Devouring Darkness

The Encyclopedia Superium

Devouring Darkness: The alien race colloquially known as the "Devouring Darkness" was a powerful race encountered by emissaries from Atlantis in approximately 2400 BCE. The Devouring Darkness incident, as it is termed, was one of the events which caused a much more suspicious attitude towards Atlantean interstellar trade, which is considered to be a primary reason that no psychic beacon technology was traded to any alien race. The Incident also led to the growth of Atlantean nanotechnology, presumably as a defensive measure, but possibly because such technology was stolen from the Darkness.

The Devouring Darkness Incident

According to archaeological records recovered from the ruins of Atlantis, the first actual meeting between Atlantis and the unknown alien race occurred in 2397 BCE, and was the seventh major expedition through the Psychic Locater. A team of twenty Atlantean psychics and soldiers, including one pseudotech expert, ventured through the portal in order to make contact, following their usual procedures to guarantee their own safety while not appearing overly hostile.

Out of the expedition's inital members, only two successfully returned through the gate, badly injured from apparant energy discharges. Atlantean records indicate that the aliens they attempted to make contact with feigned interest, then ambushed the party and seized control of the rudimentary psychic beacon they had been planning to install.

What followed were the Years of Darkness. Evidence indicates that the Devouring Darkness launched several invasions of Atlantis, and the capitol city was completely evacuated for over ten years, during which time all trade with other worlds was disrupted. Interestingly, none of the races connected through psychic beacons to Atlantis suffered attacks in this time; it is possible that the Darkness were unable to recalibrate the systems, or that they simply chose not to while they still had a primary enemy. After fourteen years of battle, the Atlanteans were able to force the Darkness back to their world, and a powerful strike destroyed the beacon that had been installed, cutting their world off from Earth.

Mysteries

While the generalities of the war remain simple, exact information on the war or the Darkness is maddeningly vague. The current theory is that the war very nearly wiped out Atlantis, and the victorious king Sendaris III deliberately had all direct references to the war expunged from the city's records, leaving only highly classified information about what the Darkness was. The result was a semi-mythic tale of the darkest hour faced by the nation. Unfortunately, the classified areas that presumably contained full information on the Devouring Darkness, including their psychic co-ordinates, were wiped out entirely when Atlantis was destroyed. The result is that modern scholars still do not know who it was that Atlantis faced.

One leading theory is that it was, in fact, the Chitrani, during their pan-galactic war. Their extreme aggressiveness and relative technological edge would explain the way in which Atlantis was nearly overcome, they were known to make use of nanotechnology, and their psychic powers match certain description of the Darkness as psychic in origin. On the other hand, the Chitrani did not appear to recognize humans when they were encountered in the 1800s, which may put the lie to that theory.

Another theory states that the Darkness was actually a particularly violent tribe of one of the Five Races that humanity is now in contact with, and that their intervening time brought a more peaceful attitude. Some go so far as to suggest that the Darkness were actually one of the races that Atlantis later contacted, and their scrubbing of historical records was designed to smooth relations between the two peoples. If this is the case, that race has returned the favour, as none record anything particularly odd happening during the Years of Darkness in their worlds.

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