For the previous entry in this series, see the first episode.
The Unfallen greet you again, wanderer. Much has happened in the universe since your last visit, and some of it we even know about. Our drones were even able to capture this image of the harmonious shape of our wondrous galaxy.
Things are progressing well on Koyasil. The drone network has proved fruitful, and our numbers begin to flourish. We are even joined on our home world by a Guardian. This ancient creature is quite selfless, and it is no doubt that they would be a boon to the entire universe, if more of them can be found.
We have also begun construction on a new vineship. The First Glowing Embers continues to extend the reaches of our celestial vines, but if we can enlist the crew for a second vessel, our reach will grow faster and farther than before. Some have requested that Lunabarxes command the vessel herself, but Arasch believes that this is just a ploy from her detractors to oust her from the Senate. Perhaps it is a plot from the small margin of Industrialists, whose movement seems to be gaining traction.
Indeed, our first election is upon us. The Unfallen are by Pacifists by nature, though we are heartened to see a group of Ecologists blooming. The Scientists also do not worry us, provided their minds are aligned with their hearts.
In fact, Lunabarxes has reported to me that she has successfully brought forth some cross-party legislation in our Senate, to enact the Green Fertility Bill. I am no politician, but it appears this will increase our food stores, and in turn, our population, leading to more brave Unfallen who will spread throughout the galaxy to champion peace and sacred harmony.
The Unfallen aboard the First Flaming Embers have also encountered a curious major life form. They call themselves Riftborn, we think for lack of a better term, and we appreciate their collective mindedness and their dedication to peace. Their story, however, is quite tragic. It seems they grew forth from another dimension out of necessity. The reality they once knew as home is diseased and, if we understand them correctly, rotting throughout. The Grand Viceroy looks to our universe, calling it New Coroz. We shall not adopt the name, but we are happy to share our galaxy with any peaceful creatures.
We are saddened by the plight of the Grand Viceroy’s people, and we offer them some of our Dust as a branch of friendship and trust. Arasch is mostly a stoic leader, but I have known him long, and can perceive the slightest increase in warmth from his heart at the thought of the Grand Viceroy.
I have also received word that the First Glowing Embers has completed their work entwining the Giazar system. I know, I said I would be there to watch as the celestial vines grew. And I was – the Unfallen do not lie. But my duties called me back to Koyasil before I could see the noble work reach fruition. Perhaps I will have another opportunity to witness such a wonder.
Without hesitation, some of the Unfallen have descended to the surface of Giazar I to begin a small colony there. All reports state that the planet is not quite as cold as we once thought, and it is filled with all manner of exotic and beautiful flora and fauna. Scans indicate that the planet also contains Titanium and Hyperium. Our scientists curl their branches in delight at the thought of these compounds, though I have only known them to be inert, lifeless things.
Meanwhile, the crew of the First Flaming Embers has reported quite a curiosity. It appears that a planet in a nearby system is not a planet at all, but a hologram. Such an anomaly is unrecorded in our long history. We cannot divine who constructed such a ruse, but some of our scientists aboard the vessel intend to make a closer inspection.
It seems as though we have reached the extent to which we can populate our home planet. We do not wish our presence to throw its ecosystem out of balance, but stagnation is a difficult concept for the Unfallen to accept. It seems unlikely that Intensive Cultivation will do us any good at the moment. But it must be that Arasch and Lunabarxes have a vision that extends beyond the present.
And now, we hold our first elections. Arasch himself is secure in the position of the Pacifists, under the leadership of Lunabarxes. Therefore, he has decided to back the Ecologists, in the interest of advancing some of their more progressive ideas. I believe his goal is to advance ideas that render the Unfallen more efficient at propagation that we have been in the past. Of course, there have always been some among us prone to spreading their seeds far and wide, but populating an entire galaxy requires a more systematic approach.
Excuse me a moment. I just- I’m not sure. This feeling. It is as though a portion of my heart has suddenly turned to ice. And now it’s gone. I have never felt anything like that before.
A message has arrived that explains what I may have felt. It seems that the First Flaming Embers encountered a ravenous pirate vessel in the far reaches of our galaxy. The ship was not equipped for combat. The entire crew has been lost.
I am not sure what to say. The Unfallen knew that we would face new dangers when we left our comfortable home of Koyasil. But I did not expect those dangers to come this quickly, nor did I understand what I would feel when an entire crew of us faded from existence in an instant. There are storied few of us who have not had the opportunity to become Thirds. The crew of the First Flaming Embers, First of Sacrifices, will live on in our hearts and our legends.
Endless Space 2 is a turn-based, science fiction 4X game developed by Amplitude Studios and published by Sega. It is available via Steam.