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Photoli // Star Atlas // Unreal Engine 5
The Photoli species, the oldest and most mysterious in the galaxy, first arrived in 2020 from the OM Sector aboard their titan class ship. They established their official base, Dawnbreak, in the high-risk zone in 2148, hidden from the prying eyes of other species. Despite having access to unrivaled knowledge and technology, the Photoli society remains largely disinterested in the affairs of other races, focusing primarily on their own path of transcendence and cultural tenets. This enigmatic society comprises various groups with distinct perspectives.
Among the most powerful but smallest in number are the "ascended" Photoli. These beings possess extraordinary control over non-living matter, allowing them to manipulate light and even teleport. The ascended Photoli abide by a rule of non-interference with other species' affairs, although some, like Ahr, disregard this rule in pursuit of their vision for the greater good of the galaxy.
The ritual of ascension, a deeply guarded secret, involves a profound transition in which a Photoli or another species candidate transcends their current state and becomes a new entity. A successful Photoli candidate transforms into one of the ascended, while a member of another species joins the Order of Light, a collective army dedicated to spreading the teachings of Photoli salvation. The ritual is complex and demanding, with a high likelihood of failure.
The "alumni" Photoli are mature individuals seeking the means to ascend. They often engage with other species in search of rare materials and favors, although they remain disinterested in worldly riches. Alumni Photoli follow the teachings of light, a religion centered around the ascended and their race.
A unique branch of Photoli called "travelers" exists, uninterested in ascension and religious orthodoxy. These beings often observe other species' growth and foster their development indirectly, without providing direct access to technology or assets. Travelers tend to avoid interacting with ascended and alumni Photoli, as they perceive their actions as harmful to other species.
Lastly, the "dark Photoli" are a result of failed reproduction rituals in a Sanctuary of Light. Born without the natural light that defines their race, these outcasts are considered sinful by the rest of the Photoli. The first dark Photoli, born to loving parents who refused to discard it, created an artificial sanctuary with a partner to breed new Photoli. This heretical act has led to the relentless persecution of dark Photoli by their light peers.
In summary, the Photoli species is an ancient and enigmatic race, boasting unparalleled knowledge and technology. Their society is divided into various groups, each with unique characteristics and objectives. While their presence in the galaxy remains mostly unobtrusive, their impact on other species cannot be denied.