The Caeliar were the inhabitants of New Erigol, and formerly of the planet Erigol, which later became the Azure Nebula after the supernova of FGC-SR37-758. The term 'Caeliar' can be used as a singular or plural noun as well as an adjective.
Caeliar bodies have a torso, two arms, two legs, one head, and one face, but are non-humanoid in other ways. They have a large bulbous skull with two wide set almond-shaped, upswept, lidless eyes of silver-flecked sea-green. Their faces appear stretched to the point where the nose has disappeared, with only a taut lipless mouth in a perpetual frown and no chin. Two segmented tubular growths emerge from beneath the skull and follow the shoulders as they curve down into the chest. Overlapping ridges conceal the shoulders, upper arms, and elbows similar to a suit of armor. Their appendages are proportionally lengthy and thin, with long wide feet consisting of two enormous forward toes of equal length on either side of a deep curve with a third claw-like toe near the heel at the instep. Their bodies are not made of normal organic matter as with most other beings, but of catoms, which allow them to reshape their surroundings from a cloud of generic matter, with a mere thought.
At some point in the distant past, the Caeliar discovered a way to harness their surroundings via claytronic atoms, allowing them control over objects down to a molecular level. Since then, they searched for their next evolutionary step via their Great Work.
In 2168, the Columbia accidentally stumbled upon Erigol, and were allowed to approach and orbit the planet. Inyx argued on behalf of the human crew, and eventually gained the support to allow a small away team to make planetfall. Expecting assistance in repairing their vessel, the Columbia crew were informed there would be no repairs, and the away team was to be permanent guests of the Caeliar on Erigol. Several of the away team, including the MACO contingent, rebelled against their forced imprisonment, and attempted to escape. They destroyed one of the loci of the Great Work apparatus.
Nearly simultaneously, the Great Work on Erigol was disrupted by an extragalactic feedback pulse which destabilized the entire system. The pulse caused the star to go supernova and the planet began to tear itself. Axion, Mantilis, and one of the other city-ships were able to escape, given the sacrifice of the other Caeliar on the planet to maintain stable subspace tunnels and allow the humans to survive.
The city of Axion was thrown back to the year 1519, greatly damaged. The Caeliar aboard immediately began to resume their original work. The Caeliar investigated the extragalactic feedback pulse and determined that it was specifically crafted to disrupt the Great Work, causing a self-consistent causal loop. Even so, they took additional security measures towards the few remaining humans they had welcomed as permanent guests. Due to limited power concerns, the Caeliar remained in their non-humanoid form of free-floating catoms unless summoned by the Columbia officers.
The Caeliar remaining were able to locate a suitable planet to recolonize, naming it New Erigol, and renewed their efforts towards the Great Work. The apparatus was built into the shell surrounding their new star and planet rather than on the planet itself to prevent a repeat catastrophe. They monitored the timeline to prevent alterations until the Cataclysm, coming out and taking the time to observe the event on Erigol.
In 2381, the Caeliar observed the USS Titan approaching, but were convinced to not displace them. They too were welcomed to New Erigol as permanent guests, and placed under strict watch (novel Gods of Night).
The city of Mantilis traveled through a subspace tunnel to end up in 4527 BCE, approximately 59000 light years from Earth. Since the Earth Starfleet MACOs had ordered the apparatus here to be altered to allow the Columbia to pass through, the exterior of the ship had been exposed to hyperphasic radiation, leaving only twelve Caeliar alive with six humans.
Kintana was the third city to escape, it was sent back approximately 14 billion years and ended up in one of the first galaxies to form at the dawn of time. In the countless millennia that followed, the surviving Caeliar, now realising the truth of their own destiny, harnessed the galaxy by placing nearly every sun inside energy siphoning shells. It is this harnessing of an entire galaxy that, countless millennia in the future, would attract the attention of the Caeliar as they began their Great Work (to search for a species more advanced than themselves). After this harnessing, the survivng caeliar from Kintana waited 14 billion years for the signal from Erigol, when the signal arrived they crafted a feedback pulse specifically designed to ensure that the timeline remained intact; thereby ensuring that events repeated themselves, creating a casual temporal loop.
Caeliar evolved past the need for sleep, and spend their entire lives in search of artistic and scientific gains, including the Great Work.
The Caeliar have no need for farming, agriculture, animal husbandry, or economics, due to their needs being met via manipulation of catoms. Additionally, the Caeliar have a great respect for all life, and will seek to not be the cause of loss of life; this philosophy goes so far as to not eat meat or eggs or allow their guests to do so. Due to this, they will not euthanize living beings, but are willing to apply pain suppression techniques to allow the being to die peacefully.
The Caeliar species lives in absolute seclusion, masking their power signatures and obstructing scans of their world, remaining beyond detection and interaction with other species. If they are ever discovered, they merely shift the beings through space-time to a distant area. Caeliar seek to preserve and protect sentient life at all costs, including at the sacrifice of their own lives.
Caeliar also seek to protect the natural flow of the universe's time line; although they possess the methodology to travel through time, they do not utilize it except in extreme circumstances and only to protect sentient life.
The Caeliar are governed by a Quorum, led by a tanwa-seynorral, and made up of representatives selected at random by lottery from each of their cities. No Caeliar campaign to be a representative. The representatives meet in the Quorum Hall, located in Axion, to discuss matters relating to all Caeliar.
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