The Nuitan’s fallen cousins
After the Cataclysm, the Nuitan presumed all of those who had been within the inner core of planets had died in the psychic blast. However, this was not the case – some of the more psychically attuned Nuitan on the capital planet discovered what was in fact happening, and made desperate attempts to escape. Drawing off the huge reserves of power created by the rituals, they transported their entire world into the Ether, and surrounded it with psychic wards to keep the creatures that dwell in the Ether out. This escape was at a price. All Nuitan in the galaxy felt the shockwave from the Cataclysm – and maybe even those in the colony ships, speeding outwards towards new galaxies – but those who had stood in the centre felt the full and searing force of the power they’d unleashed. The effect was terrible – the souls of the survivors were continuously, slowly, eaten away by their own psychic consciousness. The leaders conferred, and decided that there was no way out. However, hen they announced this to the people, rioting broke out, and many were killed. The Nuitan found that the souls of the dead were absorbed by their own, and rejuvenated them – it was at this moment ceased to be the Nuitan and became the Demorritan, the Dark Kin. Having discovered this, the leaders called another meeting, and all quickly came to the decision that they would take souls from the lesser races of the galaxy to keep them alive, but only just as many as were necessary. Even after centuries of debauchery and letting themselves go, the then leaders still retained some respect for other races. But they put themselves first. Arrogance, always a weakness of the Nuitan, was particularly developed in the leaders at the time of the Cataclysm – after all, they had conquered the known galaxy, had they not?
The Soul Raids
After this decision, the Demorritan embarked on a series of small-scale raids, mostly on the Orks and other lesser races. They mostly ignored man, who at this stage was primitive still and had not mastered the art of long-distance space travel. At first, these raids were as the leaders had envisioned – a select force would swoop down on some unsuspecting targets, preferably who were already fighting, and carry some off, back to Nycterrene, as they had renamed their planet following the Cataclysm. There, in the perpetual twilight, they would be sacrificed and their souls distilled, for the most needy. Unfortunately for this plan, the Demorritan began to enjoy this activity. The converted pleasure vehicles they used for transports were dangerously exhilarating to ride, and the thrill of battle appealed particularly to the over-sensitised Demorritan, as did the feeling of a soul replenishing their own. Soon, they degenerated into a race of sadists, preying on the weaker races to keep themselves alive. This process turned out to be self-destroying. As the Demorritan sank further into the violence and brutality of their Soul Raids, their already overpowered psychic consciousness became even more vulnerable, and so consuming the souls of others only increased the rate of their decline. They became even more desperate, and even more cruel and exploitive in their attacks. The Demorritan today Today, the Demorritan represent the very worst of a race that yields to its own base desires. They are almost entirely without kindness, remorse, or any feelings of care towards their fellow Demorritan. Their society embodies “survival of the fittest”, with positions of power only going to the most cunning and the most capable. Moreover, they have come to view the taking of souls as recreation, since nothing else brings them so much pleasure. Strangely, the violent and short-lived nature of Demorritan life has enhanced their reproductive abilities, and their children are born and mature much faster than those of their Nuitan cousins. This means that, despite the treacherous environment of Nycterrene, the Demorritan actually are growing as a race, and so demand more souls each year. Moreover, since it is impossible to follow their ships accurately in the Ether, finding Nycterrene and exterminating them at source remains beyond the grasp of the rest of the galaxy. The Demorritan have also changed in appearance. The half-light of Nycterrene has promoted their development into pallid, dark-eyed creatures, and the constant war – whether civil or while raiding – has eliminated the weaker members of society, ensuring that the rest are physically much more capable than even the Nuitan. They retain the grace and speed of their cousins, but have lost the psychic talents that the Voidwalkers possess – most speculate that this is because to try to draw on the Ether would consume the soul of a Demorritan completely, and so none try. In recent years (the last 5 or 6 millennia), a gladiatorial cult has emerged in the Nycterrene. The warriors of this cult ensure their protection from the usual feuding and a better cut of the prisoners taken, in exchange for providing displays for the rest of Nycterrene – be it fighting strange beasts, other races’ finest warriors who have been taken prisoner, or simply each other.
The Demorritan military machine
The Demorritan do not fight straight battles like other races. They attack only to raid, steal, and kill, and their equipment reflects this. Demorritan small arms fire armour-piercing splinters coated with an extremely strong sedative, which will knock out even the strongest Space Marine. The multiple blades and spikes which adorn their armour and weapons are also coated with this substance. After the battle, these unconscious warriors are collected and dragged back to Nycterrene for future enjoyments, unless the projectile or blade has penetrated some vital organ, in which case the unfortunate will be despatched on the spot. Demorritan anti-tank weapons rely on the same laser technology as the Nuitan equivalents, but have also been designed into shorter-range, lighter equivalents, which can be fired on the move. This allows the Demorritan to stay mobile, preventing the enemy from being able to respond. The Demorritan do not rely on heavy fire support or specialist units like other races. Their warriors are naturally far more skilled than their equivalents, and so Demorritan plans tend towards using these warriors to overwhelm the enemy with speed and ferocity, and then withdraw before proper support can be mustered. To this extent, they possess very swift transports, with open decks for ease of mounting and dismounting. The members of the Gladiatrix cult also take to the field, to further hone their skills and display their prowess to whichever lord is supporting them. They fulfil the role of leading assault troops, neutralising enemy combat troops while the regular warriors rip apart the rest of the army.