The Dekn from Universe X are humanoid demon-like beings. Formerly humans from one of the Origin Seeds, they were forcibly evolved by De'ebolus to physically resemble the Dekn of Universe A. Their defining feature is their horns, which create a mental connection to The Silulic Horror and give them the telekinesis-like power of Silulic Manipulation, as well as various other psychic powers.
The Dekn are known for their devious, aggressive, and warlike nature. Like the Dekn of Universe A, they are the arch-enemies of the Arkn. While their home realm is the Elevrium, they have a strong presence among the Seeds of Ersis, due to their partnership with the human company U.M.E.E.C. The current Dekn ruler is the Emperor Xerinos, the son of Jacques Redgrave.
The Dekn, like the Arkn, began as humans from one of the two Origin Seeds, evolved through the power of De'ebolus. De'ebolus quickly became displeased with the new creations; he wanted a race of "war machines": beings with the power, and warlike nature, to combat any threat that might crop up. De'ebolus separated one Seed from the other; a massive cataclysm occurred deep within Ersis, causing a connection to the Silulis to tear open momentarily and exposing the Seed's population to Ethric energy. The aftershocks of the cataclysm pushed the Origin Seed through the Silulis and out the other side, where it crashed into the Lathrym, splitting into two halves. De'ebolus kept one half of the realm for himself, and gave the other to Fab'rasi for his own experimentation.
Despite being devastated by the cataclysmic events that shoved them into the new sub-realm, the humans managed to survive. Over time (so it is said), as the humans fought to rebuild and conquer their new environment, De'ebolus tampered with them, radically altering their anatomy. He strengthened their immune systems, enhanced their libidos (to encourage them to procreate), gave them stronger and more durable skeletons, and caused bone-like appendages to grown from their skulls. The populace was also introduced to a chemical compound similar to morphine; this further mutated the humans, greatly enhancing their brain functions. The former humans were now fearful-looking, horned creatures, who had lost nearly all memory of their human roots.
In time, a mysterious stranger, known only as "Jacques", appeared in the realm. He named the horned beings the Dekn, after his own people, and taught them about their realm (as well as the Hethe who had created it. He also taught them how to use their horns (and enhanced mental abilities) to forge a mental connection with a mysterious being, deep within the Silulis. The Dekn used these connections to gain the telekinesis-like power of Silulic Manipulation, which they began to master.
The Birth of the Empire (First Age)
As the Dekn spread out and formed settlements across the Elevrium, they experienced a series of odd "visions" from De'ebolus. As if peering through a window, they glimpsed peoples very similar to what they had once been: a civilization of warriors known as "Spartans", who were devoted to war as a way of life; the Ottoman Empire, with its fierce conquerors; lands of spices and silks and princes in colorful robes – and a murderous cult of bandits known as the "Thuggees". Influenced by these visions (and Jacques' tales), a very strange, patchwork culture began to emerge among the Dekn; they became aggressive, warlike beings. To further encourage the Dekn to procreate (and generate greater passion in them), De'ebolus also granted them visions of a land known as France, whose people seemed taken by a passion for many things – especially love.
The Dekn began building cities, and a government similar to a monarchy emerged. In time, Jacques rose up as a leader, becoming the first "Emperor" (or "Neo-Emperor"). Alongside the first Dekn Masters, Jacques founded the Dekn capital, Taveril'domaine. In time, the settlement grew from a middling-sized town to a lavish and bustling city. Jacques became the first Dekn to swear Inkaal'siitr, pledging himself to a beautiful Dekn woman named Ama'dina. He also also established the Master’s Awakening: a contest in which various citizens of all ranks would compete in challenges to prove themselves worthy of being chosen as the Emperor's new Dekn Masters.
U.M.E.E.C. (Second Age)
In time, the human organization M.E.E.C. managed to bypass the Ythen, and their space shuttle crash-landed in the desert of Galliptis. As M.E.E.C. ventured deeper into the Elevrium, they discovered a mysterious relic: an ancient device which allowed the user to detect and decode the Siy (or creational blueprint) of anything they looked at. In addition to the Siy decoder, M.E.E.C. found, sealed within a vault in the Elevrium, the chemical compound that had granted the Dekn their tremendous mental abilities; U.M.E.E.C. used this compound as the basis for a brain-enhancing drug, which they sold under the name NORLYST.
Eventually, M.E.E.C. came in contact with the developing Dekn. As different Siy effects were realized, U.M.E.E.C. distributed different Siy to the Dekn in trade for various things. The Dekn realized that the Siy could be combined into sigils to produce various magical effects. However, the sigils needed to be charged with Ethri to be activated; as the Dekn were unable to channel this energy naturally, they needed to find an external power source.
Realizing that they could accomplish more by working with the humans than they ever could on their own, the Dekn met with U.M.E.E.C. on neutral ground in Galliptis, and the two parties established a partnership. This location initially consisted of a building with some tables, where the two parties would meet to discuss various matters. In time, however, the meeting house was expanded to include sleeping quarters and other amenities. Housing areas soon arose around the meeting house, followed by entertainment stations, shopping areas, and other facilities catering to travelers. The complex eventually grew to a formidable size; it was declared its own city, and given the name Laen. M.E.E.C. (now renamed U.M.E.E.C.) was given control over the city, which soon became a popular vacation destination for Dekn and humans alike.
Meeting the Arkn
As U.M.E.E.C. discovered more Siy, they made contact with the Arkn – who, in turn, who were brought into contact with the Dekn. At first, relations between the races were friendly: the Arkn Eldric opened trade with both Dekn and humans, and the Dekn traded the Arkn some of the Siy; the humans discovered the Siy for floating, which enabled the Arkn to fly. As the humans interacted with the Arkn, they also discovered the secret to the powers of the Arkn, in their ability to charge the natural Ethri in their bodies and channel it.
U.M.E.E.C. continued to grow and expand; soon, they had bases among the Seeds and Outliers. The Ythen permitted Dekn to enter the Seeds of Ersis; however, in order to prevent mass panic (and/or transmigration between the realms), they took precautions to ensure that most humans remained unaware of the Dekn: order they granted them special transmutation Siy to give them a specialized human disguises, and prohibited them from openly using their powers on the Seeds.
The War (Third Age)
The Dekn soon discovered that the Arkn realm naturally produced Rethryc crystals. Rethrycs held the charge they needed to power the new sigils, and would allow them to do things they couldn't otherwise do with their own powers. When the Dekn asked the Arkn to trade them Rethrycs crystals, however, the Arkn denied their existence and hoarded them. They also encouraged the Dekn to share the Siy decoder, so that they could identify Siy for themselves. The Dekn refused to share the Siy decoder, out of the fear that the Arkn (who already had a natural advantage over the Dekn, due to their Ethri manipulation abilities) would become too powerful.
The exact chain of events that followed has been lost to antiquity. According to Dekn records, however, a fortnight after the Dekn refused the request of the Arkn, an Arkn raiding party, which included the Eldric and his kingsguard, entered Taveril'domaine under a cover of darkness. After the Emperor was alerted to their presence, he ordered them to be detained. However, the trespassing Arkn began fighting the security team, and a battle broke out. The Dekn attempted to fight them off, but their technology was no match for the Ethric shields and blasts of the Arkn. By the time the fighting was quelled, dozens lay dead, including the Empress Ama’dina, and the decoder relic was missing. While U.M.E.E.C. fortunately managed to recreate the decoder, Jacques was never able to fully mend his broken heart. The incident cemented the hatred the Dekn held for the Arkn, and was the catalyst for the war between the races.
Several years after the attack, the Dekn launched a counterattack, during which they destroyed the Siy decoder (but not before the Arkn Magi had found a loophole that enabled them to create custom Siy without the detector).
Shortly after the war began in the Lathrym, the Dekn, noted the increased presence of the Arkn in Ersis (in the form of SEEKER and the Miran'khai). Despite the prohibition on Lathrymites revealing themselves to humans, some Dekn took their conflict to the Seeds, picking brutal fights with any Arkn they encountered (often over control of various areas). These fights resulted in many deaths, and Dekn and Arkn alike being sentenced to Tartareous. However, the fights not only continued, but became bigger and more organized; young Arkn and Dekn began holding "war councils" to arrange battles, and both sides (as well as human employees of U.M.E.E.C. and SEEKER) started placing bets on the outcomes, with Rethrycs as currency. Alphos’eli Persophelum (the head of the Persophelum Sanguinal'estiere family) turned this into a business venture, setting up underground gambling dens throughout the Seeds, providing a convenient means of laundering stolen Rethrycs.
In time, Alphos'eli approached the Ythen and requested that Arkn-Dekn fighting be made an official, regulated sport. The Ythen agreed, as it gave the Arkn and Dekn a means to work out their conflict in Ersis without effecting or harming humans. Thus, the sport of Blood Flags was established. The Dekn began wielding U.M.E.E.C. weaponry during these confrontations, while the Arkn carried SEEKER tech (as doing so was less risky than wielding their natural powers, and the Arkn were unable to manifest wings while in Ersis).
Dekn biology is very similar to that of humans. Due to their mutation, they possess naturally strengthened bones, and their blood is darker in color, almost black. Their eyes are naturally blood-red or yellowish-red in color. The most notable physical feature of the Dekn is their Silulic Horns; these appendages are located on a section of skull that juts slightly outward, to allow them to extend and retract. As the horns retract, they become a ghost-like material that phases into the skull without causing the Dekn physical harm. While Dekn appear mostly human, they cannot enter Ersis in their natural forms (as doing so would reveal their existence), and must take on a human appearance through the use of a transmutation Siy.
Like the Arkn, Dekn can live to be roughly 1,000 years old. A Dekn's physical development is nearly identical to that of the Arkn, while their mental development occurs twice as fast. By the end of their first year, a Dekn usually shows the same cognitive development as a human child of 4 or 5, and is able to walk, speak, read, and write in sentences. Dekn typically start puberty at around 110-130; while it normally takes them around 200 years to reach physical maturity, they are declared legal adults at the age of 150 (i.e. the age by which a Dekn female can normally produce children). As Dekn age, they become slower and weaker, and are susceptible to a number of diseases and conditions, much like humans (though they typically suffer from less skeletal degradation, due to their denser bones). Unlike the Arkn and humans, their cognitive abilities usually don't degrade in old age; however, they are still susceptible to dementia (though it progresses more slowly than in humans), and their psychic relay typically slows and weakens with age.
Dekn reproduce in the same manner as humans, and are capable of reproducing with them. Dekn-Human hybrids, known as Cambion, are physically similar to full-blood Dekn. They outwardly resemble ordinary humans (though with slightly unusual eye colors); their bones are denser, and their cognitive development is much faster. (However, they age slightly slower, and may be "late bloomers" in reaching puberty.) Cambion horns only protrude slightly from the skull, and are not large enough to penetrate the skin; due to this, a half-breed's connections to the Silulis is weakened: they can still move objects in the physical world and communicate mentally with others, but doing so requires far more effort and concentration.
Powers and Abilities
Dekn use their horns to forge a mental connection with the Silulic Horror. Through this connection, they create a data ghost "twin" within the Silulis; this enables them to move and manipulate objects in the physical world by manipulating their data "counterparts" in the Silulis, producing an effect similar to telekinesis. During this process, the Dekn may see a ghostly "data landscape" overlaying the physical world, as they see into both the physical world and the Silulis at the same time. Dekn with a particularly strong connection to the Silulis can manipulate any inanimate object with a simple thought.
Dekn can also use their horns to psychically effect other living beings. They can project messages, images, thoughts, and information into the minds of others. Dekn frequently use this ability to communicate with one another; each Dekn has a unique psychic "signature" (similar to a fingerprint), which they can use to identify each other. Dekn can also use their powers to cause mental "overloads", ranging from hallucinations, to manipulated emotions, to extreme mental and emotional anguish. Some Dekn Masters can temporarily stall an Arkn's aura summoning; others can overload another being's mind completely and temporarily take control of the subject's body. Andras As'phyxiar in particular is known for combining possession with mental torture to terrifying effect.
Dekn power, however, is not limitless. A Dekn's power to manipulate objects is based on the strength of their connection to the Silulis and their avatar; while all Dekn can strengthen their presence in the Silulis by "exercising" their connection, some Dekn are naturally more adept at certain kinds of manipulation. A Dekn cannot move or physically manipulate other living beings (including Arkn, Dekn, humans, and animals). Dekn telepathy also has its limitations: two-way telepathic communication can only be achieved with other Dekn (and Dekn half-breeds), and can only occur when two Dekn are in the same realm together. Telepathic messages might also have a slight delay depending on the distance between them.
Generally speaking, Dekn cannot wield magic, as they cannot produce or channel ethri naturally. However, through their telepathic abilities, they can form a connection to the Ethric Mind and create personalized sigils (or Siy), which allow them access to specific kinds of elemental power. These sigils can be charged using the ethric charge in rethryc crystals, and de-charged when the Dekn wishes to deactivate them.
Possible Dekn powers include:
- Emotion manipulation
- Hallucination induction
- Mind control
- Mind reading
- Object manipulation
- Psionics (effecting electronics)
- Psychic binding
- Psychic torture (Morit'sengr Invokare)
- Sigil charging
- Siy generation
The organization of the Dekn government is far more complex than that of the Arkn. Despite being headed by an Emperor, it strongly resembles a monarchy structure-wise, with Dekn Barons at the bottom, followed by Counts, followed by the Dekn Lords, and finally the Dekn Masters, who report directly to the Emperor.
[For a detailed outline of the Dekn government, see here.]
Due to their collaboration and partnership with U.M.E.E.C., the Dekn are far more technologically advanced than the Arkn. Their reach is limited only by U.M.E.E.C.'s capabilities (which are vast), and ranges from vehicles that can obtain flight, to genetic modifications, to high-tech weaponry.
In Destrus, some Dekn get around using vehicles powered by raw Ethric fluid. These vehicles are based on human vehicles, and range from tri-wheeler hoverbikes to heavily-armored 18-wheelers. Many have been adapted for the environment, with alterations to allow them to easily traverse the rough terrain of the wastelands. Some vehicles use Ethric crystals as boosters for hovering and flight, or have their wheels fitted with sigils that allow them to shoot a blast, in order to activate thrust. (However, these functions are deactivated when the Rethyc wall activates, acting like a temporary EMP field on the active crystals.)
Dekn traverse the Shallus using a variety of boats, all of which are equipped with both an oil-based motor and ethric boosters. Sea-faring Dekn are encouraged to maintain the motors on their crafts, in case the crystals on their boosters wear out; few do, however (resulting in many a rescue by the government vessels that patrol the Shallus).
The Dekn are a study in contrasts. They are a highly scientific, technologically advanced race, with a need for efficiency; at the same time, they are a highly emotional people: warlike, aggressive, passionate to the last, and with an appreciation for the finer things in life (including good food, drink, and music).
The Dekn aesthetic, likewise, is an odd synthesis of the Eastern Ersian cultures, combining the domed roofs, tiles, and colorful silks of the Ottoman Empire and India, alongside the marble and stone structures of Sparta and France. They have also incorporated certain aspects of the French language into their own; this is most noticeable in their names (which typically have a French spelling or flair).
While both the Dekn and the Arkn form romantic and platonic bonds, the Dekn prefer the passion and intimacy of romantic Inkaal’siitr relationships to the platonic Inkaal’sen relationships common among the Arkn. This is due not only to De'ebolus's manipulation of their physiology (which gave them higher libidos), but their influential (if brief) glimpses of French culture.
Inkaal’siitr is, essentially, a mating and marriage. They are soulmates, loving each other fully to their dying breaths. Oftentimes an Inkaal’siitr mating results from a prior Inkaal’sen bond, but not always. An Inkaal’siitr mating is formed in the same way as an Inkaal’sen bond, often sealed with a kiss or by the new Inkaal’siitr rubbing their ethric limbs together. They will often get piercings to seal the bond and show their mating bond as a whole as well as to differentiate from Inkaal'sen rings/necklaces. The very first Dekn to swear Inkaal’siitr was Jacques Redgrave, who swore Inkaal’siitr to his beloved Ama’dina. Inkaal'siitr bonds aren't necessarily monogamous, and it is common for Dekn to be in more than one Inkaal'siitr bond at a time.
The Dekn place far less emphasis on religion than the Arkn. However, many still pay obeisance to the Hethe. Taveril'domaine worships De'ebolus and Ced'ric, Galliptis mainly worships De'ebolus and Cedric, and Syrith is strongly oriented towards Cedric-worship. Nearaive has no particular preference when it comes to Hethe worship, with followers of each of the four being found throughout the region.
Due to their exposure to Indian culture, Dekn cuisine is heavily focused on spicy, aromatic flavors. Meats (both Sloamin and the Ersian varieties) are a staple of their diet, and they mix the reliance on spices (as seen in Indian cuisine) with a savory reliance on sauces. Dekn curry is said to be dangerously hot, enough to burn the tongue of an ordinary being. Blaso Fruit and Ratasah roots are the most common seasonings; Ersian hot peppers were introduced in the Second Age, and have the Dekn have been extraordinarily successful in growing them (such that breeding new, hotter varieties has become a competitive sport).The Dekn seem predisposed to not only love hot and spicy foods, but easily digest them. It's unknown why this is (though it's theorized that it might be another of De'ebolus's genetic manipulations).
- Jacques (Redgrave) – First Emperor of the Dekn; founder of the Dekn Empire. Inkaal’siitr of Ama'dina; father of Xerinos, Ba'alav Vrian’grave, and Alphos’eli Persophelus.
- Ama'dina (Redgrave) – Empress of the Dekn (former). Inkaal’siitr of Jacques; mother of Xerinos, Ba'alav Vrian’grave, and Alphos’eli Persophelus. Killed in the first Arkn raid. †
- Ala’astor Andromalius – Dekn Master of the Gallows.
- Alphos’eli Persophelum – Head of the Persophelum Sanguineaux'estiere family. Son of Jacques.
- Andras Senêrouxe As'phyxiar – Dekn Master of Forbidden Knowledge. Son of Aziorrar.
- Angrboda Bordreux – Warrior of the Dekn Army. Ex-lover of Moloch Aversen; mother of Barbatos Aversen.
- Artrious Calibon – Dekn Master of the Silulis.
- Aziorrar As'phyxiar – Son of Azithal’zera. Inkaal’siitr of Ka'athrin; father of Andras Senêrouxe.
- Azithal’zera As'phyxiar – First of the As'phyxiar bloodline to be involved in politics. Son of Ra’bon’thazat.
- Ba'alav Vrian’grave – Dekn Master of Thievery. Son of Jacques.
- Barbatos Aversen – Son of Moloch. Killed at the Battle of Shallus Cross. †
Belial Indris Casimir– Dekn General and Master of Sight and War. (Removed)
- Camio Call’ombre – Dekn Master of Whispers.
- Coraline White – Protagonist of The Neverless Chronicles.
- Decarabia For’migar – Dekn Mistress of War (current).
- El'eiza – Queen of the Spiders. [Non-canon]
- Elizalith Nevdrire – Inkaal’siitr of Indris Casimir I. Mother of Belial.
- Eve'resell Chanteval – Dekn Master of Metal. Claimed the title (and took over Ishora's Forge) after stabbing Mag'novar in Relvar the Master's Awakening.
- Haaz’ifor Nezail – Dekn General. Led the charge on Avantas'Tol during the Astol Massacre. †
- Indris Casimir – Father of Belial.
- Israefel Rofocale – Mother of Lucifage Rofocale. [Non-canon]
- Jacques (Redgrave) – First Emperor of the Dekn. Taught the Dekn to use their Silulic Manipulation powers. Inkaal’siitr of Ama'dina; father of Xerinos, Ba'alav Vrian’grave, and Alphos’eli Persophelus.
- Jean-Ezeau Rallineux – Dekn General. After deserting his men during a battle, he fell into madness and started worshipping the Vyvn.
- Ka'athrin As'phyxiar – Inkaal’siitr of Aziorrar As'phyxiar. Mother of Andras As'phyxiar.
- Lucifuge Rofocale – Dekn Master of the Plague. Father of Bobbie Harper. [Non-canon]
- Mag’novar Relva – Dekn Master of War (former).
- Maigrir Casimir – Son of Belial Casimir.
- Marchosias Levitas Aversen – Dekn Master of Beguilement and Debauchery.
- Melchom Avagard – Dekn Master of Wealth.
- Menestor Veritas – Second Emperor of the Dekn. †
- Moloch Aversen – Father of Marchosias and Barbatos.
- Nebaba Fairchel – Inkaal’siitr of Tal Rendis Casimir. Mother of Indris Casimir I.
- Ra'bon'thazat As'phyxiar – Priest of Ced'ric. Great-grandfather of Andras.
- Rizavail Taveril – Third Emperor of the Dekn. †
- Severin Avalune – Dekn Master of Forbidden Knowledge (former).
- Tal Rendis Casimir – Inkaal’siitr of Nebaba Fairchel. Father of Indris Casimir I.
- The Lady of the Roses – Madam who ran the most high-class escort service in Taveril'domaine. Mother of Marchosias Aversen.
- Veritas Taveril II – Fourth Emperor of the Dekn.
- Veritas Taveril III – Fifth Emperor of the Dekn.
- Ver'saava Aversen – Bastard third son of Moloch. Disowned and stricken from the family tree, he fled from home and vanished. Missing.
- Xerinos Redgrave – Sixth Emperor of the Dekn; son of Jacques.
- Zachriel Rofocale – Father of Lucifage Rofocale. [Non-canon]