Shadows in the Void
The Mages in the universe know the five Watchtowers are critical to their magic. Many of those Mages actively search for them, for myriad reasons.
There are Unawakened who covet the power the Mages have and travel the stars in an attempt to find a watchtower to sign their name upon.
Aside from being integral to inter-system travel, the Dread Gates’ presence is a sign that something or someone was out in space before humanity.
The hollow void of space is hard enough to adjust to and with the added knowledge of all the monsters living among humanity, some people have found a new religion. The Shadow Dredgers compete with various factions of the supernatural communities for artifacts related to the gates.