The Girdo Galaxy was an artificial spiral hobbit galaxy, and a satellite of the Plazith Rim, before its destruction during the Annihilation. Its most famous civilisation was the Girdo Empire, which took its name from that of the galaxy.
The first known inhabitants of the Girdo Galaxy were Ultraterrestrials known as "Xyanxes", possibly connected to the Screebles. There was also a race of starlife composed of dark matter, who (unbeknownst to the majority of the galaxy's inhabitants) were responsible for converting two million of the galaxy's main sequence stars to brown dwarfs.
Very little evidence remains of the Xyanxes apart from some relics and occasional sightings, which various scientists have tried to interpret over the millennia. They gained the names "Xyanx" and "Screeble" from the artefacts, along with information suggesting that the former set of Ultraterrestrials created the Girdo Galaxy and seeded it with life. Most confusingly for the scientists, there also seemed to be evidence that the Xyanxes were particularly fond of the pink crystals found in certain rare geodes across the galaxy, particularly on the planet Artes. Xyanx relics included derelict spaceships with advanced jump drives, reverse-engineered for the later Grand Galactic Fleet and by the Girdo Empire in "Project Timeship"; Living Planets, found in many galaxies; and Sporehenge, a piece of sophisticated extra-dimensional technology resembling standing stones that was retrieved by the Xyanxes during the Vartekian War.
The Xyanxes left Girdo approximately 1.48 billion years ago. Around this time, the Grox colonised the centre of the galaxy, presumably taking advantage of the Ultraterrestrials' departure, although one legend says that the Grox defeated the Xyanxes in a galaxy-wide battle. Despite their absence, Xyanx technology continued to protect Girdo, preventing it from being destroyed during the War of Ages by placing it into its own basement universe.
Nearly all recorded history between the disappearance of the Xyanxes and the appearance of the so-called Second Galactic Federation has been lost, although the 5th millennium BC saw Radeon missionaries arrive, bring the religion of Spode to the Zuckhs, and then settle on the planet Waset. In the mid-4th millennium BC, the Federation waged a five hundred-year war against the Grox (the Second Girdo Grox War) but were ultimately defeated by Conqrix armies. Presumably, a First Galactic Federation and a First Girdo Grox War happened earlier, but unless these refer to the time of the Xyanxes, no evidence of either exist.
After the Federation's defeat, galactic society collapsed into civil war. This Girdo Galactic War lasted six thousand years, although for most of this time the conflict was composed of gang wars between pirate clans, particularly Pirakkei and later Tsajaginykar in the Southern Arm. The rise of new empires such as the Leptliss and Flies saw endemic violence spread to the Northern Arm, but the greatest war in recent history was caused by the arrival of the 25th-century Jaharani crusades. This diminished the power of the pirate clans and left the galaxy in such a state that, when the the Tentekh Apalosian Empire - later known as the Girdo Empire - became spacefaring in the 27th century, Girdo was ripe for conquest. The Tentekh were able to, via a combination of manipulation and warfare, destroy or conquer all other empires save the Grox in thirty years. The Girdo Empire then spent another fifty years fighting an obsessive campaign of total war against the Grox, until at last the cyborgs were purged from the galaxy with their capital world destroyed with the Staff of Life. Three decades later, all remaining civilisations had been assimilated into the Empire's group mind, ending the conflict and bringing the Girdo Galaxy to peace.
Before long, the Girdo Empire decided to turn to Girdo Galaxy into a nature reserve for what they called "truly alien" life, and eight "Hyperluminal Defence Stations" around the edge of Girdo were built to defend it against any external threats. These saw battle when the Empire studied information from the Grand Galactic Fleet's records and, combining this with their own research, discovered the starlife that had been converting main sequence stars to brown dwarfs. The Stations fired hyperluminal missiles to annihilate all of the brown dwarf stars in the galaxy, along with the creatures within them, and then trapped the creatures that flew to strike back against the Stations with warp shields. The Empire negotiated a peace between the starlife and the rest of the universe, granting them free reign over several systems in the Eghorsperwdoin Sector.
More "truly alien" life was collected over the next few years. However, shortly afterwards, the Xhodocto managed to breach the Xyanx defences during the Annihilation, and they destroyed the galaxy immediately afterwards.
- See also: Map of the Girdo Galaxy
The Girdo Galaxy was a small barred spiral with a diameter of 2000 parsecs and only 3.2 million stars in total. Most of these were arranged into two arms, known as the Northern Arm and the Southern Arm. As a small galaxy that was also a spiral and life-bearing, the Girdo Galaxy was highly unnatural. The Xyanxes were presumably responsible for both Girdo's spiral structure and it being suitable for life.
From the Girdo Campaigns to the Annihilation, several wildlife sanctuaries existed in the Girdo Galaxy. The sanctuaries were mainly managed by Cephalodians, although many members of native species also functioned as Ecologist and Scientist staff. After the Annihilation, these were replaced with the transgalactic Apalos Biosphere Preserves.
The Girdo Galaxy's Galactic Centre extended 500 parsecs either side of the Galactic Core. There were high concentrations of radiation from the Core towards the centre of the region, hence after the defeat of the Grox, it remained sparsely populated.
The base of the Northern Arm was quite thick at 300 parsecs across. Just after the base, where the arm narrowed out, was the Imperial Sector, location of the Girdo Empire's capital planet of Taukappa. Most of the worlds of Imperial Sector, besides those that had been colonised by the Girdo Empire, were set aside as a nature reserve for "godspawn" life. These were home to various ecosystems, from ones produced by various settings of the Staff of Life to replicas of unique extragalactic planets such as Seladiscas.
Further up the arm was the small sector of New Andromeda. Many of its planets were seeded by unusual silicon-based lifeforms from the Andromeda Galaxy, hence the names of both the sector and the domain to which the organisms belong, the Andromedabiota. There were fifteen life-bearing planets in New Andromeda, containing nearly all of the silicon-based biodiversity of Andromeda, and eight of them were home to primitve tribes.
Aquaregia was the third of the Northern Arm's nature reserve sectors, larger than New Andromeda due to each inhabited system being placed further away from each other than those of the latter, in turn because it was home to several forms of truly alien life:
- Pseudomorpha: Fluidic creatures from the Cyrannus Galaxy that were transplanted onto three moons orbiting a gas giant in a red dwarf system.
- Invertebrata: A single kingdom of hydrogen-breathing invertebrates (superficially resembling godspawn life) with radial - mainly trilateral - symmetry, some of which have taken on the role of photosynthetic producers, discovered during the "First Contact" mission in the Plazith Rim.
- Joviazoa: Organisms that lived in the outer layers of a gas giant, sourced from an unknown location.
The Southern Arm was a much thinner Arm than the Northern, but was nearly one-and-a-half times as long. It was home to two nature reserve sectors.
The 800 Parsec Sanctuary was, as its name suggests, a region of space used as a wildlife sanctuary that extended for eight hundred parsecs. This made it the largest individual nature reserve in the explored universe. The 800 Parsec Sanctuary started at the base of the Southern Arm, near the galactic centre, and continued outwards along the arm from there. The Sanctuary was home to various spacefaring organisms ("cosmozoa"), mostly from the Plazith Rim and Intergalactic Rifts, from the domain Plasmazoa, which often resemble primitive creatures or sometimes nebulae.
Eghorsperwdoin (an Apalose name, roughly translated to English as "belonging to the inhabitants of the eggs of the galaxy", eggs of the galaxy being a figurative term for stars) was the fourth and final nature reserve to be set up in Girdo. It was dedicated to non-chemical life, particularly starlife, with biochemistries found there incluing ones based on plasma, quark matter and holeum.
The indigenous life of the Girdo Galaxy all descended from a few species of bacteria, algae, shellfish, and basal vertebrates that were transplanted by the Xyanxes over 1.5 billion years ago. As a result of this, they shared many common biochemical and physiological features: all Girdo organisms were oxygen-breathing carbon-based lifeforms utilising DNA as a genetic material to synthesise proteins from left-handed amino acids. The species of the major groups furthermore had additional commonalities. For example, the vertebrates all possessed a bony spine, had haemoglobin-pigmented red blood tinted purple due to the presence of antibacterial compounds, and were hermaphroditic. The latter of these led to a convention being established during the time of the Second Federation, whereby languages of extragalactic origin with gendered pronouns referred to each species as a single gender; for example, all Zuckhs were referred to as female and all Leptliss as male.
The vertebrates were also subdivided into several clades prior to their panspermia. Insectoids were especially common, although only on few planets did they ever attain sizes of greater than a few centimetres; the most notable of these worlds was Dyptre, homeworld of the sapient Fly Swarms. A clade comprising mainly six-limbed species were also fairly numerous; they included the Xenomorphoida class of Taukappa, the Eskesians, the Leptliss, and the Tsajaginykar. Another clade, primarily four-limbed, included the Dinosauroida class of Taukappa, the Pirakkei (a rare six-limbed exception), and the Zuckhs. Far less common, but still known to have produced multiple sapient species, was an eight-limbed clade which was represented by the Belatra and Taltaket. Only two of Girdo's sapient species are known to have been invertebrate: the plant-derived Fungrooms of Phytre and the shellfish-derived Molluscs of Nautre.