Arkn in Universe X are a race of beings who have ethric powers. They began as humans from Origin Seed, and were evolved through mutation via exposure to ethri (and the manipulations of Fab'rasi). They are known for having a philosophical, pacifistic nature. Like the Arkn of Universe A, they are the arch-enemies of the Dekn. Their home realm is the Empyrium; their current ruler is Eldrici Lazros.
The Arkn, like the Dekn, began as humans from one of the two Origin Seeds. A massive cataclysm occurred deep within Ersis, caused by the arrival of something deep within the realm. While the Dekn attribute this event to De'ebolus, the Arkn books of history do not recognize him as the catalyst. A connection to the Silulis tore open momentarily; traces of Ethri seeped into the Origin Seed, causing the population of the Seed to be exposed to Ethric energy.
Slowly but surely, the aftershocks pushed the Origin Seed through the Silulis until it eventually fell out the other side, ending up in the Lathrym. There, the Seed split, causing a portion of it to become detached and bubbled by the Silulis as it healed its tears. This created the sub-realm known as the Empyrium; the realm held natural reserves of Ethri, which altered the landscape, flowing freely and even erupting from volcanoes.
As the humans recovered from the cataclysm, the Hethe Fab'rasi (according to Arkn legend) claimed the sub-realm Empyrium as his own. Fab'rasi began tampering with the genetics of the humans in his realm; he activated the dormant Ethri in their bodies, causing gradual but radical changes in their anatomy and their physiology. Fab'rasi guided these mutations, and eventually created a new race of Arkn. He watched over these beings, caring for them (so the story goes) as if they were his children.
The Early Times (First Age)
As the Arkn evolved, so did their civilization. Since the former humans had lost all but the faintest traces of their original histories and civilizations, Fab'rasi (so it is is said) allowed the Arkn windows to one of the Seeds, granting them glimpses of other times and cultures. The Arkn were particularly intrigued by the strange, fair-haired people known as the Insular Celts; they began incorporating aspects of their civilization into their own culture, along with the scant information supplied to them by Fab'rasi. The Arkn began to spread out across the Empyrium and began building settlements. Eventually, the Empyrium was divided up into three regions: Distalia, Mistria, and Shallus. Each region would have its own ruler, known as a Thani, who answered to the over-ruler, or Eldric. The city of Avantas'tol was founded on the border of Distralia and Mistria; this city would be the sole exception, as they negotiated with the Eldric to be allowed to remain an independent monarchy.
Despite this progress, Fab'rasi was displeased with how the Arkn were developing. Fab'rasi wanted the Arkn to be a refined race of artists, with a love of deep thought and the natural world; while the influence of the Celts had instilled the Arkn with an appreciation for nature and family, it had also given them a warlike outlook. To remedy this, Fab'rasi granted the Arkn more visions from the Seed – this time of the island of Japan. The Arkn initially were drawn to this culture because of its sense of pride and honor, and its warrior mentality. Over time, however, they began to appreciate their love of tranquility, harmony, tradition, and order; these values were adapted into Arkn society, gradually transforming them into a more cultured, refined people.
Meeting the Dekn and Humans (Second Age)
In time, the developing Arkn came in contact with the Dekn, meeting their cousin race for the first time. The Dekn had recently formed a partnership with the human company U.M.E.E.C. (from Ersis), with whom they had been trading Siy (the creational blueprints in the world around them, which humans had discovered and decoded with an ancient relic). The search for more Siy led to the Dekn encountering the Arkn. While the Eldrici was initially fearful of these new beings, he eventually agreed to open trade with the Dekn, allowing the exchange of goods and information with both the Dekn and humans. This marked the start of the Second Age of Arkn-Dekn history.
For several centuries, relations between the races were friendly. The cultural exchange led to unprecedented culture growth for both the Arkn and the Dekn; the Arkn learned of Jacques' books of history, and incorporated the stories (as well as the religious beliefs and practices of the Dekn) into their own culture. As the U.M.E.E.C. studied the Arkn, they discovered that they possessed natural ethri in their bodies; while the Arkn had previously assumed this to be nothing more than a sort of "energy boost", they found that they could actually charge and channel this ethri to produce magical auras, or charge various combinations of Siy to create sigils (which had a variety of magical applications). The Dekn also traded various Siy to the Arkn, including the Siy for floating (which enabled the Arkn to fly, through the use of aural wings). Aluca'ard Irinith, a merchant of the city of Avantas'tol, began conducting experiments with ethri and recorded his findings; this helped the Arkn expand the limits of their powers, taking their abilities to previously unseen heights.
The Founding of SEEKER
Through their contact with U.M.E.E.C., the Arkn became aware of Ersis and the Seeds. Seeing the Dekn-Human partnership begin to grow and expand, Thani Zazriel Devereaux struck a deal with the Ythen to create SEEKER: a massive organization that would assist the Ythen with maintaining the Seeds. SEEKER took on the tasks of extracting Seeds (to make them Outliers), as well as culling the populations of extracted Outliers. When an Outlier refused to reach its apocalypse state, SEEKER would send its agents to "correct" the error by inducing a catastrophic event (and eradicating the Seed's population). SEEKER had strong ties to the Miran’khai, an Arkn criminal syndicate which had (partially) the Yakuza; it wasn't long before the Miran'khai set up divisions in Ersis among the Seeds.
As with the Dekn, the Ythen took extra precautions to ensure that the Arkn weren't revealed to the Seeds at large. Any Arkn who entered Ersis was given a special transmutation Siy by the Ythen, granting them a specialized human appearance. The Arkn were further forbidden from speaking of their true natures, and from using their powers openly in the presence of humans. To prevent Outliers from becoming a common occurrence, SEEKER stationed assassins known as Morit’damari (Fear-Blades) in Ersis to eliminate anyone the Ythen deemed troublesome (i.e. set to change the timeline or cause a cataclysmic event), be they human, Arkn, or Dekn. SEEKER also helped ensure that any rule-breakers would be sent to the Ythen for punishment.
The War Against the Dekn (Third Age)
Before long, the Dekn discovered that the Empyrium was naturally rich in ethri. The Dekn asked the Arkn to trade them rethryc crystals, so they could charge the elemental Siy and use them. The Arkn, fearing that the would double cross them, hoarded the crystals for themselves, they denied their existence. At the same time, they requested that the Dekn let them "borrow" the relic so that they could discover more Siy independently. The Dekn refused to grant their request, and began withdrawing their trade from the Empyrium.
The Arkn were outraged that the "godless" Dekn would refuse their request. A fortnight after their last exchange, the Arkn ruler at the time (the father of Eldrici Lazros) lead a party of Arkn, including the Army of Nothing, into Taveril'domaine under a cover of darkness. The Arkn records of history state that the Eldric had intended to negotiate with the Dekn Emperor for use of the relic. However, as soon as their presence was discovered within the city, the party was accosted and security attempted to place them under arrest; a fight broke out, and soon became an all-out battle which spread across the city. By the time the Arkn party retreated, the Siy decoder was in their possession and half of their members were dead. Many Dekn had been killed in the fight, including Ama'dina, the wife of Jacques Redgrave. This event destroyed any good will between the Arkn and the Dekn, and was the catalyst for the war between the races.
With the decoder now in their possession, the Arkn went on to discover new Siy, enhancing their magic abilities beyond anything they had previously imagined. The Magi, Arkn masters of magic, emerged; through experimentation, they figured out a loophole that allowed them to create custom Siy without the Decoder. This was fortunate, as the Dekn launched a counterattack that destroyed the Decoder some time later. A part of Distalia was reduced to a wasteland by Dekn raids (as well as ethric volcanic eruptions); this became its own region, and was named Destrus. Despite being a ruined wasteland, Destrus remained home to the Arkn Eldric, with his fortress becoming the only standing structure in the region.
Initially, the Arkn were fully biologically human. However, their mutation altered their appendix, enabling it to channel ethri into the blood stream; from there, new veins evolved to carry the channeled ethri into places where blood flowed, and muscles. The flow of has ethri strengthened their bones and their immune systems, giving them immunity to nearly all diseases (with the exception of AIDS). Arkn are capable of breathing both oxygen and aero (the air of the Empyrium). Physically, the Arkn greatly resemble humans (though they occasionally have unnatural pigmentation in their hair and eyes, and tend to glow slightly in their natural forms).
Arkn generally live to be about 1,000 Ersian years old. Their bodies naturally age very slowly, while their minds develop far more quickly than a human's. At the age of two, Arkn are normally able to walk, speak, read, and write in full sentences. They typically begin puberty when they're between 110-130 years old, and reach physical maturity at 200 years (though they are considered legal adults at the age of 180). Arkn generally suffer less physical degradation in old age than humans. However, they do become physically weaker and slower; notably, the strength and duration of their aura tends to weaken, as they lose muscle control. They are also susceptible to memory loss and other mental issues, similar to those that effect elderly humans (though these conditions often progress more slowly in the Arkn).
Arkn are capable of through both magical means (as their predecessor in Universe A did), and via copulation and gestation. Arkn can interbreed with humans, but not with Dekn. The half-breed offspring of an Arkn and a human is known by the universal slang term Hurn (pronounced "hyurn", a combination of Human and Arkn). Hurn lack the ethric blood of a full-blood Arkn; they only able to channel ethri raw, and cannot channel an aura without the use of Rethyc crystals. They also have difficulty producing wings, and cannot sustain them for very long.
Powers and Abilities
Arkn-blooded individuals have Ethri-infused blood, which they can charge and channel at will. In order to charge one's ethri, the momentary clenching of muscles and tightening of the body is required. ethric energy is used to produce an aura. An aura can be being used to charge Siy in sigils, and channeled into a force which can be shot from a sigil (similar to an ethric harpoon). Once mastered, an aura can be used to manifest a very limited third appendage, which can lift or move objects to the extent of the user's strength; in the Lathrym only, auras can also be used to create wing-like manifestations, providing a method of flight. Arkn can identify one another by both their wings and their aura (which is unique to each individual, and can be sensed from a distance).
Any Arkn-blooded being can channel ethri raw (i.e. from an external source). An aura produced by this method is less powerful, and doesn't have the same capabilities. However, it can be used to regenerate lost cells to heal a wound (to an extent – limbs cannot be regrown), generate heat rays (i.e. create a heat strong enough to burn something by focusing, condensing, and generating friction), and create a form of bright light (by charging one's ethri to an extent); this can cause the aura to show off a color on the visible light spectrum.
Arkn powers include:
- Appendage generation
- Aura detection
- Aura generation
- Cellular regeneration
- Energy blast
- Energy wing manifestation
- Heat generation
- Light generation
- Sigil charging
- Siy generation
The Arkn government is essentially a variation of a monarchy. The Empyrium consists of four regions, each of which is ruled by a king (or Thani). Each Thani possesses a personal army, which maintains order throughout the region. The Thani are ruled over by the Eldric. Hurn are prohibited from holding government positions, and often cannot inherit family property (with the exception of Avantas'tol).
Despite much of their society being far less technologically advanced than the Dekn, the Arkn generally do not feel the need to develop new technology, as they believe their civilization is in a "Golden Age" and has no need to improve.
Unsurprisingly, Arkn technology is something of a patchwork. While the technology of SEEKER is comparable to the most advanced developments of the Dekn, most Arkn have a relatively low-tech lifestyle. While some have access to motor vehicles, many still use primitive medieval weaponry, like swords and spears, while maintaining other basic firearm assets like flintlocks or revolvers (with their most advanced firearm being styled like a gatling gun).
This discrepancy is mainly due to many Arkn using magic in the place of technology, as is also due to the holds in the Empyrium having vastly different technological needs; the mountainous cities within Mistria, for example, run on steampunk-style technology, utilizing various metals similar to brass and coppers, along with Ethric steam from Mortavrest to power utilities.
The Arkn are a rather complex people, refusing to be pinned down. This attribute is reflected in every aspect of their culture: their art, their government, the Evarith language, and their religious beliefs.
Over the ages, they have taken heavy inspiration from the Insular Celtic and Japanese cultures, integrating aspects of both into their own aesthetics and values. Like their predecessors in Universe A, these Arkn are a very proud race, putting a great deal of emphasis on lineage and tradition; they are very strong-willed, and passionate to the last.
The Arkn are a highly artistic people, mixing art with all other aspects of life. They are very structured and orderly; everything must be in its right place, and every place must be in its exact order. At the same time, they are very open with their emotions; the artwork of the Arkn speaks of deep emotions and strong values, focusing the themes of home, family and friendship. War and battle are common artistic subjects, along with the joys of love – and anger.
Much Arkn art (including architecture) is strongly influenced by traditional Japanese art, particularly in its use of colors, spaces, and shapes. (This is especially evident in Hazedya'kuro and Avantas’tol, both of which have a heavy Japanese influence.)
The Arkn place a great deal of emphasis on tradition, including religious practices. The Arkn venerate all four Hethe, as well as the Arknza (whom they regard as something akin to saints or folk heroes). Shallus worships Fab'rasi; Ced'ric worship is common around Mistria, with the exception of Avantas'tol (which is filled to the brim with El'lepagi worshipers); Distalia worships Fab'rasi, and revere the Arknza more heavily than the other regions. Destrus, while not heavily populated, has a majority of De'ebolus and Ced'ric worshipers.
The religious practices and holidays of the Arkn are highly similar to those of the Dekn, right down to the holidays and feast days being on the same dates.
The very first Arkn began the tradition of Inkaal'sen, prizing great platonic relationships above all others. It is uncertain how the practice began, but it is said to have been instituted by the Hethe Fab'rasi itself. Those who swear Inkaal’sen enter into a lifelong bond, taking an unbreakable oath to protect and balance their partner in all situations (similar to the human concept of blood brothers). Inkaal’sen are the closest of friends: individuals who compliment each other perfectly and know each other’s personalities better than anyone else.
During an Inkaal’sen swearing, the two partners anoint one another with their blood. They touch this blood to their forehead, their eyelids, and their lips. They recite a chant in Evarith as the two sit or kneel. The two give each other names that only their Inkaal’sen will ever call them, and swear on their weapons, before rising together as bonded Inkaal’sen. Sometimes jewelry will be exchanged between the two as a sign of their new bond. Like Inkaal'siitr, Inkaal'sen bonds are not monogamous, and it is common for an individual to have more than one Inkaal'sen.
The diet of the Arkn is generally very meat-based. However, it varies heavily based on region. In Shallus, for example, the cuisine is based mainly around seafood (or Aebysfood, in this case) and rice, being highly similar to the traditional food of Japan. Distalians have a highly varied diet, having access to Aela fruit, land for crop farming, and the meat of Cavaca (and other forest-dwelling beasts). Destrusans, however, have little readily available food, and are limited to what can be shipped into the region.
- Availse Astol – Architect of Avantas’tol.
- Chiron – Avantas'tol Teacher and Weapon Maker.
- Gauldrisin Vensir – Founder of Avantas’tol. †
- La’vox Daelan Beteriand – Arkn Writer. Author of at least 24 books.
- Mal’avri Galiros – Historian of the Empyrium. Wrote many books on Arkn history.
- Valiste Callivas – Ex-Inkaal'siitr of Tabbris Irinith. Mother of Savar'khai Irinith.
- Aluca’ard Irinith – The first Irinith. Father of Invyres and Mire'almitra Irinith. †
- Riza Roweris – Inkaal'siitr of Aluca'ard Irinith. †
- Invyres Irinith – Indazari of Avantas'tol (former). †
- Mire’almitra Irinith – Princess of Avantas’tol (former). Mother of Gav'reel Irinith. †
- Gav’reel Irinith – Indazari of Avantas'tol (former). Father of Calde’chrom Irinith. Killed by Miriam Mag'dal. †
- Sava’rantha Irinith – Inkaal'siitr of Gav'reel Irinith. †
- Calde’chrom Irinith – Indazari of Avantas'tol (former). Father of Raren'allach Irinith. †
- Raren’allach Irinith – Indazari of Avantas'tol (former). Father of Endraza Irinith. †
- Endraza Irinith – Father of Raren'allach Irinith II. †
- Raren’allach' Irinith II – Father of Beziah Irinith. †
- Beziah Irinith – Father of Aventell Irinith.†
- Avenetell Irinith – Father of Amartas Irinith. †
- Amartas Irinith – Indazari of Avantas'tol (former). Father of Tabbris, Calde'charan, and Ryu'lough Irinith.
- Iaealis Resavadre – Inkaal'siitr of Amartas Irinith. Mother of Tabbris, Calde'charan, and Ryu'lough Irinith. Murdered. †
- Cal'charan Irinith – Son of Amartas Irinith. Strangled to death in a tavern. †
- Ryu’lough Irinith – Son of Amartas Irinith. Sacrificed himself to save his father. †
- Tabbris Xanthris Irinith – Indazari of Avantas'tol (former). Father of Sevar'khai Irinith and Franz Faust.
- Sevar'khai Elistros Irinith – Indazari of Avantas'tol (current).
- Heliocus – Thani of Distalia.
- Eldrici Laz'ros – Arkn Eldric. Father of Alatin Laz'ros, Asteria Laz'ros, and Iscari Delfic.
- Alatin Laz'ros – Prince of Destrus.
- Asteria Laz'ros – Princess of Destrus.
- Iscari Delfic – Adopted son of Eldrici Laz'ros. Killed by Ba'al. †
- Maalficious – Thani of Mistria.
- Nevilith – Thani of Shallus.
- Cal’andori Cadenza – Mayor of Hazedya'kuro.
- Isthali Cadenza – Bardic student of the Eld’strixa. †
- Daniel Morrow – Arkn Warrior.
- Barachiel Callokure – Song spinner. Father of Ryael'ayre. †
- Palaiah Callokure – Inkaal'siitr of Barachiel Callokure. Veil dancer.
- Ryael'ayre Sorin Callokure – Bard of the Black Violin. †
- Zazriel Devereaux – Thani (former). Founder of SEEKER. †
- Kitano Ashvall – High Administrator of SEEKER.
- Ma’eve Vallindri – High Moderator of SEEKER.
- Cano’besar Ebores – Moderator of Endgame.
- Leveru Tatami – Moderator of Looker.
- Vael’vensir Anathema – Moderator of Turncoder.
- Captain Ca’carcus – Moderator of Realmsdiver.
- On’caste Dolchera – Moderator of Guardian.
- Dem'deure Elext – SEEKER Employee.
- Mirim "Miriam" Mag'dal – Inkaal’sen of Ryael'ayre Callokure. Murderer of Gav'reel Irinith. †
- Pavel Irays Elext – SEEKER Employee. Father of For'ende Elext.
- For'ende Elext – SEEKER Employee.
- Ahh’kuu Ya'bari'zume – Founder, boss of the Miran’khai (former).
- Br’avala †
- D'ani †
- Blair Foucasil – Founder of the Arkn surrealist movement. Author of In Dreams, Mood Year, and Day Present.
- Ilistriz Vivrenacht – Author of several Arkn poetry books. Fell for a Dekn warrior named Irenzal Cendis. Wrote a landmark book about the Dekn Court called Aurize Volas Vre Dekn Covare.
- Ja'sil †