A free federation of worlds, loosely bonded to Velor. It was created in 1521 at the Madstop Conference, with much of the initiative coming from the Velorian diaspora: Companions and former Companions familiar with the seeded worlds on which they had served, and with the growing threat of the Arion Empire.
There are several catagories of worlds within the Velorian Enlightenment.
A disclosed world is a technically sophisticated, space flight capapble, world that has aligned itself with the ideals of the Enlightenment. Self determination, non exploitave relationships and resistance to the expansion of the Arion Empire.
Non Disclosed worlds:
These worlds have sentient life on them but generally are to culturally and technically primitive to function in the galactic civilization. These worlds will frequently have scientific missions conducting very low profile observations.
Any world, inhabitated or not, that shows sign of ever having had Galen or Elders in residence is immediately declared a Heritage Site. The Enlightenment definately wants to learn as much as it can about the Galen and the Elders and does not want the Arions horning in on the work. Access to a Heritage Site is by invitation only. Discussion of what you found at a Heritage Site is considered a security breach.
Not worlds but still of incalculable importance to the Velorian Enlightenment. These natural phenomena are the Interstellar highway. Wormholes connect star systems. A ship that correctly navigates a wormhole appears instantly on the other side at it's destination. Velor's biggest advantage is that the Prima class Velorians don't need star ships to make the interstellar trip. The frequently used wormholes have permanent populations living in space stations there. The Velorians also supply Gate Guardians to maintain the navigational beacons, defend them, and warn incoming ships if the wormholes start to destabilize.
As each planet must provide its own defence, there is no such thing as an Enlightenment army; this function is instead filled by the Protectors. A Velorian Protector defends her Protectorate until Velor decides to transferr her to another assignment. She will not abandon her protecrate even to search out reinforcements