Arkn in Universe X are a race of beings who have Ethric powers. They began as humans from the Origin Seed, and were evolved through mutation via exposure to Ethri (and the manipulations of Fab'rasi). They possess unique Ethri-infused blood, which they can charge at will, enabling them to use Siy and other Ethri-based magicks more easily than any other being.
The Arkn, like the Dekn, began as Humans from one of the Origin Seeds. After a massive cataclysm to Ersis (caused by the arrival of something, unknown to the books of history, deep within the Lathrym) 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 it. Slowly, but surely, the aftershock waves managed to push the Origin Seed through the Silulis until it was eventually pushed out into 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 flowed freely and erupted from volcanoes. The other portion of the former Origin Seed became the Elevrium, the home of the Dekn.
As the humans settled into their new realm, the Hethe Fab'rasi (according to Arkn legend) claimed the Empyrium as his own, while De'ebolus laid claim to the Elevrium. 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 Universe A Arkn. He watched over these beings, caring for them (so the story goes) as if they were his children.
As the Arkn evolved, so did their civilization. The Empyrium was divided up into four regions: Distalia, Mistria, Shallus, and Destrus. Each region would have its own ruler, known as a Thani, who answered to the over-ruler, or Eldric. The border town of Avantas'tol (on the border of Distralia and Mistria) would be the sole exception, as they negotiated with the Eldric to be allowed to remain an independent monarchy.
Meeting the Dekn and Humans
In time, the developing Arkn came in contact with the Dekn, meeting their cousin race for the first time. The Dekn had formed a partnership with the human company U.M.E.E.C.; they had been trading with them for Siy, the creational blueprints in the world around them (which humans had discovered and "decoded" with an ancient relic they'd found in the Elevrium). It was this search for more Siy that had led to the Dekn encountering the Arkn. Recognizing the potential in the situation, the Arkn Eldrici opened trade with the Dekn, allowing the exchange of goods and information with both the Dekn and humans.
Relations between the races were friendly at first. The Arkn learned of Jacques' books of history, and incorporated their stories into their own beliefs and practices. As U.M.E.E.C. came in contact with the Arkn, they discovered that the Arkn possessed natural Ethri in their bodies; while the Arkn had previously assumed this to be nothing more than a sort of "energy boost" to their bodies, they found that they could charge and channel this Ethri at will and use it to produce magical auras, or to charge combinations of Siy to create sigils (which had a variety of magical applications). The Dekn also traded various Siy to the Arkn; among them was the Siy for floating, which enabled the Arkn to fly with the use of aural wings.
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 Miran’khai, an Arkn criminal syndicate comparable to the Yakuza; as a result, 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
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, however, wanted to keep the crystals for themselves, and 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, fearing that the Siy decoder would allow the Arkn to become too powerful, refused to grant their request.
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 (allegedly), into Taveril'domaine under a cover of darkness. The Arkn records of history state that the Eldric had intended to negotiate with the Dekn Eldric 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, which soon grew into an all-out battle that spread across the city. By the time the party retreated, the Siy decoder was in their possession, but half 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 Distalia. Despite being a ruined wasteland, Distalia remained home to the Arkn Eldric, with his fortress becoming the only standing structure in the region.
Until the mutations from Ethri evolution came into play, Arkn were fully biologically human. Their mutation, however, 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. In order to charge one's Ethri, the clenching of muscles and tightening of the body is required momentarily.
Full-blood Arkn are born with Ethri already present in their bodies. The flow of Ethri has strengthened their bones and their immune systems, giving them immunity to nearly all diseases (with the exception of AIDS). Arkn are also capable of breathing both oxygen and aero (the air of the Empyrium).
Arkn are capable of through both magickal 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 for very long.
Powers and Abilities
Full-blood Arkn have Ethri-infused blood, which they can charge and channel at will. This Ethric energy can be used to charge Siy for a sigil; it can also be channeled into a force, which can be shot from a sigil, similar to an Ethric harpoon. More commonly, Ethri is used to produce Auras. Auras can be used to manifest appendages, creating 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 be used as a method of flight, creating wing-like manifestations. Arkn can identify one another using both their wings and their Ethri aura (which is unique to each Arkn, and can be sensed from a distance).
Any Arkn-blooded being can channel Ethri raw. An aura produced by this method is less powerful, and doesn't have the same capabilities. However, it can be used to restore 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 society is a study in contrasts. Like their predecessors in Universe A, they are a very proud race, and put a great deal of emphasis on lineage and tradition. They are rather complex, refusing to be pinned down: an attribute that is reflected in all that they do, including the Evarith language, their art, their government, and their religious beliefs. Proud and strong-willed, the Arkn are passionate to the last.
The Arkn government is essentially a variation of a monarchy. Empyrium consists of four regions. Each region, with the exception of Avantas'tol, is ruled by a king, or Thani, all of whom ruled over by the Eldric. The current Eldric is Eldrici Lazros. Hurn are prohibited from holding government positions, and often cannot inherit
The Arkn are a highly artistic people, mixing art with all other aspects of life – including war. (Some places, like Hazedya’kuro and Avantas’tol, adhere to this more strongly than others.) At the same time, they are also very structured and orderly: everything must be in its right place, and every place must be in its exact order. They take heavy inspiration from Japanese and Celtic culture, having a mix of both cultures' moral values and aesthetics. They are very open with their emotions, and their artwork often 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.
The Arkn place a great deal of value on close platonic relationships. The closest of friends, individuals that compliment each other perfectly and know each other’s personalities better than anyone else, often swear Inkaal’sen to one another; this means swearing unbreakable an oath, entering into a lifelong bond akin to a marriage. When one swears Inkaal’sen, they swear an oath to another to protect and balance them in all situations. Arkn can also swear Inkaal’siitr (the more romantic and erotic variation of Inkaal’sen). However, this is not as common (in part because the practice was established by the Dekn).
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.
Despite 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; they have developed to the point of having motor vehicles, but still use medieval weaponry like swords and spears, while maintaining other basic firearm assets like flintlocks or revolvers (with the most advanced firearm being styled like a gatling gun). This is also due in part to the holds in the Empyrium having 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.
- Ahh’kuu Ya'bari'zume – Miran’khai boss (former).
- Ai'drena Rerawas †
- Alatin – Son of Eldrici Lazros.
- Aluca’ard Irinith – The first Irinith. †
- Amartas Irinith – Indazari of Avantas'tol (former).
- Availse Astol – Architect of Avantas’tol.
- Avenetell Irinith †
- Barachiel Callokure – Song spinner. Father of Ryael'ayre. †
- Beziah Irinith †
- Br’avala †
- Cano’besar Ebores – Moderator of Endgame (SEEKER).
- Cal’andori Cadenza – Mayor of Hazedya'kuro.
- Calde’chrom Irinith – Son of Gav'reel Irinith. †
- Calde'chran Irinith – Son of Amartas Irinith. †
- Captain Ca’carcus – Moderator of Realmsdiver (SEEKER).
- Chiron – Teacher and Weapon Maker.
- Dem'deure Elext – SEEKER Employee.
- D'ani †
- Daniel Morrow – Arkn Warrior.
- Eldrici Laz'ros – Arkn Eldric.
- Endraza Irinith †
- For'ende Elext – Employee of SEEKER.
- Gauldrisin Vensir – Founder of Avantas’tol. †
- Gav’reel Irinith – Indazari of Avantas'tol (former). Killed by Miriam Mag'dal. †
- Heliocus – Thani of Distalia.
- Iaealis Resavadre – Wife of Amartas Irinith. Murdered. †
- Invyres Irinith – Indazari of Avantas'tol (former). Uncle of Gav'reel Irinith.
- Iscari Delfic – Adopted son of Eldrici Lazros. Killed by Ba'al. †
- Isthali Cadenza – Bardic student of the Eld’strixa. †
- Ja'sil †
- Ka'athrin As'phyxiar
- Kitano Ashvall – High Administrator of SEEKER.
- La’vox Beteriand – Arkn Writer.
- Leveru Tatami – Moderator of Looker (SEEKER).
- Maalficious – Thani of Mistria.
- Ma’eve Vallindri – High Moderator of SEEKER.
- Mal’avri Galiros – Historian of the Empyrium.
- Mire’almitra Irinith – Princess of Avantas’tol (former). Mother of Gav'reel Irinith. †
- Mirim "Miriam" Mag'dal – Inkaal’sen of Ryael'ayre Callokure. †
- Nevilith – Thani of Shallus.
- On’caste Dolchera – Moderator of Guardian (SEEKER).
- Pavel Irays Elext – Father of For'ende Elext.
- Raren’allach Irinith †
- Raren’allach Irinith II †
- Ryael'ayre Sorin Callokure – Bard of the Black Violin. †
- Ryu’lough Irinith – Youngest son of Amartas Irinith. †
- Sava’rantha Irinith – Wife of Gav'reel Irinith. †
- Sevar'khai Elistros Irinith – Indazari of Avantas'tol.
- Tabbris Xanthris Irinith – Indazari of Avantas'tol (former). Father of Sevar'khai Irinith and Franz Faust.
- Vael’vensir Anathema – Moderator of Turncoder (SEEKER).
- Valiste Callivas – Ex-wife of Tabbris Irinith. Mother of Savar'khai.
- Zazriel Devereaux – Thani (former). Founder of SEEKER. †