In the distant past an ancient civilization once ruled the galaxy. They were at once great conquerors and by all counts benevolent rulers. Were they truly benevolent or were the records colored by fear? Little is known about these people, but one thing is known for sure: they are called the Tetrarchs.

The reader may be familiar with some of the following statements found in Frontier literature:

"The Tetrarch Societies are assumed to be a once great galactic authority made up of a collection of races also referred to as the Tetrarch Elders . . .Some suspect that the races [of the Frontier] were slave races of the Tetrarch Elders, left behind . . ."—Nor's Guide to Allied Space[1]
". . . an ancient temple left behind by a race who have a connection with the Tetrarchs."—Temple Raiders[2]
"It has been speculated that an ancient unknown race of aliens (possibly the group known to xeno- archaeologists as the Tetrarchs) transplanted a small group of S'sessu to their present homeworld at that time." — Coming of the S'sessu[3]

The Tetrarchs have taken on a mystical, even god-like aura in Frontier history, but most never even hear the name. It is talked about in scientific and historical societies, obscure religions, and secret organizations, but little ever reaches public circles, and usually only in exhaustive encyclopedias. One reference can be found in a textbook at the Zebulon Institute for Archaeology. In there, a timeline is given, claiming:

"10,500PF (Pre-Frontier) Last remnants of the mysterious Tetrarch Societies die out."[4]

The Tetrarchs appear to have been the most technologically advanced society ever to have existed in the Frontier or its outlying areas. Their territory is suggested in ancient accounts to stretch beyond any known territories. References and varying depictions of the Tetrarchs are found up until around 10,000 p.f., at which point they just drop off the historical record. A later race known as the J'vaarians are believed to be descendants of the Tetrarchs, but nothing in the historical records ever show a direct connection.

Depictions on ancient temple walls and artefacts show ancient races interacting with what are believed to be the Tetrarchs. However, though many ancient artefacts, technological and otherwise, have been found, none have been definitively linked to the Tetrachs.

Some races claim descent from the Tetrarchs, while others claim to have been created or enslaved by the Tetrarchs at one time, but no archaeological evidence can be found to support such claims, except elusive references in their culture to their beginnings and ancient trials. These claims lead many to believe that the Tetrarchs were masters of creating and manipulating life, forming new races and species.

One theory suggests that many of the races in the Frontier made up the Tetrarchs, but an apocalypse brought about a dark age that erased their histories. It has been suggested that the Clikk, who some speculate to be an precursor to the Vrusk, were one such division of the Tetrarchs or perhaps were possibly responsible for their demise.

After approximately 10,000 years ago, the Tetrarchs would never again be seen in the Frontier. Despite all the efforts of archaeologists and historians, little do they know that the mystery of the Tetrarchs will forever be hidden in time.


Cited from Star Frontiersman Issue Seven: Tetrarchs by C.J. Williams

  1. Ron "Seawolf", (dead link)
  2. Star Frontiersman #4, pg 36, by C. J. Williams, 2007.
  3. Dragon Magazine, April 1985, by David "Zeb" Cook.
  4. Zebulon's Guide to Frontier Space, p. 52, 1985, TSR, Inc.
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