The events in Ghosts of Innocence take place roughly sixteen thousand years in the future.
thousand years from our twenty-first century lives, humanity developed
practical interstellar travel. Not a moment too soon, the first ships
left a climate-ravaged and polluted Earth behind and began looking for
Within a few decades, the expanding
search found planets suitable for colonisation. Not yet truly habitable,
they were at least rocky worlds with atmospheres, liquid water, and in
stable orbits in their stars' "Goldilocks zones."
fledgling colonies made extensive use of geoengineering techniques that
had been refined over the centuries in desperate attempts to keep Earth
itself habitable. Decades of patient terraforming bore fruit three
hundred years after the departure of the first interstellar explorers,
when the first colonists were finally able to walk freely under alien
Moderately peaceful expansion continued for another four millennia.
by then, many early colonies had grown strong enough to rival Earth
itself, and began to exert not only independence from an increasingly
fragile central rule, but desires to establish their own multi-system
Good old human nature reasserted
itself, and the spreading civilisation disintegrated into a thousand
years of vicious conflict. Terraforming was slow and cripplingly
expensive, so truly habitable worlds were prized targets. Many worlds
lost contact and degenerated to a pre-industrial state. Many perished,
unable yet to sustain themselves. Only a few kept both the technological
knowledge and the industrial capacity to build starships.
society re-grew from these centres, which eventually hosted the ruling
Grand Families. The world of Magentis lay in a region relatively rich in
habitable planets, and was always the most powerful. Its ruling family
established itself as a dominant and stable force over the next eight
It is worth noting that at no time
did the Earthly explorers discover native life on any planets they
visited. All people, plants, and animals, can trace their lineage back
to Earthly origins.
Ironically, by Shayla's time Earth itself is nothing more than a
little-known legend. Earth's dwindling resources were spent with the
effort of supporting those early colonies. Its location was lost in the
disintegration and rebirth of interstellar civilisation. Its people have
likely regressed to primitive, non-technological cultures if they
survived at all. It is out there still, waiting to be rediscovered, just
another failed world from before The Collapse.