Etrusculans are an advanced, militant, star-faring species of the Beta Octant. They are closely related to Haephestians, from whom they separated in antiquity. Etrusculans are one of the five major species in Alpha and Beta Octants along with Loklans, Haephestians, Humans and the Pensee.
During the Haephestian Age of Tribulation the philosopher Sorak appealed to the ancient Haephestians’ sense of rationality above all else, developing a discipline closely analagous to Earth’s stoicism. The precursors of the Etrusculans rejected the rigidity of this philosophy, preferring instead to “cleave to [their] passionate nature and go where the currents of space might take [them].”
These refugees settled on the planet Etruscula and began the process of building their culture. For millenia they remained out of touch with the goings on in the Alpha Octant. Earth and Etruscula fought a devastating war just as humanity had begun its conquest of its local stars. It was a phyrric victory for Earth forces and set human exploration activity back significantly.
The Treaty of Kathomer saw a cessation of Earth-Etrusculan hostilities that has lasted ever since.
The Etrusculan Star Empire is the most populous and powerful stellar state of the Etrusculans, though there are a number of smaller planet-states on the Empire’s borders with the Epsilon and Zeta Octants. Government tends toward constitutional or parliamentary monarchy, with Emperors serving more as civil servants than absolute rulers.
Etrusculan space craft make heavy use of the Masking Device, an active/passive stealth system so efficient and thorough that no Etrusculan vessel has been seen directly. Crafty starship captains sometimes attempt to use the displacement of interstellar gas to track Etrusculan ships. Etrusculan vessels are heavily armed with plasma torpedoes and Maser arrays.