The Builders were not the first race – nothing so grand. It is their legacy that makes them important. Technological wizards, the Builders discovered the secret of Jump travel, and how to build Jump Engines among other discoveries – artificial intelligence, near-perfect holography, complete terraforming. They used Jump Engines, though interestingly never developed the capability to “exo-Jump” objects in the same way the Sol Unity did. With their Jump Engines they colonised worlds, and spread throughout the galaxy rapidly, founding peaceful colonies on dozens of worlds.
They discovered the children of the Seeders before they discovered the Seeders themselves – bipedal, ten fingers, ten toes. The Seeders travelled from world to world by folding space together, literally walking from one planet to the next, “seeding” the worlds with the germs of their own biology, letting life evolve in their image. The Humans of Sol (and therefore the humans of Hamak as well), the Krayce, the Tarn, the Teth – all four races are children of the Seeders, and there are many more, spread throughout the galaxy such as the Irif and the Anfar.
While the Seeders had a mastery of biology, they avoided space, believing that the void between worlds was not to be traversed by mortals. The Builders who travelled through space constantly were therefore heretical, and the early relationship between the two races was strained, though they made politics together. The Seeders, with their ability to bend the fabric of space itself, were undoubtedly the superior force technologically, but the Builders were more populous.
Over time it became clear that the Seeders were older than the Builders and were involved in a quest to watch life evolve over millions of years – something they didn’t want to discuss with their new allies the Builders, but which had become the driving force for almost the whole Seeder race for tens of thousands of years already.
Then one day the Seeders were gone. Outposts were left unmanned, embassies deserted, the folds in space they used to travel with flickered and died. Theories abounded – had the Seeders reached godhood and ascended away from the mortal universe? Had they been attacked and killed? Was this some plan that they had had all along?
While the Builders investigated the disappearance of the Seeders a faction developed that sought to ape the Seeders’ work – they would seed space with their own creations: the Jump Engines. Distilled into their most easy to use format and left in space wherever life was determined to be a likely prospect. Especially in those places where the Seeders had left their mark. Each Jump Drive was linked to a central beacon, manned by an artificial intelligence which they called the Custodian.
And then the Builders vanished too. And behind them they left their legacy – the Jump Engines, floating in space, waiting to be discovered. And a beacon, with an artificially intelligent curator who had no idea of where its creators had gone to.
Hundreds of thousands of years passed.
The Eyclasa discovered eight Jump Engines and set about discovering the galaxy, too afraid to contact any of the species they encountered.
The Sol Unity, smarting from their disastrous first contact with the Anfar discovered eight Jump Engines and researched them destructively, eventually working out how to build an exo-Jump gate powered by converting mass from the asteroid belt into energy. They began their mission to destroy all non-human life in the universe.
A small group of scavenging miners in the Hamak system found eight Jump Engines floating in space. They bolted them to their own ships and brought the Four Systems together as neighbors.