In the beginning, there were the creatures of light and darkness, and they were without form in the void. Yet they took such forms as pleased them, when they came into our cosmos.
In those days, eons before our time, there were others in our Galaxy and beyond --- the Old Galactics and the species they had nurtured. They were all material beings, and they lived for material ends.
The creatures of light and darkness were not so, but were of pure essence from beyond our space and beyond our time, and limited by neither. Matter and energy as we know them were novelties to them, who had known nothing new from time out of mind, and some among them were intrigued -- enough to take on the outward form of species native to our universe – to go among them and study them at close hand, they reasoned. A few went further.
“Why not be composed of atoms and molecules?” they asked, and they made it so.
But they had failed to reckon that they would become imprisoned by matter and energy and subject to their laws. Although they were yet nearly immortal compared to the beings of this cosmos, although they could still change their shapes in ways unknown to those beings, they raged against what they saw as a cruel twist of fate.
Those who had not joined them in this enterprise were terrified, and retreated to their own continuum, abandoning their brethren to their fate. Those left behind in our continuum were further enraged at their abandonment. Driven by the fury of their own momentum, they set themselves up as gods -- cruel gods who treated the native sentient species, even the Old Galactics, as their playthings. The Old Galactics were able to flee, closing the wormholes of their escape behind them. The others suffered.
The new gods manipulated them, turning some into monsters, and played them against each other in malicious games, as if their suffering could somehow expiate that of their tormentors. But it was not enough; some of the gods became insane and destroyed themselves and each other in wars the like of which had never been seen before, taking with them countless lives and destroying entire civilizations. Others survived by suppressing memories of who they were and whence they had come, and what they had lost.
Thus ended the Second Ancient Years, which came before the First Ancient Years but were lost to all knowledge of those who came after.
Yet in those who survived into the First Ancient Years, some dim sense of their immense past led them to seek transcendence in different ways, and to lend some portion of that transcendence to hundreds of new and promising life forms that arose across a dozen galaxies -- helping them to evolve into truly sentient beings. These ancient ones of the First Ancient Years came to be known as the Galen and the Elders.
They had forgotten much, remembered much, and learned -- perhaps too little and too late. And so it began again, the First Ancient War, a new war on a new stage, but still a conflict of the creatures of light and darkness…. While we know little about the other races the Galen and Elders enabled, we do know that the Galen came to Earth more than a million years ago and breathed sentience into the great apes, creating a new race called Homo Sapiens Sapiens. But they ignored Earth for an eon after that, distracted by the war with the Elders.
It was the Elders who first sought to influence the evolution of humanity, working selectively with ancient peoples in Asia and elsewhere to improve the powers of the mind through scientific methods. Their science became so advanced that its practitioners, called the Diaboli, often explained it to others as mere 'magic'. The so-called witches and sorcerers of the ancient occult were enhanced by Elder blood. They were able to read the thoughts of others, and even change them, and they have at times been a very powerful force on Earth.
They were given more subtle differences as well. The Diaboli do not have a uniform look but a great many of them have green eyes. They were meant to be able to blend in almost anywhere. They have generally higher intelligence than normal humanity and a predilection towards the abstract and theoretical. They generally distrust authority and have trouble working together in large groups. Most were transported to other worlds, especially Atlantis.
The Galen, too, returned to Earth in classical times. They were the gods of human mythology, with the Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Norse cultures being the most familiar to most of those in the West. Indeed, those humans they favored and enhanced with a portion of Galen powers, called Protos, were involved in a hundred Terran civilizations. Such seemingly legendary figures as Gilgamesh, Hercules, Thor, Vainamoinen, Hiawatha, Zeus, Athena, Aphrodite, Odin and many others were in fact Protos.
But this attempt to introduce ‘gods’ who could guide humanity’s social development was a total failure, not only because of Elder/Diaboli interference but because of the contrary nature of the human race – a race that could deny the existence of the very gods it was supposed to obey and worship. The result was the rise of human-created religions, all of them believing in a Supreme Being who did not, except for brief moments, walk among them. These new religions swept away the older religions established by the Galen, and many civilizations collapsed.
The Galen, realizing that they could not influence their new human race in such simplistic ways, withdrew most of their agents. The exceptions are the Disir (Valkyries) of the Norse, who still persist in very small numbers. They were left behind to protect the planet, although their actions today are veiled and often confused with the later appearance of Velorians. But while the Galen abandoned their genetic engineering program for a time, they and their agents, known as Seeders, continued to raid Earth, abducting thousands of humans at a time and settling them on scores of other worlds – most of them limited to particular racial or ethnic groups, although there were some mixed worlds. It was in part cultural experimentation, in part stealing a march on the Elders and the Diaboli: facts on the ground of one habitable planet after another.
After leaving the remaining Disir and Diaboli to oppose each other on Earth, the Elders and Galen turned on themselves in the final battle of the First Ancient War that ended in mutual catastrophe. The Elders were largely destroyed; their population too small and scattered to sustain itself. The Galen females in turn were rendered infertile by a biological agent released by the Elders. Both of the ancient races were on a path to extinction. By now experts at manipulating the human genome, the desperate Galen embarked on a grand experiment to save their race – the creation of a race of Procreators who could replace their own infertile women and bear the next generation of Galens. It is the outcome of this grand experiment that forms the basis for the stories of the Aurora Universe.