The Ekrosian Guardians are a phenomenon in which large numbers of lifeforms, cybernetic organisms, or entities spontaneously manifest in the intergalactic space surrounding the Via Lacrimosa galaxy. Each Ekrosian Guardian has a thirteen-pointed star symbol somewhere on its surface. The Guardians which contain biological material all contain identical genetic material despite having wildly different appearances and biologies. They are often hostile to foreign craft, with the largest among them making travel to certain areas impossible. They vary in size from the scale of microbial life to the scale of megastructures, with a handful measuring at several light years in length. They rarely venture into Via Lacrimosa. Among them, only a handful exhibit true sapience.
Their commonality makes entering Via Lacrimosa fairly difficult, especially near regions known as "the galactic poles" on the "north" and "south" ends of the galaxy. These poles exactly correlate with the poles of Ekros, a major planet in the center of the galaxy. It is unclear how these beings came to be. Based on several interviews, physical evidence, and documents, various researchers have concluded that they were created by an individual named "Eve." Every Guardian presumably has the genetic material of Eve within them.
Ekrosian Guardians manifest between approximately 65,500 and 75,000 light years from the center of Via Lacrimosa. In this region of space, there are, on average, over thirty thousand Ekrosian Guardians per cubic light-year. Recent estimates place the number of Ekrosian Guardians to be roughly 1.4 quintillion individuals. The manifestation of the Guardians seems to strictly obey the law of the conservation of mass and energy. Guardians manifest via the rearrangement of cosmic dust into the form they are to take. In other words, intergalactic dust and gas will spontaneously shape itself into one of these Guardians. Artificial Constructs do not seem to be affected.
After "death" the Guardians will demanifest. Upon demanifestation, they will decay into the cosmic dust and gas that once made them up. A small amount of the mass will be converted into gravity-waves and visible light. The largest demanifestations have been mistaken for events such as supernovae.
The most common of the Ekrosian Guardians exist on the level of single-celled organisms. Ekrosian Guardians are usually no smaller than several micrometers across. They were only discovered to exist recently, as the detection of microscopic particles in the intergalactic medium is a difficult task. Many of the Guardians at this scale seem to be protozoa-like organisms bearing the thirteen-pointed symbol. They are capable of expelling small amounts of gas to propel themselves, although to where is unknown. Most are capable of photosynthesis. Those which cannot often die within hours. They are not capable of reproduction.
On the microscopic scale, inorganic material makeup is much more common. Apart from the common protozoan forms there are many variants. Small-scale models of engines are common, ranging in sophistication from primitive steam and internal combustion engines to warp drives. These engines often function and demanifest upon running out of fuel. Small scale figurines of a humanoid figure, small-scale models of the most recent spacecraft to pass through the area, and what appear to be zygotes of an unknown species are common as well. One-dimensional points of light often manifest in the same ways as Guardians do. The way they flicker likely codes for the symbol in some kind of analog system.
Microscopic Ekrosian Guardians often only last for seconds at a time. If manifesting in laboratory conditions, their lifespan can be prolonged through refueling, repairing, a supplementing resources.
Small Scale Ekrosian Guardians range in size from one tenth of a millimeter to one meter in length. These guardians are the second most common size. In many cases, the small scale Guardians manifest as a random assembly of cells. While most random assemblies of cells fail to produce a viable organism and quickly die, many manage to form viable organisms capable of surviving in space for extended periods of time. These organisms usually move through space by creating small warp bubbles. In addition to the Ekrosian Star symbol, other symbols are etched across the organisms. These symbols are likely runes allowing for the organisms to take advantage of Thaumaturgy despite not being sapient. Small Scale Guardians are almost universally incapable of moving faster than the speed of light.
In addition to these small organisms exist a class of guardians that seem to be entirely inanimate. Glass orbs filled with a glowing substance churning within move through space at ultrarelativistic speeds. These glass orbs were only recently confirmed to be guardians when one was cracked causing the churning substance to crystalize into patterns not unlike the Ekrosian Star symbol.