Michelle Levigne, Author

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The Commonwealth

Science Fiction > The Commonwealth

Welcome to the Commonwealth Universe.

The Commonwealth is a sprawling galactic civilization, and the stories span over a thousand years of history, from the destruction of the first civlization, which called itself the Central Allied Worlds, through the barbarism of the Downfall, through the era of rebirth, and traveling back to the stars.

Are you a frequent visitor to the Commonwealth? Do you have favorite characters or places you want to see more of? Maybe you've heard bits of Commonwealth History, and you want to learn more about a place, an event, a colony or race of people? Please, feel free to ask me questions by emailing me at
Who knows ... maybe you'll have some input into what comes next. It's a BIG universe with lots of time and worlds to explore ...

Wonder where you are in the story? Use this handy history to learn a little about the timeline and what books are available and planned for the future:

Pre-History: The Downfall

Before the Commonwealth existed, there was an expanding, multi-galaxy civilization. Known during its heyday as the Central Allied Worlds, it is now referred to by its descendants/survivors simply as "First Civ" or "First Civilization." Due to the combined effects of a too-aggressive policy of expansion, civil unrest, genetic engineering run amok, the inequality and abuse of the classes, and the categorizing of augmented humans as non-humans (and therefore a slave class), First Civ disintegrated. Or as the more blunt historians prefer to say, it self-destructed.

During this period, the Set'ri and other groups of genetic terrorists came to power, demanding the "purification" of the human genome and the destruction of all those races that did not meet their narrow standards, and therefore did not qualify as true Humans. Their targets included the Wrinkleship pilots and Khybors, people who had been affected at the genetic level by khrystal - a semi-sentient organic crystal that repaired damaged nervous systems and allowed those "infected" with khrystal to "reprogram" and repair their own bodies. Khybors, as they came to be called, were on the front lines of exploration and colonization because khrystal gave them speedy healing abilities and helped them detect and sometimes even survive dangerous or deadly environments.

See: Norbra's Children * Khybors: In the Beginning * First Law * Slipping the Weave

During this period, the CAW was wracked with increasing waves of rebellion and revolutions, one government after another taking over the CAW and then falling. The colonies suffered abuses, sometimes having no idea which government was in power when another government or military ship arrived at their planet. Those colonists who understood history and were able to look ahead anticipated the destruction of the CAW, and prepared their colonies to be cut off permanently from all others.

The Talon: The Adventure Begins *  The Talon: The Hero's Mask * The Saddle and the Sleuth * The Pirate and the Professor * Nova Vendetta #1: The Injustice * Nova Vendetta #2: The Truce
Coming:  Song of the Nightskimmer

The period of darkness and barbarism that followed is referred to as the Downfall. Various groups of people fled the CAW, as they became endangered or more powerful people tried to have them classified as mutants or non-Humans, and either sterilized or made into slaves. During this period, the Khybors gained more control over khrystal -- and khrystal also became easier to control. As khrystal became even more deeply ingrained in the genetic structure, the talents or non-Human abilities among the Khybors changed. Just before the total destruction of the Central Allied Worlds, Khybors discovered the ability to merge with machines, and discovered the ability to move starships from one dimension to another. This was the birth of the Leapers.

See Sunsinger #7 * Leap Ships * Virtually Dead
Coming: Slipping the Weave * First Law

Some groups of people managed to get hold of ships and flee to distant galaxies. Using sleeper ships, they could spend centuries in travel and no one would age. This caused problems later, when different waves of refugees landed on the same planet, and the newcomers came into conflict with those who had been there for centuries.

See: Wind Walker * Moonbirds
Coming:   Peace Village


The planet Vidan, the center of the CAW, degraded into a world filled with petty city-states, and battles fought with gunpowder and swords. Tales of traveling to the stars were considered fables within only two generations of the onslaught of the Downfall. Colony worlds were abandoned to starve or die of mutated diseases. The genetically manipulated inhabitants abandoned there by their creators/masters were left to create their own way of life.

From the chaos on Vidan, a holy scholar named Kilvordi discovered the legacy of their ancestors' arrogance lived on. He and others he gathered around him were the Undying -- able to regenerate at an incredible speed. Long-lived, seemingly young forever, and impervious to all but the most devastating diseases -- only drastic injuries could kill them, such as corrosive poisons, bombs, or extensive dismemberment.

See: Undying

Kilvordi and his followers put their legacy to good use, taking great risks and devoting lifetimes to regain the lost knowledge and technology of First Civ. The Church supported his efforts and established the Order of Kilvordi -- known more simply as the Order. The members of the Order keep their gift a secret and spare no effort to find others like them. They sponsored and protected various groups in the emerging Commonwealth, when the fears of mutation appeared in the first few generations of starflight.

See: The Sunsinger books, especially The Lady and the Order.


Within a century, Vidan was again reaching out to the stars -- sadder and wiser, and cautious, unwilling to repeat the mistakes of the ancestors. The Commonwealth was born, reaching out to lost colonies and establishing new ones, rediscovering lost technology and how to navigate the starways. The Spacers were born -- people able to sense and navigate through spacial anomalies called Knaught Points, that allowed travel across large sectors of space, cutting travel time down from years to days. Because of the fear of mutations that survived from the era of the CAW, Spacers were nearly destroyed before the value of their talents were discovered, but the Order protected them. There has always been a strong alliance between Spacers and the Order.

During the time of isolation and silence between the planets and galaxies, many of the lost and abandoned CAW colonies had not only survived but thrived. They remembered their abandonment and the harsh generations of the Downfall. They refused to join the Commonwealth, and instead formed their own confederacy known as the Conclave. These independent planets and star systems formed a profit-based alliance where smugglers and robber barons and petty chieftains flourished.

See: True Caderi * Hoven Quest * The Meruk Episodes * Virtually Dead *  (Sunsinger books) Gemar and Aramar.

The Commonwealth is a representational government, headed by the Commonwealth Council, which convenes on the asteroid-based complex, Centralis. The Commonwealth Upper University is also located on Centralis, and serves as the final word in scientific, medical, historical and legal matters. The Commonwealth is protected and served by two military arms: the Fleet, which provides general transportation services, colonial support and emergency aid, as well as protection against rebels and invaders; and the Rangers, who specialize in planetary survey, pre-colonization analysis, military emergencies, disaster relief and more aggressive action against enemies of the Commonwealth in general.

Early in the fourth century of space flight, the Scout Corps formed, aided by the Spacers, the Order, and Leapers, to provide faster aid to colonies on the edge of civilization. They have full authority to act as police force, judge and jury. Aided by the Order, they are the explorers and special forces unit of the Commonwealth.

See: the Sunsinger books (10-volume YA series) * The Chorillan Cycle
Coming: Lin of Sunsinger * Star Sword * Star Dances * Hoven War

TITLES in somewhat rough chronological order in First Civ and Downfall and Commonwealth history:

Khybors: In the Beginning
Norbra's Children
Slipping the Weave
First Law
Nova Vendetta #1: The Injustice
Nova Vendetta #2: The Truce
The Talon
The Hero's Mask
The Saddle and the Sleuth
The Pirate and the Professor
Wind Walker
The Sunsinger books: Sunsinger, Spacer's Creed, Dead World, The Lady and the Order, Fever, University, Leap Ships, Aramar, Gemar, Scouts
Hoven Quest
The Meruk Episodes
Virtually Dead
True Caderi
The Chorillan Cycle: Azuli Eyes, Scout's Pride, By Fire and Stars, Chorillan, Silver Azuli

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