It is on the peripheral fields of the tentacle arms, that the inhabited worlds
are concentrated and scattered throughout the Trident galaxy. Collectively
they comprise what is referred to as the Known Realm. Their colonies
intermingle to form a galactic metropolis of complex trade networks
between industrial, manufacturing, mining, and agricultural worlds. Like the
changing solar winds as they surge and shift, new pacts and alliances are
made with various Lords and Regents and treaties and contracts broken in
the ebb and decline of the solar tides. Commerce, conflict; competition,
combat; all are an inevitable part of the ever changing cosmic current.
Steadfast through the interstellar storm of insurrection, invasion, rebellion,
and revolt, one force emerged from the mayhem to stabilize and
consolidate its might against all others: the Trident Empire of the Rokyu
KuDan Rix (ninth incarnation, sixth dominion, Emperor). Central to the
Imperium, close to the Inner Rim on the only fighting spiral arm left in an
otherwise ravaged galaxy, shines the star of Satorce, citadel of the human
strains and light of hope for the Trident Realm.

Records of the Dark Archives reveal knowledge of Vexthrax existence far
exceeded acknowledgment of their presence. Some believe the Vexthrax
did not originate from where they were first discovered, but instead
evolved elsewhere. Theories of their true home world, how and why they
came, have generated a great deal of controversy among the various
exobiologists of the scientific community as well as heated conversation at
every port-of-call and aboard every solar ship across the Outer Rim. The
debate has not faded for three thousand years, for that is how long the
Vexthrax have plagued the principalities of the Empire. That is how long
Mankind has endured them and the Trident Force has valiantly fought
them.

Their encounters with Deep Space Star*Stormers are well documented
and highly classified. Star Skippers and Solar Sailors alike shiver at the
sight of a Vex ship, a vessel in which a bug outbreak has infested the
entire crew leaving the cursed craft to drift aimlessly with the Realm Rift
tides for eternity.

One with proper clearance may further access information on the subject
by researching the ThraxMaster’s Tartarus Clan and ThraxSlayer
personnel jackets, particularly, the escapades of the Igneous crew and
Sage Koda. These logs detail the original contact made with this species.
Outside these files, the general civilian population knows little of them.

On government inhabited worlds, it is a much different story. The isolated
mining worlds scattered throughout the galaxy know the Vexthrax and
Spawn Swarm as Hell Dwellers. The “outsider” worlds also call those who
risk Thrax encounters as an occupational hazard Hell Dwellers and many
more names of both admiration and pity. Vexthrax are the nightmare of
every exploration, excavation, survey, and salvage crew. No
reconnaissance or search and rescue team has slept through a single
night without breaking out in a cold sweat listening for their sound. For as
deadly as Deep Space is, nothing could be more terrifying than to be far
beneath a planet's surface and strike into a varix vein of an angry Vexthrax
hive. Or to be swarmed and consumed without a trace in a mountainous
cavern, or to be sucked under the sand on some desolate, desert world
examining ancient, alien artifacts.

A surprise attack on a frontier town, a night raid on an outpost, an ambush
on a lone patrol, the scenarios are the same. In certain sectors, the length
of time a Hell Dweller has to live is an average of three weeks. Worse duty
exists. The life expectancy of a perimeter guard in such places is
approximately three days. Spawn Swarm stomachs are kept full of those
foolish enough to think they could beat the odds. Many such worlds are
penal colonies not told of the odds nor of the dangers. They are
expendable to the Realm Regent's resources, a small price to pay for
progress in the Empire's expansion. To this end, no suffering is too great
nor sacrifice too small.

It is the lure of adventure, danger, and of course, the riches that attract all
elements from across the galaxy to this fraternal frontier of  “bug brothers,”
a strange breed having their own set of values, codes and laws. But here
in the Outlands, it is never forgotten that it is always the Vexthrax and the
Spawn Swarm who are in charge. It is they who rule the Realm's ragged
edge.

The Spawn Swarm Empire so too expands. Fueled by their masses,
feeding off their enemies, they encroach ever closer, in never-ending
slithering streams. Carried to the far reaches of the Realm by the
Triskelion scourge, it is noted that if the Trident Force could proliferate at
the Swarm's current rate, in as little as a thousand years, the Empire could
reclaim the entire Galaxy!

Their Races appear ageless and their origins, speculative. It is not
understood at present if they existed elsewhere before the contamination
of the Known Realm began, a time known as the Spread.

What is undisputed is in 633*KR (thirty-third year of the Sixth Millennium of
KuDan Rix) an exploration ship on a routine survey encountered an
uncharted Star System that new maps did not reveal but clearly shown on
old, outdated sector templates. A careful search found in fact that the
system did indeed exist but veiled inside an unknown type of black eclipse.

On board the R. S. S. Charon, Nexus Navigators designated the pristine
Star System as a new constellation, as oddly, it had no name even on the
old maps. The celestial scribes gave it the name Vespoidea, as it
appeared to them to look like a kind of great insect. Between the “eyes” of
two giant suns of a binary solar system, resembling a radiant jeweled
clypeus, was the most magnificent celestial sphere, Imperial Star*Master
3rd Class, Krylor H. Thrax had ever observed. In one of the strangest
entries in any ship's log he recorded the phenomena. Another account
from his Captain's diary reads in part as follows:

“It seemed odd that old Star charts would show something that the new
tables would omit. A study of the matter indicated no miscalculation or
recent catastrophe. As our plotted course took us to our destination, it was
not there. Nor was anything there! I could see no starlight at all from that
sector, only a huge hole through the center of empty space. It was as if
sequins had fallen off the gown of the Cosmos and the torn tapestry of the
Heavens revealed not even a void beyond its velvet, stellar fabric. My crew
and I became increasingly uneasy as we ventured forth into what I was
sure to be a revelation of historic significance. A strange sensation
overtook us as the ship surged forward. Feelings of great dread and
impending doom filled us. Everyone, including myself, experienced it, but
no one, not even I, could explain it. It became extremely cold. Then, it was
as if something in the Universe moved and its shadow no longer fell upon
us as it passed across the astral planes. Again, the familiar starlight of all
the constellations shone bright! For a moment, I and my crew felt secure
once more. Never leaving us however, was the general feeling of anxiety.
Appearing out of the darkness from the starboard observation port, I
witnessed the most exotic binary star system I could have ever imagined.
No longer concealed in dark mystery, it revealed itself to us as if it had
been waiting for this very moment. The verdant orb rotated slowly on its
horizontal axis,  resembling that of a mortally wounded beast in its final
death throes. As it rolled, turning over, again and again, an enormous
reddish-bronze disc-shaped blot peered just above its equator. It seemed
to pulse hypnotically through the murky iridescent strata like the huge
blinking eye of a cyclopic beast. With each rotation, it cast its gaze upon
me. I watched, transfixed by the magnificent one-eyed green monster. Its  
breathtaking beauty was beyond belief. Overwhelmed, I seemed as equally
drawn by its beckoning as my intense sense of forewarning repulsed me. I
did not know why.

“And as for the chilling presence of the mysterious black shadow, I can
only say, that as an old experienced Star Sailor, it is beyond my military
training and human comprehension and that it will most surely vex me for
the rest of my days!”

This account by the ship's Star*Master is still as eerie today as it was long
ago. Since the star system's rediscovery, the Bureau of Planetary Affairs
has quarantined the Vespoidea constellation, restricting its access to all
but the BlackShips and agents of the Dark Archives. Of vital interest to the
Empire is the “Ghost Ship” Nereus, where aboard her,  an ancient obelisk
relic was discovered. Its origin and purpose have never been revealed to
anyone outside the Archives.
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