Early in the Traveller’s history, they experimented with many dimensional devices and dimensional travel. On one particular trip, using a specific experimental device not dissimilar to the devices used to open Thirdspace, they found a way into what could only be described as the space between dimensions. There they found, to their surprise, a world (Seyalshi). On this world was a race the Travellers called the Wraith.
Assuming the Wraith originated from the space between the dimensions, the Travellers made contact. The Wraith were highly knowledgeable in telepathic power, dimensional travel, and stealth. They seemed unusually open to contact with the Travellers. The exchange of knowledge made the Travellers realize they did not know as much about dimensional travel as they thought they did. But the Wraith lacked other knowledge the Travellers had, as well as resources. Traveling through dimensions required specific rare elements that the Wraith’s homeworld did not have. It was as if the world was stripped of those elements.
Unbeknownst to the Travellers, the Wraith were from another dimension, banished to the space between dimensions by their version of the First Ones. They were banished for many of the same reasons the Hand were later banished from our galaxy. They preyed on races for their telepathic essences – their souls. They are telepathic vampires. The Wraith did not need it for sustenance; however, they simply needed it. No one knew why.
However, there was something about the space between the dimensions that curbed their appetite for souls. They did not feel the need to feed. But living in this non-dimension had its down side as well. It drove the race insane. The Wraith had a fanatical desire to get out and find home again.
The Travellers presented a possible way into some reality other than this non-dimension. So they collectively played along. Being of a hive mind allowed them to work together to seem sane and friendly. But underneath was a desire burning in them to rip the Travellers and their vessels apart. It did not take long before that desire overcame them and a battle ensued.
Caught completely off guard, the visiting Traveller fleet took heavy losses. The surviving inter-dimensional vessels retreated and opened a jump point into their own dimension. This was what the Wraith were hoping for. The Wraith fleet made a mad dash to the opening in the dimensional fabric. On the other side were Traveller reinforcements. Many of the Wraith ships that made it through were destroyed. The jump point was closed before all could get through. However, masters of stealth and invisibility, some surviving Wraith escaped destruction and retreated into hyperspace. The Travellers thought they had gotten them all, and sealed up all information about the Wraith homeworld and how to get there in a secret location, on a dead world in one of their depositories of knowledge and secrets.
The Wraith emerged in a remote part of the galaxy. In this dimension, the Wraith found that they were long lived, perhaps immortal. They found that their telepathic talents were heightened. But living in this dimension revealed new problems for their race as well. Their birth rate was extremely low as well as newborn mortality rates.
One technique the Wraith used to ensure the survival of their race was cloning. Early in their years, their cloning technology was rudimentary but over time they became quite good at it.
They also found their hunger returning. Seeking out new sources of food, they found a group of populated systems they took as their own, building a small empire. They subjugated the primitive civilizations developing among the worlds they found, posing as their gods.
Using the unique stealth ability, they hid and watched the other First Ones. During all the Shadow Wars, they hid and watched. During the Thirdspace War they hid and watched. They learned much from the races around them, putting all their knowledge together to eventually devise a way to their home dimension and exact revenge on their judges. This desire to go home remained instinctive through out the race, almost genetic. Some would theorize that their presence in this dimension felt wrong to them and they instinctively wanted to get out.
They occasionally appeared before younger races caught in the middle of the wars, appearing as ghosts, protector spirits or savior omens. They disrupted the wars in ways to favor of the underdog, causing more chaos than even the Shadows liked. However, the Wraith remained only rumor and myth to all the other ancient races. Their actions probably prolonged many of the ancient wars.
During this time, their hatred of any First One from this reality grew. Any chance they got, they would deftly attack a lone Traveller or Vorlon or Shadow ship in their region, erasing any trace of it. Their region of space became known as a “Bermuda Triangle” like region. First Ones avoided it.
Legends of the Wraith grew. The Wraith were at the center of many ghost stories and spirit myths. Their slave races worshipped them, sacrificed their people to them, and served them as agents. No strength in the galaxy was so covert and so unknown.
The Wraith remained in hiding, watching the First Ones as they left; watching at the Vorlons and the Shadows warred; watched as the Vorlons toyed with Thirdspace. The Vorlon’s experiments into Thirdspace drew their attention as it was experiments into dimensional travel. They made several attempts to steal the technology only to be met with failure. A few of the Vorlon accidents were caused by Wraith meddling. In the end, the Thirdspace war interrupted any effort to get the technology.
The Thirdspace War was absolute chaos and destruction. The Harbingers ravaged through the galaxy killing, corrupting, enslaving and torturing every sentient race. The first encounter with the Harbingers made the Wraith realize how much of a threat this new enemy was, not only to them but to their food supply. The Hand also infiltrated the Wraith’s slaves but with their telepathic abilities, the Wraith were able to route them out. The Harbingers and the Hand were enough of a threat that the Wraith had to do something drastic.
Some Wraith feared total destruction. These Wraith fled their region of space, found a dead world where they could hide, and placed themselves into stasis pods of their own design, awaiting for the others to awaken them. These Wraith became known as the Shi’Kahil faction.
While in stasis, the Wraith are able to stay in communication with each other through their telepathic powers, although they are unaware of the passage of time. This allowed the Shi’Kahil to communicate as well as stay aware of their surroundings. However, as time went on, even their telepathic abilities dulled and only the strongest stayed minimally aware of what was going on.
Other Wraith devised a plan to hide their entire region of space from the Harbingers. Using the opportunity to bolster their roles as gods with their people, the Wraith promised to save their people from the Harbingers. This faction became known as Shi’Zeor faction.
The Shi’Zeor Wraith collectively focused the telepathic hive minds to envelope their group of systems into the space between dimensions long enough for the Harbingers to pass them by. Once the Harbingers deemed the region of space empty and not noteworthy, the Wraith brought the systems back. This took a lot of energy and effort for the Wraith to do, and many of the older Wraith died. Among those that died were those that knew where their brethren were hiding dormant in stasis. That knowledge was lost and their Shi’Kahil forgotten.
At the end of the Thirdspace War, some gates were destroyed. In one case, the Wraith were able to recover a piece of the gate – a part of the core. They brought it back to their little empire, built a temple around it on one of their populated worlds and studied it. Their experiments released dimensional energies on to the world, which had long term effects and eventually reduced the world to a baron rock, killing the entire population.
IT was also during this time that elements of the Hand learned of the gate fragment hidden within the Wraith temple. Although they could not infiltrate the Wraith, the made many attempts to acquire it.
When the Travellers and the rest of the First Ones vanished, the Wraith began the long search for anything the Travellers left behind. They kept the gate fragment hidden and continued to study it, even as the world died around them. They desperately searched for knowledge that would get them home.
As they searched, their numbers diminished even further to almost dangerous levels. They did all they could to maintain them. The Wraith tried to keep their subjects’ populations down to manageable numbers, as they tried to increase their numbers.
Eventually, their subjects grew in numbers not manageable by the Wraith and started to revolt. One by one, the subjugated races of the Wraith pushed back against their gods. Fearing that a prolonged war would reduce their numbers far below survivable levels, the Wraith disappeared, leaving their former slaves to fend for themselves. They also left the fragment of the gate hidden away in the temples, the planet already a baron wasteland. Some races thrived after the departure of the Wraith while others died out. The Wraith became nomadic space farers, hidden from all others, simply trying to survive.
Races touched by the Wraith??
At one point during the Fourth Shadow War, a Wraith vessel was caught in the crossfire of a Yithri guildship and Vorlon fleet. The Wraith ship was cloaked until the moment it was caught in the path of a Vorlon plasma volley. Vorlons do not take well to being spied upon and once the Yithri ship was taken care of, they turned on the newcomer. The Wraith ship, already heavily damaged, was no match. The Vorlons were now aware of the Wraith and started actively seeking them out.
The Wraith encountered the Shadows a little differently. The Wraith encountered the Shadows on a remote world the Wraith were searching. The Wraith telepathy overwhelmed the Shadow ships, to the point of overtaking them. It was as if they were infected by some telepathic virus. Many of the Shadow ships shriveled up and died while others fell under control of the Wraith. The Shadows feared the Wraith greatly. The Shadows would like nothing less than the Wraith destruction.
For the next several centuries, both the Shadows and Vorlons commissioned special units to hunt down the Wraith. The Shi’Zeor Wraith took major losses. The Wraith feared total extinction in this galaxy, and so they did the only thing they could. They followed the lead of their brethren during the Thirdspace war – find a place to hide and store themselves in stasis pods.
They programmed the system to release a few of their numbers at intervals of 100 years or so as scouts, to look for their lost brethren and seek out any knowledge they could about the Travellers and their trip into other dimensions. After five years, they would return to stasis, unless a major breakthrough was made and in that case, the remaining Wraith would be awakened. All the Wraith knowledge was stored in a great machine built on that world.
The Two Factions
The Shi’Kahil and the Shi’Zeor Wraith both have stayed in stasis for millennia. Each faction individually connected through their hiveminds, they both developed different philosophies. The Shi’Kahil simply want to return to their homeworld and find their own homesystem. The Shi’Zeor have seen more of the universe and see it as something they could conquer. They want to find their homeworld and bring it into this universe.
Physiology Note: The Wraith have significant lower body temperature, so much so they have an Aura of Cold around them. (cold spots)
“What are you looking for?”
When Wraith scouts need to manipulate others to get what they need, they have developed a way to manipulate others by asking the question … “What are you looking for?” (different from ‘What do you want?’ … ??).
With their stealth ability, the have mastered the ability to acquire things through covert ways. Unlike the Shadows and their question of “What do you want?”, the Wraith seek to simply supply their potential allies with material gain