Chronicles of Ascension
Visitants hail from . . . elsewhere. They are the descendants of travelers who came to Earth during a prior world, when interstellar— perhaps even intergalactic— travel was commonplace. At some point, the travelers were marooned here, perhaps because the civilization that supported their technology collapsed or disappeared.
Sometimes visitants— particularly the varjellen)— suggest that the Earth once served as the hub of a vast empire of thousands of worlds. However, there’s no way to be certain of that, and it hardly seems relevant now, a hundred thousand or even a million years later.
Regardless of how they got here, visitants now call the Ninth World home. They have dwelled on the planet for a thousand generations or more and have long forgotten any useful knowledge their ancestors may have had about science, technology, or the universe. Instead, they have adapted, biologically and culturally, to survive in their new home. They know no other life and no other place, but they remain keenly aware that they are at best transplants and at worst castaways.
Visitants sometimes integrate into human societies in the Ninth World, but more often they keep to themselves in their own small communities. They are relatively rare compared to humans. In fact, many humans have never encountered a visitant, and some don’t believe they exist, dismissing them as tall tales or the result of numenera-based deformities or transformations.
Although visitants and humans differ greatly in outlook and personality, dwelling on the same world, facing the same dangers, and having the same experiences has made it possible for them to understand each other and get along. Most visitants speak the same language as the humans that live in the same region, although particularly isolated communities have their own language, just as remote human groups do. Visitants can’t interbreed with humans or with visitants of another type.