"The Culture is a fictional interstellar anarchist, and utopian society created by the Scottish writer Iain M. Banks which features in a number of science fiction novels and works of short fiction by him, collectively called the Culture series." - Wiki
The Zetetic Elench are ex-Culture citizens who decided to leave the mainstream and go out exploring and getting assimilated. They are the ones who find some ancient artefacts, old archives of knowledge and buttons that nobody has pressed for millenia.
In the early days of the Elench they tended to get into trouble in the deep of space - their ships returning from their travels as empty of biological crew and infested by AHSO (Agressive Hegemonising Swarm Objects) a kind of self-replicating machine. The AHSO were defeated and reprogrammed.
The Elench embrace other cultures and make the best of both worlds.
This is how I picture some of them. In the background there are some Culture ships, a planet and Orbitals which were inspired by Ringworld (a type of BDO - Big Dumb Object) by Larry Niven.
The Orbitals of the Culture are a direct inspiration for Halos in the Halo universe.
The picture was drawn for reasons unknown in almost complete darkness.