The Asgard were formerly an Apprentice Race of the Alterra, first discovered within Ida when the Alterrans initially began colonizing the galaxy. Eventually the Asgard spread out their civilization into two additional galaxies, Syrex and Vela.
The Asgard have taken many other races under their wing, as the Alterra once did for them. Included among this list are those worlds are the Protected Planets Treaty between the Goa'uld and the Asgard, of which Earth(Avalon) was eventually added. One noteworthy mark for the Asgard is that they have also taken protectorates in other galaxies beyond the gate network...galaxies that the Alterra never ventured into.
The Asgard first encountered the Alterra 11 million years ago, upon which they quickly became friends and allies. Eventually the Alterra took them on as a servant race and taught them many things. Most noteably of all, the Asgard developed a keen intellect and interest in science, and it was that aspect of their development that the Alterra encouraged.
Eventually the Asgard 'graduated' to an Apprentice Race after a period of 2 million years, upon which they began to expand their empire beyond their home galaxy and into others. In addition to science, they also developed a knack for exploration and sought out new territories to explore, starting with the other Alterran galaxies, and then venturing out into their "Master's" frontier. The Asgard did not colonize outside of Alterran territory, but they did fully chart three other galaxies. They shared their new maps with the Alterra, who were greatful for the addition to their own star charts.
After another 1.4 million years, the Asgard had proved themselves capable, loyal, and reliable enough to the Alterra to become their peers. This day is held in Asgard history as their most honored moment, one they feel they didn't rightly deserve. While they didn't dispute their own achievements and readiness for total independence, they knew they were not truly the Alterra's 'peers' and have worked hard ever since to live up to that moniker.
Shortly thereafter the Alterra, Nox, and Asgard entered into a more formal alliance, mostly for the sake of the other species in the galaxies, but also to legitimize the Asgard's ascension and make each race more available for cooperative projects. One of the Asgard's first contributions to the alliance was the formation of a basic language based on rudimentary chemistry that could be used as a medium of first contact with other species. This language would also insure that the species in question was sufficiently advanced enough to warrant first contact. This elemental language was employed in various 'embassies' spread across the Alterran galaxies that stood as monuments for other races to discover and learn from.One of these monuments(which later included the Furlings) was discovered in Avalona by SG-1 on the planet they refered to as Heliopolis.
The Alterra had shared much of their technology with the Asgard, but only so much as they were capable of understanding. Once the Asgard became a peer of the Alterra, they were allowed access to select pieces, but much was reserved for the Ancients and the Ancients only. The Asgard worked long and hard to master the technology the Alterra had given them, and then sought to expand on it. They developed their interstellar technology until it became the backbone of their civilization. While they were allowed access to the stargate network, they preferred to rely primarily on their own fleet for travel between planets, and as such they colonized many worlds that did not possess stargates.
As their hyperdrive technology advanced, they began surveying more and more galaxies outside Alterran territory, and made contact with many races the Alterra had not. They gained some new technological insights from trade with these species which they then applied back home in Ida in their seemingly impossible task of closing the technology gap with the Alterra. In all, the Asgard mapped out 14 additional galaxies outside the gate network.
Death of the AlterraEdit
The plague that struck the Alterra came as almost as much of a death blow to the Asgard. While they were physically unaffected, they were suddenly struck with the realization of how much they still relied on their allies. No race would dare challenge the Asgard in battle, knowing full well that the Alterra were likely to intervene before they were allowed total defeat. The stark realization that they were going to be left alone in the universe came as a moment of truth for the Asgard.
Those who were once the Apprentice, were now about to become the Master...whether they liked it or not.
When the Alterra revealed their Legacy Project, the Asgard fully committed themselves to seeing it through to fruition. They took the care of the Seed Species on themselves and watched over them the best they could as they slowly, slowly developed toward the point where the Alterran Repositories of Knowledge could be used.
Later on, a controversial decision was made within the Asgard High Council. With the Alterra's absence, and the fate of the Seed Species and the Legacy Project in general more or less in their hands(Furlings were also helping out), they decided to take one of the Repositories of Knowledge for themselves in order to access the technology of the Alterra.
Many saw this as 'cheating' in order to close the technology gap, but with no one backing them, it was deemed necessary in order to insure their own survival as well as the rebirth of the Alterra. When they accessed the technology database within the Repository they were stunned...there was so much more data there than they had ever conceived possible, and they couldn't make heads or tails of most of it.
Over time they gradually pried some scientific gems from the database and incorporated them into their own technology, but they had to advance their own understandings of science in order to do so. In that way the Asgard still had to 'earn' the advancement, which satisfied most of the dissenters.
The most noteworthy project that came out of the Repository was the Alterran beaming device, which the Asgard sought with great enthusiasm and conviction. Eventually they were able to reproduce the technology and put it to good use...then over the years they began to improve on the technology. It was the first time the Asgard had ever technologically surpassed the Alterra.
As the Asgard were finally 'growing up' compared to the Alterra, they began to suffer a biological setback. Their genetic code was slowly deteriorating, and at first it was thought to be a sideaffect of their cloning technology...but overtime that theory failed to accomodate all variables and the Asgard were left scratching their heads as their species began its long, slow march to biological destruction.
The Asgard applied their formidable technology to the problem and managed to thwart the genetic decay almost to the point of zero...but they could never pinpoint the original problem. Because of this, the decay progressed, albeit almost negligibly, but for a species that had already been in existence for more than 10 million years, negligible added up over time.
Eventually the Asgard lost the ability to reproduce naturally, and had to rely entirely on various cloning methods to perpetuate their species. Their condition became so dire that they eventually split over the debate, with a small faction of dissenters leaving Asgard territory to conduct 'appropriate' experiments in order to find a solution to the problem.
These experiments were illicitely conducted on the Alterran seed species, which most Asgard looked upon almost as sacriledge. The splinter group became known as the Vanir, and continued to experiment on Humans up until the rest of the Asgard 'died' in the self-destruction of their remaining colony when they contacted a quickly moving disease that was going to leave their technology out in the open for their enemies and unworthy races to find and plunder. That detonation collectively ended the original Asgard way of life, as well as insuring that their technology wouldn't fall into the wrong hands...all the while the Vanir were still clinging to life in the Pegasus galaxy, having extracted some valuable insights from their experiments on the Humans there.
The Asgard didn't die in the explosion of their last colony however, they only wanted everyone else to think they did, which was why they invited the Tauri to witness the event. The remaining Asgard on the planet evacuated through the stargate just before the explosion, enroute to their conspicuously absent starships.
The Asgard took refuge in the one place they knew they would be safe...the dimension of Jotunheym, under their care of the Aetheria, who were also previous allies of the Alterra. The Asgard constructed a specialized colony ship for them to carry the large number of Asgard minds within its computer banks along with the necessary material to rebuild their civilization if a cure to their condition was ever discovered by another race.
To that end, the Asgard hid clues to their whereabouts in the database they gave to the Tauri, in it was enough clevery hidden information for the Alterra to find them again, assuming the Legacy Project actually reached its conclusion. If it did, then most likely the Asgard database would catch the reborn Alterrans' attention...which it did.
The Legacy Project, ironically, reached completion mere years after the Asgard went into hiding. Ryan Stevenson, the first of the reborn Alterra, caught on to the hidden meaning within the Tauri database when he searched for a clue to the Asgard's demise. He knew their civilization was above mass suicide so he looked for another answer, and quickly found it.
The Alterra not only discovered the Asgard's hiding place, he also discovered the cause of their genetic degredation...they had been slowly murdered by the same group that had killed off the Alterra, the Ascended Empire.
Stevenson brought the Asgard a few, new cloned bodies, superior in size and strength to their previous ones, but also able to accomodate their increased intellect that they'd gained during their years of degredation. From these first few templates, the Asgard made more copies and returned their entire race back into flesh and blood.
Part of the Asgard, along with the colony ship Aesir, remained with the Aetheria, safe from the prying eyes of the Ascended Empire, while they worked to unlock the mysteries of their new/old enemy. The other part of the Asgard traveled to Destra, at the Alterra's request, and began rebuilding their civilization under the protection of the Ori, oblivious to the true nature of their prior degredation. In order to maintain secrecy, all Asgard leaving Jotunheym had their memories of the Alterra's revelation deleted...so no prying Ascended Being could enter their minds and jeopardize their plans.