Aki'Drednanth are a species of large semi-hominid and one of the member-species of the Six Species.
Aki'Drednanth are bipedal but more suited to quadrupedal locomotion on feet and the knuckles of their hands. They are severely cold-adapted and have difficulty surviving in temperatures above approximately -10°C, although they technically can for short periods. As a result, aki'Drednanth are usually seen in general Six Species environments wearing self-contained envirosuits that maintain a comfortable body temperature.
The aki'Drednanth, as an organism, is the second-largest of the Six Species next to the Fergunakil. An adult aki'Drednanth can stand between eight and ten feet in height, and is almost the same in breadth. Their population in Six Species space is tightly controlled, seldom going far above its original number of 500.
An individual aki'Drednanth lifespan is approximately 500 years, but evidence suggests they are in fact functionally immortal.
Species origin Edit
The aki'Drednanth are generally accepted to be a subspecies, close cousin, or otherwise related to the Ogre species believed to exist elsewhere in the Void Dimension, and rumoured to have existed on Earth prior to their disappearance around the time of the First Feast. Ogres, or perhaps aki'Drednanth, were said to have founded the first settlements on Þursheim.
Aki'Drednanth, however, have existed in the galaxy's near-Core region for approximately 500 million years. Whether they originated in the comet-ring known as the Great Ice, or settled there from another Dimension, is difficult to ascertain due to the time-periods involved.
It is likely that both aki'Drednanth and Ogres evolved from an organism referred to as a Thordic Hominid, and separated from this common root in the epoch of Brutan the Warrior. While the Ogres were bred for resilience and combat strength, becoming regeneratively immortal, the aki'Drednanth developed telepathic powers and functional reincarnative immortality, and were relocated to the Great Ice as a separate strain to watch over the Portal in the Utmost Core.
The physiological evolution of both strains, as a result, stalled at the ostensibly primitive level, leaving them large and hairy and brutish-looking. The Ogres remained this way because their bodies regenerated unchanged, and the aki'Drednanth remained this way because they developed their Drednanth aspects while keeping their physical forms at a stable and sustainable level.
The Four Species Edit
When the Damorakind emerged as a dominant civilisation in the Core approximately 90,000 years before the narrative-present of The Final Fall of Man series, the aki'Drednanth were already well-established on the Great Ice. When the spreading Damorakind civilisation encountered the aki'Drednanth, they opted to enslave them instead of eradicating them entirely, perhaps recognising their value or recognising the futility of attempting to wipe out a species that apparently lived all the way across the enormous comet-ring.
It is also theorised that the aki'Drednanth prevented the Damorakind from destroying them, and indeed have guided and controlled the Cancer's civilisation ever since its appearance. Having been around for half a billion years, the aki'Drednanth were more than capable of manipulating the Damorakind to less extreme measures, and for that matter considered a hundred thousand years or so of slavery to be little more than a new experience in their interaction with mortals. And possibly not even all that new an experience.
When the Molran Fleet arrived in the Core, they were attacked by the Damorakind and lost many Worldships, and would have been exterminated entirely had the aki'Drednanth not taken a hand. An assault force of Damorakind, including five hundred aki'Drednanth slaves and a large number of integrated Fergunakil components, was pursuing the Fleet when the aki'Drednanth (including Mogn Haal) rebelled. They killed the Damorakind and defected to the Fleet, bringing the Fergunak with them.
Drednanth and the Great Ice Edit
Main article: Dreamscape.
The aki'Drednanth are telepathic, with the overwhelming majority of their consciousness and sense of self existing in the psychic plane known as the Drednanth Dreamscape. The Drednanth are thus considered to be the true form of life, while the aki'Drednanth (literally, the Drednanth in flesh) are just extrusions into the physical world through which the Drednanth can experience sensory and interactive events, adding to their experiences and knowledge. The Drednanth is housed, in a manner similar to solid-state computer storage, in the comet-ring of the galaxy's near-Core known as the Great Ice.
Each Drednanth has a discrete form within the Dreamscape, as well as a separate Dreamscape of her own which takes the form of a figurative world, the environments of which are almost infinitely variable. The Dreamscapes interlink into a gestalt Dreamscape, and Drednanth minds can move from place to place within it, with the host-Drednanth's permission.
Aki'Drednanth are at once able to interact with the flesh world, and the Dreamscape. Aki'Drednanth brains are formed of a highly complex lattice of ice structured on a submicroscopic level, and act as combined storage and conduit to the Dreamscape.
Separation from the Dreamscape Edit
Drednanth up to a certain age (measured in tens of millions of years) are capable of pouring their entire Dreamscape into an aki'Drednanth brain, thus permitting them to separate themselves from the greater gestalt. Travel at relative speed, for example, disconnects an aki'Drednanth from the Drednanth and confines her to her own brain and Dreamscape. While she can reconnect to the wider Dreamscape easily upon her return to normal space, it is not something they find pleasant.
There is also evidence to suggest that an ancient Drednanth in aki'Drednanth flesh can separate her Drednanth whole and her aki'Drednanth extension, and reconnect them after a certain time at relative speed. However, in the process neither aspect of the entity is entirely whole, and can enter a dormant state - or even suffer cognitive, personality or memory damage.
Drednanth "refleshulate", or reincarnate, into new aki'Drednanth bodies on a long timescale and according to rules that mortal species are not privy to. In the process, they feed their consciousnesses from the Great Ice into new ice-matrix brains as they gestate in the womb of their designated mother. This is a delicate process and cannot usually be interrupted by, for example, movement into soft-space. The result of the extrusion of the Drednanth mind, and her formation of her own body by electromagnetic manipulation, is a practical reincarnation of the Drednanth the previous time she was aki'Drednanth.
Occasionally, rather than taking on an existing Drednanth mind and recreating a new iteration of the entity's experience in the physical sphere, an aki'Drednanth foetus will gestate naturally and become a new aki'Drednanth and a new Drednanth entity. Such aki'Drednanth newborns are known as oona'aki'Drednanth, new Drednanth in the flesh.
When their aki'Drednanth bodies perish, Drednanth "return" to the Dreamscape rather than dying. Death, as a concept, has little meaning to the Drednanth, although in exceptional circumstances they can die.
Interaction with mortals Edit
To be continued.
Aki'Drednanth classically have two styles of envirosuit:
1. The AstroCorps / Molran Fleet variant, blocky and beige
2. The Damorakind "slave garb" variant, spiny and black and biomechanical, with decorative blue fire-lines down the forearms that the aki'Drednanth can activate, apparently just for dramatic effect.
Sex and the female pronoun Edit
One of the most socially distinctive traits of the aki'Drednanth in their interaction and communication with the Six Species is their exclusive use of the female pronoun to describe themselves. While aki'Drednanth do reproduce sexually and have male and female (and potentially other) genders, they consider the process at once private and irrelevant to the social contract. Therefore, they do not acknowledge one another as anything but female, allowing the more backwards mortal species draw whatever conclusions they wish.
AstroCorps, the Fleet and priority zero Edit
Due to the overwhelming importance of the Molran Fleet debt to the aki'Drednanth, the aki'Drednanth are considered higher authorities in Fleet and AstroCorps matters, and hold a de facto rank superceding existing command structures. Therefore, an aki'Drednanth can commandeer Fleet or AstroCorps vessels for her own needs.
The aki'Drednanth seldom use this authority. They seldom need to.
Other abilities Edit
Aki'Drednanth are known to be able to inflict psychic damage on mortal species, including all the various member-species of the Six Species, as well as the Damorakind and most species of dumblers.
This entry is a stub. To be continued. Hur hur hur, stub.