"Is it a strange realm? Definitely! Is it an inherently hostile realm? Definitely! Do I want to live in it? Definitely! After all, life is what you make it to be. You could say that I'm irresponsible by moving there, and you'd be right. But when has existence become so sacred that you'd sacrifice adventure for a lifetime of safety and boredom? I can't put into words how alien it is to me, yet I can't contain my eagerness to explore it."
The Cosmos is immensely diverse, populated by dozens of realms, islands of stability in a vast sea of chaos. One of the most extensive of them is the Palioxis Starfield, a structural realm conceived by the Cosmic Primordia. As harmonious order silently arose from the fluctuating quantum states of the Cosmos, an alien realm was forged, a realm destined for magnificence amongst many others. After what seemed an instant, space-time expanded, and the first matter formed, giving rise to the first generation of the Starfield, the Rylinia Renath. As the Starfield and the Local Cosmos interacted with each other in higher-dimensional space millions of years ago, the realm was reborn, as a new era of exotic starlight ushered into reality.
Palioxis itself is host to a plethora of stellar planes of existence, areas of space offset in higher spatial dimensions. The bulk of the realm transpires within the Aeshai, miniscule planes which lie within the greater Astrania, a celestial void acting as a cosmic nexus between the aforementioned Aeshai. The realm, following the Photonic Boom, inherited a cosmological structure nearly identical to that of the Local Cosmos.
The realm is no stranger to life, dominated by hundreds of known and unknown races. In an age of relative peace with a few brutal wars in between, hundreds of interstellar civilizations and deep interconnected alliances thrive deep within the realm's confines. The civilizations of Palioxis are in a state of perpetual expansion, taking their first steps towards conquering interstellar depths, the greatest feat for any race.
Nature & Concepts
Palioxis' true nature is an impossibly complex cosmic structure extending upward to seven individualistic dimensions, which in harmony constitute the entire realm. The realm thrives as a conglomeration of continuously unfolding dimensional 'strings', forming the space-time continuum and beyond. The borders of Palioxis constantly fold into themselves, creating an illusion of an eternal loop, indistinguishable from infinity.
The bulk of the realm's beings reside within a four-dimensional interpretation of itself, consisting of three spatial and one temporal dimension. While an incredibly rare occurrence as of the present day, areas of the aforementioned space are able to shift in higher-dimensional space, giving rise to the numerous unique and stellar realms of Palioxis. Nonetheless, in the past, following the Photonic Boom, the bulk of Palioxis' space was fragmented into thousands of celestial planes of existence, the Aeshai.
The cosmological state of Palioxis represents a force of order which permeates its vast expanses. While the cosmology of similar realms such as the Local Cosmos can be described as a solid, Palioxis' space is more akin to a fluid, in that it is in a constantly flowing and alternating state. Hundreds of diverse types of astronomical bodies exist in harmony with each other, yet a great amount reside in a state of everlasting turmoil.
There are hundreds of cosmic phenomena in the Palioxis Starfield that seemingly defy the laws of nature. Among them are white holes, the polar opposites of black holes. As black holes furiously devour matter in their vicinity, white holes spew it into the freezing depths of space. Azure in hue and grand in size, white holes are a majestic sight in the Cosmos, rivaled by only a few others. While white holes were theorized to reside within the Local Cosmos, this has been proven false under decades of research and exploration. Nonetheless, even after millennia of research, white holes remain inextricably linked to the local Cosmos in unexpected ways.
As a black hole forms within the Local Cosmos, the gravitational influence on the fabric of reality sends forth a tiny quantity of energy to the Palioxis Starfield through spatial strings left behind by the Photonic Boom. Upon arrival within Palioxis, this energy manifests itself in the form of a white hole. A new discovery indicates that black and white holes share the same singularity, and matter does not flow through them. Therefore, the black hole's singularity 'remembers' the atomic makeup of anything it absorbs and communicates the information to the white hole's singularity, which then duplicates it.
The Rylinia Renath, also known as the Palioxis Primordia, was the environment and state of the Palioxis Starfield prior to the Photonic Boom. It was a truly exotic and otherworldly realm, characterized by seemingly endless swaths of vibrant substances blending together to define the realm's distinct personality. In contrast to the present state of the Starfield, the Rylinia Renath operated through vastly distinct natural laws and universal constants, though some of its key properties remain inherited as threads in the space-time of the modern Palioxis Starfield. Many phenomena that were commonplace in the Rylinia Renath would completely violate the entire nature of the Palioxis Starfield, further adding to the element of abnormality.
Cosmic lifeforms are uncommon in the numerous realms that pervade the Cosmos, but Palioxis appears to defy this standard in every way, redefining the understanding of life as a whole. Thousands of different types of spaceborne lifeforms coexist in hundreds of diverse ecosystems that span the entire realm. As far fewer natural barriers exist within deep space, many celestial species pervade across the entire realm, for there aren't as many unique environments as there are on otherwise lively and diverse terrestrial worlds.
Palioxis' cosmic beasts have evolved over the span of countless generations, originating from within the outer regions and having since migrated to inhabit virtually every corner of the realm. Over many millennia, untold astrobiologists have constructed an impressive evolutionary tree of spaceborne lifeforms, dating all the way back to the genesis of Palioxis, to the primordial ancestors of biological life. To the outsiders, the realm's celestial species offer a window to an environment beyond all imaginations, yet for the natives, they are more thought of as pests hindering space travel.
The Ascension Plane is a mystical realm co-existing with the Palioxis Starfield, made up of an eternal cosmic sea of azure mist and superheated plasma in a constant state of flow. The azure mist, which defines the Ascension Plane's personality and makes it whole, is known as Halycon, renowned for its ability to greatly accelerate evolutionary processes. The environment of the Ascension Plane is continuously fluctuating, purely described by rough currents and ongoing lightning, as the environment is in a never-ending clash with the forces of nature. What further adds to the grandeur of the Ascension Plane are its exotic forms of life, which constantly roam the entirety of the Ascension Plane, defined solely by the word "alien".
In a sense, the Ascension Plane is widely considered to be the most significant realm to the Starfield community in that it is the source of the most rapid superluminal travel. As the Ascension Plane is located directly 'on top' of the Palioxis Starfield, offset in four-dimensional space, it shares the aforementioned realm's coordinates, though on a smaller scale. This unique, and most of the time, not clearly understood property is excessively utilized for faster-than-light travel in the form of the Quantum Shift Drive, which forges a temporary three-dimensional shortcut in four-dimensional space, which leads to the Ascension Plane and back.
If there is one true constant in the Cosmos, it is that even in the most chaotic realms, there can be heavenly oases. Midonium is a bright instance of this, a dazzling, almost dreamy realm of the Palioxis Starfield. Midonium is a paradise in pure chaos, located within the blazing heart of a hypergiant Xelith in a self-contained void offset in higher dimensions. Uninhabited and untamed, Midonium is a free realm, with its destiny at the hands of its interlopers. With its location taken into account, Midonium is one of the more unreachable realms of the Palioxis Starfield, a myth to most who have yet to traverse within its heavenly confines.
As the oldest realm of Palioxis, predating all else, Midonium has experienced the entire Cosmos since its conception. A long, long time ago, prior to all recorded history, Midonium was nothing but an empty, spatial void. This would change shortly afterward, as endless cosmic energies poured forth into the realm. Within its heart, it formed a binary pair: a white hole and a black hole in harmonious synchrony. As matter spewed into Midonium, it would soon see the light of the day, forming the dazzling, stellar rings of xelithi, dust, and cosmic gases that encircle the blazing core, giving it its distinct personality.
A consciousness is an everlasting, flowing stream of thoughts upon thoughts. Untethered minds subconsciously travel across the Palioxis at all times, oftentimes within its many planes, surpassing physical boundaries. A primordial sea lost to the flow of time, Abzu stands as a nexus of thoughts, wholly redefining the capabilities of an untethered consciousness. The plane itself is immaterial, thought to only permeate universally across all minds in being, for one's physical carrier is unable to traverse within it. Abzu's defining property is its dimensionality, in that it's conceptually infinite, yet contained within a finite space. The sea never ends and is infinitely deep. The realm can be thought of as a higher-dimensional sphere on the surface of which the mind travels, unfolding itself to infinity.
Being the metaphysical manifestation of one's subconsciousness, Abzu is purely lifeless, yet strange entities reside within its deepest depths. One's subconscious fears manifest in orderly chaos upon diving deep below, even fears of which the mind does not even realize itself. Although there is no sun in the calm azure skies, sunlight tears through realities to illuminate the sea for its observer. No proof of Abzu's being can be fabricated, for many think it is simply a state of the mind, a hallucination played on oneself. Nonetheless, for those who have traveled within and returned, all of their fears have been subdued, resulting in a broken mind.
The Palioxis Starfield is composed of many different areas of space that have been separated into culturally and politically agreed upon regions. A system of directions is also in place, with kyrlos, kaos, mariwa, and kariwa being the most prevalent. A set of more cardinal directions, which have been created for cartography, have also been established with the standard north, south, east, and west directions. These aren't commonly used for navigation in the Palioxis Starfield, and they have a special place in mapping systems.
Across the Palioxis Starfield, there are a plethora of vast interstellar regions known as starlodes. These areas of space are the Palioxis Starfield's most conspicuous and recognizable elements, as they contain several diverse features separate from common Aeshai. Each region has its own distinct qualities, and it is the combination of these distinctions that contributes to the Palioxis Starfield's grandeur. These regions, formed by the interactions of cosmic objects in the largest of Aeshai, have come to define the Starfield's overall landscape.
Out of the many starlodes confined within the Palioxis Starfield, only a few reach such a level of importance as Orion does. Stretching approximately thirteen thousand light-years in diameter, Orion is the second largest starlode, coming behind the might of the Zephyr's Spiral. Within the azure clouds of Orion lie over twelve billion xelithi, which, along with cosmic dust and gas, orbit a supermassive black hole. Although rich in all forms of life, Orion has conceived only two species within its swirling stellar clouds. As they are both young species, they have yet to expand outward within the bounds of their home systems, though they have made numerous technological advancements in this regard. Furthermore, Orion's outstanding affluence has transformed it into a lively starlode worthy of eternal fame.
Ever since its initial inhabitation by Singularia, Orion has been the Starfield's industrial powerhouse, producing the bulk of the realm's technology for several nations. As many as twenty million industrial worlds lie deep within Orion's azure clouds, with over seventy percent of them purchased by various corporations. Except for the essential operators who must be present at all times, these industrial worlds are sparsely populated. Most of these immense worlds are encased in layers upon layers of factories and manufacturing complexes. As these worlds aren't regulated much, the industrial worlds of Orion have been home to an exceedingly high number of criminal organizations, some of which have even expanded to an interstellar scale.
The political landscape of Orion has been noted to be rather calm compared to other starlodes at this level of influence. Noted for its abundance of resource-rich worlds, the fabrication of more industrial worlds is a fairly simple and straightforward process for the nations of Orion. There have yet to be any battles to conquer all of Orion in modern-days. Nonetheless, there had been an era in the distant past when several extinct species belonging to Orion waged an unending war. Orion's vast clouds are unequally divided into over ten interstellar civilizations. Regardless, a few small conflicts near the borders of these nations are constantly taking place, though they have never expanded to a greater scale.
The Photonic Boom resulted in a myriad of chaotic phenomena, permanently embedded on the face of Palioxis, for it was without a doubt the most influential event in the history of the realm. In its wake, the instability of the cosmos forged a legion of entities possessing cosmic power, the Zorr'kon. Violating most documented laws of nature, these beasts ruled over the Aeshai many millennia ago, only to fall into eternal slumber in the farthest reaches of space, unknown and undisturbed. They require only one catalyst to awaken them, one interaction with sapient beings, one that would bring forth an era of horror for Palioxis.
In the present day, the existence of the Zorr'kon is heavily debated by both scientists and the public alike. Their prevalent appearance throughout ancient myths from all corners of known space almost entirely validates their presence in Palioxis. Over a dozen distinct entities, each with its own physical manifestation, have been catalogued by the scientific community, with hundreds more under research. Nevertheless, they remain one of the least understood aspects of reality, for they are so alien that no one can comprehend their motives, so intelligent that no one can fathom their thinking, and so powerful that not even the combined might of hundreds of nations comes close to them.
The shrouded heart of cosmic aberrations and celestial energies, the Primordial Singularity is a purely unstable manifestation of an eternal clash between the stellar forces of two separate realms. Described as elegant and majestic from afar, the Singularity's looks are utterly deceiving to one's mind, hiding behind them the most hostile area of space known to man. While its lethality is a mighty force to be reckoned with, its existence has also gives rise to the present day Palioxis, powering it like a generator powers a light bulb.
Living in a state of harmonious symbiosis with the Starfield extending beyond the boundaries of physical space, the pair are reliant on each other's continued existence. The Primordial Singularity's creation goes several million years into the mists of deep time, taking place in the wake of the Photonic Boom. As a consequence of its position within the deepest point of Krylotar, only a select few have observed its might with their own eyes, with the majority believing it is nothing but a myth
The complete history of the Palioxis Starfield is too complex to be concisely explained in any coherent manner whatsoever. Nonetheless, by piecing together clues left behind by ancient civilizations, a short chronology can be pieced together. The millions of years are divided into four distinctive eras, separated by the state of the realm, named by ancient Verthas words.