The galaxy is over 100,000 light-years across, or 30,000 parsecs (a parsec is 3.258 light years). A black hole exists at the center of the galaxy. The galaxy is orbited by many dwarf galaxies, such as the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, the Carina Dwarf Galaxy, the Fornax Dwarf Galaxy, the Sculptor Dwarf Galaxy, the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy, the Draco Dwarf Galaxy, the Ursa Minor Dwarf Galaxy, and others. Many of these dwarf galaxies have been explored to a certain degree and host a number of their own sentient species.
The galaxy contains around 400 billion stars and many trillions of planets.
The galaxy is composed of six ring-like main regions that are centered around the core. These include the Inner Core, the Mid Core, the Outer Core, the Mid Region, the Outer Region, and the Edge Region.
The earliest recorded civilization in the galaxy, though unlikely the absolute first, is that of the Aaltice, which appeared around 103,900 BC. They are one of the few of the first civilizations, called the Anterior Base, still in existence.
Galactic society began a few millennia later when the Aaltice and a handful of other species discovered faster-than-light travel and gradually met one another. Alliances were formed, but so were rivalries, and the cycle of peace and war began.
Most inhabited planets are connected by subspace highways that crisscross the galaxy, some cutting clear across it. These are usually traversed using a subspace drive and can take anywhere from days to months depending on the tier of subspace one travels upon, as well as the length of the route. Standard superluminal travel clocks at about 700,000 times faster than light, or about 45 seconds per light-year. High-end superlight engines can reduce that to as little as 4 seconds per light-year.
Despite the far-reaching authority of certain governing powers, the galaxy as a whole has never been ruled by a single government. Indeed, the extreme majority of populated planets still possess sovereign nations, with true world-spanning governments being very rare. Even colonial worlds, which often start off with a single world government, eventually break up into separate countries through agreements or war.
The galactic economy is very complex and diverse, with billions of different types of currency circulating throughout the stars. The most common currency on Riesel and the surrounding sectors is the jucal.
It has been estimated that over fifty million intelligent species exist in the galaxy, with millions more still undiscovered. Some planets are home to multiple sentient species, such as Ahjri, which has three. The most prolific are the Aaltice, with quadrillions of individuals, mostly within Aaltice Space. Bicseyr'n and Humans also form a significant portion of the galactic community.
Hundreds of billions of different languages exist in the galaxy. There is usually no single lingua franca that spans an entire planet, much less multiple planets, unless is it enforced by the governing powers. The exception would be recent colony worlds that were established by a single cultural group.
However, some languages are more common than others. Anczica is quite common on Ahjri and the surrounding areas, including Riesel. Another major language is Braatic, expanded through the extensive trade networks of the Aaltice, and has been adopted by other alien cultures that are in close contact with Braatic-speaking Aaltice traders.