now had been confined to the Mirus and Milky Way galaxies - reached Andromeda. Fresh from the dissolution of the Orion League and its domination of the Milky Way, the Delpha Coalition of Planets launched a long campaign that by 2806 had devastated Segmentums Umbra and Crepusculum. The tide was turned in 2804 with the rising prominence of the French Empire, which with the help of the paragon of the Draconid Imperium consolidated the coalition against the DCP and solidified the cohesion of the Pan-Andromedan Ecumene. The schism's end brought about the rise of a galactic superstate that through technology and diplomacy surpassed the Andromedan Galactic Commonwealth, with member states becoming administrative divisions headquartered in an expanded Elysion station.
Before the Annihilation and the Vartekian War, most of the galaxy was controlled by a single leader - the Confederation of Andromeda, and Andromeda was generally peaceful. This dominance began to wane considerably after the Andromeda War as the Confederation retracted to the rims of the galaxy, this resulted in areas close to the core being taken by the new empires like the Divinarium, Draconid Imperium and Wental States.
After the emergence of the Andromedan Grox Empire, many of the inner-rim's political powers banded together into the Andromedan Galactic Commonwealth, which quickly became an influential political entity. Even as that was happening, the Sporemaster Alliance and Wentals were founding the Union of Mecholife, which resides in the outer regions of the galaxy. The Commonwealth, and its successor the Pan-Andromedan Ecumene are considered the de dacto political organisation of segmenta Mechanicum, Draco and Crepusculum. The New Tertamian Alliance is considered the de facto poitical organisation of segmentum Umbra (now an exarchate nation of the Ecumene). While Segmentum Ignotum is unofficially under the influence of an alliance between the Kicath Empire and Galactic Empire of Cyrannus.
Segmenta Adnilho and Exterioris are generally lawless with no recognised unifying power. Due to this lack of political influence these regions and the gaps between the Inner Rim and the arms are informally referred to as "Wild Space". Pirates, outlaws and numerous independent or unknown factions frequently inhabit Wild Space making life difficult and survival is often a dominating priority. Recently, rumors of a dangerous form of 'metal life' have been coming from these regions.
The Andromedan attitude towards representation and government authority is an oddity within the First Gigaquadrant. Unlike other societies such as the New Cyrannian Republic, Andromedan democracy is a balance authoritarianism with public opinion. The focus of Andromedan systems of election are far more meritocratic, with these positions being held for decades or even an entire lifetime before re-elected. While the decision for an individual to assume a position often comes down to what the individual has demonstrated to be capable of rather than the promises they make and hope to carry out when in office.
Historically, between the various empires is uncommon in the Andromeda, but not unheard of. Larger empires living in the rims have enclosed, self-sufficient economies due to their sheer size and post-scarcity societies, while empires close to the core are more receptive, actively trading with each other. After the formation of the present galactic governments and the foundation of the Gigaquadrantic Intergalactic Trade Organization, the inner regions of Andromeda and the jurasdictions of the Pan-Andromedan Ecumene enjoy a common market, with trade being used in the form of the Anedromedan CUrrency Exchange unit, a representative form of currency that acts as a benchmark value during inter-currency exchanges, with most (but not all) ANdromedan currencies being factored into the ACEU's value.
Science and TechnologyEdit
For the most part, Andromedan empires are quite technologically advanced due to many precursor technologies that were left by the ancient civilizations along with powerful and advanced supranational organisations acting as umbrella governments. The most advanced extant civilization in the galaxy was for a time the Aeropagus located in the rims of the galaxy, due to it's destruction by the Dominion of the Xhodocto however, this claim has currently fallen to the Dominion of the Xhodocto.
Approaching a similar level however, the PAE is the second-most advanced civilization with home territory in the galaxy and the interconnected nature of it has raised most of the Inner-Rim to a similar level. With agreements of scientific and technological cooperation, the PAE is a nexus for scientific and technological advancement, gaining ground in particular is the desire to create a harmonious relationship between machines and organic beings, thus making it a popular destination for trans-sapience advocates and AI researchers and enthusiasts. With institutions like the Alcanti Royal Academy acting as leaders in the fields of high-end physics, hyperspace and experimental technology.
Andromeda is a diverse galaxy, and society is different in every single part of it. Even within the Pan-Andromedan Ecumene, all sorts of government systems and cultures coexist, from the religiously mandated totalitarianism of the Divinarium, to the aristocratic Imperium worlds, to the libertarian corporatocracy of Praestol. Beyond the central worlds where the Ecumene does not reach one can find an even greater variety of culture: freedom fighters, extragalactic invaders, precusor remnants.
More recently, there has been an emerging concept known as "Commonwealth Culture", an amalgam of sociological concepts from the most influential states within including the Radeon ideas of communal spirit, Draconid passion for art, Terratrix and Sader passion for science and Millenis commercialism have gained intersegmentum significance. While Low Dracid had been used as a tradespeak for centuries, it is slowly becoming replaced by Dran'va, a pidgin language born from a mixing of Low Dracid and Radessic (now including samples from other languages) that serves to further unite disparate cultures of the galaxy.
Unlike other galaxies such as the Milky Way Galaxy and the Cyrannus Galaxy, a large degree of the populations of Andromeda are highly spiritual; often preferring to revere ancestors, sacred philosophies or in some cases gods. The two most widespread doctrines of faith being Spodism and the Path of Drakon, being the two most widespread faiths within the inner-rim. Worship of the Xhodocto exists but is rare outside of Segmentum Adniliho, where it is believed the entire population is a follower of such making it one of, if not the, most powerful faith in the galaxy. The common enthusiasm over spirituality, history and cultural sophistication is often described as "Andromedan Exceptionalism", a cultural mindset held by some Andromedans that the galaxy holds a unique identity that makes it a beacon of example and leadership in the universe. Although not officially endorsed by the galactic government of the Ecumene, this thinking has fostered in the evolution of the overall Commonwealth Culture.
According to the observations of the Defensive System's Bloc, the Andromeda Galaxy has a proportion of two silicon-based ecosystems for every five carbon-based ones — much higher than the average galaxy. Each planet dominated by silicon-based life colonized by the DSB have had the a closely-related set of lifeforms. Scientists theorized that the reproductive habits of the lifeforms allow them to spread eggs across star systems, which was later confirmed when the Girdo Empire transported some of the "truly alien" Andromedabiota (as they came to be called) to the controlled conditions of the Girdo Galaxy nature reserve.
The Andromeda Galaxy is a very large galaxy, containing an estimated one. As such, the galaxy has historically been divided into several segmentums, originally a Vartekian system for managing their galaxy-spanning empire, the Andromedan Galactic Commonwealth redrew the borders into the modern system, shifting the centre of the system from Voltaria (originally the nexus of Segmenum Vartek) to the more neutrally-aligned galactic core. Segmentums are divided into sectors and subsectors, and while the segmentums are drawn to be uniform with their regional counterparts, the size and layout of sectors and subsectors can vary wildly.
After The Shattering, various sectors and subsectors were redrawn to account for the fragmentation of the galactic travel network, the hyperspatial fissures which isolated hundreds of smaller regions and cut apart a number of larger regions became popular demarcations for new boundaries.
Andromeda is a barred spiral galaxy with a supermassive black hole, a typical inner cluster and two great spiraling arms that extend outwards. The arms physically connect the two constructs like spokes on a wheel and the characteristic ring shape of the outer rim is the origin of the Draconid Imperium's name for the galaxy (Dranvamus; High Dracid: Drana = Celestial, Vamus = Halo). Most of the known galactic population is found in a band of stars between the core and the gap that separates the ring. These two astrographical formations are colloquially named the outer and inner rim respectively.
The Deep Core (also known as Segmentum Mechanicum) is a dense cluster of stars that surrounds a supermassive black hole in the centre of the galaxy. The deep core is generally a no-go zone for travelers due to the dangerous levels of cosmic radiation, gravitational anomolies and (during the Andromeda War) Grox. Mechanicum has always been a curiosity to the galactic community and only more recently with the retreat of the Andromedan Grox Empire has it been more open to exploration.
Throughout Andromeda's long history, its inhabitants have divided their galaxy for navigational purposes in several ways. Although the term for the galaxy's regions, segmentum, has remained the same for millenia, the number of the segmenta, as well as their names and boundaries, have changed several times for political and astrographical reasons. The Confederation of Andromeda during its golden age used a Vartekian-centric system, where their homeworld of Voltaria in the galaxy's western rim was the point of origin: one segmentum constituted its immediate surroundings, three more for its northern, eastern and southern neighbours, and one for the distant stars to the far east. Following the Andromeda War, the Draconis system became more prevalent, which was centered around the galactic core and included seven segmenta. The central Segmentum Mechanicum comprised the galaxy's inner core, previously held by Grox invaders; while the central regions around it, the heartlands of the Andromedan Galactic Commonwealth, were divided in half: Segmentum Draco, reigned by the Draconid Imperium, and Segmentum Crepusculum, where the Divinarium and the Brood of War were centered. The galaxy's two arms constituted two more segmenta: Segmentum Umbra, which was considered the Commonwealth's frontier region and was dominated by the New Tertamian Alliance, and the demon-infested wildlands of Segmentum Adnihilo Irritum. Finally, the outer ring of the galaxy was also divided in half into Segmentum Ignotum, where the now-dependent Confederation of Andromeda lied, and Segmentum Exterioris.
This widely-used system was. however, rendered obsolete by the Shattering which destroyed much of the galaxy's hyperspatial connections, essentially breaking Andromeda into pieces. The new astrographical system devised by the Pan-Andromedan Ecumene took these events into account: the new Twelve Segmenta were based around either larger galactic shards, or clusters of smaller shards connected through stabilisation tunnels. Spacetime rifts formed by the Shattering acts like natural borders, and passage from segmentum to segmentum is near-impossible outside of Ecumene wormhole bridges. Furthermore, another, informal division of the galaxy has become widespread parallel to the segmentum system: the Ecumene-dominated central segmenta became known as the Heartland, the lawless (but still mapped and within PAE influence) regions to the southeast became the Frontier and the unexplored outer regions the Wall.
Segmentum Ignotum, also known as "the heart of the Andromeda", was originally the richest and most populated segmentum in the whole galaxy. There, the Nasayda first arrived in the Andromeda and this is where the Vartekian homeworld is located. During the times of Confederacy of Andromeda, Exterioris was a capital of the galactic community.
However, due to the Vartekian War and the Annihilation, the Confederacy of Andromeda's territory was reduced and it was absorbed into CAS and later, the Cyrannian Empire. The glory of Voltaria is now rivaled by other segmentums like Draco or Crepusculum. Neverthless Ignotum, now under the rule of Galactic Empire of Cyrannus, remains a thriving and rich segmentum, if isolated from the rest of the galaxy.
This isolation came as a blessing during the Shattering. Located far from the Glow of Exterioris, hyperspatial fissures within the segmentum are sparse, positioned few and far between with only a few major lines disrupted.
Segmentum Draco, during the times of Confederacy of Andromeda, was not under complete Vartekian control due to a large number of native empires who opposed Confederate rule. For over 200,000 years it was the primary domain of the Draconid Imperium while the southern regions became home to a large number of colonies established by the Confederation primarily for supplying Voltaria with resources and manpower. Other civilisations like the Defensive System's Bloc and the Lesser Zarni Empire colonised segmentum Draco as well.
After the Annihilation the Confederacy has little presence left in Draco, leaving only a handful of colonies. In the wake of their departure, New civilisations filled the vacuum of power, the greatest of them being the Varketian Empire's old rivals in the segmentun, the Draconid Imperium whose fleets now dominate the Segmentum, who have since expanded their patrol coverage into areas once dominated by Confederate fleets. It has become a thriving supersector under the rule of Imperium.
As a place comparatively untouched by the Confederacy of Andromeda and supported instead by the policies of the Draconid Imperium, Segmentum Draco is a powerhouse of a region with many wormholes linking the segmentum to other galaxies. Considered in some arguments to be one of the most outward-looking regions of the galaxy.
Crepusculum was a flourishing segmentum in times of Confederacy. Vartekians had a large number of colonies here, and took many native civilizations like Fyrvrtha, Artharons or the Solonese Union under their wing, turning them into protectorates. Since the fall of Confederacy, however, many things have changed.
Without the Vartekian rule, civilizations who were once protectorates of the Vartekians quickly started to expand and conflict with each other, resulting in new conflicts like Second War of Twilight. It changed with the arrival of a new species in the galaxy - the species of zealots and mystics, the Radeons. Led by their masters, the divine Isio'Nar, they have started to form their empire in the segmentum Crepusculum, absorbing Fyrvrtha and nearly destroying most of the other civilizations here. At the same time, most of the native civilizations united and became the Coalition, another powerful force in the segmentum, struggling to stop Radeons' crusade. Solonese Confederacy, at the other side, expanded and colonized more planets, taking over old Vartekian colonies and further increasing its influence. These three superpowers remain in the segmentum since then.
- - The Aqualones
- - The Arnoans
- - The Artharons
- - The Colmars
- - The Fyrvrtha
- File:MiniEisenar - The Eisenar
- - The Imperions (not native)
- - The Kvorlans
- - The Levenis (not native)
- - The Omnitermines (not native)
- - The Radeons (semi-native)
- - The Razzits
- - The Ryketians
- - The Saders (semi-native)
- - The Solinkidors
- - The Stalkies (not native)
- - The Telzoc (not native)
- - The Tyrekians (not native)
- - The Val'Kar
Segmentum Mechanicum contains the Galactic Core, previously inhabited by the Grox who are currently hiding small remnants, as well as some space around it. Segmentum was originally colonized by Vartekians who had been conquering the Grox Empire, but later, like everywhere else new powers claimed the sector. The deadly mechanized beings, The Wentals, renamed the sector Mechanicum. The Wentals and Shellious Imperium both colonized the galaxy after their home galaxy of Wental was destroyed in the Annihilation. The wentals were later integrated into the Union of Mecholife and left Mechanicum in an Exodus to the outer regions, leaving the remaining colonies to the Shellious and to any other empires that find the empty space.
During the Andromeda War the segmentum was under the iron grip of the Andromedan Grox Empire, with its conclusion they have retreated once again mystery prevails wihin the core. There are rumours abound which re-emerged during the war of ancient Grox caches. it is believed that history, technology and whatever else await but rumours also persist of extreme dangers. After the war the AGC colonised the region around the supermassive black hole where Project: Deep Core - a sea of energy-converting nanomachines within the accretion disk accompanied surrounded several large-scale deep space manufacturing centres and wormholes to key Commonwealth locations - was constructed over the course of a few years. Mechanicum has become a key industrial zone for the Commonwealth as a whole and is thus heavily defended by the Guardians of Light.
Segmentum Umbra is a strange, mysterious starcluster. It was never fully colonized or explored by Vartekians, and they have only left small research stations and bases there. In segmentum Umbra, large amounts of black holes, supernovae and spacetime anomalies are present, something which can't be explained by natural means. It is believed that the whole segmentum is located within some kind of "Essence field", which may explain strange events which always happened there. So far, only one civilization is known to inhabit this deadly place: the fearsome Legion of Badmanz.
One of the more poorly-understood regions of the galaxy, Exterioris is a sparsly populated region with large tracts of it currently being completely unknown. Since the beginning of the 2800s, a large bright spot known as The Glow of Exterioris has dominated the deepest regions, understood by Andromedan natives to be the epicentre of the shockwave that fraagmented the galaxy with hyperspatial fissures. Since then, Exterioris has gone from the most unexplored regions to being the most difficult to explore, as the segmentum where the Shattering originated, the fissures in the segmentum are densely positioned enough that large areas exist deemed inaccessible to most forms of FTL and hyperspace-based travel.
The shady New Tadpole Empire has been known to forge their Andromeda colonies' capital here, but beyond expeditions into Umbra does not venture outside and prefers to be left alone in Exterioris' empty nature.
Exterioris is also rumored to harbor the The Kypséli, but these rumors are questionable to say the least.
The Adnihilo Irritum Sector (Or Segmentum Adniliho) is the previously inhabited area by the Xhodocto from 18100 BC up until about 6 years prior to the end of the War of Ages, although some of the technology has been present since 23000 BC, by unexplained circumstances. The area was also largely inhabited by the Congregation until it was dissolved. Approximately 71.6 million systems were under the Xhodocto's control (71,579,100 is an accepted number, although it may differ between 1 or 2 million, as no one has ever entered that area), and ~99% of the planets have since been untouched under fears of a spontaneous Xhodocto ambush. Rumors are that the Xhodocto still possibly inhabit that area under the reasons of intimidating other inhabitants. Other rumors include that Xhodocto technology is still present there, and other rumors are that there are secret Cult of the Deathmarch territories there. Considering this particular area has not been interacted with for 25000 years, all of these rumors are probable.
As of 2792, the appearance of the Dominion of the Xhodocto has come to light as being the sole presence of the Segmentum.
- - The Dominion of the Xhodocto (not native)
Beyond the Sectors of the Andromeda Galaxy there can be found stars, though they are far less common and far less useful. These barren locations are home to only the harshest and strongest of life forms, and even those creatures need to find new and inventive ways of surviving here. They are usually forgotten by the wars in the deeper regions of the galaxy, and are notable for their stability over the eons. However, even here, changes in the core have an affect; as empires are forced out of the core, everything shifts outward. The regions beyond the Sectors may become home to more then one fleeing empire as time passes...
- - The Union of Mecholife - On the edge of the galaxy where Umbra and Exterioris meet.
“After losing Deus Rift, Andromeda became a new haven for us, a promised land. It is our home and we shall protect it for eternity.”
“I will return...”
- - Warboss Gar'dakkra
“A glorious galaxy, a galaxy of war and blood! It is our home, our home we do not want to share with invaders! We shall protect it from the usurper rats, for our glory honor, for our wives and children, for our fathers and like our fathers before us!”
- - Margrave Fela'thoran of the Coalition
“Must. Protect. Ardenta.”
“We have forsaken our home. Forsaken, but not forgotten. Soon, we shall return. At last, Attzerry will be ours again...”
- - King Grochius II
- - Unknown
“Let this galaxy burn.”
“Andromeda is the Imperium's heart and home, we will defend her from any and all usurpers, we will protect her against all who would sow chaos in order. Long-live the Draconid Imperium.”
“I wonder... this place seems perfect for spreading my influence.”
“That... is one HELL of a galaxy.”
“This shall be the FIRST galaxy in our path of destruction. Too much influence...too much...”
- - Xhodocto
“We do not deserve to be here in orbit of this Galaxy. Get us back where we were!”
- - Emperor Kies of the Kraw
- “Fuck you, asshole.”
- “Fuck you, asshole.”
- - Unknown Radeon
“This galaxy will fall to the might of Mecholife. It is... inevitable. So we joined them. It is better to be on the winning side.”
- - Evermind of the Lost
“Mecholife is superior to biolife. The claiming of Andromeda will be just the beginning.”
- - Mechi
“I am far from done. I don't need Grochius to stand in my way any longer. I shall come. I shall see. I shall conquer!”
- - High Prophet of Disdain
“Our home galaxy. A place were enemy empires will never discover our home systems.”
- - High-Tempelar Marius
“The weak will be purged from our home, one way or another.”
“Andromeda serves as a sanctuary for our empire to grow.”
- - Millitory the Great XII
“We grew up here... That's about all we know.”
- - A Mithadorn Senator
“Should we avoid it altogether, embrace it and its secrets, or fight the threats locked inside?”
- - Inquisitor Dreza'Dero of the Plazith League
- ↑ From the High Dracid term secmin, meaning region of space, galactic sector. Later adapted into other Andromedan languages through the Varteik sekminnu as a term specifically for Andromeda's subdivisions, as opposed to galactic regions in general: e.g. Radessic philai Miu (Orion Spur, lit. Mu sector) but saeqmin Avanthae (Segmentum Crepusculum). The term is also used conventionally to refer to the ancient four regions of the galaxy defined by the Venhokwe and the Four Precursors. The Latin-derived human translation was chosen for its meaning as well as its phonetic resemblance to sekminnu.