Refer to Rils' Age Doc for informatoion on the history, environment, and culture of D'ni.
The number five throughout D’ni culture held great significance. Their numbering system itself was based on a five factor that manifested itself in such routine items as time and architecture.
The D’ni “day” was divided into 5 sections called gahr-tah-vo-tee. One gahr-tah-vo was approximately equal to 6 hours and 3 minutes of Earth time (The D’ni “day” equaled approximately 30 hours and 14 minutes of time).
The D’ni were master architects – not only in the creation of Ages but in the physical carving and designing of rock artifacts, monuments, and buildings. D’ni itself is a physical manifestation of this. The entirety of D’ni is literally carved out stone. Perhaps its crowning structure is Kerath’s Arch, an awesome work that was constructed from massive blocks of stone.
Numerous D’ni ages have threads/themes of architectural craftsmanship interwoven in them. As mentioned previously, the number 5 held significance in D’ni culture. The concept of this number was so strongly rooted in D’ni culture that a number of buildings reflect this in their design structure. Gehn’s lab in Riven, the large stone platform in Gahreesen, and Relto are examples. Each building is the shape of a pentagram.
Similar to these buildings in shape and design are the Teledahn shack and the Main building in the Rime age. Although these buildings have 6 and 8 sides respectively, the look and feel of these structures are extremely similar to the five sided buildings mentioned above.
Buttresses and finials 2 are also prominent in a number of D’ni buildings. Two examples of this are the main building in the Rime age, and Gehn’s Lab in Riven.
Although there are a number of architectural similarities in many D’ni works, diversity flourished throughout Ages and styles differed radically from one Age to the next. This may have been due to Guildmasters having unique writing styles, some being much more creative than others, or perhaps it was merely the evolution of architectural styles in D’ni culture. Some examples of this are ages such as Kadish Tolesa that has an almost pyramidical building to others, such as the Fortress on Gahreesen that are totally unique.
The one commonality that threads itself through all of these structures though is stone – the basic and fundamental “building block” of the D’ni. It was an element, both physically and emotionally, that was close to their hearts and manifested itself in a variety of ways.
The D’ni had a passion for puzzles and hidden passageways. Their puzzles could range from the simple to the excruciatingly difficult. After solving a D’ni puzzle the logic that led to the solution makes increasing sense.
Puzzles were used for such things as precursors to opening rooms and passageways, to powering machines and guarding a lifetime’s accumulation wealth among others.
As was once found in Bevin, Ahyoheek, or “Heek” was one of the games the D’ni played for amusement and entertainment. The game can be played by 2 to 5 players and is similar to rock, paper, scissors. The object is to collect three of an item – pens, beetles, or pages.
Another D’ni game is Gemedet, or “six-in-a-line.” This two player game was played on a complex three dimensional grid that was nine squares to a side. One player would use polished ovoids of green tourmaline rock, the other red almandine. Whoever managed to get six of their ovoids in a row first won.
It seems the D’ni societal structure, sadly, differed very little from what is seen in our own day and age. Although it has been viewed as being an advanced society, this was only a superficial facade. It seems there were 3 class of individuals: Poor, Middle Class, and Guildsmen. Pure Blood seemed an important issue to many D’ni. It was this issue that was at the root of The Fall.
Dress / Physical Characteristics
- Wardrobe: There is no documentation as to what the poor wore but those males who were Guild Masters tended to wear rich robes that were lined with D’ni symbols pertaining to which Guild the individual belonged to. Cloaks were also worn as coats in cooler weather. The choice of footwear seemed to be leather boots. In URU one can see a D’ni cloak in Kadish’s vault.
- Physical: The D’ni had a fine facial bone structure that was slightly elongated with pale skin that was tautly fleshed. They for the most part had pale eyes that were weak due to cavern dwelling. Bright light caused discomfort to them so they wore special eye goggles that filtered light levels. It is documented that Aitrus, Gehn and Atrus used such goggles.
- Longevity: Longevity was another trait of the D’ni. Individuals could live to be a few hundred years old, four times that of average humans.
- Finial: An ornament at the tip of a pinnacle, spire or other tapering vertical architectural element.
- Buttress: Exterior support, usually of masonry, projecting from the face of a wall and serving to strengthen it or resist outward thrust from an arch or roof.
- Tourmaline: A complex crystalline silicate containing aluminum, boron, and other elements, used in electronic instrumentation and, especially in its green, clear, and blue varieties, as a gemstone.
- Almandine: A deep violet-red garnet, FeAl 2 Si 3 O 12 , found in metamorphic rocks and used as a gemstone.