L. Neil Smith’s 2016’s Blade of p’Na is the next Prometheus Award finalist selected for review by my complex sorting algorithm (I threw dice).
Four hundred million years of civilization is long enough for a race like the Elders to have developed some very odd hobbies. Among the avocations the nautiloid Elders dabbled in was Appropriating doomed or interesting beings from neighbouring universes. This did not end so well for the Elders in question (who committed suicide once they noticed the inherent contradiction between their ethic of ‘freedom for all!’ and ‘kidnapping’ ) but it has worked out pretty well for the Appropriated and their descendants.
Take Eichra Oren, for example.