M39 (Archaipelago)
Image from NASA public domain
M39, The Archaipelago Cluster

The popular name of the M39 Cluster before ArchSaur's transcension to 5th toposophic level and subsumption of all the other archais and godlings within the region. After that point (9400 AT), the region became known as the Archosaurian Empire. However, the term Archaipelago is still used to describe the cluster itself.

The following is an excerpt from the 8400 AT edition of Encyclopaedia Galactica, published shortly before the Archaipelago Attacks.
All of these systems are Archaitheocracies that share intriguingly similar memetic trends, particularly in their political hierarchies (both subtoposophic and toposophic) and an increasing reverence for saurian / draconic imagery. Because of the instability of the cluster's very young planets, all inhabitants of the Archaipelago dwell within artificial habitats of varying size and complexity. The majority of civilizations are clustered near brown dwarf stars. With two very noteworthy exceptions, all of these systems have a nearbaseline biont population of less than two billion (many are a few hundred million), a virtual population that is well into the billions, and are each ruled by a third toposophic godling ISO.

The two exceptions are Toh Chi Lok-Nar, home of the fourth toposophic Archosaurian Entity and many superbright provolved dinosaurs descended from GEvidian's experiments; and HeavenWatch, home of the fourth toposophic UrchinStar and the mostly superbright Heaven Watch Organization, dedicated to detecting extragalactic civilizations and "new gods to worship". These two superpowers have become a powerful influence within the region in terms of trade, military power, and memetics. Indeed, the full extent of their memetic influence - particularly in the case of the Archsaurian Entity - is the subject of much debate and legend.

There is no doubt that the Vanguard Domain was crushed militarily and culturally by the Toh Chi Lok's overwhelming retaliatory strike in 7388; its military bases annihilated with surgical precision, its near-insane third toposophic Vanguard was memetically subverted into a simpering ally of the ArchSaur eirself. Whether the ArchSaur has performed more subtle subversion of other nearby godlings is not entirely clear, but there is at least some reliable evidence of this among eir smaller neighbours. However, there is another popular theory (however unverified) that the AI God Lord of Rays has been manipulating all archailects within the region.

While the Archaipelago is far from becoming an AI cluster or an empire, it is has now become a tentative trade alliance, and further steps toward unification are quite plausible in the centuries to come. The two local superpowers at least have embassies in all other systems within the Archaipelago, and even quite a few within the Inner Sphere. Indeed, the Archaipelago in general - and the two superpowers in particular - have benefited greatly from trade and tourism with the Inner Sphere in recent centuries. It seems that this small but significant region may have an interesting part to play in the future of this galaxy.

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Text by Darren Ryding
Initially published on 29 June 2003.