Grandfather, the Apex Droyne

Grandfather - Creator of the Star Crystals

The universe as we know it was irrevocably changed by a meek, even dull, pastoral sophont species which thrived some 200 parsecs from Earth in the long ago past.

These Droyne and their society prospered at a comfortable, if not very high, technology level. They expanded to settle the continents of their homeworld and eventually achieved a stable plateau of civilization. Their society remained static, albeit reasonably happy, for literally hundreds of thousands of years.

Alien Artifacts

In the blink of an eye, some 300,000 years ago, everything changed. One of the newborn Droyne was different… a mutation, incredibly intelligent, incredibly talented, and incredibly ambitious. In his early adulthood, he came to understand the full power of his talents and used them to conquer his world and his people (not that either really resisted). This super-genius (called Grandfather by modern sophontologists; they call this genius species the Ancients) then turned his attention to space, inventing powerful spaceships and then even more powerful starships capable of crossing interstellar space in weeks rather than years.

He and his people ventured boldly out into the universe. He raised a family of super-genius children (each nearly as smart as he) and they flew in many different directions to settle thousands of worlds. At Grandfather’s suggestion, each of these scion focused their genius on conquering some aspect of the universe:

  • one discovered a means of controlled stellar evolution;
  • another invented a series of elementary particles;
  • another built several future-predicting computers;
  • another manipulated reality itself;
  • yet another discovered the secret of happiness;
  • and there were many others as well.

The many children manipulated existing lifeforms and created new ones, both organic and artificial. They created systems for controlling individuals, small groups, and even large populations. Some of their discoveries and inventions had practical uses; others were mere curiosities.

Back on the homeworld, Grandfather invented immortality (only for himself it seems; he shared a lesser form with his children). He created new energy sources, world-shattering weapons, mind-boggling transportation systems, pocket universes, and more. He found, and exploited, loopholes in the laws of the universe. Much of what he invented has never been fully understood or replicated.

At some point, he and his children had a disagreement. It escalated into a galaxy-spanning war that destroyed their civilization and their thousands of cities on thousands of worlds. The modern universe can still see evidence of this Ancient War: worlds with poisoned atmospheres, worlds cratered by asteroid bombardments and scrubbed clean of life; ruined cities littered with high-tech devices that no longer work (or that still perform incomprehensible functions).

But the Ancients left another, less obvious but vastly more important, reminder of their influence. At some time in their travels, Grandfather himself visited Earth and carried away several thousand near-intelligent early Humans. They must have been useful in some obscure way because he carried those humans to hundreds of his worlds.

When the Ancient War ended and the Droyne worlds lay in ruins; their humans lived on. Each of those planets became a new world which humans conquered and on which they created a unique, yet human, culture. Today, humans (as a direct result of Grandfather’s intervention) inhabit many of the worlds of Known Space.

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