They were the fourth civilized race to evolve on Rigel IV, around 99,998,000 BCE (reference stardate −1,000,000/00), while Rigel was still young. With an early understanding of science and philosophy giving them great power, they developed a massive empire over the Orion Arm, which lasted for over a million years. The Masters destroyed lesser, rival civilizations, and performed many experiments upon other life forms and cultures.
By 1,498,000 BCE (stardate −15,000/00), they desired to preserve their great civilization for the ages, to leave an everlasting mark on the Milky Way Galaxy. Thus, they embarked upon a long process of stellar engineering and planetary remodeling, so that the entire Rigel system itself would serve as a monument and museum to their achievements.
They began by terraforming Rigel III; formerly a wasteland, it was reclaimed and turned into a garden and agricultural world by 1,248,000 BCE (stardate −12,500/00). Their homeworld of Rigel IV was preserved as a kind of memorial, used as a workshop and a planetary spare parts storeroom for their grand projects.
But in their grandest work, the Masters began work on stellar engineering. Rigel B and Rigel C were early experiments in stellar kindling, then they began work on the main star Rigel A itself. Around 1,148,000 BCE (stardate −11,500/00), they cleaned it out and removed its helium core with great difficulty, and refueled the star with vast quantities of hydrogen. Burning brightly again, the inner worlds of the system were made tropical, while the tired outer worlds were rejuvenated. The helium core was used for other projects, mainly the planets orbiting Rigel B and C, which turned out well and led to their next endeavor.
Around 998,000 BCE (stardate −10,000/00), the Masters seeded Rigel VII and Rigel VIII with life, new and promising life forms intended to evolve over a million years or so into an intelligent species capable of space flight and revering the long-dead Masters as gods.
- These species may have become the Orions and the humanoid Rigellians/Kaylar. The time-scale is approximately correct, with Orions appearing 980 000 years later in the FASA history, and some claim descent from the Masters. However, their later appearance was a surprise, with no sign of sentient life previously detected, while Preserver relocation has also been suggested. Thus, it is not known if these plans were successful or were disrupted by alien interference.
Around this time, the Masters' civilization was beginning to crumble, and the Masters themselves were exhausted and debilitated as a species, and dwindling in numbers. Knowing that their time was short, they took Bodas, a species of intelligent near-humanoid animals that they had kept as pets, and hastily and crudely genetically advanced them into full sentience and a humanoid form. They intended this species (which would later call itself Rigellian) to survive them, to inherit their great works and serve as caretakers. Shortly afterwards, the Masters disappeared.
The Rigellians were left with vast stores of knowledge, memorials, and the great works of the Rigel system, all telling of the achievement and glory of the Masters. Ten thousand years later, the Rigellians came to a complete understanding of the Masters, their deeds and their crimes, and so offended by their arrogance, they destroyed nearly everything and devoted themselves to undoing their actions and teaching future races not to follow in their footsteps.
A million years later, Orion legends told of faithful servants being allowed into the depths of Rigel IV and meeting with so-called Masters kept alive through the ages by intensive life support or stored in a computer matrix. They were gifted with confused accounts of Rigel's history and that of the Rigellians and the Orions. These legends claimed that the star Rigel was actually a powerful and ancient life form, and that the Orions had been created in the image of the Makers to take their place as rulers of the Orion Arm. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge)