THE ORTHEENI LEGACY

Long before intelligent civilizations developed within the galaxy and long before they began to tinker with even the most base technologies, there existed the Ortheeni. Once as mighty as they are now mysterious, the Ortheeni wielded vast power still evident in the remnants of their technology scattered across an untold number of worlds. Nothing is known of their origins nor the reasons for which they eventually vanished --- and, indeed, there is no evidence even what form they took. What is believed is that the Ortheeni, once masters of all, abruptly abandoned the galaxy en masse as though called to some purpose elsewhere.

But behind them…they left a legacy that would shape the future. Relics so advanced that to control them would gain for any ambitious race dominance over all others. However, the secret to powering or utilizing those fantastic devices lay hidden from all but a few. Only the Ortheeni Runes could grant one mastery over their abandoned devices and only those fate has chosen to guard the Runes --- Keepers --- have the capability of resurrecting the power of the relics.

Whether by accident or purpose, the Runes --- their ultimate number in question --- were left on a few remote worlds. Even the Rune Keepers are not aware of how many stand in their ranks, for each has been trained to conceal themselves and their abilities from all but the most trusted of allies. They only know that those in possession of a RUNE have the ability not only to use the Ortheeni technology but also to control and manipulate matter with their mind and body.

There is but one other race somewhat familiar with the secrets of the Ortheeni and the Runes --- the Mul'Theet. It is said that there exist among them generations of scholars and priests who have studied the Ortheeni and perhaps understand more about them then even most RUNE KEEPERS. Yet, so rare are the RUNES that even the MulTheet have only met a few of the guardians in all that time. And though the Mul'Theet are aware of the great power the Ortheeni possessed, they do not seek this power but only to study it for knowledge's sake. It is because of this inherent incorruptible nature of the Mul'Theet peoples that some RUNE KEEPERS have come to work alongside them so that together they can discover the truth and thus better protect the secrets from those who would abuse them.

But there exists another legacy left behind by the Ortheeni, a legacy with purpose of its own. The Orbs. Whether or not they were created or originally existed as some life form is uncertain, for they cannot or will not answer even about their origins. All that is known is that they are sentient, intelligent beings who possess abilities of their own and are also able to interact with the Ortheeni technology as if an integral part of it. Each Orb has some mysterious link to a particular RUNE, though it is not certain if they are reliant upon its power to survive or simply remained bonded to it for other reasons. For the Rune Keepers, the Orbs act as council and when a Rune Keeper passes --- either by natural causes or death in protection of the Ortheeni secrets, the Orb will follow with the new keeper of its RUNE.

Many mysteries still enshroud the Ortheeni and though there remain a few life forms that existed around the time of this legendary race, all evidence points to every memory of the Ortheeni as having been purposely erased. Even the Orbs claim to know little detail of their former masters though they are aware of their own abilities and limits. The one certainty concerning the Ortheeni is the endless struggle of the galaxy's current inhabitants to unlock the secrets of their legacy and use those powers for their own purpose...good or ill…

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