War of Extinction
The War of Extinction was a war fought 42,000 years ago between the Ishvana and an alliance of the Elder Races. It began when the Ishvana finally made contact with the various races across the Starmourn Sector, commanding them to submit and be assimilated into its collective consciousness. Naturally, all rejected this declaration realizing it meant extinction like had befallen the Ishvana's creators, the Elessi.
The Utan Mir were the first to be attacked and while they battled back valiantly, they were soon in desperate straits. As the other Elder Races watched the Utan Mir – one of the mightiest of the Elder Races – crumple before the Ishvana’s onslaught, they quickly realized that if they didn’t stand together, they might all face destruction. Coming to their rescue in perhaps the largest combined fleet assembled since the ancient Ascension Wars of the Wild Kith era tens of millions of years earlier, which ended the 100,000 year reign of the Soulshorn Empire and its Immortal Bloodlords, was an alliance of the Rek – masters of star kith, the Vyar, the mysterious, telepathic Shrikem, the member states of the League of Anar, the combative K’sath, and the Quix in their huge Dreadnaughts.
The graceful Ta-deth came, flying their impossibly quick fighter craft. The Faceless Emperor of the Sooq sent his Fleet of the Imperial Dawn, in the midst of which came his flagship, the Argent Star, while his rival, the Sapphire Cults of the Jeweled Heresy brought their vast swarmships, protecting Y'saari carriers bearing void-kith wielding Lha Ti, though other than these, who are by far the eldest of the Younger Races, none of the Younger Races participated in the battle, for the others did not have the capability to make a difference and would have been fairly useless except as cannon fodder that the Ishvana’s forces would destroy easily.
For 1,500 years, the Elder Races fought and died. They died by the billions as entire worlds were destroyed by the great Kali warships the Ishvana deployed, using weapons and shielding beyond the ken of even the Vyar – greatest builders of the Elder Races – and using the network of Voidgates the Vyar and Utan Mir had built. One by one, they fell or fled.
The League of Anar was wiped from history. The K’sath fought to the last, frequently volunteering to stand and die in order to help others flee a losing battle. The Utan Mir and Vyar were similarly wiped out, while only a small population of Rek survived by fleeing. A least a few of the Quix are believed to have fled Starmourn on their Dreadnaughts, when defeat was imminent, for there were reports of a fleet of Quix leaving the sector recorded in Shen databases at the time. The Sapphire Cults, seeing no other choice, made a final, suicidal attack, supported by the Ta-deth, on the bulk of the Ishvana’s major fleet, but was decimated, and the Ishvana destroyed their planets utterly in retaliation, for they did inflict substantial damage on its forces.
The Faceless Emperor and his Fleet of the Imperial Dawn was a mighty force – perhaps equal to that of the Utan Mir or Rek – but it too fell before the unbridled power of the Kali ships the Ishvana had in uncountable numbers. The Emperor is believed to have fled the scene of the final battle of his race in their home system, broadcasting the Sooq griefsong across all channels as he and his small band of surviving ships left to try and survive in unknown space, led by the Argent Star.
The Shrikem have always been the most mysterious of the Elder Races that we’ve had any contact with, though rarely do they deign to communicate with us, or allow us to as much as detect them. We do not know where their home system is, nor do we understand their technology, which some have accused, probably wrongly, of being some flavor of Wild Kith. They are an enigma that the Younger Races have yet to unravel.
We do know, however, that they are strongly telepathic, and that somehow, in some miraculous, completely unexpected way, they collectively unleashed those powers against the Ishvana, cracking its sub-quantum mind. By no means did they destroy it, but they drove a wedge into it, separating one part of its consciousness from the other. How they did this, and why they waited so long is a mystery that wasn't solved until much later, as the Shrikem were not inclined to offer explanation.
The Ishvana immediately went seemingly insane. Its ships would randomly attack each other, and its fleets would execute maneuvers with no purpose, sometimes causing ships within it to collide and destroy each other. Emissary ships from it bearing nonsensical messages that seemed bound for nowhere were intercepted. Within the span of a year, the Ishvana’s attacks had fallen apart completely, and it retreated into its Atman to lick its proverbial wounds.