The majority of species get off the ground and onto the exponential development track with the invention of simple machines—wheels, levers, pulleys, that sort of thing—but there are exceptions. The Noctians never evolved useful manipulatory appendages such as hands or tentacles, remaining quadrupedal. Civilization for them began instead with the discovery of magic, estimated to have occurred some 80000 years ago, in the 44th millennium LKY, when the universe was a much younger place, and few besides the Terrans had developed a sophisticated mode of planar breach travel.
Unlike most civilizations taken by an early encounter with magic, they grew into it quickly, and by 47000 LKY, they had achieved space travel, and were exploring the universe around them with uncrewed probes. This quick adaptation has been assumed by many to be a property of their serene character—as they had come from a long line of apex herbivores, little in their spirit disposed them to violence or competition.
Modernly, the Noctians are generally mistaken for a subspecies of Lyrisclensian, owing to their prolonged close contact with the Lyrisians and complete social integration with the Lyrisian culture outside of their homeworld. Noctians comprise about one fifth of the Lyrisclensian population, and through the use of their magic, technology, and genetic manipulation have the power to shift between their natural quadrupedal forms, an upright form that follows the human body plan but retains traditional features, and a near-human form featuring only minimal accenting which is reserved for extremely formal settings. Despite their long history of magical skill, they are best known for their innovations in quantum computational matter, which was significantly more sophisticated than Lyrisian computer technology at the time of first contact and led to a profound cultural bond that continues to shape both societies to this very day.