|“||The Dekn communicated, and began to thrive within the large tree. The Dekn existed, and this was not enough for the Hethe. They craved the darkness within the Dekn, and wished to awaken it. The Hethe took half of the existing Dekn, and threw them aside. The third face, that of the Arkn, spoke, and these Dekn became as such. The newly created Arkn saw the great tree, and attacked.||„|
Origin and the First War
The Arkn were created from the darkness within the Dekn in order to rival them. The first few Arkn were Gynesis, Gilgamesh, Abaddon, and Raziel. They began the war by taking The Dekn from their home, The First Tree. They fought a losing battle until the first Dekn, Hash'bor'kanibal, took pity on them; in his desire to maintain the balance between good and evil, Hash'born took the form of an Arkn and aided them in the battle, and they claimed the Tree.
Some time later, Hash'bor returned to the Dekn. He revealed that he had gotten behind enemy lines, and was revered amongst the Dekn for doing so. Using Hash'bor's newfound knowledge of the Arkn, the Dekn fought back and reclaimed their home. However, the Arkn were given weapons (which had been forged by the Hethe, as well as the gift of fire. The Arkn burned the Tree down, and claimed the remaining wood for themselves.
Centuries into the war, Raziel observed the ways of the Arkn and Dekn. Seeing that the Arkn had suffered many casualties, and that The First Tree was dying, he decided to take action: he and the other original Arkn cut their hands and bled into a chalice, which was poured into what was left of the Tree. The tree released an energy which came to be known as Magick. Raziel mastered this energy, and used it to create two separate realities for the Arkn and Dekn, and used it to create two separate realms, the Aetherium and the Infinitium, in which the Arkn and Dekn could live. These two realms were stabilized by the fragmented Hethe, Malek, bringing about temporary peace between the races.
The Golden Age
During peacetime, Arkn society flourished. Kevitakh'Aro'Smath (otherwise known as Elysia) became the capital of the Arkn kingdom; a government was established, and Xeth'i'stral rose up as the first king of the Arkn. Abaddon grew jealous of his position, but respected it nonetheless, and went off to become a prestigious warlord in the Arkn/Dekn wars. Raziel began to master the energy known as magick, becoming known as the Arknmagus (or chief Arkn Magi). Gynesis stayed within the shadows and watched these events from afar.
The city of Paradisium, created by Raziel's magicks, became a haven for magick users, complete with a college where young magi were trained. While the realm was still being settled, the first four Arkn made a vow before the Hethe not to produce offspring (as their Hethian blood was too powerful to be allowed to proliferate). It was decided that Abaddon alone would be the exception, passing on his legacy to children. Abaddon entered into a union with Hash'bor'kanibal (who was still in the form of an Arkn warrior), and together they produced a child: Raphael, the first Arkn to result from procreation.
While the kingdom was still evolving, Raziel discovered the Prophecy of the Arknza in a book called the Arknchron. This prophecy, supposedly handed down by the Hethe themselves, foretold seven Arkn in the bloodline of the Gods who would one day fight a great battle and emerge victorious, bringing about a Golden Age of peace and prosperity for all beings. The Arkn who had sworn not to procreate all broke their vows and attempted to produce children, in the hopes that their bloodline would become part of the legacy. Unbeknownst to them, however, Hash'bor'kanibal was in control of the prophecy; he continued to move amongst them in disguise, and mated with a number of high-ranking Arkn, producing Hethe-blooded offspring with them.
When humanity was created, the Arkn looked at the Earth and wanted to take that for themselves as well. A group of 200 Arkn, known as The Watchers, were sent among humans to observe them and report back on their findings. Before long, however, The Watchers (under the influence of Hash'bor'kanibal) mingled with the humans and interacting with them firsthand; they began teaching humans the ways of sex, desire, war, passion, and pain.
The actions of The Watchers led to more and more Arkn interacting with humanity. Arkn magi were dispatched amid humanity to act as prophets, educating wise humans in the ways of magick. Arkn began attaching themselves to humans as "guardians", essentially making the humans their slaves. Xeth'i'stral himself became the first original Arkn to become a guardian, attaching himself to Lord Gilgamesh of Mesopotamia (and taking Gilgamesh's name as his own). In time, several of the Arkn (Gilgamesh included) came to be seen as deities in the eyes of humanity. ]The Dekn were not pleased by these happenings, and the relations between the races became more strained. In an attempt to put a stop to all this, Malek started work on a technological system to house the humans, preserving and protecting them from the meddling of the Arkn.
The Fall of King Gilgamesh
King Gilgamesh began to fear losing control over his people, and used the discord created by humanity to sew the seeds for more conflict. With help of his lover and confidant, Hash'bor'kanibal, he began carrying out covert attacks against the Arkn. The City of Carrowind was laid to ruin, with no survivors. These attacks were blamed on a fearful, skeletal Dekn warlord called "The Carver". However, this wasn't enough; Gilgamesh feared that one of the Magi might grow powerful enough to overthrow him. With the help of Hash'born's mind controlling powers, he convinced the Council of Paradisium to began an Inquisition targeting magi and their families, starting with Raziel and his kin. Raziel was stripped of his titles and exiled for a millenium, and his family was executed in the middle of the city. The magick college was shut down, and the Choir took its place, with nearly all memory of the magi being erased from history.
To cement "The Carver" as the great enemy of the Arkn people, Gilgamesh and Hash'bor'kanibal staged a battle on the Earth. Hash'bor went down to humanity's realm, under the guise of being envious of Gilgamesh's deification and wanting to reason with him; a fight ensued, and they a large portion of humanity ended up being destroyed, along with most of the Seraphim. Hash'bor overpowered and beheaded Gilgamesh, and revealed his true form and identity before the horrified Arkn Council. Gilgamesh's legend did not end there, however; promptly after leaving the Arkn, Hash'bor'kanibal – now known as The Carver – brought the bones of Gilgamesh to a place of pure darkness and began constructing The Infernous, using Gilgamesh's skull to carve out the realm. Before he sealed Gilgamesh away, Hash'bor'kanibal allowed him to create a child: a son, Uriel, who was left on the steps of the palace in the Golden City.
The Watchers Incident and the Second War
After the damnation of Gilgamesh, brought about by the "traitor" Hash'bor'kanibal, the Arkn and Dekn were on the brink of war. Lazarus Del'Phar quickly took over and went about fixing Gilgamesh's mistakes, re-writing history to make him (and the Arkn aristocracy in general) seem more heroic. In time, Uriel, the son of Gilgamesh, stepped forward to become the Second King of the Arkn. Around this time, an incident involving The Watchers came to light. The Watchers had fornicated with humans, and to their surprise, the humans gave birth to their children. These half-Arkn beings, called the Nephilim, had become numerous and spread across the Earth. Hash'bor'kanibal informed the Arkn aristocracy of these events; he told them that if the information gathering party of Arkn were not returned to The Golden City, and the Nephilim destroyed, war would ensue. Upon learning of this, the Arkn Cabinet, a council of Arkn Lords that represent the different districts within The Golden City, ordered the children to be slain by Raziel, and for each Arkn that had been involved to be exiled. However, rather than killing the children, Raziel went behind the Cabinet's back and worked with one of The Watchers, an Arkn named Asmodeus. Raziel talked to Asmodeus into receiving help from one of the reality preserving Dekn named Vine to keep the children safe and concealed. Unfortunately, this led to the capture of both Asmodeus and Azazel; while the Watchers that had managed to escape arrest were mostly executed, this was not to be their fate: Asmodeus was stripped of his title and honors and exiled to the wastelands, while Azazel sentenced to be bound and sealed in a fissure in the desert for all time. The events surrounding the Watchers incident played a major role in bringing about the Second War between the Arkn and the Dekn.
Around this same time, humanity's new home, the Nexellium, was destroyed by the Hethe Leg'leg in a fit of boredom and frustration. Malek, the Fragmented Hethe, sought the help of four powerful Dekn Lords (including Vine), known as the Persophelums, in order to create a new, ever-expanding system for humanity to live in. The Persophelums based this system on Malek's early prototype, and managed to transfer the lost souls of humanity into it. This system was the Nexiumadris (otherwise known as .Reality), and gave the humans countless timelines to live in, giving each individual infinite opportunities to have a life safe from the interference of the Arkn (who still found ways to infiltrate the system) and from glitches.
The Damnation of Ellpagg & the Fall of Uriel
The Cabinet decided to make an example to The Arkn that even the best of The Arkn can fall as far as Hash'bor'kanibal. So, The Cabinet called upon King Uriel and offered him to imprison himself in The Infernous and kill The Carver. However, Uriel declined when he told them that he was not about to slay one of his fellow Arkn, no matter how corrupt. Their next choice was Ellpagg, Arkn Knight of Time, Madness, and strangely, Beetles. The Council fully intended for Ellpagg to become corrupted by The Carver, so that they could use him as an example to prove that even the best among them could fall as far as Hash'bor'kanibal. Unaware of the non-choice selection, Ellpagg believed he volunteered for the task of convincing the Carver to come out, when in actuality, he was selected already by the Arkn Lords who were betraying him.
After sending Ellpagg down to the Infernous, and having his memories stripped, the Lords were interrupted by Uriel who had come to say farewell to Ellpagg but mistakenly overheard their plan. Outraged, in a fit of sudden fury, Uriel ends up beheading the Arkn Lord Xan'dri'el and is in turn locked away in prison. Following this, Uriel escaped and threw himself into one of the central .Reality .Reality cores, killing him and sending his soul to the Infernous. The act also duplicated him throughout .Reality, in the form of a human man named Alex Winter.
Upon King Uriel's betrayal, Abaddon took Uriel's place as King of the Arkn. Though he was the Third King, he called himself the "Fourth King" out of respect for Ellpagg. Abaddon was known as "The Tyrant King", keeping the Arkn in place and the Dekn in line. Ellpagg's and Uriel's torment from within The Infernous was streamed to The Arkn via their Cloud9 broadcast system. After innumerable eternities of torment (which stripped him of his Arkn traits), Ellpagg escaped from The Infernous and went on a rampage, slaughtering all of the Council members, along with the Arkn who had watched over his torment. Irreparably altered by his experiences, he defected from both the Arkn and the Dekn, declaring himself to be a new kind of being and, as such, a god: the God of Beetles. He then departed to awaken the ArknAngels and found a neutral party for defectors.
The Fall of Elysia
King Abaddon was eventually killed in a fight with Persophelus Clubs, and Lord Lazarus Del'Phar took his place as the Fourth King of the Arkn. Delphar commissioned a team of five Arkn scientists to begin Project Entropy: a new living computer system, .Entropy, which was based on .Reality; the team hoped that this would separate the Arkn from the Dekn once and for all, and bring an end to the war between the races. The final component needed was the blood of Cedric Kharon, the offspring of the Hethe; made of the essence of both De'ebo and Zag'orv, his blood would enable .Entropy to live and expand indefinitely.
On May 15th, the date the project was to be finalized, a Dekn named Mephistopheles infiltrated the city while the populace was distracted by a strange prophet in the marketplace. Leading a group of Dekn in an attack, Mephistopheles destroyed the city gates, allowing a new Dekn Lord, Dragon, entrance into the city. Dragon destroyed the remaining castles as the city burned. While this was happening, the former Crusader, Raphael, was taken over by the Hethe Tum'to, who guided him to attack and destroy the Infinitium.
Beneath the city, safe from the danger overhead, the Project Entropy team activated their new system prematurely. .Entropy connected to the Nexiumadris, overloading the system and causing a shutdown. While the system rebooted and recovered, .Entropy interpreted this as an error that needed to be "fixed", and attempted to repair it. This caused a collapse in space and existence; a formation called a Red Nova, similar to a black hole inside of .Reality. .Entropy overloaded and erupted within the fabric of the universe, causing it to splinter into two ragged portions (and many more splinters). Trapped in one of these fragments, the scientists who had created .Entropy reprogrammed it to repair the damage it had caused. Now renamed Voidweb, the machine exploded out of the underground lab it was being housed in, and finished off what was left of the Golden City.
In the wake of this disaster, the surviving Arkn escaped the city into the Outlands, where they banded together. There, they encountered the newly fallen Zag'orv, who took them to a location that would be known as New Elysia, on the other side of the giant universal splinter. Here, Lazarus Delphar reigned as the new King of the Arkn.
Physiology & Appearance
The Arkn are functionally immortal, due to possessing the blood of the Hethe (though extremely diluted, in most cases). Despite being alien in nature, they are humanoid in appearance. The most notable physical attribute of the Arkn is their wings; wings are manifested (rather than attached limbs), so the Arkn don't consistently have them showing. In some Arkn cities such as The Paradisium, however, having one's wings constantly visible is regarded as a sign of beauty.
The power the Arkn seeps into technology such as cameras, phones, and televisions, and caused unnatural coloration within captured footage. The coloration tends to also be consistent with individual Arkn. Through this coloration, an Arkn would be shown to have wings arching from their shoulder blades. An Arkn may have some defining trait with their wings/distortion, but this isn't limited to each one.
Arkn are able to procreate, and could do so in several different ways. The primary way of procreation (as practiced by Abaddon, and seen with Gilgamesh and his partner Kry'atha) involves taking a piece of one's own life force and energy, and combing it with another Arkn's manifested life force to create a sort of fusion between the two Arkn, in a child's form. In addition to this, two Arkn can go the more humanly traditional route; however it was much more common for them to use the combination of energy to procreate.
Powers and Abilities
An Arkn's powers are based mainly on Magick. Usually, an Arkn's specialties will define their title and what they represent. For example, Raziel created Magick, and is the Master of Magick among all other Arkn; hence, he was known as the Arknmagus (or master of Magi). However, not all Arkn relied on the use of magick: while Raphael excelled in the magick of Healing, he learned to fend for himself in the Arkn/Dekn war using weapons and combat techniques, and was rewarded for his incredible skill by being titled "The Crusader"
A list of known magics an Arkn could master includes:
- Divine (Only known by Raziel and those he personally taught.)
- Hand (Applies to all schools of magick.)
- Light (Extremely rare.)
- Shading (A form of self-duplication; known only by Raziel, Ellpagg, and The Carver)
- Temporal/Time (Used only by Azrael)
More specific spells and castings are part of the separate castes of Magick; an Arkn often chose to specialize in a certain caste of Magick (usually those in which they showed the most natural aptitude) and master it, as mastering multiple castes of Magick was incredibly difficult.
In addition to this, Arkn possess other abilities that humans lack. They can manifest and de-summon their wings and weapons at will, can fly and levitate (using their wings), possess telekinesis, can teleport (via various methods), and can possess the bodies of Humans in .Reality (by essentially hijacking their "programming"). It should be noted, however, that none of the abilities that the Arkn possess are limitless.
The Arkn are known for being a proud and egotistical species, seeing themselves as above most other races, such as the Dekn, Humanity (whom they viewed as little more than pets or slaves), or the Entraphics. Their culture was well shown within their home, The Golden Cities.
What set the Arkn aside from the Dekn was their purpose. They started attaching themselves to humanity in order to get the Dekn in a bind, because a Dekn would not normally go after humans (but would have to, if an Arkn foe was attached to one). Some Arkn saw this as a form of protection. While in "protection" mode, Arkn were spiritually attached to the guarded human; should harm have to the vessel of the guarded human, the Arkn itself would be damaged. While the guarded human dying did not (in most cases) kill the Arkn, it severely harmed the attached guardian to the point of needing immediate healing or rest.
The Arkn worshiped the Hethe, whom they saw as their creator gods. The Choir, a caste of high-ranking Arkn, were responsible for beseeching the Hethe on behalf of all Arkn. They were led by an Intoner, who was believed to be the one and only entity capable of communicating with the Hethe; the Muses would guide religious practices, gather the prayers of the faithful, and sing them to the gods. Once a year, the Hethe were honored with a ritualistic sacrifice, in which a random Dekn was slaughtered on behalf of the gods (in hope of securing their blessings).