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May 4, 2018 @ 7:40 pm

The Rise and Fall of the K’thnal and the Great Network,...

Syl Says...

Edit: Fixed some hugely glaring mistakes and added some missing information. Might want to re-read if you’ve already read it.

There’s been a rising amount of interest in Kinzart’s lore recently, so I thought I’d take some time to do another write up on a topic that I personally enjoy.

As mentioned in my previous lore post ( and my post detailing the Lyrekhet (, Kinzart’s world boasts a robust, dynamic collection of races, species and cultures.

All of this was made possible by the K’thnal. Who are they? What are they? How are they? The answer to that last one is easy, dead.

As for who they are, and what they are, the answer to that isn’t quite so simple.

They began as any species did, evolving from lesser species through sheer wit and smarts. They learned as protohumans did, and began to understand how the world worked. In time that understanding became mastery.

One thing had remained constant throughout their evolution–their reliance on the enigmatic substance they called Aura, known today as Essence Crystals. As they developed, they learned to harness Aura as a virtually limitless source of power, not realizing that Aura was a finite resource. Their thirst for information and their desire to master the world around them would soon be their undoing for Aura wasn’t just a power source. It was also storage.

Aura grew slowly, taking centuries to mature before it produced enough power to power anything. Meanwhile the crystals would act like sponges, sampling and archiving little bits of information from its surroundings. Plant DNA, animal DNA, even a detailed history of a region’s mineralogical changes. Over time, the stored information would seep back into the ground, permeating the water and soil and changing the flow of evolution in the process.

This discovery changed the course of their history and would confirm one of their biggest theories.

They weren’t the first.

In consuming Aura, they were effectively destroying data, wiping it from existence. Aura was already a precious resource, but this information made it even more-so.

They knew they were living on borrowed time and poured all of their time and resources into developing their first interstellar, warp capable starship, entering the golden age of space exploration. The vessel would embark on a journey to find a new world, as rolling blackouts, sickness and starvation began to plague their homeworld. K’thnal soon petered on the brink of extinction, all hope resting on the voyage of this single, super advanced starship.

They found their salvation in the form of a planetoid comprised of almost entirely Aura. Their expeditions to the planetoid led to the discovery of ANIMA, a vast network that existed on a galactic scale. Some of the brighter minds within the K’thnal suspected that it existed, but none had ever been able to prove its existence until they arrived on the planetoid, which they dubbed a ‘Core World’.

The first Core World discovered was appropriately named Adama, and was girdled with ring world stations and shielded with hard light barriers to defend it from whatever might be out there, lurking in the darkness.

To a normal mind, ANIMA was a strange place–yes, place. It was a realm of the mind, accessible through contact with a Core Node. In its ‘passive’ stat, ANIMA is a flat, featureless space whose horizon stretches on to infinity.  , though it at least has the decency to abide by the laws of physics. A user’s physical body is projected into this essentially virtual space, wherein they may interact with ANIMA if they know how.

ANIMA’s nature as a galactic scale network means that it stores tens of millions of kibibytes(yes, kibibytes, look it up), of information. This is all accessible in an instant. ANIMA’s secondary ability is to act as a complete holographic matter emitter, since no actual matter is being introduced, merely shuffled around and reformatted. it is able to project anyone and anything, as long as the information is present within the database. When a user interacts with one of the tens of trillions of crystalline hexagons, it rises from the floor and they are presented with a terminal, translated for their language. ANIMA acts as a ‘read, not write’ data structure, allowing the user to call any data they desire and initialize a holographic projection. Only Aura seems to be capable of making any changes to the information stored within ANIMA.

ANIMA can seamlessly recreate any world stored within its databanks, regardless of which Code Node the user is logged in from. The user will see, feel, and hear as if they were actually there, able to explore anywhere that ANIMA has recorded. It can even go as far as projecting the wildlife present, dynamically recreating the organic thought processes through the use of advanced intelligence subroutines. Changes made to these projected worlds have absolutely no effect on the real one. ANIMA does all this by utilizing the energy generated by the incredibly robust network of Core Worlds and Node Worlds connected to the network–Simply put each one is a battery and a processor. 

Through the use of ANIMA, the K’thnal were able to locate largely uninhabited worlds and strip mine them for Aura,  meanwhile archiving the species found there to be transplanted later using ANIMA. They didn’t want to repeat their actions on their homeworld, and thus the Preservation Accords were drafted, declaring that for every resource consumed, twice as much must be returned in kind. The first tenant, “We are not the first”, led to the declaration “And we will not be the last”, helped guide progress from then on.

 With an abundant source of Aura, starship docks sprouted up all over the K’thnal homeworld and the once suffering populace took to the stars, adrift on massive ARK-class starships, destined for new worlds.  Their empire practically exploded overnight, colonizing world after world. There would be missteps along the way.

Without the proper guidance of the Admiralty, rogue colony ships broke ground on already populated worlds, sparking huge civil wars as colonists forcefully evicted the inhabitants–Their hardlight weaponry and shielding were far superior to the flintlock and gunpowder the natives had at their disposal. It was a bloodbath.

Perpetrators of these crimes were hunted with extreme prejudice and punished severely for their actions defied the tenants of the Preservation Accords.

Their hands stained in blood, the K’thnal turned their attention to a new endeavor. World building. If the worlds that already existed were powder kegs, then they’d just have to build their own new worlds.

Through the use of specialized explosives to birth new stars and ambient clusters of minerals, ice and even dead planetoids, the K’thnal built their first manufactured world. It would be the first of many failures, the planet far too unstable to feasibly support life.

Many more attempts would fail, and the Admiralty considered canning the project altogether, too fearful at the loss of more life.

On the brink of its death, the project found new life with their first success. A small garden world, rich with compatible life. Not too warm, not too cold, nestled perfectly into the golden belt of a young dwarf star. This world was also a Core World, seeded with Aura early in its growth so that the entire planet was permeated with it. New, never before seen forms of life developed, their genetic makeup gleaned from the trillions of lifeforms stored within ANIMA’s galactic databanks.

And with the addition of yet another Core world, ANIMA’s power grew as did its reach.

With renewed vigor, the K’thnal set about creating even more new planets, starting small and gradually scaling up until their worlds were large enough to reasonably sustain a developing civilization. They seeded them with compatible organisms sampled from trillions of other plants by ANIMA, and seeded each planet with a Core Node, adding more and more processing power to ANIMA’s vast reach.

One intrepid team set their eyes on the largest, most ambitious world yet–A new Homeworld. It took centuries to grow, fuse and cool, and a few more centuries yet to be environmentally stable enough to support life. When all was said and done, the project had been a massive success.

The resulting world was named Okarthel and would soon become the seat of the K’thnal’s galactic control. Vast super cities sprang up, boasting hundreds of millions of citizens across its garden surface. The abundance of Aura that had grown rapidly over the centuries meant all basked in the light.

But they had been too slow to see their downfall.

It wasn’t swift, but it was nonetheless painful.

K’thnal, in their desire to know and master all, had effectively worked themselves out of a job, to put it simply.

New discoveries were happening less and less frequently, and they had little need to oversee the development of the hundreds of thousands of worlds they’d created, as each stabilized itself by simply existing.

The K’thnal, hungry still for knowledge, set about on one final endeavor. To create life itself. To master it.

ANIMA was capable of influencing the growth of a species over time, but never had the K’thnal ever created life themselves. Such practices had been forbidden, frowned upon. They were merely there to guide life and preserve it, not influence it or alter its course.

They began simple, small. In time their ambitions grew. Nothing that could not survive on its own was given life, to avoid undue suffering.

Their efforts culminated in the creation of the Lyrekhet, a subservient species, engineered with great intelligence and problem solving. The Kthnal hoped to future-proof their development, but also stop them from potentially becoming a blight on the galaxy. The Lyrekhet were born fully matured, yet never able to produce young of their own. They would serve as assistants and aids to the K’thnal, their prowess matching that of their masters. Many K’thnal saw their Lyrekhet companions as equals.

In time their creations found their way but the K’thnal were yet again facing their own erasure.

Its safe to say that the K’thnal’s accelerated growth as a species is due entirely in part to their own ancestors, but history has long since forgotten their names. The K’thnal recognized this, and accepted that they wouldn’t have gotten as far as they had without the help of those who came before. They knew they had to pave the way for those who came next.

In a decision that would confuse historians for centuries to come, the K’thnal collectively resolved to release their reigns on the galaxy and cease to exist as they were. But they couldn’t simply vanish. Countless solutions were fielded, tested and invariably shut down, leaving only two.

The first would be to choose six individuals, each harboring the values needed to maintain a society, and disseminate their consciousness into the Core Nodes of the six primary Core Worlds. These six would become their stewards, and act as the silent governing bodies, monitoring the fledgling species that had been implanted all across the galaxy–inheritors to the K’thnal’s empire.

The remainder would allow themselves to dissolve into the ANIMA.

And the Lyrekhet? They would be placed into stasis deep within massive vaults and allowed to emerge on set intervals across various K’thnal controlled worlds.

And so, the K’thnal’s reign came to an end–Not in a violent protest to an alien invader, or a cataclysm, but quietly to the wheels of entropy. In time the sun would rise on worlds wiped clean. A fresh start. A new beginning. In the blink of an eye, am empire tens of trillions strong simply ceased to exist.

Only fragments were left behind to ever imply that the K’thnal had ever been there at all, in the form of abandoned cities and citadels, dormant technology and silenced creation.

In that vacuum, new life took root. Countless species discovered fire, forged their first spear, and with it, fresh food. Spears became swords. Swords became guns. Beasts of burden traded up for machines of destruction and flying ships to liberate the masses from the ground. New life would forge its own path in creation and destruction, following in the footsteps of the K’thnal.

Nowhere was this more prevalent than the K’thnal’s greatest accomplishment, Okarthel, where life carries on to this day, in reverence to the race that gave them a fighting chance.

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