Response from HIEROPHANT Data Server to Query: TERRACE
The Architects arrived in the solar system at least 300 million years ago, settling Earth and Mars. Documentary Intelligence sources claim the Architects arrived more then one billion years ago, and that Earth native life is descended from microbes accidentally released from Architect biological laboratories. This cannot be confirmed, although the similarity of Architect microbiology with Earth native microbiology gives it plausibility.
The Architects fought a series of wars against other non-human species, most notably TYRANT and GARGOYLE. Architect mosaics claim they were victorious in these wars, but given the restricted geographical extent of surviving Architect ruins, as well as the highly speciesistic/patriotic culture of the Architects, it is probable they are not fully truthful.
There was apparently a split between the Architect colonies on Earth and on Mars, though the nature and reason of this split is unclear. Architect mosaics on Earth do not mention their Martian colonies and vice-versa.
Architect civilization on Earth was badly damaged by a rebellion of their shoggotim servitors around 150 million years ago, from which it never fully recovered. The species is believed to have become extinct on Earth by, at the latest, 20 million years ago. Architect civilization on Mars was destroyed 40 million years ago by an attack by unknown parties using scalar weapons.
Structurally, Architects resembled dark grey barrels, 2 to 2.5 meters tall, 1 to 1.25 meters in diameter at the center, and 0.2 to 0.4 meters in diameter at tops and bottoms. Five axial ridges stretched from the top of the barrel to the bottom. Five membranous wings were set between the ridges, about 2.5 to 3.5 meters wide fully extended, used primarily for swimming. Five quasi-tentacles emerged from the ridges, each separating into twenty-five sub-tentacles, used for manual manipulation. A pentacle-shaped head was placed at the top of the barrel, while five larger quasi-tentacles ending in paddles emerged from the base, used for locomotion. Architects were primarily adapted for life underwater, but were capable of living on land as well. They were able to survive in a variety of environments, including for extended periods in hard vacuum.
At a microscopic level, the Architects closely resembled Earth-based life. Their cells used a DNA analogue with 26 base pairs. Their digestive system was able to absorb nutrients from almost any kind of organic matter, but they fed themselves primarily on a thick oil grown from algae. They had an electrical metabolism, with five biochemical generators in the center of the barrel powering their organs through organic conductors. Their nervous system was highly distributed, lacking a central “brain”. Given the complexity of their microbiology, it is almost certain the Architects subjected themselves to extensive biological engineering.
Little information is available on Architect technology. Most surviving Architect artifacts are simple items of stone. From DocInt and mosaics found in the surviving ruins, the Earth Architects probably used strong nanotechnology as a basis for their society, in the form of shoggotim servitors. No mosaics of shoggotim have been found on Mars, suggesting they may not have used this technology.
The Martian Architects instead used aihai bio-engineered slaves as labor. The Martian Architects presumably had a substantial additional technological base, but no traces have been found.
Information on Architect culture derives entirely from the extensive mosaics and sculptures found in their ruins. Architect culture appears to have been extremely stable over time, characterized as Idealistic/Integrated in the Sorokin scheme.
Architects were entirely urban. Their government appears to have been federal and totalitarian, with control over different aspects of life held by various committees, mostly made up of five members. They had no concept of family; individual Architects were raised in creches, administered by the state, during which they were indoctrinated with Architect culture.
Mature Architects occupied themselves primarily with art, philosophy, science, and similar activities. They appear to have made few or no attempts to innovate in these areas, regarding the state of their culture and knowledge as perfected, and seeing their proper role as simply repeating the established patterns. Their art was intensely patriotic, primarily concerned with the veneration of their own culture and history. They made no representations of individuals, instead solely depicting Architects in groups.
Evidence of the First Golden Age Cabal
Following the discovery of Architect ruins in the South Atlantic, the UN mounted extensive explorations in the Southern Hemisphere to locate other ruins, including in Antarctica. These expeditions discovered five subterranean chimneys of broken rock in Dome Circe, mixed with molten and refrozen rock bearing traces of long-lived fission products and transuranics. These chimneys are consistent with underground explosions of fission-fusion weaponry of very high yield. Based on radioactive dating, these explosions occurred in the early 1970's.
The UN Archeological Organization attributed these blasts to clandestine nuclear testing. It is possible they were correct. There are no records of further investigations of the sites available in the archives.
Further details on the Architects are available from the public data servers.