“Our history is…complex,” said the Ethereal. “It tends to happen when your civilization exists in fifteen timelines and seventeen dimensions simultaneously.”

“Well, just give me a rundown of the last few…times. You know, get my feet wet.”

“Well, right now my people are experiencing the Cosmic Age, a time of prosperity and renewal in which we are seeking to contact other beings.”

“Fair enough.”

“Before that came the Withering Time, when all our accomplishments as beings were laid low and we were reduced to mindless physical husks restricted to only seven combined dimensions and timelines. It was brought about by the collapse of the previous epoch, the Age of Golden Vices.”

“What made that happen?”

“The groundwork was laid in the Wholesome Age of Moons, when we experimented with tying our essences to satellites. The Myconid Implosion showed the folly of that line of thinking. The Corrupted Age of the Heretics immediately preceding it was to blame, since they had spurned any and all physicality.”

“I…see. and before that?”

“The Aeon of the Device,” the Ethereal said, making a reverent gesture (or at least appearing to).

“What was the Device?”

“We do not speak of it with outsiders!”