Thuriei is a distant and irregular galaxy, linked to Urakaya by the ancient Portus gate. This incalculably ancient artefact probably pre-dates all extant civilisations in Known Space and was only discovered in 1634 by scouts of the Uthari Free Ship Family. It took centuries of study to open the gate, and the first explorers from Urakaya entered Thuriei in 2083.
The Thurien terminus of the Portus wormhole orbits a vast old star in a system that has been dubbed Boundary. Boundary Station is a huge waystation developed very rapidly and on a small budget by enterprising Freeholders to service the traffic passing through the gate. The system’s gas giants and their moons have been developed with many independent fuel and ore mining operations and small station exist to compete with Boundary Station itself, or to serve special groups. Explorers have been setting out from Boundary into the unimaginably vast frontier of an entirely unknown galaxy for two centuries now, and many valuable finds have been made – not least of which are the bethuriens themselves.
The bethuriens are a friendly tricephalic species with an amazing talent for languages social integration and almost pathological optimism and curiosity. Incredibly, they seem to dominate Thuriei despite a relatively low level of technology: wherever extra-galactic explorers go in Thuriei, they find bethuriens, often living alongside native Others. The starships the bethuriens use are very advanced but practically uncontrollable, and the leading theory of how the bethuriens spread so far through their galaxy is that they did so aboard Otherworldly vessels capable of using the Drift to travel in time as well as space.
While bethuriens seem quite content to bounce through space-time in vessels they neither fully understand nor control, other technological civilisations in Thuriei have developed a more practical form of interstellar travel. Black crystal and therefore Navigators were unknown before the opening of the Portus gate. Theurien patterning technology can generate dimensional rifts and create semi-stabilised pathways in the Drift for faster-than-light travel between “beacons” at fixed co-ordinates. It is thought that these beacons may be a precursor technology to true warp gates, leading to intense scientific interest on the other side of the Portus gate. Unfortunately the Thurien beacons do not appear to function in either Urakaya or Zerethyr. Most of the beacon network was established by adventurous bathuriens, but since the arrival of ships with their own Navigators it has grown much faster and more systematically.