The Adinites are the most prolific species on Adin, being created by the Gods for the specific conditions here to be the perfect citizens of their own private paradise.
Physically, Adinites closely resemble humans in size, stature, and musculature. They tend to be quick thinkers and good at adapting to new situations. Skin tone varies depending on the area of the world in which they live, and also adapts to changes in Adin's suns, producing more or less melanin as needed. Adinite's skin darkens in response to living closer to the equator and also from exposure to Po Tolo when a solar conjunction is imminent. This is a direct response to the sunlight, and not set to any sort of biological clock. Adinites that reside full time in the Underworlds will become more pale over time, to the point that later moving back to the surface requires a period of acclimation to the harsh sunlight.
A shift in skin tone occurs gradually over the course of around a year. Adinites sheltering from the periodic conjunction of the suns in the Underworlds only experience a slight change over the months they are below ground, and do not require acclimation to return to the surface. In addition, they supplement their diets with root vegetables grown in the Underworld that help maintain their coloring.
As they had on countless worlds before, the Gods established their new people into five organized nations across three continents, each with a specific task to perform. These Five Nations worked together like a finely tuned machine, gathering resources from all across their lands and processing them into alloys, components, power sources, and other simple devices as tribute to the Gods.
Every Adinite for many generations held the ability to shape at least one form of matter, or less frequently energy. Shapers are able to pull stone into bricks, draw a vein of ore out of the rock by touch, or coax plants to grow faster or more robust. This is done through touch and focus, and some have excelled far enough with their abilities that touch is no longer required.
While it was intended that Adinites should always be born with these abilities, the Gods left sooner than intended and never returned to Adin afterwards. The Gods normally had to adjust the genes of their people over time, as the intricacies of reproduction would sometimes cause slight mutations that caused children to be born without abilities. Lacking this adjustment, roughly 10 percent of Adinites are now born without any recognizable ability in present day. This is still a better ratio than the orphaned species of Sherdasa, with Udug children the worst off at around 95 percent being born without abilities.
The Good Pupils
After the Gods left Adin, the Five Nations continued on their ordained mission to gather and create. They expanded across their respective nations as their populations grew, and soon towns dotted the landscape. They avoided the forbidden land of Kibala that lay at the center of the Five Nations, and did not stray far from their coasts, as demanded by the Gods.
Each of the original five cities had been left with a bit of technology from the Gods, most notably long-range radio devices to stay in immediate contact with the other nations. Between these radios and a thriving maritime trade, the Five Nations progressed along similar paths with only minor cultural differences.
As time went on, Adinites were able to refine their shaping abilities to allow for finer control. Rather than simply drawing out a wire of gold, shapers learned to make more and more intricate pieces of jewelry through practice and duplication of others' work.
Adinite Shaping versus That of the Sherdasans
Rough jewelry or stone shaped into the likeness of an animal or person is the finest level of detail that Sherdasan shapers have been able to attain even with training. In addition, their shapers have difficulty making anything this complex without using some sort of foci such as a wand, jewelry, or other small items that hold superstitious value as being required for them to shape. While their abilities in no way require these items, use of foci or mnemonic chants help the Sherdasan shapers focus their waning abilities to a specific point.
Improving on Perfection
Though many shapers do not have the natural ability or training to do so, a small percentage of Adinites can attain control at the atomic level. This has led to creation of new materials using basic resources like carbon, with shapers able to arrange them into new forms. This level of control is also required, along with the ability to form the exact materials involved, for the duplication of complex electronics such as the Meh, the Shem and other parts required to form a golem, and many components of the computers discovered in the vault of the Gods.
The Forbidden Land
Situated in a central area between the Five Nations was a land the Gods decreed to be off limits to the Adinites. They claimed there were no concentrations of resources to be found there, nothing unique that the Adinites did not already possess in abundance in their own lands. It was said to be infested with dangerous creatures that, upon their return, the Gods would help clear from the land to make it safe.
Taking the words of the edict literally, it stated that no Adinite that feared or respected the Gods would set foot on those lands. Decades after the Gods had left, and the Adinites began to suspect they may not return, the edict was interpreted in such a way that it was a great idea to dump all the worst criminals of the Five Nations there. It was less controversial than putting them to death, and by the very fact these people had broken important laws it meant they didn't fear or respect the Gods.
The Rebel Lands
These original colonists of Kibala, or "rebel lands" in the Gods' tongue, mostly banded together for survival and stayed to the coastline. Hastily erected shelters turned into villages, and the exiled people soon scraped out a life huddled at the edge of the forbidden lands and foraging, quickly turning to agricultural shaping for more sustainable food.
Traders moving along the coast of Kibala started to make stops near the shore, still wary of defying the Gods but intent to make a sale. They would set anchor and the exiles would boat out to them to trade for goods. Explorers began to arrive, from inquisitive scientists looking to study the new species of plants and animals on Kibala, to adventurers from the Spear of Ninurta hungry for excitement.
There was not much excitement to be had, however. The further inland the explorers reached, the exiles began to fear Kibala less and less. No dreadful monsters were encountered, at least nothing more terrifying than could be found on other parts of the world. Resources were plentiful, hunting was good, the land was fertile.
As word spread across the Five Nations, people began to move to Kibala willingly. A town called Naag on the eastern coast, at a point where the largest known river met a natural harbor, became the focus of trade and built up more quickly than other settlements. Its name was changed to Naag City, and for a brief period the Adinites were Six Nations strong. Then the Udug arrived.
The Secret of Kibala
The interior of Kibala was crossed many times by survey teams, but an expedition to the source of the river that flowed through Naag City made a remarkable discovery. Nestled high in the mountains near the river, a mountain valley contained a cliff that simply didn't look right to the surveyors. With their escort from the Spear of Ninurta, they crossed the valley for a closer look. The cliff turned out to be a hastily shaped facade, thin and crumbling from centuries of earthquakes and poor construction. When they opened a hole and stepped inside, they found an enormous room filled with technology, art, raw materials, and personal items belonging to the Gods.
The most notable finds that would change the course of Adinite history were a message from Enki and Ninhursag, seen as the mother and father Gods of the Adinites, and a host of golems. While golems had been known from the legends as the creators of the first cities, only five working golems were known to exist now on Adin. Each of the Lugals of the Five Nations was left with one as an assistant, and to record their deeds for the Gods' return. The vault contained dozens of the less artful golems that the Gods used for early labor on a new world.
In the message, Enki and Ninhursag still claimed that they would return, but were leaving this message in case something happened and they were delayed. If they found this vault, the Gods said, the Adinites had already ventured into Kibala and would soon cross the oceans to the far continent of Babel. They explained, somewhat reluctantly it seemed, that there was another secret waiting for them on Babel - five other species that the Gods had loved and wanted to preserve on their ship.
Their mission to the stars and the Adinites they were taking with them required them to remove everything they could from the Temple in Heaven, and that included these orphaned species of Babel and the vault they were standing in. The Adinites were cautioned to treat these people with love and respect, as they were created for strange and different worlds long ago and may be struggling on Adin. Any contact should be done carefully and with diplomacy, and the Adinites should care for the orphans as they would each other. Less than a month later, the Udug attacked.
The Sherdasan Invasion
The assault by the species of Babel, now called Sherdasa after Lugal Sherdasu unified or enslaved all the other species there, began ruthlessly. They landed on the eastern coast of Satium, the administrative center of the Five, smallest of the nations and cut off from the others by ocean or mountains. They began by releasing the Kudz, a strange bioweapon that quickly spread through the Forests of Gold and Crimson, covering them in thick vines.
Though Kudz was slowed before it could cover the entire nation, it engulfed almost half of Satium with the aid of Udug shapers. Then the horde swept across the land, burning the remaining villages and slaughtering anyone too slow to escape their advance.
The capitol of Satium with its immortal Lugal was named Eridu, and was located on a small island in the bay off the western coast. As the Udug swept over the last parts of Satium and closed in on the coast near Eridu, the Udug navy arrived. They cut off the bay and bombarded the beautiful city of crystal and stone with cannons made for them by the Sulmu.
While Eridu fell and the Udug completed the razing of Satium, many Adinites were able to slip out past the massive Udug ships in their smaller, faster craft. Some of the Udug navy began to pursue them, but the refugee ships knew these waters and had a great speed advantage. They spread out to the other nations and warned them of the attack on Satium.
The Udug spread their fleet out across the other five nations, shelling villages into oblivion and destroying all of the Adinite shipyards and docks. Their fleet steadily grew, and they soon began shaping some of their ships together into a huge floating island at a central location between the nations to stage their assaults from.
Naag City was the next major target, the youngest of the capitols with no immortal Lugal to protect it and, according to Nommo intelligence, inhabited mostly by murderers and thieves. It was the closest capitol to Eridu, and the Udug navy arrived soon after the refugee ships from Satium had landed. However, these Adinites had a little time to prepare, and managed to force the Udug ships out of cannon range with a hastily prepared and dangerous defense.
By the time the Udug ventured back into the bay the following day, the citizens had already thrown up a wall capable of deflecting their cannons. The Udug destroyed the docks and every ship in the harbor, and left a few ships to blockade the city while the others went off in search of easier targets.
For three long years, the Adinites were cut off from each other except for the radios located in each capitol. Naag City, though not being an original nation, had its own radio duplicated by a couple of shapers from the one located in Gibila. Unheard by the Udug, they were able to plan strategies and share information. Each nation made their own smaller radios from the design of the original ones, the pressing need for better communication outweighing fear of the Gods being angry that they copied their equipment.
Gearing Up for a War They Were Already Fighting
The people of Kibala held a distinct advantage over the Udug, but it took those three years to put their plans in motion. The best and brightest in Kibala were brought up to the site of the vault, deep in the mountains and protected by an immense fortress where the river emerged out onto the plains. The vault had spawned a new city in its shadow, Ednimuru, and the finest shapers Adin had ever known were there busily decoding the Gods' technology.
Their first group's focus was on the golems, which took time to duplicate correctly so they would function, and much longer to make them able to fight against the Sherdasans. The code within their Shem would not allow them to harm any of the Gods' creations, and that took some time to change.
The second group worked to copy the airships that were discovered, two of the bulkier and slower transports used to ferry supplies up to the Temple in Heaven when the Gods were still here. They had prematurely tried to fly one of them before fully understanding the controls, and it was lost. The remaining ship was difficult to copy due to all the complex electronics it contained, but they eventually got a smaller version airborne.
This started to turn the tide in favor of the Adinites, as the war golems quickly gained a reputation for being more brutal than even the sadistic Udug in combat. They did not attempt to use the new aircraft for combat because they were slow and difficult to control, but flying under cover of night in the quiet ships, the heroic pilots could spread the new golems to the other nations and reunite Adinites separated by the Udug blockades. They also kept track of the Udug fleet and their floating headquarters, reporting movements to help defend against the Udug incursions onto land.
Adinite morale slowly crept back up, while the Udug were suffering their first major defeats at the blades, fists, and explosions of the fearsome golems. The Udug Lugal returned to Sherdasa to conscript more warriors for the prolonged war, or maybe due to a sense of impending doom.
The Kibala Project
Back in Ednimuru, they were collecting more and more shapers from across Adin with their midnight flights across the oceans. They went over every scrap of material in the vault, looking to weaponize more of the Gods' artifacts. They also worked on improvements to the Sulmu weapons they had captured from the Udug, some of which were as advanced as the technology in the vault itself.
They were also learning new uses for old materials, having gained access to the computers left behind that contained milennia of the Gods' data on exotic elements, alloys, and compounds. Combining much of this knowledge, they added a larger power source to the sonic-powered rifles the Udug carried, capable of launching much larger shells using more powerful magnets without resorting to the dangerous explosives the Sulmu used for their mortars.
Victory Through Superior Firepower
What they came up with was actually far more dangerous than the most devious Sulmu could have imagined. The Adinites adapted the captured guns into an artillery piece capable of reaching to the Udug's floating fortress from Kibala. Into this enormous gun they loaded a core of liquid cesium encased in ambrita, wrapped in a steel sabot to launch it from the magnetic cannon.
The sabot released, and the shot was remarkably accurate. It dropped into the water only a few meters from the Udug fortress, where the impact should have broken the ambrita casing and exposed the volatile cesium to the water, causing a massive explosion. Some calculation was off, and the ambrita deformed but did not split open. The huge ball of liquid metal dropped below the surface and into the depths, completely unnoticed by the fleet of Sherdasans.
On hitting the ocean floor, the ambrita was punctured by a rock and the world split open.
An Adin-Shattering Kaboom
Adin does not have much volcanic activity. The tectonic plates had slowed to a crawl long before the Gods arrived, and the conjunctions of Adin's suns were its primary cause of earthquakes. The Adinites' cesium bomb, which would have been devastating to the fleet if it struck the surface, instead dropped neatly on the seam between two ancient tectonic plates. On that day, the ocean surrounding the Udug fortress and much of its fleet boiled and heaved, and then disappeared completely.
The resulting supervolcano continued erupting long after the treaties were signed. The caldera rose above the surface and continued pouring out lava through the next conjunction, which brought its own earthquakes and reopened the wound. A large island soon spread out in the middle of the ocean where the fortress had been, and no Sherdasan within two leagues of the floating citadel lived to see it rise.
Taking the Fight to the Udug
The tide had literally turned. Over half of the Sherdasan warriors had been vaporized in a single shot. The remaining Udug ships abandoned their blockades and fled home. The Adinites followed, stunned by the results of their weapon but hungry for vengeance on the oppressive Sherdasans.
No Adinite set foot on Sherdasan soil for the remainder of the war. Instead, they sent their golems. Armed to the teeth and wired to explode if they were incapacitated or if they just thought it would be a good tactical decision, the latest Humbaba-6 models started pushing across Sherdasa like the Udug had done to Lost Eridu. The only word they were programmed to respond to from a non-Adinite was "surrender," and it took the Sherdasans too long to figure that out.
When the dust finally settled, Lugal Sherdasu had at last given up on his destiny of ruling Adin. He surrendered before his people were driven to extinction, declaring himself Udug-Ri, an outcast from his own society. Adinite envoys were sent to draw up treaties, escorted by a host of golems.
The Adinites were graceful victors once the heat of battle had ended. They did not enslave the Sherdasans as the Udug had done to their fellow orphaned species. Seeing the destruction they had caused on Sherdasa, and the still-erupting volcano in their own lands reminding them daily of the atrocities they had committed, they freed all the Sherdasans from Udug rule and opened trade with the Five Nations.
They also brought help for the failing Sherdasan people, in the form of their own shapers, golems, and materials to help them rebuild. As they had all forgotten, even after the direct message left for the Adinites by two of their Gods, all the people on Adin were born from the same creators.
But it was the Adinites' world.
After the War
The Adinites slowly rebuilt their fleet of ships, with improvements based on the larger and sturdier vessels of the Udug. Trade resumed, and expanded to include all of Adin.
Naag City had taken in many refugees from Satium that remained there after the war. The city was renamed New Eridu after the capitol lost in the war. The nation of Kibala became Kibalagaldi, "the redeemed rebel lands."
Satium has not been repopulated. The treaties forbade Sherdasans from entering the ruined kingdom, and Adinites consider it to be a sacred monument to the lives lost there. It is a popular destination for the Spear of Ninurta however, as explorers brave the ever-growing Kudz and other new, strange creatures reported to live within it. There are still cities beneath the Kudz, swallowed whole into its creeping vines, that contain lost treasures or family heirlooms the Spear are contracted to retreive.
I really like your article. I would like to read more about the culture of the Adinites, right now the article focus primarily on the history of the species. Also I think, in the future, linking an article that describe each events you write about underneath the headline, would benefit both you and the reader. I think your article was really well written :D