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“Always twisting, always moving - each tremor affecting the underlying fabric of the universe with mathematical precision, with only ripples to be seen by the most astute among us. Fractals converging upon a lucid insanity that only minds not of this universe can comprehend, plucking at the strings of the cosmos as musicians pluck at the strings of harps. All-seeing, seeing the always-branching infinity of the universe's intercourse with time as a single unmoving mural. Best hope that their picture of the past, present, and future includes us.”
- - Unknown
The Psal'Jinnai, are an enigmatic species from the mystery-shrouded world of Jin'Xitha, originally a collective of extrauniversal intelligences that entered the Gigaquadrant approximately 0.52 billion years ago and merged with the pre-sapient species that would evolve into the modern Psal'Jinnai. However, the Symmetry they built died out in the 950,000s BCE, leaving only five known survivors. These five now operate as the Quintet, a shadow government that controls the Phero Ecumene unbeknownst to the majority of the population. They seek to use the Ecumene to establish their supremacy over the galaxy and the rest of the universe, and prepare worthy species for biological perfection and use as new bodies for the rest of their extrauniversal kin, who continue to drift outside the known universe. They are credited as the creators of the pocket-realm Cocytus and its numerous contents, and were the architects of countless technological and occult marvels during their golden age.
The Psal'Jinnai have been given many additional names by both their children and those who study them, including Psals, Symmetrics, Primevals, Old Ones (a term also applied to the Xi-Ur), FIRST/FATHERS (by the Manitja Illuminated Singularity), or Pattern Squids (by the Vanara).
Universe 7142907 Edit
The thousandfold reincarnated minds of the Symmetrics originally belonged to members of a hyperpower-like collective native to another universe designated as "Universe 7142907." The physical laws governing this universe allowed for easy separation of conscious mind from physical body, and matter and energy types normally considered exotic were relatively common. Some of this exotic energy was imported into the current universe when the Symmetric thoughtforms entered it. Furthermore, life and matter existed across a range of interconnected dimensions, with the Symmetrics having been born into five-dimensional bodies. The Symmetrics founded their "civilization" upon the constant consumption of different timelines, to the point of becoming almost axiomatic. It is believed that the Symmetrics reached such an influential state that all of Universe 7142907's timelines had a 99.9% probability of converging into their unwavering order, and the Symmetrics began using individual timelines they had assimilated for various experiments and hyperreal simulation engines.
The universe of the Symmetrics would eventually begin to collapse for unknown reasons; the Big Crunch it had been foreseen to eventually end with began inching closer and closer to the beginning of the universe as white holes sprang up in all timelines, increasing the matter-energy content of the entire universe and shortening its lifespan. With their civilization decaying, the Symmetrics began computing a solution, transferring information across time and space to achieve a means of survival. As the universe's lifespan was narrowed down to mere millions of years, the solution came: a means to tear a hole through the universe and exit it entirely. However, the dangers presented to physical lifeforms by multiversal travel forced them to flee with only their disembodied minds aboard so-called "thought-ships."
First Giagquadrant Edit
Around 520 mya, one of these thought-ships appeared in the Selene Galaxy (eventually known to humanity as NGC 1365), separated from the rest of the fleet and adrift in an unfamiliar universe. As it entered a universe with unfamiliar laws and mechanics, the Symmetric minds splintered across the more rigidly divided timelines, causing them great anguish. After calculating the fundamental elements of the universe and scanning it surroundings for known signs of three-dimensional life, the ship made a beeline for Jin'Xitha, a relatively large but low-density planet orbiting a yellow dwarf within its habitable zone. Upon landing and acquiring a more intimate analysis of the planet, the thought-ship detected a distantly pre-sapient aquatic species of soft-bodied organisms, which it quickly began abducting and running tests on to determine if the species could function as hosts for the minds stored on the ship. The tests concluded that several million additional years of guided evolution would result in more viable hosts, so the thought-ship became partially dormant, concealing itself within the planet's crust while monitoring and occasionally interfering in the affairs of the evolving "Proto-Psals."
Over the next several million years, the species evolved into the anatomically modern Psal'Jinnai, at which point the thought-ship began the tedious task of abducting every Proto-Psal on the planet and implanting each with a Symmetric mind, cloning some when necessary. At the conclusion of the process, the perfected Psal'Jinnai began using technology from the thought-ship to construct cities across Jin'Xitha and manufacture the starships with which they would build their interstellar Symmetry.
Symmetry Epoch EditThe Psal'Jinnai Symmetry rapidly spread across the Gigaquadrant, gaining notable footholds in Tuuros, Mirus, Andromeda, the Milky Way, Taylos, and Aoshtai. At the height of its power, the Symmetry engineered a multitude of artificial sapient species, including the Tvolii, Atriants, Lieschi, and Tyle'ans. The Atriants became an incredibly useful physical workforce for the Symmetry, in part thanks to the ease of bio-programming them to perform certain tasks and modify their bodies. The three other species, meanwhile, were watched and raised over the course of many millennia from paleolithic states well into their earliest civilized eras. The Eovinjai, Ceone, Zeuldai, Ankoran, Belphrim, and Yphreli were similarly engineered somewhat later on and guided in their early evolutionary history. All these species were intended to serve as vessels for the rest of the Symmetric thoughtforms, which still drifted aboard their own thought-ships outside the universe, and as tools in the Symmetry's refinement.
Around the year 11,990,000 BCE, the Psal'Jinnai completed their greatest creation: Cocytus, a mighty throne realm contained in a basement universe built around the rift through which their thought-ship had come. Within it, they could twist and experiment on basic physics and axioms in contained regions, with the ultimate goal of bringing heavy physics-altering powers into reality. While the exotic Symmetric Energy they had brought from their home universe was capable of altering reality around it, even in normal space, the Psal'Jinnai had no means yet to synthesize more of it or permanently sustain reality-altered space outside of Cocytus.
War of the Old Ones Edit
During the early 6,179,700s BCE, the Psal'Jinnai are known to have encountered the Xi-Ur on the periphery of their vast civilization. An aggressive therusist species, they waged what they believed to be their ideal "True War" on the Symmetry, bringing about a conflict that would span millions of years, consisting of various cycles of the Xi-Ur bringing widespread destruction, being rebuked, and surging back to burn the worlds held by the Symmetry. Often, the Xi-Ur would disperse and bury themselves amongst lesser species, fostering entire interstellar civilizations built on an appetite for destruction and hatred of the Psal'Jinnai.
Both sides birthed constructs and abominations whose names and natures have largely been lost to time, though one collective of weapons known only as the Heralds of Eschaton were known to have been so destructive, and so hated, that after their use they and any traces of their existence were destroyed, and all Psal'Jinnai who knew of the Heralds' true nature voluntarily committed suicide to prevent their recreation, allowing only their name to continue existing. However, the release of the Heralds is known to have contributed significantly to the end of the final war between the two primordial races, with nearly the entirety of the Xi-Ur species being exterminated or reduced to a pre-sapient state, while their six Daemarchs were captured and imprisoned in the Subterfuge for study and punishment.
Late Symmetry Epoch and Collapse EditDuring the later centuries following the War of the Old Ones, the Psal'Jinnai continued fostering their civilization and numerous artificial species. Of note was their creation of the Mantija, a prototype machine-race that might've become or resulted in more modular and versatile successors to the Atriants. They also took an interest in the naturally developed Vanara of Alastor, helping to foster their early magitech revolution while simultaneously taking a keener interest in Accel Space for reasons not entirely known.
Around the year 950,000 BCE, the Psal'Jinnai Symmetry suffered a series of attacks from new powers rising both within and outside their territories, and an entity remembered only as the Asymmetry appeared in Cocytus through the multidimensional rift still deep within it. The Asymmetry, by an unknown means, managed to interrupt the connection between Symmetric Energy and much of the Psal'Jinnai species, nullifying their occult capabilities and starving them of the exotic energy keeping their minds from decaying. The Al'Eviruai Tsi'Eviralai Tsi'Nexphelai, the five ruling pentarchs of the Symmetry, survived only through direct physical linkage to the Thought-Ship. These five would become the Quintet, the last memory of their civilization.
Following the fall of the Symmetry, both the species engineered by the Psal'Jinnai and those influenced by their technological remnants became collectively known as The Progeny, though the recognition of their connections would not come for many millennia. Meanwhile, in Cocytus, a great scar was left behind in the form of the Terminant, and its alien energies began to corrupt the realm and its inhabitants, resulting in many of the techno-occult denizens that now roam it, largely unbound to any higher masters.
Creating the Ecumene Edit
The Quintet played a substantial role in the founding of the Phero Ecumene, beginning with the Convergence invasion of Tuuros's Pal-Xalakk sector and the entrance of Xiaulzhos and the AI Kzejjyt into the same sector. Guided by Psal'Jinnai constructs left throughout the sector, he soon arrived in the Xao system, where the Quintet slept in the orbit of the fortress-world Phero. Azh'auvix began whispering to Xiaul through the Zemblite on board his ship, instructing him to land on Phero, where Azh had awoken a Nycotium (a device used to communicate with and uplift lesser species) through which he could guide and speak to the Tvolis. He was informed of his role in the grander scheme of the Quintet: he would be the head of a new order designed to ensure the loyalty of numerous races, primarily those embroiled in the war with the Convergence, while granting the Quintet total but covert control, exercised primarily through the central leader Xiaul would become. Easily swayed by promise of authority and power for him to exercise within the boundaries of their design, Xiaul was granted access to Phero's ship-forges, with which he produced an incredibly powerful fleet, which would then be staffed by the various Atriants, Lieschi, and Tvolii that had also been called to Phero by Vi'taupehon. When the fleet finally left the Xao system in 1740 CE, also taking two mobile war-moons with it, Kzejjyt was placed in stasis deep within Phero, far beyond the Convergence's reach.
Xiaul carved a path of devastation through the Convergence line until he reached Vortrove, where even after four years the Oslun had held out against the relentless onslaught. Coincidentally, the Strategic Mind in charge of attacking and searching Pal-Xalakk chose this as the perfect moment to strike down Xiaul, who had become the greatest threat to the Convergence's objective. The Liberation of Voltrove would go on for nearly a year, with Xiaul's armada facing an overpowering threat that likely would have ended his campaign, were it not for the intervention of the Nech. Brininging their own fleet outfitted with deadly Psal'Jinnai weaponry, they tipped the scales enough for the Pal-Xalakk natives to destroy the majority of Convergence forces in their sector, including the Strategic Mind before it could flee back to Xalakk-Xittan. Subsequent skirmishes over the next year would finish off the remainder of the invaders.
Following a brief conflict with the Tyle'an Dictation, Xiaul and the Nech Moon Council presented their outline for the establishment of the Phero Ecumene. Seeing that their disorganized and divided state had lead to their near-fall to two threats over the past decade, the various states involved in the recent wars gave their sovereignty over to the Ecumene. Xiaul, in accordance with the Quinte's plan, was elected to be the first Prime Magistrate. Phero, naturally, was designated as the capital of the new state, and a Capital Spire constructed to house the offices of the Prime Magistrate and the then-bicameral Parliament of Phero.
Present Day EditPresently, the Quintet remains in control of the Phero Ecumene, with Prime Magistrate Umbyrvraxa remaining their loyal puppet in Tuuros. Meanwhile, Psal'Jinnai constructs and ruins throughout the First Gigaquadrant have begun "waking up" in response to the technological and political advancement of many of the Progeny races.
Psal'Jinnai communicate via complex hallucinogenic polymers and compounds, which are capable of conveying an extensive spectrum of concepts and sensations. The minor relationship of these polymers with Essence allows their effects to be experienced in some way by all sapient beings.
Psal'Jinnai, while classified as invertebrates, have semi-rigid cartilaginous internal structures to support their bipedal form. Their skin and flesh is analogous to that of other organisms classified as anemones, as are their simple digestive systems, which consist of a single gastrovascular cavity in the abdomen and a concealed waist-set mouth that also functions as means to expel waste. Psal'Jinnai are naturally omnivorous, but have artificially tuned their bodies to absorb concentrated chemical energy from their advanced suits.A Psal'Jinnai's prominent "head" is in fact an adipose melon used for echolocation, which Psal'Jinnai use as a secondary means of sensing their environment, next to their many acute thoracic and cephalic eyes. In addition to the adipose melon, Psal'Jinnai "heads" contain an array of electroreceptors, which function as their third most acute sensory system, and three eyes capable of seeing light wavelengths ranging from infrared to ultraviolet.
Psal'Jinnai possess a powerful electric organ and can deliver a high-energy electric discharge, with a current of 45 amperes and voltage of 190 volts. In addition, their hands and feet are coated in cnidocytes, which can aid in gripping objects and, if necessary, inject a potentially fatal dose of a potent neurotoxin. This unorthodox pairing of deadly physical capabilities with high intelligence is thanks to their artificially steered biological evolution.
Psal'Jinnai are generally very tall, thin, soft-skinned organisms, with slightly more massive thoracic and abdominal sections and an average height of approximately ten meters. Simple compound eyes line their chest and back, with three more acute eyes being located on their head. They generally have two prominent arms supplanted by six smaller ones along their lower torso. Extending from their abdominal region are three tails tipped with flukes, used for motion in Jin'Xitha's water oceans and the Symmetric Aether found in Cocytus. Their skin is generally glossy black with cyan, yellow, and indigo points of bioluminessence lining their bodies in patterns unique to each Psal'Jinnai.
Psal'Jinnai reproduction is an extraordinarily rare event, for reasons still not entirely understood. It is believed that individual Psal'Jinnai are fully capable of reproducing on their own, or with any number of partners.
“In my great game, your quintet has a role to play. Stars and worlds will burn between our moves, and I will stand victorious over your expended dead.”
- - Sethzak
“Do not trust the Pattern Squids. Despite their help they are not good, nor are they evil. No, they have no moral goal in helping us, merely a means to an end.”
- - Writing found by the Vanara next to painting of a Psal'Jinnai on a tablet found in ruins on Alastor, its origins a mystery.
“Beings most enigmatic and powerful, the Psal'Jinnai have tampered with creatures across the Gigaquadrant and beyond. We Ankoran, the Teyan, and many others have seen their touch... But why do they do this? In all my years of study... I cannot fathom their goals.”
“Interfere with my children again and I shall turn you all into assorted fruit pies!”
- - Ava, mother of the Vanara
“What immortal hand or eye could frame thy fearful symmetry?”
- - Rades
- Psal'Jinnai technology is somewhat inspired by that of the Vex from the Destiny franchise. Other inspirations for the Psal'Jinnai and related concepts in Parazrael's fiction include sacred geometry, the art of Peter Mohrbacher, Keter-class SCPS, and cosmicism.
- Themes - Tangerine Dream - The Purple Rooms, Tangerine Dream - Phaedra, First Encounter and The Mark - Interlude.
- The concept of Psal'Jinnai communication being based on hallucinogens was inspired by videos of DMT trip simulations.
- Outside the Fiction Universe, Parazrael jokingly refers to the Psals as the "geometry nerds."