THE SHINING ONES
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Introduction and Physical Description
"Shining Ones" is the Imperial term for the ancient, psionically powerful race which preceded most of Imperial civilization. We know about them solely through the artifacts and structures which they have left behind, most of which have been buried or destroyed by natural ecological processes in the five hundred thousand years estimated to have passed since the time of their civilization's fall.
As there have been no living or dead Shining Ones even skeletal remains yet discovered, our understanding of the appearance of these beings is based purely on speculation gleaned from their architecture. It appears that the Shining Ones were bilaterally symmetrical bipedal beings, ranging from four to seven feet in height. They wore clothing of many kinds, suited to fit a being with two manipulatory appendages and two legs. It is likely they had a head perched on their torso above their manipulatory appendages, as well; research indicates that this was the place where their visual sensory organs were located judging from the height of visually interesting items in their remaining buildings.
Oddly, no depictions of the Shining Ones themselves remain amongst their artifacts and structures, although many visual representations of technology, architecture, animals, and other things have been found amongst the ruins of their civilization.
Senses and Diet
It is clear to researchers that the Shining Ones had a sense which processed visual light, as their artifacts often have aesthetically pleasing combinations of color decorating them. As no artifacts thus far recovered produce sound of any sort, it may be that the Shining Ones did not possess a sense of hearing. Other than this, however, any other estimates of Shining One diet or sensory apparatus are purely conjectural.
Nothing is known about the Shining Ones' method of reproduction.
Culture and Art
Few if any artifacts recovered seem to be purely artistic in nature. While several of their buildings show signs of diversity and creativity in terms of paintings and other artwork, in addition to a number of different architectural styles, most of the artwork recovered is in such poor shape as to be incomprehensible. Archaeological digs have worked for centuries in attempts to find evidence supporting conclusions regarding the Shining Ones' culture or sociology, but for every theory which seems true there is a contradictory theory which seems equally true.
Society and History
Aside from the above mentioned mass Galactic exodus or destruction, nothing is known of the Shining Ones' history or society.
Nothing is known of the Shining Ones' psychology or mindset, although it is presumed that they were highly powerful psionicists given the nature of their artifacts.